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Repealing net neutrality is actually good for the internet

By in Press Enterprise on January 3, 2018

By James L. Gattuso

A post widely circulated on social media purports to show the prices various internet content providers will charge consumers now that the FCC’s network neutrality rules have been repealed.

The text is quite specific: A Google search will now set you back $1.99 per query; Twitter will cost $14.99 per month; Netflix will cost $9.99 per movie, and so on.

The charges would be an outrage if true — but they are not. The “price list” is fabricated out of whole cloth, a complete fantasy.

The fictional price list, however, is only the most obvious of untruths being spread in the backlash to the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of its 2015 network neutrality rules. These rules barred internet service providers — companies such as Verizon, Comcast, and T-Mobile — from offering different service levels to the content providers using their networks.

Regulating this activity via the FCC is one of those ideas that sounds good in the dorm late at night, but makes no sense in the light of day. For instance, the rules specifically ban “paid prioritization,” which means charging more for better services, or less for service that is more limited. But what’s wrong with that? Most every market in America uses discounts and premiums. Try buying an airline ticket, gas for your car or even new clothes, and you will find this kind of “discrimination.”

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