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FCC Stages Broadband Power Grab

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Title

FCC Stages Broadband Power Grab

Extends Unjustified Control over Network Management

Washington,
D.C., July 28, 2008—The Federal
Communications Commission is preparing this week to expand its control over how
telecom firms manage Internet traffic over their own networks. With a planned
rebuke of Comcast, the Commission will be moving dramatically toward a policy
of greater government control and micro-management of broadband traffic,
according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

“Contrary to the message being portrayed in the media,
Comcast has never blocked web videos or prevented consumers from accessing
certain services,” said Competitive Enterprise Institute Research Associate
Ryan Radia. “Rather, Comcast was simply limiting peer to peer uploading during
peak hours to relieve network congestion and ensure that its customers could
access websites without hiccups.”

Regardless
of the details of Comcast’s network management procedures, the FCC’s action
here lies outside its legal authority. The “four principles” that
Comcast allegedly violated are only codified in the Commission’s Internet
Policy Statement, which is non-binding and does not hold the force of law.

“We all can
probably agree that we want tomorrow’s Internet at the speed of light, not at
the speed of government,” said Competitive Enterprise Institute Vice
President for Policy Wayne Crews. “A useful starting point is to appreciate that most
customers have no real broadband today: cable and DSL are a trickle compared to
the Niagara needed tomorrow. Freezing today’s
Internet into a regulated public utility via net neutrality regulation – as the
FCC seems hell-bent on doing – would be the worst possible move, slowing
investment and innovation and resulting in fewer new companies, products and
technologies.”

Telecom Experts Available for
Interviews

Wayne Crews

Vice President for
Policy

202-331-2272

wcrews@cei.org

Ryan Radia

Research Associate

202-331-2281

rradia@cei.org

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan
public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited
government. For more information about
CEI, please visit our website at www.cei.org.