Thursday, January 13, 2011

So, we are told that Net Neutrality is a necessary regulatory step in order to prevent ISPs from offering prioritized service. The initial rules came down from the FCC last month, and it explicitly enshrines this exact behavior:
"Managed services" delivered over a last-mile broadband pipe will be allowed, as we expected, though the FCC does say it will monitor them for anti-competitive behavior.

Understandably, even Net Neutrality supporters are angry at the ruling. However, this is a classic example of "regulatory capture", the process where regulations meant to reign in an industry instead serve to entrench and benefit established players.

Regulatory capture is an issue that transcends the traditional left / right spectrum. It is an issue that the left needs to address if it expects any of the regulations that it proposes to actually improve the state of affairs. As importantly, it is part of the reason why much of the Republican establishment is seen in the pockets of big business, and frequently does not live up to its liberal market ideology.

The form of the recent Net Neutrality ruling should come as no surprise, and needs to be remembered whenever advocating for government policies.
Copyright © Swing Right Rudie
A notebook to myself