Repealing net neutrality hurts innovators, consumers

There was little new in yesterday's speech by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announcing his plan to undo the 2015 network neutrality rules, which prohibit cable and Internet companies like AT&T and Comcast from favoring or discriminating against online content and services. Pai spouted the usual ISP-funded investment statistics (accurate numbers here) and again took statements made by Democrats in the 1990's out of context. Even so, there was much that should alarm every American with a broadband internet connection.

Why consumers should care: In reviewing the 2010 net neutrality rules, the DC Circuit found that because ISPs have bottleneck control over your Internet access, they have both the incentive and the ability to discriminate. In a world where these companies are consolidating, buying content and providing their own over-the-top services, that incentive has increased. Which makes preservation of the current rules all the more necessary and Pai's plan all the more dangerous.