Congressman Steve Knight: In support of net neutrality

By Signal Contributor

Last update: Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

I support Net Neutrality. As a representative of a district with thousands of small businesses and bold entrepreneurs, I understand the need to establish a light-touch regulatory environment that supports innovation and competition. However, I believe the recent vote by the Federal Communications Commission to reverse the 2015 classification of broadband internet as a Title II Common Carrier communications service may unintentionally compromise this goal.

This is why, prior to the FCC vote, I personally called Chairman Ajit Pai to express my concerns with the Commission’s plan and request that he work with Congress to seek a legislative solution to protect consumers and allow internet companies to innovate and thrive. While I was disappointed in the FCC’s vote to push forward with their plan, I am currently working with my colleagues in Congress and the Administration to enact a 21st century telecommunications law suited to the modern capabilities and nature of the internet.

The advent and widespread use of the internet has transformed almost every aspect of our lives. Our abilities to communication with each other, conduct commerce, share information, and learn from the vast catalog of human experience have been dramatically and permanently supplemented by the World Wide Web. Access to the internet is not merely an information service, but is a vital resource necessary to participate in the modern world. Policies that protect the free and open exchange of information on the internet reflect this reality.

This is why I am proud to be an original co-sponsor of H.R. 4682, the Open Internet Preservation Act. Introduced by Representative Marsha Blackburn, this bill explicitly prohibits internet providers from blocking or “throttling” any lawful web content, service, or data. In addition, this bill would create a service that allows consumers to report violations of these rules and existing anti-trust regulations. A timeline would also be established to ensure the FCC responds to these reports in a timely fashion.

By ensuring that fledgling internet-based companies are not throttled by internet service providers, this bill will promote innovation and competition in the industry. In particular, this will benefit new and small businesses that may not have institutional relationships with an ISP. This would create a level playing-field in which internet-based companies, media outlets, and content producers can compete to create the best products and services for consumers.

This bill protects the principal elements of the 2015 FCC ruling while also adding safeguards to improve accountability and respond to violations. I applaud Representative Blackburn for her leadership in introducing this very important piece of legislation. I look forward to helping advance this bill into law to create a modern and competitive internet framework for America.

U.S. Rep. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, is the representative for the 25th Congressional District.

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Congressman Steve Knight: In support of net neutrality

I support Net Neutrality. As a representative of a district with thousands of small businesses and bold entrepreneurs, I understand the need to establish a light-touch regulatory environment that supports innovation and competition. However, I believe the recent vote by the Federal Communications Commission to reverse the 2015 classification of broadband internet as a Title II Common Carrier communications service may unintentionally compromise this goal.

This is why, prior to the FCC vote, I personally called Chairman Ajit Pai to express my concerns with the Commission’s plan and request that he work with Congress to seek a legislative solution to protect consumers and allow internet companies to innovate and thrive. While I was disappointed in the FCC’s vote to push forward with their plan, I am currently working with my colleagues in Congress and the Administration to enact a 21st century telecommunications law suited to the modern capabilities and nature of the internet.

The advent and widespread use of the internet has transformed almost every aspect of our lives. Our abilities to communication with each other, conduct commerce, share information, and learn from the vast catalog of human experience have been dramatically and permanently supplemented by the World Wide Web. Access to the internet is not merely an information service, but is a vital resource necessary to participate in the modern world. Policies that protect the free and open exchange of information on the internet reflect this reality.

This is why I am proud to be an original co-sponsor of H.R. 4682, the Open Internet Preservation Act. Introduced by Representative Marsha Blackburn, this bill explicitly prohibits internet providers from blocking or “throttling” any lawful web content, service, or data. In addition, this bill would create a service that allows consumers to report violations of these rules and existing anti-trust regulations. A timeline would also be established to ensure the FCC responds to these reports in a timely fashion.

By ensuring that fledgling internet-based companies are not throttled by internet service providers, this bill will promote innovation and competition in the industry. In particular, this will benefit new and small businesses that may not have institutional relationships with an ISP. This would create a level playing-field in which internet-based companies, media outlets, and content producers can compete to create the best products and services for consumers.

This bill protects the principal elements of the 2015 FCC ruling while also adding safeguards to improve accountability and respond to violations. I applaud Representative Blackburn for her leadership in introducing this very important piece of legislation. I look forward to helping advance this bill into law to create a modern and competitive internet framework for America.

U.S. Rep. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, is the representative for the 25th Congressional District.

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  • Brian Richards

    Another big government statist! Is there anything you don’t have to put your grimy hands on? People don’t have the right to have Verizon give them speeds they want without paying for it. What part of that is so hard to comprehend?

  • Ron Bischof

    “Net neutrality” is a fraught political term designed to mask regulatory action. It’s driven by an intense lobbying effort by technology companies that wish to continue their market dominance and avoid competition.

    After reviewing Rep. Knight’s column, my first thought is to review if the proposed H.R. 4682 bill codifies the 2015 classification of broadband internet as a Title II Common Carrier communications service.

    https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/4682/text

    I found that it does indeed amend the 1934 Telecommunications Act to again regulate Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as common carrier utilities.

    No matter how well-intended the “light-touch” regulatory approach is, it regulates the internet as a monopoly when it is not and nothing precludes future burdensome regulations.

    It’s the wrong approach. Citizens don’t require protection from markets and competition.

    The internet grew into one of the most successful innovations of the 20th Century without being regulated as a telecommunications utility prior to 2015.

    Don’t muck it up!

    • Brian Richards

      But Ron, what would they do if they couldn’t muck something up? Their species would go extinct.

  • Richard Birchoff Mertz

    LOL!

    Net neutrality was created by Jimmy Carter to make it easier for bums to get welfare and subvert traditional family values.

  • Steve Lunetta

    “Net neutrality” seems like a great idea but it really masks an over-reach by government regulators, as Ron suggests. It prevents the free market from operating. For example, it recently came out that Apple was intentionally slowing older iPhones through software updates to “preserve battery life.” More likely, they were trying to encourage users to move to newer models and thus spend more money. The market turned this into an uproar and, I bet, many users switched to droid. Heck, I’m thinking of jumping too. Apple is now scrambling to fix this mess. Same thing with net neutrality. If you slow my service, the market will react and offer me a service that is not slowed. I will buy that new service. People just can’t seem to grasp the concept of a free market. They become so narrow, focused, and unable to change. If you get slow service, simply change providers.

    • Ron Bischof

      Remember how the Feds “protected” consumers by keeping the “Baby Bells” out of the long distance telephone service market, Steve?

      We don’t need a repeat of that nonsense.

      Apple’s mistake was not informing their customers that they were keeping their iPhones functional with aged lithium batteries rather than having them abruptly shut down when power requirements exceeded battery capacity.

      They’re showing good faith by replacing iPhone batteries for $25 if you have an iPhone 6 or newer that requires it.

      By the way, AAPL hit its 52-week high at $177.20 today.

      • Steve Lunetta

        I am reading Thomas Sowell’s Basic Economics right now. It goes into this topic in great depth. It should be required reading for all school children in the United States.

        • Ron Bischof

          Concur, Steve.

          Sowell is excellent in communicating economic principles with examples in a way that non-experts can easily understand.

          He often argues eloquently that the Federal government has not been successful where its gone beyond the boundaries of Constitutional enumerated powers.

          Here’s a useful column I read during the risible prediction of “Armageddon” by noted economist Nancy Pelosi during the tax reform debate:

          http://capitalismmagazine.com/2005/04/trickle-down-ignorance/