Net Neutrality is a difficult issue to take in for me.
On one hand, you have the possibility of ending regulations. GREAT!
But what if the regulations that you are ending will simply empower more anti-liberty regulations to take hold?
This isn’t simply ending regulations and letting the ‘free market’ act, this is ending one family of regs that may possibly have been restraining another family of regs.
So yeah, you’re lessening the amount of regulations, but in doing so, you’re possibly increasing the net effect of other regulations.
If, for instance, competition is significantly stifled through regulations, then the lifting of ‘restrictions’ on ISPs will have a net harmful effect on the flow of information because competition cannot so easily form if ISPs decide to take advantage of their protected monopolies.
Of course, the BIG caveat of all this is this…
“We” have NO POWER in this matter whatsoever. None. What will be done will be done at this point.
Among the liberty-minded, watching people come to virtual blows debating this issue, with one side accusing the other of being gov shills while that side accuses the opposing side of being shills for government-supported monopolies, is a bit frustrating.
BOTH sides want the same thing, more free-flow of information and as little gov (if not no gov) as possible. It’s just that BOTH sides have looked at the volumes of data (reams of regs and technical information) and come to different conclusions about what might be the net result of this change. I myself am still unsure.
I have seen people with much more extensive knowledge of how the interwebs works than I have, people who would fit into that liberty-minded camp I referenced earlier, come to different conclusions. So even the “experts” have come to different conclusions.
I think it tends to come down (though not completely) on what you distrust more, direct government impediment or indirect government impediment in the form of protecting and, often, subsidizing monopolies.
I tend to react more to the direct government impediment threat (not that I support at all the gov-protected monopolies) so that may color my bias towards favoring ending net neutrality, but, at the end of the day, I can’t stand confidently on the ‘facts’ as I understand them and I doubt many people on either side fully can.
Either way, even if the supporters of net neutrality are right about the outcome, that ISPs will begin to charge piecemeal prices for the different sites you might want to visit, or decide to cut off access to whatever sites they want, this heavy-handed response by the ISPs might hasten the development of black or grey market developments by people who will feel a greater sense of urgency to remove themselves from the ISPGovGrid altogether.
The “debate” itself presents opportunities to explore how to approach the disentangling from coercive associations, but it need not lead people to destroy relationships and place people in the dreaded “statist” category simply because they believe the outcome will be different than you do.