Like many people still do, I used to support net neutrality. On its face, it makes sense. Aside from ideology, its marketed that all the internet should be equal so small blogs like this dont get throttled or charged exorbitant costs. This seems right and fair, if anti-market. But as I became a libertarian, I reexamined my views on things like net neutrality and global warming. Not everything is cut and dry as its presented. In this case, its a downright hoax and a lie.
It is often claimed by net neutrality proponents that failure to institute it (or now, repealing it) will mean Internet service providers like Verizon and Comcast will start charging the consumer for various tiers of internet access. For major websites, a low fee. For less popular websites, a higher fee. To access this blog and others like it, a very high fee! Nevermind that no company has ever proposed such a scheme, taking a step back for a minute, this would absolutely destroy the internet and guarantee that something new and freer developed to take its place, such as InterPlanetary File System, a mesh net, etc. As I said, no ISP has EVER proposed this. Its a complete hoax.
Some of the comments Ive seen have been downright hilarious. On a near-cringey YouTube of Ajit Pai dispelling myths about ending net neutrality, someone said they wanted to enjoy this while they still dont have to pay to access it. Do these people not realize they already pay for internet access? And those who use more are encouraged to pay more? Or maybe because mommy and daddy pay their internet and phone bill on a family plan, theyve never had to pay for internet, so cant conceive of it. But heaven forbid we pay more for internet when we already do pay for internet.
What has been loosely proposed is those sites which use up most of the bandwidth (Google, YouTube, Netflix, etc) should pay more for that usage. If anything, this ensures a free and open internet and small sites get access and dont get run over by juggernauts. If you use more, you pay more. The idea that this would go on the consumer is patently absurd. This is why all these big companies are so against repealing net neutrality. They dont want to pay more, and that makes perfect sense, but they shouldnt be lying and misleading people.
Another major concern of net neutrality is that it gets government deeply involved in the internet, when heretofore, it was not. The internet grew exponentially and had so much innovation for most of its existence, and there never was net neutrality. The policy was literally a solution looking for a problem. Maybe if the fear mongered problem did arise, it would be worth considering, but it never did! Instead, government would begin heavily regulating the internet and imposing restrictions. Sites like Breitbart and Huffington Post might end up subject to a Fairness Doctrine before long. Thats not fair to either of them.
The government already regulates the internet enough. In the town I grew up, Comcast was the cable provider. You could also get Verizon DSL, and sometimes FIOS, but even that was a new competition for high speed internet. In several adjacent towns, the cable provider was Cablevision, yet it was illegal for me to contract with Cablevision to string a wire across the border. Thats because of a government regulation. Until the cable companies entered internet and the phone companies entered television, there was little competition. Now, thankfully, theyve both branched out, and cell providers offer another option. We dont need more of this government regulation.
If you think ending net neutrality means you will have to pay more for internet, you really have no idea what you are talking about. It is sad that people are so easily manipulated and whipped into a fury, when if you take a look at the real picture, its a completely different story.