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NN relevance of "Police foil al-Qaida net attack"

I wanted to connect the dots for folks of the national security relevance and implications of a net neutrality policy.

So what's the national security connection to NN?

  • NN is bascially a call for common-carrier-like regulation of broadband providers so that the Internet's transport layer operates more like a uniform utility.
    • The problem with utility-like net regulation is that it discourages investment in competitive alternative broadband facilities and undermines facilities based competition.
    • Facilities-based competition is what makes our Internet infrastructure much more redundant and thus much harder for a terrorist to severely disrupt.
  • I recently made this network redundancy point in my March 1 commentary in the Washington Times "America's Unique Internet Success."
    • "We lead the world in deployment and investment incompetitive broadband facilities. America's pro-competition broadband policy has established more facilities-based competition than any other country."
  • In a hostile world where terrorists threaten to disrupt our economy and way of life, redundant broadband networks are hugely important to our national security and to the resilience of our economy and Nation in being able to bounce back quickly from any future attack.

At the core of net neutrality is a goal and desire to force conformity on broadband providers and by outlawing competitive differentiation, indirectly mandating  network uniformity under the guise of equal access.

  • In an insuecure world where there are terrorist plots like the ones reported by Agence France Presse, we don't want our networks to all be the same so that harming one can harm the broader network.
  • I believe the strong broadband network redundancy we have already developed in the US could even act as a relative deterrent to that type of attack in the US.
    • That's becuase an attack on US broadband infrastruture has less of a chance of being as disruptive as it could be in other countries that have chosen a more regulatory policy of promoting resale of the incumbent monopoly facility which in turn has discouraged investment in alternative and redundant broadband networks.

The bottom line: Pro-competition US broadband policies not only produce better consumer choice and welfare, they have the added important benefit of encouraging broadband network redundacy which is important to deterring and/or coping with a terrorist attack on our nation's Internet infrastructure.