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.
Latest posts by Seton Motley (see all)
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We’ll let college professor and avowed Marxist (please pardon the redundancy) Robert McChesney identify Net Neutrality’s objective:
“(T)he ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.”
How very Hugo Chavez of them.
If you want to use Net Neutrality to end the private sector Web – leaving us all stuck with Government as our sole Internet Service Provider (ISP) – dramatically expanding its definition and reach is a highly useful way to go.
There are two Internet terms we need to rightly define – since the Left is in the word-warping business: “The Last Mile” and “Peering.”
“The Last Mile” refers to your house or business’s connection to the bigger Web – the last stretch of residential road to your place, well off of the main Information Superhighway.
“Peering” is the myriad data-sharing agreements between the myriad different companies on the Superhighway’s multitudinous miles – the World Wide Web’s “backbone.”
If two companies transport roughly equal amounts of data for each other – their Peering deal calls for no charge for either party. If it starts getting lopsided – the heavier data company pays for the extra freight.
Pretty simple – a fairly basic economic principle. It costs more to ship five thousand pounds than it does five.
Peering happens – on the fly, all the time. And there have been Peering deals on the Web for as long as there has been a Web.
Of late some Peering arrangements have become decidedly unequal – mostly because of video. Video consumes gi-normous amounts of broadband. The more an online-video-delivery company like Netflix grows – the more unequal their Peering arrangements get.
So ISPs are cutting new Peering deals with big data drivers like Netflix to offset the cost of this dramatic inequality. If they’re shipping five thousand pounds instead of five – they of course should pay more.
Except Netflix is balking. They want to have their dramatically increased freight weight paid for by everyone – except them.
So they are disingenuously claiming that these oh-so-common Peering deals – violate Net Neutrality.
And of course the Left has joined the chorus.
The deal should also be a wake-up call to regulators who are…grappling with what to do about Net Neutrality.
Except very recently, the Left insisted Net Neutrality had nothing to do with backbone Peering deals like these – that it was only about the Last Mile. They in fact accused others of the obfuscation in which they are now engaged.
“AT&T here seems unable to tell the difference between the last mile and the backbone.
“The FCC’s general counsel made clear that the proposal applies only to service that is offered directly to the public, and the last time we checked, the public was not offered backbone Internet connections.”
So the Left has now created a hay-yuge new, uber-expansive definition of Net Neutrality. From covering just the Last Mile – to encompassing the entire World Wide Web.
Which would give the government hay-yuge new, uber-expansive power over the Internet.
Which is exactly what the Left wants.
[Originally published at RedState]