Whenever government policies are implemented in the name of consumer protection, we can be sure that it is not consumers being protected. Government protects crony industry incumbents and large corporations from competition. That is the case with Net Neutrality.
Consumer protection is presented as a false alternative between government regulation or absence of regulation. However, the strongest form of regulation with the greatest degree of consumer protection is the free market, where consumers decide how their dollars are spent. Good products from well-behaving businesses are rewarded. Bad products and ill-behaving businesses are punished, often to extinction.
When consumers are under-served, entrepreneurs enter the market to compete against under-performing incumbents. Entrepreneurs offeri innovative new products and business practices to meet the demand for superior goods and services. Often, these startups disrupt the status quo. Meanwhile, government regulations necessarily entrench the status quo. “Best practices” can only be best until innovations overtake them, at which time they become obsolete. Government regulations often continue to burden an industry with obsolete practices that prevent innovations from flourishing. Thus, incumbents are protected from agile upstarts.
Net Neutrality is promoted ostensibly to protect consumers from Internet Service Providers (ISPs) throttling traffic to disadvantage competitive “over the top” (OTT) content providers (e.g., Netflix) while favoring the ISP’s own content services (e.g., television in the case of a cable ISP). Another hypothetical straw man is for ISPs to charge customers to enable access to various information services. I would argue that no ISP would pursue such goals, because of the backlash and consequent mass-exodus of customers to the embrace of the ISP’s competition. ISPs would also want to avoid anti-trust concerns. Paranoia about ISP misbehavior disregards the lack of a business case. Net Neutrality was enacted in response to no ISPs actually implementing any anti-competitive traffic management on any significant scale.
Consumers want to preserve a “free and open Internet”—rightly so. ISPs have the practical capability to throttle traffic by origin (content provider), traffic type (e.g., video), or consumption (e.g., data limits for heavy users). They have no practical (cost-effective) mechanism to understand the meaning of the content to selectively filter it. ISPs have only blunt instruments to wield.
Unlike ISPs, content providers (e.g., Netflix, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Cloudflare, GoDaddy) are responsible for “information” services, which fall outside the scope of Net Neutrality for “transmission” by carriers. While ISPs have not attempted to damage a free and open Internet, we have already seen content providers behave very badly toward free speech, since they have the ability to understand the meaning of their content.
- Cloudflare Terminates Service to Neo-Nazi Site: Daily Stormer,
as do Google and GoDaddy
- Conservative And Independent YouTube Channels Hit By Censorship And Demonetization
- Google plans to ‘de-rank’ Russia Today and Sputnik to combat misinformation
- How Apple and Google are censoring the mobile Web by banning Gab from their app stores
- How Facebook, Twitter silence conservative voices online
If a “free and open Internet” is what is desired, censorship, bans, de-platforming, and de-monetization by companies, who are the strongest advocates of Net Neutrality, are certainly antithetical to that aim. What is their real motive?
Content providers enjoy having their traffic delivered to customers worldwide. They only pay for the bandwidth to the networks they are directly connected to. They are not charged for their traffic transiting other networks, while routed to their end users. Content providers obviously like this arrangement, and they want to preserve this status quo (protecting their crony interests).
Without Net Neutrality, although ISPs may not have a business case for charging customers (end users) for differentiated services, they would have a strong business case for providing differentiated services (various levels of higher reliability, low latency, low jitter, and guaranteed bandwidth) to content providers. Improvements in high quality delivery (called “paid prioritization”) would be beneficial to innovative applications that may not be viable today. For example, remote surgery. With paid prioritization, this would motivate content providers to buy connectivity into an ISP’s network to provide higher quality service to their customers, who receive their Internet access from that ISP. Or to otherwise share revenue with the ISP for such favorable treatment of their traffic. The environment becomes much more competitive between content providers, while more revenue would be shared with the ISPs. ISPs would then be motivated to invest more heavily to improve their networks to capture more of this revenue opportunity. Consumers benefit from higher quality services, better networks, and increased competition (differentiation based on quality) among content providers.
48 thoughts on “Net Neutrality is cronyism”
Here is a good blog article titled “The FCC Neutrality Order: It’s Not What you Think” at http://blog.cimicorp.com/?p=3202
It teases apart the details. A quote from this article that aligns perfectly with what I wrote is “As a practical matter, both the providers and the OTTs have powerful financial interests they’re trying to protect, and they’re simply manipulating the consumers.” That was my point exactly.
Here is an analysis from an economist’s perspective. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11151-017-9573-0
Two Net Neutrality proponents behave very badly with regard to non-discrimination. https://www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2017/12/5/16738752/google-youtube-amazon-punishing-customers-feud
“this will not be a move from public utility-style regulation to no regulation. Rather, the effect will be a shift in the regulatory modus operandi: from a set of prescriptive rules under the FCC, to a framework based on case-by-case enforcement by the FTC to ensure “fair competition” and ISP transparency”
Twitter’s censorship is well-known.
