A Ferrari for the Price of a Geo Metro
The Wall Street Journal has a pretty decent survey of the reaction to the Google-Verizon Internet Proposal:
Phone and cable companies say they need leeway in managing their Internet networks so bandwidth hogs such as video services don’t take up too much capacity. They also say they need some pricing flexibility to offer new Internet services to help them recoup the billions of dollars they spend to build out broadband networks.
Richard Bennett, a senior research fellow at the think tank Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, whose funding comes mainly from phone and cable companies [ed note: this is not remotely true], called the Google/Verizon proposal a “good starting point for Congress.”
To believe that some Internet applications shouldn’t receive priority treatment is “naïve,” Mr. Bennett said. “It’s like they are saying all cars have to cost the same—that you should be able to buy a Ferrari for the price of a Geo Metro.”
At least they’re talking to credible sources.
Your analogy that all cars should be price the same is incorrect. The correct analogy would be, “Ferraris
should be allowed to go faster on the roads than the Geo Metro because the consumer paid more for the Ferrari”, which is not right either.
A better analogy is to say that the regulationists want to take a full basket of groceries through the ten items or less checkout line. Whenever people share resources, we develop conventions about consumption and delay. We have to understand that the Internet is no more free of constraints than any other physical system.
If we treat networks like public toilets, we will get the quality of public toilets. While the government may step in every once and a while and repair toilets, have you ever been in a public toilet that was cleaner than a private toilet? As Aristotle said, “what belongs in common to the most people is accorded the least care.”