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 very many stupid aspects of the stupid government power grab that is Network Neutrality. A brief reintroduction….
Net Neutrality is the Trojan Horse that gets the government very thoroughly into the business of regulating the Internet. The Internet being the place for nigh all things free speech and free market going forward.
Net Neutrality – is your one-stop-shop for all things government censorship and control of the Web.
Under the phony guise of “neutrality,” “equality” and “fairness” – the government would be able to do to the Internet exactly what, say, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) did to President Barack Obama’s political opponents.
Only in a much more all-encompassing fashion – because the Internet is increasingly everything.
You see what Big Tech Facebook, Twitter and Google do to political people they don’t like? Instantaneous silencing and banishment.
Net Neutrality allows the government – to do exactly what these Big Tech companies do.
To show you just how much the Left wants the government to be able to do all of this – they are setting up some seriously ridiculous impediments to settling the Net Neutrality question in any sort of reasonable manner.
Like insisting on the ban of “paid prioritization” “fast lanes.”
About which Congress will on April 17 hold a hearing.
House Panel to Hold Hearing on Net Neutrality, Internet ‘Fast Lanes’: “The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing later this month on internet fast lanes, a major source of concern for net neutrality supporters and a sticking point in efforts to come up with a bipartisan net neutrality bill….
“In December, the Republican-led Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal the agency’s net neutrality rules, which banned internet service providers from blocking or throttling web traffic. The regulations also prohibited paid prioritization, or charging web services for faster speeds.”
Oh no – “paid prioritization” “fast lanes.” That’s awful. That’s horrendous. They must be banned.
Oh: And the ban the Left wishes the government to impose – applies only to Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
These Big Tech companies have spent the last decade-plus – paying Leftist groups to insist that it be this way.
But the examples of private sector “paid prioritization” “fast lanes” – are nigh endless. Let’s examine just one.
When you send a letter or package – are you limited to one delivery speed? Of course not.
To chose but one private sector provider at random:
UPS offers seven different delivery options: UPS Next Day Air Early, UPS Next Day Air, UPS Next Day Air Saver, UPS 2nd Day Air A.M., UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS 3 Day Select and UPS Ground.
Heck, the government post office offers five different delivery options – right there on its government website.
These are all variations of “paid prioritization” “fast lanes.” And no one is demanding the government ban them – because anyone who would do so would look titanically stupid.
But the Left wants to have the government – whose post office offers five different variations of “paid prioritization” “fast lanes” – ban “paid prioritization” “fast lanes” on the Internet.
But again – only for ISPs. For the Big Tech companies, Internet “paid prioritization” “fast lines” – are just fine.
In fact, there are hundreds of thousands (millions?) of them – and they have for years and years been an intrinsic part of the World Wide Web.
Behold the Content Delivery Network (CDN): “(A) geographically distributed network of proxy servers and their data centers. The goal is to distribute service spatially relative to end-users to provide high availability and high performance….
“CDNs are a layer in the internet ecosystem. Content owners such as media companies and e-commerce vendors pay CDN operators to deliver their content to their end users. In turn, a CDN pays ISPs, carriers, and network operators for hosting its servers in their data centers.”
Did you get all that?
“CDNs are a layer in the ecosystem.” Which means they aren’t separate from the Internet – they are a connate part of it.
And Big Tech uses the heck out of CDN “paid prioritization” “fast lanes”: “Content owners such as media companies and e-commerce vendors pay CDN operators to deliver their content to their end users.”
That’s Big Tech companies like Amazon – who are both content owners (Amazon Prime video) and the largest of e-commerce vendors. And they’re using fast lanes to get to their users…faster. And paying for said prioritization.
Meanwhile, Big Tech companies like Amazon – are trying to prohibit ISPs from doing exactly the same thing.
Which is actually a very stupid thing – for everyone who uses the Internet.
The more “paid prioritization” “fast lanes” – the better. It gets Big Tech bandwidth hogs out of the way – so the rest of us don’t get stuck behind and amongst them.
And yes, Big Tech can afford to pay for more bandwidth – while Little Tech can not.
But here’s the dirty little secret:
Little Tech uses a tiny fraction of the bandwidth Big Tech uses – so they won’t be charged extra for their bandwidth. Because…math. If you buy 1,000 cases of beer – you pay more than you do for a six-pack.
Which delivers us another dirty little secret:
Big Tech wants government-imposed Net Neutrality and a ban on ISP paid prioritization – because Big Tech doesn’t want to pay for all the huge bandwidth they use. So they’ll have government ban the ISPs from charging them for it.
Oh: And when the government bans ISPs from charging Big Tech bandwidth hogs for being bandwidth hogs – guess who pays exponentially more to pick up the slack? That’s right – you and I. We pay oh-so-much-more for Internet service – to augment Big Tech’s profits.
How’s that for cronyism?
Oh: And Big Tech is paying the Left – for prioritization of the issue:
“Net Neutrality activists and Democrats are also trying to make net neutrality a campaign issue, betting the issue will work against Republicans in this fall’s midterm elections.”
There it is.
[Originally Published at RedState]