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FCC Moving To Retain Control of Net Neutrality

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the no-it's-my-pie dept.

Government 90

An anonymous reader writes "The FCC is moving to take control of Net Neutrality once again due to public backlash over the issue, and plans to produce new regulation for broadband providers, as well as take a more rigorous role in their oversight. The details should be released on Thursday."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Dupe much? (3, Informative)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32114234)

http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/05/05/2222250 [slashdot.org]

lolwut? The summaries even end almost exactly the same!

Re:Dupe much? (3, Informative)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32114290)

Gah, meant the summaries start and end are almost flipped, not the same :/

Re:Dupe much? (1, Offtopic)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 4 years ago | (#32114334)

Trying to get everyone to re-post their comments will be quite a task. Doesn't help you've ruined it- you never said "Dupe much" last time.

Re:Dupe much? (4, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32114510)

Trying to get everyone to re-post their comments will be quite a task. Doesn't help you've ruined it- you never said "Dupe much" last time.

it wasn't a dupe the first time, clod!

Re:Dupe much? (3, Funny)

tool462 (677306) | more than 4 years ago | (#32114776)

Perhaps this article was submitted via Comcast, and since Slashdot isn't a "preferred site", it took a couple of days to make it to the mainpage.

Big government (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32114246)

Commence "Big Government" arguments here.

Re:Big government (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 4 years ago | (#32114666)

Note the lack of replies. Here.

damned if you do, damned if you don't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32115320)

Commence "Big Business" arguments over there.

"The details should be released on Thursday" (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 4 years ago | (#32114272)

"The details should be released on Thursday" ./ != CNN, which I kinda like. May be we all could happily live without "breaking news" tricks over here.

Re:"The details should be released on Thursday" (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32114512)

The plan is to regulate the Internet as a public utility.

Re:"The details should be released on Thursday" (1)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 4 years ago | (#32114916)

I think the plan is really stated in the second paragraph:

The decision, by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski, is likely to trigger a vigorous lobbying battle, arraying big phone and cable companies and their allies on Capitol Hill against Silicon Valley giants and consumer advocates.

Emphasis mine.

Times are tough in DC, so nothing like asking a ton of people to send as much money in as possible.

Re:"The details should be released on Thursday" (2, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32115028)

Times are tough in DC, so nothing like asking a ton of people to send as much money in as possible.

Well, Mr. Obama said he was going to find a way to make another economic stimulus happen.... ;)

Re:"The details should be released on Thursday" (0, Offtopic)

sheph (955019) | more than 4 years ago | (#32116356)

It'd be nice if this time he did it the old fashioned way rather than just firing up the printing press.

Useless (4, Interesting)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#32114408)

Net Neutrality as proposed is useless.
It has giant loopholes to allow ISPs to do the same exact shit that got them in trouble in the first place.

And we won't be able to bitch because they'll just say they're Net Neutrality compliant.

http://www.eff.org/press/archives/2010/03/04 [eff.org]

Re:Useless (2, Interesting)

smoothnorman (1670542) | more than 4 years ago | (#32114580)

There will always be loopholes in any legislation, (it's like the fourth law of thermodynamics or something). So understanding that, we shouldn't attempt to protect our rights via legislation? Or said another way: they're just politicians, you have to encourage them once they've made *any* step in the right direction.

Re:Useless (1, Troll)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32114652)

Or said another way: they're just politicians

Except that the FCC aren't politicians. They are bureaucrats whom aren't directly accountable to the people. Is it asking too much to think that the body charged under our Constitution with writing the laws of the land be the same one that decides whether or not the Federal Government should regulate internet services and in what manner?

Re:Useless (3, Insightful)

Big Boss (7354) | more than 4 years ago | (#32114948)

They already did, and delegated that authority to the FCC. If you think that's wrong, write your congressman I suppose. All the alphabet agencies are created under basically the same rules though, so I don't expect congress to change the rules now.

Congress can step in whenever they like (1, Informative)

sjbe (173966) | more than 4 years ago | (#32115696)

Except that the FCC aren't politicians. They are bureaucrats whom aren't directly accountable to the people.

We live in a republic [wikipedia.org] . The President is not (technically) directly elected by the people [wikipedia.org] either. If you think this doesn't matter see the results of the 2000 Presidential Election [wikipedia.org] .

The president appoints the commissioners of the FCC [wikipedia.org] and they are confirmed by the Senate.

Is it asking too much to think that the body charged under our Constitution with writing the laws of the land be the same one that decides whether or not the Federal Government should regulate internet services and in what manner?

There is nothing preventing Congress from stepping in to the debate at any time. I'm not entirely sure I trust Congress to do a better job however.

Re:Useless (1)

snarfer (168723) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118038)

As contrasted with corporate bureaucrats, who are obviously directly accountable to the public. Right?

Re:Useless (2)

Montezumaa (1674080) | more than 4 years ago | (#32114910)

We do not have to legislate everything. This is were so many people fail at logical thinking and it is what has gotten the United States and many other countries into trouble. The biggest factor in business is customers, but the customer's of today have no backbone and are not willing to force companies to change. If, say, Comcast is not providing service at the level that customers want, then the customers need to take their business elsewhere. If politicians are attempting to protect a monopoly market on certain private-sector business, then the people need to vote those politicians out. Attempting to legislate good business practices results in extreme failures.

