Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Net Neutrality

Yes, remember out dear internet user who died while waiting on the internet to load, because net neutrality died?  I do, may God have mercy on his soul, because the FCC, GOP, tea party, Conservatives, Libertarians, corporations, and five justices of the Supreme Court will not.  Yeah, that list has grown since the last time I ranted about this topic.  So what has changed?  A lot.

What brought this up today?  Obama has asked the FCC to classify internet broadband, high-speed internet as a public utility.  This would stop a great deal of the antics that could happen with the more recent rulings against the FCC.  No throttles on the internet, no internet fast lanes or slow lanes, just the Autobahn, a million miles of high speed internet with the only limiting factor to how fast your connection is, is your computer, website design and the connection you buy. 

So, let us see who has what to say…  Providers claim that the rules could harm the internet.  I am sorry, but the internet has been around for a few decades now, and net neutrality has yet to cause it harm.  If anything, net neutrality has allowed the internet to grow and prosper.  From a time when you paid by the minute, to the time when it was like a cellular phone, to where we are today, a monthly unlimited usage, as long as you are not using a cellular network. 

So, with all this talk, Ted Cruz jumped up and starting his normal nonsense. 

“"Net Neutrality" is Obamacare for the Internet; the Internet should not operate at the speed of government.”

 Well, if we needed proof that politicians are out of touch, this is a pretty good indictment of that.  For his part Cruz was trying to be insulting, and for his misinformed ignorant electorate, it will likely work.  Conservatives and libertarian hacks will be crawling out of the woodwork decrying net neutrality as an evil government regulatory program, without even knowing that it has been around forever. 

But it gets even better, Cruz’s director of communication later stated:

“Net neutrality puts gov't in charge of determining pricing, terms of service, and what products can be delivered. Sound like Obamacare much?”

Way to double down on lies, and misinformation.  First, net neutrality does not decide price.  If you have purchased broadband or high-speed internet recently you will notice that you have a few options in terms of speed already.  Net neutrality does nothing with that, what it does is dictates that your provider, say AOL, cannot restrict your access to Yahoo or Gmail, nor can they force you to pay extra for access to those sites.  Net Neutrality does not say anything about terms of service, only that your internet provider cannot charge you to access a competitor’s site, like a company with a contract with Netflix for streaming video cannot block or slow access to Youtube.  Oh, and net neutrality does not affect which products a company can deliver, you will still have three choices for internet connection (slowest high-speed, medium high-speed, fast high-speed).

So, how does that sound like Obamacare?  You have a few options for health care… and you will continue to have the few options for internet speed.  See there is the connection, but it only has a connection because Cruz wants it to be.  He wants to tag net neutrality as some unwieldy, big government regulation that will cause more harm than good.  Sadly, we have given the Conservatives and libertarians enough to smack down anything set to protect our internet. 

So, join me in a few hours when we crown the new Prick of the Week.