Heartland Institute: Genachowski Punts on Network Neutrality

Published December 1, 2010

CHICAGO December 1, 2010 – Bruce Edward Walker, managing editor of The Heartland Institute’s InfoTech & Telecom News, offered the following comments on FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s December 1 announcement on network neutrality.

You may quote from Walker’s statement below or contact him for further comment by email at [email protected] or by telephone at 989/430-5557.

“It has been said before but bears repeating: Network neutrality is yet another government regulatory solution in search of a problem.

“Internet service providers have performed admirably by self-managing their networks without intrusive government meddling. Public polls indicate the majority of U.S. citizens are quite happy with the broadband service they receive. Yet, under the guise of protecting ‘Internet freedom and openness,’ the Federal Communications Commission is proceeding with a widely unpopular and ultimately unnecessary agenda with the potential for a devastating impact on technical innovation and job creation.

“True, Chairman Genachowski has backed away from his previous proposal to reclassify the Internet as a Title II communications entity and has stated his commitment to allow ISPs ‘reasonable network management’ capabilities. He has compromised further by allowing ISPs to implement tiered pricing.

“Still, however watered-down this net neutrality proposal may be, it introduces the camel’s regulatory nose under the tent of one of the world’s heretofore most successful industries.

“Additionally, as noted by FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker, the FCC simply doesn’t possess the authority to act on this maneuver, timed for December 21 when most lawmakers and bureaucrats will have deserted Washington.

“In short, Genachowski’s new and improved version of net neutrality is a punt, but one it is hoped Congress will effectively block.”