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Are you for or against net neutrality, and why?

 
 
Reply Mon 9 Aug, 2010 02:53 pm
Quote:
According to a recent report by the Sunlight Foundation, forces opposing Net neutrality (big broadband providers like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon, as well as telecom-centric trade groups and unions like the NCTA and the CWA) outspent pro-Net neutrality forces (Google, Yahoo, Amazon, and so on) by a margin of four to one. The NoNetNeuts spend nearly $20 million on lobbyists in the first quarter of 2010, and the ProNetNeuts roughly $5 million.

http://sunlightfoundation.com/?gclid=CKzy7-eiraMCFRb_iAodMFcP5Q
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/net_neutrality_opponents_outspending_proponents_mo.php
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Pronounce
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Aug, 2010 06:22 pm
@Pronounce,
Anyone besides me notice that content providers like Hulu are dominating markets like YouTube. I'm sure this is intentional and indicates that there is collusion going on.
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Pronounce
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Aug, 2010 06:28 pm
@Pronounce,
Now I've learned that Comcast is becoming a part of NBC Universal which owns Time Warner Cable, owns CNN, HBO, Warner Bros Studio, and Turner Broadcasting.
http://www.pcworld.com/article/188092/comcast_nbc_acquisition_pros_and_cons_for_you.html


Comcast is cleared for throttling: http://www.conceivablytech.com/509/business/comcast-gets-bandwidth-throttling-clearance/

This means that if you have a NetFlix account and are a Comcast subscriber they could make your movies stutter forcing you to give up the service, or requiring you to buy more bandwidth. It is our responsibility to keep an eye on those who have all the power.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Aug, 2010 02:57 pm
http://www.alfranken.com/index.php/splash/netneutrality/f
Here is a place to sign a petition for net neutrality.
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Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Aug, 2010 03:16 pm
@Pronounce,
I am for net neutrality but I am against government-enforced network neutrality, which is really what people are pushing for when they propose it.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Aug, 2010 06:36 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

I am for net neutrality but I am against government-enforced network neutrality, which is really what people are pushing for when they propose it.

So is it a bad move to sign the sort of petition I linked?
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Aug, 2010 06:45 pm
@edgarblythe,
I'm strongly for net neutrality but don't know enough, and see RG's point.

Or do I, re how to maintain it? On the other hand, I don't like the government hand. So, listening.
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Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Aug, 2010 12:44 pm
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:
So is it a bad move to sign the sort of petition I linked?


I support what the principles they espouse (which is no surprise, net neutrality favors internet publishers the most and that is one of the businesses I'm in) but I am against the efforts to codify a generally good thing to something that is law. Google is trying to get the government to enforce net neutrality to protect themselves as online publishers against the ISPs using their control over the pipes to play gatekeeper. The kind of thing they are terrified of is something like an ISP saying they will let sites pay to have faster bandwidth to the user.

It is true that the internet thrives on principles of openness and net neutrality is a generally good thing, but I don't think it is something the government should enforce. If an ISP wants to treat some traffic differently they should be able to (and customers should have choices so that they can leave). If they want no P2P traffic that is their prerogative. What the government should be doing is providing wifi (that they can run net neutrally if they want) as a utility in metropolitan areas, not trying to regulate how ISPs route internet traffic. It's also worth noting that Google toyed with giving away free wifi for much the same reasons but it's obviously cheaper to try to get the government to tell others how to run their networks than to run it yourself.

The bottom line is about Google's bottom line, they have a stranglehold on the internet and don't want the people who control the proverbial "last mile" (referring to the fact that the last mile of cable to your house is often a monopoly) to be able to change that. This is something they view as a significant potential threat to their revenue and while I agree that an open, level-playing field is best for the internet their ever-growing lobby budget is doing a good job about making this seem like an internet principle they are trying to defend when what they are really worried about is their revenue. No ISP of any significance is considering things that would really hurt end users or stifle innovation on the internet significantly (come on, the internet survived the AOL walled garden). Here is a scenario that is their worse nightmare:

Let's say you have a cable internet connection at 1.5 mbps. Your company also offers 3mbps and more if you want to pay more for it but you don't. Let's say this company decides to see if the publisher (the website) wants to pay to have a faster connection to you so that their service works better. So let's say that Hulu pays your ISP for "preferred" status.

