This Is Your Last Chance To Save Net Neutrality

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tacgnol06

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"This Is Your Last Chance To Save Net Neutrality"

BS. There's still lawsuits to consider, and the law-making powers of a future Congress that actually cares about the issue.
 
This so called 'net neutrality' was nothing more than a ploy by a few huge Internet companies to not pay their fair share of bandwidth costs and force the costs on to ALL internet subscribers. http://time.com/32784/netflix-comcast-net-neutrality/
 

canadianvice

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@PhilFrisbie: Found the shill.

We pay our ISPs to access content. They are already appropriately compensated because they set the terms - it doesn't matter if a packet is a netflix packet or a facebook or jimbob's personals minisite packet - the data still counts against your caps and you as a consumer make the choice on how it is spent. If the company offers unlimited without further restriction, that's their problem, not yours.

Net neutrality is necessary because we do have borderline monopoly situations on critical services such as search, and loathe as I am to say it, social networking. These platforms can afford to pay out what is required to retain access to the consumer.

The trouble is the little guys can't. Let's presume, oh, say, YouTube starts banning videos on controversial subjects and censoring their authors in favour of a social justice agenda. Which is not actually that far from reality. Here's the issue: If there are no smaller platforms that can host these people and pay the access requirements, it removes a huge portion of their ability to speak publicly.

I know that companies are not obliged under the tenets of free speech by law to do so (xkcd.com/1357 - yes, I'm aware of it) but one must recognize the sheer size of their influence on the public. It is fundamentally disempowering to free speech for people to be excluded from such platforms - or in the case of net neutrality, excluded all-together because any platform they could find is unable to get traction in the first place. The problem is becoming that they control such a large platform that they end up resulting in restriction on others by their presence.

Or, as another example, take Facebook's Russia scandal. Evidently, they wield enormous influence over the fickleminded views of their users and enormous control over what they see for news and fact - something required for useful civic participation and the functioning of a free society.

Let us presume that independent, more... capable media exists which should be viewed for a well-rounded worldview - FB can pay for access, they can't. Again, you are artificially restricted from important sources of information solely on the basis of economics.

You're not subsidizing other people to use the net - those people are paying the same cost you would be for the same allotment of service. It's their prerogative on how to spend it, so don't peddle that BS.

Net Neutrality is about recognizing the fundamentally important role of the internet in modern life - its influence cannot be overstated. In order to maintain healthy societies where information is accessible and verifiable, not subject to the whims of economic giants, the internet must be regulated as a neutral ground, in the same way a public sidewalk would be. What if protest was limited to those who could purchase special protestors' rights, and just exclude you? Free speech only functions properly if even the smallest speech is able to be made.

The whole thing is it is vitally important for a healthy civic society that functions on the western basis of freedom and individual rights. When you start allowing money to dictate who gets to see what and who controls primary sources of information to the exclusion of others, you will soon see major problems with how your country is functioning.

Or did Citizen's United teach you nothing?

Edit: Really, let's make it simple instead of TLDR:
Imagine your participation in society worked like how websites' on the web did. Now, let us presume that there's some gatekeeper, akin to an ISP, so... say, government. Government one day decides that the "in" cost for protesting is $500 at the start. Let's say you're protesting some malicious action by Walmart. Here's the trouble - private capital entities will take what they can get. Walmart will buy up the protest rights at a high cost, likely insurmountable to yourself. Now, suddenly, you cannot protest. As giants like Walmart buy up the rights, the cost is only going to increase because they can pay it, but you cannot.

This is why web neutrality is needed. Your ISP is compensated for every factor regarding wear, tear, and use on their devices. Data is data. You paid for it - at a speed the ISP claims it can maintain. Where that data comes from does not affect the ISP in the slightest - they get their money and if they're dumb enough to not have suitable limits in place for your usage (quantity and rate for all data) then that's really a fool being parted from their money, non? However, the amount of control they get if they can dictate the data they pass along is obscene.

I don't know why I bother... if a person is so dull they need an explanation to understand the implications of this on the larger scale since they can't logic through it themselves.... what I have to say isn't about to convince them. I really wish you lot could get your own little place to call your own and see how it all works out without dragging the rest of us down with you.
 

Dantte

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Where to start...

"The internet should be kept free and open like our highways, accessible and affordable to every American, regardless of ability to pay."

