Obama caves on promise, Internet to be regulated by FCC

From the WSJ:

Even HuffPo thinks this is a bad idea:

According to all reports, the rule, which will be voted on during tomorrow’s FCC meeting, falls drastically short of earlier pledges by President Obama and the FCC Chairman to protect the free and open Internet.

The rule is so riddled with loopholes that it’s become clear that this FCC chairman crafted it with the sole purpose of winning the endorsement of AT&T and cable lobbyists, and not defending the interests of the tens of millions of Internet users.

You and I are one of those tens of millions. So the immediate question: With this newfound power, how long before it mutates beyond original scope, and websites that are critical of the government begin to be shut down, or simply IP throttled out of meaningful existence?

I would imaging that site like this one would be a target, since we don’t report what the government line on climate change is.

I can only imagine the future where I’ll be typing some story, like this one, and there will be a knock at the door and

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174 Responses to Obama caves on promise, Internet to be regulated by FCC

  1. Eric (skeptic) says:

    One of the worst things in the internet out here in the rural areas is that users are allowed to download nearly unlimited video drivel over a very limited 3G bandwidth. Gamers are even worse There is no other alternative for many people, so we need to let the providers throttle bandwidth to give everyone decent service. I will buy service from the company that gives me bandwidth free from glitches and outages without any need of government regulation.

  2. Curiousgeorge says:

    We can only hope the new Congress stomps on this camels nose before it gets any further in the tent.

  3. MDJackson says:

    Anthony…? Anthony…?

    …damn.

  4. Tom in Florida says:

    The FCC action has already been shot down by the courts in April because they do not have the power to do this. They will be shot down again, or if that fails, the new Congress will legislate to keep the internet unregulated.

    I am always fearful when the excuse for government interference is to …… no wait, I am always fearful of government interference, period.

  5. terrybixler says:

    FCC overreaching, Climate Brown shirts, TSA Proctologist (without a license), trash monitors, EPA carbon footprint experts. Bankrupt ideas of a bankrupt administration, driving a society bankrupt. Change we can believe in.

  6. crosspatch says:

    “I can only imagine the future where I’ll be typing some story, like this one, and there will be a knock at the door”

    Or your domain will simply disappear from the Internet. I believe something like 70 domains have been “confiscated” by DHS just since this fall.

    We will then see a “not the internet” form. People will begin using tunneling protocols to create an internet within the internet with its own domain naming and probably even its own IP addressing.

  7. JG says:

    I’m wondering if it isn’t more in-line with the healthcare legislation:

    Legislate/regulate providers toward bankruptcy so that the gov’t is forced to prop up the service through nationalization.

    The foot is now in the door, hopefully it will get squished.

    Jim G.

  8. jack morrow says:

    He’s gone back on several things and will continue to do so. I think the new congress will stop some of this “monarcky”. We are turning into sheep and lemmings-at least some in this country are.

  9. JohnQPublic@live.ca says:

    How anyone can believe that Obama should be running the US is simply beyond me. Has he done a single thing good for the country?

    Unless you’re a control-freak bureaucrat who loves to take away freedom from individuals tell the sheeple it’s for their own good, I would wager the answer is no.

    What kind of person elected this guy?

  10. James Sexton says:

    There should be a lawsuit shortly.

    They just can’t stand to have something so powerful that they cannot control. The answer is to lay more fiber.

    This is great, netflix and bit torrents are dictating national policy. Of course none of this would be an issue if the govt. aggressively went after real cyber-criminals. How hard is it to block a known trojan from Moscow? “Click here to clean your computer!”

  11. ibram says:

    This is one of the main things I worry about the govt from doing because it suggests that they have reason to hide something or as you said Anthony, limit the amount of information available to all of us.

  12. Michael Hunter says:

    This question isn’t as easy as saying “they already promised to do the right thing” or “the new congress will legislate to keep the internet unregulated”. The question isn’t simple. The telecoms at the base of this have a long history of killing as much innovation as they can. OTOH they need to be allowed to prioritize traffic. Real time (voice, video) traffic has different characteristics from intermittent non-Real Time traffic (for example surfing this site). Guaranteed you give either some government agency or the telecoms the keys and we end up with a rats nest. About the only real shining moment going that direction is that it is unlikely the telecoms or the government will stay ahead of the innovation of the open tech community.

    And given the US response to wikileaks (which should be “oh shit, we let our stuff get away” instead of “we should force them to think like the rest of the morons and do what we want them to do”) I think the fear that this will get hijacked by the US government to nefariously provide other controls is real.

  13. lnxwalt says:

    This was actually a very simple matter to fix. All they had to do was revisit the decision which said “high speed” providers, such as DSL or cable, were not common carriers. I don’t understand why something so clear and simple was bungled so badly.

    Was a change needed? It most certainly was. My provider started redirecting bad domain queries to a search site in exchange for some payment from the search engine. Within a few months, a sizable portion of queries (we’re talking about well-known sites like Gmail and Yahoo news) were redirected to that page. When a number of people switched to OpenDNS, the provider started threatening to block them. I’m not paying the provider so that it can sabotage what I’m doing in order to collect another payment from someone else. I’m paying the provider to provide an uninterfered-with connection to what I want to see and hear.

    Other providers were blocking VOIP (telephone-like) services such as Skype, Gizmo5, and Google Voice, in order to force people to pay for their higher-priced / less-useful competing services. And, yes, some providers are believed to have blocked access to sites critical of the provider’s actions.

    I doubt that anyone is happy with the outcome. Personally, I hope that the next iteration goes back and reverses the mistaken FCC decision which allowed this mess to come up in the first place. One thing that would do is put the FCC on firm ground in dealing with actions like Comcast’s former behavior (e.g., poisoning bittorrent connections, including those used for things like downloading Linux distributions), where a court decided there was no legal basis for the FCC to punish such misconduct.

    It’d also mean that sites like this one would be protected the same way any other site would be. Think about it. Your landline is not arbitrarily blocked from calling or receiving calls just because the other party uses a competing carrier. That’s the way the Net should work. Common carrier would assure this.

  14. kuhnkat says:

    What will be fought out in court is whether the FCC has the POWER or RIGHT to regulate the Internet. They do not, but…

  15. gman says:

    Thin edge of the wedge.

  16. Black Sabbath says:

    In the last week, the GOP have:
    1) Caved on the tax bill.
    2) Caved on DADT.
    3) Caved on the ‘Food Safety Bill’ led by ME-Chelle Obama.
    4) Caved on START.

    So that’s bad news right there for freedom. But this FCC thing…

    WHY would the FCC do this if they KNOW that they’re going to get dragged into court? Are they confident that Obama’s stacking of the Supremes is going to go in their favor? What are we missing here?

  17. Tony says:

    We were told about the staggering effect that the first automobiles had on the population. So a law was passed requiring a man with a red flag to walk in front of each motor car. It then took a long time to get rid of this law, which impeded commercial development.

    Similarly the real answer to these Net problems is more bandwidth. Could someone give a thumbnail of the technologies out there that will make this kind of problem disappear? Then maybe these legislators can be apprised of the technical and commercial and cultural disadvantage that will be inflicted on countries that regulate internet services for their citizens.

  18. Black Sabbath says:

    Anyone here who thinks the FCC has good intentions here, go back and do your homework.
    ANY TIME both Rush Limbaugh AND the Huffington Post come out against something, it’s truly horrible. And this is straight from the heart of dictator-in-chief Obama.

  19. polistra says:

    I’m always amused when leftists are Shocked Shocked Shocked to find their politicians are just as firmly enslaved to the Wall Street Casino as the Republican politicians.

    And you Republicans who are expecting your politicians to consider the quaint little antique concept of national interest … you’re going to be Shocked Shocked Shocked too.

    It’s all about the Casino. Nothing else counts.

  20. Jimash says:

    I admit I do not understand what this is about. ( but I don’t like the doublespeak)
    So far my cable-internet-phone provider has been very good.
    But they do have a tiered service with tiers higher than the one I get.
    It isn’t a complete wreck like Veriszon DSL was ten years back. That was a nightmare unless you had a business account for mucho bucks.
    The shared space of the neighborhood never gets in my way .
    One way or another this will cost me more. I am sure.

  21. INGSOC says:

    I am not certain if it is understood that this site is likely one of the biggest thorns in the side of those that seek to control by deceit. It would not surprise me to find out that shutting this place down is high on the list of those that are governing through deceit. We must all of us be prepared to defend this place with everything we have.

  22. Clarissa says:

    “We can only hope the new Congress stomps on this camels nose before it gets any further in the tent.”

    -The REPUBLICAN Congress is going to protect net neutrality? The GOP is opposed to the government controling every breath citizens make? I didn’t think anybody over the age of five could be that naive. . .

  23. Joel Shore says:

    Anthony,

    You do realize, I hope, that the Huffington Post piece and the conservative media are attacking the ruling for opposite reasons. The H’Post piece argues that the regulations are too toothless to prevent internet providers from undermining NetNeutrality while the conservatives are attacking the ruling because they want the internet providers (AT&T and Comcast in particular) to have free reign to control our access to the internet as they see fit in their infinite wisdom.

    Unfortunately, one of the lessons that many have not learned from the latest financial crisis is that insufficient regulation doesn’t bring freedom…rather it brings corporate control and economic disaster.

    REPLY: I’m simply pointing out that people on opposite ends of the political spectrum think it is a bad idea too. But you can read anything into my words that suits you, everyone else does. -Anthony

  24. John from CA says:

    This is VERY Bad for a number of reasons yet it makes sense for a few reasons.

    When I first got on the net, in 1994, I used AOL. After exploring the net for a while I realized there was an UnderNet (IRC etc.) I couldn’t reach from AOL because the AOL service, at the time, was designed to keep members within their service. I ended up dumping AOL and got an ISP that allowed me to surf freely. LOL, freely on a 28.8 modem.

    FCC pushes again for 100Mbps Internet, wants it by 2020
    http://dvice.com/archives/2010/03/fcc-pushes-agai.php

    The reason this is so bad, it has nothing to do with freedom of speech, is because it forces us to buy the crap speed the various US companies offer.

    Example: a town in the US South East decided to offer a municipal connection to the Internet for its residents. It offers (1:1 — up/down) 100Mbps for about $100/mo. This is nothing compared to the service you’ll get in Hong Kong but the way the US town did it turns out to be very easy to do. The Internet providers in their State have spent and enormous amount of lobby money to force the town to close municipal service so they can downgrade it to their “norm”.

    If America was fully aware that they can eliminate Internet providers and simply connect to the Net at 10 times the rate for the same ISP provider cost — a Municipal Service like Water, Sewer, and Trash … ; )

  25. savethesharks says:

    Just by the ugly historical fact of him being a pathological promise-breaker (read: “pathological liar”), Obama will go down as one of the worst presidents the United States has ever EVER seen.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  26. Eric (skeptic) says:

    lnxwalt said: “Other providers were blocking VOIP (telephone-like) services such as Skype, Gizmo5, and Google Voice, in order to force people to pay for their higher-priced / less-useful competing services. And, yes, some providers are believed to have blocked access to sites critical of the provider’s actions.”

    Bad but not the end of the world and government is not the answer to that problem. A carrier that blocks third party VOIP so people use their VOIP may seem bad for someone in a highly connected suburb, but it’s not nearly as bad as a carrier that fails to block VOIP out here. The suburbanite merely has to change carriers.

    Out here I have almost nothing. I will pay big bucks to the first carrier that promises me they will block VOIP, netflix, bit torrent and every other bandwidth hog they detect. If some of my activities get blocked that is fine because it is a small price to pay for having any service at all.

  27. Chuck says:

    I hope the FCC gets shot down on this. I also hope the current FCC NPRM gets shot down that wants to take 120 MHz (20 channels) from UHF free over-the-air TV and give it to wireless companies. Bye-bye free HDTV if this happens. Submit your comments here:

    http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/upload/display?z=2acgr

    The FCC has gone crazy.

  28. latitude says:

    JohnQPublic@live.ca says:
    December 21, 2010 at 5:09 pm
    How anyone can believe that Obama should be running the US is simply beyond me. Has he done a single thing good for the country?
    =======================================================
    He created the T-Party and caused the Democrazies to lose Congress………
    But the biggest thing he did, was wake up a whole bunch of lazy, complacent conservatives.

  29. RoyFOMR says:

    Freedom of Speech, in the wrong hands, is a bad thing.
    Trust us.

  30. The Succucite says:

    Long ago I gave up on our beloved gov’ment. This is just one more scratch on the wall… I will quote one of my favorite films: “The people should not be afraid of their government. The government should be afraid of their people.”

  31. Max Hugoson says:

    How do we fight these Bas(e)S(limy)T(oadie)A(ssine)S(tupid)D(emons)?

    Max

  32. Roger Carr says:

    Why is everyone so concerned?
    They’re from the government. They’re here to help us.

  33. Robert of Ottawa says:

    How can a bureaucratic body answerable only to the executive make new regulatyions that give the executive power to do anything, let alone supress free speech. I thi nk this is called AUTOCRACY and the One is responsible.

  34. kramer says:

    One of his admin members, Sunstein, has written that consumers can “‘filter’ what they see.” In other words, we aren’t listening enough to the state approved news sources such as CBS, NBC, ABC, or CNN.

    And when this happens, you get, according to Sunstein, “balkanization” of opinion. Put another way, when this happens, we end up not doing and thinking along the same lines of the people in power who for example, are trying to save us from global warming.

    I’m sure this is a step towards some kind of future regulation that will allow only truthful knowledge (as they deem it) to be placed on the web.

  35. Curiousgeorge says:

    Clarissa says:
    December 21, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    “We can only hope the new Congress stomps on this camels nose before it gets any further in the tent.”

    -The REPUBLICAN Congress is going to protect net neutrality? The GOP is opposed to the government controling every breath citizens make? I didn’t think anybody over the age of five could be that naive. . .

    I did say “hope”.

    Ever see the movie; “Shooter”? Remember the last 15 minutes or so of it? Where the Senator says: “There are no Republicans or Democrats, no Sunni’s & Shiites. There are only Haves, and Have nots.”

  36. Sam says:

    I don’t get it. Isn’t the point of the legislation to not have things blocked on the internet? Isn’t that what we want?

  37. Robert of Ottawa says:

    Any government involvement in any industry leads to crony corporatism, check Adam Smith.

    The censorship won’t be overt, of course, it will be self-censorship. You have seen how a government can legislate an industry to death: look at the Great Gulf Oil Spill saga. The Fed’s case was constantly thrown out of courts and yet they kept on coming back. The government has more money than anyone else and can do this; if things get really embarassing for them, then they can get rid of the judge. These people are socialists, guys, they are petty, cowardly, bureaucratic, Trotskies, Maos and Lenins.

    Sorry for the political rant but this makes me soo…..

  38. John from CA says:

    John from CA says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    December 21, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    This is VERY Bad for a number of reasons yet it makes sense for a few reasons.

    ============
    Here’s why this makes” some sense.

