74 Democrats say no to FCC reclassification efforts
74 Democrats (in additional to 34 Republican senators) have sent a letter to FCC chairman Genochowski telling him to stop his efforts to reclassify broadband under Title II. This is actually two more Democrats than the 72 that previously asked chairman Genochowski to back off on his proposed Net Neutrality rules.
If the majority of Republicans and a significant portion of Democrats oppose the FCC’s Net Neutrality proposal, which is actually a watered down version of the House Net Neutrality proposal that went no where, it’s clear that there is no congressional mandate for Net Neutrality. The courts gives deference to the FCC based on powers that were clearly granted by congress and it doesn’t even except “policy statements” as a substitute because it would allow a regulatory agency to effectively create new laws. In this case, not only did the Congress not authorize the FCC to enact new far reaching regulations on the Internet but it is opposed to them.
The fact is that no ISPs are clamoring to flout the FCC and become public enemy number one on the Internet despite the DC Circuit ruling against the FCC. There is nothing standing in the way of the FCC to implement their national broadband plan and the courts have nothing to say about it unless someone brings a lawsuit against the FCC. Nothing in the national broadband plan indicates that it is a lawsuit magnet so there really is no problem that anyone can see.
The FCC’s proposed Net Neutrality rules will be problematic but that is because it defines “discrimination” in a way that violates accepted definitions of discrimination found in “economic literature and established communications jurisprudence”. By precluding broadband providers from offering enhanced or prioritized network access to content providers, it is engaging in industry favoritism. These over prescriptive rules will cause significant economic harm to the broadband providers and it will not be made up by any potential gains in other Internet industries. This is why congress opposes the FCC and the FCC should not act without a congressional mandate much less operate against the wishes of congress.