Here’s a little note that came out just ahead of Apple’s WorldWide Developer Conference (WWDC) this week: Apple is thinking about building out its own content delivery network.
In English that means that the consumer products manufacturer so beloved by liberals is planning its own branch of the Internet to guarantee that its audio and video streams get to the consumer in decent shape.
Rewind to last year — when so-called “Net Neutrality” was all the rage on the left — the idea that a company could pay the titans of the Internet a little extra to make sure that their digital audio and video streams arrived to consumers in one piece was considered the height classism. The peak of snobbery. A brutal drubbing of the wretched poor’s noses in the digital dirt.
It was apparently a shocking idea, that some people might pay more for better service. Whoah! What kind of crazy talk was that? Pay more for better service? Not in our wonderful Socialist future! Everybody pays the same (except those that don’t pay anything or those living on subsidies) for the same – from a granny only wanting to check her grandchildren’s Facebook pages once a day to a hardcore multiplayer online gamer to a vast corporate with workers in a hundred different places. There will be no differences allowed!
Net Neutrality Forever! crowed one Barack H. Obama, Democrats far and wide along with a phalanx of “consumer” groups such as Public Knowledge, Free Press, etc. Everyone must have the same Internet packet speed because lack of high-speed broadband, with every packet of data delivered in the same way, was the only thing keeping the less fortunate down. If they had access to broadband Internet then they’d get college degrees, start businesses, cure cancer and vault into the lucrative high-tech future, they sang.
Of course so many of these technocratic experts had no idea what they were talking about (and the ones that did were snowing the gullible). I’ll let you in on a little secret. There already is a data packet hierarchy. It’s been around pretty much since the modern Internet began. It’s about the only way it can function without clogging.
For instance, your email packets aren’t high priority so they can wander around the Internet, be reassembled and you don’t notice the fragmentary seconds in delay. But if your video or audio packets did the same, you’d end up with chatter, hitches and lock-ups. In fact, it’s because some packets are more equal than others that your Verizon FiOS, AT&T Xfinity, et al, flow so smoothly. For your beautiful hi-def cable TV, it’s Net Neutrality-Shmet Neutrality under the hood.
But for the eternal envious grasping of the Free Stuff crowd, such things must not be allowed! They think that they’ll be able to force the big telcos/cable companies, the main builders of the fiber optic infrastructure, to cut prices and still keep building out expensive infrastructure. And that they’ll be able to control the final consumer price structure as well. It’s all about control and making other people pay for things that you deliver to your supporters (often in the name of ‘fairness’). These companies aren’t stupid. If Net Neutrality becomes the controlling facility, they’ll suddenly find reasons to stop building out high-speed fiber-optic networks. We’ll all be treated to an Internet trapped in amber – kind of like Cuba and its fleet of 1959 automobiles. Except…
Except companies like Google and Apple will build out private networks, if they have to. These superhigh-bandwidth broadband Minternets (a neologism of mini and Internet) will be built in the more affluent ZIP codes and will be essentially unregulated (because once regulation starts it will only grow, if only to placate the baying of the populists and socialists). The Minternets will be joined by the growing semiprivate IP networks being constructed by a handful of universities to create an elite computer network that will be capable of handling virtual realities and 8k television/movies. This will be while everyone else is scraping by on a slowly decaying public Internet trapped in mid-2010s technology. You’ll be able to thank the Net Neutrality folks for that.