Economics, Regulation

Can the FCC regulate the Internet?

Image Credit: shutterstock

Image Credit: shutterstock

On Monday, September 9 the DC Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in Verizon v. FCC – the court challenge to the FCC’s Open Internet Order, otherwise known as the “Net Neutrality Rule.”

It is difficult to think of a more important case involving the Internet.  By siding with the Commission, the Court would be embracing a reading of the Communications Act which is both expansive and ill-defined, in effect endorsing the Commission’s view that it has both the responsibility and the authority to regulate the entire Internet ecosystem “in the public interest.” The prospect of granting such un-cabined authority to any three out of five politically appointed commissioners ought to frighten everyone.

For reasons that are difficult to explain – because their arguments are so factually challenged and logically incoherentsome on the Left think Net Neutrality is a great idea.  They will be out this week and next trying to explain why capitalism is a threat to Internet freedom and economic progress, and why a Court decision that left collective fates in the hands of the aforementioned FCC would be a good thing.

On Thursday, September 5 at 4:30 pm, AEI will host a Google Hangout featuring a diverse group of experts explaining why the Net Neutrality rules ought to be overturned, and what’s likely to happen in the wake of the court’s decision.  For info and to participate, click here.

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