Cleland served as Deputy United States Coordinator for Communications and Information Policy in the George H. W. Bush Administration. Eight Congressional subcommittees have sought Cleland’s expert testimony and Institutional Investor twice ranked him the #1 independent analyst in his field. Scott Cleland has been profiled in Fortune, National Journal, Barrons, WSJ’s Smart Money, and Investors Business Daily. Ten publications have featured his op-eds. For a full bio see: www.ScottCleland.com.
Latest posts by Scott Cleland (see all)
- Why New FTC Will Be a Responsibility Reckoning for Google, Facebook, Amazon - April 28, 2018
- How Did Americans Lose Their Right to Privacy? - April 6, 2018
Why are these top ten adjectives the most descriptive?
UNTRUE – Proponents claim net neutrality is a principle as old as the Internet; it is not. The term “net neutrality” actually was coined in 2003 by law professor Tim Wu long after the Internet was privatized a decade earlier. Proponents also have redefined net neutrality many times since 2003.
UNWARRANTED – Net neutrality is a solution in search of a problem. Over the last decade, the FCC has alleged only a few potential net neutrality problems, and in each of these few cases, the FCC was able to satisfactorily resolve them without Title II authority.
UNNECESSARY – ISPs have long voluntarily respected the FCC’s net neutrality concerns without formal regulation. After the court struck down the FCC’s rules as partially illegal, the ISPs again publicly pledged to abide by the FCC’s rules under the FCC’s Section 706 authority, and have done so since.
UNFAIR – Proponents believe Silicon Valley giants should pay nothing, zero-price, for delivery of their dominant downstream traffic to consumers, when consumers routinely pay for faster Internet tiers/lanes and pay for above-average Internet usage. How is it fair to consumers to be forced to subsidize the profits of some of the world’s largest corporations even when they do not use their services?
UNPOPULAR – The only time American voters were able to come close to voting on “net neutrality” was in the 2010 mid-term elections; when The Progressive Change Campaign Committee got 95 U.S. House and Senate candidates to publicly pledge their support for net neutrality, and then all 95 of those pro-net neutrality candidates lost their races. Net neutrality: 0 for 95.
UNECONOMIC – If the Internet should be regulated as a utility, why should Silicon Valley giants and entrepreneurs never have to pay for their high-volume Internet traffic to be delivered to their customers, when every other utility requires usage-based payment for use of electricity, water, or gas? And when everyone is expected to pay: for the transport of their goods to consumers by plane, train, boat, truck, etc., or for package delivery from the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, Fed-ex or delivery services, how is it economic for the largest users of Internet bandwidth to pay nothing for delivery of their goods?
UNWORKABLE – Applying Title II common carrier regulation, the single most onerous and complicated form of business regulation in America, to the fastest-moving, most dynamic part of the U.S. economy, would force the slowest speed of government administrative processes on the nation’s fastest speed of business. There is no way America’s Internet infrastructure could keep up with the pace of exploding Internet demand, if ISPs had to ask the FCC for permission to carry out most parts of their business under Title II regulation.
UNCERTAIN – Nothing the FCC could do — would create more foundational uncertainty for the sector and the Internet economy than abruptly reversing the longstanding legal status of Internet traffic, from unregulated, to potentially maximally-regulated. It would create sector-wide regulatory, legal, legislative, economic, business, competitive and investment uncertainties, in addition to spawning an unimaginable number or potential unintended consequences.
UNLAWFUL – What net neutrality proponents have convinced the President to support is something that neither the FCC’s 706 authority, nor potential Title II common carrier authority, allow – which is a permanent zero-price for downstream Internet traffic. Title II law and precedent require just and reasonable prices — and zero is no price at all. Even Congress might not have the Constitutional authority to impose such a draconian economic ban on competitive companies that haven’t done anything wrong.
UNCONSTITUTIONAL – After encouraging competitive private ISPs to invest hundreds of billions of dollars to upgrade America’s Internet infrastructure based on repeated reliance that the FCC would not impose investment-hostile Title II common carrier regulation, would be an unconstitutional, arbitrary and capricious, taking of private property.
In short, the FCC changing the legal status of Internet traffic to be Title II “telecommunications,” would be an UNMITIGATED-DISASTER.
