Just this past Friday, we warned you that a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) December Internet power grab was probably coming.
Well, we now know that it is – and it may be even worse than we thought.
Details have been sketchy, and successive reports often contradictory, but what follows is what seems to be looming over us in December. (We will know for sure on Wednesday, November 24 – if the FCC maintains its current December 15 meeting date.)
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski appears to be preparing to dramatically increase the FCC’s regulatory role over the Internet (in TWO ways; more on that later).
He is doing so without the necessary Congressional authority – which he himself acknowledges he doesn’t have. And he is doing so by torturing and twisting the regulatory language he is drafting – so as to keep this extraordinary dictatorial seizure within the current Title I confines.
The latter is for The Chairman merely an optical effort. If he can feign the appearance of remaining within Title I, he avoids Reclassification to Title II – against which many of us have long been rightly fighting. He will then portray his fealty to Title I as testament to the alleged “moderation” of his (un)modest proposal.
This will be a totally bogus assertion, but he will make it – and the media will inparrot-esque fashion repeat it. The Chairman should bring crackers to the press conference.
Free Press and the Media Marxists – who have long cried for Title II Reclassification – will on cue rail against The Chairman’s “sell-out.” This will further “bolster” his claim that he has found the magical, mystical Third Way – winding a path between the leftist Open Internet absolutists and the evil telecom companies.
The Chairman should also bring nuts to the press conference – in case Free Press & Co. show up.
(An aside: How are the telecom companies “evil” – when they have invested hundreds of dollars in building the Internet infrastructure? Which has resulted in the free speech, free market Web Xanadu we consumers all currently enjoy. Free Press and the Media Marxists haven’t invested a dime – yet they somehow successfully lay claim to the mantle of “consumer advocates.”)
Of course, this attempted sleight of regulatory hand does not get The Chairman past one glaring problem – the D.C. Circuit Court has already unanimously ruled that the FCC doesn’t have the authority to regulate the Internet under Title I – at least as far as enforcing Network Neutrality is concerned. (Which is why Free Press & Co. have been clamoring for Title II Reclassification.)
And Net Neutrality is why The Chairman has engaged in – and forced us all to endure- this one year-plus kabuki dance. Testimonium – The Chairman now looks poised to have the FCC again attempt to enforce Net Neutrality – under his now stretched-beyond-all-recognition Title I. What a short, selective memory he has.
And most economically destructive of all – it appears The Chairman will try to impose Net Neutrality not just on wired broadband Internet service – but on wireless “smart phones” as well.
This would be a titanic overreach by The Chairman – and an immense blow to the economy. The uncertainty caused just by The Chairman’s prolonged flirtation with the Media Marxists and their ridiculous Internet notions