Citizens Against Government Waste Pans House Hearing on a Government Takeover of the Internet | Citizens Against Government Waste

Citizens Against Government Waste Pans House Hearing on a Government Takeover of the Internet

Press Release

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

February 7, 2019

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) President Tom Schatz released the following statement following the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology hearing entitled, “Preserving an Open Internet for Consumers, Small Businesses, and Free Speech.”

CAGW President Tom Schatz said in a statement: 

“Today’s hearing was in desperate need of a fact check.  In 2015 under former Chairman Tom Wheeler, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the Open Internet Order (OIO), which imposed Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 on the internet.  These Depression-era regulations were originally intended for rotary-dialed telephones and significantly hampered broadband investment. 

In 2017, Chairman Ajit Pai’s FCC passed the Restoring Internet Freedom Order (RIFO), overturning the OIO.  After the RIFO was adopted, internet speeds in the nation increased by nearly 40 percent, and the U.S. rose from twelfth to sixth worldwide in broadband internet speed from 2017 to 2018.

“Proponents on the subcommittee of re-imposing these destructive regulations, along with the majority of their hand-picked witnesses, painted a distorted and largely inaccurate picture of the internet ecosystem and why it has thrived.  The internet has grown into a communications juggernaut precisely because of the bipartisan, light-touch framework that was instituted in the Telecommunications Act of 1996.  President Bill Clinton was correct at the time when he said that the internet should be ‘unfettered by federal or state regulation.’ 

“The Energy and Commerce Committee should stop wasting time on dishonest hearings that pander to advocates of a government takeover of the internet and instead focus on crafting telecommunications legislation that ends the regulatory ping-pong match between administrations and provides certainty to consumers and providers.

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