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Maybe so. If so, here's some thoughts I don't see anyone else saying - The economist in me says that with deregulation of the Internet, we may see net prices, costs, and weight of data-transmission go down, and total value creation go up.

Poor consumers may get cheaper options subsidized by firms like Facebook and Google. Wealthy power users will probably wind up paying more to get out of subsidized channels. (Does Usenet already kinda do this?)

I stopped watching cable because I hated paying for a service that made me a product that channels could sell for advertising.

I really should take more control of my online habits anyways. Maybe this would help me do that.




I think the internet should be made a public good. Basic access (e.g. a default ADSL of 5 MB/s downstream and 1 MB/s upstream) should be provided without any kind of restraint or caveat (e.g. your data sold to the highest bidder, facebook access only, etc.) in every household or citizen in civilised societies, without any kind of authentication, authorization or identification.

IMHO that's truer as more public offices and services offer or will start offering Internet-only services.


If you'd enshrined those speeds 10 years ago, you would have chosen lower numbers and we'd have a basic uniform service that was slower. Have we reached the "good enough point" with basic speeds that we should draw a line in the sand now?


> [...] we should draw a line in the sand now?

No, we should not. Numbers should be different in every era IMHO.


You don't have to use "IMHO" so much, nobody takes your opinions as fact.


Your comment doesn't add much value to this conversation. Can we please refrain from adding argumentative comments for no reason?


i know its supposed to be a general truth, that regulation raises costs. i mean how can it not, since in the absence of regulation costs would be minimized.

but can you explain why forcing Netflix (just for an example) to negotiate transit with every provider large enough to demand it helps lower any costs? presumably transit competition?

or how turning 'the internet' from a generic access method into a giant menu with a checkbox by every internet address helps lower cost? maybe because we'd be forced to examine all the options and our spending habits and select only the bundles we need?

and what about transitive services...probably need to shift pretty hard away from the whole micro services model, maybe i don't subscribe to the particular oauth channel your application needs.

doesn't this additional server and client side provisioning requirement create a huge barrier to entry? doesn't that weaken the whole competition argument?

i guess what i'd really love to see is some kind of defense for the cable-tv model of the internet beyond 'regulation bad, free markets good'


> i know its supposed to be a general truth, that regulation raises costs. i mean how can it not, since in the absence of regulation costs would be minimized.

There's lots of cases where a lack of regulation causes higher prices. Such as monopolies and oligopolies.

Remember that companies seek to maximise profit above all else. They only lower prices if it helps them to maxmise profits.


We have heterogenous consumers - for example: One user accesses email a couple of times a day. Another constantly views twitter and loads heavy home-pages of their news sites. Another bounces around on sports news and streaming games (perhaps illegally). Another watches Youtube and Netflix, while scanning Facebook. Another mostly torrents.

Right now, we have user pays.

I think deregulation could/will rebalance these things.

- Our emailer will get a cheaper package.

- The news sites will get pressure to lighten up - more video compression, more care about image sizes.

- Youtube will probably be forced to share ad revenue with ISPs - probably leading to more ads.

- The illicit video streamers will probably be very unhappy as their bandwidth goes way down.

- The torrenters will probably be asked to pay more.

- Maybe we get more infrastructure.

- Maybe we get monopolies busted up.

IDK, all of this is speculation. So are all the loudly trumpeted possible downsides (of which I am truly fearful as well.)

But I just want some non-hysterical even-handed exposition. Is that too much to ask?


thats kind of what i was asking for (some concrete argument)

aren't all the things you bring up solved by usage based billing in the current model? thats pretty different than selective transit.


Deregulation could lead to lower prices and more options but in practice it often does the opposite. What will probably happen is that a lower tier of internet service is offered for a price under the current level. That lower tier will be limited in such as way as to be close to unusable for more than the most casual user. The next level will resemble what is currently more or less standard but it will cost more than you'd pay now. There will be some ludicrous all-you-can-eat option for double the price of the above, but those who subscribe to it will soon find out that even that option is limited in some ways, limits which can be lifted by paying 'a small fee' - per limited service.

There is an optimum somewhere between totally regulated and totally unregulated. As to whether the current situation in the US resembles that optimum I'll leave for the reader to decide but it should not come as a surprise if the incumbents in the 'net sector start abusing their market power as soon as restrictions are lifted.


I think it's better for the Internet to remain open, especially with the tendency of this sort of "choice" to become more a dictate that works out against the customer's favor, especially when a small number of players (ISPs) are involved. But I'm with you in feeling like I could probably drop my usage of it to a tiny fraction of what it is now, with little or no harm to my overall quality of life.

That may have to do with remembering life pre-Web. It was basically fine. Really. Impulsive consumption was harder and we were comfortable not having constant, instant, total access to all the world's trivia. So it was kinda better.




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