Net Neutrality and “think of the children”

A Google search gives this as a definition of net neutrality:

the principle that Internet service providers should enable access
to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without
favouring or blocking particular products or websites

Sounds quite reasonable, doesn’t it? Without that as a basis, ISPs
could (and would) provide preferential treatment to the web content consumers
request from those large companies who could pay for the privilege, and
effectively kill off start-up competitors by relegating them to an Internet slow
lane. This would make their respective offerings differ in the quality of the
user’s experience purely on a company’s ability to pay for preferential
treatment rather than through the quality of their content or technology. It’d
be like all roads having a fast lane added that you have to pay £10/mile
to use – great if you can afford it, not so great for everyone else.

So far so good. Recently the European Union made progress towards
enshrining net neutrality in regulation, which seemed like a great move.
And then came the cries of "think of the children" from the UK
government. What? How? Umm… To quote:

“Let me be clear that we will not agree to any proposals that restrict the
ability of parents to protect their children from inappropriate content
on line”

Well, let me be clear. Nor would I. Nor would any half sane person.
And that’s got absolutely nothing to do with the proposed regulation.

Net neutrality does not and cannot interfere in a parent making these
decisions; lack of net neutrality on the other hand will certainly
limit the development of new and exciting things on the Internet that
your child might benefit from; lack of net neutrality will inhibit
competition, driving up prices for everyone; net neutrality is good for
parents, good for your children, and good for wider society.

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