In 2015 the FCC reversed long-standing practice and policy to assert control over the Internet. The FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order (i.e., “net neutrality” as it is in the propaganda wars) reclassifies broadband Internet access service as a Title II telecommunications service under the jurisdiction of the Communications Act of 1934. Internet service providers were now to be regulated as common carriers like Ma Bell. According to Barack Obama and his followers, this all represented a great advance. Democrats like Minnesota’s own Amy Klobuchar portray the regulatory regime imposed by the FCC in 2015 as the cause of the growth of the Internet from the time of its invention by Al Gore. They think we are really, really stupid.
This week under the leadership of Chairman Ajit Pai the FCC voted to return to the “light-touch” regulatory regime that obtained prior to 2015. Pai has compiled a set of links with the relevant background here and posted them along with a brief explanatory video. Klobuchar has vowed to “continue the fight” against the restoration of the regime that fostered the explosive growth of the Internet to 2015.
MSNBC’s Ali Velshi sought to continue the fight in his own way. He invited Hudson Institute Senior Fellow and former FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell (profile here) to discuss the FCC’s repeal of the Open Internet Order. Velshi fancies himself an expert on the merits of the regulation. He has a hard time holding his own with McDowell. You might even say, as Amber Athey does at the Daily Caller, that Velshi “got absolutely destroyed” by McDowell.
Quotable quote (Ali Velshi): “Look, I just feel like we’re having a really unfair conversation here. I’m trying to have a conversation on the merits of the principle of unintended consequences of reversing net neutrality and you’re dropping a lot of legalese.”
NOTE: Peter Suderman covered the “net neutrality” rollback here for Reason yesterday. His post includes brief historical background along with 30-minute interview of Pai by Reason’s Nick Gillespie conducted earlier this year.