Keep your crystal balls

12 Jan 2015
00:00

It’s trendy for analysts and journalists at this time of year to look into their crystal balls and tell us what to expect in 2015. For me, it makes more sense to look back on 2014 and see what failed or otherwise made no sense - in the faint hope that we can jettison the silly stuff and remedy the situation in the coming year.

Let’s start with all the fuss about net neutrality. Don’t believe that those bastions of fair trade and equality - the national telecoms regulators or the ITU - have your best interests at heart, because they don’t. They simply need something new to regulate to keep their jobs and prove their worth.

The whole theory that everyone should have equal access to the Internet is fatally flawed. It’s like declaring that everyone who wants a car is entitled to a Mercedes-Benz, or toll roads should be free, or that a 500 ml bottle of Coke should cost the same as a 325 ml can.

The free capital markets of this world simply don’t work in such an egalitarian fashion. If you want something bigger, better, faster or sexier you have to pay extra for it, and that goes for EVERYTHING. So why should the Internet be any different? In any case, the Internet is free - it’s just the access to it that people pay for.

It’s in no one’s interest to pass net neutrality bills except those that want to exert control over it. These are the same entities that have exerted control over the telecoms world for 100 years and look what a great job they did there. We needed regulators when we deregulated those old monopoly markets to help new competitors enter the market (sounds like an oxymoron, I know). But no one has a monopoly over the Internet, so why bother?

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