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Net Neutrality Is Officially Dead. That's a Victory for Free Speech.

The policy was "a solution that won't work to a problem that doesn't exist."

ReasonReasonToday marks the end of the net neutrality rules enacted in 2015. Passed after President Barack Obama actively pushed for it, the "Open Internet Order" allowed the the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate the business practices of internet service providers (ISPs) and mobile carriers under regulations originally designed for the old Bell Telephone monopoly.

Supporters of net neutrality, including companies such as Netflix, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon, argue that ISPs have too much control over the "pipes" of the Internet and would engage in all sorts of content discrimination absent such rules.

Opponents of net neutrality, including me and most everyone at Reason, argue that bad actions only rarely and sporadically happened before the imposition of such rules and were easily remedied without giving the government enormous power to dictate business practices.

Earlier this year, the FCC reported on recent trends in the growth of broadband:

From 2012 to 2014, the number of Americans without access to both fixed terrestrial broadband and mobile broadband fell by more than half—from 72.1 million to 34.5 million....But the pace was nearly three times slower after the [net neutrality rules were imposed], with only 13.9 million Americans newly getting access to both over the next two years.

As of year-end 2016, 92.3% of all Americans have access to fixed terrestrial broadband at speeds of 25 Mbps/3 Mbps, up from 89.4% in 2014 and 81.2% in 2012.

Nonetheless, over 24 million Americans still lack fixed terrestrial broadband at speeds of 25 Mbps/3 Mbps.

Keep in mind, of course, that current commissioner Ajit Pai (read Reason interviews with him here and here) was opposed to net neutrality. But nobody is really challenging those stats.

Intelligence SquaredIntelligence SquaredWhatever side of the debate you're on, net neutrality is, at least for now, a dead letter. Supporters will continue to push for its return and could ultimately prevail. All of this sets up a powerful and, I hope, illuminating natural experiment. Before 2015, we had an internet that was lightly regulated. From 2015 til now, the net was governed by stricter rules. From now until the rules may be reinstated, we'll be back to a light-touch regime. Let's see if anyone notices a real difference in his or her online experience.

My bet: The internet will continue to improve, both in terms of the speed of connection and the range of content, applications, and experiences we'll be accessing. As economist and net neutrality critic Tom Hazlett suggests, there may well be "paid prioritization" and continuing attempts to build "walled gardens" like Facebook's, but they will flourish or die based on whether they serve consumers' interests and needs. The advent of 5G and other technologies that will add to the competitive marketplace for internet access will make current arguments about net neutrality completely moot.

At the same time, there is a low-grade war on free expression going on in the country. Most, if not all, of that is happening at the platform level or from the government, not the easily vilified ISPs. That's one of the takeaways from the recent congressional testimony of Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg. Republicans and Democrats alike told the social-media magnate they wanted to regulate his business sector, and he happily agreed. Twitter, Google (including YouTube), and other companies are policing speech more than ever and eliminating, demonetizing, and punishing "bad" actors, sometimes to curry favor with the government and sometimes to curry favor with users. The "safe harbor" provision known as Section 230 that long protected websites and ISPs from being prosecuted for crimes committed by their users has been "decimated" by new laws aimed at ending sex trafficking. In this context, anything that takes away the government's power to govern the internet has to be seen as a win for free speech.

Last week, I participated in an Intelligence Squared debate on the question of Net Neutrality. The proposition under discussion was "Preserve Net Neutrality: All Data Are Created Equal." Defending that proposition were former FCC chief Tom Wheeler, who instituted the Open Internet Order of 2015, and the head of Mozilla, Mitchell Baker. Joining me in arguing against the proposition was Michael Katz, a Berkeley economist and former chief economist at the FCC. It was an Oxford-style debate, so the audience voted before and after the debate; the winner is the team that gains more votes. The pre-debate vote was 60 percent for the resolution, 23 percent against, and 17 percent undecided. The post-debate vote was 60 percent for the resolution, 31 percent against the motion, and 9 percent undecided. So Katz and I technically chalked up a win, despite the high level of support for the other side.

You can watch the debate by clicking below.

A transcript, commentary, and more are here.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Let's see if we get another Redditard influx on this one.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    [starts up Sevo signal generator]

  • Citizen X - #6||

    An onion on a belt?

  • Sevo||

    Got one of those. Yellow. Best kind.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Looks like the Redditards are only arriving in small numbers for this one after all.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Whatever side of the debate you're on, net neutrality is, at least for now, a dead letter. Supporters will continue to push for its return and could ultimately prevail.

    SO THEN IT'S NOT IN FACT DEAD. They keep telling me gun control is dead but like a zombie on bath salts, it always seems to jump back up and chomp for my face. Same with net neutrality, I'll wager.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    It's resting!

  • Shirley Knott||

    Pining for the fjords.

  • CE||

    The zombie never actually took bath salts, and wasn't actually a zombie.

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    Forget it, he's rolling.

  • Bra Ket||

    Then it would be undead. Which technically still counts as dead.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Whatever side of the debate you're on, net neutrality is, at least for now, a dead letter.

    Salty ham tears in 3... 2... 1...

  • ||

    You know what's better than salty net neutrality tears?

    A stream of them.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    The tears of those fat smug faggots are delicious.

  • Definitely Not Tulpa||

    Just get a VPN. Idiots don't understand they can force their ISP to give them NN if they want.

    Also, how about allowing ISPs to sell service everywhere and break up local monopolies on internet access?? That'd do more to reduce internet costs AND give you unthrottled service AND damage the corporations than Net Neutrality law would do.

  • Robes Pierre||

    That's the obvious free market solution to the problem. Yet Nick Gillespie and Reason aren't paid to push the free market solution. The last thing their sponsors want is the free market. They would rather put up with Net Neutrality than give up their government subsidized monopolies.But if they can retain their monopoly while also getting rid of regulation that mitigates their monopoly rent-seeking....well why not! It's free money!

  • ||

    I don't disagree with your first statement. The market already solved the problem and will continue to solve the problem iteratively until it is no longer a problem at any reasonable price point.

    With regard to the second issue, you're effectively advocating NN as it was a rehash of the cable standardization of televised content in the 80s and 90s. A national standard of programming content was enacted to effectively trump local regulation and the monopolies it generated. It brought us CNN, '57 channels with nothing on', cable bundles, and the need for a la carte viewing that Netflix and streaming used to (not) dethrone major cable companies as some of, if not the, premier content providers.

    Comcast has been at this game for over 50 yrs. AT&T has, arguably, been at it for over 100. The idea that there's a one-off government regulation that's going to bring them down is absurd. It would take a concerted effort and the combined total of the concerted effort would pretty definitively enable the US government to control or dismantle any corporate entity, selectively and as it sees fit. I don't know where you come from but where I grew up, the government's ability to do stuff like that was labeled as something between fascism and socialism.

  • Robes Pierre||

    How exactly did the market 'solve the problem'? The free market could solve the problem, but that would involve competition.Milton Friedman famously pointed out that the biggest enemies of the free market are existing businesses.
    Nick Gillespie and Reason are shrilling for maintaining the government monopoly, but removing any regulations that protect the consumer from the worst excesses of monopolistic practices.

    That is crony capitalism.

    The libertarian response to this issue is simple. Remove the barriers to competition. That Gillespie and Reason oppose this is just another example of the intellectual dishonesty of establishment libertarianism.

  • Sevo||

    Robes Pierre|4.23.18 @ 7:12PM|#
    "How exactly did the market 'solve the problem'? The free market could solve the problem, but that would involve competition."

    We HAVE competition.

  • ||

    Not entirely. There a still a lot of local cable monopoly agreements. They need to be eliminated.

  • Sevo||

    "Not entirely. There a still a lot of local cable monopoly agreements."
    Irrelevant. We have competition.

  • VinniUSMC||

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  • VinniUSMC||

    I was meant to be laughing at Sevo, not Patrick.

    We HAVE competition

    What a laughable assertion. We have crony capitalism. And most people have access to 1 broadband provider. I guess 1 provider is enough to qualify as "competition" to some?

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    And most people have access to 1 broadband provider.

    There's satellite internet, cable, DSL, and of course cell phones. This assertion, like most propogated by "NN" proponents, that "most people only have one broadband option," is complete and utter horseshit.

    But what else can we expect from people who don't know how data transport works?

  • Darr247||

    riiiight... the 35 million that have zero access to broadband don't matter, 'cause "most people" have access to it.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    the 35 million that have zero access to broadband

    If you're going to bullshit, at least throw out a plausible number.

