Streams

The Net Neutrality "Nightmare"

Thursday, January 16, 2014

(scyther5/Shutterstock)

John Herrman, Buzzfeed tech reporter, explains just how significant this week's net neutrality ruling was, and what open web advocates plan next.

Guests:

John Herrman

Comments [14]

Brett Glass from Laramie, WY

P.S. -- Sorry for the duplicate postings, but for some reason (Google spyware scripts?) they did not show up when I first posted. Gave up after three tries, then all three appeared.

Jan. 19 2014 04:02 PM
Brett Glass from Laramie, WY

I am an actual ISP -- in fact, I founded the world's first wireless ISP, which is still operating here in Laramie, Wyoming. I remain close to my customers -- I have supervised the installation of service for most of them -- and look out for their interests. Unfortunately, lobbyists for large, bandwidth-hungry Internet content providers, such as Netflix and Google, have muddied the discussion about Internet regulation by putting forth "doomsday" scenarios -- and many have bought into them without understanding the realities of broadband or investigating whether or not the alarmist messages are plausible. The truths about the recent court decision are a bit more subtle than were presented by your guest, and the public deserves to know them. Please contact me if you'd be interested in having a guest on your show who can present a realistic picture of the ruling, its likely effects, and the issue of "network neutrality" in general.

Jan. 19 2014 02:24 PM
Brett Glass from Laramie, WY

I am an actual ISP -- in fact, I founded the world's first wireless ISP, which is still operating here in Laramie, Wyoming. I remain close to my customers -- I have supervised the installation of service for most of them -- and look out for their interests. Unfortunately, lobbyists for large, bandwidth-hungry Internet content providers, such as Netflix and Google, have muddied the discussion about Internet regulation by putting forth "doomsday" scenarios -- and many have bought into them without understanding the realities of broadband or investigating whether or not the alarmist messages are plausible. The truths about the recent court decision are a bit more subtle than were presented by your guest, and the public deserves to know them. Please contact me if you'd be interested in having a guest on your show who can present a realistic picture of the ruling, its likely effects, and the issue of "network neutrality" in general.

Jan. 19 2014 02:23 PM
Brett Glass from Laramie, WY

I am an actual ISP -- in fact, I founded the world's first wireless ISP, which is still operating here in Laramie, Wyoming. I remain close to my customers -- I have supervised the installation of service for most of them -- and look out for their interests. Unfortunately, lobbyists for large, bandwidth-hungry Internet content providers, such as Netflix and Google, have muddied the discussion about Internet regulation by putting forth "doomsday" scenarios -- and many have bought into them without understanding the realities of broadband or investigating whether or not the alarmist messages are plausible. The truths about the recent court decision are a bit more subtle than were presented by your guest, and the public deserves to know them. Please contact me if you'd be interested in having a guest on your show who can present a realistic picture of the ruling, its likely effects, and the issue of "network neutrality" in general.

Jan. 19 2014 02:22 PM
tomfromharlem from e.harlem

I'm concerned about rights.

My net is a utility. I must, like millions of Americans, have access to the net for emails- from work, and for information. That information includes streaming video like youtube.

However, if the net is divided AND determined NOT to be a necessary utility for the pubic good, I will cancel my subscription to my internet...I will also loose my homephone service, btw, as I use Ooma internet phone....Now, like Ralph Kramden on the Honeymooners, I will not even have a phone. (Have you checked out the latest cost of Verizon cooper wire home phone service?) I refuse to pay for a utility that is not recognized and regulated as such.

Granted, Netflix and shopping has always been a bonus of having the internet around. But I'm not going to PRETEND that there are TWO internets, one for my phone and email, and one for having fun. If the internet is deemed by our government to be merely a market place commodity, I WILL live without it.

On the other hand, I will DEMAND that my employer themselves pay time-Warner or such if they want me to be online. If not, my employer and everyone else can contact me the old fashion way... by mail. Why should I HAVE to be online? Why should my job, or tax, or medical forms, make me use services online if being online is merely a frivolous commodity? If my employer refuses to pay and I end up stuck in the past... then I have been subjected to a cruel penalty by the US government for not participating in the shopping of ,so deemed, unnecessary expenditures.

No, I believe the internet is like food distribution, like water, like electricity, and yes Ralph Kramdem, like the telephone. It has become a necessary part of life.

Call me a libertarian, call me a wild loner with a self-righteous shotgun and a cabin in the hills of Idaho, call me a leftest socialist... but I demand my rights. The net is a utility. Please stop corporations from forcing me to buy on their terms.

This is the only logical course.

Thank you,
tomfromharlem

Jan. 16 2014 12:07 PM
jm

John from NYC: in the event that you truly don't know the history of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, FCC and "must-carry" rule (and subsequent repeal for digital cable access), and repeated attempts by AT&T, Verizon, Cablevision, etc to thwart municipal internet infrastructure development, please read up on these.

