“If Net Neutrality Is Repealed, the Internet Will Die!” Factcheck.

Highly unlikely Net Neutrality is important and I’ve supported the idea since 1999. But I do not believe, “It will end the Internet as we know it,” attributed to FCC Commissioner Michael Copps. No one is likely to show you The Washington Post when you ask for the NY Times. AT&T’s DirecTV Now will not appeared when you thought you were going to Netflix. Ending Net Neutrality will raise costs for those sending video, disproportionately more for smaller companies and start-ups. Google YouTube & Facebook have enough clout to get a much lower rate. Much or most of the extra cost will be passed on to consumers. Most of the telcos’ extra earnings will not go to better networks. CEOs and CFOs across the world have said most would go to shareholders. 

“If Net Neutrality Is Repealed, the Internet Will Die!” has been said many of my most progressive friends. They are almost certainly wrong. It would be bad business, bad politics, and unlikely engineering. Most issues will arise where large volumes of video are sent. Web surfing and most of Facebook use much less bandwidth and would be much harder to throttle.

Shelly Palmer printed the quote, but then went on to refute it. 

Broadband is by far the most profitable product for cable companies and many telcos. The companies would be stupid to allow any change that consumers would mind. The CEOs aren’t stupid. If the carriers did something that seriously affected users, even the most business-oriented pols would have to do something about. The very conservative Michael Powell hit the roof when AT&T announced plans.

There will be harms after Neutrality is killed. The carriers want to do things like make their video and and video from those who pay for the privilege faster, more reliable, and wirhout the standard bandwidth charge. That’s an enormous advantage. They intend to collect from those sending video and most will go to shareholders.

Conclusion: Likely to be mostly false.

I did this one before I wrote about one from the opponents of NN. That makes me more credible. The claims the Neutrality significantly hurts investment are not supported by solid data, which is in short supply here. By picking and choosing from the data, you can “prove” the effect is either up or down. The studies Ajit Pai quote in the Net Neutrality ruling were particularly defective.

 

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