One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
Latest posts by Seton Motley (see all)
- 5G Wireless Makes Net Neutrality Even Dumber Policy - September 16, 2019
- When Deregulation – Actually Makes Things Worse - August 29, 2019
- Localities Shouldn’t Be Dictating (Inter-)National Policy - July 17, 2019
Network Neutrality has for more than a decade been all the rage on the Left. Emphasis – as is alway the case with the Left – on rage.
Especially so now, as the Donald Trump Administration’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is in the process of rolling back said power grab – along with the equally ridiculous imposition on the Web of 1934 Title II landline telephone law. All imposed just two years ago by the Barack Obama Administration’s FCC.
Net Neutrality is the titanically stupid insistence that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) treat each and every thing on the Internet exactly the same.
For instance, emails from Nigerian princes – deserve equal access to you as does a doctor performing your remote, online Lasik eye surgery. If that causes your surgeon’s connection to buffer and stall – well that’s just too bad. You didn’t want to read those Nigerian prince emails anyway.
We less government types find Net Neutrality and Title to be titanically stupid for at least two reasons. It is antithetical to the Constitution – and to even a rudimentary understanding of economics.
Constitution: Net Neutrality is a blatant assault on at least the First and Fourth Amendments.
First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
All emphasis ours (as the Founders’ quills did not contain the bold feature).
The ISPs have spent more than $1 trillion building their networks. They are thus their networks. They can assemble said networks any way they wish (First Amendment) – completely free from government interference or imposition.
Net Neutrality is the government mandating how ISPs will assemble people upon their networks. A First Amendment no bueno.
And certainly with the Title II imposition, the government is executing a massive, unreasonable, unwarranted seizure of ISPs $1+ trillion worth of private property. A Fourth Amendment no bueno.
Economics: Net Neutrality bans all sorts of normal business practices in which every other business on the planet engages all the time.
The government Post Office charges you different prices for different speeds of delivery. But Net Neutrality is the government – prohibiting ISPs from charging different prices for different speeds of delivery. No hypocrisy there.
And, of course, businesses everywhere charge different prices for differentiated levels of service. And, of course, you would very much like your eye surgeon to be able to purchase a faster, dedicated, uninterruptible Web connection – in preparation for his taking a laser to your optical orbs.
Net Neutrality – is simply bizarre, anti-Reality policy.
And, of course, every single Net Neutrality advocate engages in exactly the sort of business practices and avails himself of the exact same Constitutional freedoms – which he wants to have the government ban for ISPs.
Online retail titan Amazon is a huge Net Neutrality proponent. Let’s leave aside the crony fact that they use a ton of bandwidth – and Net Neutrality prohibits ISPs from charging them for it. When you order products from Amazon – you can choose at least three different delivery speeds. Which the Net Neutrality they champion – prohibits ISPs from doing.
Web domain giant GoDaddy is a huge Net Neutrality proponent. They cancelled the domain name of a white supremacist website. I.e., GoDaddy is assembling their private business exactly the way they wish – completely free from government interference or imposition. Which the Net Neutrality they champion – prohibits ISPs from doing.
Google is the king of the Internet. They are a nearly $1 trillion business – all by their onesies. Three-quarters of all U.S. Internet searches – are conducted through Google.
Like Amazon, Google too crony benefits from Net Neutrality’s ban on ISPs charging them for their massive bandwidth consumption.
Like GoDaddy, Google banned the same white supremacist domain name when it was registered with Google. This is Google, like GoDaddy, assembling their private business any way they wish – completely free from government interference or imposition. Which the Net Neutrality they champion – prohibits ISPs from doing.
Google also recently fired engineer James Damore after Damore’s private memo about Google’s diversity (or lack thereof) was leaked to the public. Google is perfectly within their rights to do this. As they continue to work to assemble their private business any way they wish – completely free from government interference or imposition. But the Net Neutrality they champion – prohibits ISPs from doing exactly the same thing.
Net Neutrality is titanically stupid policy. In no small part because it clearly violates the Constitution – and the very basic laws of very basic economics.
All of which explains why the Left are such huge fans thereof.
[Originally Published at RedState]