Several Tech Innovators and members of the media recently discussed the future of our Internet and how to drive innovation through removing regulation. Check out the audio and some great quotes below!
John Perry Barlow – Even within EFF, there’s a division of opinion, but my objective, personally, has always been to make it possible for anybody, anywhere to know anything that can be known about the subject of his curiosity. I think that there is much that can and must be known that is presently being held in forbidden areas. I have dedicated my life to spreading the right to know. I believe that as soon as you allow any government anywhere the ability to impose regulations on the internet, it does great harm to the right to know.
Toby Farrand – My company competes with Verizon, AT&T, and the other service providers and I’m always fascinated to see the stories that talk about net neutrality protecting companies like mine. I can say first hand that anytime that we’ve had voice quality issues, it hasn’t been from our bits being slowed by ISPs. When we’ve had issues, it’s almost always been Netflix. Our experience is that net neutrality isn’t going to protect us at all, it’s going to discourage innovation.
Question – If Title II regulation is the wrong approach, should the FCC have any role at all in trying to protect the open internet and if so, what should it do?
Answer (Dan Berninger) – The government did nothing for years and it worked out fine. The anxieties that Tim Wu identified in 2003, simply didn’t happen. My metaphor is people coming to me and asking what to do about Big Foot.
Question – Supporters of net neutrality have said that critics of the regulation have said investment will be suppressed. How can people argue that when there isn’t any sign of that actually happening?
Answer (Tom Evslin) – There hasn’t been much action taken under the regulation, fortunately. The cycle of investment drying up is a long one, though. But going back to the question of a neutral internet, what does that mean? Does it mean a neutral search engine too? Does that mean that the FCC ought to be regulating Google as well? No, the marketplace should be doing that. The FCC should be managing the truth in the marketplace. The important distinction is that it’s an after the fact role, so it doesn’t chill innovation.