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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Political/War Lounge > Is Net Neutrality an actual problem?

Is Net Neutrality an actual problem?
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Feb 25, 2015, 04:23 PM
 
Does the the Netflix throttle really warrant all the paranoia over the prospect of a non neutral net?
     
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Feb 25, 2015, 04:29 PM
 
The ISPs are being abusive, monopolistic assholes, it's time to reign them in a little.
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Feb 25, 2015, 04:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by iMOTOR View Post
Does the the Netflix throttle really warrant all the paranoia over the prospect of a non neutral net?
Considering the conflict of interest, lack of delivering advertised speeds at peak times, and peering disputes, yes, yes it does.
     
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Feb 25, 2015, 05:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
The ISPs are being abusive, monopolistic assholes, it's time to reign them in a little.
Agreed. But is Net Neutrality a real problem?
     
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Feb 25, 2015, 05:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
The ISPs are being abusive, monopolistic assholes
As are all the other public utilities whilst currently being regulated by the government as a 'utility.'
     
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Feb 25, 2015, 05:43 PM
 
The only utility I've had a huge issue with is the power company, and that's because they jacked their rates as soon as they got deregulated.
     
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Feb 25, 2015, 06:01 PM
 
I'd say that the odds are good that your power company was corrupt even before being deregulated. And odds are good that they had discontent customers before.
     
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Feb 25, 2015, 06:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by iMOTOR View Post
Agreed. But is Net Neutrality a real problem?
It is if you're stuck with an ISP that throttles your Netflix, Amazon Prime, torrent, and Youtube traffic during peak, and even off-peak, times. If you pay for "X" amount of bandwidth you should get it, at all times with all types of traffic.
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Feb 25, 2015, 06:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
It is if you're stuck with an ISP that throttles your Netflix, Amazon Prime, torrent, and Youtube traffic during peak, and even off-peak, times.
So, they are throttling different content providers neutrally?

Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
If you pay for "X" amount of bandwidth you should get it, at all times with all types of traffic.
I have 50/50 Mbps fiber, and I definitely get different speeds at different times of day. And they don't peer at the same speed with everybody, but that's not proof that they are being selective with speeds, that's just how the Internet works.
     
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Feb 25, 2015, 06:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by iMOTOR View Post
I'd say that the odds are good that your power company was corrupt even before being deregulated. And odds are good that they had discontent customers before.
Haha, that is one weak as argument. That's why there were regulations, duh! And they did their job!

Originally Posted by iMOTOR View Post
So, they are throttling different content providers neutrally?
Not neutrally. All his examples deal with video.
     
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Feb 25, 2015, 07:09 PM
 
The problem comes when people twig that they can use their cash to influence internet customers by force feeding them the providers choice of traffic. Imagine the subtle but important differences it could make to society if one news provider's web site was throttled to load super slowly while another one was made super fast.

The net becomes a biased system in favour of whoever pays the most or the politics, religious beliefs or other opinions of the people who own the ISP. Fox-Net here we come.
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Feb 25, 2015, 07:16 PM
 
Although core internet bandwidth costs continue to decline, big ISPs keep fooling around with bandwidth caps. Telcos are most often letting DSL stagnate, pushing people further to the cable monopolies. Monopolies, because the cable companies refuse to grow into each others' territories and actually compete.

Now back to those bandwidth caps they keep trying to roll out. When that ISP offers video, the caps never apply to the ISPs own video service. Meaning they hamstring competing services. Watching shows costs more, unless you subscribe to your ISP's service.

It's all bits flowing over the connection you pay for. Without net neutrality, they'll keep trying to turn the internet into Cable TV, when we all hope the internet will exterminate cable tv. Required channel bundles, TV schedules, annual price increases.
     
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Feb 25, 2015, 07:46 PM
 
No, no it isn't.

These regulations are wrong in principle. You get on YOUR computer and connect with a privately owned servers over privately owned wires, and they connect you with other privately owned servers over other privately owned wires, to access information that has been put there by private citizens or privately owned businesses. How in the HELL does any of this give people the right to use force to make these companies give them what they want "'CUZ IT'S NOT FAIR! WAH!"? It doesn't.

