How Should Traffic Be Managed on the Information Superhighway?

Internet traffic should flow freely and equally. Photo Credit: tricky (rick harrison) via Compfight cc
Internet traffic should flow freely and equally.
Photo Credit: tricky (rick harrison) via Compfight cc

I’m glad to see that NPR’s headline about today’s FCC vote uses the phrase Internet traffic. Unlike net neutrality, the traffic metaphor suggests movement and action.

It also brings power to mind. Who is managing the traffic and to what end?

In a letter to the editor, I used the phrase Internet traffic speed. While writing, I thought it important to include the word speed because speed seemed like the issue was about. But now I see that speed is only one dimension of Internet traffic. Other important dimensions include political control of Internet traffic and the moral values of equality and freedom that underly the Web.

What do you think? Should managing Internet traffic replace Net neutrality, or am I splitting hairs?

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One thought on “How Should Traffic Be Managed on the Information Superhighway?”

  1. No, I don’t think you’re splitting hairs. For that matter, this controversy is an illustration of the way in which innovation (in this case, the Internet) begins as a boon to the general populace and then is co-opted by big business. Business by itself innovates virtually nothing. But when it sees something created by a couple of guys in a garage succeeding, it moves into the resulting “market” to corner profits and control. That’s a lot of what’s happening now, don’t you think? The more Internet time they control, the more they can sell to advertisers. Ordinary folks like us will have to take a side road. Remember Chicago?

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