In 2015, rules were put in place to prevent the free market from working in the Internet. Under these rules, Internet service providers, such as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast as well as smaller Internet service providers, were prohibited from blocking, slowing access to or charging more (priority pricing) for fast delivery of content above some specified threshold of high bandwidth usage.
An article in Frontpage Magazine posted today explains how the repeal of those rules will affect the Internet:
High-speed delivery of Internet services will no longer be heavily regulated on par with a common carrier utility monopoly service. However, the Internet service providers will have to disclose to the FCC changes to their access policies, which can consider any alleged abuses on a case by case basis. The Federal Trade Commission, which shares antitrust enforcement responsibility with the Department of Justice, will be tasked to take action against any anti-competitive behavior.
We are pretty much returning to what the Internet was before 2015. It needs to be considered in discussing this change that the Apple iphone could not have been released under the net neutrality rules–the original monopoly given to one service provider (which gave Apple a chance to work out the bugs) would have been illegal.
The article further explains:
The left would have us believe that the battle over “net neutrality” is between greedy, monopolistic, multibillion dollar Internet service companies and John Q. Public. This is the left’s typical class warfare rhetoric, helped along ironically by multibillion dollar content providers such as Netflix, Google and Facebook that hide behind slogans such as “net neutrality” and “open and free Internet” to obscure their own economic self-interest. Companies the size of Netflix, Google, Facebook, and the new Disney company that may emerge if its purchase of content assets from 21st Century Fox is approved by antitrust officials do not need FCC utility-style regulatory protection from Internet service providers. The FCC should not have placed itself in the position of picking industry sector winners and losers or coming down on the side of content providers, some of whom such as Facebook and Google have substantial market power of their own that allows them to censor content they believe is too controversial.
Moreover, “net neutrality” may be a nice slogan, but it does not reflect the reality of Internet usage. To understand why this is so requires a brief technology discussion.
Follow the link to the article to read the technical discussion–it is way over my head. Meanwhile, the political left never met a government regulation it didn’t love!
The article concludes:
The economics of supply and demand should be permitted to play out under free market conditions. Internet service providers, just like the large content providers, are not monopoly utilities that require utility-style regulation. That said, there will need to be antitrust enforcement by the Federal Trade Commission to prevent anti-competitive abuses, such as an Internet service providers favoring their own affiliated content providers in terms of quality of service, ease of customer access, or discriminatory pricing. The FCC’s repeal of the overly burdensome “net neutrality” rules in no way undermines the ability of the FCC or the Federal Trade Commission to step in and address any abuses that may arise.
The left detests the free market, whether in the context of the Internet or virtually any other segment of the economy. Government knows best, leftists believe. Fortunately, elections have consequences and President Trump put in place at the FCC someone who understands the benefits of the free market. Under Chairman Ajit Pai’s leadership, the FCC removed the dead weight of intrusive regulation on Internet innovation and investment in infrastructure. It also restored the market freedom under which the Internet has thrived.