The FCC's abandonment of network neutrality will end the internet as we know it

[Commentary] Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai’s assertion that consumers will be served by Internet service providers’ “transparently” offering them “the plan that’s best for them” is fatuous in the extreme. The more likely outcome is that consumer options will shrink. They’ll “transparently” know that they’re being offered fewer choices, none of which will genuinely encompass an open internet. The truth is that competition among ISPs is shrinking, and their power already is enormous. You may think you have free choice among YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and other services; but they all reach your home via the same digital pipeline. Without network neutrality, the owner of that pipeline effectively can dictate which of these services gets to you faster and clearer. Make no mistake: In vast swaths of the United States, there’s no competition among pipeline providers — it’s your local cable operator or no one. The consumer choice that Pai trumpets barely exists today. If he gets his way, tomorrow it won’t exist at all.


The FCC's abandonment of network neutrality will end the internet as we know it