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April 22, 2008
As the Senate Commerce Committee prepares to hold its hearing on the “Future of the Internet,” we, the undersigned organizations, on behalf of our millions of members and supporters, encourage you to support the free market principles that have enabled the Internet to become one of the most successful innovations in history.
Unfortunately, proponents of regulating the Internet through so-called Net Neutrality are pushing the type of government intervention that is counter-intuitive to successful ventures. Simply put, the idea of Net Neutrality, which has been called “the web’s worst new idea” by the Wall Street Journal, goes against the basic rules of the free market.
Expanded commerce and unprecedented citizen participation in the democratic process are outcomes of the Internet’s unfettered growth. Few would argue that such growth is a direct result of the government’s refusal to over-regulate the Internet. A shift toward stifling regulation and unnecessary government intervention threatens the Internet’s continued success.
The premise of Net Neutrality flies in the face of free-market principles, specifically:
There should be no preemptive regulation of an industry or service in response to a hypothetical problem;
There should not be increased intrusion of the government into the free market and private sector;
The government should not be used to solve perceived market shortfalls.
And yet, perhaps the most basic principle, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it,” is the one most important maxim, and probably is the most obviously violated here. Net neutrality is a solution in search of a problem. Indeed, Net Neutrality will lead to fewer consumer choices, higher prices and would stifle new investment in much-needed broadband network infrastructure.
We are asking you to stand up for pro-growth principles and to not allow any anti-free-market Internet regulation to gain traction in the Senate.
Center for Individual Freedom
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
American Conservative Union
National Taxpayers Union