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Why You Don't Want Mandated Net Neutrality

August 20, 2010 9:25:49.182

If it comes from the regulators, rest assured that the regulators will get captured:

In a letter sent today to Google CEO Eric Schmidt, the RIAA and other music trade groups expressed their concern that the riddled-with-gaping-loopholes policy framework nevertheless might put a damper on ISP attempts to find and filter piratical material flowing through the Internet's tubes. Failure to allow for this sort of behavior would lead to an Internet of "chaos."

Better to have nothing, and depend on bad PR events than to have full on regulatory capture - because in the latter scenario, arguing over an FCC decision will be like arguing with the local zoning board - only more so.

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posted by James Robertson


Re: Why You Don't Want Mandated Net Neutrality

[W^L+] August 21, 2010 22:24:17.420

What I think you're missing is that the current situation (that is, "Net Favoritism") came about because of a decision by that same FCC, an example of the regulatory capture you fear.

There never was such a thing as Internet access that wasn't defined by then-current FCC policy. Even the present cable and telephone companies are largely creations of FCC policies (and a federal judge). You're talking about a world that never existed, does not exist now, and never will exist.

I'd much rather they revisit their original mistake, so that ISPs other than the wireline owner had an equal shot. Because that would mean that people who live in a Comcast area (for example) would have multiple providers who could provide service across those cables. Otherwise, congressionally-mandated net neutrality is the best response that fits within the framework defined by that mistake.

Again, the ideal would be to bring choice to customers and competition to the high speed access market, no matter whose lines connected to their homes. This was real life during the dial-up days, when competition kept the telco-owned ISPs honest. It was a sad day when a corrupt FCC created a new, line-owner-centric world for high speed access. I'd rather see that changed than see a net neutrality law.

You'll agree once your provider decides that you may only run Windows on devices which access the Internet, and that you may only use their provided customized browser and antivirus software. You just haven't been gored deeply enough yet by the present power imbalance.

Re: Why You Don't Want Mandated Net Neutrality

[james Robertson] August 22, 2010 1:01:25.873

I'm not missing that; I'm assuming that letting the FCC have at it again will make things worse, not better

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