Net Neutrality Links
I’ve added these links to the Net Neutrality Page today.
We are only beginning to understand on how subtle a communication system the functioning of an advanced industrial society is based — a communications system which we call the market and which turns out to be a more efficient mechanism for digesting dispersed information than any that man has deliberately designed.
When F.A. Hayek spoke these words more than thirty years ago in accepting the Nobel Prize for Economics, he was referring to the market as a communications system, a reflection of the increasing role of information as a driver of the economy. But these words also speak to the global communications system we call the Internet or cyberspace. While the individual elements of the Internet are designed by man, its growth and evolution has been almost organic, not unlike the development of the market Hayek described. Hayek devoted his career to championing markets over government planning, and his 1974 speech in Stockholm was no exception. His words ring true today as we hear of plans to impose limitations on this modern communications system, this market if you will, by the government in the form of network neutrality regulations.
The newspaper of record in our nation’s capital, The Washington Post, correctly observes that the rhetoric around net neutrality “has concealed more than it has illuminated.” However the reporter, Jeffrey Birnbaum, parrots elements of the carrier’s arguments in his column, “No Neutral Ground in This Internet Battle.” He fails to provide both sides of the argument in full, suggesting repeatedly that the carriers’ are the aggreived parties.
Let’s begin with his definition of net neutrality:
Net neutrality, which is shorthand for network neutrality, is one of two possible answers to the following legislative question: Should cable and telephone companies be allowed to charge add-on fees to others for access to their networks.
Under a net-neutral system, the answer would be “no.” If net neutrality were to lose, the answer would be “yes.”
A very different definition of net neutrality than mine: . . .
As a U.S. Senate panel prepares for a vote on Net neutrality legislation this week, state attorneys general in New York and California are joining Internet companies in saying that network operators must not be permitted to prioritize certain broadband content and services.
In a letter sent Friday to the leaders of the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, a Democrat, urged the adoption of a proposal called the Internet Freedom Preservation Act. This is the first time that state officials have entered the Net neutrality debate.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
NET NEUTRALITY PAGE