The Calming Truth on Net Neutrality


Last night, my high school daughter got in the car after an athletic event and, in a scene that I’ve seen other parents mention on social media, asked about net neutrality and the end of the Internet.  One imagines some big-money force is targeting young Americans to rile up activism and establish a political base.

Such an explanation seems necessary given the out-sized scare tactics.  For a quick palliative, turn to a Wall Street Journal editorial titled, “The Internet Is Free Again“:

Bans on throttling content may poll well, but the regulations have created uncertainty about what the FCC would or wouldn’t allow. This has throttled investment. Price discrimination and paid prioritization are used by many businesses. Netflix charges higher prices to subscribers who stream content on multiple devices. Has this made the internet less free?

Mr. Pai’s rules would require that broadband providers disclose discriminatory practices. Thus cable companies would have to be transparent if they throttle content when users reach a data cap or if they speed up live sports programming. Consumers can choose broadband providers and plans accordingly. The Federal Trade Commission will have authority to police predatory and monopolistic practices, as it had prior to Mr. Wheeler’s power grab.

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Returning to the Internet rules from three years ago may seem like a slide to the benighted past to children, but those propagandizing them should be embarrassed.