One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
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There are Leftist groups that claim the mantle of protecting the “consumer interest.” Asserting they exist to protect consumers from the abusive, evil acts of corporate America. In most instances, this is all (shocker) double speak.
These aren’t “consumer” interest groups – they’re government interest groups. Interested only in growing government. It’s not free market bad actors they don’t like – it’s the free market itself.
Their entire existence is a ruse. Which we occasionally get to fully see – in all its absurd glory.
(S)ome media companies whose mobile content gets a lot of traffic are considering arrangements with wireless carriers that would ensure their users can watch, surf and play as much as they want without being hit with stiff overage charges.
ESPN, the cable sports channel…, has had discussions with at least one major U.S. carrier to subsidize wireless connectivity on behalf of its users…. Under one potential scenario, the company would pay a carrier to guarantee that people viewing ESPN mobile content wouldn’t have that usage counted toward their monthly data caps….
Such a deal would mark a significant development in the wireless business, creating a new model for media and telecom companies to share the costs of bringing bandwidth-guzzling services to consumers.
This is outstanding news for consumers. More content, more Internet use – for no more coin. The “consumer” groups should be thrilled, right? Ummm…not so much.
This type of structure, where content providers who pay get better access to customers, is exactly what net neutrality is designed to prevent.
At its core, net neutrality is all about making sure that the company that connects you to the internet does not get to control what you do on the internet….
But these proposed ESPN deals – and any like them that may follow – do nothing remotely like that. With them, you can continue to do whatever you want on the Web – just as you always have. And in many instances do even more of what you want – for the exact same money.
If Net Neutrality exists to prevent reduced content-access – how is increased content-access a violation of Net Neutrality? How, “consumer” groups, is this bad for consumers?
Of course, it’s not. And this exact sort of deal exists all over the place in the free market. To see the ridiculous folly of the Left’s objections here, one need only look at one example.
Have you ever dialed an 800 number? The company you’re calling picks up the tab for your calling them. And to do that for you they negotiated a deal with “the company that connects you” – the (wireless?) phone company.
Do these Leftist “consumer” groups oppose 800 numbers? Do they claim 800 numbers prevent you from calling other numbers? Do they claim 800 numbers hurt you – the consumer? They would look ridiculous if they did.
So why is the Left so vociferously opposed to the exact same arrangement for the Internet?
You’ll have to ask them. It eludes me.
Absolutely. It would be ridiculous not to.
[First Published at RedState]