back to article It’s been two years since net neutrality was killed in the US. Let’s celebrate by having another fight over it

Making it clear that the issue of net neutrality has become an entrenched partisan battle, Democratic Senators used the two-year anniversary of its death on Tuesday to push for a vote that would reverse the decision. The vote was denied by the Republican majority, making it the third time that Congress has used the issue as a …

  1. sbt
    Unhappy

    Things haven't been so entrenched since the fields of Flanders, a century ago.

    As much as I like a cold open, these recaps are really great for summing up just how dysfunctional governments have become.

    'Four more years' maybe the most disturbing three word phrase now.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Things haven't been so entrenched since the fields of Flanders, a century ago.

      An interesting side note is that Congress changed the amounts corporates can contribute to election candidates. They increased it. So.. follow the money and the votes. Dysfunctional? More like "well-paid" by the special interests who have the money.

      1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

        [aside to camera, crouching behind the bushes]

        *whispering*

        Viewers at home will have noted that the first commenter sought with no visible reason/evidence to attach a centuries-old characteristic of public-service-and-politicians to one particular side: the Republicans and Trump (UK slang for noisy fart).

        And that the second commenter pointed out that the opposite side --the Democrats, in control of Congress-- had actually formally and evidentially demonstrated real corruption. But did so in tones apparently intended to attribute their action to Trump (whoops! pardon me!).

        We must be comPLETEly silent now -- if we're lucky, this is the prelude to the famous mating dance of the Swivel-eyed Frothing Snipe-Trump (CHRIST! Look, sorry, it must the beans.).

        1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          Re: [aside to camera, crouching behind the bushes]

          Well, just about the only thing that is bi-parsian is that both sides are corrupt and bought by lobbyists.

          https://wolf-pac.com/

          1. Tom 7 Silver badge

            Re: [aside to camera, crouching behind the bushes]

            It is part of the de-democratising of democracy. Once you have got one party that is happy to dance for a lot of money the others cannot get a word in edgeways if they dont play the same game. One side is deliberately corrupt the others not so much.

        2. sbt
          Facepalm

          Well, if you're going to skulk in the shubbery ...

          ... you may be disappointed to learn I gave Mark 85 a thumbs up, because I agreed with him, regardless of which side acted in their own interest instead of the public's. The system is flawed, beyond mere partisan concerns. Reasonable people can and do disagree about the choices to be made in allocating the resources of governments or the role of governments in regulating personal and corporate behaviour; these are not all black-and-white, good vs. evil decisions; in a finite economy, there are trade-offs, priorities, etc.

          What should be universally condemned, regardless of attitudes to policy, is the sort of conduct in diplomacy, personal enrichment and applying the wheels of government to personal political benefit that we've seen from this president. The shame for the supporters is, is that they don't care how victory is achieved, as long as they win, power has become the ultimate virtue. Winning at any cost includes upsetting multiple norms of executive conduct and running out the clock where possible to avoid legal compliance.

          Sad.

  2. beast666

    Best President Ever

    The average US broadband MBs/$ has reached a level previously thought impossible.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Best President Ever

      Even If that is true:

      1) It's still way behind the rest of the world

      2) To conclude that makes Trump the "Best President Ever" is so deluded, even Fox hosts don't think it (though they will say it on-air)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Best President Ever

      I thought you were trolling... From your posting history, it seems I was wrong.

      The Daily Mail and Fox News aren't good for your mental health, you know.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Best President Ever

      Wow, so you mean that technology improvements mean you get more for less money? Yes, that has so much to do with who is president.

  3. baud

    Net Neutrality repeal consequences?

    Now that it's been two years, what kind of consequences did (and does) have the repeal of Net Neutrality in the US? I've heard about the repeal, but since I don't live there, I don't know what it did change. Did the prices skyrocket? Quality of service went down? Netflix access is now charged more?

    1. volatile.memory

      Re: Net Neutrality repeal consequences?

      Nothing has changed... not even the hysterical shrieks about the dire consequences of the repeal (which have not materialized).

    2. trindflo

      Re: Net Neutrality repeal consequences?

      The consequence is in fact that nothing has changed. Big cable and AWS were already shaking down customers indirectly by slowing down traffic where they were not getting a piece of the action, and net neutrality would have forced them to change.

  4. Just Enough

    It's partisan the same way right vs wrong is

    The second last paragraph on this article puzzles me.

