Kinzinger Bill Prevents Federal Regulation of Service Rates for Broadband Access
Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) introduced H.R. 3346, the No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act.
Washington, DC – This week, Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) introduced H.R. 3346, the No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act. This legislation would prohibit the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) from regulating the rates charged for broadband internet access service.
“Over the past few years, America has made significant progress in expanding and improving broadband internet access. As Co-Chair of the House Rural Broadband Caucus and a Representative of a rural Illinois district, I’m keenly aware of the work that still needs to be done in order to achieve universal broadband access. But as it stands, the private capital has been driving the vast majority of investment in improving access around the nation.
“While the federal government can and should continue to provide resources to help with the build-out of broadband in those hard to reach areas, regulating service rates will only destroy this investment model—one that has brought access to over 90% of Americans and, frankly, helped prevent a devastating blow to our economy during the pandemic. If we want to build upon this progress, we must ensure that the government is not setting the rates Americans pay to use the internet.
“If the goal of my friends on the other side of the aisle is to provide affordable internet access to low-income households, that is a noble cause I can support, and there are existing programs which could be leveraged to do so. But government must not—now or ever—treat internet service as a public utility in order to control rates. My legislation would take that option off the table, once and for all, and I’m proud to introduce this legislation today.”
Broadband access has become increasingly important in the 21st Century and has become even more essential as the coronavirus pandemic has forced many people to move online to work, attend school, conduct business, and even socialize. If the government moves towards rate regulation, necessary broadband investment will be destroyed and the “digital divide” for Americans living in underserved and rural areas will grow further apart.
The full text of H.R. 3346, the No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act, can be found attached as a PDF and online here. Congressman Kinzinger previously introduced the No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act, which passed the House during the 114th Congress.