Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The erroneousness of the 'net neutrality' corporate profit vs. public interest dichotomy

Tim Carney, coming through again

5 comments:

Evan said...

The idea that a company can't simply block or slow down info it finds distasteful--say, inking a deal with NBC and slowing down ABC's traffic--is one of the fundamental principles of the internet. It relies on everything being free and equal.

Would you want Brian Roberts (Comcast's CEO) deciding that NewsBusters access should be slowed down but encouraging lightning-quick access to Media Matters, but, say, the CEO of RCN doing the opposite? A lack of net neutrality hits hard for sites with minority views or shallow pockets.

TJE said...

Net neutrality is a boon to massive content providers like Google.

Evan said...

A lack of a net neutrality provision is a boon to carriers like Verizon and Comcast. No matter which way you slice it somebody wins. But Verizon and Comcast winning I think is worse on the whole for the internet.

Legislation like this always creates winners and losers, but I think a lot more citizens win if net neutrality is enforced. If the issue is profit-shifting between Google/"Big Internet" and Comcast/"Big Cable," I'm sure someone is smart enough to work out a scheme for that to be solved. But the idea that data can be throttled based on who it's coming from is bad.

Imagine if this blog (Blogger being owned by Google) wasn't viewable to us in DC because RCN was really mad at Google for not paying RCN a big enough service fee. That'd be really bad.

TJE said...

Google and others have been quite successful in framing the issue in the way you suggest. But it's really about a free ride on the internet for big content providers. The rest of us will pay for that free ride, and technological advances will be slowed.

Evan said...

Is what "Google is framing" not going to happen? Or is that an acceptable side-effect of removing the current net-neutral standard?

I always sort of saw communications in the public interest, so profits came after access.