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Cisco, Motorola, and Other Companies Take Aim At Net Neutrality Rules

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the perhaps-things-are-more-complicated-than-they-appear dept.

The Internet 239

angry tapir writes "FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced last month that he would seek to develop formal rules prohibiting Internet service providers from selectively blocking or slowing Web content and applications. However, 44 companies — including Cisco Systems, Alcatel-Lucent, Corning, Ericsson, Motorola and Nokia — have sent a letter to the FCC saying new regulations could hinder the development of the Internet. A group of 18 Republican US senators have also sent a letter to Genachowski raising concerns about net neutrality regulations."

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239 comments

According to Slashdot (5, Funny)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764455)

Anything the government does is evil, restricts freedoms and is inefficient by definition.

So please, stop this evil FCC man in his tracks.

In other news, Google moves to Russia.

Re:According to Slashdot (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29764475)

By definition, it is.

In other news, Russia moves to Google.

Re:According to Slashdot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29764609)

Oh my god Im going to poop!
 
There will be So much poop!

Re:According to Slashdot (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764959)

Anything the government does is evil, restricts freedoms and is inefficient by definition.

Well I mean, it DOES restrict the freedom of telecos to make you pay more for sites that haven't paid their protection fees. I'm sure the RIAA would argue that this will make blocking illegal child-porn terrorist activities much more inefficient. And obviously the senators who have had sizeable campaign contributions from various concerned sources (the same two as above) would characterize net neutrality as evil. Some of them could post on slashdot. And even slashdotters who don't own telecos, work for the RIAA, or recieve bribes from them, there are probably a few who are so convinced their political fortune cookie knowledge applies absolutely to every situation that they could rationalize those guys' viewpoints.

Re:According to Slashdot (1)

stms (1132653) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764985)

Hey, if you have something against being self righteous on the internet (A.K.A. criticizing the government) you should just leave.

Re:According to Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29765273)

more like inhibits thier profit!

What's the catch? (1)

sanjosanjo (804469) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764461)

I don't understand the position of the equipment makers in this objection

Re:What's the catch? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29764479)

Well, it would make their more expensive traffic filtering, blocking, and shaping equipment less valuable and harder to sell.

Re:What's the catch? (2, Insightful)

JustinRLynn (831164) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764629)

On the other hand it would ensure the demand for ever more bandwidth carrying capacity and faster equipment. This essentially means that all of their deployed equipment will need to be upgraded sooner. So now, instead of developing new products, they just get to make old ones faster and bigger. How is that bad for them?

Re:What's the catch? (4, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764801)

I suspect that it comes down to margins.

In the (almost entirely hypothetical, at least at the retail level) neutral and highly competitive internet access market, demand for bandwidth is very high, because bandwidth is cheap and useful for almost anything. In the hypothetical non-neutral oligopolistic internet access market, demand for bandwidth is lower, because bandwidth is more expensive, and less useful(since uses contrary to the ISP's interests are throttled or blocked). However, in the first instance, ISP margins are razor thin, and ISPs demand heavily commodified network gear, distinguished largely by price and simple packet passing capacity. Network equipment vendors will have higher demand; but for lower margin products. In the second instance, ISP margins are substantially higher, and sophistication of network gear(along with continuous upgrades for playing cat-and-mouse with blocked applications) becomes a major competitive edge, which keeps bottom-feeding commodity gear away.

The first scenario means greater bulk of network hardware sales; but mostly bottom-feeding commodity packet passers to ISPs who are pinching their pennies until they bleed. The second scenario means selling less bulk switching capacity; but a lot more "integrated strategic traffic management solutions" and whatnot, to ISPs with real money.

Re:What's the catch? (1)

JustinRLynn (831164) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764903)

Ah I see, so it's more about specialist (read expensive) equipment that needs to change with the ebb and flow of internet usage (which changes much more quickly than the natural bandwidth requirements of said technology) in order to stay effective. Not to mention that at the same time they nicely segment their market so they can jack up margins netting them a bigger return. Wow, so no matter what they win, they're just making it harder for us to win too... how... er.. clever, I guess. Though, since they're going to win anyway, I'd rather they didn't feel the need to grind us into the mud to get bigger return. Then again, we never were their customers in the first place, so it doesn't surprise me.

Re:What's the catch? (5, Insightful)

GrpA (691294) | more than 4 years ago | (#29765003)

No... If the Internet gets bigger, the legacy US hardware suppliers are more likely to lose.

Their real value-added stuff is corporate not carrier. Smart boxes that do more with less bandwidth... People need to get QOS and traffic conditioning just to make their VOIP work over internet connections without issues. If bandwidth is scarce, it becomes a valuable resource. Managing it becomes a market.

But the Chinese companies ( Huawei, ZTE etc ) are doing more and more in the high bandwidth area and it's cheap equipment, so you can afford to spend more on fiber rollouts. Some of that stuff is beginning to displace US manufacturers now.

And then when you have masses of un-restricted bandwidth and you don't need special routers anymore... Voip just works because you have lots of capacity and nearly no jitter. You don't need complex setups anymore - just cheap equipment.

So the legacy manufacturers lose out in both markets...

