H.R. 2666 Keeps Administration’s Promise and Prohibits Regulation of Broadband Rates
WASHINGTON, DC – Building upon the Energy and Commerce Committee’s #RecordOfSuccess, the House of Representatives today passed committee member Rep. Adam Kinzinger’s (R-IL) H.R. 2666, the No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act by a vote of 241-173. The legislation would prohibit the FCC from regulating the retail rates charged by Internet service providers (ISPs) for broadband Internet access, just as the administration promised when they reclassified access to the Internet as a utility under Title II of the Communications Act. Rate regulation, or the threat of potential rate regulation, creates significant uncertainty for ISPs and as a result, discourages investment and prevents providers from offering pro-consumer plans.
Despite prior promises, Chairman Wheeler admitted at a March 2016 hearing that the FCC should have the authority to regulate broadband rates. This bill simply seeks to hold the administration to their word and codify into law the promises made by Chairman Wheeler and the administration.
During today’s floor debate, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) stated, “If the FCC were to regulate rates it could harm every American across the country that has a Wi-Fi connection by imposing artificial restraints on their plans and service options. It would stop needed investment in expanding and improving the internet and it would block innovation that we depend on to create better and faster Internet.”
To view Majority Leader McCarthy’s remarks, click here.
Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) added, “I nonetheless strongly believe that this legislation is an essential step in maintaining the robust and vibrant Internet ecosystem that drives our economy, powers innovation, and promotes jobs and investments like no other service.”
To view Rep. Walden’s remarks, click here.
Rep. Kinzinger commented, “We want to make sure the FCC doesn’t have the power to regulate the rates charged for Internet access… All we’re doing is taking back a little bit of power from the FCC and saying look, let’s keep the internet a free market.”
To view Rep. Kinzinger’s remarks, click here.
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) concluded, “This legislation is about keeping a promise. A promise made by the FCC Chairman and the president not to regulate broadband rates. Unfortunately, we are all too familiar with the administration’s poor track record at keeping promises, but this bill will ensure that they do.”