    - the concept of the Internet was never designed to carry the world — they ran out of IP addresses and each ISP created DHCP schemes to handle the load
    - the net would be easy if “evil doers” didn’t spend so much time trying to wreck it — the portals to the DHCP schemes protect “participants”
    - International standards vary widely — some countries require encryption they are only capable of understanding which basically means they are hacking everything and always intended to
    - I could go on for quite a while, here’s a thought, instead of dumping Billions down the Solar and Windmill toilet why don’t we fix the Net?

  39. pat says:

    Obama is really a scary person. Remember that intelligence, which Obama seems to have very little of, does not equal success. Think Stalin, Chavez, Gadaffi, and Noriega. Stupid, vicious and in charge, Now the smart asses think they control Obama, that will change.

  40. pyromancer76 says:

    Clarissa, this is the New Republican Party reformed by Teapartiers that includes many conservative Republicans, Independents, and former Democrats. (There is no such thing as a “moderate” Republican; they belong to the global statist crowd that gives them tons of election money.) The Democratic Party has been taken over completely and fraudulently by marxists, but corporate statists (Wall Streeters, especially the international version) think they will win out. They simply are letting the marxists do their dirty work since marxists (Obama and crew) love to play dirty anti-American tricks. Obama was raised to do this as well as to rake in the dough from mafia-types as well as global corporatists. It’s Chicago all the way. No, I mean it’s the Chicago Way. Republicans — unless the statists (one-worlder, AGW corporations, and financiers whose proxies are the so-called “moderates”, remember Bush’s Enron and Paulson) win out — will turn into a New Party, like the 19th century Republicans.

    I think we are at a sea-change in politics because our global conditions are so different, something like “climate”. Will we simply cycle from warm to cold (marxist Democrats to moderate Republicans) as we have since the 20th Century, or are we in a new situation of an unknown quiet sun and a 1500-year Bond event that requires citizen action? In any case, it’s going to take tons of work to come through this O.K. But we have your back, Anthony.

  41. Sam says:

    “Any government involvement in any industry leads to crony corporatism, check Adam Smith.”

    That’s too broad to say, isn’t it? Government involvement doesn’t necessarily have to lead to bad things every time. Maybe I’m just very naive about how the world and politics work, but I don’t think this peace of legislation HAS to lead to internet censorship in the future. Isn’t the case here about restricting competition? I thought it was more of a monopoly/anti-trust thing than trying to control the internet.

  42. Sam says:

    this piece of legislation* not peace. whoops!

  43. Curiousgeorge says:

    GOD, give us men! A time like this demands
    Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands;
    Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
    Men whom the spoils of office can not buy;
    Men who possess opinions and a will;
    Men who have honor; men who will not lie;
    Men who can stand before a demagogue
    And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!
    Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog
    In public duty, and in private thinking;
    For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds,
    Their large professions and their little deeds,
    Mingle in selfish strife, lo! Freedom weeps,
    Wrong rules the land and waiting Justice sleeps.

    Josiah Gilbert Holland

  44. Doug in Seattle says:

    After 1994 Clinton ran the US by regulation and by stacking the civil service management with like minded people.

    Bush didn’t clean out the civil service when he was elected in 2000 and ended up fighting an unelected opposition within government throughout his tenure.

    Now we have a massive expansion of the civil service with Obama replacing the Clinton appointed middle and upper management with his own.

    What will the next Republican executive do?

  45. H.R. says:

    Government…
    Interference…
    Internet…

    Bad News.

  46. pwl says:

    Unfortunately there are always techies with the knowledge to make the cult of government’s dictates real in the world. I for one refuse and never will do as they demand. I am a free man. I stand on guard against State Based Terrorists Imposing Their Control Upon People not just for myself or Canada but for all of humanity!

  47. Well, I’m not sure how accurate this is, but I thought the whole idea behind “net neutrality” was to provide equal internet access to people outside the US. I’m not sure if this is overtly stated, but the idea is that websites in the US can’t slow down access to the various 3rd world countries.

    Most websites get their revenue from advertising, but if you have a bunch of people who aren’t worth as much in advertising (based on country of origin) sucking up your bandwidth to watch videos then it’ll impact your profits.

    If this is true, then I imagine “net neutrality” will simply bankrupt some websites or slowdown their services for everyone in the industrialized world.

    The scare stories about what ISPs “could” do don’t seem to make a lot of sense to me – there are at least two dozen ISPs in my phone book, many local, and I could switch to any one of them if my current ISP ticked me off.

    If it ain’t broke then don’t fix it.

  48. _Jim says:

    latitude says December 21, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    But the biggest thing he did, was wake up a whole bunch of lazy, complacent conservatives.

    Um, some of us have been active since day 1 (recognizing the wolf was at the door) … where, I might ask, have you been (see, a BUNCH of ppl were taken in by this ‘hope you can believe in’ gib -er- stuff and the rest is history, besides the fact McLame ran a, well, lame campaign)?

    Can you get back to me with the author of that book: “Great Moderates in American History” too?

    .

  49. Steve Oregon says:

    Internet to be regulated by FCC

    Regulated=taxed

  50. Rhoda R says:

    Sam; while not all Govt regulations are designed to screw the public, this one definately is. The statists (found in both parties) have been wanting to tightly control public opinion. They had the conventional media pretty much acting as gate keepers when the net exploded providing an end run around the defacto censorship.

  51. tom T says:

    First of all when did Congress give the FCC the authority to regulate the internet?
    When has government regulation ever made anything freer? The internet is just about the last bastion not regulated. It seems to be humming along very well without any regulation. The first rule should be if it isn’t broken don’t fix it. Sure there are some pockets that could benefit form more bandwidth but that’s about it leave well enough alone.

  52. Layne Blanchard says:

    Nothing this administration does is intended to advance the cause of Freedom.

  53. _Jim says:

    Joel Shore says December 21, 2010 at 5:49 pm


    Unfortunately, one of the lessons that many have not learned from the latest financial crisis is that insufficient regulation doesn’t bring freedom…rather it brings corporate control and economic disaster.

    Insufficient regulation? You mean regulation that required no-doc loans and programs that over-looked practical financial factors for the purpose of putting people in homes (never mind for the moment the MBS* market that underwrote that effort)? C’mon man, where have you been, under a financial rock all this time?

    * Mortgage Backed Securities (home loans)
    .

  54. tom T says:

    Sam:
    No. First it is not legislation which has to pass Congress, this just regulation. It’s regulation by 3 people. Do you know their names? I don’t. This is regulation in area where the FCC doesn’t have authority to regulate. So the three kings just declared that they could regulate it.

    Second just calling something “net neutrality” doesn’t make it so. There is no sign at all that anyone is censoring the Internet now, so why is this needed? It is not, unless the government is interested in a huge power grab. My bet is that it is a huge power grab. One hint is in the fact that instead of going through Congress we have 3 unelected people doing this by decree, that in and of itself is a huge power grab.

  55. Sam says:

    Even if the end goal is to censor the internet as the powers that be see fit, I’m not sure they can actually meet that goal with everyone so tech savvy nowadays. I’m actually more interested in knowing how exactly the government would be able to control the internet.

  56. Mike McMillan says:

    It’s for our own good.

  57. Brad says:

    This is a GREAT idea, the FCC is FOR net neutrality, or in other words STOPPING Comcast and the rest for not allowing streaming movies to your home.

    Just wrong on this one Anthony, not everything OBama does is wrong, read up on it first.

  58. andyscrase says:

    I’m not that convinced that governments are capable of regulating the Internet.

    There will always be hackers who will out-smart the bureaucrats.

  59. Brad says:

    Oh, and as a note added, it was Bush who wanted to regulate internet porn, internet language and make it into TV. Not Obama.

  60. Doug Badgero says:

    The issue of what businesses need regulation is not as simple as some here would believe. Banks need regulated to guard against failure since they can not be allowed to fail or our financial system fails with them. This would result in a contraction of all economic activity and prices, such as occurred in the US great depression. Electric utilities have been regulated for decades. Attempts to deregulate them have proved unsuccessful recently. This is simply because of the large capitol investment needed to enter this market and the risk involved in making these long term investments. A free market assigns a price (cost) to risk. In short, the return on equity required in the free market would be higher than the regulated ROE is IMHO. Certainly, this creates problems of its own. I believe Anthony pays 15+ cents for each kWH of power he purchases in CA, were I pay less than half that in the Midwest. This is a result of poor decisions made by regulators in CA. And not just recently but for decades.

    I am curious to know some of the legitimate reasons that proponents say the internet needs regulated. As I understand it, the most significant effect of this law is to allow ISPs to charge based on capacity used. At first blush, this seems to me to be reasonable but why do they need the FCCs permission to do this? Unfortunately, I think this is more likely the ISPs asking the FCC to lend legitimacy to this new pricing scheme that perhaps the free market wouldn’t tolerate.

  61. TomRude says:

    Next stop: Stalin 1937…

  62. I can only imagine the future where I’ll be typing some story, like this one, and there will be a knock at the door and

    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    And you can’t finish the sentence because of an American government that stops acting American and ends free speech.

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    What’s worse, Congress has been bypassed. This action by the FCC is unConstitutional. At some point they felt they were given the power by the American public to act unilaterally. Whatever misstep in America’s past that created this protocol must be discovered and expunged.

    “…..that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. . . and that government of the people. . .by the people. . .for the people. . . shall not perish from the earth.”

    ~The Gettysburg Address

    http://www.gettysburg.com/bog/address.htm

  63. Ethan says:

    I’m not sure I’m clear on the issue… If I’m missing any great links in this thread I apologize:

    From the WSJ:

    The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday voted 3-2 to back Chairman Julius Genachowski’s plan for what is commonly known as “net neutrality,” or rules prohibiting Internet providers from interfering with legal web traffic.

    Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703581204576033513990668654.html#ixzz18oQHxSzs

    How exactly is that a bad thing? I believe “net neutrality” is necessary. I don’t believe ISP’s should regulate their content, but should be considered more of a utility than anything. If the FCC isn’t going to regulate them who is? I don’t think a free market system works in this case. Tho I hate to say it.

    It’s quite possible I’m missing the point.

  64. Doug Badgero says:
    December 21, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    At first blush, this seems to me to be reasonable but why do they need the FCCs permission to do this? Unfortunately, I think this is more likely the ISPs asking the FCC to lend legitimacy to this new pricing scheme that perhaps the free market wouldn’t tolerate.

    It does appear that the government is influencing fairness in business. But it is common for that to happen in the Obama Administration.

  65. My question is if this is what America wants why did it get rushed through before the new Senators and Congressmen, that Americans just elected in an historic fashion, get sworn in in January?

  66. mike g says:

    Black Sabbath says:
    December 21, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    In the last week, the GOP have:
    1) Caved on the tax bill.
    2) Caved on DADT.
    3) Caved on the ‘Food Safety Bill’ led by ME-Chelle Obama.
    4) Caved on START.

    This is just Pelosi and Reid giving America the middle finger. I don’t think you can say the GOP “caved”. This is still the Pelosi/Reid congress elected in 2008. All the GOP had a chance of doing was blocking some of this garbage in the senate with a filibuster (not counting START, which they could block). With the current balance, all it took was one or two RINOs to prevent that.

    The really amazing thing is that the democrats were able to do so little with the power they had the last two years. Sure, the damage they were able to do will never be undone. But, they planned to do so much more damage.

    But, we mustn’t forget, they knew the result of Obamacare would be defeat in November and they did it anyway. So, in a sense, they planned to turnover power next month. They have so much confidence in whoever is pulling the strings (Soros?) that it’s a little scary to think about.

  67. Ethan says:
    December 21, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    If the FCC isn’t going to regulate them who is? I don’t think a free market system works in this case. Tho I hate to say it.

    I don’t want the regulations of a far left personality—especially since they bypass duly elected eyes and minds. Safeguards were put into place by the Founding Fathers to protect the American people from individuals acting unilaterally. And when doesn’t freedom work? It always has before. I can’t see why it will stop working now.

    I really do think that President Barak Obama included the Founding Fathers when he talked of people who created a mess and must now get out of the way so America can “fundamentally transform”.

  68. mike g says:

    Brad says:
    December 21, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    This is a GREAT idea, the FCC is FOR net neutrality, or in other words STOPPING Comcast and the rest for not allowing streaming movies to your home.

    Just wrong on this one Anthony, not everything OBama does is wrong, read up on it first.
    ===================================
    Comcast has no choice but to throttle your streaming of movies via netflix. If they don’t do that, then I don’t get the bandwidth I’m paying for and I can’t even pull in WUWT without something timing out.

  69. Layne Blanchard says:

    Ethan says:
    December 21, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    Ethan,

    It is that many of us believe the reasons that are stated for this action are not the real reasons. It isn’t clear what those reasons are, but Obama was not nicknamed the “stealth” senator for nothing.

  70. Smokey says:

    Ethan says:

    “I believe ‘net neutrality’ is necessary. I don’t believe ISP’s should regulate their content, but should be considered more of a utility than anything. If the FCC isn’t going to regulate them who is?”

    Ethan, net neutrality is not necessary, because there is not an internet problem that trumps free speech.

    Why is internet regulation even necessary? The internet has thrived without government interference, so where is the problem – outside of the conniving minds of the big government conspiracy theorists? And why should ISPs be any more of a “utility” than newspapers? The arguments for and against are no different.

    As with newspapers, the public itself regulates ISPs through natural selection: if the market doesn’t support them, they will wither and die. The market is self-regulating, and the cost to taxpayers is free.

    It is the FCC’s political appointees who are anti-free market. They are nothing but self-appointed censors, who presume to tell the public what it may or may not be allowed to hear.

    I don’t blame people like you for being confused. I blame the government education industry for failing to educate citizens on the difference between individual liberty and totalitarian thought control; AKA: Big Brother [and Big Sis].

    If and when the internet becomes a bigger problem than restricting freedom of speech, then we can debate regulating it. But until that far off day, this is just a sneaky means to a dictatorial end. If you want a government regulated internet, be fully prepared to give up your freedom of speech in return for it.

  71. April E. Coggins says:

    The feds have no constitutional authority to regulate the Internet. It can only happen if we let them. The feds also have no authority to regulate weather and climate, but who is stopping them? We continue down the road of allowing the government to do what is best for us, regardless of the Constitution.

    A bit of bright news for traditional Americans like myself.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/weigel/archive/2010/12/20/republicans-start-teaching-members-how-to-obey-the-constitution.aspx

    On a side note, the story was front and center on Google News, now Google’s auto-search won’t even suggest it when typed in fully. We are under full attack from the left. My teapot is on a fast simmer.

  72. James Sexton says:

    Ethan says:
    December 21, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    “I’m not sure I’m clear on the issue… If I’m missing any great links in this thread I apologize:…….”
    ========================================================

    There’s no need to apologize. Many aren’t clear. You’ve got the basics right, but you may be applying them in a different manner than some. And then there are greater implications than just the issue de jour.

    You said, “How exactly is that a bad thing? I believe “net neutrality” is necessary. I don’t believe ISP’s should regulate their content, but should be considered more of a utility than anything.”