This whole issue smacks of some kind of stupid entitlement mentality.
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Feb 25, 2015, 07:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
It is if you're stuck with an ISP that throttles your Netflix, Amazon Prime, torrent, and Youtube traffic during peak, and even off-peak, times. If you pay for "X" amount of bandwidth you should get it, at all times with all types of traffic.
So the customer gets to determine the terms via government force to get what they want?
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Feb 25, 2015, 07:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by iMOTOR View Post
I'd say that the odds are good that your power company was corrupt even before being deregulated. And odds are good that they had discontent customers before.
It's interesting that this countries most HATED industries are the most highly regulated. Power companies...regardless of these "deregulation" fantasies are practically quasi-government entities in most cases.
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Feb 25, 2015, 07:58 PM
 
Here's the deal. If one thinks that a company like Comcast should be able to throttle it's ISP customers when they are trying to watch Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc. ... in order to "encourage" them to subscribe to Comcast's cable TV services simply because they are a private sector company then I contend that this is a prime example of conservative ideology trumping common sense. If such an inherent conflict of interest isn't readily apparent then it never will be.

OAW
     
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Feb 25, 2015, 08:01 PM
 
I'm amazed that people don't get the root of the problem.
It's not net neutrality, or some ISP wanting to censor shit, or ISPs hating Neflix par se.

It's ISPs making a promise, i.e. *unlimited* data usage, that is not sustainable at the rates they are charging.

As soon as internet would go the metered route (like most utilities are, btw.), net neutrality laws would not be needed.

There, fixed that for you.

P.S. Yes, the free-shit-army is a problem, because they want unlimited internet to cut their cable, but only pay fraction of the cost of cable. Sorry, doesn't work.

-t
     
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Feb 25, 2015, 08:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
Here's the deal. If one thinks that a company like Comcast should be able to throttle it's ISP customers when they are trying to watch Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc. ... in order to "encourage" them to subscribe to Comcast's cable TV services simply because they are a private sector company then I contend that this is a prime example of conservative ideology trumping common sense. If such an inherent conflict of interest isn't readily apparent then it never will be.

OAW
So basically, if I don't agree with YOU then I have no common sense? Is that your argument?

Regulations...ALL REGULATIONS...increase costs and complicate things. The net result of this is that the most regulated industries are populated by the fewest, largest companies with the most..."interest"...in Washington D.C.

Government. Creates. Coercive monopolies.

In fact, if I were a conspiracy nut I would say that this whole issue has been drummed up BY the largest providers in order to get in bed with the government so that they can use the LAW to force their competitors out of business. However, I am not a conspiracy, nut and that kind of thing never happens.
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Feb 25, 2015, 08:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
I'm amazed that people don't get the root of the problem.
It's not net neutrality, or some ISP wanting to censor shit, or ISPs hating Neflix par se.

It's ISPs making a promise, i.e. *unlimited* data usage, that is not sustainable at the rates they are charging.

As soon as internet would go the metered route (like most utilities are, btw.), net neutrality laws would not be needed.

There, fixed that for you.

P.S. Yes, the free-shit-army is a problem, because they want unlimited internet to cut their cable, but only pay fraction of the cost of cable. Sorry, doesn't work.

-t
Maybe we should be asking how difficult/expensive it is with current regulations for a start-up or smaller existing company to put in their own wires/cables/fiber optics etc. in order to compete with these "evil" companies that have the gall to provide a service for "money".
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Feb 25, 2015, 08:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
I'm amazed that people don't get the root of the problem.
It's not net neutrality, or some ISP wanting to censor shit, or ISPs hating Neflix par se.

It's ISPs making a promise, i.e. *unlimited* data usage, that is not sustainable at the rates they are charging.
The pricing structure has nothing to do with paid peering agreements and such.
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
As soon as internet would go the metered route (like most utilities are, btw.), net neutrality laws would not be needed.

P.S. Yes, the free-shit-army is a problem, because they want unlimited internet to cut their cable, but only pay fraction of the cost of cable. Sorry, doesn't work.
People are paying for internet access, and even though they pay more, the US is behind. And in Canada, there are data caps, my first internet provider gave me a data cap of a paltry 120 GB. Metering has nothing to do with net neutrality, and metering certainly doesn't make net neutrality rules superfluous.
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
Maybe we should be asking how difficult/expensive it is with current regulations for a start-up or smaller existing company to put in their own wires/cables/fiber optics etc. in order to compete with these "evil" companies that have the gall to provide a service for "money".
If you want to create an ISP from scratch, you have to invest billions before seeing any revenue in return, and that's without any regulation. You have to bury kilometers and kilometers of cable, invest in DSL/cable/optic fiber equipment, and you have to fight the uphill battle of getting a customer base.
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Feb 25, 2015, 08:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Haha, that is one weak as argument. That's why there were regulations, duh! And they did their job!
The point was, even if you feel the regulations "did their job," it's almost certain that other customers were getting shafted before and after.

But anyway, the question is: based on the Netflix scare, is Net Neutrality a real problem right now? The question is not: are ISPs abusing customers with high prices and lack of last mile broadband? (They are of course.)
     
