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AT&T's Net Neutrality Doublethink

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the like-mccain-said dept.

Communications 215

GMGruman writes "George Orwell would be proud of AT&T, as Bill Snyder explains in this blog post, for its new ads saying it supports Net neutrality when in fact it is working actively to scuttle proposed FCC rules that would clearly ban discriminatory practices against different types of data, such as video streaming or VoIP. It's also trying to get government subsidies to build a substandard broadband network for the under-served areas of the US. If it and its carrier partners win, 'Internet freedom' will mean freedom for carriers to be the 21st century's robber barons."

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215 comments

I'd like to see... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30401030)

...electricity companies trying to charge you different prices for using different applicances. We already have "electricity neutrality", why isn't net neutrality taken for granted?

Re:I'd like to see... (4, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401212)

Because there's no 'unlimited' plan for electricity.

If ISPs charged people according to usage, there would be no need for a 'net neutrality' bill... ISPs would be loving people who used more, instead of hating them. But then the users would be angry because they've had 'unlimited' so long.

Don't get me wrong, I'm one of those people. And I'd love to have my cake and eat it, too... But the simple truth is that I use WAY more than most people and they get to pay for some of it and that kind of thing is going to come to an end one way or another.

Re:I'd like to see... (1, Troll)

runyonave (1482739) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401368)

ISPs provide users a service - to allow users access to the internet.

When you're paying a monthly fee to use that service, it should not matter how much or how little you use it. ISPs have no right to bitch and moan about high bandwidth users.

If they can't handle the stress, then get out of hte business

Re:I'd like to see... (5, Insightful)

GrantRobertson (973370) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401466)

Not that I am on the carrier's side... But can you possibly explain the logic in this position other than that you want it?

I pay extra for a faster connection and a higher total download capacity per month. That seems entirely fair. The problem comes when carriers try to limit what kind of data you download within that limit. They are effectively trying to make it impossible for you to actually get what you specifically paid for. That is what net neutrality is about. Not just letting you download as much porn as you want while still only paying the basic fee.

Re:I'd like to see... (3, Insightful)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401548)

When you're paying a monthly fee to use that service, it should not matter how much or how little you use it. ISPs have no right to bitch and moan about high bandwidth users.

That's not logical. It makes sense that people who use more should pay more. Why shouldn't the people who use more, pay more? If I use more water, I pay a higher water bill; if I use more electricity, I pay a higher electric bill.

It seems that the problem is that word "unlimited." If the sales pitch says that you're buying "unlimited" internet, then you've got an argument that they're doing false advertising when they then say "...but that doesn't mean unlimited".

Re:I'd like to see... (5, Insightful)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401744)

If you use more water, or more electricity, you're consuming finite resources that wouldn't be used otherwise. The same isn't true of bandwidth--the ISP is paying for a certain amount on their outgoing connections, regardless of whether or not uses are actively using it.

Re:I'd like to see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30401960)

but they have a finite amount of bandwidth to slice up at any given point in time

Re:I'd like to see... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30402134)

Your local ISP might do that, but the big boys do not.
They have peering agreements where traffic in and out of each others networks are assumed to be roughly balanced. If there is a diff over a defined limit, the smallest of the peers usually pays per byte.

Re:I'd like to see... (2, Interesting)

mastahYee (1588623) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402208)

If you use more water, or more electricity, you're consuming finite resources that wouldn't be used otherwise. The same isn't true of bandwidth--the ISP is paying for a certain amount on their outgoing connections, regardless of whether or not uses are actively using it.

You need electricity to use bandwidth... Even so, water and electricity are not finite.

Re:I'd like to see... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30402374)

. . . water and electricity are not finite.

[citation needed]

Re:I'd like to see... (0, Redundant)

mastahYee (1588623) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402590)

. . . water and electricity are not finite.

[citation needed]

"Hydroelectricity is a low-cost, non-polluting, renewable energy source. " http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water [wikipedia.org]

Re:I'd like to see... (2, Insightful)

aicrules (819392) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402768)

Renewable doesn't mean it's infinite. Clearly there is a finite amount of water, electricity and even bandwidth available for use. Even if the entire universe was a big blob of water outside of our solar system, that wouldn't do us any good.

Re:I'd like to see... (2, Insightful)

Graymalkin (13732) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403008)

Electricity and water are limited in practical terms. There's finite generating and transmission capacity. Every switching station turns some of the transmitted electricity into heat. You running your TV turns that electricity into projected light and heat, this is electricity I can't use to run my microwave. Data transmission is quite different, data packets can be duplicated an infinite number of times. Downloading a file from a server doesn't affect the availability file for anyone else. The only resource in contention is data transmission capacity. As long as the transmission capacity exceeds the demand data networks don't really have any limits of what can go over them. Data also doesn't need to be converted directly into work of some sort so it can be split and recombined through multiplexing with no loss of utility. This also means that transmission lines can add more channels to increase their capacity (providing both ends of the connection can be upgraded).

Re:I'd like to see... (4, Informative)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402952)

WIth water, you get a specific pipe at a specific pressure (and temperature, probably) that yeilds a MAX of the water you can use.

With electricity, you get a specific MAX amperage of service that can be sustained.

Both utilities will charge you huge fortunes if you use the maximum output 24/7.

With broadband, you get a pipe that's capable of a sustained data rate. Upstream, however, data will come when it will come, subject to QoS or packet shaping. If you download at the max rate, 24/7, it's likely your hard disk will simply fill, and that's that-- your capacity has been reached.

What net neutrality does is to forward the idea that no matter where you want your data from, the carrier delivers a best-effort to deliver that data to you. In this scheme, it doesn't favor its product over another vendors; it's neutral as to the destination. Certainly latency, routing, and congestion issues apply, but it doesn't squish YouTube in favor of NBC (are you listening, Comcast?).

