FCC Under Fire for Net Neutrality

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admin

Audioholics Robot
Staff member
The fight for net neutrality is ON! Soon after the Federal Communications Commission announced it will formalize net neutrality rules – the FCC immediately drew fire from all sides. Republicans in Congress want to pull funding to the FCC while Comcast and AT&T promise an apocalypse of Internet traffic congestion and unsafe service will be the true cost of new regulation.


Discuss "FCC Under Fire for Net Neutrality" here. Read the article.
 
krzywica

krzywica

Audioholic Samurai
Comcast would be the single biggest violator of Net Neutrality if it were to be instituted. Thats why they are freaking out. And ATT sees Comcast getting away with it so they would like to follow suit.
 
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Amherst

Audioholic Intern
!!!!Exactly!!!!

Comcast would be the single biggest violator of Net Neutrality if it were to be instituted. Thats why they are freaking out. And ATT sees Comcast getting away with it so they would like to follow suit.
Let's not forget to throw Ver!zon into the mix, they are up and coming with the new f!os service and do not care for our internet well being.
 
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Xargos

Junior Audioholic
Without Net Neutrality, Internet providers can and do get away with providing a lower grade of service than they advertise and the consumer pays for. This has already been seen by plenty of Netflix subscribers.

I don't know about anyone else, but I like to get what I pay for without a bunch of ifs, ands, and buts attached.
 
ivseenbetter

ivseenbetter

Senior Audioholic
Go net neutrality! Heck, let all the providers stop investing in their network. Let the p0rn industry subsidize modernization to the current networks...they are probably making more money off the internet than anybody else.
 
Wayde Robson

Wayde Robson

Audioholics Anchorman
I honestly tried to be impartial and express the "other" side. It seemed every tech blog in the universe was simply sounding off the same thing - net neutrality laws are a necessity. My first impulse is to agree and simply carry the call.

But, I wanted to at least try to get inside the head of those Republican regulators who were opposed. I tried to express their side fairly.

I didn't mention this in the article - but if you look at the states the six Repub Senators are from, none of them are tech-states.

South Carolina is close, Raleigh in NC is a tech savvy district. There is no way a NC Sen is going to oppose Net Neutrality. Nothing against places like SC and ND - but man... to oppose Net Neutrality they must have no prospect of nurturing small tech start-up firms.

I live in Waterloo Ontario, Canada which is very big into tech, software of every ilk.

I can't say enough for Net Neutrality. Sure, it needs to be fair to investors in fiber optic infrastructure like ATT and Comcast. But, holy crap... the future of the US (and Canada) remaining a technically relevant into the future depends on it.

Otherwise the next Apple will be a South Korean company - the next Microsoft will be Japanese.
 
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FirstReflection

AV Rant Co-Host
Net neutrality laws are a necessity. We absolutely cannot rely upon the "free" market to regulate these huge ISP companies. In the ideal model of the "free" market, one or more competitors would offer non-throttled access for a reasonable price and the vast majority of consumers would flock to them, forcing all other ISPs to offer the best service possible. But in the REAL world, they do not actually compete like that. They are all so big that, collectively, they can squash or buy up any smaller company that offers customers a better service and they essentially collude to all offer the same crappy service and the customers are left with no alternatives! Can't call it a monopoly because they are all separate companies. But when they all offer the same, restricted service, it's tantamount to the same thing!

On the other hand though, surely provisions must be allowed that would make it legal for ISPs to curtail illegal activity. A HUGE amount of current internet traffic is illegal file sharing of copyrighted material. So much of the support for net neutrality comes from the bittorrent users who simply do not want to see their free and illegal content pool dry up! I'm no fan of the over-inflated retail prices of music, movies and games. But I also do not agree what-so-ever with the pirating of free, copyrighted content. I would like to see the content makers lower their prices to the point where it is essentially less hassle to just buy the content legally than download it illegally. But ISPs should still have the legal right to hault illegal file sharing and net neutrality should not extend to illegal activity.
 
