The Chicken Littles of Broadband

James Gattuso /

Is the Internet in clear and present danger? Yes, say proponents of neutrality regulation of the Internet. In a speech last month calling for FCC neutrality regulation, Chairman Julius Genachowski stopped short of quoting Oliver Wendell Holmes, but did all he could to paint a dire picture of the Internet’s future: “This is not about protecting the Internet against imaginary dangers,” he said. If we wait too long to preserve a free and open Internet, it will be too late.”

The warning evoked a certain sense of deja vu, and for good reason. As Link Hoewing of Verizon pointed out the other day, proponents of neutrality regulation “have been yelling ‘fire’ in the movie theater ever since 1999,” when they decried the trend toward cable firms providing exclusive ISP service on broadband networks, saying that the move would result in “more price increases and fewer choices for consumers and content providers alike.” (more…)