Net Freedom, GOP Style

Republicans backed Internet freedom at RNC, but not the version in FCC’s network neutrality rules 9/03/2012 12:01:00 AM Eastern

The party platform adopted at the Republican
National Convention in Tampa, Fla., last
week included a commitment to Internet
freedom, but defi nitely not the version the
Democratic-controlled FCC backed in its
network-neutrality rules.

In the section entitled “Protecting Internet
Freedom,” the GOP platform says: “We will
remove regulatory barriers that protect outdated
technologies and business plans from innovation
and competition, while preventing legacy regulation
from interfering with new and disruptive
technologies such as mobile delivery of voice,
video and data as they become crucial components
of the Internet ecosystem.”

And while it uses the “innovation” and “competition”
and “Internet eco-system” buzzwords of
the current FCC and the Obama administration,
the Republican Party has not suddenly dropped its
opposition to the FCC’s version of that landscape.

“[T]he FCC’s net-neutrality rule is trying to
micromanage telecom as if it were a railroad
network,” the GOP platform says, painting the
Democratic approach as Luddite. “The current
administration has been frozen in the past. It
has conducted no auction of spectrum [and] has
offered no incentives for investment.”

Not to be trumped on the net neutrality front,
President Obama took to Reddit to say his party
remains committed to Internet Freedom. “I won’t
stray from that principle—and it will be reflected
in the platform,” Obama said.