Most Read
Image 01 Image 02 Image 03

Net Neutrality’s End Brought About Faster Internet

Net Neutrality’s End Brought About Faster Internet

The repeal of net neutrality was supposed to trigger Armageddon

The repeal of net neutrality was supposed to trigger Armageddon, or so net neutrality proponents claimed. Yet, here we are. And here I am, blogging, creating internet real estate on a connection that’s faster than before.

I’m not the only one enjoying fast internet connectivity. According to Recode, internet speed rose on average, around 40% nationwide, this last year alone.

No longer is the US ranked 12th globally in broadband internet speed, we’ve jumped up to 7th in the time since net neutrality was sent packing.

The Boston Globe has more:

Perhaps this strikes you as something less than a stop-the-presses revelation. The internet, after all, has been expanding and accelerating for the past 25 years. Why should 2018 have been any different?

Yet last year, when the Federal Communications Commission moved to repeal the Obama administration’s “Net Neutrality” rule, much of the liberal establishment went berserk. Many in the media were sure the change would mean the “end of the internet as we know it.” A lavish online campaign backed by dozens of organizations issued a “Red Alert,” warning that if the FCC under Chairman Ajit Pai overturned the Obama regulations, it would “give the big cable companies control over what we see and do online” and “allow widespread throttling, blocking, censorship, and extra fees.” A New York Times business journalist bewailed the coming demise of the internet — undoing net neutrality, he wrote, “would be the final pillow in its face.” Other tech analysts were even more caustic. Nilay Patel, the editor of The Verge, proclaimed that with net neutrality gone, the internet was doomed. (“Doomed” wasn’t the word he used.)

In the abstract, this was a legitimate topic for debate. “Net neutrality” is jargon for a policy under which internet service providers (ISPs) such as Comcast and Verizon are required to treat all data equally, making no distinction among online websites or the features they offer. Advocates warned that if net neutrality weren’t mandated by the government, internet carriers would move data more slowly, exempting websites and apps only if they paid for preferential “fast lane” service. Or they would shift to a tiered subscription model, in which consumers seeking access to bandwidth gluttons like Netflix and YouTube would be charged more than consumers interested only in web browsing and email.

That argument was plausible in theory, but belied by history. Though the internet has existed since the early 1990s, it wasn’t until 2015 that the FCC imposed its net-neutrality regulations. Did it do so because the big ISPs were throttling internet traffic? Hardly. In the more than two decades during which the internet functioned without net-neutrality regulations, there was scant evidence that rapacious corporations were strangling web traffic. On the contrary: As the FCC’s own published data confirmed, between 2011 and 2015, internet speeds had been steadily rising.

The real impulse behind the Obama-era rules was to amass power. By designating broadband providers as the equivalent of telephone companies, the FCC claimed sweeping authority to regulate them under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. That gave the agency a say in nearly every step taken by the broadband firms. “The FCC was empowered to decide if a network provider’s products were good for consumers, and innovative new services were suddenly viewed with suspicion,” explained Boston Globe technology reporter Hiawatha Bray. “For instance, the agency went after cellular companies for daring to offer free video and music streaming services. . . . Armed with Title II, [the FCC] could turn the Internet into something like the old Bell system telephone monopoly, famed for its near-total lack of technical innovation.”

So when the Trump administration last December voted to undo the net-neutrality rule, it was simply restoring the status quo ante. It was also acknowledging that the decision to arm an agency with significant new authority belongs to Congress, not to the agency’s own bureaucrats.

That was a move with which reasonable people could disagree. But the reaction from countless critics was anything but reasonable.

When the FCC floated repealing the Obama era power grabbing regulations, it wasn’t just professional media critics who lost their minds, we documented numerous occasions in which FCC Chairman Pai was harassed over the prospect of repeal, as were lawmakers who advocated the rule changes.

Alas…

DONATE

Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.

Comments

Progs make a lot of really stupid arguments, but this one was one of the most glaringly ignorant. By any measure, the Internet absolutely THRIVED in the absence of “net neutrality” for decades. But we were supposed to believe it was suddenly going to die without more regs? Are progs really that stupid?

    Artcurus in reply to Paul. | December 31, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    NO

    NN has the been the default since the internet began. Look up Madison River Communications vs FCC, 2005. MRC was fined because they throttled VoIP.

      The regulatory structure that was in place in 2005 apparently dealt with the problem just fine, didn’t it?

        Artcurus in reply to Paul. | December 31, 2018 at 11:35 pm

        But by your comments, you said that NN did not exist for the Inet since it’s inception, I just proved that it did.

          Paul in reply to Artcurus. | January 1, 2019 at 2:19 pm

          I was obviously referring to the prog-fever-dream regulations enacted under Obama and rescinded under Trump. Don’t be a moron.

    Neo in reply to Paul. | January 1, 2019 at 9:33 am

    Yes, but maybe no.

    What is never discussed is the idea of net neutrality on a heterogeneous network of different speeds.
    The assumption is that the network is all running at the same speed.
    Net neutrality can also mean that slower parts of the network MUST be given priority to be upgraded, leaving the more profitable heavy usage parts to want.

      Artcurus in reply to Neo. | January 1, 2019 at 10:02 am

      Actually it’s fairly easy and they are already do it through packet shaping.

      What your missing is that the fact that they don’t have to upgrade, they tier the internet and charge more for what we already have.

At the time, I said it came down to whether Ajit Pai knew what he was talking about and was on the level with us, or was a spectacular liar or simply a very wordy, incompetent regulator. He didn’t sound incompetent. And I thought the content of his words contained a great deal of detail that is difficult to fake. These were just my hunches.

And yet, I seem to have been proven more than a little right. Like Donald Trump, I’m sure that no one will be in a hurry to acknowledge they were wrong and Pai actually knows a thing or two about the internet. Those with eyes and who actually choose to see can judge for themselves.

The internet is faster only because there are less people on it.

And there are less people on the internet because so many people died due to Pai’s decision.

The Net Nutrality waters have been so muddled by special interests that it can be difficult for laypeople to know what’s true about the subject.

Here’s one fact that someone can use to gain insight into the inner workings of the matter: The Obama administration considered Net Neutrality to be a fantastic idea.

Just consider that alone and think – was there any policy they loved that wasn’t filled top to bottom with chicanery? (Obamacare anyone?)

Any arguments about ‘fairness’ you may have heard are just noise.

The entire point of Net Neutrality has always been to slowly but surely turn the Internet into a public utility with the State eventually gaining total control.

(What’s that? Your new business could use a basic website? Well… Have you submitted your application and fee to the FCC?)

    Artcurus in reply to JohnC. | December 31, 2018 at 8:56 pm

    You are completely clueless.

    To simplify things. NN is what we had.

    You have two choices of inet. ATT and Comcast. ATT also does the TV channels you have (UVERSE)

    Fox News does something to p!ss off ATT. ATT pulls Fox News from your TV channel lineup and blocks your computer from accesssing Fox News website. Meanwhile, everything’s cool at Comcast.

      Actually, you have to look at “net neutral” from an activists point of view. Sort of from the other end of things.

      Having “net neutrality” could be used to force the equivalent of “universal service” for all speeds.

      Why should some guy out in Fargo, ND be stuck with a slower service ? It’s a neutral network, so he should get that gigi-bit service that Google installed in a small number of place too.

        Artcurus in reply to Neo. | January 1, 2019 at 1:51 pm

        Having “net neutrality” could be used to force the equivalent of “universal service” for all speeds.

        Why should some guy out in Fargo, ND be stuck with a slower service ? It’s a neutral network, so he should get that gigi-bit service that Google installed in a small number of place too.

        ^ take a closer look at what your saying. That’s the whole point, which is what we had when NN was in place. The ISP provided the service, but speed was governed by whatever price they are offering for the speed tier you are in. The fact of the matter is that it’a about the equipment, the last mile, and what the ISP is capable of for that particular area.

        That being said, the majors actually sued several municipalities for installing their own broadband. The ironic thing was the service was better than what the majors were supplying, and to top things off, these were towns that the majors had NO INTEREST WHATSOEVER in.

          JohnC in reply to Artcurus. | January 1, 2019 at 10:06 pm

          All of these arguments for and against Net Neutrality are irrelevant.

          Like I stated in my last comment, that’s all just noise.

          It’s authors couldn’t care less who gets charged what for how much service.

          The Net Neutrality legislation had only one ultimate goal: To start the ball rolling on giving the government absolute oversight of the Internet.

    Artcurus in reply to JohnC. | December 31, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    In addition, Obama had nothing to do with it, he simply codifying what was in place already. The only mistake was it was done through an EO, and not legislation through congress.

      cucha in reply to Artcurus. | January 1, 2019 at 5:13 am

      Die, stinky troll.

      Paul in reply to Artcurus. | January 1, 2019 at 2:27 pm

      Are you an idiot or just a liar? Obama was not “just codifying what was already in place” you moron. He was placing the internet under a completely different regulatory framework. Get educated or at least shut the fuck up….this is the wrong place to spout off like an idiot, you idiot.

        Artcurus in reply to Paul. | January 1, 2019 at 10:53 pm

        Okay then, prove your point. Show me the differences.

        Artcurus in reply to Paul. | January 3, 2019 at 10:02 pm

        First, I don’t Verge, the original text for the 1936 law is readily available and the 1936 law is a red herring, just because it’s old doesn’t mean that it’s not applicable.

        Second-2005 it’s Wiki, but it’s accurate, other official sources state the same, look familiar? Especially toward the end. The 2015 laws essentially codified what was already in place.

        FCC promotes freedom without regulation (2004)

        In February 2004, then Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell announced a set of non-discrimination principles, which he called the principles of “Network Freedom”. In a speech at the Silicon Flatirons Symposium, Powell encouraged ISPs to offer users these four freedoms:[36]

        Freedom to access content
        Freedom to run applications
        Freedom to attach devices
        Freedom to obtain service plan information

        In early 2005, in the Madison River case, the FCC for the first time showed the willingness to enforce its network neutrality principles by opening an investigation about Madison River Communications, a local telephone carrier that was blocking voice over IP service. Yet the FCC did not fine Madison River Communications. The investigation was closed before any formal factual or legal finding and there was a settlement in which the company agreed to stop discriminating against voice over IP traffic and to make a $15,000 payment to the US Treasury in exchange for the FCC dropping its inquiry.[37] Since the FCC did not formally establish that Madison River Communications violated laws and regulation, the Madison River settlement does not create a formal precedent, though established that it would take enforcement action in such situations.[38]
        CLEC, dial-up, and DSL deregulation (2004–2005)

        In 2004, the court case USTA v. FCC voided the FCC’s authority to enforce rules requiring telephone operators to unbundle certain parts of their networks at regulated prices. This caused the economic collapse of many competitive local exchange carriers (CLEC).[39]

        In the United States, broadband services were historically regulated differently according to the technology by which they were carried. While cable Internet has always been classified by the FCC as an information service free of most regulation, DSL was regulated as a telecommunications service. In 2005, the FCC reclassified Internet access across the phone network, including DSL, as “information service” relaxing the common carrier regulations and unbundling requirement.[40]

        During the FCC’s hearing, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association urged the FCC to adopt the four criteria laid out in its 2005 Internet Policy Statement as the requisite openness. This made up a voluntary set of four net neutrality principles.[41] Implementation of the principles was not mandatory; that would require an FCC rule or federal law.[42] The modified principles were as follows:[43][44]

        Consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of their choice;
        Consumers are entitled to run applications and services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement;
        Consumers are entitled to connect their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network; and
        Consumers are entitled to competition among network providers, application and service providers

    Artcurus in reply to JohnC. | January 1, 2019 at 10:48 pm

    John,

    Please explain, in full detail, what NN is and how it works. Please explain why, especially with this last ruling by the FCC that basically gives the Majors full control of text messaging, and they can now read and censure any text messages they see fit. You don’t believe me? Look it up. The legislation passed right before Christmas. Yet, while NN was in place, this was frowned upon, and actually Verizon got in trouble for just that.

    You’re either an industry shill or don’t understand how NN truly works.

    I’m waiting.

Business want to becregulated, and if conservatives oppose regulation, businesses will censor them in hopes they will react.

Business thrives in the absence of pointless and costly regulations eh? Who knew (well apart from everyone not part of the Obama shakedown I guess).

Of course ISP infrastructure has been increased. The large ISPs got exactly what they wanted, leverage to squeeze a portion of the revenues of companies such as Netflix from those companies. This is exactly what has happened. This allows the ISP to upgrade their systems without having to raise the fees to customers. However, it increases costs to Netflix customers. I would be a little cautious regarding the Ookla claim of 38% speed increase, nationwide, as there is no real breakdown of how they came up with that measurement.

Now, here is the potential problem represented by the relaxation of Obama Era Net Neutrality. By essentially allowing any ISP to charge sites for access, charge customers fees for access to sites or simply block any site that they want, these companies now have the power to censor the internet. Will this happen? This is unknown. However, we have already seen extensive censorship in social media tech companies. Whether this will manifest itself among individual ISPs, or not, is yet to be seen. Time will tell.

    Artcurus in reply to Mac45. | January 1, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    The thing is that Facebook is their own entity. They reserve the right to ban anyone they want.

    ISP, however, are theoretically supposed to be dumb pipes. By removing title II designation, they become fully responsible for what comes through those pipes, porn, whatnot. They want it both ways.

    By the way, the latest ruling, and yes, this is fully researchable, it passed right before Christmas I believe, is that ISP can now read instant messages, and direct advertising, or censor messages at will. Verizon was already caught censoring pro choice groups in 2007.

    Artcurus in reply to Mac45. | January 1, 2019 at 1:44 pm

    I wish I could edit. The majors fully admitted that NN had nothing to do with buildout. The ironic thing is that most of the buildout happened while NN was in place.

I wonder why Comcast, AT&T, and other providers have not published ambiguous rules and then banned Twitter and Facebook etc., when they violate them. Wouldn’t it be funny to watch Twitter and Facebook squirm if they got banned.

NN was not about making the internet faster or slower or more fair, it was about squashing the 1st Amendment. If President Trump was as bad as the left thinks he is, he would have kept it. Then he would have ordered Ajit Pai to bury ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, WaPo, NYT, and LA Times in red tape every time they or their web hosting service asked for more bandwidth. CNN.com would be totally Mosaic compliant for the entire Trump administration. Pai then would let Rush Limbaugh slice through that tape and elrusbo.com would be 4K VR with Dolby 7.1. Anyone who argues otherwise is either forgetting or ignoring Lois Lerner. IRS isn’t in the 1st Amendment business, either, and look how that turned out.

    Artcurus in reply to hurricane567. | January 2, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    hurricane,

    Please explain, in detail, what NN is and then go back and read your post.Under the framework of NN, what you described would not be possible.

    Also, bandwidth isn’t handled by the go

    You have no idea how NN really works.

    Here’s the ironic thing, since the REPEAL of NN, what you’re describing, is happening now.

      hurricane567 in reply to Artcurus. | January 3, 2019 at 12:13 am

      “Advocates warned that if net neutrality weren’t mandated by the government, internet carriers would move data more slowly, exempting websites and apps only if they paid for preferential “fast lane” service.” The government decides who gets a fast lane and who does not. Much like ACA, NN contains a lot of “the secretary may…” and liberals tend to think they will own the secretary forever. Elections have consequences. “Here’s the ironic thing, since the REPEAL of NN, what you’re describing, is happening now.” So show me where that’s occurring. If nobody goes to msnbc.com because of their low quality content, ads can’t be sold and high speed hosting can’t be paid for, that’s not Trump’s doing.

        Artcurus in reply to hurricane567. | January 3, 2019 at 9:36 am

        “Advocates warned that if net neutrality weren’t mandated by the government, internet carriers would move data more slowly, exempting websites and apps only if they paid for preferential “fast lane” service.” The government decides who gets a fast lane and who does not.

        ^these are completely contradictory statements. On one side, the government tells the ISP you can’t discriminate, slow down or block traffic. Which is the basis for NN. But then the Government decides who gets the fast lane and who doesn’t?

        On the Trump statement I was afraid that was going to get misinterpreted after I posted but I couldn’t edit. You are correct.

Hit submit before I was ready. Bandwidth isn’t handled by the gov, it’s handled by the webhost and the ISP that handles the webhost. Trump could not order what you are saying.

Font Resize
Contrast Mode
Send this to a friend