Why Ajit Pai is Right: The First Good Argument I've Read Against Title II.

In "Pro-Neutrality, Anti-Title II", initially titled "Why Ajit Pai is Right", Ben Thompson gives a thoughtful and in depth argument for how you can agree with Ajit Pai's deregulation of internet providers while still supporting net neutrality.

Here's an excerpt, but I highly recommend you read the whole thing.

Allow me to state this point plainly: I am absolutely in favor of net neutrality. Indeed, as I explained in 2014’s Netflix and Net Neutrality, I am willing to make trade-offs (specifically data caps) to achieve it. The question at hand, though, is what is the best way to achieve net neutrality? To believe that Chairman Pai is right is not to be against net neutrality; rather, it is to believe that the FCC’s 2015 approach was mistaken.

Any regulatory decision — indeed, any decision period — is about tradeoffs. To choose one course of action is to gain certain benefits and incur certain costs, and it is to forgo the benefits (and costs!) of alternative courses of action. What makes evaluating regulations so difficult is that the benefits are usually readily apparent — the bad behavior or outcome is, hopefully, eliminated — but the costs are much more difficult to quantify. Short-term implementation costs may be relatively straightforward, but future innovations and market entries that don’t happen by virtue of the regulation being in place are far more difficult to calculate. Equally difficult to measure is the inevitable rent-seeking that accompanies regulation, as incumbents find it easier to lobby regulators to foreclose competition instead of winning customers in an open market.
— Ben Thompson


Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

TechnologyTimothy Buck