How To Fight The FCC On Net Neutrality (Opinion)

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Colin_10

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This change would give the telecoms the same authority over your internet as they currently have over your TV packages. There is a reason I don't bother with a cable package, and I do however have Netflix/HBO/Hulu/Amazon. If this change happens the telecoms won't be able to resist adding microtransactions to our favorite sites. We can't rely on the good will of corporations since they are mostly there to provide wealth for shareholders, their boards legally have to vote in favor of increasing profits and if EA is any example, they simply cannot lay their hands off microtransactions and we all saw how that turned out.
 

knightmike

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We're so <mod edit>. The corporations won.

<Moderator Warning: You've been a member here long enough to know better than to use that language
 

chugot9218

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With so much fake news going around I thought I should provide some context to TheFederalist (per Wikipedia, just as, if not more valid than TheFederalist *snark off*):

The Federalist was co-founded by Ben Domenech and Sean Davis; senior editors include David Harsanyi and Mollie Hemingway.[8][9]

As of September 28, 2017, The Federalist had a "black crime" tag, which aggregated articles related to criminal activity by African-Americans.[17][18] Dan McLaughlin of National Review, a former Federalist contributor, defended the "black crime" tag on the grounds that it was not very noticeable and that "over a couple of years the tag appeared on only five or six posts."[19]

In March 2006, Domenech was named as a blogger for The Washington Post, where he would write from the conservative point of view. But only three days after his appointment, on March 21, 2006, Domenech resigned his position, when evidence surfaced that he had earlier plagiarized work that had originally appeared in The New Yorker, The Washington Post, the National Review, and other publications. The Post said it did not know about his plagiarism when the newspaper hired him. Jim Brady, the-then executive editor of Washingtonpost.com, said he would have fired Domenech had he not first offered to quit, because the allegations of plagiarism made it necessary to "sever the relationship."[7]

More recently, Domenech was involved in a journalism scandal that resulted in the removal of his work from The Washington Examiner and The Huffington Post when it was disclosed that Domenech received $36,000 from Joshua Trevino, a conservative pundit and lobbyist, to write favorable opinion pieces about the government of Malaysia without disclosing the relationship.

No wonder the right is so familiar with fake news, they are the main producers.
 

chris.ransdell

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I've been on the net for a LONG time (back when PPP was a big upgrade over SLIP etc!)... I feel like the Internet has done very well for itself (and for mankind) as it has been (almost entirely self regulated in terms of policy and governance).

My understanding is that the current net neutrality policy was just implemented at the end of the Obama administration. Even if it was at the start of the Obama administration, that is over 20 years after the Internet was pervasive and full of large corporate players. If, over the course of 20 years, there haven't been very many successful attempts at implementing selective pay to play filtering or widespread discriminatory speed restrictions, why is it suddenly the end of the Internet if we don't have extensive net neutrality rules now? It feels like something we're supposed to be very worked up about because 'THEY', the talking heads of the tech world, have decided that the way the Internet has worked since the start (mostly self regulated) is suddenly in desperate need of a bunch of new government regulation.

Honestly interested in why I seem to be the only tech person who doesn't see this as a clear and present danger because I view the lack of rules to be MORE in line with the Internet's origins and success.
 

chugot9218

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Please explain how net neutrality as implemented by the Obama administration conflicts with the idea of a free and open internet, all you offered was hyperbole and innuendo. The "self-regulated" internet in the US is ranked 9th in average speed, must have been more of Obama wanting to lead from behind I am sure.
 

chugot9218

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Because government has accountability to the people, private companies have accountability to shareholders. If we let corporations take over our water utilities, they have a responsibility to derive the maximum value from that system. They have no obligation to ensure things are safe, there are many industries where the penalties they pay in response to violations are a pittance to the amount the earned while operating illegally or unethically.

Since I have a feeling you haven't actually thought about it and are just parroting, please, what government regulated service is bad for the people and why?
 

chris.ransdell

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Chugot9218: I'm not parroting anything. I'm asking what I think are rational questions... Firstly, the relative overall speed of the US average Internet connection isn't really directly a net neutrality issue. Secondly, I'm asking why this is now a pressing issue when it (the largely unregulated growth of the Internet) has been the status quo for 3 or 4 decades and has seemingly worked pretty well. Lastly, if you want to talk about innuendo etc, net neutrality rules will not keep private companies from maximizing the value to their shareholders, its just more rules that have to be followed. I might add that rules often have unintended consequences and outcomes.
 
The analogy opening this article sounds like complete scaremongering, to the point where I couldn't bother reading the rest of it. The difference between that example and cable TV packages is that the cable company needs to pay the channels for access to their content, not the other way around. And the networks that own the channels dictate whether the cable company needs to pay for those channels as a bundle.

If anyone were to implement a subscription fee to access content on Tom's Hardware, it would be their parent company, Purch Group, not your cable company, and nothing covered by "net neutrality" rules would prevent them from doing so. Just look at Google, for example, a big proponent of "net neutrality". They recently implemented a subscription service on Youtube, where they hire some of their top channels to create content that's locked behind a pay-wall.

