Net Neutrality Is Coming to an End

According to the Forbes article, it states:

In just a few weeks, the FCC will vote to eliminate net neutrality. The vote isn't in doubt: with Pai in charge, the anti-neutrality votes have a 3-2 edge.

What Is Net Neutrality?

Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers must treat all data on the internet the same. For instance, under these principles, internet service providers are unable to intentionally block slow down or charge money for specific websites and online content.
Without net neutrality, Internet service providers will be able to charge web companies for "fast lanes," which they can't do now. Smaller online video or video game providers could be relegated to the slow lane. The biggest service providers (Netflix, Google, Amazon, and others) may have to cough up extra money, but the consumers won't see any of that-all the benefits will go to the ISPs. Consumers could see their rates go up.

A recent example of this was in July 2017, when Verizon Wireless was accused of slowing down Netflix. And get this. **Ajit Pai, the head of FCC used to be a lawyer for Verizon Wireless. **What a coincidence, I know. Here is him reading his mean tweets.

We all must be getting riled up, because soon net neutrality may come to an end; but let us take a look at the for and against agreements for net neutrality.

Arguments for Net Neutrality

  1. Digital rights and freedoms
    Net neutrality will foster free speech and lead to further democratic participation of the internet.
  2. Intolerance for slow-loading sites
    Internet users will not like the slower loading time.
  3. Competition and Innovation
    Proponents of net neutrality argue that allowing for preferential treatment of internet traffic, or tiered service, would put newer online companies at a disadvantage and slow innovation in online services. Tim Wu, a Columbia law professor, argues that, without network neutrality, the internet will undergo a transformation from market ruled by innovation to one ruled by deal-making.
  4. Preserving Internet Standards
    Slowing down certain sites would signal the decline of fundamental internet standards.

Arguments Against

  1. Reduction in Investment
    Instead of billions of broadband investment driving other sectors of the economy forward, any reduction in this spending will stifle growth across the entire economy. Opponents say that net neutrality would make it more difficult for internet service providers and other network operators to recoup their investments in broadband networks.
  2. Potentially Increase in Taxes
    FCC commissioner Ajit Pai, who opposed the 2015 Title II reclassification of ISPs, says that the ruling allows new fees and taxes on broadband by subjecting them to the telephone-style taxes under the Universal Service Fund.
  3. Unnecessary Regulations
    According to PayPal founder and Facebook investor Peter Thiel in 2011, "Net neutrality has not been necessary to date. I don't see any reason why it's suddenly become important, when the internet has functioned quite well for the past 15 years without it...Government attempts to regulate technology have been extraordinarily counterproductive in the past.
  4. Charging Everyone the Same Price Isn't Fair
    People who use more should pay more.
  5. Protect Average Users from Power Users
    It will help guard against bandwidth "hogs" (e.g. gamers, movie streaming companies, etc.), and unleash innovative pricing models and schemes that benefit end users.

I believe the adamant claim for net neutrality is largely exaggerated. Is it true that once net neutrality comes to an end, consumers will pay more for the services? Won't competition and innovation solve that? There must be a reason why Peter Thiel says that net neutrality has not been necessary to date.

What are your thoughts, monkeys??

Comments (36)

Dec 6, 2017

An important consideration that's often lost in the debate is the current landscape of ISP's in the United States. There is a powerfully entrenched and muscular duopoly that dominates nearly every major market. According to the 2015 FCC Internet Access Services report, 76% of developed areas in the U.S. had two or less ISPs to choose from if they desired official broadband speeds-- this constitutes 96% of U.S. population

This is not a market dynamic that can regulate itself through standard competitive market forces. I don't think the case that removing regulation makes the landscape more competitive or favorable for small players is very compelling either for the following reasons.

The reporting requirements associated with the Net Neutrality regulation provide exemption for any carrier with less than 250,000 subscribers. This provides relief to many of the smaller, local players while still serving the intended purpose.

Secondly, in an unregulated environment the entrenched regional duopoly can leverage their scale to extort larger payments from both the content providers and the consumers. This would further cement their dominance and erode competition .

