Some Thoughts On Net Neutrality
Yesterday a federal appeals court declined to rehear a challenge to the Obama Administration’s Net Neutrality rules. This was yet another victory for the fans of a neutral Internet, me included.
But Ajti Pai, the new FCC Chair, is hellbent to decimate these rules and everyone expects him to try to do just that.
Which led to a Twitter exchange with my friend Tom Evslin yesterday:
— Fred Wilson (@fredwilson) May 1, 2017
Tom argues that tightly regulating ISPs will only help incumbents and hurt innovators in the access sector. That has not been our experience. We have backed a number of alternative access providers, in fiber and in wireless, over the last few years and they are not struggling one bit with Net Neutrality regulations. They are struggling with all sorts of barriers that the incumbents have convinced elected officials to erect on their behalf.
The inability to use existing telephone poles that I mentioned on Twitter is just one of many of the things that the big telcos have done to stop innovative young companies from entering their business.
Here’s my thinking on Net Neutrality. We only need it because of the corruption that exists between large telcos and elected officials. If we had an entirely open playing field, we would not need regulations in the least. Competition would solve all of our problems. But not if you can’t compete.