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Author Topic: Network Neutrality, Part II  (Read 3199 times)

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Online VekseidTopic starter

Network Neutrality, Part II
« on: July 11, 2017, 10:51:03 PM »
If you are in the United States, today (the twelfth) you will likely be hearing about Network Neutrality from many places on the web.

I wrote about this before, but I would be remiss not to speak on it again.

If you are looking for the facts about Network Neutrality, please read that post. Again, it is important to understand even if you are not American.



It has been fascinating watching this come together.

My hope is that people will understand and accept that this day is a sincere effort, by understanding individuals who wish to secure a better future for this country. There are companies participating today that have far more to lose than to gain from doing so, except perhaps being able to look their most talented employees in the eye.

A tiny non-profit picked a day most of us could agree on, and this fell together in a month. We knew this would happen the moment the election results were finalized. It was only a matter of when.

There has been a flood of misinformation by bodies opposing Network Neutrality, and it gives me some faith in our future that it seems to be amounting to so little.

We might scare Republicans into action, or they may stick their heads in the sand. No doubt some of them will take umbrage at people who understand this issue communicating said understanding.

To me it makes little difference.

Just that today happened is inspiring.



Things To Do (for US Citizens)

Network Neutrality secures the freedom of speech from major communications companies. It ensures a level playing field, and that any new, innovative service need not fear getting blacklisted by an ISP because it disrupts one of their properties.

Every voice counts.

Battle for the Net is the coordinating site, and will have a number of further explanations and options for action.

Charities that help with the Network Neutrality fight are:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is probably the most famous group lobbying for digital rights in the modern age.
Free Press is a smaller organization, more focused on Network Neutrality itself as well as other factors arising from media consolidation.
Fight for the Future is the charity that organized this Day of Action.

It is a good idea to contact your representatives:

Call your representative or visit them in person. If you call, remember to keep it to a single statement - that you support Network Neutrality.
Do the same with your senators.

Whether you approve of them or not, Indivisible Guide has some solid insight into how to best communicate with your representatives.

Thank you for reading, everyone.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2017, 01:07:26 AM by Vekseid »

Offline Blythe

Re: Network Neutrality, Part II
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2017, 11:07:26 PM »
I have noticed Netflix has queued up a notice about Net Neutrality--the gravity of seeing it on a major streaming site, seeing it here on E where I am most often present online, seeing it many places on the 'net right now, is definitely reinforcing how important this issue it.

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Re: Network Neutrality, Part II
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2017, 12:49:13 AM »
Wait, okay... Veks, you said that something happened today, that it was a non-profit that got the ball rolling and you're encouraged by the fact that "today" happened.





.... What happened?

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Network Neutrality, Part II
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2017, 09:11:53 AM »
I also contacted my internet service provider that if they tier the service and I'm forced to pay more for better access it better be with a far better speed on my cheaper service which is 2mb. And contacted my Congressman and donated a small amount to the EFF. Not sure if it will be enough though there is big money involved. And I'm worried they will later ban private VPN as well like China did here so where will this stop. I'm a fan of the first amendment and of it on-line as both an atheist religious critic and social critic and see internet security of our freedom of speech and religion (including non-theistic beliefs) as rights encoded in the UN Charter all should abide by in principle.

I hate to say this but the underground hackers may be our only hope first to stick it to the system if they do this and in coming up with alternatives to the main stream internet maybe its time to make the Dark Web a shadow tool for more legitimate internet uses what choice are they going to give us?

Offline NightLux

Re: Network Neutrality, Part II
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2017, 09:57:53 AM »
I also contacted my internet service provider that if they tier the service and I'm forced to pay more for better access it better be with a far better speed on my cheaper service which is 2mb.

This right here, though, is the underlying issue with the fight for Net Neutrality.  American consumers are used to the idea that you can pay more to the ISP to get faster service.  So, to most, they won't see the difference between paying (a lot) more for overall faster service versus paying (a bit) more for faster service to Netflix, Amazon Video, etc.

There are really two larger problems, in my estimation, that no one wants to really talk about because it raises some very uncomfortable questions.

