Why Net Neutrality Is Bad

Voluminous pixels are spilt in defense of Net Neutrality, the premise that ISP’s shouldn’t be allowed to throttle, toll-house, or block access to certain sites because the ISP finds it financially beneficial to do so (e.g. Verizon creates its own videosharing site and blocks YouTube).

Little is said on the ISP’s part, so in the interest of fairness, let us present several links explaining why Net Neutrality is the worst thing since moldy bread. — BEN POPKEN

Mike McCury: It’s important to upgrade the “creaky” internet.
Scott Cleland: Net Neutrality = Socialism
Hands Off The Internet: Grassroots anti-net neutrality group, except that it’s funded by telcos.
Don’t Regulate! Faux-amateur animation explains how Net Neutrality is a plot to replace network admins with fat cat bureaucrats.
Debunking Net Neutrality Myths: Telco-sponsored blog debunking the “myth” of Net Neutrality. Net Neutrality is a unicorn.
• National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s 30-second political style ad against Net Neutrality. While you’re there, visit the sidebar items under the heading, “Cable: A Great American Success Story.”

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  1. Xkeeper says:

    I’m having problems detecting if this post is sarcasm or actually serious.

    Mostly becaues, you know, the large ‘funded by telcos’ over almost all links.

  2. aka Cat says:

    Is it bad that I want to shoot these people?

  3. mecredis says:

    I hope this is sarcastic guys, because Scott Cleland’s site seems to fly in the face of Consumerist’s mission of being honest with consumers.

    For example, he tries to debunk “the myth” of the net being neutral with this question:

    Are all websites treated equally today?
    No. It is common industry practice for search engines to give preferential treatment in search results to websites or “sponsored links” that pay them the most money for top placement. That’s competition.

    This is downright misleading. Websites are treated unequally on other websites, not within the fabric of internet protocol traffic. Cleland seems to be intentionally conflating the idea of “websites” with that of the “net” in attempt to establish a precedent for an unequal net. This is not the case.

    As it stands now, the routers that switch the packets to get me the front page of Encarta.com will try just as hard to get me the packets from Wikipedia.org. If net neutrality were not preserved, then Encarta could literally pay-off all of the people maintaining the routers between me and Wikipedia in order to ensure Encarta’s packets beat those of Wikipedia. Quality-of-Service on the Internet would then become a highest-bidder game, certainly one that
    not everyone (read: startups, scrappy blogs, and non-profits) could afford.

    Abdicating net-neutrality for the sake of “progress” is a perfect way to hand over the future of the Internet to the telecoms and entertainment industry.

    I’m not sure why anyone here, much less anyone on the Internet would trust those industries given their track records — records that have been so well exposed and scrutinized by Consumerist.

  4. LTS! says:

    I really wish a more descriptive term were allocated for this purpose. “net neutrality” is really open for interpretation and lacks a certain punch when you tell people what it means.

    Perhaps its me, but wouldn’t limiting my bandwidth to one service in order to promote their own be just a tad.. oh.. monopolistic and essentially violate their PSC mandates?

    I suppose it’s not because I haven’t really heard that argument before.

  5. SexCpotatoes says:

    ZOMG, those links totally changed my mind, PLEASE RAPE ME HARD, CABLE AND TELLERFONE COMPANIES!!!

  6. I can now totally see how the poor little giant teleco companies are getting screwed by net neutrality! The poor executives! They could have private jets by now but NOOOOO, we want internet communism, so they have to suffer through first class tickets on a regular plane. This kind of suffering is so outrageous.

  7. zentec says:

    Network neutrality and common carrier status go hand-in-hand. Therefore, if the telcos and cable companies want to give up common carrier status, let them have at it. I welcome the opportunity to see those who forego common carrier status for profit get sued for the content they are carrying. I don’t think they’ve thought this through very well.

    I’ve been of the opinion that the government does not want network neutrality for a number of reasons, the biggest being that corporations are loathe to track its customers unless it has a bonafide reason to do so. And protections against litigation are a good one. So while the government would take a lot of heat requiring ISPs to track its users, if the telcos and cablecos did so themselves, surreptitiously, then that’s okay.

