The Net Has WAY Outgrown Net Neutrality
- February 6, 2023
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A lot of Big Government overreach – is trying to cram giant sectors of the private marketplace into tiny government regulatory boxes.
A lot of this idiocy is aggressive attempts by government bureaucrats to control things they have zero authority or business controlling.
A lot of this idiocy is government falling victim to reality. The private marketplace moves and grows far too fast for sclerotic government to possibly keep up.
Of course the first reason – is an attempt to offset and minimize the second. The more control government exerts over the private sector – the less able the private sector is to grow up and away from government.
Nowhere has government sclerosis in the face of private sector expansion been better demonstrated than the economic explosion that has been the World Wide Web.
The Internet has grown bigger, faster and better than just about any sector of any economy ever.
It is now 2023. In 1993 – just 30 years ago – if you had mentioned the Web to almost everyone on the planet? They all would have said “About what on Earth are you talking?”
Now it is a ubiquitous part of everyday life – for an inconceivably huge and rapidly increasing portion of every part of the planet.
In 2016, 20% of Africans used the Internet. In 2019?
This Startling Graph Shows How Many Africans Are Now Using the Internet – Far More Than in North America, and On Track to Beat Europe
By 2019, 40% of all Africans were online – double the percentage of just three years earlier. 83% of Kenyans were online in 2019.
The planet’s rapid Internet advancement – is a trickle down result of the United States’ rapid Internet advancement. Africa didn’t develop faster, better Internet access – the US did, and Africa benefitted.
As goes the US – so goes the planet. US economic advancement – trickles down to the rest of the planet. US government stifling US economic advancement – screws a whole lot more of the world than just US.
On the Internet, the US has expanded so far, so fast – precisely because government was intentionally written out of the process. By government, believe it or not.
The 1996 Telecommunications Act was an expressly deregulatory document. In perhaps the last act ever of US government regulatory humility and self-realization, those members of Congress basically said:
“We government types have no idea what the Internet is – or what it will be. So we hereby declare “imperium non grata“: Government has basically no role in the Internet, its activities or its development.”
As with all things everywhere? When government leaves something alone – that something flourishes. And so it has been with the Internet.
Which freaked the heck out of Big Government advocates everywhere. One was then-college professor (and recently a Joe Biden Administration official) Tim Wu.
In an attempt to play Big Government catch-up, Wu in 2003 created the concept of Network Neutrality. In the name of “equality” (or, now, “equity”), Net Neutrality makes Big Government much bigger – so as to make the private sector Internet much smaller.
How very Leftist of it. So, of course, Leftists everywhere picked up this new mantle.
To further – further still – this idiocy, The Left wants the government to “reclassify” how it regulates the Internet.
The 1996 Act classifies the Internet as Title I – an “information service.” Which, of course, it is. Because on the Web, information (data) – mega-gigs of it, every second – is being transmitted.
Title I is very lightly regulated – which is why the deregulatory 1996 Act put the Internet there.
The World Wide Web – is called a Web for a reason. Many millions of lines criss-crossing the planet – all simultaneously sharing information (data). It is a COMPLEX network.
The Left wants to reclassify the Internet as Title II – a “telecommunications service.” Which it clearly is not.
A landline telephone is a “telecommunications service.” A binary, one-way landline phone line – is infinitesimally small. The Web – is HUGE.
Title II landline classification – is is not at all representative of what the Web is doing.
As demonstrated by the fact that the Title II classification – was created in the 1934 Telecommunications Act. And the 1934 Act – was an update of the 1887 Interstate Commerce Act – written to regulate railroads.
Because railways – like landline phones – are binary, one-way devices.
Trying to cram the millions of Web lines all the way down into one Title II binary, one-way line – would restore a 1993-level of Web speed, power and access. Or worse.
And not just for US. For everyone on the planet benefitting from US.
Which for the Big Government-advocating Left is not a bug – it is a feature.