Verizon claims constitutional right to restrict access...
by grimgraphix - 7/4/12 12:36 PM
Verizon seeks to legally claim a constitutional right to restrict access to the internet in a new legal maneuver.
Verizon feels that it should be allowed to tweak your bandwidth whenever it wants, and not only that, the company claims the U.S. Constitution gives it the right to do so.
The company claims that enforcing such a standard [of open access to all web page providers, e.g.. Net Neutrality] violates the free speech rights of its owners. What's more, Verizon likens its role in throttling certain web content to that of a newspaper editor picking what stories to run.
In essence, Verizon is claiming to be a content provider and thus should have editorial control over who has access to its internet distribution network. Of course Verizon fails to mention in its legal arguments that what they liken to "editorial control" is actually just putting access to the "editorial page" up to the highest bidder.
A real world comparison to, say Network TV, would be this. Everything on the Verizon TV network would essentially be a program length commercial "paid for by the sponsor"... and all the viewers would also have to pay for access to view said program length commercial.
Then, the Verizon TV Network would offer to bump any TV show on its schedule in favor of any other TV show based on a bidding war. What the viewer paid to see this week may be available, or it may not... based on how much the "program length commercial" is willing to pay for its' time slot.
This pretty much means that when you pay Verizon for access to the internet, you still can't have any expectation of getting access to what you paid to see. Verizon and other ISP's already offer tiered access speeds to people who want access to the web. The question I have is why should I pay extra for the fastest internet access when what I want to view may be throttled anyway?
Finally, I have to ask, if Verizon wants to claim a role similar to a newspaper or news network that should have editorial control via controlling bandwidth speeds... then that would make the web page providers the same as reporters. New reporters don't work for free. They get paid to do their job. If Verizon is going to carry this analogy to its' logical conclusion, shouldn't this mean that Verizon pays the web page providers instead of the other way round?
I'm really not sure how this is different from an extortion and bribery scheme. This sounds like something Tony Soprano would do when he ran his garbage business. He might pick up your garbage this week and he might not.
Thoughts about all this?