Net Neutrality Debate is a “False Choice”
Today, I was talking to Robert Pepper, former long-time FCC’er and current Cisco colleague, and he described Net Neutrality as a “false choice.” The way the debate has currently been framed has it as an all or nothing scenario, i.e. you need to regulate or legislate or, the alternative, consumers get it in the shorts. This is just patently false. It is also too bad that some in this debate are trying to make this consumers vs. businesses. Do you really think that the big businesses who are arguing to legislate net neutrality have the best interests of consumers in mind? Sure they do…as long as it also makes them a buck. Our argument has been give to everybody access to legal appications on the internet but to allow providers to optimize the consumer experience, much like cell phone companies do. Let me ‘splain: If you only want to talk a little bit, then you only pay a little bit. If you want to talk a lot, then you pay more. If you only use your phone at certain times during the day (i.e. nights or weekends) then you can get a package that provides for that as well. In my mind, this is all providers are asking for – flexibility to give the consumers the best experience.The OTT’s (over the top providers) are saying that the government must legislate or regulate to keep providers from BLOCKING access. How many times has this actually happened you might ask. Um, that would be “What is once, Alex?” That’s right. Once. And the FCC quickly acted on this ONE misstep by a provider. Leave well enough alone…nothing is being blocked…and if something is blocked then there is already a mechanism for the FCC to act.