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Policy Wonk Castigates Net Neutrality

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the must-be-happy-today dept.


An anonymous reader writes "Tom Giovanetti, president of the Dallas, Texas based public policy think tank Institute for Policy Innovation envisions a chaotic world as a result of Net Neutrality. He says a flood of undiscriminated traffic to and from Youtube, Coldplay, and Victoria's Secret will bring down the Internet, leading to failures of IPTV, VOIP, and emergency services which depend on VOIP. Is he right or wrong?." From the article: "... government should be about fostering a dynamic and risk-taking economy, not preserving the certainty of anyone's business models. Net neutrality regulations would severely restrict broadband providers' right to enter into contracts and to try new business models while protecting the business models of Google and Ebay." Compare this with George Ou's commentary on this subject from yesterday.

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Justifiable Reasoning (5, Interesting)

duerra (684053) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505536)

I think Tom Giovanetti's reasoning is very justifiable. Often times as humans we are quick to criticize, and very hypocrytical. We should ask ourselves how often we complain about the government regulating this or that and trying to solve problems that don't exist, while at the same time cheer on legislation that would have demanded things such as net neutrality. Now, I'm not saying that there aren't valid reasons for either or both, but it's a rhetorical question that I think we should all be asking ourselves.

Anyway, this is one of the reasons why I'd love to see the government set up a site for everybody to go to, where they can see each of their legislator's votes on issues, as well as a quick comment on the reasoning for voting that way (or longer per the legislator's desire), and put this out there in a very accessible location, and make this a manditory part of the legislative process. The site could be organized in a way such that citizens could easily see the reasoning behind other legislator's votes as well, so that counterpoints are clear to citizens.

This would all help us be better informed and make good decisions, as well as help the government keep itself in check ("I voted no on this legislation because it contains 'xxxxx' add-on legislation that I don't agree with"). Debates would always be there and available to citizens in a way that they can do it at their convenience, and don't have to try and dig up all this information themselves. Essentially, this idea would function a similar purpose as that of a judicial decision opinion (clarifying the decision). We don't need big media to give us all our info anymore. We can get it right from the source. The internet is a very powerful thing. LEVERAGE IT!

Anyway, I know that rant was slightly off topic, but I felt it to be relevant since originally my opinion was leaning towards enacting net neutrality legislation, but I still had my doubts, and this reasoning has made me think that maybe it's just better to wait and see what happens before we get too hasty to legislate, though I still do think that publically funded infrastructure should still be publically owned and unhindered.

Re:Justifiable Reasoning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15505573)

but it's a rhetorical question that I think we should all be asking ourselves.

...wait... what?

Re:Justifiable Reasoning (4, Insightful)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505602)

maybe it's just better to wait and see what happens

No. See my letter to my congresscritter [] .

Re:Justifiable Reasoning (1)

duerra (684053) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505634)

Ah, yes. I understand the concern. I do think that somehow ISP's should be accountable for guarantee-ing a certain level of their advertised services (From comcast's website: "Actual speeds may vary and are not guaranteed"), but that could be constructed as a separate issue from this legislation.

Trajedy of the commons (4, Informative)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505670)

We need to ask ourselves if this is a tragedy of the commons or a case where uniform access decreases costs or provides more public-goods. I don't know which it really is.

The tragedy of the commons is what happens when a resource is provided that lacks a proper mariginal cost for increased use. The classic example is private property versus unrstricted access to public grazing land. By charging a small price for admission per sheep to the land or by making it private, the incentive to overgraze it is removed and the total amount of meat sustainbly raise actually is higher. In this case if it's case where there is simply not enough baqndwith for everyone to do voip, and I don't pay any extra to do VOIP, then it's going to be over grazed and everyone gets a crappy connection. On the otherhand if the connection cost already is sufficient to expand the network to handle all the users that want voip or if we can prevent this from becomeing a power law network with critical links then it may be that the more users the better some sort of p2p works.

Thus another way of looking is this is that the thing we need to fear is too few corporation controlliing the internet and resulting in bottlenecks on backbones. In the long run to get high bandwidth we will need p2p that does not traverse a central backbone.

Assuming that the p2p scaling effect will not be sufficient and the tragedy of the commons wil happen then the way out is to have a pricing schedule. We can put that schedule on the users or on the content providers. the latter is what the backbone owners want since it means no net neutrality and control. The former would be better but I can imagine the cheap ass slashdotters used to paying a tiny sum for all-they-can eat internet won't like it.

Re:Trajedy of the commons (3, Insightful)

Kesch (943326) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505809)

Tragedy of the commons is a pretty good example, but it doesn't fit the net.

The whole commons mentality is "If I don't use it somebody else will."

However, this doesn't work with bandwith. There is no free bandwith just laying around to be snatched up by anybody. You pay for your bandwith, websites pay for theirs, and if you use more bandwith, it costs more.

Thus another way of looking is this is that the thing we need to fear is too few corporation controlliing the internet

This is the entire problem. Most small towns usually only have the local cable company and the local phone company supplying broadband access. There are only a few national telcos with most of the lines under their control. The stage is set for rampant extortion.

You're Right But You're Still Wrong (4, Insightful)

Alaren (682568) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505721)

I think Tom Giovanetti's reasoning is very justifiable. Often times as humans we are quick to criticize, and very hypocrytical. We should ask ourselves how often we complain about the government regulating this or that and trying to solve problems that don't exist, while at the same time cheer on legislation that would have demanded things such as net neutrality.

Actually, his article is very well-reasoned, for someone who clearly doesn't understand the issue. Prioritizing VOIP or TV over torrents and whatnot is a QOS issue. It is important that we keep in mind the "law of unintended consequences" and not make it a crime to do something that actually improves the cultural and technological status quo (OT: like filesharing...)

The thing about government regulation is that the "right way to go" often depends on the current balance of power. This guy is absolutely right to note that Amazon and Google are supporting Net Neutrality for ultimately selfish reasons. But if the enemy of my enemy is my friend, then for the moment at least I'm going to agree with their position if not their motives. What he is proposing is that in a free-market system, regulation would be unnecessary because market forces would naturally correct any problems. Quality of Service could be addressed by the invisible hand and all would be well.

Which is a beautiful analogy, if telecommunications existed in a free market! It doesn't. Depending on where you live, you either have state sponsored or de facto monopolies, you have regulatory influences regarding the usage of your lines, in some cases you are even forbidden by state law to band together as a community and create alternatives to your telecommunications providers.

Net Neutrality needs to be carefully managed to avoid the scenario he describes, but frankly, I think he's worrying about the wrong extreme. It is far more likely that QOS "fees" will turn into extortion rackets than that a network which must remain impartial will fall apart. It's true, if all you think the information age should bring us is more one-way delivery of quality corporat-state-approved entertainment, if you don't mind concentrating power among the wealthy elite and directing the energies of our age to maintaining the status quo, the Net Neutrality is a very bad thing.

But frankly I'd rather have spotty TV and unreliable phone service if it that is what it takes to ensure that I have as much chance as the next person to have my voice heard.

Re:Justifiable Reasoning (2)

slick_rick (193080) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505723)

You assume the legislator actually gives a sh*t about what his constituents think. My guess is they care a lot more about what the people lining their pockets think.

Re:Justifiable Reasoning (3, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505771)

I think all the reasoning against net neutrality doesn't recognize the fact that I, joe consumer, paid to surf the internet. The ISPs can say they'll favor certain corporations, but that's not what I paid for. They are trying to sell a resource, already paid for by me, at the other end. That's double dipping and should be illegal.

Besides, the article is illogical. The very entities like Google CAN pay corps the extortion fee to be in favored status. It's the smaller guys that get fucked. Tom Giovanetti can pretend that this will threaten Google's/Microsoft'sMSN/OtherGenericBigBadGuy business model. And then there is the real world.

VOIP used in emergencies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15505789)

Damn. I wish I had known that before I spent the time to become RACES [] certified.

I guess I should inform the local police/fire/EMA that they should dump the hundreds of thousands of dollars of radio equipment they have, because obviously such archaic equipment is useless to us in an emergency. They should obviously be using skype or vonage.

Re:Justifiable Reasoning (1)

crazzeto (887234) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505891)

Personally I have a tendency not to trust the anti-netnutrality camp. My basic problem is the fact that this camp is made up of ISP's them selves who stand to profit greatly from a tiered internet model. The fact of the matter is while clearly Internet usage is on the rise, it remains wholly unclear as to whether the "backbone" of the internet can be broken. Personally I'm more prone to believe that there really aren't any serious bandwidth issues, probably won't be for quite some time, and that ISP's see this as a great way to double up on their profits.

Wonk? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15505541)

I'm sick of the British-Centric slant slashdot insists upon.

Now good day!

What else is new? (4, Insightful)

Guysmiley777 (880063) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505546)

Corporate shill says private companies should be allowed to control the internet. Film at 11.

Re:What else is new? (4, Informative)

Bimo_Dude (178966) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505702)

Shill, indeed.

If you use this [] as a starting point, you'll find that one of this institute's corporate contributors is Exxon-Mobile. I wouldn't be surprised if companies auch as AT&T are also paying this guy.


He says a flood of undiscriminated traffic to and from Youtube, Coldplay, and Victoria's Secret will bring down the Internet
The fact is, the traffic on the net is already that way, and I don't see the Internet going down. This guy is full of shit.

Re:What else is new? (1)

MrSquirrel (976630) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505792)

Exactly. First thing I thought while I read the article was "which one of the TelComs is paying for this guy's kids to go to college".

as if government is better? (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505763)

at least we have a slight chance to influence a corporation, government, ours, theirs, whomevers, have proven time and time again that they are beyond our influence.

the primary difference between corporations and governments is that there will always be at least one other corporation wanting to sell us something different while government will simply strike the same old tune over and over and over.

yeah I know some corporations wield considerable power but even they are beholden to governments. do you really want all the cards held by government?

Multiple observations: (5, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505549)

First off.. they have been saying one thing or another would "overload the internet" for ages and it has yet to happen.

second. i want to know what his stance on music downloading is given this quote:

"government should be about fostering a dynamic and risk-taking economy, not preserving the certainty of anyone's business models."

if he's against "online piracy" than he is a hyppocrite.

Re:Multiple observations: (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15505644)

"government should be about fostering a dynamic and risk-taking economy, not preserving the certainty of anyone's business models."

But this is precisely what the government will be doing, preserving the outdated business model of cable/telcos by essentially allowing them to levy a tax on internet usage, by way of charging twice for the same service.

So what is his point?

hrmm... (4, Insightful)

Dance_Dance_Karnov (793804) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505557)

Maybe they should think about taking "Life and Death" stuff off the internet, a back-hoe could take out a large part of the net for a day or two. If emergency reponse people are relying on vonage or skype for critical communications, that is a serrious problem.

Re:hrmm... (1)

rk2z (649358) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505576)

how is that any different than a backhoe taking out the POTS copper?

Most emergency services also have radio. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505699)

Which leaves the problems at the "last mile". But that's why you have staff 24/7/52 to fix those "last mile" problems.

Re:Most emergency services also have radio. (2, Funny)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505808)

Hey! Thats Verisons staff schedule

24 minutes per hour
7 hours per day
52 days per year

Re:hrmm... (1)

aliasptr (684593) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505722)

Yeah I was thinking the same thing, although there are more potential points of failure for VOIP but still. Physically speaking everything besides handheld radios (CBs etc) could be destroyed at central locations causing massive communications failure.

Re:hrmm... (2, Informative)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505658)

> Maybe they should think about taking "Life and Death" stuff off the internet, a back-hoe could take out a large part of the net for a day or two. If emergency response people are relying on vonage or skype for critical communications, that is a serious problem.

In a real life-or-death emergency when the phones are down, all you really need is couple of feet of fiber and a shovel. Use the shovel to bury the fiber, and when the backhoe driver shows up, you can ask him to drive you to the hospital.

MY HEAD ACHES NOW (5, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505560)

Over a day and a half of fury about how the internet is being sold by the u.s. house to the big bucks, my head now aches.

I f.ckin do not believe how you, u.s. people can ALLOW for such debate to even take place, such s.hit rule the agenda, and do not blow your congressmen's senator's ears off about the matter.

The biggest revolution, since the french revolution, the internet, is being handed over to the minority elite.

This is our 'thing'. This is the 'thing' of our times. This is one of the most important thing in our times.

My head really aches, and im weary.


dotpavan (829804) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505649)

This article was submitted about a month back.. but due to "differential treatment" of packets.. made it late.


kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505697)

. . .blow your congressmen's senator's ears off about the matter.

Our congressmen have their ears removed, just before being recited their oath of office.

Might just as well be shooting blanks after that.



mOdQuArK! (87332) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505726)

Maybe they'll be able to hear via "bone conduction" if we use a large mallet to get our point across...


