Hutchison: FCC’s Net Neutrality Mandates Will Stifle Innovation

Introduces Amendment to Block FCC Funding for Development of New Regulations

September 21, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Ranking Member on the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today voiced strong concerns about Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski’s announcement that the Commission will pursue new net neutrality regulations, noting that they could impede investment and innovation of new technologies.  Senator Hutchison introduced an amendment today to the Interior Appropriations bill that would prohibit the FCC from expending funds to develop and implement new regulatory mandates.  The amendment is cosponsored by Senators John Ensign (R-Nev.), Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), David Vitter (R-La.), Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and John Thune (R-S.D.).

“I am deeply concerned by the direction the FCC appears to be heading,” said Senator Hutchison.  “Even during a severe downturn, America has experienced robust investment and innovation in network performance and online content and applications. For that innovation to continue, we must tread lightly when it comes to new regulations.  Where there have been a handful of questionable actions in the past on the part of a few companies, the Commission and the marketplace have responded swiftly.  The case has simply not been made for what amounts to a significant regulatory intervention into a vibrant marketplace.  These new regulatory mandates and restrictions could stifle investment incentives.”

Net neutrality refers to policies that promote the Internet as an open platform for innovation and economic growth, while discouraging intentional discrimination against particular content or applications.  These basic principles have been in place for years and have successfully spurred major advances in content, applications, and performance with minimal government involvement. 

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