  • Jimothy||

    Net neutrality isn't going to help people without broadband. It doesn't matter one lick of your non-existent broadband provider is restricted in how it can treat Netflix traffic.

  • Sevo||

    "And most people have access to 1 broadband provider."

    You're full of shit.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    It's funny that what seems to me to be the most relevant use of the commerce clause - breaking up state supported monopolies - doesn't ever get invoked in these arguments.

    ---

    Veering wildly: Is encrypted DNS and TLS (https) everywhere a reasonable substitute for a VPN, at least as far as your ISP is concerned?

  • Brightly||

    They don't trust the Free Market to proliferate the Internet under the same rules it has thrived under for the past 30+ years. NN is a bad solution to a problem that does not exist.

  • Josh The Radio Dude||

    Nick, you could not be more wrong on this. I've already proven that to you before. The death of net neutrality is the death of free speech on the Internet. This is not a debate, this is fact. And when your ISP starts censoring your access and what political positions you're allowed to advocate online, you will have no one to turn to with your tears of anguish. You were warned. You ignored reality. You'll regret it sooner rather than later.

  • Definitely Not Tulpa||

    Just get a VPN. You can HAVE NN if you want. Just because you're too stupid to employ the obvious fix doesn't mean freedom on the internet is dead.

  • Darr247||

    You realize they can just choke the bandwidth to anyone employing a VPN, right?

  • Sevo||

    "You realize they can just choke the bandwidth to anyone employing a VPN, right?"
    So?

  • Robes Pierre||

    Nick isn't being paid to be right. He's being paid to promote crony capitalism.

  • ||

    Even a trivial glance at Europe shows Nick to be on the right side on both accounts. More government control isn't the solution to crony capitalism. It's just a means by which to convert capitalism into cronyism.

    I don't like most of the positions or stances Nick takes, and I recall Reason being somewhere between wrong and ambiguous early one, but he's right on this one. Equal data aren't free and free data are not equal. Jesus arm wrestling the Devil can't inherently be valued by ISPs or even, apparently, site admins. The notion that it should be regulated either grants it value inherently or values regulation without regard to any and all content it regulates.

  • Juice||

    when your ISP starts censoring your access and what political positions you're allowed to advocate online

    ...riiiiiiight......

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Jeez, pretty bad. OBL-what's-his-handle is much better.

  • silver.||

    I just don't understand how we arrive at such an apocalyptic scenario. I'm not as knowledgeable about computer networking as I used to be, but as far as I know no ISPs have ever implemented filters of any sort. There was a huge stink when Comcast's hidden data caps were found. I think they were also filtering bitTorrent traffic because they were too cheap to beef up their aging infrastructure, and they were rightly eviscerated by public outrage for both of these occurrences. At that time I had no other broadband options, and that's changed in the past decade, too.

    If you're using SSL, your ISP (or anyone) can't see the contents of packets, and almost all major sites support it (and thus everyone should have HTTPS Everywhere). How will ISPs be able to police content if they can't even view it?

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    There was a huge stink when Comcast's hidden data caps were found.

    Keep in mind that NN supporters have promoted the use of data caps when it was repeatedly pointed out to them that this was mostly being pimpled by heavy-use content providers like Netflix.

  • ||

    The death of net neutrality is the death of free speech on the Internet. This is not a debate, this is fact. And when your ISP starts censoring your access and what political positions you're allowed to advocate online, you will have no one to turn to with your tears of anguish.

    Remember when the State Department as well as several high-profile politicians hounded Wikileaks off of Amazon's servers and pressured Paypal to freeze their accounts? Good times.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Yeah, because it was the Internet Dark Ages before the Carolingian Renaissance of the 2015 OIO set loose the shackles of speech that had previously been locked in a dungeon, never to see the light of day.

  • XM||

    When has ISPs blocked you from content on the internet? That's already illegal.

    They might resort to throttling in response to people hogging bandwidth, but not might be less of problem now that traffic increasingly flows to mobile devices.

  • mjerryfuerst||

    "I've already proven that to you before. " Apparently you haven't, given the content of this article

  • Sevo||

    Josh The Radio Dude|4.23.18 @ 5:06PM|#
    "Nick, you could not be more wrong on this. I've already proven that to you before. The death of net neutrality is the death of free speech on the Internet. This is not a debate, this is fact."

    Bull
    .
    .
    .
    .
    shit.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Vall me crazy, but billing oneself as 'The Radio Dude' doesn't inspire much confidence in one's arguments At least I'm a shitlord.