    This is how its a bad thing. Each ISP only has a certain amount of bandwidth available. The bandwidth is ample for “normal” use. But, down the street, we have a basement dwelling gamer. He’s sucking a lot of bandwidth(bw), his neighbor is watching the entire Star Trek movie series downloaded via netflix. That’s not all that bad, these are legal enterprises, but known to be bw hogs. Elsewhere in ISP land, little Johnny has a bit torrent allowing you to download virtually anything you want from porn to music, movies, and pirated MS Office programs. We know most of the content is illegal, but not necessarily so. Even worse, with the bit torrent, comes an evil trojan, where it tells the user he’s got a problem on his ‘puter and to click here to clean it up. Later they give you a great offer to clean it up for a price. Of course, pay or not, it doesn’t get cleaned. Johnny e-mails his buddy asking him what he should do. The trojan then accesses both Johnny’s and his buddy’s e-mail account and sends everyone an offer for viagra or an alert of an inheritance from some country in Africa…….suddenly, I can’t refresh my page on WUWT, because there is no bandwidth left for average Joe user to even read the news.

    Obviously this scenario is fictional, but happens everyday in ISPs around the world. Now I ask you, do you think the ISPs have an obligation to their subscribers to try and limit that type of activity I described? I do. Some ISP’s address this by tiered pricing for total bandwidth used, such as WildBlue or Hughes Net.(I’m not picking on them, I’m just familiar.) They sell you a speed, but you can’t use that speed very long or you will exceed the total limit. Some allow you to continue, for an exorbitant price. (Cell phone companies) or like WB, they basically shut you down until you drop below a threshold. Currently, my ISP doesn’t limit much. They will throttle a person they see others having difficulties (Irate phone calls.) because of the porn marathon they are engaged in, while others are uploading their entire Metallica collection.

    Now for the larger implications of this power grab. The FCC is trying to ensure this activity continues. And it will if there is no prioritizing traffic. So what is the next logical step the FCC takes when it sees they’ve messed this up? They will move to “fix” the mess. Suddenly, it will be the FCC determining who gets what traffic. On what authority will they move? The same authority used for this rule. Once its established they can regulate, regulate they will.

    I hope that clears some things up for you. I’m sure I missed something or wasn’t entirely technically correct on some point of minutia, someone will come along and correct me. Others may have a different perspective, but that’s it in a nutshell.

  73. mike g says:

    April E. Coggins says:
    December 21, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    On a side note, the story was front and center on Google News, now Google’s auto-search won’t even suggest it when typed in fully. We are under full attack from the left. My teapot is on a fast simmer.
    =======================
    In our Internet-dependent age, this is the scariest thing going on in the world at the moment. This amounts to control over access to information by an agenda-driven organization. Where are the calls to regulate google?

  74. Jeff Alberts says:

    I’m not sure I see the problem here either. Nor do I see why some are complaining about others using all “their bandwidth”. If your ISP isn’t providing what you’re paying for, complain, or get a new ISP. It’s kind of like saying “all these people on the highway are in my way, keeping me from going as fast as I want.” It’s not YOUR internet, it’s everyone’s.

    I used to have Satellite internet. Horrible. They would cap me at 100mb downloads for a certain time frame. I was working from home, sending and receiving large documents, applications, etc. 100mb was nothing. Now I have cable internet, I can send and receive gigs without an issue. So you guys want to go back to capped speeds and bandwidth? No thanks.

  75. Geoff Sherrington says:

    We oldies who watched the birth and growth of the Web will be forever grateful to those many talented people who gave freely of time and effort to make it happen.

    We look less kindly on those who seek to profit from the work of their forebears, either by taking money or by imposing control.

    The success of the Web was in part due to its large component of not-for-profit input. It should be run again on that basis.

  76. James Sexton says:

    Jeff Alberts says:
    December 21, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    I’m not sure I see the problem here either. Nor do I see why some are complaining about others using all “their bandwidth”. If your ISP isn’t providing what you’re paying for, complain, or get a new ISP. It’s kind of like saying “all these people on the highway are in my way, keeping me from going as fast as I want.” It’s not YOUR internet, it’s everyone’s.

    I used to have Satellite internet. Horrible. They would cap me at 100mb downloads for a certain time frame. I was working from home, sending and receiving large documents, applications, etc. 100mb was nothing. Now I have cable internet, I can send and receive gigs without an issue. So you guys want to go back to capped speeds and bandwidth? No thanks.
    ========================================================

    But that’s exactly what you’ll get with this new reg. Only it will be termed as an opportunity to buy a higher tier. Yes, it is everyone’s highway. But the “highway” can only handle so much traffic. There simply isn’t enough bandwidth for everyone to watch movies all day. The question is, do you want the market to handle it? (As you suggested.) Or allow the FCC to step in and start regulating.

  77. Walter Dnes says:

    Anthony, I’m an equal-opportunity basher, and I’m just as scared of big business as I am of big government. Here is what I fear from big business… http://www.dslreports.com/r0/download/1317019~f59bf2e4638e2aa86535cb84516a3861/netneutrality.jpg Do you think that people would ever find your site under that scheme, or that they could see it for any amount of money?

    Let’s face it, phone companies have been sleazy since day 1. Do you realize why *A FUNERAL DIRECTOR* by the name of Almon Brown Strowger invented the automatic telephone exchange in 1888? Seems that his business was suddenly dropping. It turned out that the local telephone operator (cue strereotypical image of woman plugging in patch cords) was the wife of a competing funeral director. And she was pushing potential customers to her husband’s business. The idea behind the Strowger Switch was to remove the human factor.

    Phone and cable companies, if left to their own devices, would shut down the internet as we know it, and re-create a bunch of expensive AOLs. WUWT as we know it today would not exist in that world.

    REPLY: I’m with you, but this regulation is a “foot in the door” for Big Guv, and that’s the big worry. – Anthony

  78. Bob of Castlemaine says:

    Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy in the Australian Federal Labor Government has internet filtering (censorship) on his to-do list also. Seems it’s a preoccupation with these open and accountable Leftist governments?

  79. David says:

    Re James Sexton says:
    December 21, 2010 at 9:53 pm
    Great comment James, well articulated. I suppose who determines what “net nutrality is, is the question. I can see this easily expanded beyond simple bandwidth issues. Does anyone find problem accesing whatever they wish on the net now?

  80. David says:

    Jeff Alberts says:
    December 21, 2010 at 10:14 pm
    “… So you guys want to go back to capped speeds and bandwidth? No thanks.”

    Your righ Jeff, I suppose when the govt makes us all equall, it is always to the lowest common denominator.

  81. I think what some people are reacting to is not what it appears the regulation is about but what we have a hunch it is really about.

  82. R. de Haan says:

    High Anthony,

    I can no longer leave you a note @ Tips & Notes to WUWT. WUWT?
    Are you “regulated” already or have you reached your maximum capacity? (LOL)

    Anyhow, this is the link I wanted to leave at Tips & Notes:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/22/science/earth/22carbon.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1

  83. Squidly says:

    If you want some insight into what this is “really” about, I would encourage you to do a little research into two individuals, Marc Loyd and Cass Sunstein. Marc Loyd (a Marxist) is currently the “Diversity Czar” in charge of, wait for it, the FCC. Cass Sunstein, of course, is the author of “Nudge”.

    This is all VERY calculated. I am not worried about the Internet. Fortunately, these people are complete techno moron’s and have no idea that they are several miles behind the eight ball on this one, however, this is NOT designed just for the Internet. This is only the first step. This IS the proverbial “nose under the tent”. This is just another “nudge”. You will see in the coming year, this will begin to spill into radio and TV but with a much different twist. You see, after you “nudge” something, you begin to move it along. It may not start out as what you want in the end, but it will twist and morph along the way until it is exactly what you want. That is how all of the things this administration has enacted work.

    Ask yourself this, how many 2000 page bills have passed during this administration? How many of those 2000 page bills have been read? Who the hell is writing these 2000 pages bills? Do you really think Reid and Pelosi actually wrote those bills? Hell, those two idiots can barely tie their own shoes, let alone write 2000 page legislation.

    No, this is yet another setup. It is just another piece of the “framework”. Did you know there are already provisions of the Fairness Doctrine and Net Neutrality written into the 2000 page stimulus bill? Did you know other parts of the framework were crafted into the 2000 page Obamacare bill?

    I’m not so much afraid of what the FCC thinks they can or cannot do. Nor am I afraid of the FCC even having the ability to regulate the Internet (they can’t). I am much much more afraid of what the left hand is doing and what is going on behind the smoke and mirrors. Folks, there is something much bigger brewing. They need this diversion to distract you away from something else. Keep a watchful eye, this is the MO of this administration since day 1. Just think back and recount the events of the past 2 years. What has ALWAYS happened whenever some kind of news like this hits the wire? .. keep your eyes open!

  84. W^L+ says:

    Eric, if you think “free reign” by your provider is going to bring you the high speed you desire, you’re wrong. And if you think that poisoning legal bittorrent downloads and blocking competing VOIP services will do it, you’re even more wrong.

    A common carrier system would be more likely to get “fat pipes” to you than the present “carriers in charge” or the newly-approved “regulations with loopholes” approach. Think back to the time when dial-up with the only Net access available. There were probably multiple companies offering access, even in small towns. If one decided they didn’t like your use of AOL’s instant messaging client, you could switch carriers and continue without missing a thing. And people were paying extra to have dedicated lines. This equals extra revenue to the line owner, which motivates them to add capacity.

    On the other hand, having the wireline owner and the service provider as one company will (simply by virtue of accounting rules) make it more profitable to offer a minimal “high speed” service, then charge for add-ons like VOIP, video-on-demand, or unimpeded downloading. Make no mistake, that’s where the money appears to be when customers don’t have choices (which is why your provider won’t invest in bringing you fatter pipes). When customers do have choices, then the money is in offering the fastest connections and the highest data caps, and letting other companies provide the bait that encourages them to use and pay for faster connections and more data transferred across those connections.

  85. Squidly says:

    David says:
    December 21, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    Re James Sexton says:
    December 21, 2010 at 9:53 pm
    Great comment James, well articulated. I suppose who determines what “net nutrality is, is the question. I can see this easily expanded beyond simple bandwidth issues. Does anyone find problem accesing whatever they wish on the net now?

    The answer is quite simple … do some research on Marc Loyd, Diversity Czar and head of the FCC. That will be all you need to know.

  86. R. de Haan says:

    Fortunately the USA has the world’s largest army and it’s not under Government control.
    http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/2010/12/worlds-largest-army.html

  87. Juraj V. says:

    The concept of free armed citizens has its sense.

  88. Matthew Sullivan says:

    I don’t see any problem with limiting bandwidth as part of a tiered service, though I wouldn’t like it as a consumer. But any speed or data limits should be applied blindly to all types of communication.

  89. maxxx says:

    You will not find a better example of insidiousness, a hidden danger. Evil lives here.

  90. johanna says:

    Interesting to read the range of responses from the user perspective (as opposed to the political reaction) here. We have similar dilemmas in Australia – in densely populated areas, people can just change their provider if they are unhappy with the speeds they are getting, but the choices diminish dramatically elsewhere. If more bandwidth is needed, the market will generally provide it, as it is a paying proposition.

    As the amount of content increases, the bandwidth and consumer choice issues outside large towns and cities are getting to be more and more of a problem. It is aggravated by the increasing dependence of people in less populated areas on the net for everything from shopping and paying bills to education services for their children.

    If people in country areas are to have decent services in the long term, some sort of intervention is required. What the best way to deliver that outcome is would be one of the most hotly contested questions in telco policy. (Disclaimer: I worked as a telco policy analyst for many years).

    I won’t presume to enter into a discussion about what the US should or should not do, but here is a comment from a local blogger which raises some questions that perhaps someone here could answer. In particular, why are wireless services excluded – is it because they are an unimportant component of the market? It seems odd, as we all know what happens when too many people are trying to use their cellphones at once – the service just falls over. Also, since the telcos I have dealt with are experts at gaming regulations, it will be interesting to see what sort of ‘specialised services’ they come up with and how it affects the general user.

    ” … the new rules include two gotchas. Great big ones.

    One, the Network Neutrality rules only apply to fixed-line broadband providers. “Mobile broadband is an earlier-stage platform than fixed broadband, and it is rapidly evolving,” the FCC says. “In addition, existing mobile networks present operational constraints that fixed broadband networks do not typically encounter.”

    So the FCC will take “measured steps”. They’ll leave wireless operators to continue doing their own thing and “monitor” them for transgressions. That’s a very small measured.

    Two, telcos aren’t completely banned from creating separate fast lanes. They can declare certain kinds of traffic to be a “specialised service”, for example — something that’s somehow different from access to the open internet — and give it priority. Vague definitions leave plenty of wriggle-room in other areas.” (h/t Stilgherrian)

  91. Eric (skeptic) says:

    Brad said “This is a GREAT idea, the FCC is FOR net neutrality, or in other words STOPPING Comcast and the rest for not allowing streaming movies to your home.”

    If you don’t like what Comcast does, don’t subscribe. If you want the government to run the internet, then vote for the socialist party or whoever promises you the best free lunch. There are just those two choice, it is that simple.

  92. Eric (skeptic) says:

    Jeff Alberts said “I’m not sure I see the problem here either. Nor do I see why some are complaining about others using all “their bandwidth”. If your ISP isn’t providing what you’re paying for, complain, or get a new ISP. It’s kind of like saying “all these people on the highway are in my way, keeping me from going as fast as I want.” It’s not YOUR internet, it’s everyone’s.”

    If there are a choice of private internet providers like you say, there is no need for government regulation, if you are willing to pay to be a bandwidth hog, then there’s nothing stopping you from getting your own dedicated microwave or fiber.

    I used to have satellite just like you and there is a need for caps that you and I used to hate. Otherwise people would not have connectivity due to bandwidth hogs. The providers are again the logical choice to do this, not the government.

  93. Eric (skeptic) says:

    W^L+ said
    On the other hand, having the wireline owner and the service provider as one company will (simply by virtue of accounting rules) make it more profitable to offer a minimal “high speed” service, then charge for add-ons like VOIP, video-on-demand, or unimpeded downloading. Make no mistake, that’s where the money appears to be when customers don’t have choices (which is why your provider won’t invest in bringing you fatter pipes). When customers do have choices, then the money is in offering the fastest connections and the highest data caps, and letting other companies provide the bait that encourages them to use and pay for faster connections and more data transferred across those connections.

    Your argument seems to be that government regulation is required to attain a common carrier, like the government breaking up AT&T so that other companies could compete. But it is in fact the original government regulation that allowed AT&T to consolidate in the first place. One difference now is that we have ulterior motives for wanting new controlling regulations.

    Most of us have choices in carriers now and those customers who want a neutral carrier can do their homework and get one. It is simply laziness or a sense of entitlement to ask the government to do so. Those of us in rural areas are glad that our carriers throttle the bandwidth hogs and should do it more (except for our handful of mostly ignorant bandwidth hogs).

  94. Eric (skeptic) says:

    johanna said “If people in country areas are to have decent services in the long term, some sort of intervention is required. What the best way to deliver that outcome is would be one of the most hotly contested questions in telco policy. (Disclaimer: I worked as a telco policy analyst for many years).”

