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Old Net Neutral Beef Made New Again: Half Baked Threats Still Undercooked

Net Neutrality
Net Neutrality
Public domain

Now that one of the ISP monopolies has won a court case on Federal appeal, digital downers are crying in their Starbucks cafe lunch laptops that this will spell the end of the once super info highway. Mouse click pundits contend that media gatekeeper greed merchants will turn the Internet into a content tolled, pay as you surf a la carte cyber cable cafeteria where you choose one site from column one, two and three. With swift speed for Richie Rich while the rest of us endure a virtual dial-up pace reserved for business startups and fledgling newbs who can't afford more than slow poke rates.

Not so fast. Telecom influence predicated on turning the net into a convoluted spider web of various speeds and accesses will stymie universal ad function and alienate that most crucial user demographic---future consumers. Remaking cyberspace into pay TV in the name of cloud business will transform E tech wires and satellite links from a digital cornucopia into a chaotic network that'll spawn devil-may-care entrepreneurs and underground black markets. PC pipelines have to function unmitigated by E class warfare in order to serve surveillance and spy game agendas. And FCC regulators will only sacrifice so much safety for profits.

A tried and true business model based on unfiltered ad access won't be renewable long term by having its audiences torn or scattered into too many economically segregated parts. Once they get wind of what's happening, that would lead to less interest. And migration to more inclusive option alternatives. We all know what happened when rank and file consumers got tired of cable TV company business practices. They cut the cord en mass and flocked to the world wide web in search of competitive pricing and freedom of choice that was lacking. Apparently, net powers that be haven't quite learned a lesson from that. Yet.

Given the cable example, one can't imagine an Internet where subscribers are offered social network, news and general access packages as if these were actual features worth paying special add on fees for in the first place. In face of non neutral censorship, the savvy of being online is to be had not in mainstream site infotainment but in the casual mom and pop sites where fun topics and revealing subjects are shared by real people with no profit incentive or focus group motive. All else is one big ad campaign or sales pitch wherein loss of net neutrality would amount to paying more to get less or charging for what was once free.

That worked for a starved old school TV generation that wanted more than what the three major networks had to offer. But in a modern 24/7 communications driven netscape where end users are growing weary of social media, paying inflated access prices for virtual friendship and texting small talk hit its peak with the loss of privacy and might decline with higher costs. To reinvent the Internet as a piecemeal pay site collection of media networking attractions that we already pay for in the form of data identification and ad targeting is ISP bill overkill not to fall for if we are asked to pay more for less.

To treat the newly preconceived threat of E line speeds scaled and filtered by a corporate bottom line for fat wallets vs. economy budgets, while ominous to ponder, wouldn't be a tech biz shift wise consumers would take easily. Fair access horizons would pop up in open source community competition to provide cyber oases to give consumers what they want and not limit connectivity or pick their pockets. Publicly subsidized communications infrastructure lobbied by private business for profit is a power play, not an E vision. It'll only thrive if already frustrated end users keep their ISPs and buy the new non net neutral ripoff.

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