Obama wants to make the internet a utility

Tide1986

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why does this keep coming up in this thread

NET NEUTRALITY HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH COST, IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH PROVIDING FREE OR CHEAP OR SUBSIDIZED INTERNET TO ANYONE.
I think the point is that it will at some point when it's deemed to be a utility. Utilities for some reason are seen to be essentials in today's United States.
 

chanson78

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(1) When state governments create laws that prevent municipalities from building their own infrastructure and providing their own services, that smacks of restraint of trade, not a failing of the free market.
I will agree with a caveat. Technically it is a free market. A company or municipality could attempt to enter the market, yet due to the financial backing of such large companies, they are essentially able to restrict entrance due to the legal system. That coupled with lobbying, for example, when an internet company lobbies a state legislature to ensure no municipalities can start up their own network because it would be deemed to be too tough for the private company to compete, makes this a bit more nuanced. At which point it isn't only restraint of trade, it is the free market being gamed to strengthen the position of the incumbent. You may disassociate the lobbying and legal issues from the free market, but in my opinion you can't have one without the other. It is the current state of the US economy, so we can't argue on the merits of a laissez-faire economy, because we have never been one, and can never get there with the way things are.
 

NationalTitles17

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People are already having to pay more for services due to the broken state of things. You think when Comcast strong-armed Netflix into paying them money customers saved on that one? This is the only way to fix the issue. When you have telcos leaving equipment purposely unplugged at peering points to degrade services of companies on the internet, you can't say with a straight face that a free market system works for the internet.
Reclassifying as Title II is not the only way. Rules can be made under Section 706. I generally agree with the least restrictive means principle. Government will overstep and go too far. If you give a mouse a cookie....
 

Al A Bama

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Tidewater

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The free market has stifled competition,
Well, it is probably more accurate to say private businesses allied with government has stifled competition.
All the benefits touted by advocates of this would be true if all men were angels.
Given how the Federal government has loosely interpreted its powers in the past (e.g. the necessary and proper clause, the general welfare clause and the interstate commerce clause; heck, the Clinton Administration's AG could not name a single area of American life that was not subject to Federal regulation in light of the interstate commerce clause), I would be among the skeptical, but not necessarily opposed. Show me the structural ways that the Federal government would be effectively prevented from abusing the consuming populace and I'd be all ears.
Plus, given the propensity of the Federal government to abuse the legitimate powers given to it (e.g. IRS) and "crony capitalism" public-private partnerships (e.g. Enron, Solyndra, etc.), one could well come to the conclusion that government abuse of power is not just a necessary evil of government interference, it is the reason parties exist and want to influence governmental policy to begin with.
Any government power that can be abused to benefit the Federal government overall, or one party in particular, will be. Is there some way the Federal government could abuse designating internet as a public utility? The question answers itself.
I'd rather the Federal government use the Sherman Anti-Trust Act to prevent collusion by ISPs in restraint of trade to break up internet monopolies.
I have three ISP options at my house for internet service.
 
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2003TIDE

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Actually, it seems that he wants to take away our Freedom of Speech on the internet. That way he can become The Emperor. You know Dictators and Emperors like 100% support from the populace. This way there is no disagreement with their policies or anything else they want to do.

Are we seeing more lies and deception?
Has nothing to so with that and everything to do with the face last mile providers aren't playing nice with backbone ISPs at the peering points. Something has to be done. This is one way. Otherwise Telco's will extort businesses to get in the "fast lane" whatever that means to them.
 
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Tidewater

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I will agree with a caveat. Technically it is a free market. A company or municipality could attempt to enter the market, yet due to the financial backing of such large companies, they are essentially able to restrict entrance due to the legal system. That coupled with lobbying, for example, when an internet company lobbies a state legislature to ensure no municipalities can start up their own network because it would be deemed to be too tough for the private company to compete, makes this a bit more nuanced. At which point it isn't only restraint of trade, it is the free market being gamed to strengthen the position of the incumbent. You may disassociate the lobbying and legal issues from the free market, but in my opinion you can't have one without the other. It is the current state of the US economy, so we can't argue on the merits of a laissez-faire economy, because we have never been one, and can never get there with the way things are.
I agree in principle.
Still, any step away from free trade generates its own problems. Invariably, statists tend to argue that the way to fix these problems is, wait for it, more government restrictions of free trade.
It seems to me that the pipes on which electrons flow is a natural monopoly. Who regulates how fast they flow (what ISPs seem to desire for their own financial benefit, and the problem the President appears to be seeking to correct) is not. Can we not "utilitize" the pipes and free up who controls how fast electrons flow along those pipes?
 

