Author Topic: Net Neutrality  (Read 6310 times)

JayGatsby

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Net Neutrality
« on: November 22, 2017, 05:31:56 PM »
Can someone explain the pros and cons of repealing net neutrality to me using reasonably likely outcomes if it was repealed? People seem really fired up about it but most of the examples seem be hyperbole to the point of fearmongering. Thanks


Jurgis

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JayGatsby

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Re: Net Neutrality
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2017, 07:36:45 PM »
IMO this is balanced: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/21/technology/net-neutrality-repeal-questions.html?_r=0

But I'm gonna post EFF link too: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/09/just-how-unpopular-how-wrong-facts-how-misguided-fcc-proposal-rollback-network
Thanks. As the NYT article points out, I really don't see companies blocking legal content even if they're allowed to do so. I just can't see an economic rationale for it. Google has faced some anti-competition issues with where they rank competitor's results and it seems too dangerous for cable cos to start playing that game for dubious prospects.

This part of the analysis I felt was a bit shallow: "Roger L. Kay, an independent technology analyst, predicted that larger bills — not content blocking — would be the most likely result. If the big internet and media companies will have to pay their carriers more for high-speed services, the expenses will trickle down to households. Consumers, Mr. Kay said, “will end up paying higher prices for essentially the same service.”"

Presumably the internet companies paying carriers would be Netflix, Google/Youtube, maybe Facebook, and maybe other Netflix competitors. Netflix has the ability to raise rates to attempt to pass those costs along to customers. Google and Facebook do not. So the impact to consumers from those two types of companies may be different?

Is the other possibility to consumers some sort of tiered pricing? So high volume consumers would pay more and low volume would pay less?

Jurgis

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Re: Net Neutrality
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2017, 08:19:37 PM »
Is the other possibility to consumers some sort of tiered pricing? So high volume consumers would pay more and low volume would pay less?

Tiered pricing is not prohibited by net neutrality AFAIK. ISPs already can charge $X for 1Gb per month and $Y for 10Gb per month.

Tiered content is likely prohibited under current rules: i.e. Verizon cannot say: You get your Yahoo content from Verizon FiOS unlimited, but you have to pay $xx/Mb for non-Yahoo content. IMO this is likely for some media products/areas if net neutrality is removed, since Verizon owns Yahoo, Comcast owns NBC, AT&T owns ???. I think throttling could be likely too: it makes huge sense for ISPs to prioritize their own content in terms of QoS. Pay-for-QoS is likely too, though here things get murky since pay-for-QoS already kinda exists through collocation, edge cashing, etc. Things get technical there.


Note: I may disappear from this discussion since I don't want to spend a lot of time/effort in Politics section. I am also not a super expert in this domain. Please don't think that I'm rude or I'm ignoring your questions or comments if I disappear.  8)

Support Net Neutrality!  8)
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LC

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Re: Net Neutrality
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2017, 08:47:20 PM »
Is the other possibility to consumers some sort of tiered pricing? So high volume consumers would pay more and low volume would pay less?


This already exists on both the residential and business end.
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LC

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Re: Net Neutrality
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2017, 12:20:52 AM »
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LC

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Re: Net Neutrality
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2017, 12:32:33 AM »
The 265 members of Congress (with their associated party and amount of telecom donations) who voted to overturn net neutrality:

https://www.theverge.com/2017/3/29/15100620/congress-fcc-isp-web-browsing-privacy-fire-sale

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JayGatsby

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Re: Net Neutrality
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2017, 02:06:12 AM »
Op-Ed response from FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel:

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-rosenworcel-fcc-net-neutrality-repeal-20171122-story.html
Interesting. This falls into the fearmongering bucket I was describing: "Wiping out net neutrality would have big consequences. Without it, your broadband provider could carve internet access into fast and slow lanes, favoring the traffic of online platforms that have made special payments and consigning all others to a bumpy road. Your provider would have the power to choose which voices online to amplify and which to censor. The move could affect everything online, including the connections we make and the communities we create."