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Feb 25, 2015, 09:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
So basically, if I don't agree with YOU then I have no common sense? Is that your argument?
I outlined my argument quite succinctly. It's not about "agreeing with me". Take OAW out of the equation entirely and the EXAMPLE I gave still stands. Again, the inherent conflict of interest is so SELF-EVIDENT that it undoubtedly fits in the realm of "common sense".

Originally Posted by smacintush
Regulations...ALL REGULATIONS...increase costs and complicate things. The net result of this is that the most regulated industries are populated by the fewest, largest companies with the most..."interest" ... in Washington D. C.

Government. Creates. Coercive monopolies.
So in other words you are more interested in regurgitating right-wing talking points in GENERAL rather than addressing the specific scenario I raised in PARTICULAR? Ok. And we'll also note that Comcast is a "privately owned business" that you were so staunchly defending "in principle" ... yet it's managed to be a monopoly or duopoly in nearly every market it serves all without "government" intervention. Imagine that.

OAW
     
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Feb 26, 2015, 02:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by iMOTOR View Post
So, they are throttling different content providers neutrally?
There's nothing "neutral" about having different speeds for different content, and the major ISPs have been nailed for it more times than I can quote. Do a Google search.

I have 50/50 Mbps fiber, and I definitely get different speeds at different times of day. And they don't peer at the same speed with everybody, but that's not proof that they are being selective with speeds, that's just how the Internet works.
Traffic shaping, which is what it is, and data caps aren't how the internet is supposed to "work".
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Feb 26, 2015, 02:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
So the customer gets to determine the terms via government force to get what they want?
After the ISPs bought up or killed off all the available competition? Yeah, that's what happens. They hold regionally-based monopolies, purposely avoiding each other's territories so they can dictate the terms you're required to live with, if you want to have wired "broadband". Trust-busting is part of the government's job.
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Feb 26, 2015, 02:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
It's ISPs making a promise, i.e. *unlimited* data usage, that is not sustainable at the rates they are charging.
The myth that nearly everyone has bought into is that data is a limited commodity, it isn't. The cost difference in bandwidth between 1Gbps access and 6Mbps for an ISP is negligible, but they've convinced everyone otherwise. "But there's the cost of infrastructure!" Yeah, that we've paid for with tax dollars ~4x over, but the telcos instead have used to buy each other up and deeply pad their own pockets. Americans have been fleeced, repeatedly, and we should be pissed off over it, but instead we still have some people going to bat for those pricks.
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Feb 26, 2015, 03:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
No, no it isn't.

These regulations are wrong in principle. You get on YOUR computer and connect with a privately owned servers over privately owned wires, and they connect you with other privately owned servers over other privately owned wires, to access information that has been put there by private citizens or privately owned businesses. How in the HELL does any of this give people the right to use force to make these companies give them what they want "'CUZ IT'S NOT FAIR! WAH!"? It doesn't.

This whole issue smacks of some kind of stupid entitlement mentality.
Bullshit. We've paid for all of that with massive grants and tax breaks for decades now, and all they've done (the ISPs) is let the technology that's installed age and become obsolete. That's fair? That's what we've put 100s of $billions$ into?

If they didn't want gov't regulation or interference they shouldn't have been reaching into Uncle Sam's pockets for so long, or better yet, provide what was promised ages ago. Want to talk about lack of accountability and sense of entitlement? Look no further than American telcos.

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
If you want to create an ISP from scratch, you have to invest billions before seeing any revenue in return, and that's without any regulation. You have to bury kilometers and kilometers of cable, invest in DSL/cable/optic fiber equipment, and you have to fight the uphill battle of getting a customer base.
I have the totals for the cost of our community broadband project, just the monthly wholesale bandwidth cost not including installation, which is included in the bill in 24 monthly installments. 1Gbps/100Mbps (down/up) service averages $24.75 /mo, 250Mbps/24Mbps is $16 /mo, and 100Mbps/10Mbps (lowest tier) is $10.50 /mo (larger ISPs pay a lot less for wholesale bandwidth). I know those don't scale perfectly, but that includes some fixed charges, so before taxes the co-op bills $40/$31/$25 respectively (plus the installation cost I mentioned earlier, which varies, but let's say it's $15 /mo), to cover possible tech support, upgrades, and service calls. As you can see, even on our scale there are decent profits to be made, if it weren't for the fact that state regulations are typically so onerous and stacked against a free market. Say a company (like Google) came into town and offered unlimited 1Gb service for $70 /month +tax, which is what they generally charge, that's pretty reasonable, Chattanooga's municipal service for that tier is the same price.

