Another One at the Net

A poor misguided snowflake submitted a letter to the editor in the CA on net neutrality. The headline given on it was “Liberty and net neutrality for all.” So now, net neutrality = liberty? Hardly.

The writer’s screed drags in “of the people, by the people, for the people” quote and says (patriotic music here, please) “repealing net neutrality is in direct defiance of principles which are the very backbone of our country. Actions like this will only worsen the imbalance of power and widening class divide that is currently threatening our country. Americans need to be free to raise our voices! We should not be censored by those with a self serving agenda. Controlling what information its citizens have access to is a trait of totalitarian countries, not democratic ones. To those in power: if you love America and its people at all, save net neutrality.”

Except he has just made the argument for repealing net neutrality.

So many young people – I assume he is because of their love of all things tech, but don’t know that he is – have been brainwashed. They hear the term “neutrality” and assume it’s accurate and fair. They are too inexperienced to know that the liberals/democrats always name a bill or idea the exact opposite of what it is. (See Affordable Care Act)
The whole net neutrality thing is more complicated than what it appears on the surface.

Here’s a list of 7 reasons why net neutrality is idiotic, courtesy of the Daily Wire.

Net neutrality is the notion that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) shouldn’t be able to “slow down, speed up, or block data as it is routed from its content originator to end users” in order to favor particular sites. The net neutrality regulations put in place under the Obama administration involved subjecting the Internet to Title II of the 1934 Communications Act, where it’s considered a public utility that is subject to the iron grip of the FCC.

The FCC is now trying to kill these regulations, and they are right do so. Here are seven reasons why.

1. The instances of ISPs slowing down or blocking data to favor certain sites over others are few and far between. Ian Tuttle notes at National Review that when the FCC first attempted net neutrality regulations in 2010, they were only able to “cite just four examples of anticompetitive behavior, all relatively minor.” Cell phone networks, which are not subject to net neutrality-esque regulations, don’t engage in such anticompetitive behavior.

There’s a reason for this: such behavior doesn’t cut it in a free market. As Ben Shapiro wrote in 2014, “Consumers would dump those ISPs in favor of others” if those ISPs slowed down or blocked data as favoritism toward certain sites.

2. Under Title II, the Internet is subject to a bevy of regulations at the whim of the FCC. ISPs have to submit proposals for any “new technology or business model” to the FCC, which will severely hamper innovation.

3. The FCC can also subject ISPs to a slew of taxes under Title II. Per Tuttle, the FCC has the power to levy taxes against companies subject to Title II. Tuttle points out that “telecommunications companies are generally subject to higher state and municipal taxes than other businesses.”

4. The FCC also has the power to prevent ISPs from charging websites at rates they deem to be unfair and ends “paid priority.” This is bad economics, as Shapiro explained:

Netflix consumes a huge amount of peak traffic bandwidth. That costs ISPs money. Pornography sites consume a huge amount of bandwidth. That costs ISPs money. Were an ISP to push YouPorn to pay fees for its higher bandwidth, consumers of the ISP who did not use YouPorn would be the beneficiaries — they wouldn’t be subsidizing YouPorn. As Alexandra Petri of Washington Post writes, “To use one of those dreaded analogies, if you are constantly driving huge trucks, full of big deliveries of pornography, along a road, why shouldn’t you have to pay more for the road’s upkeep?”

Meanwhile, other ISPs could calculate that they want to absorb the costs of YouPorn in order to carry YouPorn, since YouPorn could refuse to pay the fees to the first ISP. That would be an advantage for the second ISP. In other words, market choices take place, and those can provide options to consumers. Net neutrality would ban such deals.

5. It’s a form of censorship. It’s obviously not the kind of blatant censorship that one would expect under totalitarian governments, but the FCC has a way of being subtle in how they control content, per Skorup:

Some Internet providers may initially fight or test the legal boundaries, but the FCC has ways of breaking defiant firms. The most alarming is that the agency is increasingly using license and transaction approvals to coerce various policies — like net-neutrality compliance, increasing the number of, say, public-affairs, Spanish-language, and children’s TV shows, and abandonment of editorial control of TV and radio channels — that it cannot, or will refuse to, enact via formal regulation. In the long run, Internet and technology companies, now FCC supplicants, will have to divert funds from new services and network design to fending off regulatory intrusions and negotiating with the Internet’s new zoning board.

In other words, with the FCC controlling the ISP market they can and will use their power to coerce them into providing content that’s more toward their liking.

6. It’s crony capitalism in favor of web giants like Facebook and Google. That’s why they support net neutrality, since it targets their competitors.

7. The better way to ensure net neutrality is to breathe more capitalism into the ISP market rather than government control. Instead, the FCC should be encouraging de-regulation in order bring in more competition, which is the real check against corporate abuse.

Everything the young person rails against in his letter is what net neutrality is all about.

When did education stop telling students to think for themselves?

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