FreedomWorks Foundation Content

Net Neutrality Creates a ‘Net Cartel’

Documents released this month by Judicial Watch show the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and left-wing advocacy groups colluding to increase support of regulations on the Internet with ‘Net Neutrality’ measures.

Net neutrality has been debated in Congress since the founding of the Internet; and in December 2010 the FCC voted 3-2 to begin implementing net neutrality rules.  While net neutrality supporters frame the rules as necessary to keep the internet free, the reality is quite the opposite, with the FCC claiming sweeping new powers to regulate the internet. The FCC rules allow the government to open investigations on how Internet server providers manage their networks and also have a hands-on approach in dealing with the Internet market. Net neutrality claims to be protecting Internet users from abusive corporations, but it is a mere disguise to help the big Internet providers grab a piece of the market and suppress future competition.

Earlier this year, the House passed a bill to repeal the new Internet rules, but the Senate isn’t expected to follow suit. Lawmakers cited the FCC power grab as overreaching and say it would allow the FCC to regulate interstate communication service too easily and without oversight from Congress.

Government regulation of the Internet should frighten internet users; the success of the Internet comes from innovation, competition, and an adherence to the free-market. Research has shown that net neutrality could cost the economy $62 billion annually over the next five years, eliminate 502,000 jobs; and would impose costs on consumers and stifle Internet entrepreneurship.

Now, the FCC is teaming up with left-wing interest groups to rev up support of the new regulations. The FCC is an independent government commission; despite this, the Obama administration has taken a more proactive role within the Commission in pursuit of a new regulated Internet. House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has already questioned the independence of the Commission and whether the White House helped draft the net neutrality rules.

The federal government deceptively uses the term ‘Net Neutrality’ when they push for regulation of the Internet; however, neutrality implies a hands-off approach. A government protected Net Cartel is a far more accurate description of the FCC’s new regulations.