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ICLE Tells FCC Non-Neutral Internet Can Be Beneficial

The International Center for Law and Economics (ICLE) says that mandating that all Internet content be offered only on a take-it-or-leave it basis—nondiscriminatory access by all users to all content—is the "antithesis" of the calls for a la carte video programming made by many of those arguing for network neutrality rules.

That is according to a summary of comments by the group's executive director, Geoffrey Manne, to the FCC, whose deadline for comment on proposed new open Internet rules is July 15. The points will be made in joint comments co-authored by TechFreedom.

"Those who have argued that the FCC (or Congress) should force MVPDs to offer programming on an a la carte basis insist that users should be able to choose which content sources (channels in the case of video programming) they want to consume, without bearing the costs of accessing the full range of content," Manne writes. "Yet these same organizations and scholars effectively insist that the same access to all Internet content be made available to all consumers (whether they want it or not), with no opportunity for unbundled pricing. Since they also oppose metered usage, this effectively means forcing all users to bear the costs of everyone else’s access to programming sources they don’t consume themselves—just like MVPD programming bundles."

Among ICLE's other points, net neutrality can hurt new entrants. "Neutrality benefits established incumbents (which may be why big companies want it), with their various natural advantages. If new entrants can’t opt in to prioritized service, they will have to spend more on advertising and other forms of promotion."

Don't restrict new pricing models. "Pricing restrictions overall serve to lower welfare and broadband investment incentives."