Sunday, April 27, 2014

Why Do We Need the F.C.C. Involved in the Internet?

Apparently my last article hit a nerve with a few people which is strange because it was only meant to enlighten people as to the real issues concerning traffic management and peering to stimulate competition for over-the-top (OTT) providers.  I have to say that at stake here is the exact issue that I have personally encountered.  My lowly blog isn’t backed by any major media outlets or elite-funded NGO, but it reached the world and struck a nerve.  I have over 25 years experience as an engineer in the telecommunications industry developing and selling network elements.  I am not a lawyer, politician, or lobbyist who want to call the shots in the industry, but through the power of the Internet my voice has been heard.  The Internet gives those of us with real knowledge a way to be heard (and those without knowledge too). 

There are people our society who don’t want those voices to be heard or at least controlled.  They purport to champion freedom and equality yet their agenda is just the opposite.  I have no agenda other than supporting the free market and everyone’s ability to be successful on their own terms.  So what does this all have to do with Net Neutrality?  The ability for all of us with a voice to be heard are under attack by people purporting supporting net neutrality.  Let me elaborate.

In my last article, I applauded the common sense rules proposed by the F.C.C. because they allow OTT providers to compete against incumbents effectively.  I do not have anything against the incumbent carriers; I use to be part of a couple of them.  I believe that competition benefits not only the consumers, but the entrepreneurs and incumbents as well.  It is a win-win for everyone except for those that end up losing control and power due to free-markets.  I believe that the F.C.C. are proposing rules that support the free-market and entrepreneurship.  To me this is a technical argument with business implications; not a political discussion.  That is where I got it wrong.

Being an engineer by trade, I always believe that a sound technical solution and logic will prevail.  Also, I believe that people understand that competition and freedom benefit all.  It appears that with even though I have age, I am still a bit naive.  My article received some negative comments by people and even NGO that supposedly support an open Internet.  They didn’t like the fact that I was supporting these proposed rules.  There is a huge public misinformation campaign going on across the Internet under the guise that the F.C.C.’s proposed rules will kill the Internet and free-speech.  At first I believed that this effort was based on a lack of knowledge of the issues at hand, but now I realize that the people behind this campaign know exactly what is going on.  They are using the general lack of knowledge by the general public on the topic to scare them into believing that these rules will benefit the incumbents and kill the Internet, and the tech media in all in on it with them.  Their real motivation is to gain greater governmental control of the Internet so they can determine who says and does what.  These groups are disingenuous in their motivations.

This is why the F.C.C. or any governmental organization does not need to be involved in the Internet.  Government involvement always leads to manipulation by special interests and loss of freedom.  The groups purporting to protect the Internet actually will do the opposite.  There are FCC staff members that are founders of groups that are campaigning against these rules under the guise of supporting net neutrality.  Unfortunately their disinformation campaign is very effective.  We do not need the F.C.C. to further regulate and interfere in the Internet although these rules do make sense.  The Internet should remain open for all to speak freely and compete effectively whether an incumbent or OTT service provider.  Please do not be fooled into supporting a cause because it sounds like the right thing to support.  Read and fully understand both sides of the argument, and draw your own conclusion.  Things aren’t always what they seem.