I agree that it might not be a good idea to have ISPs charging certain sites to enable premium speeds on their services, but a lot of what's covered by "net neutrality" regulation is not so black and white, and articles like this that try to trick people into thinking that a lack of strict regulation is going to cut off access to their favorite sites are not helping.
 

jpishgar

VP, Global Community
Hey there guys,

In terms of sites and bias, it's worth noting that this really is neither a right or left issue - large proportions of both sides agree strongly that Net Neutrality should remain in place with strong majorities expressing that sentiment. The only contingent running the counter argument is from the corporate level, and even then, it's only a handful of corporations who happen to be shelling out millions in lobbying for this.

I don't understand how a government takeover of a service is a win for any industry or people.
In this case, the people paid significant amounts of taxes to fund the development of the internet, as well as footing the bill for the infrastructure that supports it. Like the airwaves themselves, the access portion is just leased to private entities in trust. The current state of the internet is net neutrality. The alternative is, well, fairly well documented. See Portugal's current sad state of affairs with the internet. https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/22/16691506/portugal-meo-internet-packages-net-neutrality-ajit-pai-plan

The difference between that example and cable TV packages is that the cable company needs to pay the channels for access to their content, not the other way around.
Not quite. Most of the offerings provided by cable are available via local broadcast. The function of the cable company previously was simply to collect those broadcasts and improve the delivery of them. You were never paying for content - that's what the commercials are for - you were paying for a quality signal. In our current state of the internet, you pay for signal, and the ads on sites fund the content. But hey, if you really dig the cable model and don't mind paying all those nifty fees, upcharges, and extras for 400-500 channels you aren't going to watch for the one channel you will, then you're going to love where this is going.

If anyone were to implement a subscription fee to access content on Tom's Hardware, it would be their parent company, Purch Group, not your cable company, and nothing covered by "net neutrality" rules would prevent them from doing so.
Which we and other sites theoretically might have to do to pay the ransom model one of the several ISPs roll out to limit, throttle, or segment access. We don't have a paywall and (fingers crossed) no one here wants one. Maybe it sounds absurd, but in 2017 you shouldn't *have* to pay a subscription fee for decent tech news. The internet should not be a walled garden. The destruction of Net Neutrality is set to lay the groundwork for a whole lot of horrible pay-as-you-browse experiences for the bulk of browsers.
 

chugot9218

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Thanks Hal-Jordan, I especially like the opening paragraph:

"Using money from George Soros and liberal foundations that totaled at least $196 million, radical activists finally succeeded in ramming through “net neutrality,”

No bias at all there. Show me a CNN, WaPo, MSNBC, NYTimes article that kicks off with "Using money from David Koch and Conservative foundations totaling at least $196 million, radical activists finally succeeded in ramming through "net neutrality" repeal.

Chris.Randell obviously it will not stop them from maximizing shareholder value, that is always the objective and is done inside of constraints, such as regulation. Again, you offer no examples, just innuendo, ala "I might add that rules often have unintended consequences and outcomes." If I were an english teacher I would have written in red ink "What unintended consequences and outcomes???". Unless you provide examples or proof it is innuendo. The low internet speed is evidence that the lack of "strict regulation" did not provide incentive to the US ISP's to keep up with advancing technology, they were maximizing profit by not offering better speeds.

You know hospitals require certain sanitary procedures because of regulations, but ya know, its just more rules to follow, who needs em. And it is a pressing issue because these are avenues ISP's are exploring to "maximize shareholder revenue". Times are changing fast, just because things once were does not mean they still are.

Cryoburner putting content behind a pay service by an independent site is not the issue, it is the ISP requiring the provider of the content to pay to have equal distribution. Tom's would be paying the ISP to keep their content in the "fast lane" and you would be subsidizing that payment via subscription. You bring up a completely unrelated point.
 

jpishgar

VP, Global Community
In Re Hal-Jordan's links:

The premise of the assertion that net neutrality is not a good idea comes from a position of advocacy for competition. This is all good and well, excepting that the ISPs in question who have and are spending millions and millions to lobby the FCC for this change are also practitioners of the most competition-destroying, monopolization of market in America. In large areas, the only ISP available to people monopolies, monopolies which got that way due to exhaustive local lobbying efforts and sweetheart deals with municipalities for non-compete agreements. Empowering those monopolies with further strength to stifle competition and extract a maximum of cost for a minimum of service from a captive market is... just a really, really, really bad idea.

It is worth noting that due to the inherent bias of the news organizations you've sourced, these may be relegated by ISPs to a Conservative Premium Platinum Package, at only $59.99/mo on top of your normal charge for access (which is already ranked 25th in the world in terms of speed). I expect the same would occur for other partisan sources.

