The FCC and Net Neutrality

Posted: February 25, 2015 by ShortTimer in Barack Obama, FCC, First Amendment, Government, Leftists, Regulation

Basically Drudge’s big stories of the day, but today the FCC chair refused to testify before congress about net neutrality, The Hill looks at the new arbitrary ability for the FCC to impose internet regulations and asks if it’s outright lawless, and the lefty “Electronic Frontier Foundation” suddenly realizes that big government might not be the best thing to have on an internet that’s supposed to be free.

There are several problems with this approach.  First, it suggests that the FCC believes it has broad authority to pursue any number of practices—hardly the narrow, light-touch approach we need to protect the open Internet. Second, we worry that this rule will be extremely expensive in practice, because anyone wanting to bring a complaint will be hard-pressed to predict whether they will succeed. For example, how will the Commission determine “industry best standards and practices”? As a practical matter, it is likely that only companies that can afford years of litigation to answer these questions will be able to rely on the rule at all. Third, a multi-factor test gives the FCC an awful lot of discretion, potentially giving an unfair advantage to parties with insider influence.

A leftist push for more control really might mean cronyism for their politically aligned friends?  Naw… you don’t say.

The internet will grind to stagnating European halt.

In a joint column, Federal Communications Commission member Ajit Pai and Federal Election Commission member Lee Goodman, leveled the boom on the Obama-favored regulations, essentially charging that it will muck up the freedom the nation has come to expect from the Internet. …

“These Internet regulations will deter broadband deployment, depress network investment and slow broadband speeds. How do we know? Compare Europe, which has long had utility-style regulations, with the United States, which has embraced a light-touch regulatory model. Broadband speeds in the United States, both wired and wireless, are significantly faster than those in Europe. Broadband investment in the United States is several multiples that of Europe. And broadband’s reach is much wider in the United States, despite its much lower population density,” the two wrote. …

“Internet freedom works. It is difficult to imagine where we would be today had the government micromanaged the Internet for the past two decades as it does Amtrak and the U.S. Postal Service. Neither of us wants to find out where the Internet will be two decades from now if the federal government tightens its regulatory grip. We don’t need to shift control of the Internet to bureaucracies in Washington. Let’s leave the power where it belongs — with the American people. When it comes to Americans’ ability to access online content or offer political speech online, there isn’t anything broken for the government to “fix.” To paraphrase President Ronald Reagan, Internet regulation isn’t the solution to a problem. Internet regulation is the problem.”

I’d file this entirely under the part of the cycle of the anointed being wrong where Thomas Sowell says “the critics’ concerns are dismissed”… which comes right before the “solution” is implemented and causes the exact problems the critics fortold.

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