krzywica

krzywica

Audioholic Samurai
Let's not forget to throw Ver!zon into the mix, they are up and coming with the new f!os service and do not care for our internet well being.
They offer some of the best service available today in the US. Pioneering the to the door fiber service. I wish I was in an area that offered it.
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
Net neutrality laws are a necessity. We absolutely cannot rely upon the "free" market to regulate these huge ISP companies. In the ideal model of the "free" market, one or more competitors would offer non-throttled access for a reasonable price and the vast majority of consumers would flock to them, forcing all other ISPs to offer the best service possible. But in the REAL world, they do not actually compete like that. They are all so big that, collectively, they can squash or buy up any smaller company that offers customers a better service and they essentially collude to all offer the same crappy service and the customers are left with no alternatives! Can't call it a monopoly because they are all separate companies. But when they all offer the same, restricted service, it's tantamount to the same thing!

On the other hand though, surely provisions must be allowed that would make it legal for ISPs to curtail illegal activity. A HUGE amount of current internet traffic is illegal file sharing of copyrighted material. So much of the support for net neutrality comes from the bittorrent users who simply do not want to see their free and illegal content pool dry up! I'm no fan of the over-inflated retail prices of music, movies and games. But I also do not agree what-so-ever with the pirating of free, copyrighted content. I would like to see the content makers lower their prices to the point where it is essentially less hassle to just buy the content legally than download it illegally. But ISPs should still have the legal right to hault illegal file sharing and net neutrality should not extend to illegal activity.
It would be really interessting to see figures indicating how traffic is generated by he downloading of copyright protected material.

I do support net neutraility for the following reasons:
1.) I want to get what I payed for. Anything less is stealing from the subscriber.
2.) It allows companies to develop better/faster technologies because of competition. Keep the brains in North America and prevent offshoring of intellectual property to foreign countries. Its bad enough that very few things are being maufactured in North America.
 
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andy_c

Audioholic
Network neutrality is an interesting subject. I didn't know anything about it until a couple of years ago. I'm an AT&T shareholder, and they sent out a letter encouraging stockholders to write their representatives and urge them to oppose network neutrality. This sounded suspicious to me, so I did a bit of googling and found a good article on the subject in Wikipedia and several others elsewhere.

After reading a lot of information about it, I ended up being in favor of network neutrality. When I was done, I did email my representative, instead urging them to support network neutrality.

One thing that has happened is ISPs that are also phone service providers have in some cases blocked VoIP traffic on their networks - a clear conflict of interest. This is currently going on in South Korea according to the Wikipedia article. Not good!
 
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Paul Daigle

Audiophyte
Great article

Thanks for it Wayne. You've laid out this issue incredibly well. Your question of "Where do you stand?" is such an important one.

This argument is being framed very ideologically by both sides. If Net Neutrality is going to succeed, it will need to comprimise to pass regulation that protects fair access to content, communication and technology. I've posted what I believe is a more refined and realistic agenda for Net Neutrality proponents. There's a baby, and there's bath water. Let's save the baby.

I'm not able to place a link in this message, so if you are interested in my position, please paste this into a browsers

neteffect.wordpress.com/2009/09/10/net-neutrality-what-are-we-fighting-for/

thanks for a great read!
 
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bootman

Audioholic Intern
Short of packet inpection, (currently illegal without a court order) there is no way of differentiating between legal and illegal content.
Therefore, having an unfettered internet experience will only lead to a pay as you use internet pricing.

The more you use, the more you will pay.

Are we all ready for this future pricing structure?
 
MapleSyrup

MapleSyrup

Audioholic
"Neutrality"

So where was the principles of "net neutrality" back in the day (quite recently in fact) to require all Sony products to be DVD-A compatible? Would that not have increased competition and thus better products on the home theater market?