    Johanna, I am in the rural U.S. My problem is very simple: bandwidth hogs. I know some of them and in fact they complain to me that they not are allowed to hog enough bandwidth! I ignore them because they are so clueless that explaining will do no good. I am glad for whatever caps my wireless carrier can place on them. I have no wired choices except for dialup and no other wireless choices except satellite which has terrible latency.

    The bottom line is my private carrier can respond to my needs without regulation or yield to a new one (there are 4 or more). If they decide to let the bandwidth hogs run wild, then I will switch and I am already close to that point.

  95. Eric (skeptic) says:

    Sorry, the last post should read “they complain to me because they are not allowed to hog enough bandwidth”

    [I facilitated an edit for you... bl57~mod]

  96. Alex the skeptic says:

    Ahmedinejad throttles the ‘net in Iran, Obama throttles it in the US of A.
    Obama=Ahmedinejad or thereabouts.
    Shall you USAans accept this lying down? You have saved the world from tyrants three times last century, for which we europeans shouls be thenking you for the next melleniu8m, now you got a semi-home-grown tyrant in your own bedroom, being supported by strange American bedfellows. Throw him out before it’s too late, for the good of the planet. And I’m even admitting that I am being egoistic, because what happens in the USA eventually seeps down to the farthest corners of the planet, including me and my family in that tiny island in middle of the mediterrenean sea.

  97. Albert Kallal says:

    It’s really wonderful to see the comments here and people just expressing their concerns about free flow of information and access to that information.

    The concerns of bandwidth shaping are legitimate concerns. And as others stated, because they call a bill net neutrality, it doesn’t mean in fact that’s what it’s all about. So often these things mean the reverse!

    I mean if the legislation is so full of Swiss cheese and exceptions, it amounts to not really protecting individuals but results in the reverse.

    And to be fair, as a few people noted, there is a requirement for some of these network pipes to be managed by the owners and those companies that run them. I can agree to some of this and I see this need. However, this becomes a VERY serious matter if done wrong.

    And the idea that our Government or even industry will look out for our interests is a laughable positation. I mean it was GE that has the LARGEST funding of lobbyists in Washington in regards to supporting control of carbon emissions and CAGW.

    In places like China, because the major Internet pipes are controlled by the government, ANY packet with text in them such as Tiananmen Square are simply deleted out of the data stream. This really gives the government a easy way of shutting down any site they please. Now of course there is no question that you can install some types of tunneling software that often gets around these government restrictions, but for the VAST majority of users this control is sufficient.

    The result is for most consumers and most people, the Chinese government achieves its goal of restricting information on the major Internet pipes of their country .

    It’s a little bit naïve to think that the governments and powers that be will not attempt to make efforts to control the Internet. The China example shows that a level of control is quite a bit higher than most of us realize.

    Current polls show Obama is suffering about the worst in public opinion polls, and much of this do is likely reading about this clown show on the Internet. I mean we’re certainly not getting this terrific information from the mainstream media anymore which is become near useless.

    Recall also that the climate gate emails were leaked to the press and virtually nothing was done (imagine that!, the newspapers sat on the climate gate story and did nothing). However, that information on the internet was gasoline + fire! Who can’t remember last year at this time. This was truly a remarkable spectacle to be a witness of.

    Al Gore is an special adviser to Google. Remember in the week after climate gate, the spin and damage control was turned up to maximum volume. Here’s a video I made a Google in that week after climate gate. It is the FIRST TIME that Google had a link on the FRONT PAGE that when clicked on would instantly play a video of Al Gore. I’m pointing this out, because just like mainstream media, search engines and the like are also targets of these miserable wretched socialists.

    video here:

    Note that for the video to run I did NOT do a search., I DID NOT TYPE anything at all. I simply touched one mouse click. This is not a huge deal, but I have to admit I was shocked and Google NEVER HAS done this before or since. So, one mouse click from the front page of Google and we get a video of AlGore spearing out propaganda? I mean sure, ok if I do a search, then this is just fine! But I did not even touch the keyboard here!

    One click from the search engine = Al Gore???

    What is next? Perhaps searching for WUWT does not appear? Recall Lord Monkton threatened legal action against Google when his site was misty released late push down to about the two 100th position, and everything before his site was for the most part JUST JUNK. Right after the threat of legal action, his site magically ALL OF A SUDDEN moved back up to where it was!

    So, if something so large as a fraud as CAGW can be fostered on the public, it would be rather native on peoples part to think that such goals and games would not be played with the internet and our freedoms in this regards.

    Again a warmhearted thank you to all hewre and especially that of our host Anthony Watts who toils away and creates this wonderful site for all of us to enjoy .

    Albert D. Kallal
    Edmonton, Alberta Canada

  98. Eric (skeptic) says:

    Thank you Mr Moderator/Editor! I should explain in a little more detail of where I am coming from. There are just two ways to provide decent service with a limited resource like our rural 3G: cap total usage per month (or perhaps shorter intervals) or throttle services that hog bandwidth. (If there are others, I would love to hear about them!) For the first method, it solves almost no problems. My service is still terrible while the BW hogs run wild, then it gets a little better and some BW hogs get nothing and tie up the customer service lines complaining that the measurement was incorrect. They are amazingly wrong and clueless (usually they don’t realize their kid is doing major downloads or something like that).

    Second method is for the carrier to throttle BW hogging services. That brings up the potential problem mentioned by several posters: what if the carrier has a competing version of the same service, and they throttle their competitor to favor their own? That is also of course the government’s argument. To answer the government argument, one merely has to read squidly’s post above. To answer those who don’t like their carrier’s crappy and costly version of VOIP or whatever, I say: the internet has always routed around such nonsense and is getting better at doing so all the time.

    If your carrier is blocking your independent VOIP provider, then get a different one or better yet, ask your VOIP provider to provide service that can’t be blocked. Your effort will pay off because you will be the only person on your block with decent VOIP while everyone else is using the carrier’s awful VOIP. In the meantime I will choose a provider which is most like a common carrier (i.e. provides no VOIP) and instead provides BW without the hogging services. It will always be an effort to keep up with that (both on my part and the providers) but that’s both the beauty and requirement of the marketplace: I have to expend effort to get the best value, but if I expend that effort I get the best value. The alternative is quite simple: the government runs everything and provides the service most comparable to North Korea’s.

  99. Stephen Brown says:

    The UK government has also proposed taking its first steps down the slippery slope to complete internet censorship. As with any regulation imposed by a government it is only a matter of a week or two before the powers given by that regulation become subject to regular and growing abuse.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet/8214908/Internet-porn-block-plans-not-feasible-ISPs-tell-Government.html

  100. Greg Holmes says:

    George Orwell must be chuckling away watching all this. Here in the UK we are already browbeaten and subjugated, CCTV’d 100 times in a normal day as you go about your daily routine. You guys on your side of the pond, will be politely led down the same path.

  101. Rhys Jaggar says:

    Look mate, it’s already happening. Google searches are now a joke. I know there’s masses of stuff on the internet that Google just doesn’t list anymore.

    You need to think about a new search engine before worrying about this new law……Google’s got 80%+ of the market and it’s already the de facto world censor.

    Think about that………

  102. P. Solar says:

    Similar moves afoot in UK. Here the pretext is porn. Porn apparently should be opt-in and ISP are being forced to filter content. “We must protect the children”.

    Once the mechanism is in place it is obvious there will be “mission creep” and it will rapidly be global censorship.

    My feeling is WikiLeaks has scared (and pissed off) some at the top of government.

    Free speech is OK is a right … as long as don’t try to use it.

    This must be stamped out now before we end up like China.

  103. johanna says:

    Eric, I am a little confused about your comments about ‘bandwidth hogs’ in the context of a free market. Surely the owner or supplier of the bandwidth has an incentive to maximise the return from that bandwidth. Calling people who use a lot of bandwidth ‘hogs’ implies some sort of obligation by the supplier to ration it so that you get what you consider to be your share.

    It doesn’t sound like unfettered market forces that you are advocating at all. It sounds more like those who call people who choose to use a lot of energy in their homes or businesses ‘hogs’ who should be penalised, because consumption is evil.

    As you say, you can change your supplier (although why another supplier wouldn’t also have ‘hogs’ as customers is a moot point). But, in areas where there are few (if any) real choices of supplier, and insufficient bandwidth infrastructure, consumers are likely to be trapped in the last century as far as internet services are concerned. That is the policy problem I raised.

  104. Jeff says:

    The idea that Wall Street has the GOP in its pocket is simply ignorant. The Dems have been the largest recipient of Wall Street cash for the last decade and certainly since 2006 …

    As far as the members of the parties the Democrats have the higher per capita income and have had for at least a decade …

  105. Paul in Sweden says:

    If a company sells a product off a shelf in a store they should be free to do what they want as long as health and safety. When a company tears up roads and puts up poles on my property claiming right of way and demands free access to my land there is a utility relationship.

    If a power company decided to use right of way rip up public and private lands to lay cable only to provide 40 amp electric service to private homes I would have a problem with that especially being that in some cases their build outs are paid for by my tax dollars.

    If my ISP promises me 10mbs service, I want 10mbs service. I do not want my ISP to reap huge profits from tax funded subsidies because they overbook their network. The Internet is more than email to a multitude of individuals and businesses. Allowing bottlenecks on the information highway is short sighted. Allowing a greedy tax-rent seeking ISP that demands access to my backyard to maintain their equipment on my property to selectively choose what protocols, applications or destinations I choose to utilize my 10mbs bandwidth that I have contracted is just wrong. (BTW I have just heard that broadband is now available in the New England town back in the states where I still have a house and property.)

    The Internet should be open. Households should pay for their 10mbs or 100mbs service and receive it. Business should pay for bigger pipes to their ISPs and more powerful servers to provide adequate service to their customers.

  106. C.M. Carmichael says:

    JohnQPublic@live.ca says:
    December 21, 2010 at 5:09 pm
    How anyone can believe that Obama should be running the US is simply beyond me. Has he done a single thing good for the country?

    Hey give the guy a break, he wrote 2 “must read” books about himself. If Al gore invented the Internet, Obama can regulate it. Here come the solar and wind, server farms….

  107. Erik says:

    Welcome big brother….

  108. John says:

    The fight was over the minute somehow the FCC was appointed defender of internet access.

    Firstly, I don’t want my ISP to manipulate my access. And the access they want isn’t just bandwidth, but also content as well. As for that not being all ‘free marketie’, tough. Talk to me about free market when I have more than one cable company and one dish provider competing to be my ISP.

    But setting up the FCC as opposing content manipulation is such a sham. 95% of how the FCC spends its time is regulating content.

    Either way the fix is in. My content is going to be regulated. Either the FCC will be regulating it by decree or my ISP will regulated it out of a combination of their own self-interest or fear of being sued for copyright infringement or what have you.

    The established media, from ‘all hail Obama’ NBC to FoxNews owner Rupert ‘I want copyright enforced on the internet’ Murdoch want the internet regulated. By setting the stage the way its been set, we’ve already lost. They are just quibbling over how it will be done.

  109. Vince Causey says:

    Joel Shore,

    “Unfortunately, one of the lessons that many have not learned from the latest financial crisis is that insufficient regulation doesn’t bring freedom…rather it brings corporate control and economic disaster.”

    You mean insufficient regulation like when G. W. Bush announced that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were henceforth ‘compelled to provide mortgages to everyone so that even those with poor credit ratings would be able to enjoy property ownership.’

    Remind me again, how that piece of ‘insufficient regulation’ turn out?

  110. Joel Shore says:

    Vince Causey says:

    You mean insufficient regulation like when G. W. Bush announced that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were henceforth ‘compelled to provide mortgages to everyone so that even those with poor credit ratings would be able to enjoy property ownership.’

    Yes, I am aware that some conservatives have made up fanciful myths about how the whole crisis was caused by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae even though there is absolutely no basis in reality to these claims. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae got into the bad mortgage game only near the end, well after the private market was neck deep in it.

    That said, having “companies” like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae where the profits were privatized and the risks were socialized was a bad idea for which both political parties share responsibility. Of course, the same can be true for the large private companies since they can effectively hold the nation hostage (“Bail us out or watch your entire financial system collapse”) which is (one of the reasons) why regulation is necessary to prevent abuses.

  111. Joel Shore says:

    Anthony says:

    REPLY: I’m simply pointing out that people on opposite ends of the political spectrum think it is a bad idea too. But you can read anything into my words that suits you, everyone else does. -Anthony

    Yes, but they think it is a bad idea for opposite reasons. Sometimes making both sides of the spectrum unhappy means that you actually have found a good middle ground. I am not saying that is true in this case…I think the supporters of net neutrality are more right than those who want the FCC not to regulate the service providers and just let them set up “slow lanes” and “fast lanes” as they see fit. But, just mixing together the fact that two sides are unhappy as some sort of evidence that the ruling must be bad does not make sense.

    And, the whole title of your post is confusing. It reads “Obama caves on promise, Internet to be regulated by FCC” which would imply to many that letting the FCC regulate the service providers is the caving. However, those who feel that he “caved” are those who think the FCC should have been given broader authority to preserve net neutrality, not less.

    REPLY: No matter what article I write, someone somewhere will take issue with it. You in particular take issue with almost everything written here, so forgive me if I really don’t give a hoot if you don’t like this one. – Anthony

  112. Atomic Hairdryer says:

    Net Neutrality is like global warming. So many issues in so few words, and another area where ignorance, politics and enlightened self-interest run rife. Having been designing, building, running and selling IP networks for over 20 years now, here’s my take. There are three main aspects.

    1) Political. The desire to control something and regulate it or influence it. The ‘net has managed to be mostly self-regulated and mostly worked. As it became more commercial, that got more challenging. One political aspect is censorship. In the UK in the mid-90′s, there was an infamous ‘French letter’ sent by our police to ISP’s asking for a slew of newsfeeds to be blocked for carrying potentially illegal content. If ISP’s refused, the police would prosecute the ISPs. As a consequence, ISP’s created an alternative, the IWF. That initially acted as a central point of contact between law enforcement, the ISPs and users to block and notify child abuse content. Everyone agreed that’s a bad thing and the IWF’s done a good job.

    Problem then was ‘if you can block that, what else can you block?’ so pressure applied to expand the IWF mandate to include harder to define and more controversial content like ‘hate speech’ or ‘incitement to racial hatred’, or as one of our politicians put it ‘criminal websites’. Which puts a non-judicial group in a position to act as judge on a whole slew of more complex legal issues. The US probably has fewer problems with this (currently) due to more free speech protections but still has the challenge of managing the process. Just because it’s technically feasible for an ISP to drop a website, it doesn’t necessarily mean the ISP should be responsible, but many people (eg MPAA or RIAA) are anti-net neutrality or common carrier and seem to expect the ISP’s to act as judges. Without any compensation, naturally. Normal legal process should apply. If a crime is suspected, report it to law enforcement and let the law take it’s course. If they determine content is illegal, they can request it’s removal, or monitor and prosecute. Civil processes should stay the same, but industry groups lobby for ISP’s to help their business models, not the justice system. But for this site, providing kooks don’t get their way and make climate scepticism a crime against humanity, nothing much should change.

