McCain's bill would stifle innovation
When the FCC was in Republican hands, McCain and friends had no need to push a legislative agenda. Now that Genachowski and other Obama appointees are in the majority, the carriers' buddies have to do something.
That something was the Internet Freedom Act McCain sponsored in the fall. The bill says the FCC "shall not propose, promulgate, or issue any regulations regarding the Internet or IP-enabled services."
Aside from the utterly misleading title of the bill, there's a rather large irony here. Conservatives generally believe, or at least claim to believe, that the market works best when competition is allowed to flourish. And they argue that government regulation will stifle innovation.
But the McCain bill would do exactly the opposite. It would give the largest players -- the biggest service providers -- an even greater advantage over new and potentially more innovative competitors. After all, if a startup faces especially high tariffs because its application is seen as competitive with that of a carrier or its partner, it's likely to fail. That sounds like the robber-baron era of the late 1800s and early 1900s to me.
By contrast, the FCC's new rules would keep the Internet open for consumers, businesses, and innovators. AT&T, Verizon, and the politicians carrying their water want to lock it up, in the name of freedom. It's not hard to see who's on the right side of this one.
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