The Daily Neut – Part II

Recent developments on the neut front have the New York Times showing a failure to grasp the concept:

“Net neutrality” is a concept that is still unfamiliar to most Americans, but it keeps the Internet democratic. Cable and telephone companies that provide Internet service are talking about creating a two-tiered Internet, in which Web sites that pay them large fees would get priority over everything else. Opponents of these plans are supporting Net-neutrality legislation, which would require all Web sites to be treated equally. Net neutrality recently suffered a setback in the House, but there is growing hope that the Senate will take up the cause.

And Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee flying off into a socialist Neverland:

It is of the utmost importance that, if I connect to the Internet, and you connect to the Internet, that we can then run any Internet application we want, without discrimination as to who we are or what we are doing. We pay for connection to the Net as though it were a cloud which magically delivers our packets. We may pay for a higher or a lower quality of service. We may pay for a service which has the characteristics of being good for video, or quality audio. But we each pay to connect to the Net, but no one can pay for exclusive access to me.

There’s actually nothing magical about how the Internet delivers packets, it’s a machine that follows a strict set of rules. The Net Neutrality advocates are indeed hostile to levels of service that are good for video or good for audio, and nobody is even thinking about a service that blocks access to anybody; in actual fact the COPE Act that was passed by the Energy and Commerce Committee expressly forbids that. So this is simply another strawman argument from somebody who should know better.

2 thoughts on “The Daily Neut – Part II”

  1. Are you really surprised that the NYT doesn’t “get” it?? Good, thoughtful analysis…I agree on all points.

  2. No, not surprised. It’s pretty rare to see an editorial on a technical subject that explores side-effects.

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