Don't Be Too Quick To Cheer On FCC On Its Net Neutrality Response
from the double-standards dept
Now, to be clear, the concept of network neutrality is definitely a good thing -- but having the FCC suddenly put itself in charge of regulating such things (even if it's regulating it in a reasonable manner) is really dangerous. Those who are celebrating this decision should be worried about what it means. Specifically, they're going to have little leg to stand on when the FCC next tries to mandate something outside of its authority (which is almost certainly going to happen in the near future).
That doesn't mean that the apocalyptic predictions from the industry will come true, however. Represented by a positively ridiculous and blatantly silly editorial in the Washington Post by FCC commissioner Robert McDowell, it's pure rubbish to suggest that this ruling by the FCC means the internet might "grind to a halt" is totally unsubstantiated sensationalism that has been shown time and time and time again to be false. There isn't a serious bandwidth crunch -- and whatever potential crunch may be coming could be dealt with by some modest improvements in infrastructure, not necessarily by breaking network neutrality, which is more of an attempt to double charge for bandwidth than anything else.
However, supporters of net neutrality may be making a big mistake in cheering on the FCC as it expands its authority in this area. The FCC has never been about protecting consumer rights, and granting them this authority (which the law appears not to do) opens the door to a lot more trouble down the road.