## Net Neutrality, the FCC, and you... wake up...

 Quote by turbo Unfortunately, that is not a viable option for many lightly-populated areas. We can't use the "free market" to choose which ISP to use when there are no options. For instance, there is only one phone carrier in this town, so that's where you get DSL if you want it. There is no cable in this part of town, so no options there, either. It's possible to subscribe to Hughesnet or some other satellite service, but even their most basic plan is $60/month+. Plus, I have read some very bad reviews about their support and service, and it appears that the company throttles users and caps your daily traffic. No thanks. If somebody doesn't keep the ISPs honest (FCC) we're screwed. So then everyone has to suffer? What is going to happen isn't 'max bandwidth for everyone!', instead it's going to be 'really poor internet' for everyone over time under the Net neutrality regulations. There becomes no incentive for the telecomm companies to provide any palpable service, they can now do the minimum and get away with it for everyone. There's also lots of other services that may not be directly available at the best quality when living in the country - I don't think that's a justification for the net neutrality rules. 'Keeping them honest' isn't really in the text of the bill. Also, I think something that is missing from the conversation: Why do the wireless/ISP companies want to throttle service? This is a concept that I think is missing from most discussion is the rationale behind WHY ISP/Wireless providers are starting to change their policies. Lastly, has there been any examples of a large scale ISP totally cutting off a competing service? So, why is this such a worry other than someone spouting random anti-corporatist conspiracies? In fact, I can think of some examples of the opposite - when Comcast started offering TV-over-web for their cable customers, you could only access it from Comcast's internet service (this was an internal-Comcast restriction, not a banning by other providers). This all just feels like another FCC power grab: well intentioned, but not well thought through.  Quote by ParticleGrl For unlawful content, think child porn, copyrighted material in torrent, etc. And obviously, what is and is not lawful is decided by the US legal system, as these are FCC (US) guidelines. Well that's not quite what I was referring to, but that definitely goes without saying. Suppose we were in a situation like Egypt earlier this year. Would it then be lawful to block content deemed inappropriate for the "good of the nation"?  Quote by QuarkCharmer I'm pretty sure it specifically stated that the ISP cannot block "lawful" content. It sounds innocent enough, I mean, who "doesn't" want to be lawful right? Who decides what is lawful though? Anyone have any idea? Where is it stated? Employers can block lawful content to their employees. Schools can block lawful content to their students. My daughter's school was so restrictive there was a short list of sites they were permitted to access. What is the legal difference between an ISP and an employer or a school?  Recognitions: Gold Member BTW, folks, Sprint has committed to buying 30 million iPhones over the next 4 years. If Sprint is your ISP, better start looking around for an alternative. A$20 billion outlay for a company that it in Sprint's shape is WAY risky, especially if some other cell phone/PDA manufacturer leapfrogs Apple. Technology can change very quickly, so this 4-year commitment looks very risky to me. Glad I'm not in Sprint stocks! http://news.yahoo.com/report-sprint-...200935673.html I don't know if net neutrality can be amended and implemented in such a way as to actually favor consumers and expand choices. Given the deep pockets of big telecom companies, I doubt it. ATT and Verizon may be your only choice in a few years, IF you even have that choice.

 Actually, I'm a little confused as to why the net neutrality issue even exists, as I would have expected the laws already covering the phone companies to apply here. But regardless of that, the model already applied to the phone and power companies should be easily applicable here
I absolutely agree. Internet companies should be regulated like utilities- after all, its the same sort of regional monopolies.

 So then everyone has to suffer? What is going to happen isn't 'max bandwidth for everyone!', instead it's going to be 'really poor internet' for everyone over time under the Net neutrality regulations. There becomes no incentive for the telecomm companies to provide any palpable service, they can now do the minimum and get away with it for everyone.
What stops them from doing the minimum for everyone WITHOUT these rules? Keep in mind that these rules DO NOT stop the ISPs from throttling or charging heavy users more. They only require that they don't throttle certain websites preferentially, and that they provide the service they sold you (if they sold you an unlimited plan, it needs to be unlimited).

There is already next-to-no competition among service providers, because of the regional monopolies, especially when you get outside of cities.

 Also, I think something that is missing from the conversation: Why do the wireless/ISP companies want to throttle service?
For cable companies, netflix and hulu directly compete with their on-demand services. They are also responsible for a fair amount of bandwidth. If you look at US infrastructure (as compared to say, Europe, Japan,etc) it becomes clear that our cable companies would prefer to accumulate profits instead of reinvest in infrastructure. Capping bandwidth means they do not have to invest in more capacity. Throttling netflix means they don't have to invest in more capacity.

