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Net Neutrality — Threat Or Menace?

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the you-can-trust-the-government dept.

The Internet 253

Roblimo writes "I had a dream. In it, I was CEO of a large telecommunications company that was also a major broadband Internet provider and all five members of the FCC were stabbing me with pitchforks and yelling in my ear that my company would be treated as a common carrier, not as a special entity they couldn't regulate. That's when I woke up..."

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253 comments

Shitty Story (4, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#33308832)

Shitty or very Shitty?

Re:Shitty Story (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33308926)

It's not even a "story". It's just a half page rambling preaching to the choir, and Tim decided to throw some traffic at slashdot's oldie roblimo.

Re:Shitty Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33309020)

For once in the history of mankind. Can't we have something good that excessive greed WON'T be allowed to fuck up?

Come on. just this once... Lets try it. It's a novel idea.

Re:Shitty Story (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309054)

For once in the history of mankind. Can't we have something good that excessive greed WON'T be allowed to fuck up?

You sir, are un-American. It is a founding principle of our nation that excessive greed gets to fuck everything up. It's in the 1st Amendment (or at least, it's been in the 1st Amendment since the Supreme Court ruled on Citizens United).

I'm still shocked to learn that the FCC still doesn't classify broadband internet as a telecommunications service. What else could it be?

Re:Shitty Story (4, Funny)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309128)

I'm still shocked to learn that the FCC still doesn't classify broadband internet as a telecommunications service. What else could it be?

Adult entertainment.

Re:Shitty Story (1, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309332)

What we have is good? Try telling that to the old-timers like me who remember when USENET was a place where people enjoyed conversing, rather than a place of spam, hatred and hostility.

Re:Shitty Story (5, Insightful)

jc42 (318812) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309996)

What we have is good? Try telling that to the old-timers like me who remember when USENET was a place where people enjoyed conversing, rather than a place of spam, hatred and hostility.

Well, that's what we get for inviting the marketers and politicos in on what we were building. If we'd kept up the pretense that it was an Ivory Tower thing only of interest to academic types (and our military funders ;-), we wouldn't have these problems.

Of course, we'd also probably not have connectivity to our homes or mobile phones. The only way to make the Internet available everywhere we want to go is to make it universally available. The universe includes those marketers and politicos, so it was inevitable that they'd stumble into our sandbox and behave the way they've always behaved.

Re:Shitty Story (3, Insightful)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309094)

He touches on something I mentioned in a story the other day.

Allowing wireless providers the ability to regulate the flow of information sort of makes sense right this moment. The technology is still week compared to expected usage as smartphones are exploding (see iphones in NYC...hell, even see the fact that I live near wrigley field and have to try several times to connect a call whenever there is a game). The use of mobile devices now is still limited and they are rushing to keep up with it. It might be fair for them to say "no, you can't torrent right now" since you torrenting could kill everybody else trying to share your tower. We may not agree with them on this, but it is a valid point of view.

Problem is that if you pass something that allows this now...what happens when technology matures to the point where everybody in the US has a smartphone that is more capable than todays computers and the provider-side technology exists to feed them all fast data simultaneously? You can bet that verizon isn't going to say "hey guys, we have really fat pipes now so we are done filtering/shaping". You can bet congress won't be in a hurry to repeal something they just recently passed.

Re:Shitty Story (0)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309194)

PLUS, and this is the key point, wireless is a competitive market. I have over 10 different wireless providers to choose from - if one sucks I can wait for my one-year-contract to run out (or for them to change the terms, which lets me terminate immediately), and then switch to another that doesn't block websites or torrents.

Government should only regulate in case of monopoly or duopoly. As is true with wired internet providers, but not wireless.

Re:Shitty Story (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309506)

Wireless isn't a competitive market, they aren't competing with each other. It's more like an informal cartel. The prices are shockingly similar as are the services. Prices are strikingly similar carrier to carrier and there's a plethora of abusive practices which shockingly enough haven't gone away. What, pray tell, is the point of switching cell phone providers if they pretty much all engage in the same sort of bad behavior?

Re:Shitty Story (1)

ink (4325) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309584)

Whether or not a wireless provider is a monopoly has nothing to do with network neutrality It simply states that data packets all must be treated the same for an entity that sells data connectivity to consumers. It's like mandating that water can only contain so much arsenic, or that airplanes must fly in certain corridors. Monopolies are irrelevant to the idea.

Re:Shitty Story (2, Interesting)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 3 years ago | (#33310004)

And I feel like the nature of it has changed since 2002 or whenever the initial ruling on it was.

The Internet is far more pervasive than it was in 2002--look at the business world. Sure, every office and cubicle had a computer in 2002, and they probably almost all had outward facing internet access. Email was prevalent but probably only the official means of communication across everyone in the most forward offices (I mean between everyone...you email the mail room employees these days at most places--they wouldn't have had individual computers 10 years ago). Now email is everywhere, and there are corporate level IM services all over the place. Even unimportant people have laptops they can use at home or on the train or while traveling. People have blackberries to always access emails and even review documents (now you might not get called in on the weekend but rather emailed in).

I actually am surprised that more big businesses out there are not pushing for big neutrality. Unless your business is providing the data lines or directly being a content provider (e.g. ESPN might live to be able to pay for the privilege of loading faster than fan sports pages), it seems like common carrier status is in your best interest. It would be pretty bad if microsoft decides that sharepoint and RDP connections should be prioritized while citrix and lotus/domino or whatever groupware your company uses gets throttled down.

As to the other replies above...its kind of a tough regulation question. Right now, there isn't really any regulation and things are generally fine. The Google/Verizon deal *IS* regulation, but it is regulation that would allow verizon to do what we are afraid they are going to do. In my mind, I can't see congress passing a sensible "net neutrality" bill. There are just too many ways that it will become loaded with technicalities that will halt innovation or allow bad things to go on. I can see a case for allowing the FCC to cover IP data under existing common carrier rules, but I can't see some big messy legislation working well.

In many places, the wireless carriers are more competitive (despite their similarity) than the broadband carriers. Sure, they usually lock you in to long contracts...but for the most part, in any reasonable sized town, sprint, verizon, at&t, and t-mobile will provide usable coverage. Compare that to broadband...in my old place, the options were Comcast or AT&T DSL but the fastest speed at&t could offer in most buildings was about 1/10 as fast as cable (old buildings and wiring...although even the fastest DSL can't compete with good cable). AT&T could try to compete on features or "openness" but even if comcast was throttling some content to 10% speed, I would be better off. Paid content would come to me 10X as fast as DSL and content that didn't pay the "speed bribe" to the border router guard would still come just as fast as it would have on DSL. There is still room in the wireless industry for the companies to force each other to stay open through competition.

here we go again (4, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#33308838)

Que the standard partisan trolls screaming about how the government should "keep their hands off of the free market". Remember folks, before posting make sure to conveniently forget that the current state of affairs is anything but a free market, and that telephone companies have been common carriers for years without the foundations of freedom this country was supposedly built on crumbling. (well, at least not because of that...)

