Innovation Asset Blog

FCC's looming decision on proposed 'net neutrality' regulations sparks heated debate

In a debate that has provoked the ire of many participants, the Federal Communications Commission may adopt a series of "network neutrality" regulations proposed by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

The regulations will allows ISPs to delegate bandwidth and access among jurisdictions cited as being used for illegal P2P activity.

Proponents of net neutrality argue that such regulations are needed to protect consumers' interests and prevent providers such as Comcast and Verizon from suppressing normal traffic.

"Even a cursory read of the rules shows that they are trying to set a level playing field ensuring that those who control the last mile cannot arbitrarily limit or restrict access to Internet services," writes Mike Fratto in Network Computing. "Open access does not stifle innovation. Open access to Internet services is the catalyst to innovation."

Opponents, however argue that such laws will lead to higher costs for users accessing data-intensive content, while stifling innovation and IP through unnecessary regulations and hindering the "freedom" of the internet.

"We will witness jaw-dropping interventionist chutzpah as the FCC bypasses branches of our government in the dogged pursuit of needless and harmful regulation," FCC commissioner Rober McDowell wrote in the Wall Street Journal. "The internet has been open and freedom-enhancing since it was spun off from a government research project in the early 1990s. Its nature as a diffuse and dynamic global network of networks defies top-down authority."

Peter Ackerman

Peter Ackerman

Founder & CEO, Innovation Asset Group, Inc.