Enough small ISP's are concerned about the effects a repeal would have on their ability to stay in the market that they've coalesced and petitioned to keep Title II in place.

I don't necessarily think it's an end of the world scenario, but I'm hard pressed to understand the argument as to why I stand to benefit from ceding more power and discretion to Comcast.

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Dec 5, 2017

Fuck off. The internet was doing just fine before the 2015 Obama takeover.

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Best Response
Dec 6, 2017

For somebody who is so intolerant of empty "platitudes" this is a surprisingly hollow response. It's nothing more than a lazy, partisan refrain that's meant to reframe the individual issue into a regulatory overreach narrative that can be absorbed as part of the larger ideological clash. Funny how the standard of merit is considerably higher for those with opposing viewpoints.

However, in reality it reveals a shallow understanding of Title II and common carrier laws in the U.S. or an unwillingness to think critically about the individual issue. I'm not interested in debating partisan narratives, but I'll gladly participate in discourse related to the issue.

First off, lets establish an accurate historical perspective. Title II, the legal foundation for net neutrality, is not new legislation. It was enacted in 1934 as part of The Communications Act. It was then amended in 1996 to offer less regulation and account for the emergence of nascent internet technology.

In 2015, the FCC voted to reclassify ISPs as Common Carriers which is what made them subject to Title II. However, it was a light-touch tailored approach in which over 700 codified rules were deemed inapplicable to ISPs.

Now, based on the insinuation of your parroted comment, ISP's can't be classified as a Common Carriers because they were not previously classified as such. Or, maybe your implying that they just shouldn't be. By that reasoning, Microsoft should not have been ruled a monopoly in 1999 because it wasn't a monopoly in 1990. It's an absurd premise that ignores the obvious reality that businesses and industries evolve. If you don't believe that ISPs have converged over time towards the legal definition of a Common Carrier than make that argument, I'd like to understand it.

Otherwise, if all you have to offer on the issue is a duplicitous platitude motivated by ideology and rhetorical effect then I suppose I should fuck off.

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Dec 6, 2017
Schreckstoff:

For somebody who is so intolerant of empty "platitudes"

I don't know what this is referring to. When have I made this claim. Can you show me?

Schreckstoff:

It's nothing more than a lazy, partisan refrain that's meant to reframe the individual issue into a regulatory overreach narrative that can be absorbed as part of the larger ideological clash. Funny how the standard of merit is considerably higher for those with opposing viewpoints.

Blah blah blah. Cry for me dude.

Schreckstoff:

However, in reality it reveals a shallow understanding of Title II and common carrier laws in the U.S. or an unwillingness to think critically about the individual issue. I'm not interested in debating partisan narratives, but I'll gladly participate in discourse related to the issue.

Oh look, another liberal pretending that a simple issue is very complicated..

Schreckstoff:

First off, lets establish an accurate historical perspective. Title II, the legal foundation for net neutrality, is not new legislation. It was enacted in 1934 as part of The Communications Act.

What does this have to do with the internet and how it was performing prior to Obama's takeover in 2015?

Schreckstoff:

In 2015, the FCC voted to reclassify ISPs as Common Carriers which is what made them subject to Title II. However, it was a light-touch tailored approach in which over 700 codified rules were deemed inapplicable to ISPs.

Now, based on the insinuation of your parroted comment, ISP's can't be classified as a Common Carriers because they were not previously classified as such. Or, maybe your implying that they just shouldn't be. By that reasoning, Microsoft should not have been ruled a monopoly in 1999 because it wasn't a monopoly in 1990. It's an absurd premise that ignores the obvious reality that businesses and industries evolve. If you don't believe that ISPs have converged over time towards the legal definition of a Common Carrier than make that argument, I'd like to understand it.

Otherwise, if all you have to offer on the issue is a duplicitous platitude motivated by ideology and rhetorical effect then I suppose I should fuck off.

You're literally arguing with yourself and with arguments that you've conjured in your own mind. My point is quite simple: the government is shit and the internet is awesome. You don't need something that's shit governing that which is awesome.

