They already charge based on data use and always have (even with net neutrality being mandated), as ar the people who use netflix (we pay more for 750 GB of data than we did for 250, for example), because that's the basis of how it works, so their argument doesn't really make sense. They're already being paid more on both ends for having to transmit more data.
How is a regulation forbidding price discrimination for this specific service nationalisation? The government isn't taking over the ISP's - only laying down market rules, just like there are plenty for physical goods.If so, it's not a serious justification for regulatory intervention. As you've expressed it, it's virtually tautological; darn near anything any business does for any reason would be an adequate excuse for nationalizing everything. That can't possibly be a good idea, or Venezuela would be the economic envy of the world.
How is "you don't get the service you already pay for unless you pay even more" not coerced if there is no other option than using their service?In fact, you have ignored the core argument I made, but I wrote a lot and maybe I still somehow wasn't clear enough. So to put it more briefly: If Internet service providers want to charge any customer more or less than another customer, for any reason, then as long as that exchange is voluntary (not literally coerced or fraudulent) they should be free to do so. And -- completely in line with Pai's call for transparency -- that fact of different charging ought to be public knowledge.
I generally agree with this statement, but I think (and history has proven) that a completely free market without any playing rules doesn't work. There are cases in which a completely unregulated market can slide or be pushed into a ad status quo that is inherently bad. For example, a company with larger funds can buy or put out of business all its competitors, resulting in a monopoly. This negates the normal capitalistic principle of "if you don't like the offer, you can go get your product or service somewhere else and this competition keeps prices reasonable". And that's why there are antimonopoly laws.The general principle here is that consumers are almost always going to be made worse off when an entity with power but no skin in the game -- a central government -- interferes with the market's ability to encourage people to create and sell desirable goods and services at acceptable prices. Some busybody will always have some reason for meddling with the free negotiation between producer and consumer, but that effort to get in between people negotiating with each other ought to be resisted as strongly as possible because every interference distorts the market's ability to maximize useful economic activity (because no one has more to gain or lose than the producer and consumer).
Similarly, there is the Robinson-Patman act which forbids price discrimination for physical goods, because price discrimination means the price is not about selling goods at acceptable prices, but about getting as much profit out of consumers as they can get.
(Note that net neutrality means forbidding price discrimination for the service of providing internet connectivity)
It's not about direct government interference. It's about setting up rules about what you can and cannot do.
The point I'm actually arguing is that any such interventions as these ought to be very clearly defined exceptions to a general preference to letting free and transparent markets work to reward consumer-friendly behavior. And -- relevant to our conversation here -- solid facts and reasoning must be provided by whoever it is that favors interfering with the market before allowing those exceptions.
So: what is the defense for the belief that "everyone [should pay] the same price for the same data with the same bandwidth from the same ISP"? Why?
-Providing the same service does not cost them more. What validation do they have for charging more? Unless a specific customer has special requirements that means extra costs have to be made, the normal thing to do if you are losing money is raising prices of services overall. Using more data does not fall under this if you already charge per data (which they do)
-For the same reason doing charging different customers different prices for the same physical product is illegal.
-Unlike what is supposed to happen in a capitalised system, a lot of the ISP's have no local competitors and have basically a monopoly, which means you don't have the option to pick the more competitive offer their competitor offers. This means there's no system to keep prices in check - if they want you to pay extra, you can either pay up or... not have any internet. There is nothing that keeps the prices fair for the customers. So either there needs to be honest competition, or there needs to be regulation, or there is nothing stopping them from screwing over customers for money.
Capitalism only works if the customer actually has the option to not buy the service from a specific company.
In this case, there is no, as you said "creating and selling desirable goods and services at acceptable prices" or "free negotiation between producer and consumer" - there are demands from the producer and the option to accept them or have no service.
-Conflict of interest: a lot of the ISP's have subsidiaries that are direct competitors to their own clients. If price discrimination of their service is legal, they can (and have proven that they will) increase prices for those clients, leading to monopolisation and stiffling of startups, which is against the spirit of anti-monopolisation and free competition.
How does a regulation on the price of a service give the government any access to the content of the data in the first place? I really don't see what they have to do with one another... Our national post is even owned by the government, but that still doesn't mean they can legally open my mail.Also (one of my points you ignored), what's to stop federal regulators from being even more invasive with the content of online traffic than ISPs? Once you've succeeded in putting the feds in charge of Internet data, how do you plan to prevent them from abusing that power more than ISPs did?
Also, they would not be in charge of the price - you would just be able to rightfully sue if they price discriminated you (just like you already can for physical goods)