The aperiodicity of transaction means that congestion could be a problem, especially during the Superbowl or other 'events' where everyone's downloading at once. Otherwise, there's a fairly random distribution of duty cycle that allows bandwidth to be shared. However, older network designs, like ATM and a few others that are still carriers of data, aren't very good at doing that. Older routing equipment and ancient equipment (by modern standards) still presents a non-neutral bottleneck, although not one that's deterministic by data source.

So it's not like water and electricity, although it could still be considered a utility by other definitions. Communications ought to be a utility, and ought to be product source (e.g. the water, and the coulombs) neutral.

Re:I'd like to see... (2, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402018)

"It seems that the problem is that word "unlimited.""

Precisely. If my ISP told me up front that I am paying for a maximum amount of data transferred per month, I would have no problem with it. When they tell me my plan is "unlimited," I assume they mean, "as much as you want and your equipment can handle."

Re:I'd like to see... (2, Insightful)

irondonkey (1137243) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401386)

I agree with you that more than likely, we'll eventually end up with a use-based billing scheme. The issue I see is that it seems the ISPs want to keep the "normal" users at the current pricing, and simply charge more for the "heavy" users. If it's usage based, some people will use less, which ought to mean they get charged less since they no longer pay part of the bill for the heavy users, which would mean less money in the pockets of your ISP.

Re:I'd like to see... (2, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401950)

The flaw with your reasoning is that ISPs are already undercharging. So there's no "spare money" to decrease rates. I'm personally paying $15/month - how much cheaper can it get? Instead people are using more data, which will require laying more lines, and therefore require higher rates for those demanding users while everyone else holds steady.

ALSO FROM THE ARTICLE:

"AT&T is asking asking the government to define broadband as anything over 768Kbps downstream and 200Kbps upstream." What's wrong with that. That's ~30 times faster than the typical rural farm or country home connection. When Verizon ran 768k to my home I was thrilled, and I'm sure most people living in empty states like Idaho or Wyoming would also be similarly thrilled. It's better than having no broadband.

Plus 768k can use the existing phone lines - no need to dig-up a million miles of dirt.

Re:I'd like to see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30402184)

When I got my first 386 I was thrilled also. I'm glad your only paying $15 / Month, few of us have it so cheap. In my area Comcast basic home internet is $50 / Month which is more then I pay for electricity. I don't see them doing a lot of investment to improve my service, but a heck of lot of investment to let them run roght shot over ther users. As much as I hate Version, I might be forced to switch to what is becoming the lesser of two evils.

Re:I'd like to see... (2, Insightful)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402220)

Depends on the existing lines.

In many rural areas they have party-lines (not usable for DSL...) or lie at a distance from the CO that's well beyond anything other than iDSL rates if that. They'd have to spend a bit of extra money that the profit margins aren't "high enough" for them to bother with- there's a reason that the rural areas have Internet access problems in the first place. Nobody wants to serve the areas because they're less profitable.

If they're wanting to define Broadband as 768/200k, I'm almost okay with that as long as they don't dink with the pipes, keep things the way they currently are, and actually ROLL IT OUT TO PEOPLE at minimum. All this whining about users, etc. is more due to the fact that they way oversold the capacity they have and are unwilling to take a smidge of the profits they raked in doing so to upgrade a bit and offset the problem they made for themselves.

Re:I'd like to see... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402776)

The distance for 1.5 Mbit/s, using a DSL repeater, is 10 miles. For 768k it's almost twice that. Worst-case the phone company could do for a rural town what they did for my old coworker - run a fiber line to a DSLAM, and then use the DSLAM to provide DSL over the existing phone lines.

As for cost, it probably will be higher for rural users. Oh well. They choose to live there, which means having some inconveniences like having to drill wells for water, bury tanks for sewer, and pay $30 for 768k instead of $15 like I do. They could move closer to the city if they want city-like services.

And finally, I support the idea of government mandating Broadband for everyone. I just don't think the mandate should be unrealistic, like requiring 10,000 kbit/s to some hermit in Montana. 768k is plenty fast. It works for me.

Re:I'd like to see... (2, Insightful)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402258)

Just... Wow. What's wrong with having the government define broadband as anything over 768Kbps down and 200Kbps up? I'll tell you. The rest of Earth will laugh at us. That's what's wrong with that. I realize the size of the US puts a different burden on network deployment here, but please stop pretending like we don't know that pretty much all of South-East Asia is now on DOCSIS 3.0 and/or fiber-to-the-door.

I offer to /. again my anecdote about Comcast changing my plan from unlimited to hard capped at 250GB per month. I'm now paying for ~10x less theoretical data now at the SAME EXACT rates when I had for unlimited. The kicker is that no one on residential service from Comcast was ever going to reach the ~2.5TB theoretical max because Comcast's technology shares bandwidth.

I would have to guess that since Comcast is really the US Government, that this is not what we call a healthy business model. Rather than spend their money marketing and lobbying, they should have spent it on their network. I think it's absolute horseshit, and I feel cheated every time I pay the bill.

Oh and for all the jackasses out there that wish to make a snide comment pertaining to that list bit, please remember that Comcast is a monopoly in my area and I have no other ISP to offer my patronage to.

Re:I'd like to see... (-1, Flamebait)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403030)

Comcast is a government-granted monopoly. The flaw is with government. Ask your leaders to revoke the monopoly, and allow other competitors to enter the market (like Verizon, AT&T, Cox, Charter, ...).
.

>>>What's wrong with having the government define broadband as anything over 768Kbps down and 200Kbps up?

Why does some redneck living on top of a Vermont mountain need faster than 768k? More importantly: Why should I pay for it with higher taxes/subsidies? Let the hillbilly move closer to the city if he wants faster service. Or stay put and get, as a minimum, 768k and stop whining.

