John Thune on Net Neutrality
Senator Thune has stated that reclassifying broadband under Title II was not proper for the internet. He has stated that this and other net neutrality principles will lead to a less investment in broadband.
Response to Net Neutrality
In May of 2010, Senator Thune issued a press statement noting a recent decision by the FCC to move on net neutrality principles.
May 11th, 2010 - Washington, D.C. - Senator John Thune today reacted to the decision by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski in relation to new regulations on the Internet under Title II of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
“Expanding broadband access to underserved areas like rural parts of South Dakota is an important goal, and the successful light-touch of federal regulation must be maintained if more consumers are going to benefit from faster, more affordable broadband in the future,” said Thune. “However, Chairman Genacowski’s recent decision to pursue net neutrality regulations by reclassifying broadband under a new set of government regulations has the potential to paralyze investment in broadband deployment, which has become a leading capital investment industry in the United States. Title II regulation was never intended for the Internet, which has opened doors for new opportunities in commerce and education all without heavy-handed federal regulation. I look forward to working with the FCC and my colleagues on the Senate Commerce Committee to implement the beneficial provisions of the National Broadband Plan without reclassifying broadband for the sake of net neutrality.”
Net Neutrality and Rural Markets
In June of 2010, Senator Thune released a press statement noting his belief that net neutrality principles would hinder investment in the rural markets.
June 18th, 2010 - Washington, DC - Senator John Thune today criticized the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) renewed effort to regulate the Internet under Title II of the Communications Act. FCC commissioners voted 3-2 along party lines to launch the regulation effort.
"Yesterday's decision by Chairman Genachowski and the other Democratic commissioners to pursue new government control over the Internet is yet another overreach by the federal government," said Thune. "The Commission's renewed effort to hamstring broadband providers could have a chilling effect on investments to expand and improve rural broadband markets, like South Dakota. This would negatively affect the delivery of necessary goods in rural communities, including telemedicine and higher education applications."
The FCC's plan released yesterday follows the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit's ruling earlier this year which said that the Commission overreached in penalizing Internet providers under current rules. However, nothing in the recent court decision requires the FCC to reclassify broadband under Title II of the Communications Act.
The Commission will accept public comments until July 15, 2010 and reply comments until August 12, 2010. Following the comment period, the FCC is expected to issue a final order later in the year that will implement the Commission's recommended regulations.
FCC commissioner Meredith Baker, who voted against yesterday's decision, noted that the FCC has authority to carry out the rural broadband provisions of the National Broadband Plan without the harmful regulations of Title II reclassification, saying, "We have a proven way forward under the existing `information services' classification by lawfully asserting our direct and ancillary authority to address universal service reform, disability access, and other consensus policy goals."
Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation
This representative has not been identified as sponsoring or cosponsoring significant legislation related to this title.