David Isenberg has laid out (again!) the case for Network Neutrality.
The largest providers of today’s Internet infrastructure are
also the strongest opponents of Network Neutrality. If their
profit stream diminishes, which it must if the Internet is to
remain neutral, stupid and open, then we weaken the
infrastructure for that which we value. This is not a new
thought, see The Paradox of the Best Network
http://netparadox.com. What is new is that the opposition of
the telcos and cablecos has now crystallized in a full-on
assault on the Internet’s neutrality. Their end game is a
corporatized Internet that stifles freedom, democracy and
innovation incidental to reifying the telco-cableco business
model. Ultimately, the vision of the Network Neutrality
movement must encompass more than the circumscription of
certain carrier behaviors; it must be structural.
We must resolve to persist until today’s dinosaurs evolve into
birds. That is, we must face the fact that if the Internet is
to survive as a neutral network, sooner or later we will need
Internet access without carriers as we know them today. So we
need to decide whether we keep the neutral Internet or we keep
today’s carriers, because we won’t be able to have both.
What’s interesting here is that you could substitute “existing health insurance carriers” for “incumbent local carriers” and “affordable, universal health care” for “network neutrality” and it would work in the health care domain. For example, the last paragraph:
We must resolve to persist until today’s dinosaurs evolve into birds. That is, we must face the fact that if affordable, universal health care is to exist as a human right, sooner or later we will need health care without the existing health insurance carriers as we know them today. So we need to decide whether we keep alive the idea of universal health care or we keep today’s existing health insurance carriers, because we won’t be able to have both.