Net Neutrality

3 Charts That Show The FCC is Full of Malarkey on Net Neutrality and Title II

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As Peter Suderman has noted, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has voted in favor of reclassifying the Internet from an "information service" to being a "telecommunication service" and thus subject to same sort of Title II regulations that have governed voice telephony for decades.

There will now be a long process of what exactly any of this means, followed by inevitable court battles (the FCC is 0 for 2 in recent attempts to expand its authority over the Internet and is hoping this third time will be the charm) and, eventually, possibly some actual implementation of what FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler insists will be "light touch" regulation. Even though Title II rules give the FCC massive power to involve itself in every aspect of how Internet Service Providers (ISPs) go about their business, Wheeler has promised that the agency will in fact hardly use any of the powers granted to the FCC. 

Today's vote is a major victory for proponents of Net Neutrality, a somewhat amorphous set of attitudes and policies which generally hold that ISPs should not be allowed to block legal sites, prioritize some traffic over other traffic, or create "fast" and "slow" lanes for the delivery of certain content and services. Clemson University economist, longtime Reason contributor, and former chief economist at the FCC Thomas W. Hazlett defines net neutrality somewhat archly as "a set of rules…regulating the business model of your local ISP."

The typical nightmare scenario that gets trotted out goes something like this: Comcast, the giant ISP that controls NBC Universal, will push its own content on users by simply blocking sites that offer competing content. Or maybe it will degrade the video streams of Netflix and Amazon so no one will want to watch them. Or perhaps Comcast will just charge Netflix a lot of money to make sure its streams flow smoothly over that "last mile" that the ISP controls. Or perhaps Comcast will implement tighter and tighter data caps on the amount of usage a given subscriber can use per month, but exempt its own content from any such limitations.

It's worth noting—indeed, it's worth stressing—that essentially none of these scenarios has come to pass over the past 20 years, despite the lack of Net Neutrality legislation. There have been occasional cases of this or that issue, but they were generally either the result of human error, technological breakdowns, or short-lived policies that customer complaints put an end to. The closest to anything like the nightmare scenarios above involved accusations by Netflix that Comcast and other ISPs were deliberately throttling its streams. Comcast said it was doing no such thing, a perspective supported by researchers at MIT and elsewhere who found that despite huge increases in demand and traffic, Netflix attempted to push its streams via congested parts of the Internet. Netflix eventually agreed to pay Comcast higher fees for what is known as a "peering" arrangement that is not technically a Net Neutrality issue. What the situation actually underscores is that for all the gee-whiz magic of the Internet, it depends ultimately on physical hardware and resources that somebody somewhere has to build, expand, and pay for. Those charges to constantly upgrade and expand capacity will ultimately be borne by content providers such as Netflix, ISPs such as Comcast, and consumers such as you and me. 

Commenting on the Netflix-Comcast pissing match at a recent tech conference, Mark Cuban, who made his first big pile with early streaming service Broadcast.com, remarked, "It's a battle between two fairly large companies… [They] worked it out, just like happens in business every day." Cuban, it should be noted, is an archenemy of Net Neutrality and Title II, saying at the same conference that the FCC and the government "will fuck everything up" and "Having them overseeing the Internet scares the shit out of me."

However you feel about Net Neutrality generally and the application of Title II regs to the Internet, it's fair to say that much of the pretext for FCC action is suspect. That is, proponents typically claim that ISPs have monopolies over their local markets, that they offer shoddy and degraded connections, and that the United States is way behind other, more civilized countries whose governments more heavily regulate the Internet.

With that in mind, here are some charts about the current state of the Internet in the United States and elsewhere, some of which come from the FCC's own analysis.

FCC

The above comes from the FCC's summary of "Internet Access Services: Status as of December 31, 2012" (the most recent document in the series that I found online). Over the four-year period covered, the number, variety, and speed of Internet connections increased significantly. That's not something you would expect if monopoly conditions actually existed. Given the increasing centrality of the Internet, you might see more people signing up for service, but a true monopoly would have no interest in or need to improve speed or variety of service.

But it turns out, at least according to the FCC—the very agency that now says it needs to regulate the Internet like a public utility in order to ensure a free and open Internet—that the idea of monopoly ISPs is false.

FCC

According to this FCC chart, 80 percent of households in America have at least two fixed and/or mobile providers that offer "at least 10 Mbps downstream speeds," which until recently was far above what the agency concerned high-speed broadband. In 2010, the FCC defined as service that offered a 4Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream. Just a few weeks ago, it arbitrarily upped its definition to be 25Mbps downstream and 3Mbps upstream. (Net oldtimers will remember the old days of 56k modems and the like.) At the end of 2012, says the FCC, fully 96 percent of households had two or more providers offering 6Mbps downstream and 1.5Mbps upstream service. That may not give you all the bandwidth you want at any given moment, but it also presents a picture different than the monopoly situation that many Net Neutrality proponents rail against. (If you're curious about options in your area, check out the National Broadband Map.)

As important, think about how the delivery of the Internet has evolved, first from a university-based system to early commercial providers using phone lines, then to various types of fixed connections (such as DSL and coaxial cable and increasingly fiber and mobile services). Does anyone think that in 2035 we'll be getting the Internet via a cable that pops up in your living room and also provides televison programs? What increased regulation almost always does is freeze into place existing structures and business models. Certainly that's the case with telephony, where the heavily regulated Bell monopoly fought hard, and for a long time very successfully against all sorts of innovation, from alternative methods of long-distance delivery to accessories such as answering machines to letting people own (rather than rent) their phones. "Communism is a drag, man," Lenny Bruce riffed. "It's like one big telephone company."

One of the other points that is often raised in Net Neutrality debates is that the United States lags behind foreign countries via virtually any comparison: market penetration, connection speed, cost, you name it. Last November, Bret Swanson, a researcher at The American Enterprise Institute, produced a compelling rebuttal to such arguments, which often relied on misleading data (such as advertised maximum speeds rather than actual delivered speeds) and dubious measures of network capabilities. In "Internet traffic as a basic measure of broadband health," Swanson argues that 

Internet traffic volume is an important indicator of broadband health, as it encapsulates and distills the most important broadband factors, such as access, coverage, speed, price, and content availability. US Internet traffic is two to three times higher than that of most advanced nations, and the United States generates more Internet traffic per capita and per Internet user than any major nation except for South Korea.

Here's one of his figures:

AEI

The thrust of Swanson's basic argument is also supported by the annual "State of the Internet" reports produced by cloud-computing service Akamai, which typically shows the United States doing well in most comparisons.

Nobody loves his or her ISP. I know I don't—and I speak as someone who has dealt with virtually the entire rogues gallery of major players. However, the question isn't simply whether Comcast has the shittiest customer service in the country (it does), it's whether the company's products are getting better and whether it faces more or less competition based on market forces.

And that, to me, is quite possibly the most frustrating aspect of the Net Neutrality and Title II debate. To the extent that cable companies once had absolute local monopolies, it was precisely due to local governments granting them that. There are all sorts of things that local, state, and federal governments—not to mention nominally independent agencies such as the FCC—might do to reduce or remove barriers to entry for competitors. As FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai told Reason in an interview released yesterday,

There are a lot of markets where consumers want and could use more competition. That's why since I've become the commissioner, I've focused on getting rid of some of the regulatory underbrush that stands in the way of some upstart competitors providing that alternative—streamlining local permit rules, getting more wireless infrastructure out there to give a mobile alternative, making sure we have enough spectrum in the commercial marketplace—but these kind of Title II common carrier regulations ironically will be completely counterproductive. It's going to sweep a lot of these smaller providers away who simply don't have the ability to comply with all these regulations, and moreover it's going to deter investment in broadband networks, so ironically enough, this hypothetical problem that people worry about is going to become worse because of the lack of competition.

Pai calls the new rules "a solution that won't work to a problem that doesn't exist." I think he's right about that and it should give even the most uncritical supporter of the FCC action pause that the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a robust supporter of Net Neutrality, has seen fit to write a "Dear FCC" warning:

The FCC will evaluate "harm" based on consideration of seven factors: impact on competition; impact on innovation; impact on free expression; impact on broadband deployment and investments; whether the actions in question are specific to some applications and not others; whether they comply with industry best standards and practices; and whether they take place without the awareness of the end-user, the Internet subscriber.

