A View From The Handbasket

Thursday, July 06, 2006
Stevens: I'm against net neutrality because my e-mail is slow
Posted by neros_fiddle at 11:39 AM

Here's Senator Ted "Bridge to Nowhere" Stevens (not pictured above) explaining how the internet works on the floor of the Senate:

There's one company now you can sign up and you can get a movie delivered to your house daily by delivery service. Okay. And currently it comes to your house, it gets put in the mail box when you get home and you change your order but you pay for that, right.

But this service is now going to go through the internet and what you do is you just go to a place on the internet and you order your movie and guess what you can order ten of them delivered to you and the delivery charge is free.

Ten of them streaming across that internet and what happens to your own personal internet?

I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why?

Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially.

So you want to talk about the consumer? Let's talk about you and me. We use this internet to communicate and we aren't using it for commercial purposes.

We aren't earning anything by going on that internet. Now I'm not saying you have to or you want to discrimnate against those people [...]

The regulatory approach is wrong. Your approach is regulatory in the sense that it says "No one can charge anyone for massively invading this world of the internet". No, I'm not finished. I want people to understand my position, I'm not going to take a lot of time. [...]

They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the internet. And again, the internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck.

It's a series of tubes.

And if you don't 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.

Now we have a separate Department of Defense internet now, did you know that?

Do you know why?

Because they have to have theirs delivered immediately. They can't afford getting delayed by other people.


Now I think these people are arguing whether they should be able to dump all that stuff on the internet ought to consider if they should develop a system themselves.

Maybe there is a place for a commercial net but it's not using what consumers use every day.

It's not using the messaging service that is essential to small businesses, to our operation of families.

The whole concept is that we should not go into this until someone shows that there is something that has been done that really is a violation of net neutraility that hits you and me.

Rest assured that legislation designed to funnel huge amounts of money (perhaps using "tubes") into the accounts of telcos is being considered by those well-acquainted with the technical issues involved.

Seriously, anyone reading this blog probably knows more about how the internet works than Ted Stevens does. He's like any number of executives I've known who can only (mis)understand the internet in terms of their personal e-mail (or, more accurately, the e-mail their secretaries receive and print out for them). Of course, they never let their lack of knowledge get in the way of making decisions.

So, everyone, let's all get together and let the telcos and cable companies decide what parts of the internet we should be able to access, so that semi-sentient senators can get their "internets" in a timely manner. Lobbyists everywhere thank you.

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