 Lastly, has there been any examples of a large scale ISP totally cutting off a competing service? So, why is this such a worry other than someone spouting random anti-corporatist conspiracies?
Comcast tried to charge netflix a fee to provide, on penalty of blocking the service to Comcast customers.

Also, its hardly a "anti-corporatist conspiracy"- the profit maximizing move for a cable company is to limit streaming and push people into their own on-demand services.

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 Quote by ParticleGrl What stops them from doing the minimum for everyone WITHOUT these rules? Keep in mind that these rules DO NOT stop the ISPs from throttling or charging heavy users more. They only require that they don't throttle certain websites preferentially, and that they provide the service they sold you (if they sold you an unlimited plan, it needs to be unlimited).
You can't buy an unlimited plan around here. If you get ADSL from TDS (the only option in this area) you get it on their terms. They advertise their top package as "5Mbps", for instance, but never disclose openly that the 5Mbps is the maximum speed that you "might" get. (Right! In your dreams!) I live a mile from the switch, with a perfectly clean copper pair, and only once have I gotten more than 4Mbps. Standard is about 3Mbps. So you pay for phantom bandwidth that is never delivered, and the population density out here is so low that TDS will never willingly upgrade their equipment.

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 Quote by turbo You can't buy an unlimited plan around here. If you get ADSL from TDS (the only option in this area) you get it on their terms. They advertise their top package as "5Mbps", for instance, but never disclose openly that the 5Mbps is the maximum speed that you "might" get. (Right! In your dreams!) I live a mile from the switch, with a perfectly clean copper pair, and only once have I gotten more than 4Mbps. Standard is about 3Mbps. So you pay for phantom bandwidth that is never delivered, and the population density out here is so low that TDS will never willingly upgrade their equipment.
Turbo, ParticleGrl,

For comparison, I use Cox, and get about 19 Mbps download and about 5 Mbps upload speed, I measure using SpeakEasy.com. I feel your frustration Turbo, DSL bang for your buck pales in comparision to FIOS speeds, at least to the poles where it is converted. My Tech Cox friend says there is so much unused bandwidth under the main FIOS backbone, it is not even funny. Cox is only going to spend serious investment dollars where they can reach as many customers as cheaply as possible, that is business, like it or not, and if I were you Turbo, I would not, but understand it nonetheless. They (Big Time Cable companies) have long term business plans that try to position themselves to take maxiumum advantage of what other companies are doing, and as cheaply and smartly as possible.

Rhody...

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 Quote by ParticleGrl For unlawful content, think child porn, copyrighted material in torrent, etc. And obviously, what is and is not lawful is decided by the US legal system, as these are FCC (US) guidelines.
Both private communication and the right to unreasonable search are protected by the united states constitution. The internet is not a broadcast service, it is a communication network.

 Quote by mege So then everyone has to suffer? What is going to happen isn't 'max bandwidth for everyone!', instead it's going to be 'really poor internet' for everyone over time under the Net neutrality regulations. There becomes no incentive for the telecomm companies to provide any palpable service, they can now do the minimum and get away with it for everyone.
Have telecom providers historically offered good services? I think not. Would you rather choose the services you want or have telecom’s subsidize at your expence the services which they have an interest in?
 Also, I think something that is missing from the conversation: Why do the wireless/ISP companies want to throttle service? This is a concept that I think is missing from most discussion is the rationale behind WHY ISP/Wireless providers are starting to change their policies.
Wireless is a limited resource and as a consequence they wish to maximize as much revenue as possible from this resource. The solution to counter this is to create a public network of hotspots.
 This all just feels like another FCC power grab: well intentioned, but not well thought through.
It is only a power grab if they choose to regulate the type of content allowed rather then madading content neutrality,.
 Quote by QuarkCharmer Well that's not quite what I was referring to, but that definitely goes without saying. Suppose we were in a situation like Egypt earlier this year. Would it then be lawful to block content deemed inappropriate for the "good of the nation"?
This is why the consitution protects both private comunication and the right to unreasonable search. Unfortuantly the privacy laws of most countries have not been updated with respect to the interent. For instance in the United States the law notes special protection for a persons home and papers. Canada tried to avoid this failure by not specify a place but in the end this has resulted in weaker privacy protection in Canada.
 Quote by ParticleGrl I absolutely agree. Internet companies should be regulated like utilities- after all, its the same sort of regional monopolies. What stops them from doing the minimum for everyone WITHOUT these rules? Keep in mind that these rules DO NOT stop the ISPs from throttling or charging heavy users more. They only require that they don't throttle certain websites preferentially, and that they provide the service they sold you (if they sold you an unlimited plan, it needs to be unlimited).
Exactly. If the ISP throttles the service then it isn't an unlimited plan. Additionaly an ISP can ration bandwidth without discrimating between types of trafics. In my opionion the monertering of trafic type is an invasion of privacy.
 For cable companies, netflix and hulu directly compete with their on-demand services. They are also responsible for a fair amount of bandwidth. If you look at US infrastructure (as compared to say, Europe, Japan,etc) it becomes clear that our cable companies would prefer to accumulate profits instead of reinvest in infrastructure. Capping bandwidth means they do not have to invest in more capacity. Throttling netflix means they don't have to invest in more capacity.
IF they want to limit bandwidth (e.g throttling) then it needs to be specified in the contract. As to whether there should be a minimum quality of internet for a given price that needs to be a discussion which is held each country should have. I believe Sweden mandated a certain quality of internet to the home. (I’ll have to double check this).

