Global CIO: 'Net Neutrality' A Ballot Bomb: Supporters Shellacked At Polls

In last week's elections, all 95 Congressional candidates who had promised to support 'net neutrality' initiatives were defeated. Are we getting the picture here?

Bob Evans, Contributor

November 9, 2010

3 Min Read

"In the name of neutrality, lobbyists want to stop Internet providers from managing their networks by charging more to providers or users of bandwidth-hogging services such as video and online games," he writes. "This amounts to a forced subsidy of certain users of the Web at the expense of others. As demands on the Web escalate, speed and reliability will inevitably depend on more management of the network, including through different prices for different levels of service."

While I urge you to read Crovitz's entire piece, let me offer one other excerpt from his analysis of unintended and ugly consequences that could follow if we as a society allow this phony 'neutrality' issue to fall into the hands of politicians and regulators instead of leaving it unregulated for entrepreneurs to exploit in a free society powered by a free economy.

"For example, Apple offers applications designed specifically for its iPad tablet. Amazon's Kindle has a special deal with Sprint that allows for lightning-fast downloads of books. The closed community of Facebook regulates how people link to one another. Do we really want regulators in the name of neutrality determining which apps should be available on the iPad? How fair it is that Kindle has fast book downloads? Should the FCC decide how many Facebook friends are too many? It's not even clear what 'net neutrality' means in the context of these services."

But one thing about this whole mushy mess is unmistakably clear, and as Crovitz chronicles, that clarity emerged in a tightly linked 3-step process:

1) Last month, 95 candidates for Congress signed a pledge that included this promise: "In Congress, I'll fight to protect Net Neutrality for the entire Internet—wired and wireless—and make sure big corporations aren't allowed to take control of free speech online."

2) Last week, those same 95 neutrality-supporting Congressional candidates ran for office.

3) And later last week, all 95 lost.

Score it this way: Free-market common sense 95, and net-neutrality nonsense 0.

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About the Author(s)

Bob Evans


Bob Evans is senior VP, communications, for Oracle Corp. He is a former InformationWeek editor.

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