FCC Network Neutrality Regulations Overturned

By Lon Hosford

The 6 year battle over Net Neutrality continues. Federal Courts on January 14th, 2014 struck down the laws put into place by President Obama’s first FCC (Federal Communication Commission) chairman, Julius Genachowski. Actually this was a topic that can go back to the 1980s.

Bottom line is that the FCC (Federal Communication Commission) wants control over internet providers like they have over telephone companies where if you look at your phone bill is loaded with taxes.

Internet providers what to control what flows over their networks and even charge information provider companies like Google to use them.

This may explain a bit why you see Google trying to build its own wifi and networks as the risk is there they may have to give up their riches to internet providers.

I gave a presentation to the Hunterdon Computer Club in 2010 on the FCC and how they were trying to control “information services” as “telecommunication service”.

The FCC is one of those Congressional House of Representative responsibilities delegated to a “Agency” like the currency responsibility is delegated the Federal Reserve.

To do that Congress wrote statutes for the FCC to follow.

These very powerful “Agency” heads are basically an extension of Congress and need to follow the statutes governing them and every so often you see them report to a Congressional Committee because of the nature of that relationship.

Those Statutes block the FCC from controlling “information services”. You get into all types of Free Speech issues with this. Should your internet provider choose what information services you get by charging them a fee? Would that reduce your internet bill? Would the FCC get control to regulate increase your Internet bill with new taxes whenever Congress needs to find a inconspicuous place to stick them to you? Would the FCC use this to suppress free speech or argue certain groups should be allowed free access because of political reasons or charge taxes to others for the same reason? Lots of questions but it boils down to free markets versus controlled markets.

You can read the full article on the court ruling and get more details at Court Strikes Down Net Neutrality by Brendan Sasso at the National Journal.

Blog article I wrote on this January 2010: Nerdaucrat Government Run Internet on Its Way which has a great video interview with Julius Genachowski as well as a link to a radio show from where Mark Fowler, the FCC Chairman under Ronald Reagan comments on this.