print_r($recent);

Array
(
 [545]=>Collections
 [544]=>Good morning
 [543]=>You know the fee...
 [542]=>Date more, care ...
 [541]=>Moving On
)

 

RAMCal(date('my'));

July 2019
sun mon tue wed thu fri sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31      
             
archives(RAM);


print_r($newStuff);

Array
(
 [RAndoMness]=> 28Sep09
 [JPsDocs] => 22Feb09
 [JPics] => 10Dec11
 [frontpage]
 [FeedBack]
)

recent music
Boycott SONY

print_r($background);
Array
(
 [today]=>
 [past]=>backgrounds
)


 

  getentry(443); getentry(445);
printentry(444);

   
Net Neutrality (and why we should care) part 3 of 3
added Mon May 29 2006 at 7:01 PM
4 comments
This is my own rambling opinion on the controversy introduced in parts 1 and 2. I've tried to organize my thought on this and may have come short of what I originally had hoped for. If the language isn't very convincing, I apologize. If any of the arguments are unsound, please let me know. If you disagree with any of this, state your reasons and I'll respond with an open mind.

In my ideal world, the government's only involvement in our lives would be to regulate negative externalities and encourage positive ones. Of course, we don't live in an ideal world so I must also call upon the government to maintain order and keep people from doing stupid or malicious things that hurt others. As conservative as I am in my moral beliefs, I don't think that the government should be responsible for preventing stupid or "sinful" actions that truly don't affect others. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to define what level of impact on a third party warrants government attention. I could go on in my philosophy of what the government should or should not be responsible for, but that's not the point that I'm trying to make right now, and I'm not really entirely decided myself (in other words, please don't hold this against me in a week, month, or year when I decide that I want the government to establish a new law -- I am, after all, a hypocrite).

For sake of simplicity, I'll just say that in the best possible case, the fewer rules and regulations that the government can make (while still maintaining a necessary level of rule and order), the better. IIf I don't agree with the actions of some company, then as long as they are not lying to the consumer or stealing, I will voice my opinions against them by voting with my pocketbook and encouraging others to do the same. You'll notice to the left that I still wear a "Boycott Sony" badge- that's not (just) because I've been slow in updating things lately. I'm still avoiding Sony products and encouraging others to do the same. In an ideal world, I do *not* want to see the government get involved in regulating the internet.

Of course, this isn't an ideal world and because much of the broadband internet market is a monopoly, some government interaction may be required to ensure that it remains free and open to entrepreneurship and new technological advances. I think a lot of that interaction could probably happen within the context of current laws, though. If the telecom companies have been stealing from their customers and lying to the government as the alarmists claim, then they should be investigated and prosecuted. In many areas, there are not options if you wish to purchase broadband internet. If a broadband ISP monopolizes a region, or even a neighborhood, then they should be monitored under current anti-trust laws.

Ignoring, for a moment, even the possibility of government interaction, I would argue that it is still not in the best interest of the telecom companies to create a tiered system in which they degrade the quantity and/or quality of service coming from sources that do not pay for preferred status. Basically, I see the situation as a prisoner's dilemma. In short (for those that don't want to read the wikipedia article), all parties would benefit the most if they all cooperated. However, any one party would be rewarded (at the cost of the other party) if they, alone, did not cooperate. In a single game, the optimal strategy of both parties is to not cooperate because no matter what the other person does, non-cooperation reaps a bigger reward. You know what? just read the darn article- it's much easier to understand if you just read it (at least the intro- that should only take a couple minutes).

In the case of the telecom companies, each company gains the most if they are the only one charging for a two-tiered internet. All users will be led to the select market that their ISP wants them to participate in. That select market will also be able to reach customers from other ISPs at no additional charge. However, if every ISP starts charging for this special privilege, no company and no individual (except, perhaps, the telecoms and their owners) will have any advantage. Now, I know that the telecom companies really only care about their own advantage, but I'm not sure that they would even win in the end. If users do not have the wide selection of choices between competing brands and technologies, will they be as likely to sign up for the broadband internet that is offered?

The biggest lie being told by the telecom companies right now (followed close behind by We'll have fiber-optics to the curb of 86 million homes by 2006) is that companies like Google are getting a "free ride" on the broadband supplied by the telecoms. The truth is that Google pays for their high uplink to the internet, I pay for my high downlink from the internet, and everybody is paying. I would not pay for expensive broadband internet (I don't right now because it's included in rent, but I chose a place with an internet connection and I've paid up to $50-60 a month to get cable internet in the past) if there weren't any services offering internet radio, TV shows, video, and VoIP. Google et al. wouldn't pay for their high bandwidth if they didn't have millions of users wanting access. We are already paying for all the costs of maintaining a connection between us and the providers. If the telecom companies are not getting enough compensation, perhaps they need to re-evaluate their price points. More than likely, they need to re-evaluate their greed.

The CTO of Bell South has often been quoted as saying "If I go to the airport, I can buy a coach standby ticket or a first-class ticket. In the shipping business, I can get two-day air or six-day ground... Iíve made a choice as to which experience I want." I understand that sometimes quality of service has to be bought according to supply and demand, which is why I have not used 56k in over five years. If a company is going to be degrading my connection because they don't think they're getting enough money, then why am I giving them any money at all? I've already made a choice as to which experience I want.

The bottom line is: I've already paid for my broadband internet connection. The provider has paid for their broadband (plus) internet connection. Why should we have to pay again to have the content I want to have and the provider wants to give me?
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