Re:here we go again (2, Funny)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 3 years ago | (#33308858)

Que?

Re:here we go again (3, Interesting)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#33308884)

huzzah composition words. A mental combination of queue (to line up) and cue (as in, "to trigger an action") I suppose. Interestingly either of those could have worked well enough.

Re:here we go again (0)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309266)

huzzah composition words. A mental combination of queue (to line up) and cue (as in, "to trigger an action") I suppose. Interestingly either of those could have worked well enough.

Or, you know, AntP COULD have been just using the Spanish word for "what".

Re:here we go again (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309316)

huzzah composition words. A mental combination of queue (to line up) and cue (as in, "to trigger an action")

Whoosh. It means "what" in Spanish. "Que pasa? What's happ'nin'?"

Re:here we go again (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309776)

I got that, I was responding to explain my incorrect usage of "Que", where I most certainly did not mean the spanish word.

Re:here we go again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33309988)

Que [southparkstudios.com] ?

Re:here we go again (0, Offtopic)

mick88 (198800) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309546)

why is this feller modded troll? He's responding to a question about his use of the "word" que... There is no mod for "responding to troll", but please someone have some pity on Sir Lewk and at least mod him back to 1 please.

Re:here we go again (5, Funny)

eldiabloencarne (1882562) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309310)

Que los trolls partidista normales gritando acerca de cómo el gobierno debe "mantener sus manos alejado del mercado libre ". Acuerdate ustedes, antes de responder, asegurarse de olvidar convenientemente que el estado actual de cosas es cualquier cosa menos un mercado libre, y que las compañías telefónicas han sido los portadores comunes durante años sin que los fundamentos de la libertad se construyó este país, supuestamente, en ruinas. (bueno, al menos no por eso)
*que que QUE?!*

Re:here we go again (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#33308864)

Earlier this week we had someone praising almighty atheismo that someone on slashdot used "cue" properly.

It's nice to see you shitting on that poor man.

Re:here we go again (3, Interesting)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 3 years ago | (#33308922)

> Que the standard partisan trolls screaming about how the government should "keep their hands off of the free market".

No, que me saying we should MAKE the Internet a free market.

> Remember folks, before posting make sure to conveniently forget that the current state of affairs is anything but a free market..

No, most folks get to pick government regulated monopoly telco A or government regulated monopoly cable company B with a government regulated but hopelessly out of the running because spectrum isn't nearly as bountiful as wires/fiber, wireless carrier as option C. Break the monopolies one last time, but do it smart unlike the AT&T fiasco. Regulated utility in control of the physical plant running on right of way monopolies selling access to unregulated entities providing TV, dialtone or IP.

> ..and that telephone companies have been common carriers for years without the foundations of freedom this country was supposedly built on crumbling. (well, at least not because of that...)

Yes. And you can call anyone at regulated rates..... so I can call California cheaper than the town next door because of it. Oh God bless the wisdom of the regulators, they brought sanity to the telephone game! And I get to pay $11/month for AT&T to tell their switch to NOT supress the Caller ID stream. Oh joy of joys. If you want the same insane, capricious bullcrap on the Internet, give control to the FCC. And thst is before the political cleansing that is the real reason they want to get involved starts.

And why do I believe the want the control for political reasons? Because I listened to their words and did something I'm not supposed to do. I believed they intend to do exactly what they say for once.

Re:here we go again (0, Troll)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#33308938)

Whelp, can't say I didn't expect you...

Re:here we go again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33309768)

What a fucking pussy. You couldn't argue his points which shows why you need regulation. Your to fucking stupid to do things yourself.

Re:here we go again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33309306)

Well sorry, the telephone companies accepted money from the government to build backbone and there's really no turning back now.

Re:here we go again (2, Insightful)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309410)

I can call California cheaper than the town next door because of it

If you're still paying based on where you're calling (inside the US) you need to stop wasting your time posting on /. and change your friggin phone service.

Also, I don't really see how regulation goes against the free market. That's like saying having cops and laws goes against a free society. It doesn't. It goes against an anarchist society. I wish people would stop claiming they want a "free" market, when really they're just asking for anarchy, where corporations can do whatever they please to extort money out of you. Can you imagine if we didn't have the SEC, the FDA, price gouging laws, consumer protection laws... etc...

In spite of what you may believe, the people out there looking to make money off of you aren't trying to be your friend. If there's no oversight, well, there's anarchy

Re:here we go again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33309522)

straw man [wikipedia.org]

Re:here we go again (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309672)

Can you imagine if we didn't have the SEC, the FDA, price gouging laws, consumer protection laws... etc...

Yeah, maybe people would actually have to *gasp* think for themselves.

Re:here we go again (3, Informative)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309900)

**gasp**

All of you folks trumpeting free market and people thinking for themselves need to remember one thing:

Think about how dumb the average person is. Now remember that half the people are even dumber than that.

Theres a reason for all the regulations, and most of them started out with the intent of keeping some of those sub average folks from sticking forks into electrical outlets. I'm not saying its right, I'm saying their hearts were originally in the right place.

In addition, as a free thinking person that can "think for themselves" the greatest example of a purely free market at work can be found in multiple areas over the last few thousands years, rampant with slavery, all of the wealth being focused in a few people and used to gain power, or power being used to accumulate wealth. At some point, someone gets an advantage in cash flow, it probably isn't even from their primary market, or if it is its used on something that isn't their primary market to gain an additional cash flow. Now with this advantage they use it to slowly damage the competition, because they can afford to do so. Either by selling below cost for awhile, forcing the competition to do the same while they can't afford to do so but you can, or if they manage to make the gap wide enough fast enough then they just buy the competition. Anything new springs up and bam, bought. A new idea? Oh, shit you'd rather ride it out than just sell to me now?... Oh, wait, screw that, I'll do it too but I have so much more money to pour into it right now that it'll be better than yours, available faster than yours, and I'll sell it below your cost, then I'll buy whats left of you for next to nothing after you're broken and just go right back to gouging the people for however much I want. Hell, in your "omg regulations" system right NOW this happens on a regular basis, its partly made easier in some cases but mostly made harder and there are laws in place to attempt to prevent it, but most of them don't go far enough.

