CFIF often highlights how the Biden Administration's bizarre decision to resurrect failed Title II "…
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Image of the Day: U.S. Internet Speeds Skyrocketed After Ending Failed Title II "Net Neutrality" Experiment

CFIF often highlights how the Biden Administration's bizarre decision to resurrect failed Title II "Net Neutrality" internet regulation, which caused private broadband investment to decline for the first time ever outside of a recession during its brief experiment at the end of the Obama Administration, is a terrible idea that will only punish consumers if allowed to take effect.

Here's what happened after that brief experiment was repealed under the Trump Administration and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai - internet speeds skyrocketed despite late-night comedians' and left-wing activists' warnings that the internet was doomed:

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="515"] Internet Speeds Post-"Net Neutrality"[/caption]

 …[more]

April 19, 2024 • 09:51 AM

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CFIF Supports Senator Roger Wicker’s Call for Rehearing on Biden FCC Nominee Gigi Sohn Print
By CFIF Staff
Tuesday, January 18 2022

ALEXANDRIA, VA – In a welcome development, Senator Roger Wicker (R – Mississippi) this week called for a rehearing on the Biden Administration’s controversial nomination of Gigi Sohn to sit on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  Senator Wicker has raised potential ethical concerns regarding Ms. Sohn after reviewing the substance of a $32 million litigation settlement between television broadcasters and the defunct Locast streaming service following her nomination.  Sohn sat on the board of Sports Fan Coalition, a nonprofit organization that operated Locast. 

In response, Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF) Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs Timothy Lee, who has been sounding the alarm against Ms. Sohn's confirmation since last autumn, issued the following statement:  

"As Senator Wicker rightfully notes, the FCC oversees and regulates companies that were party to the $32 million settlement in question.  Accordingly, the possibility of Ms. Sohn’s future financial liability to companies over which she would wield power if confirmed to the FCC merit immediate and full investigation.  In addition, the timing of the settlement following her nomination by the Biden Administration offers additional reason for full public hearing to resolve any ethical questions.  

"More generally, Ms. Sohn’s nomination presents a grave threat to America’s thriving internet sector.  Specifically, she seeks to more heavily regulate that sector in the image of European internet service, which performed poorly throughout the Covid pandemic compared to the United States.  Despite nationwide quarantines and surges in internet use, U.S. broadband speeds actually increased by 91% in 2020.  Europe, in contrast, suffered service bottlenecks and overload, prompting regulators to ask content providers to throttle back.  

“If allowed to sit on the FCC, Ms. Sohn would undermine the private U.S. broadband sector and remake it in that demonstrably inferior European image.  She has signaled support for rate regulation of broadband and is a staunch advocate of government-owned broadband, which would undermine private investment and network expansion, as well as the jobs that investment and expansion create.  

“Ms. Sohn also favors radical reimposition of Title II so-called ‘Net Neutrality’ regulations, which would regulate private internet service as a ‘public utility’ under 1930s statutes aimed at copper-wire telephones. After the Obama FCC first imposed those regulations in 2015, the negative effects were immediate:  For the very first time ever outside of an economic recession, private internet investment actually declined.  When the Trump Administration FCC under Chairman Ajit Pai subsequently reversed the Obama FCC’s Title II regulation, private investment rebounded and internet service speeds immediately increased.  

“America’s internet service sector mustn’t be subjected to the sort of disruptive overregulation that Gigi Sohn would bring if confirmed to the FCC.  She’s also notoriously weak on U.S. intellectual property rights, and advocates imposition of consumer privacy laws in a crony capitalist manner.  

“Ms. Sohn is simply too radical to be confirmed to the FCC at a time when Americans rely more than ever on a thriving internet service sector, and CFIF applauds Senator Wicker’s call for rehearing on Ms. Sohn’s nomination to sit on the FCC.”  

CFIF is a constitutional and free market advocacy organization with over 300,000 supporters and activists nationwide.

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