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Maine Passes a Net Neutrality Resolution

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the nice-gesture-anyway dept.

The Internet 101

Spamicles writes "Maine has become the first state in the US to pass legislation on net neutrality. The resolution, LD 1675, recognizes the importance of 'full, fair and non-discriminatory access to the Internet' and instructs the Public Advocate to study what can be done to protect the rights of Maine Internet users. A 2005 decision by the Federal Communications Commission put in jeopardy net neutrality principles that had been in place since the inception of the Internet." Maine's resolution may be more symbolic than effective. This isn't the first time Maine has been out in front of other states on a controversial issue.

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101 comments

and you thought maine was only for lobsters! (4, Funny)

joeldg (518249) | more than 6 years ago | (#19537847)

and you thought Maine was only for lobsters!
of course Maine in front of the pack, all that seafood is good for the brain..
(of course the butter and chowders do slow you down a bit in other areas).

Congrats Maine, we (the net) salute you!

Re:and you thought maine was only for lobsters! (3, Funny)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#19537889)

I believe they prefer "chowda" throughout New England...

Re:and you thought maine was only for lobsters! (0, Offtopic)

joeldg (518249) | more than 6 years ago | (#19537915)

oh yea.. "chowda!" ..
almost forgot about that ..

And it's a good way to start a bar fight. (3, Informative)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538005)

We do, but it's not all the same ... order chowder in Rhode Island and you'll get a very different product than in Maine.

(For the record, Maine "chowdah" is the real thing ... those heathen RIers defile theirs with tomatoes.)

Re:And it's a good way to start a bar fight. (1)

Elemenope (905108) | more than 6 years ago | (#19541559)

Libelous trash! We Rhode Islanders do not, as a rule, make the heathen Red chowda, we make clear chowda, with 2nd place in state popularity being the standard white chowda. The tomato users are further south.

Clear? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 6 years ago | (#19546761)

we make clear chowda

Clear paint is called varnish. Clear coffee is called water. Clear chowda is called soup.

Heathens, indeed.

Wish I still lived there. (2, Interesting)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538165)

It's a pity that the economy in Maine is so messed up, because they do seem to have a state government with an unusual amount of backbone. I moved south a few years ago, and while I partially regret it and would love to move back, the numbers are just dismal.

As a state is has one of the highest tax burdens (as percent of income). IIRC it's up close to 15% going to the state, and second only to Vermont. (Although looking at newer stats they may have cut it down some.) And that's on top of Federal taxes. That wouldn't be too bad if you could get a high paying job -- you can buy a lot of property, inland anyway, for the cost of a townhouse in other parts of the country -- but except for a meager high-tech area down around Portland (National Semi has what I think is their prototype fab there), the job market is in tough shape.

Leaving Northern New England was one of the saddest things I ever did, but by moving to the Mid-Atlantic region I got an almost 50% pay increase -- even factoring in the ridiculous cost-of-living and the necessity (as far as I'm concerned) of running the A/C most of the time. Still, every time I hear a story like this, I can't help but cheer a little. And then feel vaguely dirty for so blatantly selling out.

Re:Wish I still lived there. (2, Interesting)

spikedvodka (188722) | more than 6 years ago | (#19539897)

Ayuah, Maine sure is great, and honestly, This is one of those times that I'm proud to be from Maine. Even if I only make less than $30k a year. My wife, son, and I can still live comfortably on that and her teaching salary.

And I sure have to agree with you, as a rule Maine's congress-critters have a backbone. I might not agree with all that they do, but that's life. As for the tax rate, they're trying to lower it by re-organizing schools, as well as other things. we'll see how that goes.

Re:Wish I still lived there. (1)

CrazedWalrus (901897) | more than 6 years ago | (#19547339)

With all the talk here on /. about writing Congress about Net Neutrality, why aren't we writing our STATES about it, asking them to legislate in our favor? Then write your Fed Congressman and tell him that the Fed Congress should stay out of it? Yeah, FTC, yeah FCC, yeah Interstate Commerce. Whatever. I got it. But just because they have the *right* to intervene doesn't mean they *should*. They could easily legislate that the states should handle it as they choose and be done with it.

If enough states have the backbone that Maine has, maybe it would become too complex for these companies to bother with it.

Besides, your state is where you have the most voice. It's where you stand the biggest chance of changing anything. The STATE is where Democracy lives, not the Federal government. Think of it this way: if you take the bribery money normally kept for the Fed Congress and multiply the number of pockets by 50, it becomes much more difficult to bribe people. Especially when those people feel much more beholden to their constituents.

Another way of looking at it is that you bank on the fact that the Congress will probably talk it into submission and then pigeonhole it. In the meantime, maybe we can get some states to follow Maine's lead, and have some sensible legislation in place for a while. Perhaps it'll even serve as a model for a Federal law later on.

-CW

Re:Wish I still lived there. (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 6 years ago | (#19551347)

The tubes belong to the companies, they can do with them as they please as far as I'm concerned. If I don't like the service, I can switch to another provider.

Re:Wish I still lived there. (1)

oudzeeman (684485) | more than 6 years ago | (#19549501)

I live in Maine and make about 75k, so I am pretty lucky. However, my wife has had a hard time finding a job that pays well. She has a BS in a science dicipline and is getting a masters degree in business and has settled for a 23k/yr job while she finishins her degree part time. Who knows what her employment situtation will be when she finishes.

with our income, which is above average for our area, we still don't have a lot of extra money. Our house was about 190k but it needs work (just finished a 6-7k DIY bathroom remodel) and since we are young (I'm 27) we didn't have a lot of cash for a down payment so we are stuck with PMI. Looking back i wish we had waited a couple years so we could put 20% down, but home prices had been increasing rapidly in the area and we didn't want to get left behind. They are still increasing but not nearly as much as they had been so i think we would have been OK waiting...

Every once in a while we think about packing up and moving out of state.

Re:and you thought maine was only for lobsters! (2, Informative)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538171)

As a Mainer I must remind you of our motto, Dirigo, meaning 'I lead'.

And hopefully our folksy saying "As goes Maine, so goes the nation" will hold fruit with this issue, ayuh.

Re:and you thought maine was only for lobsters! (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538871)

Dingo is also a type of wild dog found in Australia. ;)

Re:and you thought maine was only for lobsters! (1)

jamar0303 (896820) | more than 6 years ago | (#19539599)

Someone needs glasses or a larger, more legible font.

Re:and you thought maine was only for lobsters! (1)

thegnu (557446) | more than 6 years ago | (#19539925)

Just because he can't read, now he's a Samoan? Come on, guys!. XD

Re:and you thought maine was only for lobsters! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19540743)

Very clever... :)

Re:and you thought maine was only for lobsters! (2, Insightful)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538175)

Amusingly enough, the Google ads for the article are for a couple sites that sell lobsters.

Stories like this actually make me proud of my home state. Maine has had a good streak of independence for quite a few years now. It's nice seeing independent, reasonable thought maintaining its presence.

This is independence? (0)

thethibs (882667) | more than 6 years ago | (#19540377)

Say what?! Maine passes a socialist nanny-state law to tell private industry how and to whom they will sell their services and you praise it for it's "streak of independence"?

Perhaps it's time for Maine to change its anthem to "Someone to Watch Over Me".

Re:and you thought maine was only for lobsters! (1)

khaustic (802955) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538917)

Go us! Rock the fuck on, my state!

This means a lot to the hundred-or-so of us Maine residents who understand that the internet isn't just the blue "e" on their Windows (ME, of course) desktops.

Re:and you thought maine was only for lobsters! (1)

Mark Bowness (1109559) | more than 6 years ago | (#19539135)

Good work Maine, it will be interesting to see how, if and when other States follow. Mark Bowness

Re:and you thought maine was only for lobsters! (1)

default luser (529332) | more than 6 years ago | (#19555275)

You know, Mark, you can append your name in a signature, and you can also set your homepage too. These are automatically applied to every post.

Just look under Preferences.

Re:and you thought maine was only for lobsters! (2, Insightful)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 6 years ago | (#19539545)

Keep in mind that Maine has NO next generation broadband. No FIOS. And it won't get it, EVER. Verizon is selling off it's Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine lines to Fairpoint, whose motto is "128K DSL is the wave of the future." The closest FTTP type deployment in Maine is in Lewiston / Auburn via Oxford Networks [oxfordnetworks.com] , who's idea is to use fiber to deploy 2M MAX service (which is slower than available cable / DSL). Business users only have a 1M option. The brilliant Oxford Networks execs are running around wondering why nobody is buying...

So yeah. Go Maine. Unfortunately it doesn't mean jack shit because the available broadband is pathetic.

Re:and you thought maine was only for lobsters! (1)

naChoZ (61273) | more than 6 years ago | (#19540521)

Keep in mind that Maine has NO next generation broadband. No FIOS. And it won't get it, EVER. Verizon is selling off it's Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine lines to Fairpoint, whose motto is "128K DSL is the wave of the future." The closest FTTP type deployment in Maine is in Lewiston / Auburn via Oxford Networks [oxfordnetworks.com] , who's idea is to use fiber to deploy 2M MAX service (which is slower than available cable / DSL). Business users only have a 1M option. The brilliant Oxford Networks execs are running around wondering why nobody is buying...

So yeah. Go Maine. Unfortunately it doesn't mean jack shit because the available broadband is pathetic.

Wrong. Verizon is selling their residential telephone service to Fairpoint, that's it.

Part of the reason is there is so much competition now, Verizon is ready to get out of that line of business in such . Not just mobile phone companies, from big places like Time Warner Cable and small places like GWI and their VOIP offerings. And if you don't like Fairpoint's DSL offering, buy it from someone else. IIRC, GWI's DSL service was $35 for 3/768 and their coverage area is getting quite extensive.

As for FIOS, I'm sure that will be like everything else, it will take a little longer than heavily populated areas. But FIOS is already available in some pretty rural areas of NH just across the border, so I doubt we're very far behind. I've certainly seen plenty of White Mountain Cable trucks running fiber along a great many roads in this area. I'm drawing a blank on the other telecom construction contractor that operates in Maine (Mainelink is it?), but I've even seen their trucks pulling fiber even in places like Standish.

Maine doesn't need FUD like this, so don't start it.

Re:and you thought maine was only for lobsters! (1)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 6 years ago | (#19540605)

Bullshit. Verizon is not just selling residential lines, they are selling the entire wireline business. Read the press release. [fairpoint.com] Yes, part of NH has FIOS (not sure what the hell that has to do with Maine, but whatever...) and there have been questions but no answers as to what will happen to NH FIOS customers...

Maine does have a pretty good fiber backbone, but the last mile is the issue. Please show us the press release or any other info for Standish or any other FTTP effort.

Re:and you thought maine was only for lobsters! (1)

naChoZ (61273) | more than 6 years ago | (#19549991)

Well, as entertaining as it is to read battle-of-the-press-release-links threads, it isn't really necessary is it. There is already FIOS in the areas covered by the press release you posted. I don't need a press release to conclude the obvious.

And you make it seem as if Verizon is pulling out of Maine entirely. Wrong. From the press release you posted:

The transaction does not include the services, offerings or assets of Verizon Wireless, Verizon Business (former MCI), Federal Network Systems LLC, Verizon Network Integration Corp., Verizon Global Networks Inc., Verizon Federal Inc. or any other Verizon businesses in these states.

Again, stop with the FUD. I'll happily point and laugh at you when FIOS comes to Maine, but spreading this crap hurts the state.

Re:and you thought maine was only for lobsters! (1)

naChoZ (61273) | more than 6 years ago | (#19550203)

Now that I've bothered to look, FIOS is *already* available in Kittery. Oh wait, now you'll show me press release, they seceded from Maine. ;)

Re:and you thought maine was only for lobsters! (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 6 years ago | (#19546807)

Fairpoint, whose motto is "128K DSL is the wave of the future."

What do you base that on? At a talk I went to [bfccomputing.com] FairPoint was pushing their 6+Mbps DSL infrastructure.

Though I have to admit I'd be happy to pay for 128K DSL over my 26.4K modem, which is all Verizon is ever going to provide in the current regulatory environment.

Re:and you thought maine was only for lobsters! (1)

lordmetroid (708723) | more than 6 years ago | (#19547673)

And so it has begun... The regulation of the internet, this doesn't bode well!

Did you comment? (4, Insightful)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 6 years ago | (#19537875)

Your voice means NOTHING if you don't submit it via the proper channels. If you care about your politicians, then VOTE. If you care about FCC decisions, then COMMENT. It's your civic duty. When people argue politics with me, my first question is: "In the last election, did you vote?". If the answer is no, then I refuse to discuss politics, after telling them "I don't care what you think, your opinion doesn't matter!".

I commented to the FCC, and I sincerely hope you did, too. Here's my comment to the FCC, first posted to slashdot here [slashdot.org] . Here's what I wrote:



Airwaves belong to everyone. Although transmission is regulated,
reception is open and unrestricted. And the only purpose of the
regulation is to ensure that the openness of the medium is preserved
and the utility of the radio space is not compromised.

This is as it should be. Everybody benefits when the utility of a
common resource is preserved. Otherwise, the phenomenon of the
"Tragedy of the Commons" rears its ugly head. Here, overly agressive
private consumption of a public resource causes a compromise of the
utility of the common resource, to the detriment of all, including
the private individuals hogging the resource!

