Gutting Net Neutrality also guts innovation, fairness and democracy


#1

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#2

Oh, it's not that ba--[please insert 25¢ for another kilobyte of data]


#3

Your use of the 'double-dipping' term is still too kind to the ISP's. There's already double-dipping going on. You, the user, pay for your bandwidth. Netflix also already pays for its bandwidth. So in a sense even a neutral net double-dips, charging both ends of the pipe. (Contrast this with the old-school 'caller pays' model of telephony, which the carriers successfully broke with the advent of cell phones.)

What Comcast now argues is that Netflix doesn't pay enough - because they pay their ISP, rather than Comcast directly, and the other ISP doesn't pay Comcast enough in the peering and transfer agreements. That's an attempt to triple dip: now in addition to charging both ends of the pipe for the data, Comcast wants to charge the server end again because it's not on their network segment. (And then, by extension, even if it is on their network segment, well, because they can.)

Next comes the quadruple-dip: telling the end user that Netflix is a 'premium service' and charging the end user for the privilege of streaming the bits that he's already paying for, because the server operator has also been charged for the privilege of streaming the bits he is already paying for.

Al least two of these four charges (user bandwidth, server bandwidth, server premium access fees, user premium service fees) are nothing more than monopoly rent. And the cable internet providers own a monopoly in most areas of the country. (I can't get copper or fibre DSL: my home phone has a wireless terminal, and the copper to my house is no longer maintained. So for me it's Time Warner or wireless. Terrestrial wireless is many times the cost, and satellite is even worse.)

As you correctly point out, the providers enjoy a monopoly because of the priceless government subsidy that gives them access to their rights of way. The price for that access should be public service.


#4

At this point, I think the only effective option would be to coordinate mass piracy and refuse to pay for all digital content.


#5

The only free choice is refusal to pay

Spectators of Suicide - Manic Street Preachers

Having just paid for Manic Street Preachers songs earlier today might mean that I am being a hypocrite though.


#6

When Facebook bought out Oculus, the response was swift & vicious: "FUCK OCULUS" cried the masses.
FCC guts our "right" to a free and open internet (and goddamnit someone should make it a right), and the response is angry, but in a far more subdued way. This seems like a much more pressing issue. What really bums me out though is that I have no idea how I, as an individual, am supposed to fight this.


#7

Torrent.


#8

Make sure you and everybody you know and everybody they know contact their representatives. It's not much, but it's not nothing.


#9

Some of us do not have representatives.

About the closest thing here in Oxford, UK, are Bernie Sanders brother and nephew.


#10

I feel like we should be coordinating another internet blackout a la SOPA. Fucking ISPs wouldn't have a product to sell were it not for the content providers they continually try to screw harder and harder.


#11

First: Fuck Comcast.

Just moved into a new place and arranged to have internet installed.

(Somewhat Local Cable Guy standing outside): Hey, see this coax coming into your house? Your place is pre-installed for Comcast. I don't think I'm allowed to...
(Me with wire cutter standing outside):
(Somewhat Local Cable Guy): I'll just go run a new wire from the pole...

As I said before, Fuck Comcast repeatedly. Once I heard about the FCC's new "Screw JQ Public" plan, I wondered why they ever bothered with the recently-lost court case. Did the corporate overlords go out for lunch on the day that case was instantiated, or what?


#12

That makes about as much sense as a protest strategy as looting neighborhood corner shops in order to protest against the banks. Unless you're currently purchasing all you digital content directly from your ISP, in which case that's like burning down farms to protest your local grocery chain...


#13

I disagree. The FCC is wholly owned by the RIAA and MPAA and Big Content. Nuke them from orbit, and we might have a chance of getting a chairperson who wasn't/isn't about to be one of their lobbyists.


#14

It's important to remember this isn't a done deal yet. If you are in the US, definitely make some noise: call the FCC, call your representative and your senator.

But not all ISPs are created equal either. Wherever you are, you can call your ISP's management and demand to know their position on net neutrality, and make it clear you will take your business elsewhere depending on the answer. Other ISPs will follow Comcast's lead if they think they can get away with it, but if they can be convinced NOT to follow that lead, Comcast may eventually be the one forced to back away from its position.


#15


#16

What are the Pros and Cons of having the members of a regulatory body populated by the lobbyists of the industry they regulate?


#17

Whether that's a fair characterization or not is irrelevant, as in this case it's a move that benefits ISPs, not content creators. In fact, if anything it harms them, as any content distributor not owned by the ISP potentially has a new barrier to entry, which results in fewer channels of content delivery, i.e. fewer revenue streams. Plus we're also talking about all the content on the web that has nothing to do with the large media companies that benefit from the RIAA and MPAA - all the apps and data services, all the games, not to mention all the indie movies and music, etc.
Even if your characterization was entirely correct, unless your media consumption was made up only of Britney Spears and Spider-Man movies, etc., you'd eventually end up adding additional injury to content creators already being negatively impacted by the lack of net neutrality and encouraging a net culture that was extremely hostile to anyone outside those big media conglomerates.


#18

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