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CFIF: Unnecessary Regulation of the Internet Is Harmful to Consumers.

'Over-Regulation Will Delay Innovation, Stifle Growth,' Says Free-Market Advocacy Organization

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Feb. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF), a leading constitutional and free market public policy organization, today called for a continuation of current Federal Communications Commission (FCC) policies that have fostered growth and innovation in telecommunications services in recent years. CFIF noted that FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has demonstrated leadership in this area by guiding Commission policies that have helped speed broadband deployment throughout the country.

"Recent growth of broadband services shows rather dramatically what the free market can do so as long as it is not overburdened by unnecessary government regulation," said CFIF President Jeffery Mazzella.

CFIF's comments come against the backdrop of calls from some in Congress to impose government regulation on the Internet under proposed rules dubbed "Net Neutrality."

"Net neutrality is a phrase that sounds good when first uttered," Mazzella said. "After all, who isn't for 'neutrality'? But a closer look at this issue proves 'net neutrality' to be anything but neutral. It is nothing more than government meddling with the Internet."

While proponents of net neutrality are often vague in what they are asking for, rules mandating the new regulation would essentially prohibit network providers from charging different prices for differentiated service offerings.

"In essence, 'net neutrality' amounts to nothing more than the government mandating business models and price controls on network providers," said Mazzella. "If that happens, network providers will have no incentive to develop new services for their customers as there will be no way for them to recoup the hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars they're willing to put toward the building of much needed high-speed networks. Lack of innovation would in turn hurt consumers, because what is now an ever-evolving Internet would stagnate in its development."

"Chairman Martin has steered telecom policy in the right direction by staying away from these types of government controls," Mazzella continued. "He should resist the irresponsible calls of some in Congress to impose disastrous regulations on a medium that continues to thrive without them," Mazzella concluded.

Founded in 1998, the Center for Individual Freedom (http://www.cfif.org/) is a constitutional and free market advocacy organization with more than 250,000 supporters and activist nationwide. CFIF opposes over-burdensome state and federal regulations and taxing regimes that impede the evolution of the Internet and e-commerce.

CONTACT: Jeffrey Mazzella for the Center For Individual Freedom, +1-703-535-5836

Web site: http://www.cfif.org/
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Date:Feb 1, 2007
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