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Net Neutrality Being Examined by FTC

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the it's-all-about-the-benjamin's dept.

176

elrendermeister writes to tell us Computerworld Security is reporting that the Federal Trade Commission has formed an Internet Access Task Force to evaluate the validity of claims that large broadband providers should be able to limit or block web content from competitors. From the article: "Chairwoman Deborah Platt Majoras on Monday also called on lawmakers to be cautious about passing a Net neutrality law, which could prohibit broadband providers such as AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp. from giving their own Internet content top priority, or from charging Web sites additional fees for faster service. [...] 'While I am sounding cautionary notes about new legislation, let me make clear that if broadband providers engage in anticompetitive conduct, we will not hesitate to act using our existing authority,' she said. 'But I have to say, thus far, proponents of Net neutrality regulation have not come to us to explain where the market is failing or what anticompetitive conduct we should challenge.'"

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176 comments

Just because... (4, Insightful)

daeg (828071) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965955)

Just because the behavior isn't there now doesn't mean that we should put off neutrality legislation until it becomes a problem. The easiest solution to any problem is to fix it now before it becomes a problem.

Re:Just because... (5, Insightful)

Durrok (912509) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965970)

That is not the way goverment works at all though. Let the issue become a problem, let the problem become over blown, then either:

1. Wait for an election year if it is an "election topic" (stem cells, flag burning, etc)
2. Wait for a corporation to give you a large "donation" and then vote however they want you to.

Re:Just because... (1)

uhlume (597871) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966815)

Wait, when did either of those examples ever become problems, let alone overblown?

Re:Just because... (4, Interesting)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965972)

I heard someone was developing a Firefox plugin that could detect a 'non-neutral' connection. Once it hits mainstream, providers would probably be reluctant to slow down some 'tubes' for mass phonecalls to tech-support or customer migration to another provider etc.

So how is that plugin coming along?

Re:Just because... (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 6 years ago | (#15966415)

The vast majority of the public is barely knowledgeable enough to check their damn email. No significant fraction of the American public is gonna understand or care about net neutrality, much less download some fancy plugin for a browser they never heard of.

Re:Just because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#15966522)

No significant fraction of the American public is gonna understand or care about net neutrality, much less download some fancy plugin for a browser they never heard of.

I guess that i'm the only one that cares about net neutrality then...

If the american public doesnt care about something till they lose it, then I guess you are on your way to zero personal freedom, higher taxes, $10/gal gas, no american cars, a corrupt government dictatorship etc).

Re:Just because... (2, Funny)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966576)

> If the american public doesnt care about something till they lose it, then I guess you are on your way to zero personal freedom, higher taxes, $10/gal gas, no american cars, a corrupt government dictatorship etc).

Well, yeah. Did you just get here or something?

Re:Just because... (1)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966717)

The vast majority of the public is barely knowledgeable enough to check their damn email.
You don't need the vast majority of the public. You only need a few people who know what they are doing on each of the big monopoly networks. If they can PROVE that the big guys are engaging in anticompetitive behavior, then let the class actions begin...

Re:Just because... (1)

Pollardito (781263) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966605)

your non-net-neutral ISP will just block you from downloading that plugin and the game continues

Re:Just because... (2, Insightful)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966725)

your non-net-neutral ISP will just block you from downloading that plugin and the game continues
Well, I think that alone would be sufficient proof of anticompetitive behavior. How nice of them to make the task even easier.

Re:Just because... (4, Informative)

sleeper0 (319432) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966768)

After researching the subject of "net neutrality" I found that two considerably different definitions of the term are in use.

The first is the idea of preventing providers from shaping or blocking traffic based on the source or destination corporate entity - ie making google traffic super slow while making msn traffic extra fast. This is obviously troubling and should be subject to oversight. A vast majority of consumer broadband is already subject to regulatory oversight though, either through city franchise agreements or through state PUC's. While I'd support federal laws to curtail this if needed, wouldn't it be better to let the existing structures work if they have the means?

The second definition was in use heavily by the technical communities that are researching or providing data about net neutrality. This definition includes the first definition but also adds on basically any kind of traffic shaping or port blocking based on protocol or port, irrespective of the public WAN side source or destination. Examples of this are shaping to reduce the network impact of peering systems like bittorrent or other heavy users like NNTP and IPTV, and the policies blocking some services universally inside a tier such as not allowing inbound connections to server ports, outbound PPTP, VOIP over cellular data etc.

Shame on those technical folks that are trying to substitute the second definition for the first, they should know better. Trying to legislatively micromanage decisions every provider has to make to make for network usability and completely banning all forms of QOS would be a serious mistake. While I'd be pretty upset if i woke up tomorrow and found i was unable to use VPN protocols, I'd rather have to complain to my city about the franchise or switch providers than end up with a situation where washington banned a whole set of core network management technologies that have been in use for decades without which the internet would be much worse off.

Every study that i saw that included statistics or hard data actually fell under the latter definition and not the former. The reason is that it is relativey easy to detect port blocking and protocols that have different throughput characteristics and examples are fairly common. Trying to programatically detect shaping based on corporate entities or netblocks would be very hard unless it was extremely blatent - what are you going to do, measure connections to thousands of different content providers? Even then how could you tell if the bottleneck was put in place by your edge network or was just due to host side network capacity?

I'd expect any browser plugin that was built would do the same. While it would be useful to know what blocking and shaping you are subject to, trying to group it under of the umbrella of anti-competitive practices is highly deceptive.

Re:Just because... (2, Insightful)

MrPeach (43671) | more than 7 years ago | (#15967324)

Let's make one thing extremely clear here - when a company markets something called "internet access" and a consumer purchases said service, there is a certain expectation of service. If you are limited to outgoing connections to web addresses, then you don't have an "internet connection" , you have a "web browsing connection".

If they are marketing and selling one thing and delivering another, we have a problem, and that is why us techno geeks have pushed this definition. Not to force them to make all connections the same, but to be up front about it and not market and sell a limited connection as a full-on "internet connection."

For example, I have internet service through Comcast - you don't see them marketing this as a browse only internet connection, though that is in fact what it is. They restrict the use of servers to their "business class" service. So I don't really have a real "internet connection" unless I pay more money. Again, you aren't ever going to see them state that upfront in any presentations they make to the public.

Call it "truth in advertising" if you will. If they want to create different classes/speeds/whatever of internet service, they have to clearly differentiate them so people will know what they are getting. They need to be upfront and honest.

Irrespective of all that, if one takes the view that the fundamental unit of communication on the internet is the packet, then one can easily take the view that all these packets should be treated the same by all involved in their transport (ISPs and backbone folks). Call it an egalitarian viewpoint if you will that all packets are created equal. This is clearly not a POV these folks are willing to even discuss, because all their plans are based on being able to prioritize different types of traffic. Plans that are fundamentally grounded in the telco/cable mindset of establishing marketing differentialized direct connections from a source to a destination and, most importantly, charging more for them.

