Last year’s repeal of the Obama administration’s regulation resulted in a lot of intense reaction, with cries that it would break the Internet. Not so, points out James Freeman in the WSJ.
The irrational fear was that service would be so “throttled’ and slowed by deregulation that the Internet would never be the same. A year later, give the website Recode credit for at least implicitly acknowledging that the “net neutrality” campaign was bunk.
A Lobbying Coup for the Tech Industry
The Obama strategy was to impose on the Internet old-fashioned telephone rules to force network operators to offer cheap service to heavy Internet users like Netflix and Google. It was a lobbying coup for the tech industry—getting Washington to cut Silicon Valley’s phone bill.
The Internet Is Alive and Well
A year ago today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) repealed the harmful 2015 Internet regulation dubiously titled the “Open Internet Order.” The media and pundits are unlikely to issue corrections, but here are some facts to remember.
- The Washington Post, The New York Times, CNET, Ars Technica, Recode, The Verge, and advocacy groups such as Free Press and Public Knowledge predictably forecasted apocalyptic consequences to the rollback of the regulation, mischaracterizing the Restoring Internet Freedom Order (RIFO) which replaced it.
- CNN declared “the end of the Internet as we know it.”
- Other media outlets said the RIFO was “gutting the rules that protect the Internet,” and “that the internet has no oversight.”
The End of Price Control
Roslyn Layton of the American Enterprise Institute explains:
When the media talks about the end of the internet, they are referring to the end of the price control that favored Silicon Valley at the expense of consumers… In 2015 the FCC claimed that its rules were underpinned by a “virtuous circle” and predicted increased investment in and deployment of networks, but the opposite happened. Chairman Ajit Pai testified in Congress that the rules depressed investment and that the RIFO reversed that trend.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has helped consumers by restoring the incentive to invest in new networks and better service.
As James Freeman asks, what other Trump era outrages may not be exactly as reported?
Read more here.