Theres your free market theory at work, thats what happens in a pure free market. The money eventually all aggregates at the top creating an oligarchy or plutocracy, which in turn makes almost all of the people under them their indentured slaves, except for a select few of course.

I can provide specific, recent examples of things that have happened simply because of a cash disparity and not enough regulation in place to stop it from happening, but if you still think a free market is a good idea then likely you have your fingers in your ears going "la la la I'm not listening"

Re:here we go again (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309950)

My sig does a decent enough job explaining the reason I would prefer a free market. It's a reference to a song. Look it up and give it some genuine thought. When it comes down to it, I am a Darwinist.

I might appear contradictory at first, but that's not the case. I just thinks there are way too many people in this world and the main reason is because people no longer have to think for themselves.

Re:here we go again (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33309856)

You seem to think that the market will self regulate but it won't.

1) More smaller companies will not make regulation happen. We had dozens of wireless providers and they slowly consolidated again--that's the endgame of capitalism.

2) Cost of entry is too great for others to get in to the game and not because of regulation but because of hardware and wires, so we won't be seeing competition coming from the outside.

3) Some times a government granted monopoly is the way to go. What would happen if everyone had to pick their own garbage collection company to come to their house? Collection days would widely differ, so trash would constantly be on the curb on your street; trash would pile up if companies folded without notice; some people would crazy sums of money because they were out of area; and really since they are already going down the street, why not just get all the trash on the street at once.

Some times it's more efficient to be government regulated industry.

Re:here we go again (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33309970)

Are you serious or are you trolling?

FCC regulates stuff. For example, they regulate telephone networks so that telephone networks guarantee certain amount of traffic, *always*. What was the last time you picked up a receiver and didn't get a dial tone? That's FCC rules. FCC does not regulate your caller ID!

FCC job is to regulate ISPs such that they cannot to QoS on SIP vs. HTTP, or SIP from telco 1 vs. SIP from telco 2. They can regulate that ISPs can only do QoS based on end-point-IP of their customers only, and not on content provider's IP or what is type of connection.

Without FCC regulation, what is stopping ISPs from fucking over all SIP, IPX and any other voice connection because the ISP is also a phone company? What is stopping the ISP from demanding extra money to provide smooth HD traffic to youtube? Nothing. Monopolies can demand whatever they want.

PS. I pay $0.01/min (one cent per minute, or 60 cents an hour) to call any number in the US. Better quality than regular PSTN connection. All thanks to Internet and because my ISP *chose* not to fuck me over. But what guarantee do I have that the ISP will simply not start blocking SIP connections because their revenue for long distance from my number is non-existent?? And what choice do I have for another ISP? Absolutely ZERO.

My SIP provider, callwithus.com, even has a notice,

Some ISPs block VoIP traffic to push their own VoIP services to customers. We offer VPN (virtual private network) connection to our server to avoid provider's blocks. Stay connected! We have a high success rate.

yeah, it's already happening. ISP fuck customers over because they know they can't move to another provider anyway.

Re:here we go again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33310072)

don't you have some testicles to put in your mouth, i'm sorry i meant to say "don't you have a teabagger rally" whoops i meant 'tea /PARTY/' rally to go to"

Re:here we go again (1)

lawnboy5-O (772026) | more than 3 years ago | (#33308944)

Steve, come on. we know you are hurting and all from that antenna debacle..... its ok pal. everything will get better.

Re:here we go again (2, Interesting)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#33308994)

I'm genuinely baffled as to how my comment could possibly be interpreted as supporting Apple. Generally I'm the one hurling mud at Apple if I can smell even the slightest chance to do so...

Re:here we go again (3, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 3 years ago | (#33308986)

and that telephone companies have been common carriers for years without the foundations of freedom this country was supposedly built on crumbling. (well, at least not because of that...)

Telephone companies were a free market, before they were a monopoly, before they were regulated into a free market.
Wireless providers are an oligopoly and they naturally don't want to end up regulated like their old fashioned copper wire predecessors.

What's good for them and what's good for us are two different things.
Unfortunately, they've got billions of dollars and we don't.

Re:here we go again (5, Insightful)

grcumb (781340) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309200)

What's good for them and what's good for us are two different things.
Unfortunately, they've got billions of dollars and we don't.

Where, pray tell, do you think the billions of dollars come from?

The level of cynicism in the US these days is appalling. Given the number of things that are wrong with the country, and the relatively sophisticated level of interaction that we see on slashdot[*], you'd think that action might occasionally result. But no, the very people whom you empower to make stupid decisions are treated as some kind of force of Nature, no more controllable than the weather.

Yes, the system is fucked from top to bottom. Yes, getting anything done is boring and tedious and draining and maddening and prone to delay. It's designed that way to keep things from changing. Yes, dream as one might about overnight revolution, the only major changes to happen in the US since the revolution have taken decades as often as not. Equality for all races is still not fully achieved, a century and a half after people first began fighting about it. The very concept of the government as having a role in preserving the welfare of the people remains contentious and under constant challenge, fully two generations after it was first introduced as policy.

What, did you think there was any other way? Did you think you could just throw a hissy fit and the nation would re-shape itself to fit your latest whim?

The media are corrupt and debased, so find better sources for reporting, analysis and commentary. They're there to be found. Yes, your politician is a small-minded dick (or dick-ette) who's happier to comment on some inane 'wedge issue' than take an actual stance on policy. That's because the tactic works. Challenge them, primary them, pick on them and don't let up. Pick your battles and goddam well fight them.

Yes, you're going to lose a lot of the time. Most successes will be compromises that will make you throw up a little in your own mouth. But you'll have moved the sticks another yard.

Even if you do none of the above, please, for Christ's sake, stop throwing up your hands in despair. Come on, you're clever people! Act like it for once.

You - more than the nut-bars on either fringe - are the people who most make me want to despair. You're smart enough to know better, and to achieve real change, but you've already given up. There will be nut-jobs in every generation; what's tragic about this one is that you've ceded the entire political process to them.

----------

[*] I said 'relatively'. Relative to the average forum, yes, this is sophisticated. Hell, you're even reading the footnotes, so QED. 8^)

Re:here we go again (5, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309960)

Where, pray tell, do you think the billions of dollars come from?

The level of cynicism in the US these days is appalling.

1. If I had millions of dollars in disposable income to setup lobbying groups that would be pro-consumer, I would... but (see point #2)

2. More often than not, industry groups get invited to the negotiating table and consumer advocacy groups don't.

Yes, you're going to lose a lot of the time. Most successes will be compromises that will make you throw up a little in your own mouth. But you'll have moved the sticks another yard.

Even if you do none of the above, please, for Christ's sake, stop throwing up your hands in despair. Come on, you're clever people! Act like it for once.

