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Net Neutrality

Myth: The Internet is Public Property

Reality: The Internet is a network of private networks enabled by many universally-accepted, consensus standards. No single entity can control or change these standards. Network neutrality is not required to protect today’s Internet.

Essential Internet Standards:

  • Internet Transmission Protocol (IP) is universally-accepted and enables all types of communications technologies to fully inter-operate and function as one network;
  • Domain Name Systems (DNS) administered by ICANN, an international non-profit corporation, provides a universally-accepted address system for Internet devices; and 
  • World Wide Web (www) is a universally-accepted standard that makes text, graphics, sound and animation on HTTP Internet servers accessible to Internet users with a point and a click.

All these private networks have freely and openly accepted these universal Internet standards, because it is in their economic self-interest to do so and in the interests of tier users, not because it is required.

Don’t shoot the messenger because you don’t like the message

Several bloggers have greeted my recent entry into the net neutrality debate with less than flattering portrayals. Examples include: Digital Destiny, NSP Strategist, and Dana Blankenhorn. The common thread reads that anyone associated with communications companies must be bad, wrong, or have nothing worthy to say. Ouch!

If you are reading this and support net neutrality, I thank you for your open-mindedness. For those of you opposed to my position, I believe net neutrality should be debated on the merits not shaped by personal attacks and false assumptions. Let me explain.

Net Neutrality Debated on NPR

I spoke about net neutrality this morning on the NPR program On Point. While I had hoped for a more balanced debate, I was able to make a solid argument for letting competition, not government, continue to shape the Internet and encourage online innovation. I was also able to briefly mention how network neutrality legislation is actually corporate welfare for Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, eBay and others. Right now, there are a lot of people out there trying to scare people into supporting net neutrality. The fear-mongering about censored content, degraded Internet, etc.

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths