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FCC Misguided on Net Neutrality

09/21/2009

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced today that it will revive the debate over net neutrality and issue new regulations concerning network management. The new regulations will be designed to prevent content discrimination and maintain network management transparency with the ultimate goal to “safeguard the free and open internet,” according to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.  The announcement emphasized the importance of the internet in innovation and investment as well as the role it plays in entrepreneurship.

Based on his comments, it is clear that Genachowski understands that the internet is a vital part of economy; however, his proposed regulatory changes are misguided. These new regulations would make the government the arbiter of broadband allocation and leave broadband providers with little say over their own networks. For a resource as scarce as network bandwidth, especially in the wireless network industry, a freely adjusting price system is critical for proper allocation. These regulations would distort the price system and likely take away bandwidth from those who need it most.

These changes will also discourage investment in future broadband development and innovation, and will actually slow the spread of access to the internet as opposed to increasing it. Since Mr. Genachowski clearly recognizes the importance of broadband to our economy and infrastructure, he should reevaluate his proposed regulations so that someday everyone will have access to a free internet.

For more detailed information on the adverse effects of net neutrality check out http://www.freedomworks.org/uploads/20070617.pdf