Net Neutrality is Disingenuous
Net Neutrality will accomplish the opposite of what it claims to do — to keep the Internet free and open.
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and carriers need the ability to choose how to implement Quality of Service (QoS) on their networks to the benefit of their customers and clients. If every network packet is treated equally, then one sufficiently-large service can dominate the entire Internet simply because bandwidth is a limited resource. If bandwidth were limitless, we would not be having this discussion. Voice over IP (VoIP) needs exclusive bandwidth allocation, video streaming needs to be throttled if it saturates a link, and real-time high-bandwidth applications need special attention to ensure Service-Level Agreements (SLAs). Without QoS, the Internet as we know it would not exist; video streaming would be so dominant that all other services would be unusable, which is far from what any reasonable person would call “neutral” “open” “fair” or “free.”
Just think of the possibilities and opportunities that would be lost if we decided to make every network packet equal. An ISP could not allow a customer that primarily uses video-streaming services to choose a discounted plan that de-prioritizes non-video applications. A client could not choose a carrier that will give them dedicated bandwidth and guaranteed latency that adheres to a strict SLA. An argument could be made that these options are not the best options for those individuals; however, we don’t know if that’s the case or not, but the individual knows, and thus the collective of individuals (the market) knows.
The solution to the threat of a restricted and closed Internet (which is not manifest, and has not ever existed since the inception of the Internet) is the same solution applied to many other economic issues: free-market capitalism. The market is always right, the market knows exactly what it wants, and the market knows precisely how to convey what it wants — with its wallet. We should be focusing on promoting competition, not hindering it with ineffective regulations. The market is self-protecting and self-regulating and will not tolerate atrocities such as censorship and predatory business tactics (which are two of the main problems that Net Neutrality tries to solve) and will simply move its money elsewhere. This of course, requires competition, so again, our focus should be on that front.
Free-market capitalism is a simple and time-tested solution that guarantees the Internet will remain truly neutral, open, fair, and free.