As far as slogans go, “net neutrality” isn’t particularly an attractive one.
Not because it doesn’t address an important issue but because it doesn’t sound all that visionary.
Some even think that net neutrality is a first world problem that very few people would like to be concerned about.
One (or perhaps two counting the chairman of the FCC) of those people is a US senator who thinks that net neutrality isn’t something to fight for because it is just a slogan.
Just last week, the head of the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and, at the same time, a US senator from the Republican party called net neutrality as nothing more than just a slogan.
They also said that issues like net neutrality did not solve any actual problems.
Moreover, the senator went ahead and argued that people would actually benefit the most if the internet had fast lanes for which people had to pay a premium.
Sounds fair right?
Fast internet lanes for more money?
Probably makes sense.
Except it doesn’t.
Regardless of what Ajit Pai says or doesn’t say.
Recently Ajit, the Chairman of Federal Communications Commission, said that net neutrality was indeed a great slogan.
Ajit came up with his “slogan” answer when a radio host asked Ajit his thoughts about net neutrality and what it represented.
Ajit said that even though net neutrality was a great slogan, in reality, it didn’t involve much more than just internet regulation.
He further said that the basic question people should ask is not whether net neutrality is in danger or something but whether they want the government to decide how the internet is managed.
Let’s have a look at what Ajit is up to these days.
First, he has his tour of Midwestern states to deal with (and is, in fact, dealing with right now).
He will also meet the rural Internet service providers in these areas and will talk to them about issues such as broadband deployment.
The show took place in Milwaukee sometime on Monday.
If you want to listen to the whole interview then you can click here.
While doing the interview, Senator Ron Johnson said that what his buddy Ajit said was probably true.
He also said that Ajit’s statement of “net neutrality is just a slogan” also made a lot of sense.
Furthermore, he added, what people really wanted was an expansion of the high-speed broadband internet.
He said that in order to provide people with high-speed internet, they will have to create the right incentives for small-scale internet service providers.
IN this way, small-scale internet service providers would invest in more broadband infrastructure.
Johnson continued and argued that plans to offer people with high-speed internet suffered because of net neutrality rules.
Talking to the radio show eh said that there was very little incentive for these internet service providers to invest.
And as a result of that, people will have very few high-speed broadband providers in their regions.
Perhaps this is a good time to mention the fact that none other than Federal Communications Commission wrote the whole of the existing rules regarding net neutrality.
So obviously at one point or another, the Federal Communications Commission thought that net neutrality was something they had to deal with.
Not with Trump though.
With Trump, it feels like the Federal Communications Commission wants to undo everything it has done in the past as fast as pro-consumer rules are concerned.
We already know there are some proposals regarding net neutrality rules making the rounds in Congress as well.
What does that mean as far as net neutrality rules go?
This means that this senator could play a role in deciding what eventually happens.
Theoretically speaking he could shape the future.
The future regarding net neutrality rules at least.
OF course, we are assuming here that there will be net neutrality rules to change in the future.
The way President Trump’s Federal Communications Commission is going, it seems like we won’t have any net neutrality rules come the end of his term.
And what happens if/when God forbid the people of this great nation, United States of America, choose Trump again to ruin the country for another bonus four years?
Let’s not even go there.
Let’s deal with what we have on our plate at the moment.
And at the moment people like Johnson fastidiously believe that net neutrality rules are just slogans and that people will actually need internet fast lanes.
What Do Net Neutrality Rules Do?
If we’re talking about right now, then the current net neutrality rules prevent mobile internet service providers along with home one’s from throttling and blocking internet content (legal internet content to be precise).
To put it in even more simple terms, net neutrality rules top internet service providers of all sorts from creating fast lanes.
Johnson thinks we want fast lanes but the fact is most of the people don’t.
And even if they did, it wouldn’t matter because net neutrality rules wouldn’t allow for that.
Unless Ajit Pai and his pals change that of course.
Senator Johnson also believes that internet service providers all over the country should be allowed to sell these fast lanes to online services as well as websites.
Of course, websites and online services will have to pay for the premium facility of using these fast lanes.
In essence, this would mean that websites and online services that have the required sums of money will pay for services that will help them access customers more quickly than the websites that don’t have the financial muscle.
Johnson said, during the radio interview, that Chairman Ajit Pai’s comments about people needing fast lanes for problems related to medical diagnostics made total sense.
Because people would want/need a fast lane within the online pipe so that those medical diagnostic reports were transmitted almost instantaneously.
Without the presence of fast lanes, those medical diagnostics might get held up by a million users who are watching a movie via a streaming website.
Here Is Thing Ajit Doesn’t Want You To Know About Net Neutrality Rules.
You see, whatever Ajit Pai is trying to put forward, would probably make much more sense if net neutrality rules indeed did what he is saying they do.
