The Big Con: The Truth Behind Net Neutrality and Why the Sky Is Not Falling
By The Daily Bell Staff - December 16, 2017

December 14th marked the end of the internet. At least, that is what the media, social networks… and lobbyists would have you believe.

Net neutrality has dominated the media cycle lately.

But why? Why would the repeal of a rather freshly formed regulation garner all this attention, and anger?

Taking a step towards a freer marketplace should be celebrated. Right?

But to hear internet activists and the millions taking to social media complain, this step is a death blow to the internet.

Now, without the government protecting us from ISPs, we will be forced into paying for subpar services. We will be forced to deal with ISPs throttling our connections while watching small internet based businesses slowly bleed out of existence.

Except, we won’t be forced to do any of those things. That’s not what last week’s repeal was about.

Americans will not be forced to purchase services they don’t want. Instead, an Obama era regulation which attempted to police businesses was repealed, paving the way for the free market to run its course.

So why the outcry?

People misunderstand net neutrality and what it actually did. As usual, the mainstream media worked in a concerted effort to push a narrative while banking on decent people’s emotional reactions. They pushed a story with the full intention of manufacturing a specific response. Nothing new there.

That response was anger directed at the FCC’s decision to scale back a set of regulations. That response included threats against the Commissioner and a bomb threat against the FCC.

But that curated anger did nothing in terms of fixing the real problem facing our ability to connect to the world around us. And this is a problem that extends much further than cat memes and the trolling online.

An attempt to clear the smoke while ignoring the fire…

The net neutrality regulations were typical restrictions. They were an attempt for the US government to control various aspects of the telecom industry.

Net neutrality made the internet regulated like a public utility. You know, like “the water company” and “the electric company”. It’s no wonder the few choices we have seem all too often like, “the internet company.”

Now, telecommunications companies have more freedom to offer different services at different prices. And yes, this includes the possibility that they throttle internet to certain sites and users.

Net neutrality was the government’s response to an actual problem. As usual, their response ignored the problem completely.

The problem wasn’t the way in which ISPs conducted business. The problem was the consolidation of power among ISPs. They influence legislation and regulation so that the government protects ISPs from competition.

How did ISPs gain that ability? Through politicians’ favorite personal path to riches, lobbying.

In fact, the FCC Chairman who presided over the implementation of net neutrality was Tom Wheeler. He was a lobbyist for the telcom industry who raised about a million dollars for Obama during the 2008 and 2012 elections. Obama nominated him in 2013.

Lobbying, as it exists today, is nothing more than glorified bribery. Those with money cozy up to those with influence and engage in quid pro quo deals. From those deals, businesses and industries purchase the ability to sway laws.

Wouldn’t you know, Obama was golf buddies with Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts. Comcast owns NBC and MSNBC. These mainstream media outlets protest net neutrality by claiming it will give their parent company too much power. Hmm…

The power the telecom industry gained through lobbying was used to build small scale monopolies across the entire country.

They purchased influence which created laws that prevented individuals from creating private networks. They prohibited local governments from breaking up regional monopolies. They even allowed telecom representatives to author a North Carolina bill without politicians. This became apparent when politicians turned to telecom lawyers to explain their bill because they didn’t understand it themselves!

The telecom industry has lobbied 21 states to enact legislation aimed at reducing competition within the industry. Not every piece of legislation outright banned competition within the market. But they all created a legal maze that effectively shut out new businesses. If you don’t have an army of lawyers, forget about competing in the industry.

This led to the creation of regional monopolies across the country, creating a problem net neutrality did nothing to solve.

FCC Repeal is Rare Move Against Lobbyists…

Lobbyists wine, dine, and buy politician’s influence. They sway laws in their favor.

So where is the outcry to stop this legal form of bribery? Why are social media activists not taking to Instagram to post memes about the stifling effects lobbying has on healthy competition within a market? Where are the celebrities tweeting about how lobbying diminishes the ability of the individual to shape policy?

