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Where is the FCC's Legitimacy?

It appears the FCC has lost sight of the essential fact that legitimate policy must come from a legitimate process.

Currently, the FCC is reportedly preparing to mandate net neutrality regulations December 21st, ostensibly to ensure an open and transparent Internet.

 

  • Unfortunately, the FCC has not been open or transparent at all in its process of late, giving the public or markets no public justification, rationale, or explanation why what they are planning to force is legitimate.
  • How does not following or respecting the spirit or principle of "openness" in FCC "open" Internet policy making -- engender legitimacy?

 

How does the FCC seriously threatening to impose the "nuclear option" of Title II telephone regulation of the Internet behind closed doors, in order to coerce assent for, and compliance to, unnecessary, unjustified, and unwarranted permanent net neutrality regulations under Title I -- engender legitimacy?

How does the FCC deciding its most controversial rule making exactly in between the seam of the current Congress, where ~300 members asked the FCC to defer to Congress, and the future Congress, which has made it clear they want the FCC to defer to Congress -- engender legitimacy?

How does deciding the most controversial rule making in recent FCC history at the functional equivalent of the dark of night, December 21st, when everyone  will either be preparing for the holidays/vacation and the fewest amount of people will be paying attention -- engender legitimacy?

How will the FCC forcing this net neutrality vote into a highly contentious 3-2 partisan vote, when every previous FCC net neutrality decision was based on the legitimacy of 5-0 unanimous bipartisan votes -- engender legitimacy?

How will regulating the Internet for the first time, based on no evidence of a problem that needs to be solved -- engender legitimacy?

How will preemptively regulating the Internet in a way that slows innovation to the pace of the FCC's bureaucracy, and discourages new investment, economic growth, and job creation, when the economy is fragile and when the FCC Chairman recently declared to NARUC "At the FCC, our primary focus is simple: the economy and jobs" -- engender legitimacy?

In sum, for industry, the economy, job creation, and the Nation to succeed, the FCC needs to follow a legitimate process to create legitimate policy that will stand the test of time, court challenge, the bipartisan Congress, investment, and the economy.

 

  • The FCC has too many legitimate problems to solve (universal service, freeing up spectrum, public safety spectrum, etc.) in the months and years ahead for the FCC to endanger its ongoing policy making legitimacy in the Internet era by unnecessarily, and unjustifiably over reaching on net neutrality in a manner and process that devastates the FCC's Internet policy making legitimacy going forward.

 

Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths