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Net Neutrality, Your Opinion?


Zimmer
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Well Net Neutrality comes up every once in a while and with google and verizon's activities recently, I figured I'd ask what your opinion is.

I find however that Net Neutrality is two things, there is the idea of it (that you can't arbitrarily slow down certain traffic) and then who and how it is implemented (law, fcc, economic pressures, competition etc).

As for my opinion I think most people can guess what it is, well at least on suggested FCC regulation. I don't like it, (suprise suprise) it reminds me too much of a couple countries (China, North Korea, etc). I know in my area we have the option for cable (comcast, at&t dsl, at&t uverse (basically the faster version), several dial up providers (yes I have used that and it is usable (you won't be watching video etc but you can check email etc). Overall I think that net neutrality is a solution waiting for a problem, am I just ignorant of other areas and you can't get internet for any good price?

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As the web is used for more and more things, we will need to implement sensible traffic management polices to prevent congestion (p2p traffic is a problem for example, as is on-demand media). I see no problem with this. What I don't like is using these traffic management polices as a means to make profit, charging sites to get there content delivered faster. This will just negatively impact competition and give make it harder for the Microsofts, Googles, Apples etc of tomorrow to become successful.

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The way I look at it, would you rather have greed decide what sites or slow, or open up the government to have a reason for control (not that they would use net neutrality to control political dissidence, more of a the FCC already regulates ISPs so why not stop violent organizations etc and then I see a very slippery slope). Also if the government does this and puts in hardware to make sure it is followed do you trust them to secure it, not that private companies are that good either but I would say they are definitely better.

Edited by Zimmer
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I would rather we had sensible laws in place that forbid ISP's et al from using traffic management to make a profit. I know your on the verge of being a Tea Party member, but there is no real need for the government to get any more involved than that. Otherwise you might find that your ISP has launched a new DRM laden online music "experience" and suddenly iTunes or Amazon downloads at dial-up speeds. Or that Last.fm can't stream without buffering. That's what worries me, not some Tea Party fantasy of the Big Bad Government suddenly blocking all the sites that question Obama's citizenship status, or spying on you (newsflash: the government has been spying on your web access since the Bush days).

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Vako wow I wasn't saying that the government would use it immediately for removing political dissidence, that is just one thing government's in the past have used their control when it comes to the spread of information for (Nazi Germany, USSR, North Korea, China). Also what makes it that the government would be any more fair, their are plenty of corrupt manipulative people in the government, also I know the government does monitor traffic with illegal NSA wiretaps, etc but the more in the legal area it becomes the more wide spread if would be used because there wouldn't be as much of it being illegal. Also I have plenty of paranoia don't worry :)

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What I would consider fair is for any company on the internet to have equal access to the consumer, not a situation where you could pay to have traffic from your online movie site prioritized over your rivals sites. This means that if your smaller rival offered better prices, a wider selection or had a better service, you would have to compete with them on those terms, and not make it so your site was the only one that was usable, effectively forcing the consumer to pay higher prices for less.

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That is the main problem it is either allowing capitalism for ISPs or capitalism for Content Providers (except for the few like Google who could probably afford their own ISP and make millions). I still don't trust the government no matter who is in charge. Also here is a somewhat on topic example of freedom of press in Russia if you owned a printing press you would get sent for the gulogs (did I spell that right) for 20 years. (somewhat offtopic)

Edited by Zimmer
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No, the problem is allowing ISP's to be (or be owned by) media companies. Most people just consider there ISP to be a dumb pipe they get so they can google, facebook etc, like a utility firm, whereas the ISP's want to be the people you go to for social networking, music, VOD, news etc. Just look at mobile phone firms, they spent billions on there crappy portals and new media services, but no one wants to use them. So now they want to make money from these 3rd party services by charging them for access to there customers. This is the problem, not free speech issues.

As for the USSR, the gulags and laws like that were mostly ended by Khrushchev's Thaw, and the process of de-Stalinization he embarked upon in the early 50's. Stalin was a bastard, yes, but the USSR was no more evil than the USA post Stalin.

