Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 22nd Nov 2017 22:58 UTC
Internet & Networking

The FCC has released the final draft of its proposal to destroy net neutrality. The order removes nearly every net neutrality rule on the books - internet providers will be free to experiment with fast and slow lanes, prioritize their own traffic, and block apps and services. There's really only one rule left here: that ISPs have to publicly disclose when they're doing these things.

The US already has absolutely terrible internet compared to most developed nations, and this will only make it worse. What an absolutely and utterly bad proposal - clearly the result of deep-rooted corruption and bribery among US carriers and the US government.

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I think the term is "rent seeking"
by sukru on Thu 23rd Nov 2017 01:05 UTC
sukru
Member since:
2006-11-19

The telcos are using a very old compromise to extract revenues from new ideas and technologies without doing any further investment.

(note: I do work for an Internet company, however this is my personal opinion as a consumer).

Back in the day they spent time and money to physically dig holes and lay cables. At the time, it was a reasonable compromise to grant them de-facto monopoly on these lines. However more than half a century has passed, and I don't think there is a public interest anymore in keeping that.

The service they provide is abysmal and prices are too high compared to other countries, and instead of using the 97% profit margins on new infrastructure, they just want to make shareholders richer without spending any more money.

[ source https://www.huffingtonpost.com/bruce-kushnick/time-warner-cables-97-... ]

I think there should be either one of these two things:

- They should deregulate, but also allow competition in local ISP markets. (I would prefer this one)
- Keep existing monopolies, but regulate them so that consumers are protected

The current proposal does worst of both, deregulate current incumbents, but do not properly address lack of healthy competition.

Reply Score: 10

kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

- They should deregulate, but also allow competition in local ISP markets. (I would prefer this one)


If you deregulate and "allow competition", what's to stop the incumbent monopolies from buying up the competition?

Reply Score: 8

Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

It'n not like people already have surrendered their freedom to big lobbying corporations...

Reply Score: 5

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22
_QJ_ Member since:
2009-03-12

... And the people continue to vote for the businessman.

Unbelievable.

Happy to live in a country where telecoms are deregulated and where competition is raging between telecom operators.

Run on a link of 100 Mbits / sec @Home and a Giga @Work, plus a real 4G on my smartphone between.
And all this for a "correct" price.

Reply Score: 5

jmorgannz Member since:
2017-11-05

Kiwi? ^^

Reply Score: 2

JLF65 Member since:
2005-07-06

Where's the "envious" vote? ;)

While I'm complaining about the vote system, there needs to be a way to change your vote. The mouse wheel slipped a notch while voting and I wound up voting "funny" when I was trying to vote "insightful" on a post. Also need the ability to vote after commenting on a story. There's no reason to prevent voting on a story you've commented on.

A limited number of votes, not being able to vote more than once on a single post, and no ability to vote on your own posts are the ONLY restrictions that make sense.

Reply Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Is there even some practical reason between "informative", "insightful" and "funny"? ;) They don't appear to be publicly shown...

Reply Score: 3

Xodice Member since:
2014-06-09

That doesn't mean a whole lot. I have a 250 up/30 down connection that costs a whopping $45/m. The US situation isn't as dire as Thom tries to make it out (Tho, that's typical for him). However I *IN NO WAY* support what my government is doing RE net neutrality.

Reply Score: 1

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Xodice,

That doesn't mean a whole lot. I have a 250 up/30 down connection that costs a whopping $45/m. The US situation isn't as dire as Thom tries to make it out (Tho, that's typical for him).


Surely that's an error, haha. Did you mean 250mbs down and 30mbps up? If so, that's a great deal for $45/m and I'm very jealous! We're paying much more for a tiny fraction of that. Who's your ISP?

It's true that there are customers at the top end of the spectrum getting exceptional service, such as those where google fiber moved in driving down costs and driving up bandwidth. But those are outliers. Global internet surveys generally agree with Thom, the US on average has unimpressive service at high prices.

However I *IN NO WAY* support what my government is doing RE net neutrality.


Yeah, I predict this will only end badly and will hurt young internet services the most. "That's a really nice service you've got there, it'd be a shame if your customers were trapped in the slow lane".

Edited 2017-11-26 20:20 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Xodice Member since:
2014-06-09

Yes I apologize, was tired. I mean't down/up. I was just making it clear our speeds and price aren't as bad as people make it out to be. My state of SC, thanks to a group that banded together headed by TruVista (whom is my provider), is entirely covered by fiber which includes some parts of GA by the same group. Thanks to them gigabit connections are available in a lot of areas as acceptable prices.

But I am very worried about what my government is doing WRT Net Neutrality. ;)

https://photos.app.goo.gl/fbbXX53RZe1AEBKj1

Edited 2017-11-27 11:27 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Xodice,

That's very nice!

Here's mine through optimum online as tested by http://www.dslreports.com/speedtest . It's a 30mbps down / 5mbps up package, but note the severe dropoff at the end of the test because it appears oversubscribed today, the 30mbps is only reachable in unsustained bursts.

https://s2.postimg.org/totknrxg9/bandwidth.png

The regional ISP was actually acquired under Altice last year, who promised (and delivered) tons of cost cutting layoffs.
https://nypost.com/2016/05/20/cable-employees-are-preparing-for-layo...

Yet, for subscribers (over whom they have a monopoly), they raised rates and are set to do so again this year.
https://www.fiercecable.com/cable/altice-to-raise-cable-rates-3-4-ac...

This is what the lack of competition looks like. Further out west they've got verison fios, I wish we had a duopoly here, how sad is that!

Reply Score: 2

Xodice Member since:
2014-06-09

Oh and I just wanted to add I live in an insanely small town in SC with a population of 6,900. We have speeds from 100meg up to 1gig. It's getting much better and I don't believe it's as bad as Thom tries to make it seem. In the past, maybe, but it's getting far better. Like I said, even my itty bitty town you can get insane speeds for decent prices.

Maybe I'm just jaded and wrong because my small town is lucky, although it's pretty much state wide in SC.

Edited 2017-11-27 15:19 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Xodice,

Oh and I just wanted to add I live in an insanely small town in SC with a population of 6,900. We have speeds from 100meg up to 1gig. It's getting much better and I don't believe it's as bad as Thom tries to make it seem. In the past, maybe, but it's getting far better. Like I said, even my itty bitty town you can get insane speeds for decent prices.

Maybe I'm just jaded and wrong because my small town is lucky, although it's pretty much state wide in SC.



Yeah I'd be enthusiastic too if I had your quality of service. The question is if you'd still be enthusiastic if you had mine or levels closer to the national average.

I don't know anything about your area, but I've heard that some areas have regulations in place to make providers agree to bring the same coverage to rural areas as they do in highly populated ones. It could be that your small town is a beneficiary of this kind of deal?

My parents actually lost all wired broadband options after ATT decided to drop the DSL network in their area. At least they have internet through their cell phones, although you'd blow through their 6GB monthly allowance in about 3 minutes at your data rates, haha.

Edited 2017-11-27 16:08 UTC

Reply Score: 2

przemo_li Member since:
2010-06-01

Simple solution is to split each teleco who have any physical assets into two departments.

One that handle infrastructure and is **forced** by the law to treat bits going through the network as network packets. No sniffing of content possible. If congestion practices are required only quantitative are allowed.

There would be other entity that handle all value added services, and is responsible for reselling infrastructure to end users.

Here is the trick.

Second entity have to buy from infrastructure-only one. If there is no competition in a given region, infrastructure-only is **forced** by law to offer same conditions to **any** added-value entity.

This way infrastructure-only entity revenue is decoupled from value-added. Therefore there is no incentive to f*** over competition.

That would not solve all problems, but no longer company X could f*** over it's customers and competition by degrading experience of some service delivered through their network.

Reply Score: 3

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

przemo_li,

Simple solution is to split each teleco who have any physical assets into two departments.
...


To be honest your proposal has zero chance of being implemented. It's not the lack of solutions that's holding us back but rather blatant corruption. The truth is actually far worse than many realize, nearly half of US states have actually passed laws to stop local towns and municipalities from competing with the cable monopolies.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/02/isp-lobby-has-already-wo...

Even the places that have decided enough is enough with these monopolies are blocked by law from fixing it. This is total bullshit on every single moral compass, but it's a reflection of the power of corporations and the failure of our governments to stand up to their corruptive forces.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by flanque
by flanque on Thu 23rd Nov 2017 02:04 UTC
flanque
Member since:
2005-12-15

I'm not well versed in the debate, but it does seem at my arms length position that...

If you already have consumer protection regulation, then you shouldn't be creating other overlapping regulation on the basis that existing protections aren't really used. Use what you already have - enhance it if required.

Tackling a lack of local ISP competition in the US is probably more valuable than trying to enforce localised monopolies to behave in a specific way. The benefits will extend well beyond just net neutrality.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by flanque
by Alfman on Thu 23rd Nov 2017 09:24 UTC in reply to "Comment by flanque"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

flanque,

If you already have consumer protection regulation, then you shouldn't be creating other overlapping regulation on the basis that existing protections aren't really used. Use what you already have - enhance it if required.

