FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr believes the agency should require Big Tech to fund internet infrastructure, following the introduction last week of a bill mandating the FCC consider collecting contributions from the tech companies.
The Funding Affordable Internet with Reliable (FAIR) Contributions Act, introduced July 21 by Republican Sens. Roger Wicker, Todd Young, and Shelley Moore Capito, instructs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to look into charging major tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Netflix to fund broadband networks. Currently, new internet infrastructure is paid for by the Universal Service Fund (USF), a $9 billion pot of money funded by charges on consumers’ phone service.
The senior Republican on the Federal Communications Commission criticized the Democratic Baltimore City State Attorney’s recent request for an investigation into a local Fox affiliate as an attack on free speech.
Brendan Carr, the top Republican on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), condemned Baltimore City State Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s request, saying it was part of a broader effort by Democrats to censor news coverage and political speech they don’t like. Carr demanded that the commission dismiss Mosby’s complaint by the end of the day “with prejudice.”
“The State’s Attorney’s Office, led by Democrat Marilyn Mosby, has launched a chilling and direct attack on free speech and journalistic freedom,” Carr said in a statement on Monday. “The complaint her office filed with the FCC asks the Commission to censor a newsroom simply because journalists are doing their constitutionally protected jobs and shining a light on the work of the State’s Attorney.”
On the campaign trail, the Biden campaign voiced its support for network neutrality—“net neutrality” for short. The topic has resurfaced in recent weeks and months thanks to a few key events. These include the appointment of a new acting FCC chairwoman, the DOJ dropping a lawsuit against the state of California, and Biden’s choice of Tim Wu, the so-called “father of net neutrality,” for a National Economic Council role.