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Net Neutrality (and why we should care) part 2 of 3
added Mon May 22 2006 at 8:03 PM
In part 1, I explained what the concept of net neutrality is and why many people are turning to the government to enforce the concept as a law. I will later be discussing my own opinions on the matter. Right now, I will explain the negative potential of government enforcement of net neutrality.

The most vocal opponents to the Net Neutralists do not disagree that creating an internet with multiple tiers of content, based on the willingness of content providers to pay, would be a bad thing. Generally (although not always), they speak out against the idea because they are afraid of government regulation of what has been a very unregulated market. Many take an "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" attitude, pointing out that the huge growth of broadband has continued in spite of the dot-com bubble bursting at the beginning of the decade. Some even argue that the network neutrality would actually cause monopolies due to a "commoditizing" effect, where companies cannot differentiate themselves so only the largest survive.

Most anti-regulatory proponents feel that the internet isn't nearly as fragile as the Net Neutralists fear, and that corporate greed couldn't stem the flow of people toward broadband internet. Because they have gotten used to being able to visit whatever they want, any attempt to disable their activities would be met with resistance and eventually be overturned. They point to China as an example. China is actively trying to block people from reaching certain non-approved sites, such as any information about Tiananmen Square. Many non-profit organizations have sprung up world-wide to sneak information in to China in such a way that the government can't see or stop the traffic. Information, they say, wants to be free (as in speech, not as in beer).

There's more to read. Read the extended entry.