QCompson (675963) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505732)

I f.ckin do not believe how you, u.s. people can ALLOW for such debate to even take place

We (the U.S. people) have about as much control over our political system as we do over how fast the earth rotates around the sun. Don't blame us, our democracy's broken.

When it comes to the U.S. Congress, 100,000 calls, letters, and emails from citizens are worth far less than one golf game with a lobbyist


ifdef (450739) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505921)

Now if you had a hundred MILLION people who felt that way, you could do something about it. But most of them simply couldn't care less, or are dumb enough to believe everything they are told, and so those guys keep getting elected.

Re:MY HEAD ACHES NOW (3, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505865)

Hey ... don't give us USians such a hard time ... we have the most powerful military in the world protecting our congressmen, they are a major pain to kill.


Excelsior (164338) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505986)

I f.ckin do not believe how you, u.s. people can ALLOW for such debate to even take place, such s.hit rule the agenda, and do not blow your congressmen's senator's ears off about the matter.

I f.ckin don not believe how you Europeans could allow monarchs to rule for a thousand years, with such s.hit ruling, and did not blow their ears off. We kicked the monarchy to the curb after a short 250 years, na-na.

Look, no offense, but you can't blame all of the U.S. citizens because our loony government has some questionable debates.

that sumbitch Bush in office (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15506007)

...but they say he is a good man, so maybe his advisors are just confused...


agentcdog (885108) | more than 8 years ago | (#15506013)

This sort of argument really bothers me. "The Internet" was never set up as a mass democracy device. It was never meant to be a public forum for policy debate. It was meant as a means for researchers to share information.

It does not belong to you.

It never did.

I love the amount of information I can find on the Internet, and am interested in preserving that aspect of it.

I am also a rational human being, and as such I am willing to listen when someone tells me not to bother them about how to use something that THEY PAID FOR.

Am I sure net neutrality is good? Nope. Am I sure it's bad? Nope. But I do still have reasoning abilities.

If... (3, Insightful)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505563)

If an emergency service depends on VoIP, someone needs to be sacked NOW! Dont wait for the service to fail ... failure is certain.

Re:If... (1)

Dj-Zer0 (576280) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505660)

Physical failure can occur in both voip and non-voip. i dont think just because its voip its going to fail, If you have a conventional T1 line and if you T1 card fails it as bad as a voip router failing.

VOIP or non-voip the idea is to have redundant data paths to ensure maximum uptime.

Re:If... (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505793)

As long as there is one user who has dicthed their landline, doesn't have a cell phone, and is doing all their telephone talking over VoIP, the emergency network depends on VoIP. If you can't call 911 and get to the right people serving your area, you're an accident waiting to happen.

VoIP is operating in a regulartory space where because they don't have to taylor their network to the same level of regulations that POTS, they appear cheaper. When you dial 911 on POTS, you're certain that call will go through, even if another user's non-emergency call has to be disconnected to make room for you. Same goes for cellular service, where you might even connect to a carrier other than your own if they have a stronger signal. VoIP 911 packets should have a right-of-way on the Internet to be considered equal, but it appears if you take Vonage instead of your ISPs VoIP brand, you'll be traveling in the slow lane.

specious argument (4, Informative)

Eric Smith (4379) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505582)

The internet today is mostly neutral, and people accesing Victoria's Secret haven't brought it down.

The telephone system is neutral, but some telephone numbers are clearly more popular than others. Yet this hasn't brought down the phone system.

The reality is that the engineering of the network (including capacity planning and expansion) is done precisely on the basis of traffic flows. There is also congestion control. The internet is not like the public highway system, where capacity problems take years and hundreds of millions of dollars to solve.

Even if a zillion people did all try to get to the Victoria's Secret web site all at once, that would probably not affect my ability to access my email or read CNN's web site.

corporate single points of failure (3, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505814)

Even if a zillion people did all try to get to the Victoria's Secret web site all at once, that would probably not affect my ability to access my email or read CNN's web site.

Unfortunately, due to consolidation, mergers, rabid anti-spam measures, and hard-line corporate push towards 'consumerism' on virtually any kind of internet connection- that's just not true anymore.

A few years ago, it used to be that Apple would bring Akamai to its knees every time they had a big announcement, and anyone that used Akamai (which was a large number of popular sites) would suffer; a million mac users would be trying to load up the webcast or hitting "refresh" a thousand times on or

Google is another example. Google is so ingrained in people's brains that I watch fellow -professional- sysadmins ping "" as a test of whether a machine has DNS and outgoing connectivity. People hardly bookmark things anymore; they just "google it" and sift through the first 6 hits or so to find what they were looking for.

Here's my point: pick any one of the big giants in the internet world today. Now picture they're gone- wiped off the map by a disgruntled employee, a natural disaster, or more likely these days- a corporate scandal (imagine what would happen if Google was the next Enron. If you think that's impossible, look at the Google CFO's background.) Now think about how much that would hurt the web. We've made progress in some areas of the Internet (DNS- you have lots of choices for registrars, though GoDaddy has become the largest by far, and now represents a similar risk), but lost massively in others.

I have ONE choice in internet service provides in my town. I live 20 miles from Boston, but because of "Gentlemen's agreements" that are pervasive in the telco industry, I can't get DSL because Comcast is in our town. 10 years ago I could pick from a dozen dialup ISPs, national, regional, and local- same for ISDN. Now I have ONE choice, and I live in one of the more wealthy and technologically advanced states in the union, and I'm not permitted by my ToS to run a webserver, email server, "discussion board", or "Internet relay chat server". I believe I'm not even allowed to run a VPN server. My ToS clearly states that I am a "consumer" of information services. That's progress?

TCP backs off; UDP does not (5, Insightful)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505583)

VOIP uses UDP. When you get network congestion, you simply get packets dropped and your -oice get- littl- ch-ppy. TCP stacks will send fewer packets per second when packets get dropped.

Ignoramuses keep bringing this issue up as if it's going to KILL THE INTERNET, so we MUST CHANGE INTERNET POLICY. They tried this back in the early 90's when IBM was running the T-1 Internet backbone through some subsidiary. What didn't work back then still won't work today. For an arbitrary packet on the Internet, you cannot tell in which direction the value is flowing; thus you cannot figure out who to charge.

Re:TCP backs off; UDP does not (2, Insightful)

TwilightSentry (956837) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505703)

...thus you cannot figure out who to charge.

So, do it the way the telcos want to do it: Charge every node in the route both ways!

