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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

 

Net Neutrality for dummies

...and believe me, I include myself in that group.

ChezClark does a great job dumming down the whole "Net Neutrality" thing so that even I could understand it.

Net Neutrality is about forbidding an ISP (Verizon for example) who has a business relationship with, say, Barnes and Noble, to charge Amazon punitive rates just for the privilege of reaching the ISP’s customers. Customers who, it should be emphasized, have paid for access to the Internet just like everyone else. There’s no good reason why ISPs should be able to throttle traffic selectively, based on their own interests, and that’s what Net Neutrality aims to prohibit.

The other thing that motivates Net Neutrality, of course: we’re all becoming providers. I’m a “provider” (albeit a tiny one), but I have no means or desire to pay extortion money to some ISP for the privilege of reaching you, a broadband consumer.

We want everyone to be a “provider”. Today's internet, if it means anything, is surely about breaking down the status quo of huge corporations being the only source of “content”. Net Neutrality is the foundation on which you build a many-to-many Internet. Opposing Net Neutrality is the way to cement the hegemony of corporate speech.


Great. So who on earth would favor allowing the giant telecos to put a death grip on the internet and opposes Net Neutrality?

Joe Biden for one.

Now the crazy stuff

This issue is being debated in Congress. The average age of a member of congress is 54. For Senators the average age is about 60. I've tried to get my 60-ish father online and let me tell you it was heavy lifting. Listen to crazy Ted Stevens, the chairman of the commerce committee, if you want to get very worried about where this debate is headed.

Comments:
Who you calling a dummy?

('Course, if you're talking about me, you're probably right.)
 
Jason, you're exactly right, not fully understanding the net neutrality debate isn't just a Senator Stevens problem. I'm sure almost all members of Congress could use a tutorial on the issue.

I work with the Hands Off the Internet coalition and we are opposed to additional net neutrality regulations.

The telecoms wouldn't block access to content. However, given that they are spending billions to upgrade the infrastructure from copper to fiber lines the content providers should pay their share of these costs. If a content provider is sending IPTV, VOIP or other bandwidth intense traffic then they should pay more for faster service on the upgraded network. This will ensure that calls aren't dropped and reception isn't interrupted during peak activity hours.

In addition, even the VP of Google, Vince Cerf has said the telecoms aren't abusing the internet and that if they do he would take up his complaints with the Department of Justice.

Why add burdensome regulations to the internet if there isn't even a problem?
 
Props to the only Delaware blogger talking about Net Neutrality (well, at least the only one I read).

Here's one more reason to be for Net Neutrality: Atrios notes that more than 100,000 people have clicked to watch a Ned Lamont ad on YouTube.com. Not only that, the Lamont-ians have been posting serious campaign videos on the Internet FOR FREE that they aren't even paying to put on TV, and people are watching them. This has got to scare the pro-Bush corporate media.

Atrios:
"During the whole FEC hearing process one of the big concerns by the people who wanted to regulate the internets was that if we didn't then people (horror!) might put candidate videos and stuff online and that would be bad because... well, I was never quite sure but it was going to be bad."

Now, without Net Neutrality, the big media/telecomm corps would be free to charge extra for access to sites like YouTube. Or they could make it run rea-ll-y sloooow... unless you signed up and paid.
 
While I'm in favor of net neutrality, there really is something to the point that sites like YouTube, Yahoo, Google, etc. are running their businesses and offering their services for free on the backs of the telecom companies' broadband services. It does seem inherently unfair.
 
I appreciate that you broke the issue down Jason. It's damn confusing.
 
While I'm in favor of net neutrality, there really is something to the point that sites like YouTube, Yahoo, Google, etc. are running their businesses and offering their services for free on the backs of the telecom companies' broadband services It does seem inherently unfair.

You are SO busted.

Nobody is getting a free ride.

YouTube is PAYING one of those big telecoms for every bit it sends out of its web servers.

You are PAYING Comcast or Verizon, or whatever your ISP is, for every bit you pull off the YouTube servers.

Try this to start:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_neutrality
 
Now, without Net Neutrality, the big media/telecomm corps would be free to charge extra for access to sites like YouTube. Or they could make it run rea-ll-y sloooow... unless you signed up and paid.

That is the point, that the telecoms don't want the consumers to be stuck with the bill for upgrading the internet, which will cost billions. The content providers should pay their share and not kick the cost over to consumers. While the content providers, like youtube, do pay for bandwidth, under net neutrality regulations they could not be charged more for the faster and improved service that the new fiber network would provide.

The content providers are making a ton of money using the network and they don't want to pay more for better service. If net neutrality regulations are put in place they would be getting a free ride on the improved network although the incentive to upgrade would be greatly diminished.

In addition, if the site ran slow it wouldn't be due to the ISP slowing it down, but the fact that a content provider didn't want to pay for faster service. As I mentioned before during hours of peak activity this could lead to slower service on the slower tier.
 
Very best site. Keep working. Will return in the near future.
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