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Policy: Technology

Ted Cruz bill would ban 'FCC's latest adventure in net neutrality'

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Congress,Joel Gehrke,Senate,Ted Cruz,Technology,Al Franken,FCC,Internet

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, wants Congress to ban "the FCC's latest adventure in 'net neutrality,' " saying the proposed changes to Internet regulations would damage the industry.

"A five-member panel at the FCC should not be dictating how Internet services will be provided to millions of Americans," Cruz said in a Wednesday afternoon statement. "I will be introducing legislation that would remove the claimed authority for the FCC to take such actions, specifically the Commission's nebulous Sec. 706 authority. More than $1 trillion has already been invested in broadband infrastructure, which has led to an explosion of new content, applications, and Internet accessibility. Congress, not an unelected commission, should take the lead on modernizing our telecommunications laws. The FCC should not endanger future investments by stifling growth in the online sector, which remains a much-needed bright spot in our struggling economy."

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., has also denounced the proposed rules unveiled by FCC chairman Tom Wheeler. "The latest proposed rules by Wheeler -- what he's really talking about is creating a fast lane where people can pay to have their content treated unequally," he told Time. "That's not net neutrality. That's pay for play. That's antithetical to net neutrality."

Wheeler tried to contradict such charges in an April 24 blog post. "The allegation that it will result in anti-competitive price increases for consumers is also unfounded," he wrote. "That is exactly what the 'commercially unreasonable' test will protect against: harm to competition and consumers stemming from abusive market activity."

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