December 15, 2017

"What if you couldn't access this page?"



ADDED: Here's the underlying NYT article, which I (with my NYT subscription) am seeing as "What if You Couldn’t See This Page?" It's an op-ed by Nick Frisch, with the update: "The F.C.C. voted on Thursday to repeal net neutrality rules."
Without net neutrality, American firms will have no obligation to provide equal access for content, and minimal statutory requirement to explain why one piece of content might arrive more slowly than another.

In the future, if the article you’re reading loads slowly, or not at all, you might not know the reason. But you can guess.

169 comments:

Original Mike said...

Perfect.

rehajm said...

Very cute...

All the hyperventilating from lefties over net neutrality is enough evidence to believe the FCC has it right.

Oso Negro said...

I don't access the information behind the paywall at the New York Times. I know this blogger who reads it for me.

Jim said...

I wouldM
1. Copy the link.
2. Open up an incognito tab in Google Chrome.
3. Paste and open the link.
4. Read the page.

tim in vermont said...

LOL. You know who wakes up at night worrying about "net neutrality"? Internet billionaires who have built their vast fortunes on an infrastructure they don't own or control. What's the next best thing? Put the infrastructure under the control of government, which they do own and control.

What ISP is going to deny their customers access? Why would they do it? There are multiple ISPs everywhere in America. It would be death to their business. It's Google that tries to manipulate search results to hide what they claim to have the ability to determine are not credible sources.

Who handed over control of the Internet to an international organization which has no fundamental belief in freedom on speech or freedom of information? That would be the Democrats again, once again probably at the behest of their huge Silicon Valley donors who even set up operations to get Democrats elected!

And yet you will see liberal after liberal come on here and plead for a company that makes astronomical profits, and has crushing market share, they will come on here and plead Alphabet's case.

It's unbelievable.

Eric said...

Translation: The NYT wishes to deny other institutions the option to require the NYT to pay to provide access to those for whom the NYT provides access because they pay the NYT.

Every day I get a little closer to cancelling my NYT subscription.

Darrell said...

Here's all you need to know about Net Neutrality. Barack Obama was for it.

h said...

I run a small nut store here in town. I am giving serious thought to adopting "nut neutrality" in my store.

1. All customers would pay the same price, regardless of the size of their orders (that is a person buying 2 pounds each of pistachios, peanuts, almonds, cashews, and macadamia nuts would pay to same price as the person buying 1/4 pound of peanuts).
2. I would carry all known brands of all known nuts, regardless of their popularity among my customers.

Some of my close friends and family have warned me that this would be a bad plan for my business. BUt I figure, if it's good for the internet, why wouldn't it work for me?

Darrell said...

If Hillary had won, the Althouse blog would not exist now or by the end of her first term. It is the Left's wet dream to control internet content.

Sydney said...

I confess I don't know what net neutrality means. Can someone explain it to me in plain language without cute analogies?

pacwest said...

That's the best they can come up with? They need to hone their arguments to a much finer point if they want to control what we are able to access.

Sydney said...

PS - I would Google it, but I am not sure I could trust the answer.

Bob Boyd said...

What if I couldn't access the democratic process because the "neutral" IRS wouldn't process my paperwork? Would the NYT give a rat's about that?

Caligula said...

"In the future, if the article you’re reading loads slowly, or not at all, you might not know the reason."

Of course, no one's interest in throttling low-bandwidth content such as text: the threat (to the extent there is one) is that Netflix, YouTube, and other video streaming services might be slowed down below usability if their owners don't pay for more bandwidth.

Which is obviously outrageoous! At least as outrageous as that my cellular provider wants me to pay more if I want 20GB/month than I'd pay for 0.5GB.

Darrell said...

I'm not going to wait an hour for this deleted comment to be restored. Deletion is what happens under Net Neutrality.

If Hillary had won, the Althouse blog would not exist now or by the end of her first term. It is the Left's wet dream to control internet content.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Is Net Neutrality like Card Check?

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Hillary would have taken a sledge hammer to not only her subpoenaed devices, but to the First Amendment.

Citizens would not be allowed to Unite to Criticize dear leader. For the common good and the village.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Anything that removes power from Goggle and facebook is good by me.

David said...

Perfect. I can't see the page because of their paywall. They can set their price for access, and do. Rules for thee but not for me.

rhhardin said...

People migrate to the provider that gives the best service at the lowest cost.

That's competitive discipline.

Let's screw everybody isn't going to work unless it's done by the government.

rhhardin said...

No barriers to entry. Regulation of monopolies already exists to ensure that.

Roy Jacobsen said...

I remember the internet BEFORE the advent of so-called "net neutrality" (all the way back to the days of dial-up).

When so-called "net neutrality" came into play, I did not notice a single change in my experience on the web. I know of nobody who experienced a change--one way or another.

Yes, yes; an anecdote is not data. So then can anybody point out some data that shows how so-called "net neutrality" benefited the internet-using public? About the only thing I've seen from the proponents of so-called "net neutrality" is fever-dreams of how horrible the internet will become if we eliminate so-called "net neutrality." No data on how it improved things for the internet-using public during the few years that it's been in place.

rhhardin said...

All that matters is that there's a return on investment. An unusually high return attracts competitors. So advantage gets competed away every time unless the government is there to screw it up by keeping competitors out.

rhhardin said...

That net neutrality assures is that investment in innovation stops. Suppose somebody wanted to invest to supply extra-extra-good service. It wouldn't be allowed if they can't recover the extra-extra investment in equipment.

And it might be cheap. Everybody would love it. No more buffering. Worth another $5 a month.

pacwest said...

"I confess I don't know what net neutrality means. Can someone explain it to me in plain language without cute analogies?"

Simplistic, but:
Net neutrality = government regulation of the internet (content, pricing, etc.)


Bob Boyd said...

I don't know much about this issue, but internet's been rolling along for quite a while now. Why haven't these dire predictions happened already?
I get skeptical when I hear the media and politicians screaming that the sky is falling. If anybody could ever make the sky fall it would be a Bureau of Sky Protection.

tim in vermont said...

Imagine if you went to Twitter to follow your favorite personality, and he had disappeared!

What a dark future!

It's the software giants who are into "curating" what users see, not the infrastructure guys. And I just don't see why, if I watch a dozen or more high def movies over the internet per week, or am addicted to gaming, or whatever, I should have to pay a penny more than good ole Ted Kazinski, who only uses his connection to browse old usenet groups and to view character based porn with his 1200 baud modem.

Darrell said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sW85ZcswiqM

traditionalguy said...

One system allows for paid admission to use it and therefore may be bought up by a few big users driving up the price until the market responds to new developments. That has been our system since 1776 when a Scotsman named Smith published a book about wealth The Anti-Trust laws requiring a competitive array of users IS the regulator.

The so called Neutral system has an appointed government Bureaucrat controlling the outcome, and trusts in their honesty, integrity and efficiency to be Neutral and never be corrupt like the VA and the FBI Institutions.

tim in vermont said...

What we really need is "search engine" neutrality. But try picking a fight with people who print pixels by the cubic parsec.

Ken B said...

Sydney
It means providers cannot charge market rates for things.

Angel-Dyne said...

"Net neutrality" is one of the most cleverly misleading phrases ever put together by lobbyists.

I wonder what percentage of Americans think this is all about "not censoring the internet"?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Net neutrality matters much less than Google neutrality, Facebook neutrality, CNN neutrality, NYT neutrality, etc.

Henry said...

In the future, if the article you’re reading loads slowly, or not at all, you might not know the reason. But you can guess.

You might guess that your neighbor is watching a lot of streaming movies on your wifi.

tim in vermont said...

So the New York Times is afraid that, now that they have fired all of their delivery boys, and are saving massively on newsprint and ink and are riding on an infrastructure that they don't own, that their news might not get delivered free to them by this other business that also needs to make money?

The HORRROR!

Rick said...

