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Net Neutrality Ended on Monday and the Internet Still Works

Net Neutrality Ended on Monday and the Internet Still Works

“The bottom line is that our regulatory framework will both protect the free and open internet and deliver more digital opportunity to more Americans. It’s worked before and it will work again.”

Remember when the FCC repealed net neutrality last December? Net neutrality supporters went into hyperbole-overload. Some even spewed racial slurs at FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and stalked his house. You would’ve thought the world, or at the least, the internet would end.

The FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order went into effect today, June 11, and…the internet is still working. The world is still turning.

So why should we relish the fact that net neutrality no longer exists?

Net neutrality sounds like a good thing, based on the innocuous name (it’s neutral!) Under net neutrality, ISPs (internet service providers) were required to treat all traffic the same.

But what sounded like an equitable way to splice up the internet backfired.

Since net neutrality was implemented in 2015 it caused investment in broadband networks to drop “more than 5.6%.” The regulation punished the small internet service providers because “[T]hey don’t have the time, money or lawyers to cut through a thicket of complex rules.” Those same rules made companies hesitate when it came to introducing new services due to fear of non-compliance. Last May, Pai heard from 19 municipal internet service providers (city-owned nonprofits) that had to “often delay or hold off from rolling out a new feature or service because we cannot afford to deal with a potential complaint and enforcement action.”

One thing I love about Pai is his understanding and appreciation for the market. If people would stop meddling with markets, more than likely everything would work itself out. This applies to the digital world as well.

Believe it or not, the FCC will still protect consumers and the end of net neutrality may actually give birth to a BETTER internet.

Pai has been all over the news today reminding people that he’s not the devil and has actually done us a YUGE favor. In his op-ed at CNET, Pai reminded people that net neutrality stripped the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) “of its authority over internet service providers.”

Without net neutrality, the FTC now has the ability to protect consumers when it comes to the internet.

TRANSPARENCY. Both sides love to tout transparency, but few ever fully embrace it like Pai:

Transparency is also a critical part of our framework. In the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, the FCC strengthened its transparency rule so that internet service providers must make public more information about their network management practices. They are required to make this information available either on their own website or on the FCC’s website. This information will allow consumers to make an informed decision about which internet service provider is best for them and give entrepreneurs the information they need as they develop new products and services. Our transparency rule will also help ensure that any problematic conduct by internet service providers is quickly identified and corrected.

Why am I confident that this approach will work? Because it was a tremendous bipartisan success for two decades. At the dawn of the commercial internet, President Clinton and a Republican Congress agreed on a light-touch framework to regulating the internet. Under that approach, the internet was open and free. Network investment topped $1.5 trillion. Netflix, Facebook, Amazon, and Google went from small startups to global tech giants. America’s internet economy became the envy in the world.

In other words, there was no good reason to implement net neutrality because the ISPs “had not engaged in any of the practices the rules prohibited.”

Less regulation means the chance to build a better product. Look at the tax bill Congress and President Donald Trump passed. I have a lot of problems with the long-term effects of the bill, but the short-term effects have helped so many people.

With the cuts, companies keep more profits. Any reasonable person would assume that those in charge would either give more money to the employees and/or pour more money into the company to develop better products and expand, thus creating more jobs. Bloomberg released data last month that shows 130 companies in the S&P 500 have increased capital spending by 39%, which is the fastest rate in seven years, while returns to shareholders have only grown by 16%.

The same thing should happen with internet service providers, especially the smaller ones that so many insisted net neutrality protected. The FCC wrote that “more than 80% of small fixed wireless companies that generally operate in rural America ‘incurred additional expense in complying with the Title II rules, had delayed or reduced network expansion, had delayed or reduced services and had allocated budget to comply with the rules.'”

So forget about net neutrality. As Pai wrote:

The bottom line is that our regulatory framework will both protect the free and open internet and deliver more digital opportunity to more Americans. It’s worked before and it will work again. Our goal is simple: better, faster, cheaper internet access for American consumers who are in control of their own online experience. And that’s what the FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order will deliver.

If the apocalyptic predictions from the net neutrality supporters come true then I will be the first to admit I was wrong.

Until then, enjoy your internet, which is the same internet you had yesterday.


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YellowGrifterInChief | June 11, 2018 at 3:38 pm

I drank a known powerful carcinogen today and I still don’t have cancer!

BTW, the clamor for neutrality was after it was proven that Comcast had throttled sites. Not that Comcast announced it in a policy – rather some users had the resourcefulness to figure it out. So Congress set out to fix a problem that did exist. What a silly idea.

    I drank a known powerful carcinogen today and I still don’t have cancer!

    keep trying: we know you can do it!

    You drank it for decades. You are no worse off then you were then.

