Congress Should Reject Infrastructure Package That Imposes Costs, Burdens on Broadband Providers

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As Congress struggles to reach a deal on its infrastructure spending package, the latest possible iteration reportedly contains quite problematic provisions for broadband infrastructure. CEI technology policy experts warned against provisions that would give Federal Communications Commission regulators vast new, ill-defined powers, impose rate regulations, and impose expensive, unnecessary data collection burdens on telephone, cable, and other broadband companies that offer high-speed Internet services:

Statement by Jessica Melugin:

“The last thing a sputtering American economy needs is heavy-handed, investment-deterring federal meddling in an industry that performed so well during the Covid pandemic. There are better ways to help get more Americans online than this top-down approach.”

Statement by Ryan Nabil:

“U.S. broadband connectivity has improved considerably in the past few years due to innovation, competition, and a market-friendly regulatory approach. However, the recently proposed bipartisan infrastructure bill will expand FCC powers to impose cumbersome regulations on Internet service providers. The bill will also expand states’ authority to regulate Internet speed and prices, potentially creating a cumbersome, confusing patchwork of regulations across the country. Democratic and Republican policymakers should consider better ways to improve broadband speed and access.”

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