Government is not your nanny or your mother. You have to take a stand for yourself and vote with your wallet. No matter what arrogant CEOs, COOs, etc say, there is nothing more frightening and unnerving that a majority group of unhappy customers.

Re:Useless (1)

paiute (550198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32115004)

so many people fail at logical thinking

You have to take a stand for yourself and vote with your wallet.

But how are the illogical to vote intelligently?

Re:Useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32115742)

And in the real world, where Internet access is run by (at best!) a duopoly acting in collusion with impossibly high costs of entry, what should we do there?

Atlas Shrugged is shitty science fiction, buddy, just like Battlefield Earth.

Re:Useless (2, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32116980)

If, say, Comcast is not providing service at the level that customers want, then the customers need to take their business elsewhere.

Yeah. In my area, AT&T offers DSL, Comcast offers digital cable, and if we want anything else we have to stick our thumbs up our asses. Two options is not a choice, it's a fucking joke.

Re:Useless (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32123454)

Two options is not a choice, it's a fucking joke.

Well, of course it's a joke! That's one of the central ideas describing an effective monopoly; no *reasonable* alternatives exist. That's precisely the lever they use to keep you under control.

Unfortunately, changing the situation will involve a significantly-large number of people choosing to suffer with the poor alternative(s) or nothing to pressure the money side of the equation. It will also take voting out politicians who want it to continue, to pressure the government side of the equation.

My concern with this whole deal with the FCC being so determined to impose this new regulatory framework over the internet one way or another seriously worries me for the internet freedoms we currently enjoy. I guarantee that at the least, subscriber rates will jump if only to cover compliance costs.

It's the parts of what they're doing that don't have anything to do with actual network/peering issues, QoS practices, etc but hand over more control to the US government that concern me. This should be nearly as worrisome to other countries that may have data that passes through the US as it is to US citizens.

The internet has allowed regular people a world-wide voice they never had before, and has become a way for people to organize to expose corruption, government abuses, and make their will known to their government. You'd better bet that those in power will take steps to take control.

This is the first step; establish that the government can regulate this area without any additional Congressional action (I wonder if any Democrats on the Hill are feeling left out of the power-loop here, as they're once again bypassed by Obama's administration?) and establish broadly-worded "emergency" powers. Can you imagine the screams of "fascists!" if a Republican administration had pushed for anything like this?

Note that I blame Progressives in BOTH major parties over the last ~100 years or so for most of the mess the US is in, and that includes this attempt to establish control of the 'net.

Once the government has established regulatory control over the internet, it's just the standard increasing expansion of regulation (regulatory creep) that's been seen with nearly every other Federal regulatory area, whether those in charge have an (R) or (D) after their names, for the last 100 or more years.

As I understand it, internet service will be declared a public utility and regulated. The power grid and the telephone network in the US are other services that were declared a public utility and regulated. I leave it up to you whether you think that, given their history, government regulation & control of the internet will turn out to be a good thing for people's freedoms.

I have to wonder if Democrats in favor of this have thought about how they'll feel when a conservative Republican President/Congress is elected at some point in the future and has these powers at THEIR disposal. Do they not worry because they think they can seize enough power quickly enough to prevent any future challenges to their power?

Strat

Re:Useless (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124538)

I guarantee that at the least, subscriber rates will jump if only to cover compliance costs.

How will a duopoly who already controls the market at prices at what the market will bear "raise prices"? If they could raise prices, they would have done so already. And compliance with what? You haven't specified anything the new regulatory scheme will force ISPs to spend money on.

Once the government has established regulatory control over the internet, it's just the standard increasing expansion of regulation (regulatory creep) that's been seen with nearly every other Federal regulatory area, whether those in charge have an (R) or (D) after their names, for the last 100 or more years.

Well that's funny. From where I'm standing the last 30 years has seen serious and harmful deregulation of various industries, such as healthcare, finance, and the internet. I have no problem with reregulating these failed areas.

I have to wonder if Democrats in favor of this have thought about how they'll feel when a conservative Republican President/Congress is elected at some point in the future and has these powers at THEIR disposal.

You mean the way it was when Bush was elected and appointed a Republican FCC commissioner? Well let's see, they reclassified broadband under Title I and screwed us all over. No I suppose we won't appreciate that.

As I understand it, internet service will be declared a public utility and regulated

Well there's your problem. You don't understand a darn thing about this reclassification plan.

Re:Useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32116852)

Then why are the ISPs fighting it? Ah because of course as soon as something is regulated it's just one bureaucrat away from being appropriated.

The details don't matter so much. There need only be a regulatory framework in place that can be comparatively easily modified by an FCC bureaucrat.

Be careful what you wish for, you might get it. In this case the unintended consequences will live with you for years.

B

Hey, with luck... (1)

Darkinspiration (901976) | more than 4 years ago | (#32114430)

The canadien CRTC will follow. I know, i know i can always dream of a world free of Bell tyrany.

Re:Hey, with luck... (1)

reidbold (55120) | more than 4 years ago | (#32115610)

The CRTC will follow by going in the opposide direction, as today they granted UBBell hell.

Re:Hey, with luck... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32115660)

i can always dream of a world free of Bell tyrany

No need to dream -- just move! Since you capitalized "Bell", you're clearly referring to Bell Canada (aka BCE Inc.) and the breadth of their tyranny really only spans Ontario and Quebec.

You could always go to Manitoba (MBTel), Saskatchewan (SaskTel), Alberta (Telus), BC (BCTel/Telus), New Brunswick (NBTel), NovaScotia (Aliant) etc.

Of course, it's all tyranny of some sort, but you'd at least be able to escape Bell's particular flavour of it..

All of which disregards choosing a cable-provider instead (Roger's, Shaw etc)... The tyranny's pretty much the same, but the last-mile has higher bandwidth ;)

Cheers!

-AC

Re:Hey, with luck... (1)

Darkinspiration (901976) | more than 4 years ago | (#32116018)

Nope Can't i'm using radioactif one of the small dsl provider in quebec. Bell controls the crtc and by extention any small isp trying to use theyre phone lines for dsl. They force packet shaping and caps on everybody and harass the small isp to destroy competition. And the crtc does nothing.

Fail-fail (1, Insightful)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 4 years ago | (#32114544)

The choices:
- the government decides what's fair
- private companies decide what's fair

At least the latter gives me a choice.

False dichotomy (5, Insightful)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32114654)

How about:
- The customer decides what's fair
- The government ensures there is enough competition so that customers actually have a choice

Re:False dichotomy (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32114754)

The government ensures there is enough competition so that customers actually have a choice

Good idea. Let's start by ending the practice of government granting monopoly status to a single provider in exchange for monetary contributions...

Re:False dichotomy (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32115300)

Break all monopoly agreements with the local governments.

It probably won't be enough, but you are right, it is an excellent place to start.

Re:False dichotomy (2, Insightful)

CyprusBlue113 (1294000) | more than 4 years ago | (#32115484)

That would work great, except it wouldn't, as infrastructure of this kind is a natural monopoly. It would be as effective as removing the monopoly on interstates, water, power, etc. No one wants 15 power companies competing to run power lines through your neighborhood, and its a horrible idea from an investment perspective as well.

Re:False dichotomy (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32115648)

as infrastructure of this kind is a natural monopoly.

Speak for yourself. I was involved in an enterprise that had the capital to run our own wires once upon a time. We weren't able to do so because of the franchise laws.

It would be as effective as removing the monopoly on interstates

There is no monopoly on roadways. There are lots of alternatives to the interstates. Some are even faster -- ever had the misfortune of driving down I-95 during tourist season?

No one wants 15 power companies competing to run power lines through your neighborhood

Except we aren't talking about power, are we? We are talking about internet access. There is no good reason why local government should prohibit would-be upstarts from leasing space on telephone poles that are already in place. Are you seriously claiming that those poles can't handle a fourth (or fifth for that matter...) wire?

Re:False dichotomy (2, Insightful)

CyprusBlue113 (1294000) | more than 4 years ago | (#32115686)

The density penetration to make it worthwhile is just not attainable, especially as number of providers increases. Its not viable. Look back to the railroad days to see clearly what will happen.

Re:False dichotomy (0, Troll)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32116844)

Yes, because railroads operate under the same economies of scale and have the same cost of doing business as internet service providers.....

Re:False dichotomy (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32115828)

Are you seriously claiming that those poles can't handle a fourth (or fifth for that matter...) wire?

Are you retarded? 4th? 5th? What about NYC or LA, you think there are ONLY FOUR OR FIVE media companies that would like to provide service in these places? Or are you seriously claiming that it makes freakin sense to have dozens and dozens of bundles of copper/glass/whatever hanging off every pole just so every single media provider can hang their own cables? Gee, that's not much of a barrier to entry into the marketplace is it?!

Done right, the infrastructure itself should be put in place with as little unneccessary redundancy as possible and should be managed by a single, tightly controlled agency. This (like water, power and sewer) is the "natural monopoly" portion of the argument. Whereas the service that is supplied upon that media should be open to as many different and varied vendors as want access to the marketplace (dozens or even hundreds) in order to provide robust competition and therefore, the greatest benefit to the customer by way of traditional market forces.

-AC

Re:False dichotomy (0, Troll)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32115930)

Done right, the infrastructure itself should be put in place with as little unneccessary redundancy as possible and should be managed by a single, tightly controlled agency. This (like water, power and sewer) is the "natural monopoly" portion of the argument. Whereas the service that is supplied upon that media should be open to as many different and varied vendors as want access to the marketplace (dozens or even hundreds) in order to provide robust competition and therefore, the greatest benefit to the customer by way of traditional market forces.

We tried that in New York State with our power utilities. The local utility is called a "power delivery company" and you can buy power on the open market from "power supply companies". Guess what? We still pay the highest rates for electricity in the United States, outside of Hawaii......

Re:False dichotomy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32116566)

That's because our state is bankrupt, they will try to tax anything and everything they can...

Governor Dave to the rescue! Tax the soda!

Re:False dichotomy (2, Interesting)

CyprusBlue113 (1294000) | more than 4 years ago | (#32116780)

I find it amusing you use New York as an example, as New York is actually the historic example that *caused* franchise monopolies, as there were far too many power companies in the very beginning, and the distribution lines were a horrendous mess, and the goverment rightfully decided that delivery infrastructure should become a controlled utility.

