Telcos Turn to Stalin for Help Against Net Neutrality

In no uncertain terms, John C. Dvorak takes down the latest broadside against Net Neutrality by the modern-day red baiters at the Wall Street Journal's editorial board.

You would hope that Journal editors had learned enough public policy by now to pull their writers' frequent rants against it into line with actual history.

Net Neutrality's No. 1 Supporter?
Not so.

"I'm suspicious of op-eds talking up the horrors of Net Neutrality, especially when the facts are never made clear," Dvorak writes. "Instead, we have an out-and-out attempt to befuddle the public and confuse the reader."

The Journal opinion piece in question, by Andy Kessler, highlights the shady logic and "crackpot assertions" of the anti-Net Neutrality faction.

Kessler writes in the Journal: "With Net Neutrality, there will be no new competition and no incentives for build-outs. Bandwidth speeds will stagnate, and new services will wither from bandwidth starvation."

Dvorak responds:

This is funny, since until just a while ago, we had been operating under a de facto Net Neutrality.

Using Kessler's logic, we should still be using 300-baud modems since there's no incentive to do anything different. How does he -- or anyone else, for that matter -- explain the progress from 300-baud modems to fiber to the home during this period of genuine net neutrality? It's only recently that the phone and cable companies have decided to futz with bandwidth, with packet sniffing, bandwidth shaping and ceiling limitations.

... Net Neutrality is nothing new. It's the way it has always been. How does codifying it into a law change anything, except to foil the scheming of the phone and cable companies that have -- during the era of net neutrality and genuine deregulation -- competed very well?

It wasn't until 2005 that Net Neutrality protections were stripped from the law. Our efforts at SavetheInternet.com and elsewhere are simply to restore them -- especially at a time when companies like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon are making moves to block, filter and censor digital communications.

Lacking any real arguments the anti-neutrality folks try rote and tired scare tactics.

At the Journal, Kessler plays the red card common to other telco shills when he writes, "the Internet will only expand based on competitive principles, not socialist diktat."

Dvorak again responds:

I love the way these guys throw in the ugly term "socialist" when they want to trigger a 1950's-style knee-jerk reaction from the American public. And in case you didn't notice, he also throws in a Communist term "diktat" so you dummies will be totally repulsed and imagine Stalin lurking.

...We have no socialist diktat going on, and we are falling behind other countries like crazy in broadband speeds and connectivity. Countries that mandated universal high-speed connectivity (aka socialist diktat) have all zoomed ahead of us.

We are in 16th or 17th place and falling fast. This tells me that we are doing something wrong. We're kowtowing to the wishes of the big telcos -- mega corporations that have no real interest in progress, just profits.

Indeed. But don't just listen to us. Read Kessler vs. Dvorak and decide for yourself: Support Net Neutrality or follow phone and cable logic?

The choice is clear.