Straightforward, intuitive. It may not conform to your political priors but that's your problem isn't it.

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Dec 7, 2017
Esuric:

Fuck off. The internet was doing just fine before the 2015 Obama takeover.

That isn't even close to a proper representation of the situation.

The internet was doing fine with net neutrality since its inception. Obama ensured that it would continue that way. Now, the Trump administration is literally doing the opposite - ending net neutrality and ensuring that the internet will not continue to operate as it as been.

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Dec 7, 2017
CRE:
Esuric:

Fuck off. The internet was doing just fine before the 2015 Obama takeover.

The internet was doing fine with net neutrality since its inception. Obama ensured that it would continue that way. Now, the Trump administration is literally doing the opposite - ending net neutrality and ensuring that the internet will not continue to operate as it as been.

Nah, just an opportunity to tax and regulate it.

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai explained how smaller ISPs are struggling as a result of net neutrality regulations:

"Among our nation's 12 largest internet service providers," he told the audience, "domestic broadband capital expenditures decreased by 5.6%, or $3.6 billion, between 2014 and 2016." I ask him to elaborate. "As I've seen it and heard it," he says, "Title II regulations have stood in the way of investment. Just last week, for instance, we heard from 19 municipal broadband providers. These are small, government-owned ISPs who told us that 'even though we lack a profit motive, Title II has affected the way we do business.' "

The small ISPs reported that Title II was preventing them from rolling out new services and deepening their networks. "These are the kinds of companies that we want to provide a competitive alternative in the marketplace," Mr. Pai says. "It seems to me they're the canaries in the coal mine. If the smaller companies are telling us that the regulatory overhang is too much, that it hangs like a black cloud over our businesses--as 22 separate ISPs told us three weeks ago--then it seems to me there's a problem here that needs to be solved."

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Dec 7, 2017

Remember when AT&T blocked Skype and other VOIP services on their network? When Verizon slowed down Netflix? AT&T blocking Facetime?

You keep arguing that it is good for the consumer because these companies will innovate, but we've seen what cable companies do and none of that is good for the consumer. The tech and internet space will also have a much higher barrier to entry for new companies if they're allowed to throttle sites that can't pay them to not do so.

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Dec 7, 2017

My lesson for you. Just because you don't see a solution at the current moment doesn't mean there isn't one.

Google and Netflix could buy Comcast if they wanted to. They could buy it and split it into 1000 smaller companies and sell them off one by one if they like. Google and Netflix are hardly the "little guys."

They don't want to do that. Instead, they're lobbying government to do the dirty work for them. We've seen this time and time again. Big business allies with government to squeeze the little guy. To kill competition. We've already seen this with the decline in capex within this space. See the article I've linked - there's actual data there - not just conjured dooms day fantasies.

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Dec 7, 2017

They don't need to do that, though, because smaller players that might compete with them would be pushed out due to the cost of trying to avoid being throttled.

I think you forgot to link the article

Edit: Nevermind, I see it in your post above - I'll give it a read.

Dec 8, 2017

The idea of net neutrality is bullshit to begin with, it a marketing campaign for big internet companies to mitigate their costs. Could a company theoretically get an advantage by paying more for priority access? Sure, but companies like netflix are already doing this despite net neutrality rules. Netflix for example has its own distribution servers in local telecom internet hubs, which is a blantant violation of net neutrality regulations.

These regulations were built purely on theoretical potential abuses that had almost no evidence except a few tidbits of circumstantial evidence.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Dec 8, 2017

I could maybe agree that Internet is a public good, but what net neutrality protects is Netflix or data hogs. Sorry, but streaming whole seasons and hogging data isn't a public good or service.

Dec 7, 2017

lol'ing at the idea of Comcast or Verizon being 'innovative'

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Dec 7, 2017

So you don't think building digital hard line linked networks and providing huge area wireless coverage is innovative? I bet you think useless sunglasses with cameras in them are innovative though.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

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Dec 7, 2017
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