The Open Internet and Lessons from the Ma Bell Era

Washington, D.C., August 19, 2010 — Earlier this week, The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart summed up the debate over net neutrality by stating, “On one side [are] those who want the marketplace to remain a wide open market of ideas, and on the other side [is] a larger group who have no idea what net neutrality means.”

Stewart may have been joking, but he was right about one thing – many folks are confused about what net neutrality actually is and what it would mean for Internet users.

That’s why CEI’s Ryan Radia decided to enter the America’s Got Net video contest, sponsored by the Open Internet Coalition, a pro-net neutrality trade association. In a short video entitled, “The Open Internet and Lessons from the Ma Bell Era,” Radia explains how mandating net neutrality would endanger the networks of tomorrow and insulate entrenched firms from competition.

“Regulations that might seem perfectly sensible to some today will enshrine a 2010 conception of fairness into law,” Radia argues. “The government tried fixing the telephone market with the same kind of intervention 90 years ago – it didn’t work out well then, and it certainly won’t work out well today. The proper way for government to address tensions between broadband firms like Comcast and content companies like Google is to respect property rights and allow the networks of tomorrow to be built.

Read more by Ryan Radia on net neutrality and FCC regulations here and here.