They could compete I'm sure, but that takes innovation and progress. It's much easier to deal with the status quo. Especially when you dumped all your best developers to concentrate on selling existing product a year ago... Damn that pesky R&D.

GrpA

Re:What's the catch? (3, Informative)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 4 years ago | (#29765435)

Econ nitpick: SUPPLY of bandwidth is restricted because, as you say, margins are higher and expanding infrastructure costs money.

Quantity of bandwidth demanded would be higher at a lower price point, but demand for bandwidth is the same in both cases.

Because supply of bandwidth is constricted, costlier gear is needed for packet shaping, QoS and the like. This is another misallocation of resources - wasting silicon on expensive products to manage scarce bandwidth rather than simply adding more bandwidth.

I agree with the other 99% of your analysis.

Re:What's the catch? (5, Informative)

yuriks (1089091) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764481)

I don't understand the position of the equipment makers in this objection

Selling traffic shaping solutions, presumably.

Re:What's the catch? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764991)

Selling traffic shaping solutions, presumably.

There will always be a market for that, even under a completely neutral internet. My company is out in the boonies and can't get any other internet access besides satellite (high latency, transfer limits, shitty upload pipe) or a T-1 (expensive but reliable). We can't afford to get a bonded connection so we are stuck with a 1.5 mbit/s pipe to share among 60 employees (upwards of 40 of whom are working at any time).

That pipe has to accommodate web browsing, our e-mail and web servers, VPN access for employees who work from home, VOIP for our two people who work out in the field, etc, etc. There is no way that I could accommodate all of those uses without a decent traffic shaping setup.

Re:What's the catch? (2, Informative)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 4 years ago | (#29765095)

You the customer and user shapes your traffic not your outside ISP. At least I hope your ISP doesn't. Without competition and net neutrality type regulations your ISP can do whatever it wants. Don't like it? Too bad, the only choice you have is that provider or no provider.

Falcon

Re:What's the catch? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29765255)

You the customer and user shapes your traffic not your outside ISP

It would actually be more efficient to have my ISP do it but they wanted too much damn money for it. If they were shaping it I could take advantage of more of the pipe. Because they aren't I have to limit how much of our bandwidth we can utilize, else the packets start getting queued on their router and my shaping rules don't mean anything.

Too bad, the only choice you have is that provider or no provider.

Why is that I wonder? It wouldn't have anything to do with the practice of local governments granting monopolies, would it?

Re:What's the catch? (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 4 years ago | (#29765389)

Too bad, the only choice you have is that provider or no provider.

Why is that I wonder? It wouldn't have anything to do with the practice of local governments granting monopolies, would it?

The local, state, and national governments have granted monopolies. It's being disingenuous in pointing out that only local governments granted monopolies.

Falcon

Re:What's the catch? (1)

tlambert (566799) | more than 4 years ago | (#29765393)

Too bad, the only choice you have is that provider or no provider.

Why is that I wonder? It wouldn't have anything to do with the practice of local governments granting monopolies, would it?

...which they do, because they are not willing to finance the infrastructure costs so that they own the pipes themselves and only lease space on them to the ISPs.

There are such things a municipal telephone companies in the U.S., but they are mostly concentrated in small population-dense areas. The best thing that could ever happen to telecommunications in the U.S. would be for the government to nationalize the infrastructure and then contract out maintenance and operation. There's a reason that Japan and Europe tend to have better net connectivity than most areas of the U.S., and it's not entirely due to the sparse population of most of the U.S. land mass (50% of the U.S. population lives within 50 miles of a coastline).

-- Terry

Re:What's the catch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29765347)

Cisco makes far more money selling upgrades to carriers than it does selling traffic shaping, the reason the hardware manufacturers are against it is the same reason the carriers are for it - getting the government to essentially allow them to control what content is allowed (by tarriff) to traverse the net, they can ration the existing bandwidth and charge more for it rather than continue to have to upgrade their networks to meet rising demand. Be on the side of the hardware manufacturers on this one, they are on the side of the average netizen here.

Re:What's the catch? (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764499)

Passing packets freely is, relatively speaking, computationally cheap. Deep packet inspecting, and QoSing, and sorting, and ranking, and grading, and whatnoting packets as they pass by is computationally expensive.

It sure would be bad for business if potential customers (er, I mean, "the future health of the internet") didn't need sophisticated networking gear dedicated to price discrimination...

Re:What's the catch? (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764539)

I just finished reading a paper by an ex-vp at Motorola about why QoS is never going to work from a technical perspective. From a legal/political one....hmmm, hey John, I'll have those notes for you sometime tomorrow.

Re:What's the catch? (1)

xlsior (524145) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764513)

I don't understand the position of the equipment makers in this objection

If ISP's aren't allowed to mess with the traffic, then they won't need any new equipment that enables them to filter / shape / drop / eavesdrop / modify the data packets involved.

Re:What's the catch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29764515)

Their largest customers are the telcos.

They're equipment makers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29764517)

Filtering, packet inspection, etc, requires newer and more powerful networking gear.

