I confess that the whole thing appears to be convoluted and I have not done a real in-deep study of it.  Apparently the FCC wants to save me from the evil Internet providers or something.

I am a simple man. Don’t do fancy stuff, don’t shoot but simple inexpensive guns and don’t ask me about the mysteries of the Universe. However I can do some basic math.

When I came into the internet, it was through American On Line.  It charged me (IRRC) $2.45 per hour of usage at 9,600 bps and I had to get a spare phone line so our main wasn’t blocked if I was online. If I got distracted and forgot to disconnect, that monthly bill got huge ensuing significant fights with SWMBO.

Right now I am with one of the big companies that according to the FCC need to be reigned in. I am paying $50 a month for 25 Mbps unlimited and I killed any phone land lines long ago.

Now a simple feat of math: If was still paying AOL prices and connected 100% of the time ($2.45 x 24 x 365) at the end of the year I would be paying $21,462 on a really slow connection. Right now on high-speed Internet unlimited, I am paying $600 a year. That is what? a forty-fold decrease in price with an almost thirty-fold increase in speed on an unregulated internet subject to the whims of the free market?

So exactly what or who is the Government going to save me from? And why do I have the feeling we are about to be shafted?

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By Miguel.GFZ

Semi-retired like Vito Corleone before the heart attack. Consiglieri to J.Kb and AWA. I lived in a Gun Control Paradise: It sucked and got people killed. I do believe that Freedom scares the political elites.

14 thoughts on “On this thing about Net Neutrality.”
  1. My basic principle of freedom is that anytime the government wants to regulate something that is wide open and free, I resist. Whatever supposed problem they claim they want to fix will be dwarfed by the multiple problems they will inadvertently create. The government motto is and always will be “if it isn’t broke, fix it till it is”.
    In the case of net neutrality…it’s pretty clear that the fix is in. The few who deem to rule over the many think the little guy has too much freedom. The internet, the last great bastion of freedom that the government has yet to violate, is about to be reigned in.

  2. I don’t confess to have closely followed this as well but part of this issue with net neutrality is certain providers would prioritize or slow certain types of internet traffic based on agreents with other companies and services. A tenet of net neutrality is all types of content regardless of who they are going to or what it is are treated the same. So this practice violated it but at the same time these providers can only regulate data that passes their equipment or infrastructure. That does often mean that data from a small mom and pop provider is also going to pass through a big guys infrastructure at some point.

    By voting to allow the regulation of the internet as a public utility the FCC seeks to end the throttling practices the providers take. They promise that is the only thing they are after and will narrowly apply the telecom act. Thus also fits with the Obama administrations past ststements and thoughts that lean towards the internet as a public resource.

    A serious sticking point of telecom regulation is the FCC can set rates and presumably involve themselves much more deeply in the day to day operation of the internet to insure a public utility is not interrupted. This prospect ss obviously not making the providers happy.

    Personally I haven’t really made up my mind on this issue but I’m leaning towards not in favor.

    On the one hand these companies own the equipment and infrastructure and should be able to do what they want with it. It is also not clear to me how this would affect managed business services where you pay for a guaranteed level of service. Giving the government control is also something I’m never in favor of and net neutrality has basically existed without serious government intervention for some time. I also can’t help but think that this is one step closer to nationalization of the internet and any closer to the government and therefore the NSA etc that the internet gets is no good IMO. It doesn’t seem like a step towards keeping the internet open private held and free. It may also choke out smaller guys who can’t deal with compliance or what not with FCC regs. Maybe in the long term it will encourage the growth of more private networks.

    On the other hand ensuring free business practices and reasonable rates for the quick internet isn’t a bad thing especially for rural areas for faster service does not exist or is expensive. It also opens the possibility of more government money for improving infrastructure since the intern is now closer to the government. Also for something that is an essential part of modern life and communication it is nice to know there is a neutral 3rd party monitoring it, is the government, is the FCC; that is assuming you believe they are neutral or are supposed to be neutral.

