Doyle Calls Out Trump FCC for Anti-Consumer, Anti-Competition Agenda

Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Member Doyle, the Ranking Democratic Member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology made the following statement at the beginning of the Subcommittee’s oversight hearing on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).   
 
“Thank you Chairman Blackburn for holding this long overdue hearing today, and thank you to the witnesses for finally appearing before us.  It is my sincere hope that we can make this a far more regular occurrence.  
 
“I have spent my time in Congress and on this Committee as a strong advocate of competition, innovation, and opportunity. These are the pillars of a successful marketplace, and the driving force of our economy. When we act to weaken them we weaken our own economy and our country.    
 
“Chairman Pai, in the time you have been the head this agency, we have seen an agenda that is anti-consumer, anti-small business, anti-competition, anti-innovation, and anti-opportunity. 
 
“Right out of the gate the Commission took a range of actions including pulling back an investigation of anti-competitive zero rating practices and issuing a mere progress report on updates to a program to bring broadband to schools and libraries.  
 
“The Commission reinstated the UHF discount for what seems to be no other reason than to enable an unprecedented merger between Sinclair and Tribune that would give the combined entity a foothold in nearly eighty percent of American households.  
 
“The Commission eviscerated competition for business data services in this country. Your order concluded that a market is competitive if it is served by one provider with the possibility another one might enter at some point. I don’t even see how this makes sense.  
 
“The Commission ended a program that enabled poor people to get access to broadband, literally pulling service away from people who had already signed up.  
 
“The Commission is in the process of eliminating the FCC’s Open Internet Order, on which as of this morning 12.3 million people have written to you in overwhelming opposition. These rules are working, they have been upheld in Federal Court, and they have promoted a virtuous cycle of investment and innovation online. I don’t think this point can be stressed enough.  Publicly traded companies are required by law to tell their investors the risks to their company. No publicly traded ISP has made such a claim.  However, many online companies including Netflix and Snap have claimed that eroding or eliminating these rules will in fact pose a threat to their businesses.
 
“When I read your statements and you talk about investment and your concerns, you only seem to talk about it in relation to ISP investment. I’m concerned that maybe you just don’t get it. The Internet isn’t just an ISP’s connection to the consumer; it’s a vast array of networks, services, and applications. Ignoring the rest of the ecosystem is to ignore the part of the internet that is the most vibrant and innovative.  
 
“I am deeply concerned that the FCC is on the wrong a path, a path that will hurt small businesses, regular people, and some of the most innovative sectors of our economy.” 
 
 
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