Friday, August 13, 2010

The economic impact of Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality "is a principle...that advocates no restrictions by Internet Service Providers and governments on content, sites, platforms, on the kinds of equipment that may be attached, and no restrictions on the modes of communication allowed"

Sounds good. Who could possibly be against this, right?

New York Law School's Advanced Communications Law & Policy Institute released a study on the effects of Net Neutrality:
The paper claims that wireless and wireline broadband could suffer huge investment losses as a consequence of the rules. A ten percent drop in investment could rob the United States of 502,000 jobs with a $62 billion impact on its Gross Domestic Product. Three times that decline could punish the economy with a loss of 604,000 jobs and $80 billion in GDP loss.
Is this really what we need at a time when so many people are unemployed? New claims for unemployment jumped to 484,000 last week!

You'd never guess that a bill entitled "Net Neutrality" is actually a bill to allow the government to further regulate and control the internet--and that is just the point. If it were called the "Greater Internet Regulation by Government Bill" not even Democrats would vote for it.


Kevin said...

I currently work in the technology industry and would like to start my own business using the web as the primary distribution channel, and I oppose Net Neutrality if the government has to be involved. Net Neutrality seems nice, everyone gets equal treatment on the network regardless of how much they pay... so my tiny business can get the same treatment as a multi-billion dollar company like Google, sounds good... except, that if you have to brign the government in to enforce this you give up real Internet freedom... you're saying that the Internet needs the government, that the US Government has a place in the Internet, you're saying the Internet needs the FCC... you're saying that if moral conservatism becomes a movement and elects a President that the Internet can be throttled based on content, that the government has a precedent to say it gets to decide what's important and what is not... b/c "neutral" to the government is not and actually understandable word... what the government understand is control, power, votes, and money.

Free markets are not neutral. They screw over some people and benefit others. The upside is they tend to reward the people who do what other people want; while government intervention rewards the powerful the elite, the connected. Net Neutrality sounds nice; but it's evil at its core b/c it requires that the government grow and become more powerful.

Kevin said...

I'm ranting... but freedom of speech is NOT neutral. It's free. If back in 1776 you had an idea that was pro-England then great, find a publisher... but you're not entitled to equal treatment in a privately owned printing press... Thomas Payne doesn't have to print your stuff.

Telling a private company how they should run their operations is, especially when it does not endanger the immediate physical health and wellbeing of any citizens, is the opposite of freedom.