Now, all of you break out your bills and compare. Getting irritated yet?
( Last edited by Cap'n Tightpants; Feb 26, 2015 at 03:44 AM. )
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Feb 26, 2015, 04:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
I outlined my argument quite succinctly. It's not about "agreeing with me". Take OAW out of the equation entirely and the EXAMPLE I gave still stands. Again, the inherent conflict of interest is so SELF-EVIDENT that it undoubtedly fits in the realm of "common sense".



So in other words you are more interested in regurgitating right-wing talking points in GENERAL rather than addressing the specific scenario I raised in PARTICULAR? Ok. And we'll also note that Comcast is a "privately owned business" that you were so staunchly defending "in principle" ... yet it's managed to be a monopoly or duopoly in nearly every market it serves all without "government" intervention. Imagine that.

OAW
First, I said coercive monopoly. Not merely monopoly. There is a difference. I personally have NO problems with a company being a monopoly as long as it got that way without government interference into the market. It is not legitimate for me to sit in moral judgement of a company who is providing me a service that I wouldn't get otherwise and expect that the government will step in and force them to give me the kind of service that I want. Comcast and the rest do not exist in a free market vacuum. Cable and other communications companies are already highly regulated other ways. Regulations are not, never have been and never will be conducive to competition. It is the laws and regulations themselves that crowd out the little guys and foster an inappropriate relationship with a government that expects them to play ball.

Second, I didn't really intend to personalize my response toward you. However, MY statement stands as is. You made no argument. You merely asserted that there is a conflict of interest with the implication being that this so-called conflict is a problem. Then you asserted that it is a matter of "common sense". The implication being that if I don't hold the view that you hold, then I lack common sense. That is either an ad hominem or an argument from intimidation...not 100% sure which. Then you insult me again by implying that I am a right-wing conservative which leads to...

Third, I'm not a conservative and I'm not "right wing". If you think I am you either have no clue what it means to be a right-wing conservative, or you've never bothered to read any of MY posts.
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Feb 26, 2015, 04:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
After the ISPs bought up or killed off all the available competition? Yeah, that's what happens. They hold regionally-based monopolies, purposely avoiding each other's territories so they can dictate the terms you're required to live with, if you want to have wired "broadband". Trust-busting is part of the government's job.
So again, you are in favor of using force to get what you want out of a company that is providing you with a service which you use and pay for voluntarily. I'm just trying to be clear that that is your position.
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Feb 26, 2015, 04:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
Bullshit. We've paid for all of that with massive grants and tax breaks for decades now, and all they've done (the ISPs) is let the technology that's installed age and become obsolete. That's fair? That's what we've put 100s of $billions$ into?

If they didn't want gov't regulation or interference they shouldn't have been reaching into Uncle Sam's pockets for so long, or better yet, provide what was promised ages ago. Want to talk about lack of accountability and sense of entitlement? Look no further than American telcos.
That is an argument against cronyism. "We" shouldn't be paying for any such things...at all...through tax-funded government money. I am personally against all forms of government subsidies from single welfare checks to subsidization of large corporations and everything in between.

However you are making the mistake of ignoring the government's role in fostering this atmosphere. It is the government and it's little dictator agencies that have actual power and are for sale. None of what you are complaining about would happen without some idiot bureaucrat willing to play ball.

What you and others are suggesting is akin to treating strychnine poisoning with cyanide.
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Feb 26, 2015, 04:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
So again, you are in favor of using force to get what you want out of a company that is providing you with a service which you use and pay for voluntarily. I'm just trying to be clear that that is your position.
I don't, I finally got pissed off and (almost literally) threw buckets of money at the problem of having an ISP monopoly in my area and functionally became my own ISP. Now that was "using force". 99.9999% of people can't do that and most Americans have zero choice in ISPs. So, if they want internet access they have to live with shitty, overpriced service and support, or do without internet entirely, due to no regional competition. That's okay with you? I'm just trying to be clear that that is your position. Just to be clear, I trust the federal gov't as much as I'd trust a pack of dingoes to babysit my child, but the ISPs have earned this with their predatory, anti-competitive practices, and it's time someone made them pony up what they promised and have been paid for.
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Feb 26, 2015, 04:46 AM
 
FCC commissioner Ajit Pai has a different opinion.

Regulating the internet like a utility company, says Pai, will threaten the kind of innovation we've taken for granted over the past 20 years. "Do you trust the federal government to make the Internet ecosystem more vibrant than it is today?" Pai asks. "Can you think of any regulated utility like the electric company or water company that is as innovative as the Internet?"
Here is an interesting article as well IMO though it is older.