WRONG, the internet is a privilege, not a RIGHT. Graduate high school, get a job, be a productive member of society and PAY for your use of the internet... Even if you argue this is a RIGHT, still doesnt change the fact that you should still have to pay for it; lets use the 2nd amendment for example (this is a RIGHT) and I still have to pay for my guns and ammo!

"but it is a blow to public schools, rural Americans, communities of color and small businesses."

...and more proof that Democrats are racist bigots, because if your a "community of color" its automatically assumed your poor, uneducated and require government handouts to function in society...

Good bye and Good riddance NN!
 

canadianvice

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Your comment shows you don't even actually know what NN is. Don't be a dullard shill and do some research. You should actually be ashamed of yourself for commenting and making it so clear you do not understand what it is and then condemning it - as Einstein said, condemnation without understanding is the height of ignorance. It used to be saying something abjectly stupid made a person feel shame. I guess that's not the case anymore, sadly.

NN is multifaceted, but the basic idea is that the internet is an essential utility in modern life (and factually, it is. Many places of employment, as a small example, will not even accept hand-applications anymore. Jobs are often not listed in other sources either.... and that's probably one of the single smallest examples). If we could give it to people for free, I honestly feel that'd be a great step in social progress.

However, warm fuzzies aside, perhaps that's not so practical. So fine, we still make people pay, whatever. Nobody was ever arguing that point - the point they are arguing is that data in and of itself is completely neutral. Comcast and Verizon and stuff already have every right to charge you for your use of their offerings - what Net neutrality is about is recognizing that fundamental fact and recognizing that philosophical attachments to the data do not influence how much it costs.

The electrons carrying your netflix frames or your cat pictures are identical. Data is data. There's no extra cost associated with getting someone their netflix packet vs. their cat picture packet vs. their news packet. You pay your ISP for an amount of data (or unlimited, but that's their fault.) and a speed at which it should be received. It is not harder to push a netflix packet than it is to push that email to your congressman regarding an issue of importance to you.

So, now that we have that out of the way, what did I mean when I was discussing "philosophical attachments"? Well, let's use a notorious Canadian example. Telus was caught during a labour dispute completely blocking access to the website of the union that was engaged in the dispute with them.

Showing that site costs them no extra money, and their subscribers are paying for the data and rate required to view it, should they wish to see that website. It was blocked solely because Telus didn't like the contents.

The ISP is the gateway to the most prodigious source of information on the planet and additionally one of our single most powerful tools for speaking freely, promoting social change, and engaging in civic society in a meaningful and responsible manner.

Net neutrality dictates that since the ISP pays no more and no less for the contents of the data, only the data itself, they are not allowed to implement changes that would allow prejudicial transmission of said data - because otherwise you are effectively giving them complete control of a vital tool and huge influence for the sake of money.

The internet itself is a public platform. All voices are heard there - without NN, big powers can push those voices out or silence them entirely.

Let me ask you - if you had to pay to protest, but that price was related to what anyone else wanting to protest (or stop them) would pay..... how do you think that would work out? Suddenly, Walmart can simply pay a million bucks and I doubt you have that much lying around - and now you have no access to protest.

The fact is the internet is very much like a public sidewalk. Certainly, the big players are not obliged to humour you on their platforms, but if you can find a platform, you should not be functionally censored because nobody is able to see it since your platform cannot pay the fees compared to the big players that can.

Con types are horrified at social justice. So let's take that for an example: Youtube is de facto a monopoly on video services. They are known to push a social justice narrative without apology. Repealing NN could make them literally the only service for video you would be able to access because nobody else could pay the ISP for consumer access (which is something they can do without NN protections in place). Would you want a company with so much social power and influence to be the ONLY one that people could see? Or, perhaps, let us pretend you're anti-abortion. Imagine there's Hitler the Abortioner running as a candidate next to Saintly Jim the good guy. Your ISP knows Hitler is willing to pay more to be seen, and will give them kickbacks. So, they block any and all access to pages mentioning Saintly Jim, along with his campaign site.

You see - in the States in particular this is dangerous because ISPs are huge conglomerates with large territorial control and EXCLUSIVE rights of provision for service. So if Comcast were to decide something like this, huge numbers of people could be affected and unable to see the pages of candidate offerings that COMCAST DECIDES you shouldn't get to see. Starting to make sense why this whole NN thing is so important?

