Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Holman Jenkins: Neutering the ’Net -

Like Chekhov's gun, "net neutrality" gets dragged down from the mantel for every act of the broadband rollout. It's getting dragged down now for the rollout of wireless broadband.

Yet everything you need to know was contained in the first act, when AOL began bleating about "open access" when broadband first threatened its dial-up empire. AOL's business model depended on free riding on the infrastructure paid for by phone users. AOL users were dialing up and keeping a line open for days or even weeks at a time—yet faced no cost for the disproportionate capacity they used up.

This is the basic pricing model the biggest Web companies (especially Google) seek to preserve on the Internet. Their business models are built on a Web that makes their services appear "free" to users.

Good read.

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