March 10, 2015
March 6, 2015
March 3, 2015
The Net Neutrality vote is over and to some people the results suggest an end of America as we know it. To the net neutrality haters an un-elected body just voted on an impenetrable secret protocol whose true purpose is to enslave our minds with the Obamanet. Or, according to Mark Cuban, it’s little more than a vendetta against the cable companies because, I don’t know, a Jim Carey movie made us hate them or something.
On the other hand, the regulation = freedom crowd seems to think that this 300 pages of unseen but inspirational prose has finally secured the unicorn future we’re due. We’ll graze on an equal access commons of high-rez candy corn planted by anyone with a network connection, and flitted to us at light speed without regard to its maker’s race, creed, or ability to pay. But to me, it’s mostly disappointment with how policy gets made and some agita about when and how the inevitable unintended consequences will reveal themselves. Even now it’s really hard to know what we’re cheering for, or angry about, and whether the policy we haven’t seen but still manage to love or hate will come even close to achieving its lofty goals.
I count myself as part of the “we’re” on the happy side because I’ve been generally for doing something to improve net neutrality in the face of increasingly obvious monopoly power at the telecom layer of the Internet. Prices are high, speeds are low, and the network innovation the haters are afraid of choking off isn’t happening anyway. Unless you count what Google is doing. But they’re doing it as a defense, and they aren’t doing it in enough places to matter.