Monday on "The Chris Salcedo Show," Chris Salcedo welcomed policy analyst and author Phil Kerpen, president of American Commitment, to discuss the reality of net neutrality, which was imposed on the American people via the Federal Communications Commission.
Kerpen said it is hard for people to understand net neutrality because the definition keeps changing. The internet was deregulated and privatized in the mid 1990s. Competition between carriers and technologies spurred tremendous innovation and growth. This all changed in 2015, when the FCC started regulating the internet like a public utility "using a law written in the 1930s for the old Ma Bell telephone monopoly."
If that sounds like the opposite of neutrality, that is because of how it was designed. Since 2015 there has been a significant decline in private investment and a significant increase in complaints. Kerpen believes if the Democrats had won in 2016, we would have seen the FCC enforcement bureau inhibit product development and choice, among other restrictions.
Chris likened "net neutrality" to what Obamacare did to the insurance industry. Kerpen found it an apt comparison. He said every aspect of the internet was to be under the control of "unelected bureaucrats at the enforcement bureau of the FCC." However, Donald Trump became President and appointed Ajit Pai chairman of the FCC. Plans are already underway to roll back the Obama-era regulations.
"The left is not gonna go down without a bunch of punches," Kerpen warned. Asked for an example, he said they will claim that large service providers will block sites they don't want users to see and reroute traffic to internal sources.
Chris asked "Isn't Google already doing that?"
The author affirmed that they are, as well as Facebook and Twitter, as they prevent phone and cable companies from competing with them for advertising. They also prevent them from making them pay the full cost of the massive bandwidth they use.
The regulations currently in place serve to benefit the online behemoths rather than the little guy: users like us.