Review on Net Neutrality – a problem that does not exist?

So you’ve probably heard of Net Neutrality and had no idea what the heck was it all about. Want to know why it’s a fringe subject concerning some big Internet problem? It’s because it’s not really a problem at all.

Ensuring data passes through the Inter-webs “fairly” is one of those ideas that sounds really good, but as Michael Moynihan at points out, if Al Gore is in favor of the idea…


You can learn more about Net Neutrality here, with a hat tips to Michelle Malkin and Ed Morrissey at Hot Air who has information on the DC Court of Appeals ruling earlier today crunching the FCC’s plan. Gateway Pundit and Big Government also writing.

I agree with Moynihan. Right now I have broadband Internet service provided by a well known cable provider who happens to provide on-demand movies I can access via my remote control … which frequently gets buried in between the cushions of the couch. But that’s another topic.

I was also a past subscriber to a company called Netflix, who originally sent me DVDs in the mail but has now expanded their services to provide movies for download over – get this – the broadband service I have with my cable provider!

You would think my cable provider would have an interest in slowing down the speed in which Netflix delivers movies to their customers to give the impression the cable provider’s service is better. One may even think the broadband provider could block the service all together.

In reality, cable providers – even in an unregulated environment – are not doing anything like this at all. There has been instances where “owners of the broadband pipe” – if you will – made some decisions to limit traffic coming directly from Web services that are considered “on the edge” or extremely high bandwidth hogs, but in no way does this seem to be a problem looking for a solution in my opinion.

Let’s say a developer creates a Web site or service that – within days – takes over almost 50 percent of the bandwidth available on the Internet. Could this happen? I’m not sure, but I’m pretty confident I would not want the bureaucrats at the FCC scheduling meetings over the next two weeks to figure out what to do to ensure everything is “fair.”

I’d prefer the experts who currently manage the flow of data make the decisions to ensure traffic kept moving. What do you think? Maybe with the expanding broadband pipe this issue will be less and less of an issue?

5 replies
  1. cherwin
    cherwin says:

    I agree. I don't want the governments sticky fingers in anything that it's already in let alone anything new.

  2. Erik Blazynski
    Erik Blazynski says:

    This has to be about the most ignorant position that I have ever seen you take.  The reason that it is currently not an issue is because the FCC made them stop. The FCC issues a cease and desist order requiring the ISPs to stop throttling traffic. Comcast filed papers with the FCC informing them that they installed software to throttle traffic. So to say that this will not happen is 100% wrong.

    Second point… There is no competition for broadband, how can you allow the market to solve the problem. I have exactly ONE viable choice for broadband and this is the case for the majority or Americans. You can not solve a market problem without competition.

    To say that this is not happening is 100% incorrect. ISPs have been throttling bit torrent traffic for years. They just won an appeal  This is an absolutely obvious place where we needs laws to prohibit predatory business practices.

    I think you need to think about this and not just tow the Maklin, hot air, gateway line.

  3. Steve McGough
    Steve McGough says:

    This is my position. I'm not just passing on the line of others I happen to agree with.  It's not an ignorant one either.

    I've got multiple options for broadband here, but granted they are not all equal. There is another option in the local neighborhood, but it's not quite here yet. 3g is here, 4g is coming. Options exist and the free market seems to be bringing more options to the table.

    The FCC case involved the throttling of traffic almost specifically from bit-torrent sites correct? That was what the case was about right? Then why are proponents of NN not using the ability to "connect to bit-torrent sites and download gigabytes of data really fast without any interference" as their poster example for demanding NN? They seem to be using other more diabolical examples of what a broadband company could do – similar to my own in the post – that have not been done by broadband companies that I know of.

    Instead of throttling, maybe "pay depending on use" is the way to go? Or maybe monthly caps are in order?  At the time this happened, broadband companies offered unlimited plans to their customers, but a new technology hit the scene (bit-torrent) and that technology sucked up tons of bandwidth. What should they have done?

    I think broadband companies had a choice to make. Either put caps on everyone across the board, or target – if you will – the specific bit-torrent distribution networks who were hogging up traffic in bursts. They did not cut them off, they just slowed down the traffic from those servers to keep the service level reasonable for everyone else on the network (80 percent or more? I really don't know) who were not connected to bit-torrent servers.

    As I mentioned in the post, I'm not sure this is as big of a deal due to the expanding pipe, but new technologies are sure to come about that require tons of bandwidth in the future, and I don't think the federal government has any of the skills or know-how to deal with it, rather, they would make the situation worse.

    Let's also remember what kind of traffic is distributed through most of the bit-torrent servers out there. I'm not saying all of the traffic is copyrighted materials, but as I understand, that is where I would go to get such content.

  4. Erik Blazynski
    Erik Blazynski says:

    I literally LOLed when I read your response…  You suggest that traffic throttling would not happen, which is clearly not true when the ISPs have already installed software to do it, and then you suggest "market" solutions that DO NOT EXIST!!  This logic is so flawed I just don't see how you can believe this, that is why I suggest that you are towing the malkin line.  The vast majority of americans do NOT have a choice for real broadband providers. Suggesting 3g as solutions is laughable. 4g has been promised for 10+ years and may offer competition in time, but that time is not now and will not be for a long time.

    Pay per use is a possible solution that the market apparently will not tolerate. And ISPs have created monthly caps, at least comcast has.

    You ask what I want them to do? The real solution is for the ISPs to invest in infrastructure and using existing fiber that has been laid and is just sitting there.

    The ISPs have stated that they intend to throttle google and skype traffic, which will directly effect your blog Steve.  In fact they would like to charge google for the traffic that flows over their network. They can and will throttle more that just bit torrent traffic and if you think that they will not throttle traffic to protect their cable and telephone products then I think you have your head in the sand. The netflix example is perfect. They can easily make an argument that this traffic is overloading their networks, (as they did with bit torrent traffic)  and prohibitively throttle it. Why would this be any different than bit torrent.

    The legality of the content is of no consequence.


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