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DeMint Introduces Bill Limiting FCC Regulatory Authority - Broadcasting & Cable

DeMint Introduces Bill Limiting FCC Regulatory Authority

Would require Commission to prove consumers' lack of choice doing "substantial harm"
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Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) has introduced a bill that would block
Title II reclassification and expanded and codified network neutrality
guidelines, or at least delay them.

That bill is primarily a shot across the bow given that, at least
so far, its backers are all in the minority.

He was joined by co-sponsors (all Republicans) Orrin Hatch (Utah),
John Ensign (Nev.), John Thune (S.D.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), John Cornwyn (Texas)
and Jeff Sessions (Ala.) in introducing the bill Wednesday, confirming a report
in B&C July 20.

The bill would require that the FCC prove consumers have a lack of
choice that is doing them substantial harm before it can impose any new regs as
well as weigh the consumers' costs vs.
benefits.         

"President Obama's handpicked FCC chairman is attempting to impose
unnecessary, antiquated regulations on the Internet in spite of court rulings
limiting the FCC's authority, against bipartisan congressional concern over
damaging economic consequences, and without any evidence of market
failure," said DeMint, referring to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's
proposal to reclassify broadband access under some Title II common carrier regs
to clarify its broadband authority in the wake of the BitTorrent court ruling.

The bill would also impose a marketplace test for all FCC
regulations and effectively limit its power by providing timelines for FCC
regulatory decisions and sun-setting any regs after five years, "unless
the FCC chooses to renew them under the market-based standard."

"Since the FCC has a hard time listening to the American
people, we're stepping forward with commonsense legislation to keep these
unelected bureaucrats' hands off the Internet," said Hatch. "This bill
is simple - the FCC would have to demonstrate that consumers won't be harmed if
these dangerous and costly ‘net-neutrality' regulations are put into
place."

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