Everyone involved in this knows that the only reason one could make the case for charging users (or providers) more for this type of service is if it offers something above and beyond a stock internet connection. And since they can't sell long distance, or 800 lines or premium channels or pay-per-view the only thing that could possibly be is speed/priority. They aren't providing the content, just the connection - they have no other way to "add value" to the "consumer experience" beyond selling the base internet access. And they are SO jealous of all the money being made over "their pipes."

Everyone also knows that the experience of the folks implementing Internet2 is that the only reason for packet prioritization is if you are NOT going to upgrade your "tubes" to make more bandwidth available all around. And THAT my friends is the 2000 lb gorilla they WILL NOT talk about. If there is enough bandwidth there is no need for packet prioritization - beyond artificial marketing based ones, that is.

So do we have an internet whose structure is robust and determined by technical considerations or one that is a craven creature bowed and bent by marketing droids?

Your choice!

Re:Just because... (4, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#15966115)

The FTC is largely anti-neutrality. The "there's no problem yet" attitude will, once the problem exists, likely be replaced with a "the problem doesn't justify the disruption that forcing companies to change established practices" stance once problems emerge (unless FTC members are replaced, first.)

Of course, taking action before there was a problem would avoid the disruption, but the FTC is on the side of the people who stand to benefit from the "problems" that would be prevented.

Re:Just because... (1, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#15966130)

No, that's the easiest way to tyranny.

Well.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#15966280)

Don't be too hasty! Last I knew, the bills that were actually likely to pass through Congress sucked :-(

See http://www.savetheinternet.com/ [savetheinternet.com] for more details. That said, I do want one of the *good* bills to get through, and this is kinda hopeful to me, since I was afraid that all the good ones were dead...

Re:Just because... (1)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 6 years ago | (#15966341)

If my memory serves me correctly the behaviour is exactly there now.
I vaugly remember my network protocol class lecturer saying that the TCP/IP has a priority flag within it, and he said to never set it to anything other than 'high', otherwise your traffic will not get through as most network routers are set to drop low-priority traffic.

So IMO, if we 'lose' net neutrality, you either have to pay the high price for all your traffic, or your stuffed. But the IPS's know this, and that is exactly their model.

one question for the non-neutral fanboys: If the 'tubes' are already "strained", how will a non-neutral net give you better service??!!

Re:Just because... (2, Insightful)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 6 years ago | (#15966406)

I dunno, but the chairwoman's reasoning is inherently flawed.

It's not about paying for faster connections; it's about paying for more _reliable_ connections. For example, if, say, Verizon's VoIP has a higher priority than, say, Skype's, your Skype call will skip, as the packets will have a harder time being routed (They'll have to wait in line at the router until it deigns to pass it along).

Which, of course, brings us to the nub of the matter: Mr. Stevens, being an apparently paid and scripted actor for the Telecom industry, suggested that e-mail, for example, would be given higher prio than other services. How long do you think it will be before filesharing clients start overriding port 25 for the purpose of dumping on massive amounts of content (massive amounts of content)?

Re:Just because... (2, Interesting)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 6 years ago | (#15966476)

Are you implying internet traffic is unreliable now, and will be 'cured' by a non-neutral net?

The only reason I can see the internet traffic being unreliable is because the ISP's sell more bandwidth than they actually have. Now that people use the bandwidth they paid for, the ISP's infrastructure is strained and they need a way out. Its a choice of upgrading their infrastructure, or somehow forcing people to use less, or prioritizing "important" traffic.... They are too cheap to do the first cos it will dig into profits, they will have trouble doing the second cos they cant control the masses, and so the only viable option is the third, and if they do it right, they can charge more!!

Re:Just because... (4, Insightful)

arodland (127775) | more than 6 years ago | (#15966458)

Just because the behavior isn't there now doesn't mean that we should put off neutrality legislation until it becomes a problem. The easiest solution to any problem is to fix it now before it becomes a problem.

No, it's not! The role of government is not to preemptively pass legislation against anything that might conceivably hurt someone. We have fair trade and "anti-trust" statutes on the books, with the ostensible purpose of preventing businesses from abusing monopoly powers to hurt their customers. We have a common law system in which, if someone performs some unjust action that injures you, you can be compensated for it. The notion that government should be there to protect you against any potential wrong by means of legislation is a very dangerous idea, and it's fostered by people who have their hands on some government power, and realize that they can gain even more power by expanding the scope of the government's responsibility.

Need more to work with? Okay, this is Slashdot. We complain a lot about the TSA, right? How they put forth these regulations that are not only inconvenient, but actually useless at achieving their stated goals, right? But they do it to give the appearance of solving a problem. That's what the hypothetical "net neutrality commission" would be doing. Creating and enforcing regulations on the actions of internet carriers. They won't be beneficial to the providers, because of course the burden of proof will be placed on them to show that they're not doing anything "wrong". And they won't be beneficial to customers either, first because the system will be easily manipulated (this is gubmint, remember?), and second because the providers will demand additional fees to cover their new responsibilities. In fact, it won't benefit anyone, besides the "only fit for government work" people who will get jobs out of it. But it will make a vocal minority happy and give the appearance of "getting something done". It will convince daeg that they're "fixing it now beore it becomes a problem".

Sound like a good deal?

Re:Just because... (1)

lowenstein (996640) | more than 6 years ago | (#15966475)

The problem IS HERE

http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=194845&cid =15966050 [slashdot.org]

but feel free to slap me -1:Troll, it is really troll-like and unimportant that in some unimportant countries they have blocked all major .coms just for the benefit of local ISPs portal.

The first thing I thought (1)

TheRequiem13 (978749) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965973)

...could prohibit broadband providers such as AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp. from giving their own Internet content top priority...
Good! I don't want them to give their own services top priority. I want to prohibit that kind of behavior.

monopoly and false advertising (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15965982)

The two main anticompetitive problems with "lack of net neutrality" are that in many places people have a restricted choice of broadband suppliers, and that an ISP may say "up to 4 megabits!" when connections with servers which haven't paid for premium access cannot hope to reach that top speed. My opinion on the first problem is, it's self-resolving, since we're beginning to see some good competition between broadband providers. The second problem, on the other hand, is IMO a legitimate concern, and that while I disagree with "net neutrality" legislation, if an ISP advertises its top speed at a level reachable only by "premium" server connections then that should be considered fraud.

Its all in the name. (4, Insightful)

flyingace (162593) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965988)

"Net neutrality" will be pass, as lawmakers would not want to appear "not-neutral". On the other hand if the bill was called, "internet expedited service" bill, lawmakers will feel whole lot differently about it.

