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  1. Micael's Avatar
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       #1  
    In this article - Court: FCC has no power to regulate Net neutrality, and if I understand it correctly, this means that service providers like Comcast can monitor and manage their clients behavior and usage of their networks, e.g., if you are on Comcast and use BitTorrent, expect Comcast to slow down your throughput because they (1) disapprove of file sharing communities, or (2) want to balance usage of their bandwidth (it really doesn't matter which).

    Part of me thinks Comcast should have every right to structure usage rules any way they see fit. I mean, after all.... you can just switch to a different service provider if you don't agree with thier usage agreement, right?

    But then.... don't they in effect have a monopoly in any given area; how many places exist where that's really the only game in town for internet access, besides substandard services like satellite or dial up? And, if I'm paying for the throughput and bandwidth per my service contract, shouldn't I be allowed to use it to the max of the specification in that contract, 24/7, regardless of the protocol or client I'm using?

    Have I got this all wrong? Somebody lay it out for me please.
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  2. #2  
    Quote Originally Posted by Micael View Post
    In this article - Court: FCC has no power to regulate Net neutrality, and if I understand it correctly, this means that service providers like Comcast can monitor and manage their clients behavior and usage of their networks, e.g., if you are on Comcast and use BitTorrent, expect Comcast to slow down your throughput because they (1) disapprove of file sharing communities, or (2) want to balance usage of their bandwidth (it really doesn't matter which).
    That is a fairly good summary of the ruling as it's being reported.
    Part of me thinks Comcast should have every right to structure usage rules any way they see fit. I mean, after all.... you can just switch to a different service provider if you don't agree with thier usage agreement, right?
    There are a few issues at hand though. Some of these 'usage agreements' don't exist. They sell a service and don't always present the whole picture of what they're selling. They don't sell you X Mbps except if you're using BitTorrent or Skype or Z service that we decide we don't like this month.
    But then.... don't they in effect have a monopoly in any given area; how many places exist where that's really the only game in town for internet access, besides substandard services like satellite or dial up?
    That's a significant issue. In most cases, they're regulated monopolies. Even if this ruling stands, a Public Service Commission (or whatever your local regulatory body is called) could still make this an issue.
    And, if I'm paying for the throughput and bandwidth per my service contract, shouldn't I be allowed to use it to the max of the specification in that contract, 24/7, regardless of the protocol or client I'm using?
    That's the real issue, IMO.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  3. #3  
    My first instinct is to say that a business has the right to enact policies that it considers right. Then the ACLU side of me (don't pretend we don't all have one of those) say that the business can do what it wants unless it removes freedoms or is a monopoly (ie. the powe company et al). I think that the way their policies are stated, it leaves a lot of gray area which leads me to:

    Comcast, in as much as it curbs access to the Internet for causes it feels are just, wouldn't matter if there were other options. As a monopoly player in the Internet business, Comcast gets away with a lot. Price increases, shotty billing, and poor customer service to name a few. Free Market forces, when allowed to work, drive prices down and can increase the value of customers to the businesses that they use.

    When this is not allowed to occur, you get bad service like I have. My only other option is 1.5 meg DSL....
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  4. angiest's Avatar
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    #4  
    Net Neutrality is one of those I've never settled on an idea. I dislike regulations, period. Unfortunately in this case it is regulation of a regulated industry.

    In Houston we used to have Time Warner for cable. I suffered through it because I wasn't quite ready for anything else yet ( I used them for TV and internet). Then they swapped us with Comcast and at that point I left for DirecTV and DSL. In the case of my internet service, although AT&T provides the physical link I am using a local ISP, so I don't worry about them too much. Upstream, of course, becomes murky. My other two options for viable broadband are Comcast and AT&T UVerse. Big choice. Comcast is the government created monopoly for one type of service and AT&T is to government created monopoly for the other type. The only argument I can muster for government enforced net neutrality is that there is not market, so if I don't like the service I can't vote with my dollars. On the other hand, if these companies own the infrastructure (and invest their revenue in them, as opposed to tax dollars) then why shouldn't they have a say in how those resources are used? We would be a lot better off if there were real choices in service providers, but of course the Comcasts and AT&Ts of the world have no interest in that: they are in bed with politicians and bureaucrats as much as politicians and bureaucrats are in bed with them.

