A Washington Times editorial slams FCC chairman Julius Genachowski’s plan to introduce and vote on net neutrality rules, instead preferring market solutions to deal with the problems of network congestion, prioritizing content, and more. The editorial is a bit odd considering all the concessions the FCC has given cable operators already.
The main thrust of the article is that the FCC is trying to expand its regulatory power into a sector that congress has had a hands-off policy on for over a decade. Sample:
"It’s not clear why the FCC thinks it needs to intervene in a situation with obvious market solutions. Companies that impose draconian tolls or block services will lose customers. Existing laws already offer a number of protections against anti-competitive behavior, but it’s not clear under what law Mr. Genachowski thinks he can stick his nose into the businesses that comprise the Internet. The FCC regulates broadcast television and radio because the government granted each station exclusive access to a slice of the airwaves. Likewise when Ma Bell accepted a monopoly deal from Uncle Sam, it came with regulatory strings attached.
No such rationale applies online, especially because bipartisan majorities in Congress have insisted on maintaining a hands-off policy. A federal appeals court confirmed this in April by striking down the FCC’s last attempt in this arena. "That was sort of like the quarterback being sacked for a 20-yard loss," FCC Commissioner Robert M. McDowell told The Washington Times. "And now the team is about to run the exact same play. … In order for the FCC to do this, it needs for Congress to give it explicit statutory authority to do so."
Read the whole thing here.
[Commentary: I’m trying to figure out who supports this new proposal beyond cable operators and wireless companies..]