Chairman Wheeler and the New Snake Oil or How to Kill Net Neutrality

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Snake Oil, Smoke and Mirrors or Whatever, It is Just Bullshit by Another Name

I have followed the net neutrality issue closer than the average person. Personally, I think the public might comprehend and care more if we re-labeled the issue to net “equality”.  Nonetheless, what we are talking about is no tiered Internet access.  By that, we, the citizens, should have completely unrestricted access as far as delivery speed.  The Internet should not resemble a toll road where different vehicles pay different tolls.  Especially since the cost for bandwidth is constant regardless of who is using it and the cost of said bandwidth is decreasing with new tech.

You may have heard the expression “blowing smoke up their ass”. Believe it or not, the expression refers to an old medical treatment for drowning victims.  The public was gullible enough to believe it and it became a common medical practice.  Chairman Wheeler must believe that today’s citizens are even more gullible. The FCC is performing a smoke enema on a National Level.

According to an article at The Washington Post, one week after FCC Chairman Wheeler said that the FCC would not allow unfair business practices, they have decided to allow ISPs to charge sites such as NetFlix more so they may have faster Internet.  In other words, a slow lane or higher price for movie lovers.

So, rather than put the toll gate between the consumer and what they demand, they simply placed it between a service provider’s ability to deliver it’s service. It would be like charging the company that provided the freight for turnpike access and not the truck driver. And, somehow, I suspect with mirrors to compliment the smoke, they magically convince us that this would still be a “freeway”.

While Wheeler may say “If a network operator slowed the speed of service below that which the consumer bought, it would be commercially unreasonable and therefore prohibited” and “If the network operator blocked access to lawful content, it would violate our no-blocking rule and therefore be doubly prohibited”, it is nothing more than double talk.

Exactly what is “commercially reasonable”? Nothing more than a snake oil sales pitch! What they are doing is restricting the access from the other end, a back door.  Are we not to notice that this scenario allows the ISPs to decide the speed?  Furthermore, this would not make if “reasonable” to charge both the consumer and Netflix more for faster Internet.  I don’t care how you word it, it ends up restricting the consumer’s speed.

While I am not an advocate of government regulation, historically the need for regulation was to help the citizen and foster development of new technology. Specific examples include the power grid, the postal service and the original phone company. This move is to serve and industry which, basically, buys our representatives.

Please don’t allow this snake oil charade to fool you. Get over to the EFF and educate yourself on how to take action. While you are at it, get over to Save the Internet and see what else you can do.


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