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McCain on Net Neutrality, Copyright, Iraq

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the everyone-has-an-opinion dept.

Communications 511

An anonymous reader writes "Sen. John McCain kicked off the All Things Digital conference Tuesday night with some interesting comments about net neutrality among other things. His take: there should be as little government regulation of broadband as possible. The market should be allowed to solve the Net-neutrality issue: 'When you control the pipe you should be able to get profit from your investment.'"

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Anti french (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19326437)

From article:

"internet is so simple even a frog could use it."

Why must article discriminate againt the French ? We are good people. Too much now in the US is anti-French feeling, like "freedom fries". Without France, its hards for US defeat Hitler, and France is a leads computer industry, with programming languages like OCAML, which win most programming contest.

Re:Anti french (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19326555)

Where is that in the article?

Re:Anti french (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326643)

After making this [51fichiers.org] necessary, I don't think I'd want to be in France!

Vehemently Anti french (-1, Troll)

queenb**ch (446380) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326777)

The French lost their right to have an opinion in world affairs for all time on the day they surrendered to Hitler. The general reason for surrender was that you didn't want your artwork bombed. "Sure, Mr. Hitler, come on in and kill all of our people. Gypsies, Jews, Catholics, who ever you want. Just don't hurt our art. It's waaaay more important than our populace."

Riiiight. Anyone who thinks like that deserves what they get. And, in case you've forgotten, it was the USA who bailed YOU out of WWII, not the other way around.

As for "net neutrality", what has the government ever gotten it's hands on that it handled well? Name one thing....

2 cents,

QueenB.

Re:Vehemently Anti french (2, Funny)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326841)

2 cents,

I want a refund.

Re:Vehemently Anti french (0, Troll)

pnuema (523776) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326875)

And, in case you've forgotten, it was the USA who bailed YOU out of WWII, not the other way around

You have been trolled, a now so have I:

Do not forget that it was the French that bailed US out of our revolutionary war. Without France, the United States would not exist, and that is a fact.

Re:Vehemently Anti french (1, Insightful)

Steeltalon (734391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326933)

Besides, speaking as a decendent of soldiers in the Revolutionary War, when we've racked up a millennium of military history I'm sure that we'll have a couple of losses there, too. And everyone also seems to forget how many French died in the battles to try to hold back the Germans. It's not like they just rolled over.

Re:Vehemently Anti french (1, Offtopic)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326995)

I'd point out the French only came in against the British after the Colonial forces took Saratoga, and the tide had turned in favor of the Colonials. The French weren't stupid, and were only going to back the Colonies once a Colonial victory was a near sure thing. We would have almost certainly gained practical independence from the British with or without the French. We're grateful for that aberration of French assistance (after all, a major cause of the American Revolution were taxes levied by Britain to pay for the French and Indian War), but don't overstate your case.

Re:Vehemently Anti french (2, Informative)

azav (469988) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326945)

And if it weren't for the French, there would be no USA as they bailed us out when we were seeking independence from British rule during our Revolutionary War in the late 1700's. Or maybe you forgot that part of history?

Cheers.

Ahhhh The Free Market (2, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326451)

When you control the pipe you should be able to get profit from your investment
By using extortion. Why don't we legalize the mafia? After all, they control the drugs, whores and gambling, and they deserve to profit from their investment.

Re:Ahhhh The Free Market (1)

Major Blud (789630) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326559)

I dunno quite where I stand on Net Neutrality, I think that services should be bandwidth neutral but I think the government should keep their hands out of it. However, I think that the big telecoms would be shooting themselves in the foot by enacting a tiered Internet, since the big media companies are getting in a position to circumvent them....why else would Google be buying up so much fiber and experimenting with city-wide wireless?

Re:Ahhhh The Free Market (4, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326677)

The government's job is to assure that the market actually functions correctly. In a situation where you have a small number of large carriers who basically hold both consumers and content producers in their grips, you do not have a functioning market. Since no one is really advocating cutting the big pipe holders down, the only other reasonable alternative is the big R; Regulation. In a perfect marketplace, the government would have little or no role at all, but come on, living just a few years after a century which saw huge monopolies and markets that simply were nonfunctional in the laissez-faire notion of a well-functioning marketplace.

If there were a thousand independent large pipe providers in the US, then net neutrality wouldn't even be an issue. But because the large bulk of it is concentrated, they can get away with what can only be seen as extortion; give us money or we'll strangle your bits. That's clearly predatory and monopolistic behavior, and a properly observant government would lay it on the line "Fuck with a market that you already have too much power over, and we will make sure your powers are greatly reduced". All it would require is Congress to even mutter this, and I think you would see the market corrected in a fashion that is to the consumer's benefit. After all, the whole point of the market is consumers, and they should be the prime concern of both the government and the players big and small.

Re:Ahhhh The Free Market (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326751)

"give us money or we'll strangle your bits. "

Yes they certainly have us by the bits, don't they.

Re:Ahhhh The Free Market (4, Funny)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326941)

But only the bits set to 0. Those are the naught-y bits.

Re:Ahhhh The Free Market (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326771)

In a free market economy, the governments ONLY job is to make sure that competition thrives. They got NO other business in the economy. Their sole and only influence is to make sure that nobody can use undue leverage against competitors and that competitors don't form a cartel to cooperate against competition, customer and supplier.

Currently, the governments in so called "free countries" are doing pretty much everything to work AGAINST these requirements, passing laws that benefit large corporations at the expense of smaller competitors, customers and suppliers.

That's anything BUT free market.

Re:Ahhhh The Free Market (1)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 7 years ago | (#19327031)

the governments ONLY job is to make sure that competition thrives.

Currently, the governments in so called "free countries" are doing pretty much everything to work AGAINST these requirements
Therefore, it's more likely that's the NOT the government's job (as they are influenced by the market).
Birds fly pretty well but currently kiwis dont fly. The premise is faulty.

Re:Ahhhh The Free Market (1)

Staale Nordlie (943189) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326959)

In a perfect marketplace, the government would have little or no role at all, but come on, living just a few years after a century which saw huge monopolies and markets that simply were nonfunctional in the laissez-faire notion of a well-functioning marketplace.
Do you have some examples of huge monopolies and nonfunctional markets?

Re:Ahhhh The Free Market (5, Insightful)

packetmon (977047) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326963)

The government's job is to assure that the market actually functions correctly.

Incorrect... It's job is to keep away from business affairs but set laws to keep the playing field level.

"Fuck with a market that you already have too much power over, and we will make sure your powers are greatly reduced".

In that perfect market of yours sounds groovy, you would have to have congresspeople that wouldn't bow to contributor pressure but the fact remains, politics have become the root of all business evil in this country... Politicians right about now will say anything to swing a vote and McCain is no different from any one of the other vampires running for office

Spectrum (1)

simpl3x (238301) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326595)

Why the hell don't these free market aficionados also become interested in efficiency. Various uses of spectrum could free up lots of space for competition. Or, is it competition that is the problem? Particularly, to those donating to these folks...

Re:Spectrum (4, Funny)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326635)

Why the hell don't these free market aficionados also become interested in efficiency.

Who says he isn't?

This is clearly the most efficient way possible of getting a lot of campaign contributions from the big telco/cableco monopolies.

Re:Spectrum (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326707)

And how exactly is this free market? The US are turning into something that is as anti-capitalist as the communists never were.

In communist countries, there was at least only one party controlling the market and the laws that apply to it. Not a consortium of corporations trying to get laws passed that benefit their needs. Given the choice between a communist state and what the US are turning into, I'd be hard pressed to decide.

Shooting is supposedly less painful than hanging, or so I heard...

Re:Ahhhh The Free Market (4, Insightful)

homer_s (799572) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326651)

After all, they control the drugs, whores and gambling, and they deserve to profit from their investment.

Exactly. If the govt makes those things legal, the prices for drugs, whores and gambling would come down significantly. Just goes to show that in a free market, the prices of goods will come down.

Re:Ahhhh The Free Market (2, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326727)

Only if the market is truly free. If it is concentrated into a few very large interests, I'm afraid you don't get an ideal marketplace.

Re:Ahhhh The Free Market (0, Troll)

qortra (591818) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326695)

drugs, whores and gambling


In most locales, these are illegal, so the mafia which transacts in them is also illegal. If the mafia limited themselves to transacting these commodities where they were legal, and did not use assault and murder to maintain their business, they would in fact be quite legal.

The internet is mostly legal - and by "extortion", do you perhaps mean withholding their product from people who do not pay for it? Barring what the government determines to be "monopolistic practices", trading in internet bandwidth (a legal commodity) is entirely legal and consistent with other U.S. laws.

Disclaimer: I'm not necessarily against (or for) net neutrality, so don't assume. I just think that drawing these kinds of parallels between ISPs and the mafia is not accurate, and does an injustice to a very complex issue. A better analogy would be Microsoft, who has classically used commodities that it [usually] owns to lord over people in unwholesome ways.

Re:Ahhhh The Free Market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19326713)

We already have. What do you think the government is?

But not so with copyright. (1)

Irvu (248207) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326731)

And yet at the same time he states that the White House should take the lead on Copyright reform and give it direction noting that "many in congress don't understand it. Why not let the free market prevail there?

Clearly he wants to be every large media company's favorite Republican.

Re:Ahhhh The Free Market (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326789)

Why don't we legalize the mafia?


