“We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Net Neutrality”

AT&T loves their double-speak and “we know what’s best for everyone” attitude. Whenever they get the chance, they trot out that same old tired argument about how they must have control over network traffic in order to “manage” it.

We all know who they are “managing” it for, and we all know that “management” will not have benefits for the end-user in any way that counts. What AT&T wants to do, just like other big providers, is sign contracts for traffic shaping that will benefit their bottom line. The end user, people like me who are using high-speed home broadband, will not gain anything from these agreements but limited access to an Internet right now that is unlimited. Who needs net neutrality? The end users do, and I hope we can continue the fight to get it.

Here in Missouri, Dave Nichols, the president of Missouri AT&T misses few opportunities to push his “vision” of a world without a net neutrality regulation in place, using the same old arguments that all of us can see through. He recently trotted his arguments through the newsroom of our local newspaper. It is the same stuff we hear all over the country, and we don’t believe it any better just because he’s a local guy.

This isn’t about how much money AT&T (or other providers) have spent on infrastructure or backbone (another argument AT&T likes to make). This is strictly about how much AT&T can pad their own bottom line. Agreements these huge providers make with large companies providing content is nothing more than censorship, in my opinion, and will lead to limited Internet access for many people. You’ll be able to hit the big sites easily, but anyone who can’t afford to pay AT&T and other big providers for the “privilege” of having their content available will be left out in the cold.

Unless net neutrality can become a reality, the AT&T’s of the world will have us by the ears and we will not be able to do anything about it.