Net Neutrality Issue Shows How Stacked The Deck Is
Posted by direwolff on July 3, 2007
Well, the Net Neutrality proponents have some crying to do as of yesterday, as it appears that the Federal Trade Commission will stay out of regulating the issue. While the rationale of letting the market sort things out doesn’t bother me too much in the spirit of libertarianism, what does bother me is that there’s heavy regulation around allowing new types of carriers from emerging. Hence, this lack of regulation on top of existing regulation simply protects incumbent monopolies and will hurt both consumers whose choice of dependable service to all web sites and services will be affected by companies’ ability to pay what will certainly be hefty rents to have favorable access to their web sites granted. It’s less about the affect on the Googles of the world, and more about whether I can get acceptable access to a service like WordPress for my blogging activities.
By contrast, where innovation and alternatives may be emerging through the wireless infrastructure, these are not being supported by our various federal agencies, and so on the one hand they undermine the protection of our existing infrastructure and on the other they undermine the ability to support innovation and growth beyond the choices we have today. If this isn’t a loose-loose scenario I don’t what is.
Ram Shriram wrote an interesting piece about the opening up of the spectrum issue back in April of this year, raising some solid points on why it would be a good thing for all. It’s worth reading through. At this point, all we can hope for is that as a new administration comes to office soon, perhaps we will see a sea change in the perspectives by which many of these issues will reviewed and decided.