When we allow the government to dictate how a business can be run, lobbyists for the biggest businesses inevitably have their way. Regulation they claim will prevent monopolies always creates them.

So perhaps instead of trying to fight for the government’s ability to regulate private industries, people should focus on setting their sights on the bigger problem.

In the meantime you have to admit that the phrase: “Hold your politicians accountable for accepting large scale bribery while selling away our country to the powerful few and destroying a competitive marketplace,” is not quite as catchy as: “Save the Net.”

You don’t have to play by the rules of the corrupt politicians, manipulative media, and brainwashed peers.

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  • Praetor

    Putin said Russia will start its own internet serves. So, why can’t I, do the same thing?!!!

    • concerndcitizen

      You should be able to start your own ISP, using freely available public spectrum.

      • The intended matrix is already in place. We shall see going forward how it all plays out. Goog and FB and many others have been created by our own CIA and other gov agencies, see above links for details, clarity and verification of such.

    • Google dominates it all for a specific reason. See my links above for clariiy

  • lulu

    I believe the reaction is a result of the apparent fact that the free market has not produced the benefits it promised/ promises. The likes of expensive and complicated goods and services quickly can become monopolistic endeavours such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Verizon, giant Agra businesses or Monsanto, none of which grew to their current positions without taxpayer support and/or subsidies. If we can’t trust government to do our bidding how can we possibly trust private corporations whose goal is to maximize profits.

    • mary

      Well, that’s a screwed up pov. The govt failed to protect us *eye roll* so it’s the fault of the free market. Look, honey, there ain’t no free market. That was strangled and drown years ago. Stop blaming capitalism for the failures of fascism.

      • lulu

        Seems you are right that there is no free market; however, it also seems there never has been. If all we have to rely on is ourselves, we ave a long and hard row to hoe. Your fascism remark tells me you believe the government is corporate controlled which really changes nothing. As well, I blamed no one for anything but stated why I think there has been a negative reaction regarding repealing the net neutrality law. Perhaps I should not have used the term ‘free market’ but one must use the speech of common use.

      • See my links above for more clarity and how it was all crated and why ? You are quite right there are zero free markets in anything any longer only various manipulations and corruption of various types. It is all about control mechanisms !

    • MetaCynic

      No corporation can make a profit without willing buyers. You can always refuse to do business with a corporation and say ‘no’, and nothing will happen to you. Try saying ‘no’ about anything to people with guns – government, and see what will happen to you. That’s the difference between the free market and government.

      • lulu

        And I do not deal with many so in that respect you are correct; however, many corporations are definitely backed by guns. One may not have to buy but corporations steal with government approval or turning a blind eye. This not only at home but in foreign countries where land has been taken for mining, farming, or development to serve corporate greed. Of course, without government complicity this might not happen. Given free reign, corporate and individual interests have hardly shown themselves to work for the common good. Perhaps we are caught between a rock and a hard place. It seems also that at this moment, it is nearly impossible to do anything commercial without google’s influence, including being included in governmental decisions.

        • jandr0

          [Given free reign, corporate and individual interests have hardly shown themselves to work for the common good.]

          Really lulu? Compelling evidence for that withering generalisation, if you please?

          • lulu

            I already gave some in another response. Read on. Mining interests kill indirectly and directly… Guatemala, Nicaragua for example. On the home front, privatized prisons and police, Black Watch, Monsanto , etc.

    • Number 6

      I think you’ve answered your own question when you said

      Quote “Google, Amazon, Facebook, Verizon, giant Agra businesses or Monsanto, none of which grew to their current positions without taxpayer support and/or subsidies”

      Clearly they are not examples of a free market, these corporations are nothing more than communism masquerading as capitalism, you simply wouldn’t have these massive monopolies without government passing on tax payers money and passing legislation against their smaller rivals.