The Internet is, by definition, a shared resource. It's a peering
agreement based on communications protocols which enable all of its
parts to cooperate together, seamlessly, for the public benefit. Any
part can access any other part as though all parts were local. It's
the first, truly open, global communications system whose immense
potential for benefiting humankind has barely begun.

It is now up to you, here, to declare for our progeny, that this
shared, common resource shall remain open and free for the benefit of
all, to ensure its use, utility, and power so that everybody can benefit.

Balkanizing this public medium with an "unequal" internet, where the
common carriers of the traffic are free to degrade access to portions
of the network not in their personal interest, serves only to pillage
the utility of the common good. It provides enhanced short-term
profits for the pillager, but degrades the overall utility of the
network.

Please, please please, follow the forefathers before you who have
declared that this land be preserved for the common good, and those
who declared that the roads be preserved for the common good, and
those who have declared that the nation's power grid and telephone
grid be regulated to preserve their utility for the common good.

The utility of the Internet should be preserved. Please, please, keep it neutral.

Re:Did you comment? (1)

Bjarke Roune (107212) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538499)

> When people argue politics with me, my first question is:
> "In the last election, did you vote?". If the answer is no,
> then I refuse to discuss politics, after telling them
> "I don't care what you think, your opinion doesn't matter!".
>
You sound like just the kind of guy everyone would love to have discussions with! The life of the party, Slashdot-style! Rock on!

Re:Did you comment? (1)

aldo.gs (985038) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538555)

You sound like just the kind of guy everyone would love to have discussions with! The life of the party, Slashdot-style! Rock on!


You don't get it, do you? Your voice means NOTHING if you don't submit it via the proper channels. No, I don't know what the proper channels are on this one either.
 
Seriously, though, the parent does sound a little bit... intolerant. Not every abstentionist (or whatever those are called) is an ignorant moron. Some have very interesting ideas. But whatever suits him/her.

Re:Did you comment? (2, Insightful)

FlynnMP3 (33498) | more than 6 years ago | (#19539139)

Actually, your voice does matter even if you don't use the right channels.

Public opinion does matter, just not as much. Especially in the context you and the GP seem to be soapboxing on. Criminal activity, and thus opinion in some cases, does matter. That particular bent can effect change by getting somebody else do to the political work for you. Usually to the criminal's derision. As long as we are talking about the law, let's talk about those persons that are above it. Their opinion matters very much. So much so that it upsets the very foundations on which our country was built.

And need I remind you that our country was founded by people who _didn't_ go through the proper channels. They got so fed up with the old guard (sometimes not even a figure of speech) that they left. Took their little balls and bats and just freaking left and founded another nation. I mean, if they had just left comments and pleaded with those in power they could of effected change. Cowards!

Enough sarcasm for you? This country is run by big businesses, special interest groups, and those who have absolutely no interest in changing anything that will affect their political positions. And to top it all off, now the entertainment industry is using their influence over the apathetic (which they helped create) to make changes beneficial to them.

Who wants to secede?

Re:Did you comment? (1)

radl33t (900691) | more than 6 years ago | (#19541021)

Who wants to secede?

Lets do it!

I hope your from Mpls, MN or we might have a hard time defending our territory. uuhh wait a minute, have you already been detained (secretly and indefinitely)?? I may have to reevaluate my position if it poses such an imminent danger to my livelihood. Are you a government agent?? I think despite widespread support, it will be pretty difficult to grow a revolution under our political climate.

Re:Did you comment? (1)

aldo.gs (985038) | more than 6 years ago | (#19544001)

What the hell? Did you even read my comment? I was making fun of the guy!
But hey, whatever man. I bet you didn't even heard a passing sound above your head or something.

Re:Did you comment? (1)

asdfghjklqwertyuiop (649296) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538735)

The Internet is, by definition, a shared resource. It's a peering
agreement based on communications protocols which enable all of its
parts to cooperate together, seamlessly, for the public benefit.


That's not quite true. The parts don't cooperate together for public benefit, they cooperate for the benefit of the owners of the parts (which, are mostly privately owned). The parts cooperate because, well, it is profitable for them to do so. For example, if my ISP suddenly decides to sever all links to the rest of the world then this ISP is drastically less useful to me so I will no longer pay for access to it.

For the most part, the only thing "public" about the Internet is the fact that the physical lines that make it up are run all over private and public property and are allowed to do so through government-granted rights of way.

Re:Did you comment? (4, Insightful)

Greg_D (138979) | more than 6 years ago | (#19539107)

It doesn't matter whether someone didn't vote last time. What matters is that they still have the right to vote NEXT time, and by ignoring them politically, you're isolating your voice as well as the potential for their own unique perspective to be added to the mix. If everyone you spoke to about matters told you to fuck off, sooner or later you'd take the hint.

Well, unless you're a stalker or a husband. That's what we have the 2nd amendment and rolling pins for.

Re:Did you comment? (1)

RaNdOm OuTpUt (928053) | more than 6 years ago | (#19540615)

When people argue politics with me, my first question is: "In the last election, did you vote?". If the answer is no, then I refuse to discuss politics, after telling them "I don't care what you think, your opinion doesn't matter!".
Really? Fuck you. What about people who CAN'T legally vote? This includes everyone under eighteen, people who have been accused of a felony, people who have actual mental problems, and probably a few other categories I don't know of. Then there's people who have to work all day, and can't get off to vote, just to get enough food to survive. There are plenty of people who want to vote and can't. Then there's people who didn't vote because the thik ALL THE CANDIDATES SUCK. FUCK YOU.

Re:Did you comment? (1)

k1e0x (1040314) | more than 6 years ago | (#19541675)

When people argue politics with me, my first question is: "In the last election, did you vote?". If the answer is no, then I refuse to discuss politics, after telling them "I don't care what you think, your opinion doesn't matter!".
Your saying.. "I can use force on you not based on if its right or wrong but based on if you voted." I don't stand on one leg when I vote.. does that matter to you?

Government is legal fiction, it is not moral, or right, or just.. its just men using force on other men. Every single year if I could, I would vote to disband the federal government entirely. I can not and probably never will win, but I continue to try.. really though..? does it matter if I vote or not?

The system of tyranny of the majority we call Democracy is just as brutal as any other government if you find yourself and your ideas not in the so called majority. Every year this majority creates new laws backed by brutal force against a minority, sometimes the markup of the minority will change so that gives us a change to pass laws against a new minority also.

Nice of you to be so authoritarian that you wont even talk to those in the minority that have given up hope..

Re:Did you comment? (1)

faolan_devyn_aodfin (981785) | more than 6 years ago | (#19546799)

Thank the gods! Another Ron Paul supporter. I didn't think they existed outside the listenership of Alex Jones! Anyways, it's good to see fresh, reasonable approaches. That guy is as American as apple pie!