Just my 2 cents and hunch

Re:Its all in the name. (2, Insightful)

legoburner (702695) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966077)

I dont know... lawmakers have their series of tubes [youtube.com] . In their minds neutral tubes might get contaminated with porn or other bad data, so surely dedicated, premium tubes would be much better. Common sense does not seem to apply to about 10% of lawmakers, yay democracy ^_^

Re:Its all in the name. (2, Insightful)

Firehed (942385) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966855)

10%? I detect an error by about an order of magnitude here. Especially since the porn industry would be the first to pay for premium QoS.

Re:Its all in the name. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15966089)

The Anti-Terrorist Net Neutrality Millennium Act 2006 to Catch Osama Bin Laden.

Re:Its all in the name. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#15966545)

The Anti-Terrorist Net Neutrality Millennium Act 2006 to Catch Osama Bin Laden.
You forgot "help the children".

Am I missing something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15965990)

Aren't the anti-competitive practices that Ms Majoras asking for currently illegal? In which case, the FTC/FCC already have taken care of it?

In other words, her argument is pretty much like this: "We don't need new rules because no one is doing things that would break those rules. Even though breaking those rules isn't currently allowed under existing rules."

Someone clarify (1, Interesting)

format1337 (957144) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965993)

This whole Net Neutrality debate confuses me.

I know the basics and the concept of a 'Tiered Internet' but what I don't get is how people are so outraged about tiered internet when such a system exists for cable tv.

No one is outraged that the basic package of cable doesn't include X and Y channel but when the same issue is raised against the internet they yell out 'DON'T BLOCKS MY GOOGLES!!'

In some places the only Cable TV company is the same as the only ISP in an area so the debate over local monopolies doesnt hold either.

Re:Someone clarify (4, Informative)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966010)

Off the top of my head, here's one substantial difference. Television is strictly one-way communication, used to deliver a message to a segment of population (i.e. advertising). The Internet is two-way, capable of being used by nearly anyone for nearly any purpose.

Re:Someone clarify (5, Insightful)

TheRequiem13 (978749) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966023)

To build an analogy using cable TV it would be more like this:

You pay for your providers full cable package, so you get all the channels. However, PBS has decided not to pay the "premium service fees" set by Big Cable, Inc., where as NBC has paid them plenty of money. You like PBS, and watch it a lot. Slowly but surely, the signal for PBS is getting fuzzier. You can still watch the shows, but the picture isn't as crisp as it is for NBC because Big Cable has decided he'd prefer your eyes on NBC, who pays them money. So he throws some noise onto the PBS frequency.

That's what we need to prevent.

Re:Someone clarify (3, Interesting)

Pulse_Instance (698417) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966049)

Where I live Shaw already does something very similar to this. They insert a small bit of fuzz into the analog system so that you will upgrade to their digital system.

Re:Someone clarify (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 6 years ago | (#15966437)

What's interesting here is that Shaw is also a high-speed cable internet provider.

Re:Someone clarify (1)

theGreater (596196) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966028)

Well, the CATV system was designed to be a broadcast system. The Internet was designed to be an open system. CATV was never about exchanging datasets between universities in the spirit of cooperation.

We're not saying "DON'T BLOCKS MY GOOGLES!!" We're saying "IT'S NOT BROKEN! DON'T 'FIX' IT!"

-theGreater.

Re:Someone clarify (1)

format1337 (957144) | more than 6 years ago | (#15966236)

Seems that this whole thing is a debate over 'How it should be'(TELCOs) vs 'How it already is'(everyone else)

Seems like alot of people are willing to bend over and take it. And TELCOs are willing to give it. So what, they have to hire a couple hundred more outsourced workers to answer phones? They are a dime a dozen anyways.

As soon as a company that actually cares (ie 'won't be evil', wink wink) comes along, this will all be a moot point.

Re:Someone clarify (3, Insightful)

daeg (828071) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966065)

Because the spirit of TV and the spirit of the Internet are completely different. On the Internet, anyone can publish content. I can pay the same as my neighbor and play an online game of chess, read Slashdot, and check my investments. My neighbor can swap school photos with their family, get scrapbooking tips from an online community, and participate in chain letters of impending religious doom.

It is commonly accepted that TV is a very difficult market to enter. My neighbor wouldn't have the capital to create a scrapbooking TV channel, but she could certainly start a scrapbooking Yahoo group.

Tiered Internet does make sense -- but only if you tier based on application and not by content. In my opinion, VoIP should go quicker than HTTP. However, I don't want my ISP limiting my HTTP traffic by allowing google.com to come through unmetered, but at the same time limit money.cnn.com because Google decided to pay my ISP more.

Re:Someone clarify (1)

unitron (5733) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966798)

"However, I don't want my ISP limiting my HTTP traffic by allowing google.com to come through unmetered, but at the same time limit money.cnn.com because Google decided to pay my ISP more."

The more likely reality will be that your ISP is RoadRunner over Time-Warner Cable or AOL over Time-Warner Cable or Earthlink over Time-Warner Cable and anything from CNN (which is owned by Time-Warner) will get there faster than anything from Google (or CNN competitors MSNBC and CNBC, both owned by NBC).

Re:Someone clarify (1)

kwark (512736) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966073)

Guess again, many people are outraged about cable packages. Every package I can choose from contains channels I don't want to pay for (even in the basic package).

Re:Someone clarify (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#15966399)

Guess again, many people are outraged about cable packages. Every package I can choose from contains channels I don't want to pay for (even in the basic package).

I'm guessing that is exactly why these media access companies are jacked up about this. For the case of TV, if IPTV allows you to get only the channels you want to get, then you will not have to pay for the channels you don't want. That means the ISP-aspect of the companies would have to start paying to ramp up bandwidth to support all the stations the different customers and to lose revenue from a reduced cable or satellite TV subscriptions. If there were no net neutrality, and since the broadcast point of the IPTV is outside of the media access companies' control, then the ISP would have no control over how much bandwidth they'd have to support. But if you didn't have net neutrality, then the ISP is free to make deals with certain sets of IPTV broadcasters.

The (currently vocal) IPTV broadcasters derive benefit from net neutrality in that it would then prevent the ISPs from preferential treatment to other broadcasters.

Do not think that IP multicast would be the solution to this. The whole point of these Internet companies is that you get to get whatever you want whenever you want. That means, you get your TV show download from iTMS whenever you want it.

This problem would be similar for other kinds of services. Don't limit your thinking that this would apply just to broadcasting services.

Re:Someone clarify (2, Insightful)

coop0030 (263345) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966095)

The problem is that cable tv was originally introduced as a completely different product than was advertised to everyone, including the government. It was supposed to be commercial free, and much more consumer friendly.

