First of all, David Dayden’s post is exactly what i’m going to avoid here. It’s Neutral. I’m far past neutral. First, I wanna call out Obama, our net neutrality candidate. (irony intended) I am way past hoping this surrendermonkey is going to have his administration or the FCC do anything. My hope just dried up like my under-watered lawn. Just like when Mrs. Clinton was downstairs when the President was polling Ms. Lewinsky. We got fucked over.
The Bush administration exempted the internet providers from complying with common carrier laws. The common carrier laws were legislated after decades of corrupt railroads did corrupt things. Example is on page 11 of this document here. Basically the South Improvement Company, A shipper for Standard Oil (yeah the one owned by John D. Rockefeller) Negotiated a secret rate. They even got a cash rebate for any oil shipped by competitors. To wrap it up, I quote Answers.com
These costly rate wars led carriers to avoid general rate cuts and to develop the practice of making secret agreements with certain shippers, whereby the shipper would get some form of rate reduction in exchange for his promise to ship his goods over the line offering the concession. Such concessions enabled the favored shippers to undersell their competitors and thus increase their business and the business of the railroad offering the rebates. The public objected bitterly to the practice of rebating because of its obvious unfairness and because the process of building up one shipper at the expense of others promoted the development of monopolies, with all of their attendant evils.
Now for an episode from my childhood. I was 9 years old living in married student housing at ETSU. Anyhow I was racing bikes with my friend, JJ. I loved it, because I had a Schwinn dirt bike with long pedals. He had a Huffy. Hell I always won, and I never minded a race. Never.
OK, Forget all that about the bikes. We’re going to talk about the killer application for the 21 century, Internet TV on demand. Watch your TV show without commercials when you want to. Everyone. And I mean every consumer household will have TV on demand.
Well, a funny thing happened while the internet providers were upgrading their networks for all this Video on demand. They realized that the real action was in the content. The value of the content was even more than what the network hardware cost. Naturally, they weren’t going to see any of that cash flow…. unless they had an arrangement with the media company.
Fast forward to Monday this week when Google and Verizon released a policy statement intended to replace network neutrality on the internet. Here’s the fine language.
In providing broadband Internet access service, a provider would be prohibited from engaging in undue discrimination against any lawful Internet content, application, or service in a manner that causes meaningful harm to competition or to users.
Actually, the policy paper was cover for the special arrangement between Verizon (the network provider) and Google/YouTube (the media company). Verizon’s FIOS TV (a video on demand system) will have "the fast Schwinn" when it connects to YouTube.com.
Now how do they expect us to believe that giving YouTube the fast lane, would not affect any of YouTube competitors? Indeed, the Google/Verizon Policy document is hogwash.
Just like any good con artist, Google and Verizon are such nice people who shouldn’t be disappointed. Don’t believe it for a second.
Thanks for reading FDL people! Hope you like this more than the other guys Net Neutrality Diary!