"I was riding around with Scott Bradner the other day when he
uttered a piece of wisdom that brought great clarity to the
black-hole argument-sink that network neutrality has become —
and which had been depressing me for so long that I had all but
given up trying to get past it.
"He said the argument had become a religious one, in the sense
that opposing sides had very different beliefs. In particular this
line stood out: The carriers believe the Internet doesn't work.
"That is, the carriers—phone companies in
particular—are in the business of billing for uses. They are
also committed to such virtues as "carrier-grade" service and five
or six nines of reliability. The Internet protocol wasn't built for
billing, or for those other concerns. Nor were (far as I know) any
of the other protocols in the Net's protocol suite. Geeks behind
many of those protocols believe in "best effort" delivery and
"rough consensus and running code". So it's no wonder that the two
groups talk past each other."