Yeah, it’s great how the free market and competition has a good chance of sorting out any problems we have with net neutrality and Internet access. Or, at least, that’s what the Federal Trade Commission says.
This report recommends that policy makers proceed with caution in the evolving, dynamic industry of broadband Internet access, which generally is moving toward more — not less — competition. In the absence of significant market failure or demonstrated consumer harm, policy makers should be particularly hesitant to enact new regulation in this area.
Heck, we could even benefit from this competitive marketplace!
As the report notes, certain conduct and business arrangements that broadband providers may pursue, including data prioritization, exclusive deals, and vertical integration into online content and applications, can benefit consumers.
I know I certainly benefit from the competition between getting my broadband access from the one cable provider permitted to run cable to my house, whichever DSL provider is willing to work with the only telephone provider permitted to serve my address, and two…count them…TWO satellite providers that, uh, use the same DSL or satellite Internet services.
It sure is great living in this free market made up of tiny monopoly contracts all across the country. I can’t see any problems occurring as soon as the providers are allowed to do whatever they want with network traffic. To get a different selection of providers, all we need to do is move, possibly to another state!
Seriously, we might be entering a time when there is slightly more competition in broadband — maybe wireless — but as long as we have exclusive infrastructures we need to keep them as open as possible. The promise of high-speed data transfer is the possibility of greater choice, not just faster delivery of what Time-Warner, Comcast, or AT&T want us to see. We got that back in the Eighties, one exclusive municipal cable contract after another.
Link courtesy of GigaOM.