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Must read Op Ed by FCC Commissioner McDowell:-- "Who Should Solve this Internet Crisis?"

Peta-kudos to FCC Commisioner Robert McDowell for his spot-on Op Ed in the Washington Post warning against potential Internet micromanagement by the FCC in: "Who should solve this Internet crisis?"

Commissioner McDowell's sage analysis gets right to the crux of the net neutrality debate: the Internet's genius is that free people in a free market process of voluntary collaboration are best positioned to solve the Internet's ever-changing operational and engineering problems and challenges -- NOT the FCC  with bureaucratic engineering, "Mother-may-I" regulation, and over-reaching governmental coercion.  

Commissioner McDowell understands the policy choice: support a path of Internet collaboration or net regulation.

  • Departing from the extremely successful, bipartisan, free-market Internet approach enshrined in law since 1996, threatens to encourage a new regulatory activist approach around the world that could "balkanize" the Internet and ultimately undermine its free, open and universal essence.   

Commissioner McDowell is right to warn that the Internet "would certainly die of clogged arteries if network owners had to seek government permission before serving their customers by managing surges of information flow."

  • I explained in detail in a previous post the many perils of setting a horrible precedent where network managers were deemed "guilty until proven innocent" if they reasonably managed their network without advance permission from the FCC.
  • It makes no sense to require network operators to seek the equivalent of "Mother may I? permission from the FCC everytime they need to act, innovate or experiment in real time order to continue to offer the best quality of service in a dynamic and ever-changing Internet environment.
  • Is it reasonable for the FCC to try to be the network manager in chief?

Bottom line: Internet collaboration is the solution, net regulation is the problem.