According the the BBC, the Department of Justice has decided that Net Neutrality is bad for America.
If you don’t know, the basic concept of Net Neutrality is that ANYONE, ANYWHERE, should have the EXACT SAME ACCESS TO ALL INFORMATION as EVERYONE else. That means a poor inner-city student using her library’s computer and a corporate CEO in his penthouse apartment should be able to surf the EXACT SAME INTERNET at the EXACT SAME SPEED.
The Department of Justice (perhaps momentarily forgetting the name of their office) disagrees. They believe Net Neutrality — aka the internet as we’ve always known it — hinders business growth.
Instead, the DOJ sides with the ISPs in suggesting that ISPs should be able to charge more for priority traffic — or, in other words, if you want the web to work the way it always has, you should have to pay more.
Normally, I’d be livid about this argument. But, because September is No Woe Month here at Cafe Witness, I’d like to look at things from a different point of view. So, without further ado (and no irony), let’s take a look at:
5 Good Things About the Death of Net Neutrality
1. Creative Competition — Allowing the ISPs to pick and choose what services are available through their systems gives them a cable-like power over what their subscribers can see. If that seems bad, consider this: The Sporanos would never have been allowed on network TV. What other great content can’t survive in an open internet, but could flourish in a walled garden?
2. Fewer Trolls — If it takes longer to surf the web because the information is bottlenecked, you’ll be less likely to waste that precious time leaving trollish messages on blogs, won’t you?
3. Media Consolidation — Let’s say Verizon signs an exclusive deal to carry ESPN360 — which, according to Tilzy TV, it seems has happened. Instead of both companies making concessions to meet each others’ needs, the next step is to simply consolidate ESPN (and its parent companies, ABC / Disney) and Verizon. Bigger business = bigger reach = bigger buying power = a win-win situation for company and consumer, who won’t be distracted by too many choices. (It worked for AOL-Time-Warner, after all.)
4. Higher CPM Rates — Let’s face it, if only the wealthy will be able to experience an uninterrupted flow of internet information, it stands to reason that the ads on the sites their ISPs allow through should carry a higher CPM rate because their audience will be more affluent, have more expendable cash and is obviously determined to use the internet as a lifestyle tool. Great news for everyone trying to monetize social media — all we have to do now is craft media that the rich want to see.
5. Fewer People on the Internet, Period — After all, if I CAN’T get the information I want when and where I want it (or, more precisely, I won’t be willing to pay extra to get it), I might be inclined to do something else entirely — like go outside… or read a book… or have a life…
The internet: it was a fun experiment while it lasted.