Passing Net Neutrality in a way that was not offensive to Silicon Valley entrepreneurs always depended on ensuring that the law “wouldn’t regulate the Internet.”
Here are a couple of examples, taken from when Julius Genachowski and his partisan Commissioners jammed Net Neutrality down the Internet’s throat in late 2010:
An FCC official / spokesman – “Net neutrality is about preventing anyone from regulating the Internet.”
(Then) Representative Ed Markey – “Net neutrality is not about government regulation of the Internet. It’s about fair rules of the road for the companies that now control access.”
(Then) Public Knowledge’s Gigi Sohn – “The commission is in no way regulating the Internet. It was merely attempting to return to a modest level of traditional authority needed to safeguard the rights of Internet users.”
Sure it doesn’t, guys.
I shot the short clip below at an October 2011 Hill briefing. In it, Jeff Eisenach lays out the clearest case ever why Net Neutrality regulates not just ISPs, but the entire Internet ecosystem.
Starting at 30-seconds into the clip, Eisenach notes:
“You know, we’re in a policy disequilibrium, right? So, if you read the Commission’s Net Neutrality Order, it says “We believe that we not only have the authority, but are obligated to ensure a free and open Internet ecosystem,” okay? And it defines the Internet ecosystem specifically as including content, applications and devices. The Commission is saying, “Okay, we’ve got the broadband thing; we’ve got that under control. But, you know, it’s really just part of the rest of this market, and we’ve got to make sure that that whole thing develops in a way that we’re happy with.
“So, what it’s really doing, I think, is it’s getting ready to assert authority over the whole operation. And implicitly, it’s doing that. I mean, the Net Neutrality Order is as binding on Apple as it is on Comcast, right? It is equally forceful in saying ‘Apple, you can’t do the following contract with Comcast,’ as it is in saying to Comcast ‘You can’t do the following contract with Apple.’” (Emphasis added)
Quick translation: By banning paid priority for ISPs (among other restrictions), potential non-ISP partners can’t “play” either, no matter how bad they want to (and they do). Consequently, the rule prohibits the behavior of more than solely ISPs. It regulates the behavior of the Internet’s edge, too, meaning the whole kit and caboodle is swept up by the law.
That is a far cry from the spin which falsely averred “The commission is in no way regulating the Internet.”
Eisenach and his partners on the FCC transition team have earned the moniker “Net Neutrality haters.” If telling the simple truth is “hateful,” get ready for the Trump FCC to be one angry place for the next eight years.