“the FCC will require ISPs to be transparent about their network management practices, and the Federal Trade Commission will maintain the ability to regulate them for privacy and anti-competitiveness”
Further to the point that service providers on the Internet, whose products are outside the scope of network access and transit, have no interest in a “free and open Internet”, we are seeing hosting services and payments services de-platform social media platforms that do not censor their users.
Microsoft threatened to stop hosting the alt-right’s favorite social network
Social network Gab to lose hosting (Joyent) after getting blamed for synagogue shooting
Paypal bans Gab following Pittsburgh shooting
Stripe Freezes Gab’s Account for NSFW Content, Shining a Light on a Problematic Policy
Gab Gets Censored
U.S. Supreme Court ends fight over Obama-era net neutrality rules
Deplatforming Is a Dangerous Game
Paying customers may be the next targets for social media “deplatforming.”
Social media platforms are purging users whose opinions they want to suppress.
Netflix Bows to the Saudis
The EU Wants to Censor ‘Terrorist Content’ Online. What Could Go Wrong?
Fight the Soft Totalitarianism of Social Media Cooperation with Government
Internet Censorship Is Only for the Little People, French Edition
Facebook Bans Paul Joseph Watson, Milo Yiannopoulos, Laura Loomer, Louis Farrakhan
Average internet speed up one year after net neutrality repeal
YouTube censored the Project Veritas video of a Google insider whistleblowing about Google’s machine learning “fairness” censorship program. https://youtu.be/re9Xp6cdkro
The censored video is available for viewing here: https://unsafespace.com/451/PV-Google.mp4
Reddit is censoring Project Veritas videos.
Mastodon attempts to censor free speech social network Gab by blocking its domain
The End of the Free Internet Is Near
Google Shuts Down Traffic To Mercola.com – One of The World’s Leading Health Advocates
The Censorship of Alternative Media Is Virtual Book Burning
Koch and Soros Unite To Censor The Internet
Another High-Profile Deplatforming Today; Bad People Cheer
Anti-Trump Democrats Learn That Internet Censorship Blocks Them Too
Facebook is censoring the web site https://censored.tv/
Stefan Molyneux suspended from Twitter just days after receiving YouTube ban
Over the past week, Twitter has begun blocking links to bitchute.com, after Twitter, Facebook, Periscope, and YouTube began censoring the press conference held by American Frontline Doctors, and the video was made available at https://www.bitchute.com/video/pjzccrSn3k1I/
Hydroxychloroquine Protocol Continues Getting Censored
Censorship Covers Up Corruption by Big Pharma And Its Doctors
Twitter’s purge of the anti-woke satirists
Titania McGrath and other accounts which make fun of wokeness have been censored.
Chinese Whistleblower Li-Meng Yan Gets Twitter Ban After Publishing ‘Man-Made COVID-19’ Report —Finds Support from US Army Doctor
A Brief History of ‘Deep Deplatforming
Google and Urban Dictionary censor ‘Blue Anon’ following widespread mockery of left-wing conspiracy
See also: https://blue-anon.com/
YouTube and Patreon Taking Down The Corbett Report
Facebook has decided that The Bubble film’s website violates its “Community Standards” — which evidently now involve not being critical of Ben Bernanke or Alan Greenspan. If you try to share LetUsDisagree.com on Facebook, the system will not let you.
RFK, Jr. and Alex Berenson on Censorship and the Death of Journalism
Free Speech Inc.: The Democratic Party finds a new but shaky faith in corporate free speech
Twitter suspends progressive feminist author Naomi Wolf after tweets opposing COVID-19 vaccinations.
Twitter cancels the Nigerian president.
Then, Nigeria cancels Twitter.
YouTube deletes Bret Weinstein’s discussion with Dr. Pierre Kory on early outpatient treatment protocols for COVID-19, including the use of Ivermectin.
《My YouTube channel is currently in danger of being permanently deleted by Google.
Since March 31, they have unlawfully placed a total of 2 strikes on my channel for videos on the topic of Covid-19.》- Naomi Seibt
Instagram Has Banned My Two-Hour Old Account (The Saad Truth with Dr. Saad_232)
The Most Dangerous Censorship
Invisible but present, and far from the eyes of the public
Andy Ngo’s podcast permanently banned from SoundCloud
Trusted News Initiative (TNI) to combat spread of harmful vaccine disinformation and announces major research project
Gad Saad enumerates the social media strikes against him on LinkedIn.com and Facebook. They are all examples of censorship, despite his positions being against anti-Semites, genocide of Jews, violence, and the mischaracterization of others. Meanwhile, social media tolerates defamation against him.
How many times must Facebook be caught censoring the truth?