Free Press opposed the FCC's network neutrality rule order,
but it has no desire to see it overturned by House Republicans.
That is according to the prepared testimony of Free Press
Research Director Derek Turner for a Hill hearing Wednesday (March 9) on a
Republican proposal to invalidate the FCC's new rules.
The FCC voted Dec. 21 to expand and codify its network
neutrality guidelines. "While aspects of the rule may be flawed, any
attempt to repeal it leaves Internet users fundamentally unprotected,"
Turner plans to tell the House Communications Subcommittee.
"Members of this body may be uncomfortable with the
precise contours of the FCC's rules," he said, which was something of an
understatement when applied to the Republican leadership. They have
unequivocally slammed the rules as regulatory overreach that will chill
investment. He pointed out that Free Press itself had opposed the order, but
because it felt the FCC had not gone far enough in protecting Internet
Turner says invalidating rules will "remove the FCC's
current weak and industry-blessed rules and prevent the FCC from addressing the
most blatant forms of discrimination and anti-competitive activities at any
point in the future."
The National Cable & Telecommunications Association
reiterated its support for the FCC order--it was at the table when the
compromise rules were being hammered out--but it was less a benediction than a
recognition that the regs were better than more regulatory Title II
classification of ISPs, but not as good as no regs at all.
Silver damned the resolution as "an unnecessary and
dangerous over-reaction that will harm the economy and subject innovators to
the "discriminatory whims of ISPs.... Internet users cannot afford to have
Congress to eliminate the FCC's oversight over our nation's critical
Republicans plan to vote on the resolution at a markup
following the hearing at which Turner and others are weighing in. Even if it
makes it through the House, it is unlikely to make it past a Democratically
controlled Senate or the pen of a president who is on the record supporting the