Congress can Un-stuck & Restore America’s Net Policy Continuum
They say the road to heaven is paved with good intentions.
This idiom can also apply to rules, policies and procedures that some governments create to protect their citizens that have unintended consequences.
So could be said of the recent efforts by those wanting to preserve the free and open internet by supporting efforts of the FCC
to pass strict rules controlling the Internet in order to save it from future anticipated problems. Even as the new Net Neutrality rules, recently adopted, were going into effect, court challenges were being drafted and filed. Some litigants have asked judicial bodies to review the legality of the new FCC regulations and others have filed requests to stop their enforcement until the conclusion of the guaranteed-to-be- lengthy litigation process.
All of this was
an anticipated outcome that most following these issues foresaw.
While the legal wrangling ensue, investment dollars and the valuable next killer web-based service or app risk being stalled. Recent reports indicate that
Venture Capitalists are already avoiding startups that require high performance broadband speeds because of the anticipated additional costs of the Network Neutrality regulations.
But there is an alternative.
recently Internet Innovation Alliance released a paper and infographic called “ Permanently Securing Net Neutrality” which summarize the US policy towards Internet regulation. In sum, it shows the history of how the American government has always taken a hands off approach.
This “light touch” treatment for close to 50 years of regulation is responsible for the robust digital marketplace we all enjoy now. It is why people, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, can start, build and grow thriving revenue-generating businesses from scratch after starting with just a few hundred dollars. Many “
Team Internet” entrepreneurs including bloggers, YouTubers, Etsy shop owners, website owners, and start up founders whose offerings rely on the internet owe their success or opportunity for success to this traditional policy perspective that was by nature, also nurturing.
It has encouraged unencumbered innovation and creativity.
It can continue, but not if the regulatory agency tasked with overseeing the net is tied up in endless and cyclical litigation.
The solution the IIA paper suggests is for the Dems and Repubs on the Hill to work together on
passing a bi-partisan Congressional bill that would settle the matter. As IIA co-chair Jamal Simmons recently suggested in a CNBC opinion piece, a newly-crafted law would remove the politics from an important issue that shouldn’t be weighted by partisanship.
A new law would appease all the concerns Net Neutrality advocates have about throttling, inequity and discrimination, while taking into consideration the dynamic and rapidly changing Internet ecosystem we have now, in a way the old Title II regulations do not and cannot.
For sure, a new law is the only way we can ensure a workable outcome that is strengthened by finality. It would surmount the legal infirmities of the FCC’s net neutrality rules which will subject it to litigation battles for years to come.
It’s time for a new Net Law Now.
originally published in Medium
View story at Medium.com