Portland gets it

There are probably more QoS engineers per capita in Portland than any other place in the world. The local paper there gets the regulation issue:

While neutrality advocates can cite a few cases in which network providers have shut down access to sites of which they disapproved, the telecom companies correctly note that they don’t have a history of playing favorites with Web sites or users. They say they understand the Net’s culture of openness and recognize it would be bad business to violate it.

They point out that it’s costly to build a high-speed network. They ask why customers willing to pay a premium for high speeds and broad lanes — “throughput,” as the geeks say — shouldn’t be allowed to do so. On this point, the telecoms are right — as long as nobody else’s ability to use the network is diminished.

Congress is under pressure from both sides of the debate, but it should borrow the first principle of the medical profession: First, do no harm. Bad law, in this case, could be much worse than no law. And it’s not entirely clear yet what a good law would look like.

Against the embarrassingly wrong editorial in the Mercury News, the Oregonian is downright brilliant.