Hey, Remember How Net Neutrality Was Supposed To Destroy The Internet?

from the chicken-little dept

Before and after the FCC imposed new net neutrality rules, you’ll recall there was no limit of hand-wringing from major ISPs and net neutrality opponents about how these “draconian regulations from a bygone era” would utterly decimate the Internet. We were told investment would freeze, innovation would dry up like dehydrated jerky, and in no time at all net neutrality would have us all collectively crying over our busted, congested, tubes.

And, of course, shockingly, absolutely none of that is happening. Because what the ISPs feared about net neutrality rules wasn’t that it would senselessly hurt their ability to invest, but that it would harm their ability to take aggressive and punitive advantage of the lack of competition in last mile broadband networks. Obviously ISPs can’t just come out and admit that, so what we get instead is oodles of nonsense, including bogus claims that net neutrality violates ISPs’ First Amendment rights.

About a year ago, you’ll recall that companies like Netflix, Cogent, and Level 3 accused most of the major ISPs of intentionally letting their peering points get congested. The goal, these companies claimed, was to kill the long-standing idea of settlement-free peering, and drive services like Netflix toward striking new interconnection deals that would, presumably, be jacked up over time. One year on and Cogent CEO Dave Schaeffer notes that most of the congestion that plagued these interconnection points last year has somehow magically disappeared:

“Speaking to investors during the Deutsche Bank 23rd Annual Leveraged Finance Conference, Dave Schaeffer, CEO of Cogent, said that the FCC’s adoption of net neutrality rules that include Title II regulation, and passage of similar rules in the European Union, have led to ports on other networks becoming unclogged. “The adoption of the Open Internet order and Title II jurisdictional authority were mirrored in the EU and on June 30 the European Commission adopted a set of regulations that were passed by the parliament and the council,” Schaeffer said. “As a result of that we have seen significant port augmentations.”

Schaeffer proceeded to note that AT&T and Verizon “are nearly congestion free” and would be completely congestion free sometime in the fourth quarter. Negotiations with other ISPs appear to also be going well. Funny how that works, huh? And note the FCC didn’t even have to do all that much; we simply needed the mere threat of a regulator actually doing its job to make the mega-ISPs play nice. In other words, net neutrality rules that were supposed to destroy the Internet have instead resulted in companies that were at each other’s throats a year ago suddenly getting along famously, and the Internet itself working better than before.

Sure, some ISP think tankers are being paid to pretend the last few weeks that network investment has dried up, but there’s absolutely no indication that’s the case. In fact, the biggest ISPs historically opposed to net neutrality have announced major deployment projects since, including Comcast’s plan to deploy two gigabit fiber to 18 million homes, Verizon’s plan to invest heavily in the fifth-generation of wireless technology, and AT&T’s $68 billion acquisition and subsequent plans for fixed-wireless broadband and (when they can bothered to get around to it) gigabit fiber.

Granted, ISPs will argue that it’s still early and that the sky will likely fall due to net neutrality any day now. A more likely explanation is that incumbent ISPs and their army of paid mouthpieces were utterly and unmistakably full of shit.

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Comments on “Hey, Remember How Net Neutrality Was Supposed To Destroy The Internet?”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Such a non-sequitor

Net Neutrality was never about its own name.

It was about giving the FCC more power under the guise of providing Net Neutrality. Just like every other law we create today, this law was nothing more than a response to a problem caused by the FCC to begin with.

The sky will not fall all at once, but it will a little piece at a time slowly enough where people will just say… the sky used to be blue, but I don’t think I really remember when it changed or what caused it to fall.

The new law says only one thing… the FCC gets to pick and choose who is compliant or not based on any criteria it deems worthy.

I support net neutrality, but this is anything but, go head keep writing more and more laws that give these 3 letter agencies more and more power! It’s been working like a charm since WWII right?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Such a non-sequitor

You missed my point.

There is nothing wrong with the idea of “Net Neutrality”

What I AM SAYING is that all of you are cheering on the very organization that CAUSED the problem to being with!

You tell ME what has changed in either the new law or the leadership that says it cannot go back to the old back-alley agreements where the FCC just carves up who gets what where and just tells places like Netflix you have to pay X here and Y there?

