Today’s Washington Post Editorial asks the most pertinent question of all regarding proposed government regulation of the internet: Is this intervention necessary?
In examining how ‘net neutrality’ as outlined by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski will mean "ISPs, which have poured billions of dollars into building infrastructure, would have little control — if any — over the kinds of information and technology flowing through their pipes", it notes that "unneeded regulation could still interfere with their ability to manage bandwidth-hogging applications that can hamper service, especially during peak times."
The Washington Post concludes that "in seeking to regulate the internet, these proposals "will jeopardize it — and stifle further investments by ISPs — with attempts to micromanage what has been a vibrant and well-functioning marketplace."
As we have noted previously, “network neutrality” would provide the federal government extensive power to mandate how businesses can provide Internet service to their consumers. Innovation and investment in the Internet has occurred due to an absence of government regulation and interference. Allowing the government to step in to impose mandates on network management would represent a dangerous precedent in terms of Internet regulation and a clear infringement of private property rights by government. "
Make no mistake: this will result in private industry ceasing to build infrastructure – next step, government steps in to solve the problem it just created with public spending and the necessary control of networks: "Now all your bandwidth are belong to Genachowski".
If government regulation of the internet is impossed, it will mean the death of flexibility and innovation, will lead to slower services, and worse performance for everyone. Good to see in part at least the Washington Post agrees.