On the surface I'll tend to side with the consumer. Government regulations, whether on energy production and/or consumption, importing and exporting goods, what can and cannot by purchased (exluding health-risck products, nobody opposes regulating things that may compromise one's well being), and how to sneeze properly (OK, that's a suggestion, not a "regulation", I just wanted to throw something in tongue-in-cheek), increases costs to consumers, limits their choices, thus thwarting development, not encourage it. As per the specific topic of "net neutrality", Ill have to look into it a bit to come to some sort of conclusion. But, again, on the surface, I do not like mandating rules that would result in increasing cost and options of the products offered.

it seems a carefully laid set of laws is probably the right thing to do.
Heh, you walk a fine line to achieve that.
 
lsiberian

lsiberian

Audioholic Overlord
I didn't mention this in the article - but if you look at the states the six Repub Senators are from, none of them are tech-states.
Texas is a tech state buddy. You ever hear of DELL or Compaq? Not to mention all the company's in North Texas and in the Silicon Hills.

Austin was one of the centers of the .com 90s and we felt the crash hard in 2001. ;)
 
Wayde Robson

Wayde Robson

Audioholics Anchorman
Texas is a tech state buddy. You ever hear of DELL or Compaq? Not to mention all the company's in North Texas and in the Silicon Hills.

Austin was one of the centers of the .com 90s and we felt the crash hard in 2001. ;)
Yer right! I was just looking at the Sens who followed Kay Bailey Hutchinson based on a Fortune 500 list of the top tech-sector companies/states. You're certainly right that Texas is present.

I lived in Austin for a short time, I know Texas tech quite well. My mistake!:eek:
 
MapleSyrup

MapleSyrup

Audioholic
After research...

OK, after some research (Google is your friend) it seems up in Canada there are Net Neutral laws but they have not been enforced. Rogers and Bell are two ISP servers and have been involved in throttling (limiting the bandwidth a site may use via their service) and/or traffic shaping. This has created (as of 2008) a big public debate for net neutral laws (which Canadians support by and large).

Here's my questions / concerns and/or observations:

(1) How do you allow all content to stream at its highest possible speed without downgrading or limiting the masses at large?

Afterall if I don't carefor P2P (peer to peer, heh, Google is your friend), why should I have to wait on the time for my prefered websites to download just so others can communicate P2P (the wife, btw, looooooves to chit chat all the long day online, and I love that woman)? I use the internet to blog and to inform myself on the daily events. I read no newspaper and do not watch any television news and only limited television commentators. The internet is my lifeline of information. Why not cater my preferences to me? Why slow down my usage in the name of maintaining "everything fair"?

(2) Is this not a sort of theft or property?

If AT&T invested the billions of dollars on internet infastructure, why can they not have a say as to how it opperates? I know any interstate automatically commerce comes under federal juristiction so obviously the federal government can have some regulatory power over internet use. But isn't the most logical solution to allow the developers to govern the establishment? Would it not be in AT&T's best interest to cater to what appeases the masses?

If I were to raise $500 milion to buil a bridge between two states, should I not be allowed to charge a toll to pay for my investment and upkeep? If the federal government were to step in and force me to allow all cars (trucks too who cause more wear and tear than does a Yugo (if those run anymore:confused:) to be charged equally, would that not force those who pay less to pay more? And who would want to invest in me in the future if I cannot collect a profit? Or even if my profits were limited?

(3) For those that fear the fututre Google or Micrsoft not being developed in the US because of the lack of Net Neutral laws, where were Google and Microsoft created where there were no Net Neutral laws?

Why would that be any different. And, remember, in Canada there are Net Neutral laws but they have not been enforced. AKA, effectively no different than what goes on in the US.

(4) When government says it wants to make things fair, that usually makes thing more unfair.

Are we not simply seeing two big companies such as Google and Microsoft, trying to crweate law to favor their companies? So in the name of taking away from Comcast and AT&T to make things "fair" are we now essentially, giving what we take from them to favor other companies? Both Google and Microsoft (and I folowed the anti-trust suites brought against Bill Gates and his corporate giant inthe mid 90's. A crock that was) as well as AT&T and Comcast, got as successful as they are by outmarketing the others. They should reap the rewards of their success. By taking it, why would people take risks in their future based upno their own economic aspirations?
 
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