Skype, one of the high priests of the net neutrality movement, that preaches for Title II monopoly regulation of all the broadband providers it already rides upon for free, has been caught in the act of being blatantly unfaithful to its widely-professed net neutrality principles, by blocking interconnectivity to Fring!
Arstechnica and The Hill have both flagged Skype’s hypocrisy and infidelity to its supposed net neutrality and openness principles in blocking mobile video calling competitor Fring from access to Skype’s dominant network of a ~half-billion interconnected users.Now we know that Skype’s proclaimed principled stance for net neutrality and openness was really just a cynical PR and lobbying campaign of crony capitalism, and political cover for an industrial policy where the FCC picks Skype, Google Android, and Amazon Kindle as the “dumb pipe” market winners, and all broadband providers as the “dumb pipe” market losers.
Skype’s “do as I say not as I do” stance is particularly hypocritical because of Skype’s dominant size relative to Fring, in that Skype has about a half billion users and is “responsible for 12% of global international calling minutes” per Skype.
To the exent that the FCC attempts to change existing net neutrality rules, at a minimum, they should continue to be technologically-neutral, given the FCC’s well-known abysmal track record in trying to choose technologies and pick market winners and losers over the last several decades.
It will be interesting to see if the FCC remains silent as one of the biggest complainers of non-neutral blocking — blocks a competitor non-neutrally — or if the FCC will investigate the Skype-Fring blocking affair.
And where is SaveTheInternet and FreePress when a dominant-size half-billion-user network like Skype does to the little guy what they supposedly claim to oppose on principle…