We already did. They run the movie industry, the record industry, ClearCh^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hthe radio business, and, of course, the cable and telco industries.

Re:Ahhhh The Free Market (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 7 years ago | (#19327007)

I actually think "as little government as possible" is a good slogan. If you control the pipe, you should be able to set whatever rules you want within reason and let the market decide.

However, the "within reason" idea is where things get interesting. I don't want to outlaw QoS offerings to customers. However, I would like to suggest that no lack of rules regarding net nutrality should allow monopolies to preclude nacient competition.

I would propose a somewhat different approach-- a new antitrust law concerning pipes. Basically, I would like to see a law which recognizes consumers' interest in the availability of competition and allows consumers to file law suits against internet service providers who unfairly tie services together or degrade the performace of competing services. I would also allow web content providers to sue over degrading service to their content unfairly.

Note that I draw the line at degrading services. I have no problem with offering priority routing for VOIP, etc. I do have a problem with degrading VOIP to all other providers, etc.

Re:Ahhhh The Free Market (1)

mpickut (721322) | more than 7 years ago | (#19327021)

>When you control the pipe you should be able to get profit from your investment

Dude, thats totally like this time when I was a Phish concert and my buddy Splifster wouldn't let me use the pipe until I gave him some of my Fritos. Man that was seriously harshing my mellow. Not cool. If McCain can't share his weed I am not voting for him.

Typical NeoFascist viewpoint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19327065)

Perhaps someone should tell St. McCain that the US government paid to develop and build out the internet... with our tax money. Then maybe he can tell us why, in his NeoCon dream world, megacorporations should be allowed to throttle the internet and mandate what traffic their customers can or cannot access.

Not that St. McCain could answer... or even disagree. That's one great thing about John McCain: no matter what your opinion may be, he has very strongly agreed with it at least once.

Re:Ahhhh The Free Market (1)

McGurk (661578) | more than 7 years ago | (#19327075)

Dumbest counter example, EVAR. Amirite?

they are making a profit (-1)

tehwebguy (860335) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326473)

They are making between 29.99 and 69.99 a month from basically every household in the country, forever.

Re:they are making a profit (2, Insightful)

lugannerd (698512) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326565)

Don't forget the cost of DSLAMs, ATM aggregators, Operational support systems, engineering, marketing, fiber deployment, union salaries, advertising and then equipment goes manufacture discontinued (MD) and the whole thing starts all over again. Not much profit and not forever!!!!!

Re:they are making a profit (1)

tehwebguy (860335) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326977)

I suppose the government didn't help with that..

What he didnt say... (5, Insightful)

gentimjs (930934) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326503)

Its what he didnt say that should be worrysome ... while few would disagree with "when you control the pipe you should be able to draw profit from it" I noticed he didnt mention "consumers should have a good choice of more than one pipe to attach too" .... yay for pipe-side economics!

Re:What he didnt say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19326549)

Well he could have called the pipes, TUBES!

Re:What he didnt say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19326819)

I've never understood why it's ok to talk about having a fat pipe when talking about your internet connection, but calling them tubes gets you ridicule. Isn't a pipe a kind of tube?

Re:What he didnt say... (5, Insightful)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326691)

You've hit the real issue - allowing competition and not subsidizing the dang companies. Many anti-capitalist and anti-right-wing arguments fail on this account - there are a good many companies which the free market WOULD work out a better choice were there an actual level playing field - no subsidies (farming), everyone getting the same/similar tax breaks (pick your favorite billion-dollar corporation), no legislated monopolies (cable), allowing actual consumer input (health insurance).

Free markets typically work themselves out well.

Re:What he didnt say... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19326733)

Yeah the 'free markets' in the American west worked out really good. Fucking Libertarian wet dream. Getting shot by a gun nut if you didn't give him the deal he wanted.

Re:What he didnt say... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326953)

Yeah, I was looking for this point. Anyone who's been subsidized in any way should be forced to be neutral. Period. That includes cable companies granted an exclusive right-of-way (government-granted monopoly) and of course every telco in the states.

Re:What he didnt say... (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 7 years ago | (#19327029)

Well, what about the 'natural monopoly' of the owners of the last mile of copper wire/fiber optic cable to the homes? Unless we want 15 different cables and wires coming into each home for 15 different competing providers, how will we provide competition in the marketplace?

Maybe the neighborhood switches should be held as 'commons' by the local government, with the competitive marketplace created at the switch station?

Re:What he didnt say... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326797)

It's tubes, not pipes. He obviously doesn't know what he's talking about.

Let The Market decide! (5, Insightful)

qwertphobia (825473) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326509)

The market should be allowed to solve the Net-neutrality issue: 'When you control the pipe you should be able to get profit from your investment.'"

