Wednesday, March 30, 2011

There's Nothing Free About the Net--We're Losing an Important Freedom

I am stuck on which way to turn in the net neutrality debate.  I certainly agree that ISP's should be able to charge more money for delivering bits at a faster speed.  Companies do this now.  You pay more, you get a little more.  It's just the world we live in where we have become accustomed to paying more for quality regardless of if it is clothes, cars, electronics, etc.  The analogy used in All Bits are not Created Equal was worth thinking about.

"Imagine if the Post Office (or FedEx, or UPS, or DHL, or any trucking or transport company) were legally prohibited from charging more for delivering some stuff sooner than other stuff."

The part I disagree with concerning this debate is being able to block certain sites for personal gain.  By doing so, allies will build with certain ISP's and sites.  At some point, there will be a conglomerate that leaves no room for competition (i.e. AT&T/T-Mobile).  It is not a fair market without competition.  This goes for browsing the internet as well.  If we can't control what we view and we are directed to sites related to our ISP, we can't enjoy the internet like it was meant to be- free.

On top of that, it certainly is not acceptable for wireless companies to have more leeway with working around the rules of net neutrality than wireline companies.
"While wireless carriers will be able to block various apps and services, they won’t be able to block basic Web sites or any apps that compete with their own voice and video products." -Brian Stelter
What exactly is the cause to block apps?  What "unique technical issues" do wireless companies have that wireline companies don't have?  It seems it would solve all of our problems if we left things up to the users of the internet.  Keep content free to live up to the expression of democracy.  People will still be willing to pay to use the internet, but paying more to get specific sites will not do.

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