Net Neutrality Links
I’ve added these links to the Net Neutrality Page today.
. . . There have been suggestions that we don’t need legislation because we haven’t had it. These are nonsense, because in fact we have had net neutrality in the past — it is only recently that real explicit threats have occurred.
Control of information is hugely powerful. In the US, the threat is that companies control what I can access for commercial reasons. (In China, control is by the government for political reasons.) There is a very strong short-term incentive for a company to grab control of TV distribution over the Internet even though it is against the long-term interests of the industry.
Yes, regulation to keep the Internet open is regulation. And mostly, the Internet thrives on lack of regulation. But some basic values have to be preserved. For example, the market system depends on the rule that you can’t photocopy money. Democracy depends on freedom of speech. Freedom of connection, with any application, to any party, is the fundamental social basis of the Internet, and, now, the society based on it. . . .
The Government should, henceforth, treat the internet more like the Interstate Highway System than the telephone network.
This would mean that the Gvt, or a federal regulatory agency, should take control of and/or subsidize the building and maintaining of the network from now on. Take the financial burden of it away from the telecoms.
Make it a matter of national security, if you have to, to get that network built up, and to provide unfettered access to it by the public.
This, is a proposal that the telecoms should jump on in a heartbeat for two reasons:
1. The immediate financial windfalls it gives them.
2. It actually has the effect of slowing down the development of alternative high speed internet competition form other sources.
If, as I expect, the telecoms get their wish on Net Neutrality, you will see the rapid expansion of satellite, or other broadband internet technologies takeoff. And the sheer competition from those other sources will force the telecoms to scrap their differentiated charges to various tiers of content providers.
But, in the meantime, I think we should start floating my alternative proposal to take the wind out of the telecoms’ sails. This proposal will show us whether the telecoms are really concerned about building the network, or in just finding a way to make more money.
One clue to this Net Neutrality debate is to watch what kind of souls are on each side of the debate. The pro-NN contingent is filled with the people who actually built the Net Ã¢â¬â from Vint Cerf to Google to eBay Ã¢â¬â and those who profit from the competition enabled by the Net Ã¢â¬â e.g., Microsoft. The anti-NN contingent is filled with the entities that either never got the Net, or fought like hell to control it Ã¢â¬â telecom, and cable companies.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
NET NEUTRALITY PAGE