Net Neutrality Too Difficult For Government

I’m a pretty avowed neutralist on net neutrality.  By this, I don’t mean that I support net neutrality, but rather that I am neutral on the issue.  I don’t like the idea of government setting up regulations telling people how they are allowed to set up or distribute content.  Furthermore, the internet has worked pretty well so far, so the idea that something absolutely has to be done or we’re all doomed seems like a bit of drama (or, in reality, one set of big corporations looking to seize upon rents).  Even better, many of the same people have been forecasting the doom of the internet since the late ’90s if the government didn’t take it over…err, enforce net neutrality.

And for those who support the idea of net neutrality, the next question is whether they support the next Ted Stevens (and yeah, I’m aware of the irony here…) deciding what “reasonable network management” entails.  Once the government gets involved in regulating, it’s much more likely that you’ll see the Internet run along public utility lines than as a dynamic system.  But hey, who am I kidding—we’re only going to have wise, benevolent dictators deciding what is best for everybody…

Incidentally, the person closest to my actual position on this is probably Eric S. Raymond, who has a series of excellent posts on the real problem and what should actually be done.  De-regulate the radio spectrum and the “last mile.”  That way, it will open up more competition for broadband access and provide a much better solution to the problem than having the government regulate even more to make up for the failures of their previous regulation, and then subsequent regulate even more to make up for the failures of this regulation.


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