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Esther Dyson on Net Neutrality

I’ve been a big fan of Esther Dyson since I read a profile about her, the unbelievable mess that is her office, and her status as a future theorist and “big thinker”. She came across as being a) incredibly smart, and b) incredibly down to earth given her family.

I was very curious to see her thoughts on Net Neutrality.

The big fight is in essence two interest blocks arguing over who owns the consumer: Is it the big content-providers and carriers, who can make money by offering content in exchange for audience?… and, oh, to get those audiences, they’d like to get exclusive access, please. Their pitch to consumers is that without us, you’d have to pay more for your Net access.

When you compare this to my own comments on the subject (which, again, are mine alone and do not reflect the views of my employer), I come off sounding almost exactly like a world renowned “big thinker”.

Now, it appears that the NY Times has bought into the arguments made by net neutrality proponents. It really is unfortunate that the wrong side of this issue has come up with the best messaging. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. This is not a debate between the little guy and the big guy. This is a debate between content providers and access providers over who has to charge the little guy more for service. Period.

Now that Esther has confirmed my position, do you think the Save the Internet guys will finally have an honest debate about this?

(Disclaimer: While I work for the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, this post should in no way be construed as an official position of the Association. Thoughts in this space are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the views of my employer.)

Written by Michael Turk