Doug Stewart on 6 Dec 2010 12:20:17 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] Net Neutrality

On Mon, Dec 6, 2010 at 2:42 PM, Art Alexion <> wrote:

> Nice sentiment, but does it work?

While individuals can be motivated by a host of things (greed, fear,
altruism, idealism, basic survival instincts, etc.), corporations, by
law, are motivated by one of two things: money and guns.

They have a duty to their shareholders to maximize profits (or risk
shareholder lawsuits). They have a duty to the government to obey laws
and regulations (ultimately at the point of a gun, if need be).

As responsible consumers and citizens, we can directly impact the
money equation by taking our dollars elsewhere and by convincing
friends, family, and foes to do likewise. We can exercise personal
choice and discretion. We can only INdirectly influence the guns
equation by voting for representatives who MIGHT vote to confirm heads
of agencies who MAY enact policies to our liking which PROBABLY will
be enforced uniformly and fairly UNLESS a corporation happens to have
really good lawyers and/or lobbyists, in which case, such policies
will likely be delayed and watered down to such a degree that any
semblance of "choice" we once had is indistinguishable from NOT having
a choice.

> To serve a similar purpose, we have had Antitrust laws for nearly 100 years.
> The purpose is to not allow a company to use its market share to suppress
> competition.

And we, as consumers, HAVE choice currently. We may not have a LOT of
choice, we may not have the best choices or the best slate of choices,
but we ultimately have choice. We can have (depending on residence, of
course) DSL, Cable, Satellite, WiMax, Dial-up, FiOS, T1 service, ISDN
-- the choices are there. They may cost more than we want, they may be
slower than we'd like, or we may have to pay companies whose very
existences are anathema to us. This in no way negates the fact of our
choice. If ISP selection is ultimately such a huge, life-altering
circumstance, then we can even choose to move into the operating area
of an ISP we DO like.

> Net Neutrality addresses the same concerns by attempting to equalize access to
> the Internet in order to prevent anti-competitive pressure from the big
> players.

No, it doesn't. It offers the federal bureaucracy yet another toe-hold
into our lives in a way that will be impossible to win back, once

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