Re:What's the catch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29764591)

It's pretty simple. They've already sold loads of kit to provide the current network neutral generation of technology, and if network neutrality is abolished, they can make skad loads of cash selling traffic shaping/filtering hardware to the network providers.

Re:What's the catch? (4, Interesting)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 4 years ago | (#29765055)

I don't understand the position of the equipment makers in this objection

They helped set up the Great Firewall [wikipedia.org] by selling equipment to China now they want to sell the equipment to US ISPs as well. It's nothing more than the Corporate Aristocracy Thomas Jefferson warned of.

Falcon

Re:What's the catch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29765313)

you're a bright kid with a single digit age to be making those type of comments. how was your pseudo flight?

Re:What's the catch? (0)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#29765125)

If you were manufacturing QoS and shaping equipment, wouldn't you be pissed that the FCC was about to render your products useless?

"new regulations could hinder THE DEVELOPMENT..." (5, Insightful)

skirtsteak_asshat (1622625) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764469)

No, new regulations could hinder THEIR DEVELOPMENT of price per byte structure which they've been salivating about for a LONG TIME. Greedy pricks. Green-wash as you are able, we will see through it and hold you accountable.

Re:"new regulations could hinder THE DEVELOPMENT.. (4, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764617)

I don't think it's so much price-per-byte structure. The technology for that is simple and readily available and still permissible under most net-neutrality schemes under suggestion. Which is possibly just as bad as anything else: when your ISP is your cable company, and they don't want you to use Internet video (YouTube, iTunes video store, BitTorrent) which competes with their cable offerings, then charging you by the byte is a perfect way to abuse their local monopoly.

It's the whole ISP-level QOS "google please pay us extra for people browsing YouTube for it not to suck" deal that's tricky and takes fancy hardware.

Re:"new regulations could hinder THE DEVELOPMENT.. (2, Interesting)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764693)

The thing is, they can't price gouge on text with net neutrality legislation in place.

Furthermore, they want to make sure that they encourage the Republican party to draw the line in the sand and say that anything the FCC wants to do to encourage competition will cause the Internet to meltdown, so that the FCC has a partisan minefield to wade through if they want to get anything done.

Re:"new regulations could hinder THE DEVELOPMENT.. (3, Interesting)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764685)

Right now they throttle people who actually use their connection to its fullest because there's little monetary incentive for the ISPs not to do this. They are for profit corporations, if it is profitable to throttle people, that is exactly what they will do. The system needs to be set up in such a way as to make it profitable for them not to throttle or otherwise restrict people's connections not just a simple legislative band-aid but actively attack the root causes of the throttling and general anti-net neutral policies.

Re:"new regulations could hinder THE DEVELOPMENT.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29764833)

There is no way to make open, high speed connections more profitable than filtered slow connections. None what so ever. So while you may not want a band aid legislated onto the system, you probably do want a fast, unfiltered internet connection. I sure do, and I don't think I should have to pay hundreds of dollars a month to get it. I have no problem paying for my connection, even paying more than I currently do, upto roughly 100$ a month. As long it's fast and unfiltered. Anything else is a sham at best.

Re:"new regulations could hinder THE DEVELOPMENT.. (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764961)

Wait, what is the problem with price per byte? It seems pretty fair to me, then I don't have to subsidize people who use more than me, and people who use less than me will not be subsidizing my bandwidth. As long as there is competition, then the prices will be fair.

Of course, if you live in a place where there is only one internet carrier, then the prices might not be fair, but that is a separate problem.

Re:"new regulations could hinder THE DEVELOPMENT.. (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764989)

A universal price-pet-byte structure a la the 56k days has little, if anything, to do with net neutrality.

This is one of the things of portions of the net neutrality crowd I don't get. "Net neutrality" is -sometimes- used as a buzzword to mean "ISPs doing anything I don't like" due to people sloppily mixing up their agendas. Truthfully, a price-per-byte structure may not be a bad thing. The people that are the biggest problems for ISPs are those that max their connections 24/7. While I agree that ISPs shouldn't advertise "unlimited" if they aren't or cannot provide "unlimited," as I understand it there are a often a minority of people use the greatest amount of bandwidth. A price-per-byte structure, if properly implemented, could result in reduced monthly payments for grandma and a higher portion for the guy with the strange habit of downloading "Linux ISOs" all the time. I don't think this is -necessarily- unfair, and I think most of the people that complain about this are likely the (like me) nerdier people that use their connection more. It would also give people an incentive to make sure their PCs weren't clogged with trojans that turn home PCs into spam servers or zombies.

Net neutrality only enters here when it is not universal, i.e., some content is not pay-per-byte depending upon its origin; perhaps content directly delivered by the ISP would fall under this category. But I don't see why that is -inherently- wrong. Desirable for us nerds? Probably not. But the fact that we are used to one pricing scheme doesn't give us the moral right to that pricing scheme.

