WASHINGTON D.C. — Today, a diverse coalition of web entrepreneurs, investors, telecom and antitrust experts, and policy organizations urged lawmakers of both parties to take responsibility for resolving the long fight over the FCC’s authority to police “net neutrality” — lest the FCC impose 1930s public utility regulation on the Internet. The letter asks Congress to craft bipartisan legislation that gives the agency clear but narrow authority over broadband providers — but also blocks any further attempt by the FCC to regulate on its own.

“Congress, not three unelected officials, should decide the future of the Internet,” the letter declares. “The FCC has twice tried to regulate the Internet in the name of ‘Net Neutrality’ — and twice failed in court. To prevent a slippery slope towards broader regulation of the Internet, any legislative compromise must tightly constrain the FCC’s authority and discretion. … Only Congress can craft a solution that is appropriately narrow, avoids endless legal challenges, and puts this divisive issue behind us. Only then can we move on to many long-overdue reforms — such as opening up more spectrum for mobile broadband, clearing barriers to broadband deployment and updating the Communications Act for the Digital Age.”

The coalition urged Congress to draft legislation through regular order and identifies three core limits that are essential to any legislative compromise:

  1. Congress must bar the FCC from imposing Title II on the Internet.
  2. Congress must clarify that it did not intend Section 706 of the 1996 Telecom Act to give the FCC a blank check to regulate the Internet.
  3. If Congress gives the FCC clear rules and the power to enforce them, the Commission will not need the power to write additional rules.

You can read the full letter here, and Szoka can be reached for comment at media@techfreedom.org. See more of our work on net neutrality and Title II, including: