Net Neutrality: One Senator takes a stand for the people

Which people, the public or the Telcos/Cablecos, is still not fully known after reading the partial transcript and listening to the speech (mp3 linked at the bottom of the article) that Senator Ted Stevens gave to the Senate not too long ago on the topic of Net Neutrality. The amazing understanding and clarity of speech that you would expect from an elected official that is supposed to be an expert on the subject matter being talked about, were… surprisingly … not present, along with anything that sounded like research on the subject.

With just about no understanding of how the internet currently works, Stevens, the 83 year old Senator from Alaska, reversed his stance on the subject of Network Neutrality multiple times; first stating that the internet is already too slow and shouldn’t be made slower by allowing companies to throttle packets and then moving to state that full books and movie services are available online but those users are making it slower for everyone else and, therefore, should be made to download at slower rates. According to my few months in the debate club back in high school, you’re supposed to pick one side and support that side in the argument, not both sides. It can’t be had both ways; either everyone is equally entitled to their full bandwidth promises made by service providers or they providers are allowed to throttle at will to make certain sites and services get to users at a much slower rate. He’s definitely in the pocket of one of the providers; which one will be flushed out eventually.

My stance on the topic is that the Internet was created to be a place to freely distribute information and that we, the users and data providers, pay monthly rates to gain access to the internet and to keep the content online; that being said, I don’t believe that service providers should be allowed to charge more for the same level of services when it costs them less each year to operate their networks. With most of the fiber and backbone ALREADY in place and able to continue withstanding the speeds and increasing demand for services, it comes across as pure greed and self-interest that the telephone and cable companies are pushing for legislation to allow them to do as they wish with speed limiting on the Internet. Both sets of providers are only looking out for themselves in this matter; they want to roll out their own VOIP and IPTV solutions to burry the opposing providers and are not looking to promote the freedoms of the Internet.

What, then, do we really pay the $50 a month for 200 Mbps DSL service for? Doesn’t that go to building better networks and ensuring that the providers are able to stay afloat in the new market where both cable companies and phone companies want a piece of the pie? Actually, if I understand the history of the Internet correctly, it was actually the US Government that laid the fiber and wires across the Atlantic and Pacific as well as the majority of the US that allowed both the Telcos and Cable companies to stay in business at no or low cost to them. The arguments are just absurd and show the providers for who they really are; greedy bastards.

No two-tiered internet! No limiting access to sites and services! Allow free competition for the services and access that is already paid for! If legislation is allowed to pass, it would become Net Neuter-ality. The only throttling of packets that should be allowed is the purposeful prevention of internet-based worms, viruses, and spyware.

For a more informed point of view on the subject of Net Neutrality, visit the Wikipedia article on the subject.



Comments are closed.