About Me

My photo
This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Victory for an Unfettered Internet -- By Robert McDowell, The Wall Street Journal

 After another court loss, the FCC should abandon its 'net neutrality' regulation goal

A federal appeals court in Washington slapped the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday for overstepping its legal authority by trying to regulate Internet access. The FCC is now a two-time loser in court in its net-neutrality efforts. Has the government learned its lesson, or will the agency take a third stab at regulating the Internet? The answer to that question will affect the Internet's growth in the 21st century.

The FCC's quest to regulate the Internet began in 2010, when the commission first promulgated rules for net neutrality. The rules, proponents argue, are needed to police Internet "on-ramps" (Internet service providers) ostensibly to ensure that they stay "open." To accomplish this, some want the FCC to subject the Internet to ancient communications laws designed for extinct phone and railroad monopolies.

But the trouble is, nothing needs fixing. The Internet has remained open and accessible without FCC micromanagement since it entered public life in the 1990s. And more regulation could produce harmful results, such as reduced infrastructure investment, stunted innovation, slower speeds and higher prices for consumers. The FCC never bothered to study the impact that such intervention might have on the broadband market before leaping to regulate. Nor did it consider the ample consumer-protection laws that already exist. The government's meddling has been driven more by ideology and a 2008 campaign promise by then-Sen. Barack Obama than by reality.

Further FCC attempts to regulate the Internet could trigger global regulation of the Internet by the International Telecommunication Union, a treaty-based organization under the U.N.'s control. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his allies have been working for a decade to upend a 1988 agreement—forged by delegates from 114 countries—to leave the Internet unfettered. The U.S. has so far been opposed to applying new international rules for the Internet. In October, 193 countries will gather again for talks to conclude a new treaty that will decide the Internet's fate. Proponents hope to build off victories won last year at International Telecommunication Union talks in Dubai that gave the agency narrow authority to regulate. The goal is to achieve what Mr. Putin summarized in 2011 as "international control of the Internet."

No comments:

Post a Comment