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The Stalin thing I just found interesting (History Channel on in the background (they keep bleeping words out damn FCC ;) ).

Also I do see your point, though government run utilities are not always the best, look at the wireless spectrum it was so full of regulation there was no place for people to make new innovative things you couldn't continue to keep going up at around 6 ghz a person blocks the signal (IIRC).

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Wireless spectrum allocation is something that does require the government to get involved in tbh. Before regulation the situation was a mess, as anyone with enough money could setup a service on any frequency they wanted, no matter who or what was using it prior to that. So you need to mark of different sections of the spectrum for different uses, so you can use your cell phone with a wireless bluetooth headset while looking up something on your wireless internet connection using a wireless mouse and keyboard while the TV is on and your wife is listening to the radio next room while talking on a cordless land line phone and your daughter is opening the garage from her car and the ambulance dealing with your neighbours heart attack can radio ahead to prep the hospital... You get the idea? You need someone who is as near as impartial as possible to run an open process of allocating chunks of frequency for each service so they don't interfere with each other. If it was just a free for all, nothing wireless would work together.

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Nope just the stuff that transmitted strongest :) I knew that, but this is just an example that government regulation is no where near perfect and flawed, also if any ISP decided to say stop traffic to Bing.com but allow Google.com, the consumer could go to another ISP, and/or google could decide to pay up, after all it is the ISP's network.

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Yes, but given the dramatic consolidation of the US telecomms market since Ma Bell was broken up choosing a new ISP isn't that easy. Its even worse when it comes to cell phone coverage. I simply cannot understand why, given your initial problems with governments limiting access to information your suggesting that a better solution would be to allow profit to dictate what information you can access. Why should my ISP force me to use Bing over Google? What if your live in an area where your only choice of ISP chooses to back a political candidate you despise and blocks all your access to your preferred candidates campaign? Your attitude of "all government regulation is never perfect so it should be done away with" is stunningly ignorant.

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By allowing the government to control cases where a company can make profit, limits the potential profit, by limiting profit it becomes less appealing for more companies to come onto the market, and with less companies there is less competition and with that there is less reason to innovate and offer faster speed for cheaper.

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By allowing the government to control cases where a company can make profit, limits the potential profit, by limiting profit it becomes less appealing for more companies to come onto the market, and with less companies there is less competition and with that there is less reason to innovate and offer faster speed for cheaper.

Again, stunning ignorant. There are multiple problems with this, firstly you are assuming that all methods of making profit are good. There are many ways of making a profit where you really shouldn't. That's why we have things like food safety standards (to prevent incidents like China has were food is contaminated with dangerous levels of dangerous substances), or product safety standards (to prevent a company from making a profit by cutting corners on safety issues, like lead paint on children toys). Hypothetically, a nursing home could make a profit by claiming ownership of your relatives possessions on the event of there death.

Secondly, you didn't dispute my argument that allowing a company to profit from limiting access to a competitors service would harm competition. All net neutrality laws do would be to force ISP's to provide a level playing field for internet commerce to compete on based on the quality and cost of the service provided. By not enforcing it you are simply ensuring that enterprises that make profit continue to make profit based not on the quality of the service but on the ability to control the market. The consumer looses in this model, as innovation is not required to maintain market leadership. Prices rise, the market stagnates and small businesses suffer.

Most importantly, profit is not the most important thing in the world. If you simply believe that profit is the only thing you should worry about then you will end up as a very shallow person. Yes, allowing people to make money on the back of their hard work is a good thing, but having a market where the only people who can play are gigantic corporations is a bad thing.

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If you think Net Neutrality (or Google's proposal) is bad, come to Australia.

But but but its for the children. Right? ;)

Also for websites, right now they are using the ISP internet for free, oh wait they aren't. They have to pay the ISP (directly or indirectly) and it works fine. This wouldn't be the silencing of information, the ISPs don't care if you are right wing left wing, etc etc; They are there to make money and they are not going to take sides on issues because thay costs them money. As for charging users for access sites are not going to like it and will just not use that ISP, then it comes down to who the user sides with, the content or the ISP.

