What is network neutrality and why are the libertarians assisting the Marxists in controlling the Internet?
It seems, at least to me, that powerful forces are trying to re-define the phrase "net neutrality" for their own political and profit agendas.
The libertarian spin based on a bad analogy …
Obama’s Transformation and Destruction of America : FCC Will Tame the Internet – Or Kill It – By Vince D. in IL – (Via Right Bites)
OK, here we go again--- I can’t keep up with the Marxists in Washington, but I have to try.
As an example, let’s say you were in the warehousing business, and you charged $10 a day to store one pallet of merchandise/equipment etc.
And, you give a deal to let someone who guarantees to always store 100 pallets a 10% discount, because it is worth it to you to be guaranteed that you will always have that space occupied and therefore collect storage “rent” for that part of the warehouse.
So their costs come down to $9 a pallet per day.
Now, as a warehouse, you also offer container storage, containers are huge (the ones you see on cargo ships) and they take up the room of probably 20 or 30 pallets. So, since they take up much more room, you charge them much more money. That all makes sense, right?
So you go about growing your business, using your profits to buy up some other warehouse’s, you convert older manufacturing facilities into warehouse’s to store even more equipment and merchandise, you create more and more jobs for more and more people at every location you expand out to.
Life is good, and all your hard work pays off. You employee hundreds of people who have families and those family’s rely on your business to stay healthy and grow so they can also benefit and the family member that works there can feel secure in his/her job and things are just peachy.
Then out of nowhere, the government decides, by fiat, that you can no longer charge those companies that have single pallet storage a full $10 because you are giving the companies that store 100 pallets the storage of pallets for $9. That would undercut your business some wouldn’t it? It would give you as a business person less ability to offer incentives to store more at your site, so you may lose business.
Now the real kicker, the same government regulation that kicked in preventing you from giving a volume discount also forces you to treat all of your customers the same, and doing so they also force you to charge the same to both, even though they both clearly have completely different storage needs. So what do you do? You will probably have to meet the price in the middle, which makes the company with the small pallet subsidize the one with the huge containers. Almost like making the little guy subsidize the big guy, no?
So, what right would the government have to do that, and where do they get the authority to do such a thing? How could you possibly continue to grow, or even stay in business for that matter?
Well, guess what, the FCC is doing exactly that, only with the space (Bandwidth) for traffic on the Internet.
This is a bad analogy because it conflates the Internet access model with a finite physical access storage space occupied over time.
A more appropriate analogy would be a toll-bridge between the user and their destination. You are paying for the permission to transit the toll-bridge and you are not charged by their weight of the cargo or the value of the goods being shipped.
And to continue the analogy, consider someone owns and operates an older bridge which requires major repairs from time-to-time and which produces service disruptions while another bridge operator opens a newer bridge with a better location and a higher weight limit. Pricing being equal, shippers gravitate to the newer toll-bridge.
Now the operator of the older toll-bridge who sees his revenue declining, decides to slip the politicians a little campaign money and these politicians now mandate that shippers now can charge for the very same service based on the weight of the truck and its contents. And, adding insult to injury, charging increasing toll charges to support the personnel who must manage the preparation of government tariff requests. And of no little importance is that portion of the toll-fee that is provided to the government to use as they see fit.
What is wrong with this scenario?
You are already paying for access to the Internet– via the connection that delivers the data from one point to another. And that connection is, for the most part, priced by the speed at which the data is transferred by Internet Service Providers, be they established wireline telephone companies, wireless carriers, cable companies or over-air broadcast content providers.
Now, to increase the realizable revenue without increasing bandwidth (the speed of the connection), the people who sell this access want to also charge the user based on the type and amount of data sent over these connections.
And they are trying to convince the government, who they lobby with prodigious amounts of campaign funds and media access, to join their fight by pointing our additional tax possibilities and messaging control opportunities.
What those making “network neutrality” arguments like the one above do not explain is that pricing is determined by free-market competition and that it would take government intervention in the free marketplace to implement this pricing scheme. It’s an all-or-nothing proposition. The Internet Service Providers that would adopt this proposed pricing scheme would automatically lose their customer base to other carriers who kept the original pricing scheme.
The way I see it …
First, let us all agree that all data, (plain-text messages, formatted e-mails, documents, pictures, audio recordings, video, etc.) is broken up in to same-size packets which are routed over the Internet and reassembled at the destination. Other than the control information (address, security features, integrity checks, etc.) and the contents of the payload, these packets are indistinguishable from one another.
