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Monday, June 12, 2006

Weekend Reading List

As mentioned many times, we don't normally post on the weekends during the off-season. But, as we've also mentioned, it's coming down to crunch time in Congress on the very-important issue of net neutrality and we came across two great articles on the subject MZone readers should check out.

The first comes from Kyle King over at DawgSports. Kyle explains in very reasoned detail why this subject is so important and, more imporantly, why it's not a left or right issue but a corporate interests vs. Freedom of Speech issue.

The second piece was sent to us by MZone reader FP. It's the testimony of Stanford Law Professor Lawrence Lessig before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation during their hearing on "network neutrality" last February.

Again, we understand this stuff isn't as funny as an MZone Caption Contest, but it's 10x more important.


Anonymous said...

The House passed the damn act. Word is it should be even easier to pass through the Senate. Not good.

allaha said...

It is unclear to me whether the Senate is likely to pass the House version of the bill; obviously, I hope the Senate rejects it.

Regarding the reading list, I agree with Lessig. Content providers should not be charged more to access the end user, but there is nothing wrong with the end user being charged more to access the content provider faster. In other words, the MZone should not be discriminated against relative to CNN because it has inferior resources, but there is nothing wrong with my neighbor having a faster connection speed than I do provided he is willing to pay for it. More succinctly, tiered pricing should occur at the level of the content consumer, not the content provider.

Yost said...

Well said, Allaha.

Anonymous said...

It already happens on both sides, provider and consumer.

If you decide to host your own content using a Cable Modem or DSL for your service, your upload speed is limited. But hey, since you already have DSL or Cable Modem for access, it doesn't cost you anything.

Okay, so now you want better access, you go and pay someone to host your website, and that's great for a small site.

But now your site becomes popular. You have a lot of people using your site, they're downloading a ton of great stuff off your site, and guess what? You're now using more of the host's bandwidth, and once you get to that level, the host ends up charging you more.

So, as you need more access, you end up having to go to hosting your own, bringing in T1's and T3's to handle the demand.

The final piece to it all is everyone's so worried about their blogs disappearing because of this stuff. Most of these blogs are on Blogger, which is owned by Google. Google can afford to pay that premium. And hey, do you think they're giving all this blog space away cuz they're nice guys? It's all about marketing, it's all about bringing people in and the people are flocking in, and they're spending big money on Google stuff.

In a market economy, there are way too many small websites out there, with too many users and that affect too many people, that if the telcos do something that suddenly means you can't get thruogh to a site, the market WILL revolt, and the telco's crumble as a result. When enough people are dissatisfied, there's enough financial incentive for a competitor to come in and take the business away from the big guys.