The problem with not having net neutrality is that even though there isn't a true monopoly it seems that the big ISP's work together to make more money, and that doesn't benefit the consumer.

As a consumer, why would you want it so you have to pay more, and have a nickel-and-dime service. We are already paying surcharges and fees for things that shouldn't have a fee or surcharge (note: Verizon and Cingular are famous for this).

Sometimes legislation, although unfortunate, is required to protect the consumers from being unfairly treated. The ISP's are already making money from you, and also making money from the websites that you go to. They are trying to double, and triple charge everyone to pad their pockets.

Re:Someone clarify (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#15966099)

that's why people were/are fighting to get cable channels ala carte. This way you're not buying a bundle of crap you don't want, and to get the stuff you do want you have to pay for the more expensive package. I know atlantic broadband is setup this way. There basic package really really sucks. You want any channel with decent shows you have to go to the next package, which bumps you from like 13 channels to 60 or so, and also costs around $50 instead of $15. The next tier still has alot of channels i'll never watch, so why should I be forced into getting the $50 package just to hvae the 3 channels I do watch? Not having TV isn't really an option since I do use it for business also, but Home and Garden TV and Bravo aren't channels I want to pay for, I don't watch them!

It's the same reason I don't buy CD's anymore. $15 for 12 songs, 2 of which I actually like or even know of. The rest? Junk to me. Why spend $15 for 12, when I can just get the two I want for $2 off of ITunes? The other $13 I could be using to buy other songs I enjoy. Before ITunes the music industry wasn't making a dime off of me because I didn't buy because of that fact.

Re:Someone clarify (1)

rolofft (256054) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966598)

I've been thinking about opening an à la carte ISP company. Instead of getting access to all 12 billion pages on the WWW, which most people don't need (homeandgarden.com for example), you'd pay a small fee to your ISP for each site you "subscribe" access to. I hope these "net neutrality" laws being bandied about don't affect my business model.

Re:Someone clarify (3, Interesting)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 6 years ago | (#15966133)

I think it's along the lines of ISPs doing this without informing their customers what has happened. Their customers need not know that SBC extracted a heavy toll from YouTube or Google in order to deliver their video. And that even if you could know when your connection was tiered, no market offering would exist for an untiered connection. In other words, they're levying their massive subscriber base against people who profit from them having a decent internet connection, by holding it ransom. You'll note they aren't calling it anything like QoS, because that would imply that the offering has some level of reliability / quality.

Re:Someone clarify (1)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 6 years ago | (#15966147)

People are against a tiered Internet because they fear that such a setup will reduce the quality of their Internet "experience" unless they pay more. For example, a web site that you might visit frequently could become slower because it has been placed on a lower tier.

The same applies to cable TV. If a channel I watch regularly is moved to a higher tier, then it means I need to pay more to watch something that I've been watching all along. That would make me mad. It would make anyone mad, which is why cable companies rarely do that. I've had regular analog cable for 8 years now, and I've never "lost" a channel I cared about.

Re:Someone clarify (4, Insightful)

renehollan (138013) | more than 6 years ago | (#15966154)

I pay to access the internet, not some part of it.

The lack of net neutrality means that an ISP can prevent me from accessing content hosted by someone who uses a competing ISP unless I, or they, "pay extra". They're already "paying extra" to interconnect in the first place!

Do we really want to reduce the internet to a bunch of transiently connected BBSes?

Re:Someone clarify (1)

zenthax (737879) | more than 6 years ago | (#15966281)

Um....is isn't it obvious we don't want the internet to become like cable tv.

Re:Someone clarify (1)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966840)

The internet is not like cable TV actually is.

It's more like NBC-Cable offers you 1080-P high definition on NBC-affiliated channels and retransmits other channels, like those from competitors ABC or CNN, in analog with drifting color saturation, static, and ghosting because those companies failed to pay the protection money. This comes after everyone has been receiving 1080p on all channels since the beginning of television.

In a just world, NBC would then be swiftly and viciously penalized by both the market and the government for a very long time. Now replace cable TV company names with ISPs and 'channels' with 'websites'.

Re:Someone clarify (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15967072)

That isn't the point. The point is, that the internet is not owned by the phone and cable companies, so they should have NO say in what information can go where. The internet is built and maintained by people like you and I, who PUT the content there.
The phone/cable companies should stay in their place, and that place is simply a high speed connection to the internet.
Listen, in other countries, they aren't having this problem, because their phone/cable companies aren't trying to pull this crap.

This is just another way for the good ol american companies to make a capitalistic system out of something that was once free and open for anyone to use. It's happened before, and it will happen again. It sickens me that people don't even care whether or not these fat-cats have say in what we are allowed to load up on our computer screens.

The counter-point that "oh well cable TV is tiered" doesn't make a valid point at all, because cable TV is one sided, and we have no control over what is put on it. Cable is discusting that way. The internet, is like public radio, we can do what we want with it, and it should stay that way. If we allow companies to control what is allowed "premium access" we're allowing censorship of anything we write or which to view. That's a little bit of a facist ideal, in my opinion.

This is ONE government regulation I actually support. This way, any guy/girl with an awesome idea can stand up to corperations and show them what's up. Yes yes, you can say that the people in office right now are small buisness, small government types. But thats a lie. They want money for the corperations. This is one way of doing it. They ACT like they want small government, but then in the act of using the "hands off method" they are letting corperations hold monopolies on information. THIS is precisely the reason why this regulation is needed.

Sorry for any spelling errors, it isn't my strongest skill.

The NUMBER ONE reason why the Internet spread so quickly and is so full of variety, is because it is free and open for anyone to put whatever they like on it. It's our last little piece of equality in information and news in this country. Let's NOT allow the rich to rule that, for once.

Re:Someone clarify (1)

ben there... (946946) | more than 7 years ago | (#15967098)

Right now, you pay your ISP. Google pays for their access to the internet. That's the simple part. In between, your connection to Google hops through several different routers owned by several different companies. Those providers use "peering" [wikipedia.org] if they each pass the same amount of traffic to each other, and no money is exchanged. Otherwise, one of the providers pays access to the others' customers, or "transit." So that's how it works now, and it works fairly well.

But what if each of those hops forces Google to pay them or they will slow down Google's traffic? Suddenly, you and your neighbors on the same ISP, as well as scattered neighborhoods around the country get a slow or inaccessible Google. Other neighborhoods might get slow Yahoo. The web suddenly becomes spotty. It's no longer a level playing field.

That's without even considering the kind of unreasonable deals (practically extortion) that could happen and cause interruptions in some people's service. Or the potential for some companies to choose not to allow certain types of speech to traverse through their network.

