Washington, D.C. –Rep. Gene Green (TX-29), Rep. Fred Upton (MI-06) and 46 colleagues today introduced legislation that directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to wait for Congress to enact a law prior to issuing rules, regulations, or orders concerning additional regulation of broadband internet service. The FCC has said it is strongly considering classifying broadband Internet service under Title II of the Communications Act, without adequate delegated authority by Congress.
“Currently, Congressional Leadership is working on crafting targeted legislation aimed at broadband Internet. It is important that the FCC gives Congress time necessary to complete its work. If the FCC continues its pursuit of reclassification, the result will be lengthy court battles that will reduce, or even halt, capital investments and effectively cease the improvement and expansion of access to the unserved and underserved areas of the country while eliminating much-needed jobs across the country,” said Rep. Green.
The Concurrent Resolution expresses the sense of Congress that a law should be enacted to provide guidance to the FCC before the Commission continues current proceedings to issue new regulations. Allowing Congress to pass targeted legislation will permit the FCC to work within the law to establish authority. If the FCC pushes through with reclassification, it will create market uncertainty, reduce employment, and harm investment and innovation.
The FCC’s National Broadband Plan calls for the closing of the digital divide that bars individuals and businesses from accessing information because of limited or no access to the Internet. A nationwide broadband deployment will result in massive job creation and the adoption of broadband service in rural and urban areas across the country and must not be needlessly delayed by litigation challenging the FCC’s self-directed authority.
“This Concurrent Resolution reinforces the powers that are reserved for Congress under the Constitution,” continued Rep. Green. “We must preserve an open internet and expand access to it, but it must be done with respect to the legislative process. It is my hope that with the number of cosponsors this resolution received, the FCC will hear the message from Congress and publicly respond that they will wait for proper legislative authority.”