It's really good to see that some people believe in freedom and liberty, and also realise that for the most part both parties have been bought and paid for by foreign interests and corporations. We really need a revolution, but I'll settle for Ron Paul if he can bring change.

Ya think? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19537879)

Maine's resolution may be more symbolic than effective.

Ya think? Maine can prevent ISPs from being asses with pipes inside Maine. Good for Maine.

Unfortunately Maine isn't exactly the center of the Internet, nor is it really likely to be. And once the pipes leave Maine, there's nothing to prevent the ISP from throttling everything coming to and from Maine to crap.

So good for Maine for taking a stand, even though it probably won't amount to anything. The ISPs will just do their throttling outside of Maine, and do all their business in Maine via a subsidiary company so it remains nice and legal.

Re:Ya think? (5, Interesting)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538099)

It's more than symbolic it's the start of a legislation patchwork policy. If there is something that large corporations hate more than just about anything else it's legislative patchwork because it costs them a lot of money.

When it comes to mass production it will often cost more to design a product or service which conforms to two different standards than just implement the stricter standard in all of your products.

If even 25% of the states in the US implemented a Net Neutrality Resolution the cost to ISPs to ensure that packets originating and ending in a Net Neutral state would be significantly higher than just abandoning QoS nation wide. And if someone like Google moved into your state then ISPs would need to know which datacenter IP range they need to throttle and which they can leave alone.

If you bounce your packet through a Net Neutral state and it is throttled while in the state, they've broken the law. Can you imagine how difficult it would be to ensure that every packet you send and receive didn't pass through a state with a net neutrality law?

Behold the beauty of de facto legislation. One of the first real gems of globalization.

Re:Ya think? (2, Interesting)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538293)

Agreed. I'm not sure if Maine necessarily has the clout to really affect anything directly, except maybe for preventing monkey business conducted at the head-ends by ISPs in Maine (thinking about it, I assume this is where you'd want to do the packet-shaping if you wanted to fudge service, so maybe it's not totally toothless). However, if they can encourage other states to do it -- particularly states where there are big peering points or other key infrastructure -- then it could, if the laws are drafted well, effectively regulate all traffic.

I think regulation like this can swing both ways: it shows the power of individual states' legislatures in potentially effecting great things. However, it can also show how a state law, if very poorly written, could adversely affect large swaths of the network, if it commanded the information-carriers to act in a certain way. (Although I think they'd be able to dodge some very onerous state laws on interstate-commerce grounds.)

Re:Ya think? (3, Insightful)

jonwil (467024) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538859)

QoS is fine and ISPs should be allowed to apply QoS to their traffic to give priority to, say, VoIP over, say, BitTorrent. Taking away the rights of ISPs to apply QoS

The 2 issues that the "anti-net neutrality" crowd should be focusing on are:
1.When ISPs give preferential treatment to, say, CableCo VoIP over, say, Vonage. Or give preferential treatment to a customer who pays extra for the privilege.
and 2.When ISPs deliberatly limit the speeds of certain data (based on network protocols, port numbers, source and destination address or whatever else) so that that data can never go at the full speed of whatever broadband link you have.

Re:Ya think? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#19541747)

Your post has just made me realise a nice side-effect of network neutrality; it encourages open protocols. While you can't penalise one provider's SIP traffic over another, you can penalise Skype in favour of SIP traffic.

Re:Ya think? (1)

mechapants (1059980) | more than 6 years ago | (#19547067)

It should not matter what service the packet was generated from. Your are sold bandwidth and they should be held accountable to provide the full package they advertised.

Re:Ya think? (1)

Fastolfe (1470) | more than 6 years ago | (#19555915)

Your comment seems to suggest that QoS of any kind is bad here. Consider that 3rd-party IPTV and VoIP, without QoS, will be degraded equally with, say, BitTorrent. If you ran things, a customer's IPTV service would start cutting out every time they downloaded a large file (or started BitTorrent), because the connection would become saturated with your data download and no mechanisms are allowed to give preference to time-sensitive streams (VoIP/IPTV).

Re:Ya think? (1)

mechapants (1059980) | more than 6 years ago | (#19560499)

well if they had the bandwidth to handle the load for what they've sold it shouldn't be much of a problem. I don't know what the over sell amount is but I'm sure its over 1 - 1. They are surprised that they can't meet needs in peek times? With all the video sites "average people" know about, I sure am not.

Re:Ya think? (1)

Fastolfe (1470) | more than 6 years ago | (#19556077)

I agree that QoS itself is fine (and necessary). The problem here is who pays for it.

An IPTV provider (for example) can't just do QoS over the public Internet, and hope that every random ISP will respect the QoS flags and prioritize their IPTV streams over random bulk data transfers. If that were the case, it would be easily abused. The IPTV provider must contract with individual ISPs for dedicated data connections fit to carry QoS-flagged traffic to the ISP's network.

Who pays for that?

If the IPTV provider pays for it (which seems logical, since they're the ones that need the service), doesn't that mean they're paying for "preferential" treatment? If a different IPTV provider saw this arrangement, would they be justified in crying foul because their IPTV packets are treated like other random Internet data and dropped when customers' broadband connections become saturated with file downloads and the like?

If the ISP pays for it instead (thus allowing "equal access" to any content provider that wants a specially-configured data connection directly to the ISP), how can they recover those costs? The legislation here explicitly prohibits them from charging customers.

You can do QoS-enabled traffic on a per-service basis, and be non-discriminatory about it, but there has to be new infrastructure built for every one of those arrangements, and somebody has to pay for it. I'm not convinced any of this is possible with this legislation or the commonly understood definition of "network neutrality".

Re:Ya think? (1)

spikedvodka (188722) | more than 6 years ago | (#19539927)

The other side of that is that Maine's PUC (Public Utilities commission) has balls! If people complain that their connection is being throttled, Dollars to Dough nuts the PUC will investigate, and file suit to fix it. (Until the federal guberment decides that throttleing is a matter of national security, and sues to stop them)

Civil War v2.0? (5, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#19537919)

You know, more and more we are seeing states resisting things the federal government is doing. (You know, things like the new ID thing.) And more and more, we see the states attempting to take action where the federal government is either ignoring the problem... you know, issues like net neutrality and illegal immigration. (Do open document format issues fit in there somewhere? They should...)

It seems that not only is the federal government not acting with the interests of the people (I know, it's not news to anyone) but the state governments are actually becoming a lot more relevant than ever before.

I know that when we think of politics and elections, many people think of presidents and US house of representatives and the US senate. But clearly, since state level policies and law making are becoming more relevant, people should start paying additional attention to their state government elections as well.

Re:Civil War v2.0? (2, Interesting)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 6 years ago | (#19537997)

You know, more and more we are seeing states resisting things the federal government is doing.

BZZZZZTTT!!!

What this post reflects is a young understanding of something that's been going on as long as there have been states. It's why there ARE states - the term "state" can literally mean "country", and the "United States of America" can be literally read as "United Countries of America". It's a "body politic".

If you'd paid attention in history class, you'd remember that once upon a time, each state printed their own money, and had their own laws. They were, quite literally, separate nations until they united under the Constitution of the United States. This isn't new, and a modicum of research will reveal this.

Remember the (ahem) Civil War? Wasn't that a good case of states resisting what the federal government is doing?

Re:Civil War v2.0? (4, Insightful)

omeomi (675045) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538019)

It's why there ARE states - the term "state" can literally mean "country"

Somewhat ironically, the 50 states in the US, however, are not states in that sense...

They were, quite literally, separate nations until they united under the Constitution of the United States. This isn't new, and a modicum of research will reveal this.

Their relative influence over American life, however, has gone up and down quite a bit over the years. The GP seems to be pointing out that state independence is on a bit of an upswing. He's probably right about that.

Re:Civil War v2.0? (5, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538059)

I won't speak for the GP, but I am not historically ignorant, and I don't think that his post should be blown off like you seem so keen on doing.

Throughout U.S. history there are identifiable patterns or periods when power has shifted between the States and the Federal government -- although the overwhelming theme has been from the former to the latter, there have been some periods where the reverse has occurred. I think it's entirely possible that the current uber-Federalism has reached the end of its rope with the public, and we're starting to see a loss of patience for highly centralized government, and a desire to decentralize some authority back out to the States. People want more accountability, and it's just not clear that the Federal government is in a position to provide it.

Although it's not a total non sequitur, I'm not sure that bringing up the Civil War is really relevant to the discussion; it's nearly impossible to have a rational discussion of the Civil War without getting wrapped up in the historically-related (and still partially unresolved) issues of agrarian-vs-industrial economies, slavery, and 19th century politics. (Particularly slavery -- it's hardly worth even trying to discuss the abstract issue of states' rights when anyone on the states' side of the argument is going to be called pro-slavery. It's like Nazism; it just stops the discussion.)

Re:Civil War v2.0? (0, Offtopic)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538197)

Oh geez. Godwin's Law [wikipedia.org] has already reared its ugly head.

Didn't expect that to happen THIS FAST, though... sheesh!

Re:Civil War v2.0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19538319)

Screw Godwin's law. I am a Republican in the true sense of the word. King George and company are fascists. Real Republicans actually recognize the Bill of Rights.

Re:Civil War v2.0? (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538367)

Yep. That was kind of my point -- in the same way that bringing up the Nazis ends all discussion about government or economics (or anything else that you link to Nazism), slavery does the same thing. So if you start even heading down that path, talking about states' rights vs Federalism, and you don't make a point of steering clear of the American Civil War, eventually someone is just going to drop the 'ol "you're pro-slavery!" bomb as a counterpoint to states' rights, and Game Over -- stick a fork in it, the discussion is done.

The point of Godwin's Law is that there are some issues that are just too emotionally laden to rationally discuss. The Holocaust is one, and I'd argue that slavery is another. I'm sure there are others beyond that; but generally, sometimes you just have to just ward off going down a particular path if you know it's just not going to go somewhere productive.

Re:Civil War v2.0? (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538511)

The point of Godwin's Law is that there are some issues that are just too emotionally laden to rationally discuss. The Holocaust is one, and I'd argue that slavery is another.

But *you* broght up slavery. I merely brought up the issue of state's rights as "bodies politic". I didn't say why, I didn't get into it at all, other than to indicate that states have been telling the feds to screw themselves as long as there's been a federal government to yell at.

Don't put this one on me - it's entirely YOUR doing.

Re:Civil War v2.0? (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538647)

I wasn't putting it entirely on you. But you brought up the (American) Civil War [1], and while I said it's not a complete non sequitur, it's also probably the worst example of states' rights that can come up in a popular discussion. It's basically un-discussable. Just by bringing it up, because the Civil War is invariably taught as a conflict between pro- and anti-slavery forces, you put anyone arguing on the pro-states'-rights side in the uncomfortable position of seemingly defending slavery, even if that's not explicitly stated. It's a subtle rhetorical device but it pigeonholes your opponent pretty effectively.

It's analogous to discussing forms of government and bringing up World War Two as the prototypical conflict between fascism and democracy; it may be factually correct, but it's impossible to discuss rationally because it forces someone in the discussion to take the side of the Nazis.

[1] "Remember the (ahem) Civil War? Wasn't that a good case of states resisting what the federal government is doing?"

Re:Civil War v2.0? (1)

Marrshu (994708) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538391)

It's like Nazism; it just stops the discussion.
Ironically, you ended your post with a part about Nazism.

Re:Civil War v2.0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19539109)

I think it's entirely possible that the current uber-Federalism has reached the end of its rope with the public, and we're starting to see a loss of patience for highly centralized government, and a desire to decentralize some authority back out to the States.

Gee, and it only took you 27 years to notice the ongoing trend...

Re:Civil War v2.0? (1)

stonemetal (934261) | more than 6 years ago | (#19540015)

What makes you think the Civil War has anything to do with slavery? How does a war between 2 slave owners have anything to do with slavery? Just because one of them uses the tactic of telling the others slaves if you revolt I will set you free, doesn't mean that it had anything to do with slavery.

Re:Civil War v2.0? (2, Insightful)

TehZorroness (1104427) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538043)

I agree entirely and have also noticed this. What I am not sure about is if it is the Bush administration, or if by replacing him, we'll just open up a new can of worms. It's a chilling feeling, I know, but I'm quite sure that when bush is gone, the world won't suddenly be a dandy place.

Our federal government fails miserably to realize that there are more issues then just Iraq. For example: healthcare, global warming, net neutrality, outsourcing, corruption, the patent system, gun control, our education system, and endless others. These ALL need to be addressed IMMEDIATELY and SIMULTANEOUSLY. Right now, our federal government is having a terrible time multitasking. Until the Iraq war ends in 10+ years, I don't expect to see anything fixed (but lets all continue paying our taxes). The level of incompetence found in our government today is just astounding.

Each day the reality grows more and more grim. If we ended up in a situation where a succession were to take place, I would join in a heartbeat. Even if it failed, it would teach the government what happens when it doesn't do it's job. (keep in mind that other then the issue of nullification, the Confederate States of America were fundamentally the same as the USA. They broke away over ideals, not for radical change in government).

