Former presidential candidate Senator John McCain has issued a press release outlining his new bill to prohibit the FCC from issuing binding rules on how the Internet is operated in the United States.
Now, I am a fan of Net Neutrality from a philosophical standpoint. I firmly believe that Internet backbone carriers as well as end user ISPs should not be allowed to implement network practices that limit users based on the amount they pay for service or how much of a service they use.
But, to me, the issue is much broader than basic FCC regulation over the physical network itself. This is a problem for the FTC in how data networks and Internet access is marketed to a strikingly dumb population, and it is an issue for the Justice department to been involved in when companies consort with one another to stifle competition in broadband markets.
Since the early days of 56k V.90 dialup service, ISPs have shouted from the mountain tops that their service offerings were unlimited. Both myself and several of my friends (Bone_Enterprise can attest) took the ISPs to task on this by remaining connected for weeks at a time. Many times, accounts were disabled and we were informed that we were abusing their network. Despondent, we replied that they advertised the service as unlimited. The response was always, "it is unlimited, but you can't use all you want." The incongruity of it all was something that irked us to no end.
As it turns out, what they were advertising is, "unlimited ability to access," and not, "unlimited usage." I believe this is false advertising in sheep's clothing. Regularly the FDA requires pharmaceutical companies to issue new profanely long commercials clarifying their claims about a particular drug and its side effects. Where is this watchdog mentality about the Internet and the trillions of dollars in GDP that it fosters?
The answer is most assuredly money and power.