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)
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Ever since the Donald Trump Administration’s Trump Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced it was undoing the Barack Obama Administration FCC’s unilateral, Congress-free imposition of 1934 monopoly landline telephone law on to the Internet – under the guise of the very awful Network Neutrality – Leftists have been flexing the crazy they have long since gone.
This Leftist histrionic nonsense has been – Leftist histrionic nonsense. Aptly documented on a daily basis by FCC chief of staff Matthew Berry. Who has on his Twitter page – since the Trump FCC rightly and reasonably rolled back the Obama FCC nonsense – been counting the days of…no change whatsoever to the Internet.
The Internet today – is exactly the same as it has almost always been. “Almost always” – save for the exception of Obama’s year-long power grab aberration. The Internet “as we know it” – is what the Trump FCC restored.
The Trump FCC restored the “free and open” Internet that went in twenty years from “What’s that?” – to 1/6th of our $20 trillion economy. Nothing in the history of humanity has grown bigger, faster and better – than the Net Neutrality-free Internet.
The Internet has always been “free and open.” Because that’s what customers want – so that’s what Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have given them.
ISPs twenty years ago – when there were far fewer of them from which to choose, and they were in a much stronger position to block content – didn’t block content.
Because ISPs are in the customer service business – and if they don’t service their customers, they will quickly be out of business.
Today, increased speeds via all delivery modes – wired, wireless, satellite,… – means omni-directional competition for your ISP money. There is several-orders-of-magnitude less chance of an ISP blocking you today – than there was twenty years ago. And no ISP blocked you twenty years ago.
And with the looming advent of the wireless Fifth Generation (5G) Internet of Things just a few years away – anyone screeching “Net Neutrality” then…will look even more titanically stupid than they do now. (Hence the freaked-out urgency to impose Net Neutrality now.)
Leftist states, municipalities and cities have been an anti-Constitution and anti-law thorn in Trump’s side since…the very second Trump finished the oath of office.
Trump’s right and reasonable repeal of Obama’s Internet power grab – afforded them yet another opportunity to exhibit their anti-constitutionalism.
Let us for but a moment – examine the Constitution’s Commerce Clause.
The Commerce Clause is in the Constitution – as a DE-regulatory insertion. As in…a less government clause. In keeping with the document’s overarching less government theme.
The Founding Fathers didn’t want the state governments imposing impediments to commerce between the states.
The Left – doesn’t like this or…any other part of the Constitution.
“‘This will be the most comprehensive and the strongest net neutrality protection in the United States, where we are restoring what we lost when Donald Trump’s FCC obliterated net neutrality,’ (Democrat state Senator Scott) Wiener told reporters….”
Ummm…it’s a WORLD Wide Web. Every second of every minute of every hour of every day – trillions of electronic bits are criss-crossing city, municipality, state and international borders.
Thus, the WORLD Wide Web – is, here in the US, clearly a federal government issue. The Feds determine our nation’s Internet policy. And then The Feds negotiate Internet interactions with other nations.
California’s Net Neutrality imposition upon the Internet – is a clear and violent violation of both the letter and the spirit of the Commerce Clause.
For instance: Next-door-to-California Nevada – is a MUCH less government state. There is just about no way they will impose anywhere near this level or type of Internet imposition.
California is therefore violently violating the Commerce Clause. And in so doing, making ISP lives inconceivably miserable – by having them adhere to dramatically different laws and regulations state-to-state, municipality-to-municipality and city-to-city.
Again, on the WORLD Wide Web. Where every second of every minute of every hour of every day – trillions of electronic bits are criss-crossing city, municipality, state and international borders.
Think having to adhere to fifty different regulatory regimes – or a hundred, or a thousand – won’t cost ISPs tons of money? Of course it will.
Which means it will cost ISP customers a ton of money.
Oh wait – that’s us.
ISPs have enough of a nightmare mess with which to deal nation-by-nation. To have individual US states, municipalities and cities adding exponentially to the regulatory complexity – is titanically stupid.
And a violent violation of the Commerce Clause.
Here’s hoping this is just one of the grounds on which ISPs sue California – and any other state, municipality or city this titanically stupid and grabby.
Lawsuits ISPs are forced to file – to fend off with a legal whip and chair all these grabby governments.
Lawsuits – which cost ISPs tons of money.
Which means it will cost ISP customers tons of money.
Oh wait – that’s us.
Reminding us yet again of the late, inordinately great Ronald Reagan’s timeless wisdom:
“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”
Any more government “help” – and we’ll all be broke.
[Originally Published at RedState]