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MacRumors
May 26, 2006, 09:44 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

While not immediately Mac-related, many readers may be interested in the status of recent legislation regarding "Network Neutrality."

In brief, Network Neutrality (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_neutrality) is the concept that networks should be "dumb" and treat each type of data traveling over it equally. This is in contrast to an intelligent network where the network knows what kind of data is flowing over it (i.e. peer-to-peer, VoIP, HTTP (web traffic), quicktime streams, etc...), and treats each kind differently depending on its needs or according to external parameters placed by the network administrator.

Issues regarding Network Neutrality heightened in the past decade with the rise of consumers using VPN's and Wi-Fi. In response, some ISP's put restrictions on consumer's use of VPN's and Wi-Fi or routers. In addition, with the rise of VoIP some ISP's (http://biz.yahoo.com/cnw/060307/vonage_shaw_voip_tax.html) have been shaping VoIP traffic in order to "encourage" customers to buy higher-priced plans without VoIP traffic shaping.

Macworld reports that the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee has voted 20-13 (http://www.macworld.com/news/2006/05/26/neutrality/index.php) to approve the "Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act." The Network Neutrality bill will require broadband providers to give independent content providers the same speed and quality of service as they have.

The bill is not without controversy. Some critics have charged that the bill is a step towards regulating the internet which will stifle innovation. There are other critics as well:

This week, the First Response Coalition, a trade group representing police and firefighters, sent a letter to the Judiciary Committee saying that debate over "niche issues" such as net neutrality are slowing down broader telecom reform legislation that would give emergency responders more radio spectrum. "First responders cannot wait any longer to have modern communications and interoperable radios," said the letter.

Competing legislation awaiting action on the House floor approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee in April is a more wide-ranging telecommunications reform bill, but is not as strong in enforcing neutral networks as the recent bill passed by the Judiciary Committee.

nbs2
May 26, 2006, 09:52 AM
The bill is not without controversy. Some critics have charged that the bill is a step towards regulating the internet which will stiffle innovation.
But, don't many of these critics support legislation what would explicitly allow intelligent networks and the auctioning of bandwidth?:confused:

vaal
May 26, 2006, 09:56 AM
he said "stiffle."

longofest
May 26, 2006, 10:05 AM
he said "stiffle."

okay, normally we just delete posts that point out misspellings, because then we correct them and it's a moot point. However, your post made me laugh.

It's corrected.

~Shard~
May 26, 2006, 10:14 AM
Very interesting! As an employee of a SP, I'm definitely going to be following this, as I find the whole issue very fascinating. Thanks for posting this longofest. :cool:

baleensavage
May 26, 2006, 10:15 AM
This is certainly good news for all computer users. This is a step towards shooting down what telecomm companies have been trying to do for years now: charge people by the bandwidth used and charge people internet content providers for faster speeds.

Imagine an internet where, Nike pays AOL money so that their site loads faster on all AOL user's computers than their competitor Reebok and where Joe Bob's Shoe Store practically doesn't load at all because he can't afford AOL's fees. Scary, huh? Or how about this scenario, you want to use Vonage for you VOIP but you have internet from AT&T who has VOIP as well. AT&T could then make it so that Vonage always sounds like garbage on your internet, while their VOIP is crystal clear. Or what about Joe down the strreet from you who has a wifi hotspot, VOIP and does online gaming and P2P transfers. All of a sudden his internet costs three times as much as someone down the street who just checks their email once a month. It's what the telecomm companies want, and thankfully this bill is a step towards preventing it. We all should be pushing our representatives to keep on the right track and stop this push by the telecomm companies.

thejadedmonkey
May 26, 2006, 10:21 AM
*Breaths a sigh of relief*

ITR 81
May 26, 2006, 10:23 AM
This means more companies can expand broadband into the more rural areas of the country.

Been waiting for DSL forever.

Whats funny we are just out of the range of the current DSL provider.

We can only get the dish here.

ItsAMacWorld
May 26, 2006, 10:24 AM
Okay, but what about a world where companies see no profits in upgrading their pipes to two-way optical fiber because the government decides how they should set their prices? And what if Joe down the street's usage of the pipe slows down your email so much you long to go back to AOL's 56k dialup!! Government sticking their noses in business is baaaad. Even though Gore invented the internet, I don't think that he has a clue about how to price it so that companies have incentive to keep improving it.

longofest
May 26, 2006, 10:25 AM
Very interesting! As an employee of a SP, I'm definitely going to be following this, as I find the whole issue very fascinating. Thanks for posting this longofest. :cool:

Figured it would be of interest to yall, even though it isn't directly related to the mac. After all, all of you are using the net to connect to macrumors, so you have some stake in this :) Tried to be objective in the post by pointing out the potential advantages and disadvantages of the legislation. Hope I was successful.

aricher
May 26, 2006, 10:26 AM
We all should be pushing our representatives to keep on the right track and stop this push by the telecomm companies.

