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Avatar image for dryker
#1 Edited by Dryker (875 posts) -

Net neutrality is going before Congress on December 14th. No public vote. They're just going to vote among themselves. The Chairman of the FCC is trying to get preferential access to the internet for larger companies such as Verizon (his former employer). If you're in SUPPORT OF NET NEUTRALITY there's still something you can do. Link, if it works: .https://www.battleforthenet.com/ Or Google: "support net neutrality" and click on "Join the Battle for Net Neutrality" and follow the prompts. I already did it. They'll first call you. I was nervous at first, but they're expecting you. Just tell them "I'm calling in support of Net Neutrality". They may ask for your name and address to make the support official, like a ballot or survey. The "Join the Battle for Net Neutrality" website will also show you where protests are happening, if you'd like to show your SUPPORT FOR NET NEUTRALITY there. I'm definitely doing that as well.

I never get involved in politics, but I feel very strongly about this. If you're reading this, the internet is probably a very big part of your life, but there are many many Americans who hardly know what the internet is (I know quite a few youngish people like that, and I'm in California. I'm sure you must know at least someone). I suspect companies like Verizon are trying to take advantage of this, and lay a precedent before too many people understand the gravity of it.

I understood Net Neutrality was in question, but had no idea a decision was going to be made so soon until I was prompted to the above website by Patreon. I'm sure most people, who are strongly in support of Net Neutrality, have no idea this is going before Congress in a couple weeks. Vinny brought it up on the Bombcast, but didn't mention any details. Perhaps it's Giantbomb's decision to not get too involved in politics, who knows? I don't blame 'em. I'm typically the same way, but feel too strongly about this to just sit back and see what happens.

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#2 Posted by Onemanarmyy (3352 posts) -

good luck USA.

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#3 Posted by DriveupLife (1203 posts) -

Nah I'm good.

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#4 Posted by WasabiCurry (495 posts) -

I called up my state representatives and wrote a very stern letter to the FCC. It does feel nice to actually talk to a congressman over the phone though.

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#5 Posted by elmorales94 (339 posts) -

I didn't know the vote was so soon. Calling my senator and representative tomorrow.

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#6 Edited by hippie_genocide (2270 posts) -

Unless you're a Big Telecomm executive, what is the argument to repeal Net Neutrality?

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#7 Edited by Milkman (19065 posts) -

Nah I'm good.

A quick look at your profile gives me a pretty good idea what your answer is gonna be and this is probably gonna be a waste of time but I'd like to hear the reasoning behind why someone who isn't receiving corporate handouts from giant media companies would possibly be against net neutrality. I personally don't see how companies forcing people to pay an extra 5 bucks a month to use Snapchat is helpful to anyone.

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#8 Edited by Onemanarmyy (3352 posts) -

@hippie_genocide:

“Working with my colleagues, I look forward to returning to the light-touch, market-based framework that unleashed the digital revolution and benefited consumers here and around the world,” Pai said.

Pai said. “On a party-line vote, it imposed heavy-handed, utility-style regulations upon the Internet. That decision was a mistake. It’s depressed investment in building and expanding broadband networks and deterred innovation.”

Pai told Fox Business Network's "Kennedy" in an interview that will air Tuesday night that he believes the move will encourage more companies, including smaller companies, to make investments.

“Those are the companies that don’t have the wherewithal to hire a bunch of lawyers and accounts to comply with these regulations,” he said. “They were the ones who told us, ‘look, it’s hard enough as it is raise capital and to invest in these areas, especially rural and low-income areas.’ These regulations don’t make that easier.”

That's what they're saying over at Fox news.

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#9 Posted by Barrock (4014 posts) -

Unfortunately, I think it's doomed.

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#10 Edited by BladeOfCreation (755 posts) -

@onemanarmyy: Did the reporters ask Pai to cite his sources and give examples, or did they take him at his...let's say, rather questionable, word?

The thing that pisses me off about this is that Pai keeps fucking lying, over and over again, about what net neutrality even is.

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#11 Posted by Panfoot (183 posts) -

@barrock said:

Unfortunately, I think it's doomed.

Your probably right, sadly. The people who can force this through don't have the peoples interest in mind, just corporations and themselves. They'll gladly fuck over everyone they can.

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#12 Posted by hippie_genocide (2270 posts) -

@onemanarmyy: So basically to repeal Net Neutrality is to take a hands off, give companies who hold all the cards the freedom to do whatevs, free market capitalism on a telecommunications level? Sounds like a raw deal for everyone that isn't already a billionaire.

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#13 Edited by fatalbanana (879 posts) -

@bladeofcreation said:

@onemanarmyy: Did the reporters ask Pai to cite his sources and give examples, or did they take him at his...let's say, rather questionable, word?

The thing that pisses me off about this is that Pai keeps fucking lying, over and over again, about what net neutrality even is.

Unfortunately, all the major news outlets fall under the banner of the corporations that are either pushing for this or would benefit from it. Plus, you aren't likely to hear any hard-hitting interviews coming from anyone that Pai would agree to interview with. Especially Fox that is openly supporting NN's repeal. The other outlets either mention it very briefly or not at all in some cases. With the exception of MSNBC surprisingly who is owned by Comcast and is one of the companies that would benefit the most from this. Though I doubt their take on this is anything less than positive on NN's repeal.

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#14 Posted by DriveupLife (1203 posts) -

@milkman: I don't buy into the hysteria and doomsday theories. I also don't believe in subsidizing the behavior of other customers who are high bandwidth high download users. I have a pretty small online usage footprint so I look forward to paying less for my service over others who are streaming, gaming and downloading all the time.

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#15 Posted by fatalbanana (879 posts) -

@milkman: I don't buy into the hysteria and doomsday theories. I also don't believe in subsidizing the behavior of other customers who are high bandwidth high download users. I have a pretty small online usage footprint so I look forward to paying less for my service over others who are streaming, gaming and downloading all the time.

Respectively, if you think that is the way this will turn out you have an incredibly optimistic view of these corporations and their plans.

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#17 Edited by Onemanarmyy (3352 posts) -

I don't think a company like Comcast is interested in getting rid of net neutrality so that they can reduce the price for non-streamers / non-gamers / non-downloaders / non-newsreaders etc. These customers are satisfied or putting up with the price they pay now, why would it be worthwhile to give them a discount? Just like AAA gaming companies didn't stop selling their games for 60$+ when they found out that there's a lot of money to be made with mtx on the side. It will make the internet strictly worse and more expensive for consumers. And if you're not satisfied? Good luck finding an alternative.

I think it's weird to portray this issue as a doomsday theory, while believing in magical discounts that i haven't found.

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#18 Posted by xanadu (1626 posts) -

Why do we keep having to do this

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#19 Posted by Milkman (19065 posts) -

@driveuplife: So, the fact that companies could block, slow down or charge more for any service or website isn’t concerning to you at all? All you care about is an imaginary discount that you convinced yourself you’re getting for some reason?

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#20 Posted by DriveupLife (1203 posts) -

@milkman: No, it doesn't concern me at all because I don't think it's gonna happen. Removing the rules will assist service providers with making new deals to offer their service in new ways and for less.

For all the comments over the years that say "Why does the US have such slow internet, most everyone in South Korea has gigabit connections! Why isn't our network better?" It's because companies will not invest in improving the grid to that extent while limited by regulations like these.

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#21 Posted by PeezMachine (402 posts) -

@milkman: I don't buy into the hysteria and doomsday theories. I also don't believe in subsidizing the behavior of other customers who are high bandwidth high download users. I have a pretty small online usage footprint so I look forward to paying less for my service over others who are streaming, gaming and downloading all the time.

Companies are already free to charge for usage via data caps, and they are free to charge for general bandwidth. The repeal of net neutrality doesn't do for you what you seem to think it will.

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#22 Edited by BladeOfCreation (755 posts) -

@driveuplife said:

@milkman: I don't buy into the hysteria and doomsday theories. I also don't believe in subsidizing the behavior of other customers who are high bandwidth high download users. I have a pretty small online usage footprint so I look forward to paying less for my service over others who are streaming, gaming and downloading all the time.

That's not what net neutrality is about. The ISPs right now can--and do--charge different amounts for levels of service like speed (although not necessarily bandwidth, except on mobile). Have any of the ISPs actually said that they'll decrease prices for customers like you? I'd be interested to see any articles that say that.

