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Net Neutrality Never Had a Chance

Unsurprisingly, big business is winning out over the rest of us. Again. At this point, I have become so jaded with politics and so deeply disappointed in Obama1, I have just thrown up my hands in utter disgust.

The common comment is “You have to participate in the system to change it.” That makes some intuitive sense but again we see the futility of the gesture. Obama campaigned under the premise that he would support net neutrality yet after the election an industry lobbyist is appointed to head the FCC and now we see the laughably predictable results.

Look at how corporations treat us now and tell me what good will come of letting them define what delivering service in a “commercially reasonable manner” will look like. There is no incentive for them to provide anything approaching reasonable for some new educational start-up that wants to make our kids smarter, or Wikipedia entries, or Wolfram Alpha results.

It is hard to clearly envision what the internet will look like for my kids. Sadly, it will probably look much like any other medium that has been controlled by the people with the most money. For instance, the cable television industry who sold us on paying a monthly fee for commercial-free cable television only to later supplant it with a version of television with more ads than its terrestrial counterpart. Or the music industry that insisted we pay $16-24 for a CD for years, all the while raking in record profits and crying poor out the other side of their mouth.

Those with the most money pay for better access and delivery and those without suffer. In order to offset paying for premium delivery speeds, companies pass the extra charges on to those who buy the service. I’m no economist but I don’t think that the result with be anything other than the winners being the companies collecting the tolls and the companies paying the tolls. In the end, we will all just pay more for the same (or worse) service.

Capitalism and democracy at work.

via gruber


  1. Who I voted for. Twice.