Net Neutrality Has a Spokesperson

By John Dvorak  |  Posted 2006-07-05 Print this article Print

Opinion: Is Sen. Ted Stevens really the right guy for this job?

The Net neutrality bill took kind of a weird turn despite its defeat, when the public got to hear the mouthpiece for the telecom industry, Senator Ted Stevens. Wow. Stevens, an Alaska Republican, made a 10-minute speech before Congress that was something of a cross between a comedy act by Professor Irwin Corey and testimony by Casey Stengel, both famous for flubs, non sequiturs, and double-talk.

Stevens is most famous for diverting federal money to Alaska and especially famous for his grabbing $453 million needed for post-Katrina rebuilding to construct two bridges in Alaska, including the infamous "bridge to nowhere." He may be inarticulate and weird, but he does manage to benefit his state at a cost to the nation as a whole.

Stevens now appears to be the front man for the telecom companies (they must be so proud!) regarding Net neutrality, and you can listen to his 10-minute diatribe here. Let me warn you in advance. Its incredibly painful. Its too obvious that this man has no idea what the Internet is exactly and no idea about the issues behind Net neutrality. It seems like a miracle that he can even find the crapper.

Click here to read more about what Sen. Ted Stevens had to say about Net neutrality. This shows you how desperate the telcos and cable companies are to get their way, as Stevens is also the point man for new telecom legislation. Its funny how the telcos argue against any government interference with the Internet but promote various telecom "reform" bills that benefit them.

WHAT IS NET NEUTRALITY? As a reminder, let me outline the idea and rationale for Net neutrality. The idea is that there needs to be legislation to prevent Internet providers such as SBC and Comcast from arbitrarily throttling services. They, of course, want to throttle Skype to make sure people use POTS. But they have been saber-rattling against Google and others who Ted Stevens says are getting a free ride on the Internet. I cannot even imagine how many millions of dollars Google pays to get on the Net. How this is a free ride is baffling. Oh wait, thats right, the man is an idiot. Thats it.

Here is one of Stevenss explanations from his diatribe:

"They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the Internet. And again, the Internet is not something you just dump something on. Its not a truck. Its a series of tubes.

"And if you dont understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and its going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material."

We are never clear who the "they" is. Read the full story on Net Neutrality Has a Spokesperson

John C. Dvorak is a contributing editor of PC Magazine, for which he has been writing two columns, including the popular Inside Track, since 1986. Dvorak has won eight national awards from the Computer Press Association, including Best Columnist and Best Column. Dvorak's work appears in several magazines and newspapers, including Boardwatch, Computer Shopper, and MicroTimes. He is the author of several books on computing including the popular Dvorak's Guide to Telecommunications. His radio show, 'Real Computing,' can be heard on National Public Radio. He is also the host of TechTV's 'Silicon Spin.'

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