FCC Member: Leave the Internet Alone

Engineers, not politicians, should solve tech problems
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2008 3:21 PM CDT
FCC chairman Kevin Martin, center, and commissioner Michael Copps, left, listen to testimony as commissioner Robert McDowell, right, takes notes during a hearing in this file photo.    (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
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(Newser) – The latest crisis for the internet is the gridlock caused by bandwidth-clogging P2P software. But don’t worry, says FCC commissioner Robert McDowell. This has happened before. As far back as 1987, engineers have been solving the net’s bandwidth problems. It’s been a triumph of anti-regulation, and there’s no reason for the government to get involved now, he writes in the Washington Post.

Many are calling for rules to prevent the kind of tampering with P2P transmissions that Comcast recently perpetrated. But Comcast worked out its dispute with BitTorrent, and the companies agreed engineers, not politicians, should solve engineering problems. Nongovernmental groups have likewise done amazing work on the issue. “Let's stick with what works,” McDowell writes, “and encourage collaboration over regulation.”