Statement by Steve Pociask, President of the American Consumer Institute
American Consumer Institute sees the FCC Chairman’s announcement as a mixed blessing.
On the one hand, we agree with the notion of providing consumers with more information about their services, and we also see some benefits of finally settling the issue with a position of compromise. And, we certainly agree that consumers should be able to decide what Web sites to visit and what applications to use.
Though we remain unconvinced that any new rules are needed, that there exists any market failure or that the proposed remedy would create more benefits than costs, we believe the Chairman’s approach would provide some clarity and, hopefully, avoid onerous Title II “common carrier” regulations on Internet Service providers that would otherwise discourage network investment, job creation and innovation. Based on the Chairman’s remarks, moving in this direction will get us back on track and focused on developing a nationwide broadband plan.
At the same time, we believe that the dramatic changes in telecommunications over the past 15 years and uncertainty about the Commission’s legal authority in this area, argues for Congressional action to establish clear policy guidelines in this area.
We will provide a more complete analysis once we receive a copy of the draft rules.