Re:False dichotomy (0, Troll)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32116874)

Eventually you'll wise up to the fact that power != internet service.

Re:False dichotomy (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32117118)

Then why did you compare them in the first place?

Re:False dichotomy (1)

CyprusBlue113 (1294000) | more than 4 years ago | (#32116808)

The parent post deserves to be modded up, as it is exactly correct.

Re:False dichotomy (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124554)

There have been no franchise laws since 1992. What the heck are you talking about?

Re:False dichotomy (1)

Ichijo (607641) | more than 4 years ago | (#32116500)

No one wants 15 power companies competing to run power lines through your neighborhood, and its a horrible idea from an investment perspective as well.

Why not just 1 power line running through my neighborhood like it is now, but the homeowners can vote on which power company gets to energize it?

Re:False dichotomy (1)

Big Boss (7354) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118164)

In the case of ISPs, we don't even need that. All ISPs can put data on the wires for a set price. Perhaps with various $/GB $/Mbps rates (decided by a PUC?). Use fiber and there's more than enough bandwidth for everyone to share. The pricing must be the same for all ISPs, that would be my only real requirement on it. Much like the way the government builds roads and everyone pays to use them via the gas taxes etc.. I can have a package shipped to my door by USPS, UPS, Fedex, DHL, Joe down the street, whatever. Open competition.

Re:False dichotomy (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32120474)

Fixed price does not equal open competition. I want them to compete with each other by offering lower prices and better features.

Re:False dichotomy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32147672)

And how often will this vote come up? If this is an all or none vote... do realize, the ones that lose will go out of business immediately. Therefore, each vote, a new company is required.

If it isn't all or none, then there will have to be some type of gating to segment the parts. That sounds like a COW to me.

Re:False dichotomy (1, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 4 years ago | (#32114876)

The government ensures there is enough competition so that customers actually have a choice

Why do you trust the government to do that when historically almost all monopolies have arisen either as a direct grant by the government or as unintended consequences of government regulation? The free market does not tend to produce monopolies in practice even though to a layperson it may seem logical that it would.

Re:False dichotomy (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32115586)

In market in which any one player can have undue influence on the market is no longer a free market. Therefore, you are technically correct: free markets cannot produce monopolies, because they cease being free long before any monopoly is created. Yes, I'm against letting the government pick the winners and losers in any market (that is inherently corrupting), but to pretend that in today's world a true free market would exist without any government regulation is the epitome of intentional ignorance. Adam's Smith's "Invisible Hand" was a good model for the agricultural market of 235 years ago, with family farms selling food to families, every player in the market was infinitesimally small, and no one player has undue influence. It is NOT a good model for the modern international corporate economy. Do you really believe Walmart participates in a "free market"? Their ability to drive supply costs down much lower than their competitors suggests that they do not.

Re:False dichotomy (2, Interesting)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 4 years ago | (#32116064)

In market in which any one player can have undue influence on the market is no longer a free market. Therefore, you are technically correct: free markets cannot produce monopolies, because they cease being free long before any monopoly is created.

I didn't say that the free market cannot create monopolies but that that is a mostly theoretical problem since it does not tend to happen in practice. If you think it does please name some monopolies that have formed without direct role of the government in creating them (such as with utility companies). The scenario that people have in mind is a company getting so big and powerful that it drives all its competitors out of business and then does whatever it wants has never happened in reality.

Yes, I'm against letting the government pick the winners and losers in any market (that is inherently corrupting), but to pretend that in today's world a true free market would exist without any government regulation is the epitome of intentional ignorance. Adam's Smith's "Invisible Hand" was a good model for the agricultural market of 235 years ago, with family farms selling food to families, every player in the market was infinitesimally small, and no one player has undue influence. It is NOT a good model for the modern international corporate economy.

You see, that is not an argument. It's not enough to just state something while capitalizing certain words and using terms like intentional ignorance. Btw, completely unregulated market is mostly a straw man. Nobody is really for it, certainly not most libertarians, apart from anarcho-capitalist fringe.

Do you really believe Walmart participates in a "free market"? Their ability to drive supply costs down much lower than their competitors suggests that they do not.

Of course they do, what on earth makes you think that they don't. What special position was magically granted to them and by whom so that they are immune to the same competitive pressures as any other company, other than they were very good at what they do. People don't have to shop there, but they do because they provide lower prices than tehir competitors. They drive supply costs down because they have over time put themselves in a strong position v. their suppliers since they all want to sell their stuff at Walmart.

Re:False dichotomy (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124602)

If you think it does please name some monopolies that have formed without direct role of the government in creating them.

Are you kidding me? We broke up Ma Bell in 1984 and yet it has managed to reconstruct itself into AT&T and Verizon. Verizon bought out AllTel, a formidable competitor in the wireless arena for $10 billion more than anyone else was willing to pay, just before AllTel could start to compete.

Of course they do, what on earth makes you think that they don't.

WalMart's ability to drive down supply costs indicates they're not on the same level footing as their competitors. They have an advantage through their massive size and scale, and can even price below cost in order to drive out competitors from local markets. That is *not* a free market.

