Hell-Bent On Killing The Open Internet, US Senate Still Doesn’t Get Net Neutrality

This past Wednesday, several Republican senators argued before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the topic of Net Neutrality and the Federal Communications Commission. While a large amount of companies are asking that the FCC classify the internet as a utility, Republicans are arguing such a move would give the FCC too much power which would stifle innovation and have said that the FCC shouldn’t get involved at all.

To that end, Senator Ted Cruz (Republican, Texas) said, “The FCC's latest adventure in net neutrality in my view would only serve to stifle innovation and would potentially subject the internet to nanny state regulation from Washington.”

Cruz then said that net neutrality is like “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” and went on to say, “The FCC shouldn't be endangering future investments. A five member government panel should not be dictating how internet services should be delivered."

Senator Orrin Hatch (Republican, Utah) voiced similar concerns adding that Net Neutrality would only amount to the FCC taking “control” of the internet and added, “Without government regulation the Internet is growing. So what’s the problem? What is broken? What is it that needs to be fixed?”

Orrin Hatch
Credit: Gage Skidmore, Flickr

The FCC stopped accepting public comments on the proposed “fast lanes” regulations on September 15. Since then, it has been reported that around 3.7 million comments were sent to the FCC voicing concern over the proposed regulations that would allow ISP providers to charge additional rates for “fast lanes.” A move that could stifle any form of competition and give a lot of power to ISP providers such as Comcast, which is what these companies want and will be able to do if left unchecked.

But rather than classify the internet as a utility, the FCC, ISP providers, and Republican Senators seem to be rejecting the idea.