Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 14th Dec 2017 19:46 UTC

Net neutrality is dead - at least for now. In a 3-2 vote today, the Federal Communications Commission approved a measure to remove the tough net neutrality rules it put in place just two years ago. Those rules prevented internet providers from blocking and throttling traffic and offering paid fast lanes. They also classified internet providers as Title II common carriers in order to give the measure strong legal backing.

Today's vote undoes all of that. It removes the Title II designation, preventing the FCC from putting tough net neutrality rules in place even if it wanted to. And, it turns out, the Republicans now in charge of the FCC really don’t want to. The new rules largely don’t prevent internet providers from doing anything. They can block, throttle, and prioritize content if they wish to. The only real rule is that they have to publicly state that they’re going to do it.

Nobody wanted the FCC to vote like this. Public support for net neutrality is massive. The only reason this is happening is pure, unbridled corruption at the very root of the American political system.

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I didnt say free markets are great, i just said it is better than planned economies.

You'd get relatively little debate from people, including me, presuming the competitive circumstances were different in the US. Free markets are great when companies are fighting over customers and there's plenty of competition! This qualifier is crucial in determining whether the free market is able to serve the public interests. When there's lots of competition, companies are forced to satisfy consumers or risk loosing them (and their profits).

However one can not claim that the free market is always the best approach without being willfully ignorant of what occurs with oligopolies and monopolies. The fact is that when consumers have no meaningful choice, the free market does *not* reward good service and investment, it can actually end up rewarding less investment and higher costs/fees!

Calling for "free markets" is not a solution because the free markets are enablers of the consolidation, merges, and acquisitions that led to our imbalance and lack of choice in the first place. So unless you have a plan to restore competition and consumer balance, calling for a "free market" seems like little more than an argument borne of a political agenda rather than a carefully thought out solution to our ISP monopolies.

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