If you remember back a few years ago, Net Neutrality was the talk of the town, an issue that struck at the heart of the last frontier of true free speech: the Internet.
Obama managed to get the rules put into place, but it looks like another piece of his legacy is set to fall as Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced he’s going to reverse them.
As you might imagine, the left was none too happy about all of this and have vowed to fight tooth and nail to prevent this from happening.
Breitbart reports, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Communications Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, told TechCrunch that those “who want the internet free and open are outraged that they’re undoing these basic protections.”
But critics would say the Internet was free and open before Net Neutrality, which is described as a solution in search of a problem that does not exist. The policy prevents Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from charging users different rates based on the amount of bandwidth they use. The idea was to prevent ISPs from blocking poor, low-paying consumers to service rich, high-paying ones — a problem that almost never arose.
Initially, former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler seemed unreceptive to the idea. But then, in 2015, he forced through the new rules on a party-line vote. To the surprise — and shock — of many Net Neutrality proponents, the FCC decided to regulate the Internet under the provisions of Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, treating it like any other public utility. Moreover, early reports suggested that Net Neutrality had hurt investment in broadband infrastructure, because companies could no longer expect a return on their investment. That, ironically, meant less Internet access.