So we return to the dark ages of Vikings raping our wimmins just like we saw in 2015?

Unbearable.

AJ Lynch said...

So far, per my Twitter feed, Facebook, Comcast, Twitter, most if not all Dems, and some other corporate behemoths have bemoaned the loss of Net Neutrality. I am so old I can remember when Dems usually opposed big corporations.

Amadeus 48 said...

One problem with the mis-named "net neutrality" is that it imposed heavy touch, 1930s-style regulation on the internet, using a system intended to deal with electric and hard-wire telephone monopolies on the 'net. What is the effect of such regulation? It stifles innovation and protects incumbents. It imposes paperwork and approval regulatory burdens on smaller participants, which are relatively less burdensome for large participants. It allocates capital according to regulatory dictates rather than market demand.

William said...

I suppose this will have an impact on my life, but I can't muster enough interest to form an opinion. Ditto with the optimum level for corporate taxes or whether Yellen should up the prime rate another quarter or half percent. However, I'm extremely well informed on all of Harvey's misdeeds. I have not only formed an opinion but like nothing better than expressing that opinion. Harvey is one of those issues that democracy can handle better than the experts.

Henry said...

The definition of Net Neutrality is the Wifi on the commuter rail. Free to everyone and so crushed that it's useless.

I used to take the commercial Peter Pan bus sometimes for my commute because the for-profit business made sure it had sufficient bandwidth for its customers.

The concept of net neutrality is fine, but the fearmongering about it entirely misses the history. There was never an issue about content. It was always a war between Netflix and the ISPs about bandwidth.

Jersey Fled said...

You have to understand that the NYT has no interest in explaining what Net Neutrality is or in making cogent arguments about its merits. It's job is to signal their readers that it's really bad. So that they can go to parties of like minded people and sound smart.

Paco Wové said...

"What we really need is "search engine" neutrality."

Here's a very, very, very thorough article comparing two not-Google search engines, DuckDuckGo and StartPage (though StartPage is really Google under the hood). I use 'em both, DuckDuckGo most of the time.

Nonapod said...

Let me first just say I have no love for Spectrum or Comcast. They both have effective monopolies in most markets they're present in and they rarely overlap one another so they don't compete really. And the fact that they're in a zero growth situation (it's not like they're going to suddenly find some new source of customers, they're fairly saturated in all their markets) means that the only way for them to increase profits is to squeeze what they can from their existing customer base by periodically jacking up prices. I mean, when I look at my bill from Spectrum I can't help but get infuriated. I have the absolute bottom tier of TV, literally just the networks and home shopping/QVC and I have the top speed internet and I still paying almost $100 a month in accumulated nonsense charges. It's a racket.

All that said, the insane hyperventilating over Net Neutrality is both amusing and bemusing. It's as if there was some law preventing sky falling insurance from being sold or something. I don't know, maybe I'll be proven wrong. Maybe it's something to get excited about. Maybe now Comcast and Spectrum will start throttling and blocking sites. But somehow I doubt it, if for no other reason than if they did, the crazy Net Neutrality crowd would then have an argument "See! See!" and they'd be joined by a massive pissed off customer base demanding regulations. I mean, Comcast and Spectrum know they're greatly disliked already.

zipity said...

As the Liberal Left and Democrats look longingly at China and their total control of their internet...

Daniel Jackson said...

I can't read it because you want me to pay for reading one blivet after another: why throw good money after bad, as my grandmother would say.

If the NYT wants me to read one of their latest blivets, because it will change the world (and my opinion), then they should make it available to deplorables like me.

Finally, the NYT is beginning its drift into obscurity. At least in the old days, we could wrap fish in it.

Paco Wové said...

"It was always a war between Netflix and the ISPs about bandwidth."

This is the crux of the issue; it's a battle between Corporate Leviathan A vs. Corporate Leviathan B for regulatory advantage. So far, the ISP's seem to be motivated more by plain old avarice, while the content providers seem to be developing an unhealthy interest in what content I consume and its effect on my virtue.

Hunter said...

Sometimes, when I am at home browsing on wifi, random pages will load slowly or fail to load at all. I switch to cell data and the page loads. Or I refresh after a minute, and the page loads with no issues. It can't be that Spectrum is throttling the page, because the FCC has prohibited that.

But now, I suppose perfectly normal network glitches like that will be blamed on some vast corporate conspiracy to filter information.

PB said...

How about someone telling that idiot that the page would load faster if you'd get rid of 90% of all the advertising widgets and addends that do nothing except maked exceedingly slow to load and consume vast amounts of bandwidth.

tcrosse said...

The Net Neutrality hoohah has become another proxy for Trump-hate, as if we needed another.

PB said...

What it comes down to is service providers want to tell you you're getting unlimited bandwidth but they never really want to let you have unlimited bandwidth.

The argument of the service providers that they need to charge Netflix or some other hi use website for transmission on the service providers Network to the consumer is clearly false because when I pay for my connection to the internet and my service provider pays for their connection the internet and Netflix pays for their connection to the internet and all the backhaul big pipe service providers that make up the internet pay for their portion everything is paid for. It's really an illusion of unlimited bandwidth that gets in the way. There's really no such thing.

Henry said...

Smart phones make you pay for bandwidth.

Cable ISPs will be dead in a generation.

Triangle Man said...

A list of stuff that was happening before net neutrality rules were put in place (via FB). Would the FTC complaint route address these?

> 2005 – North Carolina ISP Madison River Communications blocked VoIP service Vonage.

>2005 – Comcast blocked or severely delayed traffic using the BitTorrent file-sharing protocol. (The company even had the guts to deny this for months until evidence was presented by the Associated Press.)

>2007 – AT&T censored Pearl Jam because lead singer criticized President Bush.

>2007 to 2009 – AT&T forced Apple to block Skype because it didn’t like the competition. At the time, the carrier had exclusive rights to sell the iPhone and even then the net neutrality advocates were pushing the government to protect online consumers, over 5 years before these rules were actually passed.

>2009 – Google Voice app faced similar issues from ISPs, including AT&T on iPhone.

>2010 – Windstream Communications, a DSL provider, started hijacking search results made using Google toolbar. It consistently redirected users to Windstream’s own search engine and results.

>2011 – MetroPCS, one of the top-five wireless carriers at the time, announced plans to block streaming services over its 4G network from everyone except YouTube.

>2011 to 2013 – AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon blocked Google Wallet in favor of Isis, a mobile payment system in which all three had shares. Verizon even asked Google to not include its payment app in its Nexus devices.

>2012 – AT&T blocked FaceTime; again because the company didn’t like the competition.

>2012 – Verizon started blocking people from using tethering apps on their phones that enabled consumers to avoid the company’s $20 tethering fee.

>2014 – AT&T announced a new “sponsored data” scheme, offering content creators a way to buy their way around the data caps that AT&T imposes on its subscribers.

>2014 – Netflix started paying Verizon and Comcast to “improve streaming service for consumers.”

>2014 – T-Mobile was accused of using data caps to manipulate online competition.

Robert Cook said...

"I remember the internet BEFORE the advent of so-called 'net neutrality' (all the way back to the days of dial-up).

"When so-called 'net neutrality' came into play, I did not notice a single change in my experience on the web. I know of nobody who experienced a change--one way or another."



My understanding is that net neutrality is what we've always had...it didn't "come into play" at some point along the way. The removal of net neutrality is what's new.

We'll have to see what comes about.

tim in vermont said...

2007 – AT&T censored Pearl Jam because lead singer criticized President Bush.

Now it all makes sense.

Darrell said...

Net Neutrality=/=net neutrality. It was redefining words, 1984-style.

tim in vermont said...

I just don't see why AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, etc, should have their hands tied by the government in their negotiations with the massively profitable corporations who take advantage of their services.

But I guess you guys would also be against a paper boys' strike, if a bunch of tech billionaires told you to.

Robert Cook said...

