Thursday, August 10, 2017

They Keep Using That Phrase, "Net Neutrality." I do Not Think it Means What They Think it Means.

I'm not quite sure how I got on Demand Progress's email list. Maybe I subscribed to it to track this or that political issue, or maybe someone subscribed me to it without my knowledge. Either way, while I don't mind getting their emails, I can pretty reliably predict that those emails will be full of fail. Like this:

Dear Thomas,

Verizon Wireless was just caught in the act of what looks like a blatant violation net neutrality.

Last week, without warning or permission from its customers, Verizon throttled bandwidth speeds down to 10Mbs. Users trying to stream video or use certain apps were caught in an internet slow lane and couldn't do anything about it.

This doesn't look like a violation of "Net Neutrality" to me. In fact, it looks like an implementation of "Net Neutrality." Per Wikipedia:

Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers and governments regulating the Internet must treat all data on the Internet the same, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication.

If Verizon had reduced its speeds only for particular content -- say, Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime Video only got 10Mbs speeds while Bing, Gmail,  and the Hamster Dance got 20Mbs speeds -- well, that would be a violation of "Net Neutrality."

But simply moving all data from all sources in the same way and presumptively at the same speeds is precisely what "Net Neutrality" calls for. And if that means that someone streaming Rogue One in high definition gets a choppy picture? Well, that's how it goes -- their data got treated exactly like the data going to the user checking her email and the junior high kid spanking the monkey to Chelsea Manning's Vogue swimsuit pic (not being a junior high kid, I actually read the accompanying article, of course).

So suck it, "Net Neutrality" megalomaniacs. You demanded it, you got it.

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