I’ll admit to having some mixed emotions about Net Neutrality,  just passed by the FCC on a party-line vote. Is this a solution in search of a problem? A sinister plot by the government to control what we can and can’t see or talk about (as is about to happen in Venezuela?). Or is it a way to keep giant broadband companies like Comcast, Time-Warner Cable, or AT&T from putting it’s favored content on the “fast lane” or blocking services that might compete with a service that the big company provides. Would Hulu be blocked to make it less likely that someone would drop cable service?  Could they block Vonage to hype sales of the cable company’s digital phone product?

The new rules exempt wireless providers for the time being.

I can see the possibility of broadband companies offering a tiered system of internet service similar to cable TV. Maybe you’d pay one price for the top 100 websites, another for the top 250, and a much higher price for the top 500.  The big boys may want to charge more to websites and applications for access to higher speeds, which means Best Buy loads quickly;  Joe’s Electronics loads slowly if at all.

Why the opposition to net neutrality? Doesn’t it seem like a good idea to treat all traffic the same? While some claim the rules don’t go far enough, others complain that the FCC has overstepped its bounds, and even if Net Neutrality sounds like a good thing, it’s a “camel’s nose under a tent” leading to government regulation of the internet.

Is Time Warner starts to only offer a tiered internet, wouldn’t a competitor come along and offer an open internet? In most places, we only have two high speed providers. If there were 6 or 7, that might be realistic.

My not completely formed opinion: Until there really was a problem, maybe leaving well enough alone might be the best way to go. I want a wide-open internet, but at the same time I’m wary of regulation that might create government regulation of content.  I’ll welcome your comments, though.

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