Comments
Net Neutrality: Regulation Makes Evil Empire Giggle
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Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
1/18/2014 | 8:06:09 AM
Re: Wrong problem
Yes excellent points and consumers are becoming extremely good at encrypting their traffic so that the provider does not even know the type of traffic that it is handling. Consumers are never going to allow any practice that makes them pay more or limits them.
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
1/18/2014 | 7:47:55 AM
Re: Antitrust
Yes, I agree the current situation is lacking competition. As a consumer not all of my traffic is of equal importance, if I am gaming I need low ping and low bandwidth (I consider this leisure or entertainment), if I am watching a documentary or better yet an important video lecture then I need high bandwidth and ping is not so important (this traffic is more important because fees are being paid elsewhere as well).

If more competition exists then it would be feasible for a consumer to put together a redundant system based on their needs and then pay accordingly. 
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
1/18/2014 | 7:23:49 AM
Re: Antitrust
Most probably you are not paying the lowest possible price. However, you might be paying relatively lower than what you would be paying if a monopoly had existed rather than a duopoly. Both situations are bad, it's kind of like choosing between being in the frying pan or in the fire.

We have an ecosystem that is quite diverse i.e. phone service, broadband service, VOIP, wireless communication and so many other types of networks, given my way I would like to see a half dozen providers in every segment, in other words, more competition.

Globally, only 2 billion people are connected to the internet and 5 billion people are not connected. In a competitive environment businesses tend to seek out new sources of revenue, if competition is already at a high level in the US market then why do I see more EU and Asian service providers trying to expand?
anon8151121903
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anon8151121903,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/17/2014 | 6:33:55 PM
Re: Antitrust
I don't consider what I'm paying for my AT&T phone services "lower prices."  The fact is, the entire communications industry is one big RACKET. And the American taxpayer gets REAMED because of a LACK of government regulation. PERIOD.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
1/17/2014 | 4:18:32 PM
Re: Splitting does not mean competition
Can I have Google Fiber yet?
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
1/17/2014 | 3:22:38 PM
Re: Wrong problem
Doesn't anyone think consumers will punish operators that engage in traffic discrimination in order to hurt their competitors? Going way back to 2006, a local phone company called Madison River Communications was found to be blocking Vonage VoIP traffic. After the public hue and cry, it quickly shaped up. Consumers won't stand for it;  they'll vote with their feet or, if viable provider alternatives are lacking, will take to social media to rip the offending operator a new one. Meantime, as the author states, there are competition laws already in place that prohibit such discrimination
milliamp
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milliamp,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/17/2014 | 3:11:39 PM
Re: Wrong problem
You make it sound like traffic prioritization and traffic discrimination are different when they aren't. "Discrimination" is just giving traffic the lowest priority in prioritization. Telling someone prioritization is ok as long as nobody is lower priority than anyone else doesn't even make sense. 

There is a need to correctly define what would actually be outlawed before writing it into law and that specific part has proven to be more difficult than most expect at face value. I've read several of the proposed documents and there are a lot of problems with the proposal. 

The real problem is we all want to outlaw being evil with no clear way to define just what "evil" really is.
BrianAnes
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BrianAnes,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/17/2014 | 3:09:49 PM
Re: Net Neutrality
Offering different bandwidth and trhoughput options to those receivng internet services very well may be a decision related to competition - IF such competition really exists.

Decisions of different bandwidth and throughput opton to those providing content dependant on what they pay (or most other criteria) is not free market enterprise. It is CENSORSHIP.
milliamp
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milliamp,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/17/2014 | 3:03:48 PM
Re: Net neutrality
The problem is this is not easy to regulate. You say "Net neutrality does not mean that there is no prioritization of network traffic" but the example you give of something that should be outlawed is prioritization of network traffic. 

Its harder than you think to outlaw the bad practices without harming the ones that aren't. QoS is in use on most major networks and being used in ways that are not mailicious but how do you outlaw bad traffic prioritization without outlawing good traffic prioritization?

Everyone working on a network would need a team of technology trained lawyers rubber stamping every change they make. What could possibly go wrong? 

Run into a problem and have to take quick action to mitigate impact? Nope, its pending approval from legal. Could take 4-6 months to fix something that should take minutes. 

Maybe the government will install a bunch of nodes to intercept and monitor traffic on ISP networks to ensure compliance with NN laws and ahem, promise not to let the NSA use data from them.

The government is the orginization you should trust the absolute least with making sure you are getting good return for your dollar.
anon7766509461
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anon7766509461,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/17/2014 | 3:00:30 PM
Regulation and Competition
I believe it's mistaken to assume that lack of regulation = competition.  That's true in perfect markets.

What we're talking about with telcos is natural monopoly.   They're not evil.   The telco delivery infrastructure, in thise case, just has natural properties that discourage competition. E.g. high barriers to entry after the first 1-2 market entrants.    How many people have more than 2-3 broadband options?  That's not a perfect market.   Giving them additional power over content just adds to their market power. 

Defining net neutrality gives consumers a lever over that market power.  

Dogmatically assuming that regulation reduces competition may be true in Econ 10 Widget World.   However reality often astounds theory.  
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