back to article Net neutrality is back in the Land of the Free – for now

The FCC has voted on a plan to reinstate net neutrality rules that require ISPs treat all data equally – rules which were canceled under the Trump administration in 2017. The move comes just a month after the US Senate voted to confirm President Joe Biden's nominee Anna Gomez to the FCC board, ending the voting deadlock …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Republicans would change their tune

    If they had enough self awareness to realise that activists can pressure ISPs into blocking technically legal but morally intolerable hate sites.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Republicans would change their tune

      Except they own the ISPs, or rather the media companies that own the ISP own the Republicans.

      I

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >> "Did any one of those predictions come to pass? Of course not."

    Then what are you scared about, shill?

  3. Death Boffin

    Needless

    I have yet to find anyone harmed by the lack of net neutrality over the last decade. All the dire warnings are bogus. Someone please cite a case where someone was harmed.

    1. HISTSIZE=10000

      Harming people physically is not the criterion

      If the risk of harming anyone were a criterion for forbidding things, you'd have less automatic guns in US households, and less kids killed at school or at home.

      Net neutrality is about democracy. It's about letting every voice be heard. About preventing censorship.

      It is as important for societal progress/adaptability as genetic drift is important for evolution/adaptability. We are still here today despite our very slow generation cycle because meiosis is (and must be) a fair coin. That compensates pathogens very rapid division rate.

      Similarly, the periods when mankind progressed at its fastest are those when ideas diffused freely (renaissance, enlightenment, industrial revolution, current digital revolution).

      Big Tech corporations already have enough means of gaming the system (CDNs, private exchanges and branch-outs, private submarine cables, etc...). Let's not forfeit the last protection we have: the Net.

    2. I could be a dog really Bronze badge

      Re: Needless

      Really ?

      I bet you know a lot of people who were, but they don't realise it - or more specifically, they don't realise what they've been missing out on because they've not had the opportunity of seeing what they could be having.

      The biggest factor is the ability, without net neutrality, for the big players (and lets not forget that in many places in the USA, there is no option of "I don't like this ISP, I'll move to a different one") to simply kill competition by unfair means. So big ISP wants in on the streaming market ? All they have to do is prioritise their own traffic, and throttle that of any competitor. Then users see that the competitors offerings are "rubbish" (low resolution, pauses, buffering, etc.) and move to that offered by the incumbent ISP. You will probably claim that it wouldn't happen.

      Alternatively, it allows the ISPs to effectively blackmail certain online businesses into paying to be unthrottled.

      Well it's been proven that it does happen. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/att-wireless-carriers-throttle-youtube-netflix-mobile-video-content/. And it's not new.

      At stake is the ability for someone to come up with "the next big thing" and be able to get it from idea to reality. While ISPs can act as effective gatekeepers to what their customers can access (at reasonable speeds), they can control such startups - with the ability to throttle them out of existence (having launched their own version of course if it looks promising), or kill them with transit fees which a typical startup won't be able to afford. Most of what we take for granted these days started off as something small - but now it's a lot harder to new players to get started, and ISPs (absent restrictions) have the ability to make things even harder.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don’t worry

    I’m sure those crazy libertarian warriors will be back in power before long.

    Sadly.

  5. SundogUK Silver badge

    "...prevent Internet Service Providers from blocking legal content."

    Seriously? Blocking legal content is what the left does.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's very different. This is about the free exchange of ideas, you're talking about steps to prevent hate speech when the legal system fails because it's been infiltrated by fascists.

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