Net Neutrality Links
I’ve added these links to the Net Neutrality Page today.
Two separate editorials from DC newspapers both oppose net neutrality efforts — and yet, both seem to be filled with outright lies or misleading half-truths. As we’ve said repeatedly, the real issue with net neutrality is that there isn’t enough competition in the broadband space. If there were real competition, network neutrality wouldn’t even be on the table for discussion. The Washington Post tries to get by this point by claiming that there is real competition in the broadband space, stating that 60% of all zip codes have four or more choices. Of course, reading that language, you can tell immediately that it’s coming from the FCC’s discredited broadband penetration numbers. . . .
Then, the Washington Times chimes in with its own anti-network neutrality screed, saying that we shouldn’t worry about network neutrality because there’s no problem yet. This, of course, has been the argument that the telcos have raised for many years, just more vocally these days. As we’ve noted, there is some truth to this — but that doesn’t mean network neutrality issues deserve to be ignored. As some have pointed out there are plenty of “speculative” dangers that the government decides are worth paying attention to, such as potential terrorist attacks or bird flu. And, in the case of network neutrality, the executives of AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth have all stated very publicly that they would like to break the basic concepts of network neutrality, and make Google pay again for the part of the internet you already pay for.
If the telcos have their way, the Internet in the US COULD become as innovation-free as the phone networks and as content-challenged and inflexible as the cable networks. On the other hand, legislation to prevent these companies from doing what they MAY not be able to do anyway could be a cure thatÃ¢â¬â¢s worse than the disease.
Unless your livelihood depends on preventing further creative destruction resulting from Internet innovation, itÃ¢â¬â¢s almost impossible to be against the principle of Internet neutrality, the principle that underlying networks should treat all packets in the same way regardless of content.
Make no mistake, the future of US telcos, at least in their present form, DOES depend on putting the Internet genie back in the bottle. And their monopoly on lobbying strength now that AT&T and MCI are gone is even more frightening than their share of the local access duopoly. Not only is VoIP removing any vestige of an excuse for the greatly inflated rates charged for traditional voice traffic while providing richer and more disaster-resistant service; Internet TV (IP TV) obsoletes the telcoÃ¢â¬â¢s strategy of providing cable-TV like service as a new revenue source.
Deconsumption has made another excellent post in follow-up, and furtherance, of the netvocates thing. I followed a link to a post about “anti-network neutrality astroturfing comment spam” on The Abstract Factory. Commentors there reckon that a person calling themselves “Stevens33” and another going by the name of “Net Chick” are going around posting suspicious comments. You’ll find one from Stevens33, on a post about net neutrality, on danablankenhorn’s blog.
Another blog, a bit tasty, posted about net neutrality and ended up in awe of the response: “look at all this boom and chat on my little blog. I will comment on all of your comments soon.” Guess who was amongst the suddenly appearing commentors?: Stevens33 and NetChick (see 17 May 8.29pm and 8.40pm). Both Stevens33 and NetChick can also be seen on ipdemocracy commenting on a thread about, you guessed it, net neutrality.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
NET NEUTRALITY PAGE