Conversely, the FCC ignores the deleterious effect regulation has on access providers. The FCC exempted the edge providers from its rules because it believes their claim that they will not be able to innovate and invest if they are regulated. That is, of course, a valid argument but is all the more true of the highly capital-intensive access providers. Regulation at either level is detrimental to investment and innovation.
The FCC's asymmetric order destabilizes the balance that has allowed the Internet to thrive and to be open. It hurts consumers by emboldening edge providers to increase their already enormous power to stifle communications even as it discourages access providers from innovating and investing. A better option would be legislation that creates a new framework that ensures an open Internet without threatening investment and innovation throughout the Internet ecosystem. Only Congress can assure a truly open and vibrant Internet for all Americans.
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