Tag: Net Neutrality

Top 3 Net Neutrality Repeal Predictions Gone Wrong

It’s been a year since the repeal of net neutrality regulations (which only took effect recently in 2015), and the millions of Chicken Littles on the Left turned out to be wrong yet again with their doomsday predictions.

MSNBC called the repeal the “end of the internet as we know it.” Foreign Policy magazine warned that net neutrality’s repeal will “let power eat the internet.” The New York Post warned that the absence of net neutrality will change the way we use the internet forever. Propaganda outlet Russia Today predicted that in absence of net neutrality, people would have to pay to use social networks, may no longer be able to use Netflix, that websites would be legally censored, and more. GLAAD even warned that a lack of net neutrality would constitute an “attack” on the LGBT community, because why not.

If you were to ask someone on the street who doesn’t pay attention to politics how their internet experience changed over the past two years, do you think they’d be able to cite a single noticeable difference? Probably not, and on that note, it’s worth reviewing just how ridiculous all the doomsday scenarios we were told would occur look now in hindsight.

Tiered Pricing

As we were told, without net neutrality, the internet would devolve into tiered pricing, whereas internet users would have to pay for services individually. Not only would we have to pay for internet, service providers would punish the internet’s most active users by charging them for individual services…. even though no internet service provider (ISP) has ever proposed pricing in such a way (and would likely require illegal collusion to implement).

Below is one such example of the baseless fearmongering, which was extremely common to see in the days leading up to net neutrality’s repeal.

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Given the zero dollars it will cost to post this article to Twitter, we can consider the above claim debunked… and quite laughable.

Personally, I’m curious how such a myth could even gain traction. Net neutrality regulations didn’t take effect until mid-2015 – did everyone simply forget what the internet looked like before then? If ISPs wanted to implement tiered pricing, why wouldn’t they have done so before net neutrality? In this regard, net neutrality was a solution for a hypothetical problem there’s no reason to believe would materialize.

Throttling

In one article cautioning against a net neutrality repeal, the author writes that “If a media conglomerate decided to stream a major sports event to all its customers, it may prioritize that bandwidth over other streaming content.” Regarding throttled internet speeds, the example you’ll always see cited as Exhibit A is Netflix. Back in 2014, Netflix and Comcast were in talks, with Comcast demanding payment in exchange for a promise to deliver movies smoothly to Netflix customers. Comcast throttled Netflix’s speed until Netflix caved to their demands, as you can see in the chart below. Netflix caved in February.

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It must be pointed out here that net neutrality regulations still allowed ISPs to throttle content. Hence why we learned in 2017 (with net neutrality in effect) that Verizon had been throttling traffic on Netflix and YouTube. Nearly all mainstream publications refer to Verizon’s actions as an “apparent violation” of net neutrality – because net neutrality’s rules aren’t what they think they are.

And according to research from Northeastern University, the majority of ISP’s who have throttled content (and not all do) did so at the same rates before and after the repeal of net neutrality rules. In their words, “Our data shows that all of the US ISPs that throttle after June 11th were already using some form of throttling prior to this date. In short, it appears that US ISPs were ignoring the FCC rules pertaining to ‘no throttling’ while those rules were still in effect.” I only disagree with their assessment that there were actually “no throttling” rules in effect (as if they could be easily bypassed, is it even fair to claim they exist?). 

Internet Speeds

So slow will the internet be without net neutrality, that we’ll only be able to post a single word at a time claimed the official Senate Democrats Twitter account.

When it comes to internet speeds as a whole, they’ve surged. When net neutrality’s repeal was announced, the U.S. had the 12th fastest broadband internet speed in the world. Just two months after the repeal took effect, speeds increased to the 6th in the world.

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And now a year out, internet speeds are up nearly 40%. As the Washington Examiner reported; “A new report by Ookla, a sister company to PCMag, shows that download speeds have increased 35.8 percent across the country.” Upload speeds rose 27%. Both speed increases are attributable to the expansion of Gigabit internet connections (delivered over fiber optic lines).

One year out, the Senate Democrats Twitter account has no trouble making posts. They’ve even retained the ability to type multiple words at a time. A miracle indeed.

Concluding Words

Now that a single doomsday prediction has failed to come true, at least liberals can finally admit that they were wrong all along about this issue, sit back, and relax a bit.