    Texas actually did a decent job of deregulating electricity (not statewide, however, some places opted out). Basically, the local government contracts someone to own and service the lines (the distribution company) but consumers can choose from electric providers, people who purchase electrons to replace the ones a consumer takes off the grid. There are a lot of these providers and there is a fair amount of price competition, it has even driven the cost of "green" energy down several cents/kWh. Unfortunately the generation of power is so regulated that there is not adequate competition on the backend to provide prices as low as they possibly could be. Still, it seems to have worked rather well for us. Perhaps a similar model could be used to solve the "problem" of someone needing to own the lines for information delivery.
  5. #5  
    I just canceled my Comcast Internet service over the phone. She asked me why I was canceling and I told her that I am for Net Neutrality and know that Comcast is opposed to it.

    I've had the Sprint Overdrive for 25 days now and I'm keeping it and using it as my main Internet provider. It's fast enough to run videos, etc. Sprint and Clearwire (the company that provides the 4G access) is in favor of Net Neutrality.

    I know I'm just one person with a little voice but hopefully I made a difference somewhere.
  6. angiest's Avatar
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    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by chiliu78 View Post
    I just canceled my Comcast Internet service over the phone. She asked me why I was canceling and I told her that I am for Net Neutrality and know that Comcast is opposed to it.

    I've had the Sprint Overdrive for 25 days now and I'm keeping it and using it as my main Internet provider. It's fast enough to run videos, etc. Sprint and Clearwire (the company that provides the 4G access) is in favor of Net Neutrality.

    I know I'm just one person with a little voice but hopefully I made a difference somewhere.
    This, of course, is the best way to support a concept like net neutrality.
  7. #7  
    I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, Comcast is my only realistic option for high speed internet. I need fast internet for streaming video, web browsing, etc. So I agree that some FCC control is appropriate.

    On the other hand, if 1-percent of the users use 99-percent of the bandwidth, that slows down service for the other 99-percent of the users. Comcast has a monthly 250-Gb limit on their "unlimited" high speed plans. Comcast claims that the median bandwidth total is 2-4 Gb per month. I average about 180 Gb per month and will likely need more bandwidth in the future.

    I'm ok with Comcast limiting super-extreem bandwidth hogs if it helps balance bandwidth for everyone. I'm also ok with some bittorrent speed limits to help balance the load during peak times.
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by chiliu78 View Post
    I just canceled my Comcast Internet service over the phone. She asked me why I was canceling and I told her that I am for Net Neutrality and know that Comcast is opposed to it.

    I've had the Sprint Overdrive for 25 days now and I'm keeping it and using it as my main Internet provider. It's fast enough to run videos, etc. Sprint and Clearwire (the company that provides the 4G access) is in favor of Net Neutrality.

    I know I'm just one person with a little voice but hopefully I made a difference somewhere.
    I would do this, assuming Comcast actually violated net neutrality. Being in opposition to an absurd piece of legislation is a bit different than being in opposition to net neutrality.
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by heberman View Post
    I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, Comcast is my only realistic option for high speed internet. I need fast internet for streaming video, web browsing, etc. So I agree that some FCC control is appropriate.

    On the other hand, if 1-percent of the users use 99-percent of the bandwidth, that slows down service for the other 99-percent of the users. Comcast has a monthly 250-Gb limit on their "unlimited" high speed plans. Comcast claims that the median bandwidth total is 2-4 Gb per month. I average about 180 Gb per month and will likely need more bandwidth in the future.

    I'm ok with Comcast limiting super-extreem bandwidth hogs if it helps balance bandwidth for everyone. I'm also ok with some bittorrent speed limits to help balance the load during peak times.