Your whole post describes the situation perfectly. This is a situation all internet users should pay attention to.

thestaton
May 26, 2006, 10:39 AM
this is awesome! Comcast at the moment is already using internet shaping against vonage costumers. God I hope they stick it to Comcast hard!

baleensavage
May 26, 2006, 10:46 AM
Okay, but what about a world where companies see no profits in upgrading their pipes to two-way optical fiber because the government decides how they should set their prices?
What you described is the world we live in now, except its not because of government regulations. This is why people like ITR 81 have no DSL. Up here in Maine where I live a large percentage of the state has no high speed internet because the telecomm companies don't see $$$ coming off of it. As much as I believe in free enterprise, high-speed internet is becoming more of a necessity today, yet no one is there to stand up for rural America and demand we get the service. Someone has to keep these giant corporations in check and if not the government, who else?

From what I understand of it, the bill is not regulating cost of the internet, just requiring that they not charge competitors more money for use of the services. It's the same thing they do with phones and electricity. Verizon may own the lines, but they can't charge MCI more money to use them. And this is the way it should be.

mcorange
May 26, 2006, 10:57 AM
Somebody got something right, for once! :)
It was a concern to me.

Sharewaredemon
May 26, 2006, 10:59 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H69eCYcDcuQ&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Faskaninja%2Ecom%2F

It's funny cause I just watched that and refreshed macrumors to see the net neutrality thing come up.

baleensavage
May 26, 2006, 11:07 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H69eCYcDcuQ&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Faskaninja%2Ecom%2F
It's funny cause I just watched that and refreshed macrumors to see the net neutrality thing come up.
I am ninja, you are ninja, we are ninja too...

netdog
May 26, 2006, 11:10 AM
Okay, but what about a world where companies see no profits in upgrading their pipes to two-way optical fiber because the government decides how they should set their prices? And what if Joe down the street's usage of the pipe slows down your email so much you long to go back to AOL's 56k dialup!! Government sticking their noses in business is baaaad. Even though Gore invented the internet, I don't think that he has a clue about how to price it so that companies have incentive to keep improving it.

Oh yes, there is no profit in this business. LOL

If they want clients, they will stay up to date.

The network is a public utility, just like water and electricity.

macnews
May 26, 2006, 11:10 AM
This might limit some innovation but I hope we could find ways around it. Innovation in the true sense of something new and great, not expanding high speed internet into areas that don't have it.

As to those businesses that argue against it, they have all lost consumer trust - at least mine. For something so important as modern communication the internet provides, I just do not trust either the government or private corporations. Given my druthers, I will take the government on this one.

ItsAMacWorld
May 26, 2006, 11:13 AM
Someone has to keep these giant corporations in check and if not the government, who else?

How about the free market? It's one thing to demand these corps to invest in rural areas (good use of government) and another to tell them how to price it. And by the way, if you're going to force a corp to expand to money-losing areas, I'd rather Comcast figure out a way to make Amazon/Nike/Aol pay than have them hike up my bill for it.

Earendil
May 26, 2006, 11:23 AM
Oh yes, there is no profit in this business. LOL

If they want clients, they will stay up to date.

The network is a public utility, just like water and electricity.

Not so.

Example: Cell Phone tech in the US vs Europe or Japan. They are leauges ahead of us but american companies see no reason to change. What are we going to do as consumers? move to europe? That'll show Verizon and T-mobile :rolleyes:

The government, AFAIK, has rules that mandate (or did mandate) that phone lines be provided to particular rural areas. Phone companies didn't have to pay the cost to get it into a persons house, but they did have to bring a main line close enough to a very large percentage of the rural US back when telephones were becoming a standard.

I live in an area where our only option is a 56k modem or satilite (not a great option in the NW US). There aren't even any plans on the board for sprint to bring a DSL/cable line up into our area, becuase they wouldn't see any profit from it for decades due to the number of people in our area. However as the internet becomes more a of standard and a "part of living in the US" like telephones did so long ago, I believe someone is going to have to wip the large companies into shape. If they see no profit in it, they aren't going to do it out of good will.