Net neutrality is about them not being able to legally throttle the connections of users who access certain types of content, or content produced by competing providers. It's not a simple case of getting another ISP, because in many areas ISPs effectively operate as regional monopolies. There are places where you simply can't find another ISP.

The reasons for America's dismal rate of broadband penetration are varied. Geography and the sheer size of the country is part of it. The notion that these regulations have limited companies' ability and willingness to invest is not supported by the evidence, and even after the newest net neutrality rules went into affect, ISPs were still investing in amounts comparable to what they had done before.

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#23 Posted by Rejizzle (860 posts) -

Why would anyone repeal a law in the hopes that companies will willingly uphold that law on their own? Why would anyone think that allowing companies to gouge more money out of consumers would spur infrastructure development and competition rather than allow bigger companies to rest on their laurels because they bought exclusive Netflix rights or some shit? This is so confusing and I don't understand any of it.

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#24 Edited by Onemanarmyy (3352 posts) -

@bladeofcreation:

Pai said. “On a party-line vote, it imposed heavy-handed, utility-style regulations upon the Internet. That decision was a mistake. It’s depressed investment in building and expanding broadband networks and deterred innovation.”

Here's an article from ArsTechnica about the investments of ISP's after Title 2 regulation (Net Neutrality). It features a nice table of the capital expenditures of the publicly traded ISP's.

Highlights:

"We found that not a single publicly traded US ISP ever told its investors (or the SEC) that Title II negatively impacted its own investments specifically," pro-net neutrality advocacy group Free Press said in a report issued yesterday.

The Free Press report disputes the investment numbers cited by Pai, saying that its own analysis shows an increase in network investment spending since the 2015 Title II net neutrality order. It isn't surprising that people on opposite sides of the issue would come to different conclusions on investment data. What can't be disputed is the fact that ISPs have given a rosy picture to investors, and the Free Press report provides examples of ISPs affirming that Title II hasn't hurt them:

  • In December 2015, AT&T’s CEO told investors that the company would “deploy more fiber” in 2016 than it did in 2015 and that Title II would not impede its future business plans.
  • In December 2016, Comcast’s chief financial officer admitted to investors that any concerns it had about reclassification were based only on “the fear of what Title II could have meant, more than what it actually meant.”
  • That same month, Charter’s CEO told investors, “Title II, it didn’t really hurt us; it hasn’t hurt us.”
  • Just a few days after the election, Cablevision and Suddenlink’s parent company Altice reaffirmed its plan to deploy FTTH [fiber-to-the-home] service to all of its customers and told investors that it remained “focused on upgrading our broadband networks to drive increases in broadband speeds and better customer experience.

Despite increasing its own capital investment by 10.2 percent in Q1 2017, Comcast claimed in a blog post last month that the FCC's treatment of broadband providers "harms investment and innovation."

  • Comcast spent $7.6 billion on its cable segment capital expenditures during 2016, the most the company has ever invested in a single year.
  • Charter Communications is yet another example of an ISP that dramatically increased its network investments during the two years following the FCC’s Open Internet Order vote... From 2015–2016 Charter’s pro forma capital investments [including newly acquired Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks] topped $14.5 billion, a 15 percent increase which came despite hundreds of millions of dollars (or more) in synergies that Charter claimed following the May 2016 closing of the deal.
  • Verizon’s capital investment total increased during the year following the FCC’s adoption of the Open Internet Order (just as the company said it would a month before the February 2015 vote). And Verizon’s total two-year post-vote capital expenditures were 3.1 percent higher than they were in the two years preceding the vote, even as the company divested its Florida, Texas, and California systems to Frontier Communications.

There's also an explanation for why Pai's numbers show a negative impact to investments.

These numbers are provided by Investment data cited by Pai comes from the USTelecom broadband industry lobby group, the conservative Free State Foundation, and economist Hal Singer, who found a 5.6 percent decline in capital expenditures by 12 big ISPs.

Free Press notes that USTelecom and Singer excluded the money Sprint used on a "new strategy of purchasing smartphones and then leasing them to its customers," even though "purchasing equipment to lease" is a real capital expense, recognized under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ('GAAP')."

