I came across a blog post, by [David P. Reed](http://www.reed.com/dpr/) regarding the recent [FCC order on Comcast](http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-08-183A1.doc). His post, [FCC Order on Comcast - a good job](http://www.reed.com/blog-dpr/?p=12), the order and [his formal response to the FCC](http://www.reed.com/blog-dpr/?page_id=10) are offensive to the concept of private property. His blog entry solicits comments, so I submitted one quoted as follows:

> “The Internet is a world-wide system that does not belong to any one operator, whether providing access lines or backbone transport.”

> And without the individual operators, who built, operate and own their parts of the network where would your world-wide system be?

> Taking away the use and disposal benefits while retaining the pretense of private ownership is socialistic, immoral and wrong.

> And if the moralistic view is to abstract, then consider, who will bother to innovate and create the networks of the future when eventually some mob is going to claim their collective non-contractual “rights” over this innovation. Especially now that we are all officially on notice that, “the Commission is watching, that it understands that the Internet involves a new set of technical challenges, and that the Commission is willing to act in a way that reinforces the success of the Internet as a whole.”

> Or in other words, some bureaucrats have decided what the Internet is today, it shall be forever, and they are willing to use force to sacrifice any individual who gets out of line to the collective.

It is currently being held for moderation. I of course agree with his right to control the content of his site. I will not be harmed if he holds it for moderation indefinitely or rejects it. I can have no expectation to exert control on his property. But I thought this a nice object lesson.

Following to the logical end of the Network Neutrality debate, Dr. Reed, should have allowed my comment immediately even if he finds it offensive. And this is because my expectations of blogs that solicit comments is that they have no rights with which to deny my ideas, even if it means broadcasting ideas that are distasteful to their "operators[^1] ."

The only and final word in the Network Neutrality debate is that the networks that Comcast and others have built are theirs and theirs alone. They should not only have the responsibility of ownership and ownership in name. They should have the right to use and dispose of that property as they see fit.

Would it be unfortunate if they decided to block emails with the word 'the' in them and try and hold Google ransom? Yes. Undoubtedly. What is to guard us against this terrible thing, certainly not their benevolence.

What should guard us against this is a free market that allows competition to spring up to fill a need. If Comcast thought it could squeeze $300/mo for broadband but really could run a profitable business at $50/mo then as long as there is no stifling legislation[^2] in the way a competitor is born the next minute after Comcast announces their price increase.

And what if this Capitalist utopia doesn't happen? What if no competition springs up, and no one can ever get to Google.com from Comcast forever and ever? What if the internet becomes completely fractured and you have to pay tolls for everything?

My answer: a resounding too bad. There is no right to internet service at all, let alone internet service of your choosing. There can be no right to any good or service that must be produced by someone else. If I have a right to a service, then who is the slave that must provide it? Once you embrace artificial rights, you destroy the real McCoy.

[^1]: Notice how even the terms used in the neutrality debate deny property rights. They are not the owners but the operators, the managers of a public trust, the caretakers of *our* property. Yuck! As someone who knows what effort it takes to build and run a network it makes me sick that those who could not or will not try to dictate terms on the producers. [^2]: The problem **is** government interference at all. Not which form is right.

AuthorKevin McAllister