State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
I signed on to a letter to the Federal Communications Commission expressing opposition to a federal takeover of the Internet. Numerous members of Congress and state legislators from across the country signed the following:
August 11, 2010
Federal Communications Commission
RE: GN Docket No. 10-127, Framework for Broadband Internet Service
GN Docket No. 09-191, Preserving the Open Internet
Dear Chairman Genachowski and Members of the Commission,
We the undersigned, representing millions of American citizens, write in strong opposition to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) effort to regulate the Internet.
Over the past 25 years, the Internet has flourished in large part due to the extremely limited role that government has played. In less than a decade, the private sector has expanded broadband Internet access to over 95 percent of American households. Since 2004, the price to access the Internet has dropped by 23 percent, while during the same period overall consumer prices have trended upward.
Despite universal acknowledgement that Americans enjoy a free, open, and vibrant Internet, the FCC is relentlessly pursuing a massive regulatory regime that would stifle broadband expansion, create congestion, slow Internet speeds, jeopardize job retention and growth, and lead to higher prices for consumers.
We oppose the FCC’s effort to regulate the Internet under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, which was written during the depression era to regulate telephone monopolies – 60 years before the Internet was ever conceived. These proposed regulations would permit the FCC to dictate how the networks that serve as the backbone of the Internet are managed, thereby removing incentives for further investment and opening the door for price setting or future regulatory action. It could also remove the ability for parents and ISPs to prevent inappropriate material from entering the home. This regulatory “reclassification” would effectively turn innovative private Internet services into a public utility.
Earlier this year, a U.S. Court of Appeals found that the Commission was attempting to “shatter” the bounds of its legal authority by trying to enact Net Neutrality regulations without Congressional authority. We view this renewed effort by the FCC to reclassify the Internet under Title II as even more unfounded and onerous.
By pursuing Title II reclassification, the Commission is turning its back on years of precedent set by multiple U.S. Congresses, presidential administrations, the FCC’s own rulings, and the U.S. Supreme Court, which all found that the Internet should remain unregulated. Even more disconcerting, the Commission’s actions show complete disdain for strong bipartisan opposition voiced by a vast majority in Congress and the American people.
Placing the nation’s 21st century communications system under a pre-World War II law is the wrong approach to continuing broadband Internet expansion and adoption. The Internet has never been a regulated utility and we urge you to keep it that way by rejecting so-called “Net Neutrality” regulations on the Internet and the proposed Title II reclassification.
I received an e-mail on August 11, 2010, from Americans For Prosperity that reads, in part:
Thank you for signing on to the coalition letter circulated by Americans for Tax Reform in opposition to the Federal Communications Commissions effort to regulate the Internet. We are pleased that we received support from over 150 national and state-level think tanks, advocacy groups, state legislators, bloggers, and talk show hosts.
Today, ATR formally released the coalition letter and filed it with the FCC.
Just to recap the issue, the FCC is pursuing regulations misleadingly called “Net Neutrality” that would permit the government to dictate how Internet service providers manage the data that is transferred on the Internet. To do so, the FCC would apply “Title II” laws to the Internet originally intended for monopoly telephone carriers in the 1930s. The regulation opens the door for Internet taxes, price setting, content monitoring and censorship, and is also guaranteed to stifle broadband expansion and adoption, which would have a devastating impact on jobs and the economy. These Internet regulations also go against longstanding, bipartisan precedent that the Internet should remain unregulated set by multiple Congresses, presidential administrations, the U.S. Supreme Court, and even the FCC itself.
Thank you again and please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Kelly William Cobb
Americans for Tax Reform