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ardvark71 06-12-2017 05:51 PM

Potential repeal of Net Neutrality...
Hello everyone...

For members who live in the United States, you may have heard that the FCC is considering repealing the net neutrality rules that were put in place a year or two ago under the Obama administration.

I just learned a few minutes ago from my Senator's web site that the FCC's public comment period is still open. If you have an interest in this and wish to leave a comment with the FCC, please follow the instructions mentioned in the page linked to above. I'm not sure how long the comment period will remain open, so if you'd like your comment to be included, you might want to do so quickly. :)


justmy2cents 06-12-2017 06:01 PM

Is Net Neutrality good or bad?

ardvark71 06-12-2017 06:26 PM


Originally Posted by justmy2cents (Post 5722071)
Is Net Neutrality good or bad?


I think that depends on the person's point of view and what they have to gain or lose. :D

I'll state up front that I'm personally for it and do not want to see the rules rescinded, however, the information I posted above is for everyone, including those who might feel differently and wish to submit a comment in favor of repeal. :)

Here is the Wikipedia article concerning Net Neutrality along with my Google search of the topic in case anyone wants more information on the topic.


frankbell 06-12-2017 09:55 PM


Is Net Neutrality good or bad?
The short version is that net neutrality means that your ISP cannot favor one website over another, for instance to get Hulu to pay your ISP to give it preference over, say, Netflix.

This admittedly not unbiased article will tell you more.

Myk267 06-13-2017 12:37 AM

I don't know what to think.. I'm skeptical of NN, but I'm also skeptical of the FCC weakening against ISPs.

I think Ajit Pai is naive, and perhaps dishonest, when he references the too heavy regulation of NN while suffering convenient amnesia with respect to the significant privileges that ISPs in the US enjoy. Nobody ever seems to bring that up and press them on it.

Turbocapitalist 06-13-2017 01:50 AM

Those who are on the fence are making a mistake. It's not someting to be neutral about. :)

Net neutrality, at least such as the one group is railing against, is codification of the practices that applied during the development of the Internet and the WWW, up to today. Yes, there is a very small handful of companies that would come out ahead from its repeal but the rest of us would end up paying through the nose just to reach the some of the same level of service we already have.

One of the best overviews of what is at stake would be John Oliver's explanation. Unfortunately I can't find a transcript, but the video is available:

Then there is the issue of allowing that handful of companies to basically control what is published. That's harder to explain. Either you see it or not. Perhaps the easy way to talk about it is with the so-called Internet of Things. Without continued net neutrality a small number of companies can make sure that connected devices from competitors don't work, don't work reliably, or are slow, or expensive to connect, or all of the above. Here's a written analysis of net neutrality from that perspective: How The Death Of Net Neutrality Could Hamstring The Internet Of Things

We already did the experiment of 'non-neutral' networks in the 1970's and 1980's. That experiment failed so hard that people have already forgotten that prior to the Internet we had dozens (or more) private networks unable to transfer data in a compatible or cost-effective manner. Those networks, such as Prodigy and the original MSN, simply became economically and socially irrelevant over night. Having a network that only required use of a few technical standards to participate in made, and still makes, sense on many levels.

sundialsvcs 06-13-2017 08:22 AM

What Americans should be pushing for right now is Law, not "FCC rule-making."

The international community should be pushing for a treaty.

The Internet is not your mamma's "Cable TeeVee," but, what is it? I don't think that the Federal Communications Commission has enough guidance from Congress to properly decide the matter, even though it does fall under their legal jurisdiction. This is a matter that needs to be formally taken up by legislatures throughout the world. It's too big and too important for anyone's "commission."

It's also too big for anyone's "corporation." The only thing that any communications company knows how to be, if left to its own devisings, is "a monopoly." And we'd all be using black rotary-dial phones today if that had been allowed to continue. Telephone corporations have a lot of well-defined legal guidance. But the Internet is a whole new thing that needs to be defined. What do we want? What should we have?

frieza 06-13-2017 08:34 AM

Think of cable TV for a moment, how channels are bundled into various 'packages', such as 'basic', 'premium' etc, you get 'basic' packages, but if you want 'premium' channels such as HBO, Cinemax etc... you have to pay more, and a lot of cable/satellite providers tier out channels even more, they advertise their base rates, but if you want sci-fi, trio, spike, cartoon network etc.. you have to buy a bigger package