"Simplistic, but:
Net neutrality = government regulation of the internet (content, pricing, etc.)"


No, I don't think so. I think it's more like a bridge that formerly didn't have a toll barrier, suddenly having a toll barrier erected, with different toll amounts for different lanes. The more the driver is willing or able to pay, the better the lane he is able to drive on, and the lower the price he is willing or able to pay, the worse the lane he must drive on.

Net neutrality = no toll roads
Removal of net neutrality = toll roads

At least, this is my understanding of it. Whether any providers decide to install toll roads remains to be seen, but I won't be surprised.

Nonapod said...

At least, this is my understanding of it. Whether any providers decide to install toll roads remains to be seen, but I won't be surprised.

As I said before, the ISPs are generally despised by their customers already. If they actually start doing this, the Net Neutrality crowd will have a proven argument and they'll have a horde of other people with torches and pitchforks joining them demanding that the government step in.

tim in vermont said...

Net neutrality = no toll roads
Removal of net neutrality = toll roads


Your kidding! You mean that if I listen to Spotify all day, when I am not streaming high definition movies or playing on-line video games, they are expecting perhaps, that I should pay more for my service than people who mostly look at text sites? That's horrible.

You mean that ISPs shouldn't be forced to provide more and more capacity to support all of the crap like auto-play videos, etc, that Facebook throws at their users ever day? Or the way Google Alphabet's YouTube keeps automatically playing video after video to increase revenue, you are saying that the people paying the freight on that extra usage should be allowed to pass along the costs? Is that what Trump is suggesting?

That when somebody as profitable as Google decides to use ISPs capacity more heavily every day, that ISPs should have the ability to negotiate? Is that what Trump is saying?

Impeach him today!


Temujin said...

If given the choice, never, ever, turn any aspect of your life over to a government entity.

I think the bill was purposefully mislabeled 'net neutrality', much like Obamacare was purposefully mislabeled the 'Affordable Care Act' which, whatever you want to call it, is certainly not affordable unless you're one of those I'm paying for.

And I suspect that, like Obamacare, or any government program, it'll take something that works, and allows some choice, and reduces it to the lowest common denominator, making sure that everyone has the same sucky service, but at a higher price. Bank on it. That's just how government works- no matter what someone says their intent is. Name the program, I'll show you the results. Plus- giving Govt control removes any possible incentive to give better, quicker service, or lower prices. That incentive will not exist.

I think to be for a government takeover of anything, you have to believe in your heart that bureaucrats are inherently good people, and know what they're doing. I believe they are inherently incompetent, and more often than not- corrupt. (I note the current FBI/Special Prosecutor case which stinks from Maine to San Diego). We should not relinquish freedom or choice to the incompetent and corrupt.

Amadeus 48 said...

I think AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and other ISPs were OK with net neutrality because they could use the regulatory burdens to limit potential competitors--who knows better how to operate advantageously in a regulated environment than the phone company?

Will consumers be better off with more choices? Is competition good for customers? Would you rather have Netflix operating on a private high-speed toll road for which they pay rather than clogging up the main highway? Would you rather play games on a high speed gamer channel for which you pay $5 per month than be stuck on the internet version of I-5 at rush hour?

In general, commercial interests will tend to allocate capital to create things their customers want. That is good for customers.

Triangle Man said...

Tim,

I pay for my bandwidth. Google pays for theirs. I don't want AT&T deciding that they need to be a middleman and get their taste of my interactions with Google, or Netflix, or Amazon, or that they would really prefer that I use their phone service and not someone else's VOIP service.

What about getting government regulation out of other areas?

How about getting rid of "electric power neutrality?" The electric company must know that I value some watts more than others. The energy I use to power my computer for work is worth more than the energy I use to run the washing machine. Why shouldn't the electric company get their taste?

"Telephone neutrality"? The phone company should really be able to negotiate deals with preferred vendors. Need tires? The phone company will automatically route your calls to their preferred tire vendor instead of the one you called?

cubanbob said...

@Triangle Man instead of making the case for Net Neutrality you are making a case for Anti-Trust enforcement.

Robert Cook said...

"Your kidding! You mean that if I listen to Spotify all day, when I am not streaming high definition movies or playing on-line video games, they are expecting perhaps, that I should pay more for my service than people who mostly look at text sites? That's horrible."

The thing is...who looks mostly at text sites these days? What sites remain that are mostly text? As more and more functions of society--filing taxes, applying for jobs, making appointments, paying bills, etc.--move to the internet, it will be more important to have well-functioning internet service. Listening to Spotify all day or streaming high def movies or playing on-line video games is for people with time and money to spare. There are many Americans who do not fall into that category.

pacwest said...

"Net neutrality = no toll roads
Removal of net neutrality = toll roads"

Cook, If I understand your analogy, you are talking about pricing, content structure of providers.
Government regulation (net neutrality) = no toll roads (free stuff)
Free market (no net neutrality) = toll roads (you pay for what you get)

I said - Net neutrality = government regulation of the internet (content, pricing, etc.) How is this different?

Market forces, regulation on businesses, existing FCC rules are already in place. More government rules and regulations. What could possibly go wrong?



Anonymous said...

@Cookie You have part of the answer, but then you ignore it. Without net neutrality you have the option of paying to be in the high speed lane. With net neutrality everyone travels in regular lanes whether they want to or not. Competing companies will now - very quickly - find ways to allow you to pay for access to the high speed lane. Those of us who don't stream this or that will get where we are going in regular traffic.

Robert Cook said...

"@Triangle Man instead of making the case for Net Neutrality you are making a case for Anti-Trust enforcement."

Are they different things?

And...do we even have Anti-Trust enforcement anymore?

William said...

Sidney says:

I confess I don't know what net neutrality means. Can someone explain it to me in plain language without cute analogies?

Here's a pretty good overview, on PBS no less. Note how the interviewer asks questions based on his own preconceived—and incorrect—notions.

here

We need more Ajit Pai's in the world.

D.D. Driver said...

I find the hysteria on this one so delicious. Anyone else remember the fines and consternation from the FCC on things like Janet Jackson's nipple and Howard Stern's ribald humor? I can't be the only one? I also can't be the only one to laugh at the idea that the way to protect freedom of speak is to PUT THE FCC in charge! That's tantamount to putting Bill Clinton in charge of the White House intern program....

Robert Cook said...

Here's a site that provides information about net neutrality. Is it wrong?

Roy Jacobsen said...

The "toll road" analogy fails because just getting access to the Internet ALREADY IS A TOLL ROAD. No ISP I know of offers it for free.

William said...

YES, it's bloody well wrong!

Net Neutrality is the answer to a question no one but leftist politicians (i.e., Øbama) would ask. Net Neutrality is the solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

It boils down to this:
Why would you let a government that cannot mange the Do Not Call Registry (Hi, I'm Rachel from Credit Card Services ten million times a day) manage the internet?

The last time I checked, the internet has a size and scope 5 orders of magnitude greater than the junk phone call business. Does anyone think the guvmnt can properly manage it? Can you spell TSA? Ain't no false equivalencies here.

I rest my case

Robert Cook said...

William,

For all your spittle-spraying, you didn't explain how the information provided at the link is wrong. How can you rest a case you never made?

Roy Jacobsen said...

Robert Cook said:
My understanding is that net neutrality is what we've always had...it didn't "come into play" at some point along the way. The removal of net neutrality is what's new.

