Monday, December 27, 2010

Net Neutrality

     The basic idea behind net neutrality is that Internet Service Providers should not be able to interfere with the ability of their customers to access sites that the provider doesn't like or is paid to interfere with. Apparently the Republicans in Congress and McCain from my own state in particular don't like that idea. I will use an analogy to express the idea. Let's say that you need to have to have groceries delivered to your home because you can't go shopping for yourself. Further, let's suppose that your primary options for this service are MegaCorp (a multi-billion dollar company) and Sal's Groceries (a small company.) For whatever reason (price, personalized service, whatever it turns out to be) you prefer to use the service of Sal's Groceries. MegaCorp, of course, would rather you use their services. Under a policy similar to what the Republicans seem to favor, MegaCorp could pay your phone provider to interfere with your calls to Sal's Groceries. They could add static on the line or have you wait for an hour before even letting the phone ring at Sal's. Or... they might block access to Sal's number outright so that Sal's Groceries doesn't get any incoming calls. Now, for the people that prefer MegaCorp anyway, it's not a big deal. But for those who prefer other options, this is a bad deal.


BibleBob said...

Net Neutrality is the sound good, feel good wording the government is using to hide the real intent of this policy. I think this policy would mean censorship for the internet. They would pick winners and losers. Leave us alone. Let us choose our own content. We already have laws that limit immoral content, such as laws against libel. Also we have laws that protect intellectual property rights. I you produce a song and someone steals it on the internet, you have legal recourse.

Pvblivs said...


     The government may, indeed, want to censor the internet. But Net Neutrality is not the mechanism. Anti-Neutrality picks winners and losers. Net Neutrality says all data packets are equal.
     Net Neutrality doesn't address intellectual property rights at all. It just says that, if you want to connect to a web site run by a competitor of your ISP's parent company or largest contributor, the connection works just as well as it would have had you connected to one of your ISP's "preferred" sites.