In anticipation of, and then response to, yesterday’s FCC meeting on net neutrality, I wrote a couple of posts for Daily Wireless that consider 1) money, the root of most actions coming the anti-net neut leaders, and 2) my wonderment at the fact we can turn a concept so simple into a total circus.
A debate full of sound and fury
One of the best movie lines is in All the President’s Men, the Woodward and Bernstein are trying to unravel the Watergate mess: “Follow the money.” This advice is priceless because it’s the answer to so many of pressing questions in politics, business, geez, even personal relationships.
“Follow the money” definitely gets to the bottom of the question of why the incumbent telcos have totally lost their mind over net neutrality. It has become a breathtaking display of whining, bullying, fear mongering and distortion of facts. Before tomorrow’s FCC meeting to present the rules (that’s right, all this wailing and gnashing of teeth from people who haven’t even seen the rules), here’s a basic overview of the debate from a pro-net neutrality perspective.
Let’s follow the money to get to the heart of the massive resistance by AT&T, Verizon, et al.
Rumors of death greatly exaggerated
As I sat watching Mr. G. lay out the details on the net neutrality rules, I had to chuckle. After weeks of the righteous outrage of incumbents’ CEOs, cries in the wilderness to “let my people go,” AT&T execs falling prostrate rending their garments and exhorting employees to rise up against the FCC demon hordes, this is it!? Where are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?
Bemusement gave way to mild despair. I remembered after the FCC vote in favor of adopting the rules, we’re looking at over two months of public comment, plus a couple of more months for comments on the comments. Jiminy Cricket on a crutch! This net neutrality is such a simple concept that’s getting distorted all to hell, and we’ve got six more months of the same.
Let’s take the incumbents out of the picture for a minute. Hard as it is, pretend for a little bit they don’t exist. Ok, now that you can hear yourself think, let’s go over what was said yesterday.
The FCC believes we need Net neutrality rules. These rules would codify six principals that say the couple of hundred million or so U.S. citizens who access the Internet won’t be discriminated against in terms of what they can access (within legal boundaries) and the devices they use to access it. These rules also would require any entity that provides public access to the Internet to be open about how they manage the data passing through their respective domains.
What are your thoughts on net neutrality, specifically, the merits of the issues being presented in the debate?