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John Thune Wants Review of Communications Law Next Year
Posted at 10:59 a.m. on June 25
The House Energy and Commerce Committee has been reviewing existing communications law with an eye towards an overhaul, and now the ranking Republican on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee says he hopes senators will start a review next year, too.
“It would be a dereliction of duty if Congress did not at least explore whether and how our communications regulations can be modernized,” Thune said Wednesday at a Free State Foundation event. “I hope next year the Senate will follow the example set by the House to begin consideration of what a Communications Act update might look like.”
And any discussion “needs to begin with broadband Internet and the government’s regulatory posture toward it,” he said.
Here’s more from Thune’s talk on why he thinks Congress needs to act to update how the government regulates the Internet, referencing parts of telecommunications law that have been the subject of debate over how the FCC should approach its net neutrality rules:
Neither Title II nor Section 706 of the Telecom Act are appropriate tools to regulate the Internet. The former is outdated and politically corrosive. The latter is legally untested and potentially far too broad. When Congress wrote both provisions it never expected or intended for either to apply to a dynamic and competitive broadband marketplace. Because of this, any Internet regulations issued by the FCC based on either statue will be tied up in courts for years thus creating more uncertainty for businesses and end users, not less. The only way to provide the certainty that ISPs, edge providers, content publishers and end users need and want is for Congress to legislate.
Lawmakers need to “roll up our sleeves” and figure out “how best to promote an open, competitive and free Internet,” he said.