The United States Court of Appeals in Washington DC has ruled in favor of Verizon in a case regarding the authority of the FCC to regulate Internet service providers. The decision leaves consumers at the mercy of an industry that has shown little concern for what customers want or need.
I received an emailed statement from Mercatus Center research fellow Brent Skorup. His reaction is that the court made the right decision, and that Net Neutrality regulations are a threat that undermines innovation. He asserts, “Competition law, not burdensome net neutrality obligations, should be used to preserve a dynamic Internet for consumers.”
I disagree. We’ve already seen how the broadband industry behaves in the absence of any oversight or regulation. We’ve already experienced the lethargic pace of innovation that results when the market is left alone.
The idea that a competitive market will police itself, or that a lack of regulation will somehow spur investment and innovation defies reality. The fact is that the effort by the FCC to impose a framework of Net Neutrality rules on the broadband industry was a response to irresponsible and anti-consumer behavior on the part of the industry. Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon are already guilty of demonstrating exactly why they require regulation by the FCC.
Innovation? The broadband providers should be embarrassed. The United States is 30th in average broadband speed globally. We’re behind Macau, Latvia, Moldova, Estonia, and virtually every industrialized nation in the world. The United States broadband industry doesn’t innovate. It gets dragged, kicking and screaming, into implementing new technologies and actually investing in its infrastructure…
Read the whole article on Forbes: Court Rejects FCC Net Neutrality And Leaves Consumers With No Defense Against Greedy Broadband Providers.