BREAKING: FCC votes to repeal Obama-era net neutrality rules

The Federal Communications Commission has voted 3-2 to repeal net neutrality rules established by the Obama administration in 2015. And this is a great move!

FCC Chair Ajit Pai stated that repealing net neutrality stops the federal government from “micromanaging the Internet.”

“The sky isn’t falling consumers will remain protected and the Internet will flourish,” he said.

Despite many people on both sides of the aisle declaring that this is the end of the Internet, our main form of communication will carry on as it did before 2015. With the freedom of information we have with the Internet, the last thing you will want is the government to intervene.

Two of the best arguments against net neutrality come from the Mises Institute and Steven Crowder.

First, from Mises’s Brian Dellinger:

It is difficult to deny that price incentives have drastically shifted over the last decade; if streaming video is generating much of the ISPs’ expenses, it makes intuitive sense that providers might demand Netflix share those costs, or might price service by total consumption rather than maximum bandwidth. Nor are the corporations supporting net neutrality any more trustworthy than the ISPs. Setting Netflix aside, supporters such as Google and Facebook seek to block ISPs from trading in users’ private information – a trade on which these companies themselves depend. For them, net neutrality eliminates the competition.

Other objections rely too heavily on speculation. While a “fast lane” internet would be a marked shift, the brief history of the web is one of constant change. Indeed, the rise of mobile browsing, which often limits the user to app-specific websites and now constitutes a majority of all web usage, may produce a greater alteration than that net neutrality would prevent.

Further, the internet is historically the result of market activity rather than top-down regulations. If one approves of its remarkable evolution to this point, it seems peculiar to assert that this is the moment to freeze it through government action. Given how few accurately predicted that evolution, it seems hubristic to assert how it will change next. Perhaps, as the ISPs argue, the increased revenue from a non-neutral internet would enable the expansion of broadband networks, ending regional monopolies of service providers. Such a change might ultimately produce a faster, more accessible internet – or it might not, but the experiment seems worth the risk.

Finally, whatever one’s feelings on net neutrality, the 2015 rules should be seen for what they are: a staggering expansion of bureaucratic power, by decree of the bureaucracy itself. The result is an ugly patchwork of overlapping authority between the FCC and the Federal Trade Commission, with ISPs disfavored over similar services. This reclassification can never be a stable solution; it will always be vulnerable to precisely the kind of unilateral repeal currently occurring.

If the public supports net neutrality, then let it be defended through the proper channel: by laws, and not bureaucratic fiat.

Second, from Crowder:

No, the Internet is not going to cust $1,000 per day now, websites will not be blocked, and millions will not lose their lives.

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