Next you're going to demand the government hook-up the hillbilly with city water and sewer. Nonsense. It's not my job to provide city-level service to people who *choose* to live in the country. ----- The EU state of Spain mandates 1 Mbit/s minimum. Ditto the state of Sweden. I see nothing wrong with the U.S. being in the same 768k-1.5 Mbit/s range as a minimum broadband requirement.

Oh and as for the rest of the world "laughing at us", I disagree. The U.S. is not doing bad at all. Here are the internet speeds, averaged across the entire population, for the various continent-level federations around the world. As you can see the U.S. is right near the top, and has nothing to feel shame for:

Russian Federation 8.3 Mbit/s
U.S. 7.0
E.U. 6.6
Canada 5.7
Australia 5.1
China 3.0
Brazil 2.1
Mexico 1.1 Mbit/s

Re:I'd like to see... (4, Informative)

ffejie (779512) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401538)

Read the article -- they state that the debate over tiered pricing is over. The ISP will be implementing tiered pricing. The new debate is over how much can the government involve themselves in the matters of maintaining a network.

Re:I'd like to see... (0)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401562)

You do not seem to understand the difference between an ISP and electricity company. ISP's per-MB usage charge is just added there to discourage customers to actually use their connection. ISP's themself do not pay anything based on amount transferred. ISP's either peer with others by buying specific amount of bandwidth (1-10Gbit/s) or by agreement that they both peer either one free of charge (only with big ISP's where it benefits both). There are no transfer limits. Every ISP in the world has always oversold their capacity to consumers, as it makes sense (not even close anyone of them are going to use all of it all the time). BUT they make sure their contracts with other ISP's are enough to usually support the network.

Re:I'd like to see... (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401996)

>>>ISPs themself do not pay anything based on amount transferred.

You're going to sit there and tell me there's no difference in electricity usage for a Server to feed me 1 gigabyte versus 1000 gigabytes each month? C'mon! Of course high-usage costs more money, and I see nothing wrong with passing that on to the high-usage customer.

Here's the problem... (4, Informative)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403000)

ISPs DO IN FACT have to pay for the data you send and receive. Yes, they do.

Peering arrangements do not cover the cost of the connection to the NAP. If, say Cox Cable in Arizona wants to interconnect to the other Cox state networks, they can do so and it's just their way of dealing with interconnection. But when they decide to connect so, say MAE-West, they pay for the connection into the NAP. It may be an OC-148, or something truly studly, like a really hot fiber. These circuits are not free, as they require right-of-way, actual genuine fiber (which they may share sometimes with others in the jacket - true), and of course the hardware to make it work. Price out some of that some time.

Now, true, the cost is shared amongst the many many subscribers, and they could choose to peer in one NAP, though in fact that would be bad practice, with single point of failure stuff and all.

But the reality is that not only would Cox (as an example) have to provision enogh connections and capacity to at least prevent customers from flooding the lines with 'I can't get' calls, but most peering arrangements at the NAP require you to provide enough bandwidth to actually receive what other peers send to you (on request from your subscribers, usually) or they see you as not playing fair. This gets you either booted off the NAP or throttled (or ignored, see Cogent v Sprint) and your users get poorer performance. Providing adequate service in a NAP peering is non-trivial, and the big carriers do not let you off. If you're a small ISP, you usually partner with a bigger one to avoid this sort of thing. I know. I was a small ISP. My carrier was MCI for a long time, and they had me 3 hops from MAE-East, a nice multi T1 connection. When we downsized to BBN, we got a dual T1 that was 25 hops away from a midwest NAP, which was a little off the beaten path and increased our latency about 12ms on average. But it was cheaper. Boss wins.

The concept that somehow your ISP doesn't really pay for their ultimate connection to the 'Internet' is ludicrous and misleading.

And having said that, Cox cable is probably more interested in the high-volume users that 'distort' the local networks and might be causing congestion. This is where most 'oversubscribing' is noticeable, and where the pproblems for the ISP are most difficult, IMHO. And where they need to decide what level of service they wish to provide.

That should be interesting. That's where individual customers will be hurt, and will fight back.

And you wrote:

"ISP's per-MB usage charge is just added there to discourage customers to actually use their connection."

That's one pricing formulation. Another would be to price higher volume users to recover costs, while not discouraging them or losing them to competitors. This formula is not so commonly used, since real competition is ineffective in most of the U.S., though there are other pressures and this is not nearly so simple as most of us would like to believe. Of course, the impact is plain and obvious, so we tend to think that the cause is also plain and obvious.

Don't think I am defending packet inspection and service filtering, nor am I defending the US ISP marketers. But let's keep our focus on reality. They should be expected to carry any traffic their users request, without discriminating on the basis of volume or source, and they should either price their service as necessary (or desireable) or describe their services accurately so customers can make informed decisions and have reasonable expectations. And MOST importantly, they should not discriminate on the basis of the source of the data. For instance, throttle based on URL (hulu.com, for example) or traffic type (H.323, for example) and then offer an unthrottled service of their own which is substantially identical (HD video streaming, for example) and delivered via the same method (TCP/IP). This would be discriminatory in a way we should not accept - like restraint of trade, the ISP could throttle some video and allow the video they provide for a fee (or not) themselves. Unless the FCC decides that they will allow cable providers (the most important group) to indulge in this practice, and disclose this to customers. That would be unfortunate, and since effective competition is pretty much nonexistant in the US, I expect they will see this as a regulated monopoly issue and compel ISPs to treat similar traffic the same from any source, be it the Internet, locally generated, or peer to peer.

But the ISPs won't go down without a fight.

There are a lot of buffet restaurants in the U.S. (3, Interesting)

Benfea (1365845) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401738)

How long do you think it will be before all those buffet restaurants go out of business? Why do you think they and their customers have tolerated such an unfair pricing structure for so long?

