More on Net Neutrality

I spoke previously about the idea of Net Neutrality.  It’s been dealt a blow last week by the FCC, the very same government agency we thought would be on our side to protect our interests.  I’ve read articles on the subject from The Wall Street Journal, InfoWorld, and National Public Radio.

My take on it is that the rules are a start, but seem a little loose in interpretation.  For instance, while there is a prohibition against blocking traffic like phone services or streaming video, there is an allowance for ISPs to be able to manage the traffic over their networks so long as they are open about it.  For instance, they could have a policy where they’ll allow streaming video, but if it’s not from their own network, they’ll drop the transfer rate down to 10kbps (ten thousand bits per second).  Compare that to a typical cable internet transfer of between one and five Mbps (million bits per second).  I don’t believe that the FCC proposed regulations will prohibit an ISP from charging to allow its customers greater access to services that compete with the ISP.

I’m not a great proponent of government regulation.  This whole Net Neutrality thing coming from the FCC is a perfect example of why.  I just can’t trust my government to do it right.

Mind you, I don’t have the answers.  I wish the large ISPs were altruistic enough to realize it’s a good thing to allow freedom.  I know I can’t trust Comcast as they’ve been known to cut off subscribers who have used too much bandwidth without even telling them they were getting close or giving them some other option (or even telling them what the maximum usage was).  I’m just thankful that Comcast is not available in my area, but with Charter going through perpetual bankruptcy protection it’s probably only a matter of time before they are sold off to a bigger entity.

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