There are several problems with this approach.  First, it suggests that the FCC believes it has broad authority to pursue any number of practices—hardly the narrow, light-touch approach we need to protect the open Internet. Second, we worry that this rule will be extremely expensive in practice, because anyone wanting to bring a complaint will be hard-pressed to predict whether they will succeed. For example, how will the Commission determine "industry best standards and practices"? As a practical matter, it is likely that only companies that can afford years of litigation to answer these questions will be able to rely on the rule at all. Third, a multi-factor test gives the FCC an awful lot of discretion, potentially giving an unfair advantage to parties with insider influence.

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245 responses to “3 Charts That Show The FCC is Full of Malarkey on Net Neutrality and Title II

  1. I have been hiding posts on facebook all day. I may begin purging my friends pretty soon.

    1. I tried discussing this with another technological illiterate who nonetheless was baying at the moon for Title II reclassification. I don’t know the first thing about the architecture or infrastructure of the internet, but it’s not difficult to see how the FCC treats content on other regulated media, so the idea of granting this agency discretion over a heretofore blessedly liberated medium is, well, unsatisfying.

      But for my fellow discussant, NN is more an article of faith than a concrete policy proposal. It cures what ails ya, costs nothing, brings you closer to God, and best of all you’ll never need to worry about companies doing something they weren’t and had no interest doing in the first place.

      1. To an uninformed user, it seems that basic “first amendment — data should be free — cumbaya” reasoning applies — all packets should travel freely.

        But their eyes glaze over when you ask why a 30-year-old packet-switched data network should be regulated like an 80-year-old circuit-switched telephony network. Or why a 10-year-old parasitic data-streaming service should be allowed to cripple a 30-year-old packet-switched data network.

        1. Parasitic? I assume you are talking about netflix. And you obviously know nothing.

          All packets should be treated equally. Nobody, ever, has ever argued against that well. There is no good reason except Comcast’s bottom line.

          Idiots.

          1. All packets should be treated equally. Nobody, ever, has ever argued against that well.

            Or you’re just too stupid to understand their points because you’re too busy with your two-minute hate against ISPs to do any research on how the government actually regulates business.

            Fucking flat-earther.

            1. Yeah, what’s the argument? Why should these monopolies be able to pick and choose which video service wins?

              Failure.

              1. It’s not a question of “Which video service wins,” it’s a question of whether any video services will be able to deliver their content to you in a manner that’s watchable, period.

                1. First of all Net Neutrality will allow Fred’s books to compete on the same level as Barnes&Noble;. It will allow Rusty’s burgers to compete with McDonald’s. It allows a level playing field where a small business is on the same level as big business. It opens up the market to competition. ISP’s are only as good as the people who run them. Some people may be unbias others not. For those with a bias will try to silence their critics. Net Neutrality prevents them from doing that.

                  As far as improvements go:are you using the same phone that they had in the 1950’s? Did cell phones exist in the 1950’s? I rest my case.

                  1. ” ISP’s are only as good as the people who run them. Some people may be unbias others not. For those with a bias will try to silence their critics. ”

                    Is it still legal to switch ISPs ?

                  2. First of all Net Neutrality will allow Fred’s books to compete on the same level as Barnes&Noble;.

                    ROFL

                    There are people that believe this.

              2. Your arguments are so stuck in the 1990s. Laughable!

                The FCC already has tools to mitigate behavior like that, it’s unfortunate that they’ve arbitrarily expanded their power to control the entire Internet.

                The Internet is what it is because it is an open market. It is organic. Regulating it now will slow it down and put the US at the bottom of broadband innovation. Just look at what regulation did to the pharma market and healthcare market. Yeah, those are working out real well…

                1. Open market? LOL. Cable has never been an open market. If it was there would the last mile unbundling.

                  Sonic CEO saying he welcomes Utility-style regulation.

                  http://www.dslreports.com/show…..ier-132800

                  Yall are idiots.

          2. “All packets should be treated equally. Nobody, ever, has ever argued against that well. ”

            Bullshit. QoS is a basic telecomunication protocol designed to prioritize packets.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quality_of_service

            1. Yeah, we aren’t talking about that. We are talking about paid prioritization.

              1. So you don’t want to watch vids online?

                I don’t understand your complaint.

                1. He doesn’t understand the point of price signals in a market.

            2. That’s what I was gonna post. Plus, you really don’t want all packets to be treated equally. Unless you intend to basically never watch a movie/make a phone call/pretty much anything time sensitive ever again.

      2. The talking point response for that is already out: Title II may be hamfisted, but the corporate interests had already blocked every less hamfisted means of accomplishing packet equality. So any side-effects are the fault of NN opponents.

        1. I’ve seen that too.

          “It’s your own fault that I shot you; you kept blocking my punches!”

        2. Sorry, this is one of the most blatantly false arguments with regard to this effort by the current administration and the FCC. Try this, please explain, even in general terms what problem has happened that this change to Title II is supposed to fix.

        3. So any side-effects are the fault of NN opponents.

          Shorter: FYTW

      3. Best way to describe it: Obamacare for the Internet. Service will go down, costs will go up. Oh, and there will be taxes, yes, there will be taxes!

        1. That sounds depressingly accurate.

        2. My take:

          http://www.dailypaul.com/32926…..neutrality

          I am also hoping that the FCC reschedules I-66, so we can get rid of these retarded HOV lanes. After all, cars are just like packets.

          1. And don’t forget bike lanes. We can’t prioritize by type of packet, I mean vehicle, now can we?

        3. The FCC is going to give us Net Neutrality, and they are going to give it to us good and hard.

      4. Much of what you need to know about Net Neutrality can be gleaned from who its supporters are:

        1. George Soros pumped $196M into getting NN passed over the last decade.
        2. Robert McChesney of the Free Press, a liberal lobby, said: “Our job is to make media reform part of our broader struggle for democracy, social justice, and, dare we say it, socialism.”
        3. Julius Genachowski, President Obama’s first FCC chairman, hired Free Press’s Jen Howard as his press secretary.
        4. The FCC’s chief diversity officer, Mark Lloyd, has co-authored a Free Press report demanding regulation of political talk radio.
        5. The FCC’s National Broadband Plan cited research from Free Press and other left-wing groups backing net neutrality more than 50 times.

        This is one of those stories where everybody is fucked up: the big, quasi-monopolistic corporations, the FCC, the astroturfing left-wing activists, and the politicians. All you really need to know is that Obama beat up on the FCC chairman until the man had a ‘change of heart’ and crafted this 300 page jam-down that nobody in the public got to see before the vote was taken. If President Jug-Ears is for something it has got to be fucked up.

    2. I’ve been training my FB feed to not show me anything from the gibbering leftist idiocy of subjective reality for a year or so now.

      It’s blissful and saves me unfriending people.

      1. So, instead you’re supporting the business model of one of the tech industry’s biggest, gibbering leftist idiots: Mark Zuckerberg. Why not train FB to fuck off and get a life?

    3. I may begin purging my friends pretty soon.

      If they ask why you unfriended them, just tell them “Net Neutrality, baby”

  2. Does anyone think that in 2035 we’ll be getting the Internet via a cable that pops up in your living room and also provides televison programs? What increased regulation almost always does is freeze into place existing structures and business models.

    Seems like you answered your own question.

    1. Think of all the money you’ll save not having to buy “the latest and greatest”!!

      BONUS!

      1. Unfortunately, today’s “latest and greatest” will probably remain that for a while if this stands. I remember when 56K was cutting edge. It’s a good thing we didn’t have NN 30 years ago.

  3. It’s such a myopic argument to think that regulation can improve the flow of the internet.

    If there’s one thing urban planning has taught us is that regulation is mostly good for creating traffic jams.

    1. It’s never a question of outcomes, even predictably awful outcomes. It’s a question of moral posturing.

    2. No system will be 100% efficient. There will always be hurdles to get over. But the internet was the closest we had to flawless design. Partly because of its unregulated nature.

