Saturday, September 26, 2009

Rob Pegoraro - Fast Forward: FCC Takes Sides in Net-Neutrality Debate -

On Monday, the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission said the agency would write rules requiring Internet providers to do something many of them already say they do: deliver online content without discrimination. So why were there so many long faces in telecom afterward?

I think I've posted about a thousand comments on this in various places, here is simply the latest, and maybe most succinct:

Several points:

You mention that new Federal monitoring would invite corruption down the road.

No, I'd say it pretty much guarantees it. And at considerable expense, only to prevent what is commonly accepted as a vendor infringement that has rarely taken place. Also consider that in the cases where it has taken place, existing laws have handled the situation.

You mentioned that you, as a consumer, would rather have usage caps than have a particular application you use stop working.

But what about ME, as a consumer? I hate usage caps and have stuck with DSL over Cable for my Internet primarily for that distinction. If I use any of the applications you refer to then I guess I've never noticed the difference. Now that's subject to change, as are usage caps. Suppose after such new legislation all carriers either established low caps, or cut their existing caps in half or quarter as a defensive measure? Would "network neutrality" be worth it still?

I resent the continued implication that all these still potential problems we face are the result of free enterprise and all we need is yet another government agency to make it all better. There is very little about cable, telephone or cell phone service that resembles free enterprise as all are heavily taxed, and government granted monopoly based.

If we all had a dozen high speed Internet providers to chose from I have little doubt that some would offer plans that satisfy my needs, and others would offer plans that satisfy yours. I'd rather see our legislatures try and figure out how to spur the existence of that many alternatives.

Let's just confess right now that the only way to have a single plan that satisfies everyone is for men from Mars for come down and offer us free unlimited Internet service. Any other option, whether government based or not will have to either limit choice (pleasing one customer but not another) or run at a loss that will have to be paid for unequally by the consumer base.

Not surprisingly this same solution set applies to many other things in our lives and ultimately the decisions we make will determine whether the first two hundred years of our country's history were a waste of time or not.

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