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Old 04-24-2014, 08:46 AM   #1
tubemonkey
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Net Neutrality takes another hit - this time from the FCC

Here are a few headlines:

The FCC mulling new, less neutral rules for the Net

Goodbye Net Neutrality; Hello Net Discrimination

When it comes to net neutrality, either the FCC thinks we’re idiots, or it just doesn’t care

It looks bleak for Net Neutrality. With two Republican commissioners and a Democratic chairman who's anything but impartial (he's a former lobbyist for the industry he's charged to regulate), there's a good chance this could pass.

Personally, I think Wheeler is still in the cable industry's pockets and that he pushed an agenda knowing the courts would shoot it down, thereby giving him an out to seek a compromise favorable to his former industry, while appearing to side with net neutrality. Obama needs to sack him and get someone else to head the FCC.
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Old 04-25-2014, 08:11 AM   #2
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Not good news for internet startups if this happens.
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Old 04-25-2014, 11:05 AM   #3
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Why not? Net Neutrality is simply a code word for the Government regulating the Internet. The FCC tried to pass net neutrality rules, but got slapped down by the courts. Actually, leaving things as they are (and have been since the Internet started) is a very good thing for internet startups.
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Old 04-25-2014, 11:54 AM   #4
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I've grown to hate the word deregulation. Every time the political a$$holes have said deregulation was good for us, we got screwed big time. Look at what deregulating the gas and oil industry did. We saw prices go from $0.30/gal to over $2.00/gal in just a few months. look at the prices now in the telephone industry. I live in Texas and these crooked politicians have deregulated nearly everything, which is political-speak for "bend over consumer because we are getting paid off by big industry and don't care a thing for your rights." Anytime consumers file a claim in Texas against big oil, big pharma, big insurance, etc., the state sides with the big a$$holes against the consumers. There is an old saying that no one wants the government nosing into their business until they need them, then they want them there right then and in big force! My fear is that they will allow a few big streamers to control the bulk of the bandwidth, then the rest of the net will suffer. I say regulate the hell out of big streamers like NetCrap and HuluPutz and all those darn telecomms to keep them from dominating and controlling the net.
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Old 04-25-2014, 04:18 PM   #5
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Basically, the reason I say that Net Neutrality is not good for startups is because it will cost them more to get in the game. Since a few providers will pay more for a faster stream that will make it harder for startups to be able to compete (unless they have deep pockets).
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Old 05-01-2014, 10:37 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jersysman View Post
Basically, the reason I say that Net Neutrality is not good for startups is because it will cost them more to get in the game. Since a few providers will pay more for a faster stream that will make it harder for startups to be able to compete (unless they have deep pockets).

You are contradicting yourself. I don't think net neutrality means what you think it means.
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Old 05-02-2014, 07:16 AM   #7
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Basically, the reason I say that Net Neutrality is not good for startups is because it will cost them more to get in the game. Since a few providers will pay more for a faster stream that will make it harder for startups to be able to compete (unless they have deep pockets).
So, without net neutrality, some companies (like say Netflix) will be able to pay for faster access, and that's good/bad for startups (who may not be able to afford to pay)? It's so clear now!
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Old 05-02-2014, 08:03 AM   #8
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You are contradicting yourself. I don't think net neutrality means what you think it means.
According to this article from Slate.com, this is what getting rid of net neutrality would cause to happen:

"This is what we already know. The FCC is going to propose that cable and phone companies such as Verizon, AT&T, and Time Warner Cable are allowed to discriminate against them, giving some websites better service and others worse service. Cable and phone companies will be able to make preferred deals with the companies that can afford to pay high fees for better service. They will even be allowed to make exclusive deals, such as making MSNBC.com the only news site on Comcast in the priority tier, and relegating competitors to a slow lane. The FCC is authorizing cable and phone companies to start making different deals with thousands or millions of websites, extracting money from sites that need to load quickly and reliably. So users will notice that Netflix or Hulu works better than Amazon Prime, which buffers repeatedly and is choppy. New sites will come along and be unable to compete with established giants. If we had had such discrimination a decade ago, we would still be using MySpace, not Facebook, because Facebook would have been unable to compete."