Re:Civil War v2.0? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#19539873)

Well I didn't expect my off-handed observation to stir up quite this much response. (I rather expected it to get ignored.) But here's what I predict in the near future:

States offering "counter programs" that will allow people to opt out of programs like social security and medicare. This will bring more money to the states and less to the federal government. There will be people fighting on both sides of the issue as it's easy to see problems on each side. (Such as, what happens if you move to live out of state? Or what about what was paid in to the federal government to begin with?) I make no predictions as to which side would win, but I will make this assertion:

If the social security money no longer sent to the federal government were actually INVESTED (you know, 401k style) by the state to make a profit and then the original investment amount sent on the FedGov later on, then retirement benefits could be created for people that approaches the original purpose of social security to begin with. The money sent on the the FedGov would keep the old SS system running for a while until they are weened and their economic malfunctions are resolved. The byproduct of such a move might even result in the discarding of the SSN. Imagine that...

Re:Civil War v2.0? (3, Insightful)

aldheorte (162967) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538077)

It's good someone battles for states' rights, even if it falls to the states themselves, because neither party supports states' right anymore. The Bush administration gained power by suing in federal court to block a state court's ruling on a state issue, thus losing for the Republicans at the national level all credibility in championing states' rights, which used to differentiate the Republicans strongly from Democrats. In their heedless and desperate grab for power both then and after 9/11, they lost their party identity.

Get the states mad enough and they can call a Constitutional Convention and effectively rewrite the Constitution to strip the federal government of power. Whether the federal government would allow this or use the military to prevent it (and whether the military would obey) becomes an interesting question after the events circa 1865, when the fundamental notion of states participating voluntarily in a union shattered, for better or for worse depending with high correlation on your latitude with respect to the Mason-Dixon line.

Re:Civil War v2.0? (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538387)

Get the states mad enough and they can call a Constitutional Convention and effectively rewrite the Constitution to strip the federal government of power.
Not going to happen. The federal government has a much stronger and more loyal military today than it had in 1789. The individual military power of states today, consisting of local militias, municipal and state police forces and maybe a few National Guard bases, can't measure up to the power wielded by the federal government.

What military power was once held by individuals has been legislated away in the name of reducing gun violence. Any exceptions are licensed, and thus known and tracked.

No, there's not going to be another revolution in the United States under the current government. At least, not a violent one. We'd have to be conquered, and then leave enough of a bad taste for occupation in the conqueror's mouth to force them to withdraw, let us overthrow the arranged-for "local" government, and establish our own.

Kinda like what's happening in Iraq.

Then, after a few years, we'll be ready for another constitutional convention.

Just the same, though, I wouldn't like to be conquered by either China or the Neo-Soviets, and they're the two countries we're most likely to go to enter a major war, with.

And, to be even more honest, I don't see either of them bothering with occupation. Too expensive. They'd use tactical nukes on places of symbolic, political and economic importance, and let the surviving population stew in a territory without the resources to compete globally.

Re:Civil War v2.0? (1)

AnyoneEB (574727) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538673)

I think the GP was referring to the measures in the constitution allowing for the states to amend the constitution without intervention from the national level. See Article V [archives.gov] for the procedure.

I suppose it is possible that if the states got together intending a large enough change that it would effectively strip the federal government of power, in other words, a legal non-violent revolution. The federal government could still choose to use military power to stop that, but it seems unlikely and the public would (hopefully) be outraged.

Re:Civil War v2.0? (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 6 years ago | (#19544897)

That's pretty cool. I haven't read through the Constitution since early high school, and you can imagine how little interest I might have had, then. I don't think any of my civics classes in high school or college mentioned that the states could perform an end-run around the Legislative branch in proposing Amendments.

Re:Civil War v2.0? (1)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 6 years ago | (#19551403)


The people in the US military don't come from the US federal government. They come from states.

Good luck in getting them to attack their homes.

Re:Civil War v2.0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19538205)

Why is this a shock? The president has been ignoring laws he doesn't like and leading us by his gut. He has pushed the idea of personal belief trumps the needs of the many. The state leaders are now fighting back. Some are following his example of leadership by doing what they think is right.

Texas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19538095)

Wow, they reject the Real ID act and now this. Where is Texas? I always thought of Texas as the maverick state. Next week Main will secede from the fascist United States.

Re:Texas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19539941)

That's Maine, not main, asshole...

Re:Texas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19546871)

Why is he an asshole for missing an 'e'? I suppose of i od sumethin lak dis den youd wanna kill me......

YOU'RE ALL A BUNCH OF FUCKING IDIOTS!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19538331)


 

Re:YOU'RE ALL A BUNCH OF FUCKING IDIOTS!!! (1)

Hucko (998827) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538535)

I am really sorry we didn't listen to your complaints. You expressed them so poignantly

Net Neutrality Resolution (3, Insightful)

Zapped.Info (1113711) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538343)

Perhaps now the best thing would be to contact your representative legislators and let them know that Maine has set an example that should be followed...HOWEVER...and this is a BIG HOWEVER...

We should be careful before celebrating and actually READ the resolution. I must admit that I have not read the resolution and while everything looks great on the surface, sometimes, we the people, end up getting duped into thinking our rights have been preserved when in fact they were diminished. I doubt that is the case here, but we should read the resolution with magnifying glasses before celebrating and promoting it.

Here is the bill text from Maine's website which must be behind the times because the leading page still reads, "Not yet determined"

http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/billte xts/LD167501.asp [mainelegislature.org]

Leading page:
http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/LD.asp ?LD=1675 [mainelegislature.org]

Well...I've got some reading to do :) - Zapped.Info

Re:Net Neutrality Resolution -- seems good to me (5, Informative)

olden (772043) | more than 6 years ago | (#19539679)

Call me weird, anti-/. or something, but I've read the bill (it's not that long, really), and it seems actually quite good.

Some interesting bits (my interpretation, IANAL etc; check the real stuff [mainelegislature.org] if you're into legalese):

  • ISPs can still block spam/porn/attacks... as long as the customer is clearly notified of such filtering and can opt out
  • However ISPs aren't allowed to, say, collect money from content providers for 'improved' service... bye Goodmail! [slashdot.org] :-)
  • ISPs can implement some QoS (good!) but only based on the type of service, not its source/destination/ownership/content... In sync with this post by jonwil [slashdot.org] , who I fully agree with.
  • Users can attach to their PC any device they want unless it "substantially degrade[s]" others' service -- Hello Wi-Fi sharing? :-]
    (this however certainly doesn't shield you from trouble if your line is used for illegal stuff)

All in all, seems pretty well-thought. Good job Maine. I can't see a nasty flaw, loophole, unnecessary burden put on ISPs or end-users...; did anyone spot some problem I missed?

Re:Net Neutrality Resolution -- seems good to me (1)

Monkeyman334 (205694) | more than 6 years ago | (#19541601)

* ISPs can implement some QoS (good!) but only based on the type of service, not its source/destination/ownership/content... In sync with this post by jonwil, who I fully agree with.

I think the law is great, but I don't agree with this part. While it will stop goodmail type schemes where companies pay for their content to get to me, it doesn't stop ISPs from charging me for a "service" like a "VoIP Package" which isn't different from any other kind of bandwidth. I do agree that as long as people aren't getting charged differently, that for QoS it should be fine.