"Sprint risked billions of dollars to purchase and then lease handsets. That is a key part of its broadband business strategy, and no different than a cable ISP’s purchasing and leasing of modems," Free Press wrote.

Singer argues that "it is important to ignore Sprint’s capitalization of handsets, an accounting change that occurred in the middle of the experiment," and notes that Sprint itself "breaks out these 'investments' separately from network investment." Singer also argues that AT&T's investment numbers have declined by an unexpected amount, especially when you exclude the company's investments in DirecTV and some Mexican cellular properties.

But AT&T predicted its own spending decline years before the FCC considered the use of Title II to enforce net neutrality rules. In November 2012, AT&T said it would increase capital expenditures in wireless and wireline for three years and return to the previous, lower investment levels starting in 2015. By February 2015, AT&T told investors that it had "substantially completed" the project.

TLDR: Pai's claim that Net neutrality has depressed investment in building and expanding broadband networks and deterred innovation is false.

No publicly traded ISP's have decreased investments due to net neutrality regulations since the rules were implemented two years ago. They told their investors that net neutrality hasn't impacted them negatively. AT&T did decrease their investment-level for 3 years starting in 2015, but announced this plan in 2012 before the FCC even considered enforcing title 2 regulations. These were first recommended by Obama in November 2014, published by the FCC on April 13 , 2015 and went into effect on June 12, 2015.

Despite AT&T's 0.6% decrease in capital expenditure (Which is very significant since AT&T accounts for nearly a third of the total ISP industry’s investments) , the publicly traded ISPs combined have increased their investments with 5,2% since title 2 regulations were in effect.

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#25 Edited by frytup (863 posts) -

If you start with the assumption that the evil government is strangling business, it enables a lot of intellectual hoop humping. The Republicans have built an entire party on a platform of convincing the middle class that less regulation and lower corporate taxes are somehow going to supercharge the economy and bring about a glorious new era. To say there is little historical evidence that this is true is a massive understatement, but evidence doesn't matter much in modern American politics.

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#27 Posted by lead_dispencer (474 posts) -

My semi optimistic hope is that if this is passed, only a few companies try to take advantage of the new ruling but so many customer jump ship from providers that they end of losing millions of dollars in revenue.

Side note. If this gets passed, anyone know some network engineers? I'd like to start my own internet based company that runs on net neutrality and push those other pieces of shit out of the market

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#28 Posted by druv (205 posts) -

I don't want to comment too much on the direct consequences. However, telecoms should have utility-like regulations on them! The internet is where amazing innovation and economic productivity can happen, but letting telecoms impose variable tolls for access to their preferred content flies completely into normal the face of that!

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#29 Posted by soulcake (1683 posts) -

I wonder if this passes it's gonna be a new standard for other law making country's all over the world or just a US thing ?

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#30 Edited by BladeOfCreation (755 posts) -

@onemanarmyy: Yeah I came across that Ars article a few hours ago. Ugh. I wish that people in federal positions of power lying to the American people was an actual thing that could make those feds lose their jobs.

I think I read this back when it was first written, too. My comment about reporters asking Pai to back up his claims was mostly sarcasm, since the guy's been lying from the beginning and no one is really calling him out on it. It's almost as if news entities should be separate from internet service providers.

And...this isn't even the worst thing happening right now. That would make it at least slightly more bearable, you know? If this was all we had to worry about this week.

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#31 Edited by Onemanarmyy (3352 posts) -

@bladeofcreation: yeah i know you knew the answer already, but it gave me the motivation to look deeper into it. The man is spreading lies and is not held accountable for it. Shit's fucked.

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#32 Posted by CrazyBagMan (1433 posts) -

For real though, everyone needs to do their best to not let this be another "it's too crazy to actually happen, right?" situation.

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#33 Posted by hermes (2445 posts) -

I am not a US citizen, so my voice in this fight is rather limited.

However, that doesn't mean it won't affect me, so I wish you all the best of lucks.

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#34 Posted by FateOfNever (1900 posts) -

I feel the sad reality is that this is an unwinnable fight. The big corporations won't ever stop pushing for NN to go away and it's only a matter of time before they win. Because that's the thing, they only have to win this fight once. We, the people, have to win this fight every couple of years while the corporations restack Congress over and over again until they get what they want. Hopefully we can put it off again this time though.

