Key Vote Letter to House urging opposition to "net neutrality" amendment to H.R. 5252, the Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement Act of 2006
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, writes to oppose Congressman Edward Markey's "net neutrality" amendment to H.R. 5252, the Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement Act of 2006.
It is the policy of the Chamber that the federal government should refrain, to the maximum extent possible, from regulating broadband services. While H.R. 5252 marks modest progress toward eliminating laws that are stifling innovation and investment in the telecommunications industry, passing any amendment that would expand the bill's net neutrality provisions would be a step backward. The Markey amendment is unnecessary and has the potential to deter new investment in broadband network infrastructure, slow the deployment of innovative technologies, and harm the ability of United States to compete globally. The amendment seeks to address a problem that does not exist and would, for the first time, impose federal regulation on the Internet.
The Internet is like a highway. If there are not enough lanes to handle the volume of cars, traffic jams occur. Widening the highway reduces that congestion. The same principle applies to the Internet. Information traveling on the Internet will increase 500-fold by the year 2020 as demand for multimedia applications increases. Exceptionally fast broadband networks are necessary for U.S. businesses to compete domestically and abroad. By creating regulatory barriers, expanded net neutrality provisions would deter investment in these high-speed broadband networks.
The Chamber urges members to vote "NO" on the Markey amendment, or similar measures, should they be offered, and will consider using votes on, or in relation to, this issue for inclusion in our How They Voted ratings.
R. Bruce Josten