CAGW Submits Reply Comments to FCC Supporting Internet Freedom | Citizens Against Government Waste

CAGW Submits Reply Comments to FCC Supporting Internet Freedom

For Immediate Release
Contact: Curtis Kalin 202-467-5318

August 15, 2017

(Washington, D.C.) – Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) President Tom Schatz today submitted public reply comments to the to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in support of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that removes an outdated regulatory regime from the internet and restores internet freedom.

The comments read in part:

“The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted on February 26, 2015 to adopt the Open Internet Order (OIO) on a 3-2 party-line vote, reclassifying the internet as a telecommunications/telephone service under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.  This utility-style big brother approach to regulating the internet was a problem in search of a solution, and a massive overreach of authority by the agency.

“The adoption of the OIO stemmed in part from a misguided belief that since a company might have the capability of doing harm to its customers and subscribers, it will do so.  Not only did the OIO create rules for only internet service providers (ISPs) that differed from the rules for the rest of the internet ecosystem, it also created problems for consumer protection and privacy.

“On July 10, 2017, South Carolina State Representative Garry R. Smith (District 27 – Greenville County) filed comments with the FCC regarding this proceeding.  Rep. Smith noted that an inquiry with the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office and the Department of Consumer Affairs found only a ‘handful of internet-related complaints, most of which related to billing practices, internet service speed, or improper representations of available internet service speeds.  The state entities were unable to identify any actual harms resulting from light-touch regulation.  In fact, quite the contrary is true.  The entities identified several specific instances of actual consumer harm, which harms ISPs addressed through the consumer complaint administrative processes.’  Rep. Smith further noted that based on information he received from the South Carolina State Attorney General’s office, 'South Carolinians have not experienced any of the hypothetical harms recited in the Title II Order.’

“CAGW fully supports reinstating the classification of ISP services as ‘information services’ under Title I of the Communications Act of 1934 and reducing the regulatory burdens on ISPs.  Adoption of the NPRM will also lead to the return of consumer protection to the Federal Trade Commission and individual state attorneys generals."

Citizens Against Government Waste is the nation's largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. 

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