Our under-educated (de-educated) youth are swayed by the siren song of “fairness” into believing that net “neutrality” is about “equal” access to the Internet.
Assuming that the FCC’s and 0bama’s claims have merit (they DON’T but go with it), the answer is still the same: let the free market work. If there really is a shortage of capacity, so much so that access and bandwidth have to be metered, throttled or choked — if the problem really is that a few service providers such as movie streaming sites hog all the bandwidth and the people who maintain the infrastructure want to raise their fees for servicing these sites — then the obvious answer is to increase capacity, not to “regulate” it. The free market and the expectation of profit foster innovation and investment, and the improved service benefits everyone. Regulation hinders innovation and chokes off investment, makes existing service poorer, and therefore hurts everyone. The two greatest recent technological advances, cell phones and the web, came after (could only come after) deregulation, the breakup of AT&T, and the rise of new telephone companies such as Sprint and Verizon. These were possible only because of business competition between the telephone and cable companies, and the technological competition between twisted-pair and coaxial cable, and between copper, wireless and fiber optics.
By choosing to regulate the Internet infrastructure as a “utility,” 0bama through the FCC is once again declaring war on the First Amendment. They are trying to regulate not the infrastructure but the content. How can one say that? Easy.
1. This is the same bunch that has been decrying the repeal of the “fairness doctrine” that in past decades limited news sources to the big three (ABC, CBS, NBC), which gave you the same news, worded much the same, sometimes even in the same order. Again, new news services and the consequently different emphasis on what’s “news,” came only after deregulation and competition.
2. A “utility” is supposed to act in the “public interest.” Using the logic behind the old “fairness doctrine,” the government can at any time decide that “news” on the web (and on talk radio) has to be “fact checked,” with the censors deciding what is “fact;” even what is “news,” and if it’s really something that the people should know about — just like in the old “fairness doctrine” days. To see that this is true, consider the differences in the content of news from the broadcast networks, the cable networks, talk radio, and the Internet news sites such as Drudge or Breitbart.
3. There have been calls for “reining in” the talk radio and the Internet news providers for some time, especially during the 0bama years, because they had the nerve to reveal news that embarrassed both the administration and their lapdog media. Under the “net neutrality” rules, the FCC can at any time rule that talk radio and Internet news sites are not operating in the “public interest” because they sow discontent, resentment and distrust of the government.
In the heyday of the broadcast networks monopoly and the fairness doctrine, the broadcasters were restrained by competition from a strong print media. Now those have been fading away for some time now under the pressure of competition from talk radio and Internet news. If this competition is regulated out of existence, which is the long-stated publicly declared intent of the “liberals,” then censorship of the news and the limitation of “news” and commentary only to items favorable to the government are automatic. The people won’t even know that their First Amendment rights have been voided, and the few who complain will be dismissed as kooks, habitual malcontents and “enemies of the people opposed to the social order.” (This term was applied to dissidents under the communist regimes of the Soviet Union and its puppet states in eastern Europe in the glory days of the “workers’ paradise.”)
THIS is what “net neutrality” is.
I should know. I spent my childhood in communist Hungary, where they censored the news, and severely and brutally punished anyone who had a radio capable of receiving Radio Free Europe and Voice of America.