Net Neutrality – A Poster Child for Change’s Change? (Or, Thanatos with Recent FCC Rumors?)

by Mike Wendy on November 22, 2010

Check out an op/ed I penned (“Net Neutrality – a poster child for change?”), published in today’s Washington Examiner.  In it, I surmise that after this month’s stunning midterm elections, those results have brought about a new pro-business attitude within the Administration.  Perhaps the best example of this about face can be seen in the FCC’s diminishing focus on Net Neutrality regulation towards a greater push for jobs and investment instead.

The piece was written late last week before all the FCC December agenda madness.  That said, with rumors circulating that the FCC still plans to go ahead with Net Neutrality regulations before the new Congress comes on board – well, such an action seems hard to reconcile in light of the Administration’s and the FCC’s newfound faith in markets to create jobs and prosperity.  Moreover, to impose such job-killing regulations when so much opposition persists – on both sides of the aisle, no less – would be an exercise in political Thanatos.

I am hopeful – and certainly urge – the Commission to avoid unilaterally imposing Net Neutrality regulations.  As it is now, the preservation of the open Internet can be maintained through the advance of technology, consumer education tools, industry best practices, marketplace guidance and minimal consumer backstops.  Anything more should be clearly decided by Congress, not a rogue agency egged-on by special interests.

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