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    Net Neutrality’s End Brought About Faster Internet

    Net Neutrality’s End Brought About Faster Internet

    The repeal of net neutrality was supposed to trigger Armageddon

    The repeal of net neutrality was supposed to trigger Armageddon, or so net neutrality proponents claimed. Yet, here we are. And here I am, blogging, creating internet real estate on a connection that’s faster than before.

    I’m not the only one enjoying fast internet connectivity. According to Recode, internet speed rose on average, around 40% nationwide, this last year alone.

    No longer is the US ranked 12th globally in broadband internet speed, we’ve jumped up to 7th in the time since net neutrality was sent packing.

    The Boston Globe has more:

    Perhaps this strikes you as something less than a stop-the-presses revelation. The internet, after all, has been expanding and accelerating for the past 25 years. Why should 2018 have been any different?

    Yet last year, when the Federal Communications Commission moved to repeal the Obama administration’s “Net Neutrality” rule, much of the liberal establishment went berserk. Many in the media were sure the change would mean the “end of the internet as we know it.” A lavish online campaign backed by dozens of organizations issued a “Red Alert,” warning that if the FCC under Chairman Ajit Pai overturned the Obama regulations, it would “give the big cable companies control over what we see and do online” and “allow widespread throttling, blocking, censorship, and extra fees.” A New York Times business journalist bewailed the coming demise of the internet — undoing net neutrality, he wrote, “would be the final pillow in its face.” Other tech analysts were even more caustic. Nilay Patel, the editor of The Verge, proclaimed that with net neutrality gone, the internet was doomed. (“Doomed” wasn’t the word he used.)

    In the abstract, this was a legitimate topic for debate. “Net neutrality” is jargon for a policy under which internet service providers (ISPs) such as Comcast and Verizon are required to treat all data equally, making no distinction among online websites or the features they offer. Advocates warned that if net neutrality weren’t mandated by the government, internet carriers would move data more slowly, exempting websites and apps only if they paid for preferential “fast lane” service. Or they would shift to a tiered subscription model, in which consumers seeking access to bandwidth gluttons like Netflix and YouTube would be charged more than consumers interested only in web browsing and email.

    That argument was plausible in theory, but belied by history. Though the internet has existed since the early 1990s, it wasn’t until 2015 that the FCC imposed its net-neutrality regulations. Did it do so because the big ISPs were throttling internet traffic? Hardly. In the more than two decades during which the internet functioned without net-neutrality regulations, there was scant evidence that rapacious corporations were strangling web traffic. On the contrary: As the FCC’s own published data confirmed, between 2011 and 2015, internet speeds had been steadily rising.

    The real impulse behind the Obama-era rules was to amass power. By designating broadband providers as the equivalent of telephone companies, the FCC claimed sweeping authority to regulate them under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. That gave the agency a say in nearly every step taken by the broadband firms. “The FCC was empowered to decide if a network provider’s products were good for consumers, and innovative new services were suddenly viewed with suspicion,” explained Boston Globe technology reporter Hiawatha Bray. “For instance, the agency went after cellular companies for daring to offer free video and music streaming services. . . . Armed with Title II, [the FCC] could turn the Internet into something like the old Bell system telephone monopoly, famed for its near-total lack of technical innovation.”

    So when the Trump administration last December voted to undo the net-neutrality rule, it was simply restoring the status quo ante. It was also acknowledging that the decision to arm an agency with significant new authority belongs to Congress, not to the agency’s own bureaucrats.

    That was a move with which reasonable people could disagree. But the reaction from countless critics was anything but reasonable.

    When the FCC floated repealing the Obama era power grabbing regulations, it wasn’t just professional media critics who lost their minds, we documented numerous occasions in which FCC Chairman Pai was harassed over the prospect of repeal, as were lawmakers who advocated the rule changes.

    Alas…

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    Comments



     
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    mailman | January 1, 2019 at 9:04 am

    Business thrives in the absence of pointless and costly regulations eh? Who knew (well apart from everyone not part of the Obama shakedown I guess).