~Earendil

Swift
May 26, 2006, 11:24 AM
Anybody remember that the ISPs said, if we deregulated them in 1996, that by this time we'd all have 45 Mbps speed? Well, we don't. My own Pacbell spent billions and billions merging with SBC, and then AT&T, and changing their logos. And obviously, this sucked up a hundred billion or so -- money that might have gone to extending DSL to rural districts -- or making that last mile wireless. Or laying lots of really fast fiber. Of course, they had lots of time to lobby against municipal systems putting up free, or very cheap, WiFi.

The telcos have to face the fact that they do one thing: supply high-speed data, not POTS, to everyone in their territory. They do not supply content. They are common carriers. If they can't come up with the cash to bring us into the first tier of high-speed Internet, they're not going to finance themselves by choking the net and making deals so, if Yahoo pays them, they choke off Google. Uh-uh. Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the web, has come out very strongly against the ISPs attempts to alter the original design.

If the ISPs need some help, maybe government can invest in a little of the backbone. It's not AT&T's Internet. It's not Comcast's. It's ours.

Oh, and it would help if they were handing over records of all our calls to a legal program, not an unconstitutional power grab. But that's just me.

~Shard~
May 26, 2006, 11:25 AM
Reading some of these posts, it reinforces how lucky we are here where I live. My SP has rolled out DSL access all across our province such that any small town with a population of 300 people or more has high speed access - any town with a population of 100 people or more which has a school has high speed access as well. We've had IPTV offerings for 3 years now and are in the process of rolling out VDSL later this year, providing 40 Mbps to the home and HD content over copper. No complaints whatsoever. :cool:

I hope the SPs in question are hit hard by this ruling as well - situations such as traffic shaping against Vonage are just wrong, and need to be dealt with. I'll definitely be following these devleopments closely.

ItsAMacWorld
May 26, 2006, 11:29 AM
The network is a public utility, just like water and electricity.

If the companies (cable, telco, satellite) that invested in building the high-speed network were told that it was going to be a public utility in 2006 and regulated by government pricing restrictions, I'm not so sure they would have built what it is today. Listen, I hate my cable provider as much as the next guy, but we can't just look forward as if there was no investment by them in the past. We have something to passionately argue about maintaining (beloved internet sites!) because they provided it with the intention of being able to make money. And, don't forget, we're talking about them making this money from the companies that provide the content, instead of from subscribers.

Earendil
May 26, 2006, 11:30 AM
And something to point out, as some people haven't had the recent "privliage" to use a 56k modem.

There is very quickly becoming no such thing as "high speed internet" only "internet". Modems are quickly becoming incapable of loading most web pages in under a minute. Heaven forbid you find a site that uses Flash, now you're talking a couple minutes. Add this to the fact that most modems reside in rural areas that already suffer from longer pings and slower speeds due to location and line maintanace and you get a situation where the internet will become useless to those on slower lines.

And don't even talk to me about a multi computer house hold...

I'm betting in a decade 90% of the internet will be useless to those with anything less than cable/DSL speeds.

~Earendil

Sharewaredemon
May 26, 2006, 11:30 AM
Reading some of these posts, it reinforces how lucky we are here where I live. My SP has rolled out DSL access all across our province such that any small town with a population of 300 people or more has high speed access - any town with a population of 100 people or more which has a school has high speed access as well. We've had IPTV offerings for 3 years now and are in the process of rolling out VDSL later this year, providing 40 Mbps to the home and HD content over copper. No complaints whatsoever. :cool:

I hope the SPs in question are hit hard by this ruling as well - situations such as traffic shaping against Vonage are just wrong, and need to be dealt with. I'll definitely be following these devleopments closely.

Yeah Canada is really good for High Speed. In fact we are the most connected country per capita in the world.

Sorry I don't know if that is true anymore, and I am too lazy to look it up either, but I'm sure someone else will be willing...

:D

weitzner
May 26, 2006, 11:32 AM
i think we all know that ISPs don't want net neutrality because they'd want to say.. make an agreement with napster to give them more bandwidth and then using iTunes would start to suck with the same ISP. I'm not saying it would go this way, probably the other, but still, we it's just not a good idea to think that QOS would be capped based on how much the contnet vendor could shell out. so.. for the first time in a while, I am happy with the House of Reps.

bigandy
May 26, 2006, 11:35 AM
This means more companies can expand broadband into the more rural areas of the country.

Been waiting for DSL forever.

Whats funny we are just out of the range of the current DSL provider.

We can only get the dish here.


we're loving this (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/04/25/scotland_broadband/) here in scotland. it happened, it worked, we all have access to broadband services. i'm not sure, but are there any other countries in the world that can boast 100% broadband coverage? (technically northern ireland had 100% first though... just!)

whmees
May 26, 2006, 11:38 AM
i'm usually always supportive of capitalism, but i think i have to agree with the decision to not allow different rates.

in all reality, the majority of america's internet (and pretty much any other high tech market) is always going to flounder, and will probably be outdated a lot sooner than most people would like to think. when you look at a country like england, whose socialistic policies already help in maintaining public uses, it's miniscule compared to the amount of area the united states has. we're simply too big to do anything about.

i live in austin, and occasionally i won't be able to get cell phone reception. imagine what it's like to live in montana. there's nothing there.

i don't really see what the big deal is anyways. the telecom companies are so ridiculously huge they could stand to lose some money. heaven forbid the people earning millions of dollars a year earn a few thousand less. i know it's 'unfair', but america isn't as free-market as we'd like to think. entirely too much backscratching going on.

TallShaffer
May 26, 2006, 11:41 AM
I think this is a fine proposition, as it isn't too in depth. But as someone pointed out earlier, once government gets going it doesn't stop, and it's no good at doing business like this.

This is nice because it will prevent monopoly ISPs from completley destroying small businesses in their area. However, I fear what the government may start to do in regards to sticking its nose way to far into this internet deal; this would include web standards, servers, bandwidth, prices...etc. We all know how good government is at pretty much everything outside of sitting there. :rolleyes:

sartinsauce
May 26, 2006, 12:05 PM
I'm betting in a decade 90% of the internet will be useless to those with anything less than cable/DSL speeds.

~Earendil

I'll take you one further...

If the US Federal Gov't doesn't step up and commit to regulation things could get really bad in a decade. Imagine a country where only the wealthiest 5% of the population can afford highspeed internet.

As it stands the internet, like gasoline, is a luxury item. In my life the internet is a utility. I use it more than gas or water or telephone. The elite could and may maintain and strengthen their status by making the internet unobtainble to the working class, like their doing with gasoline right now.

I'm scared, the future of a decent standard of living for "working class" in the USA looks worse everyday.

intlplby
May 26, 2006, 12:11 PM
we moved more and more towards neo-capitalism and now we are taking two steps bad.... it's actually kind of sad that in the past 10-15 years we have moved more and more backwards in many ways...... markets that were once competitive have moved towards consolidation and we find ourselves facing many problems which have not been commonplace since the monopolies at the turn of the century... price-fixing, anti-competitive practices, etc.....


this is a return to zero-sum thinking and not win-win thinking... the pursuit of money has reached a point that more and more people are thinking it is acceptable to trample others to try and stay on top.....

macnews
May 26, 2006, 12:22 PM
And, don't forget, we're talking about them making this money from the companies that provide the content, instead of from subscribers.

Yeah, sorry just don't believe this. They will want their cake (money from content providers) and eat it too (eat all of us subscribers). Then they pay millions or hundreds of millions to CEO's and executives for running the company in to the ground. No thanks.

I really believe in the free market, but lets be honest, in this area there is no such thing as a true free market. All these companies get some sort of government benefit, be it through the backbone of the net (originally established by the gov't) or via tax breaks. This creates problems and barriers to entry which limits the market.

crapple33
May 26, 2006, 12:29 PM
Thank God. If Net Neutrality gets shot down, the Internet will get so so so so so much worse.

jmsait19
May 26, 2006, 12:31 PM
i had a communications class and we talked about deregulation in 1996. how the vendors all said it would increase competition and fuel innovation blah blah blah. when all that has really happened is consolidation and higher prices. it is evident everywhere. clear-com owns something like 1200 radio station throughout the country and they all sound the same. there used to be limits on this stuff. the cable companies used to need government approval to raise their prices. i think their prices increase 5 dollars every hour nowadays. after the industry was deregulated there was something like 50 Billion in mergers within the first year (something like that, it was a lot). and so far I don't know if any of it has been good or the consumer. i like the guy who said we would have 45Mbps speeds. HA.

macnews
May 26, 2006, 12:45 PM
i live in austin, and occasionally i won't be able to get cell phone reception. imagine what it's like to live in montana. there's nothing there.

