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Net Neutrality: A Sticky Tar Baby

Net Neutrality is a complicated issue. Do we want government controlling the flow of information, or large companies catering our service to those who have the deeper pockets? Is it that simple? No, of course not.

My brother, Eric Joiner, blogs regularly at Freight Dawg is a blog that follows the container shipping industry. Eric recently posted an interesting article on the issue of Net Neutrality with a historical perspective.

Striking points from Joiner’s article:

  • The net result of collusion by the rail barons was a monopoly on rail traffic and ultimately oil and commodity prices
  • This system eventually became burdensome to industry and starting in the 1970’s transport industries started to become deregulated.
  • Interestingly, the law that applies to the utility companies is the same one that applies to transportation.
  • My feeling is that there is going to be some sort of government regulation on monopoly control of information, or at least rules on what’s allowed in terms of information flow.

The internet is one big sticky tar baby. Information wants to be free. I think we are in for a wild ride between the forces of free market economics and the control of the infrastructure to move the product.

You can find the original article here. I’d love to hear your comments on the issue — as it’s one that affects all of us.

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Mickey Mellen

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