    Of course ISP infrastructure has been increased. The large ISPs got exactly what they wanted, leverage to squeeze a portion of the revenues of companies such as Netflix from those companies. This is exactly what has happened. This allows the ISP to upgrade their systems without having to raise the fees to customers. However, it increases costs to Netflix customers. I would be a little cautious regarding the Ookla claim of 38% speed increase, nationwide, as there is no real breakdown of how they came up with that measurement.

    Now, here is the potential problem represented by the relaxation of Obama Era Net Neutrality. By essentially allowing any ISP to charge sites for access, charge customers fees for access to sites or simply block any site that they want, these companies now have the power to censor the internet. Will this happen? This is unknown. However, we have already seen extensive censorship in social media tech companies. Whether this will manifest itself among individual ISPs, or not, is yet to be seen. Time will tell.


       
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      Artcurus in reply to Mac45. | January 1, 2019 at 1:41 pm

      The thing is that Facebook is their own entity. They reserve the right to ban anyone they want.

      ISP, however, are theoretically supposed to be dumb pipes. By removing title II designation, they become fully responsible for what comes through those pipes, porn, whatnot. They want it both ways.

      By the way, the latest ruling, and yes, this is fully researchable, it passed right before Christmas I believe, is that ISP can now read instant messages, and direct advertising, or censor messages at will. Verizon was already caught censoring pro choice groups in 2007.


       
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      Artcurus in reply to Mac45. | January 1, 2019 at 1:44 pm

      I wish I could edit. The majors fully admitted that NN had nothing to do with buildout. The ironic thing is that most of the buildout happened while NN was in place.

    I wonder why Comcast, AT&T, and other providers have not published ambiguous rules and then banned Twitter and Facebook etc., when they violate them. Wouldn’t it be funny to watch Twitter and Facebook squirm if they got banned.


     
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    hurricane567 | January 2, 2019 at 12:41 pm

    NN was not about making the internet faster or slower or more fair, it was about squashing the 1st Amendment. If President Trump was as bad as the left thinks he is, he would have kept it. Then he would have ordered Ajit Pai to bury ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, WaPo, NYT, and LA Times in red tape every time they or their web hosting service asked for more bandwidth. CNN.com would be totally Mosaic compliant for the entire Trump administration. Pai then would let Rush Limbaugh slice through that tape and elrusbo.com would be 4K VR with Dolby 7.1. Anyone who argues otherwise is either forgetting or ignoring Lois Lerner. IRS isn’t in the 1st Amendment business, either, and look how that turned out.


       
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      Artcurus in reply to hurricane567. | January 2, 2019 at 1:02 pm

      hurricane,

      Please explain, in detail, what NN is and then go back and read your post.Under the framework of NN, what you described would not be possible.

      Also, bandwidth isn’t handled by the go

      You have no idea how NN really works.

      Here’s the ironic thing, since the REPEAL of NN, what you’re describing, is happening now.


         
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        hurricane567 in reply to Artcurus. | January 3, 2019 at 12:13 am

        “Advocates warned that if net neutrality weren’t mandated by the government, internet carriers would move data more slowly, exempting websites and apps only if they paid for preferential “fast lane” service.” The government decides who gets a fast lane and who does not. Much like ACA, NN contains a lot of “the secretary may…” and liberals tend to think they will own the secretary forever. Elections have consequences. “Here’s the ironic thing, since the REPEAL of NN, what you’re describing, is happening now.” So show me where that’s occurring. If nobody goes to msnbc.com because of their low quality content, ads can’t be sold and high speed hosting can’t be paid for, that’s not Trump’s doing.


           
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          Artcurus in reply to hurricane567. | January 3, 2019 at 9:36 am

          “Advocates warned that if net neutrality weren’t mandated by the government, internet carriers would move data more slowly, exempting websites and apps only if they paid for preferential “fast lane” service.” The government decides who gets a fast lane and who does not.

          ^these are completely contradictory statements. On one side, the government tells the ISP you can’t discriminate, slow down or block traffic. Which is the basis for NN. But then the Government decides who gets the fast lane and who doesn’t?

          On the Trump statement I was afraid that was going to get misinterpreted after I posted but I couldn’t edit. You are correct.


     
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    Artcurus | January 2, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    Hit submit before I was ready. Bandwidth isn’t handled by the gov, it’s handled by the webhost and the ISP that handles the webhost. Trump could not order what you are saying.


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