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Dutch get Net Neutrality right

I like the phrase “Net neutrality” because it has some resonance outside of the techie world. But It’s vague and it’s a bit of a compromise. The real way to get Net neutrality is to separate the companies that deliver bits from the companies selling content and services made out of bits. And that’s exactly what a bill passed unanimously (or maybe almost unanimously – reports are ambiguous) by the Dutch Parliament proposes, according to a post by David Isenberg. Writes La Isenberg:

…in my opinion, the only sustainable way to have enforceable network neutrality is to give force of law to the separation between operating the network and operating the services that the network carries. Otherwise, the temptation to gain advantage (.pdf) by tying certain services to the network is so great that US telcos and cablecos are spending an estimated $1.5 million per week to lobby for the privilege. And, unless there’s clear and forceful separation, as per the Dutch resolution above, US telcos and cablecos will spend more lobbying, litigating and legislating against any compromise language about treating different applications differently, or about “deliberate” or “anti-competitive” discrimination. The network carrier should be prohibited legally from knowing or caring what’s carried on network — the Dutch Parliament has proposed one way to do it.

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3 Responses to “Dutch get Net Neutrality right”

  1. And here’s the reporters without frontiers view on neutrality:

  2. Hi David,

    there were two proposals. One separating networks and services, which was carried with 148 of 150 votes, near unanimous. The second, opening up networks, was carried with 150 votes, unanimously.


  3. The Telcos and CableCos have no vested interest in what is right for the users or the network. They want one thing – INCREASE SHAREHOLDER VALUE. If that means doing deals with content providers for ‘exclusive arrangements’ – where RoadRunner subscribers can only use MSN search, or the only streaming video on Comcast will be RealPlayer, or Revver video loads slower on one network than another because Revver refuses to pay – then that is what they will do.

    In each case, the telco/cableco wants to get PAID to be exclusive, to the detriment of the subscribers and the benefit of their subscribers. They have more lobbyists than we do (oh wait, the politicians are supposed to represent us, yeah, right, sure ). Deregulation is only good when the results are a benefit to the people (more competition, lower barriers to enter a market, more choice, etc.).

    The last thing I want to see is the government getting involved (seems like every time they touch the net they can’t help but screw up), but we need some sort of digital DMZ where these guys cant cross the lines because they own the pipes and some of the content (thankyou mergermania).

    And “Net Neutrality” is a BS name for it (which both sides of the debate use). This is Net Discrimination. We need to point out the danger/risk/pain in the discussion. The problem with “Global Warming” is that it isnt scary enough – Seth Godin thinks we should call it Global Cancer, and I think he’s right.

    We need to change the Frame around the discussion of Net Neutrality to point out what will happen to privacy, innovation, and choice if we don’t get ahead of it.

    We need to start using some FUD to level the playing field.

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