I woke up this morning to a tweet……. “BREAKING: US net neutrality rules have officially ended.”
What does this mean? Are we going to have to pay more for websites and social platforms, like Medium, that we use every single day? Are telecoms companies going to charge you “$4.99 for Netflix, $5.99 for the news bundle, $9.99 for the sports package, $12.99 for the Platinum Social Media Experience Including Facebook and Twitter?” umair haque
In the past year, I’ve noticed social media buzzing about the possibility of rolling back Net Neutrality. Everyone all of a sudden had the latest “hot take” on the subject. Then, this past December everyone lost their minds at the new reality when the FCC repealed net neutrality. The common consensus? This is “a terrible step for the future of a free and open internet and for our democracy,” Scott Wiener.
I found this consensus especially common on platforms such as Medium…I searched net neutrality and couldn’t find one in support of the FCC ruling. So I was inspired to write an opposing take on the issue, maybe Medium readers and writers all think differently on this issue and I’ll just receive hate or more likely no reads. But I thought the opinion should at least be said.
So will the rollback of net neutrality destroy the internet? No and I’ll tell you why.
For a society that has become about opposing the big bad corporations, regarding net neutrality, you’re doing the opposite. I’ll give you the short list of major corporations who want net neutrality…Comcast, Verizon, Netflix, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, Amazon…and many many more. If this policy is all about stopping the big bad corporations, why are all of them supporting the policy?
Who has been in the opposition? It’s been the small guy, hardware providers like Cisco, free-market think tanks; professors, writers, and pundits who distrust government and corporations, who also know something about free-market economics.
Net Neutrality was implemented in 2015.
This is a fact that many seem to forget. The rulers of the internet, the same ones we have now, locked down the market to protect themselves from the fast changing tech market. We shouldn’t think of it as a rule against throttling content or using the market price system, it’s a rule protecting monopolies and preventing consumers from customizing the internet service they desire.
Prior to 2015? The internet was buzzing and innovating along.
Rules like net neutrality raise the costs of doing business. Preventing others from entering the market. For established firms this is the perfect dynamic for protecting their profits. A formula for them to continue lining their pockets without the necessity to innovate. Does this sound good for the consumer?
We all seem to forget what happens time and time again with government bureaucracy, they look to major corporations for “guidance.” This doesn’t sound good and never ends up being good for the consumer. With regulations like these, corporations come out in support the idea in general, hold back some reservations (Title II), and then tweak the implemented legislation in their favor behind closed doors.
Evidence of this occurrence occurred with the “Open Internet” policy net neutrality looked to implement using their Title II authority. The policy ended up still allowing ISPs to block, filter and curate content, which is exactly what everyone thinks net neutrality prevents.
These are just some things I wish people would consider. Who is supporting the policy? Corporations. Who is opposing the policy? The little guy. Did the 2015 policy go as said? No. Also, one thing you can count on: more regulations equal higher cost. So not only are you not receiving the protections net neutrality promised, you’re paying more for them.
At the end of the day please remember the little guys on both sides want the same thing, an open internet. Do not be fooled by the rhetoric being pushed by corporations. Today is a win for the consumer and a loss for the big bad corporations.