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Spam — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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Someone has opened the “valve on the tube” that contains comment spam and I’ve been dumping the “chamber pot” I added to contain it several times today, as well as dumping the overflow that the filters missed. It is annoying, but I have no intention of paying to store this garbage on my host.

Natasha at Pacific Views received a slightly higher form of spam on her post, How To Make Good Policy, which features one of “probably paid” watchers of the telcos who leap to suppress the concept of net neutrality by having people read “an important piece on Net Neutrality” by Discovery Institute fellow Bret Swanson. It must be important because that phrase, actually identical articles, appear at dozens of “blogs” in Google.

I don’t know who Swanson is, other than he works for the Discovery Institute and writes for TNR with an occasional article at the WSJ. I’ve never read anything by him in any of the tech mags I read, so I have a feeling he’s not an IT professional. He doesn’t seem to know much about the state of broadband in this country from what I have read, nor how the telcos and cable companies make their build-out decisions. He apparently missed the activity of the 1990s when Net Neutrality was in force and people overbuilt networks in many areas, and that the expansion of broadband means going to areas that won’t be very profitable, like small town and rural America.

In my deluded youth I worked for mass mailers, so I know a bit about the postal system. The opponents of Net Neutrality seem to like comparing the ‘Net to the postal system, so lets go with that analogy. If we open the postal system to private enterprise, a letter could be mailed from NYC to LA for pennies and take a day.

That’s great if you live in NYC or LA, but what about people who live in Cinco Bayou and are sending a letter to Herkimer, New York. Well, there aren’t very many people who want to do that, so it will be $10 and take a month, if it can be done at all, and you can forget the free pick up and delivery. Understand, the private companies are not going to serve every American town, and they are not going to charge one rate. They will only want to compete in the biggest markets where there is the biggest profit potential.

It took the Rural Electrification Act for farmer to get hooked up to the grid, and it will take something similar to get broadband availability to the smaller towns.