John Carroll is not a moron

He’s pretty clear on why “net neutrality” as imagined by leftwing blogs and pandering politicians is big, steaming load of crap:

That’s a bit of an exaggeration. Broadband providers, most notably AT&T, aren’t suggesting that they will “control what we access over the Internet.” Rather, they are saying that some content may be given “fast track” access into the home, access to which is contingent on a fee paid either by the provider of content or the consumer.

To consider why this might be useful, imagine 5-10 years down the road when the average size of the datapipe into the home is in the 25-50 megabit range (placing us still behind the South Koreans, but oh well). VoIP service might start to get enhanced by video that is not just the simple 320 by 240 image we are used to in the IM world, but in the Standard Definition, or even the High Definition range.

Given the time criticality of such data, not to mention the fact that such usage will vastly outweigh, from a network load standpoint, the simple text and image traffic that constitutes a large percentage of the current Internet, a fast track might not be just useful, but fair to boot. We charge ten ton trucks more for access to a toll road than standard-sized automobiles because of the extra wear and tear they cause on these roads. Why shouldn’t we make “bandwidth hogs” pay more?

Net neutrality = shifting communications costs from content retailers to consumers. Brilliant.