Finally, a truthful article was published on Wednesday about the little known fact of who really invented the debate about net neutrality. When you finish here, click on it -- it's a must read. The story was published in a most unlikely place too - The San Francisco Enquirer - the big hometown newspaper serving the Silicon Valley. And guess who they identify as the inventor of this hot political debate...
There you have it. Net neutrality, and all the puff about fairness, equality and openness is all about "money buy[ing] privilege." And this time, I didn't say it, Google's own hometown paper did.
Searching is one of the Internet's real strangle points. Don't get me wrong. I give Google a lot credit for having the foresight to invest heavily in servers and software years ago so they could become the dominant search engine. That's what entrepreneurship is all about.
Government defined net neutrality equals government regulation of the Internet.
Now Google runs to Washington hoping to inflict heavy regulation on others, like ISP's. Why? Because they want to protect their own dominance in directing Internet traffic. They are outraged when someone suggests that they need to be regulated while they simultaneously seek to regulate others.
Admittedly, they're good at this game. They cloak their self interest in public interest. They create a perception that ISP's are doing dastardly things to everyone's Internet experience even though the facts don't support their assertions.
They call it "neutrality" when they ask the government to prevent ISP's from having legitimate business relationships with anyone who may be additive to their customers' experience. Like they need Washington to give them even more of a competitive leg up. So what they've done is to effectively strangle the competition while it is still in the metaphorical college kid's parents' garage.
Google and Yahoo
Now they want to align themselves with the distant second in Internet search - Yahoo. They don't want Washington to interfere with their ability to become even more dominant.
Don't get me wrong. Google truly is an innovative company and I respect them for that. But I lose all respect when they run to Washington and ask policy makers to heavily regulate others who may, someday, pose a threat to their dominance. If they're successful, they become fat and lazy because they don't have to continue to innovate to remain competitive.
And that's simply not good for consumers.
I was in Washington for two days this week. I was there to discuss important issues affecting my customers' Internet experience. I thought about how much time I spend in DC and for a fleeting moment, I wondered if I was guilty of similar contradictions.
It took me less than a nanosecond to remember that when I'm in Washington, I'm asking policymakers to appreciate the competitive nature of our industry. I ask them not to regulate the burgeoning (and successful) broadband business so everyone is forced to innovate in order to remain competitive. Google also has a deregulatory message but only for their role in the Internet experience. Meanwhile, they simultaneously seek to regulate others with a very heavy hand.
I'm sorry. That kind of behavior just pisses me off.