Ryan Radia: Don't Extend the Dead Hand of the FCC to the Internet


Rock 1997

On February 26, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote on a proposal to regulate companies that provide Internet access as public utilities. Spearheaded by President Obama and reluctantly embraced by FCC chief Tom Wheeler, this plan is undoubtedly the U.S. government's most brazen effort yet to police the Internet—which, until now, has thrived thanks to the absence heavy-handed federal mandates. Entrusting the FCC with broad and ambiguous powers to regulate America's telecommunications sector was, and remains, a grave mistake, writes Ryan Radia. Congress should start from scratch on telecom laws, identifying which FCC functions—if any—cannot be sorted out by markets or courts, and vest such authority elsewhere in the federal government. Otherwise, broadband providers will soon look and act like power companies and the old Ma Bell telephone monopoly: stagnant, slow-moving, and anything but innovative.