Unfortunately, net neutrality is a small part of a wider effort to erode property rights in America. As with eminent domain, zoning laws, and the like, net neutrality holds that it is moral to violate the rights of property owners for the “greater good.” Net neutrality holds that the benefit of a “neutral” Internet to all of its users justifies the use of force against those who own and maintain its backbone. It does not.
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Feb 26, 2015, 04:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
That is an argument against cronyism. "We" shouldn't be paying for any such things...at all...through tax-funded government money. I am personally against all forms of government subsidies from single welfare checks to subsidization of large corporations and everything in between.

However you are making the mistake of ignoring the government's role in fostering this atmosphere. It is the government and it's little dictator agencies that have actual power and are for sale. None of what you are complaining about would happen without some idiot bureaucrat willing to play ball.

What you and others are suggesting is akin to treating strychnine poisoning with cyanide.
Regardless of how we've gotten to this state (which is absurd, corporate welfare of this type is a load of crap), the ISPs have already been paid, many times over, and it's past time for them to provide what was promised or pay it all back, with interest.
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Feb 26, 2015, 05:05 AM
 
The internet is vibrant and innovative because of all the private citizens and businesses that have benefited from it, and contributed to it in kind. Allowing a single company to play gatekeeper for residential access to something we built is nuts. It's creating a mini government over vital access to free speech, one that seeks to take you for every dime it can get out of you.

It's extortion, and a threat to free speech. The taxpayer invested in the infrastructure in question, and I'd hate to double down on folly by not holding them accountable to their end of the bargain.
     
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Feb 26, 2015, 05:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
That is an argument against cronyism. "We" shouldn't be paying for any such things...at all...through tax-funded government money. I am personally against all forms of government subsidies from single welfare checks to subsidization of large corporations and everything in between.
Allow me to better explain this. Back when they were figuring out the requirements for broadband internet, back in `96, the gov't realized that our infrastructure sucked. So they went to the telcos and asked, "What can we do?" Well, the big telcos replied, "We can upgrade all that and get fiber to every home in the country, if you give us sufficient tax breaks" and the gov't said, "That sounds good". Then the small telcos piped up and said, "We don't pay enough in taxes to cover that, so how about some grants to help us build up our end?", and the feds agreed to that too.

Now, almost all of those little telcos have been bought out by the big ones, most before the grant money could be spent (funny how that worked), and the big telcos have gladly taken all those tax breaks but haven't even come close to delivering on what they promised, despite the fact they've taken enough in breaks to fund everything that was required ~4x over. So, the way I see it, they either haul ass and get it done now (I'm talking assholes and elbows), or we should take from them the $140B+ they owe us in delinquent taxes.
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Feb 26, 2015, 08:12 AM
 
Because of other regulations, most ISPs are effectively monopolies. Since the same companies also deliver video services (ie cable TV), and they have been known to use one monopoly to improve their position in a different market, that needs to be reigned in. Polite reminders are clearly not working.

Alternatively, one could smash those monopolies in one of a number of ways. Community fiber projects is one, but those are banned in many states (for reasons I don't even understand). Forcing telcos and/or cable companies to lease the last mile connections to the customer at cost (local loop unbundling), as is done (for telcos) in most countries is another way. Personally, I would do both of these and make it clear to cable companies that even the slightest hint of favoring their own video service by throttling or messing up peering would result in anti trust action. Apparently the FCC has chosen a different path. I think that net neutrality is far superior to doing nothing.

I will also admit to being absolutely delighted with seeing lobbying backfiring in this way: The cable companies have spent $$$ lobbying at the state and federal level to create this regulatory climate, and now it is blowing up in their faces.
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Feb 26, 2015, 09:51 AM
 
Doing something stupid and backwards is BETTER THAN DOING NOTHING? What a load of BS!
     
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Feb 26, 2015, 10:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by iMOTOR View Post
The point was, even if you feel the regulations "did their job," it's almost certain that other customers were getting shafted before and after.
This isn't a rebuttal. It's conjecture of opinion with no proof to back it up. My claim, that prices went up after deregulation, is a verifiable statistic.

Originally Posted by iMOTOR View Post
But anyway, the question is: based on the Netflix scare, is Net Neutrality a real problem right now?
It was already answered in my first reply to you in the thread.
     
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Feb 26, 2015, 10:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
It's ISPs making a promise, i.e. *unlimited* data usage, that is not sustainable at the rates they are charging.
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
The myth that nearly everyone has bought into is that data is a limited commodity, it isn't.
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Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
So again, you are in favor of using force to get what you want out of a company that is providing you with a service which you use and pay for voluntarily. I'm just trying to be clear that that is your position.
Here in the real world, people will not go without the internet rather than use inferior service. So you can either govern on an idyllic concept of the free market, and you can govern based on what actually happens.
     