      The root of the problem is the relationship between the minority religious group who control the printing and lending of money, which has been achieved in collaboration with government, and has then allowed them to control the media, through government legislation such as media licences and control industry via fake environmental issues which government then legislate against. And when all else fails printing and lending fake money, and stealing assets from tax payers to buy out their rivals. They simply could not have achieved it without government. The illusion of government is the linch pin here which has enabled all of that, without government the one percent would only own and control one percent as opposed to the 90 percent they currently do.

      • lulu

        Well that is perhaps a portion of the root of our human problem. In consideration, it is likely the result of a more complex underlying set of problems. Government is just a name we give to a group of individuals whom have been given powers and responsibilities which they do or don’t use well. Without government we can be sure that the void would be filled otherwise. In smaller communities or subcultures power is clearly evident with one simple example being within criminal subcultures.
        Simply abandoning the concept of government guarantees nothing but a replacement structure which may prove far worse.
        It is a tough situation over all and gets worse as we move away from smaller groups with common goals and interests toward global interests.

        • Number 6

          Firstly where did you get the idea, that a society without government an anarchist society is prone to violent and criminal subcultures all waiting to over throw the 99.9999999 percent through fear and intimidation, it wouldn’t have been the Television by any chance because thats where I learnt it from.

          Secondly If government is so great at protecting us from criminals, then why are there criminals ? It seems we have criminals with or without handing over 50 percent of our money to another gang of criminals, who actually do very little when you have a crime committed against you, in the vast majority of cases the crime goes unpunished, and its a PRIVATE insurance company which compensates you for any damages NOT Government !

          Thirdly how is submitting to a gang of crooks and giving them the power to take 50 percent and climbing of your money, letting them tell you how to live your life in minutia, fine you if you don’t do as they say and generally violate your basic human rights. Better than having a car which likely insured anyway, robbed once in your life time or having 50 quid robbed from your wallet ? Because it doesn’t take a genius to see in which scenario I’d be financially and socially better off, and not just a little bit better off A LOT BETTER OFF !
          Oh and in the case of a government free society I don’t get labelled the criminal for not giving the criminal my money.

          Government is a very expensive protection racket based on nothing but lies and gross exaggerations of risk, with 24 / 7 advertising through the media they own to that effect !

          • lulu

            You are reading your ideas into my words. Government is a word we humans have put to a ruling administrative and often enough autoritarian body. You appear to be so antagonistic toward the notion of our nation state governments that there is no recognition of the parallel structures that serve similar functions within other groups, human and otherwise. I am not saying that it is good, bad or indifferent but that it appears to be a fact of the human condition in one way or another. Just as One doesn’t have to use google or amazon, Facebook or Verizon, shop at Walmart or watch tv, there are options for avoiding government which happens to be a part of most societies.
            I have no experience with successful anarchist societies but do know that at this point in time we seem to have more luck at improving the human Lot in general by attempting to change the more problematic areas little by little unless there may be a revolution with a structural base agreeing upon the replacement societal organization. Without that agreement the emergent society will result in the evolution of disgruntled members who envision other arrangements just as you do now.

          • Number 6

            Apologies if the way I had written it implied you had made those three exact points, they were merely my elaboration on your point.

            Quote ” Without government we can be sure that the void would be filled otherwise. In smaller communities or subcultures power is clearly evident with one simple example being within criminal subcultures.
            Simply abandoning the concept of government guarantees nothing but a replacement structure which may prove far worse.”

            As I outlined in my three points, no it wouldn’t be worse, how could it be, government has a complete monopoly to the degree that it can steal 50 percent or more of everything you earn every year ! which in my opinion goes way beyond theft, its now effectively mass slavery, and it has the power to criminalise victimless acts and has practically a complete monopoly over information.

            You say that there are options for avoiding government, well I’d like to know what they are, because I don’t see any, here in the UK we have a national health service, sure you can go private, but your still forced to pay over the odds for the NHS, whether you choose to use it or not.

