The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Net Neutrality

California Takes Two Steps Back on Net Neutrality

The state of California has moved ahead with one of the most ambitious pieces of state-based net neutrality legislation to date.  SB 822, the Communications: Broadband Internet Access Service, reinstates the restrictions put in place by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) in 2015 and goes even further with additional regulatory restrictions.  

The Net Neutrality Sham

Among the many problems with Sen. Ed Markey’s (D-Mass.) Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order (RIFO) is the gaping hole in privacy protection that will occur if the legislation is enacted into law.  It is the one issue that supporters do not wish to be brought up or discussed publicly in their zeal to overturn the RIFO.

An Open Internet Excludes Net Neutrality

There is a huge misunderstanding regarding net neutrality.  Silicon Valley dot-coms and big e-commerce corporations are pushing the idea that the Restoring Internet Freedom Order approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on December 14, 2017 somehow rolled back protections for consumers, and will lead to the end of the internet as we know it.  But, it did nothing of the sort.  It simply rolled back the heavy hand of government over the internet, and restored consumer protection to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which was stripped out by the 2015 Open Internet Order.

The Sky is Not Falling, and the World isn't Going to End

The sign that appears in quaint shops and businesses across the country, “Keep Calm and Carry On,” originated from a 1939 British motivational poster.  This applies universally and over time; it is particularly relevant in a world that responds instantaneously to social media and “news.”

NYT Is Completely Wrong on Internet Freedom

The New York Times’ April 30 editorial on the effort by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai to restore internet freedom gets everything wrong, particularly the claim that giving something for free as an inducement to sell services is somehow bad for consumers and small businesses.

The FCC Should Keep Its Hands Out of Our Wallets

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seems to be taking a fast and furious ride through America’s pockets lately.  The FCC, under the helm of Chairman Tom Wheeler, announced plans to expand the Lifeline program to give away broadband Internet subsidies to low-income individuals.  What this means for the average consumer is an increase in their telephone bills, by requiring the payment of higher contributions to the Universal Service Fund (USF).

A Twentieth Anniversary Not Worth Celebrating

In 1996, Bill Clinton resided in the White House; science produced the first cloned mammal, a sheep named Dolly; folks were dancing the Macarena; and the Simpsons became the longest running prime-time animated series. Unfortunately, not all twenty year flashbacks are as much fun because in 1996, cell phones were the size of a brick and performed two functions -- calling people and text messaging; the Internet was merely a blip on the radar; and, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was enacted.

Broadband as a Moving Target

On January 29, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) redefined what constitutes minimum standards for broadband access, raising the bar from the original standard of 4 Megabytes per second (Mbps) for download speeds, and 1 Mbps for upload speeds, to 25 Mbps download speeds and 3 Mbps upload speeds.

Capital Investments Don’t Happen Overnight Mr. Wheeler

On February 26, 2015, the three Democratic commissioners at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made a monumental decision to regulate the Internet under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. In other words, they thought it was a good idea to apply an 80 year-old statute intended to regulate the monopoly Bell telephone system to the most compelling and competitive communications and commercial system ever created.

On Title II, Just Say No to FCC Overreach

Back in the 1980s, First Lady Nancy Reagan had a slogan to go with her anti-drug campaign, "Just Say No."  Perhaps this same slogan should be used in the ongoing debate over the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) efforts on net neutrality and Title II reclassification of the Internet.

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