Net Neutrality

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Net Neutrality

Post by Yogi »

THE END IS HERE: ... e-internet

What the heck is Net Neutrality and why should you care about it?

Good question to which I only have a vague answer. The link does a much better job of explaining than I can. In essence the Federal Communications Commission has authority to regulate common carriers, such as land line telephone companies, under the rule that they are basic services. The common carriers could not discriminate who uses their network nor provide special services to some and deny services to others. Information Service Providers were not regulated the same way because they were considered enhanced services not basic utilities. So, when the FCC imposed it's Net Neutrality rules on companies that lobbied to be classified as enhanced services, Comcast, Verizon, Time Werner, web hosting companies and the like went to court. The issue here is that enhanced services are allowed to filter content and throttle traffic broadcast on their networks, but basic services are not. This is important because those enhanced services can now charge extra for good speed AND restrict content to whatever their little hearts desire. That's quite a contrast to the grass roots open Internet we see today ... err saw yesterday. We can hope and pray that AT&T and Comcast will not see it in their heart to block devices or throttle traffic for those who are not willing to pay a fee for what we get free today. What are the odds of that happening?
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Re: Net Neutrality

Post by Kellemora »

Hi Yogi - I don't see the FCC allowing the BIG ISP's to Bundle Programming the way they do Cable TV Channels.
Regardless of winning or losing the current bank of lawsuits, the FCC still maintains full control over Broadband.

One of the problems is the way things are reported. They often visualize scenarios that are totally unrelated to the issues.

Remember back to the early AOL days. Everything you had access to was internal to AOL, and they controlled what you could receive through their service. They charged enormous fees for what should have been free access, and you never got what you thought you were getting.

I often hear comparisons to things like a dirt road for the poor, vs the paved, well maintained, toll road for the rich.

As a Ham Radio Operator, we often see some of our bands taken away so they can offer them to others. But in almost all cases, there is usually a more than fair trade-off, for a short time anyhow.

We really can't compare what is done on Cable TV to what is or can be done on the Internet.
Almost all services now run on the Internet, Cell Phones, Landline Phones, TV, etc.

If you think back to when Cable TV was first introduced. To get people to sign up for Cable, in lieu of their over-the-air broadcast stations, they heavily advertised, Commercial Free TV. Now, every Cable TV channel has Advertising running during the actual show programs. And it is steadily getting worse. More people are turning to Streaming over their Internet to avoid the commercials during their shows on TV.

As Cable TV providers are losing customers, they are looking to charge more and more for Cable Access. At the same time, they are looking to increase their revenues lost from the TV side of their systems.

Will Internet Programming Packages ever come about?
Where the rich can get their stuff through fast, and the poor have to wait for a lowly time slot.
I don't think so, and here is why.

For this to happen, they would have to overcome all the laws regarding Censorship.
ISP's who automatically block certain content, are continually coming under fire. Even though you the user can turn off the block.

Unlike TV, where you have to pay for Premium Channels and Extra to get Specialty Programming within those Premium Channels. It is an entirely different situation. The Cable TV company must PAY the Provider of each program they air. Just like any business selling a product. They must BUY the product, in order to resell it. And the resale price includes their profit margin.

There are fee based websites, where the user must become a member, pay the fee or dues, to access that website.
Regardless of how much you pay for your Internet connection, whether you still use dial-up, high-speed, or Cable. An ISP cannot CENSOR you from going to that website, because it is not a part of their package.
They didn't buy it, therefore they cannot sell it.
ISP's are throttling customers usage back, to prevent them from turning off Cable and watching streaming video, without paying extra for the privilege.
Which opens up the market for new ISPs who do not place limits on customer usage.

Unlike the amount of bandspread available on the air-waves. Wired or Fiber Optic systems do not have those limitations.
You cannot add more radio spectrum to what exists already. But you can sure add more cables, almost without limit.
Cities have turned Cable TV companies into Monopolies, by giving them exclusive area contracts.
This was an incentive to get a Cable Company to wire a section of their city.
Just like happened with Telephone Companies, eventually there were very few places without telephone wiring.
Things began to change. The big monopolies were slightly broken. You now had a choice of who provided your telephone service. It's the same wires, using the same relay stations, but now your bill and maintenance came from more than one provider.

How does this relate to the Internet. Actually, it doesn't. Because the Internet has never been a monopoly.
It may seem like it. I'm on Comcast Cable, they are the ONLY Cable Company I can choose. So in that light, they are a monopoly, because I do not have a choice of Cable Companies.
I do NOT get my TV from Comcast. Only my Internet Service. But I am not limited to getting Internet from Comcast. I can get DSL, which does not suit my purposes, from TWO different providers, AT&T or Bell South. I don't have to use either. I can get a Satellite Internet Connection, which uses DSL for uploads, through a lease system, still using AT&T or Bell South, but billed by the Satellite company.

I can actually visualize the Cable Companies cables becoming a shared service, as the telephone companies wires.
I can also see new companies finding it more affordable to bring in new cable or fiber optics.
In fact. We already have it here as in other major cities, through the business districts. Independent companies run fiber optic cable and lease usage to ISPs such as Comcast or AT&T, radio stations and broadcast TV stations.

The Big ISP Guns do not own these new cables. They own a lot, but not all of them. It's an emerging new market.
And I'm SURE, if the Big Guns attempt to Package their Internet Services, and sell Throughput to the rich websites.
We will see hundreds, if not thousands of small ISPs spring back up again. Offering unlimited access to Fiber Optic leased lines, and probably do so for a much lower price than the cable companies are currently price gouging their customers for.

I'm sure many or like me. If Comcast gets any higher priced, I will be forced to find an alternative. If they try to go to packaging, they will be history. I only need the cable speeds because of my daily workload. But I could get around that luxury easily enough. Like the old days. Turn off video and only receive the text and run a 1200 baud modem. Which is much faster than I can type anyhow.

As an aside: My son now uses a Cell connection to his computers. He travels daily, and conducts most of his business on a cell phone. It is slower than a cable connection, slower than DSL, but still gets the job done, where he's at. He managed to get an unlimited usage account for about the same price as we pay for our dumb phone cellular services.
Which they have priced gouged us to death on also for a short time, until we figured out why.
They upped the price of my dumb phone by 20 dollars a month, with no added services and no added minutes.
Took us about eight months to figure out why, and then we had to wait another four months to change the contract back.
So they made an extra 240 bucks from us, with no just cause to do so.

As far as my landline goes. AT&T kept upping my monthly fees. Every time they crossed my limit, I called to have my landline shut off. They immediately gave me a price reduction. It would hold for a short time, then go up again. I finally cut them out altogether, and got an Ooma, which uses my internet connection. Ooma is FREE except for taxes.
Love it. It is clearer than AT&T ever was. But without cable internet, I don't know if other services would be.

But I look at it this way. Comcast wants to charge 19.95 a month for their VOIP phone service. Ooma is FREE because VOIP is FREE. I just bought their low cost box, so I don't even need a computer to use it. And they offer all the services that AT&T charged an arm and leg for.
So, if I figure my high cable bill, and deduct from it what my landline used to cost. I'm well ahead of the game.
If you have UPS connected to the Ooma box, it will work when the electric is out.
Provided of course the cable is up. But it is, much more than our phone lines ever were.