Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Net Neutrality post

I'm going to be honest: I really didn't want to have to write this post. "Net Neutrality" has always been one of those super charged and politically loaded catch phrases, and with a controversial court decision this week it has become only moreso. Getting into a neutrality argument is akin to a PS3 versus Xbox 360 fanboy argument. Both sides just throw out straw man talking points that barely have any connection to the truth.

You can't even research the subject of net neutrality all that well, as virtually every source out there is
loaded with a view point and only gives you a tenth of the counter argument. It is, without a doubt, the most annoying and ridiculous subject to have to write about.

I mean, just look at the name of the issue: "Net neutrality". What kind of loaded crap is that? Who wants to be against keeping Internet access and content fair and neutral? But that isn't even close to what the FCC was trying to do here. In fact, "net neutrality" kind of sounds like the "fairness doctrine" that regulated broadcasts. Who wants to be against "fairness" on the radio? - Except that it didn't promote fairness in the least. It was just a huge overreach by the FCC, and a government power grab that
crippled political free speech across the broadcast medium.

But it is political and, tangentially, it has to do with games, so the damn thing falls into my blog's jurisdiction.


Let me get the controversial part out of the way first: I am anti "net neutrality", and I'm glad that Comcast got the better of the FCC recently. There you have it. If you have a burning hatred for me now, so be it. Go read another blog.

I can see why it might seem like a good idea to not allow broadband service providers to limit bandwidth to certain customers. In fact, as a gamer it certainly seems scary and unfair that my cable company could decide to knee cap my speed just because my games suck up so much bandwidth in comparison to other people who just browse the interwebs in their off time.

But here is the thing: They haven't actually done that. Not yet anyway, and we don't have any real proof that they are even thinking about it. What they have done is
put a cap on bandwidth in response to Bittorrent users. Bittorrent users, who suck up unreasonable amounts of bandwidth at all hours of the day, while they aren't even at the computer, and who are more than likely downloading something illegally. I'm all about protecting the rights of the consumer... But these consumers? Fair enough, my hatred for software pirates burns so brightly that I say f*** those particular consumers anyway.

And here is the most important part that EVERYONE seems to miss: This whole thing was just a big FCC power grab! You may not totally be in love with the idea of the ISPs being able to cap bandwidth, but how can you POSSIBLY think that it is better to put the government in charge of that? I trust Comcast WAY more than I trust some government bureaucracy. Comcast may try to cap certain activities based on the wasting of their resources, but the government will try to cap certain activities
just because they get it into their stupid heads that it is somehow bad for us.

Eff that, says I.

And for all those
the-sky-is-falling doomsayers who came out in response to the court decision last week: Don't worry so much, political hacks bros. Again, us normal bandwidth consumers have nothing to worry about at the moment. And even you bittorrent pirates don't have much to fear. ISPs will likely come out with a tiered access plan for you. You want to suck up a load of bandwidth by downloading movies and leaked game betas? Fine, just pay a little extra per month for premium access.

So everyone calm down. It may be hard to see, but the good guys lesser evils won.

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