Doctorow on Net Neutrality: Don't let the telcos commit neutricide
The articulate Cory Doctorow speaks truth to power on the topic of net neutrality. Read it all.
| It’s a dumb idea to put the plumbers who laid a pipe in charge of who gets to use it. It’s a way to ensure that incumbents with the deepest pockets will always be able to deliver a better service to the public, simply by degrading the quality of everyone else’s offerings. If you want to ensure that no one ever gets to creatively destroy an industry the way that Amazon, eBay, Google, Yahoo, and others have done, just make paying rent to a phone company a prerequisite for doing business.|
Practically everyone agrees on this. Only the carriers oppose it, and their opposition is so lame it’d be funny if it wasn’t so scary. The core argument from the carriers is that Google and other Internet companies get a ‘free ride’ on their pipes. AT&T and others take the position that if you look up a search result or stream a video from Google using your DSL connection, Google profits, but the carriers don’t get a share of the proceeds...
There are few industries that owe their existence to regulation as much as the carriers. These companies are gigantic corporate welfare bums, having received the invaluable boon of a set of rights-of-way leading into every basement in America. Phone companies have a legal right to force you to provide access to your home for their pipes. Try calculating what it would cost to get into every U.S. home without a regulator clearing your path, and you quickly realize that the carriers should be the last people complaining about the distorting effect of regulation on their business.
The Bells and cable companies owe their existence to governmental largesse, and, while they’re profit-making private firms, they are, in effect, quasigovernmental organizations. A Bell that wants to get rid of regulation is about as practical as a cotton-candy cone that wants to get rid of sugar. Bells are nothing but a thin veneer of arrogance wrapped around a regulatory monopoly.
Uhm, one word. Wow. Go to Save the Internet and take action.
STI: Protecting the Web from Corporate Welfare Bums