Only if it suits them (4, Insightful)

x3nos (773066) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966047)

'While I am sounding cautionary notes about new legislation, let me make clear that if broadband providers engage in anticompetitive conduct, we will not hesitate to act using our existing authority,' she said. 'But I have to say, thus far, proponents of Net neutrality regulation have not come to us to explain where the market is failing or what anticompetitive conduct we should challenge.'

Since when did the FTC all the sudden start taking this anti-legislation stance? So they will only legislate issues after-the-fact? Let Comcast, Verizon, AT&T bully the market, then we will see if we decide to do anything about it . . . right!

The thing that net neutrality proponents are proposing is resistance to current talks of creating a tiered internet:

"In essence, network neutrality regulations proposed by Senators Snowe and Dorgan[4] and Representative Markey bar ISPs from offering Quality of Service enhancements for a fee.
--From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

Re:Only if it suits them (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#15966446)

This should be something like
"In essence, network neutrality regulations proposed by Senators Snowe and Dorgan[4] and Representative Markey bar ISPs from offering [source-prejudiced] Quality of Service enhancements for a fee.
--From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

QoS would not be made illegal, but selectively restricting QoS based on where the connection originates would be.

However I would predict all the attempts to enforce net neutrality will fail: the public will not see why it would be wrong to offer faster downloads off 'partner' sites at no apparent cost.

Cellular carriers already do that at will with the all-you-can-eat in-network calling and 'free' partner video/news downloads.

Can't open many .com, .org sites (0, Troll)

lowenstein (996640) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966050)

Here in Europe we can't reach some of the US .com, .org or even .gov websites, I only know about them because they "exist" on archive.org. There is no traffic limit, they simply cut the DNS for them on port 54. You can't even resolve the domain for particular IP, so you get nothing, you may think that those webs do not exist. The problem is that ISP provider is running their own websites like "clix.pt" and advertising on them. Why allow you to spend some time off their network? They cut the competition off. Slashdot.org still "works" so far, probably it was not deemed threatning enough for them, but if more users will ==spend significant time== on Slashdot.org they will cut off Slashdot.org too. If there is not competing ISP then they can do pretty much everything they want.

Re:Can't open many .com, .org sites (1)

oberondarksoul (723118) | more than 6 years ago | (#15966145)

Well, I've never had a problem like this, and I'm in Europe. If the site's down, the site's down. If you're finding you can't get to certain websites that you know are up, maybe it's a problem closer to home - your ISP, your computer, your connection, for instance.

Re:Can't open many .com, .org sites (1)

lowenstein (996640) | more than 6 years ago | (#15966258)

Did you read my post? Maybe in the UK, there you probably have got many competing ISPs so they can't do that for the fear of losing marketshare.

Re:Can't open many .com, .org sites (1)

zrq (794138) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966729)

In the UK things have gone crazy, to the extent that our local supermarket is offering low cost 8M broadband packages.

However, the people who go for these services wouldn't be able to tell if their service provider prioritises commercial content.
In fact, I think I'd find it tricky to figure out how to write a test that could detect a non-neutral connection.

You could argue that if the customer couldn't tell the difference, what is the problem.
The problem is that once this becomes established as common practice, then the networks will become more and more biased towards commercial content, and the prices the ISPs can charge the content providers will go up and up (pay $x for level 1 priority, $xx for level 2 priority ... etc). The content provider who pays most will get the highest priority.

In the UK, several of the ISPs are fighting a price war, offering broadband packages at cut price rates.
The one or two service providers who do cater for the more technically savy user still have to compete with the low cost service providers.
If the low cost providers use the money they get from charging content providers to cut their end user prices even lower, then all of the service providers will have to start charging content providers, just to stay competitive.

Re:Can't open many .com, .org sites (1)

lowenstein (996640) | more than 7 years ago | (#15967028)

Thats scary outlook man. I've got discounted connection, yes, but there was not a word about not being able to access major .coms, but only selected once and of course ISP's donated and syndicated portals.

Non ambiguous vernacular verging on the tedious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15966076)

Ummm... Yay?

Re:Non ambiguous vernacular verging on the tedious (1)

x3nos (773066) | more than 6 years ago | (#15966106)

The FTC will host a conference from Nov. 6 to 8 focusing on protecting consumers in an era of converging technologies, Majoras also announced. The conference, called Protecting Consumers in the Next Tech-Ade, will focus on emerging trends, applications, products, services and technology issues in the next decade, she said.
Um - what's a Tech-Ade?

Re:Non ambiguous vernacular verging on the tedious (1)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 6 years ago | (#15966297)

It's sort of like Kool-Ade... duuuuh

Re:Non ambiguous vernacular verging on the tedious (1)

500IE (952388) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966691)

-ade -- Suffix that can be used to form collectives. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/-ade [wiktionary.org]

collectives [def] -- Of, relating to, characteristic of, or made by a number of people acting as a group: a collective decision. http://www.answers.com/collectives [answers.com]

of course, it's just a guess....

Re:Non ambiguous vernacular verging on the tedious (1)

unitron (5733) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966843)

"Um - what's a Tech-Ade?"

You know those self-appointed and self-promoting "with it" types that are always having conferences and popping up on talk shows? That's their cutsey name for a 10 year period with lots of technological advances going on.

Yeah, makes me wanna barf, too.

I've heard it rumored before... (1, Flamebait)

Spytap (143526) | more than 6 years ago | (#15966121)

...but I really do hope that if Net Neutrality passes, that Google creates a nationwide free wireless network to combat it. Now I'm not saying that one monopoly is better than the other, I just like watching cable companies get F****d.

Make up your minds, people (1)

TheoMurpse (729043) | more than 7 years ago | (#15967319)

neutrality is good, neutrality is bad...I was under the impression that Net Neutrality meant that ISPs were to treat packets neutrally, and that Net Neutrality was what we wanted to have.

He who hesitates is screwed (4, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | more than 6 years ago | (#15966127)

For me, the depressing part is "If broadband providers engage in anticompetitive conduct, we will not hesitate to act using our existing authority." I'm a free-market libertarian type much of the time, and my first thought on Net Neutrality is to exactly that: let them try breaking it and seeing if it the market wants it.

But the FTC's version of "not hesitating" is to establish a blue-ribbon panel to look into setting up a commission to investigate the idea of setting up a web site to solicit people's opinions. Even if I trust the FTC to be acting in good faith, I worry that the cable/telco providers would have somewhere between one and five years to stomp certain web sites to death before the FTC is able to act on their "existing authority".

I mean, how long has Microsoft been in antitrust litigation?