It a damn racket is what it is!
FCC: Here, you need to pay me for protection from now on!
Shop: From who?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Such a non-sequitor

They are the ones that pretty much created the ISP/Monopoly Telco’s to begin with!


Here are a couple of snippets from that very article where Tech Dirt itself has stated the same fucking thing I am now! You going to say both me and Tech Dirt from the past are crazy?

Furthermore, Wheeler says he recognizes how many other problems are created when there is no real competition in the broadband market:

Of course, some of us have been saying exactly that for years, while wondering why the FCC was doing nothing to help it — and, actually, often helping to enable consolidation, rather than competition.

You people have such short memories, just remember YOU are part of the problem! You are like a bunch of little fan boi’s that just roll with the tech dirt flow without even using your little brains!

Moonkey says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Such a non-sequitor

That article was a year ago before the FCC was doing anything at all to stop ISPs, and when we thought Tom Wheeler was going to be like the others in his position years before that.

Now that we know Tom Wheeler means business and is taking action, we change our opinions accordingly. If the FCC does its job like it is now, finally, we change.

We aren’t stubborn asses.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Such a non-sequitor

Makes perfect sense right? That was a year ago… it means nothing any more!

History means nothing… here we go repeating it again.

What we think does not matter, I can appreciate seeing Tom not turning out as bad as we feared, but you have to remember… what ever power you give someone NOW is power the next person will have!

The moment you trust government or a business to do the right thing is the moment you don’t deserve anything from them!

I have yet to see the monopolies go away have you? That is the bigger problem! Right now we just have the FCC covering up its mistake with smoke an mirror and you are all now blind for it!

it would have been much better if the FCC would open the market up, prevent monopolies like it should have from the start and additionally prosecuting the shit out of the ISP’s that have usage caps with claiming unlimited in the ads and fake unlimited speeds or saying they offer speed up to 50mbps when they never go past 5mbps. IF they did that then guess what? A lot of these cocked up rules everyone is slobbering all over would likely not even be needed! But you cannot even see that can you? You are far down the rabbit hole you might never see light again!

Moonkey says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Such a non-sequitor

Well, It’s hard not to read how you type as satire…

You have valid points across the board, but you have to understand as a collective people struggling to make things right. We are completely desperate for something.

We aren’t blind, but the collective force behind the FCC and government are. Either they don’t get just how much they are affecting the world, or they know all too well and are blinded with greed and power for the next-in-line.

I don’t really think we’ve given the FCC that much power compared to before the rules. From what I understand they only have more regulation power. If they abuse it and ignore ISPs, we’d basically just be the same as we did without the rules, so not much worse off.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t spank public officials for not paying attention. Which we need to start doing right around now 😉

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Such a non-sequitor

Hmmm, the telcos basically lobbied their way into basically inserting people that didn’t actually regulate anything in the FCC and things went oligopoly because of the very nature of the thing. So it was the lack of regulation that led to this. The lack of regulation also let the banks go wild and cause the last major crisis (from which we did not recover yet). So, yes, lack of regulation.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Such a non-sequitor

thank you, someone does get it!

Yes there was a lack of regulation that was the problem I don’t disagree there either, what I am saying is that people should not be so chipper over these rules because it is still scraps, this is just one victory in a larger war we are still losing.

Teamchaos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Such a non-sequitor

Dude, give it up. You’re not going to win an argument in this forum. Unless you support 100% of what they think net neutrality is and the use of regulations designed to regulate the telephone monopolies, you are going to get flamed.

Appreciate the effort and mostly agree with you, but you’re not going to convince anyone here. They drank the kool-aid a long time ago. Minds in this forum on this topic are closed for business.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Such a non-sequitor

Well, I don’t see where he’s against Net Neutrality, nor that he’s against regulations to target telephone monopolies.

What I interpreted he is saying is that don’t be so fast to congratulate the FCC for doing a job that they should have been doing since the start; and when in fact, for a lot of years they’ve been misleading people and not doing anything.

That we are seeing the FCC as heroes and the saviours of Net Neutrality when in fact the existing mess up is something that was caused by them and the multiple governments.

I’ve seen also people in TD criticizing the FCC a lot because they didn’t do a thing to support Net Neutrality.

And yet, the question would be if the rules that FCC has brought up at last are enough to make sure and fix NN in stone.

I’d say that if republicans go back, or if the telcos lobby enough, the FCC will go back on their words. Or they will make some sort of loophole there.