I lived in Montana, and have family that still live there. Very sad that even in some of the larger and more popular towns (ones that many people from out of state are moving to) the best you can still get is dial up for $15/month or broadband for $75/month.

Again, I'm all for free markets and capitalism. While the gov't may go deeper, if they treat this like electric utilities, I think it could work. The gov't actually DID a good job managing electric companies. When many states deregulated in the 90's that is when all hell broke loose. It is important to understand that just be removing gov't control over one aspect, like regulation of power, DOES NOT mean you are letting the market take over. Government (federal, state, local) still all have their friggin hands in the pot along with all the lobbies. Hence, you run in to other problems and get many of the corrupted businesses that take advantage of the situation. Montana, again, is a perfect example of this. They used to have some of the cheapeset power in the nation - now they get screwed, along with former employees of Montana Power while the former CEO sits in his million dollar mansion on flathead lake.

The internet is something very similar to electricity. In the 1800's the federal gov't understood the importance of electricity and the need for it to reach every corner of the country. They understood it could quickly divide the country, one just coming out of civil war, between have's and have not's. The internet is very much the same. How many more years before we see people having to use the internet to file taxes, apply/claim gov't services, be the only means of paying your bills without being charged a "service" fee for mailing in a check, the only way your bank operates, etc., etc.

No, internet should be a "public" utilitiy - at least the info structure. Available across the US. We recognize the importance of inner city and rural schools needing computers. Inner city schools are more likely to have easy access to high speed internet. The same is not true for rural schools. And we don't see a problem with this?

sw1tcher
May 26, 2006, 01:04 PM
This is good news, yet people are voting negative on this. WTF? :confused:

SC68Cal
May 26, 2006, 01:09 PM
This is good news, yet people are voting negative on this. WTF? :confused:

Yeah, I don't get that either. Someone wants Telecom to slow their connection down and force them to pay more to get the connection as fast as it was before this legislation was passed?

maknik
May 26, 2006, 01:17 PM
Most of the utilities, defined as stuff that everyone must have, are regulated and have been for many decades. The basic problem is monopoly--whoever happens to own the pipe your house essentially has a monopoly on a commodity that you can't not buy, and you can't buy elsewhere. So in a deregulated market, the price goes way up for everyone, and if you can't pay, companies generally won't care as long as more people can pay the higher prices than can't pay at all.

This already happens to some extent in our broadband internet market. It happened when Bolivia deregulated its water market--prices went up, and the poor areas occasionally got no water at all. It happened on a larger scale with California's electricity last year. And most economists think that it is what's wrong with our healthcare market right now. The internet backbone is basically a monopoly (really a small oligopoly), and if the owners are free to do whatever they like with it, prices will go up for every web site (why not, if we can't buy elsewhere?), and web site that can't afford to pay or, for whatever reason, it's not worth providing bandwidth for, will simply not get service.

Certainly in a freer market the wealthiest would get better service: they could get cleaner electricity, better water pressure, better sounding phone service, better health care, and higher-speed internet--but the cost is usually higher prices for everyone and no service at all for the poorest. Regulation works fine for water, electricity, and telephone, and seems to me better than the alternative for internet access and services.

unfaded
May 26, 2006, 01:39 PM
The American Government... doing something... for the consumer?

Whoa.

coumerelli
May 26, 2006, 02:06 PM
this is a return to zero-sum thinking and not win-win thinking... the pursuit of money has reached a point that more and more people are thinking it is acceptable to trample others to try and stay on top.....

Oh. You mean something like money is the root of all evil? Yeah, I'm typing stuff from the Bible.

But this is what this is about - on BOTH sides.

Corporations: They want the opportunity to tier their pricing a little more by using advantages (allow/disallow certain protocols) and possibly *gasp* via advertising. Get rid of competition and now, not only do you have the other company's dollar, you have the opportunity to charge another one.

General Public (via the gov't by extension): Their desire is to pay LESS for goods. Be it gasoline, groceries, or information. "The internet *should* be considered a utility and just like water should be cheap cheap cheap," they say. As a matter of fact, our constitution says that "all men are created equal" so we should have all things equal.

I believe neither will work, but one will win. I can guarantee you that. Why won't either work? Greed and corruption. I'm not a doomsday sayer, just a realist. And in an economy and country where, more and more, one voice is the majority, the only way to 'fix it for sure' is to socialize. - But I DON'T want that. yikes!

ktlx
May 26, 2006, 02:09 PM
For those of us in the US chiming in about how wonderful this is, I'm curious as to what in the recent history of the US House of Reps makes you think this is going to work out all fine and dandy like you think it will? Please give me examples where they have created technology laws that didn't end up having all kinds of intended consequences that simply made things worse.

