Net Neutrality: The Ugly Beast Returns

Lear -- Wed, 12/29/2010 - 09:19

Well, the net neutrality debate is back. And, I suspect, like a lot of other debates today, this one will be confusing. Or at least will be presented in a confusing way.
The issue seems to be: how much non-economic pricing will be forced on various players (cable providers, wireless providers, content providers, content distributors) and then transferred (in the form of price hikes or quality limitations) on consumers who don't necessarily directly participate? In other words, the FCC and the congress and the industry players will try to distort the system for their benefit and it will be made to appear to help "consumers" when in reality it simply benefits some and taxes other consumers.
Example: net neturality is made to sound good because consumers "won't pay" for various services with upcharges. B.S. say I.  Consumers will pay, it just may be in the form of quality degradation or a tax on non-users.
Net neutrality is also painted as a means of supporting innovation. But really, it is a means of supporting certain types of innovation (by holding prices artificially low) while stifling other forms (the forms that are stifed when certain prices are artificial). So, who decides who is supported or who is stifled? Mmmm... now it doesn't sound so benevolent does it?
For more, see Holman Jenkins in the Wall Street Journal last week.

Lear -- Wed, 12/29/2010 - 09:56

Here is another Jenkins piece on how ugly the battle will be (ugly in the sense that it may not yield a good answer for anyone).

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