Notable Quote

T.J. Rodgers is probably the smartest CEO in Silicon Valley. So what does he think about net neutrality?

Rodgers: This is where basically the Net is not allowed to discriminate? I think it’s an obscenity. I think people that have paid for the wires and cables should able to charge whatever they want for their product. And for other people to come in and force companies to run their businesses and set their prices is absurd. If some of those companies came into being by virtue of a government monopoly–the old AT&T comes to mind–then fine. But to go and tell companies what they can and cannot charge money for–that’s un-American. It’s against freedom. It’s just bad news.

Like I said, he’s a smart guy.

7 thoughts on “Notable Quote”

  1. I agree that Rodgers speaks the truth. Telling companies what they can and cannot charge money for is unfair. However, there should be some limits to this fairness. Let me ask you, Richard: should I be charged a different price for a gallon of milk because of my skin color? No. That would be discriminatory. Perhaps I should have to pay an extra fee for gas because I drive a Dodge. Does my electric company charge my refrigerator manufacturer because it is “using the wires for free” ? Why should AT&T be able to form an exclusive deal with Yahoo that inconveniences those users who wish to use Google? It’s my choice which car I put gas into. It’s my choice what appliances my electricity powers. Ergo, it should be my choice which websites my bandwidth is allocated to. My bandwidth should never be artificially (intentionally) degraded for any reason!

  2. Yeah, but it’s OK for your bandwidth to be upgraded, isn’t it?

    Think of it as affirmative action for packets from disadvantaged origins. The Internet, you see, isn’t fair. People with big budgets can buy fast connections and drown out others on the shared links, and the little guy never has a chance.

  3. Isn’t the debate really about the end-to-end principal? If I run a service, do I need to negotiate deals with every consumer ISP? It seems to me that once we get to that point, then the internet ceases to be and is replaced with some other net.

  4. I don’t think any ISP is proposing that, or anything like it; I’ve heard some rhetoric about a high-volume surcharge, but that’s not as sweeping as what you suggest.

    As far as the “end-to-end principle” goes, it’s simply one among many ways of using a network, and increasingly less relevant to the Internet.

  5. KJG,

    What if you are talking on your VoIP connection and then all the kids in your neighborhood decide to download the latest teenie-bop videos?

    Should your VoIP connection be degraded?

    Just wondering…

  6. How would this “high volume surcharge” be implemented?

    a) Would ISPs work charges into their peering aggreements, in effect raising the cost of bandwidth across the board. These charges would filter down to the bandwidth costs of popular web sites.

    b) Would an ISP send a bill to a popular web site?

    c) something else.

  7. Most hosting services have bandwidth caps. You contract for a certain amount of bandwidth per day, and once you hit your limit you’re effectively off-line. This blog is on such an account.

    If that happens, I have the choice of paying extra money for a higher level of bandwidth. A more flexible plan would allow me to pay a surcharge for temporary service in excess of my cap, and an even more flexible plan would allow readers to pay for access to the blog in the event that I was over my limit. I don’t imagine many readers would want to do that, but I don’t believe it would be the end of democracy if one did.

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