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Obama Picks Net Neutrality Backer As FCC Chief

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the can-we-all-just-get-along-now dept.

Government 409

Ripit writes "President Obama on Tuesday nominated Julius Genachowski as the nation's top telecommunications regulator, picking a campaign adviser who has divided his career between Washington, D.C., political jobs and working as an Internet executive. Genachowski is likely to continue the Democratic push for more Net neutrality regulations, which are opposed by some conservatives and telecommunications providers. He was a top Obama technology adviser and aided in crafting a technology platform that supported Net neutrality rules."

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And then... (4, Insightful)

spykemail (983593) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063581)

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the sentiment behind net neutrality. But rather than just regulating, which we know never goes wrong, why not foster a more competitive market as well? I hear that sometimes helps keep capitalism from sucking.

Re:And then... (3, Insightful)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063611)

The carriers can "compete" using their own money. Not with public funds.

Re:And then... (5, Funny)

spykemail (983593) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063645)

Have you heard of monopolies? Granted it's not that bad thanks to competing technologies but it's still pretty darn bad in many local markets. When was the last time you started a telecommunications company? I hear the tubes can be pretty expensive~

Re:And then... (3, Informative)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063823)

Do you know how they got those monopolies in the first place?

It wasn't through their own hard work and superior service, it was given to them.

Re:And then... (4, Informative)

magamiako1 (1026318) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063859)

It was given to them by local governments. At least, around here it was. Comcast had an essential monopoly in Baltimore county for many, many years. It made it impossible for any competing ISP to step in and grab market in this county.

Guess what? The surrounding ISPs/cable companies went out of business because of this.

Re:And then... (1, Troll)

ccarson (562931) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064155)

Yea, I'm so excited for this guy to implement the fairness doctrine so our free country can be censored. Police state censorship for the win! Can't wait...

Re:And then... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27064359)

This isn't a troll, its very real. If you people stop being so blind and realize the crap Obama is trying to pull on this country, the previous post might just make you worried.
Words of the Wise: The job of the President is as a Civil Servant. The President's job is to uphold the laws of the land, to foster /that which is America/. It is NOT, I repeat NOT the presidents job to reinvent/completely change that which is America.
ALL HAIL KING OBAMA!

Re:And then... (4, Insightful)

Polumna (1141165) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064595)

I'm afraid you're actually quite wrong, there. The president's job is to do what he was elected to do. Given that the president's entire campaign was based around the word 'change,' you might want to consider that the majority of voters apparently agreed. Therefore it could easily be argued that Obama's job, literally, IS to change that which America has become.

Sorry, I guess I'm just blind.

Re:And then... (3, Insightful)

ccarson (562931) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064819)

If change entails taking a crap on our freedom of speech then I don't want any part of it. The fairness doctrine is the government telling citizens what they can and can't say. If this is implemented, the greatest part of America will die.

Re:And then... (3, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063885)

There's enough room under the streets, that we don't need monopolies. There's no reason why every urban home can't have access to Comcast, Cox, Time-Warner, et cetera and simply choose which provider they like best. I have two cable companies serving my home - Comcast and Suburban. If it can be done here, and can be done elsewhere.

Let's have REAL competition, not government fiat monopoly. As for rural homes, i.e. the midwest and west, the focus should be mandating that everyone who has a phoneline must also have the option to upgrade to DSL. No more "we don't offer DSL" allowed. Upgrading existing phonelines is the fastest and cheapest way to get everyone above 56k.

Re:And then... (1, Insightful)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064243)

here's no reason why every urban home can't have access to Comcast, Cox, Time-Warner, et cetera and simply choose which provider they like best.

Sure there is...price control. Just because it's not good for consumer doesn't mean it's not good for someone else. Don't be greedy pay comcast more money. $200 for that phone/internet/cable package is a fair price for a gimped Internet connection, tv connection & phone connection. Don't worry if Google pays comcast a fee you will get full gimp speed to their content.

Re:And then... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27064497)

You obviously have no idea what your talking about, who is going to pay for those DSL upgrades?

I've worked at a rural telcom and the reason they say "we don't offer DSL" is because the customer is more that 1500 feet from the telco box and to put a new one costs about $10k (including purchase, installation, and wages).

No carrier is going to do that for one person ever and if you pass some retarded liberal law saying they have to they will just drop that customer from phone service which is there right as independent carriers.

Re:And then... (3, Interesting)

spiffydudex (1458363) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064191)

With this bailout Obama set in motion, our government is set to become the biggest monopoly.

As far as getting a standard telecom company started (cable,dsl), I don't think we will see many more of those. The company I work for started up as a wireless internet provider. I think we may begin to see more and more non-standard approches to providing internet such as wireless, as these solutions do not require as much capital to get started.

Re:And then... (3, Insightful)

Ardeaem (625311) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063627)

On the contrary, regulation is what keeps capitalism from destroying itself. Crises at the turn of the twentieth century and now, at the turn of the twenty-first, have confirmed this.

[CITATION NEEDED] (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27063749)

In the almighty words of Wikipedia: [Citation Needed]!!!
It would appear you are making up fantasies that fit your desire for socialism, mmmm?

Re:[CITATION NEEDED] (3, Informative)

wisty (1335733) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063893)

Food and drug labeling laws made companies actually research drugs, instead of just giving mothers laudanum (opium and alcohol) to treat teething infants. Very effective - they behaved like angels. Until the stuff wore off.

Re:[CITATION NEEDED] (2, Interesting)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064223)

That was before our litigious society and the internet. Society has changed a lot since those days. I like to think that a self-regulating body would come about if we abolished the FDA. Much like the ESRB came about because they didn't want government interference - and they now are arguably stricter than the gov would have been with their ratings.

