Net Neutrality is Gone, The Internet is Still Here
“Day 1 of a Worse Internet ,” Slate screeches. (Does it ever do anything else?)
But when push comes to shove, it can’t identify how the internet has changed or gotten any worse. There are a lot of projections and possibilities. Like the time a Canadian ISP blocked a union website it was negotiating with. When your really scary threat involves a Canadian ISP, you know you’re reaching.
There was an internet before net neutrality. And there’s one after it.
And the rash of state laws will probably make the question irrelevant anyway.
It’s not clear that net neutrality had any practical effect on the internet. Like so many government regulations, it created lots of business for lawyers and bureaucrats. But didn’t do anything else.
The internet is still dominated by a handful of service and content monopolies, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, who only keep getting bigger and more monopolistic. Not only wouldn’t net neutrality have checked their power, but they were its cheerleaders. Meanwhile big cable companies are also converging and becoming content providers. And eventually they’ll buy up and merge together leaving us with Comcast/Netflix, Amazon/Disney and Google/Spectrum or some other collection of monstrosities.
Net neutrality was a useful weapon for the likes of Netflix against cable companies. But the idea that it protected users was Google/Amazon/Netflix propaganda.
The internet is still what it was, corrupted, broken, swelling, consuming our culture and discourse, turning over the marketplace of ideas to a handful of megacorps, while the media cheer it all on.