Sen. Lankford and others challenge FCC’s broadband rule


Oklahoma U.S. Sen. James Lankford and a handful of other Senators are taking on the Federal Communications Commission and an order it issued to control the broadband industry.

Lankford and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Utah Sen. .Mike Lee introduced a Congressional Review Act (CRA) joint resolution of disapproval to nullify the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) so-called “Digital Discrimination” order. The order, which the FCC voted to finalize in November, gives the federal government control over nearly every aspect of the broadband industry while exposing companies to expansive, indeterminate, and crippling liability under a “disparate impact” standard.

They contend the FCC’s order, which ignores the plain language of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, will harm broadband investment and undermine the goal of promoting high-speed internet access for all Americans.

“Industry should drive industry—not the government,”said Lankford. “The latest rules coming from the Biden Administration are in a continued effort to take over the internet.”

He said broadband is an example of American innovation.

“If we allow the Biden Administration to impose its overreaching rules to control the internet, progress and ingenuity will slow significantly. My colleagues and I are calling to overturn the Biden Administration’s actions and to stop their internet takeover attempt.”

Sen. Cruz said the only beneficiaries of what he called the “FCC’s Orwellian ‘equity’ plan are overzealous government regulators who want to control the internet. This resolution will roll back FCC Democrats’ unlawful power grab.”

Sen. Lee called the FCC order a broad overreach that threatens to entanble the internet in red tape.

 Under the FCC’s new order, nearly every aspect of the internet—including a broadband provider’s deployment decisions, network reliability, network maintenance, equipment, pricing, promotional discounts, customer service, language options, credit checks, marketing and advertising, and more—will be subject to potential FCC enforcement actions, including multi-million-dollar forfeitures and injunctive orders, under a disparate impact standard.

Also joining Lankford, Cruz, and Lee on the joint resolution of disapproval are Senators Eric Schmitt (R-MO), Ted Budd (R-NC), Roger Marshall (R-KS), John Cornyn (R-TX), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), John Thune (R-SD), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Tim Scott (R-SC ), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Jim Risch (R-ID), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Katie Britt (R-AL), Jerry Moran (R-KS ), and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY).