State of Innovation

Patents and Innovation Economics

Does Net Neutrality Inhibit Innovation?

Any government restriction on how the internet can operate will by definition limit innovation.  The FCC’s Net Neutrality proposal violates the “Rate Law of Innovation”, which states that rate of innovation is directly related to the number of elements that innovators have available to them.  The Net Neutrality rule limits how many variables or elements that innovators have to innovate.  See the Laws of Innovation  for more information.  All the major engineers who developed the internet are opposed to the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules.  According to Andrew Orlowski, “Engineers fear rash legislation would inhibit the ability of systems engineers to improve latency and jitter issues needed to move data at speed.”  See Mr. Orowski’s article for more information.

The FCC’s response is that all their proposed rules include the limitation “Subject to reasonable network management.”  They argue this prevents the FCC from being overly onerous in the application of these rules.  Of course, the catch is who gets to determine what is reasonable.  If it is the internet providers, then the rules are meaningless, since they will clearly believe that their network management is reasonable.  Thus, it is clear that the FCC intends that someone other than the internet providers, get to decide what is reasonable.  We know from history this will be lawyers, special interest groups, and large corporations defining reasonable to meet their special interest at the expense of the owners of the network and the public in general. 

 In addition to limiting innovation, the Net Neutrality rules are widely seen as the first step in a “Fairness Doctrine” for the internet.  The Fairness Doctrine, which applies to radio and television, has been used to stifle free speech in this country.  The Fairness Doctrine will kill the value of the internet as an outlet to monitor and police the government. 

 There is no justification for the Net Neutrality rules, they will stifle innovation, and they will lead to a Fairness Doctrine for the internet.

October 22, 2009 - Posted by | -Legal, Innovation

1 Comment »

  1. […] is a sad day for innovation and freedom.  For more information on why see Does Net Neutrality Inhibit Innovation.  The FCC decided to enact a set of rules called Net Neutrality, which gives the FCC broad […]

    Pingback by Net Neutrality: Requiem for the Internet « State of Innovation | December 21, 2010 | Reply

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