Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Wenzel on Net Neutrality

A student recently sent me a series of questions for a college paper. The questions are below with my responses:

I am currently writing a capstone paper on Title II and Net Neutrality and I was wondering if you could answer a few questions for me:
  1. The Internet has always been a place for innovation. In what ways do the new Net Neutrality laws fit in with that?

 Net neutrality is the idea that internet service providers should be forced by government to treat all data on the internet equally, that is, the government plays the role of enforcer by not allowing  ISPs to discriminate or charge differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, and modes of communication.
In this sense, net neutrality blocks any creativity in these sectors that would have developed if the government wasn't in the way.
  1. What are the pros and cons of the FCC’s ruling?

There are no pros to government (FCC) interference. From my position, the libertarian position,

 is pretty clear cut
, g
government should keep its hands off ISPs and allow them to operate any way they want. The ISPs, using their own equipment, are providing a service and should be allowed to use their equipment and provide their service in any fashion they choose without interference from the government
  1. What is your professional opinion on the Title II ruling?
Government shouldn't get in the way of free market activity. It suffocates creativity. There is no place for Title ii, or the FCC for that matter.
  1. Will these new provisions make for an open and even playing field for all? Why or why not?

There is no such thing as an "even playing field"
beyond equal application of law. People and companies have different talents, assets, bank accounts. In a free market there are only exchanges where both sides believe they will benefit.
  1. One of the issues in the FCC Net Neutrality controversy is whether or not ISP’s rights will be limited. What is your stance on this issue

Yes, they will be limited. Whenever government gets involved to regulate over free market activities it limits free exchange thus limiting the possibility of two actors to exchange in ways they both see as beneficial
  1. What does this ruling mean for internet-based businesses? What about the general ? 
It will benefit some at the expense of others.
For the overall public, it suggets a lower standard of living since it will prevent some free market exchanges from taking place.


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