Net Neutrality: Reading a newspaper, in the back of a taxi, on the way to Blockbuster
I’m glad the FCC ditched the Orwellian inspired “net neutrality” regulations last Thursday.
Under the government controlled so-called “net neutrality,” the internet would be treated like your utility. Think how much you like your cable company.
Beta or VHS? Beta was better. The marketplace selected VHS. If you applied the Net Neutrality formula to this famous of all tech throw downs, all Blockbuster stores would have had to carry both tapes by GOVERNMENT edict, because … EQUALITY, of course. By the way, whatever happened to Blockbuster?
At one time Netscape and Alta Vista were my browsers of choice. Google came along and became a category killer. How did that happen? The marketplace. Google gave people what they needed and wanted after hoovering-up everyone’s content. (Gee, now there’s something the government might want to look into. If only we had IP and copyright law … )
If you allow government to regulate the “channels” of the internet, those channels become the play-things of the politicians. No thanks, that happens enough.
Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin speaks for all Democrats on the issue of dumping net neutrality when she said that the move “allows internet service providers to turn the internet into an uneven playing field, with fast lanes for some slow lanes for others. That’s not right.”
You know, like before 2015.
For decades, government selected your livery service. Along came Uber and Lyft, and the government was confronted with a choice: do we continue to dictate how people get a ride and look like the buggy whip salesmen or tick off our big donors at the taxi companies? Quick whip-around: Who do you ‘call’ first, the taxi company or the app on your smart phone?
Politicians said net neutrality would create a more egalitarian society. The pro-net neutrality people believe government can divvy up the internet to become more equal to users. Americans believe in equality. But innovation is the new egalitarianism. Quickly, tech gets cheaper, faster, better. For everyone. Just ask Gordon Moore. Or Siri.
If you’re among those who believe that the libertine, peach-fuzzed, hoodie wearing tech nerds need societal guard rails to keep them in their lane, I wholly agree. But for those who believe we need a new phalanx of government regulators to do it like they oversee your electricity rates, I give you Napster.
Napster allowed music users to share and download music for free. Current government constraints, by way of contract and IP law – the rule of law in other words – stopped the free streaming of somebody else’s work product and IP. Now what do we have? Streaming music and audiobooks through LEGAL streaming services through – who would have guessed – a company called Apple and a little entity called Amazon. Such things didn’t exist when ‘Al Gore created the internet.’
But with the sterile sounding and shape-shifting definition of “neutrality,” the Obama Administration layered in a bunch of regulations that introduced an entirely new way of treating the internet. The new laws treated your internet as a utility they could control.
Those demonstrators and protesters and doxxers out there last Thursday didn’t put that on their manufactured signs. Because, well, they don’t want you to know that. Now there’s an inconvenient truth.
Everyone’s “cutting the cord” now. But with the Obama regulatory scheme, there would be less choice. What good is cutting a cord if there are fewer choices of where to ‘plug’ in?
If you’re an internet innovator working in a closed market, you’re going to ‘innovate’ where the government tells you to. Like PacMan, everywhere that guy turns would another government-created regulatory barrier until only one slow path revealed itself.
That’s what Obama wanted the internet to become when this law was passed 2 years ago. What’s so scary about things the way they were just TWO YEARS AGO?
I liked it when companies battled it out for my business. With the Orwellian “neutrality,” government would have picked winners and losers. No thanks.
The Wall Street Journal reported this week that 72% of the comments to the FCC on net neutrality were faked. Government regulators didn’t even know that until the WSJ pointed it out. These are the people net neutrality fans want to govern the internet?
If the government regulations introduced by Obama 2015 had been introduced at the dawn of the internet, we’d behold the ‘equality’ of mediocrity, borne of dream-killing regulation. And we’d do it while reading a newspaper, in the back of a taxi, on the way to a Blockbuster.
The only thing I want right now from government is more bandwidth … and for them to stay out of the way.
I know these ethics-free tech guys are pirates, but if given the choice between more government and less freedom, I’ll take my chances with more freedom.