Don’t let monopolists call the shots, save the internet


  • Vivaldi Team

    Do we want an internet which is free and open or one controlled by gatekeepers, censorship and unfair competition?

    Click here to see the full blog post



  • The american people brought this on themselves, it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Good luck!



  • @luetage: The problem is: What happens there will bleed to the rest of the world too.



  • @QuHno Then let me rephrase that: The american people brought this on us all, I hate to see this playing out :/
    Do something before it is too late!!!!



  • @jonmc It's not clear (to me) how non-US can object to this at the moment.
    I agree with @QuHno that it will impact everywhere if implemented.



  • What on Earth are you guys even talking about? Why is there no proof cited that "The FCC wants to destroy net neutrality and give big cable companies control over what we see and do online"? Is this just more FUD being spread about that ISP privacy law that was repealed at the beginning of March? You guys know that law never fully went into effective, and that absolutely nothing has changed, right?


  • Moderator


  • Moderator

    @gt500: It's not that one, it's the ruling that is already effective. In 2015 ISPs were defined as Common Carries under Act II of the Communications Act.

    Quoting from Wikipedia:

    A common carrier holds itself out to provide service to the general public without discrimination [...] for the "public convenience and necessity." A common carrier must further demonstrate to the regulator that it is "fit, willing, and able" to provide those services for which it is granted authority. Common carriers typically transport [...] goods according to [...] rate tables upon the approval of regulators

    Which means that they can't discriminate traffic by their choice, they can't throttle or prevent traffic or make "special deals".

    Without this ruling ISPs will do what they did before and what happens in other countries, they will throttle services (like throttle Netflix or YouTube or BitTorrent to force users to buy their cable TV packages) and favour services of their choice (like almost happened in India and does happen in Brazil where using Facebook services on mobile is "free" but using competing services is charged, monopolising the social media market).



  • @an_dz: Funny, Net Neutrality was the policy of the FCC even before 2008. When did ISP's supposedly do this?


  • Moderator



  • @ayespy: Your original link above doesn't cite any source to provide proof that the FCC is endangering Net Neutrality, and your new link doesn't even load.

    From what I can tell, the only real incidents where ISP's did anything publicly noteworthy in this area was when Madison River Communications blocked VoIP in 2005, and when Comcast blocked BitTorrent in 2007. There were also fears that AT&T wanted to charge website owners to allow customers access to their websites.

    Beyond the above, I am not seeing any publicly noteworthy incidents that have happened in the United States, and as I said before Net Neutrality has been the general policy of the FCC for many years (technically since September 23rd, 2005).

    As much as I dislike MSN, at least one of their journalists seems to believe that this so-called Net Neutrality law exists to help large companies like Google, Amazon, etc. get bigger and make it harder for smaller companies to compete in the marketplace (which seems more plausible than Internet freedom actually being in danger):
    http://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/technologyinvesting/why-our-kids-will-thank-us-for-rolling-back-net-neutrality/ar-BBDDZNC

    It is, of course, an opinion piece. But then again, this backlash against repealing Obama's laws seems to be based entirely on opinions and partisan politics (the age-old "if you don't support X, Y, or Z party's legislation then everything will go to Hell" fanaticism), and not on what is actually good or bad for people.


  • Moderator

    @GT500 It's not necessary for anyone to "cite sources" to anyone who is at all familiar with the history. And the second link, ie the history, loads fine here. Don't know what your problem is there.

    In short, The FCC originally regulated the internet because it traveled over phone lines. The FCC has authority over communications infrastructure and companies. The earliest controversies were over companies actively blocking certain traffic (such as torrent feeds) that they did not favor. The FCC required them to stop that. Later, issues of throttling and covert means of reducing consumer access were also scotched by the FCC. THEN, companies sued the FCC saying "You can't regulate us. We're not communication services, but data services." And they WON. The FCC still tried to preserve net neutrality but got sued again and lost again. Net neutrality was in jeaopardy. Under the Obama administration, a rule/law was passed legally defining the internet as a communication medium, and putting it under the purview of the FCC. Then the FCC passed net neutrality rules. The current FCC chair and the current administration are vocally opposed to net neutrality. They repealed these rules. The action is not final, pending a public comment period and other administrative steps. If it becomes final, then for the first time in history, ISPs will be allowed to prioritize traffic to favor people who pay (BIG money) for "fast lanes." This will effectively slow and obscure non-payers. Does this not strike you as problematic?



  • Using this avatar for years, & still have Why Open the Web on my email signatures for years.

    I am not interested a site that is IE 6 or Chrome only (that is the same thing).

    "Monopolists create barriers to entry for entrepreneurs and innovators."
    Many of us remember when IE 6 came out, and the time it was never updated, and IE 7 was years years later, everything was IE6 only (that is partly what killed Netscape, & other browsers), many web developers could not do anything fancy and nice with the sites as they were limited by what they could do (few were setting the web standards, and then if you want to support many browsers, you might have to near double your code base if you took the time to do if statements for each browser). In the US there is a reason why monopolies are illegal (if I recall right it was because there was only one source for one good and when that went down that entire area was left with out any access to that item) & innovation fell and many industries fell behind the rest of the world. Competition also brings out innovation as each company keeps trying to out do the other.

    "U.S. wants to kill net neutrality and give cable companies there the power to decide what we see and do online"
    That is disturbing, you are limiting access to knowledge, and then also blocking kids from getting a better option in life or creating something that makes life easier or saves millions of lives.

    This would also affect international business, travel, etc as only certain things can be done if conducted with the US, and that is a big loss for the US with the loss in money and business. The FCC is supposed to make rules & keep standards, and also prevent monopolies in communication from taking over some area to prevent a single point of failure for a large area.


  • Moderator

    "Fast Lanes for the favored" has already begun to be implemented in at least one instance I can think of, but with regard to volume, rather than speed.

    AT&T owns a national cell phone company among other things, and recently purchased DirecTV. Now they are offering customers of each company killer deals if they will switch from their current provider to the other company. DirecTV subscriber drop Verizon for AT&T? Killer deal. AT&T subscriber switch from cable or DishTV to DirecTV? Killer deal. That's OK as far as it goes. Bundling is an accepted marketing strategy (mind you, if you already have both AT&T and DirecTV, no deals are offered to you for customer loyalty. You pay more than new customers. But, OK, company can price their stuff how they want.)

    HOWEVER, there's a method to this madness. They want to compete with services like NetFlix and Hulu and, if possible, push them out of the market. How to do this? AHA! If you have DirecTV and digital services thru AT&T like phone or tablet on cell tower-based data, You get UNLIMITED data, but only for the consumption of DirecTV content. Binge watch, take your favorite series (on demand) with you, watch movies, entertain your kids in the car with Disney and cartoons, all from DirecTV, and all for FREE all the time, no matter how much you consume. Who needs NetFlix or Hulu? No one else is able to offer this type of arrangement, because no one else owns both a national cell network and a satellite TV provider. No one has said or done anything about this anti-competitive self-dealing. But it is anti-competitive and has already begun to take a toll on competing services.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/att-directv-now-net-neutrality-zero-rating-2016-11



  • @ayespy: If sources are not cited, then there is no reason to believe that the information is legitimate.

    Anyway, in a market where ISP's have an easier time competing, and there are more choices, you have the option to switch to an ISP that doesn't "throttle" your Internet connection. You're afraid of big ISP's, fine. Stop trying to regulate how they do business so that you feel better about giving them money, and just stop giving them money. Problem solved.

    I use a small local ISP. They have great service. All of the big ISP's in my area have terrible service. If they were to fold tomorrow, then the only thing unfortunate about that would be the number of people it would put out of work, but in a market where companies can compete new businesses move in and create new jobs.


  • Moderator

    @GT500 On the whole, ISPs don't and can't compete throughout the US within the same arena.

    In this valley there is ONE cable company. One DSL provider. TWO (one, realistically) satellite internet provider, and then the four major cell phone companies. That's it.

    At our place in AZ, there is one internet provider.

    At our place in NM, there is one wireless and one satellite provider. No cable, no DSL.

    In numerous locations there is only Roadrunner, or only Time Warner, or only CenturyLink, etc.

    Through "informal" anti-competitive agreements, the big ISPs have divvied up the country and don't compete with each other - and small companies mostly can't compete with them.


  • Vivaldi Team

    @tbgbe: I think the most impactful thing non-US residents can do is share links/articles/info wherever they can to help increase the visibility to our US counterparts. It's up to them to bring the comments, but they won't comment if they don't know about it. :)



  • @GT500 said in Don’t let monopolists call the shots, save the internet:

    As much as I dislike MSN, at least one of their journalists seems to believe that this so-called Net Neutrality law exists to help large companies like Google, Amazon, etc. get bigger and make it harder for smaller companies to compete in the marketplace (which seems more plausible than Internet freedom actually being in danger):
    http://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/technologyinvesting/why-our-kids-will-thank-us-for-rolling-back-net-neutrality/ar-BBDDZNC

    It is, of course, an opinion piece. But then again, this backlash against repealing Obama's laws seems to be based entirely on opinions and partisan politics (the age-old "if you don't support X, Y, or Z party's legislation then everything will go to Hell" fanaticism), and not on what is actually good or bad for people.

    I read that article the other day. To be blunt, the article is junk.

    It's a lot of words that don't say anything. It doesn't explain why 'our kids will thank us'. It doesn't explain how regulations for net neutrality will cause any harm. It throws a few blanket statements about disruptive technology but does nothing to tie together how the theory ties in with the internet. And then throws a few accusations at some large corporations.

    That article is fear mongering that merely lays out the talking points of the big ISPs. It does precisely what you criticize - plays partisan politics. It's a fluff piece meant to appeal to the anti-regulation crowd.



  • @ayespy: The ISP's divided up the country based on FCC regulations. I remember about 10 years ago I called a local telephone company and asked them to run fiber to my house. They told me that the FCC didn't allow it, because that area was reserved for Sprint. If it wasn't for the FCC, I could have had a choice in Internet service. The FCC and its regulations are the reason why we can't have good Internet and competition between ISP's, and it needs to end.



  • @ugly: Then perhaps an economy expert's point of view would be better?
    https://mises.org/blog/ditch-net-neutrality-now
    https://mises.org/library/net-neutrality-scam


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