Dumb (3, Insightful)

Cixel Sid (977171) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505585)

This ignores the fact that people and companies adapt. I'm sure the 911 service won't just hope things don't fail; for example, I cluster the servers that handle 911 dialing on our campus because I don't "hope they won't fail." It's like in the 70s when people thought we'd be out of gas by 1996. They forgot to consider that people make adjustments as the world around them changes. We have more gas now than ever. Same with bandwidth.

Re:Dumb (0)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505822)

We have more gas now than ever.

More gas? Yes. Less reserve capacity and fewer untapped new discoveries. Yes.

As in "none."

Greater demand. Oooooooh yeah, and rising rapidly.

The coaster car is always highest just before it starts to fall.


Makes Sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15505587)

I wouldn't want the government to control the internet. I would rather see the consumer make a choice and go with whichever Broadband provider suits their own personal beliefs and politics.

I would rather see a more unreliable internet than see the US gov't decide what is considered "Neutral" or not. This guy seems to be more libertarian than most of the senate. I like him.

Re:Makes Sense (4, Insightful)

wyldeone (785673) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505679)

I wouldn't want the government to control the internet. I would rather see the consumer make a choice and go with whichever Broadband provider suits their own personal beliefs and politics. I would rather see a more unreliable internet than see the US gov't decide what is considered "Neutral" or not. This guy seems to be more libertarian than most of the senate. I like him.

Yeah, while that's a great ideal, it's not the reality right now. Personally, I have two choices for broadband interent: Comcast cable, or SBC DSL. A duopoly hardly is a good environment for fostering consumer choices. While capitalism is great and all, it breaks down when there are monopolies (or duopolies; they don't really allows for much more competition than monopolies). As it does not make sense for multiple companies to hang wires all around the country, a monopoly is assured. In order to protect other services which might use the wires of that monopoly (wires which were, by the way, laid partially with public money) from the monopolies' own interests (i.e., other VoIP providers from the monopolies' own VoIP service), regulation is neccessary.

Put more simply, this has nothing to do with reliability. This is about a few companies controlling the internet.

Re:Makes Sense (1)

Kesch (943326) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505725)

I would rather see the consumer make a choice and go with whichever Broadband provider...

Let's see, right now I am using Comcast for my internet.

If I didn't like their policy (which I don't. They are against net neutrality), I could go to Earthlink for DSL. If I don't like them, then this is about the point where I am screwed. The only other two options where I live are satellite(And the resulting latency issues which kill gaming) or dial-up(56kbps! Whee!)

This same situation is true for much of rural America.

The telecoms have a government-endorse monopoly. They have been given permission to lay cables, and it is illegal for other companies to simply start planting their own lines. There is no fabled "choice" between broadband providers, the market is captive and they want to take advantage of that. The only regulating the government is doing is to prevent providers from proirtizing packets based on destination. I don't even know if it's possible to subjectively interperet the net neutrality ammendment.

As for this doom and gloom he is broadcasting, net neutrality doesn't change anything. Right now, packets aren't discriminated by location. If I followed his logic, the entire internet should be slowing to a crawl at this very second.



Nope, seems like the Earth is still turning after all.

Zero State intervention (2, Insightful)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505606)

The State should not get involved.

The unintended consequences of any act upon a complex system are far greater than the intended consequence - if the intended consequence even occurs at all.

Morevoer, State intervention upon one issue opens the doors to State intervention on many issues.

Do we really think, overall, that the sum of State intervention will be positive or negative?

Given past performance, suspectibility to lobbying, short-sighted political behaviour, "it's for the children", simple incompetence and failure to understand the issues, I'd be far happier with zero State intevention.

Re:Zero State intervention (2, Insightful)

be-fan (61476) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505741)

Except we're already at 100% state intervention.

The whole reason these telcos exist is because of state intervention. All we're talking about now is using that state intervention for the public good, instead of letting the telcos profit from it by screwing the customer.

If you're against state intervention, then back a proposal to get telcos to leave their grubby hands off people's private property. Because the biggest state intervention to this point has been when it claimed eminent domain and allowed the telcos to put their lines on our property to begin with.

Re:Zero State intervention (1)

Rydia (556444) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505776)

Aid programs for the poor is too complicated to get exactly right, so the government should not get involved. (People starve)

International policy with countries we have no direct relations with is too complicated to be entirely effective, so the government should not get involved. (Rouge states can ignore one of the most powerful nations)

Criminal justice is far too complicated for us to get right in every single case, so the government should not get involved. (Yay anarchy!)

You have an easter bunny argument; initially yummy and satisfying, but after the initial bite, ultimately hollow. If the government were bound to not do anything because of fear of the consequences, then we would have no country. Everything the government does nowadays is incredibly complicated- we do, after all, live in a complicated world. Legislation is generally slow because of endless meetings attempting to mitigate unwanted secondary effects. Are they always removed? Heck no. But to say that we should never do anything because something bad might happen is the kind of paralysis that kills any system, much less a government.

Re:Zero State intervention (1)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505982)

> Aid programs for the poor is too complicated to get
> exactly right, so the government should not get
> involved. (People starve)

Aid is complex. State aid is highly inefficient in its application and in particular is prone to corruption - and because of that, people do indeed starve - more than would have done if the aid had been effectively used.

The State should get involved in that it should provide funds, but it should simply distribute dollars to the people in need. The market will ensure they them get to buy what they need.

You are, as I am, deeply concerned about those in need of aid.

*For that reason*, I am appalled by State provision of aid, because it makes the aid that exists far less effective in reducing suffering.

> International policy with countries we have no
> direct relations with is too complicated to be
> entirely effective, so the government should not
> get involved. (Rouge states can ignore one of
> the most powerful nations)

I feel here you are broadening my argument to a sphere so different and so much wider that it is unfair to my original argument.

> Criminal justice is far too complicated for us to
> get right in every single case, so the government
> should not get involved. (Yay anarchy!)

Your argument is flawed - you're asserting if the State did not provide criminal justice, *there would be NO criminal justice*. This is incorrect. In fact, the State does properly have a role in justice, in that it is the role of State to ensure everyone plays by the same rules. Generalizing my argument against State intervention is incorrect, because there are some fields in which I assert the State *should* be involved.

> You have an easter bunny argument; initially yummy and
> satisfying, but after the initial bite, ultimately hollow.

I may be wrong, but I think my argument is deeper than you perceive - you have dismissed a superfical understanding of my concerns.

Re:Zero State intervention (1)

dezert_fox (740322) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505828)

The COPE bill is about state intervention. The unintended consequences of net neutrality (while likely desirable) would have been far smaller than the effect of COPE by itself anyway.