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#35 Posted by slyspider (1821 posts) -

This will almost certainly pass, but will hopefully be challenged in court immediately and tie it up for years until we get a more reasonable government in place. There is no reason to repel NN unless you are a telecom looking to make more money than you already do for running a wire that taxpayers paid for

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#36 Posted by Messier (288 posts) -

I'd understand people thinking the internet needed government regulation if the internet didn't expand to what it is today without it. If there were actual examples of instances needing regulations and not basing it entirely on hypothetical situations. Was there one actual practice, that a company was actively charging for, reversed or canceled as a result of that legislation? This is just one giant faceless entity trying to get oversight on another giant faceless entity. Neither of which have shown they can be trusted, but at least I have power as a consumer over what service I subscribe to. It's not like the government getting involved will somehow reduce the cost, it has only increased it like your cable and phone bills that have FCC & federal surcharges on them because their oversight is never free (or worth what they charge). All you do is pay for more desks staffed with bureaucrats at unaccountable agencies.

It's paradoxical to want to get the government involved to keep something free & open.

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#37 Posted by Panfoot (183 posts) -

@messier said:

but at least I have power as a consumer over what service I subscribe to.

Except in a heck of a lot of the country, where you may have no choice at all or MAYBE 2 different providers in your area.

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#38 Posted by OurSin_360 (5758 posts) -
Avatar image for tyrrael
#39 Edited by Tyrrael (478 posts) -

@driveuplife said:

@milkman: No, it doesn't concern me at all because I don't think it's gonna happen. Removing the rules will assist service providers with making new deals to offer their service in new ways and for less.

For all the comments over the years that say "Why does the US have such slow internet, most everyone in South Korea has gigabit connections! Why isn't our network better?" It's because companies will not invest in improving the grid to that extent while limited by regulations like these.

Seriously, this sounds borderline delusional. They already overcharge and monopolize the market in regions all over the country. The reason they don't invest is because they don't have to to. If there were a ton of ISPs that everyone could choose from, I'd say you had a point, but there aren't. Most people get, at most, two ISPs to choose from. Some get only one, and if you don't want to pay, you simply don't get internet. Also, even if they all wanted to improve the grid, the United States is nearly 100 times larger than South Korea, which is significant. It would be kind of like running cables through an apartment with a few rooms vs running cables in a mansion with hundreds of rooms that are larger and more spread out. This, coupled with the fact that they don't want to, means their networks aren't going to improve significantly, because people have no choice and will take what the companies give them or they'll do without.

I'm also not understanding how they're going to be "...making new deals to offer their service in new ways and for less." How exactly are you going to pay less for anything? The very notion of eliminating net neutrality gives these companies free reign to change anything they want, and you think they want it repealed so they can charge people less? Just...WHAT?

I already pay for my internet connection. I shouldn't have to be charged multiple times for using it, especially since I'm being overcharged now. They can charge you per website you go to, or at least charge you so the website doesn't take a month to load. You like YouTube? That costs extra. You like Netflix? That costs extra. You like Reddit? That costs extra. You like GIANTBOMB? THAT FUCKING COSTS EXTRA. And yes, I'm fully aware that Giantbomb doesn't do nearly the traffic that those other sites do, but it's a gaming centric website, and if these companies want to charge you more because of that, they can. That's the whole point.

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#40 Posted by TheHT (15189 posts) -

Hunh. I didn't realize people were so trusting of big corporations; you'd think it wasn't their goal to make as much money as they could through whatever practises are available to them.

Net Neutrality has a specific function. Do you believe access to the internet should be throttled based on user and content or not.

Maybe you don't trust the government, which is fine, sure. Why then you'd trust the government doing away with rules that secure fair access to data on the internet, I have no idea. Maybe you imagine you'll save money with whatever happens on the otherside of a repeal, which, without anything to back that up, is imaginative to the edge of being delusional.

Maybe you think the free market can suss these sorts of practises out, and that's honestly your best bet if the repeal goes through. If things go south and your principled stance means you're out of internet until ISPs that respect net neutrality crop up in your area, hopefully the majority of the country's consumers don't just roll over and take it, leaving you behind with your quiet protestation.

