Tuesday, April 6, 2010

FCC Gets Shot Down, Net Neutrality Withers On The Vine

FCC Gets Shot Down, Net Neutrality Withers On The Vine:

Today the FCC was handed a serious set back in its attempt to force the so-called "Net Neutrality" farce on everyone:

"The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the FCC lacks the authority to require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all Internet traffic flowing over their networks. That was a big victory for Comcast Corp., the nation's largest cable company, which had challenged the FCC's authority to impose such "Net neutrality" obligations on broadband providers."

From the AP story here.

The idea behind net neutrality is basically this:

Right now a company, in this case Comcast, has the ability to throttle broadband on the lines they own if a particular service, in this case bit torrent, hogs all the bandwidth. This is important because bandwidth is not only limited to "X" amount split between all users on a particular line, it is also the way that the companies who own the lines make their money. So if a bandwidth hog like bit torrent is causing other essential services to slow due to the loss of bandwidth, Comcast can throttle them, (bit torrent) back a little to be able to better manage the bandwidth distribution.

Net Neutrality would force a telecom company to give a service like bit torrent equal access to broadband. The only way the telecom company could do that is to expand all their infrastructure,(at great cost, passed on to guess who?) so as to be able to provide more bandwidth overall.

Those who support Net Neutrality are overwhelmingly, (and not surprisingly) those who would benefit the most by the free ride such a regulation would provide. I.E. bit torrent, Google, etc.

Make no doubt about it, Net Neutrality would not improve your service, or make it cheaper. In fact, it would cause a massive hike in rates as companies would be forced to rapidly expand their infrastructure. Regional telecom companies who could not afford to do so would simply go out of business, thus actually reducing broadband access to millions of Americans.
Consequently, the lack of Net Neutrality does not mean that people living in the bible-belt can't access porn or that people overall will not have the kind of freedom to search for what ever they feel like online.That, I think is the misconception most pro-Net Neutrality folks have.

As made evident in this outstanding study of the effects of Net Neutrality, it is truly a solution in search of a problem.

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