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Blog

Net Neutrality Ruling: A Blow to Internet Freedom

In a blow to Internet freedom, a federal appeals court has given a green light to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Open Internet Order, a plan to impose net neutrality rules on the Internet. Most disturbingly, the ruling yesterday by a 3-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit affirmed the basis for the Order, the FCC's determination that it can apply utility-style regulations – intended for telephone companies under the Communications Act of 1934 – to land-based and wireless Internet service providers (ISP). In one of the most egregious instances of overreaching by federal agencies under the Obama Administration, the FCC used the determination to grant itself sweeping power to regulate the Internet, opening the door to a plethora of burdensome Internet regulations.

06/15/2016
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Press Release

FreedomWorks Foundation Sends Comments to FCC on Proposed Privacy Rules

FreedomWorks Foundation sent comments on Friday in response to the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) proposed privacy rules for Internet service providers (ISPs). The rules, introduced in March, limit the ability of ISPs to share data about consumers’ online habits and personal information without their permission.

05/31/2016
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Blog

Letter to FCC Calls for Transparency of Zero-Rating Plans

In a Tuesday morning letter to the Federal Trade Commission, a group of tech companies and advocates including the Center for Media Justice, Yelp, Pinterest, and Kickstarter have expressed concerned over the FCC’s application of net neutrality rules to zero-rating plans.

05/24/2016
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Blog

Comcast Strikes Deals with Samsung and Roku, Leaving FCC in the Dust

For quite some time now, the FCC has been trying to sell the idea of “opening” the set-top box as something innovative and beneficial for consumers. However, on the eve of the proposal’s filing deadline, Comcast and the free market have already moved well beyond the set-top box, into much more innovative territory. In two separate press releases this past Wednesday, Comcast announced new partnerships with Samsung and Roku to allow Xfinity streaming through the two platforms. Such partnerships demonstrate that, while the FCC ruling isn’t even official yet, they will essentially be obsolete on arrival. The set-top box is on its way out, and the market, not the FCC, is providing the alternative.

04/22/2016
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Blog

Just Another Regulatory Power Grab by the FCC

Recently, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed a set of new privacy regulations addressing the transfer and use of consumer information. Just as he had done previously with the set-top box proposal, Wheeler portrayed the new regulations as unilaterally beneficial to consumers. Of course, no regulatory case at the FCC is ever so simple, and there is much more at play here, including the potential for cronyism and regulatory power-grabs.

03/18/2016
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Blog

Congress turning back Net Neutrality for Small Businesses, Now for the Rest of It

It hasn’t taken very long for Congress to realize that the burdensome regulations of net neutrality are impeding American innovation. Now, they just need to start peeling them back.

02/26/2016
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Blog

Opening Pandora’s Set-Top Box

Towards the end of January, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler made a surprise announcement about regulations regarding set-top boxes, or what many refer to as their PVR. Mr. Wheeler announced that his agency would make cable providers “open” their set-top boxes to allow third-parties access to the designs and programming, essentially allowing them to compete in the set-top box market. While, at face value, there doesn’t appear to anything too nefarious, cracking open Mr. Wheeler’s plan reveals entirely different intentions and potential costs on consumers.

02/19/2016
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Blog

Zero-Rating, Zero Innovation from the FCC

The Internet: the next frontier of human innovation. A network of infinite connections and infinite possibilities. That is, unless the FCC has anything to say about it.

02/01/2016
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Blog

Net Neutrality Is Already Restricting Consumer Choice

When the FCC began to seriously consider imposing Net Neutrality standards on internet service providers, I had many concerns. I wrote an article at the time called “Rebutting the President on Net Neutrality,” in which I listed my disagreements with a policy that, on the surface, sounds reasonable to many. One of the more controversial points I raised was in response to the “No Blocking” principle, which forbids ISPs from picking and choosing which content they provide access to. I wrote:

01/20/2016
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Blog

U.S. Telecom Association v. FCC Could be Dangerous for Consumers

Today, the federal appeals court in Washington will begin to hear arguments regarding Obama’s net neutrality rule and whether or not the government should have the ability to micromanage the internet. As it would stand under the administration’s new rule, the government would have expanded capabilities to step in and add numerous burdensome regulations to the internet. This could pose many problems to businesses that range anywhere from substantial cost hikes to increased uncertainty in the economy; thus leading to curtailed innovation and less new products being introduced to the marketplace.

12/04/2015

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