David Preston Guest Post: Net Neutrality and One Sidedness

This is in response to The Oatmeal’s treatment here.

This is a good presentation of ONE SIDE of the story. Don’t get me wrong, I’m for net neutrality But to be fair, I must say that Comcast’s arguments were not fairly represented in this story. Oatmeal dot com seems to be taking the position that since Comcast is a big, greedy corporation, every action it takes must needs be motivated by its bigness and greediness. That may be true, but that should be left for readers to decide once they’ve listened to both sides.

In any event, Comcast claims that Netflix – which, by the way is another mega-corporation, just like Comcast – is using more than its “fair” share of Comcast customer bandwidth and not paying for it. Comcast’s position is that heavy users should pay more because they consume more, putting a greater strain on Comcast’s network. They say they want Internet use to be metered so heavy users pay more and light users to pay less.

There are two problems with Comcast’s argument. One is that Comcast maintains that it should be the arbiter of who’s a heavy user. Another is that Comcast is not offering, in advance, to lower its rates for light users, and there’s no guarantee that it would do so after it got what it wanted.

Now we have a more balanced picture.

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