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  • Waxman Net Neutrality Plan: Internet Regulation Lite, Anybody?

    Just days before Congress recesses for the upcoming elections, House Commerce Committee chair Henry Waxman stepped into the debate over Internet regulation yesterday, releasing draft legislation to impose certain “neutrality” rules to providers of broadband Internet service. Hammered out in negotiations over the past few weeks with the active participation of Google, Verizon, and other competing broadband industry players, the final product—not surprisingly—looks a lot like the Google–Verizon consensus plan announced last month.

    Specifically, the Waxman proposal would ban Internet access providers such as Verizon from blocking content outright but would otherwise allow them to manage the traffic on their networks—and even offer “priority service” for a fee—as long as they do not “unjustly or unreasonably discriminate.” This anti-discrimination requirement would not apply to wireless Internet access, which would be kept mostly free of regulation.

    In general, the new rules would be enforced on a case-by-case basis by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which would be banned from writing its own rules on the subject. The FCC would also be barred from pursuing its plans to classify broadband Internet service as a type of telecommunications service, which would have permanently subjected it to heavy, telephone-style rules.

    Waxman’s plan left many pro-regulation advocates, who wanted a virtual ban on any sort of active traffic management, sputtering. And it could represent a death blow to their efforts: If Waxman—who has rarely met a regulation he didn’t like—doesn’t support them, who will?

    The apparent rejection of comprehensive regulation is good news for American consumers and Web surfers. But it’s not time to break out the champagne yet. While more limited than feared, the legislation would still give the FCC a critical foothold into Internet regulation. The standards are unclear: Who is to say what is unjust or unreasonable? The terms themselves come from the world of telephone regulation. And with technologies changing, how is a distinction between wireless and wireline to be maintained?

    Worryingly, the legislation gives the FCC powers over not only broadband Internet but any service it finds to be a “functional equivalent” to broadband. This is an open invitation to regulatory expansion.

    Moreover, while broadband providers are understandably looking to end the uncertainly over broadband rules in order to create a better climate for needed investments, it is not clear that legislation would provide that certainty. Instead, any new law would likely lead to years of further uncertainty as each provision and definition is litigated in court.

    There is simply no justification for granting the FCC any jurisdiction over broadband Internet service. At a time when the economy is sputtering under a growing mountain of regulation, why should Congress expand that regulation to one of the few successful parts of the economy?

    Lite or not, policymakers should reject this proposed new regulation.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    11 Responses to Waxman Net Neutrality Plan: Internet Regulation Lite, Anybody?

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    3. Gene Piellusch, Orla says:

      waxman is after-all a demo-commie weasel, the has been totally engaged with removing the Constitution of the United States of America,and turning the USA into the *USSA!*

      *= union of socialist states of amerika!

    4. Lloyd Hauger, Goldfi says:

      Waxman is a long time LA political hack who struggles and fails to make himself relevant. Now he is on the band wagon to exercise government control of the internet which is a terrible idea.

    5. Paul Revere says:

      Good God! I know this character is a Globalist sympathizer, he even looks like a "Vampire Bat", busy, sucking the life blood right out of the citizes of America!

      Get this fool out of the business of internet, he hasn't got the slighest knowledge of what he is talking about, other than trying to stop "Freedom of Speech!

      REMEMBER JANUARY 3, 2007

      The day the democrats took over was not January 22nd 2009 it was actually January 3rd 2007 the day the Democrats took over the House of Representatives and the Senate, the start of the 110th Congress. The Democrat Party controlled a majority in both chambers for the first time since the end of the 103rd Congress in 1995. For those who are listening to the liberals propagate the fallacy that everything is "Bush's Fault", think about this:

      January 3rd, 2007 was the day the Democrats took over the Senate and the Congress:

      At the time:

      1. The DOW Jones closed at 12, 621.77

      2. The GDP for the previous quarter was 3.5%

      3. The Unemployment rate was 4.6%

      4. George Bush's Economic policies SET A RECORD of 52 STRAIGHT MONTHS of JOB CREATION!

      Remember the day…

      1. January 3rd, 2007 was the day that Barney Frank took over the House Financial Services Committee and Chris Dodd took over the Senate Banking Committee.

