Keep net neutrality out of US campaign

Rob Powell/Telecom Ramblings
07 Aug 2012

ArsTechnica posted a piece yesterday by Michael Livermore calling for the two US presidential candidates to weigh in on network neutrality.

Allow me to disagree. No seriously, I really don’t want them to.

Everything Mitt Romney, Barack Obama and the political hacks behind them touch turns into a giant festival of posturing, pandering, demigoguery, gaffe-manufacturing, and mud-slinging. Whichever side of the political spectrum you come from, the one obvious result of bringing network neutrality into the US presidential campaign would be to end all serious discussion for years.

Not that there’s been much serious discussion on the subject lately, but still. What we need is some actual honest talk about how to both reward infrastructure investment and creativity in using the bandwidth. We need to find a workable compromise, and if there’s one thing that today’s politicians can’t do right now it’s precisely that.

While I sympathize with Mr. Livermore’s desire to have an important issue discussed and moved forward, I seriously dread the focus-group-tested, brain-free, sugar-coated platitudes that would result. They might be mistaken for actual proposals. Be careful what you wish for…

Far better to have them keep hammering away at each other about stuff that doesn’t matter, or that they’ve already @#$%ed up so badly it can’t be fixed anyway no matter who wins.

Ok, I feel better now.

This article was authored by Rob Powell and was originally posted on

Rob Powell is founder & editor of Telecom Ramblings, which was set up in 2008. The website is dedicated to discussing trends and developments in the telecom industry.

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