Jump to content

Net Neutrality


JayGatsby
 Share

Recommended Posts

Thanks. As the NYT article points out, I really don't see companies blocking legal content even if they're allowed to do so. I just can't see an economic rationale for it. Google has faced some anti-competition issues with where they rank competitor's results and it seems too dangerous for cable cos to start playing that game for dubious prospects.

 

This part of the analysis I felt was a bit shallow: "Roger L. Kay, an independent technology analyst, predicted that larger bills — not content blocking — would be the most likely result. If the big internet and media companies will have to pay their carriers more for high-speed services, the expenses will trickle down to households. Consumers, Mr. Kay said, “will end up paying higher prices for essentially the same service.”"

 

Presumably the internet companies paying carriers would be Netflix, Google/Youtube, maybe Facebook, and maybe other Netflix competitors. Netflix has the ability to raise rates to attempt to pass those costs along to customers. Google and Facebook do not. So the impact to consumers from those two types of companies may be different?

 

Is the other possibility to consumers some sort of tiered pricing? So high volume consumers would pay more and low volume would pay less?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is the other possibility to consumers some sort of tiered pricing? So high volume consumers would pay more and low volume would pay less?

 

Tiered pricing is not prohibited by net neutrality AFAIK. ISPs already can charge $X for 1Gb per month and $Y for 10Gb per month.

 

Tiered content is likely prohibited under current rules: i.e. Verizon cannot say: You get your Yahoo content from Verizon FiOS unlimited, but you have to pay $xx/Mb for non-Yahoo content. IMO this is likely for some media products/areas if net neutrality is removed, since Verizon owns Yahoo, Comcast owns NBC, AT&T owns ???. I think throttling could be likely too: it makes huge sense for ISPs to prioritize their own content in terms of QoS. Pay-for-QoS is likely too, though here things get murky since pay-for-QoS already kinda exists through collocation, edge cashing, etc. Things get technical there.

 

 

Note: I may disappear from this discussion since I don't want to spend a lot of time/effort in Politics section. I am also not a super expert in this domain. Please don't think that I'm rude or I'm ignoring your questions or comments if I disappear.  8)

 

Support Net Neutrality!  8)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting. This falls into the fearmongering bucket I was describing: "Wiping out net neutrality would have big consequences. Without it, your broadband provider could carve internet access into fast and slow lanes, favoring the traffic of online platforms that have made special payments and consigning all others to a bumpy road. Your provider would have the power to choose which voices online to amplify and which to censor. The move could affect everything online, including the connections we make and the communities we create."

 

I just don't see how Comcast/Centurylink could send us all back to dial-up without massive public upheaval and massive cancellations. I just don't see the business case for them doing so and certainly don't see the business case for censorship. I think percentagewise the vast majority of people have at least two choices of high speed internet. With the next gen of cell phone data it seems like that number will increase... at some point wireless will be an economic competitor to cable (pure speculation there). To me, the exact opposite of her scenario seems more likely; all others are provided access to the fast lane, while a select few (Netflix, Google, Facebook, Hulu, etc) are forced to make special payments. I could definitely see them forcing special fees on Netflix or Google, but throttling/extorting little CoBF just seems a bit far fetched to me?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jay, what exactly is the reason to support net neutrality, in your opinion? You can dismiss the arguments against the issue, but what is your argument in favor?

 

Shai,

 

I read the article you posted in favor of removing net neutrality (http://www.nationalreview.com/article/449409/net-neutralitys-demise-would-not-be-internets-well)

 

I have to say, I see almost no convincing arguments. Here are the main points I took from the article which are "in favor" of removing NN:

 

Except where criminal conduct has been involved, there are no examples of any Internet-service provider preventing its customers from viewing content online. Comcast attempted to “throttle” or slow down access to certain data packets a decade ago; they were pilloried in the court of public opinion and soon relented

So just because it didn't happen in the past means it won't happen now? Weak argument.

 

What if the abolition of net neutrality did herald an era where Internet-service providers will direct you to certain content and “throttle” or slow down your access to other content? The better question may be: How different is that experience from what consumers online already have?

Okay, so IF we accept the premise, then the conclusion here will result in "no change" from the status quo? Weak argument.

 

if you are a typical consumer, your access to online content is already intermediated by the decisions made at a few companies [Google, FB, etc] to prioritize certain content based on their view of this information’s importance or its relevance to you.

The content of websites I choose to visit has nothing to do with the treatment of the data sent to/from those websites. Weak.

 

Google and Facebook are also the largest supporters of net neutrality, ostensible freedom fighters for the open Internet. Pull away the curtains on the high-minded rhetoric, though, and their corporate self-interest is plain. Well-capitalized Internet-service providers such as Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast are the only plausible rivals for their kind of dominance — and net neutrality applies only to ISPs, not to companies that run websites.

So we should replace Google/FB's "monopoly" with a Verizon/Comcast monopoly? I can choose to visit a different website. Much more difficult (sometimes impossible) to choose a different provider. Weak argument.