    Yea, but think of it this way: When AT&T claims that it's network is slow due to a lot of iPhones users, do you agree that AT&T should just say "deal with it" or put more towers in to support a popular phone? Now put that into Comcast's scenario. Yea, there are people out there that uses up more data than others and can "potentially" slow down others but as the Internet grows, ISPs have to grow with it. They just can't tell people to slow down or stop all together so their servers won't slow down. The internet is only going to get bigger. Either update/get more servers or a brand spanking new, more efficient and cheaper ISP will come in and eat up your market. It's about competition and Net Neutrality keeps it healthy to benefit consumers.

    Additionally, what if Microsoft one days goes to Comcast and says "Hey, let's make a deal..." and then next think you know, when you type in "www.google.com", it's either blocked or so slow, you're forced to go to www.bing.com because for some "odd" reason, that site is much faster. Without Net Neutrality, you will have these deals go on and ISPs such as Comcast will do whatever they have to do keep their "partners" happy.
  10. #10  
    Amen (to the 2 posts where i hit the thanks button)
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by chiliu78 View Post
    Additionally, what if Microsoft one days goes to Comcast and says "Hey, let's make a deal..." and then next think you know, when you type in "(can't post because of link)", it's either blocked or so slow, you're forced to go to (can't post because of link) because for some "odd" reason, that site is much faster. Without Net Neutrality, you will have these deals go on and ISPs such as Comcast will do whatever they have to do keep their "partners" happy.
    But what if I can't afford internet, and Comcast offers a Microsoft subsidized version of the internet for free? Is it so wrong then? Proponents of net neutrality continually fail to realize that "sweetheart" and "backroom" deals both lower the prices at the consumer end. As long as these slowdowns are well documented and understood it is up to consumers to choose what service they want, not busybody's that seem to want to regulate every aspect of our lives these days.
  12. solarus's Avatar
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    #12  
    Yeah but when has Comcast done anything "well documented" or "understood"

    Just a quick knock on Comcast not your overall argument.
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by RPFTW View Post
    If comcast gives their customers a bad enough product, smaller ISP's will start to pop up and offer an alternative.
    What makes you think that? Do you have any idea what the infrastructure and startup costs are for an ISP? Even if you're doing it from a CLEC-type position, you're still having to piggyback on their infrastructure (and probably using them as an upstream provider). Then what if they decide that your traffic needs to get lower priority than even their BitTorrent users?
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by Micael View Post
    In this article - Court: FCC has no power to regulate Net neutrality, and if I understand it correctly, this means that service providers like Comcast can monitor and manage their clients behavior and usage of their networks, e.g., if you are on Comcast and use BitTorrent, expect Comcast to slow down your throughput because they (1) disapprove of file sharing communities, or (2) want to balance usage of their bandwidth (it really doesn't matter which).

    Part of me thinks Comcast should have every right to structure usage rules any way they see fit. I mean, after all.... you can just switch to a different service provider if you don't agree with thier usage agreement, right?

    But then.... don't they in effect have a monopoly in any given area; how many places exist where that's really the only game in town for internet access, besides substandard services like satellite or dial up? And, if I'm paying for the throughput and bandwidth per my service contract, shouldn't I be allowed to use it to the max of the specification in that contract, 24/7, regardless of the protocol or client I'm using?

    Have I got this all wrong? Somebody lay it out for me please.
    Check the fine print of your agreement re your bandwidth, you May find that what it says regarding bandwidth, is something like this, you pay em 50 bucks a month for up to 10 meg bandwidth. Most isps, whether big or small all do the same thing, they wave the 10 meg flag, but when you read the agreement, it says up to...
    the same would apply to downstream isps, ie, joe blow dsl, is selling 10 meg service, he still buys it from at an t.. which throttles bandwidth.. so you loose either way.
  15. angiest's Avatar
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    #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by RPFTW View Post
    Right.

    You don't want to get the govt. in bed with ISP's anymore than they already are.

