If you have been listening to my rants on my Podcast you will know that I have been saying for a while that the only reason the Telcos are against Net Neutrality is that their very existence is under massive threat. For nearly a 100 years the consumers and tax payers of this country have been supplementing the telcos in the way of subsidies and surcharges on our telco bills. Those surcharges and subsidies have allowed those telcos to build the massive telecommunication infrastructure that is in place in this country.
The federal government has feed billions to these companies to lay fiber and continually upgrade the very network that they are now saying is theirs to control and to decide who can play and who can’t.
If I look at my phone records over the past 10 years I see business expenses of multiple thousands of dollars per month 10 years ago to today my business phone bill being a fraction of that. It’s not because the telcos have gotten cheaper it is because I am now routing around their featureless systems. Sure my Voice IP packets travel over the net and in many cases there specific data lines but guess what do I feel guilty heck no. I paid my way and continue to do so. So do the companies I do business with. They pay these same telcos large sums of money for the right to traverse OUR network.
Some of you are going to say OUR? Not all of the networks were built with the assistance of public funds but those that do belong to the public in a long about way have been paid for by the taxes, tariffs and subsidies we have all paid to these companies over the past 100 years or so.
Andy Kessler in the Weekly Standard prompted the writing of this article but you all have known my position for a long time in that we have entrusted these companies through the federal government and the regulatory bodies to provide service to general public in unobstructed way. The goal of recent times is that the telcos want to obstruct the flow of Internet traffic.
Let me use this example. When you get an all circuits busy message when you dial your phone by law the telco has to report that to the regulatory commission now imagine that you are a vonage customer and when you do a VOIP call the telco intercepts the packet and puts it in the traffic lane that is the most congested versus the high speed land where it belongs. It will happen transparently and the telcos will smile because they have been able to deliver lower quality service without having to report anything.
By not having Net Neutrality in place you open the door for anti-competitive practices which could sink a new startup or any company that is being innovative in routing around these giants. Believe me they are going to do everything they can to protect their bottom line but at the speed technology is moving it will not be long before we will be able to completely route around these companies and bring in a new era of high speed Internet. [Weekly Standard] [TechDirt]