Net Neutrality? Government Is Never Neutral

The recent ruling by a federal government court that struck down the Federal Communications Commission’s bid to enforce a “net-neutrality” Internet service policy, was described thusly by Joelle Tessler of the Associated Press:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the FCC lacks authority to require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all Internet traffic flowing over their networks. That was a big victory for Comcast Corp., the nation’s largest cable company, which had challenged the FCC’s authority to impose such ‘network neutrality’ obligations on broadband providers.

Supporters of network neutrality, including the FCC chairman, have argued that the policy is necessary to prevent broadband providers from favoring or discriminating against certain Web sites and online services, such as Internet phone programs or software that runs in a Web browser. Advocates contend there is precedent: Nondiscrimination rules have traditionally applied to so-called ‘common carrier’ networks that serve the public, from roads and highways to electrical grids and telephone lines.

But broadband providers such as Comcast, AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. argue that after spending billions of dollars on their networks, they should be able to sell premium services and manage their systems to prevent certain applications from hogging capacity.

Damned straight. The networks rightfully belong to these companies, and not the government. And guess what? In a free market, if one company does decide to impose the kind of restrictions aforementioned, a competitor will provide Internet service that does not, and at a reasonable price based on unfettered market values. Indeed, prices would further plummet in an absence of ever-inflating government sanctioned fiat currency, taxation, other regulations and red tape that artificially inflate costs, and all of the other arrogant and wasteful measures imposed on nearly all businesses at gunpoint via the oppression of government. Does anyone really need a government court ruling to establish that?

And does anyone really think that the government’s motivation for using the FCC in this instance as its enforcement arm against Internet service providers (ISPs) is pure and noble; that their only desire is to improve the lot of consumers? Let’s have a little bit of a further look at that AP article:

Tuesday’s unanimous ruling by the three-judge panel was a setback for the FCC because it questioned the agency’s authority to regulate broadband. That could cause problems beyond the FCC’s effort to adopt official net neutrality regulations. It also has serious implications for the ambitious national broadband-expansion plan released by the FCC last month. The FCC needs the authority to regulate broadband so that it can push ahead with some of the plan’s key recommendations. Among other things, the FCC proposes to expand broadband by tapping the federal fund that subsidizes telephone service in poor and rural communities.

Oh, do say! Looks like another Obama welfare scheme at public expense that the Lefties didn’t want to see go down the tubes. But notice also how – in this case the FCC – government once again “needs the authority to regulate” in the name of saving the world from a bunch of greedy capitalist pigs. After all, it’s the “big corporations” who wish to exploit us all with heavy-handed tactics, and ultimately censor and shut down free speech on the Internet. Personally, a company that seeks my business on a voluntary basis by vying with competitors in providing the best service at the lowest realistic price will always trump an institution that seeks to limit choice and commandeer monopolism literally at gunpoint – so that it can impose censorship, or shut down the entire network, or do whatever it wishes with total unaccountability while financing it all with extorted loot.

It comes down to a simple principle; the very principle free market anarchism is based on: Either you believe that the foundation of all human relationships is and should be violence, or you don’t. The choice is yours (this one, anyway). You decide.

Translations for this article:


Anarchy and Democracy
Fighting Fascism
Markets Not Capitalism
The Anatomy of Escape
Organization Theory