Another day, another twist in the ongoing net neutrality saga. Yesterday brought news that the FCC plans to redefine broadband transmission from an unregulated information service to a regulated telecommunications service under what's known as Title II. The FCC's move came several weeks after an appellate court ruled that the FCC did not have authority to sanction Comcast for blocking BitTorrent traffic.
No surprise, industry groups were quickly up in arms about the policy change, concerned about the uncertainty it brings (with legal challenges surely forthcoming), plus the implications for continued network investments. Like everything else in Washington, net neutrality is now gripped by a partisan divide. Republicans are against any new regulations and Democrats favor them.
As I've written before I continue to believe a policy of regulatory restraint, accompanied by vigilance, is best for now. The broadband ISP business is for the most part quite competitive and ISPs have huge incentives not to block certain traffic. For now I continue to think letting the market sort this out is the best approach.
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