Sunday, March 1, 2015

More On FCC and The Internet

For John, BLUFThe question is what could possibly go wrong.  Time will tell.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

We have addressed this one already, yesterday, here, where Craig H left a pretty thorough comment on whey he thinks some are over-reacting.  However, Mr Robert McDowell, a former member of the five member panel of the Federal Communications Commission, writing in USA Today, calls the FCC Internet ruling wrong.
Thursday marked the largest government intervention into the Internet ecosphere in American history.  By equating the dynamic 21st century Internet to the telephone system of 1934, the Federal Communications Commission has thrust powerful but antiquated utility-style regulations onto the U.S. tech economy. . . .

The FCC’s power grab discards the bipartisan light-touch regulatory framework laid out during the Clinton administration.  That hands-off approach made the Net the greatest deregulatory success story of all time.

History teaches us that utility-style regulation raises costs to consumers, reduces investment and innovation, and creates uncertainty due to the politics-driven nature of “mother may I innovate” government mandates. Regulation only grows.  Now the Internet cannot escape that fate.

The ultimate result of more government encroachment will be something akin to the sagging European Internet market, where investment in broadband infrastructure is only one-fourth of America’s due to heavy-handed regulations.  Even worse, this new power grab could trigger expanded intergovernmental powers over the Web through existing telecom treaties, jeopardizing Internet freedom.

What many in Silicon Valley don’t understand is that, according to the Supreme Court’s 2005 Brand X decision, nearly any “tech” company that builds a telecom-style network to deliver its content and apps has the potential to be captured by the FCC’s new rules.  If the agency tries to exempt some companies but not others, it will be choosing the politically favored over everyone else.

Then Professr Reynolds comments:
Well, that’s the whole point of this exercise, one suspects.  I mean, isn’t it always?
On the other hand, Mr Gideon Lichfield, writing for Quartz, thinks the is the right move, and will protect the Internet from Government interference. Regards  —  Cliff

  Craig H is a thoughtful (as opposed to dogmatic) person from the high tech sector with a libertarian bent.


Craig H said...

My comment the other day was not about overreach, but about misunderstanding. People have taken sides in this debate without seeing the issues clearly, and without understanding the consequences of their position. I don't have an opinion of right or wrong in this debate, because the two political sides are arguably wrong and wrong in their assessment of what needs fixing.

This is, unfortunately, a battle to see who (the content creators vs the content deliverers) gets to take the lion-shared bite out of our wallets and little more. The consequence of the FCC sticking its regulatory thumb into the internet pie is exactly as is surmised in this piece. Verizon will deliver content on their proprietary wireless network and do very well, right up until the FCC uses this precedence to regulate their favorite-playing of content delivered there. In the end, we won't see anything the government doesn't have hand in delivering, and that's the essence of Orwell's premonition.

C R Krieger said...

There is no "Like" button, so this is a "Like" for the first comment.


Regards  —  Cliff

NOTE:  Pretty weak graphic.

Craig H said...

And, as if on cue...