Andy Kessler, that tricky devil, has an essay on net neutrality in the Weekly Standard where he paints both sides as the bastards they are:
IN THE LONG RUN, technology doesn’t sleep. You can’t keep competitive King Kong in chains. But why wait a decade while lobbyists run interference? If Congress does nothing, we will probably end up paying more for a fast network optimized for Internet phone calls and video and shopping. But this may not be the only possible outcome. Maybe the incumbent network providers–the Verizons, Comcasts, AT&Ts–can be made to compete; threatening to seize their stagnating networks via eminent domain is just one creative idea to get them to do this. A truly competitive, non-neutral network could work, but only if we know its real economic value. If telcos or cable charge too much, someone should be in a position to steal the customer. Maybe then we’d see useful services and a better Internet. Sounds like capitalism.
What new things? It’s not just more bandwidth and better Internet video–how about no more phone numbers, just a name and the service finds you? How about subscribing to a channel and being able to watch it when and where you want, on your TV, iPod, or laptop? How about a baby monitor you can view through your cell phone? Something worth paying for. And that’s just the easy stuff.
We don’t even know what new things are possible. Bandwidth is like putty in the hands of entrepreneurs–new regulations are cement. We don’t want a town square or a dilapidated mall–we want a vibrant metropolis. Net neutrality is already the boring old status quo. But don’t give in to the cable/telco status quo either. Far better to have competition, as long as it’s real, than let Congress shape the coming communications chaos and creativity.
He has some interesting alternatives to the bankrupt regulations coming from the content side.
H/t: Red Bank TV.