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)
It in the early 2000s actually began as four innocuous items – to which no one at all objected.
- Consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of their choice.
- Consumers are entitled to run applications and services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement.
- Consumers are entitled to connect their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network.
- Consumers are entitled to competition among network providers, application and service providers, and content providers.
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) never objected to any of these things. Because ISPs never did any of these things. Because to violate any of these things would be really, REALLY damaging…to them.
ISPs are in the customer service business. If they refuse to service customers, they will very quickly be out of business. These four things are a simple, obvious part of every ISP’s day. And thus no problem at all.
Yet again, the marketplace is the ultimate and most effective regulator.
Of course the Left is never satisfied – so it never leaves well enough alone.
In a decade, we went from these four little items – to, allegedly in the name of Net Neutrality, the Barack Obama Administration’s monstrous unilateral power grab that shoved the entirety of the Internet under utterly regulatory and restrictive 1934 landline telephone law.
Which is the government transmogrification of a gnat – into a Tyrannosaurs Rex. And over time, it would have strangled to death the Internet as we know it. Which, of course, was the Left’s objective from the very beginning:
“At the moment, the battle over network neutrality is not to completely eliminate the telephone and cable companies. We are not at that point yet. But the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.”
Oh – and we have had a private sector Internet for twenty-five or so years. We have had Obama’s obnoxious power grab – for two. Thus, “The Internet as we know it” – is without the grab, not with. Because…math. The Left’s ludicrous claims to the contrarynotwithstanding.
Has this nonsense ever been actually popular with We the People? Never.
Sure, on the very shallowest of surfaces, people like the sound of the Net being “neutral.” But when the votes meet the booths – Net Neutrality has never held any sway.
Let us begin with President Donald Trump – and work backwards. Trump did actually mention the obnoxiousness of Obama’s Net Neutrality on the campaign trail – as a part of his broad deregulatory agenda. And he won. And his Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is delivering the undoing.
As the FCC works through the rollback process, the Left has been supremely agitated. And promised us a July Day of Rage…oops, I mean Action. Which was a giant dud.
So they scheduled another protest in September. For which some Big Coin Leftists even offered free flights to DC. Despite all of which – it was another giant dud.
So the Left can’t even get their tiny cadre of freaks to care about it. The rest of us care even less.
Once upon a time, the Left actually tried to impose Net Neutrality the Constitutionally correct way – via Congressional legislation, rather than in bureaucrat fiat fashion.
In 2010, there was put forward a pro-Net Neutrality petition – on to which 95 Democrat Congressional candidates signed. All 95 lost – and the effort raised a whopping $300.
So how did Net Neutrality get a decade-and-a-half’s worth of legs – with this decided lack of interest amongst We the People?
It helps when titanic, media-driving Silicon Valley companies like Google and Facebook, Netflix and Amazon spend tens of millions of dollars pushing the Net Neutrality rock up the Hill.
Big Left Coin buys lots of sound and fury – no matter how much nothing it actually signifies.
And why did the Silicon Valley Giants spend these millions? Because Net Neutrality is the government mandating that the Silicon Valley Giants receive billions of dollars worth of free bandwidth from the ISPs.
Their coin – was a cronyism down payment. But a tiny fraction of the government rewards they were set to reap.
And, of course, their cronyism would inevitably, inexorably mean We the People would spend exponentially more for our bandwidth. Because ISPs have only two sets of people to charge – the Silicon Valley, and us. So Net Neutrality says we pick up the Valley’s titanic bandwidth tab – and thereby augment their titanic profits.
Perhaps this is but one of the reasons why Net Neutrality never resonated with We the People.
And let not the Left’s claims to the contrary disabuse you of the correct notion – Net Neutrality has never resonated with We the People.
All the actual evidence – at the ballot box, again and again – clearly demonstrates Net Neutrality has never resonated with We the People.
It would be outstanding if We the People’s pronounced disinterest in something – meant DC erased it from the agenda.
But as we’ve seen with Net Neutrality (and Obamacare, and illegal alien amnesty, and…) – that nigh never, ever is the case.
[Originally Published at RedState]