This whole net neutrality thing is confusing me. Are people arguing that ISPs shouldn't be able to censor the internet because that's the government's job?
The short version of it is this:
- ISPs are slowing/denying service to particular traffic (torrent clients get throttled, Comcast slows Netflix connections unless Netflix pays up, etc)
- FCC says that they can’t do that
- Appeals courts and lawsuits say FCC acted out of the bounds of current law due to various factors. Most importantly, broadband providers being classified as Title 1 information providers instead of Title 2 common carriers. This justification in the Verizon lawsuit is what struck down 2/3rds of the 2010
FCC Open Internet Order.
- FCC ultimately reclassifies ISPs during the Obama administration under Title 2 of the Communications Act of 1934, as this gives them more secure legal ground to protect/enforce net neutrality than the legal framework they previously relied on (Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996)
- FCC stated they’ll apply Title 2 selectively to ISPs, basically only using the parts of the law that are actually relevant to broadband internet
- Trump administration rolls around
- Ajit Pai, who was previously Associate General Counsel for Verizon and voted against the Title 2 reclassification, becomes chairman of the FCC
- Ajit immediately vows to roll back the FCC policies, citing a statistically minuscule drop in capital expenditures as proof that the protections are harming the industry
Basically ISPs were being exploitative, FCC told them they can’t be exploitative, Appeals courts and lawsuits said the FCC technically doesn’t have the legal grounds to say ISPs can’t be exploitative due to their current classification, FCC reclassifies ISPs so they now have the legal grounds to say they can’t be exploitative, and now Ajit wants to roll back the legislation to allow ISPs to be exploitative again on the flimsy unsubstantiated grounds that the legislation somehow stifles competition and market growth.