Net neutrality: Deregulation for the hell of it is stupid

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, February 7, 2006, 3:57 PM | comments: 0

The talk about forcing Internet neutrality is heating up again. Some law makers want to legislate neutrality, while others want to "let the marketplace decide." Yeah, that's a bad idea.

Commercial radio was always heavily regulated because spectrum is a finite resource. You can't just open a radio station because you want to, as there are a limited number of frequencies. But Congress, in their deregulation craze, lifted ownership restrictions anyway. Now, instead of diversity in the marketplace of ideas, two radio companies control virtually everything, and radio sucks.

Now we're heading down the same road with the Internet. Newsflash: the Net is a finite resource as well because so few companies own the major backbones. If they start giving preferential treatment to various content providers, or force their own, we have radio all over again. We obviously can't have that, because the Internet is far more precious.


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