Re:Zero State intervention (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505926)

Do you have running water? Is there a road leading to your house that you can drive to work on? Do you have electricity?

Bring on the government intervention please.

Re:Zero State intervention (1)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 8 years ago | (#15506022)

> Do you have running water? Is there a road leading
> to your house that you can drive to work on? Do
> you have electricity?

> Bring on the government intervention please.

I'm not sure what you're arguing.

Are you asserting that we wouldn't have these things, were it not for State intervention in the market?

Dare I say that we would have had them sooner, and we have them now more cheaply, if the State *hadn't* have been involved?

Electricity in the UK is now about half the price it used to be; this is because of the denationalisation of power generation. The same can be said of the telecoms market, where call prices have fallen through the floor. The National Health Service, however, is a vast shambles, consuming enourmous amounts of money and remains a political football - and the human cost is terrible; all the health care which is *not* done because of the incredible inefficiencies in the spending of the money that is available for health care.

I agree... (4, Insightful)

wfberg (24378) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505630)

Suchs laws would severely impact the contracts broadband companies can enter into.

That's the entire point.

They've been handed full or near monopolies on data communications, and with monopoly comes restriction.

Because they already have, already are, and will continue to screw over the consumer.

Heck, even companies that do not have monopolies have huge restrictions on screwing over their customers when it comes to conflicts of interest. For example; some investment banker isn't allowed to tell you how great company X is, if a different unit of his bank happens to be seriving company X's IPO. That's really just plain common sense.

Net non-neutrality is very simple, basic, econ 101 vertical monopoly. Nothing at all suspect about wanting to curb it. Yes, it happens to benefit other companies. In fact, making sur the vertical playing ground is even benefits the entire economy, and not just broadband companies rights to enter into contracts.

Certainly...but did you notice.... (1)

Mycroft Holmes IV (217745) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505989)

The real irony is that content companies have nothing to worry about. Telecom and cable companies will never have the leverage that content companies fear, because content is king, not pipes. It is content that customers care about, not wires. Network operators won't ever be able to use content as leverage to block or degrade the content their customers want because their customers would reject it, their competitors would pounce on it and the market won't tolerate it.

Telecoms should beware. Google, Microsoft and Ebay are king and the law protects the Telecom and Cable companies -- not the content provider.

Telecoms want to charge more for higher bandwidth services. Fine...lets assume they do so and charge Google, Microsoft and Ebay more.

Ebay screams bloody murder. Cuts off all access to IP address from said Telecom. Their users (and anyone going through their pipes) can't reach Ebay. An economic hit for Ebay as they lose customers (who struggle to find new internet providers) and the Telecoms drop their ISP connections to customers and provide only Trunk services.

The Telecoms chortle with glee. They're making more and not having to deal with customers anymore (less cost).

Then Google demands access at 1/3 cost. Telecoms are agast! Cut costs for Google?

Microsoft announces Micro-Fiber...a new backbone connecting several major ISPs (AOL, MSN and Earthlink) -- which incidently match the current Telecoms backbone. (Microsoft has how much cash on hand?)

Google recontacts the Telecoms. 1/6 profit is better than no profit (which is what they face if Google goes with Micro-Fiber...and is thinking of it). Telecoms pray for a turf war between Microsoft and Google....but Ebay and Google both decide that Micro-Fiber is far cheaper (and Google is considering their own Goo-Fiber if costs increase too much)

3 years later, Telecoms backbone is known for a high speed connection to a collection of poorly run p0rn sites and hacker-wares. The Government is called in to clean up these sites and a judge determines that if Telecoms can be fined if they don't clean up their act.

Things go downhill from there for the Telecoms.

(Think I could work for a think-tank?)

WRONG (4, Insightful)

Kagato (116051) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505632)

Basically, the premise of the tiered system is that companies like your tube, google, etc don't pay for all the bandwidth they consume. NPR's Market Place had a horrible story on last night claiming that with out extra cash from these large web sites, they can't expand bandwidth.

It's the dumbest argument ever. 1) Companies that large connect directly to top tier providers. These companies are paying hundreds of thousandsands of dollars to the top 10 internet back bone providers for fat pipes into the internet. 2) We have tons of dark fiber still running across the US. Companies liek Qwest invested millions upon millions of dollars in infrastructure for customers who still don't exist.

We don't have a bandwidth problem. We have a problem with a congress that doesn't understand infrastructure.

BTW: Here's the list of house member who voted NO the ammendment: []

Policy wonk? (5, Informative)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505648)

This "think tank" was founded by Republican Dick Armey in 1987 [] .
As usual, you just need to follow the money in these matters and this is very revealing. The last year that records were kept regarding Dick Armey's contributions you'll see that his top contributor was Allegiance Telecom. Other notables in the "Dick Armey" include National Cable & Telecommunications Assn, Verizon, BellSouth and SBC. It's all here at open secrets. []

Politicians remain lapdogs to their masters even after leaving the Hill

Re:Policy wonk? (3, Interesting)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505893)

Let's also remember that Richard Armey was given the Poetic Justice Award [] because his web site was blocked by the filtering software that he voted to make mandatory. Time to change your name, Dick!
An anonymous submitter noticed that the Web site of Richard "Dick" Armey, Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives and a staunch defender of censorware and strict Internet regulation, is himself a victim of censorware. Netnanny, Surfwatch, Cybersitter, N2H2, and Wisechoice are among the "software solutions" which Armey advocates. All of them filter his site because it contains the word "dick."

Oblig. Family Guy (1)

tddoog (900095) | more than 8 years ago | (#15506021)

Dick Armey. .snicker.

Who's his wife? Vagina CoastGuard

If i was handed 1-2 million dollars by telcos (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505652)

i too would trash net neutrality ....

NOT ! ....

Unfortunately im not a person that puts money ahead of principles, but apparently there are many that do.

So essentially, what he says, is... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505654)

...that it shouldn't be the services that have the most interesting content (and thus have the most people access it) that get the biggest pipes, but the ones that crawl the deepest into the rectum of the telcos?

That what you want to say, Mr. Giovanetti?

Overload...? (1)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505666)

Someone downloading gigs of porn at a time from a P2P server hasn't overloaded the internet, but a 15 second streaming video from Youtube will? If porn hasn't overloaded the internet, and caused it to collapse in on itself, nothing will.*

A server may fry, and a kitten may get hit by a car, but that's about it.

*(except price gouging...)

VOIP? (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505675)

Oh yeah, I'm sure that the telecoms will ensure VOIP quality. NOT!

