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Net Neutrality

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This seems to be one of the hot-button topics of the day.  I don't know too much about it, but it seems like there will be a huge pushback on any new laws/regulations from cable/internet providers.  Thoughts?

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The more you use something, the more you should pay. I don't have any issue with tiered plans provided they're reasonable.

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John Oliver's NSFW take on it is here:

 

 

I suppose we also ought to have the official White House written statement on it (following Obama's oral statement on it last night) here:

 

http://www.whitehouse.gov/net-neutrality

 

And to put American Internet service, as brought to you by Time Warner, Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T, in comparison with other countries:

 

http://money.cnn.com/2014/10/31/technology/internet-speeds/

 

The central problem: As it currently stands, the gatekeepers of the Internet in America are by and large those four companies.  Their incentives are to give their customers as little bandwidth as they can while charging as much as they can get away with.  Competition among them is oligopolistic at most.  Their customer service is among the most reviled of any industry's, with a certain amount of justification (see, e.g., http://www.theverge.com/2014/8/11/5991525/now-everyone-is-recording-their-nightmare-comcast-calls).  However, that doesn't necessarily mean that getting the FCC more involved will actually improve things.  First, government involvement often makes things worse as much as better.  The cable companies have also spent heavily on influencing the FCC, and it's one of the most revolving-door-friendly agencies: the current head of the FCC is a former head of the cable industry's lobbying arm (NCTA), and the current head of the NCTA is a former head of the FCC.  In other words, FCC "regulation" of broadband services might well end up in the cable industry's favor at the end of the day, especially after the initial public attention dies down.

 

That said, even as deregulatory as my instincts generally are, I don't see how the FCC can stay out of this, and it's high time to reclassify broadband services as "telecommunications services," which can be regulated like public utilities (which includes the nondiscrimination rules that, when applied to broadband, would be what we call net neutrality), rather than "information services," which are subject to much looser regulations because of fears of censorship of content.  Broadband actually used to be considered a telecommunications service, until the Michael Powell, the guy I mentioned above who left the FCC to work for the cable lobbyists, reclassified it as an information service under heavy lobbying from the NCTA, right before he left to go head the NCTA.  (Sidenote: His father's name is Colin.  That Colin.)

 

It is theoretically possible to impose a very simple rule that says that Internet connections (i.e., what most consumers really think they're paying Time Warner for, because let's face it, almost no RoadRunner subscriber actually uses TWC as their home page) are subject to strict packet-origin nondiscrimination rules (net neutrality) while imposing no government influence over the content of those packets (i.e., if you really want to look at the government Web site of Iran, or of the president's political opponents, or of the home page of Verizon even if you're on a TWC connection, you're welcome to do so).  It might not be politically possible, however, given how much money the cable companies are willing to devote to stopping it.

 

Conflict of interest note: I have an indirect but somewhat material stake in this.  Netflix (NFLX) is one of my largest holdings, and also one of the largest supporters of net neutrality, because it's the single biggest corporate bandwidth user.  It represents a decent percentage of all Internet traffic worldwide, and the cable companies would love nothing more than to shake it down for a few surcharges (see the John Oliver vid above--Comcast already has done so).

 

However, Netflix is joined in this by almost the entirety of Silicon Valley, including nonprofits like Wikipedia in addition to all the major players like Google (owner of YouTube, which I think is #2 in world bandwidth use behind Netflix) and Amazon.  The bottom line: the current system benefits the cable and cell companies, and the alternative system would largely benefit Silicon Valley.  As between the two, I would much prefer to see the Internet regulatory structure benefit those who profit from maximum use of the Internet over those who profit from providing as little connectivity as they can for as much as they can charge.

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The more you use something, the more you should pay. I don't have any issue with tiered plans provided they're reasonable.

 

I don't have an issue with tiered plans for the user, but many cable companies want to charge the source for priority "fast lanes".  For example, if Google wants their searches to return faster than Bing they would have to pay the ISP's to get in their "fast lane".  Netflix would have to pay for the fastest tier just so their customers can use their streaming content.  ISP's could go so far as to block sites that don't pay the service fee (you know, extortion).  There's also the issue of how much of the infrastructure (cable) the private ISP's own.  What do you do in places where a community has installed a fiber optic network with public funds?  What right does the ISP have to that bandwidth?

