An Honest Debate On Net Neutrality (Too Bad It's So Rare)
from the finally! dept
After so much dishonesty from both sides on the whole net neutrality debate, a DC think tank decided to put internet/networking pioneers Vint Cerf and David Farber into the same room and let them debate the issue. The debate isn’t that interesting to those who have been vehemently pumping up one of the various propaganda campaigns about net neutrality that are designed more to appeal to emotions rather than the actual situation. That’s because the debate is quite reasonable from both sides — with both sides working to dispel the slogans and misleading statements that have been thrown around, mostly by lobbyists. That is, there’s no talk of the “death of the internet” or “clogged pipes” (or “tubes,” if you want). Instead, it’s a much more reasonable debate that focuses on the lack of competition in the broadband world, countered by a reasonable fear that opening up the internet to regulation from Congress or the FCC is going to lead to further problems down the road. Both speakers are focused on the best way to help grow the internet and increase innovation for users (not companies) — but just disagree on the ways to do so, and how involved the government should be. They both admit there are tradeoffs involved in all of the choices. It’s never been a black and white issue — and it’s nice to hear that being recognized. For folks actually interested in network neutrality, this is a debate worth hearing. Unfortunately, most people will focus on “hurling bumper stickers back and forth at each other” rather than this useful debate. One highlight, hidden in the middle of everything: Vint Cerf’s suggestion that he might create a “Congressional internet comic book” as an effective way to communicate the issues to folks in Congress.