            And you also say, “we seem to have more luck changing things little by little” your making a joke surely. Things are getting steadily worse and its plain for everyone to see both sides of the left right paradigm. Tax is increasing and conversely and in complete contradiction public services are decreasing, “Hate speech” is now a thing and the media and education system seem intent on destroying the foundations of science and basic reasoning. All the while our treasonous world leaders are intent on seeding more and more power to a centralised world governing authority, whilst also playing the bad guy to demonstrate the evils of liberty nationalism and free trade to the peasantry.
            And the reason all this is happening is because a group of people calling themselves GOVERNMENT have steadily bit by bit stollen more and more money and liberty from the people, to give to the self proclaimed “chosen people” who believe they have the right to rule over the beasts, the beasts are us by the way.

          • lulu

            I think shortly we are going to be closed down in this debate; however, Interestingly I don’t think we are that far apart in how we react to the misdeeds of government. As well, I think ( but don’t know for sure) that the UK is worse off than here in Canada if for no other reason than a stronger and more entrenched class system not to mention the closeness of the monarchy which in and of itself is an affront to logical thinking and common sense. UK has been the colonizing oppressive force and is probably quite used to taking advantage where possible. Exploitation is the established norm in spite of alluding to offer quite the opposite.
            It could be worse in an alternative system by complete and shameless oppressive dictatorship operating through a rigid hierarchy similar to what we witness in the military.
            It has improved substantially in some regards here in Canada with regard to women’s rights for one example. Another would be in provisions of health care and labour rights as compared to during the industrial revolution. We may be losing ground of late on some fronts and there definitely has to be a better way, but at the moment change for the better to serve the common good is not promising. In spite of all that,
            Here and even in the USA there are communities which function apart from the mainstream. It is not easy and the long reach of the law is hard to escape, but we do not have to make ourselves party to the obvious cruelties of the system. The bad guys are trampling all over us. We need to find a workable strategy to push back. It would be good to find our common ground as we know we are being abused severely.

          • Number 6

            Like I was discussing with “Down to Earth Thinking” in another article on daily bell about draining the swamp, We need to grow government smaller, seems to be the best solution, but not little by little, some big things need to happen from the outset, taxation needs to be all but abolished for a start, and the scum (apologies for the language) in government aren’t going to want to do that, so mass tax evasion and disobedience of the tax laws, will need to carried out by the people. From that point on we have a government which works for the people, they need to acquiesce to OUR demands to get the money they need to pay their minions, exactly how the private sector or capitalism works (or should work) in fact We can then steadily grow government smaller and roll back victimless “crimes” for example.

            However while the minority religious group of people with a prophecy of world slavery (world government) are controlling the banks and the media, they are always going to try and grow government to achieve their prophecy. So Those two respective monopolies with have to be our first demand of our respective Governments world wide.

            And we don’t really have a class system in the UK anymore, well we do, but its not as the media portrays, ie some kind of upstairs downstairs style class system of yesteryear. Our current class system is the same as everywhere else, ie the 1 percent which are the self proclaimed “chosen people” and their useful idiots, taking by tax and deception the wealth of the 99 percent.

          • lulu

            Points taken. As for class system, that came from UK immigrants to Canada who said they left there because they felt trapped. I ran into a UK and Canadian couple in Nicaragua running a small hotel and restaurant who both felt they had a chance of success there but neither Canadá or UK provided that promise as everything was way too expensive for them to get ahead.

          • Number 6

            It used to be the class system but its just a stereotype from yesteryear these days, but your right about it being too expensive to get ahead, but I think thats purely a result of the tax system and legislation passed by government to keep the poor poor, its no accident that both the left and the right argue over the lowest rate of tax and the highest rate of tax but nobody ever even discusses the middle rate of tax, which stops the middle class progressing, here in the UK its a ludicrously high 40 percent, Its always been the goal of the most statist socialist governments and a corner stone of marxism, to destroy the middle class , they want only two classes poor serf slaves and them, “Them” being Government !