Plus, if not for the higher principles of it all, don't you think it's a bit of a dick move that you already pay so much to your ISP, and then they get to turn around and extort the services you love for even more money, despite having been compensated appropriately already?

Anyway - learn what NN actually is and do some serious thinking about the implications of repealing it. It doesn't take a lot of thought to realize that the implications are almost entirely negative - and potentially very dangerous for free, liberal society. (note: small L liberal).

Keep in mind: This is based in the realm of possibility. Is it likely? Perhaps not. Though infringements have already happened, so I would bet that it is. However, once you extend this power, you don't get it back. That's never how it works - and while people complain about slippery slopes being a fallacy..... there's some legitimacy in standing away from a slope covered in ice if you can do so.

The fact is without regulation with the simple mandate that all data is equal, it is left only to the imagination what ISP's would be allowed to do to manage content. Given how much they value money, I'd imagine there's quite a few unpleasant things that one could do. Given the essential nature of the internet combined with their monopolies and exclusivity, it also means a captive market and therefore you can't easily argue that "well, if they do that then another will come along who doesn't" because that "other" is barred from participation. FB wants to pay your ISP to block all other social media? Under a non-NN bound ISP, that's a possibility. Certain political candidates decide they want to pay for exclusivity? Again, your ISP would be allowed to do that - the only concern is if the price is right....

Because I'm not sure if you've genuinely noticed this, the capitalist system is wonderful and our best for provision of services, but it is most certainly not predicated on anything approaching a rational morality. If they could skin you alive and sell it, they would. I wouldn't fault them - dem's the rules, but I think as a rational individual it might be somewhat more objectionable. Business is for profit - nothing wrong in that, but it means that business is only as moral as profitability requires, and that's a bit more of an issue. So enabling them to have free guardianship of access to an essential part of modern life and THE source for information is.... well, problematic.
 

canadianvice

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If you're in the united states, contact your congressperson. Best via phone, as that carries more weight, but use any vector you find to be suitable at your disposal.

If you're not in the US, protect your own net neutrality legislation as best you can and hope that the impact of the American choice is not too damaging, considering they're a big traffic hub.
 

mihen

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The ISP regulation guidelines created in 2015 were pretty counter productive. Broadband investment declined in the 2 years following it's implementation. This is the first time this has happened in a non-recession year. The Netflix/Comcast thing was fabricated and the story was never corrected. The issue Netflix was experiencing on Comcast's network had to do with an error on L3 Networks side that was later corrected that month. Comcast offered to host Netflix directly on their network which would significantly increase the quality of the streams while decreasing Comcast's overhead for getting data out of network.
Most of the fear-mongering of the issue is self-regulatory as it has been since the change of ISPs regulatory structure. It also only affects Internet Only services as Cable Companies offer Phone Service which puts them into a different regulatory category.
The big issue that we see with Net Neutrality is people don't understand how ISPs work in the United States. Instead of going to the local level where all the monopoly issues are, they immediately jump to the highest level possible. Yet the structure of ISPs and their deals with dozens of other companies keeps them in check. Also sniffing every packet to determine it's priority is just a slow method in handling internet traffic. The electrical costs and equipment alone would make it impractical. The only company I know who would even contemplate that type of nickel and diming is Time Warner/Spectrum.
 

canadianvice

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I'm not honestly entirely sure. I think I was just getting a bit glib there. The takeaway is basically corporations are amoral as a statement of fact and entrusting them with unregulated gatekeeping (particularly among the territorial-monopolistic practices they use in the states) of an immensely influential and important infrastructure is probably not a great idea. CU sort of illustrates how they like to act when the rules are opened up, and I assume they would employ the same morality in regards to how they handle the web. Amoralism doesn't really breed empathy, and while this is a personal opinion, being decent is rarely the winning proposition when you have the power not to face the consequences of it. In other words, they'd have control of critically influential infrastructure without oversight and with a considerable ability to force you to either disconnect (not really feasible in the modern world with all the required amenities the web provides) or participate. Additionally, they'd have intense economic pressure to misuse this influence, wielding it like any other asset - something to be traded and exploited. Even in Canada where this sort of thing is not permitted, Telus offers an example of a trivial infraction. Where it's legal? Well, the possibilities can easily be left to the imagination. They've shown a willingness to do it, and they've shown how they would use it. Arguably, our climate should be even more discouraging than yours to such behaviour, and they still have tried their luck.