First, the larger problem with the fight over Net Neutrality is if AT&T were to start to do the more nefarious things people fear, I have so few other, comparable options.  No one else offers terabit speed in my neighborhood and the only other ISPs are a satellite and a cable company.  The reason for that is my city has signed exclusivity agreements with the cable company and AT&T that artificially restrict the market.  Those sorts of things should be made illegal under anti-trust.  Then there's no reason that three cable companies, Verizon and someone-yet-to-be-named could not also offer service in my city, except the massive capital outlay required to get into the market.

Which is the second: we pretend that the internet is a utility when in reality its just that - an illusion.  We want these companies to make massive capital outlays to connect communities with faster and faster service but limit how they can recoup those costs (which is why we have exclusivity agreements, so they're guaranteed to have some customers which means they're repaid faster).  It'd be a massive shakeup of the foundation, but if we're truly going to push net neutrality, we need those governments to take control of the actual pipes and just have ISPs offer service through those pipes, rather than owning it themselves.  But get ready for a lot of debt to buy that infrastructure and then all the problems that come with it.

Anyway, my 2c.  I'll exit politics now.

Offline Marduk

Re: Network Neutrality, Part II
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2017, 10:24:48 AM »
Quote
-but if we're truly going to push net neutrality, we need those governments to take control of the actual pipes and just have ISPs offer service through those pipes

While I recognize your thinking that's a hell of a can of worms to open.

In theory the operation of the free market - such as it still exists - offers some means for retribution against those ISPs that engage in flagrant throttling. They'll take a massive hit among the savvier breed of millennial who'll probably meme them into infamy for it. If the federal government were to own all the infrastructure things could potentially get way more dicey., so far as I can see. What's to stop them throttling any content that's too socialistic, too nationalistic, too anarchist or what have you?

This whole situation is kind of fucked up.

Offline NightLux

Re: Network Neutrality, Part II
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2017, 10:31:46 AM »
While I recognize your thinking that's a hell of a can of worms to open.

In theory the operation of the free market - such as it still exists - offers some means for retribution against those ISPs that engage in flagrant throttling. They'll take a massive hit among the savvier breed of millennial who'll probably meme them into infamy for it. If the federal government were to own all the infrastructure things could potentially get way more dicey., so far as I can see. What's to stop them throttling any content that's too socialistic, too nationalistic, too anarchist or what have you?

This whole situation is kind of fucked up.

Oh, I'm not talking about the federal government owning it.  I mean the municipalities (cities within their borders, counties, etc).  Giving it to the federal government would be opening a can of worms much, much, much worse than net neutrality.

Offline Marduk

Re: Network Neutrality, Part II
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2017, 10:42:10 AM »
Oh, I'm not talking about the federal government owning it.  I mean the municipalities (cities within their borders, counties, etc).  Giving it to the federal government would be opening a can of worms much, much, much worse than net neutrality.

Ah, I misunderstood!

Then I'd say we're in pretty much full agreement :)

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Re: Network Neutrality, Part II
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2017, 11:34:43 AM »
Talk of exclusivity agreements and public utilities
This right here, though, is the underlying issue with the fight for Net Neutrality.  American consumers are used to the idea that you can pay more to the ISP to get faster service.  So, to most, they won't see the difference between paying (a lot) more for overall faster service versus paying (a bit) more for faster service to Netflix, Amazon Video, etc.

There are really two larger problems, in my estimation, that no one wants to really talk about because it raises some very uncomfortable questions.

First, the larger problem with the fight over Net Neutrality is if AT&T were to start to do the more nefarious things people fear, I have so few other, comparable options.  No one else offers terabit speed in my neighborhood and the only other ISPs are a satellite and a cable company.  The reason for that is my city has signed exclusivity agreements with the cable company and AT&T that artificially restrict the market.  Those sorts of things should be made illegal under anti-trust.  Then there's no reason that three cable companies, Verizon and someone-yet-to-be-named could not also offer service in my city, except the massive capital outlay required to get into the market.