Yeah, the market will indeed decide. I can only get one high-speed provider in my house, and I'm sure that provider will make excellent decisions on my behalf.

Re:Let The Market decide! (0)

mc6809e (214243) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326637)

Yeah, the market will indeed decide. I can only get one high-speed provider in my house, and I'm sure that provider will make excellent decisions on my behalf.

You can get just one high speed provider? I doubt it, unless you live in the middle of no-where. Most people have at least satellite broadband available to them.

Even in a small city like Tuscaloosa, Alabama (population about 80,000), you can get cable, DSL, satellite, and now wireless broadband from Verizon. That's four providers right there.

Re:Let The Market decide! (1)

SighKoPath (956085) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326809)

You consider satellite to be high speed? I used satellite internet at a friend's house last weekend. It was slow and unreliable. It took me five minutes to load the LOGIN page of my bank account, at which point I decided to give up on trying to find my balance online, and looked up the address of the nearest branch. Being unfamiliar with the area, I popped the address into a Google Maps query, and it wouldn't even load the map! This was on a mostly sunny day, too.

Re:Let The Market decide! (1)

mc6809e (214243) | more than 7 years ago | (#19327025)

You consider satellite to be high speed? I used satellite internet at a friend's house last weekend. It was slow and unreliable.

I use satellite all the time at my father-in-laws house. Never had a problem except during a thunderstorm. Even google maps worked great.

Still, I'm sure if your friend had problems all the time, he'd pick another provider, wouldn't he?

 

Re:Let The Market decide! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326889)

Not everyone lives in downtown NY. Hell, not everyone lives in the US!

My alternatives, in the center of the capital of a European country, are:

Our local cable provider (one): Fairly stable, about 70 bucks a month, no more than 10 Gigs traffic or they charge extra, and a-ok support, with async 1024/256 speed.
Our former monopolist: More or less stable, from 10 to 50 bucks a month, the 10 bucks include 1 gig of traffic, every MB above that costs 5 bucks. The 50 is for 5 or so GB, btw.
A broadband provider, who happened to be bought up by the aforementioned cable provider, and now surprisingly offers exactly the same.

And that's pretty much it. Welcome to "let the market decide".

Re:Let The Market decide! (1)

Homr Zodyssey (905161) | more than 7 years ago | (#19327111)


I recently moved to Louisville Kentucky from nearby Frankfort, Kentucky. I have no problems now, but in Frankfort we had one choice -- Cable Broadband. As a matter of fact, when I moved to Frankfort in 2001, we couldn't even get that. And Frankfort is the state capitol! Most people from sizable cities don't realize that DSL and even Cable broadband are unavailable in a large portion of the country. Anyone not living in a city has very few choices.

As far as Satellite Broadband -- please correct me if I'm wrong. My research into this (a couple years ago) showed that connection speeds were terrible and the prices were outrageous.

Re:Let The Market decide! (1)

Baba Ram Dass (1033456) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326683)

Yeah, the market will indeed decide. I can only get one high-speed provider in my house, and I'm sure that provider will make excellent decisions on my behalf.
Funny you mention that. I too only have access to one provider of high speed at my current residence. Want to guess why? It's because a local ordinance forbids any cable provider to compete against the "city-owned" cable service. Cox, for example, can't offer high speed in my area because the city government has a monopoly on it. The only alternative is DSL through the phone company, but alas, I'm on the edge of city limits out of range for anything remotely close to decent DSL.

If the government would get out of the way, i.e. drop these municipal monopolies that prevent market competition, there would be enough choices for the consumer and the market would indeed be able to solve the problem.

Re:Let The Market decide! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19326989)

Something raised is that the telecom industry is moving back to a "single AT&T". I would like to point out that the case of AT&T actually is a good one for the market solving itself (or proving government interference is total crap). AT&T was split into a ton of "Baby Bells" including one, Southwestern Bell Company (later SBC). SBC then began to grow and with this growth they began to purchase some of the "Baby Bells":
* Ameritech (acquired in 1999)
* BellSouth (acquired in 2006, by which time SBC was AT&T again)
* Pacific Telesis (acquired in 1997)
* AT&T (acquired in 2005 and SBC changed its name to AT&T)

A few other Baby Bells wound up with GTE and became Verizon:
* Bell Atlantic (acquired GTE in 2000 and changed its name to Verizon)
* NYNEX (acquired by Bell Atlantic in 1996)

The last one, US West, wound up with Qwest, resulting in the local carriers being reduced back to three, AT&T, Verizon and Qwest. The map [wikipedia.org] is a bit scary if you think about it and is almost exactly what the US government tried to avoid with the splitting of AT&T. Another relatively failed split was that of Standard Oil. Some of those companies wound up back together (ExxonMobil) and others wound up absorbed by other big oil companies (like BP-Amaco).

