Net neutrality sucked the oxygen out of Internet policy for a decade, turning every discussion of Internet policy into a debate over the best way to ensure the Internet remained true to this newly discovered foundational principle of the Internet. But these promises were hollow because net neutrality only applied to one part of the Internet, data transmission between consumers, Internet-based businesses, and Internet Service Providers.
Net neutrality is an odd issues because it correctly identifies some problems that do take place on the Internet – blocking, throttling, and leveraging platform dominance – while attributing them to the wrong parties. I
None of the proposals for ISP regulation or platform regulation currently in the mix are very good. If the Internet is good for anything, it’s a great disruptor. Is is too much to ask it to disrupt its own policy frameworks toward the goal of producing more of the good and less of the bad?
US broadband is nothing to sneer at, as all of us who have taken the time to study it in depth are happy to say. Alternative fact reports targeted at naive journalists have the potential to do serious harm, so I would encourage anyone who finds OTI’s United States of Broadband remotely credible to dig a little deeper before firing off clickbait headlines. You might be a victim of fake news.
In this podcast, Furchgott-Roth discusses the book, his roles in Congress and at the FCC, the current controversy over 5G mmWave interference, and the role of the World Radio Conference in setting standards for spectrum use around the world.
It’s reasonably clear that Internet regulation is now blowing up in our faces: Congressional Democrats are intent on raising the 2015 OIO from the dead, but for reasons that appear to be totally political. Meanwhile, data brokers make hay with our browsing histories and nobody but the Europeans seems to care.
The only reason for Congress to turn the clock back to 2015 is to enjoy the comfort of a well-worn path. This is cowardly and counter-productive; the rank and file should say “no” and demand a more serious approach to Internet regulation from their party leadership.
Satellite-based systems are also vertical on nature, while 5G is a horizontal, land-based system. So it appears that a political constituency has asked for an unnecessary delay in order to protect itself from the consequences of 5G.
Net neutrality was created at a time when the only large firms conducting Internet business were ISPs. It was sensible for lawmakers to focus on ISPs in 2003. But today’s Internet is dominated by non-ISP edge services that routinely abuse personal information. Internet law need to leap forward to the present day.