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Feb 26, 2015, 10:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
It's extortion, and a threat to free speech. The taxpayer invested in the infrastructure in question, and I'd hate to double down on folly by not holding them accountable to their end of the bargain.
Seems a logical stance even if you're against how it all happened in the first place.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but with the new definition of broadband, these guys won't be getting the amount of subsidies they were before (I have to assume there's other tax breaks, etc. that they still manage to get)
     
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Feb 26, 2015, 11:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
Allow me to better explain this. Back when they were figuring out the requirements for broadband internet, back in `96, the gov't realized that our infrastructure sucked. So they went to the telcos and asked, "What can we do?" Well, the big telcos replied, "We can upgrade all that and get fiber to every home in the country, if you give us sufficient tax breaks" and the gov't said, "That sounds good". Then the small telcos piped up and said, "We don't pay enough in taxes to cover that, so how about some grants to help us build up our end?", and the feds agreed to that too.

Now, almost all of those little telcos have been bought out by the big ones, most before the grant money could be spent (funny how that worked), and the big telcos have gladly taken all those tax breaks but haven't even come close to delivering on what they promised, despite the fact they've taken enough in breaks to fund everything that was required ~4x over. So, the way I see it, they either haul ass and get it done now (I'm talking assholes and elbows), or we should take from them the $140B+ they owe us in delinquent taxes.
Ok, I haven't heard the story from this angle.

Let's say this is true - do you REALLY believe that net neutrality regulation will fix this ?

Our various governments in the last 20 years do NOT have a track record of successfully regulating shit. Just look at Wall Street. Regulation of banks is $&@/ing joke. So now they're going to get it right with ISPs, where they can't get it right with other utilities ?

I want to believe.

In the meantime, let's be clear how the mess started: government f$&@ing subsidies and intervention. That's always how things start going south.

-t
     
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Feb 26, 2015, 12:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
God bless you, Shaddim


Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Ok, I haven't heard the story from this angle.

Let's say this is true - do you REALLY believe that net neutrality regulation will fix this ?

Our various governments in the last 20 years do NOT have a track record of successfully regulating shit. Just look at Wall Street. Regulation of banks is $&@/ing joke. So now they're going to get it right with ISPs, where they can't get it right with other utilities ?

I want to believe.

In the meantime, let's be clear how the mess started: government f$&@ing subsidies and intervention. That's always how things start going south.

-t
Title II is all we have, and that includes regulation to block facilitation of "fast lanes" by its very nature (because you absolutely can't have that type of behavior from a utility). Also I believe that if they tell you that you're getting a certain service, and you pay for it, you damned well should receive it. No, I don't like parts of it, at all, I wish there was a more modern, tailored approach to this, but it's all we have right now (and likely will have for the foreseeable future). 99% of the time I want gov't to just leave things the hell alone and keep everything tied up in partisan red tape, but this isn't one of those times. As I said multiple times in the other thread, this is going to require a boatload of forbearance by the FCC baked into the recipe, and given how spineless they usually are (when the president isn't breathing down their necks), I truthfully believe that won't be an issue.

All the talk about blocking free speech is a red herring, the biggest and reddest I've seen in a very long time, the NSA, FBI, et al. already have all the tools in place to do all that stuff, easily. That's panic talk by the (R)s, and some (D)s, who have propped up their political careers with tons of cash from the telco lobbies. (BTW, if you want to see how much money, you can install Greenhouse and it'll show you, according to published, verified fundraising records.)
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Feb 26, 2015, 12:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
I about had an aneurysm reading someone say companies with great profits can't sustain the service at the prices they're charging.
     
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Feb 26, 2015, 01:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I about had an aneurysm reading someone say companies with great profits can't sustain the service at the prices they're charging.
That's a major flaw of capitalism - nothing can keep increasing in growth without something or someone sacrificing for it.
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Feb 26, 2015, 01:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by BadKosh View Post
Doing something stupid and backwards is BETTER THAN DOING NOTHING? What a load of BS!
Well, I don't think that the Title II provisions are stupid and backwards. I think that they would be (mostly) unnecessary if there were a functioning market, and unnecessary rules are generally bad. I also think that fixing the market situation would bring many other benefits, so my preferred way of fixing the broadband situation in the US would be to go that way first, wave the big stick of Title II around a bit without actually using it and see if the situation would improve.

Reading Shaddim's description makes me think that Title II regulations are justifiable, but I'm more interested in what creates the best situation for consumers.
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Feb 26, 2015, 01:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by osiris View Post
That's a major flaw of capitalism - nothing can keep increasing in growth without something or someone sacrificing for it.
But I keep getting told it's not a zero sum game!
     
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Feb 26, 2015, 04:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Our various governments in the last 20 years do NOT have a track record of successfully regulating shit. Just look at Wall Street. Regulation of banks is $&@/ing joke. So now they're going to get it right with ISPs, where they can't get it right with other utilities ?
But what is your complaint here, that regulations are ineffective because the industry has made sure to water them down? That's not exactly a case against regulations, it's more a criticism of companies having too much of an influence on the government.
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
The myth that nearly everyone has bought into is that data is a limited commodity, it isn't. The cost difference in bandwidth between 1Gbps access and 6Mbps for an ISP is negligible, but they've convinced everyone otherwise.
Bingo, couldn't have said it any better.

BTW, the FCC has overturned state laws which created barriers to entry for municipal broad band.
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
First, I said coercive monopoly. Not merely monopoly. There is a difference. I personally have NO problems with a company being a monopoly as long as it got that way without government interference into the market. It is not legitimate for me to sit in moral judgement of a company who is providing me a service that I wouldn't get otherwise and expect that the government will step in and force them to give me the kind of service that I want. Comcast and the rest do not exist in a free market vacuum. Cable and other communications companies are already highly regulated other ways. Regulations are not, never have been and never will be conducive to competition.
Regulations can be crucial in order to allow competition back in. That's what has happened in Germany: the big telcos were required to rent the »last mile« to competitors at regulated rates. Guess what happened? Fast internet got cheaper and more ubiquitous. The regulation Comcast has seen is a joke, look no further than its merger with Time Warner Cable where the effers seriously claimed that this will increase competition. That's not regulation, that's a charade to satisfy the letter of the law.
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Feb 26, 2015, 04:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
That's what has happened in Germany: the big telcos were required to rent the »last mile« to competitors at regulated rates. Guess what happened? Fast internet got cheaper and more ubiquitous.
Sadly that was off the table today. I guess that would have been even more threatening...?
     
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Feb 26, 2015, 04:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Ok, I haven't heard the story from this angle.

Let's say this is true - do you REALLY believe that net neutrality regulation will fix this ?
Its not about fixing that mess, its about stopping the ISPs from screwing everyone again. The previous mess is just a further justification for why they shouldn't be allowed. As if you should need another reason.

Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Our various governments in the last 20 years do NOT have a track record of successfully regulating shit. Just look at Wall Street. Regulation of banks is $&@/ing joke. So now they're going to get it right with ISPs, where they can't get it right with other utilities ?
I would think this is a direct side effect of having one half of your government who want fair regulation but have to rely on cash from people that don't in order to get into government and stay there, and the other half of your government wanting no regulation whatsoever and gleefully taking the cash to vote the way they probably would do anyway.

[QUOTE=turtle777;4311864]In the meantime, let's be clear how the mess started: government f$&@ing subsidies and intervention. That's always how things start going south.

If you don't impose some kind of benefits and conditions, then some problems would never get solved.

-t
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Feb 26, 2015, 05:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
First, I said coercive monopoly. Not merely monopoly. There is a difference. I personally have NO problems with a company being a monopoly as long as it got that way without government interference into the market.
Otherwise known as a distinction without a difference. As others have repeatedly pointed out to you .. most customers have little to no choice with respect to internet access. If they did we'd be having an entirely different conversation right now. You are taking a position based upon an academic and quite frankly pedantic notion of how you think the market SHOULD BE. And others of us are taking a position on how the market ACTUALLY IS.

Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
It is not legitimate for me to sit in moral judgement of a company who is providing me a service that I wouldn't get otherwise and expect that the government will step in and force them to give me the kind of service that I want. Comcast and the rest do not exist in a free market vacuum.
Somehow I don't think it has occurred to you that the part in bold above is PRECISELY the reason why regulation is in order here. Again, if there was a truly functioning free market for internet access I would be in agreement with you that we should let competition keep all the ISPs honest. But that's NOT the reality.

Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
Cable and other communications companies are already highly regulated other ways. Regulations are not, never have been and never will be conducive to competition. It is the laws and regulations themselves that crowd out the little guys and foster an inappropriate relationship with a government that expects them to play ball.
Well I'm just going to have to fundamentally disagree with you here. There is such a thing as a natural monopoly. So in that instance it's not the government that crowds out the little guy. It's the prohibitive cost involved for a new competitor to enter a market dominated by a single large supplier that is protected due to extremely high capital requirements or physical/geographical limitations. For instance, we can debate Adam Smith and "Wealth of Nations" all day long but it is unrealistic to expect every phone company to build its only network of phone lines and telephone poles. Similarly, it is unrealistic to expect every cable TV or internet provider to build its own residential "last mile" network. And that is why it is proper for the government to step in and require such natural monopolies to lease their "last mile" network at cost in order to foster competition that otherwise wouldn't exist. Of course, such a regulatory regime is ultimately self-defeating if you allow the large natural monopolies to simply buy out all their smaller, local competition ... but that's a conversation for another time. Especially since as Dakar has aptly pointed out ... this wasn't even on the table in the latest FCC ruling.

Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
Second, I didn't really intend to personalize my response toward you. However, MY statement stands as is. You made no argument. You merely asserted that there is a conflict of interest with the implication being that this so-called conflict is a problem. Then you asserted that it is a matter of "common sense". The implication being that if I don't hold the view that you hold, then I lack common sense. That is either an ad hominem or an argument from intimidation...not 100% sure which. Then you insult me again by implying that I am a right-wing conservative which leads to...

Third, I'm not a conservative and I'm not "right wing". If you think I am you either have no clue what it means to be a right-wing conservative, or you've never bothered to read any of MY posts.
How you self-identify politically is neither here nor there. You are making what is a fundamentally conservative/libertarian ARGUMENT. And that is my point. Again, I've stated that the inherent conflict of interest is SELF-EVIDENT. When something is on such a level ... it normally doesn't require elaboration. But since you insist ....

Monopoly Leveraging - the use of monopoly power attained in one market to gain a competitive advantage in another.
^^^^

That right there is a violation of antitrust law. It is not illegal for a company to BE a monopoly. But it is illegal for a company to ABUSE its monopoly status in an anti-competive and anti-consumer manner. Why? Because this undermines the principles of a free-market economy. And therefore ... a company that is a monopoly has to play by a different set of rules than a company that is subject to market competition. You seem to be implying that the "conflict of interest" I'm describing is not a problem in your view. Well let's address that. The issue at hand is one of ACCESS vs CONTENT in the broadest, most general sense. And leveraging a monopoly of the former to control, restrict, or gain "competitive advantage" with the latter. To wit ....

1. Should a monopoly local electric company that has a subsidiary that sells TVs be able to restrict its customers from using a TV made by a competitor on its electrical grid?

2. Should a monopoly/duopoly health insurance conglomerate that also owns a hospital group be able to restrict its customers from using their health insurance to pay for services provided by a competitor's hospital?

3. Should monopoly/duopoly Comcast which happens to own NBC be able restrict its cable TV customers from watching ABC, CBS, or any other non-NBC affiliated network? Or intentionally degrade the experience if they do allow it?

4. Well similarly, should monopoly/duopoly Comcast be able restrict its ISP customers from watching Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, Amazon Prime or any other non-Comcast affiliated services? Or intentionally degrade the experience if they do allow it?

So no I'm not making an "implication" that such scenarios are a problem. I'm outright stating it's a problem! Again, the "inherent conflict of interest" IS a problem because in all the scenarios above the consumer has LITTLE TO NO CHOICE with respect to ACCESS. Again, if there was robust competition in the broadband internet ACCESS market and consumers could easily take their business elsewhere if their local ISP pulled these types of shenanigans then we'd be having an entirely different conversation right now! But that is simply NOT the case! The overwhelming majority of consumers are faced with an internet access "market" that is a monopoly or duopoly AT BEST. With ISPs that are ROUTINELY ranked among the lowest in customer satisfaction.

Time Warner Cable and Comcast rank as worst companies for customer satisfaction | The Verge

Oh yeah ... let's just allow these two sucktastic "service" providers to merge and make the situation even worse. Because it's the "government" that's the problem.

In any event, I stand by my initial statement. Now if you are cool with the scenarios outlined above that's fine. I have no expectation that everyone around here will or should agree with me. But for the record, I never said that you "LACK common sense". For one, my comment was directed to the thread in general not you specifically. If I had intended the latter I would have quoted one of your posts. Regardless, as the old adage goes .... "If you throw a rock into a pack of dogs the only one that hollers is the one that got hit." So since you are "hollering" .... please note that what I actually said was this would be an example of "ideology TRUMPING common sense". IOW ... to stick to a rigid, anti-government regulation position in the face of a mono/duopolistic internet access market out of ideological principle is to simply IGNORE the common-sense reality faced by consumers today.

Not a judgement ... just an observation. No need to take it personal.

OAW
( Last edited by OAW; Feb 26, 2015 at 05:13 PM. )
     
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Feb 26, 2015, 08:30 PM
 
Well, shit, I'm not even sure if the Federal Governmnt really believes that LOWER prices are good for people.

From all I hear, those politicians, economists and bankers think that DEFLATION is bad, and that prices should go UP.

-t
     
 
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