The only way to enshrine it would be to change the mentality of the US citizens, and as long as many people call it “Obamanet”, I don’t see the hope of that.

See that in the EU, that has higher support for government regulations over things, the Net Neutrality rules passed by the EU parliament are about to be defanged in the trialogues, because the EC and the Commission want so.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Such a non-sequitor

Wow! nice comeback there. Such a smooth talker.
But you know what? You are , somewhat, right.
We cheer the FCC for the net neutrality rules, even though we probably shouldn’t, considering past actions. However, as many have stated again and again, Title II is neither optimal or what we really wanted… it is scraps. It is the meat left on the bone that we are greedily consuming.
All we ever get, is scraps!
On one side, we have corporations who have repeatly proven their hatred for the public. Not a single one puts customers higher than their bootheel. They trap, extort, and provides horrible essential service.
On the other side, we have a government controlled agency who have proven their, frankly, corrupt and complete disregard for the public they supposedly serve.
We have no choice for sides here. So when small victories in one form or another presents itself, it is still a victory.
You mock us, but even though we suffer heavy losses every single week, we still push, we still fight, we still vote for change.
Caught between a rock and a hard place, we have to chose the softest looking spot sometimes, even though we might still brake a few bones.

Michael (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Such a non-sequitor

First, this really detracts from your argument:

You people have such short memories, just remember YOU are part of the problem! You are like a bunch of little fan boi’s that just roll with the tech dirt flow without even using your little brains!

Moving on…while the FCC has not done anything to stop the insane telco monopolies, I am not sure it is at all clear it is their responsibility. Shouldn’t that be the FTC?

It’s pretty clear that having the FCC use it’s rather expansive power to force net neutrality on the ISP’s, we really do have a problem with enabling competition without somehow nationalizing the basic infrastructure. Running wires on poles and in ditches really is expensive and maintaining them is not easy.

Throwing out “just make the market more competitive” isn’t really helpful when implementing that plan has some serious barriers that are political, legal (often because of lobbying), and real-world physical.

You are right, having competition would be the best solution. However, sometimes we have to live in the real world and the best solution is not all that feasible.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Such a non-sequitor

It is feasible, the problem is that for some reason people think it is not. It’s part of the we should do something instead of nothing crowd that winds up putting in something worse that what nothing would have done for them.

I do think that these rules are better than nothing, but its more like bitter medicine… I have to choke it down because it is still not good enough for my liking.

We are not even close to a free economy any more, the real joke that there are a lot of people that still think we are.

A free economy is not just predicated on the fact that a consumer can freely choose to purchase your product or not. Organizations must be allowed to open up shop and offer a service without the FCC telling them to scram because they are not “authorized” to operate in that area without greasing several different government palms.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Such a non-sequitor

>> What I AM SAYING is that all of you are cheering on the very organization that CAUSED the problem to being with!

That’s only partly true. Your ignoring the dangers from corporations leads to another bad place. Believe it or not, corporations are no better than governments. We the people must have our own thug to protect us from other thugs: that’s basically why governments have existed from the dawn of time.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Such a non-sequitor

none of you are using your brains. It’s probably not worth discussing it much further because you likely are just reading 1/2 of everything that start bumping your gums like good little plebs! but here goes…

I am not against regulation where it makes sense, but the FCC’s new regulation only states that the FCC can pick and choose what is compliant with net neutrality without any specific language from the law itself. There are a lot of places that say Person instead of business, and also a lot of language that says unreasonable or harmful. Where are the definitions for those?

You all have already see what the legal system and a judge will find reasonable. to them reasonable if the tsa juggling your balls, telling you that you cannot know their interpretation of that law is… they consider this shit reasonable.

Yes this law is better than nothing, I will not deny that, but what I am saying is that we should move our position to guarded for now, not jubilant, especially when the organization making these rules were the beginning cause of the problem to start with.

Moonkey says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Such a non-sequitor

Starting your comments off with insults is probably not the best way to garner attention. If you want to make a difference in people’s lives for the better, straighten up your attitude or nobody will take you seriously.

“I am not against regulation where it makes sense, but the FCC’s new regulation only states that the FCC can pick and choose what is compliant with net neutrality without any specific language from the law itself. There are a lot of places that say Person instead of business, and also a lot of language that says unreasonable or harmful. Where are the definitions for those?”

