Via Declan McCullough’s Politech mailing list, here are a few sane people opposed to Neutering the Net.
An open, free net is an emergent outcome, not an a-priori input to be legislated into existence. We need to capture and accellerate the experiments in how networks are built, financed and sold; and protect those experiments from incumbent wrath until the results are in.
But most critically, don’t fossilize the network in 2006 by adopting network neutrality.
Some more Martin:
So neutrality rules that entrench our “Internet Mk1” as somehow sacred, hallowed and for all time are just totally counter-productive. Better to allow Verizon to screw over their customers and make it worthwhile for someone to bypass them entirely using newer technology. Or just swallow your pride and copy the unbundling rules that work just fine over here. BT can deploy a two-tier walled IMS garden, if they like. Just they have no way to make me buy it unless it creates some compelling value.
You should not be surprised that the loudest advocates of ‘net neutrality are those on the far left, including MyDD, Kos, MoveOn and Craig Newmark (lovely guy but hardened socialist). Their arguments are very much in line with things like McCain-Feingold and the old Fairness Doctrine….
The history of the Internet has told us we should imagine the unimagined. Let’s preserve the absence of inhibition that has gotten us this far. Keep it libertarian. No new laws.
(Put another way: think about what the FCC has done in the name of “decency”. Now expand it to private bits on private networks. That’s “neutrality”.)
I would rather have little Johnnys grandma getting priority for her video checkup with the doctor at the hospital over little Johnny getting his bandwidth to upload the video of the prank he pulled on his buddy.. I would rather make sure that information from life support or other important monitoring equipment, medical or otherwise is finding its way without interruption, and without the end user having to pay for an off the net solution. These are the applications that make the net great. These are the applicatins that offer equal opportunity to those who are disadvantaged.
And check out Hands off the Internet, the Telco lobbying group.
Declan’s own take is quite reasonable:
Whatever you think of the desirability of Net neutrality, keep in mind what the legislation actually says. It would award the FCC the power to regulate what business models will be permitted on the next generation of the Internet.
And this from a guy who’s all for free downloads and that sort of thing.