“Save the Internet” Act is Non-Starter With Title II, Says Leading Tech Policy Think Tank

March 6, 2019

WASHINGTON—The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), the world’s leading science and tech policy think tank, expressed disappointment with the “Save the Internet” Act, introduced today by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Representative Mike Doyle (D-PA). ITIF released the following statement from Director of Broadband and Spectrum Policy Doug Brake:

The Save the Internet Act at least aims in the right direction in that it would end the back and forth on broadband regulation through legislation. That both parties are each looking at legislation and potentially working toward agreement is a sign of progress. But that is where it appears the bill’s virtues end.

This legislation unfortunately contains a fatal flaw: returning to the problematic 2015 rules and the overly broad authority of Title II. No bill that classifies broadband as a common carrier under Title II of the Communications Act will gain widespread support. Title II is a non-starter. This legacy law simply doesn’t offer the balance a complex new platform like the Internet deserves. It would be far better for Congress to thoughtfully design a new section of the law tailor-made for the competitive dynamics of today’s broadband market.

Politics are partisan enough today—why, when there is such widespread agreement on the principles of net neutrality, would we want to return to the controversial overreach of the 2015 rules? It is time for both Republicans and Democrats to stop going for a one-sided “win” on this issue, and instead sit down and negotiate a mutually beneficial compromise that ends the net neutrality debate once and for all.