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    8 Reasons Why Old-School Utility Regulations Would Break The Internet

    The Internet has flourished precisely because President Clinton’s FCC decided not to treat it as a public utility. Now, the FCC is considering reversing that decision. We’re telling the FCC “Don’t Break The Net!” Here’s why.

    1. The debate’s gotten confused; this isn’t about net neutrality.

    Google, Facebook, the NAACP, and other net neutrality supporters haven’t joined the push for “reclassifying” broadband under Title II. They understand that 1930s-style utility regulation won’t threaten just broadband, but the entire Internet.

    2. Public utilities suck, especially at providing high-tech services.

    Water, gas, and other utilities are slow to innovate because they’re monopolies, and regulation protects them from competition. Maybe 90’s water is as good as today’s, but do you really want your Internet frozen in time?

    3. Title II would choke broadband upgrades.

    The NAACP and 42 leading minority groups know better. The FCC’s first two African-American Chairmen took a bipartisan, restrained regulatory approach that’s made broadband companies far and away the largest source of private investment in America. Title II, which President Clinton's FCC Chairman famously called a "morass," would choke the investment needed to finish bridging the Digital Divide.

    4. Title II would hurt startups.

    Startup content providers need clear, bright-line rules that keep the government’s hands off their businesses. Invoking Title II does the exact opposite: it opens the door to FCC regulation of all web businesses, creating a cloud of uncertainty that will choke investment in startups, as VoIP pioneer Jeff Pulver has warned.

    5. Title II would kill broadband investment and competition.

    Google Fiber and other small companies are trying to build-out new broadband connections to compete with cable, but the regulatory costs and legal uncertainty of Title II would probably kill their plans. Moreover, incumbent Internet providers won’t have an incentive to upgrade their existing networks if they’re saddled with monopoly-era regulation, which is designed to thwart competition. That sort of anti-competitive regulation is for railroads, not broadband.

    6. Title II won’t stop “fast lanes.”

    As draconian as Title II is in other respects, it still wouldn’t allow the FCC to ban paid prioritization. But what Title II will do is saddle the Internet with retail price controls and other new burdens. These might well force broadband providers to turn to paid prioritization as a new revenue source.

    7. Netflix Is just playing politics for its own benefit.

    Netflix talks about “strong net neutrality,” but is really just trying to cut its costs. Netflix wants more broadband capacity and faster connections to its customers. But instead of simply offering to pay a small sum for these benefits (as it’s always had to do), Netflix is promoting a confusing regulatory regime to offload these costs onto broadband providers.

    8. There’s just no middle ground on Title II.

    Once the FCC invokes Title II, it will have a hard time undoing the law’s chilling effects on investment and innovation across the Internet. Those pushing Title II should know better than to trust the FCC. The Commission has a long history of overreaching, from trying to to stamp out copyright infringement to “cleaning up” television and helping favored companies.

    Learn more at DontBreakThe.Net. The FCC’s comment deadline is September 15, so please add your voice today!

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