Re:There are a lot of buffet restaurants in the U. (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402582)

Actually, many of them DO go out of business because it's really, really hard to get 'unlimited' right, including making it a good deal for the light eaters as well as the gluttons. Sometimes it's not even possible.

But those restaurants don't implement a 'neutrality' scheme, either. Many of them put up more of the cheap food than the expensive food. (No, not all... But then, not all ISPs will limit, either.)

I never said ISPs would go out of business. I said they would solve the 'unlimited' problem in some fashion.

Re:I'd like to see... (1)

DaFallus (805248) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401966)

the simple truth is that I use WAY more than most people and they get to pay for some of it and that kind of thing is going to come to an end one way or another

You are right. If they switch to billing by usage they will just charge an obscene amount per MB. If the majority of users are people who are paying $50/month just to browse the web and check email then billing by usage will drastically reduce profits. Somehow I doubt any ISP would let that happen. Either way average users will probably end up paying around the same rate while costs for people who thoroughly utilize their connection will increase.

If ISPs charged a low monthly fee for the first 50 GB (or any predefined limit) and a reasonable rate for each GB over the original limit they might find consumers to be a bit more receptive to the change. I know some providers do exactly this in other countries but as far as I am aware, none of the big players in the US offer this for residential users. However, that still does nothing to address the complete lack of actual competition in most major US cities or the fact that the public has ponied up a lot of dough for some infrastructure upgrades that we will never see without an act of Congress.

Either way, we will all end up paying for it.

Re:I'd like to see... (1)

ffejie (779512) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401458)

And I wish that the Internet were as simple as Electricity. Looks like we're both not getting what we want this Christmas.

Re:I'd like to see... (3, Insightful)

kenh (9056) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401606)

No, we don't have "electricity neutrality" - you've never heard of "off-peak" KW/Hr rates? It only makes sense to offer it to commercial consumers of electricity, but they pay less for electricty used during off-peak hours...

Re:I'd like to see... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402138)

But at least those rates are based-upon a realistic limitation (it's cheaper to run generators at night rather than shut them down, and that benefit is passed to the consumer). With internet non-neutrality, we're discussing Comcast ISP charging 1 dollar per gigabyte to access youtube.com, but providing comcast.com at no cost. It's using monopoly power for an unfair competitive advantage.

Re:I'd like to see... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402172)

P.S.

My electrical company is discontinuing nightly rates, and I'm not happy about it. My home would heat a tank of water at night, and then use virtually no electricity during the day, but now it won't matter when I run my heat - it will all cost the same. :-( Talk about a step backwards!

Re:I'd like to see... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401688)

Lots of people have their air conditioners hooked up to separate meters that the power company can exercise some control over; the power from those meters costs slightly less.

Re:I'd like to see... (2, Interesting)

club (1698284) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401722)

Are you sure? I know that in both Australia and New Zealand you are billed differently if you have Nightstore Heater, as just one example.

Re:I'd like to see... (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401992)

...electricity companies trying to charge you different prices for using different applicances. We already have "electricity neutrality", why isn't net neutrality taken for granted?

Actually, they do charge more for locations with a worse power factor [snopud.com] . A lower power factor is caused by inductive loads, so you are charged extra for using too much inductive loading.

That said, it doesn't matter if this is caused by a large motor or what the motor is used for, which is how the ISPs would love to regulate. The utility companies also tell you up front what PF results in which charge, while the ISPs may not.

So, the utility companies are actually fantastic examples of neutrality. Limits are placed only due to load on the system (device agnostic) and are enumerated to customers. All the ISPs need to do is set their limits to be blind to final destination or device (if you throtle VoIP, you must treat your VoIP traffic and Vonage traffic the same) and the limits should be well described in writing to the customer. And, since utility companies are already a monopoly, a similar neutrality would probably work well.

Re:I'd like to see... (1)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402716)

This is a weak comparison you're trying to make. Electricity is usage based which means you ARE charged for using different appliances. A lightbulb is going to be inexpensive to operate. But run something like a clothes dryer and your usage rises dramatically, meaning you're going to pay significantly more. Run something like an electric welder and you pay even more. This is how pricing for all utilities work.

With Internet and television, on the other hand, you pay a monthly fee for with is, in theory, persistent access and unlimited usage. However, those are two different things. With television you're constantly being fed a consistent feed regardless of whether you're using it or not. You could have a thousand televisions in your house and the provider wouldn't experience any change in load.

With internet usage, however, they would. If pricing were very reasonable I wouldn't have a problem paying for usage. Instead of being stuck paying $50 regardless of how much I use, I could manage usage from month to month and regulate cost. Hell, even with television I wish I could pay less and have access to only the channels I want.

There are a few important caveats here. I would expect my internet payment structure to function exactly like any other utility. That means if I don't use the internet one month I should be paying next to nothing. I also would expect that data rates be nominal. But of course, service providers would love to continue charging the monthly rates they do now and tack on usage fees on top of that. And I expect that there's a single rate, not varying rates based on what you're doing, like paying more for VOIP or downloading movies.

To be completely honest, to date I'm still not clear what net neutrality entails. In principle I understand that it means providing unrestricted access to the internet, but I'm not sure how pricing models fit into that. If you're putting more load on the system why not be charged more? I don't see the inherent problem there in light of the fact, as I mention above, this is how other utilities work. I'm not naive to the fact that providers are looking for the opportunity to take advantage of us, but I don't think it's as simple as saying that we should all have unlimited access to the internet.

I'm concerned about the unintended consequences of pushing net neutrality. The big one being that internet access gets more expensive for everyone because everyone ends up subsidizing the heavy users.

lies, damn lies, and advertising (4, Insightful)

martas (1439879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401032)

i wish there was a tractable way of making lying in an ad a criminal offense punishable by death for all those responsible...

Re:lies, damn lies, and advertising (2, Informative)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401152)

False advertising.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_advertising [wikipedia.org]

Re:lies, damn lies, and advertising (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30401262)

Whoosh!

Re:lies, damn lies, and advertising (1)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401420)

i wish there was a tractable way of making lying in an ad a criminal offense punishable by death for all those responsible...

He's obviously not completely serious, but he makes a good point. We do need more enforcement and harsher penalties for misleading advertising.

Re:lies, damn lies, and advertising (1)

GrubLord (1662041) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401662)

I think that once they're on public record, they should simply be required to either make good on their promise or publically recant.

Politicians too, for that matter.

Wouldn't it be nice if, instead of simply ignoring election promises, they had to either honour those promises or come back on TV to explain why they didn't? (Or even just to say that they changed their minds.)

It's not a lot to ask, and I think it would cut down on a lot of the lies.

Re:lies, damn lies, and advertising (1)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402760)

I think that once they're on public record, they should simply be required to either make good on their promise or publically recant.

Politicians too, for that matter.

That would totally kill the lobbying industry. That or politicians would have to shut up and only speak when they absolutely had..... to......

Re:lies, damn lies, and advertising (2, Funny)

kenh (9056) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401574)

Where would we store all the convicted politicians once your proposed law goes into effect?

Re:lies, damn lies, and advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30402012)

another reason why I think they should be lined up and shot.... why pay for them to live in a comfortable prison, when they have done nothing worthwhile for our country.

Re:lies, damn lies, and advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30402102)

A mass grave. Or better yet, make them into furniture for their respective legislative chambers, to serve as a reminder to future politicians.

Excuse me, Exactly what did you expect ? (1)

guzzirider (551141) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402654)

Net neutrality like most other ‘laws’ here in the US are to be applied to the other guy .

Under-served (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401040)

With the AT&T network, "under-served areas of the US" includes pretty much the entire country, including isolated rural towns like San Francisco [sfgate.com] .

Re:Under-served (1)

GrubLord (1662041) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401778)

But... but... the AT&T ads tell me it's the fastest broadband in the country!!

They wouldn't lie in an AD, surely?

Subsidies ok. (4, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401066)

Broadband is one of those cases where experience matters more than ideology. Ideologically, we might say we should have no government interference in the broadband market, or the government should provide broadband to everyone, but what really worked is the government giving the carrier a measure of guaranteed returns on their investment in exchange for satisfying some general social obligations. This worked stunningly well in the old electric industry, where state PUCs did regulate rates, for sure, mandated service levels, for sure, but, at the end, the shareholders of the electric company got a nice dividend check every year. Not a growth stock, but a reliable dividend stock, a good service for consumers, a good company to work for in the community, and it was really about as much of a win-win deal as anyone could get until everyone got greedy - consumers and shareholders alike, and screwed it all up with electrical deregulation.

To wit : I really don't have a problem with taxpayer subsidies for rural broadband IF the broadband companies subsequently tie themselves to Public Utilities Commissions for the setting of rates in the way electricity worked in the better and pre-deregulation days. Give the rural carriers the monopoly, have the government set the rates. That provides badly needed service, the government gets its social responsibilities fulfilled, and the carrier owners get a nice dividend check.

This isn't rocket science. But we just have to get rid of this awful grip of capitalism / socialism black and white thinking that has seized our minds and focus instead on historically that which has worked to build our communities.

Re:Subsidies ok. (3, Insightful)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401518)

Why subsidize when you can own instead? It is just a waste of tax payer money. If you want broadband built, you buy the service of putting cables into the ground from companies, and end up owning the cables, which you can then rent out to ISPs who want access to end customers. To separate concerns and reduce centralization, you place the ownership in city/state owned non-profit businesses created for the purpose of maintenance and fee collecting on said broadband.

What you don't do is give big companies 200 billion dollars in tax relief and tell them to build broadband if they want. Because that way you don't get anything in return. Because once the money has been given out, the companies accepting the subsidies have no reason whatsoever to keep a low price. They can just go ahead and charge as much as the market can bear. And there won't be many competitors because the subsidized will have an unfair competitive advantage.

Re:Subsidies ok. (3, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402382)

Why subsidize when you can own instead

Because you want the private sector to come up with the capital for initial construction and by doing so, assume the risk for construction delays and other problems.

The reason a government has a private sector, isn't ideological, or rather why a private sector works, is sound risk management. If the King wants to build a tower, and screws it up, the King is out the money. If the King goes and says, "I'll tell you what, build whatever you want, but I get a piece of the income", well, the King doesn't have to assume any risk, at all. He makes the barons, if you will, eat the risk and the capital costs, and gets to collect. When you socialize something, you have the government absorb all the risk. Tis much better to let the government work through monopolies, and just collect the money.

Re:Subsidies ok. (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402400)

Being a customer of the Uncle Sam Monopoly is even worse than being under the Comcast monopoly. At least I can tell Comcast to go "frak off" and not use their service. Try that with a government-owned ISP and they'll just suck the money from your paycheck instead. Like the U.S.P.S. and Amtrak does.

And if you think RIAA is bad.....

Wait until the government becomes your ISP and spies you downloading a movie or song (or worse: porn). They won't just send you a nasty letter; they'll have the cops collect your body and move it into a jail. And no I'm not over-reacting: the government has already thrown teens in jail just because they got caught sharing naked photos. They've also arrested at least one college student who downloaded "Girls Gone Wild" and got kiddie porn instead. "It was a mistake and I deleted it immediately," didn't work as a defense.

No, no, no. I don't want the government running my ISP.

Re:Subsidies ok. (2, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402556)

P.S.

A better solution, now that we have fiber optic, is simply let as many companies enter a neighborhood as desire. Fiber is so narrow you could run a dozen companies in the space of a centimeter, and then just let each customer decide which company they like best (Comcast or Cox or Charter or AppleTV or LinuxISP or MSN or AOL or...). And before you say it can't be done, some towns already do have multiple ISPs. You pick your ISP the same way you pick what brand of car you want.