chanson78

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I agree in principle.
Still, any step away from free trade generates its own problems. Invariably, statists tend to argue that the way to fix these problems is, wait for it, more government restrictions of free trade.
It seems to me that the pipes on which electrons flow is a natural monopoly. Who regulates how fast they flow (what ISPs seem to desire for their own financial benefit, and the problem the President appears to be seeking to correct) is not. Can we not "utilitize" the pipes and free up who controls how fast electrons flow along those pipes?
How about an alternative way of looking at it? What if they were able to do something analogous with electricity? For example, the network (power grid) was smart and could determine what you wanted to use the energy for. You agree to pay X$ per KWH. Lets say you bake a lot of cookies. You love to bake, and the electric company can determine when you are baking, what plugs you are using for your stove and mixer, additionally they can determine the types of chocolate chips you use. There are two things that blocking net neutrality applied to this scenario would allow to happen. The company could say "Hey I see you love baking cookies. If you subscribe to our special cookie baking electricity, we can guarantee you won't have any issues and your cookies may even get done 1 minute faster." The other option available is that the company can say "Hey not sure if you know this, but baking cookies with chocolate chips made by our competitor will make your cookies take an extra 5 minutes to bake. Oh by the way, we just happen to have started offering our own brand of chocolate chips, and if you use our chocolate chips, we can guarantee your cookies will bake as fast as they normally do. Unless you want to upgrade to our new COOKIE EXTREME 2.0 electricity so its even faster?!" And the cookie baking delay isn't due to there being some funny interaction between competitor chocolate chips and your oven. The electricity company knows when and what you are baking, what chocolate chips you are using, and if they aren't their(or their partners) brand, they give you less electricity on that specific outlet in your house.

This isn't, and never has been about the amount of data getting to your house. The fight has already been fought over and lost. A business is able to sell X MB/S for $ a month all without a guarantee that you will actually be able to get X MB/S. The issue is that ISP's have so much data about the data getting to your house. They know when, where, how frequent, and can actively throttle it back based upon any number of things, all hidden behind the guise of QoS hand waving because the average consumer honestly has no clue just what goes on in the average network.

Al A Bama said:
Actually, it seems that he wants to take away our Freedom of Speech on the internet. That way he can become The Emperor. You know Dictators and Emperors like 100% support from the populace. This way there is no disagreement with their policies or anything else they want to do.


Are we seeing more lies and deception?
Please don't take offense to this, as I am using your as an example of the greater issue at large. Having people who fundamentally do not understand technology being tasked with regulating it and shaping the path of it moving forward is the only reason for hope I have that eventually the young will become motivated enough to stop being so apathetic. In the ongoing net neutrality debate I continue to see a gap between those who understand technology, and those who don't, segregated primarily based upon the basis of age. There are some old timers who work in the industry and have been part of it from the outset who understand, but for the most part, attempting to explain the internet to an older generation is like trying to sell binoculars to a cyclops. Fundamentally people who actually have grown up with a constantly connected world get why its bad. Those who haven't, are finding themselves parroting the anti-government, anti-regulation rhetoric thrown up by the politicians bought and paid for by the telecom lobby. The surest way to get the greatest number of people on board, who are likely to never be affected, is to shout "Obama likes it!"

If your (the royal your) objection is purely based off the principle that nothing the government touches will ever turn out for the better, this whole argument is moot anyways. I can legitimately respect your position, as the government has given many many examples of why this is a sound belief. However I ask that you at least attempt to argue on that point, not some of the crazy crap that has been thrown out there by Cruz, Fox, et al. There really is a diminishing window for actual discourse in this country. Every issue is taken to the extremes with both sides shouting at each other.
 

NationalTitles17

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5 pages in and no one has explained HOW reclassifying ISP's will help me, the consumer, or why reclassification is better than using Section 706 to have the same effect that they profess to want. I am for net neutrality (I pay isp to deliver all content without artificially slowing or "speeding" content from content providers), but I am not convinced that 1. reclassification will actually help achieve this end at all 2. that it is the best way to achieve it (I generally believe in least restrictive means) or 3. that it won't make the situation worse or create even worse problems.

