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FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR

It’s official: Deem and Pass Internet regulation is the “Third Way”

It doesn’t matter that nearly all House Republicans are against it, and a good number of Democrats besides. It doesn’t matter that ATR is against it, CNBC warns it could “kill the Internet,” or that we just don’t need it.

The FCC has gone ahead and put out a Notice of Inquiry to go ahead with Deem and Pass reclassification of ISPs away from being “information services” under the law, which was the plainly obvious intent of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. You see, in Comcast v. FCC, the courts have strictly limited how much regulation the FCC can do of information services. So, the FCC is going to declare that ISPs are now phone companies, and regulate accordingly.

I’m sure for some of us I’m sounding horribly repetitive on this. I know myself I’ve typed variations on the above sentences more times than I can count. But those were just the warnings. It is now beginning to happen. They’re just calling it the “third way” and not “deem and pass” as I do.

But make no mistake: It’s the same thing, and the neo-Marxists behind it are overjoyed. For Free Press, “Third Way”/”Deem and Pass”/Title II reclassification is a step toward not just “Net Neutrality,” but the broader “media reform” they’re after. Media reform of course is what Free Press calls state run media in America. Think of it as single payer socialized medicine, only for news reporting.

Oddly enough though, as Jon Henke points out they’re giving FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski very little credit for this, instead showering praise on their pet commissioner Michael Copps along with commissioner Mignon Clyburn. Is there a split here we need to exploit? Let’s watch for that.

Because this plan must be defeated, either by preventing its passage at the FCC or by passing a law to forbid it or (should it be accomplished first) passing a law to reverse it. Look, even the AFL-CIO, Communications Workers of America, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, League of United Latin American Citizens, Minority Media and Telecom Council, NAACP, National Urban League, and Sierra Club want the Congress to act on this, not the runaway FCC.

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