 

This is a pretty good read to help understand the issue.  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/11/upshot/a-super-simple-way-to-understand-the-net-neutrality-debate.html?_r=0&abt=0002&abg=0

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^ That's right. net Neutrality isn't about charging users for the amount of data they consume (which we already pay for with cellular data, and technically, there's a cap with the cable providers too, although it's pretty large), it's about controlling the speed content is delivered. Those opposing Net neutrality are seeking to control who gets access to their pipes, and therefore, what information we get access to.

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More than likely, the "fast lanes" would actually be "normal lanes" and everything else would get throttled. It would fundamentally change the internet. Sites like UrbanOhio, personal blogs, etc. would suffer. To me it's an issue of democracy and free speech; without net neutrality, corporations with big bucks get to speak louder than everyone else. I'm sure the mainstream media loves this idea. (It's especially bad since ISPs are already so intertwined with the big media conglomerates.)

 

For the love of Jeebus, I hope Cincinnati Bell stays independent.

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+1 to Hootenany and AJ.  Net neutrality would not prohibit tiered bandwidth packages for users.  What it would prohibit is the reality in which someone who pays Comcast for a 15Mbps connection actually gets only 2Mbps when they try to use services that haven't also paid Comcast extra for the privilege of reaching the customers that are already paying Comcast.

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Netflix --- ISP(ATT) --- Regional Network --- Backbone Carriers --- Regional Network --- ISP(Comcast) --- Consumer

 

This is a reasonably simplified depiction of how the internet looks from endpoint to endpoint. I think it's important to notice that a company like Netflix pays for access to the internet through an ISP just like all of us do except on a wildly grander scale. Also important to know is that all of the connections beyond your ISP are also paid for transactions between the immediately connecting parties. Until recently you only had to pay the entity you're handing your data off to. Comcast and the rest of the consumer broadband industry think they should be allowed to make an end run around and charge an actor all the way on the other side of the chart (Netflix). Also important to know is that this is a scenario that has already happened. If you're a Netflix customer and have Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Verizon, AT&T for your ISP you're probably already paying your ISP twice (indirectly) to access the bits that make up your movie or TV show.

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More than likely, the "fast lanes" would actually be "normal lanes" and everything else would get throttled. It would fundamentally change the internet. Sites like UrbanOhio, personal blogs, etc. would suffer. To me it's an issue of democracy and free speech; without net neutrality, corporations with big bucks get to speak louder than everyone else. I'm sure the mainstream media loves this idea. (It's especially bad since ISPs are already so intertwined with the big media conglomerates.)

 

For the love of Jeebus, I hope Cincinnati Bell stays independent.

 

Hts121[/member], thanks for starting this thread, I was going to start this but you beat me to it!  Gotta admit I really don't understand this issue...just raising questions.  This net neutrality thing came up as a hot button issue so suddenly I'm wondering if it's more than just a controversy about pricing policy.  Is there a "free speech" elephant in the living room?  Suppose we do not regulate the internet as a utility and ISP's wind up directing the traffic to slow lanes, normal lanes, and fast lanes, and adjust pricing accordingly.  OK, these are economic decisions...but at some point does it become a political issue?  If ISP's can direct traffic based on volume can they also direct traffic based on content?  Are we facing a time when I can go on line and donate money to a cause or political party that my ISP likes and whizzzzzz!! my business is completed in seconds.  Then, I go to a website and donate to a 501-c-4 or political party that my ISP doesn't like, and guess what....slow as molasses so I just give up and log off.  Anybody see this situation in your crystal ball?

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This net neutrality thing came up as a hot button issue so suddenly I'm wondering if it's more than just a controversy about pricing policy.

 

Truthfully it's been a hot button issue for a while. It has come and gone in waves. The assaults are relentless.

 

It's not about consumer pricing policy so much as it is about charging content providers for bandwidth. "Hey UrbanOhio.com, you want Comcast customers to view content on your website with faster-than-dial-up speeds? Better hand over the $$$!"

 

If ISP's can direct traffic based on volume can they also direct traffic based on content?

 

Yes, this is what net neutrality is about. Fighting against ISPs prioritizing certain sources of content (and therefore prioritizing certain content).

 

Are we facing a time when I can go on line and donate money to a cause or political party that my ISP likes and whizzzzzz!! my business is completed in seconds.  Then, I go to a website and donate to a 501-c-4 or political party that my ISP doesn't like, and guess what....slow as molasses so I just give up and log off.