    • Ephraiyim

      What free market? Any market that is as highly regulated as most markets in the West are is hardly free.
      Whether I personally like the way Trump is doing most things, the story today about the fact they have eliminated 22 regulations for every two created is at least trying to move us in the right direction.
      Over regulation is the greatest enemy to free markets. The more that can be done to eliminate some of that is the only way toward a truly free market system.
      In a free market system there would be stronger possibilities for greater competition in all areas including the Agra businesses. Cutting the regulation and, eventually subsidies would cause corporations to sink or swim. There is nothing wrong with the fact that they want to maximize profits.
      What is wrong is that they are making profits on the back of taxpayer subsidies.
      BTW… NEVER trust government about anything.

      • lulu

        I don’t trust government nor corporations. In fact I think the governments are run by corporate interests. There is a lot wrong with corporate welfare which is what taxpayer $$ to corporate development amounts to!! People whine about so-called social safety nets and free education as if the working bloke isn’t the one paying. Big businesses are the biggest welfare bums going.
        Monopolies, price fixing, and the like is not competition. If You want competition then there have to be limitations or there will always be Amazon’s and big greedy banks with big money and hidden guns behind them.
        I would not mind free markets if they were just that.

  • Laura Amanda Allen

    Maybe I’m just old, but I don’t get it. As near as I can tell, net neutrality – theoretically –
    meant that the company that provides the “sewer pipe” cannot charge me – the consumer – more to watch cat videos than it can charge me to read the Wall Street Journal. But, if it now can do that, it will only want to charge more for those sites frequented by the “lowest common denominator”. Not likely to be the Wall Street Journal, probably not even cat videos- which are pricelessly cute. Much more likely to be Twitter and Facebook which, based on my attempts to find out what they are, are full only of stuff that I would gladly pay the ISP to keep off of my screens. So, maybe, if only Donald Trump can afford to tweet, maybe only he will. And that would be just fine with me – keeps him entertained….

    • It is much deeper and far more sinister than all of that. It is all about the internet as a control mechanism to censor and control any and all thinking processes. It is already in motion and few people recognize it for what it actually is.

      • mike2000917

        It’s about users of Hulu and Netflix getting a free ride under Net Neutrality. If you want to stream some junk like House of Cards then you can pay more for it if it is coming over a common network. If you just want to look at the National Weather Service website then you will pay less.

      • Ephraiyim

        And this is why people like Kim Dot Com and others are proposing a new internet. One that can be both untraceable and free of any regulation.
        Whether they can do that is anyone’s guess but they at least recognize the problem with the current internet.
        Let us hope the free market approach will prevail in the long run. In the mean time we’ll just have to put up with the current system.

  • jackw97224

    Government is corporate.

    In 1928, the North Carolina Supreme Court was called upon to define a county from a legal point of view (O’Neal v. Wake County, 196 NC 184). In the case, Wake County was a litigant and the court spoke in terms of that county, but what the Court had to say is equally true of the other ninety-nine counties:

    Wake County is a body politic and corporate…

    Politics is violence and people don’t grasp this simple truth because they are or have been indoctrinated, propagandized and brainwashed by commie/socialist politicians, MSM and government schools.

    I’m not afraid of a free market but I heard Philip Teressi on KMJ radio predict that our Internet rates will increase with the termination of Net Neutrality. The problem with that position is that it approves of government intervention in the market so as to prevent the free market from operating. So, Philip thus approves of a denial of freedom to choose, free will, as given us by Jehovah God. This of course exposes the evil of commie/socialism and particularly the DemonKraits. Oh, Philip touts his Libertarian leanings but he surely puts that in a different light.

    • You are explaining the corporatocracy that has been created in spades ! It is protected by our supposed laws and system of government at this point and is quite out of control. That should be obvious to anybody with 2 brain cells still intact and any common sense left at all. Most people are already almost completely mind effed by all of it quite deliberately. Not really anything new here in USA today.

