Telecommunications Policy

This Reason.tv Video About Net Neutrality is Dedicated to the 21% of Folks Who Want the Gov't to Regulate the Internet

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Rasmussen Reports finds that "just 21%" of likely voters want the government to regulate the Internet: 

American voters believe free market competition will protect Internet users more than government regulation and fear that regulation will be used to push a political agenda.

In the interest on pushing down that 1-in-5 figure closer to zero, here's a recent video that lays out the case against Net Neutrality rules just announced by the FCC:

We originally released this on December 20, 2010.

Here's the original description:

Advocates say that "Net Neutrality" will "save the Internet."

But does the Internet need saving?

Net Neutrality is a proposed set of regulatory powers that would grant the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the ability to control how Internet service providers (ISPs) package their services. Proponents argue that such rules are necessary to ensure that ISPs treat all data on the Internet equally and don't slow or even restrict access to various websites and other parts of the Internet.

However well-intentioned, the practical effect will be to limit consumer choice and grant the federal government unprecedented power over the Internet, all in the name of fixing a problem that doesn't exist in any meaningful way. Indeed, examples of the behavior that Net Neutrality will combat are few and far between.

Approximately 4 minutes. Produced and animated by Austin Bragg. Written by Zach Weissmueller.

Visit Reason.tv for downloadable versions and subscribe to Reason.tv's YouTube channel to receive automatic notification when new material goes live.

Related videos: "Net Neutrality for Dummies" and "Nick Gillespie Talks Net Neutrality, Teen Mags, & More."

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9 responses to “This Reason.tv Video About Net Neutrality is Dedicated to the 21% of Folks Who Want the Gov't to Regulate the Internet

  1. The FCC wants to control the internet. I hope the internet destroys the FCC. It’s looking like the best place to start reducing federal spending.

  2. The internnet? Is that like youporn?

  3. Nice propaganda flick presenting entirely one opinion and zero citable facts.

    I like how all these free thinkers who oppose government regulation don’t seem to have any problems at all with the government granted monopolies ISPs enjoy.

    I’m sure you bought all the propaganda from the service providers that without monopolies they’d go bankrupt and the internet would die.

    Whatever the corporations say, right? Toe the line.

    1. Oh look, another idiot incapable of reading the archives.

    2. Whatever the corporations say, right? Toe the lineTow the lion.

      FIFY

  4. After watching that, I’m more convinced that net neutrality is good policy. If that video is the strongest case against NN, then there’s no reason not to support it.

  5. All the arguments I have seen against government interference via “network neutrality” rules proceed from at least one of two, usually both, false premises. One false premise is that the market provides consumers choice in network access. Since the rise of dialup service providers (1980s) and the wide spread availability of high speed service (late 90’s) I have lived in very populated areas (New York metro area, St Louis metro area) and less populated areas (NJ coast, rural IL). Where I currently live the only choice for broadband access is the local, non-bell, phone system. Who also provide the local equivalent to cable television. My *only* other choice would be satellite. Which does not work well for interactive services. Another false premise is that the US and state governments are not currently interfering with content delivery. The use of DMCA and copyright charges, as well as civil takings of domain names as well as wholesale confiscations of computer systems for investigations of possible violations of conspiracy laws, drug laws, anti-terrorism laws should put the lie to that premise. A specific example ? Craigslist and some state attorney generals. For those that have been involved in the telecommunications business for decades regulations often focus on “the last mile”. In the case of much of the physical United States, that might better be described as the last 2-5 miles. If there is an argument to be made against some form of net neutrality it needs to be made keeping in mind that not all users have the choices available to those living within some municipal markets. The primary reason for government to exist is to protect my rights to choose. In this particular instance, since the barriers to enter the market limit access choice, at least let the government work to protect my choice of what websites I’d like to use. Now if only I had a reason to believe that the government could do a competent job of that.

  6. I don’t buy the economic argument that I’ll switch providers if a provider blocks access. The transaction costs are too high, and the choices are too limited.

    My home has two options for decent speeds, and that is one more than a lot of houses. The ISPs can easily ratchet up their blocking in lockstep, and it will never be in my interest to switch between them. The ISPs have every interest to extract every penny they can out of the revenue stream flowing through their routers, and they have the power to do it.

    The best argument against net neutrality is not to give the FCC more power for a problem that hasn’t materialized yet. But let’s not pretend there is some iron law of economics that will prevent the ISPs from doing what we’re worrying about.

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