Joint Statement by CAGW President Tom Schatz and ITPC Executive Director Deborah Collier on the Latest Net Neutrality Proposal | Citizens Against Government Waste

Joint Statement by CAGW President Tom Schatz and ITPC Executive Director Deborah Collier on the Latest Net Neutrality Proposal

Press Release

October 19, 2023
For Immediate Release
October 19, 2023
Contact: Alexandra Abrams (202-467-5310)

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, following the partisan vote on the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled Reestablishing the Open Internet Protection at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) President Tom Schatz issued the following statement:

“In a moment of regulatory whiplash, all Americans should be gravely concerned that the FCC has voted to pursue a wasteful, fruitless, and likely unconstitutional effort to re-establish and expand government control over a vibrant sector of the economy.  The issue of net neutrality was resolved in December 2017, when the Restoring Internet Freedom Order was adopted at the FCC overturning the 2015 Open Internet Order (OIO).  The decision was upheld by the Supreme Court in October 2019.  The OIO led to reduced private sector investment and innovation and slowed down broadband deployment.  Warnings that it would be the end of the internet as everyone knew it if net neutrality was repealed proved to be false.  Service is cheaper, faster, more innovative, and more widespread across the country than ever before.  Rather than calling it the Open Internet Protection order, it should be called the Close the Internet Order.  It would be even worse than the OIO, because it would impose rate regulation, despite promises by various administration officials that they have no intent to do so.  The NPRM is not only a waste of time and money but also jeopardizes America’s leading position in global telecommunications.”

CAGW Innovation and Technology Policy Center Executive Director Deborah Collier issued the following statement:

“At a time when states are finalizing their Broadband Equity Adoption and Deployment (BEAD) funding applications with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to help provision broadband in their unserved communities, this proceeding will create uncertainty and disincentives for providers to participate in the program.  A rulemaking of such an economic magnitude should not be kept swinging for more than a decade on the pendulum of regulatory doubt.  Rather than move forward on this proceeding, the FCC should follow the direction provided by Congress. 

“As noted in an October 17, 2023, letter to the FCC from members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, this proposal ‘could not have come at a worse time.  The country is on the cusp of closing the digital divide.  We should not burden broadband providers with unnecessary regulations as they seek to deployment broadband to unserved Americans.  We know from experience that broadband investment decreases when regulations increase, as we saw when the FCC last reclassified broadband in 2015.  That network investment increased under the current regime undermines your argument that reclassification will ‘better support the deployment of wireline and wireless infrastructure.’ 

The letter also noted that changes should not be made to what is working well.  The FCC should pay heed to what these legislators are saying.  Any more changes to the classification of broadband should be made by Congress, not the FCC.”

Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. 


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Alexandra Abrams
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