Going to the Internet & Television Expo in Chicago, May 5-7?


Let's make the Internet more like cable television

If you care about the cable and telecommunications industries, imagine how much more profitable they will be if freed from the shackles of net neutrality. Working together, we can make the Internet:

  • More like cable television. Today’s Internet is a free-for-all, in which little guys offer services on equal footing with major players. Unfortunately, this leaves a lot of money on the table by failing to charge consumers more for what they want most. Consumers expect freedom and low prices on the Internet, but so what? They used to expect free television, too. Once we kill net neutrality, cable companies and mobile carriers will charge content providers as well as consumers, and bundle content into lucrative packages. Just like cable television.
  • More like paid messaging (SMS). Many people avoid phone-company texting plans by using free Internet-based alternatives such as Apple’s iMessage, Facebook messaging, and Skype messaging. Carriers can't block or "tax" these competitors as long as net neutrality rules are in place. Once we kill net neutrality, carriers will be free to throttle, block, or charge premiums for any kind of Internet content. Why shouldn't banking, movies and texting be more expensive? Profits will be immense because people can't live without the Internet anymore.

How to defeat Net Neutrality

Here are talking points, to help you make the case against net neutrality.

  1. Say you are for “net neutrality.” The term doesn’t have a precise, agreed-upon meaning, so you’re not really lying. You’re just for a different kind of net neutrality that maximizes freedom to profit. Point out that the current "practice" of carriers is to provide net neutrality, but don't point out that carriers have had no choice because this has been the law. Vehemently oppose rules that would guarantee net neutrality in the future. (Here's inspiration.)
  2. Say you are for “openness” and “freedom.” You want cable and telecommunications companies to be free of regulation, so that their opportunities are wide open. Embrace as many evocative words as possible. "Innovation" is a good one. You want to own these terms, and deny them to those fighting to keep genuine net neutrality. (Here's inspiration.)
  3. Vilify the idea of regulation. Call it old-fashioned and misguided. If opponents point out that cable and telecommunications industries have near-monopoly powers that only regulation can counterbalance, don’t argue on the merits. Instead, suggest that any regulation is kind-hearted foolishness from a bygone era. Shake your head in dismay. (Here's inspiration.)
  4. Wear a friendly face. Don’t get angry. Be approachable. Employ retro images, patriotic colors, and humor. Playful images suggest harmless intent. (Here's inspiration.)
  5. Imply that what’s good for cable and telecommunications companies is what’s good for everybody. Talk about the billions of dollars that investors will sink into cable and telecommunications companies once these companies control the Internet. Keep it simple.

With your help, we can defeat net neutrality and bring the business models of cable television and SMS to the Internet.

Disclaimer: This is a parody that imagines what those in the cable and telecommunications industries may be thinking, given the way they campaign against net neutrality while sometimes saying they are for it.
Image Credit: "Using the Telephone" by Michael Pujals, used under Creative Commons.