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FTC Cool To Net Neutrality

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The Federal Trade Commission issued its ‘Broadband Connectivity Competition Policy’ report and suggested caution on enacting net neutrality regulations.

FTC Cool To Net Neutrality
FTC Cool To Net Neutrality

The FTC’s Internet Access Task Force thinks all is well in the world of broadband connectivity in the United States.

"This report recommends that policy makers proceed with caution in the evolving, dynamic industry of broadband Internet access, which generally is moving toward more – not less – competition," Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras said in a statement.

As to the issues of "data prioritization, exclusive deals, and vertical integration into online content and applications," Majoras said these could benefit consumers. "We do not know what the net effects of potential conduct by broadband providers will be on all consumers, including, among other things, the prices that consumers may pay for Internet access," she said.

A concurring statement by Commissioner Jon Leibowitz took issue with the idea that legislation to protect consumers may not be needed:

There is a real reason to fear that, without additional protections, some broadband companies may have strong financial incentives to restrict access to content and applications.

One way this might happen is by now well understood by almost everyone – a broadband provider with monopoly power in a local market might use that power to block or degrade some applications or content that compete with applications or content the broadband company itself provides.

Leibowitz also cited how a broadband market without net neutrality could become an economic two-sided market that benefits only the broadband providers:

Once a consumer chooses a broadband provider, then that provider has monopoly power over access to that consumer for any application or content provider that wants to reach that customer. If a large national broadband provider were to begin charging Internet application and content providers to reach its customers, it would have monopoly power over access to potentially millions of customers nationwide.

This problem, which the Report identifies as a

FTC Cool To Net Neutrality
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  • Kevin West

    It’s obvious Dick Cheney’s got his hand in the FTC’s pocket too. The Washington Post’s reports this week detail how this Administration’s primary concern is to ensure big business interests trump everything else the government used to represent. The word “federal” in Trade Commission says it all. I’m sure those appointed to oversee the FTC are the same caliber of people who were appointed to protect the Gulf Coast from Hurricane Katrina.
    No doubt the FTC and their bosses (certainly not the US taxpayer) are having a nice laugh over this “quaint” old-fashioned notion that the internet should have some kind of equality to it. You’ve seen how much they care about that other “quaint” notion of Constitutional protections called habeas corpus.

  • http://www.graphicgourd.com Peter Losh

    Naturally, the government would recommend exercising caution on the matter net neutrality.

    Real net neutrality is no more appealing to the government than the prospect of truly democratic elections.

    Why make it easy for people to express what they really think and communicate with people of like mind? Collectively, they might discover the TRUTH.

    In this case, our poor bums in Washington would be forced out of office — reduced to subsisting on fat pensions and old bribes.

  • http://www.myfreepr.com Troy Mosley

    Of course the FTC wants to wait and see. Broadband companies are essentially getting what they want, to start turning the valves off to websites that may potentially use more bandwidth than others. It will get to a point where we will pay per kp per second downloads.

  • http://.uscities.net Merlin Gagle

    I have had websites on the Internet since 1995. Still have over 30. Some grew to a large number of hits back in 1996-1998. If the net were not neutral, ie. a level playing field, I could not have done that well.

    A level, fair playing field is the only way the Internet, as we know it and love it, can survive. If only the giants of the telcom industry control it…it will become a manopoly of the rich….yes…and famous.

    Merlin Gagle, CEO, Gagle Communications, Crystal River, Florida

    PS: originally from Middlesboro, KY. Proud you are from Lexington!

    • David A. Utter

      Always nice to find a Kentuckian reading our stuff. Thanks for commenting!

  • Ryan Kempf

    I think we need to take a serous look at this and I think we to keep internet billing the way it is and NOT charge per site if that happens I feel E-Commerce will become a THING OF THE PAST I have a feeling if Net Neutrality is not put in place it will be the day the INTERNET DIES and we wont have to worry about broadband because NO ONE WILL BE ON THE INTERNET BECAUSE OF THE PAY PER SITE ADVERTISERS WILL LOOSE BUSSINESS AND WHEN THAT HAPPENS ADVERTISERS WILL LOOSE BUSSINESS and the INTERNET WOULD DIE!!!!!