Theory goes something like this: government splits up "monopoly", people begin to have a choice creating competition, the "winner" makes enough money to buy the little guys up, eventually return to monopoly or "near monopoly" status, and rinse and repeat. The fact of the matter is that if someone "wins" this sort of competition, this is almost always going to happen; unless, people start buying inferior products or buying products for more money then equivalent competing products, neither of which is highly likely.

"You should be able to make a profit from it" (5, Insightful)

Chas (5144) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326521)

And they are.

The monthly fees paid by service subscribers. The people paying for unfettered access.

What they're trying to do is double-dip. They charge you to receive content, then charge the sender as well.

It's not our fault if they've priced their subscription service in such a way they cannot turn profit.

Re:"You should be able to make a profit from it" (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326585)

The worst part about it is that without that content which they seem to think is poison traveling through the precious (and often monopolistic) pipes they wouldn't have a damn thing to sell. Blaming Google from stealing revenue from you while you actually profit because Google is a big reason to even use your pipe is about as faulty a line of logic as I can imagine. Perhaps we should have a Logically Flawed Business Model Law, which fines companies based upon how stilted and awkward an argument they make for taking other peoples' money.

Re:"You should be able to make a profit from it" (2, Insightful)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326909)

good point, but you slightly missed what they really want do do... e.g charge Microsoft for preferential treatment, so they can take a slice of MSNs revenue, because people would use the nice quick MS search in preference to the slow Google... and then of course Google want to get back on top so they bid more to get best network transit.

so yes, it's double-dipping, but by dipping into the content provider's revenue by marginalising access to the customer.

Sorta Agree (4, Insightful)

endianx (1006895) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326525)

For those who want the government to move in and enforce neutrality, consider whether you really want the government getting involved in such things. Net neutrality may be ok, but when they want a tax on email, site censorship, or other such evils that result from government involvement in the Internet, you will be wishing they had stayed away.

EDITED! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19326591)

For those who want the big businesses to stay where they are, consider whether you really want big business getting involved in such things. Higher prices may be ok, but when they want a monopoly on email, site censorship, or other such evils that result from big business involvement in the Internet, you will be wishing the government had forcefully taken over.

Re:Sorta Agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19326817)

False dichotomy.

Regulating fair access to bandwidth does NOT automatically mean a tax will be imposed on email. It's called the vote, use it.

Re:Sorta Agree (1)

endianx (1006895) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326987)

I did not say it would automatically mean a tax would be imposed. My experience with government, though, is that once there is precedent, they take things farther.

If you don't like the way big business does things, it is called the boycott, use it.

Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19326529)

He doesn't have a chance in hell of getting elected. Your next president will be Fred Thompson.

Who controls the pipe? (5, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326535)

'When you control the pipe you should be able to get profit from your investment.'


Since the taxpayers of this country have been saddled with tens of millions (billions?) of subsidies to those who we have to go through for our net connection, it only seems fair that either:

A) All those who now control the pipes and who received these subsidies, now give that money back

OR

B) Those who now control the pipes and who received these subsidies have to keep things as they are and not control whose information gets preferential treatment.

Sorry John, you didn't have my vote before and this so-called "free market" idealism isn't helping your cause.

Yes, free markets are a good thing but when business has been receiving, and still receives, tons of money in subsidies, you can't now claim that you want the free market to decide what the outcome will be.

Re:Who controls the pipe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19326641)

That's a good point. Considering how much of my taxes went into supporting the creation of this infrastructure, when do I get to profit from it? At the very least can't I be allowed to use it without extortionist restrictions? And for that matter when am I going to get that fiber connection that my taxes supposedly helped subsidize?

Re:Who controls the pipe? (1)

mc6809e (214243) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326709)

Since the taxpayers of this country have been saddled with tens of millions (billions?) of subsidies to those who we have to go through for our net connection,

I've seen this claim before, but where is the proof? Can anyone actually quantify the amount of money and how big a percentage of the whole it represents?

Re:Who controls the pipe? (1)

Deagol (323173) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326947)

I've seen this claim before, but where is the proof?

Try looking at any phone bill. See those federal surcharges? Those are subsidies.

Re:Who controls the pipe? (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 7 years ago | (#19327055)

Ignoring any cash subsidies, how much do you think that it would have cost them if they had had to pay fair market price for all the easements that they use to run their wires rather than setting up privileged deals with local governments?

Re:Who controls the pipe? (1)

Baba Ram Dass (1033456) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326891)

Yes, free markets are a good thing but when business has been receiving, and still receives, tons of money in subsidies, you can't now claim that you want the free market to decide what the outcome will be.
It's not a free market when businesses are receiving tons of money in subsidies. So, yes, we can claim we want the free market to decide the outcome. The problem is we don't have a free market; if we did, net neutrality would exist.

Re:Who controls the pipe? (2, Insightful)

Penguinshit (591885) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326937)

"Libertarian" == "I failed PoliSci".

Government exists to protect the rights of The People, not business masquerading as an individual via Incorporation. If that means regulation to ensure people's rights are protected, that's what government is MANDATED to do; not the predatory dreams of the current crop of pseudo-elected fascists and their hordes of mindless self-defeating supporters.

All aboard the Bullshit Express (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19326537)

Fact: McCain is a corporate, right-wing tool.

Re:All aboard the Bullshit Express (1)

Khaed (544779) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326879)

Fact: Most on the right don't like McCain. Kthx try again. He's a "Maverick" who annoys the right.

Network-Neutrality... An alternative approach... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19326541)

Why not float a small blimp at 90,000 feet and go wireless?

As wireless tech goes to higher and higher frequencies, and fuel-cells become more available, such an approach should work.

Or at the very least scare the crap out of Bell-South....

Bandwidth addict (1)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326543)

From my cold dead hands! oh wait, you want to charge me $1 a meg? I can't use skype? I have to use your music service not iTunes? nvm..

Pipes !?!?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19326599)

I thought they were tubes !!!!!

Oblig (1)

Floritard (1058660) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326615)

For the last time. It's not pipes, it's a series of tubes! Now all your bad joke will be redundant!

Another American Failure (1)

asphaltjesus (978804) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326625)

Who needs regulation when market competition is more efficient? Oh, except:

1. no transparency without regulation,
2. no competition without regulation. Hint: a market is temporarily competitive and evolves to a mature market.
3. no accountability without regulation.

Yet another misguided attempt to falsely attribute market-based anything with efficiency or effectiveness.

Re:Another American Failure (1)

Baba Ram Dass (1033456) | more than 7 years ago | (#19327017)

Who needs regulation when market competition is more efficient? Oh, except:

1. no transparency without regulation,
2. no competition without regulation. Hint: a market is temporarily competitive and evolves to a mature market.
3. no accountability without regulation.

Yet another misguided attempt to falsely attribute market-based anything with efficiency or effectiveness.
You realize all three of these things affect the government and its policies you're advocating, right? The difference with businesses is that you can vote with your dollars--and you don't have to wait two, four, or eight years to dump a bad service.

1) I could care less about transparency of my ISP, as long as they're giving me the service I demand at the cost we've agreed on.
2) You have it bass ackwards here. Regulations brings forth red tape, increase cost of doing business, and discourages the creation of new service providers, thereby decreasing competition.
3) As long as the business is providing me the service I demand at the agreed-upon rates, there's nothing to be accountable for.

Good comment BUT... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326629)

the market is NOT free. If they dissolve ALL of the monopolies (or limit it), then I am all in favor of this. The problem is that many of these companies want a monopoly and no regulations. In my area, I have the choice of qwest, comcast, or some reseller of them. It is a total ripe off. When colorado tried to do the state-wide licensing (get one license at a state level and then compete where you see a market) that past xmas, comcast and qwest fought against it. From where I sit, they need the net-neutrality regulation because they are insisting on monopolies.

Yeah sure (-1, Flamebait)

blackjackshellac (849713) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326645)

But John McCain is a fucking whore and a moron.

What does Iraq have to do with all things digital? (3, Interesting)

Paradoks (711398) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326675)

Finally a technology conference where there's a presidential candidate present, and it's quite reasonable to grill him about all the pressing topics of interest to the Slashdot crowd, and half the article is about Iraq?

Geez. I know it's important, but McCain has answered the exact same questions hundreds of time. And this article is the first time I've heard a question that involved copyright. Why, oh why, do we have to read the same answers about Iraq in every situation, despite it being wildly off-topic?

Re:What does Iraq have to do with all things digit (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326729)

this article is the first time I've heard a question that involved copyright.
Still no ANSWER, though. Ahh, well, what do you expect from politicians?

Re:What does Iraq have to do with all things digit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19326807)

Maybe because, in spite of how important net neutrality is, tens of thousands of people dying might be slightly more important.

But the FCC has already broken the free market... (4, Interesting)

kbonin (58917) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326699)

As long as the FCC props up access "right of way" monopolies, the free market cannot function. Between DSL distance constraints, spectrum auctions to the highest bidder, everybody overselling bandwidth, [nearly] everybody traffic shaping, unlimited service provider consolidation, and [nearly] every access provider requiring strict "you will be a consumer only" contracts, where is the free market? Net neutrality is just a bastion against unconstrained traffic shaping. The government has already sold off most of our other rights...

Little Monpolies... Big Monopolies... (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326715)

For the most part, broadband is comprised of big monopolies, little monopolies and perhaps a little bit of competition scattered here and there. (In case no one noticed, with all the buying and selling of AT&T lately, it seems like the net result is that somehow AT&T controls a lot more than it did before...)

