Typically Tea Party activists protest things like bank bailouts, Obamacare and government stimulus packages. But this week, Tea Party groups in Virginia and Arizona are taking on a more obscure issue: net neutrality. As The Hill's Sara Jerome reports, Tea Party groups, along with other conservative organizations, issued a letter to the FCC urging the agency not to impose sweeping regulations on Internet service providers such as Comcast and AT&T. Here's a portion of the letter followed by a rebuttal from TechCrunch's Nicholas Deleon:
Over the past 25 years, the Internet has flourished in large part due to the extremely limited role that government has played. In less than a decade, the private sector has expanded broadband Internet access to over 95 percent of American households. Since 2004, the price to access the Internet has dropped by 23 percent, while during the same period overall consumer prices have trended upward.
Despite universal acknowledgment that Americans enjoy a free, open, and vibrant Internet, the FCC is relentlessly pursuing a massive regulatory regime that would stifle broadband expansion, create congestion, slow Internet speeds, jeopardize job retention and growth, and lead to higher prices for consumers.
Nicholas Deleon responds:
I can almost see where the Tea Party is coming from with respect to seeing the FCC’s regulatory powers increase. The Tea Party is generally anti-regulation, which is fine, so coming out against another regulatory agency makes sense from that perspective.
But really, to expect the ISPs to do “right” by you is laughable. If it could, Comcast and the nation’s ISPs would offer 1 mbps (down, mind you) and call that SUPER FAST INTERNET, then charge you $100 per month for the privilege of using it.
Again, if you want to oppose Net Neutrality, fine, go ahead. You’re wrong, but such is your right. But to oppose Net Neutrality in order to defend the free speech of ISPs is pretty laughable.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.