RIP Internet, 5 Years Gone

Five Years Ago, The FCC’s Repeal Of ‘Net Neutrality’ Went Into Effect, Causing Democrats And Many Other Liberals To Make Apocalyptic Prognostications, None Of Which Came True


FORMER FCC CHAIRMAN AJIT PAI: “Do you remember where you were five years ago today, on June 11, 2018? I’d be surprised if you don’t. For that was the day the internet ended — the day the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) repeal of so-called ‘net neutrality’ regulations went into effect.” (Ajit Pai, “The Death of the Internet, Five Years Later,” National Review, 6/11/2023)

  • FORMER CHAIRMAN PAI: “Going only on press coverage, social media, and political rhetoric, you would have been justified in preparing for civilization’s demise…. [T]he critics were confident and clear: A digital apocalypse was upon us. Half a decade later, we can now make a sober assessment of their predictions. Were they right? In an era defined by the paranoid style of American political argument, it may not surprise you to learn that they were not. In fact, they were diametrically wrong.” (Ajit Pai, “The Death of the Internet, Five Years Later,” National Review, 6/11/2023)


Despite Democrats’ Apocalyptic Rhetoric, None Of Their Doomsday Scenarios Came To Pass

THEN-SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA): “Getting rid of #NetNeutrality would be a terrible mistake that would hurt the most vulnerable and voiceless among us. It will imperil our economy while reducing innovation, entrepreneurship, and creativity.” (Sen. Harris, @KamalaHarris, Twitter, 11/25/2017)

SENATE DEMOCRATS: “If we don’t save net neutrality, you’ll get the internet one word at a time.” (@SenateDems, Twitter, 2/27/2018)

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “With the disastrous repeal of Net Neutrality rules, the Internet may start to resemble a toll road, with the highest bidders cruising along private ‘fast lanes’ while the rest of us inch along a single, traffic-choked public lane; and we could be forced to purchase internet packages much like cable packages, paying more for popular sites.” (Sen. Schumer, Press Release, 12/15/2017)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): “This is the end of the internet as we know it.” (Sen. Sanders, @SenSanders, Twitter, 12/14/2017)

SEN. ED MARKEY (D-MA): “The anti-consumer regulations passed by the Trump administration takes away a fundamental right that ensures the internet is a diverse, dynamic and open to everyone. We can force a vote to restore net neutrality and level the playing field away from the big corporations. There will be a political price to pay for those on the wrong side of history. Momentum is on our side. (Sen. Cantwell, Press Release, 1/09/2018)

SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY): “Changing open internet rules threatens our freedom of speech.” (Sen. Gillibrand, @SenGillibrand, Twitter, 7/20/2017)

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): "It’s against the concept of the internet, which was all about letting everyone access the internet and letting everyone be able to compete on an equal playing field," (“Klobuchar: Net Neutrality Repeal ‘Against The Concept Of The Internet’, CBS News, 12/15/2017)

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ): “The FCC’s vote to gut net neutrality protections was a massive blow to the fundamental ideals of a free and open internet for all. Congress shouldn’t stand passively by while innovation is stifled and the democratizing power of the Internet is dismantled because of this arbitrary policy change.” (Sen. Booker, Press Release, 1/08/2017)

SEN. BRIAN SCHATZ (D-HI): “This week the FCC will vote to roll back #netneutrality protections, ending the free and open internet as we know it. This move will take away your ability to use the internet the way you want to …” (Sen. Schatz, @SenBrianSchatz, Twitter, 12/13/2017)

SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D-RI): “Repealing net neutrality is a blow to a free and fair internet and the jobs that depend on it… The FCC is bowing to special interests and bots. Here’s the question: who’s behind the bots?” (Sen. Whitehouse, Press Release, 12/14/2017)

SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D-OH): “Are my colleagues going to allow corporate special interests to shut down the free and open internet …?” (Sen. Brown, Remarks, 5/10/2018)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): “Ending #NetNeutrality … will only benefit the handful of giant companies that will block, filter, or charge more for what we do online.” (Sen. Warren, @SenWarren, Twitter, 11/21/2017)

SEN. JEFF MERKLEY (D-OR): “[A]n outrageous attack on our free and open internet …” (Sen. Merkley, Press Release, 12/14/2017)

SEN. MAZIE HIRONO (D-HI): “For an industry already facing a funding crisis driven by declining advertising revenue, the roll back of net neutrality could have a devastating impact on local news…. In addition to the impact on local news providers, repealing net neutrality could make it more difficult and expensive for relief organizations to solicit donations for people affected by natural disasters.” (Sen. Hirono, Remarks, 5/16/2018)

REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): “… a threat to our democracy…. It promotes discrimination and inequity … Simply put, restricting the internet hurts our democracy and undermines justice and opportunity.” (Rep. Jayapal, @RepJayapal, Twitter, 12/14/2017)


Related Issues: FCC, Regulations, Senate Democrats