Net neutrality

This is a good thing:

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission this week is widely expected to propose regulating Internet service like a public utility, a move certain to unleash another round of intense debate and lobbying about how to ensure so-called net neutrality, or an open Internet.

It is expected that the proposal will reclassify high-speed Internet service as a telecommunications service, instead of an information service, under Title II of the Communications Act, according to industry analysts, lobbyists and former FCC staff members.

Even if you believe that the Internet shouldn’t be regulated like landline telephones, it will make more restrained legislation more likely:

The maneuvering in Washington over the proposal has already started. Congressional Republicans have proposed net neutrality legislation that bans content blocking and fast and slow lanes, but also prevents the FCC from issuing regulations to achieve those goals.

In some sense I do sympathize with the telecoms–why shouldn’t Netflix pay more when:

Netflix continues to dominate North American networks accounting for 34.9% of downstream traffic in peak evening hours.

but that can be done with tiers: you pay more if you want faster service or if you download a lot more than most–the telecoms don’t like doing this though since it makes them the ones who raise rates, they would much rather have Netflix raise their rates.

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