You are here

"Put up or shut up" time: FCC launches Notice of Inquiry on NN

The most relevant part of the FCC launching a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) into the net neutality issue was FCC Bureau Chief Tom Navin testifying that no one has formally complained about blocking and no one has formally petitioned the FCC on the matter. 

  • In other words, there is no there there.

The FCC is launching an NOI to cut through the hysteria and misdirection and finally get the facts on the record.

  • The NOI is basically the FCC saying its "put up or shut up" time.
  • Make your case or go away.

While I don't think this bogus and completely unsubstantiated issue is even worthy of an NOI, I can understand why the FCC would want to launch an NOI to ensure that no one can say the FCC is not taking this issue seriously.

What I will be amused to see come out of the NOI is the new definition that NN proponents come up with.

  • Their inability to define a problem is damning that there is no problem.
  • Their embarassing lack of consensus on a definition also proves that it is basically a fear-driven issue manufactured for political purposes and not a legitimate policy issue that can be discussed based on facts and merits in a normal policymaking forum.

I believe this NOI will ultimately flush out this bogus issue and show that there is no substance or merit to their hypothetical concerns.

I also believe that NN proponents will have an extremely hard time coming up with a principle that can be applied "neutrally" to all forms of Internet access technologies.

  • Google et al should be very worried that when the Government looks at this issue through a lens of regulatory parity, why should a search engine or a browser be considered any differently than a broadband facility?
    • Potential consumer harm could come from any type of player; just because a company is software based does not mean they can't act anti-competitively.
    • The potential problem alleged by net neutrality proponents could be perpetrated just as easily by the owner of a search engine or a browser as a broadband facility.
  • The real dilemma for NN proponents is:
    • On what legal basis could the FCC apply a rule that was not based on a fairly applied principle?