    1. So instead of the owner of the equipment, who rents you access, controlling how their equipment is used, whoever pays an FCC commissioner or Congresscritter the most gets to decide.

      Oh, and the same board that fines radio and TV stations for bad-words is going to control the Internet.

      And no one has seen the regulations.

  3. “We’re from the government and we’re here to help.”
    Basically, they’re trying to introduce bad legislation to fix a problem that doesn’t exist.
    The internet is too powerful for them to resist the urge to control it. You think the NSA spying on everything you write was bad? Just wait…

  4. See, maybe it’s cynical, but I have a hard time thinking that the spying can get much worse than it already is- the NSA is fishing with a wide net in a huge river, I’m not sure that they can get much worse if they own the river. My initial objection is that this is a solution in search of a problem- like somebody hadn’t got their regulate on in a while, so they decided to go for this. I will admit that I also object because I haven’t liked very many of the things this administration has done so far, so I expect not to like this, but as I am wont to say, defining one’s position as ‘Opposition to X Person’ gives them all the freedom to choose your positions.

    My last uninformed comment- In theory, I agree that the best way for information exchange to work is for the pipeline to be globally uniform. I just don’t think that a group of people that can call spying on its own citizens the Patriot Act can be trusted to do it. Unfortunately, relying on the largesse of people that already make dough by the boatload is a path fraught with hazards as well. Let’s not forget, Frito-Lay put that oleo crap in potato chips, and told us it made them healthy. They’ll say just about anything to make a buck.

    1. “Let’s not forget, Frito-Lay put that oleo crap in potato chips, and told us it made them healthy.”

      It did. There was nothing harmful about olestra. You couldn’t even tell the difference unless you ate entire bags of chips yourself in less than a day. Then you had diarrhea.

      The biggest complainers about it were fascist groups, who object to ANYONE enjoying life.

    1. Also don’t forget that the government telling you this is a good thing,*cough*Obama*cough*, is playing golf with the head of comcast and that the head of the fcc used to work for National Cable & Telecommunications Association which lobbied on behalf of comcast.

  5. Net Neutrality is supposed to stop companies like Comcast from doing Comcast-like abusive customer practices.

    You know Comcast, right? They’re the cable company that owns MSNBC.

    You know NBC, right? They’re the news station that always promotes the latest Democrat BS.

    What’s the latest Democrat BS? Net Neutrality.

    Now why would Comcast be promoting something that’s designed to hurt Comcast?

    Well, who benefits from the government taking over more authority from private networks?

    And now it’s obvious.

    1. Usually regulatory capture doesn’t happen until the regulations start. Sure would be nice to know what’s in those 300+ pages of Democrat wish lists…

  6. As someone who is in this line of work… I can tell you most people don’t understand the issue and there are no good solutions…..period. I normally believe the government should stay out of things…the problem is now it’s too late. Basically….the internet providers have been essentially collapsed into localized monopolies through government help over the last decade. So now that is the conundrum…allowing these monopolies to control who you get your content through…like netflix….too bad comcast doesn’t allow access to netflix in new england…..competition…no way. The net neutrality rules ensure that netflix, hbo-go, vudu, gmail, office365, yahoo all get equal access to compete, even if you have nothing but a monopoly for internet access. That is the only problem, what do you do with a monopoly? Do you have the government try and get in the middle and break them up…how long does that take?? 30 years? How intrusive is that? How much government bureaucracy does that setup? Or do you have them institute net neutrality? Is that the lesser evil? The problem is, there is no way to keep the government out of government monopolies/utilities. They couldn’t manage a phone company breakup or power utilities. In some businesses it doesn’t make since in having an abundance of infrastructure built. It’s better to forcefully separate the infrastructure and the companies that utilize it. In what way would you otherwise fix this very complex problem? Do we build 20 sets of land lines and power lines? Do you have 8 different power lines coming into your house for competition??? No easy answers.

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