So once again we see the government attempting to increase its own power and enlarge its domain.
President Obama's administration and the FCC are arguing that adding more regulatory power to the latter's purview over the Internet is a necessity. This is being advocated for as a measure to ensure that internet service providers are checked in interfering with the access of the internet for people. This begs the question, however--who, if anyone, is seeing their access to the internet interfered with, blocked or denied? In the last two decades more and more people have enjoyed access to the internet, including many of the "ordinary people" about whom Obama and FCC surrogates so incessantly speak. Compared to the United States, the more constrictively regulated internet of Europe's broadband has seen it experience less reach.
By inveigling and obscuring the heightened regulatory measure of the web under the benign banner of "net neutrality," the nuts and bolts of what is being pushed has been largely obscured. Well, there is that reason, but also the inconvenient point that the FCC refuses to allow the American people to see any of the 300+ pages dedicated to this measure while the FCC votes on it.
Breaking it all down simply to its most distilled point, today ISPs are indeed regulated by the FCC, but strictly--supposedly--as an "information service" while kept under the reasonably loose rules of "Title I." Now, however, the FCC is looking to regulate ISPs as "utilities" under the dramatically more restrictive Title II guidelines.
Were this to occur, the move from Title I to Title II regulations would place ISPS under the same regulatory auspices as Ma Bell under the 1934 Communications Act.
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai remarks that the move from Title I to Title II
...gives the FCC the power to micromanage virtually every aspect of how the Internet works.
Gordon Crovitz underscores the breadth of the regulatory power the FCC will enjoy with the migration toward Title II due to Obama's vaunted "net neutrality" in the Wall Street Journal
[After moving from Title I to Title II] bureaucrats can review the fairness of Google's search results, Facebook's news feeds and news sites' links to one another and advertisers. BlackBerry is already lobbying to force Apple and Netflix to offer apps for BlackBerry's unpopular phones. Bureaucrats will oversee peering, content-delivery networks and other parts of the interconnected network that enables everything from Netflix and YouTube to security drones and online surgery.
Of course, the ultimate problem--among a litany of same--is that there is, in a marketplace, no possible way to artificially install a "neutral" allocation of resources. Goods and services are allocated, by and large, in a marketplace in accordance with the consumers who demand the goods the most. As goes demand, so goes price. This is only fitting. As a greater number of persons place more resources in specific places, the more goods and services will flock to those aforementioned places.
While the Obama administration contends that the "goods and services" of the internet are somehow not being allocated "neutrally" the truth is that a greater plurality of people have the greatest degree of service at the highest speeds than at any point in time before today. Were powerful companies or the government endeavor to pool goods and services in a manner which can be described as "neutral" they would find that their efforts would be in vain for it is impossible to distribute "goods and services" in a flawless, "neutral" manner for society, the marketplace and even the world as it stands physically are not "neutral."
Ultimately, what will occur? The most powerful, entrenched institutions and corporate agents will happily find greater control of the governing agencies. The clustered grouping of legislators, lobbyists, regulators and large businesses with access to tapping the largesse of government for their own ends tends to be a revolving, mutually parasitic society of organisms feeding off of one another as well as the consuming public. As government controls a larger stake of the web new, "outside-the-box" companies looking to profit from their innovation will be held outside the loop from directly competing against the entrenched behemoths of the industry which benefit from status quo
-protecting force of the state.