How the FCC Redefined the Internet

Our own Bruce Mehlman had an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal recently on the need for the FCC to once again classify the internet as an “information service.” Wall Street Journal subscribers can read the full piece, but here’s an excerpt:

As it turns out, the FCC had it right for nearly 20 years. The longstanding bipartisan agreement in favor of light-touch regulation fueled the explosive growth of the internet. The FCC under Chairmen Reed Hundt, William Kennard, Michael Powell, Kevin Martin and Julius Genachowski were each correct when they declared or affirmed broadband as an information service, and the FCC under Tom Wheeler was wrong when it reversed these precedents two years ago to start regulating broadband as a telecom service.

The monopoly-style regulation imported by Mr. Wheeler from the days of rotary phones is both unneeded to ensure an open internet and highly inappropriate in today’s competitive, innovative broadband marketplace. Reclassification in 2015 hurt investment in broadband networks and innovation in the broadband ecosystem. Because of that decision, some communities and consumers did not receive broadband investments as quickly or as expansively as they could and should have.

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