If you really trust the powers that be to play fair all on their own, then that's your cross to bear I guess. Hope beyond reason that they'll abide by the principle of net neutrality without actual Net Neutrality rules in place. It'll be like tearing up the Constitution and hoping everyone still follows it. Not very sensible.

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#41 Edited by elmorales94 (339 posts) -
@messier said:

Neither of which have shown they can be trusted, but at least I have power as a consumer over what service I subscribe to.

This is not the case for everyone. Some ISPs have exclusive or semi-exclusive contracts in certain markets. I lived in Baltimore for years, and literally the only ISP you are allowed to get service from is Comcast. People in these markets are getting royally screwed, and it will only get worse once net neutrality is ousted. I now live in a competitive market, so there is some hope that I can get reasonable rates, but I'm still far from calling that a sure bet.

The last 50 years or so of American economics have proven to me that competition doesn't always yield consumer-friendly results. In theory, ISPs should be warring for customers by offering more affordable service, but it never works out that way. It'll just end with them realizing they can wring us dry if all of their rates are sky-high.

EDIT: Called all of my congressmen today. To be expected, but I didn't get anyone on the line. I did leave several impassioned messages and emails (on a variety of subjects), but it's still disheartening.

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#42 Posted by jaycrockett (819 posts) -

Man I so don't understand net neutrality. So if Comcast says "We own CNN, so you can't stream Fox News" (or it's slower, or whatever), that should be illegal? Is that what we're talking about?

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#43 Edited by Onemanarmyy (3352 posts) -

@tyrrael: Agree with the sentiment, but ISP's actually have been increasing investments in the last few years (+5.2% compared to the years before net neutrality) . Pai lied about that. See my post earlier.

That said, more competition would probably lead to more innovation / capital expenditure. That this competition is not really happening is probably due to multiple factors. One of which is the power of the big boys and the sheer size of the country.

Heck, even a powerful outsider like Google faced huge issues rolling out Fiber and has turned to wireless options instead. It’s partly just a physical problem—if a new broadband provider wants to set up in a city, it has to connect each home it wants to serve to their network, which means a whole lot of wires. But it’s also a regulatory hurdle, particularly regarding something called “pole attachment”—literally the physical process of attaching wires to telephone poles, which is regulated by local government. When a new provider wants to attach their wires, each provider with wires already on the pole has to send a technician to move its wires to make way for the new one.Google has pushed hard to promote a different policy, known as “one touch make ready,” which would allow a single provider to make all those changes in one go.

But that hasn’t been plain sailing either, with incumbent providers like AT&T and Charter filing lawsuits left and right in cities that adopt the policy. AT&T’s complaints with the policy have ranged from Google providing inaccurate information on poles, to saying it could lead to service disruption if there are mistakes, to objecting that it would allow changes to poles they own “without AT&T’s consent and with little notice.”

It’s not that Google doesn’t have the money to fight these things, but it might not have been worth the resources to try and seriously compete with an incumbent provider on this issue—particularly when those providers are already so entrenched in the policy scene. In Tennessee, AT&T employed five times as many lobbyists as Google did last year—25 to Google’s five.

Now imagine being a small business trying to deliver a quality alternative. It's not going to happen.

if ISP's had to lease or open up the “last mile” of their infrastructure to other ISPs ( local loop unbundling) , a huge barrier to entry in the market would be taken away and competition & innovation would be increased. This is actually a requirement for joining the EU. I'm in a rural area of the Netherlands and have access to 7 different ISP's that all offer multiple packages.

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#44 Posted by TheHT (15189 posts) -

Man I so don't understand net neutrality. So if Comcast says "We own CNN, so you can't stream Fox News" (or it's slower, or whatever), that should be illegal? Is that what we're talking about?

Basically. From Wikipedia:

Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers must treat all data on the Internet the same, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication. For instance, under these principles, internet service providers are unable to intentionally block, slow down or charge money for specific websites and online content.

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#45 Posted by NTM (10675 posts) -

If this passes, I wonder how many people are going to start saying 'Wait, I have to pay for what? Why is my internet on this site so slow? WHAT IS GOING ON!?' I don't feel like people even know about this, to be honest, or maybe I'm just not seeing a lot of attention being put toward it by the majority. It seems like something everyone should be against if it's as bad as it sounds.