Not very good for civil society.

Plus, you pay them for data, (plenty, I'm sure. Even I'm horrified at Comcast's pricing and this comes from a Canadian) and you're going to just let them turn around and manipulate how that goes? Extorting the services you pay them to get to for even more money, which inevitably gets passed down to you? Even on the sheer plebeian obstinacy of it, I'd be pro-NN.
 

shrapnel_indie

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Lessee...

email - packets can arrive in any order, at any speed, no big deal. Snapchat, Google, generel FB, instagram, etc, same thing.

streaming video - needs the faster, less congested lanes, especially in times of heavy usage, to make sure your video streams don't have distortions, stutters, or other playback problems that will tick you off.

" NN", as proposed, will force video streams use the exact same paths, causing problems for you watching your cat videos. NN would give the Federal Government and big tech the power to choose winners and losers online, in an egregiously partisan manner. “Net Neutrality” said nothing about neutrality and everything about governmental control and nepotistic picking of favorites, which is the very opposite of neutrality. BIG TECH companies like Google, Amazon, and Yahoo are favoring this "NN" as they would be able to censor the internet to suit their ideological preferences, ridding the internet of conservative, libertarian, or other content that they they deem offensive.
 

manleysteele

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The bandwidth that is being argued over with the NN debate is not infinite. What the ISP's are saying is that if a service wants to use more bandwidth than normal, they need to pay for it. Data is not all the same with no regard for what it is. Streaming a 1080p movie @ 60 fps for 2hours uses a lot of bandwidth. It is monumentally more that a 4 page text file. When a company builds a cable plant or a cell tower, they have an associated cost that they can't ignore. Asking them to underwrite the Netflix's of the world is not fair. Companies like Netflix are trying to game the system, calling their for pay service just data, as if they are nor charging anything for it. What they want is for every paying internet user to underwrite their bandwidth. It may seem like I'm picking on Netflix, but they are just one example of many who are trying to use the consumer to defray their costs.
 

oneblackened

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That is a blatant misunderstanding, hell I'd go so far as to say a deliberate misunderstanding. Without net neutrality, an ISP could essentially block access to information they don't like by basically not allowing most packets to it. That IS censorship. With net neutrality, they are not allowed to. That's all it is. There's nothing about the government coming to take your breitbart, or whatever.

Google, Amazon, Yahoo? They're not (except slightly, for google) in the business of providing internet access. They provide a service on the internet. The last thing they want to do is have to fork over money to an ISP to have consumers access their services quickly.

The problem here is that a packet is a packet. The amount of data streamed in a 1080p VP9 video (e.g. from netflix) or the equivalent amount of whatever else (for the sake of it, let's say downloading a video game from steam) uses the same bandwidth.
 
A bit after Net Neutrality started my Internet Bill doubled. To add insult to injury TDS slap on a 250G cap. I cant say Net Neutrality helped the Internet. Maybe it was good for cities but rural America got boned.
 

canadianvice

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People... are you seriously not getting this? You pay your isp for x amount of data. At x speed.

There's nothing special about video vs email except video takes more - but guess what? That's an expenditure choice you get to make.

My family pays +$15 a month for an unlimited data cap because the default with our plan, 1tb, just wasn't doing it for six people online. See how that works? Our use case took more data (size wise) and so we paid to get more data. We also upgraded our speed package so we had enough speed to smoothly stream the packets needed for that number of people to watch netflix or torrent or w/e.

Nobody is arguing that point. Transmitting X bits of data means x bits of data. The content and character of that data does not change its cost to deliver, seeing as isp's are compensated by the customer on a unit basis for delivery at a certain speed.

What NN says is that your isp can't double-dip by demanding extra from the services you use, and it says they cannot discriminate based on the character of the data.

Otherwise, read my other comments here regarding what NN is - it is alarming how many of you are either shills or believe the telecom funded narrative without any further research, because what you're saying is patently and objectively incorrect.

You do not understand the issue and you have been misled. Considering how simple it is, I think a lot of you should be ashamed at how easily you've been duped into becoming shills against your own interests.

