Why Verizon Should Drop Its Net Neutrality Case

Senior Contributor

Currently, Verizon is arguing that the federal government has no right to tell it it can’t demand that websites pay it more for them to load faster. To do so is a dreadful overreach of the government’s authority, because it keeps them from making more money, just like that stupid law about paying people. Really, Verizon? You really want to go there? Because honestly, you really don’t. And there are two reasons.

A Lack of Net Neutrality Makes You Vulnerable In The Long Term

Let me ask a very simple question that you probably haven’t considered. Currently, the entire reason cable companies enjoy monopolies is because of the government.

Verizon, of course, owns and runs FiOS, which is separate from any monopolies and is probably done wiring up municipalities for a while because those uppity activist mayors keep insisting they do things like obey the rule of law and allow for public speech.

But it sets up two problems: One, it means that people will start hating your service and two, it motivates other companies to just go around cable and FiOS infrastructure altogether. One of those in particular, Google, would be more than happy to crush and eat you. You want to pick a fight with the Goog? Have fun with that.

It may also inspire government state and local to just yank the protections cable companies enjoy and let anybody come play. That’s not a situation you want.

There Will Be a Freedom Of Speech Lawsuit, And You Will Lose

Look, there’s no way to say that “Oh, all we’re doing is making this website load faster than this other website” without getting your ass sued.

Here’s the problem, Verizon: Yes, technically it is private access to a public network. But you have to demonstrate that you are not violating the First Amendment rights of somebody by not loading their website faster than somebody paying you.

This becomes problematic because if there’s no other way to access that website from somebody’s house (and there isn’t), you have a case that somebody in a court somewhere will want to hear.

So let it go. Or, you know, keep it up. I’m a big fan of watching huge corporations get their asses handed to them. Come on, lose millions in court and get humiliated by some hipster artists with a rich lawyer daddy! It’ll be fun!

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