Which is the second: we pretend that the internet is a utility when in reality its just that - an illusion.  We want these companies to make massive capital outlays to connect communities with faster and faster service but limit how they can recoup those costs (which is why we have exclusivity agreements, so they're guaranteed to have some customers which means they're repaid faster).  It'd be a massive shakeup of the foundation, but if we're truly going to push net neutrality, we need those governments to take control of the actual pipes and just have ISPs offer service through those pipes, rather than owning it themselves.  But get ready for a lot of debt to buy that infrastructure and then all the problems that come with it.

Anyway, my 2c.  I'll exit politics now.
This is exactly why ISPs are utilities. Like power and phone providers, ISPs get the same monopolistic concessions to provide services in a given community. And if you switch providers in an area where that's an option, they use the same infrastructure to deliver services as the previous provider.

Who installs and manages the phone lines? Can they charge whatever they want? Why should ISPs be any different?

Online Lustful Bride

Re: Network Neutrality, Part II
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2017, 11:43:07 AM »
I am very computer illiterate despite how much time I spent on the internet. So I mostly understand it like this.

It seems more like it would harm smaller businesses and consumers, facilitating the creation of monopolies even.


Offline NightLux

Re: Network Neutrality, Part II
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2017, 11:49:07 AM »
I am very computer illiterate despite how much time I spent on the internet. So I mostly understand it like this.

It seems more like it would harm smaller businesses and consumers, facilitating the creation of monopolies even.


Here's the problem with that example/image, if you step back and think about it.  Let's say I want my Netflix to be able to run at 4k levels.  Right now for me to do that I need to up my overall speed, for all types of traffic, to reach that.  Without Net Neutrality, I would be able to go to AT&T and say "Hey, I'm fine with my current speed, but I'd like to buy a package to allow me to stream any Netflix content at 4k."  In the end, I now save money.  Because, frankly, I don't really give a damn about Hulu or other providers.

The problem with dealing with the symptom that starts the debate over Net Neutrality is that both sides are absolutist.  If they'd look to find common ground so that people (like me) could save some money and get the services they want, but also put in protections to limit the worst fears of the advocates, we'd get this solved.

Like, for example, making it consumer-driven - the base regulation is "no traffic can be filtered and all much be delivered at the speed the customer purchases for the base plan" (not that it happens now, but whatever).  Then allow people to prioritize traffic from major content providers (Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Origin, Steam, etc) or any web domain they want - their choice only.  Don't allow the content providers to fund/subsidize these choices... and we get the best of both worlds.

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Re: Network Neutrality, Part II
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2017, 06:41:56 PM »
Here's the problem with that example/image, if you step back and think about it.  Let's say I want my Netflix to be able to run at 4k levels.  Right now for me to do that I need to up my overall speed, for all types of traffic, to reach that.  Without Net Neutrality, I would be able to go to AT&T and say "Hey, I'm fine with my current speed, but I'd like to buy a package to allow me to stream any Netflix content at 4k."  In the end, I now save money.  Because, frankly, I don't really give a damn about Hulu or other providers.

I'm a Canadian, and we've already sorted this, so this isn't really my fight. But I wanted to point out that what you're describing above is not what most people are talking about when they're talking about net neutrality.

The difference is that with a deal like that, you are making the choice of which services you want to boost, and which you want to throttle. The net neutrality issue is about the providers making that choice "for" you. Net neutrality is - and I'll quote the first line of the Wikipedia page here: "... the principle that Internet service providers and governments regulating the Internet should treat all data on the Internet the same, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication." Net neutrality is not about individual users wanting to treat data differently.

If you had true net neutrality in the US, there nothing stopping you from making a deal with your provider to boost/throttle certain services. If your provider won't make that deal with you, that is not the fault of net neutrality; it is simply your provider being an ass, either to spite you for net neutrality being a thing, or to squeeze more cash out of you. If they were truly wanting to serve your best interests, there would be nothing stopping them from providing the service you want - certainly not net neutrality laws (and presumably not technical restrictions, since they don't seem to think that's an issue now).