What you stated is how the justice system works. You judge according to how a reasonable person would react. You’re treading into the morals of a person, or what seems reasonable. The judge gets to decide the case based on the evidence, unless it’s a trial by jury. You should know this.

“You all have already see what the legal system and a judge will find reasonable. to them reasonable if the tsa juggling your balls, telling you that you cannot know their interpretation of that law is… they consider this shit reasonable.”

You’re lumping everyone into one group. When we know there’s a mess-up in the legal system or a bogus ruling by a judge, we’ll call out on it. What we deem reasonable differs person to person. You act as if it’s no-one pays attention besides yourself, which is a ridiculous mindset.

“Yes this law is better than nothing, I will not deny that, but what I am saying is that we should move our position to guarded for now, not jubilant, especially when the organization making these rules were the beginning cause of the problem to start with.”

We are not jubilant of the situation we are in. From the beginning we knew the Net Neutrality laws we’d have in place would not be very strong, we are only happy to see the FCC cracking down on mismanagement more than they had last year, and years before that. We aren’t saying the FCC is a godsend for the decisions they made but they actually somewhat listened to us for once.

They didn’t go along with the hybrid plan, they didn’t go along with the ISP’s idea of net neutrality. They listened to our petitions and comments. Not that any of this matters to you I guess.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Such a non-sequitor

So the people screaming in outrage deserve none of your attention right?

Sorry, the idea that you should ignore someone because they do not use language you like is even more childish than those using the terrible language.

And insult is the same thing as saying “straighten up your attitude or else”. People rely too much on how sweet the message should sound rather than how right or wrong the message itself is. Why do you think so many people fall for the silver tongued devils?

Let me tell you why, because you just admitted that you will ONLY listen to the silver tongued devils because you do not have time to listen to someone saying harsh words because it offends your sensibilities.

You only disadvantage yourself.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Such a non-sequitor

Go fuck yourself you primitive screw-head. Your life is meaningless and you have failed at everything you’ve ever tried because you’re too stupid to live. Now, allow me to present an argument regarding the topic at hand and win you over.

You may not be offended by the above, and that’s a very nice rational, objectivist viewpoint (I assure you, we’re all very impressed). Most people, however, would be offended. If you ever want to change anything, you need to work within the constraints of the majority.

Monks self-immolate to make a point. You’re setting other people on fire, and that doesn’t work.

Moonkey says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Such a non-sequitor

I was hardly offended.

Acting like someone who is looked upon as a stereotypical conspiracy theorist seriously won’t get you anywhere. I’m not joking, people won’t listen to that solely because it sounds like that.

People need to practice professional speaking, because everyone would be more interested in what was being said. It can contain language, but the point that you’re insulting a group of people makes me not to want to take you seriously.

Be angry all you want, but don’t poke at people who might genuinely care about the country who might have facts wrong. Because that just breeds miscommunication.

Please try to understand.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Such a non-sequitor

I do want them enforcing it, that part I do not disagree with.

What I am saying is that it gives the FCC too much power because of its wording. It’s the same kind of wording that got that kid with the clock in texas into trouble because anyone can act like its a faux bomb and that is enough to get you into trouble.

The FCC should have been enforcing anti-monopoly law instead and this problem would have been far less likely to have ever existed.

JMT says:

Re: Re: Re: Such a non-sequitor

“What I AM SAYING is that all of you are cheering on the very organization that CAUSED the problem to being with!”

So what? The fact that they’re making meaningful progress to improve the situation should be cheered. The FCC have copped plenty criticism for their past failings and nobody here has forgotten that, but according to you we should just keep on slamming them even though they have changed tack and made things better. Is that how you treat people too? That’s pretty weird…

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Such a non-sequitor

“You tell ME what has changed in either the new law”

ISPs had to abandon their plans to openly screw you and their competitors?

“the FCC just carves up who gets what where and just tells places like Netflix you have to pay X here and Y there?”

No, that was what the ISPs were planning to do, double and triple charging them, at that.

That’s what I love about anti-government paranoid fools – they’re literally attacking the FCC for what the private corporations were planning to do to them.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Such a non-sequitor

Dude,your country is a mess because corporations have too much power and things that should be heavily regulated are not or are regulated towards benefiting a small club of ‘vips’.

