Major Republicans Fight Back Against Net Neutrality
It's not just major telecommunications companies that are unhappy with the FCC's ruling on making the Internet a public utility. It looks like some major Republicans are incensed as well.
Several major Republican players, including some likely 2016 presidential candidates, have come out voicing their distaste for the FCC's recent Net Neutrality vote that reclassified the Internet as a public utility under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act. The move allows the FCC to step in and investigate if claims arise that broadband service providers are not acting in the interest of the public, even that means slimmer margins.
"The idea of regulating access to the Internet with a 1934 law is one of the craziest ideas I've ever heard," said former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Some coalesced around the age-old argument that Democrats are out to overregulate Americans, given President Obama's support of the FCC's decision.
"'Net Neutrality' is Obamacare for the Internet; the Internet should not operate at the speed of government," Sen. Ted Cruz chimed in on Twitter.
"These attempts to regulate the Internet are a direct attack on the freedom of information and an innovative market. The government needs to stay out of the way," said Sen. Rand Paul.
The sentiments are echoed by major players in the telecommunications industry. Soon after the FCC voted 3-2 in favor of listing the Internet under Title II, Verizon, the largest wireless service provider in the United States, issued a scathing response to the FCC's decision -- all in Morse code, mocking the fact that the government is using an 80-plus-year-old framework for a new, dynamic technology.
AT&T, the second largest U.S. carrier, was also upset.
"We have never argued there should be no regulation in this area, simply that there should be smart regulation," Jim Coccini, AT&T senior executive vice president of external and legislative affairs, said in a company blog post. "What doesn't make sense, and has never made sense, is to take a regulatory framework developed for Ma Bell in the 1930s and make her great grandchildren, with technologies and options undreamed of eighty years ago, live under it."
Coccini also pointed out, in the same blog post, that the 3-2 vote means that the entire system now being put into place can be called to a vote and nullified in two years.
The third- and fourth-largest carriers in the United States, Sprint and T-Mobile respectively, have stated they support the FCC's decision, although even a combined Sprint-and-T-Mobile company would still be smaller than AT&T.
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