The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Liz Rose, Communications Director, 202-265-1490 x 32

FCC Must Move to Reclaim Authority Over Broadband


On a call today with reporters, Josh Silver, Free Press President and CEO, issued the following statement:

"We at Free Press were stunned to hear that the Federal Communications Commission might abandon authority over the communications platform of the 21st century. It is a testament to the overwhelming influence of the phone and cable lobbying juggernaut that this is even an issue. If Chairman Genachowski keeps broadband services in Title I, it provides yet another example of the largest industries influencing public policy to accommodate their business interests at the expense of the public interest.

"The U.S. is falling quickly in broadband speed, affordability and adoption in comparison to other nations, and it is lack of competition - not too much of it - and other policies that are to blame. As President Obama said in his inaugural address: `The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works.' We must remember the FCC's National Broadband Plan is about much more than just Net Neutrality: it is about getting high-speed broadband to rural and low-income communities, and re-establishing the U.S. as leader in innovation and entrepreneurship.

"As you know, people across the nation have mobilized over the past three days. There has been a wave of press and blog coverage, and many thousands of people are calling and writing the FCC and the White House. Today, all eyes are on Julius Genachowski.

"At the heart of the debate is the fundamental question of whether the FCC can accomplish the lofty goals of their National Broadband Plan under Title I of the Communications Act, or whether they are going to modernize communications law by rooting it Title II of the Communications Act."

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