The repeal of Obama’s “Net Neutrality” rule was going to destroy the Internet — it didn’t. In fact, it’s more robust than ever.
One year after FCC Chairman Ajit Pai liberated broadband networks, doomsayers have been proven wrong.
Of all the anti-Trump hysterias of our age, perhaps the most absurd and extreme was the charge that last year’s repeal of an Obama-era regulation would break the Internet. A year later, the Internet is still working just fine and in many ways much better for U.S. consumers.
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.
When Trump-appointed reformers wisely sought to roll back this misguided rule and restore the freedom that had allowed the Internet to thrive in the first place, the reaction was intense.
Roslyn Layton of the American Enterprise Institute writes:
A year ago today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) repealed the harmful 2015 internet regulation dubiously titled the “Open Internet Order.” 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,” and other media outlets said the RIFO was “gutting the rules that protect the internet,” and “that the internet has no oversight.” A year later, the internet is alive and well. The media and pundits are unlikely to issue corrections, but here are some facts to remember.
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.