By Lauren McCue
Net Neutrality is one of the most deceptively named government initiatives of our time, joining the ranks of the (Not So) Affordable Care Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (Employment Prevention Agency), and The Dream Act. On February 26th the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be voting on whether or not to implement President Obama’s proposed Net Neutrality initiative. Net Neutrality is not as neutral as the Left wants you to believe. It is an effort by the federal government to ruthlessly take control of and regulate your life. This time their target is the Internet.
The Left’s definition of equality is not so equal at all. The FCC desires to take over the Internet and tell service providers how they can and cannot make their money by prohibiting Internet fast lanes. In turn, the FCC would be able to limit our access to the Internet based on regulations of Internet service providers (ISPs).
It’s time to change the language from the left’s “Net Neutrality” to what it really is, the government takeover of the Internet. Here are four reasons why it is detrimental.
1. Government takeover of the Internet discourages innovation.
The implementation of Net Neutrality will discourage the innovation of Internet services, websites, and applications that require increased performance, prioritization and delivery. Under a government takeover of the Internet, no ISP will be able to innovate unless all other providers are innovating at the same rate. America does not need more government regulation and red tape. America needs healthy competition, innovation and creativity in order to provide the best quality of service to the consumer. The Internet is a place where the free exchange of ideas can occur and it is a key resource to entrepreneurship and innovation. Why do you think that the Internet has remained one of the fastest growing and most innovative platforms? The very fact that it is detached from the government is a key factor to its success.
2. Government take over of the Internet is censorship.
Ideas have consequences, and if Obama and the FCC can regulate Internet providers, where will the line be drawn to prevent a total government takeover of the Internet sector? This is part of a grand plot to get the government involved in every aspect of your life. Government should be empowering individuals to make their own choices. The Internet should be free from federal and state regulations. The Internet is a form of speech. To regulate the Internet would be a violation of the First Amendment.
3. Government take over of the Internet is anti- free markets.
The free-market is the best form of consumer protection, not a utopian ideal enforced by government. An ISP with poor connection should not be competitive enough to stay in business. The government takeover of the internet will reward slower service. In an age of instant gratification, being the “cheaper but slower” ISP should not suffice. If Obama gets his way, slower internet will become the norm
4. Government take over of the Internet eliminates competition.
If every provider provides the same service at the same price, it doesn’t make sense to have various options for the consumer. Net Neutrality is a way for the government to determine who has a monopoly. This hurts the average consumer, like you and me. ISPs will be prohibited to pay for improved performance, even if it would improve the welfare of the consumer. Without government interference, the free-market will continue to take care of the quality of service. ISPs will be in competition with each other to provide the highest quality of service to the largest amount of people. The government takeover of the Internet hurts the consumer by disabling pro-consumer pricing.
The Young Americans for Freedom at Virginia Tech consistently works to advocate for smaller limited government, as well as greater economic and individual freedom. It is not myth that when the government regulates or takes control of services, they in turn become less efficient. Do we really want the same institution that created the epic fail that is HealthCare.Gov to also control our Internet? So President Obama, are you going to tell me “If you like your Internet you can keep it?” Based on your track record, something tells me that won’t stand true.
Lauren McCue is the Chair of the Virginia Tech Young Americans for Freedom