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Letter to the Editor

Writer Disagrees with "Tech Professor" George Craig's "Net Neutrality" Column

web posted March 25, 2015
Dear Editor,
I am terribly disappointed in "Tech Professor" George Craig's posting about "Net Neutrality."  It misses the point completely.

"Net Neutrality" is a high-sounding misnomer for heavy-handed government regulation of the internet.  Instead of the free interchange of ideas, goods, and services, "Net Neutrality" puts the government in charge of determining what is "fair" in terms of the free market that the internet has become.

We've seen this movie before.  The same government agency that will now police the internet had given us the "Fairness Doctrine" of the 1960's.  That was so "fair" that it virtually shut down any kind of free exchange of ideas on the airwaves.

When the government intrudes into any area on the premise of "making things fair," it instead bastardizes (good word, look it up) the marketplace of ideas, goods and services.  If we were to apply the concepts of "Net Neutrality" to the grocery marketplace, it would require Kroger, Bi-Lo, and "Bob's Neighborhood Groceries" to sell everything at the same price, or sell the same amount of goods, or operate from the same size stores, all under the guise of "fairness."

I don't want government attempting to "level the playing field" for me--as a consumer I want to make that choice myself, even if it means a higher price for something I particularly want.  I don't want government determining for me who the winners and losers are, or even who the players are.  I can make up my own mind--I'm not stupid and don't need the government to make my choices for me.

Calling it "Net Neutrality" is merely applying a high-sounding name to politically-driven government interference (all government interference is politically-driven) in the internet marketplace.  One might say that the Internet is the perfect example of the success of the free marketplace because there is no government regulation.  We must be careful of names, especially those applied by government and politicians (remember the "Affordable" Care Act?).  Just because I call my horse a guinea pig doesn't make it one--it's still a horse.

Mr. Craig is simply wrong about this.  Every time the free marketplace has been allowed to operate without regulation, the consumer benefits (remember the deregulation of the telephone system that gave us wireless communication technologies?).  Net Neutrality is a very bad idea.  We must fight it all the way.

Richard Virgilio

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