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Josh Marshall at TPM has a post about a WP article on “network neutrality“. Go read it.

Done? Alright, now imagine that you dial the 1-800 number of your favorite mail order clothing company and it takes 400 rings before it connects. You give up long before that, grab the competitors catalog off the end table and call their 1-800 number. It connects without a full ring. Wow, the competitor must have much better service, right? Nope, they just paid your phone company a fee to be considered the “perferred” vendor over the other. (I know this isn’t feasible in how the phone system really works, but the analogy sounds good.)

This is essentially what the backbone Internet providers are proposing as a new revenue source, charging bigger customers for “preferred” status. The backbone providers claim that they don’t get any more money for higher bandwidth customers. If that’s true, the providers need to fix their funding model and charging structure, not start looking for new ways to suck more money from successful companies that happen to have large piles of market capitalization whose entire business models rely on quick site response times.

Or, swing all the way to the market forces side of the argument and say this is a cost of doing business and a free market economy establishing appropriate charges.

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