Why is Net Neutrality Bad?

Coby McKinley Profile image

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Updated January 6, 2023

Internet users concerned with consumer privacy and data security might not understand how net neutrality is bad. Net neutrality regulations prevent internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking legal online content or providing paid special treatment. While network neutrality proponents laud these rules, some argue that regulatory burdens will lead to worse broadband service. So, stick around to learn why is net neutrality bad and how it may affect your internet connection.


  • Network neutrality is the concept that ISPs should treat all internet traffic equally.
  • Net neutrality opponents argue that these regulations lead to worse outcomes and higher costs for consumers.
  • Experts claim that net neutrality laws slow ISPs’ investment in broadband infrastructure.

Once you’re done with this, check out what Title 2 net neutrality is, why net neutrality is important, and where cookies are located on your computer.

Insider Tip

You can use a VPN to avoid activity-based bandwidth throttling by your internet service provider (ISP).

What’s Wrong with Network Neutrality Rules?

Network neutrality is the concept that all online activities and services should receive equal access to bandwidth from internet service providers (ISPs). These laws prevent ISPs from blocking or throttling access to websites and online services. Additionally, ISPs cannot charge for paid prioritization on the network.

Opponents of net neutrality view it as a misguided action that harms the online marketplace and broadband investment. Those with a “small government” political viewpoint see these regulations as a bad idea and another attempt at government control over the business community.

Internet Regulation isn’t Necessary

Net neutrality opponents argue that the internet developed to its current heights without government regulations. They cite eras of extreme growth in the late 90s and early 00s and claim that the lack of regulation allowed internet businesses to flourish.

Worse Outcomes for Broadband Consumers

Some argue that net neutrality is bad for the average internet user. With net neutrality regulations, ISPs cannot separate their broadband services into cheaper or premium packages. Experts claim that consumers could save money by only paying for a certain level of service.


Without net neutrality regulations, internet companies can block online videos and other high-bandwidth online activities.

Additional Costs for ISPs

As the government enacts further regulations, ISPs must invest time and money into additional paperwork and labor. The anti-regulatory regime argues that this unfairly targets small internet companies that cannot handle the additional paperwork costs.

STAT: A 2019 Pew Research Center survey showed that 97% of American consumers had been asked to approve a company’s privacy policy. (source)

Hinders Broadband Network Investment

Experts argue that net neutrality regulations harm broadband network investment. ISPs reduced their investments in broadband infrastructure between 2011 and 2017, an action that disproportionately affected rural America.

Why is Net Neutrality Bad FAQs

Does the United States have net neutrality?

The US federal government does not have net neutrality regulations for internet providers or cable companies. While the Obama-era FCC took regulatory action to ensure equal broadband internet access, the 2018 net neutrality repeal ended those protections. There are state-level net neutrality rules for broadband services, but they aren’t as effective as the Obama-era internet regulations.

Does the EU have net neutrality laws?

The EU has net neutrality protections that regulate broadband services and how they treat internet traffic. This regulatory action ensures consumers have equivalent access to bandwidth service. Additionally, these laws prohibit an array of business arrangements that provide paid prioritization or internet “fast lanes.”

Can ISPs block websites?

United States court rulings compel ISPs to block sites containing illegal content or unofficial video streaming services. Without net neutrality legislation, internet companies can block online content providers and websites on First Amendment grounds. Additionally, consumers can request that their ISP block lawful content on their IP address, which is not allowed under net neutrality laws.
Coby McKinley Profile image