Net Neutrality seems to be a justification for everything that Internet Service Provider do that other stakeholder or lobby group doesn’t like. Reminiscent of the fifties style anti-communist purges, people are getting caught up in fervor. It’s a noble belief that Internet Service Providers should not block or discriminate against over the top traffic, but some folks have perverted the essence of Net Neutrality in order to justify their own self-serving goals. If we start turning over every rock looking for Net Neutrality infringements, with an ever changing definition, the only thing we are likely to find are problems.
If this fervor continues the end-game will see Service Providers essentially blocked from evolving into Digital Telcos as every move they make will be questioned by the Net Neutrality police & co. The Verizon AOL deal is a case in point. It didn’t some sections of the industry long to start calling it a Net Neutrality disaster. The fact that these kind of deals may be just what the industry needs generate a leap forward for the Service Provider become largely irrelevant in the midst of the cries of the Net Neutrality. That the same operator may be able to provide a better product or service to their customer doesn’t seem to enter the conversation.
In order for Telcos to evolve and service their customers in better ways they need to not only be allowed to innovate, but encouraged to do so. The Net Neutrality boycott on operator innovation needs to stop. All players in should be held accountable to the core values of Net Neutrality, not just the Service Providers – then things will be truly equal if not neutral. The most important thing is to bring the consumer back into the picture. Instead of redefining Net Neutrality every time it suits, each player should be asking themselves how I can better serve my customer!