[Ed. – Yup. That’s been evident from the beginning, but I’ve rarely seen it stated as succinctly and pointedly as Phil Kerpen does here. Must-read.]
The 2015 Obama FCC order reducing the Internet to a regulated public utility under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act was marketed as protecting net neutrality – even though the DC Circuit Court of Appeals expressly held that any ISP that blocked or filtered web traffic would be completely exempt from the rules. The apocalyptic claims from the left that the repeal of Title II – which took effect on June 11 – would herald the end of net neutrality and the destruction of the Internet are therefore obviously absurd hyperbole. Especially considering that we have simply returned to the same regulatory framework that applied while the Internet grew and thrived for decades until 2015.
So what are the real stakes as Congress considers a partisan Democratic effort to re-impose the Obama public utility order? Taxes and fees – a lot of them. Internet services are protected by federal law from state, local, and federal taxes, but the Title II order reclassified broadband Internet as a phone service which enjoys no such protection. And there is overwhelming evidence that Democrats were waiting until Hillary Clinton won the election (oops) to spring the Title II tax trap.