Net Neutrality Now

I’ve advocated that Net Neutrality is a critical issue for our society to prosper culturally and economically. I don’t understand how any reasonable person would advocate that Internet Service Providers should decide which information packets get priority. To be a carrier and offer digital media or services for sale is an obvious conflict of interest. Luckily, we have the Canadian Net Neutrality website as a focal point on this issue, but the mainstream media are not covering it to the degree that they should (funny, isn’t it?).

Today, Susan Crawford (via Dave Weinberger) had a strong and clear message on Net neutrality to the US Congress:

In an ongoing regulatory factfinding mission (undertaken because the Commission didn’t have the political will or sensitivity to actually act), the FCC is asking whether anyone using a U.S. network operator has been blocked from accessing particular sites. That’s the wrong question, as Consumers Union and its colleague advocates have told the Commission. The FCC should instead be asking why we haven’t mandated competition for highspeed access by requiring that all providers sell unfettered transport services at wholesale rates into a competitive market for retail transport. Even better, Congress should take the reins and demand that the duopolies divest themselves of their transport services so that they aren’t tempted to try to monetize internet access in favor of their own movies and phone services.

Having the major ISP’s (Bell, Telus, Rogers) in control of the priority of Internet traffic for Canadians is the same as allowing the Big 3 automakers to decide which cars have priority on our highways. It just doesn’t make sense, and our politicians should know where we stand on this.à

Update: and then on the national news, I read:

The country’s No. 2 telephone company, Telus Corp., confirmed Thursday it is in merger talks with BCE Inc., the parent company of industry leader Bell Canada.

Yikes! The time for regulation is now. 

2 Responses to “Net Neutrality Now”

  1. Chris

    Another reason for Net Neutrality is that a lot of ISPs are now throttling filesharing traffic, such as BitTorrent. Rogers does this in Canada, and I’m sure others do too.

    What’s interesting is that the latest report shows HTTP traffic overtaking P2P as the major bandwidth hog, mainly due to YouTube. Someone’s going to develop and make mainstream a P2P over HTTP filesharing protocol, and then it’ll be ungovernable.

    Reply

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