Re:False dichotomy (1)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 4 years ago | (#32127768)

In market in which any one player can have undue influence on the market is no longer a free market. Therefore, you are technically correct: free markets cannot produce monopolies, because they cease being free long before any monopoly is created.

I didn't say that the free market cannot create monopolies but that that is a mostly theoretical problem since it does not tend to happen in practice. If you think it does please name some monopolies that have formed without direct role of the government in creating them (such as with utility companies). The scenario that people have in mind is a company getting so big and powerful that it drives all its competitors out of business and then does whatever it wants has never happened in reality.

Wait for it.......Microsoft.

Re:Fail-fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32114702)

Well.. that's sort of the crux of the issue isn't it?.. that most people already don't have a choice.

Re:Fail-fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32114798)

Lol, get back into the mines coolie and take your faith-based market perspective with you.

Re:Fail-fail (4, Insightful)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 4 years ago | (#32114824)

You are deluded.

The government is saying "We want ALL traffic treated equally"
Comcast is saying "we want to force Youtube, Netflix and Google to pay us or we'll THROTTLE their traffic"
So Comcast will be taking away your choices, they'll be able to block sites, restrict traffic and essentially extort every major site on the internet.
And you don't like it? tough. Where you going to go? AT&T? Verizon?
They'll all be pulling the same shit. Your only choice will be between who you think will be throttling your service the least.

With the proposed plan by the government, AT&T, Comcast and Verizon will have to leave the traffic alone and guarantee a level of QoS.
If all that video you are downloading is too expensive, they can charge you more, and THAT will be your choice.
And that's the way it should be.

If I want to download 500GB of movies a week and video-chat on skype all day, I will have that choice and the services will be fast.
But, I will have to pay for that just like anything else.

Why do you oppose that?
Why do you support Comcast throttling competing services and extorting them?
Why is that to be preferred over paying an extra $20 or $40 a month if you are a heavy bandwidth hog?

Frankly, I have had it with Americans who would rather toss-off their civil rights and protections in order to save a few bucks.

Re:Fail-fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32115108)

Why is that to be preferred over paying an extra $20 or $40 a month if you are a heavy bandwidth hog?

Ding ding ding! We have a winner! You just answered your own question! Thanks for playing! :-D

Re:Fail-fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32124594)

Ding ding ding! We have a winner! You just answered your own question! Thanks for playing! :-D

Actually the only thing that happened there was you totally missing the point. I recommend you re-read the sub-thread to which you responded.

Re:Fail-fail (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 4 years ago | (#32115396)

Likely what Comcast is saying is that someone is going to be paying for increasing capacity. They would much rather send a bill to Google than all their customers, but if the government cuts off Google subsidizing Comcast in this manner then the customers are going to get the bill.

You do not really believe they are going to increase capacity without increased revenue from somewhere, do you? Now, you may believe that they should have been doing this all along and should have used government money for this in the past. Sadly, it didn't turn out that way. So here we are. Trust me, they are not going to do what is required without getting paid from somewhere.

The choices are high-traffic providers making tons of money from that traffic or their customers. Well, in truth it will be the customers ... or the customers. The customers are going to pay in the end no matter what. If Google is paying the ISPs, then Google's customers - advertisers - are going to pay more for ads. This means the products they are advertising cost more and guess what? The consumer pays.

So no matter how this works out, Joe Sixpack is going to be paying for a faster, higher capacity Internet.

Re:Fail-fail (2, Interesting)

Imagix (695350) | more than 4 years ago | (#32116004)

The customer is exactly where this bill should go. Google already pays their ISP to carry traffic. Why should they be paying their ISP _and_ yours (directly)? If more users download stuff from Google, then Google's bill to their ISP will go up, and Google has thus paid their part. If your ISP really wanted to get paid from somewhere and not increase the customer's bill, they should charge their peering partners more to carry the traffic originating from them.

Re:Fail-fail (2, Insightful)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 4 years ago | (#32117484)

Customers will pay one way or the other for actual capacity, but ending net-neutrality could have them paying for an extraordinary increase in ISPs' profits. The government sanctioned these ISPs' monopolies and needs to exercise some regulatory oversight in return.

Re:Fail-fail (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119436)

Likely what Comcast is saying is that someone is going to be paying for increasing capacity. They would much rather send a bill to Google than all their customers,

Wrong. They already bill all of their customers for their download capacity. They also already get compensated by whoever is sending the data, who is either (a) one of their customers, and thus paying for upload capacity, or (b) someone whose data enters Comcast's network from someone else's via a peering agreement, and therefore for which Comcast is paid in-kind.

So, having already been paid by both sides of any transmission that crosses their network, they want to be paid a third time for each transmission to or from people who are offering content services (like VoIP, or video-on-demand, etc.) which compete with Comcast services. IOW, they want to leverage their market position (often a local monopoly) on high-speed internet access to dominate internet content.

The FCC has never proposed limiting the ability of access providers to charge and be compensated for capacity used. What they have sought to do, through "net neutrality" principles, is to prevent access providers from discriminating between different legal content types and different content providers when charging for capacity.
 

Re:Fail-fail (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124638)

So no matter how this works out, Joe Sixpack is going to be paying for a faster, higher capacity Internet.

