By Bill Maher
President Obama coming out forcefully for net neutrality this week was the geek equivalent of him coming out for gay marriage. Nerds felt a thrill down their legs as he called for an “explicit ban” on agreements between internet providers and content providers.
He might not get it. The FCC listens to the president, but it’s an independent organization. And there’s a ton of money involved – Verizon immediately proclaimed there would be “strong legal challenges” to any new rules.
A lot of cash is going to be spent convincing people that this stuff is "complicated" and "has many facets." But it’s not and it doesn’t. Netflix can easily afford to pay millions to Time Warner Cable and Verizon to buy a fancy fast lane. The next Netflix can’t afford that, which pretty much ensures that there won’t be a next Netflix. Even if some plucky start-up figures out a better way to stream movies and TV shows, they’ll be stuck in the slow lane and unable to compete.
One sure sign that net neutrality is important? Ted Cruz is against it. He tweeted that net neutrality is “Obamacare for the Internet.” Which is completely meaningless (we have net neutrality right now), but it’s a dog whistle to the big telecoms he hopes will fund his campaign. Bring on the VerizonBucks!