Recent Press Releases

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."