Didn’t get that?
Here it goes:
Net neutrality rules actually allow priority access to traffic that is classed as medical services and others.
Moreover, people involved with this stuff can easily give isolated capacity to specific types of online services.
This, then, can ensure that greater reliability and speed is available for those tasks which are deemed more important.
Of course, telemedicine providers along with those involved with offering remote medical diagnosis are welcomed to take full advantage of net neutrality sanctioned exceptions to the existing rules and hence carry out their duties within due time.
That’s the main idea behind offering such exceptions.
Because of these exceptions certain vital and critical online services can have their own special network capacity.
There is no need for a fast lane, in other words.
These crucial services can use their special and isolated network capacity from within the same internet broadband pipe.
At the moment, most other online internet services share this broadband pipe.
Most of you probably won’t know that Johnson recently also claimed that existing net neutrality rules gave the same level of online network access to pornography as it did to crucial services such as remote medical services.
As mentioned before Johnson isn’t really a fan of net neutrality rules.
Whether it is because he himself doesn’t believe in them or is just following the party line is something that is unclear.
What we do now is that Johnson will probably continue in this fashion for the rest of President Trump’s tenure.
In a radio show internet last week, Johnson also argued that net neutrality rules did not make sense because they did not provide solutions to real problems.
He said that he was indeed old enough to remember a certain Dick Tracy with a TV watch.
Johnson said people considered the TV watch as pure fantasy.
But what do we have today?
We have TV watches for real.
And that is possible because of an environment that is regulated.
He said he considered the TV watch as a solution (literally a solution) looking for a related problem.
In other words, the problem didn’t exist before.
Johnson further said that he full well knew that net neutrality sounded like a good slogan.
But because of these same net entirety rules, bad things will happen.
Bad things like more heavy-handed government regulation which will prevent more investment coming into the broadband industry.
He argued that people will have less high-speed internet broadband connections because of net neutrality rules.
In fact, Johnson also believes that because of terms like net neutrality, consumers will end up at the short end of the bargain whether they know it or not.
Johnson also made a couple of statement which may or may not come as real news to a lot of people.
He said that the internet thrived much more robustly without any net neutrality rules.
Moreover, he reminded everybody that people who are shouting net neutrality all over the place don’t know that before 2015, the US did not have any net neutrality regulatory rules.
Of course, that is not true.
The Federal Communications Commission enforced net neutrality rules about eight years ago in the year 2010.
The government put net neutrality rules in their due place about three years ago in 2014.
In the same year, a court decision struck down a Verizon led lawsuit as well.
Some of you might be thinking, what was the Radio show host doing all this time listening to all the claims made by Johnson?
Well, during the internet, the radio host, Gene Mueller, did try to push back to some extent.
He pushed back by saying that purportedly everything was fine under the existing net neutrality regulatory rules.
Because these same net neutrality rules classified internet service providers as common carriers.
Net neutrality rules did so under Title II of the Communications Act.
In other words, the FCC reinstated net neutrality rules by reclassifying internet service providers.
Mueller also said that he had access to what he needed and when he needed it.
He further added that with the removal of Title II of the Communications Act, the regulators may start to treat the internet as a commodity instead of as a utility.
And what did that mean for the end-user?
Mueller said that it could mean that internet service providers could decide what a particular user would see more of, when he/she connected to the internet.
He also gave an example and said that if Spectrum wanted a user to see Spectrum products online first, then the user would see Spectrum products before anyone else and consequently the user’s internet service provider would slow down everything else.
Muller also described a certain kind of fear that internet fast lanes would give birth to.
This fear will stem from the fact that internet service providers will monetize this wide open pipe of the internet and that oo for the internet service provider’s profit.
Of Course Everything Is Fine, Says Pai
As expected, Ajit Pai thinks consumers don’t have to worry about anything.
He said that Mueller described a scenario which the internet never was even before 2015 when there were no net neutrality rules.
And as you could probably imagine, net neutrality advocated don’t agree with Pai.
Especially on this point.
Free Press is a website that keeps a regularly updated list of net neutrality violations.
These violations date all the way back to 2005.
Some of our readers may remember that 2005 was the exact year when Comcast was caught.
But for what?
For interesting with file sharing technologies such as peer-to-peer.
However, Pai is probably not going to give up his stance that easily.
Pai even argued that net neutrality rules don’t protect users from anything.
Because even without them, Ajit said, government departments such as the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department could force consumers to live under laws which are anti-competitive in nature.
He said that nobody needs the Federal Communications Commission to regulate all internet service providers in the country preemptively.
That includes all shady business practices as well.
Paid argued that the Federal Communications Commission would do well to instead focus on improving broadband infrastructure.