Reply To: 28 Feb 2015 – The FCC Voted for Net Neutrality
Not much I can add. IMHO it makes sense for ISPs to be in the same class as other utilities, especially in light of Verizon v. FCC. Edit: they’ll now be classed as a ‘telecommunications service’ not an ‘information service’ which makes sense. An ISP provides a pipe; the data/information comes from elsewhere.
I agree that the perceived free-market ISPs are actually the result of government action on behalf of those ISPs. Rather than advocate for the free market, most industries lobby for favorable government intervention (e.g. the DMCA, laws granting exclusive rights to provide cable or phone service to a single company). While a pure market solution might be desirable in theory, as long as there is going to be regulations of some type, there might as well be some that favor the consumer. I hope they don’t screw it up.
Regarding internet content, ISPs don’t (or shouldn’t) have anything to do with that, so this doesn’t have anything to do with it. The US is the only country without any form of mandated internet content blocking and I hope it stays that way. In fact, making ISPs semi-public could be one way to ensure it, since free speech applies more strictly to the government than private enterprise. For example, “speech codes” at public universities have been struck down every time they’ve been challenged in court, and a major factor was that free speech cannot be restricted on public property. Of course, there’s other ways to restrict content than the ISP level:
ScreenScream, I buy raw milk.