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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Net Neutrality: Coming to a Politician Near You

Net neutrality is fast becoming a political football in Washington. Today, Democrats in Congress hit back against a Republican-backed telecom bill for its failure to protect net neutrality.

Jay Inslee, a Congressman from Washington, put his finger right on the button:
The ones that get hurt are the young innovators, the garage innovators, the small-business innovators, the ones that have not achieved the great success of the Googles of the world.

So far, the only excuse offered by Republicans against net neutrality is that no good definition exists. Feeble. Especially since their bill would prevent the FCC from trying to develop a workable definition, or considering any regulations on net neutrality. That's more than feeble; it's disingenuous.

Worse, the people who will feel the pain are consumers and all those entrpreneurs out there creating innovative content who won't be able to afford those "premium" fees the cable companies will soon be charging for life in the fast lane.

2 comments:

paulaner01 said...

Yes BUT...haven't the Googles of the world come about precisely because we left the Internet open to innovation and kept government out of the equation? That's the only way we can continue to ensure more innovation - regulation can never guarantee this kind of progress. Quite the opposite.

Jeff Kaplan said...

I think in this case regulation would be to keep telco/cable hands off key chokepoints for the Internet and maintain maximum openness and level playing fields.

This would ensure that the next Google out there with innovative new content or services can get a website up and running that can be accessed at equal speeds to anyone else's website. That's the heart of net neutrality's non-discrimination requirement.