Internet tyranny is here. The unelected bureaucrats in the FCC did what Obama wanted them to do and voted today to impose sweeping new regulations the internet, classifying it as a utility instead of an information service:
THE HILL – Federal regulators voted Thursday to impose sweeping net neutrality rules that supporters say are critical to protecting the freedom of the Internet.
In a party-line 3-2 vote, the Federal Communications Commission moved to embrace an approach advocated by President Obama to treat the Web like a utility in order to prevent major companies such as Comcast or Verizon from slowing, blocking or creating “toll roads” for people’s access to the Internet.
“The Internet is the most powerful and pervasive platform on the planet; it’s simply too important to be left without rules and without a referee on the field,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, a Democrat.
“The Internet is simply too important to allow broadband providers to be the ones making the rules.”
The FCC’s new rules reclassify broadband Internet from an “information” service to a “telecommunications” service under its rules, essentially reversing an FCC policy that dates back to 2002. By making that move, the FCC will be able to exert more authority over people’s access to the Internet, similar to its treatment of utility services like phone lines.
In order to resist avoid a heavy-handed approach, the commission will hold back some of the provisions including, officials supportive of the rules say, measures to oversee companies’ rates.
Both on the FCC and throughout the country, Republicans are unconvinced that the rules will truly be “light touch” with such a broad law.
In addition to regulation of companies’ rates, they have warned that it could prevent companies from offering new and innovative services and might lead to billions in new taxes. All of that could also have the added impact of forcing companies to slow down their investments, they say, which could lead to slower Internet speeds over the long run.
“The commission’s decision to adopt President Obama’s plan marks a monumental shift toward government control of the Internet,” said Ajit Pai, one of the commission’s two Republicans. “It’s an overreach that will let a Washington bureaucracy, and not the American people, decide the future of the online world.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) took to the Senate floor Thursday morning to blast the rules, warning that the FCC’s plan would “strike a blow to the future of innovation in our country.”
Major Web providers have agreed with them.
The head of the USTelecom trade group on Thursday called the rules “the wrong path for achieving broadband deployment in all parts of the United States.”
“It redefines the Internet, inserts the federal government deeply into its management, and invites other countries to do the same,” organization president Walter McCormick added. “In reversing longstanding bipartisan precedent, and imposing public utility regulation on the most dynamic sector of our nation’s economy, the FCC is adopting policies that were not designed – nor ever intended – for the Internet.”
READ HERE for more on what this government takeover of the internet is going to do.