Now that it is once again controlled by right-wing assholes, the FCC is coming after network neutrality again:
The Federal Communications Commission is cracking open the net neutrality debate again with a proposal to undo the 2015 rules that implemented net neutrality with Title II classification.
FCC chairman Ajit Pai called the rules “heavy handed” and said their implementation was “all about politics.” He argued that they hurt investment and said that small internet providers don’t have “the means or the margins” to withstand the regulatory onslaught.
“Earlier today I shared with my fellow commissioners a proposal to reverse the mistake of Title II and return to the light touch framework that served us so well during the Clinton administration, Bush administration, and first six years of the Obama administration,” Pai said today.
Pai’s claims are laughable on their face. His crocodile tears about small internet providers belie the fact that most such providers have already been squeezed to the margins by the monopoly providers like Comcast and Verizon, whose water Pai is so busy carrying. As to the “light touch framework that served us so well,” I can only imagine that by “us,” Pay is referring to the big ISPs, who spent the years he is describing unnecessarily throttling their customers’ bandwidth, refusing to re-invent in their own networks, trying to extort money from content providers and software/service companies, and lying about it the entire time.
There are two reasons to oppose network neutrality:
- You don’t understand how the internet works and the role that internet service providers play, and you have confused the notion of data flowing across networks with control of the content that data represents.
- You want internet service providers to be able to maintain and profit from their monopoly status.
Both of these reasons are bullshit.
On the first point, opponents of network neutrality (i.e., the telecom and cable monopolies and their Republican lackeys) have worked strenuously to promote the notion that net neutrality is somehow about the government meddling with freedom of expression on the internet. In doing so, they exploit the completely reasonable lack of technical expertise amongst the general public about how the internet works. In reality, network neutrality is actually the precise opposite of these bogus claims, and looks to prevent meddling by the telecoms and ISPs with the traffic going over their networks.
As to the second point, internet service providers are utilities, and anyone who suggests otherwise ought to be laughed out of the room. They need to be regulated as utilities, which is exactly what the current Title II designation does.
Imagine that your electric company tried to tell you what brand of lamp or washing machine you could plug into your outlets, or threatened to provide shoddy, unreliable electricity to refrigerators whose manufacturers did not give in to the electric company’s extortion. You would be outraged, and rightly so—and you can bet the only reason electric companies haven’t tried to do exactly that is that the technology to do so does not exist.