Net Neutrality. What is it? Do we need it?

MAJ Badmotherfarker

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Oct 11, 2008
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I wouldn't be so worried about things like this if cable companies didn't have a monopoly in most areas. If I want over 3MB download speed, I'm stuck with comcast. There is no competition.
 

Casual Fan

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Oct 14, 2008
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Roanoke, VA
I wouldn't be so worried about things like this if cable companies didn't have a monopoly in most areas. If I want over 3MB download speed, I'm stuck with comcast. There is no competition.
Our region is building its own broadband ring. It will be owned by kind of a quasi-public authority and companies can buy broadband from it and not the monopoly cable company. Hopefully, individuals will have access too.
 

MAJ Badmotherfarker

is drinking a beer.
Oct 11, 2008
8,461
211
63
Washington D.C.
Our region is building its own broadband ring. It will be owned by kind of a quasi-public authority and companies can buy broadband from it and not the monopoly cable company. Hopefully, individuals will have access too.
Do you have details on this? Is this something neighborhoods might be able to do proactively?
 

Wolf

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Oct 11, 2008
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I’m trying to understand this topic, best as I can. But technically it can go all over the place. To me, one of the biggest issues is the internet companies controlling the market.

I simply want faster internet, but pay a cheaper price. I use to pay $65 bucks a month for 100 MBPS, which was fantastic. But now my contract is up, they jacked the price up to $85+ plus a month. I can’t afford that price. So I had to downgrade and now I currently pay $65 bucks a month for 15 MBPS through Cox. To me, that is simply outrages.

I found a bit of a cheaper plan through Century Link, but way faster speed and that would be $55 bucks a month for 80MBPS, with no contract, no data capping and the price is locked in for life. But here the catch, that only good for people in Phoenix, I live in the outside of the valley and the plan they offer me is $35 bucks for 1.5 MBPS and of course it all on fiber optic vs. Cox cable internet. So I’m not going to downgrade my plan anymore, then I have to for slower speeds.

The only options I have is one day CenturyLink finally increases the speed in my area, which I believe Cox is controlling the market or I simply move into Phoenix for a better internet service. But I can’t afford a new house or find a cheap rental plan.
 

JHDK

Release Robin's Bra
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Hyrule
Couple of questions:

Were these net neutrality rules always in place? I only remember hearing about it first under Obama. Wikipedia says a bunch of neutrality bills failed in the mid aughts. Back then I don't remember having to pay more for "fast lanes" to specific sites. I paid for a package like I still do today.

Why is paying for a premium service upsetting everyone? Now I understand being forced to possibly pay for something that used to be free is annoying but paying extra for a premium service is kinda a common practice in all sorts of different American businesses.

Is Canada's internet a shitshow? I see Canada doesn't have net neutrality. I wonder if that has lead to awful, abusive practices up there. Netherlands also doesn't have it. Now I wasn't specifically testing, but the internet seemed fine to me when I was there for a month a few years back.

I wouldn't be so worried about things like this if cable companies didn't have a monopoly in most areas.
This 2014 comment from BMF makes a lot of sense. The talk of allowing people to shop around is kinda silly when most people only have 2 choices at best.
 

memebag

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Lake Huntzing
Couple of questions:

Were these net neutrality rules always in place? I only remember hearing about it first under Obama. Wikipedia says a bunch of neutrality bills failed in the mid aughts. Back then I don't remember having to pay more for "fast lanes" to specific sites. I paid for a package like I still do today.
The current rules were adopted during the Obama administration. ISPs started making noises about charging extra for content from competing companies, so the FCC created rules to prohibit that behavior.

Why is paying for a premium service upsetting everyone? Now I understand being forced to possibly pay for something that used to be free is annoying but paying extra for a premium service is kinda a common practice in all sorts of different American businesses.
Restraint of trade is upsetting everyone. Most people have 1 high speed internet provider. Most of those providers have bought content producers. So those providers will be able to charge whatever they want for badwidth to access content from competing producers.

Imagine your water company bought a hot water heater company. If you used someone else's hot water heater they jacked up your water prices. Same water for both heaters, but a monopoly can now direct water customers to their hot water heaters and kill competition in a previously competitive market.

Is Canada's internet a shitshow?
No, because the CRTC won't let ISPs throttle based on content type.

The bigger issue is, should we be trying to make a lot of money moving bits, or make a lot of money doing stuff with the bits we move? We decided long ago that moving cars, moving water, moving electricity, etc., shouldn't be big profit centers because that limited what we could do with those cars, water, electricity, and the profits we could generate from that.

Moving bits fast isn't hard. It isn't one of those things a competitive marketplace will improve. We should treat it like a fundamental service that other stuff depends on, and protect competitive marketplaces for the other stuff. We've proven those other things can generate plenty of profit to build out and maintain the underlying infrastructure.
 
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Wolf

Jewbacca
Oct 11, 2008
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I can't answer your questions. But this one.

This 2014 comment from BMF makes a lot of sense. The talk of allowing people to shop around is kinda silly when most people only have 2 choices at best.
In the Phoenix metropolitan area, there are a few carriers. But they are all small ducks in a big pond. Cox controls the whole market and CenturyLink is really there only biggest competition. CenturyLink offers the best plan for me, but I can't take advantage of it, because of Cox. They are the big dogs in the yard and they simply won't let anybody come in and play.

I can't stand monopoly corporations, but I don't mind competition, as long they don't hurt themselves and drive up prices.
 

JHDK

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Most people have 1 high speed internet provider. Most of those providers have bought content producers. So those providers will be able to charge whatever they want for badwidth to access content from competing producers.

Imagine your water company bought a hot water heater company. If you used someone else's hot water heater they jacked up your water prices. Same water for both heaters, but a monopoly can now direct water customers to their hot water heaters and kill competition in a previously competitive market.
I get it, I think, but I don't know why I should care about this when I don't care about the same practices in many other areas. I hear your analogy with the water company but I will make one too:

When I go to Disney World and stay in a Disney hotel I get fastpass for the rides. Disney World gives me an incentive to stay at their premium hotels in the form of shorter lines in the parks since they own both. I can stay at an off brand hotel but then I have to wait longer to get on the rides. And yea, I could go across the street to Universal but they aren't as good as Disney so I'm willing to either put up with longer lines or pay extra to stay in their hotels.

So in this analogy, for my area in Boca, Disney is Comcast and Universal is the shittier AT&T.
 
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JHDK

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No, because the CRTC won't let ISPs throttle based on content type.
I'm not arguing here I simply don't know the answer.

What is net neutrality for other than preventing ISPs throttling based on content? Like if Canada says it doesn't have net neutrality but also doesn't allow throttling, don't they then actually have net neutrality in the first place?
 

memebag

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I get it, I think, but I don't know why I should care about this when I don't care about the same practices in many other areas. I hear your analogy with the water company but I will make one too:

When I go to Disney World and stay in a Disney hotel I get fastpass for the rides. Disney World gives me an incentive to stay their premium hotels in the form of shorter lines in the parks since they own both. I can stay at an off brand hotel but then I have to wait longer to get on the rides. And yea, I could go across the street to Universal but they aren't as good as Disney so I'm willing to either put up with longer lines or pay extra to stay in their hotels.

So in this analogy, for my area in Boca, Disney is Comcast and Universal is the shittier AT&T.
Disney isn't anything like an ISP, though. They aren't an enabling technology used the hotels around them. If Disney drives the other hotels out of business, big deal. There are other places you can go on vacation if they ruin all of Orlando.

But if Comcast is your only high speed bandwidth provider, they can give Hulu an unfair business advantage over Netflix, Amazon Video, Google Play, or any other up and coming streaming service. (Comcast owns 30% of Hulu.) Comcast has much more power than Disney World in your analogy, and the consequences are much worse.

It's Comcast's obligation to its shareholders to try to make as much money as they can. The way to do that is to take over as much content production and distribution as possible.

Luckily, we have a way to prevent a few giant multinationals from bringing about that bleak future. We can regulate them.
 

memebag

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Lake Huntzing
I'm not arguing here I simply don't know the answer.

What is net neutrality for other than preventing ISPs throttling based on content? Like if Canada says it doesn't have net neutrality but also doesn't allow throttling, don't they then actually have net neutrality in the first place?
Net neutrality can also include data caps and usage billing. Those don't depend on content, just the size of data.
 
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