WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) named Gov. Steve Bullock (D-Mont.) its February 2018 Porker of the Month for issuing an executive order that would rob Montana consumers of a 21st century internet.
On Jan. 22, 2018, Gov. Bullock issued an executive order requiring that internet service providers (ISPs) doing business with the state of Montana adhere to “internet neutrality principles.” The order is a colossal overreaction to the Dec. 14, 2017, adoption of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order (RIFO) by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The executive order would throttle Montana back to the restrictive regime that was established in the FCC’s Feb. 26, 2015, Open Internet Order, which placed the internet under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, originally intended for Depression-era, rotary-dial telephones. The rules, which were in place for less than three years, stifled investment and innovation. They were particularly harmful to smaller ISPs, including many that serve Montanans.
The RIFO simply restored the internet’s classification as an information service, rather than a telecommunications service, as intended under the Telecommunications Act of 1996 as part of the agreement by former President Bill Clinton and Congress to regulate the internet with a light touch. The internet flourished under this regulatory regime, developing into one of the greatest innovations in history, creating millions of jobs and a global explosion in technology, including in Montana, which is home to a thriving tech sector.
CAGW President Tom Schatz said, “Gov. Bullock’s short-sighted executive order will harm economic growth and reduce internet service for Montanans, particularly those who live in rural communities, where there is the greatest need for expanded broadband access. Gov. Bullock should not have let his desire to virtue signal blind him to the real-world consequences of hamstringing his state’s internet access.”
For issuing an executive order that harms internet freedom, CAGW names Gov. Steve Bullock its February 2018 Porker of the Month.
Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.