Don't be ridiculous. First, Comcast already enjoys 80% margins on their internet service. In other words, all their costs combined costs them $8/month/customer. Bandwidth alone is estimated at $1/month/customer. They are insanely profitable. Second, Comcast and co. already price at what the market will bear. They're duopolies, so if they could raise their price without losing customers they would have done so already. It's that simple.

Re:Fail-fail (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 4 years ago | (#32115730)

I think the idea that if we had more competition it wouldn't matter because they would all be doing the same thing doesn't pass the reality test. When you have companies competing, the greater incentive is to grab the market share from your competitors and if possible drive them out of business by providing what the customer wants, rather than to collude in providing inferior service and open the door for new competitors to enter the market.

But, we don't really have a choice so that's a moot point when it comes to broadband. I think you are right though. The issue is who will pay for the increased capacity necessary mainly for video, the video providers or the consumers. Net neutrality means that if you have petabytes of video on your site (such as youtube) you are no different than another service that is text only. The consumer pays for what they use. That's fair enough but be careful what you wish for because you will end up with higher prices overall for broadband, and perhaps metered usage like with all the other utility companies. That also leads to inequality since richer people will be able to afford access to more of the internet.

Erosion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32118724)

Frankly, I have had it with Americans who would rather toss-off their civil rights and protections in order to save a few bucks.

The erosion of American civil liberties is largly the work of American civilians. For any interesting right, there is a largish group of people who don't want you to have it.

Plenty of religious types don't want you to have the right to marry people of the same gender, or terminate your unwanted pregnancies.

There are non-religious groups that don't want you to have the right to organize public religious ceremonies on public grounds (prayer in school etc).

Plenty of cowards don't want you to have the right to carry a firearm, or even own one if you aren't police or military.

Plenty of conservatives don't want you to have the right to use any kind of mind-altering substance (including, in some cases, alcohol, nicotine, caffiene, etc) even if such use is responsible and impacts only you.

There are huge numbers of people that don't want you to have the right to view porn (including hand-drawn porn), gamble, employ the services of a prostitute (or work as one), and so on.

The government (at any level) doesn't try to outlaw this sort of thing just for fun. They do it because huge numbers of their citizens want it done.

When the majority of the people want unjust laws passed, the government has little choice but to comply.

Re:Fail-fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32125498)

Was wondering how long till Google takes over the last mile? They are starting to have quite big backbone and right about now might split of one or 2 of tier dedicated lines separate.

If i were one of the big i wouldn't threaten Google

Re:Fail-fail (2, Interesting)

Unordained (262962) | more than 4 years ago | (#32114858)

Are you a minor, convicted felon, or illegal alien? No? Then you probably have the right to vote, which means you have a choice.

You're probably thinking it's not a useful choice. Maybe you're one of the lucky few to live in an area served by multiple ISPs. Many aren't; there's a reason for regulating broadband like any other public utility -- it's so expensive to run new lines to setup parallel service that most areas won't ever see more than one provider. And there's really no reason they should; the cost of running new lines just gets passed on to us, the customers, and when competition ultimately succeeds and leads to the defeat of one of the competitors, leaves behind wasteful redundancy.

We're not complaining that we don't have competition in the clean-water market; even areas that privatize the service just privatize bits and pieces (customer service, billing, etc.) on top of a single monolithic operation, with government-mandated quality levels. You don't get different water when you switch water companies, and you shouldn't get a different internet when you switch ISPs, either. The less innovation a service needs to provide (how much innovation do you need in gas, electricity, water, phone service, roads, or broadband access to the internet?), the more the service is about connecting and not creating, the less need there is for competition to get it. Regulation can be sufficient.

Where companies have tried to innovate / value-add to the internet, it's been terrible -- AOL or MSN, anyone? We don't want fancy features on the service itself, we just want good, clean, fast access to any part of the internet, where the real innovation happens. And we don't want to pay for competing companies to fall over each other tearing up streets, putting up poles, running various cables everywhere to get it.

Minor nit (1)

linuxguy (98493) | more than 4 years ago | (#32116576)

> Are you a minor, convicted felon, or illegal alien? No? Then you probably have the right to vote...

There are a plenty of legal aliens who are not allowed to vote. People with green cards (resident aliens) for example cannot vote.

Re:Minor nit (1)

Unordained (262962) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118070)

Thanks. Accuracy would require us to also exclude Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, etc., but re-include resident foreigners for some local elections and convicted felons for some states, and mention the nearly-18 issue... Let's just say it's complicated. I'm at least in the ballpark. Convicted felons and minors can't (generally) freely vote for ISPs with their money, either, so they should be excluded from the equation.

Re:Fail-fail (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#32115000)

No, not really, no...

When private companies operate, they invariably do their level best to exploit the consumer to the fullest extent possible. This is not good for the consumer. Historically and presently, we see what deregulation of the phone companies and the power companies results in. Deregulated telephone resulted in abuses so bad that the one telephone company had to be split up into many combined with lots and lots of regulation such as allowing consumers to own and use the own phones. Deregulated power in Texas and California has resulted in less reliable power and ridiculously high costs. Deregulated lending and investment markets have gone so far as to destabilize the global economy. Regulation is an absolute need to keep things sane.

