One of my favorite telecommunications industry analyst, Scott Cleland, hits it out the park with his piece on net neutrality. On the eve of the U.S. Senate debate on whether the Federal Communications Commission’s rules on net neutrality should be repealed, Mr. Cleland lays out a clear, cogent argument for why these rules are a farce and should be repealed. Click here for the article.
I would add that while the FCC will argue from now until hell freezes over that they are not regulating the Internet, from a consumer perspective, the Internet is broadband access, and as far as the consumer is concerned, when you start talking about transparency of carrier operations surrounding broadband, that is the Internet. The consumer does not distinguish between the two.
The courts made it clear in Comcast v. FCC not to come back with this back door way of trying to extend jurisdiction thus regulation over broadband. The Congress views broadband access as the Internet and has made clear its intent not to have broadband access treated like a telecommunications service.
All the FCC’s net neutrality rules have done is potentially slow down investment in the deployment of broadband facilities. All the FCC’s net neutrality rules have done is threaten broadband deployment to unserved urban, insular, and rural communities by making carriers think twice about facing unnecessary and onerous costs of compliance with rules invented to address a problem that doesn’t exist.
How these rules aided in promoting our economy is beyond me. How these rules aided in ensuring that minorities get access to a necessary resource in the knowledge economy is beyond me. It’s like the Occupy Wall Street types took over the FCC for a brief moment, and now the U.S. Senate is in a position to evict their butts out of the park.