Net neutrality arguments

Peter Ferrara thinks Net Neutrality is Theft. He notes that there is an expensive infrastructure that requires massive capitalization. Regulation devalues this infrastructure because it limits how it can be used.

Just as the government is not needed to tell FedEx what delivery routes to use, or how to get the packages to their destination overnight, it is not needed to tell Internet Service Providers and broadband operators how to deliver their access to Cyberspace. Those ISPs and broadband operators are subject to fierce market competition, and are driven by market incentives to get a return on all that investment money they put into the ground or into orbit. These factors force them to serve the people, far, far better than politics forces government to serve the people. That is why the Internet works so well.

The arguments that those in favor of I’net regulation propose can be seen in places like TechDirt and Slashdot. Two of the main ones center on competition and lobbying.

  • There is no competition. This is based on their dependence on a cable provider, it seems, and a desire for very high speed access at very low cost. The attributes of the selections available does not mean that there is no competition, just that the options available are not what you’d hope they be. That gets back to Ferrara’s point about infrastructure cost.
  • Evil corporate conspiracies manipulate the FCC. It is particularly ironic that AT&T is cited because of what the FCC did to AT&T in the breakup of the landline monopoly. The reality is that the FCC is a political entity and subject to political pressures. That is readily seen in the partisan split in the vote on the recent net neutrality issue. The influence of evil for profit corporations has not been shown to be as portrayed, especially when organizations such as FreePress.org are used as a referent.

As many have noted, there is no pressing issue behind the net neutrality push. It’s advocates are taking a pre-emptive stance and providing the impression that what they say they fear might happen isn’t really the fundamental motive behind their efforts. The public does not appear to be with them. Recent polls indicate only 21% favor I’net regulation. A Free Press pledge supporting such action had 65 candidates in the last election sign on and they all lost. Congress has made it clear that the FCC should cease and desist in the effort and the Court has ruled that the issue is out of the venue of the FCC.

The question is, why, without any pressing obvious reason and against such massive opposition to action, the FCC chose to act anyway.

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