CRA That Proposes a Return to Obama-Era Internet Would Challenge the Ongoing Currents of Investment

Manufacturers oppose Sen. Ed Markey’s (D-MA) Congressional Review Act (CRA) proposal that would, under the guise of “net neutrality,” eviscerate a December Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decision that restored the reasonable regulatory treatment of broadband.

The true effect of the CRA would be to permanently place broadband under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, which was written to govern traditional telephone service, not broadband. The law was last overhauled in 1996, and a lot has changed in the past 20+ years. Title II for broadband does not consider the architecture of the internet nor the current competitive landscape.

Moreover, Sen. Markey and other proponents of the CRA seek a return to an unsuccessful period of restrictive regulations on the internet that hampered investment in our nation’s broadband infrastructure. This CRA is flawed and should be rejected in favor of a legislative solution that supports continued progress and capital investment in systems and networks that foster innovation.

A robust telecommunications infrastructure is important to today’s modern manufacturer. Shop floors and products made by manufacturers are increasingly connected to the internet. Continued investment in networks, led by the private sector, allow for improvements and upgrades that keep economic growth moving in a positive direction and give the United States a competitive advantage. A regulatory regime that holds back the development and deployment of the latest manufacturing technology would be a step in the wrong direction.

Congress must end the regulatory back-and-forth at the FCC and pass a legislative solution to the net neutrality controversy, not a CRA, to ensure a stable policy environment that fosters continued investment in critical internet networks and even greater innovation in the manufacturing sector.

Robyn Boerstling

Robyn Boerstling is the Vice President of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources Policy at the National Association of Manufacturers.

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