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If we were discussing water and the suggestion was that a person can pay to severely restrict their neighbor’s access to the public water supply in order to improve their own supply, you’d hear a unanimous uproar. Even though internet access unimportant compared to life-sustaining water, the same rules of fair play exist. The ISP and the water company perform an identical, neutral function. For a fee, they each can provide you with better access, but can’t accept your payment to hobble someone else. If they can’t meet the total demand then they need to impose a unilateral restriction until they can increase the supply. The “government intrusion” argument is invalid. The point should be to prevent ISPs from offering services that promote unfair business practices among their clients. One can hope that any legislation written will correctly address the issue. God knows some of these people are dumb as dirt and need all the help we can give them. The “YouTube wastes bandwidth” argument is false proof by example and it allows ISPs the ability to take access fees and invest too little of it in infrastructure upgrades. Among developed nations, the US is middle of the pack in terms of average bandwidth, but at the top in terms of cost.
Toggle Commented Feb 15, 2011 on The Importance of Net Neutrality at Coding Horror is now following The Typepad Team
Feb 15, 2011