It doesn't matter how "boring and tedious and draining and maddening and prone to delay" the system is if you and I never get a seat at the table when it counts.
Ultimately, by the time industries/politicians go public with their plan, our ability to negotiate a meaningful compromise is already irrevocably fucked.

It's very rare for a large policy issue to not get decided behind closed doors and then "opened" to public input.
You can assert that I'm being cynical and despairing, but I'm calling it like I see it.

Or to put it succinctly: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulatory_capture [wikipedia.org]

Re:here we go again (3, Insightful)

shadowofwind (1209890) | more than 3 years ago | (#33310104)

Trouble is, as I see it, people complain when they're getting the short end of the stick, but almost always sell out when they get a chance to grab the long end. "The rest of us" can't beat the bastard elites, even though in theory we're stronger than them, because every time a few of us get a little leverage we switch sides.

Re:here we go again (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309120)

How about wireless?

There is much more competition in wireless than in wired land lines, which are common carriers.

In wireless there is enough competition, the barriers of entry are much lower, anybody with some money can buy/rent a few pieces of land and install their own cell towers.

So if a company builds network infrastructure by itself without any help from any government, shouldn't it be able to sell a service with a contract that explicitly discriminates against anything they wish?

A contract is a contract in that case, and with no government money involvement, who is to tell a company like that what exactly they should be selling.

Re:here we go again (5, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309272)

In wireless there is enough competition, the barriers of entry are much lower, anybody with some money can buy/rent a few pieces of land and install their own cell towers.

I was going to moderate in this discussion. Forget it.

How is there enough competition? Is that why text message prices have gone up, despite costs to send them going down? Is that why AT&T has been spending less on their (famously bad) network lately, despite traffic being up at least 40%? Does that sound like something you do when you're in tight competition?

And what's this low barriers to entry stuff? Putting up cell towers is expensive as hell, and it's hard to get the land to put towers up (which is one reason it's hard to cover cities). Then you have to have a spectrum license, phones that work with your chunk of spectrum, backhaul.... And no one is going to sign up with a carrier that only has 2 or 3 towers.

Or are you talking about being an MVNO? Because those, even those that were arms of the big guys, have done so well over the last few years. The only carrier that seems to have entered the market recently is Wal*Mart, who is an MVNO (they don't have their own towers), and they have hundreds of billions they can spend to do it.

So if a company builds network infrastructure by itself without any help from any government, shouldn't it be able to sell a service with a contract that explicitly discriminates against anything they wish?

It's a legal contract, the government should stay out of it. But that's not the situation. We have 2-4 big companies, who move in concert (text message price raises are an example) and use their resources to keep new players out of the market (contracts, spectrum license auctions are bid up, etc). They have an oligopoly which they actively try to keep in place to stifle competition.

The government should keep it's hands off the free market. But wireless and consumer internet access are no where near free markets for the vast majority of people, so it's the government's job to come in and protect citizens. Sometimes an industry or market needs a kick in the rear to get it moving. Sometimes that comes from inside (foreign cars during the oil crisis pushed the direction of Detroit), and sometimes it has to come from outside (the AT&T breakup).

Re:here we go again (0)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309342)

I was going to moderate in this discussion. Forget it.

- so why didn't you?

How is there enough competition?

- well obviously there is probably 5 times as much competition as in land lines.

Now if there are companies that are trying, as you are implying 'to stifle' competition, that's a valid argument, that can be looked at, but clearly setting up your own wireless network is much cheaper and simpler than laying down cable, even with spectrum license costs. AT&T monopoly was created by government involvement in the first place, government basically nationalized the land lines and gave control to one company, that's not the case for the wireless.

What should be happening is of-course a sane approach to radio spectrum sharing.

Re:here we go again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33309426)

well obviously there is probably 5 times as much competition as in land lines.

Again, how is there enough competition?

Re:here we go again (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309990)

It's not so much "free market" versus "monopoly" as much as "competitive market" versus "oligopoly".

When you have 2-3 significant sellers in a market, it's an oligopoly, and that means the rules are different than in a competitive market, because each seller has significant control over the going rate for the commodity (in this case, broadband access). Oligopolies are the source of a lot of studies in economics, because there's significant game theory involved.

For instance, let's say your choices for broadband are between a phone DSL line from company A and a cable line from company B. Now, A and B are competitors, true, but they also have a collective interest in keeping prices from dropping too low. Maybe A has 65% of the market and B has 35%. Now, B can attempt to steal market share from A by undercutting their price, and even succeed, so now B has 65% of the market and A has 35%. But then B wants to make cash from their advantage, so they raise their prices back up to the point where they're comparable to A's, knowing full well that most people won't switch if the prices and service are similar. So far things are good for B, who's now significantly increased their profits. But now A wants those profits, so they undercut B's price, swipe 30% of the market from B, monetizes their gains by raising their price back, and we're right back where we started.

Now, A could respond to B's price cut by cutting their prices even further, but they know that in the end a price war is bad for both companies, so there's a minimum they'll go to, because A will likely be better off by just letting the cycle I just described happen. And since A and B both have a pretty standard price they go back to after the steal-market-share maneuver takes place, the prices for consumers never really drop, which makes this market not much different from a simple monopoly.

Re:here we go again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33309172)

Que the standard partisan trolls screaming about how the government should "keep their hands off of the free market"

"Partisan trolls" does not mean "people who disagree with me". And yes, that IS what you were saying. And no, I'm NOT an opponent of net neutrality, I just hate dishonest arguments.

Re:here we go again (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309824)

Que the standard partisan trolls screaming about how the government should "keep their hands off of the free market"

They have names you know! And those names are Jmorris42 and commodore64_love.

(I kid. It seems to me that on slashdot there are few people who think unrestrained free market solves everything and Jmorris42 and commodore64_love as far as I can tell don't actually think that in reguards to telecoms. The people you described aren't on slashdot, they're on Fox news.)

Also be worried about the rest of the world (3, Insightful)

Meshach (578918) | more than 3 years ago | (#33308872)

Judging from the restrictions being imposed the rest [reuters.com] of the world [skunkpost.com] that should be making more of us angry. Why there are not more people up in arms about the restrictions in the middle east is beyond me.

um if you mean (1)

chronoss2010 (1825454) | more than 3 years ago | (#33308902)

if you mean by rest of the world china , australia britain and the usa then yea your fucked up the yin yang ...the rest of us aren't that screwed yet.... notice how all these nations are totally in bed with ip issues too.

