Net Neutrality Passes, But Is It Necessary?

Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Net Neutrality Passes, But Is It Necessary?

fcc-logo.jpgThe FCC voted 3-2 in favor of deploying net neutrality rules. I agree with net neutrality in principle, but as always, the devil is always in the details.

I suspect like anything the government does, there will not be an equal application of net neutrality. For instance, hundreds of companies already got waivers from Obamacare.

If the FCC is the determiner of who breaks the rules, don’t forget FCC chair people are political appointees that change. Even this decision was a 3 (Democrat) to 2 (Republican) split, indicating a clear political split.

If an ISP wants to get away with bending the rules a little all they have to do is fund an election campaign for some high-powered politician(s) in either party to get a “favor”. Guess I’m a bit jaded when it comes to government regulation. Who enforces this policy? The 5 political appointees? Yeah, that will work out well. Under a Democrat Administration, Democrat-friendly ISPs will be favored and vice-versa under a Republican Administration. These people aren't judges. Heck, even judges aren't 100% impartial and have human failings.

I’ve also yet to encounter a situation where any of my Internet apps were throttled or blocked. Have you?

Comcast is the only one that got in trouble a couple years ago for blocking VoIP, but was fined by the FCC and stopped doing it. I’m really not sure I really see the need for net neutrality. It’s a regulation without a problem. Sure, in the future, with video on demand coming on strong, the cable ISPs could start throttling Netflix streaming or something. But they haven’t yet. So why pass laws in anticipation of a future problem that may or may not happen?

Not to mention if my ISP Charter blocks content, I can switch to AT&T. So competition helps keep the ISPs honest because you can jump ship to a provider that doesn't block. Though, to be fair in some areas you only have one broadband choice, so if they did start blocking, you'd be stuck with them. But the customer uproar would cause the ISP to rethink ticking off their customers.

So again, I like the concept of "net neutrality", but is it really necessary?


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