    3. Are you free to say whatever you want on the phone? I’ve used profanity when talking over the phone and I was never penalized for it. I’ve said politically incorrect things and I’ve never been penalized for it.

      1. psst there’s nothing “masculist” (masculine) about being a submissive leftoid who sits down to piss with the feminists and whines that someone owes you free shit. Leftoidism is patently feminine–you are a disgusting self-fraud.

  4. How surprising that EFF wants to eat its cake and have it too.

    1. No, The EFF are a bunch of computer geek fanboys who want SJWs to like them. They are only on the side of freedom by chance.

      1. It’s the one thing that makes me think I wasted money donating to them. They’re good on just about everything else, really.

        1. Ditto. I don’t understand how they can be against the government conducting warrantless mass surveillance of email and at the same time think that it’s a great idea for that same government to regulate Internet traffic.

  5. But my goddamn Netflix buffers when everyone else in my hipster neighborhood tries to binge watch Hose of Cards at the same time I’m trying to! There oughta be a law!

    Fucking goobers.

    1. “Hose of Cards” – is that on CBC, eh?

  6. Today’s vote is a major victory for proponents of Net Neutrality

    Can we stop calling it that now? We know it has nothing to do with being neutral about anything.

    I hate those filthy neutrals, anyway.

    1. Packet Equality

      1. Good luck with that. Let me know how it works out.

      2. No, you mean “packet taxes”. This has everything to do with the government taxing something else.

      3. Packet Justice

      4. Anyone ever notice how the words “equality” and “fairness” can always be trotted out as reasoning for the government to takeover anything? It’s a centuries old story now. All you have to do is make people think they’re getting a raw deal, which is hilarious considering how much internet has improved and gotten cheaper in the last decade.

        We’re just going to hand over the most important social forum in the history of ever, because fairness and equality. This proves there is no hope for humanity.

  7. As a practical matter, it is likely that only companies that can afford years of litigation to answer these questions will be able to rely on the rule at all

    They seem so close to getting it…

  8. FCC an awful lot of discretion, potentially giving an unfair advantage to parties with insider influence.

    Why is the concept of “Regulatory Capture” so hard for the advocates to comprehend?

    Comcast can spend millions on lobbying the FCC. Those who are worst affected can’t even buy them a hotdog.

    1. They can also have deep six-figure jobs waiting for them after their term at the FCC is over.

      1. Just like the jobs they had from before they were (s)elected to the FCC:

        https://www.fcc.gov/leadership

        1. YES.

          It seems that those who bounce in and out of Government vs. private sector these days do it to upgrade their contact list.

  9. Those charges to constantly upgrade and expand capacity will ultimately be borne by content providers such as Netflix, ISPs such as Comcast, and consumers such as you and me.

    “Those charges to constantly upgrade and expand capacity will ultimately be borne by consumers such as you and me.”

    There. Fixed that for you.

    1. Its worse than even that. The customer was going to get charged in either case. Either comcast raised prices on neflix and netflix raises prices on you, or comcast raises prices on you to pay for your cheap netflix account. At least in the former case only those consuming the service would be paying for it.

      THE ONLY THING THAT TITLE II CHANGES IS THE ADDITIONAL COSTS TO THE END CONSUMER IN THE FORM OF TAXES.

  10. DailyKos comments make me lose faith in humanity. All they care about is that they won and those evil corporate republicans who hate people lost.

    They have no idea what winning means. They are the dumbest group of people who think they are smart. Then when things go south they just keep blaming big corporations and republicans and satan, and promise that even more government will fix it!

    1. “Then when things go south they just keep blaming big corporations and republicans and satan, and promise that even more government will fix it!”

      They’re like the Venezuela of the internet!

    2. They’re already hedging their bets, and even at usually apolitical places like PC Gamer.

      The comments section is filled with people talking about how this will improve service magically, and IF it doesn’t it’s because of those ISPs being retaliatory.

      We know this is going to screw service, and ISPs WILL become nationalized after this.

  11. I, for one, welcome our new modem handshake tone overlords.

    1. BBS and Compuserv.

  12. NN proponents seem anxious to assure skeptics that the regulation is “light touch” with plenty of “forebearance”.

    This coin has two sides. The flip side is that the FCC has discretion, which means that it need not consistently interpret its own rules … which means that the rules really mean whatever the FCC says they mean in any given case.

    Though I’ve been using the Internet since the 1980’s, I’m not really up on its technical aspects. I do know, however, that discretionary regulations are pretty much the opposite of the rule of law.

    1. If you want to see what a “light touch” is, check the taxes and tariffs section of your phone bill.

    2. the regulation is “light touch” with plenty of “forebearance”

      Because somebody promised it. Why anyone would take the word of a faceless technocrat that probably won’t be in the same job in 5 years is beyond me.

    3. The main thing they want is the power. Then if they have a bad day, they have some way to take it out on everyone else.

  13. the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a robust supporter of Net Neutrality

    And to think I used to like and support these assclowns.

    Fuck them and the cyber-horse they rode in on.

    1. They’re a bit lit the ACLU – good on some issues and then they’ll stake out a position that makes your jaw hit the floor and wonder how that is consistent with their founding principles.

      1. This is one issue that I can’t and won’t forgive them on.

        They should know better. I even worked on a case with them, against the State Dept., that essentially legalized complex browser encryption!

        How the fucking hell they can reconcile that with the Feds taking over the Internet in all but name, I can’t understand.

      2. That’s just it. Founding principles are for the founding. They get dumped after everything is up and running.

        1. That’s just it. Founding principles are for the founding. They get dumped after everything is up and running.

          Any interest organization, no matter what its milieu, that isn’t expressly right-wing at its founding will inevitably become left-wing.

  14. “Even though Title II rules give the FCC massive power to involve itself in every aspect of how Internet Service Providers (ISPs) go about their business, Wheeler has promised that the agency will in fact hardly use any of the powers granted to the FCC. ”

    I hardly know what to say to that. Perhaps he could give us an example where government delivered on the promise of ‘just the tip’. That statement alone should convince every sane person to tell the FCC to fuck off.

    The income tax was promised to be small, unintrusive, and for a limited time. Now it is a monster that consumes people’s lives.

    This is not going to end well.

    1. Yep.

      And the Team Red opponents of today are going to have such fun making content regulations once they get their hands on the FCC in the future that they will forget all about their ‘principled opposition’.

      The only amusement I will get out of this is watching the proponents squirm when the Socons start regulating porn and other content.

      1. Who really needs to have four adult movies streaming at the same time, right?

        1. Aw man, when they come to ban the free internet porn, that’s the day I throw my laptop in the river and give up electronics.

      2. “And the Team Red opponents of today are going to have such fun making content regulations once they get their hands on the FCC in the future that they will forget all about their ‘principled opposition’.”

        Well you can throw your fears aside because that will never happen. The lefts have infiltrated the Fed agencies from top to bottom. When a Republican is installed at the top the rank and file just resist and bide their time.

        That is their entire reason for the focus against public unions like what Scott Walker has fought against in Wisconsin.

    2. Haha, was going to post a “just the tip” comment but I see I was beaten to the punch.

      Boy, vague regulations are just the thing to encourage business: Have Gun, Will Nudge indeed.

    3. “I hardly know what to say to that.”

      I know what to say to that:
      BULL
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      SHIT!

    4. The proposed regulations also specify, in writing, that neutrality apply it “lawful” and “legal” internet traffic.

      Which is a pretty big opening for the FCC to step in an mandate throttling of pirated movies.

    5. “Wheeler has promised that the agency will in fact hardly use any of the powers granted to the FCC.”

      Yes, that’s what they all say. However, when the FCC is pushed into a corner because ISPs don’t just automatically do whatever it is the FCC would like…

      Why, then, they’ll just have to really use those powers. Not that they wanted to, really. They just had to, because ISPs weren’t cooperating. It’s not really their fault, see?

  15. A monopoly can only exist in the real world if there is government legislation supporting it. This decision brings us closer to a monopoly, not further away from one.

    1. No. It’s a matter of concentrated power. It doesn’t matter who has it, the government or some corporation/organization/person. You’d still get a monopoly. What’s needed is to disperse all power. At this point in time, though, by far the biggest concentration of power happens to lie with government.

