E-Commerce Times Talkback
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As the FCC continues to consider regulations that would limit an Internet service provider's ability to restrict customers' access to specific services in the name of traffic management, it is now no longer possible to foresee an outcome to the debate without someone claiming that Constitutional rights are being violated somewhere. "It should not be lost on anyone that the strongest and loudest voices for Net neutrality rules often cloak their agenda as advancing the First Amendment or, just as frequently, First Amendment 'values,'" stated NCTA President Kyle McSlarrow.
I'm an individual with zero connections to the telecom industry but the arguments in this article are all over the place! To me, what is comes down to is this basic standard:
For years, phone companies (wireless included) have been able to charge a higher rate for business accounts. Why? Because they compromise the largest volume of usage of a provider's communication resources. Of course these higher rates make the company money. Reliable service enables business clients to make more money too. Business rates also help keep the cost lower for the private user. I don't need ten phone lines in my home. I don't need the absolute fastest internet connection (at least today I don't) but if I did, I'd shop around for the company that could provide me the faster speed at a rate I like. Here's another way to look at it. If I were shipping an elephant, would it not cost more than shipping a chihuahua? It's the same concept!
People get so wrapped up in Constitutional concepts that they forget that it's about business and not limiting anyones "free speech!" Until I become more of a "power user" I'm happy paying for what I need right now. If ISPs can't have tiered pricing baed on bandwith a client uses, then I'm going to end up paying a lot more for my "basic plan" because it's going to be faster than what I need. All because some politician or lobbyist is pushing for a "one rate, best speed" plan.
Think of the people that have a cell phone to only make phone calls. What if they had to pay the same rate as people who have a smart phone? It's silly! Limiting bandwith, OK. Limiting access to services, NOT OK.
I'm more concerned about content blockage imposed by ISPs. Now that's an issue! Paying more for the ability to do more make sense. Just don't ever think you can block U.S.A. citizens from content they wish to enjoy. I'm a military veteran and I served many years to defend the rights of our citizens to read and say what they want as long as the don't harm others. I hope those of you reading this understand my point. I'm feeling a bit passionate about this issue so if it's a little scattered, I apologize.
If you have an opinion, please speak up. It IS your right.