The FCC Commissioner warns that Biden’s plan for ‘Digital Equity’ will soon lead to the US Government micromanaging ‘nearly every aspect’ of the internet.
American Citizens Are Outraged
Last month, Biden gave the FCC its marching orders mainly because the administration thinks there is inequality in the internet. However, in this day and age, anyone can access the internet, so we’re still trying to figure this out.
The president called on the FCC to implement a one-page section of the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act by adopting new rules of breathtaking scope, all in the name of “digital equity.”
For the first time ever, those rules would give the federal government a roving mandate to micromanage nearly every aspect of how the internet functions—from how internet service providers allocate capital and where they build to the services that consumers can purchase and from the profits that ISPs can realize and how they market and advertise services to the discounts and promotions that consumers can receive.
Biden’s order expresses that the FCC would be empowered, for the first time, to regulate the following for every ISP (internet service provider):
- Dictating broadband prices to consumers: Mandatory arbitration clauses, pricing, promotional rates, imposition of late fees, deposits, discounts, customer service, language options, credit checks, marketing or advertising, contract renewal, upgrades, account termination, transfers to another covered entity, and service suspension
- Dictating tower and satellite locations: Network infrastructure deployment, network reliability, network upgrades, network maintenance, customer-premises equipment, and installation
- Decisions on management and the expansion of services by your local internet provider: Speeds, capacities, latency, data caps, throttling, the opportunity for equipment rental, installation time, contract renewal terms, service termination terms, and use of customer credit and account history
- Tightly regulate providers to the point that they would basically become an extension of the government itself
The Biden administration’s plan empowers the FCC to regulate every aspect of the internet sector for the first time ever. The plan is motivated by an ideology of government control that is not compatible with the fundamental precepts of free market capitalism.
The FCC reserves the right under this plan to regulate both “actions and omissions, whether recurring or a single instance.” In other words, if you take any action, you may be liable; and if you do nothing, you may be liable.
Opposing Views Come Fast
“President Biden’s plan hands the Administrative State effective control of all Internet services and infrastructure in the country. Never before, in the roughly 40-year history of the public Internet, has the FCC (or any federal agency for that matter) claimed this degree of control over it. Indeed, President Biden’s plan calls for the FCC to apply a far-reaching set of government controls that the agency has not applied to any technology in the modern era, including Title II common carriers,” FCC’s Commissioner Brendan Carr said in a statement on Monday.
U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and 27 of his colleagues are also calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to rescind its draft order on “Digital Discrimination,” which would give the federal government control over nearly every aspect of the Internet while opening broadband providers to expansive, indeterminate, and crippling liability under a “disparate impact” standard.
“There is no path to complying with this standardless regime. It reads like a planning document drawn up in the faculty lounge of a university’s Soviet Studies Department,” Carr said.
The Biden administration’s plan empowers the FCC to regulate every aspect of the internet sector for the first time ever.
Did We See It Coming?
The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced $930,021,354.34 to expand middle mile high-speed Internet infrastructure across 35 states and Puerto Rico as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. Under the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All Initiative, the Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program invests in projects that build regional networks that connect to national Internet networks.
Middle mile Internet infrastructure carries large amounts of data over long distances, increases capacity to local networks, boosts network resiliency, lowers the cost of bringing high-speed Internet service to unconnected households, and helps connect unserved regions to the Internet backbone.
“Access to Internet is no longer a luxury and thanks to President Biden’s leadership, we are taking action to close the digital divide for everyone in America. The Middle Mile program will invest more than $900 million in the infrastructure needed to connect communities, military bases, and Tribal lands to the Internet, lower the cost of access, and increase bandwidth,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Much like how the interstate highway system connected every community in America to regional and national systems of highways, this program will help us connect communities across the country to regional and national networks that provide quality, affordable high-speed Internet access.”
What is the FCC?
The Federal Communications Commission regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. An independent U.S. government agency overseen by Congress, the Commission is the federal agency responsible for implementing and enforcing America’s communications law and regulations.
The agency is directed by five commissioners who are appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
“The Federal Communications Commission regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. An independent U.S. government agency overseen by Congress, the commission is the United States’ primary authority for communications law, regulation and technological innovation.”
Most FCC rules are adopted by a process known as “notice and comment” rulemaking.
Under that process, the FCC gives the public notice that it is considering adopting or modifying rules on a particular subject and seeks the public’s comment. The Commission considers the comments received in developing final rules. For more information, check out our online summary of the Rulemaking Process at the FCC.
How To File a Comment to FCC
You can file a comment to the FCC via the website or by mail, however they do not recommend mail comments.
Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing ECFS: https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs or the Federal eRulemaking Portal:http://www.regulations.gov. Filers should follow the instructions provided on the website for submitting comments.
- ECFS filers must transmit one electronic copy of their comments. In completing the transmittal screen, filers should include their full name, U.S. Postal Service mailing address, and the docket number.
- Parties may also submit an electronic comment by e-mail. To get filing instructions, filers should send an e-mail to [email protected] and include the following words in the body of the message, “get form.” A sample form and directions will be sent in response. This option is often the easiest way to file brief comments that do not include attachments.
To read rulemaking documents or comments received, you may go to EDOCS https://www.fcc.gov/edocs (for NPRMs and orders) or ECFS https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs (for comments and ex parte filings) at any time and follow the online instructions for accessing the docket.
What Happens Next?
After the FCC votes on the ISP ruling, the decision is passed to Congress.
Under the Congressional Review Act, agencies must submit final rules to Congress. After submission, Congress can begin a process to overturn the rule. Congress can also use a variety of processes as part of its oversight of agency action, including holding hearings, issuing reports, or adopting legislation.
Petition Against Government Controlled Internet
From the AFA:
The American Family Association (AFA) has sent out an action alert email warning about the Biden regime’s attempt to take the internet out from under the private sector’s control and move it, for all practical purposes, into the hands of our censoring, propagandizing, and ever-expanding government.
It’s important for us as citizens of a republic to make our voices heard. We speak up in order to: guard our individual privacy, do what we can to keep censorship (directly and indirectly) at bay, and have a say in pricing through use of the free capital market.
We urge you to contact the five FCC commissioners and your elected officials in Washington. It can be easily done through AFA’s email campaign here!
The Biden administration has asked the FCC to take complete control of the way internet service providers do business in America. Currently governed by the private sector, the FCC would take control and establish rules and regulations to strangle the free market by deep government policies and regulations.
Tomorrow, on November 15th, the five FCC commissioners will vote to put President Biden’s plan in place.