Friday, February 13, 2015

Could Net Neutrality Regulation Hurt Innovation?

As the FCC ponders enacting tough new laws on equal access to the internet, many wonder if government interference and tight regulations will instead choke the technology and limit growth.  Many look at other utility companies and the effect regulation has had to stifle innovation.  There are arguments on both sides depending on who benefits from FCC involvement.  Still, one hates to see a free economy hampered when government controls the business decisions surrounding the internet's development and evolving growth.

Is the current internet broken that net neutrality laws are necessary to fix?  Or can competition from wire and wireless providers create a better industry to drive innovation and growth.  While the current industry may be deemed too much an oligopoly, the FCC might better spend its time enabling companies to invest in alternative infrastructures.  Google, for one, is slowly building alternative internet pipelines in certain markets.  Opening new spectrum for wireless internet is another opportunity to enhance market competition.  Push tax benefits for those companies that make investments that improve the accessibility and reliability of networks. 

Laws and regulations that restrict do little to drive growth in the marketplace.  Time and time again we have seen our public utilities challenged with a heavy government hand that slows decision making to a crawl and limits the ability to upgrade and support new technological improvement.  More should be done to propel our internet infrastructure to 21st century standards, but regulation does not seem to be the right move.