Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Net Neutrality - Court Finds Against FCC

Court finds against FCC

There are places (ie, market failures such as monopolies) that do need some regulation (ie, anti-trust laws). The government should keep a small footprint, but laissez faire isn't always a principle best pursued to purity.

[T]he ruling [is] that Comcast can 'disfavor' - ie, reduce to dialup speeds even for a person PAYING for broadband - unfavored sites. Small-timers like vanns.com, monoprice.com, or even small blogs will have to pony up and pay to be connected on an equal footing with guys like Amazon and eBay. If you were half the economist/free-market idealogue you make yourself out to be, you'd appreciate what removing barriers to entry does to help promote competition, innovation, and the lowering of prices in a marketplace.

Mississippi Guesser:
Government allows Comcast to have a monopoly on cable service. This is not a market failure.

I really don't think this case is that important. In a few years we won't be using cable anymore. It's only a matter of time before we can just plug up our iphone to our tv and have internet tv. I'm pretty sure this is illegal right now, but I don't know why.

Municipalities and counties grant franchises (state-sanctioned monopolies). Theory is, if it weren't for the monopolistic rates, the carriers wouldn't provide service to the areas. Plus, it lines the pockets of the local municipality with franchise fees. Honestly, I'm not a fan of the practice, but that's different from the FCC regulating net neutrality.

As it stands, video-streaming is the service with the target on its back. It hogs bandwidth and it poaches profits from many of the fiber-optic carriers.

Like I said earlier, I'm more of a pragmatic libertarian. I'd rather avoid regulation where possible. Here... the internet is increasingly the backbone of our commercial markets, and is utilized by everyone from sports-bloggers to scientists at the CERN laboratory. We can't allow monopolistic - or, rather, oligopolistic - pricing mechanisms inhibit our growth and development as a nation and a people. Net neutrality is the only answer.

Mississippi Guesser:
If a company came along and offered access to internet free from the restriction of streaming media sites etc., and existing companies reduced access to these streaming sites, I think the existing telecommunication/cable companies would be out of business.

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