Dienstag, Dezember 21, 2010

Ironic Is The Least I Can Say...

...to this.

Ye gods.

What is ironic is that the Democrats, the party that claims to represent the workers in the US, the friend of the little guy, the party so dead set against big business, is ... yep, lobbying for changes that big business desperately want.

Net neutrality is nothing less than an attempt by internet providers to rout internet traffic to maximize their profitability. Ignore all other arguments: at the end of the day, that is all that there is to this. This is commercial interests wanting to maximize their profitability, minimize their costs, and try to make monopoly profits.

The only way they can do this is to change the laws, changing the fundamental nature of the internet, allowing them to fiddle with packets and their routing. Don't pay enough? Then you get dropped into the big bucket of "well, your packet will get there someday"; pay enough, and your access is like it is now.

And that is supposed to be a consumer benefit?


What the Democrats also don't realize is that if you allow discrimination based on price, you can also discriminate against content and source. Which opens the internet to significantly more censorship than has been the case. But what do you expect from the party that desperately fought the Civil Rights Act.

A lot of money was invested in what are now called darknets, parts of the internet that are usually not very accessible because the companies that control them have largely turned them off. They are the fiber-optic networks that were installed during the Dot-Net bubble, when companies threw billions at infrastructure.

Now they are kept deliberately off the system in order to create artificial constraints on data flow in order to bring them back on only when the companies involved can charge monopoly prices for access.

The building of these networks is a classic bubble malinvestment, an investment that turned out to be completely useless. Now the companies involved want to turn that around and recover their invested billions. Right now, there is no cash flow, no revenues from these nets, and the investments, if they haven't been completely written off, are like lead weights on the balance sheets, reducing profitability.

Here's an idea: how about simply opening the nets up and start earning a revenue stream from them. The companies that blew billions on these nets need to feel the pain of making poor investment decisions rather than forcing consumers to pay for them (since pricing without discrimination doesn't let them raise prices due to competition: ain't capitalism grand for consumers as well?)

Sigh. Knowing the Democrats, this will probably go through, only to be repealed. But the only victories the Democrats are capable of, it seems, are Pyrrhic victories. Isn't it ironic...

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