Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Buchanan tells FCC Chairman to Withdraw Plan to Regulate the Internet

Feb 13, 2015
Press Release
Calls proposed regulations "dangerous" and "misguided"

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL), a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, today urged the Federal Communications Commission to abandon its plan to regulate the Internet. In a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, Buchanan said the Internet should remain free of government control or regulation.

Wheeler this week unveiled a 332-page proposal to regulate the Internet as a public utility under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 — subjecting virtually all web operations to bureaucratic control. Wheeler intends to bring his proposal to a vote before the five-member Commission in the near future.

This proposal is commonly referred to as "net neutrality," an idea supported by President Obama.

Buchanan stressed that at a time when many Americans feel their freedoms are being threatened by government overreach, the last thing we need is a new government regulation that hinders access to a free and open Internet. 

Buchanan also sent his letter to President Obama.

 

The text of the letter is below:

 

February 13, 2015

 

The Honorable Tom Wheeler

Chairman 

Federal Communications Commission

445 12th Street, SW

Washington, DC 20554

 

Dear Chairman Wheeler,

I strongly oppose your plan to regulate the Internet and urge you to withdraw this misguided and dangerous proposal. We do not need another layer of government regulation that threatens online freedoms enjoyed by Americans across the country.

The Internet is a powerful resource used daily by millions of Americans to conduct business, access education, communicate with family and friends, and more.  Its rapid proliferation is the result of American innovation, free of government intrusion. Government regulation of the internet is all too common in countries like China, Iran and North Korea. That is not a model for America.

Unfortunately, the FCC's plan to classify the Internet as a public utility under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 moves us in that direction by subjecting virtually all web operationsto the heavy hand of bureaucrats.  Relying on laws drafted in the early 20th century and rejecting 20 years of innovation sets America down a very slippery slope.  

Adding insult to injury, the Progressive Policy Institute estimates that treating the Internet like a phone service would trigger new taxes and fees up to $15 billion a year.  It is no wonder FCC commissioner Ajit Pai said your 332-page proposal "mimics ObamaCare" both in substance and process.

As a Member of Congress, I have a responsibility to provide oversight of the FCC and ensure that its actions do not harm the very people it is supposed to serve.  

America has always been a beacon of freedom, and we must continue to lead as a model for other nations in this digital age.  At a time when many Americans feel their freedoms are being threatened by government overreach, the last thing we need is a new government regulation that hinders access to a free and open Internet.  

I urge you to abandon this dangerous proposal.

Sincerely,

/s/

Vern Buchanan

Member of Congress

CC: President Barack Obama, The White House, Washington D.C. 20500