 

This could happen. It's kind of an extreme case, but definitely not out of the realm of possibility. Would a Gannett news site load a lot faster than the Plunderbund on a Comcast connection? Quite likely. And don't forget Comcast owns NBC.

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In my opinion, the driving factor for ISPs is that they want to throttle traffic that they view as direct competition to their services. Since nearly every ISP also distributes cable TV (and most of them actually own or have stakes in content producers, i.e. TV channels), they are out to throttle media streaming, or inflate the price of it so much that they don’t have to lower cable TV prices. Put basically, their motivation is anti-competitive in nature. They have lost millions of cable subscribers and can’t get all that revenue back by jacking internet rates (which they have been doing already), which are already some of the most expensive in the developed world.

 

There’s a myriad of other contributing factors that have been pointed out in this thread already, but this one is my sticking point. There’s already virtually no competition in the ISP and Cable markets, and it’s a huge problem that is stifling the entire sector. I’m hoping companies like Cincinnati Bell capitalize on upcoming situations, since they aren’t as intertwined in the TV market. For instance, if Time Warner Cable rolls out data caps, tiered data plans, etc. in Cincy, Cincinnati Bell could make a guarantee they won’t do the same and instantly grab the majority of TWC subscribers.

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^^[email protected] natininja...thanks for the commentary.  A donation to Crossroads made on line will sail right thru at lightning speed.  A donation to Planned Parenthood or the Sierra Club?  Well...think "the tortoise and the hare".  Except in the fable I think the TORTOISE won.  Just gotta figure out how to make that happen :)

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^Yup, I think most of you guys are right on this.  Obamacare for the Internet?  Hmmm...I read it something like this.  Somehow...someday...the internet as we know it is going to be regulated more so than it is today, probably just because of increasing use.  So will that regulation arise from the ISP's themselves by default as they try to control traffic by establishing fast lanes, slow lanes, HOV lanes, content censorship or whatever you want to call it?  You have no control over your ISP other than to switch providers (most likely to another company that's in cahoots with your original ISP).  Or, do you want your internet regulated by a government over which you have at least some control?  It's a trade off which one do you want?

 

As far as the Obamacare metaphor, as convoluted and imperfect as the ACA is, yes I would rather buy coverage on the exchange, where I know that policies sold on the exchange must meet certain minimum standards for coverage, as opposed to the old way of buying a policy with fine print I didn't understand...with countless personal health questions requiring hours to answer...with lifetime coverage caps and cancellation rights belonging to the insurer...I had no control other than not buy and go uninsured. 

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Think of it this way... Imagine that YouTube did not yet exist and that we have rejected Net Neutrality for Ted Cruz's "fast lane" idea.

 

Now, a new startup called YouTube comes along and wants to provide all of us with video entertainment via the internet. Unfortunately, Time Warner or Comcast controls your home internet connection. So they speed up traffic to NBC and CNN (which they own) and slow down traffic to YouTube... to the point where it's unusable. So you have no choice but to use the websites that are owned by Time Warner and Comcast.

 

That's a world without Net Neutrality.

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^taestell[/member],  Good example, I'm going to remember this one for next time I get into a discussion with someone about this.  But here's what I'm wondering...and it gets to the kind of thing I don't understand about the internet.  Suppose we fail to regulate the internet as a public utility and "regulation" arrives by default from the ISP's directing traffic.  Ted Cruz is appointed "internet czar." :-P We've been stupid, but our stupidity only applies within the US.  I would venture to say most internet users are probably well beyond our borders, and many nations will probably still maintain net neutrality. 

 

Going back to your example, You Tube may well be able to get up and running based on foreign traffic alone.  And...our internet is porous as are our borders.  As are the borders and communications of other nations.  We probably don't have to travel all the way to "Notstupidstan" :wink2: to access their neutral net, right?  From what I've heard China has the kind of internet censorship that net neutrality advocates warn about...it could happen here...yet the Chinese are good at getting around restrictions (ie, proxy servers maybe?) and are all over the net viewing the same content we see. 

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Actually, the meme that is taking off is "if you like your internet, you can keep it". 

 

Quite frankly, Obama would have helped the NN cause by shutting up about it.  He's made it a partisan issue and caused a significant part of the electorate to suspect the administration is up to something sneaky.

