Americans are fast-learning just how antithetical Obama-era policies were to Americanism, and that net neutrality is one of them. The truth about this policy, like so many other policies championed by the modern left, has gone unreported by media outlets or given the old Fake News injection to sound positive.
In reality, net neutrality is little more than another collectivist approach to communication. It seemingly makes all things appear equal on the surface. But, under that un-rippled water are companies and industry leaders passing along unnecessary costs to consumers and not bothering with innovation investment.
Net neutrality advocates may point to how wonderful the internet has remained. Unfortunately, even a tech newbie could flip that argument and point out that it there wasn’t a problem just 2-3 years ago.
Net neutrality has only been around in full force for a few years, and it didn’t address an actual deficiency. The thinking by the liberal elites was that there “might” be a problem. Of course, that perceived problem was that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) might create fast lanes for certain products. If fast lanes were created, a clear and conclusive has never been made that they would be bad for the consumer. It’s far more likely that net neutrality has been a malignant tumor infecting consumers and e-companies alike.
So, while left-leaning publications run headlines with titles like “the death of the internet,” let’s take a look at the hard facts.
Government Regulation Rarely Works
As early as 2014, the Obama-led FCC had suffered significant losses in federal court over its desire to regulate the internet. Make no mistake about it, net neutrality is the U.S. government picking online winners and losers. The previous administration got its full stranglehold on the internet only about two years ago.
Despite the clever marketing, being “neutral” or fair is simply false. The FCC’s policy forces broadband outfits to treat data traveling across the networks they invested into as if it were all the same. Obviously, all data and communications are not the same and may vary in cost. The basic premise of the policy is that companies such as Verizon or Comcast would extend low-cost and even-handed service to the end customer. Think about that. If you have two gas stations and they pay different prices for the fuel, they would need to charge a different cost to each stay profitable. Consumers could, and do, shop accordingly. This basic market equation has been deleted by net neutrality.
In practical consumer terms, only companies that can absorb the price difference forced on them would be able to survive. Smaller, startup ISPs and innovative organizations are thus placed at an unfair disadvantage. They cannot utilize cheaper data or products to get a foothold. Niche companies are priced out and massive corporations win the day. It’s almost ironic that the socialist-type policy leads to the corporate takeover of the Internet market. These giants also get to set the end price without mercy. Think about how few ISP, cell phone and cable options consumers have versus gas stations.
When ISPs Lose, Consumers Lose As Well
In 2010, a little-known outfit called Level 3 reportedly found a way to game the system in an attempt at what some consider and unfair profit.
Level 3 and Comcast shared what was termed a “peering” agreement. Basically, the pair worked together to move online traffic from source to destination. The cost was about equal, and neither asked for additional compensation of the other. Capitalism at its cooperative finest!
But, as the Net Neutrality policies emerged, Level 3 also found an opportunity to work with surging Netflix. They won a bid to move content, and Netflix enjoyed a booming 20 percent of all peak traffic. That put Level 3 on a different playing field than Comcast in terms of moving data. The increase in traffic would have a disparity of about 5 to 1. Obviously, Level 3 should be tasked with paying the additional freight.
Level 3 used the Obama net neutrality rules to try to avoid paying the additional fees and gain an unfair advantage. By doing so, the company reinvented itself as an ISP to sidestep the heightened cost. The pair ended up in court. With both parties unsure of the outcome at that time, they settled the lawsuit. In all likelihood, additional cost was passed along to consumers.
Life In The Fast Lane
Net neutrality proponents also decry the possibility of “fast lanes.” The odd twist seems to be that fast lanes are bad. Of course, these same people probably go through the “express lane” at the supermarket when they have 12 items or less. Many use the quick self-pay register, drive-thru windows, express highway lanes and every other type of time convenience.
Several companies with large online presences had sought to create fast lanes by partnering with advertisers to provide sponsored data. In no way did they intend to slow other data. The idea was that certain brands, say Walmart or Amazon, could pay the freight for outfits to create alternative service networks. These niche or startup outfits would drive consumer options up and costs down. You don’t have them thanks to Obama’s net neutrality. Consumers are not living in an Internet fast lane.
Consumers have a slower, less innovative internet industry that is dominated by a handful of major companies that set prices. If billion-dollar online corporations are advocating for net neutrality, that’s because you’re getting less and paying more.
~ Liberty Planet