Policy Wonka Castigates Net Neutrality (1)

fohat (168135) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505682)

mmmm chocolate covered internet...

What do you mean that's not what it said!?

Indiscriminated traffic ?!?!? (1)

prgrmr (568806) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505691)

He gives away his real agenda with this distinction, in that the important question, for him at least, is not whether the "traffic" was requested with purposful intent, but whether or not the "traffic" was determined to have a valid intent. That is NOT the job of the telcos/cable cos.

Curious (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505698)

That's an interesting twist. He uses the dictionary of OSS and piracy movements: stop using laws to protect someone's business model, Internet should be free to try new methods of doing business and so on.

Is this an attempt to appeal to the techies among us?

It's a pretty weak attempt, given that the entire "tiered" model is about preserving the big ISP-s business model (they are afraid people will use what they pay for, once), and giving them the freedom to wreck Internet and blackmail any online business for extra income (sites to pay all ISP-s for priority traffic).

The FUD about YouTube and company breaking the Internet is hilarious. We don't have one single instance of a single site breaking the "Internet". Doesn't he know the Internet is not a single entity, it's a huge assload of P2P connections, and it's quite some work to break it all at once?

curiosity cat (1)

Medievalist (16032) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505733)

We don't have one single instance of a single site breaking the "Internet".

Re:curiosity cat (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505830)

Good, what do you want to tell me, besides pointing me to an invalid URL (the page you're pointing me to has moved).

Monopolies and Regulation (3, Insightful)

logicnazi (169418) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505704)

Yes, if we were in a situation where individual customers could vote with their feet on net neutrality this anslysis would have a point. There would be less government regulation and the market could sort out whether people value net neutrality.

However, there is little to no effective competition in the internet access market. Sure there is a bit of competition between the cable and phone companies and electric companies always claim to be just about to deploy broadband over powerlines but these providers control the lines and can make life very difficult for any other DSL providers. Besides even if your broadband provider believes in net neutrality it isn't clear you don't still suffer from privleges granted by an upstream carrier. In short their is no easy way for competition to exercisce its judgement that net neutrality is worth paying for (and with enough money surely people could expand their pipes).

I mean just imagine if the local phone company announced it was going to charge you double if you called any buisness that didn't join its prefered buisness program (i.e. paid it money). This would be extortion and phone regulations rightly prohibit it because otherwise phone companies could use their monopoly position to exact almost arbitrarily high profits.

Re:Monopolies and Regulation (1)

slick_rick (193080) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505862)

We were all sunk years ago when dubya and crew decided that the cable monopolies didn't have to open up their network to competition ( 02/nrcb0201.html) and further ruled that they are not subject to Common Carrier status. That effectively locked us into one of three monopolies for broadband (phone company, cable company, or power company in theory at least). In theory the phone companies must share their lines but in reality the cost structure is prohibitive to third parties as well. This action ensured that the smaller mom/pop ISPs would die and never be allowed to grow to offer real competition in the telecom sector (which would sink this whole tiered internet idea as I could just switch providers if Comcast decided to implement it).

The fact that the industries are now using their monopoly/oligopoly power to extort other businesses upstream should not come as a surprise. In fact I would imagine those same lovely republicans would call this "innovation" as the monopolists did figure out a new extortion/business model. The rich get richer, the little guy gets screwed, and life goes on. Watch another episode of American Idle and eat your Mc Donalds numbskull and don't think so much, your ruining the (old) economy with your "fair play" terrorist talk.

Disincentive to increase bandwidth (5, Insightful)

pyza (877061) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505710)

Let me see if I'm understanding this.

If there is enough bandwidth then everyone's traffic will get through regardless of Net Neutrality. If there is congestion though, without Net Neutrality only traffic from sites that paid the extortion fee will get through.

Does this not lead to a situation where it is ideal for an ISP to maintain a certain level of congestion at all times in order to ensure that there exists a reason to pay the extortion fee?

One the other hand with Net Neutrality in place it's in the ISP's best interest to maintain an adequate level of bandwidth to make sure everyone's traffic gets through.

Hell no he's not right (4, Insightful)

TheCabal (215908) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505711)

Why the hell would any mission critical or emergency service be using the Internet as a medium for transport? These services should be on their own redundant private networks.

People have been predicting the death of the Internet for years. First 56k modems were going to do it, then the glut of DSL and cable subscribers. Now it's going to be all the fibre to premises customers and Google. After that it will probably be WiMAX because now we're going to have kilometers of wireless coverage that anyone can jump on. These people seem to forget that bandwidth is a two-way street. You might have 5Mbps down, and all your neighbors, but the hosted server most likely has a bandwidth lock at 1Gbps or so... that's your limiting factor, not how much bandwidth you can pull down.

I paid for the shove off (0)

cyngus (753668) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505729)

I view this much like road access. I pay for the road via my taxes and I can then get in my car and drive where I please. In certain exceptional cases I'll pay a bit more to go somewhere (toll road), but for the most part I'm free to drive as I wish. If the access companies want to charge ME for something that actually costs them money, then fine. Instead they're saying something like, "We'll charge Wal-Mart for the privilege of allowing tax payers the ability to get to Wal-Mart's store." The supplier doesn't cost the access company money directly, the person going to the supplier does. Charge the source of the cost. Regardless, this essentially makes some internet sites more expensive (because they'll have to charge customers/members more, or lower the service quaility) than others that has loose or no correlation to costs incurred by the provider-of-access to the given site.

George Ou == Idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15505738)

Corporate shill

"depend on VOIP"? (1)

ChuckieMac (756495) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505749)

Am I the only one who thinks that VOIP is still too new and immature for emergency services to depend on it? It isn't even profitable yet; just look at the whole Vonage IPO farce. We can't even rely on our cell phones half the time - we certainly shouldn't be relying on the Internet for such critical services as 911. The 100+ year old telephone system is still the most reliable network on the planet.

Re:"depend on VOIP"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15505909)

It's not VoIP technology that can't be relied on. It's trying to use the public Internet for emergency services that's a bad idea. Don't do that.

Police don't rely on the CB radio band for their emergency communications. They use reserved radio bands with their own repeaters, etc. Same kinda thing.

But not a good analogy for the net neutrality debate. Now that 2 Telcos have duopolized the Internet in the US, they want to start raising rates. Since they can't do that among themselves without breaking the law, they are paying Congress to do it for them. That's legal.

Which one should die? (2, Interesting)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505750)

Check this segment FTFA:

Suddenly, the TV image goes pixilated, and then dark. The phone call drops. You hear yelling from your teenagers' rooms. But that's not all.

Across town, police on the beat suddenly can't reach headquarters on their radios. In an ambulance, the EMTs are trying to call in vital signs for a patient they are transporting to the hospital, but they can't get through.

Is it an alien invasion? A convergence of planets or some other astral phenomenon? No, it's a convergence of a different sort. Turns out that tonight is also the night of the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, as well as the night Coldplay releases its latest song online. And YouTube has just released embarrassing video of a major Hollywood star having a ``wardrobe malfunction.''

My question is: how does prioritizing help. If a neutral net can't handle all of this at once, how could one claim a tiered Internet CAN.

And if it's not at all about being able to handle all at once (but about blackmailing service providers), but prioritizing one over the other, which of these should fail?

The quick answer is that VOIP and police stations should have high priority and the rest can go to hell. But is this (to quote the article again) "the converged, always-on, interconnected world we've all been dreaming of".

Would you let some corporate or government entity to anonymously decide which stuff is important and which is less important?
Is the stuff from those who pay more, more important?

Is Coca Cola's site more important than Pepsi's site? Is Yahoo more important than Google?

Plenty of questions, for which the answers will change with every shift of power, as people "on top" work on doing what's "best for us", since we're apparently told we don't know it ourselves.

Re:Which one should die? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15505826)

It helps because I'll pay extra to see the Victoria Secret Show and you'll get sidelined cheepskate!

RIAA/MPAA parallel (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15505754)

want to use the strong arm of government to lock in the certainty of their existing business models

This guy should write to the RIAA/MPAA...

Tollways don't stop speeders (1)

Super Dave Osbourne (688888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505756)

In fact they simply encourage it. The reality of a tier system is that those with resources and can afford it will use it and pay more, and those without will suffer. The result is a system that will bifurcate again and again into a class based net system that will leave the poor behind and the rich to be free and clear of the burdeons of the net as it is now. What this all means is the Net Tier System (NTS) will encourage discrimination. I do hope that this guy is wrong in his assessment, I find it flawed.

Why is this news? (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505757)

A lot of policy wonks are for and against it. That's what policy wonks do, they research issues and take sides.

You know what would be news? Is if a libertarian think tank like Cato came out in favor of network neutrality. Why? Because that would be a major policy group going against what is normally expected of them.

Re:Why is this news? (1)

WMD_88 (843388) | more than 8 years ago | (#15506016)

Cato already came out against net neutrality, two years ago [] .

Smart Filtering vs. Paid Filtering (3, Interesting)

gbulmash (688770) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505770)

Trusting the big telcos and cable companies to act in the best interests of their customers is like hiring a python as a babysitter. They're going to act in the best interest of the bottom line. If the market is savvy enough to make acting in the interest of customers a competitive factor, then they'll do it. If it's not, then they'll screw their customers to make more money and their customers will just bitch and moan, but won't leave.

A very real fear is that a telco says "this pipe is reserved for general internet traffic" and never increases the size of that pipe. As time goes on, they continue to expand capacity, but all new capacity is reserved for the pay-for-play lanes. The original pipe stays its original size for years, getting more and more congested until any company that wants to reach this telco's customers with any kind of speed or surety needs to pay the telco for access to the pay-for-play lanes. That's an unregulated net where filtering and prioritizing has gone awry.

On an overregulated network, where absolute neutrality is enforced, you have the doomsday scenario where World Cup streaming takes down the Internet.

A middleground I think works is that you enforce a ratio of neutral pipe width to free prioritized pipe width (for ensuring that certain services can maintain a certain minimum level of quality) to pay-for-play prioritized pipe width (where a QOS is guaranteed to anyone willing to pay the premium). As capacity grows, all of those pipes grow at a proportional rate. So if BellSouth/AT&T lays new fiber that triples bandwidth across their backbone, the neutral pipe width triples, the free prioritized pipe width triples, and the pay-for-play pipe width triples.

It's figuring out what's a fair ratio and a workable way of monitoring it that's the trick.

That's just silly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15505772)

It can not be that hard to understand that network neutrality isn't about getting something without paying for it. If traffic is going to increase, then networks will have to be improved and somebody is going to pay for that. Network neutrality just means that you can't put the cost on the account of someone who is not connected directly to your network. You'll have to charge your clients or the providers who are peering with you. This makes the cost structure transparent and it allows everyone to see if they get a good deal on bandwidth. This level of transparency is what network providers fear, because they know that bandwidth isn't all that expensive. It's a commodity, so competition can always come in and customers understand that they can get the same product from them. Not without network neutrality though. If YouTube doesn't pay the other provider, you're stuck with your provider whom they do pay. Markets work best when products are comparable. That's a prerequisite to competition.

This is just ridiculous (1)

SixDimensionalArray (604334) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505781)

I have been following this whole discussion, and I want to clear something up for everyone. Network engineers, this one is for you...

General uninformed public, meet Quality of Service (QOS) [] . Simply stated, the concept roughly is:

To allow for differentiated levels of service (ex. best effort, guaranteed delivery, etc.) based upon the content of packets and type of transmission

Telcos, ISPs, etc. should not.. and I repeat.. NOT!!! be able to discriminate against different users of their bandwidth, lines, etc. However, they SHOULD be able to discriminate against different kinds of packets, because different kinds of packets (packets carrying video, packets carrying VOIP data) can vary greatly in size and can greatly impact performance.

The Internet as you know it today is considered to be "best effort" delivery. That means that there is no guarantee that a packet will make it from point A to point B. It's insane not to allow ISPs and telcos not to add a premium that guarantees that. HOWEVER, they also need to have laws passed that force them to also maintain their best effort level of service for the base level of Internet services. It's like telling FedEx that they can't charge you more for air shipping than ground shipping!

If we don't agree with the arguments for QoS, then let's just not implement it! Sheesh!


Re:This is just ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15506038)

Yeah, but ... with QoS, all I have to do is set the class of service bits in my packets and my porn download is now competing with your VoIP call to Grandma.

Straw Man argument doesn't hold (2, Interesting)

malibucreek (253318) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505788)

The author is not an independent researcher. He is a paid shill for an-industry funded think tank [] founded by one of the more aggressively pro-corporate members of the House GOP leadership.

Let's not forget that "net neutrality" is the STATUS QUO. The telcoms want to change the system to take net neutrality AWAY. Recognize this, and the author's "straw man" argument collapses. Shame on the Mercury News [] for printing this corporate PR garbage on its op-ed pages.

maybe?? (1)

atarione (601740) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505801)

all those poor ISP's shouldn't have sold me and everyone else Broadband internet connections with marketing that suggested we would be able to stream high quality music and videos and get d/l music files...etc

if they didn't have the infastructure to support it.

the ISP's just want google and yourtube to pay for their poor business model / marketing.

for years and fucking years this (much video/audio content) is what everyone said the interent was moving towards when it starts getting here... the ISP's suddenly realize they have not built the infastructure to support it?

Our own network? (1)

aphaenogaster (884935) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505807)

Is there anyway that individuals could begin to make a large internet based off of wireless routers? Has somebody been looking at doing this? I really think taking 'business' out of the internet entirely is the way to go. Maybe slow at first, but I would rather be able to have my own server on my own router. DNS would be hard but not impossible... I can see that the old internet is no longer going to work for most of us.

A side order of sarcasm (1)

mjrauhal (144713) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505812)

"... government should be about fostering a dynamic and risk-taking economy, not preserving the certainty of anyone's business models."

The acronym "DMCA" springs to mind. Ah well.

Confusion (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505817)

There is just so much confusion over what this issue means. How can anyone say that Net Neutrality would cause anything, when it is what we already have today? This isn't about adding regulation - it is about preserving the system we already have this is working great.

When explaining net neutrality to lay people, make sure you mention that it is merely legislating how things already are today. It makes it much easier for people to understand and they can see through FUD like this article very easily.

I Read This Title As... (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505832)

"Policy Wonk Castrates Net Neutrality." Probably would have been just as accurate, actually.

What do you mean by net neutrality ? (1)

Crashmarik (635988) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505845)

Theres alot of meaningless to this phrase

To me net neutrality means not discriminating on the basis of origin. Example Verizon/ATT/Bellsouth/Comcast cant arbitrarily decide to play with packets from google to make yahoo the only search engine that works.

Then theres neutrallity based on type of service but not origin. An example would be VOIP from vonnage would work just as well as VOIP from comcast on a comcast cable modem. Similar arguments are there for video.

MOST ISP's have not been neutral in terms of type of service for quite awhile. Most retail ISP's will block mail ports, some block peer to peer ports, others customize your total bandwidth usage. Its hard to make the argument that its not a good thing to have some regulation on the type of service a connection is used for. Lets face it blocking the mail ports helps keep bot nets in check.

The Institute for Policy Innovation (4, Informative)

alizard (107678) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505965)

is a bunch of far right [] corporate spokesdroids. Below is a partial list of their donors. I suspect that a great many of you will recognize them. A.Lizard

  • Armstrong Foundation
  • Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
  • Gordon and Mary Cain Foundation
  • Carthage Foundation
  • Jaquelin Hume Foundation
  • Earhart Foundation
  • JM Foundation
  • F.M. Kirby Foundation
  • Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation
  • Sarah Scaife Foundation
  • John M. Olin Foundation
  • Roe Foundation

IPI's president Tom Giovanetti wrote in an email exchange with Australian blogger Tim Lambert that "IPI has an absolute policy of protecting our donors' privacy". [12]

"If you are correct that organizations like IPI are being funded by companies who have an interest in these areas, the more you rail against us and "expose" us, the more heroic you make us appear to our assumed benefactors, and the checks just keep coming," he wrote. [13]

Unfortunately for their donor "privacy", 503(c) organizations have to file lists of their donors every year. Assume that the telcos will show up in the next filing statement... and that the "policy wonk" is a corporate shill who'd be bloviating in favor of Net Neutrality if Google had paid IPI first. Or NAMBLA if that pedophile organization had paid IPI off to generate "neutral" opinions.

Here's another IPI opinion [] :

The reality is that open source can trap a customer into an outsourcer relationship more readily than commercial software. This is because commercial platforms expose standard APIs for third party applications and any consultant can develop for them. open source will go the way of other IT industry fads that were once trumpeted as the way of the future, like Macintosh computers, business AI, 4GL programming languages and Y2K.

Give him a taste of his own medicine (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505976)

I wish we could get the USPS to charge his Institute for Policy Innovation a surcharge for delivering their mail to people. Get the telcos to charge the Institute for Policy Innovation for letting its outgoing calls into their networks.

Opposition to net neutrality is about men in suits who "don't get this whole intarweb thing" but want to milk it for every dime they can.


Net Doublecharge (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15506005)

All this telco "Net Neutrality" mumbo jumbo just means that AT&T can charge put Google in a bidding war with Yahoo to speed searches and content over AT&T's Internet hops. In addition to the money Google already pays to the carriers for carrying its vast Internet traffic at the connection point.

Anyone who paints it any more complicated than that is spinning. For a fee from someone, whether directly from the telcos or some ideology thinktank gobetween.

Preaching to the choir (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15506011)

Besides, gifs in pages already choked da internet to death, as eveyone predicted back then. :P Idiot retards.

What a crackpot... (1)

1053r (903458) | more than 8 years ago | (#15506019)

This guy is nothing more than a Joe Sixpack dressed up in a suit. He knows nothing more about internet than my grandma does. People have been screaming, running around with their heads cut off yelling "The internet's going to explode any day now!". Well, if it does, good. Serves those bastard ISPs right for not giving us what we paid for and what they explicitly promised. If you want to stop this crap, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! Send an email by way of this page [] and even better, send a handwritten letter (on real paper) to your senator. We must protect our freedoms, the freedoms that the government (or more correctly, big corperations) are leaching away a little bit at a time.

They get what they pay for... (1)

Jason Straight (58248) | more than 8 years ago | (#15506028)

Youtube has a finite amount of bandwidth, they are not given free reign to the entire backbone, they are allow to send out as much as they pay for - period. The worst that will happen is youtube will suffer a slashdot effect and be swamped. If the case is that the backbone needs to be upgraded then upgrade it. Maybe if the damn telcos stopped offering ghastly amounts of bandwidth to subscribers for near nothing it wouldn't be a problem.

Be careful what you offer, you just might sell it. And that's exactly what's happened, youtube could have a gigabit connection to the internet and it wouldn't matter a damn bit if the telcos weren't selling 6Mbit DSL for $60/mo, yet turning around and selling 1.5MBit T1's at $600/mo. Which is it? Is the bandwidth really worth something or not? Make up your mind telcos.

Content providers pay dearly for high bandwidth connections, yet the same telco will sell the ability to download for a fraction of that to DSL subscribers, then they whine because they don't have enough bandiwdth to cover it all and expect the content providers to pay to the price again because it's the telco that sold the DSL too cheap.
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