Republicans Call on Obama to Reject Network Neutrality

Spread the love

Two Republican leaders of the US House of Representatives, Eric Cantor and John Boehner, have written a letter asking President Obama to stop the FCC from attempting to mandate network neutrality on the Internet.

Jules Genachowski, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, announced in a speech to the Brookings Institute last month that his organization would require Internet service providers to treat all traffic equally, the principle of so-called network neutrality. Consumers and content providers are in favor of this, telecom companies are against it. In response to Genachowski’s statements, Cantor and Boehmer sent a letter to Obama, asking him to dissuade the FCC from this plan, so reports The Hill.

They argue that the FCC should better focus on what Congress has mandated this organization to do: spreading broadband internet throughout the US. Regulations that would prohibit providers from operating their networks would discourage them from investing billions of dollars in broadband.

“We believe that network neutrality regulation will hinder further investment in broadband internet and that a well-developed broadband plan will confirm our vision,” they wrote. “The rapid implementation of network neutrality rules months before such a plan is in place proves that decision-making at the FCC is politically driven.”

Markham Erickson, the chairman of the Open Internet Coalition, countered that network neutrality had been discussed for four years, and that the previous Republican administration had also taken steps against discrimination against certain types of traffic by Internet companies. “It’s just wrong to say that this is a radical change in the rules,” he said. “In fact, it is very important for investment that this matter is decided as soon as possible. A further delay in addressing this important regulation will be detrimental to investment in new and innovative technology.”

There is not much chance that Obama will be convinced by the Republicans. Network neutrality was a key issue in his election campaign, and Genachowski, his chief technology adviser, was a key designer of those plans.

You might also like