Re:Also be worried about the rest of the world (3, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309126)

Personnaly, I'd be more comfortable having my government come out and admit that they are spying on me then the current situation here. Pay no attention to those NSA splitters and fiber optic lines coming out of teecom switching centers (not on the international submarine cables, on the internal circuits).

Nothing to see here. Move along now.

Re:Also be worried about the rest of the world (1)

ink (4325) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309664)

The big difference in the US is that RIM, et. all are allowed to use encryption. The NSA has to break strong encryption if they want to record all conversations. I use PGP, ssh, https and other forms of encryption all the time because of it. All of my company's site-to-site data goes over AES/SHA tunnels, and I'm not in jail. In many ways the Internet is a "public place" in legal-speak, and you shouldn't expect any kind of privacy from anyone; perhaps least of all from the NSA.

Re:Also be worried about the rest of the world (1, Insightful)

webheaded (997188) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309352)

Because people are naturally more inclined to be angry at things that affect them? Is that even a real question? And who is to say how angry anyone is or isn't at the rest of the world. I routinely talk about the UK to 1984 and exclaim that the book wasn't meant to be used as a handbook.

Furthermore, this is a US site, with people concerned primarily with US affairs and the people in those countries that have the most heinous blocks have a real hard time complaining about it behind the great firewall. And lastly, I wasn't aware you could only be angry with 1 thing at a time.

Re:Also be worried about the rest of the world (2, Insightful)

dbcad7 (771464) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309488)

People live in different societies, with different morals and values.. It is not my job to change them to match my morals or values.. Change comes from within. No one is going to come to my rescue, or get up in arms if my government does something to suppress me, and I wouldn't expect them to., I would do what I could to change my own government.

This all hinges on what "Net Neutrality" is. (5, Insightful)

GiveBenADollar (1722738) | more than 3 years ago | (#33308900)

This is what I see:

Side A: Net Neutrality means that I can do whatever I want with my net connection without paying different fees!

Side B: Net Neutrality causes the government to regulate what ISPs provide, and stifles free market!

Nobody is arguing true net neutrality, which is that my ISP is not allowed to regulate what content I receive through the means I have purchased. I don't care if they block ports on some plans, or limit my connectivity in other ways so long as they are not blocking sites or CHANGING the content before I receive it. If I use more bandwidth I deserve to pay more because it costs my ISP more to cater to me, but I don't want them to re-direct my web browsing (even my advertisements), I don't want them to throttle certain things that I am allowed to do, or otherwise hinder my connectivity unless it's actually because I have gone outside the bounds of my service plan (Too many GB downloaded/uploaded). Until we can stand together and support the free exchange of information without tying it together with freedom to do whatever the hell you want net neutrality will fail.

Re:This all hinges on what "Net Neutrality" is. (2, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309072)

> If I use more bandwidth I deserve to pay more because it costs my ISP more to cater to me..

Exactly. Meter bandwidth and the whole argument changes to a much saner ground.

Blocking P2P becomes a non-issue with ISPs if they can charge the filehogs enough to make a profit from them. Especially since if they have to pay most filehogs aren't going to be downloading nearly as much and if seeding actually has a monetary cost it really gets cut back. The p2p problem mostly goes away.

Then there are the VOIP and Netflix (more generally the Video on Demand) problems. Those also cease to be massive threats to the ISPs business model. Since most ISPs are government monopolies also involved in the video and dialtone markets they do need some regulatory thwacking to make sure they don't compete unfairly. Better still would be splitting the monopoly parts from the dialtone, IP and TV delivery industries from the content/value add. See my earlier post here and many in the past flogging this horse.

Re:This all hinges on what "Net Neutrality" is. (4, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309448)

The ISP doesn't pay more, the ISP has a fixed pipe for a fixed cost from their ISP, and so on up the chain. At the top of the chain, the backbones have a peering agreement at either fixed cost or no cost.

The pyramid works because the cost of the pipe is 99.9% the cost of installation, with 99% of the installation that will ever need to be done already done (via the existing telephone networks, cable networks, used fiber and dark fiber). The only actual cost to the providers is that 0.1% for maintenance. The cost of heating the buildings that the staff are in and cooling the server rooms the ISP's equipment is in, vastly exceeds the cost of actually providing the service. And that cost is fixed, regardless of how many customers there are or how much bandwidth they want.

Secondly, you are using an inherently unreliable network, NOT a commercial-grade MPLS tunnel. Even there, the same rule applies. A fixed pipe for a fixed cost. The cost is higher than regular rates, but the format is identical. If they want to scrap the regular scheme and move to a guaranteed service system, then price accordingly. I don't think anyone would dispute that. But metering merely works to obscure the real costs and the real service. You paying for a packet you send to the ISP, when you have no guarantee they will ever forward that packet to their provider OR that it'll ever make it to the destination OR that the reply will make it back to you -- it's about the same as paying the full price for a return train ticket in the knowledge that you can be kicked off that train at any time to make way for someone else with no possibility of a refund, a change of heart or a new ticket. If you wouldn't accept that for the train, then why are you so willing to accept the same crappy treatment of anyone else?

It is because people accept crappy treatment that most services today - be it the Internet, the phone networks, television, or whatever - are all crap. Don't add to the crap that you'll take from others, for goodness sakes!

Re:This all hinges on what "Net Neutrality" is. (3, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309534)

> The ISP doesn't pay more, the ISP has a fixed pipe for a fixed cost from their ISP, and so on up the chain.
> At the top of the chain, the backbones have a peering agreement at either fixed cost or no cost.

Despite your low UID it is clear you don't know shit about the Internet game. Lemme break it down for you.

Imagine you are a cable company in a small rural town of 10,000 and for some reason are just now adding Internet service. So you have installed a fiber backbone in town and some boxes on the poles to segment the town into a dozen segments. You just paid one Metric Shitload for a 1GB fiber from your plant to an upstream provider. Now you are ready for customers. 10Mb service for $50 sounds in the ballpark so you advertise it. The first batch of customners are raving filehogs. 10Mb per customer for 100 customers... your pipe is running at capacity.... or would be if you could actually deliver that to them with the segments you put in place. So after adding a lot more segments you have em all happy. And your outbound pipe is running at 100%. So when the next 100 customers show up you have some decisions to make.

1. Just oversubscribe em until everyone complains.

2. Buy a bigger pipe. But that is just losing money at a faster rate because the $50 monthly charge x 100 isn't even in the same ballpark as just the 1MS (Metric Shitload) you are paying for bandwidth and you have to maintain the rest of the plant, pay the bank note on the original hardware investment, pay tech support, etc.

3. Cap their asses.

The current 'unlimited' retail Internet only works if you can oversubscribe and that is only possible if the filehogs are a small minority of users. Netflix, YouTube and other bandwidth eating apps are quickly changing that assumption.