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significant part of the electorate to suspect the administration is up to something sneaky.

 

And by that part of the electorate, you mean the ones that are already crazy, correct?


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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significant part of the electorate to suspect the administration is up to something sneaky.

 

And by that part of the electorate, you mean the ones that are already crazy, correct?

 

I agree and will wait to see what specific language "government" puts forth.

Actually, the meme that is taking off is "if you like your internet, you can keep it". 

 

Quite frankly, Obama would have helped the NN cause by shutting up about it.  He's made it a partisan issue and caused a significant part of the electorate to suspect the administration is up to something sneaky.

 

I agree and I don't trust the government.

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Think of it this way... Imagine that YouTube did not yet exist and that we have rejected Net Neutrality for Ted Cruz's "fast lane" idea.

 

Now, a new startup called YouTube comes along and wants to provide all of us with video entertainment via the internet. Unfortunately, Time Warner or Comcast controls your home internet connection. So they speed up traffic to NBC and CNN (which they own) and slow down traffic to YouTube... to the point where it's unusable. So you have no choice but to use the websites that are owned by Time Warner and Comcast.

 

That's a world without Net Neutrality.

Bingo! Net Neutrality is about innovation. Entrepreneurship and innovation are threats to companies that currently have power and market share. It is in their interests to stifle innovation by others. At its core, Net Neutrality is about free markets and ingenuity.

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I absolutely reject the Obamacare analogies.

 

First and foremost, net neutrality would not force anyone to buy an Internet connection.

 

The closest medical analogy would be a regulation that requires all insurance companies to treat in-network and out-of-network providers equally.  (Even the "network" terminology is surprisingly apt.)  I would oppose such a regulation because medical providers are not utilities.  By contrast, the common carrier regulations that Obama is proposing to classify broadband under are the ones that already apply to phone service providers, and that is the appropriate parallel to consider.  AT&T is forced to accept calls from Verizon.  Note that even there, pure equality is not mandatory: AT&T is free to offer services or discounts (i.e., no-count minutes) for calls between AT&T customers that you don't get if you call or accept calls from Verizon customers.  And that's fine.  But it cannot deliberately slow down data coming from a Verizon phone in ways that it doesn't treat data on its own network.

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Actually, the meme that is taking off is "if you like your internet, you can keep it". 

 

Quite frankly, Obama would have helped the NN cause by shutting up about it.  He's made it a partisan issue and caused a significant part of the electorate to suspect the administration is up to something sneaky.

 

So basically Obama should just stop being president until we get a new one? Because it's his fault every position he takes attracts knee-jerk opposition? You've gotta be kidding.

 

Your partisan blinders are so thick that you've found a way to call out OBAMA for taking a position which (I think?) you agree with and not the Ted Cruzes for making up pungent BS just to rally mouth breathers. That's gotta be a new low.

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^taestell[/member],  Good example, I'm going to remember this one for next time I get into a discussion with someone about this.  But here's what I'm wondering...and it gets to the kind of thing I don't understand about the internet.  Suppose we fail to regulate the internet as a public utility and "regulation" arrives by default from the ISP's directing traffic.  Ted Cruz is appointed "internet czar." :-P We've been stupid, but our stupidity only applies within the US.  I would venture to say most internet users are probably well beyond our borders, and many nations will probably still maintain net neutrality. 

 

Going back to your example, You Tube may well be able to get up and running based on foreign traffic alone.  And...our internet is porous as are our borders.  As are the borders and communications of other nations.  We probably don't have to travel all the way to "Notstupidstan" :wink2: to access their neutral net, right?  From what I've heard China has the kind of internet censorship that net neutrality advocates warn about...it could happen here...yet the Chinese are good at getting around restrictions (ie, proxy servers maybe?) and are all over the net viewing the same content we see. 

 

I would expect proxy servers, VPNs, etc. to be in the slow lanes.

 

We really should be talking about "slow lanes" rather than "fast lanes." There will be more traffic the ISPs have incentive to slow down than traffic they have incentive to speed up.

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Actually, the meme that is taking off is "if you like your internet, you can keep it". 

 

Quite frankly, Obama would have helped the NN cause by shutting up about it.  He's made it a partisan issue and caused a significant part of the electorate to suspect the administration is up to something sneaky.

 

So basically Obama should just stop being president until we get a new one? Because it's his fault every position he takes attracts knee-jerk opposition? You've gotta be kidding.