    You are a CANCER.

      healthguyfsu in reply to Barry. | June 11, 2018 at 10:06 pm

      The cancer got cancer and has formed supercancer! The bright side is it should burn itself out soon.

    Oh please, get a grip. The internet got along just fine for decades before The One and his bureaucratic power grab.

    A freaking baker can’t refuse to bake a cake without a Twitter mob driving him out of business… do you really think the heavy hand of government is necessary here?

      RodFC in reply to Paul. | June 11, 2018 at 9:33 pm

      What utter bollocks.

      In the big business/universities days no one even thought of network discrimination. The technology to do so did not exist.
      Up until about 2000 most people had many many alternatives. I had 10. Anyone even thinking of practicing network discrimination would have lost their customers to competitors.

      So till then net neutrality was the defacto standard.

      After that, well Comcast was caught throttling bittorrent– the first example of network discrimination. At the time the Bush FCC tried to fine Comcast. Comcast decided to take it to court. The Courts came back and said the FCC could not act as long as broadband was classes as Title 1.

      At that time Wheeler didn’t want to reclassify broadband, but a large public campaign so overwhelmed him that he changed his mind. Obama tghen seeing a chance to lead from behind jumped on the band wagon.

        Paul in reply to RodFC. | June 11, 2018 at 9:43 pm

        And what happened to the little throttling experiment?

        Burn_the_Witch in reply to RodFC. | June 12, 2018 at 9:29 am

        Bollocks is suggesting that companies that manage the wide variances in traffic over their networks are engaging in “discrimination”. While they might literally be discriminating, use of that word in that context is charged and hyperbolic.

        With the gubmint getting involved, it enabled the power players to snuff out the small competitors. Without gubmint-imposed market restrictions, competition will allow you to choose other ISPs over companies that have the gall to manage traffic on their own networks..

    Burn_the_Witch in reply to YellowGrifterInChief. | June 12, 2018 at 9:15 am

    Bad analogies are no way to make an argument, son. If you don’t like Comcast handling its own network how it sees fit, the repeal of NN will enable more competition so you can choose another ISP for your illegal downloading..

I am sure that somewhere children must be dying because of it.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | June 11, 2018 at 3:49 pm

Yipee! Hooray!

That this globe and shove it all you Globalists, Democrats, Progressives, Leftists, Communists, Fascists!

so far, there is nothing wrong with my internet conne

I noticed that my Internet connection has been better than usual today. So no real cause for alarm just yet.

And in other news, my usual web source for steel shows no price increases at all lately. Trump’s Excellent Trade War Adventure has resulted in no ill effects to date.

Considering all the shrieking and whining heard here after Amazon demonetized LI, I can’t *wait* until ISPs start to block & degrade this & other right-leaning Web sites. The pearl-clutching will be of monumental proportions.

Everything that Ajit F’n Pai (R-Verizon) says is a bald-faced lie.

    tphillip in reply to Kretek. | June 11, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    “Considering all the shrieking and whining heard here after Amazon demonetized LI, I can’t *wait* until ISPs start to block & degrade this & other right-leaning Web sites. The pearl-clutching will be of monumental proportions.

    Everything that Ajit F’n Pai (R-Verizon) says is a bald-faced lie.”

    And you’re the Harbinger of Truth sent from God himself to show us the one True Way to enlightenment. And I have a bridge to sell in NYC.

    Why is it all the “true believers” like Kretek are always on the wrong side of history?

    rdm in reply to Kretek. | June 11, 2018 at 7:21 pm

    You are hillarious.

    Paul in reply to Kretek. | June 11, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    “Everything that Ajit F’n Pai (R-Verizon) says is a bald-faced lie.”

    Really? Cite three examples.

    Burn_the_Witch in reply to Kretek. | June 12, 2018 at 9:32 am

    Now, for the class, explain the difference between Amazon’s demonetization and ISPs regulating the flow of traffic on their own networks.

buckeyeminuteman | June 11, 2018 at 4:50 pm

Another Obama sand castle gets washed away. If only Trump could do something about that $10T and get Congress to actually repeal Obamacare once and for all.

I hear that some guy is building ConTube right now. A Youtube competitor that will host all the conservative channels that have been demonetized by Youtube, as well as most videos acceptable to Youtube.

I’m curious to see what fee AT&T will be charging for going over your ConTube quota.

I wonder if Netflix still has to keep their end of the deal with the Obamas now that net neutrality is gone.

The net neutrality regulations were a mess, because they established a burdensome regulatory scheme. However, the concept was not bad. Parts of it should have been kept and parts abandoned.