ETA: and by "HOW", I don't mean platitudes like "you'll get cotton candy rainbow unicorns in your email" or even "you'll have more choice" or "it will be cheaper". HOW will it do these things. I like cotton candy rainbow unicorns - it's why I voted for Obama (not really) - but HOW will this deliver them to my email?
 
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Displaced Bama Fan

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5 pages in and no one has explained HOW reclassifying ISP's will help me, the consumer, or why reclassification is better than using Section 706 to have the same effect that they profess to want. I am for net neutrality (I pay isp to deliver all content without artificially slowing or "speeding" content from content providers), but I am not convinced that 1. reclassification will actually help achieve this end at all 2. that it is the best way to achieve it (I generally believe in least restrictive means) or 3. that it won't make the situation worse or create even worse problems.

ETA: and by "HOW", I don't mean platitudes like "you'll get cotton candy rainbow unicorns in your email" or even "you'll have more choice" or "it will be cheaper". HOW will it do these things. I like cotton candy rainbow unicorns - it's why I voted for Obama (not really) - but HOW will this deliver them to my email?
The simple answer is, they can't explain it. They just "feel" it.
 

Tidewater

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This isn't, and never has been about the amount of data getting to your house. The fight has already been fought over and lost. A business is able to sell X MB/S for $ a month all without a guarantee that you will actually be able to get X MB/S. The issue is that ISP's have so much data about the data getting to your house. They know when, where, how frequent, and can actively throttle it back based upon any number of things, all hidden behind the guise of QoS hand waving because the average consumer honestly has no clue just what goes on in the average network.
Fair enough, but I have yet to see how giving more power to the agency with the muzzle of a gun leveled at my head (an agency with a demonstrated track record of using power it has, and power it has not been given, to favor certain political donors/supporters, to ruthlessly suppress citizens who do not act the way the regulators believe you should, etc.) will improve that situation.
My solution would be to foster increased competition, give me more ISP choices, and empower citizens to fire malicious, incompetent or crooked ISPs. Given Sherman Anti-Trust Act powers, the Federal government could well do that. They do not do that, however, because they very regulators some seek to further empower are declining to break up monopoly ISPs.
 

chanson78

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5 pages in and no one has explained HOW reclassifying ISP's will help me, the consumer, or why reclassification is better than using Section 706 to have the same effect that they profess to want. I am for net neutrality (I pay isp to deliver all content without artificially slowing or "speeding" content from content providers), but I am not convinced that 1. reclassification will actually help achieve this end at all 2. that it is the best way to achieve it (I generally believe in least restrictive means) or 3. that it won't make the situation worse or create even worse problems.

ETA: and by "HOW", I don't mean platitudes like "you'll get cotton candy rainbow unicorns in your email" or even "you'll have more choice" or "it will be cheaper". HOW will it do these things. I like cotton candy rainbow unicorns - it's why I voted for Obama (not really) - but HOW will this deliver them to my email?
To answer your question, I am not sure that classification as a utility truly is THE best way to do it.

I will dig into the 706 question though.

706 is all about availability.

SEC. 706. ADVANCED TELECOMMUNICATIONS INCENTIVES. said:
SEC. 706. ADVANCED TELECOMMUNICATIONS INCENTIVES.

(a) In General: The Commission and each State commission with regulatory jurisdiction over telecommunications services shall encourage the deployment on a reasonable and timely basis of advanced telecommunications capability to all Americans (including, in particular, elementary and secondary schools and classrooms) by utilizing, in a manner consistent with the public interest, convenience, and necessity, price cap regulation, regulatory forbearance, measures that promote competition in the local telecommunications market, or other regulating methods that remove barriers to infrastructure investment.

(b) Inquiry: The Commission shall, within 30 months after the date of enactment of this Act, and regularly thereafter, initiate a notice of inquiry concerning the availability of advanced telecommunications capability to all Americans (including, in particular, elementary and secondary schools and classrooms) and shall complete the inquiry within 180 days after its initiation. In the inquiry, the Commission shall determine whether advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion. If the Commission's determination is negative, it shall take immediate action to accelerate deployment of such capability by removing barriers to infrastructure investment and by promoting competition in the telecommunications market.

