In a few weeks Congress will vote on a “net neutrality” bill that would turn significant control of the internet over to the federal government by allowing the FCC to regulate Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as public utilities.The bill is promoted using the same “class envy” technique that has been so politically successful over the years: “Just let us handle everything, and we will make sure internet access is ‘fair’.” The legislation would, for example, prevent ISPs from charging some customers more than others for higher speed services, and from controlling access to certain internet content. Sounds altruistic, doesn’t it?
History has proven that every time government takes a market segment away from the public sector, the product ultimately costs more, performs worse, is harder to get, and ends up profiting a select few well-connected cronies at taxpayer expense.
If the FCC takes control of our internet service, there is risk – perhaps likelihood – that competing ISPs will be pared down to a select few “winning” vendors. Is it any wonder that Comcast, owner of the blatantly pro- big government news channel MSNBC, and one of the largest contributors to the Obama campaign, is a full-throated supporter of the net neutrality bill? In these kinds of quid pro quo arrangements, make no mistake – the deep-pockets federal government trades cash for control. And the cash is non-partisan. Bill sponsors Fred Upton (R-MI) and Greg Walden (R-OR) received hefty contributions from AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon.
For a sneak preview of net neutrality, let’s take a look at internet life in the People’s Republic of China. Regional ISPs in China are owned and operated by the government, who rigidly controls content as well as access to the internet. The Communist party thwarted early attempts by its rival China Democracy Party to establish unrestricted internet access, enforced by arrests and imprisonment. The Chinese government’s internet authority is documented in their “Computer Information Network and Internet Security, Protection, and Management Regulations”, approved by the State Council in 1997:
Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side