Letter to the editor:
It is a great honor that President Barack Obama appointed one of our own, Ohio State graduate Tom Wheeler, to serve as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. As a fellow Buckeye, I always welcome a national spotlight on our great university. However, The Lantern’s glossy article “FCC chairman, Ohio State alumnus, praises net neutrality decision” on Wheeler’s recent campus visit fails to mention some weighty concerns growing over his controversial decision to regulate the Internet.
In February, the FCC’s commissioners voted 3-2 down party lines to impose strict regulations from the 1930s on one of the most thriving sectors of our economy: the Internet. While many of the provisions aimed at consumer protection are positive steps for Internet freedom, the “Open Internet” rules passed by the FCC threatens to bring innovation to a screeching halt. What’s more, in spite of the FCC’s good intentions, these rules would open the door to more taxes, fees and oversight of almost every actionable item on the Internet.
Instead of elaborating on these looming consequences during his visit, Wheeler and his supporters said, quite plainly, that the FCC’s decision would be good for innovation. This begs the question, how can hundreds of pages of old regulations meant for the telephone industry of the 1930s encourage industry innovation?
It seems that the FCC is unilaterally trying to fix something that isn’t broen. Tech entrepreneurs of today achieved successes without relying on the support of the FCC. These innovators were successful because they were able tko operate at the speed of their own self-determination, not the speed of government. Common sense would say that adding another layer of regulations will only bog down entrepreneurial spirit and blunt economic growth.
As a student, I believe it’s important that my fellow students understand the issue of net neutrality from all perspectives. Instead of plunging the tech industry into legal and investment uncertainty, Wheeler should work with Congress on finding a bipartisan solution that fits our fast-moving 21st century economy.
Second-year in chemical engineering
Chairman of OSU College Republicans