      1. Concentrated power is unlikely in the real world apart from government backing, since only government has the legal monopoly on violence. Corporations are established by government decree, so you cannot completely take them out of the “government” column.

      2. DarrenM|2.26.15 @ 6:49PM|#
        …”It doesn’t matter who has it, the government or some corporation/organization/person. You’d still get a monopoly.”…

        Show me one (1) monopoly that is not backed by the government.

        1. In most of the country there is only one movie theater within an hour drive.

          1. That’s not a monopoly.

            1. Agreed, that’s not even close to a monopoly. Furthermore, using population as a metric it’s not true.

              Does anyone really care that you can’t get to a movie theater if you live in the center of Alaska? Going by surface area to judge something that’s based upon population density is absurd.

          2. GODDAMNIT I LIVE IN NORTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA AND I HAVE TO DRIVE TWO HOURS TO SEE THE OPERA! FUCKING CORPORATE OPPRESSION!

      3. Excellent. Open the competitive sluice gates and let’s wash away the incumbent firms.

    2. A monopoly can only exist in the real world if there is government legislation supporting it.

      That’s not exactly true. What monopolies require to exist is high barriers to entry, which may exist for reasons other than govt.

      1. Name some, please.

      2. Wrong.

        Through natural innovation, natural barriers to entry in markets gets smaller over time… Such as publishing or retail sales, both things which one required huge investments, whereas today I could start selling retail products to potentially hundreds of millions through eBay, Amazon, etc, etc, etc.

        The only barriers to entry which are both permanent and backed by the guys with guns, are those instituted, supported, and maintained by governments.

      3. the list you provided must have been deleted. Please post again.

  16. The typical nightmare scenario that gets trotted out goes something like this: Comcast, the giant ISP that controls NBC Universal, will push its own content on users by simply blocking sites that offer competing content.

    Sure they will, because that worked so well for AOL.

    1. AOL didn’t secure their monopoly first.

  17. The charts are fine, and they show, clearly, that the facts are not as they are represented by those wishing to exercise control over the people using the internet.
    And, since the only motive is exercising that control, the facts are totally irrelevant to the issue.
    Thank you.

    1. The charts are fine only if you believe that wireless service is actually similar or equal enough to fixed line access. The reality is they are not even close, primarily as wireless services are significantly more costly for high usages.

      1. I guess you haven’t heard of t-mobile before.

        Some people also might just not need such high usages.

  18. What I’ve come to realize is that most Net Neutrality advocates are really just the intellectual heirs of (and sometimes not even heirs, something the same actual people as) the old advocates of cable regulations – the ones who insisted on requirements that every cable company be forced to carry EVERY local broadcast television channel, and pay for a free public access channel to boot.

    Ever wonder why there are three different PBS channels on your local cable station, along with the local High School district’s TV channel?
    THAT’S WHY.

    The motivating for factor for these people has always been that they fear “media consolidation”. This is a kind of code-phrase for Marxist left wingers. You see, they believe that if big corporations control the media, they can suppress “dissenting” news sources.

    This sort of idea that media consolidation was suppressing the righteous left-wing truth was a staple of leftist thought for years, but started looking really silly in recent years because of the internet.

    So what’s a leftist to do? Find a new boogeyman – the ISPs, who are going to conspire to throttle all the “alternative” new sources (like Alternet and Infoshop), and force everyone to read CNN.com, so they can control their minds.

    Ergo, Net Neutrality is the internet equivalent of mandating that the cable company carry public access TV.

    1. Ever wonder why there are three different PBS channels on your local cable station, along with the local High School district’s TV channel?

      Only 3? I counted one night how many channels the Charlie Rose Show was on simultaneously.

      Seven. SEVEN FUCKING CHANNELS AT ONCE.

    2. Yes. The same mindset that convinced leftists that popular talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity existed only because the Big Media Corporations “forced” them on the American radio audience, and the minute that the American people were offered a liberal alternative like Air America, conservative talk radio would magically whither away and die. See how well that worked.

      1. There’s just still too much media consolidation, you see.

        Information won’t really be free until Alternet videos download at the EXACT SAME SPEED as Netflix movies.

        It’s unfair for Netflix to be able to pay for CDNs or peering agreements. Everyone’s video files should reach every consumer’s house at the same speed. We have to ensure that it’s just as easy to download a Chomsky video as a Disney movie.

        1. As employee of one of those CDNs, I can assure you we’ve already made sure been told that we won’t be subject to such rules.

          1. Yes, see, that’s why one of the main arguments for net neutrality doesn’t work. Companies ALREADY pay for faster delivery in all sorts of ways. They have dedicated private networks that are effectively “fast lanes”.

            All NN does is say that ISPs can’t run their own CDN.

            1. And that consumers of ISPs can’t pay more to get their own CDN (or lower-congestion network). Henceforth, all of us have to share bandwidth.

              Your call to 911, my file downloads for work, and my neighbor’s penchant for reruns of Benson all get equal priority on a limited resource (network bandwidth).

              That’s gonna end well…

      2. Stuart Smalley is a Senator now, so he still got the last laugh.

    3. What’s hilarious about that is the fact that nearly every news organization in America has an obvious liberal bent.

  19. There are some serious fallacies in the arguments presented by Reason in this article. The worst of which is treating mobile connections as being, in any meaningful way, equal to fixed connections. They are not even close. And, since I still have been involved in bringing large network pipes to locations throughout the nation, I can state that there is often, still, not any meaningful choice in the majority of the US territory.

    1. …there is often, still, not any meaningful choice in the majority of the US territory.

      Do you believe putting the Feds in charge of the Internet will change that in any way?

      1. Well, it certainly will open up some areas to competition. After all, one of the major arguments in this push by the FCC was how Google was blocked from putting their lines up.

        1. I wasn’t aware NN had anything to do with this.

        2. Title II has nothing to do with Google “putting their lines up.”

          1. It has nothing to do with NN either.

            Let me say this though:

            Especially considering how far the commerce clause has been stretched out at this point I would not be opposed to the feds using it as a justification to remove/modify laws which prevent competition and prevent adding competing infrastructure at the local level.

            As far as I understand it was created more or less for such purposes.

            Local and state laws are interfering with internet commerce, which is by it’s very nature largely interstate.

            I think it’s easily argued that the feds have the rightful constitutional power to do this.

            1. I’m sure Congress will quickly act to ensure that local small competitors in the marketplace will have a fair shake, and that consolidation will be avoided.

              After all, they did that in banking… ummm, maybe that’s a bad example.

              Automotive! Automotive, they… well, not there either.

              Retail! Congress has really… ummm… oh shit.

              Manufacturing! Congress has taken a stand… oops. Not there either.

              Well hell, you’d think that most Congresscritters work on behalf of their major corporate donors and not the best interests of the people or something.

              1. But this is a valid use of the commerce clause.

                The entire point it exists is because under the Articles Of Confederation states were charging duties and what-not.

                It was meant to force the US to be a free trade zone.

                This is exactly what it was meant for. Local laws are interfering with interstate commerce and causing it to be irregular.

                I see no harm in the feds killing any laws which are preventing competing providers from building infrastructure.

                This is similar in application to using it to kill laws that prevent the sale of health insurance across state lines.

              2. I think you’re misunderstanding my position. I’m not saying they should be doing anything except removing laws which are preventing commerce.

                I’m not saying they should add any new “regulations” in the modern sense of the word.

                I’m simply saying if there are local laws which are preventing competing carriers from existing that they have the power and should use it to kill such laws.

                Since interstate commerce is conducted over the internet if local laws are preventing this from happening as efficiently and freely as it could be, it seems like a valid and good application.

                1. Gruber said that there were some people who were fooled into thinking that O’care would lower premiums by $2,400 a month.

    2. The majority of the U.S. territory is not where the majority of the U.S. people live.

      As for mobile, it may not offer the speeds that wired can, but a lot of what people use the internet for does not require those types of speeds. If mobile were lacking for its use cases, you wouldn’t see so many people on mobile devices.