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#46 Posted by PeezMachine (402 posts) -

Man I so don't understand net neutrality. So if Comcast says "We own CNN, so you can't stream Fox News" (or it's slower, or whatever), that should be illegal? Is that what we're talking about?

That's a logical conclusion, yep. Under Net Neutrality, ISPs can't throttle traffic based on its source. Without it, you're likely to see the following things:

1) ISPs breaking the internet into "packages." Want Giant Bomb? Buy the gaming package. Gotta tweet? Social media package. In addition to inevitably crushing smaller sites and services that can't afford to pay to be including in a package (and have to do this for EACH ISP!!!), it will make it damn near impossible to discover new things on the web. If a friend sends you a link to a music video they like and you're not signed up for the music package, are you really gonna shell out for it? And let's not even get into the world of hiding job-finding services behind a bigger paywall, keeping that poverty grind alive.

2) Anti-competitive practices like you mentioned. Fun example I saw floating around is Verizon offering free access to Yahoo (since they own it) and charging for Google.

I'm sure there are plenty more problems to look forward to without Net Neutrality, but these are the two I'm read up on enough to mention.

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#47 Posted by burncoat (404 posts) -

@jaycrockett: That's pretty much the principle behind Net Neutrality. That ISPs should treat all traffic the same and not split traffic up into different tiers. Without it, there's nothing stopping Comcast from throttling traffic going to a competitor site (which they have done), such as anything owned by CBS for instance (wonder what that could be). The examples doesn't stop at throttling. You can have sites blocked or contribute to a smaller gig cap unless you pay extra while offering "free" services owned by the ISP. This is why you're seeing more companies starting their own online streaming service to compete with Netflix, only in the case of companies like Comcast they can fix the competition to make their services more attractive by making your experience on other sites worse.

I don't trust corporations to do the right thing and keep everything the same. It's like expecting them to just altruistically reinvest their tax breaks into more job opportunities rather than stock buy-backs. Corporations aren't people and they aren't compassionate. They will do everything they legally can to make more money at the expense of others. Like expecting the ESA, an organization funded by big AAA publishers, to all of a sudden regulate blind boxes and loot boxes, except (like how others have pointed out in this thread) unlike how consumers have an easy choice of videogames to play and partake we utterly lack choice and competition in the ISP market.

These are companies that don't even invest in proper customer service and care. My last ISP that was the only one in my area at the time would harass me almost weekly with calls at 9am to expand my service to include phone and cable and when I moved out of the state and their service area they still called me non-stop. They only care about the money they can make off you.

Net Neutrality isn't some case of Big Government™ coming in and stomping on the little guy and innovation. It's consumer protection.

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#48 Edited by TheHT (15189 posts) -

@peezmachine: On the more nefarious end of the spectrum you've got the potential for ISPs blocking or slowing down access to sources of dissenting views and things similarly undesirable. Free speech in the United States is not necessarily protected by corporations and other private entities, as many have so enthusiastically pointed out over the years.

@ntm said:

If this passes, I wonder how many people are going to start saying 'Wait, I have to pay for what? Why is my internet on this site so slow? WHAT IS GOING ON!?' I don't feel like people even know about this, to be honest, or maybe I'm just not seeing a lot of attention being put toward it by the majority. It seems like something everyone should be against if it's as bad as it sounds.

Yeah, which is to the benefit of anti-NN unfortunately. I was suddenly without internet for a bit last week and it was a day and a half of not knowing what to do with myself. I reckon it'll be all too easy for most folks to give in to "fuck you, pay more" when it comes to potentially losing out on access to the World Wide Motherfuckin' Web.

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#49 Edited by Onemanarmyy (3352 posts) -

Comcast did try to slow down Netflix before the net neutrality regulations were put in place , and AT&T does use its status as an ISP to give it services an advantage. (Streaming DirectTV Now won't count against your data cap). People are not coming up with doomsday scenario's. The good ol' 'This service won't count against your datacap' -loophole is also very prevalent with mobile carriers.

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#50 Posted by Messier (288 posts) -