Some good news from the FCC

As hard as I try to remain positive and optimistic (and I really am in real life), when it comes to politics and government action, my posts are often negative.  There’s a reason:  the government is always trying to increase power, which decreases Liberty.

When I turned 40 last month, I reminded myself that my one voice doesn’t add much to the much louder and more effective voices who want to move us to Liberty (Cato, Reason, Balko, Napolitano, Stossel, etc) and maybe I should try to move my blogging in another direction.  Certainly I’ll still post on Libertarian subject matter and point out government excess, though I’m trying to stick to subjects I have passion for (wine shipping, for example), more local stuff, pointing out inconsistent arguments, and reminding people that Libertarians are good, not evil.  Not sure how long it will last, given how frustrating it is to watch.

Anyway, it was nice to see this article in the Washington Post today.  The FCC appears to have decided, at least for now, to leave the internet be.

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission has indicated he wants to keep broadband services deregulated, according to sources, even as a federal court decision has exposed weaknesses in the agency’s ability to be a strong watchdog over the companies that provide access to the Web.

The FCC currently has “ancillary” authority over broadband providers such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon and must adequately justify actions over those providers. Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the agency had exceeded its authority in 2008 when it applied sanctions against Comcast.

The ruling cast doubt over the FCC’s ability to create a “net neutrality” rule that would force Internet service providers to treat all services and applications on the Web equally.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is expected to respond soon to the court ruling. Three sources at the agency said Genachowski has not made a final decision but has indicated in recent discussions that he is leaning toward keeping in place the current regulatory framework for broadband services but making some changes that would still bolster the FCC’s chances of overseeing some broadband policies.

The sources said Genachowski thinks “reclassifying” broadband to allow for more regulation would be overly burdensome on carriers and would deter investment. But they said he also thinks the current regulatory framework would lead to constant legal challenges to the FCC’s authority every time it attempted to pursue a broadband policy.

Maybe it’s not for the right reasons, but it’s nice to see the regulators choose to not regulate something.


About Paul Stagg

Husband, lifter, MBA in Baltimore, MD. Will post about Powerlifting, politics, Classical Liberalism, Economics, building wealth, self improvement, productivity, heavy music, wine, food, beer, and almost anything else. View all posts by Paul Stagg

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