Re:Net Neutrality Resolution -- seems good to me (1)

olden (772043) | more than 6 years ago | (#19544215)

You're correct, ISPs are still free to provide any service they want, like VoIP. The way I understand this resolution though, they're not allowed to treat their own service differently than other carriers', or act in any other way that would be discriminatory, like charge you different rates depending on if, or where, you buy such extra services.
Seems fair to me...

Stick with Best Effort (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 6 years ago | (#19546819)

But they are allowed to charge you more for a line with VoIP prioritized. Which means they have financial incentive to prioritize VoIP down for everybody who doesn't pay. This is the biggest problem I see with the deal, it enables a QoS business model. And, heck, if Microsoft can get priority access for it proprietary non-HTTP-port-80 Office Live! product, they'll do it.

Unless the above is incorrect, we're best off sticking with best-effort and building sufficient capacity and algorithms to handle traffic.

Loopholes? This bill is swiss cheese on a string! (1)

Zapped.Info (1113711) | more than 6 years ago | (#19547643)

This line from the bill throws me for a loop because it seems contradictory or like double-talk. You can't have it both ways can you? Clearly I must be mis-interpreting it.

----
D. May only prioritize content, applications or services made available by the provider and accessed by a user based on the type of content, applications or services and the level of service purchased by the user, but without charge for such prioritization;
----

What are they saying here? Content and applications written by the provider sounds fair enough, but services??? So the can prioritize based on service? So what does that mean?

If anything, it was as I suspected. This bill augments the ISP's position by clearly defining the ISP's rights and does little for the citizen with vague double-talk.

Great! I can hook-up any device I want, as long as it doesn't degrade somebody elses service. Frankly that statement is just too broad and allows the ISP to do whatever they want anyway; because all they have to do is say it was degrading service for everyone!

No - The legislators of Maine did not do a good job...but they did a job alright...on the people. Now their constituents will think they are at least earning their pay, even though they don't need it...just build another bridge to nowhere, take the kicks backs and then disappear when your term is over...

This bill is just a dog and pony show, but it's got no bite and it's certainly taking us all for a ride.

Zapped.Info

Re:Net Neutrality Resolution -- seems good to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19549047)

ISPs can implement some QoS (good!) but only based on the type of service, not its source/destination/ownership/content... In sync with this post by jonwil, who I fully agree with.

This seems to outlaw some business models that I think are legitimate. For example suppose I pay my ISP $10/month for a 10MB link, but want to watch to company X's HDTV video on demand service that requires 25MB. My ISP says fine, you can do that two ways:

1) Pay us $25/month, and we'll give you 25MB from every site on the internet.
2) Pay company X $5/month (in addition to their normal subsription), they'll pass that on to us (the ISP), and we'll give you 25MB just from company X's servers.

I'm a cheapskate and go for option 2, and everybody's happy. I see nothing bad about this arrangement, but (I assume, DNRTFL) the legislation will not allow this.

Re:Net Neutrality Resolution -- seems good to me (1)

Valdez (125966) | more than 6 years ago | (#19550159)

I haven't been the victim of one of these spam-porn attacks. Am I missing out?

Re:Net Neutrality Resolution -- seems good to me (1)

Fastolfe (1470) | more than 6 years ago | (#19556267)

ISPs can implement some QoS (good!) but only based on the type of service, not its source/destination/ownership/content... In sync with this post by jonwil, who I fully agree with.

Except that QoS can only be applied to Internet traffic after it arrives within the ISP's network. How are you going to determine what traffic is IPTV and what traffic is Other Stuff that somebody just wants to see prioritized? I could make a lot of money setting up a content distribution service that took advantage of IPTV prioritization by sending my file transfers over a data transfer protocol that simulated IPTV.

In addition, since QoS flags sent over the public Internet can't be trusted, commercial IPTV providers are putting an awful lot of faith in the ability of the intermediate backbone providers to keep their packets shuffling along. With no business relationship between the content providers and these backbone providers, is it really appropriate to base your entire content distribution model on an entity that you have no control over?

The only sane way to start up an IPTV service that intends to compete with Cable TV (or an ISP-provided IPTV service) is to contract with the ISPs directly and set up a dedicated QoS-aware network connection to the ISP's network, and ask the ISP to respect those QoS flags all the way to the customer's premises. An ISP can do that easily enough in a non-discriminatory manner, but who pays for all of that? If the IPTV providers pay for it, wouldn't that be giving "preference" to those who have done so over those who haven't? That doesn't sound very "neutral" to me. Should the customers pay for it? This legislation says no-way! Should the ISP simply eat the cost? How is that fair?

Sweet (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538479)

I totally agree with Ron Paul: this should be something the states decide.

Re:Sweet (1)

adrianmonk (890071) | more than 6 years ago | (#19542265)

I totally agree with Ron Paul: this should be something the states decide.

Philosophically speaking, that might be the right answer.

Practically speaking, I live in Texas, which is a good state in a lot of ways, but ughhhhh, when it comes to telecom legislation, I don't have high hopes because of the way our state government works and the fact that "the new AT&T" is headquartered in San Antonio. I predict that if it is left up to the state government, the lobbyists will push through some kind of horrible legislation that says something like "internet providers have the moral responsibility to charge content providers to deliver their content to subscribers, to make the free market work".

Public Funding of Elections (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 6 years ago | (#19546715)

Philosophically speaking, that might be the right answer.

Practically speaking, I live in Texas


Right, you can't have a proper operating government with private funding of elections.

But as long as we buy the "money is speech" argument, we're sunk.

Where are the content providers in all this? (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 6 years ago | (#19539075)

What are the players like Google who are facing the prospect of having to pay extra to get "full speed" doing about this? Why aren't they using their resources to counter ISP FUD over this issue?