Re:This all hinges on what "Net Neutrality" is. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33309930)

You're talking about speed and parent is talking about bandwidth available.

maybe traffic shape and throttle.

Re:This all hinges on what "Net Neutrality" is. (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 3 years ago | (#33310064)

You paying for a packet you send to the ISP, when you have no guarantee they will ever forward that packet to their provider OR that it'll ever make it to the destination OR that the reply will make it back to you -- it's about the same as paying the full price for a return train ticket in the knowledge that you can be kicked off that train at any time to make way for someone else with no possibility of a refund, a change of heart or a new ticket. If you wouldn't accept that for the train, then why are you so willing to accept the same crappy treatment of anyone else?

Ummmm.... News Flash: Hotels, airlines, your doctor's office, restaurants, car rental agencies, etc etc etc will overbook their services.

When you read the fine print, most of the services we pay for is a "best effort" promise, not a guarantee.

Re:This all hinges on what "Net Neutrality" is. (1)

sixsixtysix (1110135) | more than 3 years ago | (#33310090)

meter bandwidth? so, like double-tiering? fuck that. tier it by connection speed or by data consumption, but not both. that is just asking for some ricin.

Re:This all hinges on what "Net Neutrality" is. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33309086)

How is blocking ports not the practically the same as blocking sites? At least when they advertise "Internet", they should give you the Internet, and not a restricted version of it.

Re:This all hinges on what "Net Neutrality" is. (0)

GiveBenADollar (1722738) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309374)

Blocking ports limits the services I can use. Blocking sites limits the content I can view. If you can give an example where an ISP cutting off ports limits your ability to view the Internet then please do so, otherwise you are just saying that you want to do things under your Internet plan that your ISP does not want you to do. If that is the case, get another plan or another ISP.

Re:This all hinges on what "Net Neutrality" is. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33309468)

The function of the Internet is to transmit content, it always has been. Therefore, if your ISP blocks ports, it blocks content. You might be lucky and that protocol can be represented on the Web, like with Usenet and Google Groups. However, that is not always the case. When my ISP blocks Skype, I can no longer access content (i.e. voice data or chat messages) via Skype. When my ISP blocks Bittorrent, I cannot access content that is on Bittorrent, like the songs from artists on my favourite netlabel.

The Internet is not the web. The Internet is TCP/IP access to the largest network of computers on the planet.

Re:This all hinges on what "Net Neutrality" is. (2)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309142)

>Nobody is arguing true net neutrality, which is that my ISP is not allowed to regulate what content I receive through the means I have purchased.

Remember the guy from Verizon who said Google was getting a free ride because Verizon wasn't charging them for the privilege of being accessible to Verizon customers?

In his desired world, if Google doesn't pay Verizon, guess what happens to your access to Google?

Verizon is already editing the results you get when you have a DNS failure.

Re:This all hinges on what "Net Neutrality" is. (1)

GiveBenADollar (1722738) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309388)

Yup. And due to market forces, guess what happens to Verizon.

Re:This all hinges on what "Net Neutrality" is. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33309438)

Why doesn't Verizon build a search engine then? I guess they would rather cry about how their technology is helping someone without them making any money from it?

Google helps to make the internet more attractive to consumers. Are they billing ISPs and wireless carriers for their efforts? Last I checked they were not...

Re:This all hinges on what "Net Neutrality" is. (1)

lavagolemking (1352431) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309164)

What if all (1 or 2) of the providers in your area restricted those services or capped your monthly uploads/downloads?

Re:This all hinges on what "Net Neutrality" is. (1)

GiveBenADollar (1722738) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309422)

Then they do not have the infrastructure to provide the services/bandwidth you want. If they did they would be willing to sell it to you. Most small town ISPs have very limited connections due to their location. The only thing uncapping/unlimiting would do is clog what little bandwidth is available. It's not like they have infinitely wide tubes that they just throttle down to be mean. If you don't believe me, then find out how much it would cost to get a T-1 line to your house, you can really get one anywhere if you are willing to pay.

Re:This all hinges on what "Net Neutrality" is. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309538)

Unlimited connections areultimately a good thing, unlimited anything is really a good thing, that's the primary driver of technology. If you can solve your bandwidth problems by capping and shaping that tends to stifle innovation. For instance look at Backblaze, they wanted to be truly flat rate at $5 a month so they had to design there own storage pods and software back end to keep up with the demand. Admittedly it's not a panacea, but it does go a long way.

Re:This all hinges on what "Net Neutrality" is. (1)

GiveBenADollar (1722738) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309626)

Drinking your morning coffee while waiting for slashdot to load because your next door neighbor is downloading 100gb of adult entertainment is not ultimately a good thing.

Re:This all hinges on what "Net Neutrality" is. (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309812)

Ah, the crux of the entire argument. Of course, it depends on the frame of reference. If the guy downloading 100GB of porn is saving money and avoiding litigation because he can get his jollies without having to waste money at strip clubs, truck stops, and his nearby school, well that is a good thing for him.

Liberty is only liberty as long as you don't infringe on the liberty of others. In this case, he is infringing on your liberty to read things, send mean messages, or generally do whatever it is you do when you visit /. while slurping down joe. But why is it necessarily his fault? He's just panking some wud.

Personally, I like my unlimited DSL connection as well as my unlimited mobile connection. I don't download 100GB of porn on it, I imagine I would end up with some really gross things if I did. For less than $150/mo, I have access to all the internet I want, at speeds I find acceptable.

Re:This all hinges on what "Net Neutrality" is. (5, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309192)

The problem with that idea is that it hasn't worked elsewhere, and we have no reason to expect it would work any better here.

I know a statement like this could get me shot at for being a troll, but according to all relevant statistics, the reason the U.S. is currently a third-world country for broadband is because it has been left up to private companies, who continue to price-gouge their customers.

In the other countries that have better and cheaper broadband than the U.S. (which means most other industrialized nations), it is regulated and there is mandatory leasing of resources like backbone bandwidth so that there is, in fact, some actual competition, unlike what we see here.

As long as the industries remain unregulated we, the citizens of the U.S., are going to continue to get screwed. The Internet is not a commodity like potatoes that will find its natural price in the market. It is an oligopoly that will never let go of its grip until it is forced to.

Re:This all hinges on what "Net Neutrality" is. (1)

Freddybear (1805256) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309858)

Because regulators are all angels of benevolence who could never be suspected of colluding with powerful and influential industries which contribute to equally powerful and influential politicians?