    2) Technical. Not all content is created equal, so traffic prioritisation is arguably necessary to deliver a good user experience. The basic ‘net doesn’t differentiate traffic between time insensitive and time critical apps. So voice, video or interactive apps are treated the same as file or email downloads. Prioritisation makes sense and is widely used on private IP networks with MPLS to prioritise traffic based on business or application needs. It’s often misunderstood though and mostly really only works when there’s congestion.

    So anti-neutrality would allow ISP’s to prioritise traffic based on needs. You want to make a phone call because your house is on fire. Because VOIP gets prioritised, you can even if everyone else in your neighbourhood is downloading Windows patches or movies. Or you’ve paid $10 to watch a sports game online, and if video streaming is prioritised, you’ll get fewer pauses or dropouts. Again arguably a good thing and improves the ‘net experience. But..

    3) Economics. Which is the biggest challenge, and the most contentious. Currently ‘net economics don’t really work. The costs of building and running an access network, ie cable or xDSL to households are way higher than the costs of content provision. The demands for increased bandwidth are generated by content, but content providers don’t pay anything to access ISP’s most of the time, and in many cases the access ISP’s costs are increased having to pay for more capacity to content providers. Which is slightly bonkers, but the way content providers like it and why they’re mostly pro-neutrality. They do not want to have to pay more for content delivery. If ISP’s can’t charge content providers, then the only person they can charge is their customer, so ‘net access costs inevitably have to increase. If people aren’t willing to pay, then they’ll have to accept lower quality service and poor experiences watching that 1080p HD live stream you’ve just bought. You may have paid the content provider to watch that stream, but chances are they’ve not paid your ISP anything to deliver it. Why should the ISP invest to make that stream watchable, or how can they invest, unless they charge you more?

  113. derspatz says:

    The fact of the matter is that if the internut can be controlled like this, THEN IT IS ALREADY BROKEN AND NEEDS FIXING ! (pardon the shouting of the obvious).

    Which means the more clever of us need to go back to the drawing board and work on a new kind of internut that operates beyond a reliance upon ISPs and Big Business.

    Certainly in large population areas and the proliferation of wireless devices, such a thing should be quite achievable on a more local level, and what with the freeing up of frequencies formerly dedicated to analog TV, a pretty good amateur national network might also be managed. Again.

    I say “again” because I’m from the old innovative days of FIDOnet where we used to write our own software and volunteer an extra phoneline to run BBSs.

    Sure, we need more than that sort of thing from modern communications, but it does get me a little sad and cross that the first reaction from the end user when faced with a layer of obstruction is to simple go “waa, my rights, my rights”, rather than “frak this, let’s build something better that the frakers can’t control and collect rent off and make victims of us so easily”.

    After all, politics (particularly LEFT politics) is the problem, not the solution.

    So, rather than worry about what the government may or may not do, why not instead work on creating something “the government” (those publicly funded people temporarily elected to do a job for us, who are accountable to us, and not us to them) can do very little about without doing a lot of damage to itself ?

    If the right kind of internut was built, ISPs and big business that relies upon rent received from it, could be done out of a job.

    And wouldn’t that be a good thing ?

    regarDS

  114. Pull My Finger says:

    They can have my Netflix when they pry it from my cold, dead, hands.

  115. Ian W says:

    Interesting – all these responses and no-one mentions the 10th Amendment.

    Perhaps someone can point out where in the constitution there is a duty for the Federal authorities to manage communications in this way?
    The ‘Commerce Clause’ would appear to need the opposite action to the one the FCC are taking.

  116. Jeff Alberts says:

    James Sexton says:
    December 21, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    But that’s exactly what you’ll get with this new reg. Only it will be termed as an opportunity to buy a higher tier. Yes, it is everyone’s highway. But the “highway” can only handle so much traffic. There simply isn’t enough bandwidth for everyone to watch movies all day. The question is, do you want the market to handle it? (As you suggested.) Or allow the FCC to step in and start regulating.

    We already have that, James. I pay Comcast an extra amount per month for the highest speed they offer in my area. And why shouldn’t I be allowed to use all of that speed all of the time? Anf FYI, I don’t. I’m only on my computer for a few hours in the evening after I get home from work (I no longer do IT from home). I DO play games on Xbox Live, I DON’T watch movies over the web, though I do occasionally download them and watch them. From the complaints about “hogs”, apparently I shouldn’t be allowed to do that because it interferes with others who AREN’T hogs, in their opinions. And if they’re NOT hogs, why would they have bandwidth issues? Is it because the web page they want to view loads in 2.2 seconds instead of 2?

    I’m in a rural area. A neighbor and I paid Comcast $900 between us to lay cable from the main road to our houses. I absolutely HAD to have cable, since satellite was preventing me from effectively conducting business. But, I have no other choices. Sometimes speed is slow, most of the time it’s not. I get over it. If it was consistently slow I would complain to Comcast that I’m not getting what I’m paying for. That’s your recourse.

    I’ve worked in Network operations for a major telecom from 1989 to 2000. As many others have here, I’ve gone from 1200bps modem access to what I have now with Comcast. I remember when T-1 was THE big thing, and only after a few years it was blase’. The only problem here is that infrastructure hasn’t kept up with demand, but it’s still growing, and always will be as long as the demand is there. So if you didn’t have the gamers, movie watchers, etc, you wouldn’t have a high-speed infrastructure at all, we’d still be doing 1200 baud.

    I’m not saying gov’t regulation is always or ever the answer, but I am saying that businesses shouldn’t be allowed to stranglehold the web. Anti-trust comes to mind, especially in areas where there are limited or no choices.

  117. Jeff Alberts says:

    Oh, and remember folks, there wouldn’t be an “internet” if not for the government.

  118. Tim Clark says:

    Joel Shore: “Unfortunately, one of the lessons that many have not learned from the latest financial crisis is that insufficient regulation doesn’t bring freedom…rather it brings corporate control and economic disaster.”

    Vince Causey says: December 22, 2010 at 6:05 am
    You mean insufficient regulation like when G. W. Bush announced that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were henceforth ‘compelled to provide mortgages to everyone so that even those with poor credit ratings would be able to enjoy property ownership.’

    Actually, It was Barney Frank and Chuck Shumer who caused that fiasco. And Joel you have made some interesting comments on AGW, but that comment is just asinine.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/01/barney_frank_the_teflon_congre.html

    http://www.taxfoundation.org/blog/show/23617.html

  119. James Sexton says:

    “the cunning of the fox is as murderous as the violence of the wolf. “….Thomas Paine
    People in support of this measure have just been “back doored”.

    I wonder how so many could have missed the point that government arms seek not to embrace and protect you, but rather, to constrain you. Does it make any sense to turn control of the internet to the FCC, to allow them be the arbiter of what is just, so the content can remain free and open? Does anyone really believe bit torrents, (legal or otherwise) will survive the FCC? Or VOIP phone service will continue at its pricing?

    Many here have voiced concerns about larger ISPs such as Comcast and AT&T and their practices and cheered the FCC’s decision. They played right into their hands. This action all but assures limits and higher prices.

  120. R. de Haan says:

    Obama administration seeking to place controls on the Internet, United Nations is trying to establish mechanisms for global governance of the Internet
    Barack Obama And The United Nations Will Be Watching The Internet For You
    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/31307

  121. mojo says:

    “Obama caves”

    Oh, puh-leese. Like anything that comes out of that man’s mouth means diddly-squat.

    Chicago Pol
    “We don’ wanna talk to nobody what nobody sent”

  122. J. Knight says:

    Here is a list of the groups that “greased the skids” for the FCC, using the Orwellian language of net neutrality, to claim a legislative mandate to regulate the internet:

    1. Ford Foundation
    2. McArthur Foundation
    3. Joyce Foundation
    4. Open Society Institute
    5. Schumann Center for Media and Democracy
    6. Pew Trust

    The Free Press outfit founded by Joel Silver and Robert McChesney, funded in part by Moveon.org, along with Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, was allowed to astroturf a fake consumer campaign begging for FCC regulation. I wish someone would dig deeper into the relationships between these groups and the FCC. I wonder if the government funded these groups illegally.

    In any event, it’s quite obvious that net neutrality is the last thing these totalitarian front groups have on their mind. This is the trojan horse that puts these creeps into the door, and they will demand more and more control if this is allowed to stand. I’ll bet money on that.

  123. James Sexton says:

    Jeff Alberts says:
    December 22, 2010 at 7:45 am

    James Sexton says:
    December 21, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    “We already have that, James. I pay Comcast an extra amount per month for the highest speed they offer in my area….”
    ======================================================

    Jeff, I agree with most of what you’ve stated. One of your statements is very pertinent to the discussion, “The only problem here is that infrastructure hasn’t kept up with demand, but it’s still growing, and always will be as long as the demand is there.

    I agree, currently, the infrastructure can not facilitate all the wants and needs of every subscriber. But it continues to grow. Oddly, it has done so without FCC interjections.

    The argument that “you paid for it, why shouldn’t you get it” seems invalidated when if you get what you paid for, it comes at the expense of what someone else paid for. I can’t for the life of me understand why people think the FCC has a magic wand that will make the situation any better. Content filters are only a response to limited resources.

    Comcast or AT&T or my wireless ISP could care less what I’m doing as long as it doesn’t interfere with their ability to accommodate their other customers. Going forward, I don’t see the FCC being that ambivalent. If the FCC bans content filters, then a premium will be set on bandwidth resulting in higher prices for everyone and limited access for many.

    It may be my views are tinted with skepticism, but I see no positive outcome with the FCC’s ruling and many pratfalls easily slipped into.

  124. Billy BA says:

    Unless you work for Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T or some other large ISP – you would have to be a complete idiot to NOT want Net Neutrality. Period. I would think that the people at this site would not want their liberties squashed by others. The FCC regulation is actually trying to protect your liberty here – not take it away.

    If the net becomes “Non-Neutral”, then companies can take your liberty at will and Bias/Non-Neutralize whatever they wish. scary…

  125. Christopher says:

    Oh boy, Internet Socialism, equal bandwidth for all websites! Even ones that get little to no traffic! I am sure that wont collectively slow down the internet at all.

  126. Vince Causey says:

    Joel Shore,

    “Yes, I am aware that some conservatives have made up fanciful myths about how the whole crisis was caused by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae even though there is absolutely no basis in reality to these claims.”

    It was not my intention to assign the cause of the crisis to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, merely to point to an example of a regulation making a bad situation worse. I believe the seeds were sown by the Greenspan loose monetary policy – low interest rates that fueled a speculative boom. First the dot.com bubble and then the Bush attempt to reflate the economy leading to the asset inflationary bubble across the board. Real estate was but one – the most dramatic – but still one of many assets. Again, these are examples of Government interference in market mechanisms that send false price signals.

  127. Curiousgeorge says:

    @ Jeff Alberts says:
    December 22, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Oh, and remember folks, there wouldn’t be an “internet” if not for the government.

    Yes, there would be. It was a foregone conclusion from the moment the first electronic computer was created, and probably from the first time somebody figured out how to send signals via telegraph wire. It may very well have been built differently without DARPA , CERN, etc. , but it would have been built nonetheless.

  128. Lady Life Grows says:

    Republicans think BigGovernment is The Big Enemy. They tend to get that notion from a study of History.

    Democrats think Big Business (Wall Stret, the Banks) are The Big Enemy. They tend to get that notion from a study of current events, or from particular shoddy products.

    If they ever find out that Corporations (any size) ARE a Government Creation–watch out!

    Big corporations can only exist with the help of a LOT of BigGuv regulation to eliminate smaller local competitors.

    If we value the Freedom that is threatened by this web regulation, we would do well to realize this.

  129. Atomic Hairdryer says:

    Re James Sexton

    I can’t for the life of me understand why people think the FCC has a magic wand that will make the situation any better. Content filters are only a response to limited resources.

    If done well and scrutinised, the FCC has more power. Much of the ‘net is largely self-regulated and why there are regular peering/settlement disputes and the occasional lawsuit regarding content blocking or degradation. Those are almost always economic disputes rather than moral. So in theory, the FCC may be a better arbiter regarding how traffic can be prioritised or any differential pricing proposals. The debate is still very polarised. Content companies don’t want any changes that increase their costs, telcos want content companies to pay carriage.

    Rural users are probably the worst off as some point out here with those services. Some of those are subsidised by telcos, content providers like Google or Netflix contribute nothing towards them other than increasing the costs of providing services to meet customer expectations.

    The ‘net needs prioritisation, but that shouldn’t mean discriminatory or predatory pricing, which is where better regulation may actually protect the customer.

  130. Pamela Gray says:

    The right to filter presented media content belongs to the individual and his/her dependents. Period. Though I do submit that child-porn, either making or possessing, should be outlawed under decency laws. However, WHENEVER we allow the government to enact such laws, we, the citizens, must always be vigilant regarding oversight creep and courtroom law making.

    I also believe that to be vigilant, those who make laws should be on a short leash, hold a regular job put on hold during their time-limited stint at elected or appointed government office, and returned to their former job (no lobbying allowed) forthwith when their time is up. There should be no such thing as a career politician.

  131. Michael T says:

    From reading the comments, I can see that the majority of the posters have no idea how the network works, so I put most of their comments down to BS and ignorance. as we say in the network business, “used to be I couldn’t spell engineer now I are one,”

  132. Eric (skeptic) says:

    johanna, another way to think of it is that the rural users in my area represent a resource. If we are connected to the net we buy things and use net services. If providers were smart (which often they are not), they would “sell” their good customer base to service providers and e-retailers like Amazon. Instead compensation is done through roundabout ways like peering agreements and business alliances. But the providers often get short sighted and greedy and figure they can provide retail opportunities and services to their customers themselves. The most famous case in the past was AOL. After not too long it provided what were probably the world’s worst services in a closed environment. Shoddy services by bandwidth providers are the sure way to kill the golden goose.

    The other potential problem is that those who want to spend decent amounts of money on goods and services online can be disrupted by teenagers on youtube. So those less profitable users must be throttled to protect the profit opportunities in the other users.

    The questions are can the government fix that problem and should they? The second should answer should be obvious from this thread, government control is a very slippery slope, they create (no nukes) or invent (global warming) problems, then propose more spurious government intervention (energy rationing and worldwide socialism) to pretend to solve those. The first answer is also no, the marketplace can provide services to people like me who want bandwidth that works. But we consumers must be nimble, flexible, and vigilant. Far too many people want life to be easy and ask the government to intervene on their behalf not realizing the long term consequences.

  133. SionedL says:

    The fact that there are 134+1 responses to this article is proof positive that there are way too many people with too much time on their hands and they are accessing too much (mis)information. Too much information is dangerous for a democratic society, the (she)people get too confused. =;)

  134. Smokey says:

    Most Americans say that the chief duty of the government is to protect individual rights.

    That means protecting individuals from a suffocating, overbearing, partisan, meddlesome government bureaucracy like the FCC, which we could replace with a single page of regulations.

    The claims of minority rights, womens rights, illegal aliens’ rights, teachers rights, etc. all come at the expense of individual rights at the direct expense of individual rights.

    No wonder voters are so disgusted with craven ‘collectivist rights’ politicians like Bower-in-Chief Obama and his anti-free speech FCC appointees.

