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Feb 27

FCC “Net Neutrality” Takeover Will Turn Internet into a Government Licensing Scheme

tvdees

In the wake of yesterday’s powergrab of the internet by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), we should all refamiliarize ourselves with the way innovation in telecommunications was arrested by FCC control over telephone companies. For decades, the telephone industry has been under FCC regulation. And for much of the 20th Century, Bell Telephone enjoyed something of a government-licensed monopoly.

As Reason Magazine’s Nick Gillespie writes in an essay entitled, “3 Charts That Show The FCC is Full of Malarkey on Net Neutrality and Title II”:

[T]hink about how the delivery of the Internet has evolved, first from a university-based system to early commercial providers using phone lines, then to various types of fixed connections (such as DSL and coaxial cable and increasingly fiber and mobile services). Does anyone think that in 2035 we’ll be getting the Internet via a cable that pops up in your living room and also provides televison programs? What increased regulation almost always does is freeze into place existing structures and business models. Certainly that’s the case with telephony, where the heavily regulated Bell monopoly fought hard, and for a long time very successfully against all sorts of innovation, from alternative methods of long-distance delivery to accessories such as answering machines to letting people own (rather than rent) their phones. “Communism is a drag, man,” Lenny Bruce riffed. “It’s like one big telephone company.”