We are barely 2-years under the new rules. Have we seen any change in what is happening with the Internet? So, far the only objective visible change is the drop in investment. There are complaints that the regulatory environment under the new rules is stifling innovation. But, that is a hard one to prove. How does one compare all the things people were starting to develop (not needing permits thus no records) versus the applications and permissions required now? Historically, people accept that regulation and permitting slows investment and innovation. So… it probably does.
This new proposal is supposed to return us to the Clinton era ‘light touch’ policy that saw the Internet blossom.
As we read the document we find that ISP’s would have to reveal to consumers, entrepreneurs, and government their practices. Something utilities do NOT have to do. So, Californian’s do not get a notice that the defective and unusable nuclear reactor generators delivered by G.E. still must be paid for by consumers. (Look it up.)
As we read on we find that there is a distinction between telecommunications services (phone, etc.) and information services (Internet). And there is also a class for Enhanced Information Services, which I have yet to dig into the actual legal definition. The idea is government will keep their hands-off info services and only deal with consumer protection issues like deceptive advertising and contracts, which we have plenty of now under the 1934 rules.
Reading, there is lots to wade through. But, in general, the new rules free ISP’s to innovate and remove regulation. A good thing. The media, however, is promoting the freedom as allowing big ISP’s to dominate and charge more. But, how do we know this is so? History gives the answer as to how these issues resolve. Unregulated more competitors enter the marketplace and price drops and service improves. Read the history of AT&T and the Baby Bells to current day mobile providers.
Not all regulation leaves. There are anti-trust laws and fraud laws that apply to all business. Some of those laws are enhanced by the new proposal in regard to those providing ‘information services’.
Lot’s of history is provided showing when and why things that worked well are being adopted (re-adopted…) as the new rules. Wow, did someone actually learn from history?
More pages… links below