 

Your partisan blinders are so thick that you've found a way to call out OBAMA for taking a position which (I think?) you agree with and not the Ted Cruzes for making up pungent BS just to rally mouth breathers. That's gotta be a new low.

 

I'll also add this: I read a number of conservative thought-leading publications, including National Review first and foremost among them (which has really distinguished itself in the last few years vis-a-vis others in that sphere like the Federalist and American Thinker), and while the proposal is still somewhat new, NR has reacted very quickly in the past when Obama has said things that were reflexively antithetical to the right (which has been often).  They haven't put out anything on this yet.  Even if they put something out about it now, that suggests that people inside the conservative movement are really thinking about this.

 

I also forgot to post links to the site of an organization that I generally trust on Internet issues: the Electronic Frontier Foundation.  They're in favor of this:

 

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/11/white-house-gets-it-net-neutrality-will-fcc-0

 

That means something because they are not a liberal or conservative mouthpiece and absolutely not administration loyalists; in particular, they have been a major opponent of Obama's NSA surveillance system:

 

https://www.eff.org/nsa-spying (and that link is prominently displayed on their homepage, so this isn't something they buried for later use under media scrutiny).

 

They've actually gone one step further and developed a "Secure Messaging Scorecard," which is intended to rate various messaging and e-mail services out there on how secure they are against eavesdropping, presumably including government eavesdropping to the best that EFF can determine:  https://www.eff.org/secure-messaging-scorecard.

 

I remember back in the days of Napster, they were one of the leading opponents of the RIAA and MPAA's various schemes for global Internet monitoring; EFF obviously doesn't support piracy, but they were one of those sounding the alarms about how the RIAA/MPAA cure would be worse than the disease (basically like burning your house to the ground to fight termites).

 

The upshot of all that is that if there were any merit to the conservative hysterics' claim that this amounts to a "government takeover of the Internet," there is absolutely no way EFF would be in favor of it.

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How/when did this become a partisan issue?  Simply because Obama took a position on it?  How sad and embarrassing for our Country.  How pathetic and low can we go.  BUT.... perhaps an opportunity.  Maybe Obama should come out tomorrow and say he has devolved to a position against gay marriage, in favor of voter suppression, and anti-education.  When his allies look at him to say WTF.... he can simply respond like this:

 

michaelshh.gif

 

 

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https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20060131/2021240.shtml

 

You've Already Paid $2,000 For A Fiber Connection You'll Never Get

 

from the money-back,-please dept

 

As the Baby Bells falsely complain about how people aren't paying them for the internet, or whine about how it's unfair to expect them to compete against muni-broadband, there's something important to remember. For the last decade, those same telcos have made promise after promise to local governments concerning the delivery of truly open fiber optic connections to the home. In exchange, they've been granted all sorts of privileges and rate increases by the government, costing all of us money. And where did the money go? Not towards what was promised. Bruce Kushnick, who we've written about before is now coming out with a book that details how the telcos scammed approximately $200 billion from all of us (about $2,000 per household), promising fiber to every home with symmetric 45 Mbps speeds and an open access model that would allow anyone to offer competitive internet services over that connection. This is a promise that they have not kept... though, they have kept our money. That fiber was supposed to be delivered this year (earlier in other cases), but it's not coming. The fiber that telcos are finally starting to offer is much more expensive, much slower, and locked down. In fact, after all of these promises, remember that the telcos said they wouldn't offer fiber at all, unless the FCC promised not to require them to let others offer services on it. Yet, for all of this, there's been very little outcry, or very little discussion -- and the latest moves concerning network neutrality show that the telcos are looking to take more of our money and deliver less yet again. For more details, check out Kushnick's book, $200 Billion Broadband Scandal, and think about it next time the telcos whine about government interference.

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I just had a quick look at AT&T's quarterly filings.

 

At the end of 2Q14, AT&T had $2.46 billion in cash and $13.45 billion in receivables, almost all of which are highly and regularly collectible--and recurring--because it's people's phone bills.

 

According to AT&T's own press release regarding its network buildout, beginning in November 2012, AT&T planned to spend $14 billion over three years on this buildout: http://www.att.com/gen/press-room?pid=23506&cdvn=news&newsarticleid=35661&mapcode=.

