Monday, March 2, 2015

Net neutrality = crony capitalism

Northwestern's Lynne Kiesling succinctly explains that the FCC's recent decision is a power grab, aided and abetted by Big Internet/Cable;
What’s being sold as keeping the Internet neutral for innovation at the edge of the network is substantively doing so by encasing the existing Internet structure and institutions in amber, which yields rents [i.e. excess profits] for its large incumbents. Some of those incumbents, like Comcast and Time-Warner, have achieved their current (and often resented by customers) market power not through rivalrous market competition, but through receiving municipal monopoly cable franchises. Yes, these restrictions raise their costs too, but as large incumbents they are better positioned to absorb those costs than smaller ISPs or other entrants would be. It’s naive to believe that regulations of this form will do much other than softening rivalry in the Internet itself.
A classic case of Public Choice Economics; the giant corporations use a government agency to entrench their position and their profits, while the public is led to believe that that action (regulation) is in their best interests. If it is, it will only be temporarily so. As the benefits that innovating entrepreneurs would have brought to the party, will be, at the very least, discouraged. Probably disappeared.

Thanks to your government, here to help you.

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