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Whose Network Is It?

Mark Goldberg

A reader sent me a link last week to a piece that doesn't speak highly of net neutrality. Clyde Wayne Crews wrote an article called "Dumb Pipes, a Dumb Idea: Net Neutrality as 21st Century Socialism" that calls for legislators to reject "nut" neutrality.

Elevating the principle of mandatory net neutrality above the principle of investor ownership and wealth creation in pipes and spectrum deflects market forces away from the infrastructure development that we need. And we do need it: recent news notes potential bottlenecks on the Internet caused, not by anyone's blockage, but by escalating data and video.

Did anyone else see a touch of irony in a letter to the editor in the National Post last week? The writer said if ISPs are so concerned with traffic shaping to improve customer satisfaction then they should block the scourge of spam.

My ISPs offer some pretty effective spam filters that can be turned off and on and one of the ISPs lets me apply some pretty good tuning. If your ISP doesn't offer spam filtering, you may want to shop around. Market forces have been effective on that front.

I guess some people would say that the government should mandate dumb pipes, except for spam, viruses and the rest of the stuff we haven't created yet.

By Mark Goldberg, Telecommunications Consultant
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