Earlier this month, a group of Democrats introduced a bill that would get rid of the so-called internet fast lanes associated with the net neutrality debate.
Today, some Republicans weighed in. What’s their idea? Leave net neutrality enforcement to antitrust agencies (Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department) that can take action against ISPs after they see evidence of anti-competitive behavior.
Cool, call them up right now. Netflix shouldn’t have to pay Comcast and Verizon for access to faster speeds. Plus, that’s the definition of anti-competitive behavior. Netflix gets access to faster speeds that aren’t available to other companies unless they pay.
Virginia Republican Representative Bob Goodlatte said antitrust enforcement would prevent ISPs discriminating against competitors’ web content. Then, he threw out the typical Republican talking points.
“In my experience, regulation generally stifles rather than facilitates competition and innovation,” Goodlatte, who is the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said. “In fact, it is my belief that the Internet has flourished precisely because it is a deregulated market.”
Democrats on the committee point out how slow the FTC and DOJ can be in reacting to antitrust violations.
Democratic Representative John Conyers said Congress “must allow the Federal Communications Commission to do its job.”
Another Democrat, Hank Johnson of Georgia, said the FCC and DOJ won’t be able to deal with the free speech and equality implications net neutrality brings to the table. An open internet goes “beyond economic concerns like growth and competition,” Johnson said. “Openness embraces our very core values as Americans, equality of opportunity.”
What’s this mean? Republicans are against any form of regulation. Unless it serves their interest. Basically, their motto is ‘agree to disagree’ when it comes to the other side of the aisle. As I mentioned above, some Democrats are pushing a bill to do away with internet fast lanes.
What can you do? Make your voice be heard. The FCC has opened up a comments section for people to voice their opinions. Head over here and tell them what you think of net neutrality (AKA, pay for faster speeds.)