Competitive Enterprise Institute | 1899 L ST NW Floor 12, Washington, DC 20036 | Phone: 202-331-1010 | Fax: 202-331-0640
<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Washington, D.C., June 9, 2006—Congratulations to the members of the House of Representatives who voted down net neutrality regulations yesterday. Despite a considerable volume of misleading rhetoric from proponents of neutrality legislation, House members were able to see the provisions for what they were – a regulatory power grab that would have disastrously put the federal government in charge of managing Internet traffic.
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A new neutrality regime would have restricted consumer choice while dramatically reducing the financial incentives of telecommunications companies to make the massive investments needed to upgrade and expand the nation’s IT infrastructure. A market in which customers aren’t allowed to purchase a better or faster level of service is one with less innovation and fewer benefits for everyone involved.
In addition, neutrality rules could keep creative new Internet alternatives – private networks or “splinternets” – from developing. Web developers who offer premium, exclusive or only family-friendly content might be forced to price access according to government dictates rather than consumer demand.
Despite defeat in the House, there are still multiple net neutrality proposals currently under consideration in the Senate. With any luck, the resounding defeat of yesterday’s neutrality legislation will send the correct signal to Senators that this is a losing issue both economically and politically.