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Sens. Hatch and DeMint's Opposition To Net Neutrality Raises Eyebrows

Saturday, October 31, 2009

By Walid Zafar
Media Matters

In a column in the October 30th edition of the Wall Street Journal, Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Jim DeMint (R-SC) attacked network neutrality, calling it a barrier to investment. Criticizing FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's plan to move forward on the issue, the Republican Senators argued against what they see as government intrusion into "one of the only aspects of our economy and national life free from government regulation."
If the Internet were invented by a politician or worse, managed by bureaucrats, cell phones would still look like bricks and the information superhighway would still be a dirt road. If there is any sector of our economy where competition is so fierce and where the pace of innovation is so rapid that government interference would only get in the way, it is the Internet and telecommunications market.


Net neutrality may sound like fairness but it is actually the opposite. Bandwidth is finite-like the finite number of lanes on a highway-and network providers must innovate in order to accommodate the burgeoning traffic. As they invest billions of private dollars in new and improved networks, they should rightly expect to set prices and manage those networks as they see fit.
Network neutrality is largely being misrepresented by Republicans as a government takeover of the Internet.  In fact, net neutrality would restrict carriers from controlling content.  Though the Senators allude to a highway to make their point, a more proper analogy is one made by flyte's Rich Brooks....(Remainder.)



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