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  1. #1

    Default “Net neutrality” sounds boring, but it’s worse than that

    From The Denver Post:

    The three best takes I’ve seen on the Federal Communications Commission’s phony “net neutrality” proposal manage to take a dull subject and bureaucratic language and legalese and make it both informative and funny. The simpler the better.

    The gist is, the FCC suggests a toll road on the internet with huge corporations like, say Comcast and Time Warner, paying for faster service than the rest of us and controlling the gateway to our access, with contented lobbyists and their political pals looking on.

    John Oliver’s 13-minute screed on his Sunday HBO show, “Last Week Tonight,” is a terrific analysis of what’s being suggested: it’s not only about letting big corporations buy their way into a fast lane on the internet, it’s about the rest of us facing slower speeds in a system run by regulators who are former lobbyists for the cable industry.



    A chart of Netflix speeds trending ever downward until Netflix made a deal with Comcast to speed things up is instructive. “It has all the earmarks of a mob shakedown,” Oliver says. Internet speed is much faster in Estonia, Oliver observes, and that’s a country that, from the look of it, is still expecting a Shrek attack.” But seriously, in the future, under the misnomer “net neutrality,” the page you want may take longer to load because data-rich advertising video will load first.

    A clear, visually arresting explanation told through Sharpie illustrations comes from Vi Hart. “We’re being artificially held back on purpose!” she explains.

    Finally, a “Net Neutrality 101 explainer” from InfoWorld uses a pipe metaphor to get across the point that all data should be treated equally. “Not to be overly dramatic here, but preserving data equality may be one of the most important issues in a generation,” the video notes. The simple drawings demonstrate that, while an open internet helps innovators and upstarts, “an internet where middlemen pick and choose what comes through the pipe is an internet of stagnation for all and profit for few.”



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