That's what bothers me right now about this. First there isn't any pre-existing problem in the US the law solves. Right now all of the ISPs are providing "best effort" class of service to all comers. CALEA, DMCA, COPA, telecom 1996 and the list goes on, are all examples of things Congress did that sound reasonable, even good in theory, but end up getting hosed because they were written too broadly or too vaguely.

What makes you think a bunch of 60 year old white men in the hands of a bunch of Washington lobbyists are actually going to write a good law here?

ItsAMacWorld
May 26, 2006, 02:18 PM
What makes you think a bunch of 60 year old white men in the hands of a bunch of Washington lobbyists are actually going to write a good law here?

Amen.

evilgEEk
May 26, 2006, 02:27 PM
This is good news, yet people are voting negative on this. WTF? :confused:
I think it's just a matter of people not truly understanding the article, and perhaps a few that just flat out don't agree. ??

This is excellent news.

ktlx
May 26, 2006, 02:39 PM
I think it's just a matter of people not truly understanding the article, and perhaps a few that just flat out don't agree. ??

This is excellent news.

Yes, of course, it could never be that you and others are misunderstanding the debate.

People shouldn't be kidding themselves here. "Net Neutrality" has almost nothing to do with individuals and their high speed Internet service.

The two sides fighting over this issues are the content owners, movie studios, Google, Amazon, Yahoo!, Microsoft, etc. and the bandwidth providers, Verizon, AT&T, etc. This is not "corporations" versus "little guy", this is one oligopoly pitted against another oligopoly. The fight comes in the middle of an election year where the House is up for grabs, so members need more donations to hold onto their seats, so this is the quickest way to scare a bunch of well funded corporate lobbyists into flowing the money in to make sure their side gets a "fair deal".

My biggest concern is that the US HoR legislates in a chicken and egg problem. Bandwidth providers can't provide higher margin services so can't make a decent ROI so slow down fiber buildouts so content providers can't provide enough new services to mess with TV on demand over the Internet or any other service they might dream of which needs something other than "best effort" service to lots of people.

thogs_cave
May 26, 2006, 03:10 PM
we're loving this (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/04/25/scotland_broadband/) here in scotland. it happened, it worked, we all have access to broadband services. i'm not sure, but are there any other countries in the world that can boast 100% broadband coverage? (technically northern ireland had 100% first though... just!)

Of course, Scotland is a wee bit smaller than the USA or Canada. :p Be that as it may, it surprises me how poorly connected we are in the States. I'm in New Mexico, (Santa Fe to be precise), and despite the presence of some serious network capability, most of us don't get a choice as to what kind of Internet we get. Example: I live outside of town in a subdivision of 6000 or so. We can't get DSL, just cable.

Which brings me to my point: if we had more choice, then it wouldn't be so much of an issue. But, I'm slaved to one ISP, so if they were able to restrict my connection I couldn't go elsewhere.

(Meanwhile, my parents live in a small town in Upstate NY with its own telephone company - independent for over 100 years. While they could get other service, why? Their telephone company provides great connectivity, good prices, etc. They had high-speed *years* before me.)

Stridder44
May 26, 2006, 03:32 PM
Yes, good to hear but where the junks my Fiber line? Hurry up already!

amateurmacfreak
May 26, 2006, 05:07 PM
Thank my freaking God.

And now moveon.org will stop sending me letters to tell all my friends about it after I already had. :D

theBB
May 26, 2006, 05:40 PM
... high-speed internet is becoming more of a necessity today, yet no one is there to stand up for rural America and demand we get the service. Someone has to keep these giant corporations in check and if not the government, who else?...
How come folks living in the cities have to keep subsidising "rural America" for their postal service, phone service, highway access and now high speed internet? How about rural America subsidising the city folks for their high cost of rent? Who is going to stand up for them?

Highland
May 26, 2006, 10:00 PM
Anybody remember that the ISPs said, if we deregulated them in 1996, that by this time we'd all have 45 Mbps speed? Well, we don't. My own Pacbell spent billions and billions merging with SBC, and then AT&T, and changing their logos. And obviously, this sucked up a hundred billion or so -- money that might have gone to extending DSL to rural districts -- or making that last mile wireless. Or laying lots of really fast fiber. Of course, they had lots of time to lobby against municipal systems putting up free, or very cheap, WiFi.

