Andrew Orlowski explains the state of Internet regulation in both the US and Europe in The Register:
For almost twenty years, internet engineers have persuaded regulators not to intervene in this network of networks, and phenomenal growth has been the result. Because data revenues boomed, telecoms companies which had initially regarded packet data networking with hostility, preferred to sit back and enjoy the returns.
But thatâ€™s changing fast. Two months ago the US regulator, which scrupulously monitors public radio for profanity, and which spent months investigating a glimpse of Janet Jacksonâ€™s nipples, decided it needed to start writing technical mandates. And so off it went.
Unnoticed by almost everyone, so did the EU.
“Itâ€™s the revenge of the unemployed Telecomms Regulatorâ€, one seasoned observer in Brussels told us this week. â€œThe internet really put them out of business. Now they’re back.”
The Internet is indeed the most lightly-regulated network going, and it’s the only one in a constant state of improvement. Inappropriate regulation – treating the Internet like a telecom network – is the only way to put an end to that cycle.