Cringely weighs in on Net Neutrality

June 15, 2006

In addition to kicking Microsoft when they are up, prompted by the announcement Bill Gate's departure from the top of the 800 pound gorilla from Redmond, Robert X. Cringely offers insight on Net Neutrality in his latest i cringely column.

There has been a lot of discussion on the relative merits of the Net Neutrality legislation being debating in Congress, and Cringely seems to get to the meat of the issue pretty quickly.

"Now to Net Neutrality — what does it really mean and why do some telecommunication providers seem so opposed to it? The answers are neither as clear — nor as evil — as partisans on both sides of the aisle in Congress are suggesting. Those opposing Net Neutrality have in mind VoIP, and nothing but VoIP. Those in favor of Net Neutrality seem to think it means equal treatment under the Internet, which it doesn’t really. The only thing we can be sure of, in fact, is that Congress doesn’t get it and has a fair chance of making it worse."

So, it comes down to who will control the $1 trillion global VoIP market — at least for now. To us, it still looks like a slippery slope of prioritizing packets based on the highest bidder, and possibly even blocking packets for those who don't pay, or provide competing content to that provided by ISPs. Can the Internet remain open and equal for all, even if that means equally poorly?