Thursday, December 14, 2017

The FCC Just Killed Net Neutrality: Here's Why You Should Cheer

In a 3-2 vote today, the Federal Communications Commission approved a measure to remove net neutrality rules.

I discussed net neutrality in January 2014:
Net neutrality is the idea that internet service providers should be forced by government to treat all data on the internet equally, that is, the government plays the role of enforcer by not allowing  ISPs to discriminate or charge differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, and modes of communication.

The libertarian position is pretty clear cut here. Government should keep its hands off ISPs and allow them to operate any way they want. The ISPs, using their own equipment, are providing a service and should be allowed to use their equipment and provide their service in any fashion they choose without interference from the government. Thus, the court ruling is consistent with a libertarian view.

Bottom line: Net neutrality is evil government meddling. Let the markets rule!


Judging from the comments, I need to expand my thoughts here. As  commenter Jack Weil correctly observes, I thought it would be clear to all that when I wrote, "Government should keep its hands off ISPs and allow them to operate any way they want." This implies that, well, "government should keep its hands off," which would mean that there would be no government protected cartel.

Eliminating government involvement is the solution, not expending government reach by way of net neutrality regulations to regulate the first government interventionist steps. I repeat,  "Government should keep its hands off ISPs and allow them to operate any way they want." This means allowing anyone to enter the ISP business who so desires.
I received a significant number of comments opposing my 2014 comments and responded to them in another post:  A Further Comment on Net Neutrality.



  1. To further expand on your comments, the only time I even heard of the FCC threatening action (that doesn't mean they didn't, but it didn't make my normal news viewing) was to keep AT&T from offering unlimited DirecTV viewing on their mobile network.

    As with most government protections, net neutrality was being used to protect against competitive advantage, making services more expensive.

  2. But all the other regulation that has resulted in an effective broadband cartel remains in place. The value of franchise grants by government to serve residential customers has increased dramatically with the removal of net neutrality. Why would prices will go down when these grants prevent new competition? Comcast and AT&T defend them vigorously, even against companies like Google from coming into places to offer a third choice.

  3. Granted this is an old article but if people are serious about expanding competition among the internet providers, they need to go after local governments as well.

  4. Once again Robert wears the Monopolistic regulatory blinders. When competition is available open markets thrive. ISP's couldnt be a more tightly controlled market if they tried.

    Its once again the customer that will screwed here like most times.