Just kidding.

Net Neutrality Nonsense

Last year a debate over net neutrality reignited as FCC chairman Ajit Pai announced his intention to repeal those regulations, which took effect with the “Open Internet Order.” Democrats filed a petition this week to force a net neutrality vote in a last ditch effort to save the regulations, which officially will be killed off on June 11th.

Thanks to the Congressional Review Act, Congress can override administrative agencies like the FCC with a simple majority vote. While Democrats know it’s unlikely to succeed, this is just theatrics so that Democrats can target individual Republicans for their “records opposing net neutrality” during their midterm campaigns. Efforts to preserve net neutrality are being presented by proponents as “saving the internet” and guaranteeing a “free and open internet,” but are they really?

Let’s just review some of the predictions of what will supposedly happen when the final nail is driven into the coffin of net neutrality. Among the most common pro-net neutrality talking points is that the internet pricing would became an “a la carte” system, rather than one where someone pays to access the internet, period. Below is one image showing how net-neutrality proponents believe that internet service providers (ISP) would structure pricing in absence of net neutrality:

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In response to arguments like this, one simply need point out that the internet was not priced like this before net neutrality regulations took effect – in mid 2015. It was perfectly legal for ISPs to price their services like this from day one of the internet to mid-2015, and yet none have ever even proposed implementing such a pricing model. Thus when it comes to pricing, all net neutrality did was protect us from a hypothetical.

What of other claims, like one that ISP’s will throttle the internet speed of some customers in absence of regulations preventing them? In one article cautioning against a net neutrality repeal, the author writes that “If a media conglomerate decided to stream a major sports event to all its customers, it may prioritize that bandwidth over other streaming content.” Regarding throttled internet speeds, the example you’ll always see cited as Exhibit A is Netflix. Back in 2014, Netflix and Comcast were in talks, with Comcast demanding payment in exchange for a promise to deliver movies smoothly to Netflix customers. Comcast throttled Netflix’s speed until Netflix caved to their demands, as you can see in the chart below. Netflix caved in February.

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It must be pointed out here that net neutrality regulations still allow ISPs to block content. Hence why we learned in 2017 (with net neutrality in effect) that Verizon had been throttling traffic on Netflix and YouTube. Nearly all mainstream publications refer to Verizon’s actions as an “apparent violation” of net neutrality – because net neutrality’s rules aren’t what they think they are. As Reason Magazine’s Andrea O’Sullivan noted:

The Open Internet Order (“net neutrality”) did not require all internet actors—ranging from ISPs to content platforms to domain name registrars and everything else—to be content-blind and treat all traffic the same. Rather, it erected an awkward permission-and-control regime within the FCC that only affected a small portion of internet technology companies.

Not even ISPs would be truly content-neutral under the OIO. Because of First Amendment concerns, the FCC could not legally prohibit ISPs from engaging in editorial curation. The U.S. Court of Appeals made this very clear in its 2016 decision upholding the OIO. ISPs that explicitly offer “‘edited’ services” to its customers would be virtually free from OIO obligations. It’s a huge loophole, and it massively undercuts any OIO proponent’s claims that they are supporting “net neutrality.”

The internet was already regulated by Title I. So-called net neutrality regulations reclassified the internet as being regulated under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act, which was created to regulate landline telephones. For whatever problems do need to be regulated away, the regulations dying in June don’t fix them.

 

December 15, 2017: Ep. 613 A Big Win Yesterday for Small Government

Why isn’t Trump ordering the release of the FISA court warrants?

Read this complete takedown of silly liberal economics.

Did “Climate Change” start the California fires?

Why Netflix was noticeably quieter about Net Neutrality this time around.

More solid economic news.
https://www.yahoo.com/news/u-retail-sales-surge-weekly-jobless-claims-fall-144724544.html

December 12, 2017: Ep. 610 Democrats Don’t Want Minority Voters to Know This

Why the rush to get the NY City bomber in the civilian courts?

These job numbers are another reason minority voters should support Trump.

Asian-Americans are being discriminated against and this piece proves it.

Chain migration is a really bad idea.

Another troubling conflict for the Dept. of Justice.

Who are the real opponents of Net Neutrality?