As Comments Roll In, So Do the Concerns Over Too Much Regulation

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NCTA this week submitted our comments to the FCC regarding possible new open Internet and net neutrality regulations. You can read those comments here.

The FCC reports receiving hundreds of thousands of comments – many from every day Internet users – expressing concern for the future of a free, open, accessible Internet. We too worry about the future of the Internet, especially if the FCC decided to apply utility-style regulation like Title II that was designed for the old Ma Bell telephone monopoly of the 1930s. Rather than supporting growth, innovation, and change, Title II could be a dagger into the Internet’s future potential.

We’re not alone in our concern about the dangers of Internet over-regulation. Below are just a few articles that detail the very real concerns that many academics, businesses, journalists, and everyday Internet users have over excessive Internet regulation.

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University of Pennsylvania Professor Christopher Yoo argues against over-regulation by pointing out how Europe, which unlike the US has adopted a utility-style regulatory approach, has fallen behind the US in broadband speed, access and investment.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-internet-regulation-20140711,0,7605783.story

In PC Mag, John Dvorak expresses his confusion with the hysteria over a need for regulation. He asks if ISPs are so evil, so motivated to make a mess of an open Internet, then why haven’t they done it?

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2458307,00.asp

In the Wall Street Journal Holman Jenkins, in a semi-satirical rant, writes how amorphous the term “net neutrality” has become. In doing so, he wisely points out how differentiating services doesn’t inevitably lead to data discrimination.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303908804579565843855319338

Most recently (and perhaps most cogently) Larry Downes explains how many have distorted the FCC’s position on net neutrality and an open Internet. He details how Title II is not the panacea to Internet ills that advocates think it’s going to be.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrydownes/2014/07/17/the-biggest-net-neutrality-lie-of-all/4/

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The fact is, we all want to protect the Internet, preserve it, and keep it open. And we all want it to keep growing faster, more accessible, and more powerful. In other words, we all want the same things. But the best way to get there is without restrictive laws like reclassifying broadband as a Title II common carrier service.