Responding to President Barack Obama’s call for increased Internet regulation, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio renewed his demands to keep the Internet free of government involvement.
In a statement issued Monday, Rubio calls the Internet “one of the greatest economic stories in all of history, one whose openness has given people unprecedented opportunities to innovate and create jobs.” The Florida Senator serves on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.
“President Obama’s announced support for more government regulation of the Internet threatens to restrict Internet growth and increase costs on Internet users,” he says.
On Monday, Obama urged the Federal Communications Commission to reclassify ISPs (like Comcast, Verizon and Time Warner Cable) under Title II of the Communications Act, providing the agency greater authority over operations. The new designation would treat Internet service as other utilities, such as electricity and water. Net neutrality advocates say Title II would give the FCC additional powers to prohibit carriers from blocking Web traffic or preferring some services to others.
Rubio argues that applying “heavy-handed Title II classification” to Internet service sends the wrong message to those globally who look to the U.S. for leadership on Internet authority. The move would undermine an open Internet, free of government intervention.
“Instead of reclassifying Internet service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, the FCC should allow Congress to update this law,” he says. “I believe it should be a top priority of the new Congress to provide clarity on the FCC’s role in the modern communications landscape.”