Net Neutrality Vote on Dec 13th! (#SaveNetNeutrality)

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Net Neutrality Vote on Dec 13th! (#SaveNetNeutrality)

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Postby FrDougal9000 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:33 am

So, Net Neutrality has come up in recent discussion again, and I've decided to make a post about it to try and help spread awareness.

To recap for those not in the know:

Net Neutrality is the idea that Internet service providers should enable people to access all content and applications, regardless of who is accessing it or from where, and without favouring or blocking particular products or websites. It is, in short, the idea that the Internet should be free for everyone.

Obviously, not everyone agrees with this idea; in particular, cable companies such as Comcast and Verizon have spent the last few years trying to stop net neutrality from becoming a thing, so that they can obtain even more control over what people can and can't access (consider how Verizon won't allow non-subscribers to use Tumblr ever since acquiring it this year). Because of the influence these types of companies can have on law, people picked up to what they were doing and began campaigning for the FCC to do something about it.

In 2015, after a long struggle, the FCC took action to rule in favour of net neutrality by re-branding the internet as a telecommunications service, therefore applying Title II common carrier rules to service providers. This looked to be the end of the struggle, with net neutrality coming out victorious and the Internet being free for anyone to use. However, with the FCC's new president, Ajit Pai (a long-time critic of net neutrality and former Verizon lawyer), taking steps to dismantle those rules and allowing cable companies the 'option' of not being total dicks to their customers, the fight has started up once more.

On December the 13th, the FCC plans to vote on dismantling those rules, which would be be awful for everyone who uses the internet. Even if you don't live in America, this does affect you as many internet websites come from America and will be affected (also, other countries might decide to take influence from America and choose to do the same, which will affect you directly). As such, we need to take action.

If you live in America, please go here and write to Congress: https://www.battleforthenet.com/

For everyone else, either share this thread or similar posts to people you know, or donate to websites like Fight for the Future: https://www.fightforthefuture.org/

Please spread awareness of Net Neutrality, donate to sites fighting to protect it, do whatever you can to help out; we need your help.

Thank you, and good luck.

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Re: Net Neutrality Vote on Dec 13th! (#SaveNetNeutrality)

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Postby pwhodges » Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:25 am

The 2015 decision didn't establish net neutrality - it was the default state of the Internet (and the FCC had fined a company that broke it as early as 2004, one year after the term was coined); in 2015 the FCC made clear that ISPs in the USA were to be regarded as common carriers.

Put simply, the ISPs and content producers both want to monetise the Internet more intensively than it already has been. The ISPs will charge the content companies for preferential access to bandwidth, and the content companies will in turn charge more to their customers as a result. The content companies charging is nothing new - and paying for entertainment is a perfectly reasonable situation. What will change is that the information and B2B users will be forced to accept an inferior service, or to pay extra, increasing the pressure to charge users for access to news, forums, email, whatever. It increases the probability of events (such as happened previously) where disagreements between ISPs can result in users on the two networks concerned not being able to connect to each other (to be fair, the results of this are so devastating that such things have been resolved very quickly in the past). It may even affect access by non-US users to non-US sites, as quite often connections between countries are routed through the US and would thus become vulnerable to having to join a new auction for bandwidth.

It would not be completely unrealistic to compare this with having all roads made into toll roads.
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Re: Net Neutrality Vote on Dec 13th! (#SaveNetNeutrality)

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Postby Guy Nacks » Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:48 pm

5 Calls is a great resource to use, as it gives you direct numbers to Pai's office as well as a number of secondary contacts and a script you can read from when you call.

https://5calls.org/issue/defend-fcc-net-neutrality
Among the people who use the Internet, many are obtuse. Because they are locked in their rooms, they hang on to that vision which is spreading across the world. But this does not go beyond mere ‘data’. Data without analysis [thinking], which makes you think that you know everything. This complacency is nothing but a trap. Moreover, the sense of values that counters this notion is paralyzed by it.

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Re: Net Neutrality Vote on Dec 13th! (#SaveNetNeutrality)

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Postby FrDougal9000 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:35 pm

View Original PostGuy Nacks wrote:5 Calls is a great resource to use, as it gives you direct numbers to Pai's office as well as a number of secondary contacts and a script you can read from when you call.

https://5calls.org/issue/defend-fcc-net-neutrality


That link isn't working for me. It says "This issue is no longer relevant, or the URL you used to get here was wrong."

Has something changed, or was there a kerfuffle with the link?
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Re: Net Neutrality Vote on Dec 13th! (#SaveNetNeutrality)

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Postby Guy Nacks » Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:05 pm

It works for me, but it might not for you because you are not in the United States. The website automatically assesses your location so as to identify who your representatives in Congress are so that they can supply you with their office numbers.