Wrong, per Wikipedia:
"In a 2–1 decision on May 18, the FCC voted to proceed with the motion to scale back the net neutrality protections put in place in 2015 under the Obama Administration." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_neutrality)

vicari valdez said...

the internet is a shared good. capitalists want it to be legislated as an economic good. this will limit innovation, cooperation, organization, all important to people who aren’t members of the capitalist class. and this will make it much easier for owners and investors to better compose an obedient consumerist class society, that works, works, works, so it can afford to live well.

the internet should be entirely free, which it isn’t. poor and homeless people already struggle to gain access to vital information, to bank, to file for essential paperwork, and so on. this problem with affordability will become more widespread once what we call net neutrality is abolished. and so, thinking about this as a “which side am i on” thing illustrates a side you’re already on: that side who’s never had to go without access and is relatively privileged. and so there’s a reason you need to stop thinking about this as a consumer and as somebody who depends on others, always had and always will. we should always struggle against shared goods being composed as economic good.

tim in vermont said...

"Listening to Spotify all day or streaming high def movies or playing on-line video games is for people with time and money to spare. There are many Americans who do not fall into that category."

Well it's what I do and you proles should subsidize me. So bring on net neutrality!

Robert Cook said...

"The 'toll road' analogy fails because just getting access to the Internet ALREADY IS A TOLL ROAD. No ISP I know of offers it for free."

But once on the road, everyone is free to go anywhere, or to set up their own websites, which are also freely available to everyone. The new model, if I understand it, will allow ISPs to start charging more--either charging content providers to have their websites hosted at all or to allow the website to have functionally useful streaming speed, etc.--or charging the end users--you and me--to access sites with functionally useful streaming speed, or just to access them at all. Also, ISPs could censor or hide or delete websites to which they object.

I don't know whether any of this will come about, but this is what we're being warned about.

Robert Cook said...

"Wrong, per Wikipedia:
'In a 2–1 decision on May 18, the FCC voted to proceed with the motion to scale back the net neutrality protections put in place in 2015 under the Obama Administration." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_neutrality)'"


I think the 2015 protections were put in place to protect and preserve what we had always had, to prohibit changes, like designating areas of open land that had always been open as officially off limits to developers.

Robert Cook said...

@vicari valdez:

Very nice comment. Thank you.

Triangle Man said...

@cubanbob

I could be persuaded of that. I look forward to my improved service, lower costs, and better living through free markets.

tim in vermont said...

Tom,

How bout package delivery neutrality? Amazon can force UPS to deliver as many packages as they want, and kind UPS loses money, they can only make it up by charging everybody else more?

And you telephone company example applies more to search engines. How many BS links do you have to scroll past to get the phone number of a business you want?

This discussion would be easier if you guys understood the OSI seven layers model of data communications.

chuck said...

> But once on the road, everyone is free to go anywhere

"Tolls on the New York State Thruway are calculated according to the height of the vehicle, total number of axles of a vehicle, and distance traveled."

Doesn't sound like net neutrality to me, quite the opposite. And that is not to mention the common presence of HOV lanes even on toll free highways.

tim in vermont said...

could be persuaded of that. I look forward to my improved service, lower costs, and better living through free markets." -Tom

You're living it. I remember when every new domain name was voted on by users, and when the process went private, the howls about how corporations would ruin the internet. Net neutrality hardly had time to get started.

tim in vermont said...

Basically, if Netflix had to pay the true cost of delivering a movie, they would have to charge more, or the cost would have to be shifted to people who don't use the service.

Wa St Blogger said...

Article on the issue when the vote to implement Net Neutrality. I think it is still relevant to today's debate. The article appears to be lacking hyperbole from either end of the debate.

https://www.wired.com/2014/06/net_neutrality_missing/

tim in vermont said...

If any of you guys had any clue how expensive laying fibre is and the cost of the massively capable switches, etc, and the fleets of trucks, operations centers, etc... that keep the internet humming, you wouldn't maybe make ridiculous statements about how YouTube can decide to ,for example, autoplay video after video, instead of just the one you asked for, like they used to, to increase their ad revenue, and it doesn't really cost anything!

Roy Jacobsen said...

But once on the road, everyone is free to go anywhere, or to set up their own websites, which are also freely available to everyone.

But it's still a TOLL ROAD. And has already been pointed out, even real world toll roads charge different types of traffic different amounts. Or, in some high-congestion traffic areas, the "toll-free" roads are set up with special lanes that you can't drive in unless you pay for the privilege.

But yeah, you're free to do what you want, until Google or Facebook or Twitter decides the page/post/tweet you've published or want to see is wrongthink and it is "disappeared." Thanks, so-called "net neutrality!"

tim in vermont said...

I would be interested in hearing the other side from anybody who has ever skinned their knuckles installing network cable. Posting links you don't understand well enough to summarize or defend doesn't count.

MountainMan said...

@vicari valdez: "the internet should be entirely free, which it isn’t. poor and homeless people already struggle to gain access to vital information, to bank, to file for essential paperwork, and so on"

There is free internet all over the place. Almost every McDonald's, Burger King, Chick-Fil-A, Panera Bread, and many others have free internet. In my little corner of hillbilly land in southern Appalachia we have free wireless in the downtown area and I am sure many other communities have that as well. Our public library has several banks of PCs with free internet available for whoever needs them. I see what appear to be lower income people in there using them every time I am in there; sometimes the same ones over and over again. Our senior citizens center has a PC room; in fact every senior center I have ever been in has them. Lower income students have access at school; our local public schools are heavily computerized. I believe all our high school students now have free laptops or other devices to use to access the internet and do their homework.

Yancey Ward said...

I confess I don't know what net neutrality means. Can someone explain it to me in plain language without cute analogies?

I can't resist the cute analogy- favoring net neutrality is like going to a buffet restaurant and expecting to walk out the door with two garbage bags take-out.

Paco Wové said...

"the internet should be entirely free"

I have to admit that I am utterly unable to fathom where views like this come from. The infrastructure of the Internet costs money, lots of money, to build and maintain. It's not like some evil greedy capitalists found this beautiful thing, the Internet, just lying there and are now vindictively charging the people for access to it.

Big Mike said...

The site to which Robert Cook links is correct as far as it goes, but anyone giving it as the answer on an exam in my class would get only partial credit. Vendors who provide streaming content need to cache packets so that the next frames arrive on schedule. Net neutrality says that the ISPs should do so, and provide the caching and bandwidth for the same price as those who are doing things like reading Althouse.blogspot.com. I am more sympathetic to the Republican view that the streaming content providers should provide the cache servers and that the ISPs, like Comcast, should be able to charge more for high bandwidth usage (Netflix, YouTube) than low bandwidth users (Althouse, Instapundit).

Paco Wové said...

"I think the 2015 protections were put in place to protect and preserve what we had always had, to prohibit changes"

Robert Cook – did you see Triangle Man's comment at 9:38 AM? The whole point of that comment was to list the horrors of life before "Net Neutrality".

Angel-Dyne said...

vicari valdez: the internet is a shared good. capitalists want it to be legislated as an economic good. this will limit innovation, cooperation, organization, all important to people who aren’t members of the capitalist class. and this will make it much easier for owners and investors to better compose an obedient consumerist class society, that works, works, works, so it can afford to live well.

Spoken like someone who's never given two seconds' thought to who propagandizes for "net neutrality" and why. Hint: that group includes "capitalists", avid for "an obedient consumer class society", propagandizing to nitwits like you, to get you to mindlessly support them in their quest to gain "economic good" for their own fat selves, at the expense of other "capitalists".

Big Mike said...

And what Paco Wove says. Server-class computers, switches, fiber optic cables, the salaries of system administrators and network administrators, etc., the money has to come from somewhere. McDonalds provides WiFi hotspots for free, but I cannot imagine they have anything other than an economic motive to do so.

rehajm said...

@vicari valdez: "the internet should be entirely free, which it isn’t.

If you think it's expensive now, wait until it's free!

chuck said...

Just to add some perspective:

Pro-neutrality: Google, Amazon, Apple, Netflix
Anti-neutrality: ATT, Comcast, Verizon

This isn't a case of capitalists vs the people, it's one group of capitalists versus another group of capitalists, both motivated by self interest. I'm amazed at how easily lefties have been suckered into taking a side in this.

tim in vermont said...