You say "greedy pricks" here for a business trying to maximize its profits, yet you do not seem to think of yourself as a "greedy prick" for wanting to minimize your expenses. I am not fan of the monopoly status ISPs have been granted by the state governments and various laws in place, but you and I are not much different than they are.

a price-per-byte structure may not be a bad thing. (4, Insightful)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 4 years ago | (#29765337)

I agree charging by the amount of bandwidth used may, just may, be better but for years broadband providers sold unlimited service. The contract I signed with Time Warner for my cable, now it's Comcast, did not have any sort of limits. Now it did say the speed would be up to, I think though I don't recall for sure, 1.5MB. There wasn't anything about traffic shaping, blocking, or redirecting though. If ISPs oversold capacity it's not the fault of the users, it's the ISPs own fault. When I go to an all-you-can-eat buffet I refuse to accept the restaurant from preventing me or anyone else from eating all we can.

A price-per-byte structure, if properly implemented, could result in reduced monthly payments for grandma and a higher portion for the guy with the strange habit of downloading "Linux ISOs" all the time.

The problem with this is that incumbent broadband providers try to prevent any competition that will offer more bandwidth. How many tymes has news articles been summarized and linked to on slashdot because some incumbent provider tried to stop competition whether cable, fiber, wireless, or any other broadband? An example was in northeastern Utah a few years back. A group of communities got together to build their own Broadband Utopia [ieee.org]. Of course the incumbents did all they could to stop it and they were finally successful in having the state government pass a law barring local governments from selling access, instead they have to sell to other service providers. The 14 cities that make up the Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency built an infrastructure that will provide "100 megabits per second" to start with. That infrastructure can be used to deliver cable TV, net access, phone services, or whatever a person could think of. Because of it Comcast [dslreports.com] was "forced" to bundle "broadband, digital cable, and VoIP service for $90 a month in all of Utopia's footprint" and I doubt they are losing money. I say "forced" because they only had to do it if they wanted to continue to provide services in the area otherwise people would not have been willing to pay the higher costs.

perhaps content directly delivered by the ISP would fall under this category. But I don't see why that is -inherently- wrong.

You don't see what's wrong? Try this, say only Company X provides broadband in your area, so you have no other choice for broadband, and you want to search the web. So you head over to Google and if you can connect it is slow because Google didn't pay your ISP. Or your ISP supports one political party and blocks traffic from all other parties? Do you still not see a problem?

Falcon

Unsurprising (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29764487)

Given how the Telcos are the largest customers of those companies, it's not particularly surprising which side they support.

not fixing the real problem (3, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764535)

When there's little choice in what providers are available in your area, there's very little reason for ISPs to provide better service. Internet users need to be able to move to viable alternatives when Comcast and friends implement anti-net neutrality measures. If you don't like your p2p being throttled, there should be somewhere else to take your money. Get rid of those local monopolies; they are more trouble than they are worth. There are a lot of changes to the current system that would improve the situation that involve little more than discouraging monopolies and stronger enforcement of current laws.

Re:not fixing the real problem (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764627)

Of course if this goes to the extreme, those competitors will have to build their own backbones as AT&T could traffic shape their trunk connections.

Re:not fixing the real problem (3, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764727)

That is the crux of the problem... The last mile is the major reason why infrastructure such as this tends toward a natural monopoly. However, there are a few ways to address the problem. Utilize wifi instead of underground infrastructure, allow cities/localities to build the last mile themselves and lease the infrastructure at market rates to competitors.

Re:not fixing the real problem (2, Interesting)

S1ngularity (1635987) | more than 4 years ago | (#29765267)

I like the last mile proposal where you buy it and share it condominium style with your neighbors. Then ISPs plug into a shared community portal. http://www.newamerica.net/publications/policy/homes_tails [newamerica.net]

Re:not fixing the real problem (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 4 years ago | (#29765497)

I like the last mile proposal where you buy it and share it condominium style with your neighbors. Then ISPs plug into a shared community portal. http://www.newamerica.net/publications/policy/homes_tails [newamerica.net]

Who owns what part of the run from the central office or switch to the curb? One fiber for each person? Bundles of thousands of fibers would be expensive. And how would millions be handled? Where is the space for all that? And what if you don't want it?

I can see home owners owning the fiber from the curb to the home or other building but not from there to the office, switch, or whatever. Now what I can see working is the separation of the ownership of the infrastructure from the services it can provide. Say a coop or the local government builds, owns, and maintains the connection fibers and hardware to the curb but then sells access to Comcast and other providers who then maintain their own equipment and bill customers.

Falcon

Re:not fixing the real problem (3, Insightful)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | more than 4 years ago | (#29765521)

No. Wireless is slow and expensive. The best way is to require competition by forcing the companies to lease their underground lines at cost. This is the only way you will get real competition. Even more so, municipalities should own the last mile, and you could subscribe to many ISPs that would offer service on that. On top of that, we should have net neutrality that would simply requires ISPs to pass all data from third parties through unmolested.

Re:not fixing the real problem (3, Insightful)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764879)

This whole discussion and the concept of network neutrality has a bipolar disorder syndrome. This or that, network neutrality or filtered access,monopoly ISPs or carrier choice. I say let's have it all: proprietary ISPs and municipal networks side by side, neutral networks and filtered networks, fiber and coax and copper and wireless. Any network, proprietary or municipal, can implement any network service level as long as a neutral network of equal or better bandwidth is available at an equal or lower price and equal service reliability. Then we would really see which business model survives, which needs financial support, and which is just ineffective. And remove this whole unhealthy bipolar debate.

