The Net Neutrality Debate Heats Up

The FCC is strongly putting its regulatory foot forward pushing for Net Neutrality. For anyone who uses the Internet, this will be an important issue to follow, simply because it has the potential to affect everything from the rate we pay to access the Net, to what applications you may be able to use on your devices. It is obviously much more complicated than that, but the basic idea is that the Internet has become so important to our lives and our commerce, that some feel it needs to be regulated by the government.

Whatever your political persuasion, everyone knows that this will turn into a big messy debate with all sorts of FUD, misinformation, and posturing going on as moneyed interests try to keep the government out of their business, and those looking for a “better way” aiming in the other direction.

Already after FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski made his remarks yesterday, Republicans have started lining up in opposition, and Wired Magazine is promoting an article that says this could mean the end of unlimited data on the Internet.Verizon and AT&T have already come out with statements that they don’t think these new regulations should apply to wireless.

I’m not trying to turn this into a political discussion here. My point in posting about is that it is an issue that will affect anyone who uses the Internet, and one that I think we should all follow. Goodness knows in today’s political climate in the US, cutting through the rhetoric for good information will be tough to do and the best way to be informed is to pay attention.

6 Comments

  1. James

    09/22/2009 at 7:11 am

    Warner – none of them want the government out of their business. They want the government to preserve their monopoly and keep the other guy out of their business.

    Reply

  2. Josh Einstein

    09/22/2009 at 8:15 am

    Warner, you not wanting to start a political discussion is like Ahmedinijad starting a sentence with “now, not to rag on the Jews or anything, but…”

    How about explaining WHY they would oppose additional regulations on the private sector? How about explaining the physical (as in the physics of electromagnetic waves) limitations of wireless bandwidth? Or about how the FCC chairman thinks that wireless companies should be forced to open their subsidized phones to work with competing networks.

    Obviously the freedom to enter into a binding contract is in question too.

    Reply

  3. Warner Crocker

    09/22/2009 at 9:23 am

    Josh, I’m not going to attempt to explain an issue I need to read up more on before I can form a judgment one way or the other, unlike so many others. It is a very complex issue. Since you seem to have the answers to the questions you offer, perhaps you could enlighten us all.

    Reply

  4. Sumocat

    09/22/2009 at 9:28 am

    Regulation is long overdue. The argument that there’s not enough bandwidth is absurd when you consider our commercial broadband speed doesn’t even match wireless speeds in Korea and Japan. We pay more and get less. Maybe if ISPs had to focus on getting us the content we want instead of ways to restrict it, we’d start to see actual innovation, not just bigger pipes. Servers that treat data as both packets and streams is one such innovation.

    As for Wired’s contention that we could see the end of unlimited data, my service is already capped and tiered by level of speed. All our service is capped and tiered. The idea of unlimited data is a marketing ploy, nothing more. It’s a comforting illusion, but we could stand to be disillusioned.

    Reply

  5. Andrew Beery

    09/22/2009 at 9:53 am

    Boy am I in favor of this for wireless… I have an ATT unlimited data plan which I orginally got for my Windows Mobile Phone (HTC Touch HD)… I used SlingPlayer to access my favorite TV and News while traveling or working late… I switched to an iPhone so I could do some development on that platform too and was shocked to learn that even though SlingPlayer as also available on it ATT would not allow it to work on their Data network… even though they allow the WiMo version!!! I pay the same price but get two different levels of service depending on the platform I access their network with… patently not fair. If they have a problem with bandwidth either fix it or charge me less.

    Blessing All

    Reply

  6. SAM

    09/22/2009 at 10:28 am

    I like the small print in “UNLIMITED” plans—usually 5 GB

    I guess “unlimited” doesn’t really mean “unlimited”

    Reply

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