Please let us jack up the rates
Money, it's a gas
Catching the Web in a Net of Neutrality
By Robert E. Litan
Special to washingtonpost.com
Tuesday, May 2, 2006; 12:00 AM
Imagine a world in which millions of senior citizens and disabled Americans, among others, can have, if they want, their medical conditions monitored continuously by devices that communicate over high speed, broadband networks that can automatically alert them if they require immediate medical attention. Such "remote disease management" systems not only would be highly convenient for patients, but based on evidence from the Veterans Administration's use of systems that do not yet make extensive use of broadband, could lead to huge savings in health care costs. I have calculated in a recent report that the health care cost savings and the reduced need for institutionalizing seniors and the disabled could top $1 trillion over the next 25 years.
But there is a hitch. Remote disease monitoring -- and telemedicine more broadly -- cannot use broadband networks unless they are reliable. Even more important than not having your streamed movie interrupted by heavy traffic from other Internet users is not having your vital signs transmitted without interruption to the individual or computer that is remotely monitoring your health.
Yet perhaps without realizing it, those who are now advocating "net neutrality"-- the notion that those who shell out the big bucks to build new much higher speed networks can't ask the websites that will use the networks intensively to help pay for them-- could keep this new world from becoming a reality. Further, they could deprive the websites themselves of the benefits of being able to use the networks to deliver their data-heavy content.
Admittedly, this is not readily apparent from the broadsides that net neutrality supporters are lobbing against the telecommunications companies. If they are to be believed, the firms that want to build a premium network could engage in price gouging or unfair discrimination, perhaps even destroying the Net itself. Nothing could be further from the truth.
This argument is bullshit on it's face. Utter and complete bullshit.
The telcos didn't build shit, tax dollars did. The gift of the internet has been nothing but profitable for them. 20 years of development and woek was basically gifted to them.
Their argument is about the same as "why can't companies which use phones pay more
because we upgraded our phone system"
What they want to do is set up a toll road for users. To control the internet and charge for every aspect of use. The worst of America's cell phone system brought online.
Here's a story.
It's science fair time for my niece and nephew.
My nephew wanted to do a project on buoyancy. He thought doing the same project as his classmates would be boring. So he did his research online.
My niece had to collect pictures of 30 animals from five different families.
Of course they went online to do this, as millions of kids do.
I asked my sister what they would have done without the internet and there would have been library trips, but she wasn't really sure. The kids without computers are getting screwed out of an increasing technology dependent education.
The Telcos want to screw millions of working class kids out of an education by pricing the internet out of their reach. It is really quite that simple. Mike McCurry can justify his 30 pieces of silver any way he wants, but he is working to create a new segregated society, one where the working class join a Brave New World, where they are forever condemned to second class citizenship.
He can babble his excuses, and while I have long held that computers are not the solution to better education, it seems without them, you aren't going to get ANY education. And he is working to make that happen.
posted by Steve @ 1:20:00 AM