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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Net Neutrality

Arguing about Net Neutrality is a bit like arguing over professional football players: in the end, you are really just talking about a bunch of large millionaires playing a game.

On one end you have big corporate content providers who want don't want their particular gimmick to be stuck in traffic's second place. YouTube, by the way, is owned by Google (ranked #102 in the Fortune 500), which is hardly a bastion of consumer-friendly activity.

On the other hand, you have big ISPs who greedily want to be able to charge premium prices to have you watch, for example, a bunch of 13 year old boys swallowing cinnamon. Comcast alone is rated as one of the worst companies on the planet when it comes to customer service.

Throw in inept regulators in the guise of the FCC (which is a poster child for how not to regulate anything) and you have a trifecta of greed and stupidity.

I guess by now you realize that I don't trust any of them, as I don't think anyone is really looking out for the interests of average consumers of Internet services.

Now if pressed, I'd probably fall on the side of favoring some form of Net Neutrality, although I think many folks really do think this is some kind of "David vs. Goliath" struggle; in reality it's more like a struggle between "Goliath" vs. "Goliath's equally large cousin". Consumers? We are just the spectators. None of the principal players have our interests at heart.

Bob Sullivan from MSNBC has an interesting opinion piece on this that can be found HERE. The comments are just as, if not more interesting than that article itself. Some of the comments do miss the point though, as adding bandwidth is tightly intertwined with this whole issue because in our society it's not the government that's responsible for Internet infrastructure, it's the private sector players that are engaging in this dubious debate who ultimately have that charge.

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