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Gov’t ‘digital equity’ plan empowers administrative state to micromanage nation’s internet

Published in Blog on November 13, 2023 by Brianna Kraemer

Instead of owning up to poor results, government shifts the blame and advocates for even more government intervention. While Democrats have controlled the Washington bureaucracy for 12 of the last 16 years, their broadband internet policies have failed, which is why they’re now targeting the private sector and the free market. 

In just two days, the Federal Communications Commission will determine the outlook of Biden’s ‘digital equity’ internet plan that enables the government to ‘micromanage’ nearly every aspect of the internet while encroaching on the privacy of millions of Americans. 

Promoted as a way to deliver equal access to internet services, the proposal authorizes the FCC to regulate network infrastructure, speeds, pricing, customer service, and various other aspects of broadband internet services. However, a deeper dive from FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr exposes the ‘breathtaking’ government power grab that will give the "Administrative State effective control of all Internet services and infrastructure."

The 2021 Infrastructure Act included one page that has opened the door to excessive – and unintended – internet regulation that could soon extend government reach to industries and entities beyond the communications sector, including landlords, construction crews, marketing agencies, banks, and the government itself. The plan puts the future of the free market in question with the potential for price controls, allowing the FCC to regulate broadband pricing, profitability, and even promotional pricing, which was not authorized by Congress. 

In an opposition report, Carr addressed what he called an ‘unlawful power grab’ that will place central planning over free market capitalism. 

“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,” Carr writes.

The text of the order expressly provides that the FCC would be empowered, for the first time, to regulate each and every ISP’s:

- “network infrastructure deployment, network reliability, network upgrades, network maintenance, customer-premises equipment, and installation”;

- “speeds, capacities, latency, data caps, throttling, pricing, promotional rates, imposition of late fees, opportunity for equipment rental, installation time, contract renewal terms, service termination terms, and use of customer credit and account history”;

- “mandatory arbitration clauses, pricing, deposits, discounts, customer service, language options, credit checks, marketing or advertising, contract renewal, upgrades, account termination, transfers to another covered entity, and service suspension.”

But it gets worse, he continues. The FCC reserves the right to regulate both actions and omissions. In layman's terms, if you take any action, you may be liable, and if you do nothing, you may be liable. 

“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.”

The commission will meet and decide the fate of this egregious government overreach on November 15, which you can find here.

Abuse of power from the bloated executive branch is one of the greatest problems the American people face. They’ll never admit they are the problem, but We the People see it clear as day. We can get our beloved nation back and it starts with calling an Article V convention. To support Convention of States in this constitutional endeavor, add your name to the petition below. 

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