Net Neutrality Bill Approved By House Committee

Discussion in 'MacRumors News Discussion (archive)' started by MacRumors, May 26, 2006.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    [​IMG]

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

    In brief, 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 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 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:

    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.
     
  2. macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #2
    But, don't many of these critics support legislation what would explicitly allow intelligent networks and the auctioning of bandwidth?:confused:
     
  3. macrumors newbie

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    #3
    heh heh

    he said "stiffle."
     
  4. Editor emeritus

    longofest

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    #4
    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.
     
  5. macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

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    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:
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    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.
     
  7. macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #7
    *Breaths a sigh of relief*
     
  8. macrumors 65816

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    Good if..

    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.
     
  9. macrumors newbie

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    #9
    And I'm a flaming liberal...

    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.
     
  10. Editor emeritus

    longofest

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    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.
     
  11. macrumors 68020

    aricher

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    #11
    Your whole post describes the situation perfectly. This is a situation all internet users should pay attention to.
     
  12. macrumors 6502

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    #12
    this is awesome! Comcast at the moment is already using internet shaping against vonage costumers. God I hope they stick it to Comcast hard!
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    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.
     
  14. macrumors member

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    Hail!

    Somebody got something right, for once! :)
    It was a concern to me.
     
  15. macrumors 68000

    Sharewaredemon

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    #15
  16. macrumors 6502a

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  17. macrumors 603

    netdog

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    #17
    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.
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    macnews

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    #18
    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.
     
  19. macrumors newbie

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    #19
    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.
     
  20. macrumors 68000

    Earendil

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    #20
    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
     
  21. macrumors 65816

    Swift

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    #21
    Net Neutrality & Blackmail

    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.
     
  22. macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

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    #22
    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.
     
  23. macrumors newbie

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    #23
    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.
     
  24. macrumors 68000

    Earendil

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    #24
    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
     
  25. macrumors 68000

    Sharewaredemon

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    #25
    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
     

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