 

Despite vaunted technological transitions, all of these markets are likely to be dominated by large players aiming for scale. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, assuming that when a large firm becomes anti-consumer, consumers can topple it. Public policy needs to keep the door open for this potential. If Comcast sucks, Google should have the right to build a rival network — and vice versa. Net neutrality, as a public policy, does not accomplish this, unless it is applied to the digital incumbents also — and even then, it is fitting a round peg into the square hole of a 1930s-era law and doing so relative to a concern that the free market has not been shown incapable of addressing.

Another red herring. Net neutrality has nothing to do with the laws regarding build-out of competitive fiber/cable. Weak.

 

So that's my take: I think it was comprehensive of all the relevant arguments made in the article.

And I simply cannot find one argument which makes sense to support dismantling net neutrality laws. I'm eager to hear one if anyone can provide it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks. That's interesting. The National Review article seems the most logical to me, but I tend to lean pretty far libertarian.

 

The Tucows statement seems fairly disingenuous to me to be honest. Cable and fiber are largely private assets. In some cases they get government incentives, but the private investment into them has been massive. The refrigerator example seems typical of the kind of fearmongering hyperbole characteristic of the for argument.

 

The Portugal/Spain example is interesting, but it relates to mobile phone service. My mobile data plan (through Google) is priced per gigabyte, so really it's doing the same thing. If I just do SMS it would be basically 0, and the more services I add/stream, the more they charge me. It just seems odd to me that there's all these hyperbolic examples of what the cable companies would do, but no examples of that actually happening.

 

This is the best article I've found against... someone posted it on Twitter: https://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=229021 . LC, that confirms what what I'd kind of hypothesized... cable cos have little reason to throttle low bandwidth consuming sites, but the do have reason to throttle Netflix/Youtube/FB/etc. So net neutrality basically is a free subsidy for them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The argument from the article you posted (https://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=229021) boils down to this:

 

Let's assume that I am a site such as Facebook, and I want to sell video ads to companies.  Now when you browse to a Facebook page Facebook "pushes", without user request, video advertising content to the user's screen.  This dramatically increases the amount of data that the consumer is using and requires that the data be delivered on a highly-stringent technical basis, lest the video "stutter" or fail to play at all.  Note carefully that the consumer did not request or benefit from this "video advertising" yet they paid an ISP for the connection to deliver it.  Facebook sold the advertising and benefited from it but did not compensate the consumer or their ISP for the higher load on his connection despite imposing that load on him or her.

 

The question becomes this: If Facebook delivers a sufficiently-large number of video ads such that it begins to impact network performance and thus forces upgrades of the ISP's infrastructure who should get the bill for that upgrade?

 

If the "Net Neutrality" argument wins the day it will force ISPs to bill all customers at a higher rate to provision that level of service to them whether they want it or not.

 

Why should a customer who has no interest in having high-bandwidth advertising shoved down his throat pay a higher bill because Facebook has decided to force him to watch those ads in order to use their service?

 

Why should a customer who doesn't want to watch Netflix pay a higher connection charge to an ISP because 20 of his neighbors do want to watch Netflix?

 

 

I have a few problems with this:

 

First, these are characteristics that any network/utility company experiences. I've been paying every water/electricity/heating utility company to upgrade their network my entire life. If anything, these networks have only improved. Stores increase all prices to pay for credit card processing fees. Hell, any business that offers a single product and then upgrades that product, all customers are paying for that upgrade (whether they want it or not). And the hilarious part is that nobody is forcing ISPs to make any upgrades to their network. If they are so upset, why don't they simply not upgrade their network?

 

Secondly, ISPs already charge tiered pricing for performance. Comcast Xfinity provides Internet tiers ranging from $72-$89/month depending on what performance you'd like.

 

Thirdly, the results over time do not support this argument's conclusion. Look at how the Internet has developed over the past ten years. Taking this argument as the author presents it, you would expect one of two things: either (1) slower overall speeds as customers demand increased performance which ISPs do not deliver because nobody is paying for it, or (2) bankruptcy for ISPs as they pay out-of-pocket to deliver network upgrades, without being reimbursed.

 

The reality is neither of these have happened. Overall performance has improved because network equipment is cheap relative to the performance improvements. And cable cos are making a ton of cash because they have a last-mile monopoly, while still delivering improved performance. 

 

What really gets me is this last bit. These companies already have a monopoly, and now they are trying to convince us to let them charge even more? And then complain that the FCC is "about to implement Communism when it comes to the Internet" while turning a blind eye to the "violation of The Sherman and Clayton Acts" which the same FCC lets them get away with???

 

Talk about cojones.

 

How about we remove net neutrality in exchange for removing the last-mile monopolies these companies have? I'd love to see the cableco's response to that suggestion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What really gets me is this last bit. These companies already have a monopoly, and now they are trying to convince us to let them charge even more? And then complain that the FCC is "about to implement Communism when it comes to the Internet" while turning a blind eye to the "violation of The Sherman and Clayton Acts" which the same FCC lets them get away with???

