“The network neutrality debate, which is expected to surface again this fall, is a faux issue that if mandated by Congress is bound to become a mess. Count me in the camp that Congress do nada about net neutrality,” Larry Dignan writes for eWeek.
“‘Net neutrality’ is a term few can agree on. For Google, Yahoo and eBay, mandating net neutrality means that telecommunications giants will have to treat all Internet traffic equally. For net neutrality’s staunchest supporters, the concept has become a quasi censorship issue (as if Verizon would tell its customers they couldn’t use Google). For those telecom giants like AT&T and Verizon, net neutrality means they couldn’t charge for enhanced services. For Internet users, profiled in eWEEK this week, the end of net neutrality would be downright scary because costs could go up—or not. Perhaps startups would be shut out—or not. No one knows what will happen, since the debate is really a fracas between Net and telecom behemoths battling over their interests and trying to prod Congress to fix a problem that doesn’t exist yet. In other words, the histrionic levels in this debate are high,” Dignan writes.
Dignan’s reasons why Congress shouldn’t get involved:
1. Congress will screw it up.
2. Fast lanes exist today.
3. All traffic isn’t created equal.
4. Telecom giants are already doomed.
5. Laws exist to thwart net neutrality concerns today.
Explanantions of the above five points in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: We don’t presume to know the best way to get there, but we support the concept of “Net Neutrality” especially as it pertains to preventing the idea of ISP’s blocking or otherwise impeding sites that don’t pay the ISP to ensure equal access. That said, we usually prefer the government to be hands-off wherever possible, Laissez-faire, except in cases where the free market obviously cannot adequately self-regulate (antitrust, for example). Regulations are static and the marketplace is fluid, so such regulation can often have unintended, unforeseen results down the road. We sincerely hope that there are enough forces in place and/or that the balances adjust in such a manner as to keep the ‘Net as neutral as it is today.
U.S. Senate committee rejects net neutrality proposal – June 29, 2006
House rejects H.R. 5252 Net neutrality amendment – June 09, 2006