Net Neutrality is the concept of end-to-end delivery without prioritization, throttling, or censorship. Tim Berners-Lee, the originator of the World Wide Web, has come out in favor of the concept. “Yes, regulation to keep the Internet open is regulation. And mostly, the Internet thrives on lack of regulation. But some basic values have to be preserved. For example, the market system depends on the rule that you can’t photocopy money. Democracy depends on freedom of speech. Freedom of connection, with any application, to any party, is the fundamental social basis of the Internet, and, now, the society based on it.”
Berners-Lee, T. (2006, June 21). Net Neutrality: This is serious.
There is tough rhetoric on both sides of the debate. The pro group feels that Net Neutrality is about protecting freedom and democratizing TCP/IP connectivity. The con group feels that it is unnecessary regulation that will open the Net up to further regulatory restrictions. Not surprisingly, both groups have funded research studies that support their positions. One such study (Lasar, 2010) found that the economic impact would result in reduced profitability and employment at major telecoms. The reasoning is traffic prioritization, throttling, et cetera, are service enablers. No throttle, no service, and no income.
Lasar, M. (2010, June 17). Study: net neutrality could lead to ‘devastating’ job losses.
Personally, I am in favor of Net Neutrality. I do not have much trust for ISPs, nor care to have my inbound and outbound connections filtered. Freedom over financials is my vote. “Save my Internet” has a booklet that describes ways to pursuade non-IT people to that point of view. They advise: “Talk about small business owners who risk financial ruin if they cannot reach customers because their Web site is blocked or slowed down.” Another piece of advice: “Seek out the stories of grassroots campaigners who, if censored online by ISPs, would not be able connect with their constituencies, threatening their political or social struggles.”
Cleverly, E. (2010, July 28). Net Neutrality For The Win.
The debate continues.
J Wolfgang Goerlich