Golden Frog Co-Founder Ron Yokubaitis explores the topic of the Open Internet and the FCC selections under the new presidential cabinet in this op-ed.
“Elections have consequences, and the spoils go to the victor. As President-elect Trump’s transition team prepares to replace President Obama’s political appointees with their own people, many unknowns lie ahead. But unlike many of my colleagues in the technology sector, I am optimistic about the future.
Trump promised a new paradigm and to “drain the swamp” – a huge task with many obstacles along the way. As this occurs, I hope that Trump and his team stay true to his word and do not let the alligators rule when it comes to the Federal Communications Commission and the Open Internet.
The Open Internet, or what some refer to as net neutrality, is a concept that prohibits network providers from restricting content or limiting services available to users. The goal of the Open Internet is to grant everyone equal access to the Internet. My companies have long been active in the effort to protect the Open Internet, and have been fighting for Internet privacy long before privacy was cool.
We have learned from long, painful experience that federal agency oversight of an industry does not always lead to the best outcomes. That being said, when a given market is not fully competitive some regulation is justified to protect the public interest and prevent abuses by those with undue market power.
But far too often the regulators themselves become “captured” by the very folks they are supposed to oversee. This situation is akin to “Stockholm Syndrome,” wherein the regulator is so constantly besieged by the regulated that over time they begin to adopt the same world view. Ultimately, the regulator comes to believe that their job is to protect the regulated from the public and insurgent competitors, rather than the other way around. This holds true for the FCC.”