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Home » Digital Divide » FCC Should Tread Lightly As It Relates to Net Neutrality

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s remarks last week regarding the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) continued pursuit of net neutrality regulations ignores the progress made in finding a legislative solution.

First and foremost the legislative compromise sponsored by Chairman Waxman was explicitly endorsed by the FCC. To reverse course and repudiate that endorsement would relegate this meaningful compromise to the scrap heap, forcing all the parties involved to start over and expend more time and energy on a debate that has stolen the oxygen from the real issues facing communities in tackling the digital divide.

We should listen to the calls of President Obama and the American people, who are calling for both political parties to work together and compromise in the interest of creating jobs. Net neutrality does not advance this goal, nor the goals of bringing broadband to every American.

Secondly, net neutrality does not create jobs. Job creation will be the result of bipartisan cooperation on smart policies that do not deter hiring and investment. While Chairman Genachowski has suggested that net neutrality regulations will spur broadband deployment, disincentivizing investment will in fact further cement the digital divide by hindering the growth and extension of next-generation networks and innovative, more affordable business models that will actually facilitate adoption.

We again call on the FCC to stop and reconsider, especially in light of the calls from President Obama and the American people to put jobs first. It is widely accepted that regulations are antithetical to job creation, and worse yet that the extension of regulations can harm jobs, investment, and innovation in one of the most dynamic industries in the United States.

The openness and freedom of the Internet that exists today is important to all Americans, and we all agree that it must be protected. Yet, on numerous occasions, HTTP members and other national civil rights organizations have requested fact-based analysis from the FCC demonstrating that net neutrality regulations will drive deployment and not exacerbate the digital divide. However, the FCC has continually rebuffed these requests, doing nothing to assuage our concerns.

HTTP members call on the FCC again to forbear on this ill-considered course of action and bring their focus to implementation of the National Broadband Plan so that we may stimulate broadband deployment and adoption, and create real benefits for America in the digital age.

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