Ignorance is not acceptable and your continued reliance on making policy decisions based on it is ruining you. Stop. Do your research and consider the bias of your sources.

What would the telecoms gain from removing NN? A hell of a lot! To say nothing of the fact that simple research debunks their claims totally and utterly.

Don't drag others down with you. It's your civic responsibility to make INFORMED decisions about how things run, not to be led like sheep.
 

therickmu25

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@canadianvice - You write 30 paragraphs I guess to make yourself look like an expert on the issue, but then as with all arguments for imposing more government control, end with the typical 'what if's' and 'wait and see's what these evil corps. do'. You look at the issue at a 30,000ft view of possibility to avoid what actually happens in real life, not a socialism class.

Where is the consumer choice w/ NN in force? Because of the government, you realize the ISP monopolies aren't accountable to the consumer right? They've used the government to restrict competition, to control their access to the consumer, and artificially inflate their profits through preferential regulation and legislation.

As long as the voluntary dollar is held hostage, quality of service is no longer a requirement. So you complain about monopolies and lack of choice, but protest for the exact thing that will always keep it a monopoly while never demanding better service.
 

canadianvice

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I wrote a lot... but perhaps before I get into it, I should ask:

What is it you think NN even is? Can you explain your view in some detail? What is the process, the principles, and the general idea of it? We don't seem to be hitting many points of contact here, even on the basis of disagreeing views, so I think perhaps we need to get a mutual understanding of what "net neutrality" is, if we're to discuss it.

Because the understanding I've been writing this in has nothing to do with monopolies. Sure, they affect one of the reasons I think concern is prescient, but the issue is technically a separate problem to be addressed, not a direct component.

The responses I've been getting are not squaring terribly well in addressing what I've been saying. I feel like we may be using different definitions.

Also, please drop that socialism crap right now. It's not conducive to debate and frankly it's a refuge I've only ever known to be used in a spirit of extreme knee-jerking, and that's not a compelling way to go about forming a viewpoint. It's just a really cringey thing to do, because almost ever time it's used, it's used incorrectly.

For the record, I'm actually intimately concerned about the protection of rights and maintenance of a free civil society. I'm a libertarian, but I'm also a realist: lines are drawn all over the place - they often cross and need to be negotiated. Someone will lose out there and someone won't. You make the best choice you can on the basis of the facts and reason.

I believe allowing unaccountable private entities full control and discretion over access to one of the single most important tools for the spread of ideas and information, as well as critical infrastructure for modern life is problematic. Corporations function on expediency, which is absolutely fine, but that also means they do not necessarily function on a rational morality. Given intense financial incentive to abuse gatekeeper control if given it, I think it's obvious which way that pendulum swings.

Another crux of this is the word neutrality. If it gave the government control of what we saw or didn't, I would be raising the same concerns - but neutrality is a very easy and objective term, just like secularism. It's binary, and so if law enshrines it, there is no confusion.

It really has nothing to say about monopolies.

Also... 30,000 feet? Don't look at the big picture? Do you know why societies, people and states go to hell so often? My degree is computing science, but my minor is history, something I would strongly recommend people look at with a lens toward how things play out.

They go to hell precisely because of how short sighted it all is. People don't look at the big picture because it's hard and at times seems removed and abstract. However, the little steps are the insidious ones because you'll take them right over the edge of a cliff if you don't look up from your feet.

So yes, I look at the big picture when it comes to guarding our fundamental rights because history teaches a few examples, and I much prefer learning it by the book than by forced immersion.

1. When something goes bad, a hell of a lot of people have to die before it gets fixed, and with modern militaries, that is even harder

2. People consistently miss the early warnings of very dark things to come, and by the time the frog is boiled, it's dead before it ever bothered to jump out.

3. A bit of foresight and someone saying "hold up" would have stopped a huge number of things.

4. What you give up you win back in blood. So it's probably easier to withhold than to get back. Be wary of what change means.

So, I ask you: why are you not looking at the larger ramifications here? Because they will happen. History proves that - time and time again hubris stopped people for seeing the forest for the trees, and hubris makes us think we're smarter than they were.

Don't chastise a person for big picture thinking - you'll find plenty of examples in history showing that big was smaller than previously anticipated, and came home to roost sooner than expected.