If corporations used their financial prowess to prevent future public tax dollar repairs and construction of highways in an effort to replace with their own private highways, they would then have the right to establish future tolls depending on the vehicle trying to access the stretch.

You seem to be under the impression that the "free market" can equalize resource access, but when control of major physical infrastructure is involved, this isn't the case. If you rely on private carriers to build your infrastructure, you'll eventually only have ONE choice (some people already only have one).

If taxpayers maintain the physical infrastructure, then more service providers are able to compete. Small businesses and the consumers win. Large corporations don't even "lose," but rather are simply inconvenienced. If you want to promote the free market, then allow it to be free.

Jan. 16 2014 11:54 AM

@John from NYC

"Once the regulators take over, watch out -- all regulations will, of course, but for our own good. But liberty will slowly fade."

Bulldinkey. The Internet - the research that created it and much of the infrastructure that breathes it into life - are already a part of valid government function. ISPs that are providing that last mile of access to the Internet - often compared to the entry/exit ramps to a highway - did not build and do not own the highway itself. To quote the GOP mantra from the last campaign, "You didn't build that!"

If a company controls the entirety of the telecommunication infrastructure, they can bill and throttle all they like. It's their network. However, if they are using any part of the common infrastructure attempting to throttle content is an overreach. Especially when four-fifths of homes do not have a choice of ISP. Mobile companies and cable companies are NOT ceteris paribus on this one. 4G is still way slower than WiFi.

Regulation of content - from beheadings to smut websites - is not a valid part of government function - outside of evidence of a crime that breaks existing law.

The government already regulates the administration, prosecutors should police - but not censor - the content.

Jan. 16 2014 11:00 AM
Mike L from Brooklyn

Our taxes and other ISP-friendly policies have helped subsidize the rollout of internet infrastructure. But now the ISPs that benefit want to be able to squeeze us for even more by subverting the open-access model that *made* the internet so valuable. They simply want to profiteer off their current stranglehold on this infrastructure, despite their relative lack of contribution to the various technologies that have made the internet great. FCC *must* recategorize ISPs as common carriers to prevent this. Meanwhile, let's keep working on strengthening mesh networking so that we can eventually cut these ISP middle-men out of the equation.

Jan. 16 2014 10:59 AM
Ravi from Weehawken NJ

Currently when we buy an internet connection we have access to the entire internet. That changes. Now we don't have access to the entire internet, but only to packages that we have to buy from our ISPs. So our access levels are proportional to how much we pay. On the other side, businesses will also have access to the customers that they are paying to access. So for example, if you pay Sprint but don't pay Verizon and you run a website, you dont have access to Verizon's websites.

nightmare scenario:
Consumers get charged for every video they watch on youtube, per view maybe for the next Gangnam style video.
Consumers get charged 5 dollars extra per site for facebook, youtube, google, and they dont get access to sites that they did not pay for.
You and your brother have access to different websites because you have different providers. Internet becomes like Cable TV with websites being like cable channels. This extends not only to websites but also to services like Vonage, Skype, internet radio, internet tv and so on.

Jan. 16 2014 10:53 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Are there "6G" and "7G" wireless bandwidths in the wings? The solution would be for content providers to bypass physical cables altogether and deliver their content on their own wireless bandwidth

Jan. 16 2014 10:51 AM
blacksocialist from BKbaby

john - can always count on a nitwit to spout the ignorance. your whole world view is off, so sad so pathetic.

Jan. 16 2014 10:50 AM
John from NYC

Here is why this guest sounds so vague and unclear.

"Net Neutrality" is a cover for government regulators to take over the Net -- the most free, liberating technology in human history.

Once the regulators take over, watch out -- all regulations will, of course, but for our own good. But liberty will slowly fade.

He does not want to admit that.

Jan. 16 2014 10:45 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Big Cable sees the likes of Netflix, Amazon, Google, Apple and other content streamers as a mortal treat to their business model.

Big Cable will use this ruling to negate streamers' growth.

Cable companies argue that they are only sticking up for (their) free enterprise, which I would have agreed with, if they weren't a monopoly in virtually every market they are in.

Jan. 16 2014 10:41 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

This whole situation is quite similar to what happened centuries ago in England and much of Europe with common land or "commons."

Wikipedia

"Commons refers to the cultural and natural resources accessible to all members of a society, including natural materials such as air, water, and a habitable earth. These resources are held in common, not owned privately. The resources held in common can include everything from natural resources and common land to software.[2] The commons contains public property and private property, over which people have certain traditional rights. When commonly held property is transformed into private property this process alternatively is termed "enclosure" or more commonly, "privatization." A person who has a right in, or over, common land jointly with another or others is called a commoner."

So we "commoners" are going to suffer.

Jan. 16 2014 10:32 AM

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