One of the worst things that can happen to net neutrality is that it becomes yet another partisan football where the entire issue boils down to whether you support free markets or government regulations. The reality, of course, is much more nuanced: Net neutrality is a regulation that has to be in place for the free market to function in the Internet age.

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Conservative James J. Heaney wrote an excellent essay earlier this fall explaining why net neutrality is something that conservatives should support. The crux of his argument is this: Government-regulated utilities may be terrible but they’re still vastly preferable to unregulated private sector monopolies or even duopolies.

Heaney does a nice job of laying out how the market for home broadband services in the United States is woefully uncompetitive and he explains that having a market dominated by a tiny number of large players has the potential to hurt the free market more than net neutrality regulations ever could.

“Republican free marketeers know… an unregulated natural monopoly is far worse than even a government takeover,” he writes. “Rather than relying on well-intentioned bureaucrats to set a fair price, the monopolist sets prices as high as possible – far higher than a free market would allow. Monopolists, too, are complacent, and don’t just fail to innovate, but often fight innovations, because innovation could disrupt their control. Their service is abysmal, because they have absolutely no reason to care about you or your money. After all, what are you going to do? Disconnect from the electric grid? Move to another state?”

The entire essay is worth reading and can be found at the source link below.

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