Thursday, September 6, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Just Say Yes to Net Neutrality

Justice Department Says No To Net Neutrality

The Justice Department announced today that Internet service providers should be permitted to charge customers extra fees to access certain web sites or to load some web sites faster than others.

“The agency told the Federal Communications Commission, which is reviewing high-speed Internet practices, that it is opposed to "Net neutrality," the principle that all Internet sites should be equally accessible to any Web user."

That’s right; the cable and telephone companies want to charge us more money to load some web sites that were previously available to anyone with access to the World Wide Web.

Wait, it gets better.

"The Justice Department said imposing a Net neutrality regulation could hamper development of the Internet and prevent service providers from upgrading or expanding their networks. It could also shift the "entire burden of implementing costly network expansions and improvements onto consumers," the agency said in its filing."
Um… Isn’t charging extra fees to access web pages and content (which the ISP does not even own) the same thing as shifting the "entire burden of implementing costly network expansions and improvements onto consumers”? Keep in mind the added cost would be billed to customers who already pay more for high-speed Internet access than for dial-up, which is reasonable-up until now, anyway.

After the ridiculously inadequate explanation of the economic disadvantages of Net Neutrality for consumers, the Justice Department gives an example of the validity of allowing providers to charge us extra for mouse clicks.

"The agency said providing different levels of service is common, efficient and could satisfy consumers. As an example, it cited that the U.S. Postal Service charges customers different guarantees and speeds for package delivery, ranging from bulk mail to overnight delivery."

WTF? Loading web pages that are currently freely accessible and independently hosted and maintained by individuals and entities is similar to the labor and resources needed to transport packages by ground and air….how? "Could satisfy consumers?" You've got to be kidding me

I usually conclude that powerful government agencies make stupid statements like these because they arrogantly believe the general public are idiots. But lately I am considering the possibility that they aren’t arrogant at all, or thinking much of anything other than their greedy little thoughts because they're the ones who are morons.

My Cable TV and Internet service is provided by Comcast Cable Nazis. Two things already piss me off big time about their service. First, in order to receive network channels such as TBS, TNT, etc, it is necessary to buy the “Standard Cable Package” that includes “Basic and Expanded Cable.” Tough luck if you only wish to subscribe to a couple of HBO channels and nothing else because you must purchase the Standard Package before adding “Premium Cable” services. Not only do you have to buy “packages” or channels you don’t want in order to get others you do want, you have to pay money to view 3-5 minutes of local commercial advertising for every 10-15 minutes of programming on an out of state network channel. If I can pay for HBO with no commercial interruptions, why do I have to pay to watch something on an expanded cable station and still have to endure incessant commercial advertising too? Not to mention paying for 2 golf channels, 5 home shopping channels, and 30-minute infomercials on most of the other “Standard Cable” channels that I don’t want.

The second problem I have with the Cable Nazis is when calling their customer service line (3-4 times a month) due to Internet service interruptions; I spend 15 or more minutes on hold listening to nothing but sales pitches for additional services. Ok, I confess. I rather enjoy pointing out to the unfortunate tech help person that finally takes my call that the last thing a frustrated customer who is waiting for technical help wants to hear is repeated requests to spend more money on something that is not even working at the moment.

Start calling your legislators folks, or this one may sneak right past us. The Cable Nazis will not get so much as a penny from me for something I already do, no way.

Donna Weaver

1 comment:

Eyes said...

Another way for big business to control what readers see! Quite sickening.