The current rules the FCC is pushing for network neutrality are far from ideal. I am not even entirely settled on what makes the most sense in terms of outcomes and how to reach them. However, I disagree with the current movement in Congress to strip the FCC of its ability to make and enforce these rules.
On Friday at the annual Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) conference, Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) railed against Net Neutrality as “basically the fairness doctrine,” “nationalization of the Internet,” and “regulating political speech” and promised to overturn it.
This is far from a constructive, critical response and I happen to agree with Public Knowledge that it requires a response. A legitimate debate about network neutrality needs to be kept alive, not utterly derailed by this subjective, partisan rhetoric. The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will be holding a hearing on this very subject this Wednesday. Public Knowledge is organizing a calling campaign for Thursday in response.
I urge you to read through their announcement and consider signing up. Network neutrality isn’t an unalloyed good, to be sure, but we need to move past loaded rhetoric to building the tools and policies necessary for an empirical understanding of what is at stake and how to arrive at the most desirable outcomes in terms of free expression and innovation.
The Internet Strikes Back to Save Net Neutrality, Public Knowledge