More and more discussion is surfacing about the end of former President Barack Obama’s Net Neutrality and the beginning of President Donald Trump’s age of free Internet.
Last Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted along party lines to undo so-called "Net Neutrality" rules put in place during the Obama administration. The stated purpose for Net Neutrality was to ensure Internet service providers (ISPs) treat all content equally.
USA Today explained the dynamics of Net Neutrality back in 2014:
"Proponents of Net Neutrality have warned that broadband providers – mostly cable and satellite companies – will seek payment from content providers for quicker streaming without bottlenecks, but still favor movies and TV shows made by their own subsidiaries or partner companies,” the national daily pointed out at the time. “Internet providers' changing priorities could result in higher fees for consumers as content providers – having to pay to ensure smooth streaming – pass on the cost to end-users."
The Obama White House shared its take on Net Neutrality a year later in 2015:
"An entrepreneur's fledgling company should have the same chance to succeed as established corporations," the Obama administration declared two years ago. "Access to a high school student's blog shouldn't be unfairly slowed down to make way for advertisers with more money."
At that time, the FCC claimed it had authority to do Net Neutrality based on Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. Still, today's FCC – led by chairman Ajit Pai – believes that Net Neutrality would do more harm than good.
"All they did on Thursday was restore the regulatory system that existed from 1996 to 2015," argued Less Government's Seton Motley Monday on American Family Radio Talk’s Sandy Rios in the Morning program. "Gee, how did the Internet do then? Nothing in human history has grown bigger, faster, better than the Internet under that regulatory regime."
According to Motley, one of the last good bipartisan things to come out of Washington, D.C., was in the 1990s – when the Clinton administration and Congress left the Internet alone.
"The Internet – in 20 years – went from 'what's that?' to one-sixth of our economy," Motley continued. "Well, the left saw this development skyrocketing so quickly and realized they didn't have any government hooks in it to reel it in, so they needed to come up with a fairy tale to choke off the private sector Internet, and then replace it all with government so the government will be our sole Internet service provider (ISP)."
Even so, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is not having it, saying he will force a vote on a bill to restore the Net Neutrality rules.