An anti-net-neutrality coalition launched their lobbying site at Hands of the Internet. The best argument on their side: regulation is bad for the internet. THe internet has developed so quickly to what it is today because of the lack of regulation. Any new neutrality regulation will be burdensome and onerous for the pipe owners who will be prevented from making money by such a regulatory scheme.
The advantage of a non-neutral internet (to broadband service providers, that is) is the ability to offer premium services and not simply internet access. Why compete and speed and reliability when you can compete by offering premium services that cost less to implement and offer more potential value to consumers. Let's take a quick trip to the sales pitch in the hypothetically non-neutral internet:
- Want access to online video? You could download video that with your 5 MB/sec Broadband Basic connection, but for only an additional $7.99/month, you can have FastLane access to video that will let you watch video from our premier content partners (including NBC, Microsoft and MTV) at high-resolution.
- -Want to connect to your office securely? For only $12.99/month more you can run a secure VPN connection.
- Want to use VoIP? On our standard connection, all VoIP packets are blocked, but for only $7.99/month, you can make unlimited voice chats through your computer, or for only $11.99/month, you can connect a standard phone and talk for 1000 minutes per month with no long distance charges.
- Want to download software updates? For an additional $4.99/month, you can use the FTP and BitTorrent protocol on your connection.
- Instant messaging is free to other CableCo users!* *Note: premium connection fees ($0.10/message) may apply to IMs sent to users of other ISPs.
ISPs look enviously at the business of the wireless carriers, who can charge premium rates for access to premium services on their wireless networks, like access to audio/video or news and sports scores. And those wireless networks are resulting in an unprecedented sharing of creative media by individuals. Oh wait, that's the free internet. The advanced services offered by wireless carriers at advanced prices are rarely used. The NY Times reports: Video Handsets Mostly Just Used as Phones
Cellphone companies, especially Sprint and Verizon Wireless, have been aggressively promoting mobile video services, which cost an average of $10.70 a month for access to sports, news and weather clips. More than a quarter of cellphones now in use can play such videos. But only 1 percent of wireless subscribers are using their phones to watch them, according to a recent survey by the NPD Group, a market research firm.
Decisis: "Net Neutrality", the cable industy, universal Wi-Fi, and the collective wisdom embodied in stock prices: "Now, maybe a bundle-happy, cash-ascendant cable industry and net neutrality coexist happily together and I'm being silly to even post on this, and really there's just no conceptual connection. . ."
Will new net neutrality regulation allow the information economy to evolve as freely as it has over the last decade or will such regulation merely freeze the internet in 2006?
Did the internet develop so well because it was first delivered to households through the common carrier phone lines? Or did the internet develop slower than it would have otherwise because telephone companies were prevented from innovating because of the common carrier regulations?