The full article is here.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_te...you_think.html

As I said, bad for startups and for those without deep pockets.
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:25 AM   #9
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Why not? Net Neutrality is simply a code word for the Government regulating the Internet. The FCC tried to pass net neutrality rules, but got slapped down by the courts. Actually, leaving things as they are (and have been since the Internet started) is a very good thing for internet startups.
Regulating is going to happen whether the government plays a role in it or not. Since there is a huge concentration of power in the Internet market, the businesses who wield that power will regulate their own services if the government doesn't step up and do so themselves. Now if internet service providers were just that, it probably wouldn't be a huge issue. They may discriminate between traffic from different content providers, but they could provide equal opportunity for preferential access to those content providers. (Note: I said could, not would. Exclusive deals would wipe out any notion of equal opportunity.)

The thing is that many of those internet service providers are media companies or have other interests in the communications industry. This creates a conflict of interest. An ISP is unlikely to grant preferential access to a third party that offers VOIP services if the ISP offers their own VOIP service or mobile phone service. If internet service provider does provide preferential access, the fees that they impose ensure that the third party VOIP service isn't competitive with their own products. A similar argument can be made for media companies.

That is where regulation must kick in. Now the regulation can take many different forms. It can state that there is no discrimination based upon the type or source of traffic. It can permit a "fast lane", but ensure that there is equal opportunity to access that fast lane by forbidding discrimination of any form (including fees and exclusivity). It can even break up companies to ensure that there is no conflict of interest. Perhaps it would consider multiple approaches.

But the fact is that free markets and deregulation does not work when there is a concentration of power. At best you are shifting power from one entity (the government) to another entity (private enterprise). At worse you are shifting power from an entity that has some public accountability (i.e. government) to an entity that has virtually no public accountability (typically a monopoly or oligopoly).
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:51 AM   #10
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You have an interesting definition of regulate. So far, there are no cases of internet providers discriminating between traffic for different content providers. Lot's of people claiming that it's happening, but each time it turns out not to be the case. For example, the situation between Netflix and Verizon. The issue wasn't that Verizon was discriminating against Netflix, but rather that normal internet bottlenecks couldn't handle the traffic during peak hours. Thus, setting up connections directly between Netflix and the big providers (Verizon, Comcast, AT&T) allowed Netflix to bypass the normal bottle necks in the internet.

People have been pointing at this so far non existing bug-a-boo of carriers discriminating against rivals for a long time as an excuse for letting government regulate the internet. Given that, so far, the internet has been growing at an incredible rate without government regulation and "Net Neutrality", I think that my vote is to leave it alone until a problem actually develops.
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:05 AM   #11
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I don't have a problem with fast lanes, just as long as as they're open to everyone. What I do have a problem with is the current makeup of these companies. It's a conflict of interest to provide both content and delivery. Break the companies up and let them choose which service they wish to offer.
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Old 05-02-2014, 02:07 PM   #12
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If you don't think that your provider should provide both delivery and content, then get a pure internet provider. That way you won't have to worry about it. People get cable and internet service from the same company because it's convenient.

In general, Netflix doesn't actually compete with Cable companies on demand service. It's a totally different set of video content. On demand, which is the content that we are talking about when we are talking about conflict, competes with video rentals such as iTunes and Amazon on demand. Oddly enough, we vary rarely hear Apple and Amazon complain about being treated unfairly by internet providers though. Maybe because they were a bit smarter about their network layout and how they connect to the internet than Netflix has been.
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Old 05-02-2014, 02:35 PM   #13
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This all gets confusing because the FCC lets carriers sell content. This creates situations where bundling of distribution and content and QoS can give some players an unfair advantage. The FCC has resisted the obvious solution because the cable consortium greases a lot of palms at all levels of government. If the FCC simply ordered Comcast (and others, but mostly Comcast) to spin off their content business, there would be no need for net neutrality.
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Old 05-02-2014, 03:06 PM   #14
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If you don't think that your provider should provide both delivery and content, then get a pure internet provider. That way you won't have to worry about it. People get cable and internet service from the same company because it's convenient.
I use Comcast for the internet and Netflix for video.
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Old 05-03-2014, 08:07 AM   #15
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If you don't think that your provider should provide both delivery and content, then get a pure internet provider. That way you won't have to worry about it. People get cable and internet service from the same company because it's convenient.
I get my internet access from my cable provider not because it's convenient, but because I don't have any other viable choice. DSL isn't available where I live, and cell service is barely good enough for texting, let alone surfing the web. Watching videos is pretty much out of the question.

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