This Is The Net Neutrality Discussion You Were Looking For:
Readers of the Libertarian Republic have been writing to us requesting to have a discussion about net neutrality. Today's episode of the Freedom Report podcast examines the threat to the free market posed by further regulation, as well as examines possible solutions to the mess created by government.
Is it time to pass Net Neutrality? Take our poll below.
First we should ask ourselves what Net Neutrality is and isn't. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas was widely panned by social democrats for suggesting that it was just "Obamacare for the Internet," which is true and false in many ways. Net Neutrality would effectively regulate the Internet as a Title II utility, which would mandate that all packets of data be treated the same regardless of source, destination or content.
Under Title II regulation, Internet Service Providers could be required to submit to universal service requirements. Telephone companies are currently forced to wire up homes in such a way. ISPs could be required to bring their infrastructure up to a minimum standard, which is widely seen as a handout to rural customers where the profit margins for such a requirement could necessarily harm the ISP. No one feels bad when government forces big businesses to give something away for free though.
Also, under net neutrality, the FCC would be able to have the power to set prices, effectively killing all competitive forces that the market could theoretically provide. If that happens then ISPs will fight for the highest prices allowed by law. It would also detract from ISPs motivation to innovate, seeing as how they are guaranteed a certain set amount of profit.
What's the real solution to the problem that doesn't involve adding more regulations to an already regulated marketplace? Kill the duopoly of the ISPs. The Freedom Report podcast today takes a look at the special protectionist laws around the country which hamper competition by stopping upstarts like Google from introducing competition to the marketplace. Listen to the show, leave your thoughts and comments below and don't forget to take our poll to let us know what you think about Net Neutrality.