Search Results for 'net neutrality'

Net Neutrality">Goodbye to Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality">

This is yet another blatant broken promise by Obama. He promised that he would be a champion of net neutrality, yet picked a Commissioner who sold out consumers and innovators in order to enrich telecoms. Tim Wu explains at the New Yorker:

The new rule gives broadband providers what they’ve wanted for about a decade now: the right to speed up some traffic and degrade others. (With broadband, there is no such thing as accelerating some traffic without degrading other traffic.) We take it for granted that bloggers, start-ups, or nonprofits on an open Internet reach their audiences roughly the same way as everyone else. Now they won’t. They’ll be behind in the queue, watching as companies that can pay tolls to the cable companies speed ahead. The motivation is not complicated. The broadband carriers want to make more money for doing what they already do. Never mind that American carriers already charge some of the world’s highest prices, around sixty dollars or more per month for broadband, a service that costs less than five dollars to provide. To put it mildly, the cable and telephone companies don’t need more money.


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Net Neutrality explained">Net Neutrality explained

Net Neutrality explained">

At Public Citizen, Andrew D. Selbst explains the importance of Net Neutrality:

Common carrier regulations are a century-old concept that has been applied to telecom services from its early days. The concept originates from travel: If you are a bus operator, you must allow anyone with a ticket to board and ride. Applied to telephones, common carrier obligations are the reason that your phone company cannot first listen to your conversations, and then when you discuss switching carriers or call a competitor to sign up, kill your connection or make it so full of static that you cannot hear. If the idea of a telephone company doing that seem preposterous, it is only because common carrier obligations on telephones are so ingrained into our expectations. In terms of the internet, net neutrality simply requires that the ISPs treat each bit of data identically, and send it where it needs to go at the same rate of speed, regardless of its source (subject to legitimate network management concerns). Net neutrality merely regulates the “paved road,” and not the “cars,” in the old metaphor of the “information superhighway.” We would not expect the operators of the road to choose speeds that a car can travel, depending on where it comes from or who is in it.

Without net neutrality rules there is nothing stopping ISPs from simply blocking websites and media they don’t like because the websites and media compete with their offerings or haven’t specifically paid them off. This is not just a scary hypothetical. AT&T recently released a plan called “Sponsored Data” that works as follows: AT&T has already set an artificial data cap on its consumers (itself a policy design solely to extract the most profit out of them). Now, AT&T will allow a provider, like Netflix, pay them for the privilege to reach the user without affecting the user’s cap. Thus, other competing sites become comparatively more expensive since they will run through the user’s data limit. To take another example, Comcast and Time Warner both have online TV services, which allow customers to watch cable programming on their computers or mobile devices. The cable companies’ online TV services don’t count as data under their artificial caps either, so that the home-grown online TV service is preferable to Netflix, a competitor. Then as cable prices get ever higher, the ISPs can point to all the “free” new online TV services they’re offering as justification for higher prices.


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net neutrality">Obama versus Romney on net neutrality

net neutrality">

What are the current positions of Obama and Romney on net neutrality? Ars Technica reports:

Last November, the Obama Administrations issued a veto threat on a Senate resolution that would overturn the FCC’s net neutrality rules. At the time, the White House said, “the open Internet enables entrepreneurs to create new services without fear of undue discrimination by network providers.” The presidential statement expressed concern that overturning the FCC rule would “cast uncertainty over those innovative new businesses that are a critical part of the Nation’s economic recovery.” These comments indicate a strong commitment to the FCC rule, but since then the president has remained nearly mum on the subject.

For his part, Romney has criticized open Internet protections in his economic platform, saying that the FCC “imposed network neutrality regulations (defying both the legislature and judiciary) that restrict how Internet service providers manage the digital transmissions flowing through their networks.”

His answer to a question posed at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire last December offered one blunt hint about his policy preferences. Asked what role he thought the government needed to play in regulating the Internet, he responded, “Almost none.”


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net neutrality">Senate upholds FCC rules on net neutrality

net neutrality"> Senate upholds FCC rules on <span class=net neutrality" title="Senate upholds FCC rules on net neutrality" />

This is a great development on the topic of net neutrality, reported by Free Press:

[T]he Senate rejected a motion to proceed on its “resolution of disapproval” of the Federal Communications Commission’s Net Neutrality rules. The resolution failed by a margin of 52–46. The measure was an effort by Senate Republicans to reverse the FCC’s December 2010 rules intended to prevent Internet service providers from blocking or discriminating against content and applications on the Web.

I had previously published articles urging the rejection of the “resolution of disapproval” at DI (and see here).


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net neutrality next week">Senate to vote on net neutrality next week

net neutrality next week"> Senate to vote on <span class=net neutrality next week" title="Senate to vote on net neutrality next week" />

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote next week on one of the most important issues that most folks aren’t well tuned into: Net Neutrality. If this vote goes badly, or if Barack Obama fails to veto the result, that will be the end of the Internet as we know it, because the Internet will become much more like cable television, with corporate controlled options regarding permitted websites and acceptable software and devices.

Free Press is offering a basic Q & A on net neutrality here.


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net neutrality">Telecommunications industry working overtime to misrepresent net neutrality

net neutrality"> Telecommunications industry working overtime to misrepresent <span class=net neutrality" title="Telecommunications industry working overtime to misrepresent net neutrality" />

I don’t believe that money is speech, but I’ve repeatedly seen that money motivates dishonest speech, much of it uttered by paid “experts.” This money-motivated dishonesty is a recurring problem regarding many issues, including the topic of this article, net neutrality.

On August 8, 2011, I was pleased to see that the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published my letter to the editor on the topic of net neutrality.  Here’s the full text of my letter:

Maintain neutrality

We pay Internet service providers to move data from point to point. We don’t pay them to steer us to selected sites (by speeding up access times) or to discourage us from using other sites (by slowing down or blocking access). Nor do we pay them to decide what applications we can use over the Internet.

I should be free to use Skype even if it competes with the phone company’s own telephone service. Giving Internet users this unimpeded choice of content and applications is the essence of “net neutrality,” and it has inspired unceasing innovation over the Internet.

The Senate soon may vote on a “resolution of disapproval” that would strip the Federal Communications Commission of its authority to protect Americans from potential abuses. If it passes, net neutrality would be at serious risk.

Congress is under big pressure (and receiving big money) from companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, who want to become the gatekeepers of the Internet. They would like to carve up the Internet so that it would become like cable TV, with tiered plans and limited menus of content that they would dictate. Phone companies should not be allowed to dictate how we use the Internet.

I urge Sens. Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt to support net neutrality by voting against the resolution of disapproval.

Erich Vieth • St. Louis

I wrote this letter as a concerned citizen.  I have long been concerned about net neutrality.  I have seen ample evidence that increasingly monopolistic telecommunications companies have no qualms about forcibly assuming the role of Internet gate-keeper.  As for-profit entities, their instinct is to limit our Internet choices if it would make them ever greater piles of money. Call me a pragmatist based on America’s television experience; telecommunications companies want to control how we use the Internet much like cable TV companies shove users into programming packages in order to maximize profit.

On August 18, 2011, I noticed that the Post-Dispatch published an anti-net-neutrality letter. Here is the text of that letter:

[More . . . ]


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net neutrality">Dutch Parliament defends net neutrality

net neutrality"> Dutch Parliament defends <span class=net neutrality" title="Dutch Parliament defends net neutrality" />

Congress, please take note that the Dutch Parliament is fighting back against the phone companies on the issue of net neutrality:

A few weeks ago, we talked about Dutch mobile phone carriers planning to charge for the use of different kinds of application, such as Skype, WhatsApp, and so on. They would check people’s data traffic using deep packet inspection, and charge accordingly. This led to a massive outrage here in this glorified swamp – and this outrage has had its effect.

Our parliament stood up to defend the concept of net neutrality, and as such, motioned the government to have it added to our telecommunications act. Not only will this prohibit carriers from forcing customers to pay additional fees for specific types of data, it also prohibits them from blocking certain types of traffic – something the Dutch branch of Vodafone is already doing by blocking VoIP services. This applies to regular internet service providers as well.


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net neutrality">An excellent primer on net neutrality

net neutrality"> An excellent primer on <span class=net neutrality" title="An excellent primer on net neutrality" />

Net Neutrality is not about government takeover of the Internet.   This claim of a government takeover is a lie being spread by Republicans who have taken steps to give the big telecoms control over the kinds of programs you can make use of over the Internet and the kind of content that is freely accessible.

Please, take a only a minute or two, to join me and take action on this critical issue. Your voice is needed to counteract AT&T’s annual $15 Million in campaign contributions, and 93 full-time lobbyists.

In this video, Senator Al Franken explains net neutrality, using YouTube as the perfect example. I’ve been following this issue closely for several years, but I’ve never before heard net neutrality explained more clearly than Senator Franken explains it here:


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Net neutrality upside down">Net neutrality upside down

Net neutrality upside down"> <span class=Net neutrality upside down" title="Net neutrality upside down" />

Today the Republican-dominated House voted to keep the government’s hands off of the Internet or, at least, that is the story that is being widely promulgated. For example see here: House Republicans adamant that the government keep its hands off the Internet passed a bill Friday to repeal federal rules barring Internet service providers from […]


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