Net Neutrality

Please take time to read this. It WILL effect your life. I seldom use this forum as a soap box but sometimes I’m asked by enough people that it’s just easier to document it and send people here for info.

Is Net Neutrality a good thing or a bad thing? 
If you look at everything through the lens of what the internet is, and would it easily could be, you’ll see why it can be good for consumers whether or not we have net neutrality. The following explains net neutrality in it’s simplest terms and will show you that there’s something much better than either debating net neutrality.

Net Neutrality Defined So My Mom Can Understand It.

Currently, everyone’s connection to the internet is treated equally by your internet service provider or ISP (cable/phone/DSL/wireless). This unbiased treatment of the data traversing their network is called Net Neutrality. ISPs are restricted from discriminating between different types of content that they like and don’t like. You get your information unfiltered and everything at the same speed. That “sounds” like a good thing.

ISPs on the other hand think it is bad because they feel that since the data is traversing their network, they should have the right to have more control over it. Now, if you love large publicly owned corporations because they always do things in your best interest, then you should agree with them. In the most reasonable implementation, they want to prevent abuse by restricting abuse by a small percentage of people who horde much more than their fair share of data. Given that toe in the door, they can then take the whole concept a lot further.

For example, if you like downloading movies from (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) or like to listen to music (Pandora, your favorite radio station) which in many cases comes at no extra charge, ISPs don’t want to charge “you” for this, they want to charge the source. The result is that these once inexpensive and free services are now going to come back at you and require you to pay them to get their data to you over your ISPs network. In short, your price for free just went up. And how many different sources of information do you access on the internet at no extra charge. This “sounds” like a bad thing.

I’ve done my best to describe the two sides. In our current paradigm (mom, that means way of thinking), net neutrality or not sucks for consumers (Sorry mom, that’s the mildest word I can use to state my opinion).

Let The Government Choose

The government is involved at the behest of the debate between consumers and ISPs on this whole issue. Unable to keep it’s nose out of the tent, the FCC is happy to do it’s part. After all, this is an opportunity for them to help consumers? No. Big Corporations? No. Themselves? Bingo. Let’s not leave out Uncle Sam. It doesn’t matter what the result is, you get to enjoy paying taxes for a brand new commission to govern over net neutrality or not neutrality. Think phone bill with all the extra local, state and federal taxes now added to your internet bills.

If that’s not bad enough, now the government is going to have an influence on what is and what is not acceptable “content” and “fairness”. As if Washington doesn’t have enough to take sides on in the name of keeping their jobs by giving the appearance of representing the people at the expense of freedom. This will be a political football for whomever is in power. And the governed just keep getting governed.

Is this a liberal/conservative debate? No, it’s consumer vs ISPs and government. There are many complaints from both sides about why this is so bad.
A Much Better Proposal. No Pitchforks Required.

All of the problems explained above can be resolved in one sentence that everyone can understand. (Begin Solution) Net Neutrality wouldn’t be an issue if high speed internet access providers were required to wholesale (share) their network to other providers (End Solution). Then you can select your high speed provider just like you could select your long distance company. That’s it. If you like company X because they’re won’t charge you to listen to CNN and FOX over the internet, you can pick them. This is one area where you can be pro-choice and not have to fight about it. The alternative is less choice at more expense.

Most of America has only once source of high speed internet access at your house. When I was a kid we had only one source for phone service. Slowly that opened up with choices of local companies and even long distance providers. With choices, you can select the provider the best suits your needs for service or price or both. Choice is good for consumers and it weeds own bad service providers. Did Bell Telephone collapse when it was broken up or did it eventually become AT&T? Yes, even the corporations can win. And the government, they can go back to finding other creative ways to involve themselves in our pocketbooks.

My advice, tell the government to to require ISPs to wholesale (share) their networks so they can no longer act as monopolies and let the people decide.

Thank you for your time.

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