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IMPORTANT: Net Neutrality Redux


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IMPORTANT: Net Neutrality Redux
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drewprops
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2006-10-18, 22:01

I'm watching Bill Moyers' show on PBS right now, and it's focused upon the Net Neutrality issue. There is apparently the possibility that the Telecoms are going to try to make another pass at a tiered pricing, especially when some politicians exit the elections as Lame Ducks. Heads up guys, let's be ALL OVER THIS SHIT.

Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon.
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Last edited by drewprops : 2006-10-18 at 22:07.
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Chinney
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2006-10-19, 08:25

Just looked at this for the first time. Net neutrality was not a term I had heard before. Wikipedia has a good discussion of it here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_neutrality

In short, it refers to a principle – and perhaps eventually regulations – that would forbid ISPs from favouring certain types of content over others for priority delivery over their systems.

It looks as though ISPs are against any strict controls implementing net neutrality, as they feel they could get higher profits by giving priority to some content – especially commercially saleable content that they control or that other companies have paid them to deliver via priority streaming. Successful restistance to any requirement of net neutrality also could allow ISPs to implement tiered pricing, in which ISP customers would pay a premium for priority streaming of certain types of content, with other types of content relegated to lower priority status.

Meanwhile, the general net community of is mostly in favour of net neutrality, as they argue that ISPs plans in the above regard could ruin the democratic nature of the Internet, relegating non-commercial content or content provided by smaller companies or individuals to second-class status and firmly putting the Internet under the control of those with money.

Arguments are possible both ways. It could be argued that you should be able to pay more, if you so choose, for priority delivery of particular services that you need or want. On the other hand, an open, democratic nature is the soul of the Internet – I would hate to see that compromised.

When there's an eel in the lake that's as long as a snake that's a moray.

Last edited by Chinney : 2006-10-19 at 10:12. Reason: Clarification and correction of word-usage errors and typos.
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drewprops
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2006-10-19, 09:31

I should have provided this link before, it's the PBS page about the topic of Net Neutrality.
It has all the info from the show that I watched.... it's a great resource to share with your family and friends.


Read This Now!!



.

Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon.
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Brad
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2006-10-19, 09:55

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chinney View Post
Just looked at this for the first time. Net neutrality was not a term I had heard before.
Like Drew, I really really really wish people were more informed about this (just as with other major political issues) and it makes me sad that most people would just roll over let the telcos dictate how they think things should be.

Here's a quick rundown of the some various articles from ArsTechnica regarding net neutrality, in chronological order:

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Chinney
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2006-10-19, 10:01

Just for the record, although I can see both sides of the argument (as noted above), I am in favour of ensuring net neutrality.

My quick thought is that if companies want to ensure more direct and quick access to specific paid content, they should do it through subscribed, individualized direct-access services, not through content discrimination on the general Internet. I'm not too sure if my solution is realistic, but I put it out there for comment. In any case, I don't want the Internet coming under control of they few and the wealthy.

When there's an eel in the lake that's as long as a snake that's a moray.
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drewprops
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2006-10-19, 10:06

I try to talk to about this with every net-active person I know, to make them understand it.



.
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drewprops
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2011-01-02, 15:30

WTF.
Am I wrong or did the FCC hand Net Neutrality over to the cable industry on a silver platter a few days before Christmas?

I seriously can't figure out if the handling of the Internet breaks down across party lines or if this is a more complex web of influence. From what I read, the guy in charge of the committee is in the back pocket of the service providers and the two Democrats voted with him, while the two republicans voted against it and are vowing to tear it down (whatever that means) in 2011.

Who are the good guys in this case?
I've read an op-ed that lambastes the President for breaking his promise on the Net Neutrality issue and the rest of the coverage has been full of twisty words that don't iron flat in my brain.

WHERE are we now, and WHO is on the side of a non-tiered internet? Is it an individuals thing or does one party see it the way that supporters of Net Neutrality see it?


...

Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon.
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Brad
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2011-01-02, 15:44

I don't know if there are any "good guys" left for this battle, aside from the obvious powerless groups like the EFF.

*shrug*
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chucker
 
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2011-01-02, 15:48

My limited understanding: It's not as clear-cut. The good news is that the FCC did establish some rules. The bad news is that most of them don't apply to "wireless Internet", and over the coming years, pretty much all Internet access will be wireless, as 4G technologies like LTE Advanced will obsolete the need for DSL, cable, etc.* The cellular providers like AT&T and Verizon Wireless convinced the FCC that they have special needs.

It's most certainly not the simple, all-encompassing set of rules Obama promised in his campaign. Seems like a classic case of lobbyist compromise.

[edit]
*) For most homes and smaller businesses, anyway.
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Brad
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2011-01-02, 15:53

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
over the coming years, pretty much all Internet access will be wireless, as 4G technologies like LTE Advanced will obsolete the need for DSL, cable, etc.
Clarification: will obsolete the need for DSL, cable, etc. for home consumers. Wired Internet access will certainly live on for businesses for a much longer time, but it may become a business-only class of access.

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chucker
 
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2011-01-02, 15:54

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
I don't know if there are any "good guys" left for this battle, aside from the obvious powerless groups like the EFF.

*shrug*
In a someone poorly (deliberately so?)-conceived poll question, only 21% support net neutrality.
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chucker
 
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2011-01-02, 15:56

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
Clarification: will obsolete the need for DSL, cable, etc. for home consumers. Wired Internet access will certainly live on for businesses for a much longer time, but it may become a business-only class of access.
Right, but those don't use "DSL, cable, etc." in the first place, but dedicated lines (if I'm following what you're saying).
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Maciej
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2011-01-02, 16:16

I think part of the problem was exposure. A lot of people don't know how powerful the internet can be, so they weren't as interested as they probably should have been, IMO.

