Thursday, June 01, 2006

Worst net neutrality analogy ever?

From Susan Crawford:
Think of the pipes and wires that you use to go online as a sidewalk. The question is whether the sidewalk should get a cut of the value of the conversations that you have as you walk along. The traditional telephone model has been that the telephone company doesn't get paid more if you have a particularly meaningful call -- they're just providing a neutral pipe.
If you're going to use a sidewalk as an analogy for a communications pipeline, then the users of the sidewalk need to stand for the communications traffic. Then the question becomes, should users of different types have to pay different rates for the use of the sidewalk to those who build and maintain it (not to the sidewalk itself!). Further, the sidewalk has to keep being made bigger to support all the traffic being carried, and some of the users are in a bigger hurry and are likely to collide with those who aren't, and some of the latter are holding big gatherings between their residences, like a block party in the neighborhoods. Should those guys get to do that for free, or at the same cost as their neighbors who aren't interested in a block party?

UPDATE: I had issued a trackback ping to Susan Crawford's blog post which was accepted, but apparently she decided to delete it. That's rather ironic--she supports net neutrality, but blocks critical trackbacks to her blog. I guess her support of net neutrality isn't based on any principle of fairness or free speech.

UPDATE (June 8, 2006): Susan Crawford responded to a query about this, and attributed the deletion to automatic anti-spam defenses, and invited me to re-issue a trackback, which I will shortly do. I retract the last two sentences of the above update, and apologize to her for my erroneous inference.

UPDATE (March 13, 2008): Actually, I never regained the ability to issue trackbacks or even to reference this blog's URL in comments posted on Susan Crawford's Blogware blog, so all of my comments there refer to my discord.org website instead. She moved her blog in late 2007, but I've not commented or issued any trackbacks to the new one.

3 comments:

blogiast said...
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blogiast said...
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