Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 1st Sep 2017 09:58 UTC

Apple finally has something to say about net neutrality. In its first comment to the FCC about proposed upcoming rollbacks to net neutrality rules, Apple writes:

Our deep respect for our customers' security, privacy, and control over personal information extends to our customers' broadband connectivity choices. We work hard to build great products, and what consumers do with those tools is up to them - not Apple, and not broadband providers. Apple therefore believes that the Federal Communications Commission should retain strong, enforceable open internet protections that advance the following key policy principles:

The comment's a good - albeit late - start, but it does leave some wiggle room, as it, for instance, doesn't advocate for keeping internet traffic under Title II. Apple is, at the very least, in good company, as a staggering 98.5% of all comments to the FCC were in favour of maintaining the United States' current strong net neutrality rules.

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RE: Comment by judgen
by Alfman on Sat 2nd Sep 2017 18:24 UTC in reply to "Comment by judgen"
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Net neutrality is bad, or at least silly as a concept.


If a customer pays for Xmbps down/Y mbps up, then why should their ISP decide to promote some services and throttle others? Inevitably this will serve them rather than their customers.

I'm all for the principals of the free market, however that breaks down extremely quickly whenever monopolies/oligopolies come into play. In an ideal free market, ISPs would give customers what they want or else they would loose customers to competition because consumers could move on to better ISPs. However, at least in the US, many of us have no broadband competition, and even when we do we're locked into one-sided contracts. And that's the problem with private profit seeking companies, left to their own vices they seek to destroy the very balance that make the free market appealing to begin with.

We may not like the need for government regulation, however sometimes it's a necessary evil to spur competition and even promote the free market in an ironic way. Take the electric grid for example. It is considered a "natural monopoly" because one company owns and maintains the physical wires to your house. Because of this absolute monopoly, they can charge anything they want and many/most of us would have no choice at all if we wanted electricity.

So how do we resolve this? Well in parts of the US, government stepped in and required electric companies to share the electric lines so that consumers would have a right to buy their energy from the electric company of their choice. By imposing rules that companies have to abide by, it forces them to compete on merit rather than with exclusive monopoly powers. So although it may be counter-intuitive for the typical free market idealist, regulation actually saved the free market for energy.

All this isn't to say that governments can't overstep their bounds and abuse authority, because they can and sometimes do. That needs to be condemned, but we shouldn't downplay the importance of regulation in general.

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