      2. The economic meltdown that happened 15 months later was in what part of the economy? BANKING AND FINANCIAL SERVICES!

      3. Thank Congress for taking us from 13,000 DOW, 3.5 GDP and 4.6% Unemployment to this CRISIS by dumping 5-6 TRILLION Dollars of toxic loans on the economy from YOUR Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac fiasco's! (BTW: Bush asked Congress 17 TIMES to stop Fannie & Freddie – starting in 2001, because it was financially risky for the U.S. economy, but no one was listening).

      And who took the THIRD highest pay-off from Fannie Mae AND Freddie Mac? OBAMA.

      And who fought against reform of Fannie and Freddie??? OBAMA and the Democrat Congress.

      So when someone tries to blame Bush…

      REMEMBER JANUARY 3rd, 2007…. THE DAY THE DEMOCRATS TOOK OVER!" Bush may have been in the car, but the Democrats were in charge of the gas pedal and steering wheel they were driving. Set the record straight on Bush!

      So, as you listen to all the commercials and media from the Democrats who are now distancing themselves from their voting record and their party, remember how they didn't listen to you when you said you didn't want all the bailouts, you didn't want the health care bill, you didn't want cap and trade, you didn't want them to continue spending money we don't have. I'm not forgetting their complicity in getting us into this mess, and I'll be marking my vote accordingly!

      "It's not that liberals aren't smart, it's just that so much of what they know isn't so" -Ronald Reagan

    6. Bob says:

      INTRUSION, INTRUSION, INTRUSION, INTRUSION disguised as something that is needed to protect us out here, Henry Waxman when you were growing up did you ever study US History and our beloved CONSTITUTION, " The FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHALL NOT MAKE ANY LAWS THAT WOULD INTEFERE WITH THE FREEDOMS, RIGHTS,& PROTECTIONS OF THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES of AMERICA. I command all you legislatures to STOP your behavior at once to disguise these bills into something else.Do you feel good about "SNEAKING IT INTO A BILL WHICH HAS nothing to do with it! Is there enjoyment out of trying to con the Amercan People?

    7. js, arizona says:

      The real question is irrevicable harm? These bloody liberals have every intent in taking over the private sector, distroying our great society from within!

      Yes history does repeat itself! Mussolini, Hitler, Tojo, Stalin, Mao, Castro, and now Obama, the Liberals are trying to destroy the United States, but this time from within!

      Throw the BUMS out! Each and everyone! I mean Republican and Democrat alike. Yes there are liberals in the Republican Party as well. We do not need new laws we need to repeal the bad one we already have on the books!

      We need government to get back to the basics, get out of our lives and stop spending what they don't have. Governments are not productive, they do not make money, they take it from the people!

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    9. Randy 131 from Flori says:

      There is the start to the end of free speech, guaranteed to Americans by the Constitution, in the greatest communication device ever invented. No more opinions exchanged unless they agree with the governments policies of those in power, as Obama is doing right now with the mainstream media. The Democrats control every media except FOX News and a few radio programs, but its not enough control to keep people from hearing the truth and ideas opposing theirs. Obama and the Democrats want complete control of everything, and this is how they're going to get it. Hopefully the Republicans will oppose this so the free exchange of ideas between the public can continue. I can't believe Obama and the Democrats don't think the American public will see this as censorship of free communications of ideas, world-wide. Why don't these companies stand up to the government instead of conspiring with it to limit Americans rights of free speech? Obama and the Democrats have American business and industry running scared, why? Is it all the csars he's appointed that Congress has no control over? America better wake up before its to late, or all your rights and freedoms will be gone before you know it. The loss of rights and freedoms are the real dominoes in the 'Domino Theory of Loss', you lose them one by one, one leads to the next, then the next, and so on. Wake up America and do something before its to late.

    10. dodger, NC says:

      Vote the @#$%'s out! Government needs to GET OUT OF OUR PRIVATE LIVES, including the internet!

    11. Sandy, UT says:

      Henry crawl back to California before you do any more damage. You are a one-man wrecking ball without the brains God gave a goose.

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