The internet was once an option and not a necessity for business and day-to-day life... just as electricity and telephone once were. Electricity and telephone are unquestionably a requirement for today's modern life in the U.S.A. Without those as basic services, a person is as good as homeless. The internet has not yet reached that status as to be a "necessity" but it is quickly reaching that point. (This is why laws like "3 strikes" is such a bad idea -- "3 strikes and you are removed from participating in normal society?" Yeah...no. Not a civilized approach to a problem.) The internet is certainly a requirement for nearly all business and most individuals already. Without proper regulation in place, certain individual parties will be able to abuse consumers in ridiculous ways. How would you like to see an "internet bill" that charges you by the connection and by how many "hops" are being made? That's how "long distance telephone service" works after all. And without regulation, that sort of service can result. There is no end to the creative ways business can and will attempt to nickle and dime people to increase their bottom lines all without providing a single added benefit.

Re:Fail-fail (1)

AarghVark (772183) | more than 4 years ago | (#32115316)

Problem with letting private companies decide what is fair is that many municipalities have laws acting as barriers to competition. These were put into place a long time ago to act as an incentive for cable/phone companies to run lines. Now these same laws are preventing other competitors from coming in.

Hence you have many people around the country stuck with a choice between a cable company and a phone company and each of which offer little in terms of bandwidth or reliability for any price because they know the only other isn't upgrading either. Since both benefit from the status-quo this is not likely to change any time soon. This is a classic problem with markets with few sources of supply and steep barriers to entry.

Then you add on top of this that the only two providers can cap or flow-control bandwidth which they do not approve of. So when someone tries to get smart and uses NetFlix (they have great choices out there to view over the network) instead of paying exhorbitant cable TV rates or tries to use a VOIP solution instead of paying for long-distance, the company who provides them their internet connection can cut the quality of their service or worse cut them off entirely for attempting to use a competitor.

A choice between the lesser of two evils isn't really much of a choice.

Re:Fail-fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32116346)

That's a glib assessment. Here are the REAL choices:
- the government protects freedom of speech and freedom of choice for the consumer by not allowing ISPs to block content.
- private companies decide what they want you to see and do on the internet. You are SOL because choosing another ISP is not as simple as trading a recently purchased toaster-oven for another brand at Walmart.

Re:Fail-fail (1)

kklein (900361) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119942)

- private companies decide what's fair

At least the latter gives me a choice.

--Yes, you have your choice between the many Mom & Pop broadband ISPs down the street, or one of the many friendly faceless corporations that exist to serve you, not unlike the broad range of choices you have for electricity and water service!

Pragmatism, man, not ideology. Some things can really only be done well by giant organizations. There is no consumer power in such a system, however, so we need government--which we do control, as evidenced by this very issue, which was pushed by people calling and writing their representatives and the FCC--to speak on our behalf. Is it 100% customized to your particular needs? No. But it's never going to be, so you might as well stop talking out your ass and just work for the better.

They operate as oligarchies... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32114556)

.. regulate them as such. Broadband providers wave the free market flag while simultaneously acting in concert. Apparently we've moved beyond even faking the effort at logical coherence when it comes to big business.

Engadget has a great summary (4, Informative)

Alakaboo (171129) | more than 4 years ago | (#32114826)

Engadget has a great summary here [engadget.com] . The "third way" resembles what some were discussing in the earlier thread.

Re:Engadget has a great summary (2, Interesting)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#32115988)

For the details, you can head on over to The FCC's site [fcc.gov] and read their headlines released on today's (5/6/2010) date. Also, the general counsel of the FCC gives a decent explanation of what the FCC is trying to achieve here [broadband.gov] and you can read the chairman's remarks on the matter here [broadband.gov] . The rest of the headlines are in pdf format and I haven't bothered to read them yet as I prefer HTML.

The approach the FCC seems to want to take is applying very select sections of Title II regulations to Comcast while still keeping all ISP's classified in the manner they are. They seem to think this is the best approach because it will give the FCC the authority to step in on ISP business when necessary, without giving the FCC sweeping authority to over-regulate the internet as some 'dotters have worried about. All in all, it seems like, theoretically, a nice approach to take. Of course, there was so much legal jargon in the statements made that I am certain both sides in the Comcast case will find all sorts of loopholes to exploit if things don't go their way in the future. Then again, this kind of political maneuvering really isn't my field so I am not one to judge the matter particularly well.

Re:Engadget has a great summary (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 4 years ago | (#32117942)

It sounds like the FCC has the best intentions in mind. But the devil is in the details. Watch for the major ISPs' legal stafs to comb through the regulations and engineer some tying of their information service products to the bandwidth that they sell.

Details.... (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#32115190)

From TFS:
>

The details should be released on Thursday."

What day is it where you're at CmdrTaco? =P....

Perhaps slash-editors should cease the practice of putting hard timestamps in summaries if they can't manage to get a summary to the front page in a timely manner...

Well... (1)

drwhite (456200) | more than 4 years ago | (#32115194)

Looks like the FCC may have found its balls....

"public backlash over the issue" (1)

northernfrights (1653323) | more than 4 years ago | (#32115234)

FCC: "They like us! They really like us!"

