Net Neutrality

In a span of merely 20 years, the internet went from nonexistent to globally pervasive, giving you the ability to answer any question you can imagine within a matter of seconds – all with ALMOST ZERO government regulation.

Now the Feds want to come in and protect you from bogeymen who do not exist. Meanwhile, the entrenched, big-money interests will graciously offer their expertise to help write the new regulations in order to protect … wait for it … the entrenched, big-money interests. They will succeed in obfuscating their objectives by claiming to protect the little guy and by giving the whole show the innocuous moniker “Net Neutrality”.

What, exactly, are the ACTUAL problems (not alleged problems) that this new regulation would solve? Who has suffered an infringement of his/her rights at the hands of one of these rapacious companies?  Is the concern about local access monopolies?  Are people disillusioned with their 10 MB connection speed?  Fifteen or so years ago the phone companies held the local monopolies and offered 56K connection speeds.  Only Fifteen years ago!  Those monopolies have vanished and connection speed is vastly better.  Did the government make that happen?  Did the government build that?  Those hawking this “Net Neutrailty” elixir are inventing the bogeymen they will protect you from. Why would anyone believe that a posse of bureaucrats in Washington will make for a better internet than thousands and thousands of individuals acting in their own best interests in a competitive and free market?

What about cost?  Let’s look at this from a broader, more conceptual level, and consider the 332 pages of new regulations to which these internet companies must adhere. Will this regulation cost them money or save them money? It cannot possibly save them money because if it did they would already be doing it. It, by definition, will cost them money. Guess who gets to pay those costs. (If you are a bad guesser, the answer is: the customer). And, who pays the salaries of the regulators?  Hint: We the People. Guess what will soon start showing up on your internet bill? The same federal taxes that are now on your phone bill.

And, what about innovation? With regulators in place, any company with a new or innovative idea will have to go seeking a Mother May I before the bureaucrats, making it much more difficult for innovations from existing companies or new competitors.

So, all told, innovation will be slower, costs will go up, it will be more difficult for new competitors to enter the market – all in order to save us from problems that do not currently exist.

Who could possibly see a downside to all of that?  With a name like Net Neutrality, it has to be good.

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