I often get asked why I am against net neutrality. Because of this, I chose to create a comprehensive guide to my anti-net neutrality arguments. Enjoy.
- Net Neutrality regulations, as understood in the current political debate, did not exist until 2015. While net neutrality proponents will try and switch out the political issue for the principle, the political debate is only about the 2015 Obama FCC regulations.
- Regulation requires justification. Even if net neutrality has no negative impact, that is not sufficient reason for having it. An affirmative case has to be made.
- Anti-competitive behavior, false advertising and breach of contract are already illegal and regulated by federal agencies like the FTC, DOJ and a litany of other federal and state agencies and laws.
- There is no evidence of systemic throttling or censorship problems by ISP’s prior than 2015. The limited and isolated instances would be better solved by better regulatory enforcement or other limited means instead of a regulatory overhaul. In other words, fix the leaking dam instead of building a new one.
- ISP’s do not act in monopolistic behavior. There is “no credible basis” to believe ISP’s act in anti-competitive behavior “significant and growing competition among broadband access providers”.
- Net Neutrality is either neutral or has a negative effect on broadband investment. One of the main purposes of net neutrality is to ban potential internet fast lanes. Since ISP’s would have to roll-out all improvements at one cost, they would likely delay implementing broadband infrastructure improvements since they could not charge higher prices for their usage. Think of broadband improvements as additions to cars like GPS or seat warmers. They were not rolled out at once to all cars but started at luxuries you had to pay more for. Because of this, I would argue the effect would be negative.
- Censorship is already allowed on the internet via content providers. In fact, censorship would still be allowed by ISP’s under net neutrality. See the next two points.
- The FCC has admitted that is broadband providers want to “filter” then they “drop out of the definition of Broadband Internet Access Service and the rules don’t apply to them.” This encourages ISP’s to censor so they can avoid broadband regulation.
- Compelling ISP’s to deliver content is compelled speech and is a violation of the first amendment.
- Net Neutrality, if implemented, should be done through Congress. Giving the FCC the power to classify the internet how it wishes is a textbook example of administrative state overreach.