Giant Telecoms Would Prefer You Didn’t Worry About the Demise of Net Neutrality

Maya Kosoff, Vanity Fair:

When Ajit Pai, the Trump-appointed head of the Federal Communications Commission, announced his intention to roll back Obama-era net-neutrality guidelines, gutting rules that prevent Internet service providers from charging companies for faster access or from slowing down or speeding up services like Netflix or YouTube, he was quick to claim that critics of his plan—Internet freedom groups and smaller Internet companies that can’t afford so-called “fast lanes”—were overreacting. “They greatly overstate the fears about what the Internet will look like going forward,” Pai said on Fox & Friends. Pai’s proposal, which would put in place a voluntary system reliant on written promises from I.S.P.s not to stall competitors’ traffic or block Web sites, essentially serves as a road map to radically reshape the Internet. But like Pai, I.S.P.s and others in the telecom industry have curiously insisted that consumers and smaller companies have nothing to fear when it comes to net-neutrality reform.

ISPs also promise to be at your house between noon and 3:00 PM to check out your slow internet connection which, of course, is because they oversold your neighbourhood and overstated likely end-user speeds; but, sure, let’s trust them to play fair when they have few incentives to do so.