  135. Joel Shore says:

    Vince Causey says:

    It was not my intention to assign the cause of the crisis to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, merely to point to an example of a regulation making a bad situation worse. I believe the seeds were sown by the Greenspan loose monetary policy – low interest rates that fueled a speculative boom. First the dot.com bubble and then the Bush attempt to reflate the economy leading to the asset inflationary bubble across the board. Real estate was but one – the most dramatic – but still one of many assets. Again, these are examples of Government interference in market mechanisms that send false price signals.

    I agree that the real estate boom set the stage. But, lack of regulation of the mortgage / financial industries made the bust much worse than it had to be (and also probably contributed to the boom itself). Look, by comparison, to what happened in Canada: http://www.dsnews.com/articles/report-how-did-canadas-housing-market-dodge-bullet-2010-09-18

    Lady Life Grows says:

    Republicans think BigGovernment is The Big Enemy. They tend to get that notion from a study of History.

    Democrats think Big Business (Wall Stret, the Banks) are The Big Enemy. They tend to get that notion from a study of current events, or from particular shoddy products.

    Sort of…although this is an oversimplification. For one thing, it fails to account for the fact that Republicans welcome government intrusion in certain non-economic sectors, like abortion and sexuality.

    Secondly, in practice, Democrats are not really anti-business; they are just that way in comparison to the Republicans…I.e., they are only about 75% in the control of big business rather than 100%.

    Big corporations can only exist with the help of a LOT of BigGuv regulation to eliminate smaller local competitors.

    True enough. This is one of the reasons why the cries of “redistribution” are pretty non-nonsensical. There are already a lot of decisions being made that impact the distribution of wealth in our society. People who complain about “redistribution” usually just mean that they like the mechanisms (like corporations) that are built in to allow a few people to become fantastically wealthy but they don’t like any mechanisms that make sure that at least a small fraction of the benefits accrued benefit society as a whole rather than just a select few.

  136. Jeff Alberts says:

    James Sexton says:
    December 22, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Jeff, I agree with most of what you’ve stated. One of your statements is very pertinent to the discussion, “The only problem here is that infrastructure hasn’t kept up with demand, but it’s still growing, and always will be as long as the demand is there.

    I agree, currently, the infrastructure can not facilitate all the wants and needs of every subscriber. But it continues to grow. Oddly, it has done so without FCC interjections.

    I wouldn’t say that’s entirely true (no FCC/Gov’t intervention). Initially, network transmission lines were put in place by the common carriers, the “telcos”, which were, and still are, pretty regulated.

    The argument that “you paid for it, why shouldn’t you get it” seems invalidated when if you get what you paid for, it comes at the expense of what someone else paid for. I can’t for the life of me understand why people think the FCC has a magic wand that will make the situation any better. Content filters are only a response to limited resources.

    Then that’s a problem of the ISP overpromising what they can deliver. Sue them for false advertising.

    Comcast or AT&T or my wireless ISP could care less what I’m doing as long as it doesn’t interfere with their ability to accommodate their other customers. Going forward, I don’t see the FCC being that ambivalent. If the FCC bans content filters, then a premium will be set on bandwidth resulting in higher prices for everyone and limited access for many.

    I’m assuming you meant “couldn’t care less”, since saying “could care less” means you care to some degree. Again, we already have tiered pricing, depending on the ISP. When I had satellite, I could have paid exorbitant prices for a business connection, with a fixed IP and no bandwidth cap (or a significantly higher cap). I couldn’t afford that on a long term basis, and even higher satellite speeds were crap compared to cable.

    It may be my views are tinted with skepticism, but I see no positive outcome with the FCC’s ruling and many pratfalls easily slipped into.

    I prefer not to have a knee-jerk reaction, but still maintain a healthy level of skepticism.

  137. W^L+ says:

    @Eric

    Your argument seems to be that government regulation is required to attain a common carrier, like the government breaking up AT&T so that other companies could compete. But it is in fact the original government regulation that allowed AT&T to consolidate in the first place. One difference now is that we have ulterior motives for wanting new controlling regulations.

    No. Common carrier is what we had already until the FCC gave “high speed” operators special status. That was why you had fifty different dial-up services back in the day. If you didn’t like the phone company’s Internet service, you could sign up with any of the others. If the phone company was interfering with your use, you could switch to any other service instead. It was common carrier that gave us a free market in dial-up Internet access. And it was the FCC’s mistake that removed that free market in high speed Internet access.

    You are right in one thing: the current “service provider is the boss” system is a fairly recent creation of the FCC (through regulatory capture). It is highly likely that the new ruling will be overturned in court. Maybe then, they’ll go back and fix their mistake and make true free markets possible again.

  138. Wow, just wow.

    The FCC regulates and censors broadcasts because impressionable eyes and ears may be in the viewing audience. We want this. This is a historical role for the FCC because broadcast TV and radio go everywhere. The web is completely different, you have to choose to go.

    The FCC does not censor (but does regulate) content that an end user actively subscribes to, such as HBO or Sirius XM. This is because the consumer chose to expose themselves to this content. Very different than a broadcast.

    Web sites would be actively subscribed to by virtue of the end user’s actions in locating the site.

    The FCC regulating the Internet is exactly the right thing (and if it proves to not be legal I hope a law is passed allowing for what the FCC wants to do).

    The FCC wants to prevent your ISP from deciding where you can go on the Internet and what you can do.

    This is possible due to the advent of technology that allows for deep packet inspection.

    Those of us in the networking industry have been concerned about this for years. This predates Obama. It isn’t an Obama thing.

    Deep packet inspection allows for something that was not possible before.

    A packet has four basic components: a source address, a destination address, ports, and payload (content).

    Routers/switches/firewalls have not been historically fast and powerful enough to do much other than direct traffic where it wants to go and apply rules on source and destination address and ports. Ports are how you can determine what the content is (usually) VOIP uses different ports than http traffic. Encrypted traffic uses different ports than traffic in the clear such as http.

    So, now we have technology that allows for what was not possible before: the service providers can look at your packets and determine their contents and make yes/no decisions based on your intent.

    Should we allow that? NO NO NO and that’s what the FCC is saying: NO! ISP’s cannot filter my traffic based on my intent.

    ISPs are simply tubes (lols to a certain dead Alaskan senator) and shouldn’t make discriminatory decisions based on my packet payload. Just route it where it needs to go.

    This isn’t about censorship of content.

    This isn’t about possibly blocking website names (you could get there anyway by IP address). And if you’re super paranoid you can always use a proxy service.

    This isn’t about Obama.

    This isn’t a government takeover, this is the government applying the First Amendment to the Tubes.

    This is absolutely what we want. We do not want businesses blocking content on the Internet just because we transit their pipes. I pay my service provider for service, just because deep packet inspection technologies are now a reality does not mean my ISP should be able to capitalize on them. The service provider is the service provider, that is it. The service provider is not a content supplier. Everyone pays for Internet access already, the service providers should not be a checkpoint/roadblock simply because they can be. If Netflix is using bandwidth, so what? Netflix pays for its pipes and users are paying their ISP to access the service.

    The networking illiteracy in this thread is astounding, if you used the term “bandwidth hog” I have to say you just simply do not understand how it works.

    The issue with so called “bandwidth hogs” is down to the concept of “over subscribing”. An ISP will not have the capacity to provide the level of service it contracts with its customers. An ISP or cellular company makes an assumption that not all of the users will be on the network at once and sells more customers access than can be provided at any one time.

    This is how it works.

    Business models of yesteryear did not forecast Netflix, etc. and the businesses haven’t invested in the capacity to allow for all of us to do what we want all the time.

    Tough cookies. Up the bandwidth, spend the capital. Don’t use propaganda to confuse the populace. This isn’t a freedom issue, this is an issue with over subscribing the network. The FCC wants to say, “tough”, and the ISPs want to not build
    the infrastructure.

    Arstechnica and The Register have good write ups on this issue for those concerned.

  139. Jeff Alberts says:

    Curiousgeorge says:
    December 22, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Yes, there would be. It was a foregone conclusion from the moment the first electronic computer was created, and probably from the first time somebody figured out how to send signals via telegraph wire. It may very well have been built differently without DARPA , CERN, etc. , but it would have been built nonetheless.

    Speculation. The web we have now is owed to government funding of military and science projects. It’s tough to say if a private company would have felt it cost effective to try and create one without all the R&D already paid for by the government.

  140. James Sexton says:

    Re Atomic Hairdryer
    December 22, 2010 at 12:43 pm
    Re James Sexton

    Usually, when I respond to a comment, I like to post the particulars of the comment I’m responding. Yours is almost in its entirety so I’ll forgo and hope you understand the particulars.

    Your first paragraph, I agree, except, …….“So in theory, the FCC may be a better arbiter regarding how traffic can be prioritised or any differential pricing proposals.”…..I disagree. The internet has done quite well without the interference of the FCC in this regard and there is no reason to expect that it wouldn’t continue to do so. Every time the market has confronted the internet with a challenge, the internet community has responded, and well. As you stated, there have been a few law suits, but none that have significantly altered much, although others may disagree. I don’t know how the FCC could do better when they’ve proven to be a detriment to advancement. The FCC is a regulator. That in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it is sometimes needed. That said, the definition of regulate is, “to keep from exceeding a desirable degree.” We haven’t met a desirable degree, yet. But we’re going to regulate it anyway? No one can legitimately say the internet hasn’t significantly advanced in very short time and it should be assumed it will continue to do so,(check Moore’s law and consider how it may apply) especially in the rural communities. Which, I’m proud to say, I am a part.

    Thoughts not specifically aimed at Atomic.

    I have a great wireless high-speed internet connection through a rural carrier 15 miles away. The problem is that most people aren’t aware of the bandwidth they’re taking. For the bit-torrent fans, I have a few torrents. Don’t pretend that most of it is legal. That’s a lie and you know it. The problem isn’t what you’re downloading, the problem is what others(and how many) are uploading from you, and all of the cyber diseases you are spreading. This is reminiscent of the bath houses, back in the day. Sorry if this offends, but it is still true. It places your desires and wants over the needs of your fellow man. But, hey, you paid for it! Thank God for the FCC and the CDC! Feel free and freak freely! No way that kicks us in the butt!

    If it comes down to tiered pricing, the people in the rural areas take up hard. I’ve no desire to get into a bidding war for bandwidth, nor do I believe this would, in any way, be beneficial to our society, in its whole. I can easily see where the FCC ruling will take us from a $40-50/month payment to a $100. People that insist on still paying $40 will regress to near dial-up speed. Or we can let the internet market continue to take care of the wants of the people like it always has.

    For you Skype users. How much telco line has Skype run or maintained? How does this end? Bringing the whole discussion back to energy and a common subject to WUWT, how is this, the Skype endeavor, different than a home energy producer that sells back to the utility? Are you paying for line maintenance? Who will? What pays for advancement of technology? Smart grid? Not really. Brought to you by the same people that think the FCC will help the internet.

    To recap. I live in a rural setting. Don’t use me as an excuse for government interference regarding something doesn’t need interfered with. For the people whining about living in the rural community. Get over it or move. I’m sure there’s more welfare money in the city than there is here.

  141. W^L+ says:

    @Scott Ramsdell

    Thank you. I was surprised at how many people here should know better, but don’t.

    As for the over-subscription issue, in monopolies and oligopolies, companies tend not to invest in improving the products or services. Instead, the look for ways to bundle additional (over-charged) services and tie other business lines’ (probably unwanted) products to the original one. So, for example, cable co A will poison VOIP, not because it takes too much bandwidth, but because they want you to buy the higher-priced bundle which includes their own VOIP service. Cable co B will poison Bittorrent downloads, not because it takes too much bandwidth, but because they want you to pay extra for faster downloads and higher caps. In either case, if you try to use the capacity you’re paying for, they will eventually terminate you, because you’re hindering their ability to re-sell that same capacity to your entire neighborhood.

    The monopoly position granted by the FCC, then, is the reason why user #1 can’t view this site when user #2′s teen is playing XBox online. In effect, they can raise their profits without taking on the long-term financing that adding capacity would cause.

  142. James Sexton says:

    Scott Ramsdell says:
    December 22, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    NO, NO, NO!!!! You’re going to let the FCC decide what you can decide for yourself? You don’t like what your ISP is doing, switch. Even if it means kicking in a few extra bucks. Once the FCC gets involved, we are all done. Your federal government will be the arbiter of what is right and what is wrong. Not you, not your ISP(which is entirely dependent upon your continuous monthly check), not any one other than the federal government.

    Your choices…… You don’t like what AT&T is doing? Switch to Comcast. You don’t like what Comcast is doing? Switch to Verizon. You don’t like what Verizon is doing? Switch to WildBlue…..and so on. Contrast that with, you don’t like what the FCC is doing?……………????????? Suck it up, and pay for it while you don’t like it. But, hey, that’s democracy, even if we lie and call it freedom.

  143. James Sexton says:

    Jeff Alberts says:
    December 22, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Curiousgeorge says:
    December 22, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Yes, there would be. It was a foregone conclusion from the moment the first electronic computer was created, and probably from the first time somebody figured out how to send signals via telegraph wire. It may very well have been built differently without DARPA , CERN, etc. , but it would have been built nonetheless.

    Speculation. The web we have now is owed to government funding of military and science projects. It’s tough to say if a private company would have felt it cost effective to try and create one without all the R&D already paid for by the government.
    ======================================================

    The original R&D notwithstanding, it is the telcom’s lines which all of this goes through. All of the investments and maintenance and upgrades. Not to mention all of the R&D that has gone on afterward. Yeh, it probably would have happened, but not in the essence that it is today. Its not perfect, but its damned good! It is one of the many things I look at with awe and pride. No, I had nothing to do with it, yes, this is my county that did it!!!

  144. W^L+ says:
    December 22, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    “The monopoly position granted by the FCC, then, is the reason why user #1 can’t view this site when user #2′s teen is playing XBox online.”

    No.

    “In effect, they can raise their profits without taking on the long-term financing that adding capacity would cause.”

    Yes.

    I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding in this thread regarding the difference between a wireless broadcast technology and a wired backhaul technology.

    If user #1 cannot access Internet resources while user #2 does something, that is an over subscription issue, not a problem with anything user #1 has chosen to do.

    Maybe that was your point and I misunderstood as your follow-up comment nails it.

    Even in a wireless situation though, the issue is simply the wavelength available vs. the wavelength sold. No business saw the always-on immediate download desire of users 10 years ago when these networks were built. CEOs and execs are clueless, go figure.

  145. W^L+ says:

    @James Sexton

    NO, NO, NO!!!! You’re going to let the FCC decide what you can decide for yourself? You don’t like what your ISP is doing, switch. Even if it means kicking in a few extra bucks. Once the FCC gets involved, we are all done. Your federal government will be the arbiter of what is right and what is wrong. Not you, not your ISP(which is entirely dependent upon your continuous monthly check), not any one other than the federal government.

    In much of the country, there is no such choice. There will be one or possibly two providers, a high-priced higher-speed cable company and a somewhat lower-priced medium-speed telco DSL offering. In some places, even satellite providers don’t work.

    So when your provider decides that they have the right to terminate you if you post about negative experiences with them in any online forum (if you have Verizon Internet, read your TOS), you don’t have the option of going elsewhere.

