Tortured logic: net neutrality

What is it about net neutrality that distorts thinking? It is much like the climate alarmism: Build a model and use it to show how your conclusions have validity. The model becomes supreme over reality.

In this scenario, ISPs profit more when the roads are congested — if traffic is cruising, no one would feel the need to pay for faster service.

Traffic jams, ISPs and net neutrality by Dr. Hsing Cheng and Shubho Bandyopadhyay, University of Florida, and Hong Guo, University of Notre Dame.

What is missing here is the customer. Lip service is given:

Currently, ISPs earn profits from attracting customers — mostly end users — using their computers for things like blogging, Tweeting, and downloading music and movies. For these people speed is an asset they might be willing to pay for. That gives ISPs motivation to improve their service and better compete for users.

But in a non-neutral Internet, the dynamic would change. ISPs would be able to strike deals to give certain Web sites or services priority in reaching users. For sites and services that pay up, there’ll be less waiting when the Internet’s information superhighway gets jammed — their pages will load faster. Those who don’t pay will be essentially forced to sit in traffic.

What’s the problem? Well, what happens when people are “forced to sit in traffic?”

Another factor that is missing is that it isn’t the ends that are the primary concern when it comes to ranking network traffic for priorities in delivery. It is the content. Some content, like telephony, suffers with latency. Some, like streaming media, can handle a bit more. Much, like e-mail or large downloads do not suffer much if there is significant latency. The net neutrality brouhaha is a misdirection by an anti-corporate ethos that blinds some folks to the realities of service needs.

Those people forced to sit in traffic? They either find an alternative route or they put pressure on the politicians to add more lanes and do other things to speed up traffic flow. The common folk are not just passive ignorami waiting for an elite to tell them what to do and that is one of the fundamental philosophies at play here.

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