Internet As A Public Utility?

Net Neutrality has been successfully advertised as a “Big Guys vs Little Guys” fight, but it is much more accurately a “Big Guys vs Other Big Guys” fight as the government shoves it’s clumsy foot into the difficult, nuanced, and ever changing pricing structure of internet bandwidth on behalf of some large market players (content providers like Netflix) and against other large market players (infrastructure providers like Verizon).

No one knows what “fair” is when it comes to the price of sending or delivering data. It is a constantly evolving point which takes into account the value to infrastructure providers of having content available for consumers, the value to content providers of having a platform over which to deliver content, the investment needs for maintaining and improving the platform systems, and a vast number of other factors.

The philosophy of “Net Neutrality” ignores all those difficult trade-offs that are best managed by flexible and free pricing, and envisions replacing it with price by govt fiat. That’s the same system that has given us our crappy, antiquated, centralized electrical grid, and now “Net Neutrality” wants to impose that on the internet, the greatest decentralizing, democratizing, wealth and knowledge engine we have seen in modern times.

If this philosophy continues to take hold, it means turning internet service providers into public utilities… Looking at other industries that have been turned into public utilities (with their chronic and sometimes dangerous underinvestment and innovative stagnation), who thinks this is a good idea??

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