Anyway, I strongly believe in net neutrality for the internet. I am not sure with regards to celluar service but the rules should be such to allow people to set up their own network of hotspots.

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 Quote by rhody Cox is only going to spend serious investment dollars where they can reach as many customers as cheaply as possible, that is business, like it or not, and if I were you Turbo, I would not, but understand it nonetheless. They (Big Time Cable companies) have long term business plans that try to position themselves to take maxiumum advantage of what other companies are doing, and as cheaply and smartly as possible. Rhody...
I understand the "business model" perfectly, and it sucks. TDS gets to sell bandwidth that they know that they cannot deliver to their subscribers, and instead of upgrading their network so that they CAN provide the bandwidth that they promised, they just continue to rope in more DSL subscribers, so everybody gets throttled. This behavior is unethical and should be illegal, and the FCC should rein them in.

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 Quote by John Creighto If the ISP throttles the service then it isn't an unlimited plan.
This isn't correct. For hardwired service, you pay for the peak bandwidth that you select, then you can transmit as much as you want, not to exceed that speed.

For cell phones. you can have an unlimited plan of data (ususally charged by the kb)for a flat monthly rate, how fast you can upload/download is *hopefully* between certain parameters, but there are so many factors that effect cell phones, including if you even get a signal, that there really aren't written in stone guarantees. They say "our new fastest 4G network and you get 19k, yeah, I had the techs check. Answer - we're going to send an engineer out to the tower. After weekly calls for 6 months, I gave up and switched.

Net neutrality is not what a lot of people think it is. It's not about service plans, or the speed you get or how much data is in your plan, etc...

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 Quote by Evo This isn't correct. For hardwired service, you pay for the peak bandwidth that you select, then you can transmit as much as you want, not to exceed that speed.
Paying for peek bandwidth provides no guarantee of service. Shouldn't there be some minimum standard of service we should expect? I can accept throttling of people if they exceed some agreed upon quota of bandwidth which is clearly outlined in the contract and not buried in the fine print (You know the type of clause people have to put their initials by). However, the right to arbitrarily discriminate based on the type of service to me seems unjust.

 For cell phones. you can have an unlimited plan of data (ususally charged by the kb)for a flat monthly rate, how fast you can upload/download is *hopefully* between certain parameters, but there are so many factors that effect cell phones, including if you even get a signal, that there really aren't written in stone guarantees. They say "our new fastest 4G network and you get 19k, yeah, I had the techs check. Answer - we're going to send an engineer out to the tower. After weekly calls for 6 months, I gave up and switched. Net neutrality is not what a lot of people think it is. It's not about service plans, or the speed you get or how much data is in your plan, etc...
It would be difficult to sate any firm rules for cell phones at this time but in the future we should be able to improve our metrics and integrate cellar service with WI-fi hot spots to provide better reliability in urban areas.

 Quote by turbo You can't buy an unlimited plan around here. If you get ADSL from TDS (the only option in this area) you get it on their terms. They advertise their top package as "5Mbps", for instance, but never disclose openly that the 5Mbps is the maximum speed that you "might" get. (Right! In your dreams!) I live a mile from the switch, with a perfectly clean copper pair, and only once have I gotten more than 4Mbps. Standard is about 3Mbps. So you pay for phantom bandwidth that is never delivered, and the population density out here is so low that TDS will never willingly upgrade their equipment.
Wow. I'm chillin' at 20 Mbps.

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 Quote by DoggerDan Wow. I'm chillin' at 20 Mbps.
Rubbing it in is only going to piss off the DSL folks like Turbo and company. Factoid.

Rhody...

 Quote by rhody Rubbing it in is only going to piss off the DSL folks like Turbo and company. Factoid. Rhody...
I just ran the AT&T speed test on this desktop - 4.7 Mbps for downloads and .41 Mbps for uploads.

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 Quote by WhoWee I just ran the AT&T speed test on this desktop - 4.7 Mbps for downloads and .41 Mbps for uploads.