No. The internet is not coming to an end. Despite what countless websites, bloggers, internet companies, and talk show hosts say. The internet is not ending. You can breathe easy. Nothing dramatic is going to happen to the consumer side of the internet. The prophecies, fears, and conspiracies spun by the Pro-Net Neutrality crowd are not going to come to pass. Why?
It’s simple. The internet existed long before NN was even a concept and it will exist long before NN is outdated. I have written about this before but as the public freaks out once more, I must repeat myself again. Calm down! NN supporters act like Net Neutrality is this pure and benign principle that will keep everyone safe from the prying eyes of the old pervy ISPs. But as Netflix recently showed us when it sent out tweets about how many people watched certain movies on their service, that’s a bit idealistic. When your guiding principle has this many holes already, I fail to see why it’s a good idea.
It would be one thing if NN actually attempted to break up the monopolies of the ISPs, then we would be onto something. People that think NN will stop the abuse of consumers by monopolies are misguided and looking in the wrong direction. To it’s supporters NN is like a religion, and anybody who goes against it is considered evil, stupid, or fake. When Nazis deserve to be heard out, but not people who are against a simple policy, there’s something extremely unhinged going on here.
NN has evolved into an echo-chamber for pro-internet, pro-consumer, and various left-wing political ideals all mushed together. People are obsessed with this tiny policy that doesn’t really do all that they think it does, and whenever anybody very rarely questions said policy or wants it changed they act like you are from another planet. “How can you be against this?” My question is why are people for this? Why are people so emotionally involved in this? All it is are billion dollar companies fighting against billion dollar companies. Let me explain:
I have not seen the studies from scientific institutions that throttling was a big problem in first world countries at large. Before the emotional train-wrecked rules started permeating in the subconsciousness of twitter I didn’t see any reason for the need for Net Neutrality. That is until Netflix started their very public lobbying campaign so as to not pay Comcast for fast lanes. They actually ended their fight and paid Comcast anyway without even waiting for rules to be written. Hypocrisy? You bet, but don’t tell that to NN supporters.
Even though NN may feel like a stopgap, internet slowdowns are almost NEVER the ISPs problem (our internet infrastructure may not be great, but it’s not falling apart and ISPs aren’t going to sabotage their own business) and when it is you can usually find out why/what’s going on on their end pretty easily or they didn’t even know about it if you happen to have been the first customer to point it out. Based on the vast amounts of differing opinions or comments made about NN on the internet, I can only come to this conclusion:
Consumers like to blame the thing they don’t understand, and nobody besides IT professionals like myself and a few telecom executives/lawyers completely understand ISP practices, so of course a set of rules that seems to fix a menu of complaints that those same consumers have been complaining about for years comes around, and it makes them feel better! Net Neutrality is nothing but a gigantic internet funded placebo. That is and always has been my opinion on NN, it’s hardly evil, but it’s not the rules you are searching for.
The public has to think about something more than a crappy idealistic campaign slogan that doesn’t even work properly, but then of course, it’s not the IT professionals who are coming up with these things in the first place.