Net neutrality was a load of gumf – good riddance to it!

net neutrality

If it wasn’t clear before, it should now be very clear that net neutrality was nothing but a political ploy to get some control over something that has worked perfectly for decades unregulated and out of reach of politicians and regulators.

If I have to listen to one more ludicrous argument that net neutrality legislation is needed to protect us poor consumers from the greedy network operators, I’m going to puke. Or that I am going to have to pay more to get the same quality of service I get now. Or that those highly profitable freeloaders, Netflix and YouTube, will be disadvantaged and may have to actually pay for priority traffic instead of demanding it. And if I can find one single case of throttling by any network operator that was not justified, I’ll eat my hat.

Excuse me for asking, but how was the internet for you before net neutrality came in? Has it improved dramatically because of it or because network operators have spent billions of dollars upgrading their networks to win and retain your business. Net neutrality is more likely to have hampered investment in networks rather than encouraged it.

Any business that cannot fairly charge for the different levels of service it offers is at a distinct disadvantage, and investors hate any business that cannot show substantial growth. Net neutrality stifled investment in networks because it set unfair limitations on businesses that run networks to charge for the level of service they offered.

You wouldn’t go into a motor dealer expecting to buy a high performance Bugatti Veyron for the same price as a Hyundai i20, so why do regulators feel that type of deal is OK for the internet? One size does not fit all and it was ludicrous for governments to regulate against networks blocking certain sites or traffic types when they are the main perpetrators of those activities themselves.

The FCC may have voted to put an end to net neutrality, giving internet providers free rein to deliver service at their own discretion, but internet providers will still have to disclose their policies regarding network management practices, performance, and commercial terms. So if ISPs want to block websites, throttle your connection, or charge certain websites more, they’ll have to admit it. Couldn’t be fairer, could it?

As John Strand of Strand Consult puts it, “telecom operators have sold subscriptions to the internet for some 30 years; the price per megabyte has fallen by about 90%; speeds have increased 3,000%; and people consume increasingly larger amounts of data.  All the same, telecom operators were called ‘gatekeepers’ and were saddled with regulation designed to deprive them of shareholder value.”

Strand also points out that “telecom operators also provide more freedom and transparency than Internet companies. Facebook and Twitter can and do remove post of messages for which they don’t agree, and a user can be deactivated for no reason. Telecom operators deliver all communications regardless of the content, not because of regulation, but because they don’t want to be involved in the politics of their subscribers.”

I can also confirm that those same internet behemoths and others like Netflix are paying network operators in some countries to ensure their services are delivered unencumbered. Funny that no one is complaining about that.

Oh, and if you don’t like the service you are getting, or are unhappy about the prices you are paying you can always go to another internet supplier. Unlike the days when government-run telco monopolies where your only choice, today you can take your pick. And network operators will be far more creative trying to attract your business. How could that not be in your interest?

Of course, if you want to set up a data center in your spare room and expect to get away with a stock standard connection you’ll be out of luck, won’t you?

It is painfully obvious that net neutrality was set in place for all the wrong reasons, mainly political, and it didn’t make a shred of difference in the markets where it was introduced. President Trump promised to remove it when campaigning and, like all his legislative reversals, the prime excuse appears to be to remove anything the previous president put in place.

But, if you believe the gumf being fed to you by net neutrality cohorts, your regulated, connected dream-world is about become your worst nightmare as those evil network people begin to do the devil’s work and make your life hell.

Give me strength!

The fact is that you, as a consumer of network services and internet access, just like before net neutrality came in, will notice nothing.

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