Re:not fixing the real problem (3, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 4 years ago | (#29765371)

The discussion is polar because either a market is dominated by a monopoly, or it isn't. Any monopoly that exists next to another business in the same market isn't a monopoly. Furthermore, once you get away from the concept of smart nodes and dumb pipes, you are right where ESPN360 plays: content tied to carriers.

It's a bipolar syndrome because we have both ends of the polar discussion being a reality: monopolies in the carrier area, and smart nodes on dump pipes. One of the two will have to give. It doesn't take a genius to figure out who is working for what.

I had a nice ISP... (4, Insightful)

tlambert (566799) | more than 4 years ago | (#29765463)

I had a nice ISP...

They were bought by EarthLink.

So I changed ISPs to another nice ISP.

They were bought by a different company.

That company was then bought by EarthLink.

I changed to a third ISP.

A while later, they were bought by EarthLink.

In any unregulated market, natural monopolies will arise as bigger players buy out the smaller players, and they will go after smaller and smaller players as their marginal ability to increase their business is eroded by their own success in controlling the market.

Unless you are suggesting regulating ownership of ISPs in a given area in the same way that newspaper and media ownership was regulated by market so that there was not a single monopoly news source, I don't see this changing in such a way that your "everyone should have a choice of providers" utopia will ever come about.

-- Terry

Well then if the Republicans... (4, Insightful)

Odinlake (1057938) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764541)

Well if both the Corporations and the Republicans are against it it must be a good thing for the Public.

Re:Well then if the Republicans... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29764593)

However, 44 companies...
A group of 18 Republican US senators...

Yep that constitutes ALL corporations and ALL republicans.

Re:Well then if the Republicans... (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764767)

Not everything that corporations are against is good for the public. It is quite possible for government action to both make the situation worse for the public and be at odds with what the corps want. The real issue is whether or not that government action actually improves the situation.

Re:Well then if the Republicans... (3, Insightful)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764865)

Not everything that corporations are against is good for the public.

Be realistic; just because something is not absolute does not mean it isn't generally true. What was said was by no means at all a statement of ignorance or hasty generalization.

Re:Well then if the Republicans... (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#29765109)

You could easily make the argument that net neutrality is neccessary for protecting the privacy of users or that anti-net neutral policies are anti-competitive and thus fall under existing anti-trust legislation. There are corps on both sides of the fence; their stance on the issue is interesting but not in of itself a reason to support net neutrality.

Re:Well then if the Republicans... (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 4 years ago | (#29765349)

You could easily make the argument that net neutrality is neccessary for protecting the privacy of users or that anti-net neutral policies are anti-competitive and thus fall under existing anti-trust legislation. There are corps on both sides of the fence; their stance on the issue is interesting but not in of itself a reason to support net neutrality.

How does what you said serve any realistic proof to the topic WE are talking about here?

And, fyi, any reasonable person would not base their decision making as 'anything that is opposite of corporations' plans'... that's silly to even suggest.

Be realistic, please.

This is what happens when gov't picks winners (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29764563)

When government picks winners, groups that get called "lobbyists" and "special interests" exercise their Constitutional RIGHTS to petition the government and try to affect the outcome of the government rule making.

Don't like it?

Don't give the government the power that attracts those groups.

Re:This is what happens when gov't picks winners (1)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764897)

The fact is that many of them go beyond their constitutional rights and simply bribe congress. In other words they are crooks, thieves, goniffs. They must be stupid and brazen to get caught, yet they do.

Government, by definition, possesses power to attract those groups. The solution is to clean up congress and the only way to do that is to lay waste to the duopoly. Republican == Democrat == sellout.

Re:This is what happens when gov't picks winners (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29764957)

that's all fine and well but you're also forgetting that bribery is legal in the government by the way of earmarks. with that in mind how can we possibly help but wonder why special interest groups are winked at?

we need to force these people to clean up all the shady corners of d.c.

Re:This is what happens when gov't picks winners (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 4 years ago | (#29765551)

When government picks winners, groups that get called "lobbyists" and "special interests" exercise their Constitutional RIGHTS to petition the government and try to affect the outcome of the government rule making.

Corporations have no right to lobby government, only people do. And I don't recall ever getting any sort of ballot, petition, or questionnaire from a corporation I owned stocks in asking me what government policies I support and what I don't support.

Don't like it?

Don't give the government the power that attracts those groups.

Now here I agree.

Falcon

Let the richest website win! (1)

EE_Vandy_Undergrad (1657491) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764579)

I cant wait until the only websites that an ISP will provide are the ones that bribe the ISP with enough money.

I see it now, the new internet, with 3 websites, facebook twitter and youtube!

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Hinder development? Riiiiight.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29764615)

Total lack of regulation, in the name of not "hindering development" is what got us into the banking crisis. Yeah, let's screw up the internet too, by allowing it to be the wet dream of corporate interests. Without regulations to help keep the playing field level, it becomes "might makes right."