Don't get me wrong, I think plenty of people would try to circumvent the private 'FDA' association and buy non-label products... but I think they would be hard to find with such high chance of litigation. Stores wouldn't carry them. People should have the freedom to use unsafe products if they really want to. I wouldn't deny people a proven safe channel, either, though.

Additionally, with so much information at one's fingertips nowadays, there's no reason why people shouldn't be researching drugs they put into themselves. Doctors often don't know what they're talking about - they just care about getting you out of their office. It's really the pharmacists who know their shit, and even then I wouldn't trust them 100%.

Re:[CITATION NEEDED] (3, Insightful)

flitty (981864) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064735)

I like to think that a self-regulating body would come about if we abolished the FDA.

Lets take a recent example. How did Mortgage backed investments get so overvalued and rated at AAA status, even though by all accounts they were overvalued and overrated. Oh yeah, it's because the rating agency was unregulated and was Paid based on the rating they gave the investment.

People should have the freedom to use unsafe products if they really want to.

Thanks, you just killed my neice and nephew who are allergic to peanuts. If the peanut recall that spread for weeks and weeks taught us anything, it's that we aren't buying directly from the local guy anymore. Suppliers barely know where their supplies come from, or where their suppliers get their supplies from. Also, without a regulatory agency that is impartial and looking out for the consumer, cost is the only thing that rules. A milk company could use melamine for months, paying off the "self-regulators" until the "good milk" suppliers are driven out of business, because their milk costs more. Then we are left with a cheap substitute for milk that is harmful. I'm simplifying here, but when it comes to Food, I really really appreciate an outside group verifying that my food isn't full of harmful substances.

Re:[CITATION NEEDED] (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064271)

While that is very true that has nothing to do with capitalism destroying itself.

Just like arsenic keeps you healthy (3, Insightful)

hwyhobo (1420503) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063791)

On the contrary, regulation is what keeps capitalism from destroying itself. Crises at the turn of the twentieth century and now, at the turn of the twenty-first, have confirmed this.

Please explain how forcing banks to make bad loans in the name of "social justice" proves that regulation keeps capitalism from destroying itself.

Re:Just like arsenic keeps you healthy (3, Insightful)

cduffy (652) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063943)

s/social justice/profit/

Re:Just like arsenic keeps you healthy (5, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063975)

The government didn't force anyone to make bad loans. If you are a loan officer and you made a bad loan, it isn't because the government held a gun to your back.

It is amazing how on one hand you hear "The government made the banks do it through regulation" and on the other you hear "Deregulation of banks made them do stupid things!" Which is it? Did the government tell them to make the loans? Or did the government fail to tell them not to make the loans?

Neither: The banks made loans based on their own flawed risk calculations and poor valuation of future property values. Capitalism is based on the power of greed, but it assumes that the greedy ones are also smart. In this case, they weren't.

Re:Just like arsenic keeps you healthy (3, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064129)

>>>Did the government tell them to make the loans?

As a matter of fact, yes it did. The Democrats pushed through legislation requiring banks to make "no down payment" loans in order to extend housing to as many low-income Americans as possible, and that idiot Bush signed it. (He also signed the stupid anti-bankruptcy law authored by democrat Biden.) So the answer to your question is "yes".

Re:Just like arsenic keeps you healthy (1)

reidiq (1434945) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064577)

>>>Did the government tell them to make the loans?

As a matter of fact, yes it did. The Democrats pushed through legislation requiring banks to make "no down payment" loans in order to extend housing to as many low-income Americans as possible, and that idiot Bush signed it. (He also signed the stupid anti-bankruptcy law authored by democrat Biden.) So the answer to your question is "yes".

Mod'ed as a troll? This is fact. Moderators need to do some homework before getting their panties in a bunch.

Re:Just like arsenic keeps you healthy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27064753)

Obviously, some libtard got some mod points and figured he'd do his best to quell the dissenting voice of truth.

Re:Just like arsenic keeps you healthy (1)

Ninnle Labs, LLC (1486095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064725)

The Democrats pushed through legislation requiring banks to make "no down payment" loans in order to extend housing to as many low-income Americans as possible

Please cite the bill and the clauses that back up this claim please. No bank was being required to make any loans at all.

Re:Just like arsenic keeps you healthy (3, Informative)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064273)

The government didn't force anyone to make bad loans. If you are a loan officer and you made a bad loan, it isn't because the government held a gun to your back.

Oh really? [boston.com]

"The roots of this crisis go back to the Carter administration. That was when government officials, egged on by left-wing activists, began accusing mortgage lenders of racism and "redlining" because urban blacks were being denied mortgages at a higher rate than suburban whites.

The pressure to make more loans to minorities (read: to borrowers with weak credit histories) became relentless. Congress passed the Community Reinvestment Act, empowering regulators to punish banks that failed to "meet the credit needs" of "low-income, minority, and distressed neighborhoods." Lenders responded by loosening their underwriting standards and making increasingly shoddy loans. The two government-chartered mortgage finance firms, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, encouraged this "subprime" lending by authorizing ever more "flexible" criteria by which high-risk borrowers could be qualified for home loans, and then buying up the questionable mortgages that ensued.

All this was justified as a means of increasing homeownership among minorities and the poor. Affirmative-action policies trumped sound business practices. A manual issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston advised mortgage lenders to disregard financial common sense. "Lack of credit history should not be seen as a negative factor," the Fed's guidelines instructed. Lenders were directed to accept welfare payments and unemployment benefits as "valid income sources" to qualify for a mortgage. Failure to comply could mean a lawsuit."

But let's not let those pesky facts get in the way of some good old class warfare, eh?

Strat

Re:Just like arsenic keeps you healthy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27064539)

meanwhile, two Bushes and eight republican-controlled legislatures couldn't lift a finger against those evil time-democrats and their vast control over all future history.

This is not a "democrats vs republicans" issue.

Re:Just like arsenic keeps you healthy (5, Insightful)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064701)

The CRA wasn't about getting loans to minorities who couldn't afford it; the CRA was about getting loans to minorities who COULD afford it but were being discriminated against. There were many minorities who could afford these loans and were being told they couldn't get the loan on spec. This was sometimes done by unconscious racism or conscious racism by people who didn't want "colored folk" from moving into their community

Now if some mortgage underwriter took this law to mean "give people who can't afford mortgages a mortgage" or "Hey now i have an excuse to sell an extra mortgage and raise my commission" that is not the fault of the gov't that is the fault of the mortgage underwriter who abused the system (shocker).

"High risk borrowers" is a very loose statement. It's akin to saying "How much do I love you? I love you THIS much". The science of mortgage lending is more art then science - if you don't believe me speak to someone who is or was in the lending industry...oh wait, you are.
So before talking about "pesky facts" make sure you don't skew them.

Not for nothing, this statement...

The pressure to make more loans to minorities (read: to borrowers with weak credit histories) became relentless.

...Is extremely racist.

Re:Just like arsenic keeps you healthy (5, Informative)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064795)

First off, your source is not appropriate for a serious argument. It's an op/ed by a columnist with accusations of plagiarism to his name, not a news article.

The loans that caused the vast majority of the current mess were issued by mortgage brokers (firms like Countrywide Financial, Ameriquest Mortgage, and Ditech), not banks. Brokers are not held to the CRA standards. The idea that the CRA caused this mess has been debunked repeatedly by every study done on the subject. If you want some real sources on this, I'd suggest studies put out by a university [unc.edu] , the Federal Reserve [clevelandfed.org] , or the US Treasury Department [treas.gov] .

Some real reasons behind the arguments about the CRA:
1. Banks have hated the CRA for a long time. They were trying to dodge it or get rid of it back in the 1990's as well.
2. Conservatives oppose most government regulation on principle.
3. By blaming the CRA, it absolved the bankers of any role in creating the problem.
4. It creates an image of a foreclosed subprime homes is owned by a black person in a bad urban neighborhood. In reality, the areas with the most subprime loans are in suburbs near LA, San Diego, Denver, and Miami. In short, racism.

Re:Just like arsenic keeps you healthy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27064355)

The GP's valid point is that Clinton Administration created the framework for this (which he/she is correct about) but then refuses to acknowledge the flip side of the coin by saying that it was for "social justice" (flip side being that the Bush administration continued the policies because it was allowing for incredible profit). It's a nice little backtrack that people who are directly involved in this debacle like to fall back on to absolve their own responsibility in the matter.

People who can be blamed:
Government - Check!
Banks - Check!
Boards of Directors for Major Banks/Financial Firms - Check!
Loan Officers - Check!
Home Buyers - Check!

Think that's pretty much everyone at that point, so lets enjoy our cough syrup with codeine because there's really no other way around it.

Re:Just like arsenic keeps you healthy (4, Informative)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064503)

Agreed. The gov't reduced regulations to give the banks more flexibility - they didn't tell the banks to shoot the country in the foot.

The banking industry complained regulations were too restrictive and they couldn't get people into homes - so the Clinton administration made it easier by pushing Congress to remove a lot of these regulations. The banking industry, & republicans loved this on a business level (more sales, less rules). The democrats loved this on a "we are helping the little guy buy a home" level. Nothing was wrong with that...except as history has proven over and over and over again if you give people the opportunity they will do whatever it takes to gain power/money even at the expense of other people. There are way too many sales people, and their managers who demand this, who just want to "SELL SELL SELL". How many times have we heard this on tv shows or movies "SELL SELL SELL"...you think that is a myth? It's "SELL no matter what" attitude.

There is a local jewelry store (been around for over 30 years) in Philadelphia. They have an insane commercial that says "if you really love her, you can't let the economy stop you. Buy her that diamond because if you love her she is worth it and so is that diamond".... as opposed to saying "You want to get married, the economy is tough, we can help you by getting you and affordable ring. Oh and we can upgrade it down the road for you" Again sales people just want to sell and they don't care about you.

Order of blame:
Banks who abused the system
Gov't who didn't monitor the system
People who got into those stupid loans.

Why do I put "People" on the bottom of the list? It is similar to the Stanley Milgram experiment. Given an authoratative figure people will do what they are told even if it is known to be wrong. Authoratative figure = real estate agent (with a LICENSE) & mortgage officer (with a LICENSE) in nice suits telling their customers "don't worry we know what we are doing with years of experience and fancy computer programs that say you CAN do this."

Re:Just like arsenic keeps you healthy (1)

Palshife (60519) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064769)

Just to emphasize the "it's not that simple" angle, read up on the Community Reinvestment Act.

Re:Just like arsenic keeps you healthy (5, Informative)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064003)

Subprime loans were not forced or mandated by regulations. They were sought after by the banking institutions who lobbied for them.

Re:Just like arsenic keeps you healthy (5, Insightful)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064141)

On top of my point, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may have been encouraged to lend to lower credit families, but the crisis would have happened even if they didn't exist because the other unregulated institutions went about it with much more gusto.

Fannie and Freddie's subprime loans were shown to be on the more respectable end as opposed to the other banks who pushed their mortgage brokers to get loans no matter what the risk.

The only thing Fannie and Freddie really shows is that the government endorsed the practice, but the fat cats of Wall Street made Fannie and Freddie's bad loans look likes child's play.

Re:Just like arsenic keeps you healthy (3, Insightful)

antibryce (124264) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064501)

Fannie and Freddie purchased the subprime loans from other lenders, creating a huge market for them overnight. Why not issue a subprime loan if you can turn around and sell it the next day? You keep all the initial fees and assume none of the risk.

Re:Just like arsenic keeps you healthy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27064607)

The subprime bubble was created in the 70's by Carter which was strengthened by Clinton and is in no way Bush's fault (he has many but not this).

This wasn't a 10 year bubble that would have just been a hiccup since it would have only effected GenX buyers but instead it effected long term baby boomers (mostly 2nd cohort's) which was a sh!tload of people.

Re:Just like arsenic keeps you healthy (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064067)

I've heard this twice in two days.

People didn't stop paying their mortgages because they fucking felt like it. Even 'undeserving' homeowners (yes, there are such a thing) as a rule paid their mortgage until they couldn't. For example, losing their job or having a huge unexpected expense (medical).

Do you disagree with me, or do you think we should be 'fixing' the symptoms by discouraging lending? (For the record, I don't think everybody's entitled to a home - maybe an apartment - but I don't think that you're being entirely honest)

Re:Just like arsenic keeps you healthy (3, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064201)

Te other reason pay don't pay their mortgages is because they foolishly signed-up with variable rate loans. They could afford the original $300 a month, but when it suddenly jumped to $400 a month, then they were unable to keep up. They were living too close to the edge.

A secondary reason is an unwillingness to sacrifice. i.e. Cancel the TV, cancel the cellphone, cancel the internet & replace it with free dialup, stop eating dinner at restaurants, et cetera. My niece & her husband fit this category. If these persons learned to sacrifice, a lot of them would probably survive.

Re:Just like arsenic keeps you healthy (2, Insightful)

magamiako1 (1026318) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064269)

Or we could regulate areas that require regulation and prevent pricing from being abnormally inflated due to a lack of competition in the market.

Re:Just like arsenic keeps you healthy (1)

squallbsr (826163) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064473)

Don't forget the ARM rate resets that were going on as well. This seemed to be what started us down this slippery slope.

Re:Just like arsenic keeps you healthy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27064081)

Bunk, bunk, bunk and more bunk. I'm so sick of this argument and its myopic take on events. Yes, we all are well aware that the Clinton administration created the policies that allowed for this to occur. And then over eight years the Bush administration did nothing to change these policies.

We are all responsible; stop trying to blame other parties. And don't give me some nonsense about how I'm putting words in your mouth, by using "social justice" you're making a veiled connection to the democratic party.

Bitter medicine for us all, now stop being a whiner and take it. WE ALL HAVE TO TAKE IT.

Re:Just like arsenic keeps you healthy (1)

theskipper (461997) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064291)

Two points:
1) I'd modify the gp's statement to say "responsible regulation." The investment banking leverage ratio was regulated; the increase from 15:1 to 33:1 by Donaldson/Cox was the cause of Bear's failure whereby their management went overboard with leverage.

2) The increase in loan originations was due to the massive reduction in interest rates per Greenspan's attempt to pull the economy out of the 2000-2 fall.

Not sure what this "social justice" babble is referring to.

Re:And then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27063915)

The current crisis is a bit of a bad example, as the regulations in place are what forced the banks to make bad loans to begin with.

I'm not one of those nutjobs that doesn't think anything should be regulated. I just have little to no faith in our government's ability to do so properly (under *any* administration). Of course, that's solely based on track-record.

I'm still waiting to see what the current administration does. The Google-eyed anti-trust lead [slashdot.org] and the RIAA laiden DOJ [slashdot.org] aren't giving me a whole lot of "Hope" though.

Re:And then... (0, Redundant)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064057)

>>>On the contrary, regulation is what keeps capitalism from destroying itself. Crises at the turn of the twentieth century and now, at the turn of the twenty-first, have confirmed this.
>

Regulation is what CREATED this crisis. The government used regulation (i.e. constantly lowering interest rates) to create a humongous bubble. If government had not done that, the housing/credit bubble would have burst back in 2000-1, and it would have been painful, but it would have only been a minor flooding not a tidal wave (in terms of impact).

The government makes the exact same mistake with forest management and rivers. They stop small fires, which would naturally burn-off excess brush, and it builds and builds and builds until there's a firestorm that literally turns the ground into glass. And nothing can grow there. Same with rivers. Damming blocks the river from flooding, which releases energy, so instead you have a river that roars through the levees at unbelievable speeds until finally it bursts with a tremendous force.

We need to stop acting like we can control things.
We need to let nature takes it course & release energy in small amounts,
else it will release the energy in one huge burst of destruction.

Yes this applies to markets, because they too follow natural rhythms. What would have been a minor recession in 2000-1 is now turning into a depression, because the government propped-up failing businesses with artificially-low rates. And now they are making the some foolish mistake with bailouts and stimulus money. Propping-up bad businesses. Enough is enough. Let those businesses die, so we can clear their carcasses out of the way, and get back to rebuilding.

Regulation is not the answer. Regulation is the cause.

Re:And then... (2, Informative)

Cowmonaut (989226) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064147)

You seem very confused. *De*regulation did more damage than the regulation, but as has already been said more eloquently than I could it wasn't really either that was the issue. It was the bank institutions using flawed risk assessment methods in an attempt to make more money for themselves that has lead to this.

Re:And then... (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064437)

True, but from what I remember the deregulation was in what the area of reporting/auditing, which is just never a good idea.

The regulation made the mess, and the dereg hide the mess until critical mass.

Re:And then... (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064229)

Ah, I knew you were in my friends list for a reason..... well said sir!

Re:And then... (3, Insightful)

forsey (1136633) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064343)

I see a lot of comments about regulation being good or bad, some saying it's the cause and some saying the lack of it is the cause. This is just silly.

Regulation is a tool, kind of like a gun, and can be used for good or bad purposes. If you are going to say regulation is bad or good, you should name a specific regulation. Granted there are cases when any regulation is bad, but it's just silly to say it's all bad or all good.

Re:And then... (2, Informative)

chthon (580889) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064785)

Regulation is the damping of a process. Compare with Watt's steam machine. The regulator is needed to make sure that the system does not blow itself up.

However, in order to get a good regulation, you should first understand the process and be able to show that there is a possibility of run-away, and then create a regulator for the process.

Re:And then... (2, Insightful)

squallbsr (826163) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064451)

In order for Capitalism to work, there needs to be a free market. When dealing with natural monopolies (and artificial ones like the telecoms), regulation is needed to keep the market somewhat fair because monopolies cannot self-regulate.

Another big issue is that we need a BALANCE between free market and regulation. Too loose of regulations and we melt down Wall St, too much regulation we stifle innovation and growth due to red tape.

Compare working for a mega corporation vs working for a small company. If you need to buy a software package worth $5000, what do you need to do (assuming the companies have the money):

MegaCorp
Those at MegaCorp will need to fill out purchase requests, cost justifications, cost analysis, route the request through 15 different people, have it rejected 3 times because of typos or missing fields on the request.

Small Company
Talk to the boss, purchase the software on the corporate AMEX.

Drawing the analogy to regulation, the more regulation, the harder it is to get things done, the longer it takes and the greater the bureaucracy.

Moral of the Story: We need a balanced system, just enough regulation to keep people honest but still keep out of the way of doing business.

Re:And then... (5, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063647)

But rather than just regulating, which we know never goes wrong

Oh yeah, just what we need these days, more de-regulation. Do you live under a rock, or have you not noticed an economic depression lately that is caused by total lack of regulation?

why not foster a more competitive market as well?

Competitive market in what? If you propose to let data carriers compete with one another freely, they'll go to bed with big corporations and media companies faster than you can see the dollar signs in their CEOs' eyes. Then loss of net neutrality ensues. If you propose competition between companies that produce said data, then fair enough I suppose.

Re:And then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27063809)

Oh yeah, just what we need these days, more de-regulation. Do you live under a rock, or have you not noticed an economic depression lately that is caused by total lack of regulation?

uhhh.. what? Which lack of regulation would that be?

Put down the New York Times and inform yourself.

Re:And then... (1)

magamiako1 (1026318) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063929)

Actually, I'll give you an example.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maryland_Electric_Deregulation

Maryland deregulated its power a few years back. They insisted that "market forces" would allow consumers to "choose" their electrical power here in MD, and Baltimore in general.

Guess what? It didn't happen. Guess what happened? Prices went far up as a result of this "deregulation".

Guess what else? The deregulation was pushed by Enron....

Re:And then... (1)

N1AK (864906) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064775)

I was going to argue the counter case to the parent, but having done some more research it does seem like electricity deregulation in the USA has actually made things worse: http://assembly.state.ny.us/member_files/044/20070913/ [state.ny.us] (note: I don't know enough to say it's fact).

I would however like to say that regulation or de-regulation can be beneficial in different circumstances. In the case of Electricity in the US states perhaps a model based on maintaining a state owned supplier, but allowing new private competitors into the market could be beneficial? Perhaps artificial competition formed by splitting the public electricity firm into two providers would work.

Re:And then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27063985)

You read too much liberal propaganda: The truth is that the banks were /regulated/ by the government to issue high-risk loans. That is what leads the housing market decline. So in short, REGULATION IS WHAT CAUSED THE HOUSING MARKET DEPRESSION [Citation: http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1224089072661&pagename=Zone-English-Muslim_Affairs%2FMAELayout [islamonline.net] ].

Re:And then... (4, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063681)

The funny thing is, that's the goal of the regulation.

Regulation that encourages competition is a good thing. Lack of net neutrality would force people to pay extra charges to the various telcos to compete, which would reduce competition.

Telcos are already charging their customers, they shouldn't double dip and charge those their customers want to access as well.

Re:And then... (2, Interesting)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063691)

Well, they ARE "competing" now, yet net neutrality is gradually becoming an even more important issue despite that. There are a few problems with competition. For one, there isn't truly competition in a lot of areas. In many cities, franchise agreement restrict other competitors from coming in. Even if there are competitors, you might find that the competition works backward from how you hope. When one company starts charging extra for certain services, that gives them a financial advantage, and others may have to adopt the same policies just to stay competitive.

Re:And then... (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063729)

The problem with the current broadband market is the cherry picking and exclusivity of many areas. While some areas are rich with broadband while others are lucky to have dialup.

Internet service needs to be treated as a utility just like electric power and telephone service. There are plenty of working regulations for telephone and power service and we know from recent history and current events when regulations are removed "to bring about competition" right? Texas and California deregulated power and now Texas and California have VERY high energy rates! That's higher, not lower, even when there is supposedly competition present. The monopoly abuses of phone companies are well documented and while there is some level of competition in phone, there are a lot of nonsense costs associated with phone services abusing customers of every form of phone service.

Capitalism is viewed by many as "that which the market will bear." This lends itself to how much nonsense and abuse the market will bear which is the condition we see today.

Right now, everyone is scrambling for ways to make profit from everything imaginable and if that means erecting some sort of toll gate system on the public interenet, then that is what they are prepared to do unless they are regulated as a utility. You should see the mess that is the ATM (Automated Teller Machine) processing industry. If you wonder why ATM fees are so high, you have to know that there are several links in the processing chain and that everyone in that chain pushes their small fees that ultimately amount to large fees. If the internet were to adopt this model, you'd be paying $2/hr to post on slashdot.

