Archive

ShareThis Page
‘Net neutrality’: Killing innovation | TribLIVE.com
Editorials

‘Net neutrality’: Killing innovation

Tribune-Review
| Wednesday, November 12, 2014 9:00 p.m

If you liked “Ma Bell,” you’ll love President Obama’s proposal to make the Internet an innovation-stifling, competition-averse, self-serving public utility.

Mr. Obama wants the FCC to treat Internet service like water and electricity service under the Communications Act of 1934 to enforce “net neutrality,” prohibiting Internet service providers from slowing content and charging content providers for online “fast lanes.” But “public utilities don’t serve the public; they serve themselves,” notes Andy Kessler, who worked for AT&T in the early 1980s when its Ma Bell utility days were numbered, writing in The Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Kessler says Ma Bell delayed rolling out both touch-tone dialing and the transistors its own Bell Labs invented in 1947; it developed cellular calling in 1946 but “let the innovation wither.” He sees competition as bringing true network neutrality, noting how long-distance rates fell once AT&T had MCI and Sprint as rivals, Skype forced cheaper international calls and today’s AT&T offered gigabit Internet service in Austin, Texas, “as soon as Google Fiber showed up.” Kessler also notes how utility regulation lags behind technology.

“‘Net Neutrality’ is ObamaCare for the Internet; the Internet should not operate at the speed of government,” says Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. The Internet must remain a freewheeling, innovative economic driver — not become an FCC-hobbled 21st-century Ma Bell.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.