FCC Vote Coming February 26; Here's Your Primer On The Issues

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knowom

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Basically the bigger ISP's with monopolies over large area's that don't wish to innovate and provide a positive service to their customers are against it and the not so big one's don't care so much since they can potentially provide a better quality service for a better price than those bigger names would provide under the new rule changes.
 

Scienza

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Way I see it, I'd rather have the government regulating the internet than Comcast or Verizon. At least the feds have to pretend that they aren't trying to rob me blind.
 

Fierce Guppy

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Michael; with regard to the current situation where only a handful of ISPs exist in the U.S. and don't have to compete, I think you need to replace you advocate's hat with your journo hat and explain why this remains the case. OK, so this handful of ISPs are reluctant to compete with each other, but what is stopping new private businesses from competing in those segments where prices are high and performance is low? It seems like a golden opportunity.
 
Can anyone name one thing that was made cheaper, faster, or more efficient under federal control than private sector?
Yep. Water. Electricity. Garbage service, in municipalities that aren't overseen by a commercial one. I've lived in cities that have been set up either way, and the ones controlled by the city are MUCH more efficient and usually way cheaper.

In fact, if you look at any comparisons, having a service provided by the government is nearly always both cheaper and better quality than a company, because they care far less about profit - meaning they don't cheap out on quality and give you a product that's so sub-par it should be a joke.

Just look at the internet services started by towns that have since been legislated out of action by the ISPs - they were faster for far less money, AND outages were fixed nearly immediately, AND there was actual customer service, rather than what you get when you call one of the big ISPs.
 

gio2vanni86

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I want FIOS in my area, because charter literally rules my city. You want faster speeds you gotta move which i believe is lame. There is no competition when it comes to internet service. Its either charter cable or AT&T DSL... Yeah thats real competition there.... DSL. I feel as if DSL is the new 56k. As long as the government only comes in to make it competitive then im all for it. Tired of charter and there bs service but there the only ones in my city that offer fast 60mbps speeds.
 

Fierce Guppy

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Can anyone name one thing that was made cheaper, faster, or more efficient under federal control than private sector?
Yep. Water. Electricity. Garbage service, in municipalities that aren't overseen by a commercial one. I've lived in cities that have been set up either way, and the ones controlled by the city are MUCH more efficient and usually way cheaper.

In fact, if you look at any comparisons, having a service provided by the government is nearly always both cheaper and better quality than a company, because they care far less about profit - meaning they don't cheap out on quality and give you a product that's so sub-par it should be a joke.

Just look at the internet services started by towns that have since been legislated out of action by the ISPs - they were faster for far less money, AND outages were fixed nearly immediately, AND there was actual customer service, rather than what you get when you call one of the big ISPs.

In New Zealand there was only a decrepit government owned copper wire telephone network that came with utterly atrocious service. You had to wait weeks for someone to service your phone. That was in the 70s and early 80s. As you say, governments care little for profits. Government employees have no impetus to satisfy individual customers. The government paid their wages, not tom, dick, and harry. That's how they saw it. The government telco network was privatized in the mid 80's with some caveats. I went from using a 2400 baud modem and being charged $10 per MB for overseas traffic that got to me via the University of Waikato in the 1990's to now having a 100Mbps/10Mbps uncapped account for $80 a month, and I used 141GBs last month. The internet here was built by profit driven businesses. As for customer satisfaction, last week ping times shot up for Aussie Battlefield servers from 48-109ms to 175-210ms. You get kicked from Aussie servers for having those ping times. I got pissed off, wrote posts to a forum visited by customers and a Vodafone rep, phoned tech support, send them a bunch of tracerts and yesterday all the routing issues had been fixed. Yeah, private business are responsive WHEN there's competition. Being profit centered they don't want to lose customers to the competition,

The government is pouring a lot of taxpayer money into laying down a fibre network anyway, and there's also a lot of private money involved, too. It'll be interesting to see what comes out of that.
 

drumhellar

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OK, so this handful of ISPs are reluctant to compete with each other, but what is stopping new private businesses from competing in those segments where prices are high and performance is low? It seems like a golden opportunity.
Right now, companies that own the telephone poles are required, by FCC common carrier rules, to allow competing phone companies access to the poles at reasonable rates for the purpose of stringing wires for telephone service. Since ISPs are not common carriers, they don't have to be given access to the telephone poles, and the companies that own the poles can dis-allow their use for internet service. This barrier will go away when Internet is regulated like a utility.