-JP
 

mihen

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This is an ISP verse Internet Corporation issue. Those who provide verse those who use. For the consumer its a whole lot of nothing plus fear mongering.
 

alextheblue

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There's swaths of fearmongering raking the internet right now, and it's stirring up a very emotional response - especially young people who don't predate the rise of broadband and wireless. I've literally had a couple of people tell me that NN was around for two decades (yes, decades) and now that they're ending it my ISP is going to jack prices, block websites and cut my speed in half. Cripes.

Look, I'm onboard with SOME form of sensible Net Neutrality that prevents certain kinds of potential abuse. But the way they were going about it regulating under Title II was far from ideal, and their rules were flawed. They still need to be able to implement positive traffic discrimination aka QoS for real-time vs non-real-time traffic. Voice/video chat including LTE VoIP, gaming, and even web browsing should get priority over buffered traffic like streaming.
 

shiitaki

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Hey CHUGOT9218, let me tell you who Ajit is, a Verizon lawyer. Verizon started screwing it's customers after decades of the government not regulating the internet. Verizon was egregious in it's abuse of being a monopoly and fought in court when the FCC stepped in, resulting in a court ruling for Verizon. FCC reclassified ISPs as Tittle 2 so they could do something about Verizon, Ajit's boss.

How does corporate America benefit by the 'government stepping in'? It's by the government stepping out. Most corporations and especially small companies and startups will suffer the most, as will the consumer. It is only the ISPs that benefit from this. Conveniently Ajit is a Verizon lawyer, and Verizon is an ISP.

It is not fear mongering, Comcast was caught repeatedly blocking traffic and fraudulently changing customers. Until Net Neutrality Comcast charged Netflix for something they were already being paid for by customers. Not fear mongering, just your ignorance showing.
 

spagunk

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Too anyone who says "We haven't needed net neutrality forever, why change?" hasn't looked at the fine print of their cell bill lately. Cell internet service has never been included into the broadband rules. In the year of our lord 2017, they are as of RIGHT NOW capping bandwidth for services and giving preferential treatment to some services versus others. THEY ARE ALREADY DOING THIS. It's not a matter of if, the future is here!

The whole reason why the Net Neutrality laws were put in place was because someone had the foresight to see what was coming and encourage the implementing of a law. It isn't fear mongering, it is exactly what these corporations are striving for. They want to cap bandwidth based on content rather than improve their ancient networks to accommodate demand. It has been clearly stated (Verizon being the biggest offender) in public meetings, shareholder meetings and internal documents that this is the goal. Calling it something else like "Premium content" doesn't hide what it is: Capping content.

It's frustrating to me to hear people say "Well it hasn't happened yet, so why do it?". Bull snot, it has happened, it will happen and can only get worse. You lament over "fake news"? How about political people paying service providers for preferential content? They already do it with political ads but now they can go after people who control the actual bandwidth! And BOTH SIDES DO THIS!

If you don't think it can happen, take the past as an example. If anything can happen, it will happen if it means someone makes money from it, PERIOD. Don't underestimate the power of Human laziness/greed.
 

jpishgar

VP, Global Community
For the consumer its a whole lot of nothing plus fear mongering.
Couldn't be further from the truth. Luckily, we don't have to speculate, as we are able to look at what had begun to occur right before net neutrality was put in place - throttling and constraining of internet speeds with streaming services like Netflix by ISPs. We also have very evident examples in what a lack of net neutrality looks like in the current model in place in Portugal.

They still need to be able to implement positive traffic discrimination aka QoS for real-time vs non-real-time traffic. Voice/video chat including LTE VoIP, gaming, and even web browsing should get priority over buffered traffic like streaming.
Well, if there's anything I know in this world, it's that we should all be super-trusting of ComCast to do the right thing when it comes to prioritizing internet traffic. Because if you can't trust ComCast to do the right thing when it comes to taking care of the customer, who can you trust? [/SARCASM]

It is only the ISPs that benefit from this.
Not true! The ISPs and their lobbying firms benefit. Everyone else gets seriously damaged.

To anyone who says "We haven't needed net neutrality forever, why change?" hasn't looked at the fine print of their cell bill lately. Cell internet service has never been included into the broadband rules. In the year of our lord 2017, they are as of RIGHT NOW capping bandwidth for services and giving preferential treatment to some services versus others. THEY ARE ALREADY DOING THIS. It's not a matter of if, the future is here!
Interestingly, America features one of the crappiest cell phone offerings in the world compared to other developed countries. Ours is both slower and substantially more costlier for a significantly smaller portion of the service provided.
 

david.smith02

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How will this affect non-american internet users, your suggested note to members of Congress specifically mentions Americans for obvious reasons but will this affect others? If so how can we influence the vote?
 

Olle P

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I think it will affect us in one or two ways:
* Directly: It's clear that USA has great decisional powers over the Internet functionality and infrastructure. It's possible (speculative on my behalf!) that connectivity to the rest of the world will suffer.
* Indirectly: If net neutrality is scrapped within USA it's very likely that other nations will follow suit.
 
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