Slow news day = I know I read this somewhere befor (1)

TheRealQuestor (1750940) | more than 4 years ago | (#32115362)

Wow must be REALLY slow news day when they post the same news twice in the same 24 hour period.

Best of both worlds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32115606)

One way they could continue to invest in better gear, more jobs and the like is to not spend a bunch of money to cry about regulations. Their army of lawyers will cost more than any equipment they would need to keep things running smooth.
The thing that pisses me off about these huge corperations is they spend billions on lawyers (who should all be rounded up and shot anyways) then make customers eat the costs while not providing their customers with anything. Spend the money on making a better experience for the customer and we may be willing to spend a bit more. Comcast that means you.

It's my bandwidth (2, Insightful)

Script Cat (832717) | more than 4 years ago | (#32115704)

Why does the FCC have to step in and regulate. It's a simple matter of fraud and falls under the jurisdiction of the justice dept. I pay the ISP for my connection with a certain bandwidth. I choose to use that bandwidth to access youtube. What gives the ISP the right to throttle my bandwidth or charge the third party money for me to access their service. What this is about is the cable companies want to shut off access to these online services so they can compete with special for pay services like on demand movies. Its pay to play predatory monopoly business practices and has nothing to do in any way with net neutrality.

Re:It's my bandwidth (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 4 years ago | (#32117668)

Right now, there is no standard definition of what "Internet Service" is. If Comcast, Verizon, or whomever, wants to define it to suit their purposes, what's to stop them? Maybe they want to make it "our information services, our partners information services, plus anyone that makes us happy at the moment".

The FCC is in the best position to understand the issues. Maybe not in the best position to regulate them legally. But that fix must be initiated by Congress.

Re:It's my bandwidth (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118600)

"What gives the ISP the right to throttle my bandwidth or charge the third party money for me to access their service."

I dunno. Read your contract, or TOS. If it's in there, your argument goes from 'they have no right' to 'that's unenforcable/illegal/etc.'

Good luck. The major ISPs have reasonably competent lawyers. Mostly, they give you a vague 'network management' excuse. This is what the FCC needs to make them come out and say - they don't want you to be able tu actually *use* the bandwidth to the full extent possible, because their network can't take it. In other words, they actually don't have the bandwidth to sell to you, if many of their customers start using it.

That will only result in the ISPs reducing their committment to you. Instead of 5GB/month, they'll drop it to 3GB. Instead of 24MB/s, they'll drop it to 10MB/s. Bandwidth is not free, and many systems are architecturally challenged. to give you what they promised, if even twice as many people used all if it, they would have to increase their capital investment tenfold. This is not good for profits.

Besides, the cable companies are not inclined to provide you the full bandwidth needed to watch Hulu, Netflix, and listen to Pandora. And the telcos are similarly not inclined to give you the low latency to use Skype. THAT is the essence of the 'Net Neutrality' debate.

It's one thing to sell you limited bandwidth. It's another thing to limit you because you're using resources that they want to provide to you instead of you going to external sources. Eventually we need to decide if an ISP can advertise they give you 'Internet service' while selectively throttling or blocking some of the Internet services as they wish. Imagine the competition if the FCC requires that they disclose their 'network management' policies in advance - so you could read the fine print and see that one reserves the right to throttle H.264 from external hosts and block torrents at will, while another may not provide low enough latency to properly provide VOIP. And to go all the way, to make them disclose that they reserve the right to give preferential treatment to their own traffic and services, so that they may offer low-latency service to *their* VOIP service, but will not guarantee it for yours. Or may throttle bandwidth in any manner of different ways if they need to ensure delivery of their own video services...

In our current climate, this would mean one of two things, I think. One, your local government would be under pressure to make ISPs with municipal monopolies provide better service, which I doubt will happen. Or, two, the FCC could require that they offer all-or-nothing service, or become more regulated in exchange for the accomodation. Somehow, I suspect the FCC wants to give the ISPs time to build up to this, and avoid hammering them. This will not work. We may need to pressure our legislators to do the right thing, whatever that is.

Here we go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32115874)

Ladies and gentlemen, the corporate shril- I mean, our elected representatives (*cough cough snicker*) are already at it:

'House Republican Leader John Boehner (Ohio) is using language from the just-completed healthcare debate to blast the FCC's attempt to rein in broadband providers.

"Under this job-killing big government scheme, the Obama administration is seeking to expand the power of the federal government," Boehner said in a statement.

"Congress should listen to the American people and act to reverse this unnecessary federal government power grab,” he said.'

About the only thing that makes marginal sense above is the 'Congress should listen to the American people.'

Unfortunately, as past experience suggest that's all empty rhetoric.

http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/96503-boehner-slams-fcc-for-takeover-of-internetq

FCC ? Court System (1)

jasonlfunk (1410035) | more than 4 years ago | (#32117264)

What I don't like is that a Federal Court said that the FCC couldn't regulate the Internet and the FCC is going to do it anyways. The FCC is subverting the checks and balances system. If you want to regulate the Internet, fine, but do it legally.

Re:FCC ? Court System (1)

Pherlin (1131333) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119272)

Uhh... That's what they're doing. The court said that under the current regulations, the FCC couldn't do anything. That's WHY they are talking about new regulations.
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