Re:Subsidies ok. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402210)

>>>screwed it all up with electrical deregulation

It works well for me. My natural gas + electricity bill dropped about 10% when I switched companies. That may not sound like much but when multiplied over a year that's ~$250 saved.

Re:Subsidies ok. (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402322)

It works well for me. My natural gas + electricity bill dropped about 10% when I switched companie

There's a looming reliability problem in the works.

Best get this out of they way.... (3, Interesting)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401082)

Robber Barons? You, sir, slander the good name of brilliant men like Jay Gould and Daniel Drew. How dare you! [mises.org]

Re:Best get this out of they way.... (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402126)

You have to be amazed at someone who corners the gold market not just for the gold, but to raise the price of wheat so that farmers will sell more grain and use his railroad more. But the way people hated him was almost as amazing. Picture Ben Bernanke crossed with Bernie Madoff, Rick Wagoner, and Bill Gates (the evil monopolistic parts only). Scrooge was a piddly little amateur.

will be? (4, Insightful)

castironpigeon (1056188) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401100)

If it and its carrier partners win, 'Internet freedom' will mean freedom for carriers to be the 21st century's robber barons

What do you mean - will be? We already pay a ridiculous monthly fee for piss poor access that you can't even get in most parts of the US. The areas that do get broadband access are all carved up into local monopolies so that users can stay crowded on the same cables as 10 years ago that can no longer carry the load and if you do try to use the broadband you paid for you get disconnected or throttled by the carrier. So how is this any more than business as usual?

Re:will be? (1)

kenh (9056) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401668)

Providing basic access to those currently with only dial-up access is a reasonable goal, even if it doesn't meet the highest definition of "high-speed broadband."

Your real issue is within the realm of the state and local regulatory agencies - your town, state enables monopolies, not the federal gov't.

They didn't mind taking the infrastructure (5, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401122)

I remember when the internet first went private. None of the telecos minded inheriting the original infrastructure. But now that it's time to invest in new technologies, they whine like a spoiled little kid. Somebody call the whaaaambulance.

They're trying for the same deal the big banks get. Taxpayers shoulder the infrastructure investment, but the telecos get to run it and make obscene profits without any real oversight.

Our 40 year "government regulation is bad" experiment ended with disastrous results. Without a referee looking out for the interests of the public, which has a lot of skin in this game, the telecos are going to ride us all like a carnival pony, just like Wall Street.

Re:They didn't mind taking the infrastructure (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30401488)

Our 40 year "government regulation is bad" experiment ended with disastrous results. Without a referee looking out for the interests of the public, which has a lot of skin in this game, the telecos are going to ride us all like a carnival pony, just like Wall Street.

Try convincing the teabaggers, or most anyone right of center, of that. They'll insist that the reason why things have gone downhill over the past 40 years is because there's still too much government interference (and by that they mean that the government simply existing is too much interference).

Re:They didn't mind taking the infrastructure (1)

kenh (9056) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401558)

Uhm, there's been NO INVESTMENT in the infrastructure since "the internet first went private"? Really? The network hasn't been upgraded or backbone capacity hasn't increased since then?

What a simplistic view of the telco/internet infrastructure...

Re:They didn't mind taking the infrastructure (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30401628)

Congratulations. You learned EXACTLY the wrong lesson from the mortgage melt-down.

For the past ten or so years, idiots like Barney Frank and Chris Dodd have been imposing laws on banks forcing them to make loans to "under served" minorities. The unintended consequences of this actions were that a lot of people who shouldn't have have been able to qualify for an auto loan were given a mortgage--because the banks were in mortal fear of being called out as discriminatory, fined, shamed, or put out of business. When it turned out that a lot of these "sub-prime" borrowers (Frank and Dodd were shocked! Shocked! to find bad loans being made) couldn't make their payments, the whole regulation-created house of cards collapsed. When the credit default swaps went south, and no one could be certain how much exposure they had, the system (and lending) ground to a halt.

Laws (let's just drop the "government regulation" euphemism and call a spade a spade) aren't NECESSARILY bad. In a lot of cases it's needed to protect citizens from each other and from corporations. But you've apparently fallen into one of the classic blunders. The most famous of which is "never get involved in a land war in Asia" but only slightly less well-know is "never accept at face-value the explanation of the very people who caused the problem"

Re:They didn't mind taking the infrastructure (5, Insightful)

bmajik (96670) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401704)

Our 40 year "government regulation is bad" experiment ended with disastrous results

You mean the failure of our 100+ year experiment whereby the government hands out favors to some entrants, giving them a tremendous marketplace advantage with the full power of a gun behind it? That experiment has a long history of failure world wide. It shouldn't surprise anyone that it is also failing here.

We have had a mixed economy for a very long time. The #1 trick of the statists and their useful idiots is blaming all of our problems on what we continue to have a shrinking share of - marketplace freedom.

One would surmise that if unregulated markets were actually a problem, the amplitude of our cyclic economic destruction would be ever decreasing as the benevolent weight of regulatory graft piled ever higher. Yet this has not been the case. And in light of experimental results that contradict the hypothesis thus far tried, a scientist, or a policy maker who's aim was economic success, would be willing to modify their approach.

But that's not what we have. We have a government that is it's own end. It exists for its own power, and any course of action not commensurate with the increase of power and the subjugation of man isn't realistically considered.

Re:They didn't mind taking the infrastructure (5, Insightful)

wurble (1430179) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402490)

Not all regulation is created equal, and that is why the argument from the "free market" folks is a false dichotomy. For example, letting a company gain a monopoly in a particular region/industry is bad. Enacting regulations which actually FORCE a monopoly is even worse. One is free market, the other is not, both are bad.

It is not a matter of free market or not a free market. It is a matter of what regulation.