Re:Hinder development? Riiiiight.... (0, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764749)

actually, it was the Clinton administrations wet dream that everyone no matter how poor should own their own house that is the root cause of the current situation. it wasn't a lack of regulation, but poorly implemented regulation allowing banks to loan to homeless jobless slobs while giving government backing to these bad loans.

bush and co lacked the good sense to put an end to this house of cards, and poured petrol on it while playing with matches.

And now we have hero Obama, plunging the USA into debt never seen before. what happens when china stops bailing you out?

Re:Hinder development? Riiiiight.... (2, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764979)

Don't be absurd. Sure, it is all kinds of fun to blame Clinton and his sinister army of welfare negroids for all that ails you; but that doesn't pass the laugh test.

At best, fetishization of homeownership raised the default rate among the poorest buyers, who should have been renting, by a modest amount. Are you seriously telling me that the mighty US financial industry lost hundreds of billions because of a modest, and highly predictable, increase in default rates of relatively small loans, often government backed, to known credit risks? Was that all it took?

And that same thing somehow drove banks to be so eager for mortgages that they pushed brokers to overlook obvious falsifications in loan applications, just so they'd have more mortgages to securitize? Or fueled a speculative real estate boom, massive building of high priced suburban housing developments, and a historic housing price/per capita wage ratio? All that, just a squalid bunch of poor people with mortgages made of government cheese?

The only reason that a modest bump in defaults(that, if it were actually a product of state action) should have been largely focused on known-bad credit risks, with smallish mortgages partially state backed, could have upset the whole system was that it was already a grotesque speculative casino. Any properly constructed financial system could have shrugged that off.

Re:Hinder development? Riiiiight.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29765207)

Eh, the entire thing was clearly manufactured. All those ARMs just so happened to reset while interest rates were 4x the level they were made at. People who were quite happy making their payments suddenly had them skyrocket, so the bank took the home, then cried and sobbed to everyone who listened about how terrible those mortgage contracts they signed were and how they shouldn't have to be held to them and how if everyone didn't drop everything to shred the contracts they'd throw a temper tantrum and destroy America.

So they got the home AND our tax money.

The clearly part? The next wave of ARM resets are beginning [reuters.com]. But the Fed rate is so low that the prime rate is down to 3.25% from 4.5% a year ago [bankrate.com]. Great for the ARM holders, bad for the banks who are already jonesing for the Fed to start pumping up rates in time for these resets so they can take the house and come back to us crying and threatening us until we give them even more tax money.

Must be right... (2, Insightful)

MasterLock (581630) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764651)

If a chunk of the GOP is against something from the start, it's probably the right thing to do.

Re:Must be right... (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 4 years ago | (#29765519)

If a chunk of the GOP is against something from the start, it's probably the right thing to do.

Are you sure?? What does Limbaugh or Glenn Beck say about it?

So be it (4, Insightful)

TopSpin (753) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764661)

Then let the "development" of the Internet it be "hindered". If IPTV takes another decade because new business models have be created to adapt to a neutral network, then so be it. I am happy to wait. If the capacity available to me grows more slowly because there are fewer deal making opportunities for ISPs and content producers then so be it. I've got enough bandwidth. Corrupting the relatively simple model of the existing network by letting Disney et al. carve it up into lucrative morsels to be passes among the elite is not appealing. Whichever content providers don't like it can just keep their stuff on cable until we drop our cable service as we've dropped our landlines. Their stuff just isn't that important to me.

The capitalist claims the market is agile. Adaptation is supposed to be swift. I believe this. I therefore believe we should permit the market to prove this by preventing the aforementioned companies from molding the Internet into models they are already comfortable with. Let them adapt to a neutral network. The Internet isn't broken and doesn't need to be fixed by Time Warner. The Internet will not fail if Ted Turner doesn't get a cut of my ISP's revenue.

There you go; an argument for Net Neutrality from the conservative perspective.

Re:So be it (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764887)

Then let the "development" of the Internet it be "hindered". If IPTV takes another decade because new business models have be created to adapt to a neutral network, then so be it. I am happy to wait. If the capacity available to me grows more slowly because there are fewer deal making opportunities for ISPs and content producers then so be it. I've got enough bandwidth. Corrupting the relatively simple model of the existing network by letting Disney et al. carve it up into lucrative morsels to be passes among the elite is not appealing. Whichever content providers don't like it can just keep their stuff on cable until we drop our cable service as we've dropped our landlines. Their stuff just isn't that important to me.

The capitalist claims the market is agile. Adaptation is supposed to be swift. I believe this. I therefore believe we should permit the market to prove this by preventing the aforementioned companies from molding the Internet into models they are already comfortable with. Let them adapt to a neutral network. The Internet isn't broken and doesn't need to be fixed by Time Warner. The Internet will not fail if Ted Turner doesn't get a cut of my ISP's revenue.

There you go; an argument for Net Neutrality from the conservative perspective.

I don't see how anti-trust laws aren't enough, already, to protect us from most of this. Apparently, anti-trust laws are only enforced as convenient... fackin politics keeping democracy and justice muted.

Re:So be it (1)

glebovitz (202712) | more than 4 years ago | (#29765019)

Anti trust is hard to prove and expensive to pursue. It is a last resort in handling a market that is poorly managed. Regulating is easy and efficient.

