Date: December 3, 2018
Doomsday Predictions About Title II Fail To Materialize
December marks the one-year anniversary of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) order to remove Depression-era Title II regulations on broadband providers. While some lawmakers and net neutrality activists spent much of 2018 advancing dire predictions about the fate of the Internet, none of these doomsday scenarios have materialized. Here is a look back at some of the most outlandish predictions and claims promoted by Title II supporters that have been proven to be nothing more than empty fearmongering.
CLAIM: Without Title II rules, broadband providers will slow down online traffic.
REALITY: Internet Service Providers (ISPs) continue to reaffirm their commitment to open Internet principles.
As The Washington Post previously noted, there’s “scant evidence that Internet users should brace for a slowdown” and “broadband providers say in pretty stark terms that they have no plans to block or throttle content or to start along the road of paid prioritization.” Indeed, nothing has changed for Internet users since Title II repeal and ISPs remain committed preserving a free and open Internet.
CLAIM: The FCC’s move will “end the Internet as we know it.”
REALITY: The Internet is as free and open as it was before Title II repeal in June.
The Internet remains as free and open as it was for the nearly 20 years before Title II rules were imposed on the Internet in 2015. Efforts by some in Congress to reinstate Title II would not make the Internet any more open or free than it is today. It will simply subject ISPs – and only ISPs – to unnecessary and outdated regulations that will curb investment and innovation.
CLAIM: Title II repeal will create slow lanes and fast lanes.
FACT: ISPs do not engage in “slow lane” and “fast lane” practices.
It makes no sense for ISPs to force some customers into slow lanes. This is simply not a practice ISPs employed before the FCC’s 2015 Title II order and they have no intention of doing so. ISPs want as much traffic going over their networks as possible, and for consumers to have a seamless Internet experience, and have no incentives to force anyone into a slow lane.
CLAIM: Title II repeal is a threat to free speech and our democracy.
REALITY: The Internet remains as free and as open as ever.
The Internet remains as free and open as ever. ISPs are not blocking or throttling access to legal content or stifling free speech. In fact, repealing Title II will help expand high-speed broadband access to more Americans, allowing them to make their voices heard and participate more in our democracy and economy.
CLAIM: Reinstating Title II through a Congressional Review Act (CRA) is the only way to preserve an open Internet.
FACT: The CRA will do nothing to permanently protect an open Internet.
The CRA supported earlier this year by some Members of Congress is a symbolic measure that has virtually no chance of succeeding. Even if it did, it would not enshrine permanent net neutrality protections and the cycle of political gamesmanship would continue. Instead, bipartisan congressional legislation is the only way to substantively address the challenges facing Internet users.