On The Net-Neutrality Dust-Up

A couple good columns on this one. Dvorak gets to a point I’ve been wondering about but he expresses it much better. What if some traffic really is more important than other traffic? We prioritize packets and data types on our own routers (VOIP, gaming, TV. etc.) and in corporate environments (VoIP, video conferencing, etc.). So I think we concede that some traffic is simply more important.

Dvorak’s example is perfect. Should a surgeon doing real-time remote surgery be able to pay for prioritized traffic?

What about tolls for expressways, HOV lanes, and even handicapped parking? Are we okay with all of those?

And letting the govt decide these things on a case-by-case basis? That may be the absolute worst solution of all. It’s arbitrary and ripe for political shenanigans.

The Net Neutrality Hysteria – John C. Dvorak: “The idea that all packets are equal will go by the wayside once the FCC takes over. It’s a red herring anyway. All packets have never been equal, nor should they be. Voice and video packets have to be prioritized over text packets for obvious quality-of-service reasons. Does anyone believe that a remote-control surgical operation controlled over the net when someone’s life is at stake should have the same priority as a cat video? Who thinks that way?

Would it be bad if the medical company employing this technology paid extra for near-real-time connectivity? Or should we all cry foul?”

And from the always good Reason …

Net Neutrality: Don’t Let the FCC Control the Internet! – Reason.com: “Under the proposal currently in play, the FCC assumes an increased ability to review ISP offerings on a “case-by-case basis” and kill any plan it doesn’t believe is “commercially reasonable.” Goodbye fast-moving innovation and adjustment to changing technology on the part of companies, hello regulatory morass and long, drawn-out bureaucratic hassles.

Apart from addressing a problem that doesn’t yet exist, if you are going to pin your hopes for free expression and constant innovation on a government agency, the FCC is about the last place to start.

By seeking to ban differential pricing and services among different ISPs, net neutrality backers are trying to maintain the status quo that’s worked for them so well (many of the strongest proponents for net neutrality represent bandwidth-hogging companies and services such as Netflix, YouTube, and Skype that ISPs would likely hit up for extra fees).”