We spent 30 years fighting commercial pollution using the court system and we got nowhere. As soon as set up regulations that fined the hell out of violators, we began to see progress. Cabinets get to implement administrative law that is enforceable with fines, otherwise the only recourse is a long drawn out court case.

Re:So be it (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 4 years ago | (#29765073)

Anti trust is hard to prove and expensive to pursue. It is a last resort in handling a market that is poorly managed. Regulating is easy and efficient.

We spent 30 years fighting commercial pollution using the court system and we got nowhere. As soon as set up regulations that fined the hell out of violators, we began to see progress. Cabinets get to implement administrative law that is enforceable with fines, otherwise the only recourse is a long drawn out court case.

Those jerks in the supreme court should be workin on this crap!

Thanks for the info; I was unaware at how ineffective our justice system is in regard to anti-trust. Still, I hold it to be neglected for political purposes.

Re:So be it (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29764899)

I think that it's especially poignant, to say that corporations only want capitalism when they can act like robber barons, but otherwise want socialism to protect them from competition they can't freely stifle and mistakes they won't correct or prevent.

That said, if net neutrality isn't entered into law, we should withdraw every subsidy, every land grant, and every sweetheart deal that we give the telcos. If they want our money and our land but don't want to play by our rules, they can fend for their fucking selves. A little known fact outside of this site is that American tax dollars and land grants valued in the hundreds of billions built this infrastructure just as much as the magic of the marketplace did.

We practically own every wire and every fiber ever laid in this land, thanks to that, and it's been that way since the telegraph days. I doubt this jives with any 'conservative' standpoint, but on those grounds alone I wouldn't see anything morally wrong with the citizens confiscating this infrastructure for themselves, considering it may as well be their property to begin with.

Re:So be it (1)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 4 years ago | (#29765491)

I wouldn't see anything morally wrong with the citizens confiscating this infrastructure

Confiscation leads to confrontation

Confrontation leads to weapons wielded in anger

Angry armed people means accidental gun fire

And then we all have to stand around looking embarrased as we all look at each other waiting for the technician to finish splicing the fiber some moron shot.

Re:So be it (1)

nickmalthus (972450) | more than 4 years ago | (#29765553)

I find it the height of hypocrisy that these so called free market advocates are actively campaigning for the ability of an authoritarian entity to arbitrarily interfere in the market for the exchange of privately owned data. Net neutrality is the Golden Rule of the Internet; treat other peoples data (i.e. property) as you would treat your own. For such a simple concept it is amazing that those so blinded by avarice are incapable of comprehending it.

18 republican senators... nuff said? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29764713)

As soon as the renublicans get behind it, you KNOW it smacks of evil world domination.

Re:18 republican senators... nuff said? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764999)

"renublicans?" I'm going to regret asking, but was that a typo or are you making some type of pun that I'm just not getting?

I might be giving you too much credit when I assume it's not just "nub" as in "n00b"

Hinder Development of Profit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29764737)

Yeah, new regulations would hinder the development of products and services that control and benefit from the control of the Internet. I.e. content control, throttling bandwidth I already bought, etc.

Fuck off, parasites.

Translation (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764759)

... new regulations could hinder the development of the Internet

We have already spent man hours developing... features that would cripp... smothe... smooth out traffic flow, and you're about to regulate the (perceived) market away.

The inventor of the world wide web disagrees (5, Informative)

earthforce_1 (454968) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764771)

http://news.cnet.com/2100-1036_3-6075472.html [cnet.com]

But he isn't a trusted expert on anything, right?

Re:The inventor of the world wide web disagrees (4, Informative)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764907)

http://news.cnet.com/2100-1036_3-6075472.html [cnet.com]

But he isn't a trusted expert on anything, right?

Max Baucus is going to hold a private hearing to hear all the options available. The list of 3 trusted industry professionals is limited to representatives from: Comcast, SBC, and AT&T. They *are*, as we know, the most successful in the industry, of course only they should be trusted!

Sorry... I'm still P.O'd that 60-70% of Americans consistently poll to want Single Payer, yet it will not even be discussed or considered, thanks to political corruption.

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Translation: "Develop" means ..... (5, Insightful)

Jerry (6400) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764799)

Being able to extract more cash from the user base without adding anything of value by using artificial scarcity.

They've already stolen $300B in the fiber optic debacle.

Now they need to do bandwidth shaping on an antiquated US Internet trunk so they can charge for fast tracking the fat cats and slow tracking the peasants, but at higher prices, of course, because all that shaping requires new, EXPENSIVE equipment which will require higher access fees to get an ROI on that expensive equipment.

It could indeed hinder development of the Internet (3, Insightful)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 4 years ago | (#29764859)

Net Neutrality rules could hinder development of the Internet in directions that are harmful to the public. Unlike the parties mentioned above, I feel that hindering harmful business practices is actually a Good Thing.

