Net Neutrality. We have all heard of it, but no one seems to know what it is, other than the fact that it causes a lot of outrage online. Ricochet editor-in-chief Jon Gabriel hosts the latest Prager University video. "What Is Net Neutrality?" in which he breaks down what it really means for those of us who surf the internet.
"Net Neutrality means that the government will, one day, control the internet," Gabriel begins. "'Wait a second!' I can you hear you saying. 'That sounds bad.' But almost everyone you know says that Net Neutrality is good. Doesn’t 'neutral' mean that no one is picking winners and losers, that everyone is equal? Maybe according to the dictionary, but not according to the people behind the Net Neutrality movement. For them, 'neutral' means the government regulates the internet like a public utility. And that means bureaucrats making key decisions about how the internet is run. And that’s exactly what happened in 2015."
Under the Obama administration, he explains, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) imposed the new regulations on consumers: "No open hearings, they just did it." The new rules insisted that Internet Service Providers (ISPs), inluding AT&T, Verizon, that lay the cable that goes to your house, are "basically monopolies" like utility companies.
"To prevent abuse of this position, Net Neutrality rules prohibited them from charging websites different prices no matter how much or how little bandwidth they use," Gabriel explains. "But this is exactly the opposite of what utilities are allowed to do. Net Neutrality forces ISPs to charge all users the same price no matter how much data they send through the internet."
Gabriel points out that this closes the door to innovation, forcing ISPs to create a one-size-fits-all pattern for the tech companies to get into, which will help larger companies but hurt smaller ones. In essence, it creates the monopolies that it is supposed to prevent, while at the same time giving the government more control over the internet, opening the door to future censorship.
"If you want the current, or any other, administration to control the internet, you’re for Net Neutrality," he says. "If you want the internet to remain free of government meddling, you’re against it."
Watch the video below: