Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Major ISPs Threaten To Throttle Innovation and Slow Network Upgrades

Soulskill posted about 2 months ago | from the doubling-down-on-being-jerks dept.

The Internet 286

An anonymous reader writes "In a letter released on Tuesday and addressed to the FCC chairman, a group of the U.S.'s top ISPs have warned that if the FCC re-classifies the internet as telecommunications, then innovation would slow or halt and network upgrades would be unaffordable. 'Under Title II, new service offerings, options, and features would be delayed or altogether foregone. Consumers would face less choice, and a less adaptive and responsive Internet. An era of differentiation, innovation, and experimentation would be replaced with a series of 'Government may I?' requests from American entrepreneurs.' They add, 'even the potential threat of Title II had an investment-chilling effect by erasing approximately 10% of some ISPs' market cap.' Ars Technica highlights earlier doomsday predictions by AT&T. The FCC is scheduled to vote May 15 on the chairman's recent proposal encompassing this reclassification option that the ISPs vehemently oppose." Reader Bob9113 adds that a protest is planned for the same day by those who oppose the FCC's plans.

cancel ×

286 comments

If you regulate properly, we'll stop our business (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46997897)

Sounds like a serious threat. Better cave.

Re:If you regulate properly, we'll stop our busine (5, Funny)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 2 months ago | (#46997933)

Careful there, son. If they don't get what they want, customers will have less choice than the one monopoly provider charging several times what international customers in equivalent markets pay that some of those customers can choose from at present.

Re:If you regulate properly, we'll stop our busine (5, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 2 months ago | (#46998007)

Maybe it is time for internet to be treated more like electricity as a "REGULATED UTILITY". That statement should scare the daylights out of ISPs. Sorry but you can only make a 20% profit and yes we will audit the daylights out of you and by the way, you owning media companies is a conflict of interest and you must sell them all off.

The problem is the same one as the RIAA, MPAA, and Coal. All three have the Democrats in their back pockets because of the mostly liberal "artists" or in the case of coal the unions and they have the Republicans in the other pocket because of corporations and stock prices or in the case of coal you can throw in jobs in Republican areas.

What is funny is that nobody likes the cable companies but they politically get their way.

Re:If you regulate properly, we'll stop our busine (5, Insightful)

lagomorpha2 (1376475) | about 2 months ago | (#46998055)

Maybe it's time for antitrust regulation to be used against ISPs that have used predatory business practices to eliminate competition from smaller ISPs in their regions in order to maintain monopolies over the areas they service?

Re:If you regulate properly, we'll stop our busine (5, Insightful)

CreatureComfort (741652) | about 2 months ago | (#46998291)

Oh, I think 99% of everyone would agree that it is way past time, but where are you going to find a Federal DA willing to indict, who wouldn't also be immediately fired? Well, in reality, in today's day and age, he'd be framed for child porn or proved to be an islamo-mole and buried in gitmo.

Re:If you regulate properly, we'll stop our busine (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 2 months ago | (#46998133)

If you want it to be a "REGULATED UTILITY", the trade off will be that it becomes PRISM compliant. You only have two choices. Getting fucked by the corporations, or getting fucked by the government. Most likely we'll get fucked by both however.

Re:If you regulate properly, we'll stop our busine (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46998171)

Chill out bro, they already are PRISM compliant.

Re:If you regulate properly, we'll stop our busine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46998279)

PRISM compliant as in custom ASICs mandatory to be stamped on all new logic boards (motherboards, routers, etc)?! That's next. They will be silent sentinels listening in on the bus. Speed and performance will be sacrificed for homeland security.

What? You actually think the heroes in office know anything about what they regulate?! Man, you haven't a fucking clue what those monkeys in office do.

Re:If you regulate properly, we'll stop our busine (3, Informative)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about 2 months ago | (#46998575)

PRISM compliant as in custom ASICs mandatory to be stamped on all new logic boards (motherboards, routers, etc)?! That's next. They will be silent sentinels listening in on the bus. Speed and performance will be sacrificed for homeland security.

What? You actually think the heroes in office know anything about what they regulate?! Man, you haven't a fucking clue what those monkeys in office do.

How did we get from ISP's being regulated like utilities to government mandating what gets printed in circuits? Does the FCC mandate how electrical transformers are built?

Re:If you regulate properly, we'll stop our busine (1)

chrish (4714) | about 2 months ago | (#46998421)

Except, of course, these ISPs are already PRISM compliant. Even the ISPs we have here in Canada generally make a point of sending all your traffic through the US to play ball as good ol' FIVEEYES members.

Re:If you regulate properly, we'll stop our busine (2)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 2 months ago | (#46998203)

Regulating profits does nothing to ensure an open internet. Its a separate issue, and should be kept separate. If you limit profits, you may also be limiting the chance of competition forming.

The FCC should focus on ensuring fair standards for access and content delivery, and set rules accordingly. Let local governments deal with monopolistic entities if the wish, as every situation is different.

Re:If you regulate properly, we'll stop our busine (5, Insightful)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 2 months ago | (#46998253)

There is no competition now! That's the whole problem. My choices are slow but steady DSL, fast but unreliable cable, or slow AND unreliable dish network. The cable companies and the phone companies have zilch incentive to upgrade their lines to better support their Internet-only customers, since their primary phone and television customers are happy and don't realize what awful Internet service we're getting compared to all the other developed countries on the planet. If I want better service where I live, I have to pay several thousand dollars to the cable folks to run business class fiber to my house, for which I'll pay several hundred dollars a month... and the service will STILL cut out every hour, based on what I saw of the business service when I did third party tech support in town. The DSL company won't even consider giving us the business class package since we're not in a commercially developed area.

Re:If you regulate properly, we'll stop our busine (0)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 2 months ago | (#46998413)

There is no competition now!

And regulating profits would help ensure it stays that way. There is competition emerging in some areas. Regulate profits, and that may very well stop.

The monopolistic nature of ISPs in many areas is an issue, and certainly a big factor. If you want competition, then don't allow the ISPs too much control over selective content delivery, as they will strike exclusive deals and kill any chance of real competition. But don't give potential competitors reason to stay by limiting profits.

Re:If you regulate properly, we'll stop our busine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46998613)

You forgot "Slow and ultra-expensive third and fourth generation networks"

What's hilariously sad is that my LTE connection on my iPad that I pay 20$/mo for is faster than my 50Mbit connection from my Cable company that I pay 120$/mo for on account of the Cable company throttling the upstream to 3mbit while the iPad has no upstream throttle at all. So I've been able to hit things like 70/30 on LTE where my wireline hits like 50/3

Just I'll burn the bandwidth cap on the iPad's LTE in about 5 minutes. Where I've not been able to hit the 100x larger cap on the wireline connection whatsoever.

Re:If you regulate properly, we'll stop our busine (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 2 months ago | (#46998303)

Sigh......
No your wrong.
What competition do we have? How many cable companies do you have to pick from? How many ISPs?
The simple answer is the more money the cable company makes the more they would have to invest in infrastructure or cut prices. They would also have to have a regulated level of service.
Of course the idea is not to make them a regulated utility but instead to use that as a threat to counter their threat.

Re:If you regulate properly, we'll stop our busine (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 2 months ago | (#46998453)

I was referring to regulation of "limiting profits". Maybe you can explain how limiting profits will lead to more competition, but as I see it, it will simply ensure no competition arises.

Some regulation regarding pricing might make sense. That is, a big ISP much charge comparable rates to all customers for comparable services, and not simply cut rates in areas where there is competition.

Regulation for handling content, fast lanes and slow lanes, is a different matter. That should be kept separate, its the most important piece to ensuring ISPs don't gain domination of content.

Re:If you regulate properly, we'll stop our busine (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about 2 months ago | (#46998529)

They are not regulating profit, they would be regulating access and ensuring the privacy of end users by making all their traffic communications traffic, which factually it is and protected by existing telecommunications laws, which of course factually, historically, all the existing telecommunications companies were able to expand and profit. So, yeah, I have to call bullshit on your comment because it does not reflect historical accuracy of analogue copper communications, which are capable of only carrying a small percentage of the same traffic at a far higher capital investment cost.

People are only asking for what they had under copper, a direct full bandwidth connection, for the life of that connection, between the end users (we are all end users, regardless of size). We just want that in fibre optic which factually is cheaper to install than copper, especially with regard to distance and major trunk costs, also allowing for much greater bandwidth and sharing of each fibre, the ability of ISPs to cache and mirror major traffic items and reduce data costs with better performance for end users and data transmission savings for the ISP.

Divide and conquer by leaving it up to local governments, screw you.

Re:If you regulate properly, we'll stop our busine (1)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about 2 months ago | (#46998589)

The FCC should focus on ensuring fair standards for access and content delivery, and set rules accordingly. Let local governments deal with monopolistic entities if the wish, as every situation is different.

I think the point is that the FCC does not have that authority, unless the ISP's are declared common carriers like the phone companies.

Re:If you regulate properly, we'll stop our busine (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about 2 months ago | (#46998481)

What is funny is that nobody likes the politicians but the cable companies get their way.

I read it that way the first time. Eh, still seems right.

Re:If you regulate properly, we'll stop our busine (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 months ago | (#46998527)

Sorry but you can only make a 20% profit and yes we will audit the daylights out of you and by the way, you owning media companies is a conflict of interest and you must sell them all off.

Would a TV cable company count as "media"?

What if the ISP *IS* also a cable company?

Monopolies are only part of the problem (5, Insightful)

pr0t0 (216378) | about 2 months ago | (#46998313)

I’m going to open a big can of worms here, and I’ll admit up front that I haven’t fully thought it through. This more of a US-centric stream-of-consciousness kind of mind-dump.

I’ve lately come to hate the US telco industry with the angry passion of a thousand fiery suns. They enjoy a monopoly or near-monopoly in most areas of the United States. They also have a legal responsibility to maximize value to their shareholders. In the absence of competition, maximizing service and quality to their customers runs counter to maximizing that shareholder value. Our natural instinct is to shout the mantra of “increase competition!”, but even in the areas where there is competition, we see very little competitive behavior.

Why is that? Collusion? Well...maybe it’s because the Comcast CEO doesn’t have to pick up the phone and discretely call the AT&T CEO to find out what he’ll do if Comcast decides to lower rates and provide better service. He already knows it will start a price and service war that while benefiting the consumer, will hurt corporate profits. Nobody at this echelon wants to race to the bottom. All the big players have to do is find a happy medium of market share and slowly increase profits. The barriers to entry to be competitive/disruptive are enormous. It takes a Google to do it. Even if you could do it, you’d be forced to join the club and be a part of the same problem for the same reason the incumbant companies do.

But telecom isn’t the only industry that operates in this manner, even when competitors are present. The average prices in automobiles, new homes, health care, etc. have all outpaced increases in wage at a rate of roughly 2-to-1 over the last 45 years. The increases should be in line with wage increases to guarantee sustainability. These are competitive markets, so why the disparity? The reasons are many and varied. There are some easily justified increases like safety, R&D, and environmental concerns; but there are also offsets like increases in efficiency, automation, logistics and transport, overseas labor, etc. More often than not, these companies report quarterly and annual profits that measure in the billions and frankly defy belief. Which brings me to that can of worms.

There was a time when companies were reluctant to sell stock. They were literally selling a piece of their company to the public, and only did it because they needed the capital to bring new products and technologies to market. People bought stocks because they believed in that company, product, or technology; and handed over their money to help bring it to market and maybe make a little money in the process. Now, stocks are strictly investment vehicles for the buyer, and the seller often uses the capital to force stagnation instead of innovation. Look at Facebook. They are a titan in the tech industry, lighting cigars with $100 bills. Why the IPO? What new major advances in social media did the IPO make possible that they couldn’t make happen themselves? Likely none. But what it did do is allow Facebook to make some acquisitions. They are staying on top by removing the competition not rising to meet it.

Maximize shareholder value. That phrase is used to justify: higher prices, lower service, lower quality parts, environmental damage, damage to the long-term future of our nation, and general unethical corporate behavior (skimming, fleecing, shell corporations, tax loophole exploits). I’m not opposed to making money as a shareholder. But that money isn’t made out of thin air, and it doesn’t come from the seller. It comes from the American public. We pay that. When you get your dividend check or sell your stocks for a fat profit, that money came from me, from your neighbors, from your family and friends, from anyone that ever bought a product or service from that company. You paid for it too.

Similar to the underlying storyline in the movie The Matrix, I’m of the ever-increasing opinion that the US public is viewed as (literally) a cash crop by people who trade in tens and hundreds of millions of dollars. Top 1% income type of people. If we’re over-farmed, we’ll rebel. But if we’re fed and nurtured, told it’s for our own good, even made to believe that if we buy stocks we can come along for the ride; the money will slowly move from our pockets to that top 1%. We think because we made 8-18% on our investment portfolio we’re doing ok, being good citizens, and saving for our retirement. But we don’t realize we overpaid by 20-60% for the goods and services to make that happen*.

I think common carrier status is the only way to remove the need to maximize shareholder value in this segment of the telco industry. Or maybe, conversely, the only way to maximize shareholder value in a common carrier scenario is to increase market share by once again competing on speed and quality. I don’t want innovation from my ISP...I want a dumb pipe, and the ISP that can provide the fastest rates and highest quality of service at the lowest price will get my business.

*percentages pulled directly from my backside

Re:Monopolies are only part of the problem (3, Funny)

kuhnto (1904624) | about 2 months ago | (#46998569)

You know, I'm starting to like this guy.

Re:Monopolies are only part of the problem (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about 2 months ago | (#46998617)

Of course a lot of mid range ISPs aren't all that smart either.

One of the first things I would do as a mid-range ISP it analyse where most of my customers go on the internet. Then approach those data locations, cap in hand and negotiate mirroring and a data storage farm, so the by far the bulk of the traffic is from the data farm to the end user. The Data location only needs to update data once, it has less direct traffic, it can cut down on bandwidth, minimise servers by distributing throughout mid range ISPs and still control the data on them. For the ISP there is substantial less cross network traffic and their customers get far better service. Pluses all round. Smart caching and mirroring can hugely cut traffic, provide better quality services and save money all round.

It is time for the major content service data companies and mid range ISPs to get their act together and start working on minimising long distance traffic and work to localise it. Peta bytes of storage to power far more effective mirroring are a lot cheaper that all that traffic.

Re:If you regulate properly, we'll stop our busine (5, Insightful)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 2 months ago | (#46998033)

even the potential threat of Title II had an investment-chilling effect by erasing approximately 10% of some ISPs' market cap

Translation: Our investors know we stand to profit greatly from being able to control the flow of internet traffic in accordance with our company's best interest.

Re:If you regulate properly, we'll stop our busine (5, Funny)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 2 months ago | (#46998095)

Well, they have a point. I mean, they are pretty innovative. Just 10 years ago, I had exactly two options for home broadband. Today, with all that amazing innovation and competition, I have exactly one option for home broadband.

Lies (5, Insightful)

Squiddie (1942230) | about 2 months ago | (#46997907)

They weren't going to upgrade anything to begin with. Their strategy has so far been imposing limits and charging more. ISPs were never planning to innovate or upgrade.

Re:Lies (4, Insightful)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 2 months ago | (#46998049)

They certainly lack any specific examples of what types of upgrades they are planning that would not happen.

Re:Lies (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46998267)

They stopped innovating with: "It's way faster than dial up!"

Re:Lies (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46998239)

Just to add some data points. In the past 10 years in my area, Comcast has boosted their "blazing fast internet" from top-tier of 8Mbps to a whopping 50Mbps. Note that the fine print is "up to 50Mbps", meaning you might get that fast download if you try to download a pdf at 3am. The only competition here is CenturyLink, who also advertise "up to...", and generally fall very short. I had CL's 20Mbps, fastest I ever got was closer to 10. Not only are they dragging their heels in the name of profit, they are also great at getting away with false advertising.

Re:Lies (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46998305)

They weren't going to upgrade anything to begin with. Their strategy has so far been imposing limits and charging more. ISPs were never planning to innovate or upgrade.

Of course not.

But is heavy government regulation of monopoly ISPs the answer? Do you really think the US government is going to "fix" the internet? So that we get true net neutrality?

If so, you must not have actually seen that government in, err, INaction.

Not only that, heavy regulation WILL stifle innovation. For example, assume cell phones were heavily regulated, oh, about a decade ago. How would you get the iPhone into a heavily regulated VOICE cell phone market? You can't - it doesn't FIT.

True innovation that breaks down preconceived boundaries and categories won't ever fit into a three thousand page set of regulations that say how you treat each type of packet crossing an ISP's network. Instead of rolling out a new technology, lawyers will spend literally years arguing over which subparagraph should apply to regulate the new technology.

Re:Lies (2)

fermion (181285) | about 2 months ago | (#46998615)

Exactly. There are large potions of reasonably high density places in the US that has no internet choice. The current system has resulted in slow expensive internet because of lack of competition.

What would happen is if the lines were developed separately from the service is that there would be greater incentive to lay more fiber because it could then be sold to firms that were able to develop more flexible packages that would attract more customers. The current incumbents are limited in what they can do. For instance if they have a limited plan, everyone complains that they are throttling. But an independent could push a limited plan as their way of creating a competitive plan.

What the incumbents are afraid of is that third parties, not Google becuase they only go to saturated markets, will start laying fiber and selling access.

Like that scene from Blazing Saddles... (5, Funny)

bazmail (764941) | about 2 months ago | (#46997917)

where the new sheriff holds a gun to his own head and threatens to pull the trigger in order to get everyone to back off. I think it will work this time too as the FCC et al do their usual backing off party trick.

Re:Like that scene from Blazing Saddles... (2)

kmg90 (957346) | about 2 months ago | (#46997993)

It's amazing how a comedy from the 70's can be used allegorically...

Re:Like that scene from Blazing Saddles... (2)

CreatureComfort (741652) | about 2 months ago | (#46998317)

It's easier to believe when you realize the entire movie was filmed to be an allegory. Much of Mel Brooks' body of work is such.

Re:Like that scene from Blazing Saddles... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46998557)

obligatory "These people are sooooo stupid."

Less choice? (5, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 2 months ago | (#46997929)

Consumers would face less choice,

How would that even be possible? We only have 4 main providers in the U.S. Are these folks saying that if they were reclassified they would start merging with one another?

One can only hope they go through with this threat because the government would be able to step in and regulate them as a monopoly, forcing them apart like they did with AT&T and for a few years we'd once again have multiple ISPs to choose from.

Re:Less choice? (5, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 months ago | (#46997959)

And most areas don't even have as many as four providers. Everywhere I've lived in the U.S. has had two providers: the local cable monopoly, and the local phone monopoly.

Re:Less choice? (4, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 2 months ago | (#46998005)

I meant four total providers. For the entire country. Your experience is exactly what I have, and what most people have.

In my case the two ISPs offer the same slow speeds at the exact same high price.

Coincidence?

Re:Less choice? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46998085)

I've never had any problem getting internet service. And I've had it since 1995, via a 14.4 kbps modem.
I'm pretty sure you (and your ilk) are the kind of people that will habitually bitch no matter what service we provide.
I guess you have your niche, but in the end you're just wasted biomatter.

Re:Less choice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46998183)

The problem isn't getting internet service, the problem is that you only have one choice.

Re:Less choice? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46998281)

This entitlement mentality needs to stop. Nobody can afford to run a dozen different wires to your house. Infrastructure is fucking EXPENSIVE. That's why only the big boys can afford to play in that space. I could start a company to string wires between houses too, but I'd sure as hell cherry pick the locations and I probably would go out of business within a year. If that's your idea of good service, you need to mull it over a little more.

Re:Less choice? (5, Insightful)

mjtaylor24601 (820998) | about 2 months ago | (#46998563)

Nobody can afford to run a dozen different wires to your house. Infrastructure is fucking EXPENSIVE.

So you're saying the limited physical space to run wires and the huge upfront capital costs make for a natural monopoly? Good, then you must agree that the argument that regulating the market incumbents as a monopoly will reduce new entrants to the market is complete bullsh#@t because new entrants effectively can't enter the market anyway. Glad we're all on the same page.

Re:Less choice? (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 2 months ago | (#46998217)

In my case the two ISPs offer the same slow speeds at the exact same high price.

Coincidence?

No.

But perfectly understandable. If the one cut its rates, the other would pretty much be forced to reduce its rate the same amount or go out of business.

Remember, the stable state in any competitive business is offering essentially the same thing as your competition at the same prices. Any change in either service or price produces a period of instability that ends when everyone is offering essentially the same thing at the same price again.

Re:Less choice? (3, Insightful)

CreatureComfort (741652) | about 2 months ago | (#46998387)

This is called collusion... exactly the opposite of competitive business practices.

It is impossible that two entities can have so exactly the same input costs, maintenance costs, future investment costs, defined profit margins, and internal (in)efficiencies that they end up with exactly the same offerings at exactly the same price. Either one of them is at rock bottom, and the other is making artificially high profits, or they both are making artificially high profits.

Neither competitor really wants to put the other out of business and face the scrutiny of monopoly. As long as they collude to keep both in business, then they can each point at the other as "the bad guy".

Oh, and by the way, since we're colluding anyways, why settle for one just scraping by... we might as well make certain were both VERY comfortable, as long as we can keep real competition locked out.

Re:Less choice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46998225)

I have one. AT&T. Cable co hasn't decided to run the 600 yards they need to get to my subdivision.

Re:Less choice? (1)

InvalidError (771317) | about 2 months ago | (#46998009)

There is not much point in "forcing them apart" since they are already staying mostly apart from each other: yes, there might be four major wired service providers in the USA but in most neighborhoods, only one or two of them are available... for the most part, they avoid overlapping with each other beyond one telco and one cableco duopoly.

With the original Bell breakup, regulators expected the mini-Bells to compete with each other for territory but the Bells ended up sticking to their home turfs.

First mile access is a natural monopoly: overlapping on a competitor's territory is expensive and yields a fraction of the revenue investing in an exclusive market does.

If you want to end the first mile monopoly, you have to turn it into a public utility that any service provider can rent or some variant of that model.

I'm taking my ball and going home (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46997931)

What a bunch of babies. The US has horrible internet already. What are they going to do, throttle everyone to 28.8k? (well, to better mimic actual phone infrastructure, 26,400 would be the actual connect rate, at best). These huge telecoms have the money to provide decent internet but they fail at every junction.

Re:I'm taking my ball and going home (1)

fnj (64210) | about 2 months ago | (#46998023)

I'm taking BOTH my balls and going home - while I've still got them.

Yes, we should all listen to those companies... (2)

The Real Dr John (716876) | about 2 months ago | (#46997937)

that want to make money charging for higher speed access about how preventing them from doing so will be harmful to "consumers".

Less choice? (5, Interesting)

BilI_the_Engineer (3618871) | about 2 months ago | (#46997943)

I have exactly one choice in my area, and many places in the US are the same. Many more only have two choices, with few having more than that. It's difficult to imagine having less choice than this.

And upgrades? I don't know what they did with all that money they received, but they certainly never upgraded a thing.

Re:Less choice? (2)

magical liopleurodon (1213826) | about 2 months ago | (#46998385)

well....ISPs used to be common carriers and had to provide net neutrality by default. The RIAA/MPAA didn't like that and were relegated to having to sue individuals for copyright infringement. So they lobbied to have ISPs not be common carriers. Once they got that, thanks to Comcast buying NBC and switching sides (so they can sue their competitors for copyright infringement), ISPs spent their money on high-powered hardware not for pushing traffic, but for doing deep-packet inspection so that they could comply with RIAA/MPAA requests (and whatever the government wanted from them as well) while the rest of the world was putting in bigger pipes.

Re:Less choice? (1)

magical liopleurodon (1213826) | about 2 months ago | (#46998403)

so classifying ISPs as telecoms isn't some disaster that ISPs have never dealt with before. It would basically just make things the way they used to be pre-RIAA litigation.

Re:Less choice? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 months ago | (#46998619)

so classifying ISPs as telecoms isn't some disaster that ISPs have never dealt with before. It would basically just make things the way they used to be pre-RIAA litigation.

Well, in terms of their revenue stream and their ability to act like assholes ... it would be a complete disaster.

Part of the problem is the ISPs are pretty much controlled by/part of the *AA cartel, and they will do anything they can to fight going back to the previous way. Because, right now, they control the money, the rules, the content, the lawsuits, and the FCC.

Re:Less choice? (2)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about 2 months ago | (#46998587)

And upgrades? I don't know what they did with all that money they received, but they certainly never upgraded a thing.

Didn't you read the letter? They've spent all their money writing "apps":

Today’s regulatory framework helps support nearly 11 million jobs annually in the U.S. and has unleashed over $1.2 trillion dollars of investment in advanced wired and wireless broadband networks, as well as an entirely new apps economy.

They're throwing in with "apps" developers, Microsoft, Apple, and Google, by claiming those content provider investments are part of their "investment". Every single place they try to mention a statistic about money invested or innovation, they include stuff the content providers have been doing, because if they kept it to infrastructure exclusively it would be clear they've done bumpkiss.

America’s economic future, ... critically depends on continued investment and innovation in our broadband infrastructure and app economy to drive improvements in health care, education and energy.

They aren't even claiming they actually have plans to do anything, except build "apps".

An era of differentiation, innovation, and experimentation would be replaced with a series of Government may I? requests from American entrepreneurs.

Well that's what every other industry is dealing with these days, why do these bullies think they deserve special treatment?

Fine. (5, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | about 2 months ago | (#46997957)

If these companies can not handle regulation, then others will step in.

While people often talk about 'free markets' and 'regulations' like they are opposites, they really are not on the same scale. If a company can not adjust to regulation, then it probably can not adjust to shifts in market demand, supply chain changes, or price fluctuations.

If these big ISPs can not adapt, then they will die.

Re: Fine. (2)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 2 months ago | (#46998063)

The reason why no ISPs have already stepped in despite huge demand for one is the incredibly high startup cost to enter the market and the end of subsidies that other companies used to get around those costs.

  I expect that if a couple of the major ISPs were to fail, nothing would take there place for a very long time.

Re:Fine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46998147)

Don't confuse the power of the dollar with the power of the gun.

Re:Fine. (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 2 months ago | (#46998361)

While people often talk about 'free markets' and 'regulations' like they are opposites

Not to mention, "free markets" are completely irrelevant here because ISPs are already regulated, and would be natural monopolies whether they were regulated or not.

Re:Fine. (3, Interesting)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 2 months ago | (#46998379)

If these big ISPs can not adapt, then they will die.

Promise?

less choice? (3, Interesting)

fakeid (242403) | about 2 months ago | (#46997969)

How could consumers possibly face "less choice" than they do now?! I moved about three months ago and my ONLY choice for wired internet (and cable, for that matter) is Comcast. For two and a half of those months, I had no service and was fighting with Comcast. It sure would have been nice if there WERE another choice. It's also not like I'm living in the middle of nowhere - this is in the DC Metro! This is not a rare thing, at all. Where I moved from I at least had two choices (AT&T and a local Cable / internet company), but that's still not much choice.

Regulation can only help at this point, because it will give consumers a leg to stand on when dealing with these people. I suggest anyone who thinks we DON'T need regulation should try dealing with Comcast customer support for a month, then get back to me.

What are ISPs currently classified as? (1)

jecowa (1152159) | about 2 months ago | (#46997987)

It seems obvious that an internet service provider would be a telecom, considering that the internet is simply a tool for remote communication. What else would you classify an ISP as?

I know a lie when I see one (2)

Colin Castro (2881349) | about 2 months ago | (#46997989)

How about all those telephone companies that were forced to give service to every American and look how they all went bankrupt, oh wait, no they didn't. ISPs like to say that it will stop expansion, but in reality the government will force them to instead of waiting for Google to announce they're coming to a new city and force the network improvements.

It has been a long time coming. (5, Insightful)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 2 months ago | (#46998001)

Internet STARTED OUT as a "common carrier" service, which is how we were able to buy DSL service from a CLEC instead of the ILEC. Common carrier status was done away with about the time Verizon took a billion dollars from the taxpayer and started rolling out Fios.

I used to buy DSL from a CLEC in Philadelphia that rode on top of Verizon's copper. When Fios rolled out, I remember discussing with the CLEC that they would not be able to serve me because Fios was not considered a common carrier, and Verizon did not have to sell capacity on its lines at a cut rate to competitive carriers.

That CLEC exited consumer broadband shortly thereafter.

Reclassifying modern broadband as a common carrier is absolutely going to create more competition and more choice for consumers. Yes, it will mean a tiny bit less profit for the majors, because they will have to sell capacity to CLECs again at a discount, but whatever.

Honestly, and I'm hardly ever one to talk about nationalization, but the taxpayer has paid for almost all of the Internet infrastructure that has been laid out since about 2004. It should belong to them and be used for their benefit. If Verizon et al want to be considered media providers and not common carriers, then let them pay the taxpayer for access to the network that the taxpayers paid for. Yes, I know, socialism. So what? A lot of what we do is socialized, because it's better for everyone that way.

Re:It has been a long time coming. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46998129)

Currently these communications are already regulating their own infrastructure. Their controling of the amount and rate of data is a the same how utilities currently operate but only the kind of resource being used, energy vs. data.

1). data caps on transmission
2). slow/fast lane access
3). bundling of services

Since the telecoms won in court that the FCC doesn't have authority to control them, perhaps this should be the way since the FCC will then have the power to specify what they can or can't do.

Re:It has been a long time coming. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46998343)

Honestly, and I'm hardly ever one to talk about nationalization, but the taxpayer has paid for almost all of the Internet infrastructure that has been laid out since about 2004.

I'd tend to say the figure is even higher than that. For instant AT&T still leaves people to rot who have their POTS telephone service and are still ten years later slightly out of DSL range. Sure the ISPs may have installed some capacity where they were sure they would get a next quarter return, but that is still the tax payer paying for it.

What is required is a continual National Plan to treat internet connectivity like roads, so that even far flung areas have some level of service that over time should improve. If that means taxes have to be used to subsidize some areas, I'm fine with that, provided they are carefully spent. Someone in the country should not get the same service someone in a city does, unless of course it is just as cheap to deploy in the long term... (Similarly, I never understood AT&T's and others always have one rate everyone. If it costs more to lay lines in the country then charge more. It is a lot better than not laying lines at all.) ISPs should also not be passing their entire network of data through the control of 3 letter agencies, but instead only provided data after a court order consistent with the constitution with a clear end date on the order. (They can get another warrant, if they need it.) Let's be realistic, if you examine the bill of rights for its intent at the time the idea was that a citizen has a reasonable right of privacy and if the internet existed at the time, I've little doubt they would have included it. Finally of course, ISPs need to remain neutral providers of data, save of course based on customer preference such as how a customer who would likely prefer interactive data be given priority over noninteractive data going to a house...

Re:It has been a long time coming. (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 2 months ago | (#46998479)

create more competition and more choice for consumers. Yes, it will mean a tiny bit less profit for the majors,

Actually, that's one of the great things about the ideal free market; competition only hurts the incumbents in the short run. In the long run, everyone makes more money and gets more stuff, even the carriers.

Of course, the ideal free market is a mathematical theory. It can't be achieved by running a laissez-faire system on flawed humans. The closest we can get in the real world is a regulated market. With things like regulated rights of way for carrier cables, regulated wireless bands for carrier signals, and regulation of traffic discrimination by operaters of the carriage networks.

And this is nothing new, from Adam Smith's recognition that unregulated markets would be distorted by unscrupulous businesses to the establishment of the first common carrier regulations in the physical goods transport industry, we have already studied, tested in the real world, and documented the answers many decades ago.

What utter bullshit (0)

fnj (64210) | about 2 months ago | (#46998011)

What utter bullshit.

Cable broadband investment has been falling (4, Informative)

stox (131684) | about 2 months ago | (#46998027)

For quite some time now, according to data from the NCTA:

http://www.vox.com/2014/5/12/5... [vox.com]

What innovation? (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 months ago | (#46998037)

What innovations have the major ISPs come up with lately?

Price gouging? Copying services developed by other people?

Sorry, but these clowns have been charging more for less for a long time, and failing to invest in their own infrastructure. They don't innovate. They sit on their piles of money and make promises they'll never keep about how awesome their internet is, and then fight to ensure their local monopolies are protected.

When they say this will stifle innovation, it sure can't be anything they're doing.

Re:What innovation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46998089)

qqq

ISP is an ISP ... (4, Insightful)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | about 2 months ago | (#46998067)

They provide a single service, an internet connection, continually reclassifying this depending on if it is Copper, Cable, Broadband, DSL, Fios ... etc is a red herring they provide an internet connection and nothing else ...

They are already a common carrier, they just don't want the service they provide to be classified as this as it would introduce the possibility of competition into the market ...

Only innovation (4, Funny)

WhiteZook (3647835) | about 2 months ago | (#46998073)

The only innovation they are doing is coming up with better ways to count their money.

go ahead ISP, i dare you (0)

FudRucker (866063) | about 2 months ago | (#46998111)

i am about ready to cancel my ISP account and pull the plug on the whole mess, i would just use the time for outdoor activity, besides my computer has lots of use even without an internet connection, ever hear of solitaire? its great!!!

It's just a ploy. (2)

Grand Facade (35180) | about 2 months ago | (#46998115)

They are attempting to monetize individual streams from a service we already pay too much for.

What really yanks my chain is that they built the internet with our money.
We gave them subsidies, tax breaks, and rights for physical placement.
Now they have the nerve to extort the right to further monetize the net.

Remember when conectivity came with benefits?
Most all "service providers" had a community area and good support.
They maintained news servers.
They provided shell access.
As more got on board the unwashed ignored these vital beginnings these services dropped off the menu.
As yet more came along providers used this as an excuse to raise fees.

Then came cellular technology which the providers connected to this network we helped them build.
And more subsidies and tax breaks were given = more of our money was used to build the thing the providers would then charge us more to use.
Given this path and the wreckless way we are governed I predict we will soon have Obama-Net.
All citizens will be legally obligated to purchase service from a provider.
Providers will monetize certain streams as they see fit to further exploit their position.
More of our money will be given to the providers so they can build out the network to effectively reach all.
The providers will fail that measure as they failed to provide DSL or fiber beyond the urban boundaries.
The providers will use the money we gave them for a wired network to build out the cellular network.
Then charge us 10x fees to connect since cellular is unregulated + cheaper infrastructure for them to provide and maintain.

Oh! Wait! This has all already happened (except Obama-Net)(but it's coming)

Ok then... (5, Insightful)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | about 2 months ago | (#46998127)

If that is the case then we will invalidate all those local laws you have somehow gotten enacted to stop competition in local areas.
you know the ones that say it is illegal for the local government to give Comcast competition?
The ones that strangle startups at birth keeping your defacto monopoly.
How about a bit or 'real world' economics to sharpen your game then?
See how you like that then?

Exhibit #1 (2)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about 2 months ago | (#46998135)

This threat is exhibit #1 that the ISPs have gotten too large, and need to be regulated.

"Threaten"? (4, Insightful)

pla (258480) | about 2 months ago | (#46998137)

US ISPs have steadfastly refused to provide adequate service outside major metropolitan areas for decades.

Threatening not to do something they already don't do strikes me as a pretty damned weak threat.

The market cap is refactored, not erased. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46998159)

These complaints are similar to the oil companies complaints about emissions standards. If they could behave themselves the question would never have come up in the first place. No innovation will be stifled by making ISP's common carriers. It will just refocus carriers into capacity production, and allow the content and service sectors that depend on those carriers to flourish. The greatest threat to innovation is multinational corps that treat the entire global intellectual property base as something they can deny selectively to their customers for profit and political influence. The right to speak pointless, if you only ever hear, what they want you to hear. This subject probably reflects the greatest dilution of the sovereign authority of congress, since the civil war. Which is why we can reliably predict, that congress will sell every drop of civil liberty they can possibly squeeze out of the public, to Comcast and their ilk.

Careful, ISPs. govt always has eminent domain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46998165)

Threaten to stagnate society and govt can take your companies from you.

Please support the FCC to do the right thing (1)

CityZen (464761) | about 2 months ago | (#46998181)

We all know this is BS. But we also know the FCC doesn't have much backbone. U.S. folks, please show them your support:

http://www.fcc.gov/comments [fcc.gov]
http://www.fcc.gov/complaints [fcc.gov]
http://www.fcc.gov/discuss [fcc.gov]

You may also write your senator or member of congress:

http://www.senate.gov/general/... [senate.gov]
http://www.house.gov/represent... [house.gov]

Comments or complaints sent to any of the above may do a lot more good than any posted here.

Re:Please support the FCC to do the right thing (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 months ago | (#46998425)

We all know this is BS. But we also know the FCC doesn't have much backbone.

They're not supposed to, not when you take a former cable and wireless [arstechnica.com] lobbyist and put him in charge.

He's not there to have a backbone and "do the right thing" for us, he's there to ensure the cable companies get everything they want, all in the name of corporate profits.

And your senators and members of congress, they've probably also been bought off by the same companies to ensure they get what they want.

America stopped being a democracy (or a republic) long ago, and is entirely under the control of corporations. Sadly, some people view this as a good thing.

I simply don't believe the FCC has the desire (or the ability) to do anything which isn't entirely in the interests of the cable companies.

And, as I said elsewhere, for the cable companies to say this would stifle innovation is a crock -- because there isn't a damned thing the big ISPs have innovated in years.

Strategic Omission (3, Insightful)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | about 2 months ago | (#46998189)

They are absolutely right, to an extent. Now hold on, hold on. What they of course carefully avoid mentioning is their sweetheart local monopoly deals. I don't think we need more government to solve the problem caused by government in the first place. If they want to shelter under the rubric of the advantages of a free market, let them have a free market and we'll see who innovates and competes. While they are profiting off government provided monopoly they can go pound sand.

Let's Do This: (5, Informative)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 2 months ago | (#46998197)

Remember MCI? Yes, tell us all about how much less competition we'll have when you're forced to compete on service instead of in disservice. Blow it out your interconnect. We've already been down this road. ISP definition of "competition" is how much more they can over charge for shit than their competitors without actually delivering service. Thus the throttling unless the endpoints pay even more for the shit they already paid for.

ISPs are quadruple dipping: The website pays for access, the end user pays for access, OK, but then they charge extra for non-NATted IPs (hello, IPv6 exists) and unblocked ports ("business" class), and now they want to sell the websites "faster" access to the customers when we both already paid for that speed of access to each other, AND they want to put caps on the number of bits downloaded -- Hint: That's not how it works. They have to have the hardware to handle peak load, it doesn't matter if I suck in tons of gigs during off-peak time, caps are not about congestion, they're just yet another way to monetize. Not to mention "bursting" plans where they allow the first n-bytes of a download to come in fast, then throttle the shit out of it. "Up To X MB/s, (minimum 0 BAUD, yes Zero)", WTF. Damn, that's more that quadruple, but I lost count of how many dippings that is.

Visit OpenCongress [opencongress.org] and locate your congress critters via zipcode. Politely call each of them and say, "I want the FCC to classify broadband Internet services providers as common carriers", and have them repeat it (a real person will answer, and they'll have written down your words). I also mention that it should be considered illegal anti-competitive business practices for municipalities to granted ISPs monopolies, and that breaking up said monopolies will allow new competition to flourish. You can leave a comment on Issue #14-28 [fcc.gov] via the FCC Comment Filing System. Contact the FCC by Email: openinternet@fcc.gov, or call the FCC comissioners [naruc.org] (but remember they're not beholden to voters). The most effective thing to do is write a letter to the editor mentioning your congressman's name and the net neutrality issue and send it to your local news outlet, that really gets their goat -- they care about the newspaper for some odd reason, maybe because old folks read it? Here's a petition [whitehouse.gov] , but these don't do shit, really it's just the illusion of shit-doing.

P.S. Here's a vid explaining the net neutrality issue. [youtube.com] Here's another more sarcastic and long winded vid on the subject. [youtube.com] and here's a video from an actual honest ISP. [youtube.com] (NSFW, for brutally honest language).

Protip: Use a download accelerator [mozilla.org] to open multiple connections to the same file and trick the ISP into allowing you a faster speed. When the D/L starts getting throttled (hover to view the speed graph), pause it then unpause it and the speed goes back up (new connections = new "bursting" counter).

We need competition (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 2 months ago | (#46998201)

The existing ISPs are too large and monolithic. I suspect this is mostly local regulation making pole leasing fees unreasonable.

It needs to be practical for small ISPs to operate anywhere in the US. Any jackass should be able to start his own ISP. Lease the poles, buy some shake and bake ISP equipment, buy the appropriate back end bandwidth, and then run the business.

Re:We need competition (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 months ago | (#46998555)

The existing ISPs are too large and monolithic. I suspect this is mostly local regulation making pole leasing fees unreasonable.

It needs to be practical for small ISPs to operate anywhere in the US. Any jackass should be able to start his own ISP. Lease the poles, buy some shake and bake ISP equipment, buy the appropriate back end bandwidth, and then run the business.

The majority of ISPs in this country are under 30k people. You just have only heard about the big ones.

Dopplegangers (1)

paiute (550198) | about 2 months ago | (#46998227)

Consumers would face less choice, and a less adaptive and responsive Internet.

As someone said when informed that Jerry Garcia was in a coma: "How could they tell?"

Separate Hardware from Services (2)

sanosuke001 (640243) | about 2 months ago | (#46998289)

Just separate each companies' hardware from its services and make two companies, the hardware side being a Title II Common Carrier. Then, anyone, including the former companies' services division can now buy wholesale access and sell their services.

The infrastructure is expensive and it isn't feasible for more than one or two companies to install lines to every home. Have one utility company install the lines and sell to the services companies. It should have been done years ago.

Re:Separate Hardware from Services (1)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | about 2 months ago | (#46998607)

You are confusing the difference between Tier 1, 2 and 3 ISPs with the difference between Common Carrier and Information services. A Tier 3 ISP is almost entirely common carrier, it does in cases contract with Tier 2 and Tier 1 providers who themselves are common carriers. An ISP sort of almost is all hardware as it is. ISPs are already mostly a carrier service as it is right now. The websites such as Yahoo are doing a lot of the content in an advertising driven model. Your bill to the ISP goes mostly to hardware, partly to the ISPs own network, and partly to Tier 2 and Tier 1 upstream providers (in many cases). Tier 2 and Tier 1 ISPs are as much of a common carrier as a Tier 3, and perhaps even more critical. Requiring incumbant Tier 3s to lease their lines to other Tier 3s, since it would allow competition in Tier 3 internet providers. The differentiation would be in customer service and possibly different tier 1 and 2 infrastructure upstream, though the Tier 3 infrastructure would be shared among several customers. I dont think it negates the need for net neutrality legislation.

Ummm (2)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 2 months ago | (#46998347)

You mean like the innovative way Verizon got New Jersey to fork over a boatload of cash for broadband access that Verizon never rolled out....

Re:Ummm (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 months ago | (#46998551)

The increased regulation will be to cable carriers, which Verizon is not. In fact, it will be applying regulations that Verizon is already under to the cable companies.

And the "boatload" of cash the feds handed out was to increase rural broadband access. That's insanely expensive to install and very unprofitable. That's why the ISPs wont do it without federal funding. Cable companies CANT do it, Coax sucks over long distances. They need amplifiers every 800ft. That federal program cost something like $300k per customer added. There's a reason the ISPs refuse to do it themselves, and it's not because they hate you.

Distributed Peer to Peer Mesh is the Answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46998365)

Fuck the ISPs. Up here, Rogers made 1 billion dollars profit in the last quarter ...

We need devices that will do peer to peer and have our own towers that will do comms via peer to peer / mesh. No central ISP whatsoever - fuck em.

Why Title II? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46998393)

Why do we have to classify it under a law that is nearly 20 years old? Is no one in the FCC competent enough to amend, or scrap and remake, the Telecommunications Act of 1996? It's 2014. It's time for a Digital Telecommunications Act that tackles these issues and potential issues for the next 15-20 years, like VoIP, TV over IP, etc..

section 251(b)(5).15 looks ok (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46998395)

Senior VP Robert Quinn wrote: "For example, if broadband Internet access service is a telecommunications service, then broadband Internet access providers could be entitled to receive transport and termination fees under section 251(b)(5).15. The Commission could not avoid this occurrence by establishing a bill-and-keep regime because, unlike voice traffic, Internet traffic is asymmetric."

He appears to be talking about 47 US code section 251 Interconnection
      (b)5 Reciprocal compensation
The duty to establish reciprocal compensation arrangements for the transport and termination of telecommunications.
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/47/251

That rule seems fairly general. There are lots of ways to define who pays for what. An Internet payment plan could be similar to the way things work for telephony as he is suggesting, but I don't see where this rule says they have to be.

Common carrier status gives the FCC the power to regulate. Given this power, the FCC could certainly make a bigger mess. To expect this given the caution and restraint the FCC has shown to date seems far fetched. Balanced against the current state of affairs, this risk doesn't seem a good reason not to do common carrier. It seems a good reason to be carefully incremental with the regulatory path flowing from common carrier.

Thursday's vote should be interesting.

The ISPs may be right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46998397)

At first I was all about turning broadband providers into 'Common Carriers' to help combat their monopolistic practices. I'm not sure now. What will happen once regulated? Will Google throw in the towel, cause they don't want all the extra red tape? From my observations setting up Fiber in areas around Kansas City, They did not want to deal with BS the muni's where throwing at them, and if they couldn't strike a sweet deal with the city, they'd just move on.

From what I hear, Companies like Google, on the threat of providing FTTH, scare the entrenched providers into actually get off their butts and do something. Heck, I live in Manhattan, KS - barely a city, and Cox our provider, decided to double our speeds - so I can top out at 150/20 for $99 - Sure, nothing great compared to the other side of the world, but to say that innovation isn't happening isn't quite true.

My biggest complaint - lack of provider options - I don't see really being fixed with Common Carrier status. What VC is going to want to invest in something as un-sexy as a Govt' regulated utility?

Don't get me wrong - It could happen - SOMETHING needs to happen, It's just not a clear cut to me as it was.

Anti net neutrality stifles innovation (0)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | about 2 months ago | (#46998465)

There is no free lunch. The consumer will pay for internet infrastructure one way or another. The cost of requiring websites to pay end user ISPs would reduce the selection of free services and cause increases in prices for subscription video services. This will not save consumers any money. Instead, what it will do is throw such a regulatory burden and cost onto running innovative new websites that it will reduce consumer choice of web services, and will be bad for the consumer therefore in producing less competition in say, video streaming services by making things much more difficult for startups. So, it discourages entreprenuership and small business innovation and that is bad for consumers. These anti net neutrality things will stifle and kill innovation on the interrnet

If ISPs need more cash to upgrade their network they should do what they have always done, offer a high speed tier for video users and gamers to pay for it.

Allow me to explain how much the US pays... (4, Informative)

Torp (199297) | about 2 months ago | (#46998521)

Here are some pricing examples for Romania, a backwards country somewhere in Eastern Europe.

I pay about $25/month for 40 mbits on a so-called "bussiness" connection - at this price of course "bussiness" means no SLA, but it does mean unmetered traffic and the freedom to run any service i want on that wire.
I also pay about $30/month for 200 mbits on fiber, plus IPTV plus a voice line (not sure of the conditions on voice, I don't really use it). This is a home connection, but it's also unmetered. I think I can't do SMTP through it, but no other restrictions.

This is what happens when you have a little real competition. Everyone has access to at least two out of cable and DSL. Which are no longer cable and DSL, but fiber.

You're going to give me the age old argument that the US is much larger and more spread out, but we have residential suburbs as well, and they get... guess... ethernet and/or fiber :)

They're right. (0, Troll)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 months ago | (#46998533)

They're right, it will.

First, you have to understand what the FCC is proposing.
There are 2 kinds of ISPs we're talking about here. Telco and Cable. They are TOTALLY different. It may seem the same on your end, but its not.

Telcos are heavily regulated by the feds.
Cable is almost completely unregulated.

Much of the telco regulation is left over from the days when there was no other way to get phone service, and no competition from cable companies. A lot of the rules you'd find ridiculous if you understood everything involved. In some places, abandoned homes are required by law to have a working phone line in them for example. They are not required to have working cable television however.

What the FCC suggested yesterday was to apply some of these rules to cable companies. Now, not all of them are dumb. So I don't want you to think this is a terrible idea. I've no idea which regulation they want to apply to cable companies. The one thing I do know is it will hurt their business and in turn hurt your service in the short term.

If you want evidence that it will hurt innovation, just look up what your local phone company charges for service and compare that to your cable company. Then look at each companies max speed. In most areas they charge about the same but your cable company is offering 15 to 50mb/s while your phone company likely caps out at 5mb/sec unless you're in one of the few areas that have fiber.

But again, I want to be clear, there are upsides to the regulation as well. In the long run it'll likely be better for the industry.

Cool (1)

seven of five (578993) | about 2 months ago | (#46998537)

ISPs hold their collective breath until they turn purple and die, new ISPs take their place.

Less options? (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about 2 months ago | (#46998571)

"Under Title II, new service offerings, options, and features would be delayed or altogether foregone. Consumers would face less choice, and a less adaptive and responsive Internet."

Yup, soon we'll have only two options, Telco & Cableco. We're gonna have low speeds and quotas for high prices and some services will be throttled due to compet^H^H^H^H congestion. Oh wait...

Do what we want or... (1)

rnturn (11092) | about 2 months ago | (#46998623)

... we're going to pull up stakes and move to Galtville.

Innovation?! What innovation has AT&T come up with lately? Sure... they've come up with a web site that would make Franz Kafka run screaming into the night but beyond that, what innovation are they talking about?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...