Anybody who thinks the poor and homeless are deprived of internet can do the research at their local library. Walk in. Look around.

Angel-Dyne said...

chuck: This isn't a case of capitalists vs the people, it's one group of capitalists versus another group of capitalists, both motivated by self interest. I'm amazed at how easily lefties have been suckered into taking a side in this.

Bingo.

Big Mike said...

Oh, and I forgot to include the cost of electricity. The rough rule of thumb is, or used to be, that the amount of power needed to run a computer center is twice what it takes to power the hardware. The rest goes to cooling the rooms where the hardware is operating. TANSTAAFL

Jim at said...

Why, it's almost as if the Internet didn't exist before the Obama Administration swept in and saved us all.

Will Cate said...

"Net Neutrality" advocates are misguided as best, and more than a few of them, genuinely, are idiots.

tcrosse said...

This isn't a case of capitalists vs the people, it's one group of capitalists versus another group of capitalists, both motivated by self interest. I'm amazed at how easily lefties have been suckered into taking a side in this.

Lefties love the capitalist billionaires who appear in public wearing T-shirts. The guys who wear suits, not so much.

Gahrie said...

"the internet should be entirely free, which it isn’t. poor and homeless people already struggle to gain access to vital information, to bank, to file for essential paperwork, and so on"

Sure..in fact access to free internet is a right isn't? (Probably located in the 14th Amendment of course) I demand that the government provide free internet to all, and a laptop to access the internet with.

vicari valdez said...

Angel-Dyne said...
vicari valdez: the internet is a shared good. capitalists want it to be legislated as an economic good. this will limit innovation, cooperation, organization, all important to people who aren’t members of the capitalist class. and this will make it much easier for owners and investors to better compose an obedient consumerist class society, that works, works, works, so it can afford to live well.

Spoken like someone who's never given two seconds' thought to who propagandizes for "net neutrality" and why. Hint: that group includes "capitalists", avid for "an obedient consumer class society", propagandizing to nitwits like you, to get you to mindlessly support them in their quest to gain "economic good" for their own fat selves, at the expense of other "capitalists".

12/15/17, 12:09 PM


spoken like a pathetic little bitch who likes to misrepresent people’s opinions online.

Inga said...

“spoken like a pathetic little bitch who likes to misrepresent people’s opinions online.”

LOL! Vicari, you got her pegged.

Gahrie said...

spoken like a pathetic little bitch who likes to misrepresent people’s opinions online.

Well that escalated quickly......

tim in vermont said...

poken like a pathetic little bitch who likes to misrepresent people’s opinions online.

OK, I will bite. Why do you think that one class of billionaires is for it and another is against it?

Sam L. said...

I don't want to read the NYT.

Bruce Hayden said...

“Let me first just say I have no love for Spectrum or Comcast. They both have effective monopolies in most markets they're present in and they rarely overlap one another so they don't compete really. And the fact that they're in a zero growth situation (it's not like they're going to suddenly find some new source of customers, they're fairly saturated in all their markets) means that the only way for them to increase profits is to squeeze what they can from their existing customer base by periodically jacking up prices. I mean, when I look at my bill from Spectrum I can't help but get infuriated. I have the absolute bottom tier of TV, literally”

One of the keys here is that the big dispute, all along, was between content providers and those transmitting the content, over money. Amazon, Netflix, etc, didn’t want to pay extra for the highest speeds for streaming video, and having their customers doing so too. Net Neutrality essentially meant that businesses were funding video streaming, instead of the content providers. The ISOs couldn’t charge more for streaming than for slower access, except for the “last mile” (I moved back from 150 mb to 25mb because I really didn’t get anything for the higher speed - the Last Mile wasn’t the bottleneck). Most of the rest is just the usual political smokescreen. We are, of course, talking many billions of dollars here, which is why this was a political, not a functional or economic situation. But after picking sides, those pushing Network Neutrality have to live with the reality that their candidate lost the Presidential election a year ago.

Angel-Dyne said...

Gahrie to vicari: "spoken like a pathetic little bitch who likes to misrepresent people’s opinions online."

Well that escalated quickly......


Hope your not disappointed if I de-escalate.

Thanks for the chuckle, vv.

tim in vermont said...

Net neutrality means that the government is not going to remain neutral in a business dispute between Silicon Valley billionaires and internet service providers. Unsurprisingly, Democrats are on the side of the tech billionaires from California who give them so much cash.

vicari valdez said...

tim in vermont said...
poken like a pathetic little bitch who likes to misrepresent people’s opinions online.

OK, I will bite. Why do you think that one class of billionaires is for it and another is against it?

12/15/17, 1:47 PM


different financial interests.

tim in vermont said...

Funny too because a lot of ISPs are unionized, but that doesn't matter to Democrats anymore.

tim in vermont said...

So why are you taking sides?

tim in vermont said...

The Daily Caller released a funny video Tuesday of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai defending the committee’s upcoming net-neutrality rollback. Through Wednesday and Thursday, liberals and others who dislike Pai’s political position lost their minds. And by Friday morning, Google, one of the most powerful companies on the planet, had censored the video based on a bogus claim from a politically motivated man.

It took seven crucial hours and the full force of our news site to push Google and YouTube to reverse this political censorship


Look who needs regulations.

Paco Wové said...

The article linked earlier made an interesting point – the "Net Neutrality" advocates took a good idea (preventing ISP's from having too much power over customers) and wrapped it in bad ideas (Internet wants to be free! prevent ISP censorship! my Netflix!). If they had stuck with the anti-trust angle, they'd be on much firmer ground.

vicari valdez said...

tim in vermont said...
So why are you taking sides?

12/15/17, 2:54 PM


because the results will affect many people who are not part of the billionaire class including myself.

vicari valdez said...

cable companies have local monopolies, choice is limited. so if I didn’t like what my provider is charging I can’t just switch.

vicari valdez said...

Angel-Dyne said...
Gahrie to vicari: "spoken like a pathetic little bitch who likes to misrepresent people’s opinions online."

Well that escalated quickly......

Hope your not disappointed if I de-escalate.

Thanks for the chuckle, vv.

12/15/17, 2:35 PM


hello again, my good bitch.

Paco Wové said...

"so if I didn’t like what my provider is charging I can’t just switch."

"net neutrality" isn't going to prevent your ISP from raising your rates.

vicari valdez said...

Paco Wové said...
"so if I didn’t like what my provider is charging I can’t just switch."

"net neutrality" isn't going to prevent your ISP from raising your rates.

12/15/17, 3:38 PM


unfortunately not, but at least it will stop them from throttling people's connection so that they could offer "fast-lane service."

Bruce Hayden said...

“The article linked earlier made an interesting point – the "Net Neutrality" advocates took a good idea (preventing ISP's from having too much power over customers) and wrapped it in bad ideas (Internet wants to be free! prevent ISP censorship! my Netflix!). If they had stuck with the anti-trust angle, they'd be on much firmer ground.”

But the antitrust incifents were already actionable under antitrust law. Tying or the reverse is “monopolization” under the Sherman Antitrust Act. And likely also violative of FTC regulations. But, of course, the Obama/Holder/Lynch DoJ seemed to essentially ignore a lot of fairly blatant antitrust violations, esp if the “perps” were fellow travelers, hence their siding with the Democrats over the Republicans in the last election.

Bruce Hayden said...

“unfortunately not, but at least it will stop them from throttling people's connection so that they could offer "fast-lane service."”

What is wrong with that? You have a finite resource (bandwidth), so why should all consumers pay the same regardless of their use of that resource? As someone above pointed out, why should the person commenting here on this blog (low bandwidth) effectively subsidize the person streaming HD video (high bandwidth)?

Angel-Dyne said...

tim in vermont: Unsurprisingly, Democrats are on the side of the tech billionaires from California who give them so much cash.

And who censor wrongthink to boot. It's a twofer.

