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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Net Neutrality - More than meets the eye?

Net Neutrality is not dead. But the issues surrounding it are much more complicated than whether or not something actually reaches the Presidents desk that has verbiage protecting net neutrality. What is most worrisome about this process so far is that if you look very carefully, you’ll see that the debate is about much more than just net neutrality. The two other issues that, if you look carefully, are probably bigger issues in the politicians mind, are the issues of who does the regulating, and who gets the money.

You see, some of the biggest political contributors really do not want to see something like Net Neutrality ever see the light of day. Why? Because they want to be able to break into the lucrative area of offering cable services over their broadband pipes. It’s a little discussed issue of Video Choice. And to do so, they need to make sure they are able to have the ability to segment that traffic, and treat it differently than the traffic generated by you and I jamming the refresh button on geeksaresexy.blogspot.com. While no one seems to be talking about it, the politicians are taking that issue very seriously. While anecdotal, I was called (As were several of my competitors locally) by a senator desperately seeking someone to sign their name to (And give credibility to) a letter to the editor rebutting an article that was pro net neutrality. Why does he care? Because he badly needed to demonstrate to his contributing lobbyists that he was working on their issue. Whether we like it or not, the money wielded by the lobbying groups for the telecoms is very significant.

Secondly, is the issue of who gets to control the regulation that would occur if net neutrality became reality. You can
read a lot more about that in this article here. But because of the lobby money discussed above, this is a huge issue.

Whether you are for or against net neutrality, it’s important to understand the underlying issues that are driving the debate, and let your opinion be known.


  • I totally agree, the real issue is not just about neutrality, it's also about controlling the competition. With the VOD market looking alot like an iTunes world the cable providers are running scared.

    By Blogger Robert Rittmuller, at 1:36 PM  

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