Posts Tagged ‘Net Neutrality’

Net Neutrality

22 December 2010

The FCC promulgated new regulations pertaining to Net Neutrality today. As with most compromises, few people were totally happy.

I believe that the use of networks should be neutral for anybody, from an access standpoint. I don’t have a problem with “last mile” providers, as in traditional ISPs, from charging varying amounts for bandwidth provided.

A typical example of this might be St. John’s paying Cox Cable $120/month for 20Mbps up and down, and yet charging me $30/month for 6Mbps down and 2Mbps up. To really overuse a cliche, the number of lanes of your on-ramp to the Information Superhighway drives the amount you pay for it.

But once your data is flowing back and forth, it should compete equally with all the other traffic. I think that the concept of a business getting money from third parties for a particular protocol or data type on the backbone to shove other packets aside is (1) not very fair, and (2) is not terribly democratic. You would start running into situations where people running VoIP might get crappy signal because someone else paid money to get priority for streaming advertisements.

I see the internet as one of the few remaining bastions for equality. There are far too many corporate voices in the media already, exerting political and editorial control over viewpoints. The internet can help level that out somewhat.

So the FCC did the right thing by demanding and requiring network neutrality. They need to go farther and place the same restrictions on wireless carriers (of course, unfair competition from other wireless carriers using anothers infrastructure can be prohibited).

But the public should not be crowded out by corporate money on the internet.