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State-level Net neutrality

Google and “consumer”1 groups are lobbying against proposed laws in Michigan that would let the telcos violate net neutrality and that would likely result in increasing the disparity in service levels among rich and poor communities, according to an article by Tom Siebert in Online Media Today.

The bill would allow the telcos to introduce TV service—along with bundled Internet cable access— without first having to get local or county permission. That was part of the Sen. Ted “Tubes” Stevens’ bill as well. It sounds like a good idea because it would increase competition, but (imo) it needs to be balanced by steps to counteract the invisible hand of the market rhythmically stroking only those communities with the bucks to pay for high-end service. And those offering Internet service ought to (imo) be required to offer true Internet service, which means not discriminating among packets based on who created them.

BTW, I recently spent a day—sponsored by an activist think tank—with a dozen people who understand Net tech deeply, going through exactly which of the 496 permutations would constitute a violation of Net neutrality. Caching packets within a particular application area but not according to source? Caching application-based non-cached application-based packets? Saying “Hi” to all passing packets, but adding, “Howya doin’?” to only the ones you like? Patting all packets on the back but refusing to buy some lunch? The whole thing makes my brain hurt. [Tags: ]

1The quotes are there so Doc won’t yell at me for using the “c” word.

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