liberal-logic-101-1560-500x416Didn’t the recent rules by the FCC guarantee net neutrality for all, forcing Internet Service Providers to treat all traffic equally? No, not really. And the classic example that people use to explain why net neutrality was necessary — the Comcast/Netflix dustup last year — had nothing at all to do with the issue. An explanation in this episode of the podcast.

It’s just another way the government has duped you to get more control over something.

Mentioned links:

An Open Letter Explaining Why I Support The FCC Net Neutrality Rules

Twitter conversation between Tony Bradley and me

Comcast vs. Netflix: Is this really about Net neutrality?

Obamanet’s Regulatory Farrago

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Show transcript

Net Neutrality. It’s been discussed for some time, and for a very long time the FCC opposed writing such rules. And yet, just a few weeks ago, they wrote these rules up, didn’t release them to the public, yet asked for comments from that public, and then passed those rules. You’d think Nancy Pelosi was on that committee. “We have to pass net neutrality to see what’s in it.”

I read an article on the Forbes website by Tony Bradley (and there’s a link in the show notes to it) that said, “The fact that the ISPs and GOP are fighting this implies that it is most likely good for America.” I tweeted Bradley (and that link to the conversation is also in the show notes) and he did indeed clarify that, yes, he would have like to see the rules, but if the ISPs and GOP is against it, he’s for it. So what this brought out is the blind partisanship on the Left, as well as a blow to more government transparency. We won’t get transparency unless and until we require it from both sides, especially the side we agree with.

Others have brought up the whole Comcast vs Netflix dustup that happened last year. “That’s why we need net neutrality; so ISPs can’t force us to pay more for our websites!” No, in reality, the Comcast/Netflix thing had nothing at all to do with net neutrality; nothing whatsoever. Maggie Readon, writing at the CNet tech website, explains it all. For a computer geek like me, it’s a fascinating read about how the Internet really works. For those who aren’t quite that geeky, Maggie makes the complex a little easier to understand, but it takes some explaining. Please check the link in the ever-expanding show notes to get to it, and please try to resist the urge to comment “Too long, didn’t read”. Near the end of the article, Maggie tells us, ultimately, what the issue was.

Netflix is attaching a fire hose to the Comcast network, which is only equipped to handle connections the size of garden hoses. The gushing fire hose of content can’t possibly be funneled into the few garden hose ports that are available. So packets are dropped and the service is degraded.

Netflix could fix this problem in one of two ways. It could pay for a fire hose connection instead of taking the garden hose connection that it can get through a standard peering relationship with Comcast. The large connection would accommodate the Netflix traffic. The other option is to distribute its traffic more evenly among other [Content Delivery Networks] that are delivering traffic to Comcast. In this case, the video traffic could get onto the Comcast network via the many garden hoses already connected to the Comcast network.

Of course, in either instance this would cost Netflix more money.

There are a couple of issues here. Netflix didn’t want to spend the money to play nice in the Internet pool. That’s why those on the Comcast network saw degradation. Now, I don’t think for a minute that Comcast was beyond tweaking Netflix bandwidth through its network while negotiations were going on to make a point, but the issue is that the two had an agreement and Netflix was abusing it.

The other issue is that those who accused Comcast of the infringement have automatically done so without understanding the real issues underpinning all of this. But, having believed there was a problem, they were duped by those who were ignorant, or lied to by those who knew better. There was no net neutrality issue, but those who had a stake in getting government control surfed that misinformation to get more power. And they did it without letting people know what they were going to do before they did it, which people like Tony Bradley were more than happy to let them do.

“Trust me, I’m from the government, and I’m here to help you. But don’t ask me how I’m going to do that. Just…trust me.” That’s the new mantra of the Democratic party.

I read the daily column by James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal every day it comes out. Great commentary and great humor. However, a while back they put it behind the paywall. However, if you follow Taranto on Facebook, then when he shares the link, if you click on it there you can read the whole thing. Apparently, if you come from Facebook to the column, they let you see it. I highly recommend it. He had this short bit in a recent column.

“In 1986, I was as ready to leave the closet as I would ever be—but how would I do so?” ex-Rep. Barney Frank recalls asking in a Politico essay titled “My Life as a Gay Congressman.” He finally acknowledged the truth, but “for many years, I was ashamed of myself for hiding my membership in a universally despised group.”

Just one question: How in the world did he manage all those years to conceal being a member of Congress?

Another WSJ article (which is also behind a paywall) says, “Under the new rules, entrepreneurs must seek regulatory approval before launching new products and services—or beg for forgiveness afterward.” Right, because that’s net neutrality. That’s the government for you; stifling innovation one megabyte at a time.

Filed under: Net NeutralityTechnology