Re:And then... (1)

wisty (1335733) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064151)

It's called "The Tragedy of the Anticommons". Unlike "The Tragedy of the Commons" (in which a communal resources is abused), too many transaction fees and economies of scale mean that you simply can't split the system up and let the market sort things out. Regulation, monopolies, or government ownership are the only options, some of which are more evil than others.

Just imagine if your ambulance service, doctor, hospital, drug company and specialist surgeon were all owned / employed by separate owners, all of whom were trying to rip each other (and you) off. Imagine how inefficient things would be! Or just watch Sicko, where Michael Moore uses to the weak US health system to prove why the slightly weaker (but cheaper) Cuban system is superior.

Re:And then... (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064253)

Or just watch Sicko, where Michael Moore uses to the weak US health system to prove why he thinks the slightly weaker (but cheaper) Cuban system is superior.

Fixed that for you.

Re:And then... (2, Informative)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064813)

You should see the mess that is the ATM (Automated Teller Machine) processing industry. If you wonder why ATM fees are so high, you have to know that there are several links in the processing chain and that everyone in that chain pushes their small fees that ultimately amount to large fees. If the internet were to adopt this model, you'd be paying $2/hr to post on slashdot.

I did an intern for a company that processes whole-sale lockboxes for major banks. This gave me some pretty neat stories, & documentations into different areas like ATMs.

Back when ATMs first came out the gov't mandated that nobody could charge fee's. This was so people would start using the system (hey if you've always gone to your bank teller to get money, why would you now use a machine and have to pay a fee?). Eventually, once ATM's were mainstream the gov't dropped these regulations and BAM Citibank was the first to charge ATM fee's. This continued & escalated until today. As of the year 2002 (when I did my internship) the ATM fee's, per transaction, is 4 CENTS on both sides. Meaning your bank Plus the other bank pays 4 cents per transaction COMBINED! These numbers are obviously on average - high volume atms have a lower cost/transaction while low volume atms have a higher cost/transaction. The charging $1, $2, 3$, $5, $10 is just to try and get people to pay and see how much they can..or as 100% pure-pro capitalism people love to spout until they realize what they are talking about "What the market will bear".

Re:And then... (4, Informative)

flitty (981864) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063743)

What I would prefer, is if the Pipes were open pipes. The Recovery package should have included money to buy up all of the laid fiber/cable and open it up to competition.

Here in Utah, Utopia is the open fiber that any ISP can use to give you access, and it works wonderfully. Most fiber is approx $50/month, and if you don't like your provider, you can switch without needing a new wire run to your house. If internet access worked this way, Net Neutrality would be unnecessary, but it doesn't, so it's required so Ma Bell doesn't get any bright ideas about which content it should start filtering.

Re:And then... (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063889)

Quick question about NN

Have any of the telco's actually started to "double dip" yet?

This debate has been going on for year and we want regulation that says they can't do it, but beyond expressing interest in charging have any of them actually tried it yet?

Re:And then... (1)

magamiako1 (1026318) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064041)

Other than instituting caps to help stifle competing services, not really.

It's become a hot issue lately as bandwidth usage across the board is on the rise particularly due to streaming video.

Youtube takes up a vast majority of the internet's available bandwidth and ISPs are complaining about that.

Many of these doubling as both phone and cable tv operators, they're worried about the internet dipping into their profits on those services.

Right now, a cable operator can charge you a separate fee for both internet, tv, and phone. But since the internet has become powerful enough to be a reasonable phone and a reasonable TV mechanism, they lose out on this extra revenue stream as people switch off their cable service to go exclusively to internet service.

The only reason they haven't tried it just yet is they're afraid of the backlash.

Re:And then... (1)

Suzuran (163234) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064449)

I'm more scared about giving the government jurisdiction over the internet. Just look at what happened with gay marriage rights in California. As soon as they gave the government power over it, the power was turned against them. As soon as we acknowledge the government has jurisdiction over internet usage it's going to be used against us. It's just a matter of time.

Good (2, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063601)

Subject says it all.

yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27063613)

FSM knows, what the Internet needs is more regulation!

How can anyone be against net neutrality (3, Interesting)

d-r0ck (1365765) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063623)

Being against neutrality is like being against equality. It's the internet equivalent of racism and discrimination. There are man many laws and regulations against discrimination, as there should be for net neutrality.

The inevitable car analogy (4, Interesting)

jlmale0 (1087135) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063805)

While that is a particularly emotional analogy, it's far from a perfect fit. In the naive case, proponents of tiered service argue that the internet is just a bunch of roads (sorry, not pipes in this case). And while we all get to ride cars, some people are in fire engines and ambulances. Voice traffic gets to be so blessed because it can be used for 911 calls.

Implementation is, of course, another matter entirely, and I do not pretend that it will only be restricted to voice or 'necessary' services. But calling tiered service 'discriminatory' or 'racist' is fallacious and needlessly confuses the issue.

Re:The inevitable car analogy (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064103)

Those of us in ambulances don't magically get the road. Everybody is so important that they can't be bothered to pull over, even with the airhorn.

VoIP is more like a HOV/carpool lane. Nobody is against QoS, but net neutrality isn't about no QoS. It's about no discrimination based on source or destination.

You aren't going to find any serious people wanting their BitTorrent running at the same high priority as VoIP. In any case, properly set-up QoS won't affect most people ever, even the torrenters. Just at high load.

