The FCC today took a shocking step when they decided to actually gather information about a topic before they make a rule saying how they are going to regulate it.
They approved an inquiry exploring how companies that provide high-speed Internet service manage Web traffic, and whether consumers of such broadband service are adversely affected.
The issue, of course, is the so-called net neutrality issue. A group of content providers including Google and EBay want Congress to pass laws imposing price controls on their distributors. I testified in Senate hearings on the subject a few months ago that it was a dumb idea that would reduce investment in high-speed networks we need to be competitive.
It’s a simple idea masquerading as a complex subject. People’s use of the interneet is shifting from exchanging emails and data to downloading movies, watching HD TV programs, and other heavy traffic. The switch is fast gobbling up available network capacity. Somebody is going to have to invest a lot of money to build the network. The big content providers are running businesses with 70-90% gross profit margins. They would like Congress to make sure they don’t have to fork over any of that margin to the content distributors. I say let them duke it out.
Here is a pretty good YouTube video on the subject.