Heartland Institute Reacts to Congressional Probe of FCC’s ‘Improper’ Meetings on Net Neutrality

Published July 28, 2011

Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski asking if the agency’s meetings with pro-network-neutrality advocacy groups meant the FCC “failed to develop an independent conclusion derived from a balanced fact-based record, which is incompatible with proper rule-making.”

The letter appears to be the beginning of a formal Congressional investigation of possible improper coordination with advocacy groups and the White House on net neutrality rules.

The following statement by Bruce Edward Walker, managing editor of InfoTech & Telecom News and research fellow for technology policy at The Heartland Institute, may be used for attribution. For additional comments, see the contact information below or contact Tammy Nash at [email protected] and 312/377-4000.

“In its mad rush to cram through its net neutrality rules under cover of Washington D.C. darkness this past December – four days before Christmas, to be exact, when the city is typically emptied out for the holidays – the Democratic members of the Federal Communications Commission sought input from leftist groups such as Free Press.

“This included FCC senior council David Tannenbaum working directly with Free Press to line up speakers for FCC workshops to increase public support for net neutrality, and damning emails between former Free Press honcho John Silver advising FCC Commissioner Michael Copps on how to proceed with net neutrality regulations.

“The House subcommittee investigation may turn up nothing to confirm suspicions of wrongdoing, but the investigation should be conducted nonetheless, in the interest of the transparency the American people were promised from the current administration.”

Bruce Edward Walker
Managing Editor, InfoTech & Telecom News
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

The Heartland Institute is a 27-year-old national nonprofit organization with offices in Chicago, Illinois; Washington, DC; Austin, Texas; Tallahassee, Florida; and Columbus, Ohio. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.