Slashdot has and interesting post about Net Neutrality. It deals with one pro and one con article published by NPR. The con article is written by Scott Cleland of NETCompetition.org, a telecom-funded org. Astroturfing comes to mine. The pro article is from Craig Newmark, creator of craigslist.org.
The first question I ask myself before reading the article is, “who do I trust more?” Craig wins here. He has more than proven his integrity. Scott, as a paid mouth-piece of the telecom industry doesn’t get my trust.
In Cleland’s article he says quite a few things that are misleading and obviously intended to instill fear. Some examples…
They want Congress to pass a new law to ban that practice by regulating the price of broadband service and the way it’s sold.
See the last paragraph of this post as a comment to that.
First, net neutrality is really a misnomer. It’s really just special interest legislation, dressed up to sound less self-serving. Did you know Microsoft, Google and Yahoo are lobbying for net neutrality?
Um, and who finances your “cause” Mr. Cleland? The Net Neutrality proponents seem a little more eclectic than Clelend’s telecom-funded cause. The last sentence is easy to counter. I’ll try… Did you know AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, etc. are lobbying for net ‘competition’?
Now, net competition proponents, like me, believe that the best way to guard a free and open Internet is to maintain the free and open competition that exists today, not create a new government-monitored, socialized Internet.
So free and open are the terms for his cause and government-monitored and socialized are the terms for the the Net Neutrality folks. Has any one heard about AT&T allowing government-monitoring without even a court order? Oh, I think they are referring to another type of government-monitoring here.
Amazingly, the proponents of this radical change in policy don’t even have any real evidence of a problem, only unsubstantiated assertions about hypothetical problems.
Actually, such unsubstantiated assertions about hypothetical problems have led to much greater actions in the US. For example, a war. Of course, these unsubstantiated assertions about hypothetical problems have proven to be wrong so it’s admittedly a a bad example. But what do we have from the telecom side to assure that these unsubstantiated assertions about hypothetical problems don’t become true? Only your campaign to make/keep these possibliities around.
And it would also mean less privacy for all Americans, as net neutrality would require more government monitoring and surveillance of Internet traffic.
Have I already mentioned that AT&T and friends allowed government-monitoring without even a court order? So how exactly would this reduce my privacy any more than your funders already have?
If they’re successful, they’ll get a special, low-government-set price for the bandwidth they use, while everyone else — consumers, businesses and government — will have to pay a competitive price for bandwidth.
Actually they already pay for their bandwidth. I know I pay for my server’s bandwidth. The price is currently quite low. I have never heard google complaining that there bandwidth cost is too costly. In fact, they consider the cost to power their data center more of a worry than bandwidth costs. What the content companies and a huge majority of content consumers don’t want is a toll gate as Craig mentions. I want to be able to choose what I want to see at a speed and quality not regulated by a middle-man.
I as a consumer pay the telecoms for my usage and the content providers pay for the bandwidth coming from their servers. As more users and content creators get online the telecoms make more money. The traffic demand per entity will also grow and this will require more infrastructure. This is exactly what both sides are already paying for now. If it’s not enough it’s only because the telecom shareholder’s demand for higher margins is to blame.
If you ask me, government regulation is better than the corporate regulation that Mr. Cleland supports. Governments by definition are there to govern. Corporations are there to make money for shareholders. Yes Google, Microsoft and Co. are also corporation but as I said before they are only a small part of the Net Neutrality supporters where as the Net ‘competition’ supports are by and large telecoms.
Give me an internet without toll booths.