Pls list those 44 companies & I won't buy frm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29764983)

Where is a link to the original letter sent to the FCC that lists those 44 companies? I prefer to buy products from other companies whose pro net-neutrality companies.
It would be an imperative that companies explicitly state their position up-front from now on in order to help the buyers make their decisions.

broadband competition (4, Insightful)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 4 years ago | (#29765023)

"When the government picks winners and losers in the marketplace, the incentive to invest disappears,"

By granting monopolies government has already picked winner and losers. There is no competition in broadband and the lucky few who have a choice in broadband providers has the choice between the cable company and the phone company. A duopoly isn't competition.

I wish the letter with the name of those 18 Republican senators had been linked to if nothing else, I bet these politicians don't believe in competition or free markets either.

Falcon

Traitors to Freedom (2, Insightful)

ekimd (968058) | more than 4 years ago | (#29765043)

"A group of 18 Republican US senators have also sent a letter to Genachowski raising concerns about net neutrality regulations."

They make it too easy to figure out who's in the pocket of big business.

Re:Traitors to Freedom (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29765187)

Yeah, like the DMCA didn't do the same thing? As for freedom, wasn't it your boy Obama who voted for the FISA? I guess freedom is only valued in your own terms. Get real.

If you honestly don't believe that both of the big parties don't suck on the teat of corporations than you're nothing but another clueless zombie. If you really value freedom above party lines and corporate interests you'd drop the party rhetoric and vote for people instead. I know these aren't going to have though.

Motorola's take... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29765051)

According to Motorola CEO Greg Brown, Net Neutrality [fiercewireless.com] is, in principle, a good thing.

So I was surprised to see them in the list of supporters of this letter. It makes no sense for Motorola to allow the carriers to arbitrarily exclude devices from their networks. For those who don't know, Motorola has a love-hate relationship with the carriers. We can't just sell phones to a given carrier's customers - we must first sell it to the carrier, who then decides key things:

  1. How much they will pay us for each phone sold, and
  2. How much they will charge the customer for each phone sold.
  3. What features their customers will get, and how much they will pay for them.

As an employee of Motorola, it constantly frustrates me that the carriers have the ability to make or break a phone, regardless of it's technical merits or feature set. If the carrier doesn't want a compelling feature to work on their network, it doesn't. It makes no difference if we make the best camera phone in the business if the carrier decides the user has to pay [uscellular.com] for each picture taken with the phone. It makes no difference if we have the best phone games on the market if the carrier decides those games won't ship on phones bought by their customers. You get the point - the carriers get in the way of Motorola's business model.

I hate posting anonymously, but I'm paranoid about the repercussions this might cause at work.

There's a big surprise. (1)

caladine (1290184) | more than 4 years ago | (#29765145)

This just in:

including Cisco Systems, Alcatel-Lucent, Corning, Ericsson, Motorola and Nokia — have sent a letter to the FCC saying new regulations could hinder the development of the Internet

Translation: Major infrastructure vendors don't like new regulations that'll hurt the development of their bottom line. Nothing to see here folks.

That explains a lot (3, Informative)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 4 years ago | (#29765169)

A group of 18 Republican US senators have also sent a letter to Genachowski raising concerns about net neutrality regulations.

That pretty much guarantees it's good for the public.

Where is this letter? Pls list the 44 companies. (1)

keneng (1211114) | more than 4 years ago | (#29765191)

I would like to see the 44 companies listed against net neutrality in order to not buy their products. I will only buy products from companies that are pro-net-neutrality.
It's obvious, the consumer needs to participate in structuring the future by speaking with his buying power. Buying power is a very important voice. I also intend on using my buying power when buying my next PC, TV, MP3 player ensuring the manufacturers are pro-digital-freedom and have clear ANTI-DRM(Digital Rights Management) positions. This implies that I won't be buying the "Kindle ebook reader"(built-in DRM), and the Sony TV(built-in DRM), and the Sony Playstation(built-in DRM).

Re:Where is this letter? Pls list the 44 companies (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#29765391)

Ok, then tell me where are you going to get your CPU? Neither AMD nor Intel have Anti-DRM stances (http://www.infoworld.com/t/hardware/content-in-lockdown-199) and (http://www.pcworld.com/article/121027/intels_pentium_d_equipped_with_drm_capability.html) and even if these plans weren't 100% realized, the fact that the company would invest R&D resources into it assures you that they are not anti-DRM.

If you don't buy products from companies with DRM chances are you won't have a game console (Ok, you might have the Pandora if it ever ships or the GP2x Wiz, but all the Wiz is good for is playing emulators), good luck finding an MP3 player that doesn't have some built-in DRM (even if it is only that the company paid MS, Apple, or another company to play DRM-d tracks) unless its a cheap Chinese clone with questionable build quality. Etc.

I'm sorry, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29765429)

Blocking or slowing Web content and applications (bandwidth throttling) is NOT innovation.

Is "net neutrality" really neutral? (3, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#29765443)

The concern I always have when we discuss the idea of government regulation designed to enforce "net neutrality" is how neutral will these regulations actually be? My experience with this type of government regulation is that it usually favors some group (usually a corporation or group of corporations) over some other group (often individuals and groups of individuals). The other thing these regulations almost always do is strengthen the government at the expense of the common man. I favor the idea of net neutrality that is most often supported on this board, but I have no confidence that that is what we will get from government regulation.
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