Re:They didn't mind taking the infrastructure (1)

dnahelicase (1594971) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401894)

And a referee is what they need. I live in an "underserved" area, and access to the internet has a big influence on where I live locally. If you live out very far you get nothing, even if you are willing to pay for the initial outlay of cable. I think access to broadband should essentially be a right. Not that everyone gets the same thing, but that you get broadband based inline with the population density of the area you live in - starting with 768k.

Of course, that's not how the free market works and makes higher costs at the expense of the few - but the broadband space isn't a free market already.

Re:They didn't mind taking the infrastructure (1)

Afforess (1310263) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401906)

Wait, I don't follow your logic here:

Government regulation of the Telco's has caused this, so we need more regulation?

40 year experiment? (2, Informative)

Benfea (1365845) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401952)

This wasn't a 40 year experiment. We had much the same thing going on in the late 1800s and early 1900s with much the same results. We didn't learn our lesson the previous two times, so I expect we won't learn our lesson this time either. In another few decades, the big corporations and big financial companies will whine that following the law is too hard and the sheeple will listen to them.

Re:They didn't mind taking the infrastructure (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402652)

>>>Our 40 year "government regulation is bad" experiment

You have it backwards. Most of the ills of the last 20 years (back to the Savings-and-Loan Crash) were caused by regulation. For example, it was government regulation that caused the current economic crash. I know you won't believe me, but here are the politicians in their own words *encouraging banks to make high-risk doomed-to-default loans* (or else face being drug into court).

Clinton-era: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivmL-lXNy64 [youtube.com]
Bush-era: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iW5qKYfqALE [youtube.com]
Result: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMnSp4qEXNM [youtube.com]

YOU let this happen (3, Interesting)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401168)

They'll be robber barons because like in the 1800s, they bribed/gamed the governmental control system in place to achieve monopoly power.

Wouldn't it be nice... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30401192)

Would it not be nice for consumers in these rural towns to be able to vote with their dollar and pick the best carrier.
"Hmm, I could choose AT&T who wants $60 to be able to browse 4chan, or, I could choose INTERNET4YOU who will give me free access to every site for only $40"
Why is the government supporting the creation of bigger and bigger monopolies?

Net Neutrality for what service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30401444)

I work in this industry, so I'm somewhat familiar with it.

I agree with net neutrality up to a point. Where that point is is where the company has clearly made investments in their infrastructure to deploy data services outside of the conventional internet. Many of these companies (AT&T included) are testing the waters with their own VoIP and TV services. Should any non-paying service be allowed to choke out the bandwidth for those services? I think not.

Re:Net Neutrality for what service (1)

residieu (577863) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401912)

What non-paying services? The user is paying for his internet access, whoever owns the servers are paying for their internet access. Why should the ISP get another cut just because they're trying to compete themselves?

Re:Net Neutrality for what service (1)

ckaminski (82854) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402718)

Bingo. This whole net neutrality thing only became an issue once Vonage and Skype started eating at the trough of "land-line" telephones. The big telcos should either admit they're internet companies, or phone companies. They can't have it both ways.

"Net Neutrality Doublethink"? (2, Funny)

qzak (1115661) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401494)

More like "Net Neutrality Doublespeak", no?

Re:"Net Neutrality Doublethink"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30401552)

Didn't you learn anything in room 101?

Don't get it (1)

kenh (9056) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401532)

Net Neutrality means the Internet backbone carriers should operate just like the post office - everyone buys a 44 cent stamp and takes their chances with delivery, you can't pay for better service, and there is no lower class of service than first class.

And substandard broadband? By who's definition? If I listen to some folks almost all US broadband pales in comparison to hand-picked alternatives (Finland, Japan), other folks think that anything that is several times faster than dial-up is better.

Wait, I get it - the idea is we should dip into our magic government printing presses, grab some of that free-flowing "Stimulus" money and roll out several megabit broadband to every house, apt, and trailer park in all 50 states (and territories, can't forget American Samoa, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico) and and carriers should never consider doing anything that looks like "quality of service" or offering anything better than this base offering... Right, that's it, isn't it?

Re:Don't get it (3, Informative)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402318)

Actually...the Post Office is a poor analogy.

1) You can buy better service (Priority Mail, Express Mail...).
2) There IS a lower class of service than First Class (Parcel Post...).

Re:Don't get it (1)

mrrudge (1120279) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402330)

A lack of Net Neutrality on the other hand, places a still growing communications phenomenon in the hands of for-profit companies who, as is their want, will charge as much as possible for the lowest acceptable quality of service while attempting to gain control over as much of the market as possible.

Many people connected to the Internet do so through an effective geographic monopoly, so at this stage there are no market pressures to prevent them charging what they see fit, and never improve the situation.

The post office in England at least offers a variety of services, from well-we'll-give-it-a-go-maybe-Tuesday-next to 9-am-sharp-sir-what-colour-stamp-would-you-like so your example to me would be closer to the Internet in a non Neutral state. To physically get a parcel to the other end of the country I have the option of several competing companies and a selection of services between them.

We're currently in a situation where differing, competing people own different roads along the way, under Network Neutrality they all have to play nicely and pass every parcel along, and without they are free to slow / lose / change my parcel as it passes through their hands, and have every incentive to do so. ( Apologies for the mangled metaphor. )

I'm lucky enough to be in an area with a choice of ISP, and I already choose to pay more for a faster service.