  • Excellent read, many good and valid points ! The answer to this query “So why the outcry?” is obvious.

    Many people here in USA have been nearly completely mind effed by PRAVDA/MSM and what we now all recognize as the deep state apparatus and the DEM cabal that put it all on steroids ! The corporatocracy has been expanded to include anything to do with internet companies like FB , GooG and many others and they are all simply control mechanisms to keep people from actually thinking for themselves ! Smart phones are the same exact thing as well. Combine it all with the schools that are really indoctrination centers and you have a very powerful and permeating control mechanism on a grand scale here in USA today ! Basically a giant matrix of sorts and it is here in spades.

    Those who are outcrying are the very people, who have been seriously mind effed by the insanity of the deep state apparatus that exist now. It was all put on steroids by the last regime in grand style as a control mechanism and it worked ! But let there be no doubt it all goes back further, to be sure.

  • da6675

    Of course there will be negative effects. Google and others are already working with the feds to suppress websites that counter the MSM. This new law will let ISPs slow down access to, or charge for, sites that are undesirable to corporate-think. Many years ago I learned that the airwaves belong to the people. What happened? Profits over principles happened. Now we will have an internet dedicated to pushing the elitist-globalist- corporatist agenda. How is that good?

    • mike2000917

      Google, Go Daddy and others have already been censoring web sites they find objectionable. They did it last Summer with the Daily Stormer, NN rules in force at the time.

      Net neutrality doesn’t even address political or philosophical issues. It’s about bandwidth hogs being able to use capacity at no additional cost. As a result, the neighbor chick who is binge watching “Orange is the New Black” on Netflix is slowing my internet down to a crawl without paying any additional costs.

      Electricity providers charge you more for power at certain times of the day. Toll roads charge 18 wheelers much more than they charge motorcycles but somehow it is unfair if you do it on the internet.

      • perrydu

        How do you “hog” more bandwidth than you are paying for? If your neighbor is slowing down your service it is the ISP’s fault not the binge watchers. If I pay for 1 gig of bandwidth, I should get it. Content providers should get the bandwidth they pay for. There is a long list of things that led to neutrality, ALL of them were done to limit competitors, that is not how the free market should work.

  • Bruce C.

    This is another one of those topics (one of many these days) that is so convoluted that both “sides” are bad.

    It seems to me that the real problem is corruption, cronyism, the wrong kind of people being in government, government over reach, and the selective enforcement of laws which are fundamental problems no matter the details.

    The “drain the swamp” theme seems to be the best approach overall to all kinds of ills, but I’m not sure it can be done in an amoral society.

  • r2bzjudge

    “So why the outcry?”

    Leftist Agenda propaganda campaign.

  • cb75075

    The “cable fallacy” is just that… a fallacy. There is no “ripping up the streets” if you allow competitors to come into an area. First off you’re not going to get 1000 competitors. Secondly if you believe this you know NOTHING of the technology. 20 competitorscould come in and you’d never know they were there. This is not 1940 where they strung 4 foot wide telephone cable.

    You maintain a monopoly under gov control and you are supporting corporate fascism.

  • GSW

    So this is actually taken from the “story” above – “Now, telecommunications companies have more freedom to offer different services at different prices. And yes, this includes the possibility that they throttle internet to certain sites and users.” – guess that little snippet isn’t too relevant? Also humorous how the facts about Wheeler v Pai don’t appear to support most of what is mentioned in real news outlets

    • Jose Cuervo

      Citing CNN’s Money really does nothing to deny the arguments presented by the author. “Net Neutrality” is/was a manufactured political issue. As the author states, to paraphrase, government intervention into the free market on behalf of large ISPs has resulted in market distortion in favor of those large ISPs and against the customers. BTW, for better or worse, cellular technology in a truly open market would make much of this moot.