Common Carrier Idea Is More Internet Nonsense

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ISPs (internet service providers) shouldn’t be classified as anything, including “common carriers”. That kind of classification is a rationale for government controlling aspects of their businesses. The idea of common carrier is archaic and bad economics. Trucks were deregulated in the 70s. It’s ridiculous to treat ISPs like trucks used to be before they were deregulated when we know that the effects of such classifications and controls are to create a cartel and stifle innovations of all kinds, including basic innovations that involve re-organizations within an industry and alterations in a firm’s product mix. Freezing an industry’s structure does nothing but harm. Such a classification will invariably lead to more rules and regulations as companies seek change and face competition from new sources.

Did I say that the FCC is archaic? It harks back to the 20th century regulation of radio in 1934, the time of the New Deal. That was a time of massive economic ignorance, and it’s still around because it provides a smokescreen that allows interest groups to plead a government-control case and make it sound halfway sensible by a felicitous choice of words. Failing serious analysis, anything New Deal should, as a rule of thumb, be rejected out of hand.

4:07 pm on July 16, 2014