Second, the original concept of net neutrality suggests that all packets of information be treated equally; that they are not surcharged by their content and the timing of their delivery is not artificially delayed depending on how much the user is paying for their Internet access.
Third, the user is responsible for the costs of your hardware, software and any storage you might need
Fourth, if you want faster computers, better software or a bigger pipe to send and receive data faster, that is your business. You can order and pay for any bandwidth necessary; from that offered over relatively slow dial-up modems to specialized hardware directly connected to an Internet Service Provider's backbone.
An fifth, allowing the telecommunications carriers to engage in deep-packet mining to ascertain the content portion of the packets might lead to more government spying, more intrusive advertising from the carriers and their customers … and further destroy your privacy and First Amendment rights.
Why the necessity of government intervention?
So why, if the users of the Internet have already invested in their own hardware and software to be able to connect to the Internet and these users make arrangements with their respective ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to purchase bandwidth suitable to their needs, does the government need to involve themselves in Internet affairs? As we stated before, “it would take government intervention in the free marketplace to implement this pricing scheme” to overcome the competitive forces that would create market disruptions should any Internet Service Provider attempt this on their own.
The tariff mechanism: more corruption and less consumer protection …
Tariffed services: a definition …
Tariffed services are those telecommunications services that are purchased at prices regulated by the state Public Utility Commission (PUC) and/or the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The prices, terms and conditions of these service offerings are set forth in tariffs that are on file at the regulatory commission. Normally, basic telephone service and other services provided by a telecommunications provider are considered as tariffed. <Source>
The problem is that tariffed operations result in the creation of a large government bureaucracy which is politically motivated and which is susceptible to outside lobbying efforts. Leading to increasing complexity of slicing-and-dicing commodity (having no fundamental or distinguishing characteristics) services, the corruption of individuals involved in the process and the reduction of true consumer input and protections. Vendors sell exactly the same services and compete on the chaos and confusion caused by the myriad of tariffed bundles and packages.
The political pressures …
(1) The content providers (basically the Hollywood distribution crowd) are demanding that the government use its enforcement powers to curb theft of their content, even when such content is clearly in the public domain. They did this by criminalizing the breaking of the wrapper (encryption) that contains their content. They want the government to do their job by mandating all Internet carriers engage in deep-packet mining to determine the contents of the packet and either reject the transmission or surcharge it (depending on content) and remit the money directly to the content vendors.
(2) The telephone companies have a tremendous amount of money invested in their aging telephone systems. They are demanding that the Internet which has decimated their business model (with VoIP -- Voice over Internet Protocol) be subject to the tariff structure that has provided them with regional monopolies and allowed them to bamboozle consumers with barely comprehensible pricing schemes based on bundled services. The government loves this idea because your local communications carrier is a source of tax revenue which is very rarely challenged by consumers.
(3) Those who act as gatekeepers to large networks, would like to surcharge commercial message traffic into their networks. This would be equivalent of someone like an AOL charging extra to insure that an e-mail message is delivered promptly, without delay, to their subscribers.
(4) There is no doubt in my mind that the government wants to impose censorship on political speech which challenges their political parties, candidates, fund-raising efforts and forms a backbone that allows anyone to reach a large audience while exerting their First Amendment rights. By imposing fees based on message traffic, the costs of putting our messages that go viral might become prohibitive.
The pubic cannot be responsible for the fact that commercial enterprises, infrastructure institutions and the government have glommed on to the Internet, many to avoid the large costs imposed by the tariffed communications carriers, to provide their services.
Likewise, the public should not be bamboozled into assisting the old, politically connected, communications carriers in paying for their failed business model (which I call competing on chaos) made obsolete by Internet technology.
Bottom line ...
The Internet was created from a government-subsidized experiment and has taken off due to the contributions, many at no charge, of its constituent users. The Internet is self-regulating with the interoperability standards being maintained by the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) and the domain addressing scheme maintained by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). And much of the software used in Internet operations was developed and implemented as “open source” – created by talented, dedicated contributors who contribute their efforts for the common goal of keeping the Internet free and accessible to all. No government involvement in these functions is required.
It's all about conveying commercial and political advantage to those special interests who have the money to bend the system to their will based on "bought and paid for" politicians. In other words “business as usual in the political world.”
We need to elect “honest brokers” who represent the interests of “we the people” instead of themselves and their special interests.
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell “Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar “Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar
“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS