The Fallacy of Net Neutrality: Thomas Hazlett on the FCC & Consumer Protection

"I’m very confident a hundred years from now we won’t have an FCC," says Thomas Hazlett, Reason contributor and George Mason economics professor.

Internet service providers are coming under scrutiny from both the FCC and net neutrality supporters who want to ensure unrestricted consumer access to the Web. However, Hazlett points out that the fear over ISPs limiting Web content is unfounded and government "has no idea what the optimal business model is" to effectively regulate.

Hazlett sat down with Reason TV's Nick Gillespie to discuss net neutrality, the Internet, and and his Encounters Broadside book "The Fallacy of Net Neutrality."

Camera by Meredith Bragg and Josh Swain. Edited by Swain. 

More from Reason on net neutrality and the FCC.

About 6 minutes.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "We at Reason write a lot about net neutrality. We tend to be against it, and we always have trouble actually defining it. We're just against it anyway..."

    Gillespie jokes, but in truth any policy, any set of rules, any type of regulation that is vaguely defined should be vehemently opposed, even if the stated goals sound good to you.

  • Disgusted Dem||

    I can't remember which one, but a Reason article on the FCC pointed out that the agency and its rules came into being back when there was very limited choice of radio broadcasters in different locations of the country. The writer went on to argue that since radio, TV, and newspapers have a healthy level of competition, the FCC is irrelevant. But there is one thing that still concerns me. I live in the heart of Silicon Valley yet I only have one choice for a broadband ISP. So without net neutrality, I don't have free market choices on the services which are available on the internet.

    Maybe your guest does promote such a viewpoint and it simply wasn't covered in the interview but anyone who would like to see the FCC go away should also be pushing for removal of local regulations that limit ISP choice.

  • T||

    Well, I agree that in 100 years we won't have the FCC, but that's only because I think the coming economic collapse will destroy the federal government as we know it.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Just get me into Tor. That's all that really matters.

  • LauraB||

    I hope we don't have to wait 100 years to get rid of the FCC!

  • InlineSkate||

    I'm not really in support of Net Neutrality, but this guy does need to develop his arguments a bit more. He seems to jump around without making any real connection.

  • gigarath6||

    Any regulation like Net Neutrality that gives the government more control over a utility that is used for communication, like the Internet is a very bad thing.

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    I can't remember which one, but a Reason article on the FCC pointed out that the agency and its rules came into being back when there was very limited choice of radio broadcasters in different locations of the country. The writer went on to argue that since radio, TV, and newspapers have a healthy level of competition, the FCC is irrelevant. But there is one thing that still concerns me. I live in the heart of Silicon Valley yet I only have one choice for a broadband ISP. So without net neutrality, I don't have free market choices on the services which are available on the internet.

    Maybe your guest does promote such a viewpoint and it simply wasn't covered in the interview but cheap nfl jerseys anyone who would like to see the FCC go away should also be pushing for removal of local regulations that limit ISP choice.

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    Internet service providers are coming under scrutiny from both the FCC and net neutrality supporters who want to ensure unrestricted consumer access to the Web. However, Hazlett cheap nfl jerseys points out that the fear over ISPs limiting Web content is unfounded and government "has no idea what the optimal business model is" to effectively regulate.

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  • jili5||

    In so many parts of the country there is only one ISP customers can even choose from. People run into this same problem with a lot of utilities like electric, water, etc. Whatever company controls the power lines, data lines, or water pipes can monopolize the market because it just doesn't make sense for a competitor to build another line or pipe right next to the one that's already there, and they typically can't get the land to do that either. This all presents a real problem, but I sure don't know how to fix it.

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