Tackling a lack of local ISP competition in the US is probably more valuable than trying to enforce localised monopolies to behave in a specific way. The benefits will extend well beyond just net neutrality.


Of course giving consumers uncoerced choices would be great. If there were an official plan to reintroduce competition into the market, then we could talk about ways to reduce regulatory burdens. However do you agree that having no choices, only a monopoly AND no consumer protections is the worst combination for users?

This is unfortunately what we're getting under ajit pai. He doesn't care about public interests, only big business.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Comment by flanque
by fmaxwell on Sat 25th Nov 2017 16:23 UTC in reply to "Comment by flanque"
fmaxwell Member since:
2005-11-13

If you already have consumer protection regulation, then you shouldn't be creating other overlapping regulation on the basis that existing protections aren't really used. Use what you already have - enhance it if required.

There are not "existing protections." Without net neutrality, if Comcast is the only broadband provider in your area, they can throttle Netflix, HBO streaming, Hulu, Amazon streaming, and every other major source of television content in order to kill off any competition to their television offerings.

If I owned a broadband service with a local monopoly, when net neutrality went away, I'd be throttling, or outright blocking, every right-wing "news" source out there, including Fox News, Breitbart, Newsmax, Infowars, and all of the rest of the purveyors of that kind of crap. Just as a TV provider can decide that they don't want to carry hardcore porn in order to protect children, I don't want children's minds poisoned by right-wing misinformation and hatred. Someone doesn't like it? Tough. They can move.

Tackling a lack of local ISP competition in the US is probably more valuable than trying to enforce localised monopolies to behave in a specific way. The benefits will extend well beyond just net neutrality.

That was so vague as to almost be Trumpian. Come back to us when you have a proposal for "[t]ackling a lack of local ISP competition."

If Verizon is the only ISP in some community, and they've run fiber everywhere, how do you think some other provider can hope to peel off enough customers to make it financially viable to for them to run parallel fiber or copper throughout the whole community?

And what happens in those communities where a single broadband provider got a contract to be the sole provider in exchange for 'wiring' the whole community?

Edited 2017-11-25 16:26 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by flanque
by slashdev on Sat 25th Nov 2017 17:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by flanque"
slashdev Member since:
2006-05-14

If I owned a broadband service with a local monopoly, when net neutrality went away, I'd be throttling, or outright blocking, every right-wing "news" source out there, including Fox News, Breitbart, Newsmax, Infowars, and all of the rest of the purveyors of that kind of crap. Just as a TV provider can decide that they don't want to carry hardcore porn in order to protect children, I don't want children's minds poisoned by right-wing misinformation and hatred. Someone doesn't like it? Tough. They can move.


I just wanted to further dive into this point. Most of the ISPs (due to consolidation) are very sensitive to public sentiment via things like Ad revenue. Without these protections in place, Comcast, Verizon or whomever could outright block sites based on little more than "our advertisers requested it", or worse a CEO decided just on a whim to block sites (CloudFlare).

This is much more far reaching then say the daily stormer/cloudflare incident because there are many hosting companies while many americans only have one ISP, so if Comcast decides daily stormer (or brietbart or CNN whoever) shouldnt be accessed via their pipes, it will impact millions of their users who wouldnt be able to get it any other way.

In another reality it would be fascinating to see an american activist authoritarian left that is way more cynical and calculating and 100% support these changes. Then lobby all the ISP's advertisers and share holders to become actively hostile to whatever they dont like; anti-abortion sites, extreme right wing new/talk sites, gluten, whatever. Similar to the pressure being put on companies like Youtube(Google)/Facebook/Twitter.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by flanque
by Alfman on Sat 25th Nov 2017 21:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by flanque"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

slashdev,


In another reality it would be fascinating to see an american activist authoritarian left that is way more cynical and calculating and 100% support these changes. Then lobby all the ISP's advertisers and share holders to become actively hostile to whatever they dont like; anti-abortion sites, extreme right wing new/talk sites, gluten, whatever. Similar to the pressure being put on companies like Youtube(Google)/Facebook/Twitter.


Indeed. I think the risks of of private companies using technical measures to block offensive content is real. If ISPs are allowed to discriminate unpopular content, there may be pressure from groups who want to imply that carrying traffic is the same as endorsing it:

"This ISP supports racism because they didn't block X."

"That ISP is against women's rights for not blocking Y."

