I go on about this "Net Neutrality" thing and our need to "Save the Internet" from time to time, and I know I don't do the greatest job of explaining it. I probably could if I spent more time on it (or I was a ninja), but luckily for me there are even more brilliant and articulate voices out there, and my blockquotes know kung-fu.
Doc earls Suitwatch*:
Yes, there are costs -- very large ones in some cases -- to bringing fiber-grade internet connections to homes and businesses. And there are costs for connecting to backbones. But we need to depend on carriers to fund the capacity? Put another way, Why should we depend on companies that accelerate into the future with one foot on the brake pedal while they park in the middle of intersections and charge us to cross them?
The short answer is, We shouldn't.
That means we have to depend on ourselves.
And the tide of history. Because that, more than anything else, is on our side.
"Broadband" is like "long distance": just another name for transient scarcity. We want our Net to be as fast, accessible and unrestricted as a hard drive. (And in time even that analogy will seem too slow.) The only way that will happen is if the Net becomes ubiquitous infrastructure -- something which, in a practical sense, nobody owns, everybody can use and anybody can improve.
There is infinitely more business in making that happen, and using the results, than Congress can ever protect for the carriers alone.
Doc closes with a jab at the carriers ("Will someone please tell them?") in regards to this greater potential for business with an open platform. I think this is pulling a punch, really. The current conglomorates which control telecommunications in the US are a very long ways away from seeing the light on this issue, and everybody pretty much knows it.
It's possible that if they loose this fight they may be saved by their own incompatence, and seeing the error of their ways embrace a radical and new way of thinking about how to maximize shareholder value, but somehow I doubt it. That's not how boards of directors work in my understanding.
Let's be clear, I don't want the Government to control the internet any more than William Fucking Buckley does. There are tons of potential problems with that, some more troubling than likely, but frankly I resent the characterization.
I'm even more annoyed that this rhetoric seems to work with congresspeople. I'm sure the
bribes PAC Contributions help, but it seems so juvinile. Everyone recognizes that the government isn't the the right outfit to run the show here on anything like a day to day basis -- jeesus, do we have to keep saying this? we're not fucking communists, people -- but that doesn't mean I want to leave all decision-making power in the hands of these corporate fatbck imbicilles.
I want a well-regulated market for access to the internet, with true local, regional and national competition, a broadband "dialtone" for everyone who wants it, and no upper limit on what any individual, community, municipality, or corporation can do. Wouldn't that be nice?
That's a feasible idea, and a real possible outcome if we keep a level playing-field. It'll be a big win for everyone. I realize there's an element of manifest destiny in this kind of thought, and we've got to keep that in check, but come on: there's plenty of bandwidth, let's use it.
* This is a public email list. Doc's Suitwatch Archives are open and public, and well worth reading too.