Re:This all hinges on what "Net Neutrality" is. (2, Insightful)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 3 years ago | (#33310056)

Yet somehow, the rest of the world is still better off, even though they have so many more regulations. I wonder - should we go right for the root cause and stop letting politicians be bought by the highest bidder? That might help a little.

Re:This all hinges on what "Net Neutrality" is. (3, Insightful)

unix1 (1667411) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309264)

The phrase "net neutrality" has a moderately good chance to become a political term, much like "global warming". Since FCC has been effectively shut out by the courts, at the end it may come down to 2 possible outcomes:

1. Congress passes a law that regulates ISPs to serve "legal" content in a reasonable way; "political" and "charitable" content may also get a special treatment; they'll probably also mandate some sort of snooping, logging, filtering (or banning), and reporting since RIAA and MPAA will probably "help" draft the bill.

2. ISPs are not regulated in any significant way - they have special deals with high-bandwidth high profile providers; this is likely to negatively affect competition since the upstart "small guy" with great ideas, in addition to his bandwidth and hosting, now has to pay ISPs nationwide (maybe worldwide) to deliver his content and fight against the established "big guys" who may, in turn, try to coerce those same ISPs to keep the little guys from competing.

Hmm... which one to support...

Re:This all hinges on what "Net Neutrality" is. (2, Insightful)

webheaded (997188) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309386)

Except you forget the part where the peak amount of bandwidth usage is the only actual factor that matters. It doesn't matter one bit how much bandwidth I use per month...it only matters how many people are using it at a time. The whole $/gb model doesn't even make sense. It's based upon a bunch of greedy bullshit. The ISPs don't seem to have any issues upgrading their infrastructure with the 100's of millions of dollars they make not to mention they built that infrastructure with our tax dollars. I might be sympathetic if they weren't putting absurdly low limits on this kind of stuff. My friend in Canada has to limit the games he downloads and buys from Steam because of the bandwidth limits...that's kind of retarded. This seems to be a fairly regular activity these days along with streaming movies and watching Youtube. I don't really think that all those bandwidth hogs are really going to be seen as that for much longer.

Re:This all hinges on what "Net Neutrality" is. (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309516)

I don't care if they block ports on some plans, or limit my connectivity in other ways so long as they are not blocking sites or CHANGING the content before I receive it.

Right there folks is why we have lost our freedom. Its either all or nothing, and you cant have 'just beacuse it doesn't effect me ( today ) i don't care. You need to care from the start.

"Then there was no one to say no when it got to me"

Re:This all hinges on what "Net Neutrality" is. (2, Insightful)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 3 years ago | (#33310080)

"All or nothing" means anarchy or totalitarianism. I'd say it's a false dichotomy. The problem isn't that people don't understand "it's all or nothing" (because it's not), but that people are apathetic to any problem that isn't theirs. In the US especially, we only care about our own problems and yet are very easily manipulated to intrude on other people's private lives. It is perfectly acceptable to cry about how your freedoms are being somehow harmed ("oh god they're removing my freedom of religion by separating church and state!") while mounting crusades against the freedoms of others ("gays don't deserve to be married, it'll harm us all!"). When it comes right down to it, the problem America has is ultimately a total lack of perspective on anything, even our own opinions.

Ideology (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33308988)

I always wonder why Americans treat regulation as something inherently bad. What is clear is that in the Western world, there are strong positive correlations between the amount of regulation of the economy and societal equality, and societal equality and general happiness. Assuming that the free market is good, and therefore regulation is bad, however, is a purely ideological stance.

While I understand that treating the government with suspicion is a healthy attitude that makes degeneration into tyranny less likely, but that is more an argument for government transparency, not for generally keeping the government out of things.

Re:Ideology (2, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309248)

One of the reasons it is "automatically" considered to be bad is that much of it is illegal. Like it or not, our government does not have Constitutional authority to carry out much of the regulation it already does, much less what it wants to do.

If people don't like that, they can always change the Constitution. But as long as the Constitution remains as it is, government regulation is bad, to the extent that it is extra-legal. Which means almost all of it, on the Federal level.

Re:Ideology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33309370)

If that were the case, the Supreme Court could take care of it. It quite obviously doesn't. What is constitutional is what the Supreme Court decides is consitutional, that's how the system is set up.

Re:Ideology (5, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309750)

"What is constitutional is what the Supreme Court decides is consitutional, that's how the system is set up."

This is a very common misconception, and it is common because that's what they want you to think. But in fact, that is not the way it was set up at all. During the Constitutional convention, something called The Virginia Plan was proposed. That plan called for putting into the Constitution language such that the Federal government could override state law whenever the two conflicted. That plan was overwhelmingly voted down. After the Constitution was drawn up, before the States would ratify it they called for reassurance that the Federal government would only have power over those 18 things, and that all other power was left to the states and to the people. The Supreme Court can declare that certain things are un-Constitutional, but it is not the final arbiter of what is Constitutional. Only the States are empowered to do that.

(1) The Federal government only has legal authority over the 17 (some say 18) enumerated powers that are specifically listed in the Constitution in Article 1, Section 8. Everything else belongs to the States and to the people.

(2) NO branch of the Federal Government, including the Supreme Court, was given authority to decide what the Federal Government may or may not do. That power was left to the States themselves. Allowing the Federal government decide what its own powers may be is called "putting the foxes in charge of the henhouse", and the Founding Fathers were much too smart for that. Want proof?

"Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated." -- Thomas Jefferson

"If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress. ... Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America." -- James Madison

"...the government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government." -- James Madison

"[T]he government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself." -- Thomas Jefferson, about the U.S. Constitution [emphasis mine]

"Our country is too large to have all its affairs directed by a single government. Public servants at such a distance, and from under the eye of their constituents, must, from the circumstance of distance, be unable to administer and overlook all the details necessary for the good government of the citizens; and the same circumstance, by rendering detection impossible to their constituents, will invite public agents to corruption, plunder and waste." -Thomas Jefferson to Gideon Granger, 1800.

"I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground that 'all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people.' To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specifically drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, not longer susceptible of any definition." -- Thomas Jefferson

"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State." -- James Madison

I could give you 100 other similar quotes here, from the debates at the Convention and before the ratification of the Constitution. But this should be sufficient. It is hard to imagine any way to make it clearer.

Re:Ideology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33309852)

The Supreme Court can declare that certain things are un-Constitutional, but it is not the final arbiter of what is Constitutional.

Same thing. Apparently all those regulations that you claim are illegal, i.e. unconstitutional, are not. Other federal states, like Germany have the same concept of the federal government being only in charge of specific issues, and the rest being the states' responsibility, yet the federal government can regulate businesses nation-wide, as can the American federal government where it concerns interstate commerce (and the Internet undoubtably does).

Just because the states have the final say about what the constitution is by means of having to ratify changes to it, that doesn't mean that the Supreme Court not ruling something unconstitutional is meaningless. Indeed, it means that the law in question remains in place, and legally so.

Re:Ideology (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309942)

Indeed, it means that the law in question remains in place, and legally so.

No, it just means the law in question remains in place.

Re:Ideology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33310094)

Since in that case the constitution doesn't provide a way for the states to remove the law, except for changing the constitution, we can assume that it remains in place legally. "The states are the authority over what is constitutional, the founders made it so" makes for nice rhetoric, but in reality, the decision of the Supreme Court counts, and that is how it is set up in the constitution.

Re:Ideology (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309844)

I always wonder why Americans treat regulation as something inherently bad.

Blame King George.

Re:Ideology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33310114)

Regulation is actually what is necessary to have a free market in the first place. The natural state of capitalism is a single-mega-conglomerate. That conglomerate then simply becomes the shadow government => dictatorship.

Regulation,
    * preventing monopolies from leveraging their monopolies to gain new monopolies,
    * breaking up monopolies if they prove unwilling or unable to accept competition,

That's what regulation does. It prevents a monopoly from consolidating. For example, Microsoft could have easily used its monopoly on the desktop to crush Apple, Linux and any UNIX out there. Yet, they are prevented from doing so because they were deemed a monopoly. Without regulation, Microsoft would be the internet, and it would not have mattered if they were late or ahead of the curve. They could have easily levered their monopoly of the operating system to kill any competitor on the Internet.

But yes, Americans are completely retarded what the definition of regulation even is.

Fix the link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33308990)

The link goes straight to page two and you only see 3 or the 7 items.

Or fix the title, I don't care...

My take on Net Neutrality (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33309022)

I don't want to talk about Net Neutrality anymore. NN is so obviously the right thing that to argue the other side.
you'd have to be a drooling greedy evil ISP provider or a dumb as rocks "what is this internets thing you speak of?" fox news watching troll.

I don't want to talk about Net Neutrality anymore. I simply want to know where to show up with the rocks and pitchforks.

d

This Is an Issue for VoIP (1)

anthm (894202) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309180)

We work on an open source softswitch called FreeSWITCH http://www.freeswitch.org/ [freeswitch.org]
Blocked ports and content filtering can mess up Voice over IP traffic running on your broadband line which can be used as a free alternative to the "Digital Phone" services many providers offer. Some entire countries already do this type of thing like China for instance. There are ways around it using secure packets so the payload cannot be sniffed and other workarounds but it would be a huge pain if we had to do that inside the US.

What's the difference between threat / menace? (3, Funny)

joeflies (529536) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309186)

Usually the word "OR" is associated with two alternatives. So when the author says "Threat or Menace", I really don't get the point he's trying to make and the distinction between the two.

Re:What's the difference between threat / menace? (1)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309314)

It's quite simple. He's drunk, just like the CSS designer of that site.

Threat or Menace (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309868)

It's a reference to an episode of the old (1980s) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, I think. (I'm sure it was in TMNT but I don't know if it was in something else as well...) In one episode April O'Neil's boss Burne (basically the TMNT TV series' version of Spiderman's J.J. Jameson - the newsroom boss who is determined to make money by publishing/broadcasting stories that cast the heroes of the series in a bad light) proposes that they do a special report called "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Threat or Menace?" - the false dichotomy there was expressing his prejudice that the TMNT could be nothing but bad.

Re:Threat or Menace - correction? (2, Informative)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309896)

Actually, I googled it after posting - I guess "Threat or Menace" was a J.J. Jameson thing (from Spiderman)... If my memory is correct and they really did use it in TMNT, then it must have been a nod to Berne's status as TMNT's version of Jameson...

Think about it. (1)

timeaisis (1679624) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309682)

Would you prefer the Internet be controlled by Big Government or Big Corporations? The government doesn't care what you think and doesn't care if it looses your business. THINK about it.

Re:Think about it. (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309918)

The way I see it, any person arguing the case in favor of NN who also owns stocks, mutual funds, etc of any kind has no place in the argument.

Corporations work to appease shareholders. Shareholders work to appease themselves, their lifestyle, their trophy wife, or whatever. People want to better themselves financially, so they invest their money in things.

The reason this is such an issue is that the divide between people who prefer to invest in themselves and the people who prefer to invest in everyone else is so vast. Some people like to have power over their own lives, while others prefer to have their lives sanctioned by a central authority. Maybe one is right and one is wrong, and maybe one group is smaller than the other. What if the group that was right was the minority? Does it still make them right if the majority disagrees?

Data only cellular? (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309816)

Just wondering if there are any "data only" cellular services, that is, you don't get a phone number nor do they provide phone service. I mean that's ALL they have, not a "data plan" from a normal telco, a company that *only* does cellular/mobile data service. I use a WISP, but it isn't cellular, nor mobile capable, the antenna has to be precisely aimed. The radio uses a sim card though...which made me wonder about this.

Such a cellular ISP, that charged by bandwith consumed plus a modest monthly connectivity fee, might work. It might even exist, I don't know, that's why I am asking.

As to those other bozos, the regular telcos and ISPs, etc, we need dumb pipes, then content providers. They shouldn't be *both*, that sets up the conflict of interest and it goes downhill from there.

oblig car analogy, a really bad one, for what these telcos want...

You have a real cream puff Belchfire Motors Land Dreadnought. Unfortunately, it only gets 1.5 miles to the gallon..so you have to stop a lot and fill up...now it could run on any gas, the engine is capable of it just fine, but as soon as you pull up to a non-Belchfire pump the tank cover locks up, and even if you manage to get some in, it runs like crap ..until you pull up to the Belchfire Motors fueling stations and fill up there. Then it runs perfect. But Belchfire gas costs twice as much. See, you have a consumer choice! According to Belchfire...

Re:Data only cellular? (1)

jmauro (32523) | more than 3 years ago | (#33310054)

You always have channels, whether you use them for voice or data is up to you.

The issue will be that it's not currently economically feasible to run an all data cell network since the money is currently in voice.

Don't know if that'll change in the future especially with Clearwire and Sprint's deployment of WiMAX, but right now what you want doesn't exist.

gwannle tickle cott'nuhdle ninnle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33309952)

Imagine what Ninnle Linux could do for YOU!

thanks for your sacrifice for Open Networks (1)

swschrad (312009) | more than 3 years ago | (#33310058)

if it's exactly the same service, exactly the same data, but only the transmission media or the name on the door differs, it is obscene to treat Entity A differently than Entity Z. period.

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