FCC Open Internet Order Series
Part 1: The Many Vulnerabilities of an Open Internet [9-24-09]
Part 2: Why FCC proposed net neutrality regs unconstitutional, NPR Online Op-ed [9-24-09]
Part 3: Takeaways from FCC’s Proposed Open Internet Regs [10-22-09]
Part 4: How FCC Regulation Would Change the Internet [10-30-09]
Part 5: Is FCC Declaring ‘Open Season’ on Internet Freedom? [11-17-09]
Part 6: Critical Gaps in FCC’s Proposed Open Internet Regulations [11-30-09]
Part 7: Takeaways from the FCC’s Open Internet Further Inquiry [9-2-10]
Part 8: An FCC “Data-Driven” Double Standard? [10-27-10]
Part 9: Election Takeaways for the FCC [11-3-10]
Part 10: Irony of Little Openness in FCC Open Internet Reg-making [11-19-10]
Part 11: FCC Regulating Internet to Prevent Companies from Regulating Internet [11-22-10]
Part 12: Where is the FCC’s Legitimacy? [11-22-10]
Part 13: Will FCC Preserve or Change the Internet? [12-17-10]
Part 14: FCC Internet Price Regulation & Micro-management? [12-20-10]
Part 15: FCC Open Internet Decision Take-aways [12-21-10]
Part 16: FCC Defines Broadband Service as “BIAS”-ed [12-22-10]
Part 17: Why FCC’s Net Regs Need Administration/Congressional Regulatory Review [1-3-11]
Part 18: Welcome to the FCC-Centric Internet [1-25-11]
Part 19: FCC’s Net Regs in Conflict with President’s Pledges [1-26-11]
Part 20: Will FCC Respect President’s Call for “Least Burdensome” Regulation? [2-3-11]
Part 21: FCC’s In Search of Relevance in 706 Report [5-23-11]
Part 22: The FCC’s public wireless network blocks lawful Internet traffic [6-13-11]
Part 23: Why FCC Net Neutrality Regs Are So Vulnerable [9-8-11]
Part 24: Why Verizon Wins Appeal of FCC’s Net Regs [9-30-11]
Part 25: Supreme Court likely to leash FCC to the law [10-10-12]
Part 26: What Court Data Roaming Decision Means for FCC Open Internet Order [12-4-12]
Part 27: Oops! Crawford’s Model Broadband Nation, Korea, Opposes Net Neutrality [2-26-13]
Part 28:Little Impact on FCC Open Internet Order from SCOTUS Chevron Decision [5-21-13]
Part 29: More Legal Trouble for FCC’s Open Internet Order & Net Neutrality [6-2-13]
Part 30:U.S. Competition Beats EU Regulation in Broadband Race [6-21-13]
Part 31:Defending Google Fiber’s Reasonable Network Management [7-30-13]
Part 32: Capricious Net Neutrality Charges [8-7-13]
Part 33: Why FCC won’t pass Appeals Court’s oral exam [9-2-13]
Part 34: 5 BIG Implications from Court Signals on Net Neutrality – A Special Report [9-13-13]
Part 35: Dial-up Rules for the Broadband Age? My Daily Caller Op-ed [11-6-13]
Part 36: Nattering Net Neutrality Nonsense Over AT&T’s Sponsored Data Offering [1-6-14]
Part 37: Is Net Neutrality Trying to Mutate into an Economic Entitlement? [1-12-14]
Part 38: Why Professor Crawford Has Title II Reclassification All Wrong [1-16-14]
Part 39: Title II Reclassification Would Violate President’s Executive Order [1-22-14]
Part 40: The Narrowing Net Neutrality Dispute [2-24-14]
Part 41: FCC’s Open Internet Order Do-over – Key Going Forward Takeaways [3-5-14]
Part 43: The Multi-speed Internet is Getting More Faster Speeds [4-28-14]
Part 44: Reality Check on the Electoral Politics of Net Neutrality [5-2-14]
Part 45: The “Aristechracy” Demands Consumers Subsidize Their Net Neutrality Free Lunch [5-8-14]
Part 46: Read AT&T’s Filing that Totally Debunks Title II Reclassification [5-9-14]
Part 47: Statement on FCC Open Internet NPRM [5-15-14]
Part 48: Net Neutrality Rhetoric: “Believe it or not!” [5-16-14]
Part 49: Top Ten Reasons Broadband Internet is not a Public Utility [5-20-14]
Part 50: Top Ten Reasons to Oppose Broadband Utility Regulation [5-28-14]
Part 51: Google’s Title II Utility Regulation Risks – An Open Letter to Investors [6-3-14]
Part 52: Exposing Netflix’ Biggest Net Neutrality Deceptions [6-5-14]
Part 53: Silicon Valley Naïve on Broadband Regulation (3 min video) [6-15-14]
Part 54: FCC’s Netflix Internet Peering Inquiry – Top Ten Questions [6-17-14]
Part 55: Interconnection is Different for Internet than Railroads or Electricity [6-26-14]
Part 56: Top Ten Failures of FCC Title II Utility Regulation [7-7-14]
Part 57: NetCompetition Statement & Comments on FCC Open Internet Order Remand [7-11-14]
Part 58: MD Rules Uber is a Common Carrier – Will FCC Agree? [8-6-14]
Part 59: Internet Peering Doesn’t Need Fixing – NetComp CommActUpdate Submission [8-11-14]
Part 60: Why is Silicon Valley Rebranding/Redefining Net Neutrality? [9-2-14]
Part 61: the FCC’s Redefinition of Broadband Competition [9-4-14]
Part 62: NetCompetition Comments to FCC Opposing Title II Utility Reg of Broadband [9-9-14]
Part 63: De-competition De-competition De-competition [9-14-14]
Part 64: The Forgotten Consumer in the Fast Lane Net Neutrality Debate [9-18-14]
Part 65: FTC Implicitly Urges FCC to Not Reclassify Broadband as a Utility [9-23-14]
Part 66: Evaluating the Title II Rainbow of Proposals for the FCC to Go Nuclear [9-29-14]
Part 67: Why Waxman’s FCC Internet Utility Regulation Plan Would Be Unlawful [10-5-14]
Part 68: Silicon Valley’s Biggest Internet Mistake [10-15-14]
Part 69: Will the FCC Break the Internet? [10-22-14]
Part 70: Net Neutrality Has Become an Industrial Policy [10-31-14]
Part 71: The Federal Communications Congress? [11-8-14]
Part 72: NetCompetition on President’s Call for FCC Title II Internet Regulation [11-10-14]
[Originally published at PrecursorBlog]