 

We would be currently in year two of that three-year buildout plan, though I'm sure there were the inevitable construction delays and all that.

 

AT&T's gross revenue in 2013 alone was $128.75 billion.  Its gross profit was about $59 billion, and its net income was $18.25 billion, with no extraordinary items to mess up the math.  Granted, 2012 was somewhat leaner, with net income of only $7.26B.  The midpoint of current analyst estimates of their earnings for 2014 is about $13.43 billion (based on average of $2.43-$2.75 times 5.187 billion shares).  And, of course, infrastructure investments come out of revenue first and foremost before they fall to the bottom line.

 

Takeaways:

 

(1) $14 billion over 3 years is not even all that significant a sum to AT&T.

 

(2) If the only way AT&T thinks it's going to make its money back on that is by extorting it from the content providers that its own customers are paying to reach, then maybe this investment isn't needed.

 

(3) If AT&T thinks that it can get away with doing this because it has no competitor that's going to expand its own network to deliver better service and attract away AT&T's customers, then perhaps the entire structure of Internet infrastructure ownership in this country needs a hard look.

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I'm sure everyone has seen this by now:

 

 

F.C.C. Approves Net Neutrality Rules, Classifying Broadband Internet Service as a Utility

 

The Federal Communications Commission voted on Thursday to regulate broadband Internet service as a public utility, a milestone in regulating high-speed Internet service into American homes.

 

Tom Wheeler, the commission chairman, said the F.C.C. was using “all the tools in our toolbox to protect innovators and consumers” and preserve the Internet’s role as a “core of free expression and democratic principles.”

 

The new rules, approved 3 to 2 along party lines, are intended to ensure that no content is blocked and that the Internet is not divided into pay-to-play fast lanes for Internet and media companies that can afford it and slow lanes for everyone else. Those prohibitions are hallmarks of the net neutrality concept.

 

Explaining the reason for the regulation, Mr. Wheeler, a Democrat, said that Internet access was “too important to let broadband providers be the ones making the rules.”

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/27/technology/net-neutrality-fcc-vote-internet-utility.html

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Theresa May to create new internet that would be controlled and regulated by government

The proposals come soon after the government won the right to collect everyone's browsing history

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/theresa-may-internet-conservatives-government-a7744176.html?amp


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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FCC Unveils Plan To Repeal Net Neutrality Rules

 

November 21, 20171:04 PM ET

 

ALINA SELYUKH

 

 

Federal regulators are on track to loosen regulations of cable and telecom companies.

 

The Federal Communications Commission will vote Dec. 14 on a plan to undo the landmark 2015 rules that had placed Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon under the strictest-ever regulatory oversight.

 

The vote is expected to repeal so-called net neutrality rules, which prevent broadband companies from slowing down or blocking any sites or apps, or otherwise deciding what content gets to users faster.

 

 

More below:

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/11/21/565682679/fcc-unveils-plan-to-repeal-net-neutrality-rules


“To an Ohio resident - wherever he lives - some other part of his state seems unreal.”

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With all of the vertical consolidation that keeps happening in the media industry, these companies are going to be able to do some awful things if net neutrality is eliminated. One of the most obvious possibilities is that Time Warner and Comcast, which each own a part of Hulu, could start restricting access to Hulu's competitors like Netflix, Amazon Video, and iTunes. TWC and Comcast customers could streame Hulu in HD or 4K for no additional charge while Hulu's competitors would be limited to standard definition video unless you paid extra to upgrade to a "premium internet package". Ugh.

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It's much worse than that. Taking away Net Neutrality is the authoritarian dream. Consolidating information into the hands of a few controlled by a few. Dangerous territory.

 

Consider this tweet by Senator Pat Murray:

 

Net Neutrality is critical to ensuring the internet remains a place where people can come together, make their voices heard, & make change. We have to fight back.

https://t.co/ZVdvmGzcHf


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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It's much worse than that. Taking away Net Neutrality is the authoritarian dream. Consolidating information into the hands of a few controlled by a few. Dangerous territory.

 

Consider this tweet by Senator Pat Murray:

 

Net Neutrality is critical to ensuring the internet remains a place where people can come together, make their voices heard, & make change. We have to fight back.

https://t.co/ZVdvmGzcHf

 

Naw, the "authoritarian dream" is government control of the 'net.  Or even worse, international agency control.