Moreover, I guess you can't make lefties think too hard about anti-trust when the right to make other consumers subsidize their youtube streaming appears to be under threat.


[edited for laughably bad sentence structure]

Michael K said...

"spoken like a pathetic little bitch who likes to misrepresent people’s opinions online."

What a relief that I was not here to attack someone with an ad hominem!

Paco Wové said...

"[net neutrality] will stop them from throttling people's connection so that they could offer "fast-lane service."

1. Not anymore, it won't.
2. And I'm not sure how realistic this scenario is/was, because my ISP, for instance, has always offered multiple tiers of service, and if you paid them more, you theoretically got faster speeds and greater bandwidth. That's always been true, before the Obama-era regulations, during them, and (I assume) it will continue now that they're gone.

tim in vermont said...

cable companies have local monopolies, choice is limited. so if I didn’t like what my provider is charging I can’t just switch.

So you think the solution to this is to forbid the cable company from negotiating with Netflix, Google/YouTube, and Facebook, for example, that all make their money forcing more and more content onto your local carrier's network without paying anything for it. If they can't charge the data pigs, they have to shift the cost onto everybody.

If you don't use Netflix, why should you pay higher ISP charges for your neighbors who do because the government made it impossible for the ISP to recover for services that Netflix used to deliver their product from Netflix?

I really don't get this. The "No Toll Lanes" on the Internet is about saving YouTube, Netflix, and Facebook money, costs that are shifted onto consumers, because they don't go away.

Also, you can buy a jet pack from Verizon, use HughsNet anywhere in the country, etc, etc. There is more than one choice, and I can't figure out why you can't see that Alphabet, which is a holding company for Google, YouTube, etc, and which is worth 700 billion dollars, is shifting their costs to consumers who don't even use their services.

It's a plain mystery to me why anybody would think that consumers who don't use YouTube, for example, should pay for others who do.

Jim at said...

I have to admit that I am utterly unable to fathom where views like this come from.

That's because you're not a totalitarian, leftist thug demanding everybody else pay for your free shit.

tim in vermont said...

That's because you're not a totalitarian, leftist thug demanding everybody else pay for your free shit.

But the weird thing is that Google and Facebook have them demanding that they themselves be required to pay for other people's free shit!

MountainMan said...

"cable companies have local monopolies, choice is limited."

No it isn't. Here in the mountains where I live I have Charter cable, TV and 100Mb internet. If I don't like it I can get DISH Network for both TV and internet; DIRECT TV for both TV and internet; and I can get internet from Verizon. AT&T, and Sprint using a 4G/LTE home wireless router or from CenturyLink DSL.

I can drop the Charter cable -which I will probably do when my contract runs out in early 2018 - and just keep the internet. I already have an Apple TV and and Amazon Fire Stick which allow me to stream lots of TV now without the Cable TV. In fact, my wife and I have only been using the Amazon Fire Stick this week.

DIRECT TV has DIRECT TV Now, which is an app on the Fire Stick that will stream a 50-channel package just like cable for only $35 a month. There are larger packages, too, but all are less than Charter cable. My son in Chattanooga (where he has gigabit internet) just got YouTube TV, a similar package, which even offers unlimited DVR in the cloud. Again. less than $50/month. These are why so many people are dropping cable TV. You can get a cheap HDTV antenna to pick up local channels off the air for less than $50.

If you have a smart TV all these apps are embedded already in the TV OS, except for the Apple TV.

Go to the website untangle.tv and go through the questionnaire and it will propose the best combination of internet, streaming apps, and antenna for your specific location and viewing habits. It shows when I drop my Charter cable I will be able to get everything I have now and save over $100/month just using my 100Mb internet, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and the Fire Stick. I may add YouTube TV when it becomes available here.

vicari valdez said...

unlike natural resources such as oil, which, while abundant, are at some point finite, bandwidth is potentially infinite. the miraculous microcosmic spectrum reuse capabilities of optical fiber and even wireless radiation improve at a rate far faster than any of our macrocosmic machines and minerals. it is far more efficient to move electrons than atoms, and yet more efficient to move photons. left unfettered, these technologies will continue delivering bandwidth abundance.

bandwidth scarcity is a notion invented by internet service providers and wireless providers to jack up prices and provide excuses for interfering with competing services on their networks. and when you have a few organizations controlling an important resource and forcing artificial scarcity in order to control the market for that resource is called a cartel.

vicari valdez said...

why are there people online hellbent on defending the fcc’s decision to repeal net neutrality? you know that’s exactly what our government wants and they don’t need any help, right?

'anti establishment' right wingers: "look at how our superior government is freeing us from regulation. surely there is good motivation behind this decision. politicians don’t do anything without benefiting themselves in one way or another, whether through political capital or cash."

Angel-Dyne said...

vicari @5:20 & 5:34:

Wow, vv, were you stoned out of your mind when you started posting on this thread, or only for the last couple of comments?

If so, you should post stoned more often. That first paragraph in your 5:20 post is awesome. Not just for the content (which is top-notch), but for your ability to write lucid, grammatical sentences when stoned out of your mind. I can respect that.

Paco Wové said...

"why are there people online hellbent on defending the fcc’s decision to repeal net neutrality?"

Because, as has been repeatedly said in this comment thread, the arguments for the regulations, including yours, seem to be simply wrong. I don't know if you've noticed, but people have offered point-by-point responses as to "why".

Paco Wové said...

I hate to shatter your illusions, Angel-D, but VV didn't write that stuff. It's copypasta from someplace called The Technology Liberation Front.

Gospace said...

Want to get in on the ground floor of a newly unregulated business? The government just deregulated telegraph service. https://www.overlawyered.com/2017/10/us-finally-deregulates-telegraph-service/

tim in vermont said...

bandwidth scarcity is a notion invented by internet service providers and wireless providers to jack up prices and provide excuses for interfering with competing services on their networks.

Really? So it's all basically free? The original investment in the cables and towers, etc, all of the digging, all of the building, that's negligible. The costs of keeping the bits flowing, let's see. Just reading the addresses on the packets that are being shipped around the internet to get the huge amount of data around the internet takes a huge amount of computing power. Computing power is not cheap, there are thousands and thousands of these switches routing packets to their final destinations. I couldn't even guess how many miles of cable, fiber and copper. They all have to be supported. Software written for them, people to administer them, people to fix them. Trucks to take crews to remote sites where problems have occurred.

The more data that YouTube and Netflix push through those switches, the harder they work, until they have to be supplemented by additional switches, or faster, more expensive switches. I could go on.

What you are saying is that computing is free. You don't need to look any further than BitCoin to see that that is not true.

Politicians don’t do anything without benefiting themselves in one way or another, whether through political capital or cash.

Right. Obama took huge donations from Google, up to and including in-kind contributions of setting up information infrastructure for his campaigns. Google wanted net neutrality to protect their business model, and a couple of years ago, Obama pushed net neutrality through. Trump simply reversed Obama's action for the government to take sides in this dispute. Maybe because Google worked so hard to defeat Trump, IDK, but net neutrality just shifts costs to consumers who don't use Netflix, for example.

Angel-Dyne said...

Paco: I hate to shatter your illusions, Angel-D, but VV didn't write that stuff. It's copypasta from someplace called The Technology Liberation Front.

Feh, I stand by vv. It's the capitalist's fault that she had to plagiarize. What with them throttling her connection, the poor thing doesn't have the bandwith to support the use of quotation marks or italics.

Bruce said...

Although I'm very far from left wing, I have to go against the grain of most folks here.

ISPs already are able to (and do) charge different rates for different data caps (overall amount of data moved), and for different data bandwidths (how quickly the data moves). That is already fair and allows for market pricing.

What they can't do until now is pick and choose which data packets to move (and at what speeds) based on where the packets are from.

