Who's Whining?

I enjoyed the first half of Steven Pearlstein's rant in the Washington Post this Sunday. That's the one where he takes to task the iPhone purchasers who are whining about the $200 price drop.

The second half of the rant, though, confuses me

The latest rallying cry is "network neutrality." This campaign started out with the legitimate goal of making sure that consumers could continue to access whichever services or content they want, rather than having to take those offered by the cable and phone company duopolists. But lately the campaign seems to have morphed into a broader demand that all consumers should be able to pay the same monthly fee for using the Internet, no matter how much bandwidth they use or how much their movie downloads and video chats are slowing service to everyone else in the neighborhood.

The "some people say" journalism is troubling. I sure wish he'd cite a reference, because I don't know anybody who has advocated this "everything for free" stance.

Personally, I think subscribers (on either side of the connection) should pay the full and fair costs of their Internet traffic. The problem is that while there is a competitive wholesale market, the retail access market remains broken. Net neutrality regulations aren't a good thing, but they are needed pretty badly so long as the retail access market is allowed to remain broken and susceptible to manipulation by the broadband providers in this country.

You can read the full rant here: Whiny Techies (registration required)