      1. True, but access to fixed lines should not just be restricted to the well populated areas. Access being blocked by providers was one of the major reasons for this action by the FCC. And it also doesn’t matter that many folks do not use that much data, now, as the nation and world are moving toward greater and greater amounts of data being pushed. You do NOT see the majority of mobile users using their mobile devices for the truly intensive data streams and they don’t because the services either cost too much OR can’t handle it. That is why the ability of fixed line providers to reach out is still so important and treating this as a utility gives new providers a much greater access to do so.

        1. How does NN help people in Rural areas again?

          How does it create more competition and higher speeds?

          1. Magic. When Title II caps pricing, imposes operational requirements, increases costs and reduces profitability, the first thing that wireline ISPs will do is rush to build lit fiber out to farmhouses in North Dakota.

    3. I can state that there is often, still, not any meaningful choice in the majority of the US territory.

      Which these regs will do nothing to address.

      I’ll bet you good money on that and walk away a richer man.

      1. Does this open the door for new taxes on internet service that can be earmarked for expanding rural broadband? Is there anything preventing that from happening now (legally, I mean)?

        1. My short answer is: anything that you can imagine will happen or will be attempted by some fuckstain pol looking to get a highway named after him or her.

          There is no way that this will end well. None.

      2. Which these regs will do nothing to address

        Not entirely true. The regs the FCC is proposing will meaningfully address the lack of competition in ISPs, albeit in the service of further hampering any competitive entrants into the ISP space. Small and growing companies can seldom bear the regulatory costs associated with policies like the FCC’s proposed rules will require. As a result, fewer choices will enter the marketplace and consumers will be slavishly tethered to industry marketshare leaders with nary an alternative in sight.

        1. I suppose Google or Apple could jump in and start offering internet service.

          1. Google Fiber is already a thing.

            1. Then a Title II Jihad on them.

              1. They are positively giddy over this because they know they’ve got the money to jump the regulatory hurdles but all those upstart assholes who refused to work for them don’t.

                1. I dunno. Google made it clear just a few days ago that even they didn’t have the capital to deal with fucktard local governments:

                  http://tinyurl.com/kc55rmr

                  (Note that Google’s statement that they’re not inclined to build capacity in cities that overregulate is characterized as a “chilling threat.” Such is the capacity for drama that the techochamber media possesses.)

        2. The regs the FCC is proposing will meaningfully address the lack of competition in ISPs

          Where have you seen this?

      3. I’d happily take that bet since a great argument in this action was the inability of Google to get access to string their lines up. You can paypal that money to me.

        1. Isn’t that something entirely different from NN though?

    4. If you’ve been involved in building infrastructure, then you’re no doubt familiar with the regulatory hurdles cities and municipalities put in place regarding physical lines. You’ll also have no doubt noticed that those regulations tend to limit access to those markets to whichever company a.) gets there first, and b.) ponies up the biggest pile of cash.

      Guess what Title II regulation does nothing whatsoever to address.

      1. I’ll note that my municipality does not have FIOS as an option, not due to any technical hurdle or lack of desire by Verizon, but because Verizon has been unwilling to pony up for the thinly disguised shakedowns coming from City Hall. Because, naturally, if you want to lay fiber you should have to build the city a couple of parks first…

        1. No, no, no. The answer is that the municipality has to build its own network because of market failure!

          http://www.muninetworks.org/co…..d-failures

          Why do you hate children?

          1. Yep! The same guys who can’t keep the roads paved and pothole-free will surely deliver a robust, up-to-date, reliable and secure low-latency fiber network.

      2. Which is why treating this as a utility removes much of the ability of the local governments to put hurdles in the way. Thanks for helping my argument.

    5. Why not?

      My city has 3 internet ISPs not counting satellite.

      So what’s stopping other cities?

    6. You goddamn moron.

  20. I’ve been working with the Internet at all levels from configuring routers and laying cable to coding web apps and client-server comms since the late 80’s, and all I see in the current “debate” are two sets of FUD, one is fear of “The Government” and the other is fear of “malicious ISPs.”. Both are arguing against each other based on things that haven’t happened and are equally unlikely to happen, mostly for technical reasons. Talk to people who understand networks and network protocols, especially old-timers that kept their hand in it, and learn why things are the way they are, and why it’s unlikely either “power bloc” will end up with what they want.

    1. A whole pile of people here have similar backgrounds as yours and yet we still don’t think extending Federal control over the Internet to fix non-existent problems will have any positive outcomes.

      1. Your argument fails when you state the problems are “non-existent”. Bandwidth throttling is real, many ISPs have admitted to doing it and heck, just take a look at COMCAST’s agreement and what they forbid. I was a Comcast Internet person from before they even owned that part of their service. Fortunately, just as Comcast started blocking functions I needed, like VPN and hosting, another high speed provider came into town and I was able to jump ship. Many places do not have such a choice yet.

    2. Both are arguing against each other based on things that haven’t happened

      You *do* understand causality, right? RIGHT?

    3. Can we please dispense with the faux-techie acronyms meant to shut down discussion?

      Declaring arguments as “FUD” is retarded and not helpful.

    4. Convince me I can netmask away government and you might have a point.

    5. Oh, piss off, Oldfag. No one cares about your opinion.

  21. South Korea is smaller than So Cal, and most of their major cities are human sardine cans. Good luck trying to find personal space in Korea, but you’re close to internet infrastructure, which boost their internet speed.

    The United States is one GIANT piece of land with 50 semi autonomous states. I’ll probably die without setting a foot in at least 45 states. Some parts of the South stuck to AOL well into the 2000’s. You ain’t gonna see Korea level internet speed in the US for a long time.

    What NN fans ignore is that ISPs aren’t as heavily regulated in SK (to the best of my knowledge). Their economy is ran by conglomerates who are virtually safe from any “mom and pop” competition. More importantly, internet censorship (and online defamation lawsuits) in Asia will chill even the most progressive individual submissive to the government.

    Your internet is fine. Grab some lunch and get some play time with your kids, instead of blowing 10 hours in PC bangs.

    1. Nonsense. The fact that I can’t get the same access to multiple broadband ISPs offering at least 50Mbps consistently in a mountain cabin in West Virginia as I can in the middle of Los Angeles means that ISPs are throttling speeds and need to be regulated like copper phone lines, for some reason. At least that’s what NN supporters seem to be telling me.

  22. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is wha? I do……

    http://www.wixjob.com

    1. I see you didn’t read the article.

  23. So, was it 3 Democrats to 2 Republicans as Pai foretold? Are Democrats then responsible (at least this time) for screwing everything up (to paraphrase Mark Cuban)?

    1. Democrats hate– and I mean hate in the most intense, burning sense of the definition– democracy.

      1. Democracy isn’t great.

        What they hate is individuals choosing their own life path.

        Democracy is a useful tool for them as long as there are enough troglodytes who care more about ‘free shit’ and their gender/race/orientation identity than they care about a Bill of Rights, or, y’know, treating ppl based on content of character.

  24. Some of you may have noticed my recent absence from reason h ampersand r. Some of you probably thought I died in a blaze of glory (or alternatively in an auto-asphyxiation fantasy with a cambodian hooker gone awry). I am alive.

    I simply wanted to register one more comment here before our overlords at the FCC determine that reason is a KOCHTOPUS outlet that is unworthy of the peoples’ bandwidth .

    1. … an auto-asphyxiation fantasy with a cambodian hooker gone awry

      It’s hardly ‘auto’ asphyxiation if you’re going to involve the hooker. Or are you both choking yourselves? Now I’m just confused.

      1. I should have clarified that my definition of auto-asphyxiation involves me and hooker filling a garage up with automobile exhaust until the fumes so deprive us of oxygen that we manage to have a hallucinatory-fueled sexual experience unlike anything achievable with more mild hallucinogens like LSD or DMT.

        1. I have to imagine that cuts down on the post-coital cuddling, what with the increased CO exposure. Although I also imagine hookers don’t demand much in the way of cuddling to begin with.

          1. I pay good money for the girlfriend experience. As a result, I demand to be incessantly nagged to take out the fucking trash immediately after five minutes of sexy time that includes entirely missionary position while she continually asks if I’m done yet and then pulls out her copy of 50 shades and her vibrator to finish herself off while I take out said trash.