    If 70-80% of Americans believe net neutrality is a good idea, why do Democrats need to 'persuade themselves' it's a vote winner? It seems an obvious choice. And why do they need 'cover' from those who 'genuinely' think net neutrality is needed? What makes their enthusiasm for it not genuine? Even if they personally don't care, does not the fact that most voters do care mean that they are merely doing the job they were elected to do? Why should this need 'cover'?

    It's the Republicans that need to justify their position, not the Democrats. They have enforced a policy that the vast majority of Americans disagree with, all the while pocketing vast amounts of money from cable business. Yes, the issue has become divided on party lines when it shouldn't be, but that's because one party has pursued a blatantly corrupt policy. Of course they should be called out on it. Repeatedly.

    1. chulak

      Re: It's partisan the same way right vs wrong is

      Just Enough, I respectfully disagree with your premise. If you look at OpenSecrets (which admittedly is just one source, I'm sure there is more info out there to get a more complete picture), you will see the contributions to the D-side far outweighs the contributions to the R-side recently. I doubt that 70-80% of Americans really believe that NN as implemented is a good idea (how you frame the question is important!), but maybe a majority do because of the communications campaign by the government at that time to mislead them that it was a good idea?

      https://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?ind=c2200

      As others have pointed out in the comments, absolutely none of the doomsday predictions after the NN repeal have come to pass (and IMO, will not come to pass). Also, I have not seen anybody point out what was wrong with the internet in the early/mid 2000s that it needed heavy-handed federal government regulation. In my view, if a system is functioning well in a mostly open market, there should be justification from the government for broad reach into that system. We didn't get any justification for NN in the first place and were handed a policy that didn't address anything that was going wrong.

      1. chulak

        Re: It's partisan the same way right vs wrong is

        Argh - timed out on trying to edit my previous post, apologies for the double post.

        Also need to keep in mind that there was a large lobbying effort by large tech companies to pass NN since it would benefit them and a communications campaign by the government to convince people their actions were beneficial. I doubt 70-80% of people really want NN as it was implemented, and how you frame the question will impact how people respond to it!

        https://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?cycle=2020&ind=B13

        https://www.opensecrets.org/industries/totals.php?cycle=2020&ind=B09

  5. Bryan Hall
    Meh

    No change - yet

    I haven't noticed any difference over the last 10 years. We have the same providers here in the OKC area as we have had at about the same costs for slightly faster speeds.

    The biggest changes are right around the corner between 5G to the house and the various LEO satellite providers. That should finally provide some much needed competition beyond the cable vs twisted pair duopoly.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Much hand-wringing, no problems

    Discussions of doom continue, yet absolutely nothing has changed in the US. I have gigabit access to any site I want worldwide without carrier interference. I am not sending this comment via smoke signals. Where's all the problems folks are whining about?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Much hand-wringing, no problems

      " I have gigabit access to any site I want worldwide without carrier interference."

      Go eat your Christmas turkey somewhere else, my gruel is getting cold.

      Posted via cell phone from the hill down the road from my house.

  7. fishman

    Killed - sort of

    Net Neutrality was killed. At the Federal level. Sort of.

    But there are lawsuits going on about the killing, and until the lawsuits are settled or thrown out it is in the best interests of the ISPs to tread softly. And various states have or will have laws that ban or severely discourage ISPs to violate net neutrality. If the ISPs moved to take full advantage of the killing of net neutrality, more states would enact net neutrality laws. This patchwork of state laws is far more detrimental to the ISPs than a single Federal law so the old saying of "Be careful for what you wish for" is coming back to haunt them.

  8. PBXTech

    As far as I am concerned, the less federal regulations, the better.

    Just like the cell phone companies, the market will force them to self-regulate. If Company A and Company B both offer a comparable product, and Company B offers it for a better price, then Company A will review and drop their pricing or add something of value to what the offer in order to compete.

    Another user mentioned the "patchwork of state laws" as a bad thing. In truth, this is the way it is SUPPOSED to be. The Constitution specifically lists functions which the Federal government is empowered to perform. Anything not enumerated as a function of the federal government is supposed to be "reserved to the states and to the people". The intent was for residents of a state to be able to control the laws which governed them.

    Polls are pretty much worthless. To use a hot-button example... "Should private ownership of firearms be legal". If you poll 100 people showing up at the local gun range on a Saturday morning, you will get one answer. If you poll 100 people showing up at a rally paid for by Handgun Control, Inc., you will get another answer.

    As far as Democrat Vs. Republican votes go, if you were to remove all votes within 50 miles of the East and West coasts, you couldn't get a Democrat elected as dogcatcher in this country.

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