Net Neutrality: Wellspring Of Terrible Analogies - InformationWeek

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Net Neutrality: Wellspring Of Terrible Analogies
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weekreader
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weekreader,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/27/2015 | 12:26:15 PM
Re: Self Serving Analogies?
"I'm also sympathetic to letting network owners and operators charge bandwidth hogs such as Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu a premium."

 

Netflix and youtube aren't "bandwidth hogs".  It's the people consuming those services that are utilizing the bandwidth.  And consumers do pay for tier access.  What the heck is wrong with Rob Preston's understanding of net neutrality.
Radly
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Radly,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/24/2014 | 2:30:37 PM
Re: Lack of competition
If it wasn't for gmail and Netflix, my ISP wouldn't have a business. They should be paying the content providers for allowing them to carry their content. Thats what TV stations and cable TV do.
Eldorado
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Eldorado,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/16/2014 | 11:21:11 AM
Re: Lack of competition
While there may be some validation to your statement "Although the net neutrality issue is far from black and white, I do believe the crux of the matter is competition, not regulation. In markets that can commercially support more than two ISPs, we need to figure out the right mix of regulation and incentive to encourage new last-mile competitors, whether they deliver service via landlines, airwaves, satellites, or some other means. Vigorous ISP competition will cure a lot of ills." Here is what I mean, I do not do much shopping online, I prefer to walk into the store find what I am looking for and purchase it. However, there may come a time when I may want to purchase online from other companies, but because I purchase from companies that cannot afford to pay the premium and/or because I am unable to pay the higher, my ISP keeps me on a slower network. How many other potential customers will be turned off by the slower networks? Would this not be like favoring one office over another on your network? We try to balance our networks all the time giving every user  equal share as much as possible. Yet, this is a concept that would favor one company over another just on revenues or even one customer over another over revenues. With an economy that exists today, would that not reduce the number of users and therefore potential customers for both the ISPs and businesses? This would be like favoring the production network over payroll and every other office on our intranets, would it not? Sorry, but Your theory of  competition would be contrary to having competition on the internet.
anon8496601046
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anon8496601046,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/15/2014 | 5:25:42 PM
Re: Lack of competition
Your statement that when it comes to high speed (25 Mbps down/5 Mbps up) Internet access "competition (among ISP's) is far from given" too softly understates the issue.  FCC Chairman Wheeler said that 55% of US homes have only one provider and 19% do not have any provider.  That leaves only about 25% of homes with anything approaching real competition.  To quote the Chairman, "meaningful competition for high-speed wired broadband is lacking and Americans need more competitive choices for faster and better Internet connections, both to take advantage of today's new services, and to incentivize the development of tomorrow's innovations." (https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-329160A1.pdf)

But until the invisible hand of competition can take effect, I think the "side issue" of NN must be addressed at least until 75% of the homes have real competition from which to choose.  Otherwise the Providers will just carve up the pie through gentleman's agreements and we will stay a one-provider public.  And we'll pay what that one provider charges, or else.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
12/15/2014 | 5:14:26 PM
terrible analogies indeed
"The fact that some businesses or consumers may choose to pay for better access to the Internet is not a bad thing."

But this isn't the issue. You can have speed correspond to payment amount under net neutrality. But net neutrality rules would prohibit, say, paying for 100Mbps and then being told that for you'll need to pay again to get that. Or just not being provided with that speed, because you run a service that competes with an ISP-affiliated business.
RHnet359
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RHnet359,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/15/2014 | 3:12:08 PM
ComcaSt and BitTorent
While the outcry probably had an affect we have to remember that Comcast didn't go quitly. After all following the 2008 FCC ruling Comcast sued all the way up to the Supreme Court and won in 2010. It was around this time that Title II was being discussed and a more enforceable NN policy was in the works which like today worried Comcast. Comcast around that time also had their sights set on acquiring NBC and didn't want to press the issue so even after winning in court said they would abide by the FCC ruling. We also have to remember that Comcast was a major SOPA supporter in 2012 so it's not like they were huge NN fans at that point either. Also remember that on the NN free mobile network ATT it took customers almost 5 years to stop AT&T from blocking video chat. So while shaming companies in the public square may work telecom and cable companies have shown that short of attempting to get a merger approved they're more then willing to let opponents protest until they're blue in the face. Regulation is suppose to be a last resort but I say we've long since past that point.
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
12/15/2014 | 1:39:51 PM
Re: Lack of competition
I realize that competition is far from a given. That's why regulators and legislators need to focus on ways to foster it. Everything else is a side issue. As i indicated in the piece, vibrant competition cures a lot of ills -- it keeps bad supplier behavior in check. 
zerox203
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zerox203,
User Rank: Ninja
12/15/2014 | 12:33:48 PM
Re: Wellspring Of Terrible Analogies
My only complaint is that I can't give positive feedback on gvandunk's comment more than once. This is absolutely a two-sided issue with real implications for all kinds of businesses, repercussions on both sides, and room for compromise without going all one way or all the other. All that being said, anyone who doesn't come out and admit that current major ISPs are getting away with some shady practices, that the current market is rigged against competition, and that consumers are getting the short end of the stick is being plain disingenuous. End of story. If you look at a real piece of net neutrality legislation in the real world, and you don't think it will alleviate those problems, that it will make them worse, or that it will cause other indirect problems, that's fine. If someone denies that those problems exist, I must conclude they either don't undersand the issue or they're lying because of their political leanings.

On the other hand, I do think there's a lot of legitimacy to the complaints made by ISPs - what if Netflix used 1,000 times more bandwidth than everyone else? Would that still be okay? What I would say to hardline net neutrality supporters is, if you think the internet should be a public resource that nobody controls, that's fine, but currently, it isn't. It's a private service offered to you by companies. We basically set up the current system before realizing what the consequences even were. It's ridiculous to suggest that it doesn't warrant a second look. Still, other countries have much stricter government regulations on ISPs (albeit in other ways), with much better (faster, higher uptime), cheaper, service. I think there is real stock in the moral argument that the internet should remain neutral - I just happen to think that's also the best outcome for the country and for the economy.
Somedude8
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Somedude8,
User Rank: Ninja
12/15/2014 | 11:59:30 AM
Lack of competition
One point toward the beginning of the article touches on the need for competition. Unfortunately, there is often not any real competition. In many rural areas, folks are of course lucky to have even 1 broadband provider. That is no surprise to anyone. But I live in Orange County, 'The OC', right in the thick of Surf City USA. Densely populated suburbia where high income is the norm. Where I live, we have only 1 broadband provider. Its either TW cable, or maybe a DSL line from Verizon. (No FIOS in this building.)

I say that just to illustrate the point that competition is far from being a given. The only given is that given the chance to be greedy and evil, a monopoly eventually will do so. And that a large chunk of US population is served broadband by a de facto monopoly still. That changes the picture, at least in my mind.
LANCELOTT69
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LANCELOTT69,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/15/2014 | 11:43:58 AM
Net Neutrality: Wellspring Of Terrible Analogies
You're missing an important point here. All of you out there that think that the government just wants to make the internet fair and that the regulations will stop there, raise your hand? Think a minute before you raise your hand.

There is an old Arabian proverb that goes: "If the camel once gets his nose in the tent, his body will soon follow." Once the government gets its nose in the tent with one regulation, many more will follow. This will include taxation, control of content and control of speech to name three. We have already heard from different entities in the government including the FCC, who have all but stated their desire to regulate the internet beyond Net Neutrality. Once they imposed an array of regualtions, they will then start divvying out favoritisms to special interests. Look at the tax code.

Careful what you wish for.
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