I would like to live in a world where I have a choice between an internet provider that has fast lanes and one that doesn’t. I would like to have my own choice to decide which service is better for my needs, I don’t want politicians deciding for me by making one of the choices illegal. I certainly don’t want to put the internet in the hands of the people who tried to pass SOPA and CICPA.
Much of the concern and really scare tactics surrounding net neutrality and now even worse tittle 2 regulations has to do with people’s dread of having their favorite website’s speed throttled. Most of this simply stems from ignorance of how the internet actually works. First of all speed is never throttled, what is throttled is bandwidth. How much you can send, not the speed at which it is sent essentially.
Second, the internet currently is built on fast lanes, and it doesn’t mean there are slow lanes, or that small business can’t compete. Take Google for instance and other big companies “have direct connections to big ISPs like Comcast and Verizon, and they run dedicated computer servers deep inside these ISPs. In technical lingo, these are known as “peering connections” and “content delivery servers,” and they’re a vital part of the way the internet works.” http://www.wired.com/2014/06/net_neutrality_missing/
If your small company’s bandwidth needs start justifying the need for content delivery servers, then you can purchase the same service.
Here are some immediate and long term effects of regulating the internet.
Range of Options and Choices suffers:
The possibility of making a better faster internet with fast lanes will become illegal. How can we be so sure that this technology, this path isn’t in fact a better option that would create a faster, and smarter internet? Most people did not know that the iPhone was going to be so popular. Steve Jobs even explained that they used no focus groups when designing the iPhone because people usually do not know what they want until they see it. Similarly Henry Ford once said that if he would have asked his customers what they wanted, they would of said a faster horse. The net neutrality campaign has correctly, or incorrectly convinced many people about what is best, but the basic question is not what is best, but who shall decide what is best? To me, letting politicians decide what is best, a group of people who have the least accountability, and the least to lose if they are wrong, is the worst possible way we can do this.
Innovation and investment suffers:
Innovation and investment in technology will suffer incredibly, and you won’t even know about it. FCC officials are claiming that investments won’t be impacted, but they obviously will be. The problem is that we will never be able to show it, because we do not have an alternative world in which we can show the investments that otherwise would have been made if not for the regulation. Put your self in this situation. You have invested, like the ISPs have, millions of dollars into new technology, which took years to develop. Now you find out that FCC is about to make it illegal for you to deploy it. Are you going put down any more money on new things that may take years to develop without first making sure that the FCC won’t make them illegal in future? You are certainly going to delay development if not completely cancel it if the uncertainty is too high. In an analogy Harry Browne explains, if government had taken over the auto industry in 1920, today we’d all be driving Model-T cars and saying, ‘If it weren’t for the government, we’d have no cars at all.’
Corruption is promoted and spread:
Corruption and regulatory capture is inevitable. When bureaucrats star telling business how to run, the next thing that happens is business starts buying bureaucrats. We have a lot of this already, we do not need to spread it into more industries. Take Microsoft for instance, it used to do 0 lobbying until it started to be the target of government policy. Now it has one of the biggest lobbies in US. If it is established that FCC has the authority to regulate the internet, and net neutrality proponents get their way. This will just become a magnet for others to try to get their way. Then the race starts, not between people who can produce the best internet, but between those who can gain most government favor.