Re:He who hesitates is screwed (1)

deathguppie (768263) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966664)

I think your libertarian brain is getting the best of you. It's not just the unfathomable cost of installing cross country pipes large enough to handle that amount of data. It's also about who owns the property. Or in some cases who owns the lease to the property. Remember that it was government legislation that forced those companies to lease out the use of thier telephone poles and connections to thier main telecomunication pipes that allowed us to get DSL as early as we did back in the 90's.

Anyone who speaks up about taking the big telcoms to the hoop better think about what they are talking about. There are levels of monopoly that have created the existing dynasty. It would take nothing short of a lot more legislation to bring it down.

Re:He who hesitates is screwed (1)

Just Another Poster (894286) | more than 7 years ago | (#15967283)

There are levels of monopoly that have created the existing dynasty. It would take nothing short of a lot more legislation to bring it down.

These monopolies were created by government. The proper solution is not more government.

Re:He who hesitates is screwed (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966719)

The majority of the market cannot choose, as there is often only 1 or 2 choices for broadband, if that many. Plus, I consider it fraud if they advertise broadband internet, and decide to serve you their exclusive subset at a much higher speed. People signed and are already paying for the internet, not VerizonNet(TM). Ah, double dipping at it's finest.

AOL already tried to nicely sandbox the internet, it's not what people want nor pay for unless they have no other choice.

Re:He who hesitates is screwed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15966880)

let them try breaking it and seeing if it the market wants it.

Why would the market want something broken?

Are you really this desparate to pay SBC for the right to play FPSes against their subscribers? If you knew that your ISP was already paying SBC for the right to connect to their network and you were paying your ISP to negotiate such connections, would you still be so desparate? Do you think SBC's operators will say "oh, we're getting enough money double-charging popular site owners, we're not going to go for the wallets of the other millions of people out there?"

You mean, "Swift" FTC Justice? (4, Insightful)

mpapet (761907) | more than 6 years ago | (#15966140)

Every time I see some ministry talking head say things like, "if there's a crime we'll prosecute!"

1. Crime? what crime? You mean rapid delivery of internet service is a crime?
2. Crime? What crime? The boss says put it on the back burner...
3. Crime? No it's "market forces" delivering "better" service.

And then there's the "swift" justice delivered in Microsoft's Monopoly conviction. A conviction is cold comfort if you're one of the guys they ran out of business.

Oh yeah, they are on the case...

another incorrect use of "content" (1)

brre (596949) | more than 6 years ago | (#15966172)

limit or block web content

The issue is filtering by source, not content.

You mean limit or block by source or site or site affilation, not content.

Or you mean content in web format.

Simple Solution (5, Interesting)

Desert Raven (52125) | more than 6 years ago | (#15966186)

In my opinion, the solution is simple.

Any carrier that wants to restrict access loses their common carrier status. The providers are probably right to say they have the right to control their own networks. However, the minute they start controlling content, they should take responsibility for it. Common carrier status is all about not being responsible for/controlling what goes over the wires.

I'm willing to bet if the FCC said "go ahead, but you lose common carrier status" none of us would ever hear another word about this.

Re:Simple Solution (1)

DDLKermit007 (911046) | more than 6 years ago | (#15966309)

I can't believe I never thought about that. Your your probably right...but there is a pitfall. Which is that it takes but one big ISP to get a little pissy and block headertypes. Then it just spreads like a virus to other ISPs wanting to improve thier bottom line. Heck, allmost all block ports and many packet shape or limit P2P & game packets for no real good reason other than they don't want people useing what they paid for.

Re:Simple Solution (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15966588)

Internet service is not covered by the Common Carriage rules

Re:Simple Solution (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966636)

Sounds good, but I think they should do it retroactively, without warning the companies first. I'd love to see the news headlines when MegaTelco Inc. gets prosecuted for carrying child porn and their executives are held personally liable and end up going to prison.

Re:Simple Solution (2, Informative)

gilroy (155262) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966876)

Blockquoth the poster:

I'd love to see the news headlines when MegaTelco Inc. gets prosecuted for carrying child porn and their executives are held personally liable and end up going to prison.

That makes for good theater but bad law. You can't have secret laws in a free society; everything had to be out in the open. (I know, I know -- it's possible to bury a law so that no one knows it's there. Possible but sleazy.)

The point of a law like this would be to preserve net neutrality, not to punish people after they've broken it. We (OK, me; I can't speak for you) want it not to be broken in the first place.

Open your eyes.... (5, Insightful)

himurabattousai (985656) | more than 6 years ago | (#15966245)

"While I am sounding cautionary notes about new legislation, let me make clear that if broadband providers engage in anticompetitive conduct, we will not hesitate to act using our existing authority," she (Chairwoman Majoras) said. "But I have to say, thus far, proponents of Net neutrality regulation have not come to us to explain where the market is failing or what anticompetitive conduct we should challenge."

I suppose something can't fail if it doesn't exist. "The market" only exists if there's a real choice of options, and when it comes to the U.S. version of broadband internet, "the market" has never existed on a meaningful scale. The choice is between either DSL from the bell-affiliated telco (which itself is most likely a monopoly) or cable from the likes of Comcast (or some other similar monopolistic cable TV company) or no higher speed access at all, with some places not even having both DSL or cable to choose from. That is not "the market" in the sense that Chairwoman Majoras would like to seem to be talking about.

If the comments of Chariwoman Majoras are to be believed, we should soon see the government investigating behavior itself has allowed. That would be rather interesting, and I'd tune in to see the feds stumble over their tongues trying to legitimately explain why having so few real choices in paid TV service/broadband service/land line phone service benefits me. I'd like to see why the companies that provide these services are so damn sacred that their acts can't even be challenged. I want to know why it is that government-funded and supported companies are allowed to even think that they have the right to tell me what sources of information I can and cannot seek. That, more than anything, is how I view the debate.

A Matter of Diversity of Choice for Consumers (3, Insightful)

GnuTzu (892111) | more than 6 years ago | (#15966252)

Hey Government!

If there must be a Tiered Internet (and I fear we won't have a choice), then:

  1. We'd like a public standard for the protocols involved.
  2. We don't want corporations mucking up the standards with proprietary sneakiness.
  3. We don't want proprietary sneakiness protected by the DMCA or some other Corporate biased regulation.

Oh yes; the DMCA will become a big part of this.

The quality of the Free Market is not measured by how easy it is for Corporations to regulate the market.
The quality of the Free Market is a matter of the diversity of choices that are available to consumers.

I have no problem with a Tiered Internet that gives us more choices;
I have a problem with anything that allows Corporations to reduce the number of choices;
especially, if they gain control of the regulatory agencies.

Here comes the New FCC.