The Correct Post Office Analogy (5, Interesting)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064489)

The internet is not and never has been a bunch of "roads". The internet is a series of interconnected post offices. Sure, there are "roads", the fibre and wires and cables that carry signals. But that's not what the internet is, just like the roads and the warehouses and the green vans are not what the post office is. The post office is a service that delivers post.

When I subscribe to an ISP, I am not paying to drive on their "information superhighway". I am paying them to deliver packets from to other IP addresses, and to deliver packets from other IP addresses to me. This is the internet. This is the way it has always been and this is the way it is as it scales upwards from users to ISPs, to Telcos.

Now big Telcos want to turn around to companies like Google and Twitter who are making money and charge them more for deliveries simply because they are deemed able to afford it. In addition, they also want to charge you more for delivering your packets to and from these companies sites. This is bullshit and everyone with half a brain knows that it cannot be allowed to stand.

When I pay for a stamp and post my letter, I don't expect the post office to turn around and say; "Oh, you're sending correspondence to your great uncle? Suit you sir. But I'm afraid that will cost you a bit extra owing to the fact that your great uncle is a man of some means. You'll have to buy a special stamp." Or "Hmmm sir. It seems your business made quite a lot of money last year, and management feels you can afford to pay an extra few pence for deliveries." Is this acceptable? Can anyone justify that?

And don't give me bullshit about "international stamps, etc". That's not what this is about. True, bandwidth corresponds to charging by weight, but on the internet, there are no foreign countries. Every computer is a local one. If you want to separate sites in Europe from one in the States then you may as well just shut the whole network down altogether, because you will have irreparably broken it.

Can anyone give one morsel of justification for why delivering my packets to google.com should cost more or less than delivering to slashdot.org? Do I give a flying fiddlers what kind of "tubes" were used to send them? Do I weep for the packets waiting milliseconds in the queue while mine is processed? Do I contemplate the strain on networks caused by shameless charlatans like myself who actually use the bandwidth they paid for? No, because the whole point of a post office is that I don't have to care how you get my letter there, I just pay you to do it.

Packets are packets are packets. IPs are IPS are IPs. Data is Data is Data. There are no tubes, no roads, no cars, no tiers, no premium IPs or domain names. Net neutrality is the only sane answer.

Finally some diversity! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27064675)

You wouldn't STEAL a post office!

Re:The inevitable car analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27064557)

By your logic, it would be legal for government (those that supply the roads) to tell me I can't drive a big'ol SUV, because it's takes up too much space. Even better, they do it on a toll-road, that I specifically paid to use.

Ignoring the other issues surrounding SUVs, that's just plain stupid.

Why do people always come up with analogies that prove their side of the argument, but are in no way representative of the actual case.

Analogy fail. Just give up on them people.

Re:How can anyone be against net neutrality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27063891)

Being against neutrality is like being against equality. It's the internet equivalent of racism and discrimination. There are man many laws and regulations against discrimination, as there should be for net neutrality.

Greed.

In otherwords (2, Insightful)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064101)

So its a completely BS and loaded term, like fair, that can be used to side step the actual debate?

Lets try to make intelligent arguments. Please leave these kind of arguments for the politicians.

Re:How can anyone be against net neutrality (1)

giverson (532542) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064357)

Poorly written net neutrality legislation could cause problems and reduce service quality.

For example, Akamai could work out a deal so that Comcast could cache Akamai's most popular content close to the end user. This requires less internet bandwidth and so Comcast could deliver the content to their users at a faster rate (a higher tier).

Poorly written net neutrality legislation could stop this from happening.

This is why there is some push back on net neutrality. If the legislation is screwed up, QoS and local caching that benefits the end user could end up inadvertently outlawed.

One question... (-1, Troll)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063695)

Has Julius paid his taxes?

At the rate things are going, "The One" is going to have a historic presidency for, if nothing else, having the most tax cheats appointed of any presidency in history. I'd like AT LEAST ONE nominee to turn out to be an honest person.

The real new threat from ISP's (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063733)

Thanks to recent efforts by the RIAA/MPAA, the threat now isn't just that ISP's will throttle P2P, it's that they will outright BLOCK it (and any sites related to it). Their counterpart in the UK has already succeeded in this effort with most of their ISP's, and you can bet it will happen here too soon. If this guy doesn't step in with some legal protections (and threats) for these ISP's, the days of typing www.thepiratebay.org into your browser and getting any message besides "This site has been blocked for copyright infringement" are numbered.

Re:The real new threat from ISP's (1)

Hanners1979 (959741) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063935)

Thanks to recent efforts by the RIAA/MPAA, the threat now isn't just that ISP's will throttle P2P, it's that they will outright BLOCK it (and any sites related to it). Their counterpart in the UK has already succeeded in this effort with most of their ISP's...

No they haven't. I don't know of a single UK ISP that blocks BitTorrent (although thottling is commonplace, and not just on P2P traffic): http://azureuswiki.com/index.php/Bad_ISPs#United_Kingdom [azureuswiki.com]

Re:The real new threat from ISP's (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063941)

That might be so, for the current incarnation of P2P. It has evolved in the past to route around censorship, and it'll do so in the future as well. Even now we have DHT and just need a way to identify the torrent we want. I'm sure something like freenet will evolve to allow us to browse to the .torrent file and DHT will let us download it.

Honestly, I'm rather looking forward to something like that existing. It just adds 1 more level of crap that the RIAA has to wade through to prove anything whatsoever. Businesses will be 1 step closer to having to deal with reality, instead of this make-believe world where they can stop piracy.

Why am I so looking forward to this? Because the options I want as a consumer don't exist! I have no desire whatsoever to pirate things. I'm quite happy to reward content creators for their time and effort... But only as long as it doesn't inconvenience me.