As far as digging in the ground, well, there's a ton of of infrastructure already in the ground, making things difficult, and cable companies frequently have deals with local municipalities to set up barriers against other companies from digging in the ground and placing wires, usually in exchange for providing access to more remote parts of town, or other similar benefits.

As for another poster that question when government has ever operated a utility better than private enterprise, well, in my area, electricity comes through a municipally-owned utility company, which delivers much better rates, faster repair times in the event of outages, and better rebates and rates for solar, and they aren't lobbying to get rebate rates reduced for solar customers that feed power into the grid. The private-sector company in a neighboring county charges more, has slower response times for outages, makes the solar rebate process difficult to navigate, gives less money back when your solar panels feed into the grid, and are actively lobbying the state to even further relax these requirements.
 

SessouXFX

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Regulations by the government is the Death Knell to innovation. You want a free and open net? Deregulate, and force the big companies to compete.

There's no competition when you only have a couple of big companies doing the same B.S. to customers, while cutting off availability to better service by an upstart that wants to actually serve the public with good customer service.
 

LarryLatham

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I'm only an ordinary end user and do not have access to actual data. I assume the author did look at real data, but I'm just not buying his analysis because it isn't supported by basic economics principles. In the absence of regulation there should be much more opportunity for competition and all the benefits that brings in the way of lower prices and better service. Someone else above said, and I agree, that there should be golden opportunities for new, and perhaps innovative, companies to enter the market. With government, you get coercion, which is forced control. ISPs will now be forced to pay less attention to their customers for assuring ongoing health of their business and turn their attention to pleasing the regulators. This mean, always always means, lobbying the regulators. What they will demand is less competition, not more, as a way of ensuring the status quo. Absent regulation, businesses always risk losing customers to competition, whether established or from newcomers. I just don't see how regular users like me in any way are winners with this new FCC classification. There are mountains of data showing again and again how government regulation reduces customer service and raises prices. The guy (or gal) who posted above that water, electricity, and garbage removal services are better from the government is simply unaware of the data, or is being deliberately disingenuous. Nothing is perfect, and the free (until now) internet has had its hiccups, but overall has provided astonishingly good service and value in private hands. Governmentalizing it will subject it to the tragedy of the commons.
 

8R_Scotch

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It's wrong that total lack of oversight generates competition. This is why there are protections against monopoly and anti-competetive behavior. However, like the article said, ISPs, the big ones, have essentially formed a cartel, gaming the system to keep competitors existant, so that monopoly can't be claimed, but competition to a very low and slow level, so they don't have to quickly adapt to competitive offers.

While it's true that government is in general more costly and less efficient than the private sector, this is only true in a competitive sector/market. It would be laughable if the government decided to launch a search engine to compete with the likes of Bing, Yahoo and Google. Or to start making cars to compete against Ford, Tesla or whatever. It'd be a slow, sub-par, expensive by comparison and badly serviced thing.

But the reason that big ISPs are worried is because in the lack of competition they are providing slow, sub-par, expensive and badly serviced internet access. It should be telling that they're lobbying against municipal broadband.

The point isn't to replace the private sector in providing internet, it's to prohibit the anti-competitive behavior we've been seeing in the *recent* past (the internet was fine in the olden days because we didn't have these massive ISPs with nearly unlimited resources and political inffluence). But more importantly, by offering (not forcing you to sign up) to municipal broadband where ISPs are bad, ISPs are forced to either offer MINIMUM decent services, or loose customers). It's a PRO competitive thing, not anti. It's a win win situation, either ISPs step up to this rather modest minimum standard, or you get this standard from the gov.

As for government monitoring, that's only a concern if you sign up for gov providers, but you won't have to, because ISPs will up the ante and offer bare minimum decent services and, on top of that, will be forbidden to monitor what you're accessing.
 

rluker5

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The government could fix the problem of lack of competition with antitrust pushing. My concern with utilitizing the internet is that I trust this government to do things like it is trying with privately owned electrical utilities. It is in vogue to bash fossil fuels and nuclear so the coal industry is being crushed, the nuclear power industry has been paralyzed for decades and we are made to pay higher rates for unnecessary carbon scrubbing and novel yet impractical methods of electricity generation. All because of political whim. Milwaukee is allowed to dump billions of gallons of raw sewage into lake Michigan, but because it is a publicly owned utility it is fine. Because of political whim. The government may even do things like many other governments and use the censoring FCC to censor the internet as per political whim. If someone plugs in a drill they might be intending to drill a hole even if they say the are just making valentines day cards for poor orphans. I don't want the internet subject to political whim not only because I don't trust the government under this president. He hasn't been honest and has screwed up lots. I don't want it utilitized because I think there is more to be lost than gained.
 

