Chamblee54

FCC Tries Again

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on September 22, 2009

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The FCC has announced that it is making moves to support something called net neutrality. On the surface it looks like a good move. People are saying that this is evidence that elections matter. PG, meanwhile, is confused by it all.

There has been chicken little talk for years about the end of the wide open internet. It is the techie version of the fairness doctrine. Many worried that regulation of the internet would be used to stifle inconvenient political opinions. Given the history of government regulation, this could still happen, even with net neutrality.

One explanation of this is offered by obsidian wings.
“To be grossly general, just imagine roads. The world today would be much different if the Ford Motor Company owned the interstate highways and could block Hondas from using it. In short, you could imagine a “closed” interstate highway system. But that’s not how the interstates work. They’re “open.” Anyone can use them. Any “device” with wheels will work on them.
The Internet could have very easily evolved into a “closed” network, but it didn’t. Instead, the Internet is open because we adopted policies in the 1960s and 70s that required it to be open (namely, we prevented AT&T from strangling it). The FCC today is merely protecting what has always been.”

Highways have limited capacity, and safety regulation is accepted as necessary. Much of the wrangling about the new order is from telecom companies. They are told to accept all transmissions as equal, even those with much larger bandwidth requirements. Is your cell phone call as important as the guy streaming videos into his i phone? And what if the pipes are full of these high density, and largely recreational services, and the low bandwidth services suffer? Please be patient with PG on this, he doesn’t know what he is talking about.

The government seems to have good intentions here. The next step is for the telecom industry to have its well funded voice heard. Like roads, is the broadband connection to hell transmitted on good intentions?

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