They'll get that through their thick skulls 1 day... Won't they?

Re:The real new threat from ISP's (1)

franki.macha (1444319) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063959)

P2P's been blocked in the uk? That's news to me, I'll make sure to check whether anyone I know has been affected by this ban..

Re:The real new threat from ISP's (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064215)

UK is a fascist dictatorship. But instead of one Mussolini, it is governed by elected MPs and thousands of unelected bureaucrats.
Plus, those Neville chamberlains (citizens of UK) are perfectly content to be under such a benevolent dictatorship!
Hell, next they will invite the Government to put up a webcam inside their bedrooms so that the Government can "monitor" their "activities" for safety purposes.
Please don't compare US and UK.
They both may speak English, but we have Obama. And they have Brown-:))

Down with the Democratic Party of imperialist war! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27063761)

Drive U.S. out of Iraq and Afghanistan with international workers struggle on the road to socialist revolution! Forge a revolutionary workers party!

if it weren't for the manufactured 'weather' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27063815)

the 'hard times' would be easier to negotiate, presently?

we know you are trying hard mr. obama. continued God's speed to you sir. you can do this thing, don't get caught up in the hoopla.

Pardon my cynicism, but.... (1, Insightful)

drdanny_orig (585847) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063845)

...it's just a matter of time before he caves to lobbyist $$$.

Re:Pardon my cynicism, but.... (1)

drdanny_orig (585847) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064183)

Hey! Cynicism != trolldom, dammit!

Like the rest of the Obama picks.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27063867)

better check his taxes.

something they forgot... (-1, Troll)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063931)

plenty of democrats are opposed to net neutrality.

Hollywood is opposed to net neutrality.

It's not a liberal agenda persay, it's a really liberal agenda.

Re:something they forgot... (2, Informative)

magamiako1 (1026318) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063997)

How do you go from "plenty of democrats are opposed to net neutrality" and then turn and say "it's a very liberal agenda"?

I'm not quite sure how you are able to make that statement.

I'm a very liberal person, and I 100% support network neutrality. The idea of networks not being neutral has far reaching implications to our information structure that isn't just about piracy.

We are already seeing the "market" trying to cap internet growth. With recent caps instituted by Comcast and other cable operators, we're seeing competition (in the form of internet streaming services) being held down.

If Comcast could get away with it, they would just charge you extra money for "high bandwidth use" (internet streaming). This cap is their way of instituting this functionality without actually coming out and saying it directly.

Furthermore, what they really want to do is charge the providers of these services. So while Comcast charges its customers, and say, AT&T charges its customers. Comcast wants to charge AT&T's customers to have "priority" bandwidth on their network. And that's where the idea of "network neutrality" comes into play. That all data should be treated equally, rather than separately on tiers.

So this way, Comcast would charge netflix to deliver "priority" packets to Comcast's customers. Netflix's ISP would charge Netflix to have any access to the internet at all. Comcast would charge its users for access to the internet, and then again charge its users for "priority" access to netflix.

Re:something they forgot... (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064139)

plenty of democrats are opposed to net neutrality.

Name them.

Hollywood is opposed to net neutrality.

Proof?

It's not a liberal agenda persay, it's a really liberal agenda.

So?

Re:something they forgot... (2, Insightful)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064591)

Feinstein, Biden, Boucher just to name a few.

Proof: DRM

So, everyone is making it seem like it's only republicans against Net Neutrality.

What's in it for me? (3, Funny)

drewvr6 (1400341) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063951)

I just want to know; can I sue if my 911 call is delayed due to my downloading of porn while engaged in asphyxiation-heightened auto-erotica?

Re:What's in it for me? (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064087)

If your traditional landline is busy because you are listening to $6/min porn AND you want to dial 911 because you ate too much viagra, then you can't sue Comcast/Verizon because of your stupidity.

Huh?? (3, Interesting)

agorist_apostle (1491899) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063953)

Why does anyone think a Net Neutrality bill wouldn't come with a couple of hundred billion more in spending for special interests, some new regulations mandating national content filtering, maybe even taxing E-mail and so on...just sayin'..

The ironing is delicious...and retarded (1, Troll)

Munpe Q (1437793) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064059)

I'm quite possibly retarded this morning, isn't this an oxymoron (no, not me) : "Net neutrality regulations" And speaking of retarded, let's have the FNG @ the FCC have to turn around and battle fellow dem's on net neutrality. Can you say Diane Feinstein retardedness. Retarded I say. Retardingly retarded.

Did he pay his taxes? (1)

hicks107 (1286642) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064207)

I wonder if he pays his taxes...

Replace ISPs with wireless peer-to-peer (2, Interesting)

chadplusplus (1432889) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064575)

I was wondering what you all thought of this idea and what the feasibility of it would be:

If I can see my neighbor's wireless hub, and he can see the next neighbor's down the street, and he can see the next neighbor's further down, aren't we getting to the point where we can begin decentralizing the internet from the handful of ISPs? IIRC, the early internet was basically a system of interconnected switches. By interconnecting our own personal wireless hubs, we can begin recreating the internet at a grassroots level. While not perfectly protected from government interference, it helps isolate it more. International communications would be compromised, but perhaps someone could come up with a similar solution therefor. Its not perfect yet, as not everyone is within range of their neighbor's system, so we would still need regional wireless providers in rural areas.

But it seems that we're almost getting to a point where, if we approach it correctly, we can completely get around ISPs or at least drastically reduce their control over OUR internet.

Madstork91 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27064619)

I didn't know, and never thought, that there were so many conservatives on slashdot.

And yes, that means that when it comes gov regulation, and fiscal policy, you are not a democrat, but a republican.

Enjoy.

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