Now imagine the internet worked that way, websites that want attention have to pay a 'premium' fee to be hosted on the 'premium' section, otherwise they get a throttled connection, making them less desirable, or if they are a competitor of a partner, say, hulu vs netflix, they get throttled, making their customers suffer slower connections, making them look bad compared to the provider that was in bed with the ISP etc... and then on top of that the ISP can charge the user more for accessing 'premium' sites, or even more for faster access etc... assuming the site isn't blocked outright

you can see the whole can of worms there? that is why net neutrality is important, without it, the internet as it exists now wouldn't be a thing.

justmy2cents 06-13-2017 11:39 AM

This seems similar to the push for a decentralized internet due to Google being a monolith search engine that can make websites conform to their standards, or not be listed in the top search results..

sundialsvcs 06-13-2017 01:27 PM

Lots of silly things have been proposed by "media people" who see the Internet as being nothing more than television. This is precisely why the matter needs to be taken out of the hands of a rule-making "Federal Commission" and put squarely into the hands of a Law-making entity.

By now, all of the nations of the world who now participate in the Internet should have a pretty good idea of how the thing needs to be run. But, today, we don't have laws and treaties that define it. We have laws regulating telephony, television, and even cable-TV, but when it comes to the Internet we have nothing that specifically and exclusively concerns it. There is no "playing field."

People should be demanding that their lawmakers start writing something.

justmy2cents 06-13-2017 03:15 PM

Fun Facts:
* The UN passed a resolution which treats the internet as a basic human right. Meaning all countries in the UN are condemned from throttling or restricting internet access.

* Judge in Eastern District of Virginia rules internet as not being private, based on the FBI's infiltration of the Tor network (which had compromised nodes from the gecko).. The EFF criticized the ruling saying that "Courts across the country, faced with unfamiliar technology and unsympathetic defendant's, are issuing decisions that threaten everyone's rights".. This ruling only takes effect in Virginia..

* ICANN which was US lead is now IANA which is global lead.. IANA deals with country codes, internet numbers, and protocals..

sundialsvcs 06-14-2017 04:16 PM

  • The UN does not have the force of creating treaties.
  • ICANN, and its successors, are merely record-keeping organizations.
  • Although "judge's rulings" might well be a bellwether of the eventual law might be or should be, I think it's a rather-serious abuse of a judge's position within the greater scheme of things to ask him or her to make law. (Although, let the record show that the Roe vs. Wade decision has played that role for 34 years and counting, simply because no law-maker, male or female, has ever had the courage to start writing laws.)
The Internet has been on-the-scene for a couple decades now, and yet we have created almost no laws – national or otherwise – which meaningfully describe the de facto situation that all of us now face.

We should be asking the Federal Communications Commission, or, for that matter, judges, only to interpret what the Congress has deliberated and finally decided. Those commission, and judges, should by now be able to point to some piece of paper with the US President's enacting signature on it. (Ex minimis ...) What's taking them so long??

KenJackson 06-14-2017 05:47 PM


Originally Posted by justmy2cents (Post 5722071)
Is Net Neutrality good or bad?

This really IS the key question.

When I first heard of it, I was 100% strongly in favor of it. But then I noticed the Congressmen and Senators who supported it were the same crowd that oppose freedom at every turn. Odd, I thought. Why don't the good guys get on board?

There is so much misinformation about the phrase net neutrality that it's really hard to know what it means. But I err in favor of the free market if there is real competition.

If internet providers have a free hand to sell service any way they want, they'll maximize their profit by making their service as desirable as possible to us peons who are free to choose which provider we like best. That's good for us.

But if the government dictates how they run their business, they lose interest in what the customer wants and focus their attention on serving the whims of the government. And government regulations always hamper adoption of new, better and cheaper technologies.

I think net neutrality is net negative.

justmy2cents 06-14-2017 06:25 PM

I think ISPs get away with too much already; 1) overpriced Mi-Fi prices that get throttled, 2) selling our information, 3) stealing ADs... Their augment (the ISPs) is that they cant innovate unless they do all these things, but I doubt that as a gigabyte of data costs like 2 cents for them or something, but then they turn around and re-distribute that for like 15$.. I could take a girl out on a hot date for that much!

Panicked 06-14-2017 06:41 PM

NN is good for the economy because it promotes direct and open competition.

It is not a new issue. Think medieval, why should some people need to wade through mud when others walk freely on stone? Medieval leaders were wise and opened their roads to the public to promote free trade. Modern leaders are more politically twisted and need to debate the merits of this approach.

IOT will influence the debate because consumers with thousands of competing connections at home will want to prioritise certain devices (i.e. prioritise their telephone over their garden water sprinkler). Consumer hacking of home routers will cause certain device manufacturers to complain of lost earnings because their real-time market stats are being delayed.

I would still rather live in a world where NN constrained me to playing fair, than have some megacorp blackmail me with withheld data requests.

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