There is no natural minimum price for the transfer of an amount of data, someone who's more efficient can undercut, and keeping that mechanism working for as long as possible seems to guarantee the best for the network and the end user of what is already a near utility.

there is no such thing as net neutrality (1)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401602)

unlike regular electricity you can do a lot of things with the electrons coming over the internet wires

Google and the rest of the silicon valley upstarts want to stream all kinds of data and grab most of the profits while avoiding large capital investments into low return markets like broadband access for people. the ISPs are in a constant upgrade mode and want to stop the cycle. every time they upgrade their networks and start to pay the interest on the bonds some other company makes up some new service to bring the network to its knees.

people talk about obscene ISP profits, but Google has profit margins that no ISP dares to dream of. for all the revenue ISP's bring in, it's a very low profit margin business

personally i think that ISP's will always be dumb pipes since their plans to extract more profits are always too grand and slow moving and silicon valley is a lot faster at coming up with new ideas. but it's not black and white where Google is the good guy and ISP's are evil. Google wants the profits while having someone else pay the high capital costs to run the last mile connections and manage them

Re:there is no such thing as net neutrality (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402038)

i guess the google profit margins comes from them running their own "isp", thanks to grabbing dark fiber left over from dot-com and similar...

Re:there is no such thing as net neutrality (1)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402204)

they own the fiber for their own network, not for the last mile to people's homes. that is the most expensive part of every network to lay, maintain and support.

the ISP's are always complaining with the bandwidth problems at the last mile or on their networks a hop or two from the last mile. In AT&T's case it's at the tower level since you need thousands of towers to serve some markets. and AT&T's profit margins are a lot lower than Google's. Maybe Google should start their own cell phone service and rent towers from the few companies that lease out towers to AT&T and VZW?

Where are the ads? (1)

zookie (136959) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401660)

Bill Snyder writes a long post, with meticulous footnotes, criticizing certain AT&T ads, but not once does he link to the actual AT&T ads! Where are the ads so we can judge for ourselves?

Editors for nerds? (1)

cowboy76Spain (815442) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401726)

It is so difficult for an editor of a site that calls himself "news for nerds" to know the difference between QoS and net neutrality? I mean, the issue has been discused for so long it is even boring.
TFS talks about the discrimination against "some types of data", that is QoS and generally accepted to be a good thing. In the other hand, TFA talks about different service providers (true net neutrality issue).
Giving the number of times these terms have been discussed, it is annoying that an editor still brings the error to TFS... I am beginning to understand the whole kdawnson rant.
Kid, if you can't do better than that, leave the job to someone who can.

Orwell proud? (4, Insightful)

a_nonamiss (743253) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401772)

Why would Orwell be proud? I think he would be horrified. He wasn't adulating the society in 1984, he was writing in fear for what ours might become. The book was supposed to serve as a wakeup call. The fact that we're inching closer to this society might make his prediction correct, but I don't think he'd be happy about that.

similar (1)

Dale512 (1073668) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401792)

They need to treat ISP companies like they do the telecos. Aren't the teleco's required to lease at wholesale prices their lines to any other teleco to provide service? This would get us out of the one or two providers per area problem and add competition. Another alternative would be to have the municipalities treat the 'last mile' cable the same as other utilities and lease the lines to whomever would like to provide service. The lack of real competition and lack of anyone being able to deploy wire to the homes is what keeps this situation like it is.

BS (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401800)

George Orwell would be proud of AT&T

No he wouldn't. Describing something in a work of fiction isn't the same as advocating it.

Summary wrong on what constitutes Net Neutrality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30401882)

Or am I wrong. I thought network neutrality said nothing about discriminating on the type of data. I thought it was about not discriminating based on who's data. That is as long as you treat all bit torrent traffic equally and alll voip traffic equally that's network neutrality. If you start giving priority to voip users who happen to use some service provided by AT&T and degrade service to people using SKYPE, then you're not being neutral. So which is it?

Fascism Is not right of Center (2)

frankxcid (884419) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402162)

It always amuses me how so many of you will jump on the band wagon that a company using the government's regulations to its benefits means that there isn't enough regulation, or that the overpowering government in all aspects of life as abhorred by Orwell is the same as AT&T business practices. Stop and take a look at what those who want net neutrality are actually asking for: The government should create rules that force service providers to charge the same regardless of usage. Who sets the price? Who sets the service requirements? Since it has to be "Fair" this always means everyone is equally miserable excepts those who set the price and service levels who always get the best while the public gets the worse. This is exactly what Orwell warned about in his work. Remember, inner party gets the best food and even some privacy while the others get the worse or none at all. Yes, I do not want any government in my life except as strictly spelled out in the preamble of the constitution. Now about the robber barons of 1800, that was also over regulation and the government getting too involved. When a business gets support from customers it caters to customers, when support comes from the government it doesn't need customers.

just who are the fascists ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30402358)

"It always amuses me how so many of you will jump on the band wagon that a company using the government's regulations to its benefits means that there isn't enough regulation, or that the overpowering government in all aspects of life as abhorred by Orwell is the same as AT&T business practices"

Classic strawman, what this is about is preventing companies such as AT&T in introducing a tiered service, with their own services given priority and ultimately gaining control of content to the detriment of the end user.

the Internet Freedom Act of 2009 (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402200)

Is this something like the canSPAM act, the one that didn't .. can spam that is :)

Open Source Telco (2, Funny)

smitty777 (1612557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402482)

I've got it! We can create our own open source network lines. Each person will go to the hardware store and buy 10 meters of fibreoptic cable and dig a trench in front of their house. We can take our spare parts and combine them and make servers! Power to the people! Stickin it to the man! Yeah!!!

Not Doublethink (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402614)

You can be against regulation while still being for the principals of what people think they are getting when they say "Net Neutrality".

Being opposed to regulation does NOT mean you are opposed to what the regulation is trying to accomplish, you just see a better way to achieve the same effect.

the debate about Net neutrality (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402640)

Early on, the debate about Net neutrality centered on the issue of tiered or metered pricing .. The argument now is much more complex and centers on control of content and applications on both the wired and wireless Internet.

If a carrier can pick and choose among different types of content and different types of applications, its competitors (and, ultimately, the users [infoworld.com] ) are severely disadvantaged.
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