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Washington protects online ‘fast lanes’ but creates literal traffic


There’s some irony in the fact that Washington state leaders are pushing for net neutrality to give us all a “fast lane” to the internet while pushing policies that literally create fast and slow lanes for vehicle traffic.

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Governor Jay Inslee, along with Democrats, including Drew Hansen and Manka Dhingra, are aiming for legislation that would keep in place net neutrality laws for Washington, even though the FCC is rescinding the Obama-era policies.

The typical argument you hear in favor of net neutrality is that you don’t want to allow internet service providers such as Comcast or Verizon to create a premium fast lane to get access to certain websites and content faster, while throttling service, via slow lanes, to customers unwilling to pay more. Meaning Comcast shouldn’t charge you extra for guaranteed access to streaming Netflix or Hulu, while others struggle to get other streaming content to load.

But why is it OK to charge people $10 to get into a literal fast lane – the I-405 express toll lanes – to improve your commute time?

Washington leaders, many of the same who support the toll lanes and tolling, pushed a system that literally creates fast and slow lanes to get around. Want premium access to our infrastructure? You have to pay more. Don’t want that? No worries. You get the free, slow lane.

Just so we’re clear: this anger over net neutrality from most has everything to do with anti-business values. Governor Jay Inslee and others will hem and haw about keeping all our cyber traffic lanes fast and treated equally, while letting you sit in literal traffic, gaining relief only so long as you’re willing to pay a $10 (and possibly growing) premium to get into the fast lane.

Inslee and some of these politicians are operating out of the Comcast and Verizon playbook.

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