Open internet crucial to economy emerging stronger than ever

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As our state continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital that our economy emerges stronger and more resilient than ever before. The pandemic has shown us loud and clear that nothing is more important to this progress than embracing technology and innovation.

Without an environment that fosters competition within the tech sector and an open and accessible internet, we will not be able to step into and capitalize on the realities of a 21st-century economy.

This is especially true in Ohio as traditional manufacturing and energy production sectors and jobs have shifted.

Edward Starks is the CEO of Starks Consulting Group (SCG) in Columbus. SCG focuses on technology and business consulting, diversity talent acquisition, and contingent workforce management.

More:Don’t let American technology suffer the same fate as manufacturing

In Ohio, particularly in Columbus, we’ve seen firsthand the benefits of technology and innovation.

As lawmakers in Washington consider how to respond to the continuing evolution and growth of the tech sector and intensifying competition in the internet, it is critical that we continue to foster the innovation that has improved lives and supported our economy.

We cannot afford to go backward.

Internet by Steve Sack

Unfortunately, some members of Congress currently support anti-competitive legislation that could handcuff tech innovation.

For example, the so-called American Choice and Innovation Online Act would create separate rules for online marketplaces than those that govern brick and mortar businesses, creating a highly inequitable landscape for small businesses; and the Platform Competition and Opportunity Act of 2021 would have a chilling effect on the technology mergers and acquisitions space, primarily disenfranchising innovative startups and disincentivizing prospective innovation. 

The unintended consequences of such legislation would be dire.

By hamstringing job creators, the bills being considered could reduce job opportunities, lead to the elimination of services, and increase consumer costs.

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