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The biggest piece of news over this past week has been the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruling to repeal Net Neutrality. This decision has been made to seem as though the literal end of the Internet and the world is now at hand.
Multiple low-information people make claims that without Net Neutrality, the Internet will no longer be free and open, that certain content will now cost more because of corporate greed and that certain content will be inaccessible.
People like Daily Show host Trevor Noah, who set up somewhat of a skit by saying that “there’s no evidence that this is going to break the Internet… so if you’re watching this show right now, online right now, I just want to remind you, that…” before simulating a disrupted stream.
Or Late Night host Seth Meyers saying: “If you’re not sure what [the ruling] means, better Google it while you still can.”
And more specifically, Jimmy Kimmel saying: “Thank you President Trump. Thanks to you and this jackhole (referring to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai) you appointed to run the FCC, big corporations are about to take full control of the internet, so Merry Christmas everybody.”
I truly fail to understand how these people’s minds work. They really think the only way for the internet to be open and free is for the government to control it. How insane is that?!
Let me tell you: the internet is not going to break. The internet was perfectly fine before 2015, when Net Neutrality was first put in place. It didn’t need to get regulated, but the government and the Left wanted it regulated. They wanted to have control over the internet. And for whatever insane reason, people wanted the government in charge of the internet as well.
I’ve seen plenty of people on Twitter saying that Net Neutrality was necessary to avoid corporate greed. That it was necessary to “protect the people”. That Net Neutrality was going to force companies to not overcharge people for internet service. And that’s a complete lie.
The government forcing companies what to charge kills competition. It kills capitalism. And if the government is in charge of the internet, they get to choose what to charge people and what content is available. The very thing these low-information people fear is what was going to happen if Net Neutrality WASN’T repealed.
Net Neutrality was not meant to protect people. It was meant to control the internet and heavily regulate it as well as its providers. It was meant to increase the size of the government. It was meant to give control of the content to the government. In other words, it was meant to give the government the power to censor the things they didn’t like.
No, it wasn’t going to be immediate. We’ve lived with Net Neutrality for 2, almost 3 years, and I doubt we’ve seen the government deny any website from existing because it had content they didn’t like. But things like these are never instantaneous. These things often times are about a progression of rules. Starting out simple and then placing more and more rules and regulations.
Like FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in his statement regarding the ruling: “The free and open internet prior to 2015 is the one we are going to have going forward.”
It’s honestly ridiculous for people to believe Net Neutrality is necessary to keep a free and open internet. Net Neutrality does the exact opposite of it and it’s intended to do the exact opposite of it.
There’s nothing free and open about a heavily-regulated internet. That’d be like saying North Korea’s economy is a free market economy because the government controls it. It’s honestly that ridiculous.
One of the bigger claims the Left makes is that without Net Neutrality, wealthier people are able to afford better service while poorer people won’t get very good service. What they fail to realize is that that’s how every market works. If you can afford something better, you tend to get it. If you want to save money at the cost of better service, you can do that as well. That’s not a bad thing.
But perhaps the biggest claim the Left makes about it is that, as you heard from Kimmel, big corporations will have full control of the internet. Here's the thing: that's not at all the case. There's not a single case in the history of the internet of a big corporation having full control of the internet in a country. Without Net Neutrality, smaller ISPs have a better chance to compete than with it.
Do you think that in a capitalist and free market system corporations are going to charge people insane prices for their product and service? Do you not understand how capitalism works? IT’S ABOUT COMPETITION!
If an Internet service provider (ISP) like, say, Comcast, charges an unreasonable amount of money for internet in a certain area, other companies such as AT&T or Verizon can come in to that area and offer better deals.
Let’s take Boynton Beach, FL as an example. In Boynton Beach, according to highspeedinternet.com, there are three different ISPs: AT&T, Comcast Xfinity, and HughesNet.
AT&T offers internet speeds of up to 1000 Megabits per second (Mbps). That’s pretty great. But to get that incredible internet bandwidth, you have to live in certain areas where they provide it and it will, of course, cost more than slower speeds.
AT&T offers different bundles with different download speeds at different costs. For example, you can get the 75 Mbps internet plan starting at $60/mo. If you can’t afford that, you can choose a plan that will give you 50 Mbps starting at $40/mo.
These aren’t bad in the least, either. According to an article by Yahoo published 5 years ago, internet speeds of 10-15 Mbps were considered to be “the new normal”. Again, this was 5 years ago. You can only imagine how much faster internet speeds have gotten since then.
Now, let’s look at Xfinity. One of their bundles gives you 25 Mbps starting at $40/mo. Comparing this plan to AT&T’s, you can see it’s only half as fast for the same price. (I feel I’m obligated to say that I’m not sponsored by AT&T or any other internet service provider).
So that plan isn’t as good as AT&T’s. However, that’s not the only plan they offer. If it was, they wouldn’t be very successful. They also offer another plan that gives you 100 Mbps for $50/mo. That is quite the improvement from the previous plan and is also more competitive than AT&T’s.
So for AT&T to compete with that price and that speed, they have to offer even better deals. This is what competition looks like.
The government doesn’t need to come in and force companies to charge fair amounts of money. The market already does that.
Now, that’s the “big corporations” the Left deems evil. Let’s look at that last ISP in Boynton Beach: HughesNet. They offer different deals, but those deals don’t offer better internet speeds. Rather, they offer more Gigabytes of data.
For example, their cheapest plan is 10 GB of data, 25 Mbps starting at $50/mo. The difference between that plan and competitors’ plans is that plan is good for 24 months, while AT&T’s and Xfinity’s are for 12 months. HughesNet can’t quite compete as strongly against the big ISPs, so they have to look for other ways to stay competitive.
These three compete in Boynton Beach. While the small ISP can’t quite compete with the other two, that doesn’t mean everything is lost for them. Yes, the big corporations essentially monopolized the area, but Net Neutrality was making it more difficult for competitors to get into the area. The barriers of entry have been lifted and now more smaller companies such as HughesNet will be able to offer the same service and compete with the big boys.
The insane fear low-information people have is that big corporations are very greedy. That these corporations will take people’s money and keep it for themselves and that’s how they get rich. It’s the classic narrative of the rich get richer while the poor get poorer, but reality couldn’t be further from the truth.
Yes, the owners of these companies certainly are rich, but they didn’t steal or take money from the poor. Frankly, taking money from the poor is not a very realistic way to get rich. They own companies that provide good service for people. They may not be perfect but they’re not the devils the Left makes them out to be.
So Net Neutrality wasn’t going to protect the people from these companies. It was going to abuse these companies, kill competition and ultimately increase prices that hurt the people, much in the same way Obamacare premiums only rise and rise.
Obamacare was MEANT to do that. Net Neutrality ditto.
“An honest witness does not deceive, but a false witness pours out lies.”
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