User formally known as Sh0eWax
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Ryan
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2011-01-02, 16:23

Somehow I ended up on a Tea Party mailing list and for the past few weeks I’ve been seeing “OBAMA TAKES OVAR TEH INTERNETS!!!11!! Stop Net Neutrality!” in my spam folder.

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Kickaha
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2011-01-02, 17:04

Dude, these are the same folks who want the Gummint to keep their hands off of Medicare, so... y'know...

Stupid is as stupid does.
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curiousuburb
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2011-01-02, 17:45

Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace
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drewprops
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2011-01-02, 18:03

Unfortunately, my Dad has been on the receiving end of the misinformation campaign. I think that my own politics align with Mr. Scates - progressive southern conservative. Seeing a deliberate misinformation campaign aimed at elderly conservatives infuriates me beyond belief.

Another friend pointed out that nobody seems to understand the issue because it's too theoretical for them to understand in their everyday lives.

Has nobody put together a simple video explaining what it's all about?? You know, something with funny cartoon characters?

I'd be willing to do something if I had a script that was factually accurate and encapsulated the relevant issues in bite-sized pieces.

...

Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon.
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Brad
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2011-01-02, 18:19

The issue is pretty simple, actually.

Until recently, the Internet has been unregulated because the telcos hadn't done anything to really restrict the flow of information. In recent years, though, the telcos have made it clear that they want to throttle different types of traffic that either compete with other services they offer (think VOIP, video streaming sites) or are defined nebulously as "too much of a burden" (think file sharing services like BitTorrent and also video streaming sites). Some telcos are already doing this.

"Net neutrality" is an effort to keep the flow of data open and unhampered by the telcos. Once a user pays for a certain level of access to the Internet, that user should have fair and equal access to everything on the Internet, not seeing some sites or protocols throttled or shut off because they are deemed to be of a second class by the ISP.

It's only recently that we need regulations or a regulatory body to keep the ISPs in check, and that's why some groups are mischaracterizing the efforts in a negative light as "regulating the Internet" or "government control of the Internet". Like it or not, ISPs (at least in vast areas of the USA) are effectively monopolies and the rules of competition don't apply. Most people have only up to two or three choices for Internet access, and that means the telcos have all the power in the relationship, which in turn means that a third party may be needed to oversee them.

edit: But to answer your question, sadly, no, I don't know of any good, short video to explain all this to laymen.

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curiousuburb
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2011-01-03, 05:23

Warriors of the Net does a decent job explaining the packet level operation of the Internet in 13 minutes.

The original site is atrocious, [mouse trails and autoplay Flash audio are spawn of Satan] but Google Video and YouTube have clean versions.

Quote:

Warriors of the Net, a thirteen minute long animated film, was conceived and created, in 1999, by a small team at Ericsson Medialab, Sweden. The initial idea to make a short educational film was that of Tomas Stephansson. “Tomas, the network expert, used to go around within Ericsson having speeches of the advantage of IP telephony, always moaning about how difficult it was to make people understand the fundamentals,” said Gunilla Elam. “After one of these occasions we started to talk about making a visualization of the basic functions for him to use in these meetings.” Although, “none of use realized at the time what a huge project it would end up becoming,” Elam wryly comments. In addition to the three-dimensional animation work of Gunilla Elam, the atmospheric music and sounds for the film were created by composer Niklas Hanberger, while the narration was provided by Monte Reid. The movie took the team around six months to complete, in amongst other projects and work commitments. The film was premiered in may 1999 in Stockholm and it has been well received, proving particularly useful for educators. It has been translated into ten different languages and in 1999 it won first prize in the Pirelli INTERNETional Multimedia Awards


... source...
Then tack on Brad's explanation.

All those who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.

Last edited by curiousuburb : 2011-01-03 at 05:49. Reason: link fix
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Chinney
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2011-01-03, 09:25

Few may support it because it has been associated with "government regulation" which they think will f*ck them over, or at least be f*cked up. On the other hand, a lot of people are angry (really angry, at least here in Canada) with the big telcoms, whom they assume have been f*cking them over and will continue to f*ck them over. People, regardless of political stripe, will be even more angry when the particular service they want to access gets throttled back to help promote services offered by the telcoms that they don't want to access.

All of this is related to larger political trends. People have every right to be angry with bad government. And we have had bad government. In Canada I would give our governments of various political stripes about a C for their performance over the past 20 years. I would give the U.S. governments about a D. I would give the U.K. governments maybe a C-. (Feel free to fill in ratings for other countries). All those ratings might be a bit generous. So I can understand why people are reluctant to endorse government regulation.

My view though is that in a complex society, government has a very important role to play. We are not homesteading on our own on the frontier anymore. The solution is better government, not no government. Anger is understandable, but blind anger and rejection of government is not a productive political trend. At the core, the government is us - or at least it should be.

When there's an eel in the lake that's as long as a snake that's a moray.
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Chinney
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2011-04-08, 20:56

U.S. House of Representatives votes on net neutrality:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle1977308/
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Robo
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2011-04-08, 21:35

America: Facepalm.
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Brad
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2011-04-08, 21:49

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chinney View Post
U.S. House of Representatives votes on net neutrality:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle1977308/
Worth underscoring that Obama (or more precisely "The Administration") has said he disapproves and will likely veto it.

http://www.publicknowledge.org/files....J._Res_37.pdf

Quote:
The Administration strongly opposes House passage of H.J. Res. 37, which would undermine a fundamental part of the Nation’s Internet and innovation strategy – an enforceable and effective policy for keeping the Internet free and open.

...

If the President is presented with a Resolution of Disapproval that would not safeguard the free and open Internet, his senior advisers would recommend that he veto the Resolution.

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