Net Neutrality sounds like a wonderful concept. Let me describe exactly what it is.
You want to know how to make cheesecake. So you go to google and type “How to make cheesecake.” You are in Albuquerque, and the Google server that has the search results is in San Fransisco. How long will it take for your search query to get to San Fransisco and return back to Albuquerque? Well this ends up being a very complex question. It depends on distance, what kind of transmission medium exists,who else is using the internet, and much more. The one that is of interest to Net Neutrality specifically is, who else is using the internet.
Say I am a repeater node in the network between San Fransisco and Albuquerque. I am owned by a private company. It is a very busy day on the internet and I am bogged down in traffic. I am receiving more information packets than I can send out. Under the principle of Net Neutrality, I should send out the packets that arrived earliest, first. What if I was to send the information packets of people who paid more first?
So the threat is that my search query for delectable cheesecake will be stalled at a node for a long period of time while someone who paid more is streaming youtube videos at 1080 resolution is getting all of the node’s traffic. The risk here is that someone who pays more will have a voracious appetite for bits and bytes and the poor guy looking for cheesecake gets stalled. It also allows companies to make more money off of the same number of resources. The private company doesn’t have to upgrade its equipment. Some customer are paying more for better utilization of that equipment at the expense of other customers.
If it really got ugly the node could be programmed to block content. So perhaps if my ISP doesn’t like cheesecake it could block all packets with the word cheesecake.
That’s the gist of Net Neutrality. Should the government step in to stop it? Leave your comment below.
As for me I believe that the concept of Net Neutrality is good, but the government has no place to enforce it. The people will enforce it. If your internet is bad, you will switch to a different provider that gives you the service you want. If internet providers are charging unfair prices, a new company will form that will give you the access to a price that is fair. Especially with Google getting into the game there is no threat of a monopolistic internet service provider market.
The government has no place policing the internet. I am a web entrepreneur and the last thing I want is for the government to tell me how to run my website. I also know that the second the government gets into web regulation it will attempt to tax it. Imagine a world where for every web page you load, you donate a penny to fight the next war…