  • stuartl||

    Which of my 6+ options for high speed internet is looking to go out of business?

  • VinniUSMC||

    6+? Riiiiiight.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Just because you're too stupid to do some basic research on internet access options doesn't mean others are, Vinni.

  • ||

    Sorry, the death of free speech is government regulating the internet. That's not a debate, that's a fact.

    NN is a nonsense solution to a non-existent problem. No ISP is going to start censoring access or what political positions are allowed. It didn't happen before and it won't happen now.

  • CE||

    No, but Twitter and Facebook and Reddit will take care of that for them.

  • Spookk||

    That is obviously untrue. The most recent example can be found with Craigslist removing the personal ads. Facebook will be doing so next.

  • BigT||

    ISPs, not content providers. Besides, you commies are crying out for FB and others to censor 'hate' speech.

  • Sevo||

    "That is obviously untrue. The most recent example can be found with Craigslist removing the personal ads. Facebook will be doing so next."

    And NN didn't stop THAT, did it?
    Go whine to your mommy, slaver.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    The death of net neutrality is the death of free speech on the Internet.

    Title II designation is not the same as Net Neutrality. Try to remember that a promise of a light touch means nothing. Think about giving the same idiots that think FOSTA/SESTA is a good idea insanely broad regulatory powers.

  • Kevin Tyssen||

    My ISP has never attempted to censor anything, the only ones trying to censor the internet is the very government you claim is needed to protect us from censorship

  • TJJ2000||

    Just more election propaganda law - they should be focused on enforcing the crimes and abuse taking place not banning and filtering the tool (internet infrastructure) used to preform the crime.

  • tpaine||

    "this is not a debate, this is fact"

    Can't remember when, but I'm sure I've heard this exact phrase before somewhere.....

  • WillPaine||

    Censorship sucks, and is illegal; yeah,yeah, no shouting fire in a theatre...

  • Rockabilly||

    Alert Al Gore!!!

  • mjerryfuerst||

    This article contains multiple weak and/or dubious arguments/statements, such as:

    1) "..... bad actions only rarely and sporadically happened before the imposition of such rules and were easily remedied without giving the government enormous power to dictate business practices." This is an unsupported assertion. The article's author, Mr Gillepsie, needs to demonstrate this

    2) "From 2012 to 2014, the number of Americans without access to both fixed terrestrial broadband and mobile broadband fell by more than half—from 72.1 million to 34.5 million....But the pace was nearly three times slower after the [net neutrality rules were imposed], ....." Of course, those easiest to serve get service first. Those remaining unserved are inherently more
    difficult to serve

    3) "The advent of 5G and other technologies that will add to the competitive marketplace for internet access will make current arguments about net neutrality completely moot." This suggests keeping the regulations in place, and removing them once the hypothesized "mootness" becomes apparent.

    4) ".....anything that takes away the government's power to govern the internet has to be seen as a win for free speech." This ending of a paragraph sentence is not supported by the paragraph.

    5) "So Katz and I technically chalked up a win, despite the high level of support for the other side." Irrelevant

  • Sevo||

    "1) "..... bad actions only rarely and sporadically happened before the imposition of such rules and were easily remedied without giving the government enormous power to dictate business practices." This is an unsupported assertion. The article's author, Mr Gillepsie, needs to demonstrate this"
    Seems if you are argu9ng FOR regulation, YOU need to show causwe.

    "2) "From 2012 to 2014, the number of Americans without access to both fixed terrestrial broadband and mobile broadband fell by more than half—from 72.1 million to 34.5 million....But the pace was nearly three times slower after the [net neutrality rules were imposed], ....." Of course, those easiest to serve get service first. Those remaining unserved are inherently more
    difficult to serve"
    So?

    "3) "The advent of 5G and other technologies that will add to the competitive marketplace for internet access will make current arguments about net neutrality completely moot." This suggests keeping the regulations in place, and removing them once the hypothesized "mootness" becomes apparent."
    Assumptions are not arguments. Try again.

    "4) ".....anything that takes away the government's power to govern the internet has to be seen as a win for free speech." This ending of a paragraph sentence is not supported by the paragraph."
    No, it's supported by experience.

    "5) "So Katz and I technically chalked up a win, despite the high level of support for the other side." Irrelevant"
    To you.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Literally nothing you wrote as a refutation is accurate.

  • mikekrohde||

    I'm still not sure who won and what they won. My example of cable service didn't seem to be addressed. I have access to one. A monopoly. I can't get cox to compete here in San Diego on price so they are all over priced here. And amazingly enough the prices are close. If we don't have net neutrality how can I be sure I won't end up with another cable service? I'm paying a lot more than Europeans if I understand reality. Once more, the cable example is my greatest fear. I don't get any choice because I'm limited to several businesses who clearly cooperated on price by limiting service. There is no competition here in San Diego that isn't intrusive or difficult for a user like myself. So TimeWarner or Cox or the satellite companies are doing it to me right now on this service. How is the ISP going to be different?

  • Sevo||

    "There is no competition here in San Diego that isn't intrusive or difficult for a user like myself."

    So there is competition, but you don't like it and would rather have everyone else pay for the service you do like?
    Got it.
    The lame 'excuses' freeloaders come up with are pathetic.

  • Spookk||

    Like the taxes that go to pay for good roads and highways instead of handing sections thereof off to private corps to turn into toll roads?

  • Sevo||

    "Like the taxes that go to pay for good roads and highways instead of handing sections thereof off to private corps to turn into toll roads?"
    Did you have a point, or just changed the subject because you're an ignoramus?

  • wearingit||

    He/she says while clearly using equipment that someone else has set up.

    Why not go make your own ISP then Sevo?

  • Sevo||

    "Why not go make your own ISP then Sevo?"

    Because, unlike whiny slavers, I pay for what I buy.

  • ReadyKilowatt||

    Early next year look for AT&T, Verizon and possibly T-Mobile to start selling fixed wireless service nationwide as they light up the 5G service.

    Oh, it's not the small-batch locally grown solution that people think they want, but it will be competitive with cable.

  • Sevo||

    "Oh, it's not the small-batch locally grown solution that people think they want, but it will be competitive with cable."

    That's what happens when there's money to be made.
    But aside from that, is there an Amendment I missed which says the government can force suppliers to provide X service regardless of where you choose to live?

  • Rat on a train||

    Did you forget the FYTW clause? The government can compel commerce now.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    In your list of woes I didn't notice the part where you had a bracelet on your ankle that restricted your ability to move.

  • CE||

    My city has Spectrum (Charter/Time Warner) or Frontier (Verizon) for cable. Or you can get Dish or DirectTV. That's 4 options right there. 5G wireless will be another option that can compete anywhere.

  • Sevo||

    CE, don't bother these commies with facts!

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    No it's not. States are moving to enact their own Net Neutrality legislation.

  • ReadyKilowatt||

    I'd love to get the cover art "Don't tread on my Internet" on a T shirt.

  • mtrueman||

    Guatemala or South Korea? In which country is net neutrality dead?

  • SamHell||

    NN would have absolutely strangled the life out of emerging meshnet technologies. Can you imagine providing internet access peer to peer and then the government not seizing the opportunity to treat every indivual involved as an internet provider? They would bury everyone in red tape at the behest of the big ISP's.
    That alone is enough reason to let NN die, it's an absolute long term disaster to innovation and competition. Regulation capture disguised as freedom, makes me sick...

  • Sevo||

    "Can you imagine providing internet access peer to peer and then the government not seizing the opportunity to treat every indivual involved as an internet provider? They would bury everyone in red tape at the behest of the big ISP's."

    Comcast would be buying front page adds claiming they were supporting "free speech"!
    And, yes, every one of those innovators would be buried in administrative costs.

  • Sufi||

    You say - "The advent of 5G and other technologies that will add to the competitive marketplace for internet access will make current arguments about net neutrality completely moot." I could not disagree more. What do you mean completely moot? 5G is going to cost an enormous fortune to implement. It means building an entirely new network of cellular transmitters all over the country as close as six feet apart in some areas. This will cost an enormous fortune! You know those who want 5G will pay a hefty premium. That hefty premium charge would not be possible except for the FCC Net Neutrality decision. I am sure that's why cellular companies lobbied so heavily for the "net Neutrality" ruling which is in fact a brand new kind of Net Privilege, not Net Neutrality.

    Your comparisons to the old way of doing things and in fact the entire opinion you express in this article is what is moot, Nick. You are oblivious to the new technologies, what they will cost to implement and what consumer will be required to pay.

    The original FCC Net Neutrality FCC was in response to a lawsuit brought by cellular carriers for this very reason. You missed the boat by a country mile and your arguments are totally ridiculous.

    Regarding FOSTA I have to agree with your associate Elizabeth Nolan Brown that FOSTA does more to HELP sex traffickers than bring them to justice.

    Once again you drank the right wing kool-aid, Nick. I hope it tasted good.

  • Ship of Theseus||

    Fuck. Off.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    That hefty premium charge would not be possible except for the FCC Net Neutrality decision.

    Holy shit--building infrastructure costs money? And the companies building that infrastructure will want to recoup their investment instead of giving it away for free? Get the fuck out of here!

    Grow up and learn how the real world works, princess.

    The original FCC Net Neutrality FCC was in response to a lawsuit brought by cellular carriers for this very reason.

    Yeah, and you know what happened? The Federal Trade Commission had its lawsuit for unfair business practices against AT&T nuked because the 2015 OIO changed the classification of over-the-air signals from Title I to Title II, which made it exempt from FTC regulations. The "throttling" you simps are always bitching about was then considered allowable under the change. Congratulations, you played yourselves.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    I can't buy gas anywhere, and OMG, the lack of places to buy groceries and hardware is just astonishing. We have to get government involved to build some buildings for those people so they can effectively deliver the goods I need to survive!

    How much does it cost to build a Wal-Mart?

    If the market is there, someone will find a way to service it, and if there isn't an artificial constraint imposed (regulation, taxes), the cost will go down over time.

  • Sevo||

    Sufi|4.24.18 @ 12:45AM|#
    'Waaa Waaa! Where's my mommy to make everything the way *I* like it?'
    Fuck.
    Off.

  • Spookk||

    Corporations are not people, and should have no rights whatsoever - and that includes any right to profit from public infrastructure. The Internet, like all infrastructure (roads, etc), should not be privatized in any way, and having minimum standards and rules is not an attack on free speech any more than the "rules of the road" are for streets and highways.

    Government and corporations are now synonymous, and both should have any attempts at accumulation of excessive power curtailed, but government should certainly control all corporations rather than the other way around.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Corporations are not people, and should have no rights whatsoever

    Then corporations should not be accountable for any regulations, either. The problem with you progtards is that you actually believe government is this inherently benevolent institution that would never abuse its authority when provided with absolute power.

    Save your stupidity for the campus coffeehouse and Gender Theory classes where it belongs.

  • Spookk||

    Sorry, but direct democracy is the order of the day, and "the people" should absolutely be able to control corporations in a manner that assures the most benefit to society.

    There is no reason to allow a criminal entity to exist as a corporation if it (or should perhaps say "its actions") would not be tolerated as an individual. If you want to argue that people should not have more direct control over regulations and such, that should be an interesting thing to watch on this website.

    Meanwhile, try thinking more before puking forth your small-minded snark. Your zeal to equate government with direct control by electors shows a short-circuit in your "logic". And, not everybody gives even two shits about identity politics, etc.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Sorry, but direct democracy is the order of the day, and "the people" should absolutely be able to control corporations in a manner that assures the most benefit to society.

    Sorry, but your question-begging and circular reasoning do not constitute "democracy," you sad control freak.

    There is no reason to allow a criminal entity to exist as a corporation if it (or should perhaps say "its actions") would not be tolerated as an individual.

    Please show where ISPs have broken the law.

    Meanwhile, try thinking more before puking forth your small-minded snark

    Pretty rich comment coming from a platitude-spewing bobblehead.

  • SamHell||

    If you reread both of your posts and replace the word "corporations" with "groups of people" (which they are) you"ll be better able to undedstand how authoritarian your arguement is.

  • Bra Ket||

    A constitutionally-constrained democracy, to be specific. Hence all this talk about rights which trump those dumbass socialist ideas the public comes up with.

  • Sevo||

    Spookk|4.24.18 @ 4:43PM|#
    "Sorry, but direct democracy is the order of the day,..."

    Why do lefty imbeciles presume their assertions equal arguments?
    Stupidity?
    Mendacity?

  • wearingit||

    Clearly a great argument to be made when referring to someone as "progtard."

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Not my fault you idiots don't know how data transport works and think the 2015 OIO actually instituted "net neutrality".

  • Sevo||

    Ah wearingit, did the proggy get triggered?

  • CE||

    Corporations are groups of individuals who freely contract to do business together as a single entity, with customers voluntarily deciding whether to patronize them or not.

    Governments are groups of individuals who claim sovereignty over a geographical area and all who live within it, giving those residents only the option to leave (if that), and forcing them to pay up even if they don't want the offered services.

  • Spookk||

    I understand the theory. Too bad that isn't the way it works anymore.

  • Sevo||

    Spookk|4.24.18 @ 4:45PM|#
    "I understand the theory. Too bad that isn't the way it works anymore."

    Why do lefty imbeciles presume their assertions equal arguments?
    Stupidity?
    Mendacity?

  • Duelles||

    I always wondered why cities and towns could not be prosecuted for providing streets for the street walkers, or even hotels for providing hourly rates for same. Heck, or car companies for the seats that go all the way back. We really need more consistency.

  • CE||

    Obviously we can't read this article anyway, what with the Internet now unusable.

  • Mike!||

    Girl at 15:25 eating applesauce like a kindergartner? WTF?

  • wearingit||

    Just another reason why everyone views libertarians as completely disregarded from reality. Like communists who dream of a perfect world but don't live in it. If your argument is that NN hinders free speech then you're pretty well off the mark. You DO have to be vigilant what the government can and will do but libertarians act as if you don't have to do the same with corporations.

    NN rescinding would lead to obvious conflicts of interest (ie. Comcast owning NBC and being able to prioritize their Xfinity service and affiliate programming over Netflix, etc.). It's the entire reason the ISPs have fought NN so much. And guess what? We haven't stopped Comcast from taking over NBC, we likely won't stop more conglomeration, and we don't even expect or encourage competition (see the bans on municipal ISPs by states.)

    So yes, in a perfect world, we'd have a plethora of ISPs so that NN wouldn't even be necessary. We wouldn't have ISPs owning programming outlets. But we don't live in that perfect world Nick. Your editorial can easily be trumped by Burger King's stupid 5 minute video on NN. Again- stop living in a fantasy world and stop believing that fear of too much govt power just allows you to welcome the free market with all its foibles with open arms.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Nothing you wrote in here about net neutrality matches reality.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Your editorial can easily be trumped by Burger King's stupid 5 minute video on NN.

    That Burger King's corporate board doesn't understand the complexities of settlement-free interconnect and bandwidth allocation practices is hardly a point in its or your favor.

  • SamHell||

    It's almost like you've never heard of anti-trust laws. NN was unnecessary - you have been duped into taking sides in a war beteween content corporations vs. ISP corporations where the winner has to foot the bill. Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter are all buying ad space to try and build an army of useful idiots who stand to gain nothing.

  • Bra Ket||

    How about rather than trying to fight the "imperfections" of the world by doubling down on state intervention via NN, you focused your efforts on those state monopoly protections (which you also oppose apparently) instead?

  • Sevo||

    wearingit|4.24.18 @ 5:12PM|#
    "Just another reason why everyone views libertarians as completely disregarded from reality........"

    What a steaming pile of horseshit!

  • daveski99||

    Working in telecom for 20 years and seeing how the business works and how slimy the corporations can be, the killing of net neutrality is likely to be a boon for the few service providers and a huge loss for the country. The high capacity optical data pipes using OTN and DWDM are really cool and expensive, yet they are still the lowly plumbing of the technology economy. The far greater economic benefit is the actual data traveling over these pipes and the new companies and services that can be created.

    I've seen several companies including Microsoft work to kill off innovation and stop technologies that might impact their business model. For example, they attempted to block Linux from being used on cable setup boxes and instead have Windows (blue screen city) used instead. This took the form of threatened litigation, fear uncertainty and doubt and purchasing a stake in cable providers to encourage them to choose the unstable, costly Windows system instead. They failed and we do not have to power cycle our cable boxes as often as we would otherwise. I had friends in startups that were not so lucky since they were crushed. I can see clearly how the game is played and how once freed to ransack through what we want to see and steer us towards their preferred choices the internet will become a bad version of Compuserve.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Working in telecom for 20 years and seeing how the business works and how slimy the corporations can be, the killing of net neutrality is likely to be a boon for the few service providers and a huge loss for the country.

    The 2015 OIO didn't institute net neutrality, so there was nothing to kill.

  • REMant||

    Just wait a little while Nick

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