View from the street

There was an opinion piece on network neutrality published yesterday on The Street.

The piece argued (and was entitled) ‘Net Neutrality is Akin to Socialism’. Long time followers of this blog will recall that I spoke along similar lines more than 4 years ago in a piece called “Soviet styled monopoly“.

There was an opinion piece in The Australian last week saying that its National Broadband Network (NBN) is welfare for tech-heads.

I just wonder if the common folks on the street understand the issue orĀ find any realistic likelihood inĀ the possibilities of the doomsday scenarios being painted by some.

Some will pipe in and say that a problem already arose – and they will bring up the TELUS blocking incident.

Indeed, that incident proves that no new laws are required – just like new laws won’t keep my neighbours from rolling through stop signs.

Are people gettingĀ engaged with the thought of government getting more actively involved in the internet?Ā Are we more willing to wait until a problem actually arises and deal with the issue at that time? Is it time for Canadian net neutrality advocates to find a new cause?

2 thoughts on “View from the street”

  1. The article in question is both offensive and overly simplistic on the face of it. It makes much of its argument with the use of unjustified comparisons like “NN is like rent control”. This is not a particularly logical or compelling argument.

    The article claims that NN aims to render all broadband access equal, with no competitive differentiation possible. This is a laughable claim on the face of it, and renders much of the rest of the article moot.

    Also, this gem sticks out:
    “We just can’t have a situation — at least not in a free non-North Korea-style society — in which government bureaucrats dictate the manner in which private companies provide services.”
    I guess we need to remove all regulatory control over the financial, medical, engineering, and business sectors. After all, we don’t want the government getting in the way of anyone who wants to open their own plastic surgery clinic, do we?

    The only valid point was on the last page, and it is really overshadowed by the rest of the argument. NN regulations may certainly cause a disincentive to invest, and this must be taken into account by those studying the issue. However, they may also serve as an incentive to invest, and this side of the argument is ignored by the anti-NN crowd as much as the disincentive side is ignored by those rooting for NN. Is the net effect on investment positive or negative?

  2. Jordan Richardson

    Oooh, more comparisons to the “horrors of communism.” What a crock of paranoid garbage. The only tangible revelation here is the author’s total ignorance of politics.

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