Kewlx25

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What are you talking about? It says ISPs can't degrade or limit what the customer wants to see and ISPs can't track what you're viewing. The opposite of what you're concerned about is happening. Less tracking and less censorship.
 

SessouXFX

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Well, it's not going to matter what many think any how, they're going to force this through regardless. This isn't about "neutrality", it never was. It's about control of information. And many that support this are about to find out just how duped they were by this Administration, those that want to support it anyhow. It's far worse than Pipa or SOPA, proving Johnathan Gruber correct, that Americans are stupid. Well, half of them anyhow.
 

TNT27

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Its going to end up being just like the health care act was. They say its not a tax, and is there to make it cheaper for all and provide better healthcare. However later we found out that it is in fact a tax, and is not doing what it said it would, its just getting the government more tax money.

In this case they say it would limit competition and improve speeds, but it will just end up being a way for government to control the internet, and influence the internet heavily, much more than it is now.

 

yhikum

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What are you talking about? It says ISPs can't degrade or limit what the customer wants to see and ISPs can't track what you're viewing. The opposite of what you're concerned about is happening. Less tracking and less censorship.
Double issue here.

If mandates on speeds are set without monetary compensation, this causes major surge in prices/fees. Fees are offloaded onto customers either way, while services would now be taxed AS utility under new terms. In short, new utility means new source of income for local/federal governments.

On other side we can see stricter control of content delivery based on speed and availability of service. Result would become new standards for what service is and everything associated with service (speed being one, but it also affects standards on HOW you would receive such service). It also will affect one's privacy to a degree here since service would be now a state/federal level utility (just like your water or gas/energy usage).
 

TNT27

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Thats what that company is saying, not what is actually happening, RN= Registered Nurse, my sister sees what actually goes on in the health care industry. She attends the meetings between health companies too, and also sees the patients and has concluded that this health care act has screwed most people.
 

OhFoSHO

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I don't see a problem with it. In fact, I think it's a great idea. Will it hike up prices? Initially, prices will be less than stellar. That's what ALWAYS happens when a concept is revised.

The local governments will be hard-pressed to begin building of local optic systems unless names chime in. Running new fiber in already established areas won't be necessary. The idea of municipalities running fiber comes from the blockade that ISPs caused for rural areas trying to build their own system.

Also, these companies didn't build the systems out of the goodness of their heart. We paid for it. Companies haven't slouched on their multi billion dollar profits before, during, or after these systems were built. The difference is the sheer greed. In order to justify investment in an ever evolving system, it's become a pattern of stalemates along the way.

Creating a title II broadband is incredibly necessary. Even students are replacing their monopolized books with netbooks. That require Internet. That can tutor them via a stream. There's so much good that we can mandate out of this and it's not just your Netflix that'll benefit. Granted, streaming isn't entirely made out to fit in the bubble, but it is an added service. Perhaps much cheaper than alternatives.

Im all for it. These companies won't budge and we rely have a fundamental need for Internet usage as we do a phone line, electrical, or garbage disposal. It wasn't the case in the 90s or even the early 2000s. It is now. During a time when development and implementation seems to have dwindled off for the past half decade.

The competition won't be of the government laying down lines. It's the ISPs that these new mandates allow to enter a once untouchable arena.

Look up what Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner, and other companies make. Remember! These profits are our dollars that they're stuffing in their pockets instead of reinvesting into the structure.

You'd think with that kind of money, Comcast could have enough techs to keep service calls in a window of 24-48hrs. Not a week.
 

Kewlx25

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Price hikes may happen for ISPs that supplemented their profits by selling customer data or using traffic shaping to reduce bandwidth usage to save on transit costs.

For ISPs that didn't spy on their customer and provided exactly what they advertised, it will be business as usual.

FCC is just trying to pass rules that say ISPs can't screw over customers as badly. If that causes a change in business, it's because your ISP was screwing you over.
 

NNNo

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How can anyone who is for NN support what's going on when they are keeping the 300+ pages of regulations a secret until after it is passed!? People on Tom's complain about all of the NSA spying, etc., but somehow they're ok with and actually want that SAME government involved with regulating the internet.

Obama and other authoritarians want it done.... it should be stopped for that alone.

Please sign the petition to stop it...
http://action.politicalmedia.com/17314/constitutionally-say-no-to-fcc-internet-takeover/?ifr=820

Be open minded and watch this...
http://www.glennbeck.com/2015/02/17/stu-explains-why-net-neutrality-will-not-make-the-internet-better/
 
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