Goodbye Net Neutrality; Hello Competition

Goodbye Net Neutrality; Hello Competition, by Jeffrey Tucker.

At long last, with the end of “net neutrality,” competition could soon come to the industry that delivers Internet services to you. You might be able to pick among a range of packages, some minimalist and some maximalist, depending on how you use the service. Or you could choose a package that charges based only on what you consume, rather than sharing fees with everyone else.

Internet socialism is dead; long live market forces.

With market-based pricing finally permitted, we could see new entrants to the industry because it might make economic sense for the first time to innovate. The growing competition will lead, over the long run, to innovation and falling prices. Consumers will find themselves in the driver’s seat rather than crawling and begging for service and paying whatever the provider demands. …

Net neutrality was a misleading sham intended to empower the big current providers at our expense:

The old rules pushed by the Obama administration had locked down the industry with regulation that only helped incumbent service providers and major content delivery services. They called it a triumph of “free expression and democratic principles.” It was anything but. It was actually a power grab. It created an Internet communication cartel not unlike the way the banking system works under the Federal Reserve.

Net Neutrality had the backing of all the top names in content delivery, from Google to Yahoo to Netflix to Amazon. …

The public at large should have been rising up in opposition, but people were largely ignorant of what was going on with net neutrality. Consumers imagined that they would get censorship-free access and low prices. That’s not what happened. …

Here’s what’s was really going on with net neutrality. The incumbent rulers of the world’s most exciting technology decided to lock down the prevailing market conditions to protect themselves against rising upstarts in a fast-changing market. The imposition of a rule against throttling content or using the market price system to allocate bandwidth resources protects against innovations that would disrupt the status quo.

Net neutrality closed down market competition by generally putting government and its corporate backers in charge. For established firms, a rule like net neutrality can raise the costs of doing business, but there is a wonderful upside to this: your future potential competitors face the same costs. You are in a much better position to absorb higher costs than those barking at your heels. This means that you can slow down development, cool it on your investments in fiber optics, and generally rest on your laurels more. …

It erected barriers to entry for upstart firms while hugely subsidizing the largest and most well-heeled content providers.

The sale of net neutrality was deceptive:

It was like all government regulation: most of the costs were unseen, and the benefits were concentrated in the hands of the ruling class. …

The end of net neutrality is the best single deregulatory initiative yet taken by the Trump administration.

hat-tip Matthew