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"Net Neutrality" Explained

The phrase “net neutrality” (NN) is a complete misdirection.  Under NN, the federal government would regulate the Internet, forcing small internet providers into a position where they can’t compete with larger carriers like AT&T, Suddenlink, Verizon, etc.

Today, the Internet is the best working example the world has ever seen of free speech, free markets, and free expression.  It has been that way since its inception, and since it became mainstream in the mid-1990’s (JNL Consulting was around even back then).  NN would destroy that.

Thousands of tech bloggers have tried to come up with analogies for NN.  One example that is completely false is comparing the internet to FedEx.  Proponents of NN claim that FedEx treats all packages alike, not giving priority to one over another.  The proponents claim that NN would work the same way, forcing Internet providers to “treat all data the same.”   This analogy is easily torn apart.  FedEx prioritizes packages by how much the sender is willing to pay.  Pay enough, and you can have something overnighted across the country.  Pay less, and it gets there later.  Short version, the consumer is in complete control of the service level.

The same is true of Internet service.  Pay enough, and you can get whatever speed you want – gigabit internet in most cities these days.  Pay less, and get less.  It’s a simple matter of market demand.

The best way I’ve found to explain the proposal of net neutrality is to use the example of toll roads.  If you want to drive “for free” (forgetting the federal highways are paid for by taxpayers!), you have that option.  However, if you want to pay a premium, you can get across Dallas, Austin, or any other major city faster (usually) by paying a toll.

So, when your elected representatives ask for your opinion on net neutrality, ask them exactly how this is going to benefit everyone… And watch them squirm 😊