I just don't see how Comcast/Centurylink could send us all back to dial-up without massive public upheaval and massive cancellations. I just don't see the business case for them doing so and certainly don't see the business case for censorship. I think percentagewise the vast majority of people have at least two choices of high speed internet. With the next gen of cell phone data it seems like that number will increase... at some point wireless will be an economic competitor to cable (pure speculation there). To me, the exact opposite of her scenario seems more likely; all others are provided access to the fast lane, while a select few (Netflix, Google, Facebook, Hulu, etc) are forced to make special payments. I could definitely see them forcing special fees on Netflix or Google, but throttling/extorting little CoBF just seems a bit far fetched to me?

LC

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Re: Net Neutrality
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2017, 11:53:52 PM »
Jay, what exactly is the reason to support net neutrality, in your opinion? You can dismiss the arguments against the issue, but what is your argument in favor?

Shai,

I read the article you posted in favor of removing net neutrality (http://www.nationalreview.com/article/449409/net-neutralitys-demise-would-not-be-internets-well)

I have to say, I see almost no convincing arguments. Here are the main points I took from the article which are "in favor" of removing NN:

Except where criminal conduct has been involved, there are no examples of any Internet-service provider preventing its customers from viewing content online. Comcast attempted to “throttle” or slow down access to certain data packets a decade ago; they were pilloried in the court of public opinion and soon relented

So just because it didn't happen in the past means it won't happen now? Weak argument.

What if the abolition of net neutrality did herald an era where Internet-service providers will direct you to certain content and “throttle” or slow down your access to other content? The better question may be: How different is that experience from what consumers online already have?

Okay, so IF we accept the premise, then the conclusion here will result in "no change" from the status quo? Weak argument.

if you are a typical consumer, your access to online content is already intermediated by the decisions made at a few companies [Google, FB, etc] to prioritize certain content based on their view of this information’s importance or its relevance to you.

The content of websites I choose to visit has nothing to do with the treatment of the data sent to/from those websites. Weak.

Google and Facebook are also the largest supporters of net neutrality, ostensible freedom fighters for the open Internet. Pull away the curtains on the high-minded rhetoric, though, and their corporate self-interest is plain. Well-capitalized Internet-service providers such as Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast are the only plausible rivals for their kind of dominance — and net neutrality applies only to ISPs, not to companies that run websites.

So we should replace Google/FB's "monopoly" with a Verizon/Comcast monopoly? I can choose to visit a different website. Much more difficult (sometimes impossible) to choose a different provider. Weak argument.

Despite vaunted technological transitions, all of these markets are likely to be dominated by large players aiming for scale. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, assuming that when a large firm becomes anti-consumer, consumers can topple it. Public policy needs to keep the door open for this potential. If Comcast sucks, Google should have the right to build a rival network — and vice versa. Net neutrality, as a public policy, does not accomplish this, unless it is applied to the digital incumbents also — and even then, it is fitting a round peg into the square hole of a 1930s-era law and doing so relative to a concern that the free market has not been shown incapable of addressing.

Another red herring. Net neutrality has nothing to do with the laws regarding build-out of competitive fiber/cable. Weak.

So that's my take: I think it was comprehensive of all the relevant arguments made in the article.
And I simply cannot find one argument which makes sense to support dismantling net neutrality laws. I'm eager to hear one if anyone can provide it.
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JayGatsby

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Re: Net Neutrality
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2017, 08:52:29 AM »
Thanks. That's interesting. The National Review article seems the most logical to me, but I tend to lean pretty far libertarian.

The Tucows statement seems fairly disingenuous to me to be honest. Cable and fiber are largely private assets. In some cases they get government incentives, but the private investment into them has been massive. The refrigerator example seems typical of the kind of fearmongering hyperbole characteristic of the for argument.

The Portugal/Spain example is interesting, but it relates to mobile phone service. My mobile data plan (through Google) is priced per gigabyte, so really it's doing the same thing. If I just do SMS it would be basically 0, and the more services I add/stream, the more they charge me. It just seems odd to me that there's all these hyperbolic examples of what the cable companies would do, but no examples of that actually happening.

This is the best article I've found against... someone posted it on Twitter: https://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=229021 . LC, that confirms what what I'd kind of hypothesized... cable cos have little reason to throttle low bandwidth consuming sites, but the do have reason to throttle Netflix/Youtube/FB/etc. So net neutrality basically is a free subsidy for them.