Bought and Sold Corporate Whore (1)

grumpygrodyguy (603716) | more than 6 years ago | (#15966269)

While I am sounding cautionary notes about new legislation, let me make clear that if broadband providers engage in anticompetitive conduct, we will not hesitate to act using our existing authority,' she said. 'But I have to say, thus far, proponents of Net neutrality regulation have not come to us to explain where the market is failing or what anticompetitive conduct we should challenge.'

This is the internet equivalent of:

We're going to take away your civil liberties, and if you want them back the burden of proof that they've been violated is on you.

civil liberty? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15967154)

And what civil liberty is that?
No, really, I want to know.

Yeah, she's bought but this isn't a civil liberty issue.

Just like DSL - Special interests (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#15966300)

... let me make clear that if broadband providers engage in anticompetitive conduct, we will not hesitate to act using our existing authority,' she said...

That sounds like BS. When DSL got started, the telcos dragged their butts flogging old IDSN and extra data telephone lines, both high margin and low investment cash cows. Along came Rythms and others providing first rate DSL services, then the Bells didn't like shared access on their premise. So they "tripped" over the power cords and other such tricks aimed at putting them out of business.

Ever notice when using a long distance provider that is not the same as your ISP or phone line? One might be surprised to learn the line operater is at fault in why your long distance is unstable.

There needs to be a fair access law on rate limiting and the like or they will do it again. This time, AOL/Time Warner might notch down google video, while MSN might slow down Linux/UNIX downloads... kidding right? It has happened before. And I am sure professional lobbiests are working over corrupted politicians right as we speak.

Much the same as TV advertisments screem at you while the show is mute and no one touched the volume.

Fair access is fair access, and putting some serious teeth in the law is what is needed or big corp greed will decide what is usuable by you and I and what is not. Anyone who does not believe in this type of law is in the pocket of big business and is not really carring much about the consumer.

And allow governemtns to profit from the convictions, so they will pursue violators.

Why do we have to wait? (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#15966314)

let me make clear that if broadband providers engage in anticompetitive conduct, we will not hesitate to act using our existing authority,

Why do we have to wait until we're actually screwed, then through years of hearings about possible remedies, followed by half-assed fixes and coupons for new services we don't want, while the lawyers are paid in real millions of dollars? Why not just preempt it from happening in the first place?

Sigh. More netopian whining (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#15966352)

Okay, before I even bother with listening to arguments for or against 'net neutrality', or a 'tiered internet', or even more such nonsense on either side:

What, exactly, *is* the 'Internet'?

Seriously. Is it just a collection of computers? A specific network protocol? Are we going to get into the last mile issue? Are the users part of the 'Internet' (sic)? What about the copper/fiber/colocation facilities? Peering points? Are private agreements part of the Internet or not?

Like 'world peace' I doubt we could get a common agreement on just what is and is not 'the Internet'. Without that, this entire debate is nothing but drivel. It's like arguing about whether or not Invisible Pink Unicorns might have blue eyes.

And what, exactly, do people mean by 'neutrality'? It's realllllly, realllly easy to spout off nonsense that uses words like 'neutrality' and 'equality' and 'opportunity' and 'freedom' to get people all riled up without getting a firm definition of what, exactly, does the speaker mean by that. The classic line is, I believe, from 'Animal Farm' -- "Some animals are more equal than others."

(Oddly, the current 'freedom' people have on the Internet may be due to exactly the lack of definition of what is 'the Internet'. With a hard definition, we could start excluding 'non-Internet' things from 'the Internet'. So, regardless of which side of the illusionary 'net neutrality' issue people are on, in trying to define the issue one way or the other, both sides will have to define 'The Internet'. As soon as that happens, then the exclusion will begin. (i.e. if the 'net neutrality' (sic) proponents have their way, then differing levels of service become 'non-Internet'. Let the purge of the heretics begin!)

Re:Sigh. More netopian whining (2, Funny)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966620)

What, exactly, *is* the 'Internet'?

Apparently it's a series of tubes.

Or so I hear.

Re:Sigh. More netopian whining (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15966685)

Man, that poor guy really got screwed by that. It proves the point, really.

It's like the fable of the blind men and the elephant. Except the blind men have all gone to talk to their congresscritter and told him different things about the white elephant that is the 'Internet': "It is like a snake!" "It is like a tree!" "It is like a rope!" etc. The congresscritter tries to figure out how to reconcile all these different things people are shouting him into a something that could be put down on paper -- he *has* to define what the elephant is, somehow, so he can define what it is not, to pass laws against people selling what they claim to be an elephant when it isn't. (i.e. if a tiered service is NOT 'Teh Internet', then a provider shouldn't be able to claim they are providing internet service if all they provide is a tiered service.)

So he tried to come up with something, a "series of tubes", and each of the blind men, individually, are now sneering/laughing at him, each self-satisfied and smug in the knowledge that he and he alone has a clear picture of what the white elephant really is and knows what the best definition of the elephant is, and that the congresscritter was just too dumb to listen. Whereas the problem is that the congresscritter probably tried to listen to too many blind men individually, rather than forcing the blind men to come up with an agreement on what the white elephant is among themselves first.

Thus the blind compound their blindness with foolishness and arrogance.

Re:Sigh. More netopian whining (2, Interesting)

Chirs (87576) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966819)


From my perspective as a tech-savvy end-user, "the internet" is the whole of the accessable IP address space.

The point of an "Internet Service Provider" is to give me an IP address and the ability to exchange IP packets to any other IP address, at the rate advertised by my ISP (possibly limited by the rate advertised by *their* ISP), with reasonable uptime, latency and frequency of dropped/delayed packets.

That's it.

Now, if you're a large business things get more complicated. You want to have much tighter definitions of what those "reasonable" values are, for instance. But the overall concept is basically the same--you want to be able to exchange IP packets with other IP addresses.

Re:Sigh. More netopian whining (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15966891)


The point of an "Internet Service Provider" is to give me an IP address and the ability to exchange IP packets to any other IP address, at the rate advertised by my ISP (possibly limited by the rate advertised by *their* ISP), with reasonable uptime, latency and frequency of dropped/delayed packets.

That's it.


That's nice.

What do you mean by 'reasonable'? That's realllly vague to go into legistlated laws and regulations. Reasonable by whose standards?

Is that reasonable "latency and frequency of dropped/delayed packets" the same per application/connection/user? I mean, data connections can take a lot more latency/drops/delay than say, a voice connection. Or do you intend to have different standards or 'reasonable' per application type? Is it 'reasonable' if someone's P2P file sharing application degrades the performance of your VoIP session because it's flooding the network? Is it the ISP's problem if other users are interfering with your 'reasonable' use of the network? What happens when people have conflicting ideas of 'reasonable'?

I suspect the ISPs might view 'tiered services' as 'reasonable'. Some people might not. Who decides? How do you get this in law?

And by the way, do you mean IPv4 addresses or IPv6 addresses? What about what comes after IPv6? Who gets to decide what an "IP Address" is, BTW?

You've got the start of a *technical* definition, but the issue here is bigger than just technology. It's also the business side, and the social side -- how people, as a group, globally, are going to come to some concensus on what the Internet means to them.

Problem is, both are govt sanctioned monopolies (1)

cjsm (804001) | more than 6 years ago | (#15966353)

Both the telephone company and the cable company normally have monopoly status granted by various goverment entities. That in itself should put limits on what they can do, especially in the case of taking a free medium like the internet and putting their own restrictions on it for profit. To do so is a misuse of their goverment granted monopoly power. It is true, in some locations the two do compete with each other to some extent, mainly internet service; but in that case, it is still a goverment sanctioned duopoly, which isn't much better then a monopoly.

There are no other realistic alternatives to broadband interenet access in most areas other then the phone company and the cable company, and in many cases only one is available. Satelite isn't competive because the technololy isn't cost effective for mass broadband internet. And some municipalities even block people from setting up their own wireless network to compete with the goverment sanctioned monopolies.

Goverment sanctioned monopolies should have restrictions on them that work for the good of people whom goverments supposedly serve. Of course, the goverments really serves the corporations, and the people only get a fair shake if they rise up in protest.

Fake Trade Commission (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#15966409)

Yeah, because the FTC has so aggressively reined in the telcos [google.com] when they've acted anticompetitively.

Huh?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#15966559)

"I just question the starting assumption that government regulation, rather than the market itself under existing laws, will provide the best solution to a problem," she said.

Yeah, tell me again how that worked with Enron and de-regulating electricity...

Being the FCC is not like watching a boxing match (1)

spikenerd (642677) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966724)

The FCC is waiting for someone to explain it to them!? Yikes! And these are the same people that make the regulations? Am I missing something? They don't actually think about the issues themselves? They just sit back and watch while the opposing sides duke it out? Did it never cross their minds that telcos might a different amount of lobbying power than ordinary citizens? Is this really how the system works? Come on, no way! I can't believe it's come down to that. Nope, no way.

errmmmm I call B.S.! (1)

scronline (829910) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966830)

There has been so many letter and emails thrown out about so many things that falls on deaf ears in the U.S. (or even state and local fits in this group as well) Beauracracy that they can say whatever they want. The letters that would have gotten to HIM have been lost somewhere. Maybe not even lost, just flat out ignored. If there aren't greenbacks accompanying a letter, they could care less.

I know for a FACT that the FTC was informed about many things that were concerns about the SBC/AT&T and MCI/Verizon mergers. I know that the FCC was informed with letters about the whole data vs. voice and phone line issues. Because of the FCC ruling now Comcast has gotten into the VoIP market (and doing a horrible job of it I might add...)

So here's the question, data lines are being used for Voice, voice lines are being used for data. Why can't this still be under telecommunications. After all, that's kind of what we're doing. BAAAAAAAAAAAH

I'm really wishing Bush never made it into office. It's going to take decades to fix this mess he's caused. To be perfectly honest, I wouldn't be surprised if somewhere in my lifetime the U.S. ends up in another civil war/rebellion at the rate we're going.

Re:errmmmm I call B.S.! (1)

dogod (732331) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966995)

I'm really wishing Bush never made it into office. It's going to take decades to fix this mess he's caused. To be perfectly honest, I wouldn't be surprised if somewhere in my lifetime the U.S. ends up in another civil war/rebellion at the rate we're going.

if mr. bush causes a civil, he might be the best president we've had in a long time. there's too much intrenched power. it's our right and obligation to overthrow a curpt goverment.

Re:errmmmm I call B.S.! (1)

rblum (211213) | more than 7 years ago | (#15967038)

if mr. bush causes a civil, he might be the best president we've had in a long time. there's too much intrenched power. it's our right and obligation to overthrow a curpt goverment.


Yes. And while we're at it, let's revolt against the opressive spelling rules!

The real issue here is VOIP (4, Informative)

melted (227442) | more than 7 years ago | (#15966848)

This is all about VOIP, folks. Telcos try to stop VoIP it's plain and simple. It's not Google or Yahoo who's the target here, not even Youtube. Those companies won't be screwed much if their traffic was deprioritized by a little. VoIP on the other hand becomes unusable the second you deprioritize its realtime traffic. So telcos think they can keep their cell, landline and voip customers to themselves by deprioritizing traffic of other VoIP companies or making them pay through the nose (thereby making their rates less competitive).

They shouldn't have content! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15967006)

The real question is: "Do you want a revolution?".
I dare you to give them fuckers the golden ticket,
I fuckin dare you!

Chairwoman Deborah Platt Majoras... (1)

Tim_sama (993132) | more than 7 years ago | (#15967044)

Don't trust Majoras! She created a mask that nearly destroyed the land of Termina!

Kill Skype (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15967046)

I have a friend who works with a large telco, also a large backhaul provider, and they would love to deprioritize skype.

It's obvious the telcos want to protect their phone line revenues, which would exactly be illegal monopolistic behavior (use one monopoly to protect/extend another).

More Like... (1)

The Stars Look Down (923389) | more than 7 years ago | (#15967087)

"But I [Chairwoman Deborah Platt Majoras] have to say, thus far, proponents of Net neutrality regulation have not come to us to explain where the government is failing or what anticompetitive conduct we should challenge."

Only one question on my mind... (0, Troll)

Serengeti (48438) | more than 7 years ago | (#15967096)

'But I have to say, thus far, proponents of Net neutrality regulation have not come to us to explain where the market is failing or what anticompetitive conduct we should challenge.'

To what mailing/emailing address does one direct such arguments?

Death of the Internet (1)

raalynthslair (759150) | more than 7 years ago | (#15967112)

The minute we start to allow companies that provide access to the internet to filter the content and the providers of content that it will allow the users of said service (who often, thanks to sweetheart deals, brute force in the market, and exclusivity in geographical areas) with no alternative but to view only censored and "approved" material, or forgoe all interaction on the greatest medium of shared information in the world. That is not a choice, that is not what the ideals that the internet designers and creators had in mind when they created it. In fact, some of them are even against the idea of paid access, speaking in favor of a library-card-like system where the access is a free privilege. While most people, myself included, are willing to concede on pay for access services, many, myself included loathe the idea of censorship of the information we could have access to (or not have access too as the case may be). I am extremely paranoid of government ideas to do this, even moreso when it is proposed to be run by businessmen and companies that have long since given up any shred of decency and public interest in favor of making the board and large-quantity share-holders pockets fat. I do not want my right to access information freely curbed by the government or any profit-driven interest group.
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