            1. I LOL’d. Then I cried, a little.

        2. Trust me, CO fumes aren’t that much fun.

    2. “Some of you may have noticed my recent absence ”

      No..uhh.

      You’ve been gone for a while ?

  25. Isn’t that a bit misleading? It says ” have at least two fixed and/or mobile providers that offer “at least 10 Mbps downstream speeds”

    Mobile has data caps, so it’s not really a viable option, no matter what it’s top speed is.

    This didn’t happen in a vacuum . People really do have crap experiences with their internet providers and that is why this happened.

    If everything was fine and dandy, would this have happened?

    1. If everything was fine and dandy, would this have happened?

      Perfect is the enemy of good. It could be better; it could be worse. Putting the Feds in charge of business decisions has never, ever made things better.

      1. Well put. A certain amount of insulation enjoyed by the big players, and a certain amount of obstinance enforced by municipal policies, is also worth some blame.

    2. Define “fine and dandy”.

      The Internet is faster than ever despite enormous increases in bandwidth demands.

    3. My mobile plan doesn’t have a data cap — I simply pay for what I use.

      Netflix works fine on Verizon Wireless. So do all the other internet services.

      The problem isn’t that it’s not a “viable option,” rather, the problem is that you and others are demanding a premium-quality network experience at a price that’s well below the cost of providing that experience.

  26. It’s worth noting?indeed, it’s worth stressing?that essentially none of these scenarios has come to pass over the past 20 years, despite the lack of Net Neutrality legislation.

    First, the internet existed prior to 20 years ago. Some of us can remember taking full netnews feeds over UUCP.

    Second, none of this was an issue before because f*cktards like Verizon and ATT did not push to prioritize some traffic over other.

    Nor did they whine and cry when asked to honor commitments to their
    customers who wanted to download things from sites on the other side of the peering connection.

    Reason really needs to think a bit about their position (and hopefully ignore money spent by fellow travelers) and look at who supports this: all the innovative internet companies. Think about it – what has ATT/Verizon/Comcast/Cablevision “innovated” that you spill so much ink protecting?

    1. Think about it – what has ATT/Verizon/Comcast/Cablevision “innovated” that you spill so much ink protecting?

      ISPs could still exist without Facebook, Google, and Twitter (which are basically just advertising companies). Not the other way around.

      Netflix did innovate with DVD rental by mail. However, their business today (streaming video) was pioneered by others.

      In any case, your entire argument here boils down to guilt by association.

      1. Netflix did innovate with DVD rental by mail. However, their business today (streaming video) was pioneered by others.

        Well … streaming video is one thing, doing it reliably without buffering or lag is another.

        I am sure that Netflix did quite a bit of engineering work to make Netflix a quality service that could compete with cable.

        1. “I am sure that Netflix did quite a bit of engineering work”

          Nope. They just used Microsoft’s Silverlight video standard.

          Their only innovation was signing deals with content companies and making their own content. I guess you could also argue their successful effort to make non-subscribers pay for the distribution infrastructure for their content through “net neutrality” is also innovative… but not in a good way.

    2. and look at who supports this: all the innovative internet companies.

      Really? The best argument you could muster was the grade-school variant of: principals, not principles? “All the cool kids are doing it!”

      Imagine that, content companies want to maintain cost-free access to third party networks where they are responsible for the largest portion of the bandwidth consumed. But wait, that couldn’t be it. Google and Netflix are the altruistic, mulli-billion-dollar underdogs, courageously fighting for freedom against the multi-billion-dollar overdog ISPs.

    3. because f*cktards like Verizon and ATT did not push to prioritize some traffic over other.

      You don’t have to prioritize traffic unless your circuits start to be saturated or you have latency-intolerant protocols like voice. If I were a company like Netflix, I’d be begging them ISPs to prioritize my traffic. Why would I want my paying customers to have to deal with buffering from torrent freaks or other content providers sucking up the available headroom?

      Come now, an wise, old nerd like you should be able to grok that.

      Think about it – what has ATT/Verizon/Comcast/Cablevision “innovated” that you spill so much ink protecting?

      A bit more than 10 years ago, I was thrilled to have DSL. I now have 100 times the bandwidth at less than twice the cost. We have Internet connections that are little more than toasters in terms of convenience and the ease in which we access content and data.

      Thank god we have the fucking FCC to fix all that for us.

    4. Should Verizon and AT&T prioritize your 911 call while having a medical emergency over your neighbor streaming reruns of “Benson” on Netflix?

      Should people who don’t need or want an expensive high-bandwidth option have the ability to get a slower and deprioritized service that meets their needs at a lower cost?

      Is a high-speed, high-reliability, low-latency broadband network easy to maintain and upgrade? Should someone other than customers bear the brunt of the cost of upgrading those networks?

  27. Forget whether or not NN is good or bad policy. Can someone please explain to me how a regulatory agency is able for “vote” for itself new powers that it previously did not have?

    I’m sorry I’m a bit slow on these things, but I thought we had a legislative process somehow involving supposedly elected officials for these things.

    1. Duh, because FYTW. You must be new here.

  28. Chart porn? Is this Zero Hedge?

  29. Welcome to ObamaNet!

    Doing to the Internet what he did to American Healthcare!

    Grab your ankles and kiss choice goodbye! Bring on the additional taxes to subsidize Internet connection in urban areas (fast-forward to someone screaming “We got our ObamaPhone and now our ObamaNet…you call them on the phone, tell them you on welfare, and they come and give you free Internet in yo’ home…)!

    They’re going to tax the bandwidth that companies consume because big bad business makes enough money to pay Internet tax, not the “middle class”. It’s an easier way to tax online sales than charging a national sales tax.

    Mark my words, this is another ploy to bilk the average American out of more of our money through some new bullshit Internet taxes.

    Fuck. This. President.

  30. Does anyone think that in 2035 we’ll be getting the Internet via a cable that pops up in your living room and also provides televison(sic) programs?

    Unless Nick has figured out why Maxwell’s Equations and Shannon are wrong and lets the Universe in on it, then the answer is yes.

  31. “The typical nightmare scenario that gets trotted out goes something like this: Comcast, the giant ISP that controls NBC Universal, will push its own content on users by simply blocking sites that offer competing content. Or maybe it will degrade the video streams of Netflix and Amazon so no one will want to watch them. Or perhaps Comcast will just charge Netflix a lot of money to make sure its streams flow smoothly over that “last mile” that the ISP controls. ”

    You mean EXACTLY what Comcast did to Netflix around a year or two ago? Remember? That’s why Netflix raised their rates for new users, because Comcast started throttling them and demanding more money. Not to mention that Verizon openly admitted that they wanted to start charging customers more money to access certain sites – that’s what set off the entire debate and FCC investigation nine months ago.

    This is hands down the worst article I’ve read on this site. ISPs are at best a cartel and in most parts of the nation they are a monopoly with no other alternatives. The ISPs openly admitted that they want to nickel and dime people to death ($5 extra a month to get to YouTube, $10 extra a month to get to Netflix, etc) because what else are consumers going to do? Just not use the internet?

    1. Is this what you’re talking about?

      http://www.cnet.com/news/comca…..eutrality/

      1. Netflix was paying for a given level of bandwidth and using the bandwidth that they paid for. Comcast said “Hey, we see you’re making a lot of profits – it would be a shame if someone were to cut your bandwidth and piss off your customers…” and demanded Netflix pay them more. This wasn’t a “contract is up, let’s renegotiate” situation, it was flat out extortion because they just started throttling Netflix and Netflix would lose countless customers in the time it would take lawsuits to go through.

        1. They weren’t paying Comast, they were paying their local ISP. The local ISP sends traffic over Comcast’s servers via peering agreements. But in this case, there was a lot more traffic going one way than the other. Netflix was consuming a lot more bandwidth on comcast’s network than comcast’s customers were consuming on the other networks.

        2. Someone doesn’t understand how peering and peering disputes work.

          The point of peering is for mutual benefit, not for giving away free transit.

