A strong argument against Net Neutrality regulation

What are your thoughts on this article against the new FCC Net Neutrality regulations?


Interesting blog post. The vast majority of Internet users have never given this a second of thought, which is funny because the ultimate decision could affect people in ways unimaginable to mankind.

thanks, glad you agree. I think this is an important message that needs to spread

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Very well thought out article. Fear gets the best of us too often and we don’t think about the consequences of our own actions and good intentions. Yes, freedom comes at a cost. Yes, ISPs are bound to do something stupid and slip up from time to time. That’s life. That’s human nature. And it comes at a cost to them. Vote with your dollar. Vote for the competitor that treats you right. Make your ISP earn your dollar. If you think a bunch of unelected officials sitting in an office somewhere, getting government paychecks (with virtually no fear of competition for their jobs), are going to bend over backwards for you as hard as an ISP company, with the constant fear of the competitor next door trying to put food on their table with your dollar, you might be mistaken.

I think the issue is that if we allow content providers to pay for priority packet delivery, a minority of ISPs will take advantage of that to provide “cheaper” broadband access which a minority of less well informed customers will buy.

IE6 is a minority browser but we still have to support it. If only one ISP blocks my traffic unless I pay them, and that affects say 10% of my less well informed visitors, I’m going to have support that 10% and pay that ISP.

People will gravitate towards the cheapest option. This is why we regulate housing, cars, food, and anything else where corners can be cut but shouldn’t be.

This is just my two cents, I’m totally willing to be shot down in flames on this one. :slight_smile:

I can envisage a situation, for example, where ISP X does a deal with say Facebook such that the Facebook pays ISP X to route their packets super fast and drop all packets belonging to rival social networks. The broadband would be free to the consumer because Mark Zuckerberg is picking up the tab.

A significant fraction of consumers would be happy to take up such an offer. “Free broadband!” they would say, “and the only drawback is that I can’t visit Bebo! I never visit Bebo anyway!”

Try starting a new social network under those conditions.

Sure, we can vote with out wallets, but most people won’t because they won’t be aware of the issues and won’t much care about them anyhow.

Hi goldfidget,

Point taken, but it seems pretty easy for us to dream up worst-case-scenarios out of fear. Is it really fair to jump to conclusions just yet, though? Net neutrality has not been a problem yet, so why start pointing fingers? Why not innocent until proven guilty? Our internet is neutral right now in these regards, is it not? The worst case scenario everyone is dreaming up has not happened yet. I believe it hasn’t happened yet for a reason. ISPs are scared of their customers at the moment. Believe me, they don’t want to lose out on profits for doing something foolish, and they definitely do not want smear campaigns run against them for cutting deals behind the scenes and censoring the internet.

So, why take action now? Why the sudden panic? Well, some top dog at an ISP said something he shouldn’t have said 5-6 years ago. Should they be guilty before they even commit the heinous worst-case-scenario? Maybe we should look for a solution to the problem when, and if, the problem arises. All ISPs will not change face overnight, not unless they are forced to by government regulations.

I like that you mentioned the support for IE6. Are we doing that for the dollar, or are we doing that because the government tells us we have to in order to keep the internet "neutral’?

P.S. W00t! 100 posts!

Exactly - it is done because the particular site can’t afford to not support that percentage of their potential visitors.

When you consider the situation with respect to ISPs the situation is significantly different from the situation with browsers. Where there are perhaps seven different browsers that have over 1% of the market (counting IE6/7/8 separately since those are the ones that require extra work), there are tens of thousands of ISPs none of which would have more than a small fraction of one percent of the market. You would need hundreds of ISPs to band together in such a deal as is being discussed before it would affect a noticeable percentage of any potential audience. There is also the difficulty of setting up an equivalent deal with ISPs in hundreds of different countries which currently use completely different models as the basis for how they charge for access. The number of parties involved and the number of associated issues mean that it would never happen internationally. It could only work in a country with a small enough number of ISPs for those involved to have a significant enough market share in that country and then it would only impact on web sites specifically targetting that country.

For the dollar and the fame :stuck_out_tongue: Good point :slight_smile:

PS W00t, also 100 posts!