22 December, 2010

Thank God For The FCC

Yesterday, the FCC voted 3-2 to approve “new rules meant to prohibit broadband companies from interfering with Internet traffic flowing to their customers”. This despite a shot across the bow from the Senate GOP reminding the FCC that they have no such authority to enact such regulations.

You and the Commission’s general counsel have admitted in published statements that the legal justification for imposing these new regulations is questionable and “has a serious risk of failure in court.” It is very clear that Congress has not granted the Commission the specific statutory authority to do what you are proposing. Whether and how the Internet should be regulated is something that America’s elected representatives in Congress, not the Commission, should determine.

So, I say again, thank God for the FCC. We need more corrupt over-reaching executive agencies  to protect our country from freedom and free enterprise. Now if we can get the EPA to step in and turn us all into green, global warming fearing hippies, we’ll be be set for life.

In fairness, this decision was not as bad as it could have been. Chairman Genachowski backed down from some of his most unreasonable demands, such as not allowing tiered pricing for high speed access or pricing based upon data use.

But still, these regulations do require business to act against their own best self-interest, and that kind of thing is always good for consumers and free enterprise. Oh wait. I meant never good, not always good.

The good news? This likely isn’t going anywhere. The Senate GOP is correct that the FCC doesn’t have this authority, and the Roberts court will surely rule that way if given a chance. So, expect in the next few days or weeks for someone to file a court challenge against the new rules. The court challenge will lead to an injunction against the FCC until the case is ultimately decided. So, we’ll sit around for two years waiting for this case to make its way to the Supreme Court, where it will be shot down.

Might actually turn out to be a boon for the GOP, in that it may become a campaign issue for 2012, depending on what rumors we’re hearing then about impending Justice retirements.

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