    2. Because netflix users were hogging all the bandwidth and degrading the experience for everyone else?

      Why shouldn’t netflix customers pay more in proportion to the bandwidth they consume?

    3. “EXACTLY what Comcast did to Netflix”

      Netflix’s own connection to the Internet became congested. Netflix demanded that Comcast either pay for an additional connection to Netflix or host Netflix’s servers inside Comcast data centers — for free.

      Comcast, unsurprisingly, declined.

      The final arrangement had Netflix put their servers inside Comcast data centers and pay a fee to Comcast for server hosting. An entirely reasonable solution.

      At no point did Comcast take any steps to “slow down” content.

      “Verizon … wanted to start charging customers more money to access certain sites”

      Never happened.

      “The ISPs openly admitted that they want to nickel and dime people to death ($5 extra a month to get to YouTube”

      Never happened.

      “what else are consumers going to do? Just not use the internet?”

      Obviously this is a false claim. The ISP market is a vibrant and highly competitive options. Even people in the middle of North Dakota have choices in ISPs.

      Your definition of “use the Internet” is a very narrow one that insists that a data-hogging pattern of “consume without paying proportionately” is the only Internet model that people want, need, or like.

      Not sure why I should have to see my bill increase to fund a massive buildout so that you can stream 4K movies “unlimited” while paying a tiny fraction of the overall cost of what you’re using, while I pay for my use AND most of your use.

  32. Then there’s the secondary issue – ISPs (Comcast especially, but almost all of them as well) promising certain bandwidths and not delivering. If you charge someone for a 50 Mbps connection but they never get over 20 Mbps, that’s fraud – yet ISPs have been doing that for years and making excuses like “too many people are using our connection in your area” or “the lines in your area are old” – SO UPGRADE THEM, you’re making massive profits!

    I honestly cannot believe that Reason would come out in favor of a monopolies blatantly committing fraud and inflating prices for no other reason than BFYTW.

    1. There’s this little thing called a disclaimer whenever you buy your service that says “speeds up to” blah blah. If you’re to fucking stupid to understand that’s on you.

      (That’s the royal you, not you in particular.)

      Oh, and that’s not an excuse, it’s a fucking fact that the more people using up bandwidth, the slower the speeds get. Or have you never stayed up till 4 in the morning and found out just how fast your internet speeds can get?

      1. Ah, we have someone who works for an ISP and is pissed that they can no longer screw their customers!

        While that applies to OCCASIONAL drops in speed, that does not apply if the users NEVER get the speeds that they’re paying for. I’m well aware of cable internet connections work, but if users are NEVER getting what they paid for, that’s not the users’ fault, that’s YOUR fault for not upgrading your infrastructure and selling a service that you know that you cannot meet. Like I said before, it’s flat out fraud.

        1. How does NN help to fix this issue at all?

          Btw,

          I’ve gotten my local cable provider to split the node I’m on twice now due to it becoming overloaded after proving to them it was necessary.

        2. You’re as thick as a post.

          No ISP can guarantee any speed to any resource outside of their own network, because interconnection points get congested and the server at the opposite side of the ping may not have a connection as fast as the ISPs own network.

        3. Please tell me how a network can guarantee your bandwidth & ping to a server that may not be in their network and that they have no control over.

        4. Oh, that’s my mistake. I didn’t realize I was engaging with a dishonest and idiotic piece of shit.

          I’m not now, nor have I ever worked for an ISP. I’m just not an abject fucking idiot.

    2. ” ISPs (Comcast especially, but almost all of them as well) promising certain bandwidths and not delivering”

      You’re pretty technically illiterate, and it shows.

      This is what happens when English majors passionate about “social justice” get involved in technology.

      No ISP can definitively promise a speed, because of how the Internet works.

      In the case of Netflix, they were pushing content through a highly congested port to Comcast, Verizon and AT&T. When a port is congested, it’s not going to deliver maximum speeds.

      Put simply, if the uplink from a particular service’s servers to a Tier 2 provider is, say, 20 Mbps, it will never be faster. In the case of Netflix, if 100 people are using that Tier 2 link, it’s gonna be just 200 kbps on average — a shitty experience. If only one user is using it, it’s still never going to be faster than 20 downstream — even if the peak rate at the ISP is 50 or more.

      Trouble is, most technical illiterates like yourself lack sufficient understanding of the technology involved, and so advocate state interference by regulators who are as uninformed about the tech as yourself.

      And then, unintended consequences happen.

  33. If any of you idiots actually thing that there is suitable competition in the ISP market… jesus. No hope whatsoever. Did yall eat paint chips when you were little?

    There will never be competition in the ISP market. The barrier to entry is too high. Next best thing is to ensure NN.

    Please, one of you provide an alternative. Please.

    1. “There will never be competition in the ISP market. The barrier to entry is too high.”

      Sure enough, but NN is supposed to boost competition. Which never made sense to me.

      There’s no vibrant ISP competition in places like Korea. RKO has something like 3 ISPs. None of them are “independent”.

      Bottom line – if all ISPs were forced to offer the same streaming rate or service at the same price, it’ll cost them money. And they’ll collect from customers (think Obamacare increase in premiums and deductibles) in other ways. They’ll have zero or little incentive to build infrastructure or wiring or whatever to improve internet speed or streaming.

      The alternative to NN is no NN.

      1. So since the barrier to entry is too high, Title II keeps the ISPS from jacking rates just because they can. “Oh, we see this new website is pretty popular – so even thought you’re paying $65 a month for a 50 Mbps connection, you’re going to have to pay us another $5 a month if you want to access that site. Don’t like it? Go without internet!” The ISPs were stupid enough to flat out tell the FCC that they wanted to do that, which is what launched this entire debate/investigation.

        1. Streaming movies apparently takes up a lot of bandwidth, and at peak hours, it’ll slow the internet down for other users. Resolving this issue will cost either Netflix or the ISP more money.

          ISPs don’t jack the rates “just because they can”. If Verizon doubles my fee and someone else doesn’t, well, you know what they say about the market.

          NN won’t result in ROK level internet. And if major ISPs can’t charge extra for something that takes up a lot of bandwidth and affect other users, then all of their customers will suffer equally bad / slow internet. No need to spend money to improve service if you can’t recoup the cost.

          But some new ISPs will jump into the action and steal their customers, right? Except they probably have to build their own infrastructure, wiring, etc, and they can’t charge more for new technology that makes them better than Verizon or Comcast.

          NN is going to usher in a new era of outsourcing and expansion of vias programs for foreign techies. Fine with me, but not good for progressives.

      2. How does NN boost ISP competition? That was never the stated goal. This is about traffic on existing networks. There is nothing in the proposal about unbundling the last mile of fiber (which is the best idea, but free market people would go nuts).

        We can’t compare out networks to those in smaller countries. The lines should be open to anyone… since guess who paid for them? We did, with tax benefits, subsidies, and favors to comcast, etc.

        1. Even being very very libertarian I actually agree with you here.

          NN is crap, if the government actually wanted to help things they’d make it easier for people to get into the “last mile” market.

          1. Google has tried to lay out a competitive last mile solution.

            They recently noted that local government makes competition almost impossible, and told consumers in places like NYC, San Francisco, Boston, etc. that if the local bureaucrats don’t remove absurd regulations, they should just “enjoy their Time Warner Cable.”

            Of course, this is the fault of the industry, and only More Government can fix it.

          2. And there’s no political power to do that. The next best thing is to ensure that these monopolies don’t abuse their power. Which is what NN is. There is no technical reason for fast lanes. It’s all about Comcast getting more money out of netflix (even though netflix already pays millions upon millions).

            1. There is no technical reason for fast lanes.

              /facepalm

              1. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA

                Harry, you’re a fucking moron.

            2. You mean those monopolies created and maintained by the government?

              Fuck, you “tech” trolls are stupid.

    2. Market-based competition. That is the best and current alternative.

      You’re telling me that the same ISP does both wireless and wired Internet connectivity in your area? Bullshit.

      1. hahahahahahaa. market based competition.

        There is a reason comcast is getting bigger and bigger and raises prices every single year with the same crappy service. The environment of ISP is inherently a very un-free market. We can’t have 100 different companies digging up every sidewalk to lay fiber every week. That’s ridiculous.