This could place significant pressure on ISPs because they (and their owners) don't want the public perception of being "guilty by association". This may seem far fetched, but if you recall this summer, there was huge pressure for internet companies to revoke domain names owned by certain offensive groups. The thread even got locked on osnews when some of us disagreed with the narrative.
http://www.osnews.com/story/29962/GoDaddy_Google_blacklist_Nazi_web...


IMHO things that are illegal should be taken down at their source, otherwise things that are not illegal should be protected as free speech and should not be interfered with through technological means by any internet companies.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by flanque
by fmaxwell on Sun 26th Nov 2017 22:58 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by flanque"
fmaxwell Member since:
2005-11-13

IMHO things that are illegal should be taken down at their source, otherwise things that are not illegal should be protected as free speech and should not be interfered with through technological means by any internet companies.


Free speech isn't generally protected on private property. Net neutrality was about the only thing that prevented ISPs from blocking and throttling traffic on their networks.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by flanque
by Alfman on Mon 27th Nov 2017 01:22 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by flanque"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

fmaxwell,

Free speech isn't generally protected on private property. Net neutrality was about the only thing that prevented ISPs from blocking and throttling traffic on their networks.



The fact that internet service is built on the backs of numerous private networks, makes it no less wrong to interfere with legal communications between two parties. The internet must be treated as a public service to protect the first amendment rights of users. If it comes to be that we are denied our rights and freedoms to access what we want on the internet because the infrastructure connecting us has been privatized, then we may as well throw the constitution in the garbage. The reality is virtually everything we do in our lives has been or is becoming privatized.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by flanque
by fmaxwell on Sun 26th Nov 2017 22:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by flanque"
fmaxwell Member since:
2005-11-13

In another reality...

Is that like "alternative facts"?

...it would be fascinating to see an american activist authoritarian left that is way more cynical and calculating and 100% support these changes. Then lobby all the ISP's advertisers and share holders to become actively hostile to whatever they dont like; anti-abortion sites, extreme right wing new/talk sites, gluten, whatever. Similar to the pressure being put on companies like Youtube(Google)/Facebook/Twitter.

Or, more horrifyingly, imagine the same thing from the far-right, with pressure to block access to Planned Parenthood, sites providing support services for LGBT youth, atheism and non-Christian religious sites, websites of immigration attorneys, etc.

Once net neutrality is gone, an ISP could even block access to the campaign websites of candidates who weren't sufficiently "friendly" to Internet service providers. If a politician were to tell voters that he favors net neutrality, he could find his campaign website inaccessible.

Reply Score: 2

v EFF Silence
by Iapx432 on Thu 23rd Nov 2017 17:14 UTC
RE: EFF Silence
by leech on Thu 23rd Nov 2017 21:14 UTC in reply to "EFF Silence"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

Weird, does the eff know something we don't? These posts are a ll over reddit about Net Neutrality being up for question again (a fight 'we' keep winning, but those asshats keep starting up.)

Of course Comcast has supposedly already been found throttling Netflix until they paid.

I'm for them turning it into a Utility that should be universally high speed, and you don't have to worry about one company having crap policies compared to another. True neutrality. Then again I don't know who anyone would trust enough to have a single generic ISP that had government backed infrastructure...

In the mean time other countries have gigabit+ connections, and I'm lucky if I can get 60mbps...

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: EFF Silence
by zima on Fri 24th Nov 2017 00:35 UTC in reply to "RE: EFF Silence"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Offtopic: from what is your avatar?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: EFF Silence
by mack on Fri 24th Nov 2017 10:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: EFF Silence"
mack Member since:
2015-02-18
RE[4]: EFF Silence
by leech on Fri 24th Nov 2017 23:07 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: EFF Silence"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

It's actually specifically from the Atari 8bit version of Bruce Lee.

Fantastic game either way!

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: EFF Silence
by zima on Sat 25th Nov 2017 13:35 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: EFF Silence"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Thank you. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: EFF Silence
by jessesmith on Fri 24th Nov 2017 01:24 UTC in reply to "EFF Silence"
jessesmith Member since:
2010-03-11

You're looking under the wrong category, all the net neutrality posts are under the deeplinks category: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks Also, if you follow them on social media, the EFF has been posting about this issue a lot.

Reply Score: 5

Comment by Sidux
by Sidux on Sun 26th Nov 2017 07:43 UTC
Sidux
Member since:
2015-03-10

After looking at wechat and baidu situation in Asia and how little impact it made to them that the government started banning popular platforms like WhatsApp and Skype for not providing tracking data to them, most people won't care about this.
They'll gladly use any platform that allows them to do as much as possible without putting to question who controls them.

Reply Score: 2