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Governments Everywhere Need to Stop Treating Internet Providers Like ATMs and Punching Bags

We need as many people as possible connected to the Internet as cheaply as possible. Especially so — so long as governments insist on doing everything antithetical to everything we know about viruses. Locking down people in their homes means the people’s only lines to the outside world are their Web-connecting fiber lines, coax cables, and smartphones.

So you would think government would do as little as possible to damage or hinder Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from doing what they have so spectacularly done — connect rapidly and seamlessly a massive country of one-third of a billion people.

If you think this way — “The Internet ain’t broke…government shouldn’t ‘fix’ it” — you are WAY too logical for government.

Government says they want ISPs to connect people. Their every action belies them. Every level of government looks for as many ways as possible to tax ISPs — and pile upon them ever more mandates and regulations. You wouldn’t do that — if you actually wanted ISPs to connect people. Because every tax, mandate, and regulation makes it more difficult for ISPs to connect people.

“The number of cities and towns making these ridiculous demands is staggering. The wide variety of these ridiculous demands is mind-numbing.

“All of which are geared by government – to find new and additional ways to extract ever more money from the ISPs.”

“Wireless taxes, fees, and surcharges make up 22.6% of the national-average bill, ‘the highest rate ever,’ according to a new study from the Tax Foundation, which has been reporting wireless taxes annually since 2013.”

Our nation is HUGE. Connecting our massive landmass is much more difficult and expensive than stringing together, say, the tiny nations of Europe. And yet we’ve done it MUCH better than has, say, Europe.

And why is our Internet better, stronger, and faster than Europe’s? Because as awful as US governments at all levels are to our ISPs, Europe’s are even worse to theirs.

Barack Obama had, in 2015, imposed a particularly virulent strain of government-suffocating Net Neutrality.

“The current iteration of the net-neutrality debate is not really about an ‘Open Internet’ or free speech or even apple pie; it’s about whether government should be permitted to expand its power and encroach on private actors’ due process protections.

“At stake, in other words, is whether an administrative agency should be permitted to re-write the law — especially when it does so simply to fit a political agenda.”

Then came Donald Trump. The federal government under Trump was rolling back regulations all over the place — including on the Internet. And Trump’s deregulation came just in time for our governments’ shutting us all up in our homes.

“In 2017, new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai moved to repeal a 2015 Obama Administration effort to regulate internet service as a public utility under laws written in the 1930s for copper-wire telephone service (Net Neutrality)….

“Chairman Pai led the FCC effort to repeal the destructive Obama Administration rule, and return federal internet service regulation to the light-touch regulatory environment that prevailed from 1996 to 2015….

“Chairman Pai’s effort bore immediate fruit. In the first year alone, U.S. internet speeds increased by 40%….”

Well, that free-market success…was fun while it lasted.

Joe Biden wishes to reinstate Barack Obama’s awful Net Neutrality — and then some. Excellent news. Of course, government mandates and regulations cost companies time and money. Compliance ain’t easy — or cheap.

So of course….

Biden restoring Net Neutrality — and going much further? Will cut ISP investment — and then some. Every second or penny companies waste on government is a second or penny they can’t spend on improving their products and services. And companies have to charge more for their products and services to recoup the time and money they wasted on government.

So We the Consumers pay more — for less. Because of government.

ISPs are supposed to connect We the People to the Internet.

They are not supposed to be government cash machines and regulatory abuse victims.

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