Now what Google is pissed off about is that this is a competitive advantage that Hulu has over Youtube, and that they'd have to start paying the ISPs for if they want it too. They do not want this to be a possibility and want the government to prohibit it.

As an internet publisher myself I agree with them, the internet is better as a level playing field for all sites but I think the internet is also better for less government regulation as well. Another principle of the internet is decentralization and anarchy. Yes the internet should be open, even to people who want to run their networks with less-than-ideal openness.

So that's a long way of saying I wouldn't support that petition (though I don't put much value in signing petitions in general and would sign one proposing to "kill all babies" if I felt so inclined) but I do like the increasing awareness of network neutrality and the principles behind the lobby.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Aug, 2010 03:02 pm
I see what you are saying and I support your position. Thanks for clarifying the point.
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tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Aug, 2010 03:37 pm
@Pronounce,
I definetly for net neutrality and it scares and angers me that Google will make a deal with Verizon to shatter net neutrality in terms of their wireless service.

Quote:
Rumored Google-Verizon Deal Could End Net Neutrality
Jared Newman, PC WorldAug 5, 2010
If Google and Verizon really are conspiring to kill Net neutrality, as several reports suggest, both companies would bruise their reputations in the process.

Word of a deal or near-complete negotiations between Google and Verizon appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times, Politico and Bloomberg, each publication citing anonymous sources. The stories all present slightly different versions of the facts, but they generally agree that Net neutrality -- the idea that all Internet traffic is treated equally -- would erode.


http://www.pcworld.com/article/202637/rumored_googleverizon_deal_could_end_net_neutrality.html?tk=hp_blg

I first heard about this deal on Saturday's episode of the TWIT tech podcast
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Aug, 2010 03:47 pm
@tsarstepan,
A more up to date and still very depressing news on the Google-Verizon deal:
Net neutrality lost in Google-Verizon deal
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/08/10/EDRB1ERRQ1.DTL#ixzz0wKv12gOA
0 Replies
 
Pronounce
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Aug, 2010 11:01 am
This is from 2008, but still relevant because it shows that net neutrality (or in other words control of the Internet) is very important to some people.
Quote:
The Federal Communications Commission held a much noted and anticipated hearing in Massachusetts on Monday on the issue of net neutrality. Seating was limited but the hearing was open to the public. Comcast, a foe of net neutrality, decided to take advantage of the limited seating by paying people to sleep in the seats so that net neutrality supporters and others who wanted to watch the hearing would be left outside in the cold. Nice.

http://blog.sunlightfoundation.com/2008/02/27/comcast-blocks-public-access-to-fcc-hearing/
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Pronounce
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Aug, 2010 12:19 pm
I just found that in 1995 congress defunded the Office of Technology Assessment. This was a non-partisan governmental agency commissioned to keep governmental officials informed on technological issues. http://www.princeton.edu/~ota/ It was a significant loss and the effects of which can be seen today in the net neutrality issue where congressman must relying on their own knowledge or information gathered through aids or lobbyist.

See links below:
http://blog.sunlightfoundation.com/2008/07/23/fas-and-ota/
http://www.fas.org/ota/
0 Replies
 
Pronounce
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Aug, 2010 12:45 pm
@tsarstepan,
I see your point, but I'm convinced that Google now views the net neutrality as a lost cause. With the Comcast and NBC merger Google and Verizon are just taking the same tactic that the US did with NAFTA and CAFTA, and that is to combine to create a combative force against what they perceived would be their ruin if they didn't do something.

I don't want to be too pessimistic, but I think that we're witnessing the end of the good-ol'-days in terms of the Internet here in the US.

We all hope for the best, and want to believe that our congressional representatives are making policy that helps their constituents, but I don't think any of us should naively believe that congress is making policy solely on the bases of what is best for US citizens. Technology is inherently complex, and no one is able to know all there is to know about each and every area of technology (e.g. medicine, health care, transportation, computer software, astrophysics, communications, etc., etc., etc.). This is why I'm in favor of governmental agencies that provide non-partisan information to our legislators like the Office of Technology Assessment.
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