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Level 3-Netflix Expose their Hidden Agenda

Level 3's bogus claim that longstanding Internet peering arrangements are now somehow a Comcast "toll booth" (at the very moment the FCC is proposing net neutrality rules), exposes the real hidden agenda behind many who claim to want net neutrality and an open Internet -- and that's the expectation of a free lunch.

Unlike the consensus around a net neutrality principle, which means no anti-competitive blocking of content or applications of a users' choosing, or no unreasonable discrimination, there is fierce controversy and opposition to unwarranted, unjustified and uneconomic Title II Internet regulation, where Government forces some to absorb the network costs legitimately created by others.

FreePress and the Open Internet Coalition are criticizing the FCC Chairman's proposed Title I approach as fake or not "real net neutrality."

  • What is now clear for everyone to see is that FreePress and the Open Internet Coalition don't want protection from a problem they know doesn't exist, what they really want is a permanent free lunch paid by anyone but them.

Netflix is the quintessential example of this entitlement uneconomics view of the Title II Internet regulation crowd.

  • Netflix's video streaming reportedly now generates one fifth of all Internet traffic, and they want to avoid their own legitimate costs of caching video content nearer to users by dumping all their video traffic on the Internet back bone and expecting everyone to deliver it with perfect quality, and without Netflix contributing to recovering the Internet costs that make NetFlix possible in the first place.
  • Netflix somehow interprets an Open Internet as meaning they have an inalienable right to shift most all of their massive Internet distribution costs onto the backs of users and broadband providers.

Look this Level 3/Netflix-Comcast dispute is really a PR/lobbying scam.

  • Rather than Netflix investing in caching its content with content delivery networks, the cost-efficient and responsible way to run a large Internet traffic generating business, Netflix wants to dump their massive traffic on others and claim they are entitled to others absorbing their wasteful costs, and entitled to others massively subsidizing Netflix' shareholders.
  • As anyone who is familiar with peering arrangements knows, if one party like Level-3/Netflix brings massive asymmetric traffic to a peering arrangement, the one that sends more traffic than its receives is obligated to pay for the difference.
  • That's not non-neutral or anti-competitive, that's simply paying for one's own fair share of the tab at lunch.

The free lunch crowd goes on to complain that the longstanding practice of people paying for the speed they get is somehow unfair or anticompetitive. That's economics, and it is what enables the Internet to work as wonderfully as it does 24-7.

The FreePress/Open Internet Coalition view of net neutrality is classic get something for nothing thinking.

  • They interpret an Open Internet as entitlement to a free bandwidth lunch, when that isn't economic or the way it ever has been since the Internet was privatized in 1995.

Look, the Internet works because it is economic. What the free lunch net neutrality crowd wants is uneconomic and that doesn't work -- especially in a fragile economy not generating jobs.

  • Trying to trick the government into shifting ones own legitimate costs onto others is illegitimate.

FreePress and the Open Internet Coalition have shown their true colors here, they see net neutrality not as a protection from the potentiality of anti-competitive behavior, but as a smokescreen and political cover to force others to permanently subsidize costs they cause and should shoulder themselves.

The competitive broadband Internet works wonderfully, it does not need any fixing.