And frankly, even where there's competition, the provider will do pretty much what they please regardless of consumer demand. Look at Dell for example. They switched over to India for their customer support even though the customer demanded otherwise. Customer demand is not the only factor and when you're either the only game in town or one of two in some cases, you set and change the rules any way you like... any way that gives you advantage.

Without regulation, it's not what customers will demand that will shape things... it's whatever they will put up with in terms of abuse.

Nothing interesting here. A summary: (1)

mosch (204) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326719)


A standard pro-business comment that ignores reality

The mandatory GOP "OMG IMMIGRANTS" xenophobia. (As if it's such a huge problem that I got my whole house painted for $500. Oh noes! They are *illegal*, they didn't fill out a bunch of forms before they painted my house! The horror!)

He then goes into full-on pro-war mode, advocating a long stay in Iraq, action against Iran and the continued destruction of Habeas Corpus.

Then the oblique nod towards government-funded religious education, because there are a lot of religious voters who want the right to force me to subsidize the indoctrination of their children.

And then he made a comment about how important it is that he have the ability to monitor all the traffic on the internet, to protect against child porn. Yeah, child porn. Of fucking course.

There's nothing interesting here. The guy is a pure stereotype. The slashdot editors who approved the word 'interesting' need to go take an English class, because it doesn't mean what they think it means.

Re:Nothing interesting here. A summary: (2, Insightful)

Caiwyn (120510) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326901)

As if it's such a huge problem that I got my whole house painted for $500.

I guess it's not, if you're a proponent of what is, for all intents and purposes, slave labor. Documented immigrants get paid a fair wage, at least. Illegal immigrants are always paid under the table.

I'm sure you'll find a way to call me a racist and xenophobe because I don't support illegal immigration. But at least you got your house painted on the cheap, right? You certainly are a paragon of humanity.

Obscene (1)

Monkeyman334 (205694) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326735)

I listened to Barack Obama's "podcast" about net neutrality (on youtube), it was excellent. He understood that everyone gets broadband through just a handfull of companies, and that not passing the law would allow companies to create barriers to entry, to where everything is as bad as phone or cable companies.

I don't see how McCain is going to be any different than many in the current administration, or even democrats like Hillary. I just don't see how someone could look at the issue and not understand that internet providers are trying to screw consumers.

Net Neutrality will emerge naturally. (2, Insightful)

Bongo Bill (853669) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326765)

It might take a year or it might take twenty, but as users become more sophisticated in what they want to use the Internet for, they will become dissatisfied with providers who won't give them the access they demand to the sites they want to use. There's no need for Uncle Sam to saddle us with more rules and regulations. If there's something keeping newcomers out of the market, existing antitrust laws should be applied.

Well in that case... (1)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326769)

Since he wants as little government influence as possible, he also needs to force companies to (for the sake of fairness):
1) Pay back ALL government funding they have received to upgrade their networks with.
2) Make it illegal for a company to have a government mandated monopoly. The government would likely need to pay for the infrastructure of new companies in areas where a monopoly exists (to make up for all the help it already gave the old monopoly).

The second one is most interesting and interesting if the laws reflect the monopolistic nature of a company, apparently in NYC Time Warner has to provide service to people because of its government mandated monopoly. If you complain enough they will have to do whatever it takes to give you proper service.

Follow the money (5, Informative)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326773)

JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ)
Top Contributors [opensecrets.org]

1 AT&T Inc $39,500

Re:Follow the money (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19327077)

also:
8 Verizon Communications $17,200
16 Viacom Inc $12,100
17 Time Warner $12,000

when you pay you should expect excellent service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19326803)

When you control the pipe you should be able to get profit from your investment and when you are a consumer, you should have the right to excellent internet and the throttling down connections practice needs to be stopped. When you pay for internet you should get the speed they advertise for all connections on every port. I guess net neutral means different things to different people.

Elsewhere at an pedophiles conference (1)

lupine (100665) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326833)

John McCain is reported to have said "As your president I promise to wear a dress and talk like a little girl if that is what my campaign supporters want. When you buy the presidency the man you anoint should dance for your amusement. So keep those contributions a coming!", he said in a lilting high pitched voice while sporting a bright blue sundress.

Pipes (1)

cucumberjones (1089979) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326877)

'When you control the pipe you should be able to get profit from your investment.' Doesn't he mean tubes not pipes?

McCain is interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19326897)

I'm from Europe and I've seen that bit on the Colbert Report where McCain was asked what he would make different in Guantanamo.

He said: "We don't torture people." ...I dare say that one plus point for him.

McCain has lost all credibility (4, Insightful)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326899)

There is no chance in hell that McCain will win the race. In my opinion, he has lost all credibility for being the war monger he is.

Does anyone remember when he paraded down the streets of Iraq, protected by a whole infantry of U.S. soldiers (therefore also endangering them greatly), and then claim that it is a very safe and a lot better than a few years ago? He is on par with Rudy.G; both are utterly clueless of the real cause of 9/11. Every time I hear that "them hating us for our freedom" makes me want to puke. Ironically, Bush's stance on freedom is quite the opposite.

It will be interesting to see what Ron Paul will do to the upcoming republican debates. It will also be interesting to see what Hillary, Obama and perhaps even Gore can do in the presidential elections.

Tubes and pipes (1)

merikari (205531) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326903)

Damn this technology is getting complicated. Even our leaders disagree on whether its a series of pipes or tubes.

"I am tired of all this sort of thing called science here... We have spent
millions in that sort of thing for the last few years, and it is time it
should be stopped."
- Simon Cameron, U.S. Senator, on the Smithsonian Institute, 1901.

The Wrong Pitch... (1)

GearheadX (414240) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326915)

Someone should pitch this question to them differently, as they clearly aren't quite understanding it right.

INSERT CANDIDATE NAME HERE, let's imagine, for a moment, that you're the President. Now. Let's imagine that the White House gets it's internet from, I don't know, Random DC Internet Company. Hypothetically, let's say that there was a horrible nuclear accident of some sort and the Russians were freaking out. Would you be for or against an email to the Russians explaining that this was not a hostile act not getting through because Random DC Internet decided that it didn't want to deliver email to the Kremlin's servers, run by Random Moscow Internet, that day?

Typical lack of knowledge (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 7 years ago | (#19326935)

The market should be allowed to solve the Net-neutrality issue
This doesn't make sense in two ways:

1) What market is he talking about? Being a broadband provider is a regulated monopoly. There are only two in my area: Comcast cable and Verizon DSL. Nobody else is allowed in now that the telcos don't have to lease their lines.

2) Ironically, net neutrality is what would restore fair competition to the market. Without that, the issue can't solve itself.

automatic franchise (1)

jay2003 (668095) | more than 7 years ago | (#19327001)

When the federal government guarantees an automatic franchise to all taker for access to any utility pole, there will be an argument that Net Neutrality can be taken care of by the market. I would still be skeptical due to minimum economic scale requirements limiting the number of entrants.

This is typical Republican faux free market propaganda. McCain wants to rig the market by the government ensuring through the FCC that there is very little actual competition and then claim that the high prices and poor service are the best the free market can provide, all the while raking in campaign contributions from those who benefit from the government enforced limited competition.

The Straight Talk Express has crashed and been replaced with a Campaign Contribution Brothel on wheels.

Own the pipes or the content, but not both (2, Interesting)

JeffL (5070) | more than 7 years ago | (#19327039)

None of the companies would ever let the lawmakers do it, but I think the regulation that is needed is something to disentangle the ownership of the actual wires, fibres, spectrum, etc. that carries data from the data itself.

Companies who carry the data, and deliver it to all kinds of end users (home users, businesses, etc.) would be required to be completely agnostic as to what the data is they carry. They would be like the post office, who don't own the mail they deliver, they just deliver it. Perhaps even completely transparent non-neutral prioritization of traffic (like the post office, with airmail, first class, media rate, etc.) would be acceptable. Any VOIP provider could agree to pay the tariff for high priority packets, and Verizon (for example) couldn't block their traffic because they compete with Verizon's local phone service.

Separating the data carrier and the content provider is just my thought for preventing vertical monopolies. Time Warner owns your cable line, and forces their traffic on you, and only lets in their and their "partners" VOIP or video on demand traffic, for example (they don't do this now, but I'm sure they'd love to if given the opportunity).

Simply, you can own the wires or the data, but not both.

Re:Own the pipes or the content, but not both (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#19327067)

That's called a "common carrier". Which is what US telephony was until "deregulation".

s/pipe/MONOPOLY/ (2, Funny)

RedHat Rocky (94208) | more than 7 years ago | (#19327085)

'When you control the pipe you should be able to get profit from your investment.'

When you control the phone lines, you should...er no. Regulated industry and for good historical reasons (antitrust).

When you control the electrical lines...er, no again. Hmmm

When you control the oil...NOW WE'RE TALKING!

Other considerations (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 7 years ago | (#19327103)

Iraq is important, but there are other issues that we never hear about. For example...the Federal Reserve. It is costing us dearly (the interest on government debt), and quite frankly, I can't see any reason for its continued monopoly on this country's money supply. Also, what does the candidate plan to do (specifically) to repair the havoc wrought by Dubya's end-runs around the other two branches of government (not to mention the Constitution)?
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