On 01/12/14 23:11, Federico Leva (Nemo) wrote:
> This comparison is quite useful and got rather popular: «For all the
> arcana in telecommunications law, there is a really simple way of
> thinking of the debate over net neutrality: Is access to the Internet
> more like access to electricity, or more like cable television service?».
> http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/11/upshot/a-super-simple-way-to-understand-the-net-neutrality-debate.html

I don't think the internet is especially similar to either. I think it
is like the postal service. The analogous question to net neutrality
is whether priority mail should be allowed, and whether it should cost
more to send a package to another continent than it does to send it
within the same city.

Nobody is saying ISPs should adopt a cable model, giving you a
subscription to a bundle of 100 websites tailored to your tastes and
preventing access to anything else, as that article suggests. That is
a straw man.

Obviously your electricity company has no opinion on what brand of
hairdryer you use, because your electricity company is not in the
business of shipping hairdryers. But if you buy hairdryers online, the
postal service or courier company will often have bulk discounts with
certain suppliers, so they do effectively participate in selecting
your hairdryer brand.

You don't connect your laptop to the internet each morning and say
"one million bits, please!" which is then delivered as white noise
through your speakers. ISPs are not selling a commodity.

-- Tim Starling


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