Where I live, internet service is only available from the cable company. There is a huge trend to cut the cable, and watch TV through streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and YouTube. People are canceling their cable and just relying on internet. It's now legal for Comcast or Cox or whoever to refuse to move data from those streaming services, to "force" customers to subscribe to their cable services. Or, if not refuse to move data from a streaming service, to slow it down to the degree that is unusable. This is bad for consumers.

They also now can choose to not move data from certain domains. If someone from Comcast decides that any website they don't care for won't be serviced, suddenly none of their subscribers can browse Althouse or Drudge or Instapundit. It would be legal for them to move packets from Democrats.org but refuse to move data from GOP.com, or allow fundraising web sites from some political candidates but not others - or whatever other censorship they choose on a whim. It gives the ISP the ability to determine what you can or can't see. This is bad for consumers.

I'll add that in large areas of the country, Internet Service is effectively a monopoly. You can't just change to a better ISP.

ISPs already controlled the price for data volume and speed of your internet service; now they get to control what you have access to. I think there are grave dangers of censorship and anti-competitive behaviors without net neutrality.

Gospace said...

BTW, if you utilize "free" internet from most businesses, you'll find censorship. Most have a porn filter so toddler eating a Happy Meal can't view someone eating..., well, you know. Often so called"hate" sites can't be reached, dependant of course on who's defining what hate is.

Paco Wové said...

Ironically enough, the Technology Liberation Front is very much against "Net Neutrality".

tim in vermont said...

What they can't do until now is pick and choose which data packets to move (and at what speeds) based on where the packets are from.

So when YouTube decides that instead of just showing you the video you asked for, that they could make more money showing video after video automatically, and they force the cost onto the ISP, who then has to force the cost onto everyone, that's perfectly OK with you?

I know that it is a basic tenet of leftism that scarcity is illusory and that capitalists create that illusion to maintain control, for example, they solve the scarcity of sex through the paradigm of the "Marxist Slut", but do you really think that bandwidth is infinite?

You can get internet from HughesNet practically anywhere in the country, BTW, and from Verizon, or Sprint. You are not limited to your cable company. Most big cities have high speed offerings from the phone company too.

Paco Wové said...

Bruce – if ISP's start censoring based on content or political viewpoint – as content 'providers' like YouTube and Twitter are doing already – I will be among the first to argue for regulation. But right now, this sounds like speculative scaremongering.

tim in vermont said...

What they can't do until now is pick and choose which data packets to move (and at what speeds) based on where the packets are from.

Net neutrality is only a couple of years old, so I am not sure what your experience has been before it was created. But what you are really saying is that ISPs shouldn't be allowed to negotiate with the data pigs like YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon, and even Facebook, which is pushing a lot of video now.

Unknown said...

A perfect analogy here is Dodd-Frank. Before the law, when you used a debit card, the retailer paid the exchange fee (a couple %). Walmart in particular lobbied for the law. After the law, retailers didn't pay it so the banks had to eat the fee. The result was banks stopped offering free checking and free debit cards (unless you were a well-off customer with money in their bank) and thus many poor people no longer had access to a bank.
Net neutrality is just like that--it is only about who pays. Someone has to build the fiber optics and the servers and run the network. With net neutrality two huge corporations, Youtube (google) and netflix, get a free ride and the ISPs have to pay for the bandwidth. Removing net neutrality can better cause those generating bandwidth to pay for it.

Angel-Dyne said...

Bruce: I think there are grave dangers of censorship and anti-competitive behaviors without net neutrality.

Funny how without "net neutrality", I never had a problem with an ISP dictating what I could or could not see, while the Big Tech promoters of "net neutrality" already have no problem censoring content they disapprove of.

Your post reads like a press release from one of the latter's lobbyists.

I don't want entities on either side of this issue to be able to "censor on a whim". Why should I be more worried about hypothetical censorship from ISPs than existing censorship from "net neutrality" promoters?

Bruce Hayden said...

“unlike natural resources such as oil, which, while abundant, are at some point finite, bandwidth is potentially infinite. the miraculous microcosmic spectrum reuse capabilities of optical fiber and even wireless radiation improve at a rate far faster than any of our macrocosmic machines and minerals. it is far more efficient to move electrons than atoms, and yet more efficient to move photons. left unfettered, these technologies will continue delivering bandwidth abundance. “

Note though that the claim isn’t that there aren’t limitations n the resource, but, rather, that the limitations are moving up faster than in the case of these other technologies.

“bandwidth scarcity is a notion invented by internet service providers and wireless providers to jack up prices and provide excuses for interfering with competing services on their networks. and when you have a few organizations controlling an important resource and forcing artificial scarcity in order to control the market for that resource is called a cartel.”

No, bandwidth scarcity isn’t something new. I can remember 110 baud days, then 300, 1200, 2400, 4800, 9600, 19.2k, 56k, and somewhere in there multiplexing 24 or 32 56k channels on a T1. The T1 was insanely expensive, but the USDA was paying for it. What is the next step - we already have time division multiplexing, frequency multiplexing, phase multiplexing, etc? Like Moore’s Law, each step gets more and more expensive. Not as quickly, of course, as bandwidth is increasing as a result, but still increasing. Fiber doesn’t just lay itself - and, in particular, the “last mile” is extremely expensive, because there are so many of them. Which gets to the point, why shouldn’t the users who want the higher bandwidth of HD streaming, and soon, 3-D, pay for it? Net Neutrality, essentially, required that I pay for your high speed streaming, despite never using it, but instead turning off auto play for videos, and using the Internet primarily for text?

As I said before, despite appearances to the contrary, this was always about who would pay for high bandwidth users, the streaming content providers (Amazon, Netflix, etc), and their customers, or the companies providing the wires between (esp ISPs), and their customers. Anything else is smoke and mirrors. Could the content providers rebate some of their profits to the companies providing transmission of their content? Of course, but they made far more money through buying Net Neutrality from the Obama Administration.

Bruce said...

"they force the cost onto the ISP, who then has to force the cost onto everyone, that's perfectly OK with you?"

No, that is not OK with me. But ISPs can (and do) charge for data volume, so that those who use lots of data pay more. No need to force the cost on the ISP or on to everyone.

"do you really think that bandwidth is infinite?"

I absolutely do not think that, nor do I think ISPs should not be able to charge for bandwidth used. It is their ability to pick and choose which data to move that concerns me.

"You can get internet from HughesNet practically anywhere in the country"

This is true; internet service is not truly a monopoly. But it's close. HughesNet is more expensive, but is available. My cable company is the phone company. And technically I could get DishNetwork (so another cable company) which I think(?) can provide internet. It isn't a monopoly, but it's a very short list; It's certainly not robust competition. I just don't understand why an ISP should be able to choose what data I can recieve. Two or three leftist CEOs could destroy any semblance of conservative speech to large areas of the country. I know that sounds paranoid, but given the divide in this country, it isn't crazy to worry about.

I don't believe in "free internet" or "free bandwidth" - let the ISPs charge what they need to based on volume and/or bandwidth! But I hate having people deciding what I can and can't access. As Paco mentions, we'll see if it genuinely becomes a problem. I just don't understand why were opening the door to that risk in the first place.

Bruce said...

I had a lengthy response which seems to have gotten eaten (by the darn ISP, I'll betcha!! /s)

Bottom line of my statement was I don't think bandwidth is free nor that the ISPs should have to eat the cost of anything (or make others pay for heavy users). YouTube's ISP can charge it by data volume, and my ISP can charge me by data volume.

What I object to is the ISPs ability to pick and choose what data they will deliver. I have no objection to paying for data used.

As Paco mentioned, we'll see if it actually becomes a problem or not. Hopefully not. It wasn't a problem before net neutrality, but we're a much more divided country than we were just a few years ago. Two or three leftist CEOs could effectively devastate conservative speech to large areas of the country. It just seems like we're opening the door to a censorship problem when there is no benefit to doing so. Content control, and not who pays, is my big concern.

Kirk Parker said...

v.v.,

"bandwidth is potentially infinite."

