Loading...
BYH Zoning Commission. Take your chairs and sit in the field by Bostic Sugg in morning or afternoon and tell the...

Not the end of the world (wide web)

Knapp

Thomas Knapp

Loading…

Monday, November 27, 2017

I get lots of email, including email from political advocacy groups trumpeting the Impending Doom of the Month. This month, that doom is the coming end of "Net Neutrality" at the hands of the Federal Communications Commission.

"Donald Trump and his corporate cronies are about to destroy the Internet," writes Eden James of Democracy for America.

"[FCC chairman Ajit] Pai is paving the way for monopolistic ISPs to block and censor what we see online, and push anyone who can't pay extra fees into 'internet slow lanes,'" warns Carli Stevenson of Demand Progress.

Kurt Walters of Fight For The Future says that the impending end of the FCC's "Net Neutrality" rules is a "plan to end the Internet as we know it ..."

For some reason, those alarmist emails leave out the fact that "the Internet as we know it" — the World Wide Web — survived and thrived for nearly a quarter of a century without "Net Neutrality," which was only imposed by a previous FCC a little more than two years ago.

But now the alarmists insist that axing the two-year-old rule will suddenly, for unspecified reasons, cause Internet Service Providers to divide the Internet into "fast" and "slow" lanes at the expense of their own customers and of small web site owners. Why ISPs would cut off their noses to spite their own faces in this way isn't explained, probably because the prediction makes no sense at all and simply isn't based in reality.

The fight over "Net Neutrality" is best understood as a duel between corporate interests — Big Telecom on one hand, Big Data on the other, with Big Data doing a better job of fooling activists into making a moral crusade out of the matter.

Big Data — specifically companies that deliver high-bandwidth services like streaming video (Netflix, Google's YouTube service, et al.), or that consume lots of bandwidth simply by virtue of being very popular (Facebook and so forth) need ever larger pipes to shove that data at you. They want ISPs to shoulder the costs of building and fattening those pipes.

Big Telecom — the ISPs — want to charge the bandwidth hogs extra for getting such large amounts of data to your screen in a timely manner, so that Big Data bears the costs of building those pipes and keeping them uncongested.

If Big Data wins ("Net Neutrality"), ISP customers will end up paying more for Internet access. Everyone's Internet access fees will go up (or at least remain higher than they otherwise would) and broadband Internet's expansion into rural areas will slow down.

If Big Telecom wins, different customers (streaming video subscribers, web hosting users) will see our fees rise.

There's no such thing as a free Internet. Someone's going to pay to make it keep working. The only question is who. I'd rather pay an extra $5 a month for my web hosting and Netflix binges than shift that cost to my neighbor next door who checks her email once a day. Good riddance to "Net Neutrality."

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Op Ed

February 16, 2019

With confidence in government at record lows, where have all our leaders gone? Where is the James Madison of today, or the Thomas Jefferson, or even Everett Dirksen? He was the Republican leader who partnered with President Johnson to pass civil rights legislation in the 1960s.

These people were…

eleanorclift.jpg

February 15, 2019

On Bleecker Street in Manhattan, you can find both a Planned Parenthood clinic and a boutique for pregnant women.

According to Vogue, the store, Hatch, "is arguably the first of its kind, in that it was designed specifically for pregnant shoppers: Changing rooms have a size chart to help you figure…

kathrynlopez

February 15, 2019

The decision by Virginia's top three elected officials to hunker down and cling to their jobs is bad for both the state and the Democratic Party. If they won't go, the only thing to do is investigate them all.

Gov. Ralph Northam, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax and Attorney General Mark Herring have all…

Eugene Robinson

February 14, 2019

Of all the headlines about the scandals concerning the alleged past sins of one after another high official in Virginia, one struck me most poignantly. It was this, from the front page of The Washington Times:

"Democrats to vet candidates closely for secrets in past."

Maybe I have spent too much…

February 13, 2019

As our new legislative session fully uncoils, it's good to recall that just a few weeks ago workers in 20 states saw an increase in the minimum wage. The federal minimum, $7.25, was last raised in 2009. Since then, 29 states and dozens of cities and counties have chosen to exceed the federal floor.…

Gene Nichol

February 13, 2019

President Trump, in his State of the Union speech, broadly and wrongly portrayed illegal immigrants as murderers, rapists and drug dealers who must be stopped. But Trump does not limit his anti-immigrant zeal to them. In service to Trump, authorities are now handcuffing and shackling non-citizens…

Take Back North Carolina Press Conferece - US Attorney Robert Higdon speaks at press conference.jpg

February 13, 2019

Ten states and Washington, D.C., have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Twenty-two other states, along with U.S. territories Puerto Rico and Guam, allow marijuana to be used for medical purposes. Let's examine some hidden issues about marijuana use.

Before we start, permit me to…

Walter Williams

February 12, 2019

Serving as speaker of the House has been good for Tim Moore's bank account.

The job of speaker isn't itself lucrative: $38,151 annually, plus $104 a day for housing and food when the legislature is in session. That's a decent income for many North Carolinians, but it's not going to buy you that…

Colin Campbell

February 11, 2019

North Carolina's franchise tax is a punitive and opaque tax levied on businesses organized under one of the usual corporate forms. It is inconsistent with both good economics and good government and should be abolished.

Conceptually the franchise tax is quite simple. It is a tax on the net value or…

Roy Cordato

February 11, 2019

There is a reason why most rural communities in North Carolina do not have broadband speeds of 25 megabytes per second, even after the state has spent more than $500 million on infrastructure over the last 10 years.

According to internet service providers, or ISPs, it is simply not profitable to…

021019bunnysanders
316 stories in Op Ed. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 32
        Next Page»   Last Page»