    Now, to be sure, I’m not wanting any government agency to decide what sites or protocols (http = web, xmpp = chat, sip = Internet phone (VOIP), smtp/pop/imap = e-mail, etc) should be available. What I’m wanting is for the FCC to undo its previous bonehead ruling that so-called high-speed providers are a special case and allowed to have monopoly rights. They made this ruling less than ten years ago, and except for areas where fiber-to-the-home is available, net speeds haven’t improved much since. (This is a common effect of a monopoly. The company ceases to invest in improvements, since they are already receiving close to the highest possible profit. See Internet Explorer 6 for a very clear example.)

    So when you pay for a connection, you’re given a rated speed (download speed typically faster than upload speed) and “unlimited” content. All that Net Neutrality is about is making sure that your provider, to whom you are a captive customer doesn’t misuse that position to prevent you from accessing the services you are paying for the ability to access.

  146. James Sexton says:
    December 22, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Scott Ramsdell says:
    December 22, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    “NO, NO, NO!!!! You’re going to let the FCC decide what you can decide for yourself?”

    The FCC isn’t going to decide anything other than that the ISPs can’t decide what you can do online.

    The FCC is not going to regulate where you choose to go, First Amendment and all that. The FCC is saying to the ISPs that they cannot monetize the new technologies that allow for deep packet inspection.

  147. Smokey says:

    Jeff Alberts says:

    “Oh, and remember folks, there wouldn’t be an “internet” if not for the government Al Gore.” Fixed!☺

    Jeff also comments, “I’ve gone from 1200bps modem access to what I have now with Comcast. I remember when T-1 was THE big thing, and only after a few years it was blase’.”

    So, in a relatively short time we’ve gone from 1200 baud to 100 mps downloads, and the cost has dropped all along the way. Given a little more time, technology and the money to be made will resolve the bandwidth problem. It always has, and this is no different.

    I bought a 160 megabyte hard drive for $600 in the mid-90′s. Now you can buy a terabyte HD for a hundred bucks. The market will completely solve the bandwidth problem.

    Now instead, think about having the government step in to save the day. First, we will never get that monkey off our backs. Like any bureaucracy it will grow and grow. Those of us who remember when President Nixon created his new Environmental Protection Agency didn’t think it was anything but a way to buy some votes. Look at the ravenous monster it has become.

    And an unnecessary Department of Education seemed a little silly at the time, since education was traditionally a local affair. Now it’s another out of control monster, gobbling up national wealth in order to give fat pensions to unfirable teachers, many of whom are incompetent layabouts. Government education costs have skyrocketed, while kids are passed from grade to grade, regardless of whether they can even read or do arithmetic.

    If you’re too impatient to wait for technology to catch up – which won’t take long, according to Moore’s Law – you are handing (y)our heads on a platter to another government agency that will grow just like the EPA and Dep’t of Education. They will formulate more and more onerous new rules, until free speech will become a joke. No matter how well-meaning the FCC appears today, like any bureaucracy it craves power and growth. And it sees net neutrality as its opportunity.

    There is no need for the FCC to regulate the internet any more than it already is. The internet is doing just fine. These are minor growing pains, and the internet will do fine without any more government meddling.

  148. Foley Hund says:

    These are toxic people who fear the freedom of OPEN communication. Ruby Ridge, Waco, Elian Gonszalas are examples of government pretending to protect us from what?

    The Patriot Act, Homeland Security, and TSA; just to name a few agencies protecting our posterior. Do you really want the internet regulated to the likes of the FCC, people who work their evil from closets? Remember who wanted to put postage on our email. The state I live in claims to own the rain water. Does that make them liable for any flooding? The words ridiculous, asinine, incomprehensible, and so forth do not wholly describe what we are putting up with.

    As stated earlier, the new congress needs to be pressured to fix a few things. The power of the election is the power to fix.

  149. W^L+ says:
    December 22, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    All that Net Neutrality is about is making sure that your provider, to whom you are a captive customer doesn’t misuse that position to prevent you from accessing the services you are paying for the ability to access.

    ============================================================

    Absolutely, yes.

  150. Smokey says:
    December 22, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    “If you’re too impatient to wait for technology to catch up – which won’t take long, according to Moore’s Law”

    No, that is not what Moore’s Law states.

  151. This thread has been as funny to me as when salesmen tell me they will “ping” me on an idea and I state I will keep ICMP open from them and look at me all stoopid.

  152. Smokey says:

    Scott Ramsdell,

    Moore’s Law appears to apply to much more than simply the number of transistors on a chip, and your throwaway line does nothing to negate what I said: the market will provide more individual freedom, along with a complete solution to the current, temporary bandwidth bottleneck.

    But if the government is the “solution,” it will begin to control your life and take away your freedom. In the end, it will regulate everything you can say or write that is transmitted electronically. Word up. The entire U.S. Constitution is based on skepticism and distrust of government, based on bitter experience.

    When you advocate allowing the FCC camel’s nose under the internet tent, you are asking for the same bureaucratic growth, suffocation and waste that we now endure with the immensely expensive and truly worthless Department of Education, and the thoroughly dishonest, power hungry, CO2-banning EPA.

    Do you honestly believe that net neutrality will be a one time deal, and then the FCC will be done with meddlesome regulations? As if.

    There will be another ginned-up FCC issue after that, and then another, and another. That’s how it works. It will never end, until unelected government bureaucrats totally control every facet of all your communications, including what they arbitrarily deem to be “hate speech,” and anything else they decide that you are, or are not, permitted to say. Note that the FCC vote was split exactly along party lines. Net neutrality is a partisan and political issue. Is there any doubt?

    It’s in the nature of the agency beast to grow and control. The scorpion wants the frog to carry it across the river, and the frozen snake should show gratitude to the woman who brought it into her warm house and saved it. But the snake and the scorpion are bureaucrats, and the frog and the kindly woman paid the price for trusting them. It in the nature of bureaucrats to be self-serving at the expense of the public, and their true nature is that they are not your friends.

    Let the free market do its job; it will perform better, cheaper, more honestly, and when/if the market is no longer there, it won’t live on, sucking up our taxes forever.

    You, my friend, are the government’s mark. They will say anything, with a smarmy smile, to get your head to start nodding in agreement. Don’t listen to their words; watch their actions. They want control. Is that not obvious?

    It is incredibly short sighted to believe that this power-hungry federal agency is acting out of altruism, or that it will fold its tent after this episode, and like Cincinnatus, go peacefully back to farming. I sincerely hope you’re not the kind of person who would sign a blank check and give it to a stranger for doing you a minor favor. Because that is a perfect analogy to this government “solution.”

  153. James Sexton says:

    Scott Ramsdell says:
    December 22, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    James Sexton says:
    December 22, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Scott Ramsdell says:
    December 22, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    “NO, NO, NO!!!! You’re going to let the FCC decide what you can decide for yourself?”
    ====================================================

    The FCC isn’t going to decide anything other than that the ISPs can’t decide what you can do online.

    The FCC is not going to regulate where you choose to go, First Amendment and all that. The FCC is saying to the ISPs that they cannot monetize the new technologies that allow for deep packet inspection.
    ======================================================
    Scott, first, that’s an idealistic view of which I’m envious. I truly wish I could believe what you stated was true. I don’t. But, whether I believe this to be the intent of the FCC or not, it doesn’t address the issue.

    You stated earlier, “No business saw the always-on immediate download desire of users 10 years ago when these networks were built. CEOs and execs are clueless, go figure.” I agree.

    Because of the short sighted CEOs and execs, THERE IS NO INFRASTRUCTURE THAT CAN MAINTAIN THE REQUIRED BANDWIDTH. It doesn’t exist. We can’t all “Netflix”, “bit torrent”, “VOIP”, and participate in “webinars”, all at the same time texting a humorous picture of your grandchild to the tune of “jingle bells rock”. It isn’t there. It doesn’t exist. It can’t happen. You think prioritizing won’t happen with this ruling? It has to. This has been warned against for the last several years. All the while the clever people have invented more and more ways to suck up bandwidth without paying for it. Guess what? There’s no such thing. What a big surprise! What we are engaging in at this very moment, it isn’t free. There are lines to be laid. There are lines to be maintained. There are servers to be bought. Admins to be paid. Technology to be advanced. Who paid for that? Did our fathers back in the 60s or 70s when they put the telco lines in? Who is advancing such? Is it the FCC or Netflix?

    I’m truly sorry about the bluntness, I pray no one takes offense. But it seems to me, people live in an idealistic world where things would be right if assumptions were true, but they’re not.

    Right now, the telcos can’t keep up with the demand. To demand a higher level of response demands more cost. Where do you think that comes from? Companies like AT&T are famous for absorbing costs for the benefit of their customers. I’m going with that. Or, there will be no additional costs and the FCC is the benevolent protector of all that is good in internet discourse. I could go with that, too. Thank God, we all have the right to equally download “Gigli” and “The Hottie and the Nottie”

    But more than that, now the feds believe they have the right to interject. This thought given to them by the voice of the people. Thanks. My children will thank you. My grandchildren (whose pictures I’ve never texted),…. I will teach better.

  154. James Sexton says:

    W^L+ says:
    December 22, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    Thanks for the exchange of ideas. Its welcomed. Sadly, I’ve imbibed in too much holiday spirit, so I’ll attempt to keep my response brief and to the point. Please forgive any perceived curtness. It isn’t intentional.

    “In much of the country, there is no such choice. You are confusing a right with a privilege. Rights, this nation has an obligation to maintain and enforce. Privilege, this nation has no compunction or impetus to be involved.

    See Internet Explorer 6 for a very clear example. And see a very non-intrusive Firefox for a remedy. I could go for days about Netscape and AOL and a myriad of others being greedy, shortsighted twits in facilitating IE6. Fact is, it was the best around for a few years. And I’m glad it was there. The internet wouldn’t be what it is today without it, for better or worse. But it beat the pants off of their competitors and served mankind well for a few years. That a company wants to protect itself isn’t unnatural nor inherently evil. In the capitalist world, they call that business. We would do well to reflect upon the advancements that occurred while we all suffered under IE6……evil MS!

    “They made this ruling less than ten years ago, and except for areas where fiber-to-the-home is available, net speeds haven’t improved much since. (This is a common effect of a monopoly. …)” Uhmm, no, that isn’t my experience. It may be different in places I haven’t been, but in the last 10 years, I’ve gone from really poor dial-up to a …..let me check…..3.2 down, 1.3 up, that’s fairly low for typical, but he’s in the midst of some changes and I’ve got 4 peeps on right now. In less than 8 years, I went from 28k for $69.99 to $45.99 for 3.2 m. My sis, in south Texas, she can get it quicker and cheaper. Maybe its different in other areas, IDK, but in my opinion, it is significantly better now than then. That stated, you may be able to see why I don’t want people messing with this progress. In my estimation, there isn’t anything to whine about. And I damned sure don’t want the FCC to come fix it for me. I can see, given the rate of increase and rate of decrease in price, I could easily be paying half of now for twice as now with in the next 10 years. Again, I’m rural, 6 miles from the nearest convenience store in a town of less than 2000. Nearest town over 10,000 is 30 miles away.

    All that Net Neutrality is about is making sure that your provider, to whom you are a captive customer doesn’t misuse that position to prevent you from accessing the services you are paying for the ability to access.

    I’ve stated this before, our ISPs don’t care what you’re doing as long as you don’t interfere with their ability to provide for their other customers. Porn, music, netflix, VOIP, or WUWT, they don’t care. It is their ability to cope is what they care about. Now, the FCC is going to fix that for us………….forgive me if I’m a bit skeptical.

    On related news, this just in, for me……http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/12/22/republicans-aim-block-fccs-new-internet-rules-effect/?test=latestnews

  155. James Sexton says:

    Scott Ramsdell says:
    December 22, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Smokey says:
    December 22, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    “If you’re too impatient to wait for technology to catch up – which won’t take long, according to Moore’s Law”

    No, that is not what Moore’s Law states.
    ===================================================

    No, not specifically. But it may apply. Certainly, the general ability has progressed congruently with processing. Else we wouldn’t have………….

  156. James Sexton says:

    Scott Ramsdell says:
    December 22, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    This thread has been as funny to me as when salesmen tell me they will “ping” me on an idea and I state I will keep ICMP open from them and look at me all stoopid.
    ===================================================

    Nice Scott, here’s a message to you. You’ve never once addressed available bandwidth. And you didn’t address Moore’s law and the implications. Do you believe it is only applicable to processors? Is an integrated circuit much different than an external circuit that is subject to the same forcings? You know what’s “stoopid”? Expecting stuff you didn’t pay for nor earn. It doesn’t take a CSM to understand that it isn’t reasonable to expect some things static while other dependent subjects change. I don’t care what protocol we use, it doesn’t happen that way. You want an SMTP or a UDP message?

    It isn’t there. You want to address the issue stated or call names or compare computer net abbreviation sizes? Mine’s bigger.

    There isn’t enough bandwidth. The FCC will fix it for you and all of the other big gov. sycophants.

  157. Eric (skeptic) says:

    Scott Ramsdell said “The issue with so called “bandwidth hogs” is down to the concept of “over subscribing”. An ISP
    will not have the capacity to provide the level of service it contracts with its customers. An
    ISP or cellular company makes an assumption that not all of the users will be on the network at
    once and sells more customers access than can be provided at any one time.
    This is how it works.
    Business models of yesteryear did not forecast Netflix, etc. and the businesses haven’t invested
    in the capacity to allow for all of us to do what we want all the time.
    Tough cookies. Up the bandwidth, spend the capital. Don’t use propaganda to confuse the populace.
    This isn’t a freedom issue, this is an issue with over subscribing the network. The FCC wants to
    say, “tough”, and the ISPs want to not build
    the infrastructure.”

    ******
    I probably should not have used the term “bandwidth hogs” since some people misinterpreted it as a perjorative. The real problem is that people are clueless about what their kids, or even they themselves are doing on the internet. An oversubscribed network is not the root of the problem, most of the time our 3G network is empty. But during peak time the clueless people overwhelm our rather meager rural bandwidth.

    I said the ISP has two choices, now Scott has brought up a third choice: expand the bandwidth. Unfortunately Scott, they can’t, it doesn’t pay for itself. That leaves my two choices: usage caps or real-time bandwidth restrictions. There are a variety of ways to do that, deep packet inspection is certainly not the only way, nor is it useful with encrypted content and systems that can easily muck with packet headers to foil any DPI. The internet always works around crap like that. Thus it is always a race between the ISP who wants to provide decent service to all and the “bandwidth hogs” who make that goal very difficult.

    The real bottom line is that the private sector can easily provide the needed bandwidth given sufficient freedom to do at least some of the things that Scott hates (like charges based on DPI). Unlike Scott I don’t run to nanny government to tell them to ban DPI. If I wanted to, I could easily route around it (e.g. through my own off site servers). I would love if my provider did DPI and killed (or charged more for) my local BW hogs useless streaming video so I can use the internet for text and small emails. But I live too far out to have that luxury yet.

  158. Francisco says:

    On the Wikileaks useful function as an excuse to police the internet at will, this is interesting:

    http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22357

    Excerpts:
    Most important, the 250,000 cables are not “top secret” as we might have thought. Between two and three *million* US Government employees are cleared to see this level of “secret” document,[1] and some 500,000 people around the world have access to the Secret Internet Protocol Network (SIPRnet) where the cables were stored. Siprnet is not recommended for distribution of top-secret information. Only 6% or 15,000 pages of the documents have been classified as even secret, a level below top-secret. Another 40% were the lowest level, “confidential”, while the rest were unclassified. In brief, it was not all that secret.[2]
    [...]
    What is emerging from all the sound and Wikileaks fury in Washington is that the entire scandal is serving to advance a long-standing Obama and Bush agenda of policing the until-now free Internet. Already the US Government has shut the Wikileaks server in the United States though no identifiable US law has been broken.

    The process of policing the Web was well underway before the current leaks scandal. In 2009 Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller and Republican Olympia Snowe introduced the Cybersecurity Act of 2009 (S.773). It would give the President unlimited power to disconnect private-sector computers from the internet. The bill “would allow the president to ‘declare a cyber-security emergency’ relating to ‘non-governmental’ computer networks and do what’s necessary to respond to the threat.” We can expect that now this controversial piece of legislation will get top priority when a new Republican House and the Senate convene in January.

    The US Department of Homeland Security, an agency created in the political hysteria following 9/11 2001 that has been compared to the Gestapo, has already begun policing the Internet. They are quietly seizing and shutting down internet websites (web domains) without due process or a proper trial. DHS simply seizes web domains that it wants to and posts an ominous “Department of Justice” logo on the web site. See an example at http://torrent-finder.com. Over 75 websites were seized and shut in a recent week. Right now, their focus is websites that they claim “violate copyrights,” yet the torrent-finder.com website that was seized by DHS contained no copyrighted content whatsoever. It was merely a search engine website that linked to destinations where people could access copyrighted content. Step by careful step freedom of speech can be taken away. Then what?

  159. Atomic Hairdryer says:

    Re James Sexton

    I disagree. The internet has done quite well without the interference of the FCC in this regard and there is no reason to expect that it wouldn’t continue to do so. Every time the market has confronted the internet with a challenge, the internet community has responded, and well. As you stated, there have been a few law suits, but none that have significantly altered much, although others may disagree.

    I think as always, the devil is in the detail and whether the regulation acts for or against consumer interests. Which is not necessarily the first priority of telco regulators. In the old days, self regulation worked well and was often informal, eg identify an issue, grab the relevant people at a NANOG, ARIN, RIPE or LINX meeting and thrash out a solution over a few beers. As the ‘net grew and became more commercial, that became harder to do and started involving lawyers.

    The ‘net has been a disruptive technology and sometimes the law’s had to play catch-up. The history of the UK’s IWF is a nice example, the initial police proposal was unacceptable. ISP’s proposed and created an alternative, but initially the IWF had no legal protection performing it’s function until legislation caught up.

    VoIP is another area where some formalising and legislation has become necessary. When it was an occasional thing, no real need. When people started relying on VoIP for all their telephony it became more critical because people died when they couldn’t make calls, or emergency services couldn’t locate them.

    Current legislation in the UK and US also includes legislation that could be used for interconnect agreements, or inter-ISP settlement payments. Previously they’ve been dealt with informally or the FCC’s said they’ve had no power to intervene. Now they may be able to and that could be a good or bad thing depending on how they intervene or rule. Historically peering’s been based on mutual benefit and roughly equal traffic exchange, but new services have started to make the cost/benefit highly imbalanced and arguably unfair. The ‘net is still facing the same problem the voice world did over a century ago regarding settlement payments and probably needs a similar regulatory framework to manage which the FCC can provide. Without money, access networks can’t afford to add capacity to give their customers what they think they’re paying for.

    Verizon’s FiOS network is possibly a good example of the economics. They’ve been spending billions providing fibre to the home. Verizon offer value-add services over that, like video. If they prioritise their video to ensure service delivery against customer SLA’s, should they also be expected to offer the same service to competitors who contribute nothing to the cost of building or operating that network? If competitor’s services are left best efforts, does that mean Verizon’s degrading those services? If content providers won’t pay though, the only people that can be charged are the end-users, so access costs increase which disadvantages people that can’t afford it.

    Rural users still suffer the most. Cost to service those customers with high capacity networks, ie fibre is very high. If there’s no ROI, those networks won’t get built so communities have to put up with inferior services. Sometimes that’s made worse by licensing inferior solutions like 3G or wi-fi, but those are cheap and let operators maximise profits from customers and subsidies. If content providers were paying into universal service funds, there’d be more money to fund proper network buildout. They don’t want to, even though they’re generating the demand.

  160. Mkelley says:

    A little OT, but here is a good article about how our government helped bring on the present financial situation: http://www.american.com/archive/2010/december/how-government-failure-caused-the-great-recession

  161. Brent says:

    In response to Scott’s post: I totally agree. Once the FCC is involved our buying power will mean much less. For example, as of now satellite internet companies have realized they need to improve their network infrastructure to remain competitive in the long term. Under FCC rule their will be no need for this type of innovation, because customers are forced to pay for what the the government mandates. I have an entire blog on this topic at mybluedish.com/blog and would love for you to check it out.

  162. Van Grungy says:

    Gotta love the latent marxists who see no problem with shared misery..

    I’ll take unequal prosperity any day.

    We all know what equality of result (equity, not equality) leads to.

  163. Joel Shore says:

    Van Grungy says:

    Gotta love the latent marxists who see no problem with shared misery..

    I’ll take unequal prosperity any day.

    We all know what equality of result (equity, not equality) leads to.

    Yes, but we also know what the Third World-like inequalities lead to, where nearly all of the wealth is shared by just a few of the people at the top and the government essentially just works to enrich those few. The point is to avoid both extremes.

    With income inequality in the U.S. likely the highest that it has been since the 1920s (and even “latent marxists” like Alan Greenspan finding it a “very disturbing trend” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_inequality_in_the_United_States ), I think we are more in danger of erring on one side than on the other.

  164. Brian H says:

    Sam says:
    December 21, 2010 at 6:38 pm
    “Any government involvement in any industry leads to crony corporatism, check Adam Smith.”

    That’s too broad to say, isn’t it? Government involvement doesn’t necessarily have to lead to bad things every time. Maybe I’m just very naive about how the world and politics work, but I don’t think this peace of legislation HAS to lead to internet censorship in the future. Isn’t the case here about restricting competition? I thought it was more of a monopoly/anti-trust thing than trying to control the internet.

    The following may seem a bit too cryptic:

    “If one rejects laissez faire on account of man’s fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action.” “Manufacturing and commercial monopolies owe their origin not to a tendency imminent in a capitalist economy but to governmental interventionist policy directed against free trade and laissez faire.” Ludwig von Mises – Austrian Economist 1881 – 1973

    so let me be explicit:
    Government comprises individuals and their pressure groups. They are sitting on and in a source of almost unlimited power. (Total governance.) They will use it as ethically as others use business influence, and no more: there is no filter allowing only “good” people to get into power. The reverse may be true: political parties favor and elevate those good at playing the game(s) of government (log rolling, establishing unkillable taps into the public purse, etc.)

    So the only safe assumption is that any new tool and opportunity to oppress the populace will be exploited.

  165. Brian H says:

    Doug Badgero says:
    December 21, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    This is simply because of the large capitol investment needed to enter this market and the risk involved in making these long term investments.

    Some typos are like Freudian slips! Inadvertent accuracy … investing in Washington D.C. lobbying is indeed expensive. But the lobbying parties don’t enter it as part of their capital (assets minus liabilities). ;)

    As for booms and busts, some statisticians and economists recently did a study of the micro-bubbles and the macro-bubbles in markets under various levels of regulation, and found that they have a) the same shape and pattern, b) the same immunity to regulation, and c) the same inevitability.

    IOW, it’s part of how people deal with each other, and it can’t be stopped. The only “solution” is to adapt, not “mitigate”. I.e., be ready to recover as fast as possible. Which, historically, has meant pulling a Reagan: do nothing and let things readjust. Attempts to “fix” stuff prolongs and worsens the agony.

  166. Smokey says:

    Joel Shore, social scientist. And now, with a new and improved Wikipedia education.

    Naturally, Joel’s one-sided post omits the fact that the bottom half of Americans pay almost no federal taxes at all. And the top 5% pay almost all the taxes.

    What Joel can’t understand is that a country’s growing wealth allows people to become prosperous despite confiscatory taxes.

    Also, Joel fails to understand the Marxist belief that the proles will rise up and take over is utter hogwash. World War I proved that beyond any doubt. In fact, Marx and every one of his deluded followers are pathetically ignorant of basic human nature. That’s why Marxism has abjectly failed every place it’s been tried. No exceptions.

    There are no “poor” in America. There are only those with less:

    The following are facts about persons defined as “poor” by the Census Bureau, taken from various government reports:
    Forty-three percent of all poor households actually own their own homes.
    The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.
    Eighty percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, in 1970, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
    Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person.
    The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)
    Nearly three-quarters of poor households own a car; 31 percent own two or more cars.
    Ninety-seven percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.
    Seventy-eight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.
    Eighty-nine percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and more than a third have an automatic dishwasher. [source]

    75 years ago those “poor” would have been in the upper class strata. None of them are starving [unless they make bad personal choices like drug use, gambling, etc.] None of them lacks medical care.

    The truly despicable vermin in this society are those who promote class warfare by telling groups that it’s right that they should covet their neighbors’ goods, and lie to them that they are victims.

    [Also, regarding Net Neutrality, here's an interesting WSJ article on the subject: click]

  167. For anyone still interested, here is an excellent graphic demonstrating what us techs have been saying for years about Net Neutrality: http://www.theopeninter.net/

    A good analogy might be that the water company cannot charge me more for water used to make ice than water used to take a shower.

    This is a very important issue and we have to get it right.

  168. Joel Shore says:

    Smokey says:

    Naturally, Joel’s one-sided post omits the fact that the bottom half of Americans pay almost no federal taxes at all. And the top 5% pay almost all the taxes.

    That’s because:

    (1) It’s not true. What your statements apply to is the federal income tax, the most progressive tax (other than the inheritance tax), not the payroll taxes. Also, while federal taxes are, overall, somewhat progressive, state and local taxes are usually in net regressive (e.g., sales taxes disproportionately affect those who spend all that they earn…and spend more on goods than on services).

    (2) The problem with statements about what percentage of taxes a certain income group pays it that it agglomerates together the effects of unequal income distribution and different rate of taxation. The primary reason that the richest pay the large share of the taxes that they do is because their income share is so large.

    As for the rest of your post, do you ever read anything at all that is not filtered through right-wing sources? The Heritage Foundation is not known for giving a balanced presentation of facts. And, their claims about poverty have been well-debunked elsewhere.

    And, the “article” from WSJ that you link to is not an article at all…It is an opinion piece. It is helpful to understand what the difference is.

  169. Smokey says:

    Joel Shore says:

    “And, the “article” from WSJ that you link to is not an article at all…It is an opinion piece. It is helpful to understand what the difference is.”

    Joel me boy, look at the heading of the article: http://tiny.cc/6bz6m It says “ARTICLE.”

    Next, who elected you to presume to decide that the Heritage foundation is not “balanced”? Their figures are taken directly from government sources. No doubt you worship George Soros, and believe he is “balanced.” But you could pick a better hero than a former Nazi “judas goat” and convicted felon.

    What you Leftists call “Right Wing” refers to those of us who, unlike the Left, believe in the original U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Conservatives want less government, as opposed to liberals, who are motivated by greed, coveting the goods and property of others that the looters never earned. Outright theft is acceptable to you, as when Obama extorted $20 billion from an energy company, based on no enabling legislation whatever – and then warned everyone that he would spend the loot any way he wanted.

    Conservatives are none of those things; liberals have those sticky-fingered tendencies. One of the most obvious examples is the fact that conservatives are much more personally charitable than liberals – but libs claim to be generous, too. The difference is that liberals – oh, ‘scuse me – “progressives” are generous with other peoples’ money, but skinflints when asked to voluntarily dig into their own pockets.

    [And I'm used to misrepresentation from someone who claims models trump observations. For example, I never mentioned payroll taxes.]

    The fact is that liberals are totalitarians. They may not even think about it that way, but I will demonstrate the truth of the matter: explain to us exactly where the maximum line should be drawn regarding “progresive” income taxes, after which there will never be a more progressive [steeper] tax burden based on earnings. Keep in mind the original promises made when the Income Tax Amendment was first proposed. IIRC, tax on the first $4,000 was the promised limit that would never be exceded.

    You can’t identify that line because it is based on the greed of the Left; until all the income of “the rich” is confiscated, the thieves will never be satisfied. Sweden’s 104% tax rate was a case in point. They only reversed course because of the looming disaster that their theft had brought about.

    The entire philosophy of the Left is based on theft, greed, and class warfare. Envy consumes these people, and by hook or by crook, they intend to steal what others have legitimately and honestly earned. The ravenous greed of the statist hyenas is a wonder to behold. It is simply theft, and those who support it are of the same ilk. They covet what was honestly earned by others. Despicable.

    It would be different if there were people truly starving in this country. But the “poorest” are also the most obese. No one is denied medical care. The crocodile tears shed over “the poor” ignores the fact that what they’re talking about is only income disparity.

    Since there is no need to give another color TV, cell phone, or refrigerator to “the poor”, then it is clear that liberals are simply conniving to buy votes in return for the confiscated earnings of honest workers. Liberals are ethically-challenged. Their actions are no different than if I promised to confiscate your savings account because I could, and hand the money over to your neighbor in return for his vote. That would make both me and your neighbor no different than common thieves. Yet that is the same policy you support.

    I personally give tens of thousands of dollars to a local black charity and have the receipts to prove it, and thousands more to other charities. I volunteer my time to another charity. And I despise the self-satisfied liberal mindset that congratulates themselves whenever they manage to raise another tax on “the rich” [which I am not], and give more of my pension earnings to people who do not need the money, but only want it, and will give their vote to get their hands on it.

    The people I help out all have one thing in common: not one of them has created a job. The bottom quintile doesn’t create jobs. Without the rich that you are so obviously envious of, there would be no jobs – including yours.

    The class warfare and jealousy stirred up by these people always ends in disaster. Always. But along the way they steal as much as they can, using their favored means of theft: big government. And because of the unethical fanboys who carry their water, now we have to go through the cycle once again.

    It comes down to this: conservatives, which comprise the biggest part of the American population, want individual liberty. But liberals want a collectivist and ultimately totalitarian society, and they use the tribal concepts of racism, feminism, hatred, and envy to collect votes.

    Most Americans are on the right side. So-called “progressives” are totalitarians at heart. I prefer freedom and small government. Most Americans agree with my point of view; self-identified conservatives outnumber self-identified liberals by about 2 – 1. And as of last November, the worm is turning.

  170. Smokey says:

    Scott Ramsdell,

    The way to get so-called “net neutrality” right is to let the market work it out. If you didn’t read the WSJ article, I highly recommend it:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703886904576031512110086694.html?KEYWORDS=john+fund

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