Say That Again

by Mike Masnick




Rational Thoughts On Network Neutrality

from the about-time dept

We've been pointing out the ridiculous editorials on network neutrality that get the basic facts wrong and ignore the real issue (the lack of competition), so we might as well point to the well written pieces on the topic as well. Former telco exec Tom Evslin writes out a nice balanced article that highlights the real issues (the lack of competition) while also noting why network neutrality is necessary -- and why trying to legislate network neutrality is difficult to impossible and could backfire as well. He, like us at Techdirt, feels that there's too many lies on both sides of this debate -- and its obscuring the real issues. So what will it take to move the discussion away from the minor issue of network neutrality, and back to the bigger issue of competition?

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  1. identicon
    Lloyd Fassett, 14 Jun 2006 @ 11:41pm

    Competition is the key

    Techdirt does seem to be the only place I can find that is onto this main issue. GYM etc. got significant press for walking around Washington via their PR engines and successfully distracted everybody. MSM doesn't seem to be able to think anymore in it's 'balanced' coverage.

    I too am for a totally open high band width connection, but I'm actually totally more for capitalism and ownership rights. The telcos and cable companies own their networks. They are the rich kids with the ball and they can take it home anytime they want. It's a matter of opinion about what the reaction would be. And a matter of spin what their legal obligations are for the permissions given by the government to build those networks.

    Isn't this the same as the public trying to decree that banks shouldn't charge access fees to their ATM networks about 10 years ago? End of that story was of course - they own their networks and make their own rules. This is the same strategic throttle point as the Neutrality issue.

    The closest alternative drives price and relative strength of a position - not the GYM boys walking around Washington. Why would the rich kids just charge certain companies to not be slowed down? Because most of their consumers could access those sites through dial-up as an alternative. The performance will be just better than that. The long tail of sites doesn't matter.

    I'm hoping that public WiFi becomes the public's 1,000 Mighty Mice to the rescue. Maybe it becomes a little more clear through the San Francisco Fog why Google wanted to get into public WiFi a couple years ago.

    Now, if I was only so smart to see why eBay bet the farm on Skype. Then maybe I'd understand strategy.

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