The telcos have to face the fact that they do one thing: supply high-speed data, not POTS, to everyone in their territory. They do not supply content. They are common carriers. If they can't come up with the cash to bring us into the first tier of high-speed Internet, they're not going to finance themselves by choking the net and making deals so, if Yahoo pays them, they choke off Google. Uh-uh. Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the web, has come out very strongly against the ISPs attempts to alter the original design.

If the ISPs need some help, maybe government can invest in a little of the backbone. It's not AT&T's Internet. It's not Comcast's. It's ours.

Oh, and it would help if they were handing over records of all our calls to a legal program, not an unconstitutional power grab. But that's just me.
Very well said.

How come folks living in the cities have to keep subsidising "rural America" for their postal service, phone service, highway access and now high speed internet? How about rural America subsidising the city folks for their high cost of rent? Who is going to stand up for them?
As a society, we need rural areas to survive... that's where our food comes from! Yes, cities will have to subsidise rural areas. Big deal. There has to be some incentive to keep farmers farming etc.

theBB
May 26, 2006, 11:33 PM
As a society, we need rural areas to survive... that's where our food comes from! Yes, cities will have to subsidise rural areas. Big deal. There has to be some incentive to keep farmers farming etc.
It is not like they do it for free. We pay for the food farmers grow, that should be incentive enough. In any case, most people in the rural areas are not farmers. I doubt any of the posters on this forum claiming to live in rural areas are farmers.

I still don't get it. Why don't rural folks have to subsidise city people? If not for them, there would not be internet to begin with. You live in the city, you have better access to all kinds of services, but most everything is more expensive. People make their peace with it. If you live in the rural areas, all of a sudden you have a God given right to cheap internet, highways etc. If a big back yard, cheap housing, fresh food, clean air, short commute etc. is not enough, then move to the city.

disconap
May 26, 2006, 11:59 PM
I think it's all becoming moot, as we'll likely have high-speed digital satellite networking from PCI or USB adapters in the next 5 or so years.

kered22
May 27, 2006, 12:14 AM
Hopefully this will become law, we do NOT need a tiered internet thank you very much.

For those that don't know what net neutrality and a tiered internet are, check out the vid linked here:
http://www.publicknowledge.org/node/156

It's the video version of the most recent TWiT from the Apple Store San Francisco. It was hosted by Leo Laporte, Patrick Norton, Roger Chang, Molly Wood from CNET and the guy who doesn't need an intro, Woz. :)

Here is the TWiT link to the full audio and video versions:
http://twit.tv/44

For those in the US, this still has to pass the full House, so write your representatives, pester them about this.

TalkieToaster
May 27, 2006, 02:45 AM
And the surprise for me was that Sensenbrenner/Conyers worked together on this and it got out of committe before anybody laid a hand on it :)

Even though there are some fairly cohesive arguments to contradict network neutrality, wherein the thought is that regulation stifles entrepreneurship.

There are a few problems with this argument and the present state of the network itself that makes a good case against de-regulation.

If one is to say that the people should not be over-regulated; this would not be the case with very large companies that now own a very sizeable and visably huge (you can see it on the map of the internet) chunk of the physical network. Whereas, before, the network was neutral just by virtue of the fact that the internet was one giant 'bucket-brigade' and if one company threw a fit and wanted to start shaping packets enough to make other networks irritated, then they would be avoided, with other AS's routing around them.

The deal here is; either you are being sold de-regulation, so as a startup you can have a shot; OR you are being Orwelled to death so that you consent to something that can only really benefit a large oligopolist with an already sufficient network. So, if the gov't let's everybody shape packets on their network infrastructure, do we all win? Of course not, I don't have a network infrastructure. This also gives the corporations that are already successful more ability to actually create a barrier to entry to other upstarts.

Hey, I figure (and I'm right) that I already pay for my bandwidth. Therefore, shaping and discriminating packets after the fact, forcing me and my communicators to pay twice, feels like it falls under some kind of racketeering. AT&T isn't just letting the NSA spy on you...both the NSA and AT&T use Narus software for their own, somewhat different reasons. NSA uses Narus as an advanced 'Carnivore' :eek: . AT&T uses it for analysis to learn what type of packets are going across for QoS concerns. Part of the Narus product description is that it can determine what packets are of a certain type. For instance it can detect, shape, or drop skype calls.

Hmm. I already pay for 1 mbps upload and 1.5 down and I assume everybody else pays their bills...so why can't I use my skype?:confused: The answer is making sure you get what you ALREADY paid for. This is Network Neutrality.

ItsAMacWorld
Jun 1, 2006, 06:55 AM
Comcast announced today having *invested in and built technology* that will allow users to double their download speed when engaging in high-bandwidth activities. *It is free to customers.* Maybe the people that should pay for this type of investment could be the movie or music companies that take up all the bandwidth to make money from downloading? Maybe Comcast developed this technology cause they thought the government wouldn't make them pass this on to customers since most customers don't engage in huge bandwidth hogging activities? Maybe this technology would NOT have been developed if Comcast knew they would have to raise your rates to make the profit on it? Maybe, possibly, we are all really beneficiaries and not victims of a free market in choosing high-speed providers?

angelneo
Jun 2, 2006, 01:20 AM
Yes, of course, it could never be that you and others are misunderstanding the debate.

People shouldn't be kidding themselves here. "Net Neutrality" has almost nothing to do with individuals and their high speed Internet service.


It has everything to do with the individuals. How about the blogs we are keeping? How about the little home pages we create for ourselves? How about those innovative file servers we keep at home to access our documents easily? How about those people who wanted to start their little online projects? How about trying to talk to someone on msn or send files? How about those open source projects that uses bit torrent?

It's the high speed Internet that encourages people to reinvent how data is position on the net, look at all the new inventions; bit torrent, skype, google map so on. Do you think they can succeed on a 56k dial up? or do you think they can be that popular if people in UK get bad connection to these sites compare to people in US?

DZ/015
Jun 2, 2006, 01:45 AM
ItsAMacWorld, you sound like an industry rep. Let the free market reign, I agree. I already pay more for my 3M download service than I do for a 768k service. How I use that bandwidth is up to me. To say the company that provides access should charge more based on how I use my bandwidth is absurd.

I live in an isolated area that has only one option (cable) for high speed access. They are a monopoly. Therefore, they need government regulation.
It pains me to say this, but it is true for many people out on the fringe.

ItsAMacWorld
Jun 4, 2006, 05:33 PM
To say the company that provides access should charge more based on how I use my bandwidth is absurd.

Hm. Again, not sure if the implications of the issue are clear. If net neutrality works out, the cable ops WILL DEFINITELY charge you for how you use your bandwidth because they will not be allowed to charge the companies that are making money off your activities. Here are your choices: 1) do they only charge "Bob" for his bandwidth hogging uses, 2) all of us as a whole for Bob's bandwidth hogging uses, or 3) the companies that are making money from Bob's bandwidth hogging uses.

Some people here have said that the cable ops will charge the companies AND us AND Bob. Okay, even if that's true, I'd rather they charge someone instead of ONLY me. This is NOT about regulating pricing to us, it's about charging another perfectly logical party to this whole game for their participation in the bandwidth usage. Why is everyone okay excluding Disney and Google from this payment circle?

Katharine
Jun 4, 2006, 06:13 PM
What you described is the world we live in now, except its not because of government regulations. This is why people like ITR 81 have no DSL. Up here in Maine where I live a large percentage of the state has no high speed internet because the telecomm companies don't see $$$ coming off of it. As much as I believe in free enterprise, high-speed internet is becoming more of a necessity today, yet no one is there to stand up for rural America and demand we get the service. Someone has to keep these giant corporations in check and if not the government, who else?


I see this as a huge issue especially for some place like Maine but I think it is going to change. Maine is trying to figure out what to do about the percentage of graduates leaving the state because they cannot find a job. High speed internet state wide is a way to help to change this and I think the government is going to work on a solution.

amateurmacfreak
Jun 8, 2006, 01:00 PM
Earlier today, I recieved an email from MoveOn.org on Net Neutrality.

Apparently, very soon, the House of Respresentatives will be voting on whether or not to approve the COPE telecommunications act. The current version "guts Net Neutrality" as stated in MoveOn's email. Unless Rep. Ed Markey's amendment to protect Net Neutrality is added to the bill, the bill getting passed would mean the end of a free internet.

Moby even did a fairly stupid video on it.... but it's kinda funny and worth watching: http://www.SavetheInternet.com/moby
Some more videos on it: http://savetheinternet.com/=videos
I liked the Public Knowledge video a lot.
This issue scares the crap against me.

Also, these are interesting: http://savetheinternet.com/=videos

Thoughts?