Now, here is what is so disconcerting about the argument for repealing the net neutrality regulations in toto. The argument for that always ends up being reduced to the net was not as profitable as it could be because ISPs could not charge websites a fee for allowing the ISP’s customers access to those websites. This might be a good arguement, except for two things. The first is that an ISP’s customers are already paying the ISP for access to the internet. So, by denying their customers access to websites which do not pay the ISP to allow access to them is not fair to the customer who is already paying for that service. The second thing is that without neutrality regulations, an ISP is able to deny its customers access to a website for anyt reason that it chooses. Now, these to conditions are fine, if the ISP customer is getting his internet access for free. However, this is not the case. The ISP is basically providing the service of giving its paying cutomers access to the internet. Not part of the internet. But, the entire thing.

Now, we have no idea where this will end up. However, considering the actions of most of the social media sites in the last few months, I would be very concerned about continued access to certain sites on the internet. We’ll see what happens.

    Connivin Caniff in reply to Mac45. | June 12, 2018 at 5:11 am

    Your comment makes a lot of sense. Without some form of neutrality and enforceable anti-discrimination requirements, there is way too much room for the left-leaning ISPs to act like Google, Facebook, endless etc. The more I analyze it, it seems to me that ISPs should be considered common carriers, and subject to regulation. That is not my usual philosophy, but presently, at least, we are dealing with localized monopolies or duopolies that provide little or no choice to captive consumers of essential internet services.

      Burn_the_Witch in reply to Connivin Caniff. | June 12, 2018 at 9:37 am

      The answer to monopolies and duopolies is not to shove the government in the middle of the equation – it’s to break up the monopolies and duopolies. With government empowered to tell networks how to behave as common carriers, imagine what happens the next time the Left has the levers of power.

        I’m confused. You do not want the government to essentially tell a common carrier that it has to allow unfettered access to the internet, but you want that same government to decide what constitutes a mo0nopoly and to forcibly break it up. So which do you want? Government regulation of business or no government regulation of business? After all, why should the government help one business succeed while stifling its competitors?

          Barry in reply to Mac45. | June 14, 2018 at 12:52 am

          I don’t know why you find it confusing. Capitalism isn’t absolute perfection unfettered, so we have a few rules to tame it, including keeping monopolies from forming where possible.

    Burn_the_Witch in reply to Mac45. | June 12, 2018 at 9:46 am

    It’s absurd to imply or suggest that ISPs should not have some sort of control over their own networks. The problem that ISPs face is that some users have a much larger footprint on their network than others, and they’re well within their rights to try whatever they damn well please to manage that.

    The problem is not with companies (ISPs) managing their product/service how they see fit, it’s with the lack of competition in the market. NN shifts the power of companies to “discriminate” on their own networks to the government, and ultimately stifles competition moreso than it was already stifled. When the market is open to competition, network “discrimination” takes care of itself.

      The question is, how much and what type of control should an ISP have. Does your telephone company charge out of state customers when you call them? No. Can your telephone company tell you you can not call another telephone customer because the telephone company CEO doesn’t like that person or businesses? No. The internet is not some one-way streaming entertainment service, like cable tv. It is a two-way communication platform and should be regulated like one. Its purpose is to provide access to the greater internet for its end users, not censor what those users are allowed to see and hear.

      When we speak of “user footprint”, on an ISP, we have to define “user”. In normal business practice the user of an y given ISP is the local customer who contracts with the ISP for access to the greater internet. It is the end customer. And ISPs have always been able to charge one of their customers for greater bandwidth use. For years, ISPs had a graduated service structure where different levels of internet speed [bandwidth and through put] were charged different rates. Businesses routinely paid higher rates for increased internet speeds. While homes usually chose lower speeds at lower rates. What the ISPs want to do is to charge third party commercial sites, like Netflix, to allow its customers to access those sites. This tantamount to every single podunk telephone company in the US individually charging Amazon to allow customers to connect to the business’ phone system. It is asinine. It is all about the ISPs wanting to make more money at the expense of their paying customers.

      As to unfettered competition being the answer, this is a dream, not reality. As we have seen in every industry since the industrial revolution began, unfettered competition eventually leads to a monopolistic dynasty in any industry. That is why the US has anti-truat laws. Big fish eat smaller fish. It is the circle of life, even in the world of business.

      Bottom line here is the internet is a communications platform. It should be classified as one and all companies providing access to that platform should be forced to allow free communication between parties on the platform. Some restrictions may be applied, for violations of law, but access should be unfettered. There is no reason why an internet access provider should not be allowed to set different fees, on its end-user customers, for different access speeds and bandwidth. But, an ISP should not be allowed to decide what third party sites its customers should be allowed to access.

Google, Amazon, Netflix, Yahoo et al will have to find another way to support their business model and customers’ voracious appetites.