Neutrality? Er…probably

I support the protests being mounted today against proposed changes to the net neutrality rules in the USA but pardon me if I do so with an ironic smirk.

So here are a number of fiercely capitalist enterprises complaining about allowing the price mechanism to determine the sort of internet access an individual consumer receives. Markets don’t always know best or produce the best results? Who knew? This is Bolshevism. Where will it all end?

And, of course, when the EU addressed net neutrality it sought to ban businesses from managing traffic to shield children from inappropriate content.

As they might have asked in Judea: “What has net neutrality ever done for us”? Allowed the internet to become dominated by a handful of winner-take-all monopolies who are now worried that access providers could undermine their current dominance. To do so in the name of protecting the interests of small businesses sort of wins a prize. For what exactly I haven’t yet decided. Chutzpah maybe?Answers on a postcard please.

About John Carr

John Carr is one of the world's leading authorities on children's and young people's use of digital technologies. He is Senior Technical Adviser to Bangkok-based global NGO ECPAT International and is Secretary of the UK's Children's Charities' Coalition on Internet Safety. John is now or has formerly been an Adviser to the Council of Europe, the UN (ITU), the EU and UNICEF. John has advised many of the world's largest technology companies on online child safety. John's skill as a writer has also been widely recognised.
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