Unfortunately, the debate over net neutrality has mainly been filled with nonsensical blather from both sides, rather than serious discussion on the issue. This may be due, in part, to the lack of a good understanding of what net neutrality would actually look like. On its new blog related to public policy, Google makes its case for net neutrality, enumerating what would and wouldn't be allowed under such a regime. But as Tim Lee points out, even within this one blog post, Google's stance is incoherent. For example, the company defends prioritization based on application type (e.g. streaming video) and it acknowledges the right of a broadband provider to offer its own proprietary content (like IPTV). But based on this, there's nothing stopping a broadband provider from giving the lowest priority to streaming video in order to prevent competition to its own service. Also, because proprietary content services are allowed, an operator could just license a third party's content, as a way of getting around limitations on favoritism. Basically, under Google's own scheme, there's really very little to prevent a broadband provider from prioritizing content in any way they want. So perhaps we need to go easier on the various shill groups that obfuscate the issues, since even rational participants can't explain their position very well.
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