Mike at Techdirt asks the question of the day: Why Is There So Little Honesty In The Net Neutrality Debate?
Looking the array of interests assembled under the neutrality banner, it’s not surprising:
A. The end-to-end cargo cult, a group of people who understand virtually nothing about how the Internet is put together, but who nevertheless make their living explaining its implications. David Isenberg, David Weinberger, and friends.
B. Big Content companies who want free rein over facilities bought and paid for with other people’s money. Google, Yahoo, Skype, et. al.
C. Political bloggers desperate to win a significant victory in order to get their consulting rates up: Kos, Armstrong, Stoller, Kelly.
D. Bewildered PACs afraid changes in the network will reduce its effectiveness as the ATM for fringe causes: Christian Coalition, Moveon.org, and their ilk.
The only real potential source of understanding comes from Big Content because the others have no more than a pedestrian understanding of the issues (if that) and Big Content has no incentive to tell the truth.
The Telcos have been sticking much closer to the facts than the forces on the other side.
The bogus “net neutrality” debate comes down to one fundamental question: are we going to allow the Internet to adapt to the needs of the future or are we going to strangle it according to the design of the past?
The Internet is under stress by new delay-sensitive applications such as telephony and streaming video and new protocols such as BitTorrent that suck up all available bandwidth and cause delay for other applications. The old TCP-based congestion model doesn’t work any more, and people expect better QoS for their phone calls than they can reasonably hope to get on a network dominated by BitTorrent traffic. And the business model for the wholesale Internet has never been right.
The net neutrality sycophants with their hippie fixation on the past are the real barrier to technical progress for the Net.
It should be easy for policy-makers to simply dismiss any group that claims “new laws pending in Congress permit your ISP to censor web sites.” That charge is so far from reality it doesn’t warrant a serious response.