Umm… Net Neutrality only came online in 2015 (or 2014). All that we currently know about how the Internet came to be was WITHOUT Net Neutrality Rules!
The concept was first laid out by law professor Tim Wu in his seminal 2002 article, “A Proposal for Network Neutrality.” Wu lays out hypothetical scenarios where ISPs block or throttle access to content for reasons ranging from cost to anti-competitive activities.
If you type the phrase into Google, the top definition provided is the “principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.” Yet this definition stands in sharp contradiction to the vision outlined by Wu, who noted that “a total ban on network discrimination, of course, would be counterproductive.”
Of course, we did not see ISPs engage in this kind of behavior in the pre-OIO history of the internet — which is to say, for the entire history of the internet. But ironically, the OIO actually creates incentives for ISPs to do just that.
In 2016, the US Court of Appeals crystallized this loophole in its interpretation upholding the OIO, which noted that ISPs that explicitly offer “‘edited’ services” to its customers would not become subject to the OIO.
In other words: Tell your customers that you filter content, and you’re free from the shackles of the FCC!
Which brings us to our second point: The OIO was not based on years of measured research and debate, but was a politically-expedient compromise to rally the Democratic base. Skorup notes that former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and his staff explicitly did not favor the Title II approach of the OIO until President Obama exerted pressure on him to do so in 2014. According to Gene Kimmelman of the progressive advocacy group Public Knowledge, the move was an effort to secure a “clean victory for us to show that we are standing up for [the] principles” of the Democratic Party.
The result was a half-baked and rushed OIO that contained a glaring loophole which inadvertently enshrined in law what net neutrality advocates had been fearing the whole time. It’s a remarkable outcome, and one that even OIO hardliners now bemoan.
So-called Net “Neutrality” wasn’t needed, and isn’t needed.
If there was no throttling of data, would we have certain telecom carriers advertise “the following music streaming servies will NOT count against your data plan”? Would there be any need to develop more effecient video codecs, such as HEVC/H.265? Even throttled by an ISP, Netflix could transition to streaming in H.265 instead of H.264 (at a bandwidth savings of approximately 40%), perhaps ONLY on the network that’s throttling the bandwidth, which would cause the non-throttled users of other ISPs to complain that Netflix is streaming a “higher quality” on “the other ISP”. Competition, driving innovation and cutting prices. But would it have even happened if the FCC required ALL data on all ISPs to be handled “equally”; despite the 2016 CoA ruling stating that throttling WAS ALLOWED UNDER NET “NEUTRALITY”!
Besides, it’s bad enough that ISPs can “deep sniff our packets” and know exactly what we’re doing online. If we don’t like that, it *is* possible to change ISPs. Even if there’s only one where you live, there are others that play by different rules. What happens when the FCC, with all the authority of the Federal Government starts mucking around with what you’re doing on line? As if they have any real pressing need to investigate your surfing habits without a warrant… I guarantee if Net Neutrality remains, it’s only a matter of time before “some services are more equal than others”.