The Art Of “Kicking The Can”—Uncertainty Rules When It Comes To Net Neutrality

This would make Vetinari so very proud. If this were Ankh-Morpork.

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. In its rule the FCC has successfully put off almost all of the hard Net Neutrality questions that have been buzzing around since 2000 or so. It is a remarkable feat to write a rule that actually creates more uncertainty than no rule, but by golly, the agency has done it.

If you’re the type that prizes certainty and clarity (i.e., most engineers, business people and investors), then manufacturing confusion may sound like insanity. But welcome to law school: good lawyers know that uncertainty has a power all of its own. So to really understand the Net Neutrality rule is not to bother understanding the rule itself, but rather the effects the uncertainty will create over the next 5 years or so.

The difference between wireless and wireline doesn’t necessarily make technical sense, but it is more about which Internet is a happier home for various business models. Discriminatory platforms favor old-school commercial content, which suggest that the Net Neutrality rule will probably foster a continued migration of commercial services to wireless. Meanwhile, the Internet that arrives on your computer will remain a happier home for social, advertising-based, amateur, and non-profit projects, like Wikipedia or, frankly, Facebook. Whether that was the intent of the rule is, of course, impossible to say. But seen through the mists of uncertainty and vagueness, the message is nonetheless clear: so much for “One Web.”



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Steve Wozniak to the FCC: Keep the Internet Free

This only happens in America, or does it?

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The early Internet was so accidental, it also was free and open in this sense. The Internet has become as important as anything man has ever created. But those freedoms are being chipped away. Please, I beg you, open your senses to the will of the people to keep the Internet as free as possible. Local ISP’s should provide connection to the Internet but then it should be treated as though you own those wires and can choose what to do with them when and how you want to, as long as you don’t destruct them. I don’t want to feel that whichever content supplier had the best government connections or paid the most money determined what I can watch and for how much. This is the monopolistic approach and not representative of a truly free market in the case of today’s Internet.



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