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Samsung has a deal where if you buy a 4K Samsung TV, you get a free Samsung Galaxy 6. While I'm not in the market for a 4K TV of any brand nor particularly interested in a Galaxy 6, this is considered a good thing for the customer. On a much smaller stage, this past summer, the local grocery store offered a tub of free Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream with purchase of some frozen pizzas (and yes, I took advantage of the deal, the pizza was OK but the ice cream was great).

Apparently, I conspired to a violation of Ice Cream Neutrality, the grocery store picking winners and losers in the ice cream market. Except nobody talks about Ice Cream Neutrality. And what's considered acceptable behavior in every other market, make customers happy and thus loyal by giving them FREE STUFF, is an attempt to control the Internet.

There are some potential risks of bad behavior by ISPs that justify many parts of Net Neutrality regulation. ISPs should NOT be allowed to block or artificially slow down traffic to sites they don't like or are in competition with services they provide. And if they get in bed with one provider, maybe that's iffy (really iffy there's any connection between that provider and the ISP).

But what T-Mobile has done with their music products and now video is provide free access to all the major players without counting against the monthly data limit. Does this put Joe's Video Shoppe at a disadvantage? Maybe. But they're already at a great disadvantage. And it's not like people only use one service. So for the three T-Mobile customers who do use Joe's Video Shoppe, they haven't been charged for the bandwidth used watching Netflix and Amazon Prime so it's easier to decide to stream stuff from Joe's Video Shoppe because you have more room.

More importantly - T-Mobile is providing FREE STUFF. Customers usually like regulations because they benefit them directly. They get protected from faulty stuff sold to them, they make sure prices are properly labelled, etc. (Yes, there are arguments that some regulations make things worse, make prices go up, etc. - but that's a side issue.) If those who are arguing that what T-Mobile does is a violation of Net Neutrality and the FCC must stop them get their way, the public is going to ask "what are we getting out of this? And legitimately so.


Posted on November 11, 2015, 12:42 am

Donald Brown

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