Edited by Zimmer
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Net Neutrality for me is more than just bandwidth usage control. Its about openness and stopping censorship and control of the media we share on a daily basis, whether text, audio, video, or binary files. Its about allowing everyone the right to access and use the same networks as everyone else without tiers, content filtering, and political, bureaucratic controls. Throttling connections to an extent, yes, its needed to keep the data flowing for all who share it, but controlling what is shared, how its shared, when, etc, and by who, thats what I have issues with.

The Internet is by and large the greatest form of communication on the planet today, and many people in this worlds still go without it. Granted many places don't even have electricity or clean water, but I think that the Internet is such a powerful medium that no one country, ISP, or media company such as the MPAA, RIAA, etc, have the rights to tell us how and when we'll use it and for what purpose.

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As for charging users for access sites are not going to like it and will just not use that ISP, then it comes down to who the user sides with, the content or the ISP.

A: What if you only have one choice of ISP due to market consolidation?

B: Users don't care about the ISP, its just a pipe. They care about 3rd party services, Facebook, Google, Amazon, iTunes, Flickr etc. Allowing ISP's to pick and choose what you can access will result in an internet that is like cable TV, where you ISP sells you a package of sites, based on what you want to pay for. This removes the open internet, and you can kiss any idea of free speech or free exchanges of information like Wikipedia or open source projects goodbye.

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Digip just to point out,

same networks as everyone else without tiers, content filtering, and political, bureaucratic controls.

So you want the same people to both prevent and be a part of the problem.

Also Vako profit is not the goal in life but it is the goal of a company. Also the government basically takes one big supposed avenue for profit and makes it illegal for no reason (food poisoning and lead poisioning cause physical harm that is bad preventing someone from watching Hulu doesn't). Also if the demand for the views of people who can't afford the ISP charges for speed they will find another way, creating another whole industry probably one that makes the internet of today as old as paper journalism is right now.

Edited by Zimmer
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I want laws that say "aside from reasonable traffic management controls, ISPs are not allowed to sell variable access speeds or block competitors sites", nothing more. As we've already established government control is not perfect, and there will always be things they block for various reasons (the society you live in and the politicians you vote for will decide what is blocked). But simply saying, its not perfect so there will be no regulation at all is far more damaging than a bit of limited profit here and there, and some "good-enough" rules about what you can and cannot do as a ISP.

Also Vako profit is not the goal in life but it is the goal of a company. Also the government basically takes one big supposed avenue for profit and makes it illegal for no reason (food poisoning and lead poisioning cause physical harm that is bad preventing someone from watching Hulu doesn't).

But preventing someone from accessing information is becoming just as bad given that we live in an information economy now. Simply preventing someone from accessing something like a medical information site on a rare condition or preventing poor people from accessing online library services or job sites is just as bad.

Also if the demand for the views of people who can't afford the ISP charges for speed they will find another way, creating another whole industry probably one that makes the internet of today as old as paper journalism is right now.

Telecomms companies are extremely expensive to setup and run. If you in a poor area, then how are people going to be able to get together to setup a rival service if they cannot afford a DSL subscription. And if they can't afford a DSL subscription, who is going to setup an open access system for them?

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Exactly users would ditch ISPs if they could get there content, this would create a huge market of people just waiting for a better option then their ISP and if it gets as bad as suggested by those who support FCC regulation then ISPs can't risk that, they can't risk such a huge loss of profit. Also internet is available almost everywhere, satelite is faster then dial-up and I have used dialup it is painful, but still very usable.

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Has anyone actually read this: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/08/googl...n-netneutrality

Digip just to point out,

So you want the same people to both prevent and be a part of the problem.

Did you read all of my post? Maybe I missed something, but I have no clue the point you are trying to make. Your post makes no sense to me, please explain what you are trying to say, or think that I am trying to say.

I think the people in control are ALREADY part of the problem and the way things are going, its only getting worse. I'm trying to see where it is you think I want these people to "be part of the problem".

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