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Hutchison: Measure to Block Internet Regulation Is a Jobs Bill
Posted By Lachlan Markay On November 1, 2011 @ 4:49 pm In Enterprise and Free Markets,Featured,Scribe | 4 Comments
The Senate is slated to take up a resolution of disapproval next week that would prevent the Federal Communications Commission from regulating the Internet. With the economy still dominating the national political agenda, Senate Republicans are pointing to the measure’s expected impact on job growth.
Net Neutrality regulations, explained Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) at Heritage’s Bloggers Briefing, would set up the FCC as the Internet’s “gatekeeper”: many innovations in the way the Internet is accessed and used would have to be approved by the 5-member panel to ensure they would not “discriminate” against certain users.
But it is precisely the lack of such government gatekeepers, Hutchison noted, that has spurred the Internet’s tremendous success – including as an engine of economic growth. “There is no need for us to mess around with that kind of success,” she added. “It is a success, and it doesn’t need fixing.”
Hutchison couched her resolution as an economic measure: regulation will hold back job growth for America’s high-tech industries. “It’s definitely a jobs proposal,” Hutchison said of her resolution, “and it’s an international competition issue.”
A range of studies have suggested that Net Neutrality regulation could have a devastating impact on the tech sector. Heritage’s James Gattuso detailed some of the adverse economic effects likely to emerge from the FCC’s Internet regulatory scheme:
A 2010 study  by Jared Faulhaber of UPenn’s Wharton school of business and David Farber, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, echoed those findings. Their study concluded that Net Neutrality regulations “are not only unnecessary; they would impose significant costs on broadband customers” and are “likely to permanently harm” the technology industry by stifling innovation and restricting new ventures through bureaucratic red tape.
Another 2010 report  on the regulations was more explicit about the damage they might do: Net Neutrality could cost the country 500,000 jobs and $80 billion in economic activity.
“Today, according to the FCC, leading mobile carriers invest $20 billion or more each year in new infrastructure, representing 14% of total revenues as recently as 2009,” technology consultant Larry Downes wrote  in September. Like the Internet’s record generally, that is a record of economic success with which Hutchison and other opponents of Internet regulation would rather not tinker.
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2011/11/01/hutchison-measure-to-block-internet-regulation-is-a-jobs-bill/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/hutchison.jpg
 2010 study: http://ijoc.org/ojs/index.php/ijoc/article/viewFile/727/411
 Another 2010 report: http://www.nyls.edu/user_files/1/3/4/30/83/Davidson%20&%20Swanson%20-%20NN%20Economic%20Impact%20Paper%20-%20FINAL.pdf
 technology consultant Larry Downes wrote: http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrydownes/2011/09/26/the-true-cost-of-net-neutrality/3/
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