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Argument: ISPs have a right to recover costs from heavy bandwidth users

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Supporting evidence

Arpan Sura. "The Problem With Network Neutrality". FreedomWorks. May 2, 2006 - "mandatory network neutrality is bad for business. Unlike the narrowband phone lines of the twentieth century, broadband pipes are being built with billions of dollars of unsubsidized investment in a competitive environment. ISPs make this investment on the assumption they can recover the costs and profit. As such, broadband lines are not the “public resource” that monopoly networks were in the past. Companies that own high-speed lines have a right to recover the costs that other parties impose when they wish to use those lines to transmit high-bandwidth, revenue-rich services of their own. If network neutrality is enacted, ISPs will have no incentive to build new pipes. Consumers will therefore get less choice."

"The FCC's Heavy Hand." Washington Post Editorial. September 28th, 2009: "Aptly dubbed an "immodest proposal" by the Free State Foundation's Randolph J. May, the FCC would prohibit ISPs from "discriminating against" different applications. Mr. Genachowski explains it this way: ISPs "cannot block or degrade lawful traffic over their networks, or pick winners by favoring some content or applications over others in the connection to subscribers' homes." In short, ISPs, which have poured billions of dollars into building infrastructure, would have little control -- if any -- over the kinds of information and technology flowing through their pipes.

In a slight concession, Mr. Genachowski said that the commission would consider whether to allow ISPs to offer "managed services in limited circumstances"; this approach could allow ISPs to create a two-track delivery system -- one for routine traffic, the other for applications that use exorbitant amounts of bandwidth. But unneeded regulation could still interfere with their ability to manage bandwidth-hogging applications that can hamper service, especially during peak times.

Mr. Genachowski claims that the FCC "will do as much as we need to do, and no more, to ensure that the Internet remains an unfettered platform for competition, creativity and entrepreneurial activity." He will advance this goal by insisting on transparency; he will jeopardize it -- and stifle further investments by ISPs -- with attempts to micromanage what has been a vibrant and well-functioning marketplace."

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