Internet Freedom smackdown: Amazon.com vs. telco lobby
A debate at George Washington University on Friday between Amazon.com's VP of Global Public Policy, Paul Misener, and the telecommunication industry's shill, Mike McCurry, led to the sweet and swift puncture of the industry's lobbying against Internet freedom. For those who are just joining us, the telcos are arguing that they should be able to create a tiered Internet system based on their own silly whims of who they'd like to have "preferred" status in their world.
What does Amazon have to say about that? Via SaveTheInternet:
"Tiered pricing for access is something we support. Amazon pays a lot more than 'Joe's-Internet-retail.com' simply because we use more capacity... That makes perfect sense to us. You pay for that capacity. But the important component here is that once the consumer has paid for his or her capacity at their home they ought to be able to use that capacity however they want. There's a fundamental misconception here that somehow delivery of video over the Internet is just like it is over cable TV, over satellite, over broadcast or, frankly, like delivery of content through newspapers or magazines. Those models have always been about 'push.' Somebody decides -- who either owns the pipe or owns the newspaper -- what content goes in their and pushes it out to consumers and they can choose to read it or not."
This is fundamental principle of the Internet which scares a lot of people: that it is the ultimate realization of democratic choice in a lot of ways, that it provides the directly ability of a producer of product or information to directly reach the consumer of that product or information with little to no gate-keeping in between.
Misener goes on to hand McCurry his hat when McCurry returns to his tried and true argument: that there isn't a problem right now of telco's restricting content, so why regulate it? Says Misener: