Monday, August 21, 2006

State Legislators Against Net Neutrality

At its just concluded meeting in Music City, aka Nashville, the National Conference of State Legislatures sang the right tune on net neutrality. By a wide margin, NCSL's Executive Council adopted an anti-net neutrality mandate resolution formulated by NCSL's Communications, Technology & Interstate Commerce Committee.

The state legislators' resolution displayed a keen understanding of how the Internet is already changing society in many positive ways and contributing to the nation's economic growth, and how proposed net neutrality regulations put all this at risk. You should read the entire resolution, but the following excerpts capture much of the reasoning why net neutrality mandates should not be adopted:

"The exponential growth of the Internet has flourished as a result of both the government’s ‘hand’s off’ approach, ever increasing competition, as well as fierce consumer interest."

"Regulation of the Internet may interfere with future investment and innovations benefiting the health and well-being of its end user customers."

"Companies that invest in broadband and broadband-related applications should be afforded the flexibility to explore fair and competitive business models and pricing plans for their products and services."

"Mandated net neutrality regulations that go beyond the FCC’s broadband policy statement would impede future capital investments in the U.S.’ broadband infrastructure."

"The National Conference of State Legislatures calls upon the Congress of the United States of America to maintain today’s approach that allows the competitive marketplace to drive broadband and broadband-related applications development and deployment."

This is good free market-oriented advice from the state legislators. Congress should take it. Or the Nashville musicmakers will have cause for a sad but true new "somebody done somebody wrong song"....