        1. We can’t have 100 different companies digging up every sidewalk to lay fiber every week.

          Why not? I’d love to have 10 companies competing for my money. Sidewalks and streets can be easily and cheaply patched.

          Do want a actual solution or something that pretends to be?

          1. “Sidewalks and streets can be easily and cheaply patched.”

            Not if they’re government-maintained. Hell, they can’t keep them patched from wear and tear on bloated budgets.

            1. The ISP is actually responsible for paying any costs associated with laying new conduit anyway.

              1. Exactly.

                So that means NW sidewalks and streets when ever any new entrant into the marketplace want’s to lay fiber.

                Isn’t that kind of a net benefit to taxpayers ? no pun intended

        2. We can’t have 100 different companies digging up every sidewalk to lay fiber every week.

          The more likely scenario is that companies use existing conduit to lay their own fiber, since that is what actually occurs on a daily fucking basis.

        3. I don’t have Comcast in my market, but I can get Optimum, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, etc.

          You have such a narrow view of the broadband market. It most likely won’t be exclusively land-based as cellular and wireless broadband grow significantly.

          You are stuck in the 1990s.

    3. OK, and raising the barrier even higher with FCC red tape is going to make it better? Sounds brilliant.

      I hope this does not slow down the spread of Google fiber.

      1. Red tape? What red tape?

        Please, explain this extra barrier. All I see is a rule saying they can’t extort netflix into paying more than their fair share.

        1. fair share

          You keep using those words…

          1. This whole thing is just another case of freeloading leftoid asswipes looking for a free lunch at someone else’s expense.

            And like every other retarded attempt at central planning they trot out, this will fail spectacularly (and like always, they will blame the victims).

          2. Yeah? Really? Netflix already pays millions to get their content. They shouldn’t have to pay twice. You have offer no facts to support your limp arguments.

            Sonic CEO saying he welcomes Utility-style regulation.

            http://www.dslreports.com/show…..ier-132800

            Yall are idiots.

    4. What’s “suitable” competition?

      I live in New Jersey (no need to sympathize with me).

      I can choose Comcast HSI or Verizon DSL. I can choose Verizon Wireless, AT&T Wireless, Sprint, and T-Mobile LTE. I can choose from a wide variety of MVNOs who offer Internet service over 3G and 4G. And I can even choose from a couple of dial-up providers — all based on my needs.

      50+ choices there.

      Now, they’re not all offering unlimited massive pipes with continuous guaranteed bandwidth well below the cost of service — as NN advocates seem to demand — but your FCC gambit isn’t going to get you that either. It’s just going to ensure there’s less innovation in the marketplace and that you’re going to see your bandwidth deteriorate as 3% of Internet users consume around 70% of the bandwidth (that’s netflix) while socking the rest of us with a higher bill to support their massive redistribution of costs.

      1. continuous guaranteed bandwidth well below the cost of service

        I wonder if anybody knows the actual cost involved with such a solution. I can tell you from experience that the trade-off consumers are given with consumer broaband is more than worth our while.

        Broadband exists as a way to monetize excess capacity, and NN regulations make it harder to do so by disabling the leverage ISP’s have against abusive customers. I find it difficult to believe that the bandwidth providers will continue to invest as heavily or as proactively in their backbone as they have following full implementation of these regs.

        1. The costs associated with doing that exceed the value of the major ISPs.

      2. Do, you have ONE choice. Comcast cable. Don’t even for a minute argue that DSL or LTE is even the same fucking category.

        Bits are cheap. Comcast’s profits per gigabyte transferred goes down every year, yet they raise price every year. Ever wonder why?

        Idiots.

  34. I think the internet should advance beyond a gym membership type participation fee.

    Any sufficiently complex system will develop more complex levers. Without more complex levers a system will struggle to evolve to become something grander than its creation.

    Using the internet consumes resources (bandwidth, server cycles, etc). Disallowing a price signal per consumption is a tragedy to the invisible hand.

    I LOVE the gym membership payment play because you know upfront how much you are being charged and it has a cap. I also totally agree govt isn’t the right one to manage it. But NN should be looked at thru the lens of the invisible hand, not NSA spying.

    1. That is hands down the dumbest thing you could possibly have said, especially since the size of files keeps increasing due to increased storage space, graphical capabilities, etc.

      “not NSA spying”

      Yup, you’re an idiot. Not only does the NSA have jack to do with Title II, the ISPs were already eagerly handing over your data any time the government asked.

      1. If file size increases, why does that necessarily mandate a flat-rate model?

        New infrastructure, contrary to Silicon Valley propaganda, costs a boatload of money to build and maintain. They can’t just stuff in new infrastructure and provide infinitely scaling streaming, etc. at a flat-rate price without network management, etc.

        “Net neutrality” won’t force them to upgrade networks and sell you below-cost service either. It just will freeze the networks in time and ensure that everyone gets crap service, since network management techniques will be illegal.

        Finally, you’re wrong about the implications of Title II. The authority for wiretapping and other incursions is legally far greater under Title II than under FISA.

  35. The voters know what they want, and their going to get it. Good, and Hard.

  36. Ugh. Not only is this depressing me, I have to do my taxes this weekend.

    It’s times like this when I just want to go move to a cabin in the woods. But then Randy Weaver shows us that’s not even effective.

  37. I would love to see a metered internet, but in order for that to happen, ISPs have to be able to throttle traffic if someone exceeds the bandwidth they have paid for.

    They probably already have to do that. If you pay for X speed, your packets are going to be slowed down to X speed. Simple as that. Treating all packets equally , if taken literally, would mean that everyone’s internet would run at the same speed. There wouldn’t be any cheapers or more expensive packages.

    1. Yep.

      Verizon Wireless offers by far the best wireless internet experience. Why? Because you pay for bandwidth on a per-use basis. You don’t get throttled because you pay per gig.

      As a result, the jackass who wants to torrent 20 GB an hour on Verizon doesn’t do it, because he can’t afford the $15 per gig.

      The worst experience in wireless, according to RootMetrics and other information, is Sprint and T-Mobile.

      They’re both “net neutral” carriers that offer “unlimited” at a flat-rate price. As a result, their networks are bogged down by heavy users who consume enormous amounts of data without any marginal payment. Sprint’s 3G and 4G networks are especially slow, while T-Mobile’s has been seeing speeds plunge. Both Sprint and T-Mobile drop calls, have generally poor coverage, etc.

      T-Mobile is even advertising the ability to make calls over WiFi as a crutch for the fact that its “neutral network” experience sucks.

      Basically, what the NN yahoos are arguing is that those of us who value a high-quality experience and are willing to pay for it should be denied that option, so that they can consume WAY more than they pay for (while handing a higher bill to existing users who aren’t leeches).

      1. Well said, agree on all points.

  38. “packet equality”

    ROFL

    These fucking idiots really want that? I think ISP’s should disable QoS for just 1 day. This nation of Instagram/Facebook would fucking riot.

  39. NN appeals to the lazy. Most people don’t bother to read and inform themselves and limit their knowledge to catch phrases like “slow lanes” or “hope and change”. Liberal activists understand this and take full advantage of it. Whats funny is this whole fight over NN was not about whats best for the consumer. It was about who was going to foot the bill for infrastructure, ISP’s or Content Providers. Mark Zuckerberg won and the consumer lost, in the form of new taxes and less innovation. One thing is clear. The internet is not the forum for open and free debate we are led to believe. When content providers like Facebook, Twitter, and even Mozilla act in unison they control the message, there is no debate.

    1. I just hope the unintended consequences are severe enough to make me laugh at these idiots’ misery. A lot.

  40. The only thing that could make this worse would be making the internet into a public utility. Imagine if the government WAS your ISP.

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  42. Whe the internet becomes sentient I have an idea who will be at the top of its list.

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  44. Sonic CEO says he welcomes NN

    http://www.dslreports.com/show…..ier-132800

    Because he’s not comcast or verizon. You idiots are on the wrong side of history and logic.

  45. I saw this link posted earlier this week on Drudge Report and on this blog about some peoples on the left who had saw the unintended consequences of net neutrality on this link.

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