Net Neutrality Repeal Has Some Supporters

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Thursday’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) vote repealing the agency’s 2015 Net Neutrality regulations were roundly condemned by any number of technology firms and consumer rights organizations. There were, however, some organizations that supported the repeal and have issued statements to that effect.

One such group is the Consumer Choice Center, based in Arlington, Virginia. The group claims in its mission statement that consumer choice is “pivotal for economic freedom and lifestyle decisions.” More regulation, it goes on, “leads to less consumer choice and usually higher costs.”

The group’s deputy director, Yael Ossowski, wrote in a statement:

Many observers conflated the net neutrality regulations as somehow the only safeguards for a free and open Internet and providers for universal broadband access. But that just isn’t true. Before 2015, innovation was a hallmark of the Internet. It was the purest form of the free market at work, allowing for the creation of thousands of online companies and services billions of us enjoy today. Allowing entrepreneurs to unleash products and services without burdensome regulations that only favor large companies and investors will be good for Internet consumers.

FreedomWorks for America is “a grassroots service center that provides the tools needed to grassroots volunteers seeking to elect candidates who fight for lower taxes, less government, and more freedom.” Its president, Adam Brandon, also weighed in supporting the FCC vote:

The real threat to a free and open Internet has always been government regulation, as other nations around the world prove daily. With this move, FCC acknowledges that nothing good can come of a handful of bureaucrats in Washington charting the course for the most dynamic engine for economic growth the world has ever seen. This rule change will allow for companies to invest in delivering better Internet service to Main Street than filling offices on K Street.

The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) is a nonpartisan, international association of Christian communicators whose member organizations represent millions of listeners, viewers and readers and whose mission is to advance biblical truth, promote media excellence, and defend free speech. Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, the group’s president and CEO, said:

I congratulate the FCC for resisting alarmism and moving to reverse the agency’s unilateral assumption of power in 2015. I particularly applaud Chairman Ajit Pai for his fairness, transparency, and firm commitment to an online environment that honors freedom and welcomes innovation. While others have yielded to the intimidation games of the radical Left, Chairman Pai has stood courageously as a statesman.

The Communications Workers of America did not support the FCC vote. President Chris Shelton said in a statement:

The Communications Workers of America opposes the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to abolish rules that have helped maintain a free and open Internet for all Americans. By eliminating the bright-line rules first introduced in 2005 and codified by subsequent Commission votes, the FCC today has eliminated essential safeguards that ensure fair Internet access to all users. … The three bright-line, common sense rules of no blocking, no throttling, and no favorable treatment to some websites and applications over others have worked to protect a free and open Internet. It is unfortunate that Chairman Pai and the Republican majority have chosen to move in the wrong direction, jeopardizing the technology that millions of Americans rely on.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman of New York has already announced that he will file a lawsuit to prevent the repeal of net neutrality provisions, and Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey has introduced a resolution under the Congressional Review Act that could overturn the FCC’s decision.