 

Talk about cojones.

 

How about we remove net neutrality in exchange for removing the last-mile monopolies these companies have? I'd love to see the cableco's response to that suggestion.

The link I posted actually makes the same point toward the end of the really long letter. I'm curious to see what happens as wireless service and cost gets better. Knowing nothing about the technology, it doesn't seem like we're that far off from the last mile being able to be done wirelessly.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Here is a quote from telco expert Steve Blum:

 

The market, at best, is a duopoly collapsing into a monopoly – Comcast and Charter Communications account for 48% of U.S. wireline (and fixed wireless) broadband subscribers, and their share is growing. The next three biggest ISPs – AT&T, Verizon and CenturyLink – muster only a 28% market share, but that’s enough to put more than three-quarters of U.S. broadband subscribers in the hands of just five companies.

 

Quoted from here:

https://www.tellusventure.com/blog/end-of-net-neutrality-means-more-corporate-control-of-central-coast-media-and-speech/

 

I would be interested what do you guys think, are the consequences of removing NN especially for 

AT &T, Verizon, and CenturyLink ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is a quote from telco expert Steve Blum:

 

The market, at best, is a duopoly collapsing into a monopoly – Comcast and Charter Communications account for 48% of U.S. wireline (and fixed wireless) broadband subscribers, and their share is growing. The next three biggest ISPs – AT&T, Verizon and CenturyLink – muster only a 28% market share, but that’s enough to put more than three-quarters of U.S. broadband subscribers in the hands of just five companies.

 

Quoted from here:

https://www.tellusventure.com/blog/end-of-net-neutrality-means-more-corporate-control-of-central-coast-media-and-speech/

 

I would be interested what do you guys think, are the consequences of removing NN especially for 

AT &T, Verizon, and CenturyLink ?

 

 

In principle I'd be against government regulation of any kind, but the problem is removing net neutrality doesn't make it a free market by any stretch of the imagination, because of the issue in the post above.  These companies have government enforced monopolies in their areas and thus there is almost zero competition which means zero incentive to make their customers happy.  Think the cable market in the late 20th century or Ma-Bell in the mid-20th century.  Deregulating the internet should mean opening up every city and town in america to multiple ISPs.  Let anyone who wants to run cable or fiber run it and let's see what happens.  I know in my town they won't let in anyone other than Comcast.  That was true in the last town I lived in as well.  They are worried about their stupid cable access channel (as if a: anyone watches it or cares, or b: they couldn't just put all their content on youTube for free).  Removing government is good if it is completely removed.  If it isn't you are going to be constantly trying to fix problems caused by too much government.

 

Libertarians in general are split on this.  FEE has a different opinion than does EFF for example.

 

"Goodbye Net Neutrality; Hello Competition"

https://fee.org/articles/goodbye-net-neutrality-hello-competition/

 

"Network neutrality—the idea that Internet service providers (ISPs) should treat all data that travels over their networks fairly, without improper discrimination in favor of particular apps, sites or services—is a principle that must be upheld to protect the future of our open Internet."

https://www.eff.org/issues/net-neutrality

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But do you think, if Net Neutrality is removed, will that be good for the old-style telcos like AT &T, Verizone and CenturyLink customers business?

 

I think yes, they own the landlines and they can rule more free their operative business.

 

I am not sure I am understanding your question

 

Will it be good for Verizon? I think so.

 

Will it be good for Verizon's customers? I don't think so.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I mean if the repeal of NN it is positiv for the old traditional companies companies? Will the have higher profits? (They have a consumer and an enterprise business segment)

 

Especially i am interested in an opinion on AT&T, Verizon, and CenturyLink

 

 

PS I used word "customer" first instead of the correct word "consumer"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I mean if the repeal of NN it is positiv for the old traditional companies companies? Will the have higher profits? (They have a customer and an enterprise business segment)

 

Especially i am interested in an opinion on AT&T, Verizon, and CenturyLink

 

I don't think it will result in higher profits. The thing with net neutrality is that consumers like it and the only way to make money from its removal is too annoy consumers. But if you do that, they either switch services or get the government to intervene. So for instance Verizon could ban Youtube for any person that isn't part of the higher tier of service...that might make them some money because people would be forced to use Verizon's shitty services. But if they did that consumers would get really pissed and either switch from Verizon or ask government to intervene.

 

So far the way this plays out currently is that you will have more trouble loading youtube or bittorrent won't work properly...all that does is piss people off. I'm pretty sure that when youtube has trouble loading on Verizon's networks, people don't say to themselves...well I should pay for Verizon's streaming service...they just think...fuck verizon. I just don't see how that will make Verizon money.

 

So really it doesn't help them much.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rukawa, I pretty much completely disagree. Most people can't switch providers. Asking the govt to intervene doesn't work. Hundreds of thousands asked not to appeal net neutrality. And it still got repealed.

 

My guess is the largest providers will extract the most cash out of this, but the smaller providers will still be able to twoist the knife a bit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share



×
×
  • Create New...