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Prominent members of the free-market movement joined together today to send a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives urging that they let the market, not bureaucrats, drive the future of the Internet. In the letter, FreedomWorks, Americans for Tax Reform, The Media Freedom Project, National Taxpayers Union, Americans for Prosperity, Free Enterprise Fund, Frontiers of Freedom, Center for Individual Freedom, Institute for Liberty, The Maine Heritage Policy Center, Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, Iowa Association of Scholars, and Citizen Outreach asked Congress to leave the Internet alone and not stifle future innovation.
The group believes the letter will raise awareness on Capitol Hill about opening the Pandora’s Box of government regulation of the Internet. In the letter dated May 1, 2006 the group commented: “It is a fact we all know too well: Once government is free to dictate price, content and speed for the Internet, Congress will find a way to tax products, services and require providers to collect government mandated fees just for using the ‘privilege’ of using technology. While supporters of Net-Neutrality legislation argue their position with no basis of fact – a solution in search of a problem – history has taught us well that when the government attempts to regulate commerce, it is the consumer who ultimately pays.”
The letter is in response to recent efforts by liberal groups such as MoveOn.org and SavetheInternet.com who promote the idea that active government interference is necessary to ‘save’ the Internet. The free-market movement believes the Internet is the modern frontier of innovation and economic development, and should remain free from regulation.
Government mandates would be a disincentive to private investment. Bernstein Research senior investment analyst Craig Moffett testified to Congress that, “It (Net-Neutrality) would also mean that consumers alone would be required to foot the bill for whatever future network investments that do get made. That would result in much higher end-user prices, much steeper subsidies of heavy users by occasional ones, and, in all likelihood, a much sharper ‘digital divide.’ The United States as a whole would, in all likelihood, fall further behind other countries in broadband availability and reliability.”
To view the letter in entirety, please visit www.freedomworks.org