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FCC's non-technology-neutral proposals perversely promote discrimination -- per Phoenix Center report

George Ford of the Phoenix Center has penned another incisive analysis about the real world impact of net neutrality and the FCC's Proposed Open Internet regulations.

  • "Sabotaging Content Competition: Do Proposed Net Neutrality Regulations Promote Exclusion?" is an important read for anyone seeking a substantitve understanding of the impact of the FCC's proposed rules.
    • George Ford and Michael Stern's core conclusion: "...the proposed net neutrality rules of both the FCC and Congress... can actually promote such exclusionary behavior. That is, the incentive to monopolize is greater under net neutrality."

    The Phoenix Center's profound insight here got me thinking, (which is always my highest compliment) so let me share my takeaways building on their conclusion; takeaways that show why net neutrality is such an intellectually and economically bankrupt concept.

    • First, not only is net neutrality "a solution in search of a problem," but the FCC's proposed "solution" would make the net neutrality "problem" they allege worse than the status quo!

      • That's because when one "fixes" a potential problem prophylactically, one naturally creates unintended consequences and distortions -- i.e. new problems.
    • Second, why the perverse outcome that the Phoenix Center spotlights will occur is that net neutrality is a slogan-driven policy completely propelled by the politically pejorative meaning of the word "discrimination" -- a classic wedge and negative campaigning political tactic -- not by principle, the truth, evidence of a real problem, or fair representation.
      • The old adage here is true: garbage in garbage out.
    • Third, If a non-discrimination rule is purposefully applied discriminatorily in a non-technology-neutral way, it is inherently a pro-discrimination rule.

      • The disinterest by this FCC in applying net neutrality principles technology-neutrally, like the current unanimous FCC broadband policy statement does, exposes the real purpose of net neutrality proponents.
      • The issue is a stalking horse for asserting public utility-like control over the broadband private sector, via Title II re-classification and price regulation of competitive broadband providers.

    In sum, the bankrupt intellectual and economic foundation underlying proposed net neutrality/Open Internet regulations, means their political application by the FCC will naturally trigger a cascade of unintended, counter-productive, and destructive consequences and new problems that are dramatically worse than the status quo ante.