Please go away. You haven't the slightest idea what you are trying to talk about.

Kirk Parker said...

"The thing is...who looks mostly at text sites these days? What sites remain that are mostly text?"

Says a commentor on Althouse! The irony, it burns.... So Cookie, I know you don't own an automobile, living in NYC and all--but if you did it would be a Trabant, right?

Angel-Dyne said...

Bruce: It wasn't a problem before net neutrality, but we're a much more divided country than we were just a few years ago. Two or three leftist CEOs could effectively devastate conservative speech to large areas of the country. It just seems like we're opening the door to a censorship problem when there is no benefit to doing so. Content control, and not who pays, is my big concern.

Why are you so concerned about hypothetical leftist CEOs of ISPs and their hypothetical censorship, and apparently unconcerned with real leftist CEOs of net-neutrality-promoting content providers, and their non-hypothetical, real-life, right-now censorship?

MountainMan said...

I see above some discussions about anti-competitive and pricing behaviors. Those business practices fall under the Federal Trade Commission, not necessarily the FCC. The FTC is not going away and all of these companies are still subject to regulation under various laws regarding competition, such as the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, the Clayton Act, and the Robinson-Patman Act.

Bruce said...

"Why are you so concerned about hypothetical leftist CEOs of ISPs and their hypothetical censorship, and apparently unconcerned with real leftist CEOs of net-neutrality-promoting content providers, and their non-hypothetical, real-life, right-now censorship?"

Why not both? ;-)

I am indeed concerned with recent viewpoint specific censorship on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and even search results (among others).

But I mention my concerns about net neutrality because it's topic of the post. I don't see how giving even more censorship tools out is a good thing. ISPs should act as a common carrier of data in my opinion and not be concerned with what that data is. Net neutrality does not prevent them from charging by data volume.

But it's a mistake in my opinion to make it legal for Comcast, AT&T, and Cox to suddenly decide that ReElectTrump.com is hate speech and they will no longer serve data packets from that domain. I'm really not saying anything more than that.

tim in vermont said...

Bottom line of my statement was I don't think bandwidth is free nor that the ISPs should have to eat the cost of anything (or make others pay for heavy users). YouTube's ISP can charge it by data volume, and my ISP can charge me by data volume.

There is some statistical thinking that goes into understanding why this is nonsense. But I am thinking that it will just get a tl;dr. I give up.

Bruce said...

"There is some statistical thinking that goes into understanding why this is nonsense. But I am thinking that it will just get a tl;dr. I give up."

Respectfully, I don't understand why it is nonsense to charge by data volume. Many ISPs already have different charges for different bandwidth and different data caps. Net neutrality does not imply that companies and people can't be charged based on how much data they use.

Net neutrality just says that ISPs can't treat some data better than other data; they can't pick and choose which data to move. In my opinion, ISPs should not care (or even be aware of) what the data is.

(I don't mean to disrespect your "I give up"; no need to respond).

Bad Lieutenant said...

Big Mike said...
Oh, and I forgot to include the cost of electricity. The rough rule of thumb is, or used to be, that the amount of power needed to run a computer center is twice what it takes to power the hardware. The rest goes to cooling the rooms where the hardware is operating. TANSTAAFL

12/15/17, 12:31 PM


Wall Street 2006: we reckoned hvac used a third as much power as the machines themselves.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Also,

QoS, helloooooo...prioritizing traffic is genius.

Birkel said...

The Leftist Collectivists must control the internet because it is a radical medium.

Had King George controlled printing presses, some people who were otherwise roused to their own defense would have persisted, somnambulantly, and allowed the constriction of the newly discovered personal sphere that had not existed in Europe for a great while.

America gave people "yearning to breathe free" space to do so. Space not controlled by government cannot be allowed by those who wish to control others.

Leftist Collectivists must restrict personal freedom. They must in order to exercise their Will to power.

tim in vermont said...

Respectfully, I don't understand why it is nonsense to charge by data volume.

Well, if ISPs this side of cellular carriers charged by data volume. You get 50 megabit speed, and 30 gig a month, then the problem goes away. But they sell you 50 mps or whatever and sell it to a hundred thousand other people. Of course, those hundred thousand people aren't all going to be using the full bandwidth at any given time, but some fraction of it. Think of it as "fractional reserve" in banking. Your ISP would go broke building out the infrastructure for every single one of its users to to be able to use the entire bandwidth they had been sold at the exact same time. It is a vanishingly unlikely event. Same reason your bank doesn't keep every cent deposited with them in the vault. Just enough to handle the day to day demand for withdrawals and some reserve.

OK, now let's bring Netflix into this, for example, a free rider on the system above that is forcing the demand for bandwidth higher and higher, same as Facebook with its sponsored videos in its feed, for which it is paid, Google/YouTube, even Bing, which if you do a video search, will open many videos at once. They are forcing the ISP to increase the backbone bandwidth every time they jam more content onto the network. Somebody has to pay for it.

A fair minded person might say that perhaps Netflix should pay for it, and pass the cost back to those customers who choose to use their service. Net neutrality advocates say that everybody should pay for it, whether they use Netflix or not. Etc, etc.

What is driving the demand for net neutrality is that a bunch of people can't sleep at night because they built multi-billion dollar businesses on infrastructure they don't own or control. What's better than to seize control of the network through the government, and given that you are billionaires, getting politicians to do your bidding is child's play.

Trump is on the people's side here, and the left is on the side of corporations like Google Alphabet (700 billion dollar market cap) It's crazy.

tim in vermont said...

I suppose the answer would be for the ISPs to adopt data limits, or tier their services by data volume, not speed. That would be a pretty funny consequence, wouldn't it.

The "AT&T will censor you" argument is complete nonsense, BTW, just ask Milo on Twitter... Oh wait, you can't.

tim in vermont said...

See, that's why technical explanations are a waste of time. What I don't get is why people who can't understand the technology are so vested in showing off their ignorance.

William said...

Remember how much everyone loved Ma Bell before deregulation? Me neither.

Kirk Parker said...

Big Mike, Bad Lt:

Are those figures current? There's been a heck of a lot of power consumption in servers over the last decade. Still cooling power is a big deal, but I do wonder if it's equal to, or even 50% of, what it takes to run them CPUs themselves.

Otherwise, get rid of the data centers in Utah, eastern Oregon, and similar places; and then lay tons of fiber to Barrow?

Kirk Parker said...

William,

I remember those pre-regulation days.

Somehow, my grandfather had gotten ahold of a spare telephone that someone had actually owned rather than leased from Ma Bell. He had no use for it, so he passed it on to us.

Well, in those days our house was rather sprawling, and with 4 kids in the family having an extra phone way out in the family room seemed like a great upgrade. We already had an extra ringer out there (which we no doubt paid PNB 50c/month for the privelege) so didn't need the ringer on the phone itself. I figured out that if we disconnected the ringer, then the phone co couldn't tell that we had an extra phone when we were offline, so I did so.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Kirk, my figures are ten years old. Cycles per watt are no doubt improved whereas old Carnot is probably unchanged, but cooling tech has improved too, with techniques like liquid cooling, cooling by rack, layouts of hot-cold aisles. Ultimately the challenge is more cycles per square or cubic foot. Our Wall Street lab maxed out on the cooling capacity we could achieve-no more BTUs, no more room for growth-big reason why we had to move.

To Houston. So as you see, climate is not the driver.

As for server farms in eg Iceland, with cheap power and low ambient temps-being done, some. Read about an old NATO bunker somewhere being reused thus. But ultimately nobody wants to work there, so it has its limits. It would matter more if the cost of power and cooling were more important.

Kirk Parker said...

" ultimately nobody wants to work [in Iceland]"

But I hear their babes are hot, Hot, HOT!

Is that wrong?

Bad Lieutenant said...

I've heard that, too, but what I've seen... Bjork is Icelandic. Doesn't she seem to have something wrong with her?