A core argument about net neutrality is keeping the Internet free and open. That cornerstone argument misses an important point.
Back in the day when I transitioned from using Bulletin Board Systems (BBSs) to the world wide web with a CompuServe account, I noticed a flaw in the overall design. Nobody had access to the web without a service provider.
Of course, nobody had access to BBSs without a phone company.
That fact remains true today. To keep the Internet free and open requires at least one of two solutions.
- Competition among ISPs.
- Removing the requirement to need an ISP.
Until one or both of these approaches occur the Internet never will be open and free. The first option is unlikely to occur because political corruption is normal. ISPs spend extraordinary effort to retain their monopolistic empires.
The second option could be accomplished with technology. Perhaps mesh networking or some kind of peer-to-peer network. One way or another, eliminate the central stranglehold.
And this doesn’t even begin to address the sickness now known as data mining and tracking.