Try to go to the main site at https://5calls.org and navigate to the Demand the FCC Maintain Net Neutrality button on the left.
Among the people who use the Internet, many are obtuse. Because they are locked in their rooms, they hang on to that vision which is spreading across the world. But this does not go beyond mere ‘data’. Data without analysis [thinking], which makes you think that you know everything. This complacency is nothing but a trap. Moreover, the sense of values that counters this notion is paralyzed by it.

And so we arrive at demagogy. - Hideaki Anno, 1996

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Re: Net Neutrality Vote on Dec 13th! (#SaveNetNeutrality)

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Postby pwhodges » Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:02 pm

I had the same, but enabling a US-linked VPN got the page to come up for me. If you don't have a VPN, use the Opera browser which has one built in (you have to enable it in the Settings before the on/off button for it appears).
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Re: Net Neutrality Vote on Dec 13th! (#SaveNetNeutrality) Bl

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Postby Alaska Slim » Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:03 pm

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:The 2015 decision didn't establish net neutrality - it was the default state of the Internet (and the FCC had fined a company that broke it as early as 2004, one year after the term was coined); in 2015 the FCC made clear that ISPs in the USA were to be regarded as common carriers.

Put simply, the ISPs and content producers both want to monetise the Internet more intensively than it already has been. The ISPs will charge the content companies for preferential access to bandwidth, and the content companies will in turn charge more to their customers as a result. The content companies charging is nothing new - and paying for entertainment is a perfectly reasonable situation. What will change is that the information and B2B users will be forced to accept an inferior service, or to pay extra,

Business-class internet/dedicated lines is already a feature companies sell, has been for years. It generates innovation the same way commercial-grade computer hardware does.

Furthermore, the ISPs aren't without their own pressures to keep them honest; any high-handedness will just incentivize companies to get Google Fiber or its imitators into their area of business. Or any number of spectrum internet delivery options, assuming they don't have a pervasive reason to need the performance of a physical line.

It's precisely because it's Businesses who stand to lose the most here, that you can bet they'll spend the money to build new infrastructure, if that's what the current ISPs force them into.

The new guys in wired ISP don't even have to be that innovative to be competitive, all they really need to do is get a city to allow them to use publicly owned “rights of way” points while waiving usage fees. Every time that's happened, towns spring up new infrastructure virtually overnight.
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Re: Net Neutrality Vote on Dec 13th! (#SaveNetNeutrality)

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Postby Ornette » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:22 pm

I've had both business class services as well as dedicated fiber, and the difference is really laughably negligible. What it really means is a slightly higher SLA meaning mostly that they promise you will be down less frequently, and you pay roughly 3 or 4x the residential cost, with really no noticeable difference in service. With a recent ISP that I got business class service from, it was close to 10x the residential cost, with absolutely no difference in service except I got a pool of fixed IP addresses. Why pay 10x? They were the only service provider, with no other ISP in the area, it was their deal or no deal. I seriously, seriously question what kind of innovation the business class (for both cable and FIOS, I've had them both) really provide, as they run on the same infrastructure, with some promise of better SLA but the internet goes down everytime all the residential customers go down.

The majority of the innovation happens at the mass traffic level, not at the pleebs that have to pay the only company offering internet service in their area. This is the large scale infrastructure that runs through the largest content providers, I suppose they can ultimately be charging them extra money, one of the reasons so many content providers are so against removing of the rules.

It's still important to keep in mind that while the concept of net neutrality is pretty simple and makes sense, the literal implementation of any rules is not. There's a lot of existing infrastructure that make some lines blurry: QOS and CDNs all kind of make it seem like they're not content neutral (for good reason). Filtering content because you're sharing internet on an airplane makes perfect sense but is that neutral?

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Re: Net Neutrality Vote on Dec 13th! (#SaveNetNeutrality) Bl

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Postby Chuckman » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:39 pm

View Original PostAlaska Slim wrote:Business-class internet/dedicated lines is already a feature companies sell, has been for years. It generates innovation the same way commercial-grade computer hardware does.

Furthermore, the ISPs aren't without their own pressures to keep them honest; any high-handedness will just incentivize companies to get Google Fiber or its imitators into their area of business. Or any number of spectrum internet delivery options, assuming they don't have a pervasive reason to need the performance of a physical line.

It's precisely because it's Businesses who stand to lose the most here, that you can bet they'll spend the money to build new infrastructure, if that's what the current ISPs force them into.

The new guys in wired ISP don't even have to be that innovative to be competitive, all they really need to do is get a city to allow them to use publicly owned “rights of way” points while waiving usage fees. Every time that's happened, towns spring up new infrastructure virtually overnight.


ISPs have monopolies and maintain regulatory capture (especially by exclusivity contracts with municipalities in exchange for building infrastructure) and the benefits of a free and open internet with high speed and reliability is too great to leave in private hands. Especially after the ISPs made deals for funding to expand broadband and just kept the money.

Somehow when private industry promises to do a thing in exchange for money from the government and then just takes the money, it's actually the governments fault and it proves how the cheating thieves are the ones who should be left to control everything. For profit.
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Re: Net Neutrality Vote on Dec 13th! (#SaveNetNeutrality)

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Postby Chuckman » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:00 pm

Also, here is a list of things that ISPs have tried to do that would be permissible without a Net Neutrality doctrine. Several of them are illustrative of how ISPs could, individually or by collusion, stifle technological growth by throttling or blocking traffic.

https://www.reddit.com/r/KeepOurNetFree ... h=45a33b81
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Re: Net Neutrality Vote on Dec 13th! Bl

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Postby Alaska Slim » Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:13 pm

View Original PostChuckman wrote:ISPs have monopolies and maintain regulatory capture (especially by exclusivity contracts with municipalities in exchange for building infrastructure) and the benefits of a free and open internet with high speed and reliability is too great to leave in private hands.

Yes, so it's a municipal dysfunction which you fix, with municipal reform. Not a national banning of what ISPs can do with their own infrastructure, or what services they can provide. This pretends that non-neutral things ISPs do is always harmful to consumers or their industry, and that perception is wrong.

Private actors can handle this well; we see this in other countries which allowed ISPs to start up more organically, without that municipal or FCC-esce fettering.

As a bonus, when that happens, you also don't need Government funding projects to get that infrastructure built in the first place; you get the best speeds available, and turnover in the tech itself, at the pace of industry development. Not congressional/parliamentary consensus.


At this point, I think I'll also mention that it was because Congress and FCC didn't see the utility in letting the spectrum develop, that we got consumer cell phones 40 years later than we could have. More than a generation's worth of innovation, we didn't get the benefit of, because Government didn't see the purpose in letting people use the spectrum "in the nature of convenience or luxury."


So yes, I agree this development is important. Too important for it to be gatekeeped by Government bureaucrats, who don't know, what they don't know about an industry they don't work in, and utilize decision-making rubrics they don't even know are out of date. In the recursive development environment of the internet, this will simply lead us to hamstringing ourselves.
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Re: Net Neutrality Vote on Dec 13th! Bl

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Postby pwhodges » Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:29 pm

View Original PostAlaska Slim wrote:this will simply lead us to hamstringing ourselves.

I would rather that development be hamstrung by a government which has in mind a neutral approach to it, and over which the voter has some slight opportunity to have a say, than by corporations which experience has already shown prefer to distort the market, and over whom experience has already shown market forces have surprisingly little beneficial effect. (Note also the article linked above which makes the case that practical restrictions on development come more from local government than from central.)

That being said, I suspect the effects of this ruling will be less immediately traumatic than some fear, though negative to some degree in the end.
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Re: Net Neutrality Vote on Dec 13th! Bl

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Postby Alaska Slim » Sun Dec 17, 2017 4:06 pm

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:I would rather that development be hamstrung by a government which has in mind a neutral approach to it, and over which the voter has some slight opportunity to have a say,

Consumers are more rational than voters; both because they update their preferences in real time (not every 2 or 4 years), and because they're not stuck backing a party line to get those preferences expressed.

Irrational consumption still happens of course, but irrational voting is far more ubiquitous.

than by corporations which experience has already shown prefer to distort the market,

Oh no disagreement here: the first one to try and hamstring capitalism is the capitalist. They use regulations to pull up behind themselves the very ladder they climbed up on. Or they turn regulatory movements that develop independent of them into a machination that serves the same purpose.

How can they do that? Because they're the resident interest; everyone else won't have the focus, and are basically just visiting.

(Note also the article linked above which makes the case that practical restrictions on development come more from local government than from central.)

My article also expressed that. Cities are to blame, and you get a better result by allowing cities who make the right choices (like Kansas City and Austin) to prosper for that decision. Cities who fail, should be allowed to fail, until the businesses and general consumers in that city get so sick of the results that they force the city to change. Or they leave, and go to the cities who are doing it right, convincing the city whose losing its tax base that they have to change course.

Emergent decisions made close to the problem are superior to centralized ones, in most cases. I say let it be sorted out at the local level.
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Re: Net Neutrality Vote on Dec 13th! (#SaveNetNeutrality)

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Postby Chuckman » Sun Dec 17, 2017 4:52 pm

Your whole argument is based on the assumption of consumers having power when our political and economic system constantly consolidates power, and you talk about cities failing as if they aren't full of human beings living in them.
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Re: Net Neutrality Vote on Dec 13th! (#SaveNetNeutrality)

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Postby Alaska Slim » Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:16 pm

View Original PostChuckman wrote:Your whole argument is based on the assumption of consumers having power

More than voters at least, yes. Consumers to a person, do far more to shape the market than voters do to shape the political landscape.

It's only the median voter who really has any power in the latter. Markets meanwhile have niches, so you have people affirming their preferences all up and down the value chain.

you talk about cities failing as if they aren't full of human beings living in them.

Human beings, who can ultimately vote with their feet if the city is too egregious in some way.

The American political system is, in part, a domestication of what went on in Europe in the middle ages (which is itself, the reason why Europe was the first place on the planet to enter the enlightenment and the industrial revolution). A time where if thinkers, merchants and craftsman found themselves antagonized in one place, they could reasonably move to another place with a similar culture who'd be happy to have them, preserving a continuity of ideas & practices, even as their place of origin fell back a ways.


I'm not saying that there's never a reason for a central authority to involve itself in a local matter, but I'am saying, that the emphasis should be to avoid that whenever possible. It makes things, as Nassim Taleb put it, more anti-fragile.
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Re: Net Neutrality Vote on Dec 13th! (#SaveNetNeutrality)

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Postby Chuckman » Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:19 pm

Many people are too poor to just move. That's a grotesquely simplistic and frankly inane suggestion to make.
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Postby Alaska Slim » Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:28 am

View Original PostChuckman#870299 wrote:Many people are too poor to just move.

You can set a limit case for when a central authority needs to step in; you're mistaking a direction I'm pointing in for a destination.

I just don't see the need for this here, because of the stakes and the time horizons. Given time, this will solve itself. Either because the municipals will be forced by the businesses who pay their taxes to get their act together, or because technology like LI-Fi will make physical infrastructure utilizing public rights-of-way obsolete.
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Re: Net Neutrality Vote on Dec 13th! (#SaveNetNeutrality) Bl

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Postby pwhodges » Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:12 am

View Original PostAlaska Slim wrote:Given time, this will solve itself.

How much unfairness do you judge to be OK meanwhile? Would your view change if it happened to affect you personally?

technology like LI-Fi will make physical infrastructure utilizing public rights-of-way obsolete.

Dream on... The physical infrastructure of the backbone connections already uses light modulation (what do you think goes through fibre?), and taking it out of its enclosed and optimised environment within fibres to compete in the open air with the data streams from all the other fibres, and with the weather as well, is not going to be remotely competitive in the short or medium timescale (I won't say never, because technology solves some, though not all, problems remarkably well given time).

But the possibility of unfairness will certainly remain while there is any chance of demand pushing the limits of capacity - which has been the constant state of the Internet till now (and which can always be arranged by artificially throttling connections even if it's not technically necessary).
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Re: Net Neutrality Vote on Dec 13th! (#SaveNetNeutrality)

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:14 am

Honestly, we just don't have any laws that fully realize what the internet is and what its full potential can be. Net Neutrality is a solid temporary fix, one that I preferred over the other fixes, to the situation until we built a better legal infrastructure around it from the ground up. What saddens me more than the repeal of Net Neutrality is that the US government seems to be happy simply passing the buck around than it is actually coming together and figuring out what's best for the internet.

But that shouldn't surprise anyone at this point.

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Re: Net Neutrality Vote on Dec 13th! (#SaveNetNeutrality)

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Postby Chuckman » Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:30 pm

The Internet is the most vital technology ever created. It’s more important than flight or the germ theory of contagion. Free information and communication is like water or air, our species depends on it to survive. The devising of a worldwide computer network is probably the most significant event in human history, moreso than be moon landing or the atomic bomb.

Putting it in the hands of the aristocracy because we “should be” talking about municipal reform is ludicrous, and giving away all that power ensures that we’ll never pass the “should be” phase anyway. What motive does the oligarchy with all be power have to facilitate giving it up?

Capitalism or the free market is a terrible means to allocate resources. It’s been soundly proven that rational actors do not exist and there is no such thing as enlightened self interest. If we allow power to consolidate in private hands it will remain in private hands until it’s violently taken from them.

More insidious is the “censorship only applies to the government!” argument. Net Neutrality ending puts incredible power into the hands of ISPs and media companies to censor speech, and hands them a cadre of right wing useful idiots defending it.

The theory behind this is called “starve the beast” and it’s an aggressive right wing plan to privatize all vital services and concepts while whittling the government down to nothing.

The theocracy will be brought to you by Comcast and Pfizer.
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