TechDirt is right in theory on Net Neutrality

I read TechDirt religiously. I love how they have no patience for spin and bs, and argue with reason, snark, and relentlessness against shortsighted business practices. On Net Neutrality, though, I think they’re being naive.
They’re right in theory. Of course the main issue isn’t net neutrality, it’s excessive market concentration and lack of competition. In recent years, the US government has gone back on the policy to break up Ma Bell, has removed obligations to wholesale their networks, and approved merger after merger. The unsurprising result — the neomonopolist AT&T is bragging that it’s about to exert its power by using its monopoly on the wire to control the market for content and services.
Sure, the right policy is to break up the monopoly again, one way or another. Legally split network from services. Encourage government-supported fiber, wholesaled to allow free-market competition for connectivity and content. But those things aren’t going to happen with today’s Republicans (no Teddy Roosevelts these days), and it would take a pretty serious populist revolution to pry the Democrats back from incumbent industry tool.
Sure, Net Neutrality is second best, but if that’s what we can get while building back policies that favor competition and oppose monopoly, we should take it. Hopefully the TechDirt guys aren’t dissuating techies from calling and writing their Senators to support Net Neutrality, If we don’t get this partial victory now, there will be a smaller and less powerful community to fight for the real win later.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.