    If comcast gives their customers a bad enough product, smaller ISP's will start to pop up and offer an alternative.
    Because utilities are granted monopolies (they are coercive monopolies) by government actions, the ability to startup a new ISP in the broadband area is limited.*Someone* owns the lines, but they are also the service provider. I am paying X amount per month to my ISP for DSL service and I am paying them for a certain speed, but they are essentially leasing that from AT&T, who can still limit my speed in multiple ways (not that they do this).

    When electricity was deregulated in Texas, the company servicing the Houston area (Reliant Energy, formerly known as Houston Lighting and Power, aka Houston Looting and Plunder) split into two companies: the retail electric provider (REP) known as Reliant Energy and the regulated utility Centerpoint who owns and services the electric lines, and is also the natural gas provider. Centerpoint charges fees to their customers via the REP to pay for line service, etc, but they only deliver electrons through the wire and do not, themselves, provide electricity. In that kind of setup it is possible more ISPs could form and give more real choice, but there are still physical bandwidth constraints which would have to be addressed.
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by RPFTW View Post
    I specifically remember reading about how smaller independent ISP's were ignoring copyright infringement notices from the MPAA and RIAA and how that was a major reason for a lot of people switching off comcast and onto these smaller local ISP's.
    except where the big guy supplying the actual feed turns around and shuts down the smaller isp for copy right infringement. Then everyone who buys from the smaller guy is out of luck. Copyright infringement is a tough one. Govt is forced by law to protect the copyright holder. Thus you have govt regulation and monitoring of bandwidth. You can't protect intellectual property, with out someone looking over the shoulders of the isps, regardless of size.

    Comcast, my wife does support for them, here let me give you a little story,

    i dont have internet, may i have your account number pls, 9494949494, sir/madam, your service was cut off do to nonpayment, you are 4 months in arrears. you should see the complaints on that one.. orrrrr.. an i love this one..
    I dont have internet, may i have your account number pls, 94949494949494, sir/madam, your account is in good standing, can i ask you to perform a few tests to help diagnosis this problem, Sure, ok can you pls open your web browser, it wont open, It wont open? nope the screen is black, ok, is your computer turned on? yup it is, can you reboot your compter then for me, well it wont help the power is off in the building, in fact its out all over town,.. well sir/madam, when the power comes back on and you are having problems you can call us back,,, i saw the bloody complaint letters from that, i would really like to say it was just one or two,, but it was dozens, all from different clients with no bloody power... as to legit complaints with comcast, your not alone, you get complaints about the type of toliet paper in bathrooms .. some legit some most not so legit.
  17. #17  
    As I see it...

    ... if I am paying for a certain-sized connection (I am on a 20 Mbps) I should be able to use 20 Mbps 100% of the time.
  18. Micael's Avatar
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       #18  
    I've mulled this around a bit, and concluded that the goverment should really keep it's mittens out of it. If anything, perhaps they should look in to Comcast's monopolies of certain locations, so better more competitive service provider options will become available for any given locale.
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by Micael View Post
    I've mulled this around a bit, and concluded that the goverment should really keep it's mittens out of it. If anything, perhaps they should look in to Comcast's monopolies of certain locations, so better more competitive service provider options will become available for any given locale.
    Ah Yes!

    I live where the telephone, cable, and internet provider (small co-op) won't allow anyone else come in. They are a racket.
    We disconnected our landlines 4-5 years ago. We dropped our cable 3 years ago and went back to the 70's with an antenna. And I have a Sprint card hooked up to a Wifi router for our interwebinets.

    We'd be tickled pink to go with Comcast, but they aren't allowed in.
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by Micael View Post
    I've mulled this around a bit, and concluded that the goverment should really keep it's mittens out of it. If anything, perhaps they should look in to Comcast's monopolies of certain locations, so better more competitive service provider options will become available for any given locale.
    There's a fatal flaw in this. This is probably one of the few valid instances where government intervention is a necessity. The reason is that these providers use public right-of-ways. While the FCC may not be the correct entity to be overseeing this, government is going to be involved in some fashion.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
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