(c) Definitions: For purposes of this subsection:

(1) Advanced telecommunications capability: The term 'advanced telecommunications capability' is defined, without regard to any transmission media or technology, as high-speed, switched, broadband telecommunications capability that enables users to originate and receive high-quality voice, data, graphics, and video telecommunications using any technology.
(2) Elementary and secondary schools: The term 'elementary and secondary schools' means elementary and secondary schools, as defined in paragraphs (14) and (25), respectively, of section 14101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 8801)
As to why they are going with the reclassification, I think it has to do with the government can then dictate terms of the broadcast license. IE "Thou shall not throttle my Sanford and Son's youtubes" Granted it is the FCC chairmans purview to say what those terms are but /shrug its at least a consistent point of entry for discussion. If everything goes to the wild west, and consumers and businesses alike have to deal with different companies with different terms, the burden for using the internet became higher. "Do I go with Uverse because of its speed, or Knology because the CEO is the brother in law of Hulu and I get a discount on Hulu packages?"

As to the unintended consequences, frankly I have no idea. I would like to believe after all the attention that it got (greatest response to pending decision by FCC ever) the public can at least attempt to have a say in what happens instead of allowing for back room deals and lawyers decide how the internet works.
 

chanson78

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Fair enough, but I have yet to see how giving more power to the agency with the muzzle of a gun leveled at my head (an agency with a demonstrated track record of using power it has, and power it has not been given, to favor certain political donors/supporters, to ruthlessly suppress citizens who do not act the way the regulators believe you should, etc.) will improve that situation.
Can you provide some examples of the FCC doing this? I am legitimately curious as I haven't heard of this before.
 

Jon

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Please don't take offense to this, as I am using your as an example of the greater issue at large. Having people who fundamentally do not understand technology being tasked with regulating it and shaping the path of it moving forward is the only reason for hope I have that eventually the young will become motivated enough to stop being so apathetic. In the ongoing net neutrality debate I continue to see a gap between those who understand technology, and those who don't, segregated primarily based upon the basis of age. There are some old timers who work in the industry and have been part of it from the outset who understand, but for the most part, attempting to explain the internet to an older generation is like trying to sell binoculars to a cyclops. Fundamentally people who actually have grown up with a constantly connected world get why its bad. Those who haven't, are finding themselves parroting the anti-government, anti-regulation rhetoric thrown up by the politicians bought and paid for by the telecom lobby. The surest way to get the greatest number of people on board, who are likely to never be affected, is to shout "Obama likes it!"

If your (the royal your) objection is purely based off the principle that nothing the government touches will ever turn out for the better, this whole argument is moot anyways. I can legitimately respect your position, as the government has given many many examples of why this is a sound belief. However I ask that you at least attempt to argue on that point, not some of the crazy crap that has been thrown out there by Cruz, Fox, et al. There really is a diminishing window for actual discourse in this country. Every issue is taken to the extremes with both sides shouting at each other.
this is one of the best things I've read on tidefans in a long, long time. Count me as one of the old guys in this industry that gets it. 20 years in IT here
 

Tidewater

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Can you provide some examples of the FCC doing this? I am legitimately curious as I haven't heard of this before.
Well, the agency in this case is the Federal government (of which the FCC is a wholly owned subsidiary). I have no faith that the FCC will act any differently than the IRS, DOJ, SEC, ICE, etc.
What reason do you have to believe the FCC will be the only Federal agency that will operate in its regulatory capacity in an honest, open and even-handed manner? Why is the FCC exempt from the failures that make other Federal agencies act in an opaque, dishonest and partial manner?
I realize that you may be younger than me. I am old enough (and well-informed enough historically) to know that Progressives greatest failure is the naive belief that government regulators will be impartial and even-handed in administering whatever slice of society they are assigned to regulate. That has just been proven so wrong on so many occasions that I am surprised when Progressives still advance the argument. Regulators are human, with all the failings humans are prone to. Thrown in a bit of political pressure, and implied threats to the regulator's future employment and it is not surprising that regulators bend to the will of their political masters.
This is an unfortunate consequence (an unavoidable one, in my view) of a government of unlimited powers.
The only power a government does not abuse is one it does not have.
 
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