Hannah Pingree (Maine state rep) rules! (2)

Mark_in_Brazil (537925) | more than 6 years ago | (#19540329)

As an expat from Maine who still pays some attention to what goes on in his home state, I have already been a fan of state Rep Hannah Pingree for some time. She was the sponsor of an early law requiring a paper trail (and originally, but not in the final version passed, open source software) in electronic voting machines. I wrote about it here [slashdot.org] . Well, I went to the title page [mainelegislature.org] of the legislation, and there's Representative PINGREE from North Haven as one of the co-sponsors.
Additionally, Rep. Pingree has become the majority leader in the Maine state legislature. I am a fan of Ms. Pingree's work and look forward to following her political career. I'm torn, though. She seems to be effective in the state legislature, but since Tom Allen has announced he will run for Senate against Susan Collins, that leaves Allen's first district US House seat available. I've heard rumors that both Hannah Pingree and her mother, Chellie Pingree, were both considering running for that seat. Much as I like Hannah's work in the state legislature, I start to wonder if she couldn't get some stuff done on the Federal level. I'd like to have somebody with a background like Hannah Pingree's (voting machine legislation and net neutrality being the two "nerd issues" relevant to this discussion, but there are others on which I agree with Ms. Pingree) representing Maine in DC.
What kills me is the fact that, although I identify with Maine and still have a clue what's going on in Maine, I have to vote absentee in Federal elections (Congress, Senate, President) in the district in California that was the last place I lived in the USA. Even though I lived for 8 years in California, I do not identify as strongly with the state (it was a great place to live, but I'm from Maine) and, despite it getting a lot more media attention, I am not really up on California state legislation and politics. I don't need to be, because since I'm an expat, I only get to vote in Federal elections, but I really wish I could vote in the state with which I identify instead of the last place I happened to live before leaving the USA.
I recently found out that friend of mine from childhood and adolescence is now a state rep in Maine. I just saw him a few weeks ago at my 20 year high school reunion. I didn't know about LD 1675 when I saw him, but I've already shot him an e-mail asking him about it. I'm almost sure he would vote the way I would. Even if I didn't know him and like him from when we were kids, he seems to be a politician I could like based on the issues and based on his way of doing things. Anyway, I'm following legislative and political goings-on in Maine in part because Maine is my home state, but also because Hannah Pingree (and, it turns out, a friend from my childhood) is doing things there that make me proud to be a "Downeastah."

Ayuh.

Re:Hannah Pingree (Maine state rep) rules! (1)

chuzzy (626789) | more than 6 years ago | (#19540459)

Senator Ethan Strimling (ethan08.com) was the sponsor of the bill. Of course, his original version had some teeth; it was actually an enforceable net neutrality mandate. Ethan is running for U.S. Congress. So, if you want to see more reps in the federal legislature who have the brass ones to stand up for net neutrality, then support Ethan.

Re:Hannah Pingree (Maine state rep) rules! (1)

Mark_in_Brazil (537925) | more than 6 years ago | (#19540681)

Heh. According to his Congressional campaign site, Strimling and his wife live on Brackett Street, across from Reiche School, and he even announced his candidacy at Reiche. That's walking distance (a couple of blocks) from Waynflete School, where I studied from 1979 to 1987. I used to walk (and later, drive) past Reiche on Spring Street whenever I went downtown. I must have passed right in front of Strimling's house a couple of weeks ago when I was in Portland for my high school reunion. This is something cool about Maine... I haven't lived there in 20 years, and I now live several thousand miles away, in a different country, and yet I am certain I know people who know Sen. Strimling.
When I mentioned Hannah Pingree, it was because of other good work she'd done. I went to the title page of LD 1675 specifically to see if she was there, and she was, as a cosponsor. I did not mean to take any credit away from state Sen. Strimling, who did indeed present the legislation, or any of the other cosponsors.
Strimling looks like a very good candidate for Congress. I could support him (dammit, how I wish I could vote in Maine elections!). That actually might be a good thing - Strimling in DC representing the first district, and Hannah Pingree continuing her good work in the Maine state legislature for a time, possibly including the state senate, where her mother already served.
Interesting question: why are the Democrats so far ahead of the Republicans on the "nerd issues" in Maine (electronic voting, national ID and privacy issues, and now net neutrality)?

Re:Hannah Pingree (Maine state rep) rules! (1)

redshirt1111 (990928) | more than 6 years ago | (#19551869)

I, too, am a Maine expat, though I'm consigned to Massholeland, and have every intent to return to Maine the first chance I get. That said, I frequent Maine enough to have a good feel for what's going on in the state. Maine seems unique in a type of conservative person who nonetheless would be labeled "Liberal" at the national level. I like to think of this as the "Maine Conservative", which, in fact, is closer to what I thought Conservatives were supposed to stand for, before Maine "Native" George W. came to Washington. To wit, an ethos of "Get out of my business" pervades all sides of the political debate, fused somehow with an active social support net and a contrarian nature I think fueled in part from Canada. It's an odd political mix, and I can only relate it to the Montana/Dakota areas of the US, though there they have bought in heavily to the national conservative movement.

Maybe bring this issue to the surface... (1)

keithjr (1091829) | more than 6 years ago | (#19540455)

...where it belongs? The summary is right on, this is most important for its symbolism; finally some bodies of government are taking notice of the complexities of this issue and weighing in. Even if they don't rule in favorable ways, it'll be good for the dialogs to start opening up so that voters can get to see where their candidates stand on the issue. I wonder if/when the presidential candidates will touch this. The YouTube debates might be something to watch out for after all.

The internet is not a common (1)

thethibs (882667) | more than 6 years ago | (#19540679)

Maine and, apparently, a fair sample of /. seem to think that the internet is a public utility. It isn't.

  • The day AlterNet came online, public investment in the internet as a fraction of total investment began to decline—to the point that today it is irrelevant.
  • The internet is not a shared resource—it's a widely distributed commercial service. The ocean is a shared resource; the ships that travel on it are not. Your right to internet service is the same as your right to sail the QE II.
  • The internet is not a scarce or limited resource; the "tragedy of the commons" is irrelevant. Someone can always lay more fiber or make what's there more efficient.
  • As in the case of Open Source, if you don't like what you see—fork it. The industry will serve whatever the demand is at whatever price the market will bear, unless some state nanny imposes controls enabling some favored people to get more than what they pay for (artificially creating scarcity). In a free society, if someone is not getting adequate service, that's a business opportunity.

That last point is particularly relevant; it's how the commercial internet came about. As originally implemented, the internet was the private domain of a small circle of institutions harder and more expensive to penetrate than the upper levels of Scientology. Seeing a market for internet services that was not being served, Jack Rickard's army of BBS sysops tore up the Internet AUP and reconfigured their BBSs into ISPs. They bought IP bandwidth from broadband suppliers who also saw the opportunity, and started selling internet service to anyone willing to pay for it. The rest is history.

A bit of trivia: AOL was one of the last BBSs to make the switch.

Government regulation is bad. (1)

k1e0x (1040314) | more than 6 years ago | (#19541479)

This is where my karma goes down, but I don't think Net Neutrality will be a good thing.

ISP have been allotting more bandwidth to "preferred" sites since the beginning, they even allow companies to pay for more of a preference by means of buying more bandwidth. I do not believe that there will be a time that you can only surf big sites on the internet, I think its fear mongering and I think the very worst thing we can do with the internet is allow government to regulate it.

Let's just regulate the piss out of it.. regulate what kind of traffic you can send, and who you can send it to, and if you can gamble on pornographic games with it, and what types of fraud and child protections must be mandated by law, Let's mandate a tax for every e-mail too. We do all that.. and I'm SURE we will absolutely ruin the net.

I believe it has been the LACK of government law and regulation that caused it to become what it is.
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