Yesterday I read the an article on Network Neutrality on CNN.com. The article was written by Craig Newmark of Craigslist and was VERY wrong.
Here’s part of what bothered me:
Here’s a real world example that shows how this would work. Let’s say you call Joe’s Pizza and the first thing you hear is a message saying you’ll be connected in a minute or two, but if you want, you can be connected to Pizza Hut right away. That’s not fair, right? You called Joe’s and want some Joe’s pizza. Well, that’s how some telecommunications executives want the Internet to operate, with some Web sites easier to access than others. For them, this would be a money-making regime.
That is a VERY misleading analogy on many levels. Here is my counter-analogy.
Steve runs a Pizza delivery service. When his service started he used to charge per-pizza he delivered. The prices weren’t that high, and since I’m too lazy to go out and get my own pizzas I appreciated the service. I didn’t eat as much pizza as I would like to, because Steve’s surcharge was always in the back of my mind.
Once Steve got enough clients, he expanded his business and realized that he could offer a better service by charging a flat-fee. Using this new business model everyone paid a flat monthly fee, and the cost of people who ate a pizza every night (like me) were subsidized by the people who only ate 1 pizza a month.
Everyone had hot pizzas, everyone was happy.
A couple months ago Gpizza opened, they offer all the regular pizzas, but also offer the GSuper 4-course MegaPizza. This pizza comes in 4 parts which are served by midgets waiters. The midgets waiters need to be transported with the pizzas and then brought back to the Gpizza store.
For the first couple months Steve is happy to provide his loyal clients with Gpizzas, even though it did require substantially more resources for Steve to transport the Gpizzas and midgets. As Gpizzas become more and more famous, people start to complain that their Gpizzas are arriving cold, the midgets were tired from the slow ride and weren’t as enthusiastic with their serving the pizzas.
Ypizza, which has been using Steve for 10 years, sees how much money Gpizza is making and decides to make the Ysuper 4-course MegaPizza and one-ups Gpizza by providing a dancing leprechaun along side the 3 midget servers.
Steve sees that he will not be able to provide any service if more Pizza places start offering MegaPizzas. He has two options:
1.Revert to a Per-pizza business model and charge his clients for the delivery of MegaPizzas
2.Charge pizza places for the delivery of MegaPizzas
Gpizza catches wind of this and prepares the â€œPizza Delivery Guy Neutralityâ€ bill which mandates that Pizza delivery guys are unable to charge pizza shops extra for delivering MegaPizzas.
Now with silly analogies out of the way, a bit of mythbusting:
The Network is NOT Neutral
Craig says â€œSo let’s keep the Net as it is now: Neutral, fair and free.â€ The network is currently NOT neutral, it’s free for ISPs to do what they want. Network Neutrality regulation will not free anything, but will restrict the ISPs in the service they can provide.
Bandwidth / Latency costs Money!
High Bandwidth/Latency applications cost money to transfer. The money has to come from somewhere. Creating laws that stop ISPs from charging the Googles, YouTubes and Skypes of the world mean that YOU and I will be paying for it instead.
YouTube/Google/Skype and Craigslist are making money
They can allocate a bit of money to provide good pipes.
When Google rules most of the Cable in the US
How neutral do you think that will be?