Save the Internet!

In general, I avoid political discussion like the plague on my work blog, but since Microsoft has already taken a stand on this, I thought I’d throw my hat in.

<Rant Disclaimer=”The following rant is solely my opinion and not that of my employer.”>
I got a phone call last night. I could tell instantly it was a telemarketer. After my attempts to derail the canned spiel failed, I could tell it was a recording.

The automated recording asked a seemingly simple question: would you rather “big internet companies” pay their fair share of the bandwidth they use or would you rather you, simple internet user, have your rates increase?

It’s easy to imagine how my mom and probably your mom would respond to this.

Like so much policy discussion these days, it’s easy to take a horrible, selfish policy direction and paint it rosy and noble.

Yeah, I’m talking about network neutrality.

You have to feel a bit sorry for network providers. They push bits across the wire. Not a very sexy business model. Not much room for innovation. With deregulation, city-wide WiFi, and other technical advances, they are seeing their business model slowly become commoditized.

They had three options:
1) Make the hard technical and business investments necessary to improve service and lower prices
2) Watch their stock prices slowly melt in a world of relentlessly shrinking margins
3) Push to change the fundamental soul of the internet in a way that destroys its most important characteristics

Guess which one they picked?

Yes we can be sorry for network providers, just like we’re sorry for telemarketers. It doesn’t mean we should protect their business model.

Take a look at:
Common Cause
And, most importantly, Ask A Ninja.

It's your internet. It's my internet. It's our internet. Let's protect it.