Opinion: Online industries should not be exempt from tenants of capitalism

Photo: Pexels via MGN Online

EDITOR'S NOTE: Boris Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - There is a battle of ideas over the internet.

The term at the center of the debate is “net neutrality.”

It is the policy that all traffic on the internet is available at the same speed for all users, no matter their provider or the content.

This is an important issue for all of us who use the internet.

Let’s take a deeper dive.

Internet access is currently treated as a utility, like water or electricity. Internet companies are not able to enter into business arrangements with content providers which will allow for their content to be transmitted at higher speeds.

As an example, electric companies cannot decide to provide stronger current for TVs as compared to microwaves. Companies also can’t dim your lights if they don’t like a brand of light bulb you are using.

The same currently goes for internet providers based on laws and regulations enacted under the Obama administration.

Right now, Comcast and Netflix are not able to enter into a relationship where Netflix content is played at higher speeds than, say, Hulu or YouTube. Moreover, internet companies cannot slow the internet service of one news organization versus another.

However, the current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wants to roll back on these regulations. He believes it is an example of government overreach. The administration believes that competition will cause for internet speeds to get faster, jobs to be created and internet privacy to become stronger. The FCC is proposing to keep a "light touch" of regulations.

We are a capitalist country. The issue at hand is not whether internet companies are going to prevent you from looking at your family photos or watching funny videos. If that happened you would switch internet providers as fast as possible. Competition and innovation are a good thing.

The marketplace has been key in allowing for business to flourish and good paying jobs to be created. There is no reason the online industry should be exempt from the basic tenets of capitalism, as long as all Americans have wide ranging access to the internet. And that’s your bottom line.

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