Beware the ‘r word’ when reading up on Net Neutrality


The beauty of the Drudge Report right now is that Mr. Drudge is working against his very interests. He’s got some ridiculous headline right now, JULIUS AT FCC WANTS TO ‘REGULATE’ INTERNET, that’s meant to wile up his easily excitable readership. What’s going on is that the FCC has moved one step closer to bringin Net Neutrality to fruition, and has invited the public to weigh in until January 14.

Here’s my problem with the Drudge presentation: he’s using the word “regulation” to scare up opposition to Net Neutrality. Here’s a quick scenario that I pulled out of thin air the site would do well to consider:

My name is Mr Smith. I run a really big ISP in the United States. You know who I don’t like? That damn Drudge Report guy. He’s always talking smack about my company. So what I’m going to do is, now that there’s no Net Neutrality to get in the way, I’m go to either block access to his Web site, or just slow it down so that it’s practically unusable. Now Drudge gets no traffic from my subscribers, and his business suffers. Meanwhile, I’ve gone ahead and partnered with TechCrunch, and have rigged it in such a way that all of my subscribers can access the site REALLY CRAZY FAST, and there’s no ads. My subscribers now go to TechCrunch all the time. It’s a free market, right: I hate Drudge, so I’m gonna block his site. Now, of course, my subscribers are free to go somewhere else if they want to visit Drudge, but considering how little competition there is in broadband, have fun paying for a dial-up connection in 2010; I own all the fiber optic cable in this city!

That’s a gigantic oversimplification, yes, but it illustrates my basic point: Drudge here is so off the mark that he’s putting his own business at risk.

Not smart, sir.