Scary ISP Pricing

This is an image of what ISP pricing could look like if net neutrality disappears. The Internet could become like cable where you get basic cable and pay for premium channels, or websites in this case. This image should scare the hell about everybody since the Internet as we know it today would cease to exist. Write your congressperson and let them know that you want them to vote for net neutrality when legislation is complete. Via BoingBoing.


  1. Here’s what I wrote to to my Congressperson:

    To the Honorable Nancy Pelosi,

    This is the first time that I have written a letter to my Congressperson, but I feel very strongly that the issue of Internet Neutrality warrants this message.

    In the words of Vint Cerf, “The Internet was designed with no gatekeepers over new content or services. A lightweight but enforceable neutrality rule is needed to ensure that the Internet continues to thrive.” I completely agree with that statement. A neutral global Internet promotes a free society that allows fundamental democratic principles like freedom of speech to thrive.

    It is my desire that the Internet remain completely unregulated since advancements in communications technology will render the Quality of Service (Qos) arguments moot. The need to prioritize voice or video will disappear as faster and faster communication speeds become commonplace.

    Ms. Pelosi, I request that you endorse a net neutrality bill that has the following provisions:

    Amends the Communications Act of 1934, introduces a ban on the blocking/degradation of lawful content, forbids tying Internet access to purchase further services, bans QoS deals between network providers and specific content providers, and bans the prioritization of content within a provider’s own network.

    I feel that a bill with the provisions outlined above will preserve the freedom of the global Internet for us and our children and will continue to promote a free global society.

    Thank you for your time.


    Nugget [redacted]

    #1 by Nugget — September 22, 2007 @ 10:29 am

  2. The image is funny, but it’s not actually realistic to how the Internet actually works. All ISPs want to be able to do is offer real-time information packets (like VoIP or video) take precedence over non-real-time packets (like e-mail). It has nothing to do with blocking or segmenting services. I work on the net neutrality issue for Hands Off the Internet in DC, and while we definitely support a free Internet, we also see that restricting ISPs from treating packets differently will ultimately slow us all down.

    Nugget, two of your statements make no sense when taken together. First you endorse Vint Cerf calling for an “enforceable net neutrality rule” but then you say the net should “remain completely unregulated.” I agree with the second part! But you can’t have both at the same time. Antitrust laws already can take care of abusive ISPs, so let’s let them do that and let’s get Washington out of this debate.

    #2 by HOTI Dave — September 24, 2007 @ 6:23 pm

  3. Dave, good point regarding the logic problems in using the term “unregulated” in my letter above. What I meant by “unregulated” is that no Quality of Service (QoS) regulation should be used.

    I believe that individual ISPs treating packets differently will harm the Internet. Instead new protocols that will, for example, natively prioritize VoIP traffic and/or video should be implemented. Or perhaps new network devices could be created to prioritize traffic at lower levels of the OSI Network Model. Ultimately I believe that any kind of packet prioritization needs to be implemented by everyone worldwide, not just individual ISPs or communication providers as they see fit.

    I think that these “network neutral” advancements in technology will happen organically as long as the Internet is left alone to fend for itself as it has for decades. If a law has to be passed to force this “network neutrality” then so be it.

    Thanks for your comment.

    #3 by Nugget — September 24, 2007 @ 9:20 pm

  4. Nugget — I do share your optimistic view that new developments will come along that render old technologies that once seemed so crucial, completely useless. Happens all the time.

    But I think it’s a mistake to imagine that Congress is going to pass a law that does anything but get in the way of breoadband development. Unintended consequences are always a problem when it comes to regulation, and especially on this subject I think the Senate is just completely clueless about what’s happening in the market. Not to mention, abjectly unfamiliar with matters of computer networks. I say we let the network engineers work it out.

    #4 by HOTI Dave — September 26, 2007 @ 9:51 am

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