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Re: Network Neutrality, Part II
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2017, 08:10:34 PM »
I'm a Canadian, and we've already sorted this, so this isn't really my fight. But I wanted to point out that what you're describing above is not what most people are talking about when they're talking about net neutrality.

The difference is that with a deal like that, you are making the choice of which services you want to boost, and which you want to throttle. The net neutrality issue is about the providers making that choice "for" you. Net neutrality is - and I'll quote the first line of the Wikipedia page here: "... the principle that Internet service providers and governments regulating the Internet should treat all data on the Internet the same, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication." Net neutrality is not about individual users wanting to treat data differently.

If you had true net neutrality in the US, there nothing stopping you from making a deal with your provider to boost/throttle certain services. If your provider won't make that deal with you, that is not the fault of net neutrality; it is simply your provider being an ass, either to spite you for net neutrality being a thing, or to squeeze more cash out of you. If they were truly wanting to serve your best interests, there would be nothing stopping them from providing the service you want - certainly not net neutrality laws (and presumably not technical restrictions, since they don't seem to think that's an issue now).

This.

Also, the problem ultimately lies in the fact that it, like everything else, is buried in the convoluted and wildly misunderstood idea of capitalism. As long as corporations can find a way to squeeze more money out of this lightning in a near-bottomless bottle we call the internet, they will fight to do so with speed throttling and data caps and any/every other possible way.

Yay for greed and quantifiable commodities of an immaterial nature...

Offline Serephino

Re: Network Neutrality, Part II
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2017, 11:14:41 PM »
Ah, so this is why my email inbox is suddenly full of petitions about net neutrality.  I'm signing them.  I'd write to my representative, but that is so hard to to without calling him an imbecilic worm.     

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Re: Network Neutrality, Part II
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2017, 01:56:59 AM »
Veks, perhaps you could also temporarily change the site's default theme to black in protest? That's been a time-honoured way of doing things like this since the CDA back in 1996.

Offline mia h

Re: Network Neutrality, Part II
« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2017, 02:46:23 AM »
Net Neutrality and crying dwarf porn


Offline Erich Norden

Re: Network Neutrality, Part II
« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2017, 09:03:41 AM »
This right here, though, is the underlying issue with the fight for Net Neutrality.  American consumers are used to the idea that you can pay more to the ISP to get faster service.  So, to most, they won't see the difference between paying (a lot) more for overall faster service versus paying (a bit) more for faster service to Netflix, Amazon Video, etc.

There are really two larger problems, in my estimation, that no one wants to really talk about because it raises some very uncomfortable questions.

First, the larger problem with the fight over Net Neutrality is if AT&T were to start to do the more nefarious things people fear, I have so few other, comparable options.  No one else offers terabit speed in my neighborhood and the only other ISPs are a satellite and a cable company.  The reason for that is my city has signed exclusivity agreements with the cable company and AT&T that artificially restrict the market.  Those sorts of things should be made illegal under anti-trust.  Then there's no reason that three cable companies, Verizon and someone-yet-to-be-named could not also offer service in my city, except the massive capital outlay required to get into the market.

Which is the second: we pretend that the internet is a utility when in reality its just that - an illusion.  We want these companies to make massive capital outlays to connect communities with faster and faster service but limit how they can recoup those costs (which is why we have exclusivity agreements, so they're guaranteed to have some customers which means they're repaid faster).  It'd be a massive shakeup of the foundation, but if we're truly going to push net neutrality, we need those governments to take control of the actual pipes and just have ISPs offer service through those pipes, rather than owning it themselves.  But get ready for a lot of debt to buy that infrastructure and then all the problems that come with it.

Anyway, my 2c.  I'll exit politics now.

This honestly sounds like the best solution.  Invoke public domain to buy up infrastructure (FedGov will probably have to pay since it's too expensive for cities & states, but costs can be recouped with a tax), give ownership to municipalities, charge a nominal rate to ISPs for bandwidth, outlaw exclusivity agreements.  ISPs can then charge whatever they want to peers, consumers, and content providers in a competitive market environment.  If consumers want lower prices and non-discrimination of data, they'll go with the ISP that offers these things.