Brian McLane

Media and Social Commentary

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December 21st, 2010 · No Comments · Technology

Is the government finally making its move to takeover the Internet? Seems kind of timely given all the uproar over Wikileaks. Is it a sell-out to the telecommunications industry? Or both? While supposedly there are some protections for consumers and businesses against broadband providers picking and choosing what types of Internet traffic they will allow over their networks, you can bet the average guy is once again going to be marginalized.

To understand how dangerous this is to our fundamental freedoms, “Net Neutrality” essentially means that broadband providers (think cable or mobile for instance), can use their (what is called) “last mile” infrastructure to block Internet applications and content (e.g., websites, services, protocols), even blocking out competitors. In the US particularly, but around the world as well.

I have run into a harbinger of this concept when trying to pull up certain music videos for instance and being told that certain content isn’t available in the United States. Huh? Never seen that before.

But the bottom line is that sentence. Again – broadband providers will be able to block Internet applications and content (e.g., websites, services, protocols).

Call it Data Discrimination.

Some have accused the Obama administration of trying to nationalize the web. Republican leaders like John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) condemned the vote and Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the incoming chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, announced he plans to bring all five commissioners before his committee to discuss net neutrality at “the first hearing out of the box” next year.

FCC Commissioner, Robert McDowell, in reference to the eclipse and the winter solstice said “not only is today the winter solstice, the darkest day of the year, but it marks one of the darkest days in recent FCC history.” That’s saying a lot! He added, “to say that today’s rules don’t regulate the Internet is like saying that regulating highway on-ramps, off-ramps, and its pavement doesn’t equate to regulating the highways themselves.”

Bottom line – the Government is starting to regulate the internet. Just reverse whatever it is they’re saying and that’s the truth. What is a practical example of this. Just look at the issues of speed. With “pay for priority” arrangements” sure to become the norm, the “broadband” you’re paying for will increasingly seem like dial up.

I have noticed this with cablevision and no amount of cookies, flash, data-mining, etc., could slow down my computer that much. But here’s a solution. I’ll just buy another computer and spend more money. Kind of like what the American Auto industry came up with. And look what happened to that.

Regulation (like bailouts), is bad. When are these elites going to learn that. But they’re not thinking about the long term. People wont stand for it.

To watch the story as reported on the PBS Newshour click here.

If you think a duck’s a duck and you’ve had it with these kinds of policies – watch this vintage FOGHAT video of SLOW RIDE Live from 1978.

Slow Internet, Slow Politicians, Slow Ride

Slow Internet, Slow Politicians, Slow Ride

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