  8. Mary Marsala with Fries says:

    Actually, in my experience these guys are getting FAR more press than the people in the back screaming “ANTI-COMPETITIVE BEHAVIOR WILL NOT HELP THE CONSUMER!”. Maybe you could toss those guys a link or two too.

  9. Aside from Cleland, is there anyone else with a technical background who is an opponent of network neutrality? I can’t seem to find many. At least Cleland tries to make intelligent sounding arguments.

    Everyone else appears to be bobbleheads who don’t understand the concept. I can’t think of one technical person I know, regardless of political division, who is against network neutrality– It’s just kind of common sense I guess. That’s why it benefits the telcos to paint the subject as right wing vs left wing because they know that it would be easier to galvanize people who wouldn’t know wtf they were talking about.

  10. synergy says:

    I seriously don’t want the entire internets to become like aol.com. I don’t like penting up my internet experience.

  11. RegularGonzalez says:

    Have you seen these commercials against net neutrality? They’re hilarious. I think you linked to them, I didn’t check, but most of them show a “silicon valley fat cat” wallowing in money while “the average consumer is getting screwed.” I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more blatant piece of propaganda than these ads.

  12. CaptainRoin says:

    I could see a few startups actually benefiting from this. They could advertise that they have access to THE WHOLE INTERNETS, they connect you to all the tubes not just the ones that they get paid for. Screw Verizon if they don’t want you to see You Tube, I’d switch to another carrier.

  13. ikes says:

    exactly, captainroin. if this happens i will just switch from my current cable internet provider to another cable…uh..another other cable company..hmmm..i mean… oh right. there IS no other one.

  14. mechanismatic says:

    The telcoms’ collective sob story about how it’s expensive to upgrade the physical intertubes might elicit more empathy if they hadn’t been succored on tax breaks and subsidies from their test tube inceptions.

    Their main argument seems to be that it’s expensive to upgrade and Google/Microsoft want the consumer to pay for it – which they claim net neutrality will do. But we all know that if the telcoms do anything, it’s with the money they’re getting from their customers. So the consumer pays for it either way, if their argument is true.

  15. Chairman-Meow says:

    Telcos: “All your internet are belong to us”

  16. LTS! says:

    Anyone want to see the end result is Net Neutrality is not mandated?

    Witness VerizonWireless removing the mp3 playing capabilities from their “mp3″ phones so they can push Vcast on you.

    Of course there are ways around it but imagine my surprise when I first received my phone which as a feature “Plays mp3s” and the ability to play mp3s was no longer there.

    That’s how it works out… end of story.

  17. Tonguetied says:

    I have to confess my eyes glaze over every time I start to hear the arguments over net neutrality because the telcos are doing a ‘masterful’? job of portraying themselves as on the side of the consumers. I swear I feel shades of 1984 with ‘good is bad, bad is good’ ringing in my ears whenever they start jabbering…

  18. Qoo says:

    Mmmmmmmkay. The telcos are claiming they haven’t been able to depreciate their long-obsolete copper plant. (Yeah. Right. And we’re still paying USF taxes, but at least we see it on the bill for what it is now.) IMHO, they’re crying in their beer because people are abandoning them for VoIP and cellphones. The argument against net neutrality means more $$$ in their coffers.

    The cable companies are claiming the telcos are whoopin’ their collective a** because most of them can’t offer mobile phones and unified billing (voice, video, data, and cell) like some of the telcos (ATT, Verizon). And you don’t think your cable company is overcharging you?

    Satellite is no longer telco-return, but it has its advantages and disadvantages: it doesn’t work too well in bad weather, modems are expensive, directionality can be an issue if you live in an apartment- or townhouse-farm. That’s all I can think of off the top of my head, I haven’t researched it much.

    Judge Harry Greene broke up Ma Bell lo those many years ago, and what do we have now? Yep, we’re down to AT&T, Verizon and Qwest…the monopoly is almost reunited.

    So, you really think this motley bunch of rapists and robbers are doing a good deed for consumers by arguing against net neutrality? Hie thyself unto eff.org, my friends.

  19. JohnEarnhardt says:

    Please add http://blogs.cisco.com/gov to the anti-net neutrality links. We support connecting any device to Internet, but don’t believe in adding more regulation to ‘net. Forebearance of regulators is what has helped make the Internet great, we shouldn’t start asking for regulation from the government!!