8.06.2006

An Open Letter to All Companies Who Oppose Net Neutrality

Do you like money?

Sure! We all do! Everyone would like to make more money than they currently do.

But charging a website money so their page loads faster is NOT going to make you money.

In fact, it will cost you money. And we aren't talking hundreds or even thousands of dollars, but millions.

This is why:

There are millions of websites. They are owned by the millions of customers who pay for high speed internet access.
Your customers pay you to make every page they make or see load quickily and flawlessly. If you make one page load faster based on how much that site pays you, you are stiffing the customers who pay you to make every page load fast. If the pages aren't going to load at the same rate, why should the average joe (from whom you make most of your money) pay for anything more than dial up? And dial up, by the way, is free for a lot of people through work and school.

You will be forced to hire a large number of technical and service staff to speed up and slow down paying or non-paying websites.
The cost of staffing for such a foolish endeavor is more than you ever plan to make. With the internet working on minutes and seconds rather than days and weeks, you will need 24 hour coverage for every site that pays or doesn't pay you to load at certain speeds.

Gutting net neutrality will 'carve up' the internet and lead to losses from dissatisfied customers.
Let's pretend you are Verizon. A large company, such as Amazon, pays you to load their site faster than Alibris. Alibris pays Time Warner to load their site faster than Amazon. The end result is that neither of the websites get what they pay for because they are shelling out cash to two different companies. Only Verizon customers will see a faster load for Amazon, and customers that don't use Verizon at all won't see a change in the load time.

You will not gain customers based on certain websites loading faster.
The internet users of the world do not use the internet to look at large companies everyday. Large companies, if stupid enough to pay you, will be lumped together as part of an elite few that will be protested against for going along with your mad scheme. And let's face it, after the forty-billionth pr0n site pays you to load them faster, the majority of internet users will be very, very angry.

You will lose market share and stock prices will drop from your lack of innovation.
The investment savvy call this type of suicide an 'IBM.' I.e. everyone makes the mistake of picking up this clunker because it should do well in a portfolio and never does, because they never do anything. The resistance to innovation on the internet will lead to the stifling of young companies that would make you lots of money later in life - if they weren't killed by your 'must have it now' type of greed.

When you charge websites to to load faster, you inevitably kill small websites that people use daily.
Small websites that people use daily? Whatever could those be? I'm talking about doctor's office websites, church websites, public library websites, small town governing websites. These are small websites that people use everyday and if access to them is cut off by your greed, you will have millions of unhappy customers ready to burn down your offices.

You will be bombarded by class action, anti-trust, and discrimination law suits.
Charging people for their website to load faster is a form of discrimination. Every person and company that owns a website already pays for internet service and pay seperate fees to have domain names, server space, and bandwidth. To charge more based on page loading time (and eventually to even load at all) is discriminatory to all websites and businesses who depend on the internet and are not loaded with money. You will face class action from consumers who paid premium prices for cable modems only to have the websites they want to see slow to a crawl. You will face anti-trust lawsuits from small businesses whose competition you are trying to kill by gutting net neutrality.

All the fees you charge to companies for faster loading times will be passed to your customers in the form of extra fees for services.
So not only will you be steering people in the direction of bad customer service, you will make them pay for it as well. And since we are already paying for internet service, it's another reason to drop to a cheaper, local, dial-up.

You are putting too much emphasis on money to realize that if customers are forced to deal with longer loading times on their favorite sites, they will not go to the quick loading websites out of spite.
In psychology, it's called being passive-aggressive. In business terms, it means that the 'second class citizens' you create on the web will use the 'second class websites' for information and services and therefore, deny you money.

Gutting net neutrality shows your customers that you do not know how the internet works and do not have the technical know how to even attempt what you propose.
We aren't stupid. We know that you're making obscene amounts of money off of us for internet access. But that you honestly believe that websites should pay you to load faster shows you don't have the technical know how to even run your own company. If terms like bandwidth and domain confuse you, you should put your lobbyist back in its box and back away before you lose millions of dollars. Having worked for many business, large and small, I've learned a thing or two about committing business suicide. This is business suicide.

The minute you manage to get this law signed, you will truly learn the meaning of the word 'hacker.'
This is not a threat. This is a promise. Net Neutrality means everyone has a fair shot at the information and services they want and need. No one appreciates having the services and information they want kept from them, least of all hackers. You will be forced to hire a large number of technical staff to combat the daily rage of viruses, cracked security, hacked flaws, and stolen information. This is on top of the technical staff and service staff mentioned above.

You already charge the big websites just to use the internet.

Stop being greedy. The big websites (and the little ones) already pay you an arm and a leg to be out there with everything from domain name fees to bandwidth.

In the end, gutting net neutrality for profit, will only lead to you losing money in embarassing and frustrating ways.

So listen up: If you want to make a profit, do what good businesses do: treat your customer base like gold, practice good customer service, and resist the need to be greedy. Money goes to companies with sparkling reputations. And cheaters only go to jail (Enron).

One last quick note to Congress:
Killing net neutrality will hurt you too. Whether or not you use the internet, you can bet your re-election that your constituents do. And wouldn't it just suck if you lost re-election because joe-bob's website loaded faster than yours? And wouldn't it suck if your website loaded really fast and everyone ditched your sell-out, fat cat ass for an up and comer? Choose wisely, grass hopper. We are watching you.

1 comment:

Madartiste said...

Nicely put, Nic, nicely put.