The manner in which a lot of states are responding to the repeal of net neutrality seems to reveal the actual hidden agenda of what net neutrality really was, and what they hope it can still be. During the debate about whether to repeal or preserve net neutrality, THE MAJOR argument in support of upholding net neutrality was that it would protect people from the draconian anti-free-market regulations that lay underneath it.
In my investigation, most likely due to my lack of technical expertise, I could not tell what was fact or fiction as far as the claims made by both sides. But how the supporters of net neutrality have reacted (at least among the statist supporters) reveals to me that the whole point of net neutrality was always about maintaining control of the means of communication, not protecting us from the dangers of regulation-created monopolies.
I have no doubt that regulation-created monopolies are a thing, or that ISPs that have that regulation-protected monopoly advantage might not do some of the horrible things the net neutrality supporters said they would. But now the regulations have been repealed, a layer of regulations designed to ostensibly protect us from an even worse layer of regulations. The response from the net neutrality supporters (specifically the statists) is to work to pass state-level net neutrality regulations rather than work to end the regulations at the state and local level that are creating the ISP monopolies in the first place.
Some local communities are working on creating their own ISPs to compete with the monopolies, but most net neutrality supporters seem to be throwing their resources into three efforts:
Create legislation at the Federal level restoring net neutrality.
Create legislation at the State level restoring state-wide net neutrality.
Sue the Federal government and force them to restore net neutrality.
If your aim is to really free the internet and enable people to have better access, and access that is not controlled by ISP monopolies, then you would be far interested in ending regulation-protected ISPs rather than rebuilding a layer of regulations that, while it might protect you from regulation-created ISPs, will also be restoring power to the most-powerful regulation-created monopoly of them all, the Federal government.
State legislatures are waging their own fight to restore net neutrality rules after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) moved to scrap them last month.
Lawmakers in at least six state governments have introduced legislation to preserve the rules, and legislators in other states are in the process of considering their own net neutrality bills.
The push comes after the FCC voted in December in favor of Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to roll back the regulations, which prevented internet service providers like AT&T and Verizon from slowing down certain content or requiring websites to pay for faster speeds.
As of Friday, California, Washington, New York, Rhode Island, Nebraska and Massachusetts have all introduced net neutrality. North Carolina and Illinois are mulling similar legislation.
By enacting such legislation, the states hope to preserve the Obama-era net neutrality rules.
“For Californians, the internet has always been an open, free, egalitarian space, accessible to all individuals,” said California state senator Kevin de León (D), who introduced his own net neutrality legislation this week. “And we strongly believe that, since we are the epicenter of innovation and creativity in the area of technology.”