Search This Blog

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Does the Internet Need to be Micromanaged by Government?

FCC "Net Regulation" Initiative Will Harm Broadband Innovation and Deployment
...small firms and investment will suffer

If Federal Communication (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski advances new Internet regulations, such an initiative will negatively impact private sector investment and economic recovery. The FCC is also working on a plan to reach full deployment of broadband in the U.S., but these new Internet regulations work against encouraging the large-scale private sector investment that is needed to achieve their "broadband for all" goal.

Small businesses will invariably suffer under this intrusive regulatory regime as an investment chill will leave many small firms without broadband -- that includes the breakthrough innovations that lead to improved efficiency, productivity and expanded market access.

"Entrepreneurs who use the Internet - and those who do not yet have access to broadband - as well small businesses that are helping to build and enhance the Internet will be the hardest hit by a regulatory climate that stifles investment," as I said in response to the FCC "net neutrality" announcement.

Genachowski announced new principles to govern the Internet, and said he would initiate a "public discussion" that is "fair, transparent, fact-based and data-drive" before implementing new rules. If the Chairman sticks by his statement regarding the type of proceedings and metrics the FCC plans to use, he should ultimately conclude that the Internet does not need the type of government intervention he proposes.

The fact that the telecommunications industry is so critical to U.S. economic competitiveness and health, should make regulators wary of interference. Yet, incredibly, we see policymakers developing proposals that only fuel the flames of uncertainty. This is an astonishing move that will have unintended consequences.

SBE Council believes that the FCC should stick with the congressionally-mandated priority to fully deploy broadband. This important effort is better aligned with economic conditions and will bring hurting Americans greater opportunity. Regulating the Internet remains a lousy idea in good economic times and bad.

Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO

No comments: