Put simply it is the principle that all internet traffic, whether from Netflix, Tinder or a news website, is treated equally by the “pipe” companies carrying that traffic, like AT&T or Verizon....With the rise of Netflix and its ilk in streaming media, broadband companies began to suggest that they may have to charge more for some types of traffic, or slow down some services (“throttling” them). Net-neutrality activists argued that if providers could discriminate between different types of traffic, they would have far too much power over the internet. They could privilege their own services over competitors’, or they could even throttle or block some services they did not like. The Obama-era rules were designed to prevent that.After considering the pros and cons the Economist concludes: [bold added]
In the end the argument about net neutrality boils down to whether internet-service providers should be regulated before they have shown they might abuse their power, or only after they have actually done so. The current FCC has just opted for the latter.The regulatory mindset is ascendant, and it's refreshing to see it halted, if only temporarily. However, we harbor no illusions about the beneficence of the internet providers. We have seen how these same companies behave in the wireless and television markets and expect them to try to raise prices and degrade service where there is no competition. However, regulation can also stifle innovation by forcing new players to spend resources on compliance.
Let's give the providers the benefit of the doubt but keep them on a short leash.
|A confused message, since the FCC would be doing the regulating.|