It will take a lot more regulation to make broadband work like it should. And I can assure you that if the big players want to drop the bone there are plenty of others willing to enter the market even with those oh-so-evil regulations.

Call me Communist, I know you are itching.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Such a non-sequitor

whoa buddy, I do agree with that.

I am intelligent enough to know that America is quickly becoming an Oligarchy…

You are correct whether you are are a communist or not.

All I am saying is that their approach to solving the problem is the wrong one.

We should be free market with “very strong” anti-monopoly laws. That itself would likely solve more than the majority of the problems our regulations “try” to resolve.

That compounded with the fact that a lot of regulations have loop holes, well you get the idea.

Wendy Cockcroft says:

Re: Re: Re: Such a non-sequitor

I’m inclined to agree RE: the anti-monopoly laws: now we need to enforce them.

The FCC gave us SOME of what we want. It’s not enough but it was as much as they could get done. Until we are able to prise the grasping fingers of the corporations from our legislature, this half-of-something-is-better-than-all-of-nothing situation is likely to continue.

The only way we’re going to get a market that’s more free is to enforce the rules that free it up in the first place, and voting with your wallet in a sewn-up market isn’t an option.

DS says:

Re: Such a non-sequitor

What an absurd comment. The Internet has had net neutrality since the beginning, but ISPs eventually decided that could make more money if they could contract with content providers to decide what content consumers can access, turning the internet into a clickable version of cable TV. F that. The rules don’t let the FCC pick and choose content–quite the opposite–they mandate no blocking and no prioritizing content (instead, companies actually have to COMPETE for traffic, like how CAPITALISM is supposed to work). F U and your crony-capitalist BS. Verizon is the one who created a fake tech blog meant to spin stories about net neutrality and gov spying; Verizon is the one who claimed that ISPs have a constitutional right to decide what you can and can’t view on the internet; Verizon is also the one who sued to break the internet’s long tradition of net neutrality. Don’t think that other ISPs weren’t playing along–Comcast even hired homeless people to fill seats at the first net neutrality hearing, locking out net neutrality supporters. Verizon won its lawsuit on a technicality, a technicality the court said needed to fixed in order to maintain the “virtuous circle” of innovation on the internet. That’s exactly what the FCC did, in the exact manner specified by the Court.

Please learn about net neutrality before posting such a asinine comment.

Anonymous Coward says:

Because if let corporations run wild, they won’t stop short of total high-tech fascism. There’s no more dangerous notion than that “markets” will inherently serve the public. In fact, Nazi Germany is what results. Corporations will always — indeed ARE, monetizing deaths of “natural” persons.

Now, your next-to-last paragraph is interesting for positive view of corporations you usually demonize — and without mentioning you know which tiny-deployer as if it’s at all affecting this! Guess you got too wrapped up in the net-neutrality slant to note how contradicts your usual piece.

And by the way, what IS Google’s current position on net neutrality? Didn’t it reverse once got into the biz?

Moonkey says:

Re: Re:

What he was saying in the next-to-last paragraph wasn’t positive towards the company at all.

It was positive in the general sense that people are getting internet. That people are finally getting options to choose from in their neighborhoods. He didn’t say the companies were good.

You need to stop looking for potholes where there aren’t any.

Anonymous Coward says:

Wait what?

The Gov regulating private companies makes a better product for customers? Get out! Capitalism is the best of the best of best (Sir! https://youtu.be/_huL5ynaI8Y).
Who could have known that Gov influence might make things better? I guess it was those, excuse my french (btw. why french? you can say the worst in french and it still sounds good https://youtu.be/K1BHuYOb8fM) freaking commies that want to destroy the USA. Well, ok … if you aren’t part of the 1% I guess you will disagree but think about it… the american dream! You, yes… YOU! will be a part of the 1% one day! So vote against your current friends, vote against your current YOU! Because YOU wont be You in the future. Long Live Capitalism, long live YOU!

Wendy Cockcroft says:

Ah, so you’re not ruing the day, then. 🙂

Gubmint interference to enable competition turns out to have been the right thing to do after all, eh? As long as it’s to enable competition, interfere away, I say. Locking down protectionism is what I object to. It’s anti-ethical to a free market.*

*Yes, I know, there’s no such thing, but it wouldn’t hurt to make it more free, would it?

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