The best part? I'm not even in kookooland here. There are documented flashes of the future if this sort of thing is ignored. Just google "net neutrality violation <company name>" and you're going to find some things that are very worrisome if you like free society with people making choices based on informed perspectives.

Edit: I like the driveby saying I wrote too much to pretend at expertise, but I get no response regarding a request for what NN supposedly is. Fun fact: I understand the concept very well, the "30 paragraphs" are a symptom of other people not being quite so informed on it and my own ability to speak to the matter.

I've found brevity is rarely useful when people are fundamentally mistaken regarding things, because inevitably quick and simple doesn't do much good in education. The trouble is that if nobody is going to respond, I have nothing more specific I can say and so shots in the dark tend to have some spread.
 
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Granted, the Democrats are saying some pretty stupid things here, but they are still on the morally and practically correct side on this issue. Almost all the major Internet Service Providers are also content owners, and those who aren't are free to strike deals with content providers to deliver favored content at usable speeds and other content at speeds which are essentially unusable. And while I support their right to charge per peak bandwidth if they so desire, I do NOT support their right to charge me extra for third party content over their own content when requiring the same bandwidth. That is not the kind of innovation I want to see, but it's the kind we are going to get.

If you're a conservative who opposes Net Neutrality, please remember that all or almost all the big ISPs are headed by big libs and consider this scenario:
"Good evening and welcome to CNN Politics Today".
CLICK
"Goo . . . ee . . . ng . . . dwell . . . met . . . Ox . . . New . . . It . . . Ay".

If they can control bandwidth to favor their own content over competing content, they can also control bandwidth to favor what they want you to hear versus what they don't want you to hear. Don't let someone tell you that an ISP should be able to favor or handicap content just because he is on "your team", because in reality none of them are really on your team. This isn't about paying one's fair share or about innovation, it's strictly about the ISPs' ability to handicap and limit their content competition.
 
Mar 13, 2018
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@THERICKMU25 You seem to dislike that ISPs tend to have monopolies in delivery. Without Net Neutrality, they have the ability to build monopolies in content as well. If Netflix is throttled to the point of being unwatchable, people will tend to watch their ISP's content instead. If Netflix is surcharged to the point of being not affordable, people will tend to watch their ISP's content instead. This is not a good thing.
 

stdragon

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I don't get why any of this is new. There has always, and continues, to be peering disagreements; often a never-ending saga between Cogent and Level 3. In the end however, they come to an agreement and sort it out. THAT is the market solving itself. No, Net Neutrality is nothing more than FUD being pushed by certain politicians to line their own pockets - follow the money. What we have here is people cheering on more crony-capitalism (corruption).

Fun fact - Did you know that Netflix and the like pay 3rd party providers to cache their content in local data centers? Yup, it's true. When you stream your favorite popular flick, it's often sourced from a local or regional source. Isn't the free market awesome? If it's not free, only because the Government puts up restrictions to make it not so.
 

tacgnol06

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"The bandwidth that is being argued over with the NN debate is not infinite."

What I don't buy about this argument is the simple fact that we're rapidly approaching a point where bandwidth is effectively infinite. Some countries already have 100mps as the norm. At this point, NN because vastly more important, because it prevents ISPs from putting arbitrary limits on an infinite resource for the purposes of squeezing extra money from their customers.

"WRONG, the internet is a privilege, not a RIGHT."
And rights are opinions, not facts. Self-evident opinions, sure, but opinions all the same. Let me ask you this: Why would you WILLINGLY give up a new right if nobody is harmed by it? ISPs have to give up an option that's arguably abusive and not really used at the moment anyway.

If I seemed handwavey about the controversy in my first post above, it's only because I view NN as inevitable, not because I oppose it, lets be clear on that. If not now, then at the first clear signs of ISP misconduct. The people who would give up the greatest technological advancement of the 20th century over an ideology will change their tune when they discover how much the world they helped bring about totally sucks.
 

ccrider_22

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"The internet should be kept free and open like our highways, accessible and affordable to every American, regardless of ability to pay."

Blah Blah Blah; When's the last time you bought plates, tires or gas; the "highways" aren't free, nothing is free. These UN control FREAKS just want World Socialism, they could care less about our ability to use the net.... in fact their intent is to control it's content; which makes it a 'sham' like the FAKE Media.
 
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