I have an op-ed on the FCC’s broadband re-classification plan on AOL today, paired with a counterpoint commentary from Megan Tady of Free Press. My piece focuses on how the plan will lead to FCC intrusiveness in almost every area of broadband. But “third way” labels notwithstanding, it is sheer folly to try to wrap a monopoly era regime around competitive broadband services. The FCC is about to embark on a lengthy legal battle that will cost tons of political capital while offering it very little chance of winning.
Bottom line: No matter what the information, the faster it is allowed to move and the easier it is for people, businesses and government agencies to link it together to produce value, the better it is for everyone. Until this week, even the FCC expressly understood and endorsed this approach.
Telephone service is about one-to-one connection. Broadband is about many-to-many interconnections. That’s why the FCC separated the two to begin with. Constraining broadband with rules that applied to another service in another era can’t help but end up as a policy disaster.