Net Neutrality After FCC Reclassifies Broadband. Why wouldn’t the FCC support Net Neutrality? They do, but how are they going to be able to enforce and regulate it? This new legislation is a first-round attempt. Unfortunately, almost every expert agrees that some types of traffic may become a “payed for non-inferior” service. Senator Al Franken calls this “the 1st amendment issue of our time“.
Of course the mobile broadband was written in, but the enforcement was written out. . . for now. Preventing the wireless industry from having priority services is tricky. A good example is 911 service. I think we are all in agreement that emergency services complicate the idea of free and open internet access from our phone network. In the home and office, data has historically been distinct from our phone lines. Wireless networks are already nearing saturation and this can cause service disruptions that could prevent emergency calls and services. It seems pretty obvious that we have to watch it here.
The internet cannot be owned by a mere handful of companies and the laws cannot be made by industry. Al Franken also pointed out that “the only thing that [Corporations] have a legal duty to promote is their bottom line . . . so we can’t let corporations write the rules that they’re supposed to follow.” Honestly, many people have declared that the service providers are “shaping by stealth” the current traffic. It is true that AT&T has edge proxies for delivering content faster and more efficiently to broadband customers. Do they use that to leverage their own services?
On the other hand, there are people like Eric S. Raymond who have pointed out that this notion of legislating for net-neutrality is not likely to end well at all. He is convinced that big business will win in court as a result of the fierce advantage they have in their familiarity with courtroom battles and deeper pockets. He points out that we need bandwidth, pure and simple, to use freely and openly as we, the people, choose. He also states that the current political and social advocates of net neutrality are “well-meaning fools blinded by their own statism”. ESR focuses on bandwidth as the unanswered core issue of this debate. Where is it? How do we secure it for the people? I think his focus is interesting, but as a response, many of his commenting readers suggest cooperative Fiber To The Home (FTTH) to prevent last-mile traffic-shaping from ISP’s. I think those readers are looking to manage that bandwidth in a community-based way and that is a good thing, in my opinion.
Community cooperative’s working to provide last-mile service sounds good. Self-governance is more appropriate than legislation for the final trip to our homes.
Cnet published an essay by Jorge Bauermeister who believe that this a positive step in the direction of satisfying both industry and the people. He believes that there is reasonable grounds for this and ensures that we look at our current state of affairs before we judge this legislation harshly. Comcast proved in court that net neutrality is not enforceable as it stands today
So spend some time today, concerning yourself with why net neutrality is important to you and me. How do you think revenue should fit into the delivery and determination of media available to you via the internet? What do you know about limiting content that isn’t delivered over ports 80, 443 and 25? How would the limitations of traffic not web or email related affect you? Do you use irc? What if your ISP lowered the quality of service over the last mile for irc in order to enforce text-only transfer? How would that make you feel?