Net Neutrality Rant

in Are You Kiddin' Me?, Technology, Web by

These days there are two types of people: Those for Net Neutrality and those against Net Neutrality. I am a card carrying citizen of the “For Net Neutrality” village and I am happy with the way the Internet is currently operating. We can get to the content we want when we want it, we can pick the Search Engine we want to use and view it all through the Web browser of our choice. We would not like it if one day our ISP blocked us from viewing our favorite web sites like ESPN, Google, YouTube or the Weather Channel unless we signed up to pay extra each month for a “Premium Internet Content Package”. No sir, we are strictly for Net Neutrality. We like it the way it is and we don’t care to pay the greedy cable companies more money.

But what if the Internet did not work the way it does right now? What if it worked like the Satellite TV or Cell phone networks? Some phones are only available from certain cell phone companies (iPhones only from Cingular) and not all channels are available on every Satellite TV network (NFL Sunday Ticket only from DirectTV). Jim Rapoza of eweek said it best in his scenario:

Hey, I hear there’s this great search engine called Google that supposedly works really well and offers all kinds of cool online apps. Problem is, you have to be a Verizon [ISP] customer to get it. And if I switch to Verizon, I won’t be able to access the eBay auction site anymore because that is a Comcast-only site. And if I leave Comcast, I won’t get VoIP anymore, as Verizon completely blocks that.

That would be crazy. No one would like that scenario, except the ISPs as they could ratchet up their fees to you and I. Which is why most of them are against Net Neutrality; they want more of our money. And, if Net Neutrality fails, that is what they will get. People will have to pay more to have what they already have.

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2 thoughts on “Net Neutrality Rant

  1. HOTI

    If you are happy with the way the internet is currently operating then why do you support net neutrality? We don’t have net neutrality now and if we did then why would we need legislation to preserve it?

    I’m on the other side of this issue and work with the Hands Off the Internet coalition. I agree with you that it would be horrible and wrong for an ISP to outright block access to espn.com or any site for that matter. However, I don’t believe that is even an issue here and if that were to happen customers would switch providers very quickly I would imagine. Plus, nobody has proved that the current laws and regulations aren’t sufficient to deal with blocking access to sites or any of the hypothetical situations cited by net neutrality supporters.

    Hands Off the Internet has always endorsed the four principles of net neutrality: Consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of their choice; Consumers are entitled to run applications and use services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement; Consumers are entitled to connect their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network; Consumers are entitled to competition among network providers, application and service providers, and content providers.

    Yet as I mentioned, the so called “net neutrality” legislation that has been proposed would freeze the broadband marketplace exactly where it is, disallowing not just theoretical abuses but new innovations, too.

    Additionally, you may find this paper interesting as it echoes some of the points I raised. The author, Robert Pepper, is Cisco’s senior managing director, global advanced technology policy, interesting.

    Thanks.

  2. Anthony

    Thanks for your comment, HOTI. Hands Off the Internet is a new organization to me that I had not heard of before. I will certainly look into it.

    Regarding switching providers, that is the point behind Jim Rapoza’s scenario. Especially in our immediate area where we have only one Cable high-speed internet provider and one DSL provider. The DSL service here is terrible and I would not be able to use them to run my business. So, if my Cable provider blocked any sites, I would be faced with dealing with it OR switching to (gulp) Dial-up. Yikes.

    I do appreciate your opinion and bringing Hands off the Internet to my attention. I will definitely look into it :).

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