 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/an-internet-giveaway-to-the-u-n-1472421165

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It's much worse than that. Taking away Net Neutrality is the authoritarian dream. Consolidating information into the hands of a few controlled by a few. Dangerous territory.

 

Consider this tweet by Senator Pat Murray:

 

Net Neutrality is critical to ensuring the internet remains a place where people can come together, make their voices heard, & make change. We have to fight back.

https://t.co/ZVdvmGzcHf

 

Naw, the "authoritarian dream" is government control of the 'net.  Or even worse, international agency control.

 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/an-internet-giveaway-to-the-u-n-1472421165

 

No.  By far a better system for any authoritarian would involve sleight of hand and plausible deniability.  An oligopoly of a few well-connected, powerful companies does the actual controlling and faces the brunt of direct public ire.  The authoritarian government then controls the oligopolists, buying their cooperation in both the authoritarian regime and the dissembling about the true nature of that regime with guarantees of the fat profits oligopolists can extract.

 

If you want to see the real hammer of that protection in action, don't just look at the almost certainly doomed net neutrality rules.  Combine it with the merciless way that big ISPs and state governments combined to crush any potentially disruptive competition in the ISP space, particularly but not limited to municipal fiber.  The protected-oligopoly racket only works to the benefit of both the authoritarian government and their well-paid oligopolist frontmen if no superior alternatives are permitted to exist--preferably if they can be killed before they can even demonstrate proof of concept, to let the public know that there could be a better world.

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It's much worse than that. Taking away Net Neutrality is the authoritarian dream. Consolidating information into the hands of a few controlled by a few. Dangerous territory.

 

Consider this tweet by Senator Pat Murray:

 

Net Neutrality is critical to ensuring the internet remains a place where people can come together, make their voices heard, & make change. We have to fight back.

https://t.co/ZVdvmGzcHf

 

Naw, the "authoritarian dream" is government control of the 'net.  Or even worse, international agency control.

 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/an-internet-giveaway-to-the-u-n-1472421165

 

No, I think it's very clear that Huxley was right, not Orwell. There is no need for the government to take control of the internet and ban information in an Orwellian manner. As long as we continue to amuse ourselves with an infinite supply of content, most Americans just don't pay attention to all of the awful stuff that's happening in the world right out in the open.

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Companies hate that we're all talking among ourselves on the internet. They want a return to the one-way communication days where peoples thoughts were shaped much more by TV, movies, commercials and radios.

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I've never understood the worldview that authoritarian power can result only from free democratic elections and never from money.

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I've never understood the worldview that authoritarian power can result only from free democratic elections and never from money.

Because money alone can't provide a monopoly unless there is government power making it so.

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I've never understood the worldview that authoritarian power can result only from free democratic elections and never from money.

Because money alone can't provide a monopoly unless there is government power making it so.

 

Corporations will nearly always desire to form monopolies as it's the best way to ensure profits.  The simplistic ECON 101 concepts of supply and demand require conditions will never hold in the real world.  These concepts also state that there are no profit takers at equilibrium, which is how you can tell how unrealistic these theories are.  Some industries with things like higher barriers to entry are easier to create monopolies within than others, but make no mistake, unregulated corporations will nearly always work towards (and often succeed at forming) monopolies.

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Companies hate that we're all talking among ourselves on the internet. They want a return to the one-way communication days where peoples thoughts were shaped much more by TV, movies, commercials and radios.

 

All true. I’d just add that governments, of all stripes, hate it too. Probably more so.


And they reckon that the last thing she saw in her life was
Sting, singing on the roof of the Barbican

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It's much worse than that. Taking away Net Neutrality is the authoritarian dream. Consolidating information into the hands of a few controlled by a few. Dangerous territory.

 

Consider this tweet by Senator Pat Murray:

 

Net Neutrality is critical to ensuring the internet remains a place where people can come together, make their voices heard, & make change. We have to fight back.

https://t.co/ZVdvmGzcHf

 

Naw, the "authoritarian dream" is government control of the 'net.  Or even worse, international agency control.

 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/an-internet-giveaway-to-the-u-n-1472421165

 

The unbridled power of a few corporations can also be the "authoritarian dream" of a few barons. If they control the people and the government, who is going to restrain them when a plurality is hurt by their actions?


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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The FCC got 444,938 comments on net neutrality from Russian email addresses https://t.co/8EKaRcleEH


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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