By Russell Stroud
“The Internet is simply too important to be left without rules and without a referee on the field,” says Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, “Today’s order is more powerful and more expansive than any previously suggested.”
The FCC’s vote for so-called Net Neutrality purports to allow the agency to regulate the Internet as a public utility.
Net Neutrality intends to stop Internet service providers from creating “fast lanes” that let an ISP ask more money of companies that use more online space. Netflix uses huge amounts of bandwidth, which costs the ISPs money to provide. Thus, they charge Netflix more for the usage of that bandwidth, and they’ve proposed a system for Netflix to get preferred treatment for faster delivery of Netflix video to ISP customers.
Netflix naturally doesn’t want to be charged more than is absolutely necessary, so it and other companies favor the FCC’s Net Neutrality.
The FCC’s making any decision at all regarding the Internet makes a very big assumption, which is the FCC somehow has jurisdiction over the Internet. Who owns the Internet? Who is fit to regulate the Internet? Servers are the makeup of the World Wide Web, and those servers are owned by companies and by individuals, not by governments. Granted, there are those dot gov sites, just as there are national parks. But does that mean because there are national parks, the federal government may regulate how you landscape your yard or how you build a private road?
The FCC is wanting to act as a broker between the ISPs and Web companies, attempting to defeat the free market process of business dealmaking. Remember that businesses always negotiate the best service for the lowest cost for customers.
— Russell Stroud hosts Digital Drive noon to 1 p.m. weekdays on Hot News Talk Radio 1240 910 1190, a show that covers the tech sector and the free market.