Letter to EFF on Net Neutrality

I sent a letter to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, in response to their campaign for net neutrality:

As an independent observer, I'm delighted that you do a great job about informing people of what ISPs and big companies come up with in order to get more money. However, I have a few comments about the reasons for which you want to stop this:
  1. If ISP companies wish to grant special privileges to certain players, I think they should have the freedom to do so - because they own their routers and infrastructure, and should be able to do whatever they please with them. Legislating for net neutrality is an attack on their freedom.
  2. Perhaps allowing this type of contracts will make it cheaper for typical consumers to use mass/high-traffic sites (like the ones provided by those who can pay for privileges).
I think you should implement and fight for another kind of solution: developing a crowd-sourced ISP monitoring browser plugin, for example, and aggregating and publishing the extent to which ISPs discriminate their traffic. This way, consumers are aware and able to make a conscious decision, and the market will find a balance which will please the people the most.
However, a fundamentally more important problem in the US (as I see it), is the over-regulation of telecom, leading to few alternatives and only a handful of ISPs holding monopoly (just like the tobacco industry). You should work to reduce regulation, to enable more players to enter the market more easily, instead of increasing it (for example by giving them an extra form to fill - the net neutrality one).


  1. The main barrier to more players in the telecom industry is the cost for developing infrastructure, not regulations. It is very expensive to lay cable/build cell towers/deploy satellites to provide a good coverage. Compared to that, fulfilling regulations is pennies.

    Also, what will happen to your blog if there is no net neutrality? Will you pay 10000$ every year so that ISPs load you site in a reasonable site? Because if it will take more than 30 seconds to load, your viewership will plummet.

    1. I agree that funding is the main barrier, but petty time-wasting lawsuits initiated by big ISPs are also a significant one. It may or may not cost pennies (fighting an army of lawyers or getting authorizations), but the delays are toxic to any customers the firm may have.

      Even if there's no law on net neutrality, fewer people will want to use ISPs who don't treat all sites good enough. Prioritized traffic in itself doesn't bother me, if there's enough of it.
      I suppose Google could provide that kind of service along with the Blogger platform, if it were to happen.

      My point is let the people decide, continually, by subscribing to the ISP of their choice - one that is more expensive, bub doesn't get bought by big corporations, or one that is cheap but shows you ads more quickly than the rest of the content.

      By legislating, you're forcing everyone to pick the more expensive one. Maybe not everyone can afford that.


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