‘Net Neutrality’ is Hijacking the Information Highway

By Judi McLeod, CFP

net neutralityQuickly and quietly”, high-handed Barack Obama and the Democrats are working on hijacking the Information Highway.

Big Government takeover of the Internet will become a fait accompli by February 26, 2015 with a Federal Communications Commission (FCC ) vote.  By the time the public becomes aware of it, the Internet will already belong to Obama.

Suffering in silence with no means of communication to others is exactly what Obama wants on his mission for his ever-expanding Fundamental Transformation of the Free West.

In fact if it were after Feb. 26, this story may never have reached you.

“This is a massive power grab and government at its worst,”  FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai
told talk show host Mark Levin last night.

FCC members like Pai have been ordered to stay mum on the 332-page Obama plan that changes forever the average Joe’s access to the Worldwide Net.

“If I get in trouble, so be it,” Pai told Levin.

Community organizers running governments always hide their dirty tricks behind innocuous sounding names.  ObamaCare was first the Affordable Health Care Act.  Hijacking the Information Highway sounds so much less lethal when it’s introduced to the masses as ‘Net Neutrality’.

The Federal Elections Commission (FEC) getting to regulate every word by popular major news outlets like Drudge is only one side of the government grab.

Not everybody who tweets, blogs or shares their views on social media is a potential enemy of the state.  Millions use the Net to keep in touch with loved ones stationed at lonely military posts; to stay up to date with children living on college campuses away from home and for keeping distant grandparents in the family loop.

Obama’s takeover of the Internet will keep families from reaching out online to loved ones by making internet access unaffordable to them.

This is Obama’s highjack of the Information laid bare by Pai:

“First, the claim that President Obama’s plan to regulate the Internet does not include rate regulation is flat-out false.

Pai could have added a lie that impacts your personal life a lot more than the whoppers of Brian Williams.

“The plan clearly states that the FCC can regulate the rates that Internet  service providers charge for broadband Internet access, for interconnection, for transit—in short, for the core aspects of Internet services. To be sure, the plan says that the FCC will not engage in what it calls ex ante rate regulation. But this only means that the FCC won’t set rates ahead of time. The plan repeatedly states that the FCC will apply sections 201 and 202 of the Communications Act, including their rate regulation provisions, to determine whether the prices charged by broadband providers are “unjust or unreasonable.” The plan also repeatedly invites complaints about section 201 and 202 violations from end-users and edge providers alike. Thus, for the first time, the FCC would claim the power to declare broadband Internet rates and charges unreasonable after the fact. Indeed, the only limit on the FCC’s discretion to regulate rates is its own determination of whether rates are “just and reasonable,” which isn’t much of a restriction at all.

“Lest anyone take comfort in the notion that the FCC will allow the market to set prices through competition, the plan goes out of its way to reiterate its view that competition is limited. And it uses the FCC’s new 25 Mbps yardstick for broadband to claim that competition doesn’t exist for a majority of Americans. To think that rate regulation and other utility-style regulation will not happen in the face of such findings is naïve.

“Second, President Obama’s plan targets pro-competitive broadband service offerings, both actual and potential, that benefit consumers. 

“The plan expressly states that usage-based pricing, data allowances—really, any offers other than an unlimited, all-you-can-eat data plan—are now subject to regulation. Indeed, the plan finds that these practices will be subject to case-by-case review under the plan’s new “Internet conduct” standard. That standard evaluates at least seven vaguely defined factors in determining whether a practice is allowed. The plan makes clear that these practices are now on the chopping block, with those of mobile operators under special scrutiny. This means that consumers who use less data may end up subsidizing consumers who use more data. Moreover, the President’s plan goes out of its way to say that sponsored-data plans and zero-rating programs, like T-Mobile’s Music Freedom offering, may violate the new standard for Internet conduct. Preventing companies from differentiating themselves from the competition by giving consumers a wide variety of options will mean less choice and less free data for consumers. If you like your current service plan, you should be able to keep your current service plan. The FCC shouldn’t take it away from you.

“Third, President Obama’s plan gives the FCC broad and unprecedented discretion to micromanage the Internet. 

“The plan gives a Washington bureaucracy a blank check to decide how Internet service providers deploy and manage their networks, from the last mile all the way through the Internet backbone. Take interconnection as just one example. The plan states that the FCC can determine when a broadband provider must establish physical interconnection points, where they must locate those points, how much they can charge for the provision of that infrastructure, and how they will route traffic over those connections. That is anything but light touch regulation. And the plan extends the FCC’s interventionist gaze well beyond this part of the network. Small wonder that some pro-regulation activists are already deeming the FCC the “Department of the Internet.”

“Fourth, the President’s plan is a gift to trial lawyers.

The plan allows class-action lawsuits—with attorneys’ fees—should any trial lawyer want to challenge an Internet service provider’s network management practices or rates. Indeed, the plan expressly declines to forbear from sections 206 and 207 of the Act, which authorize such private rights of action. And it adopts a theory of broadband subscriber access services—that is, services that broadband providers supply to edge providers—that would allow anyone online to file a complaint or go to court. The end result will be more litigation and less  innovation.

“Fifth, the President’s plan makes clear that more utility-style regulation is coming. 

In discussing additional rate regulation, tariffs, last-mile unbundling, burdensome administrative filing requirements, accounting standards, and entry and exit regulation, the plan repeatedly states that it is only forbearing at this time. The plan is quite clear about the limited duration of its forbearance determinations, stating that the FCC will revisit the forbearance determinations in the future and proceed in an incremental manner with respect to additional regulation. In other words, over time, expect regulation to ratchet up and forbearance to fade.

“Sixth, President Obama’s plan to regulate the Internet explicitly opens the door to billions of dollars in new taxes on broadband.

“The plan repeatedly states that it is only deferring a decision on new broadband taxes (such as Universal Service Fund fees and Telecommunications Relay Service fees, among others)—not prohibiting them. And it takes pains to make clear that nothing in the draft is intended to foreclose future state or federal tax increases. Indeed, the plan engages in the same two-step we saw last year with respect to the E-Rate program: Lay the groundwork to increase taxes in the first order, and then raise them in the second. One independent estimate puts the price tag of these and other fees at $11 billion.

“In the end, when you compare what the American public is being told about President Obama’s plan to regulate the Internet with the actual text of that plan, these and other discrepancies become apparent. That makes it all the more important for the FCC to let the American public see the plan before the FCC makes it the law. We should be able to have an open, transparent debate about the President’s plan.”

Don’t let Obama send society back to the days of communicating by smoke signals.  The Information Highway belongs to the little people.  It’s their main way of keeping in touch with family and friends.

The news of the day is already being filtered by mainstream media in the tank with Obama.  Brian Williams is not the only liar who anchors a major television network.  He’s just the only one who’s been caught.

The clock is ticking toward Feb. 26, and only John Q. Public can save the Internet.

“Keep speaking out on Twitter,” says Pai.

Don’t wait until tomorrow, sound the alarm today.

February 12, 2015 | 2 Comments »

Subscribe to Israpundit Daily Digest

Leave a Reply

2 Comments / 2 Comments

  1. watsa46 Said:

    What are the congress and senate doing about all this?

    Hahahahahahaha……..what a kidder! Seriously, by any chance are you a comedian?