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Grandfather of the Internet speaks against Net Neutrality
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2006-06-21 20:13
Dave Farber, the Grandfather of the Internet recently posted a net neutrality white paper that concludes net neutrality threatens to restrict a wide range of innovation services and does not meet consumer needs. The document is the work of computer science, economics and law scholars assembled by the Wharton School to provide unbiased analysis of network neutrality.
Ironically, Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist for Google and outspoken network neutrality advocate was Faber’s student.
The paper concludes:
“The central policy principle should be to prevent anticompetitive actions and reduce associated harms without impeding the Internet's evolution. Current proposals would affect all broadband providers regardless of whether they wield monopoly power and without any analysis of whether the challenged practice actually harms competition. In the process, they threaten to restrict a wide range of innovative services without providing compensating customer benefits. The problem is that it can be difficult, if not impossible, to determine in advance whether a particular practice would promote or harm competition. Current antitrust law solves this problem by blocking practices only when those who oppose them can demonstrate actual harm to competition. We believe that such a case- by-case approach that focuses on actual, rather than potential, harm to competition represents the best way to protect consumers while giving the Internet the breathing room it needs to move forward. Blanket regulation, which some network neutrality initiatives support, is not a good policy choice.”