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PRESS RELEASE: Heartland Institute Experts React to FCC Repeal of Net Neutrality

December 14, 2017

“The FCC’s vote today is a vote for freedom from big government control of the internet.” - Tim Huelskamp


Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) repealed “net neutrality,” which forced internet service providers (ISPs) to treat all bandwidth traffic as equal and prevented ISPs from blocking content on most websites.

For more information on net neutrality, check out The Heartland Institute’s latest podcast on net neutrality, which features a conversation between FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and Heartland Research Fellow Jesse Hathaway. It’s available here on SoundCloud.

The following statements from experts at The Heartland Institute – an independent think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Media Specialist Billy Aouste at and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 847/445-7554.

“The FCC’s vote today is a vote for freedom from big government control of the internet. Kudos to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and his colleagues. They voted to preserve an open and dynamic internet.”

Tim Huelskamp, Ph.D.
The Heartland Institute

Dr. Huelskamp represented Kansas’ 1st District in the House of Representatives from 2011 to 2017.

“The FCC commissioners’ approval of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order is a victory for consumers. By reversing the misleadingly-named ‘Open Internet Order,’ FCC is putting consumers and the businesses responsible for building and maintaining the countless millions of internet connections and switches powering the internet back in charge of how this vital network operates.

“FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order effectively regulated the internet as though it were a utility, such as an electric company or a water company, putting unelected bureaucrats in the middle of every data transaction, between every recipient and sender.

“Decades of internet and networking innovation enabled by the government’s earlier light-touch regulatory approach had slowed to a crawl because of the Open Internet Order, but reducing regulatory burdens on internet providers and other telecommunications companies will get government out of the way and power up consumers’ internet experience.”

Jesse Hathaway
Research Fellow, Budget and Tax Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, Budget & Tax News

“In 2015, the Obama administration bizarrely asserted that to protect the world-changing, successful internet status quo, it had to fundamentally transform it, by imposing a 1934 landline telephone law on the internet. In the process, the Obama administration unilaterally granted itself massive new regulatory and taxing powers. 

“The Trump administration is rightly and reasonably restoring that pre-2015 status – you know, the one that in 20 years transformed the internet from ‘What’s that?’ into one-sixth of our $18 trillion economy. There was nothing wrong with that internet. In fact, there was trillions and trillions of dollars’ worth of right with it.”

Seton Motley
President, Less Government
Policy Advisor, Telecom
The Heartland Institute

“Net neutrality is more of a religious concept than an economic one. Old-fashioned, heavy-handed utility regulation is what these zealots are really asking for. Their followers, like lemmings, support them based on ignorance, foolishness, and, as we have seen in some cases, malevolence. Chairman Pai and the other FCC commissioners who joined him deserve our thanks for standing up to this mob and putting the interests of the country, as well as sound economic principles, first.”

Stan Liebowitz
Ashbel Smith Professor of Economics
University of Texas at Dallas
Policy Advisor, Telecom
The Heartland Institute

Article Tags
InfoTech & Telecom
Tim Huelskamp is the president of The Heartland Institute. @CongHuelskamp
Jesse Hathaway is the managing editor of Budget & Tax News, a publication of The Heartland Institute. @JesseinOH
Seton Motley is the president of Less Government, a DC-based non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the power of government and protecting the First Amendment from governmental assault. @SetonMotley
Stan Liebowitz is the Ashbel Smith Professor of Finance and Managerial Economics at the University of Texas at Dallas. He is also the director of the Center for Analysis of Property Rights and Innovation at the university.More information here.

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