This whole situation sucks, and no matter how much noise we make and activism we take part in, if Pai has the legal footing to ruin the internet, he will.
He's not. He's a generic Republican, appointed by Obama (since the commission is obligated by Congress to have no more than a simple majority of appointees from any one party).
The problem is, this is what all Republicans are like nowadays. Any other person that Obama could have appointed would be doing the exact same thing in these circumstances. And in fact, virtually every other regulatory agency and department is doing the exact same thing thanks to Trump appointees. They are un-interested in any semblance of reasonable governance, it's siphoning your money to their backers in the most direct and aggressive fashion, plain and simple.
Elections have consequences. A lot of prominent Silicon Valley figures backed Trump figuring it would be an easy tax cut for them, and this is the result. What's that story Trump liked to tell around the campaign trail, the frog and the scorpion?
Everyone fantasizes they'd be the ones to come out on top (Ayn Rand wrote a whole book about it!), but there is always a bigger fish. Welcome to laissez-faire capitalism, where buying the government is part of the game. Free Markets are not a stable social structure by themselves, they need government regulation to keep the playing field level.
The truth is not in the middle, and not all viewpoints have equal merit. We have one reasonable party whose positions you may or may not like, and one batshit insane party that begins tearing everything down as soon as they're in power. Shame it takes a lesson like this for people to realize that.
Sorry to be blunt, and sorry to bring politics into this forum. But that's the way it is.
I find it incredibly frustrating that people clearly see the need for referees in sports, but not in business. Nobody's saying that the NFL or the NBA would have better competition if there were no refs.
What your proposing is more like a league which will solidify the rules as they currently exist. An example of this is banning innovations like Aluminum bats.
"What your proposing is more like a league which will solidify the rules as they currently exist."
According to Thomas Jefferson, this is exactly what Constitution and laws are for.
"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as a civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors."
Your quote says laws should evolve with the people which lends to neither of our arguments as we're discussing how it should evolve not "if".
But more importantly, the VOC "perished under corruption" not because it was dragged to court :) It's not really fair to say that "the system" dealt with it when it obviously just succumbed over time under the inevitability of impermanence.
How they came to an end is irrelevant to whether courts are effective referees unless you believe the only fair thing is to destroy large companies.
"I hope we shall take warning from the example [of England] and crush in it’s birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and to bid defiance to the laws of their country."
Both parties are a joke, voting for either is an awful choice.
One party would not attempt to ram throw a bill that took away health insurance for millions without a back plan. One party would not attempt to ram through a tax reform bill that was literally being amended on the floor before the vote. One party would not let a federal agency make a sweeping change that the overwhelming majority of Americans do not support. One party would not allow the president of the United States to use Twitter to incite violence and spread out racist messages. I can go on, but the point is that had Clinton won, this year would not have been such a mess as the Republican party bungles it's way around trying to pillage and loot America for the benefit of its donors.
One party is for dealing with climate change, privacy, net neutrality, healthcare, etc. It may be bad, but it's definitely _less_ bad.
They didn't consider universal health care an option, saying they cared about privacy is a sick joke, they didn't make net neutrality a law. They may be slightly less bad but voting for them is still a terrible choice.
Yes, that vision ultimately needs more than just a third party win. The system itself is broken. It's still a better choice.
I'm not knowledgeable enough about various industrial wastes to comment on environmental issues. If that's what you see as the most important issue, why would you vote anything but Green? That's been a core of their platform for fourty years.
You need to learn Civics. I could write in my own name since my opinions are closer to my opinions than the Green candidate. What would that accomplish?
If, one day, the US introduces proportional or preferred representation then the calculations will change. In Australia, for example, you can vote (1) Green, (2) Labor (say) and then if the Green candidate is eliminated your vote is counted for your second choice. But if the Green candidate gets enough support then you get your first choice.
Even then, Democracy is difficult. In proportional systems, small parties can have disproportionate influence.
I don't think I have the political knowledge or general knowledge to represent my interests best in government, and failing to campaign shows I'm not prepared for the responsibility. I can't say for certain, but I assume it's the same for you. If I'm wrong, you should vote for yourself. I imagine most candidates do.
Yes, some better form of representation is part of my ultimate goal. The fear of small parties having a disproportionate influence doesn't worry me, small groups already have a disproportionate influence.
They are uninterested in your view of reasonable governance. Reasonable people can and do disagree with things like net neutrality.
Really? On what grounds? Because I've literally not run into a single person, democrat or republican, who thinks net neutrality should go away.
*Mind you, I'm not personally friends with any executives from one of the big 8 companies that stand to benefit from it... but outside of them and shareholders I'm struggling to come up with the "reasonable" person who thinks this will be a good thing.
My father. In his opinion, businesses should be allowed to manage themselves as they see fit, without outside interference.
Various people I've had 1-on-1 conversations with online. Often some variation on the regulations being difficult to enforce, and pointless because companies weren't doing things that were that bad before net neutrality anyhow.
We could debate the extent to which they were "reasonable" people, but I think that their opinions were reasoned out. They just started from assumptions that I disagree with.
So consumers are just at the mercy of the corporate monopolies then? I'm curious how he expects a democracy to survive in the face of monopolies owning the media and controlling our "free" press. History has shown that's basically impossible, but I assume he's got a solution given you've said he's reasonable.
>Various people I've had 1-on-1 conversations with online. Often some variation on the regulations being difficult to enforce, and pointless because companies weren't doing things that were that bad before net neutrality anyhow
Then they haven't bothered to do basic research. It isn't hard to enforce and there was a framework in place already.
The US was under the impression that they were special snowflakes. Every country has rules about corporate involvement in political campaigns. But Americans knew better. Our politicians can't be bribed because America fuck yeah!
All citizens are equal but some are more equal than others.
There are many complaints these days about the increasing level of political discourse on HN. But the way things are going, we’ll come to the point where we have to talk about things with the people next to us in the grocery store line. This is a dangerous road we are on.
The country in control of some deeply unhappy few that never queue for a checkout counter.
Because aside from the law governing appointments, there is also the Senate confirmation process, and such a violation of both the spirit of the law and the established informal norms would both be unlikely to survive that process, and complicate other matters before the Senate, which was blocking more routine nominees.
Is there any historical precedent for this? I'm trying to assess the resemblance between this case and such a hypothetical case.
I want to believe...
It's going to have definite winners (telcoms) and losers (tech companies) but that is true of literally every type of regulation.
There are respects in which, say, fracking is not the best thing for the public either (lighting your tap water on fire, etc). The party in charge gets to decide what the best interests of the public are, and what policies to use to achieve them.
Note that 'Arbitrary or capricious' is a legal standard of review for a government agency's decisions.
"In administrative law, a government agency's resolution of a question of fact, when decided pursuant to an informal rulemaking under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), is reviewed on the arbitrary and capricious standard. Arbitrary and capricious is a legal ruling where in an appellate court determines that a previous ruling is invalid because it was made on unreasonable grounds or without any proper consideration of circumstances. This is an extremely deferential standard."
It's a pretty low bar, but it exists.
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_of_review#Arbitrary_a...
So, the reason here is "promoting competition". No need to demonstrate that this rule actually does it (in fact it does not, but that doesn't matter).
Courts ain't gonna do shit on this, sorry.
Disregard of the integrity of the legally-mandatory public comment process is, in and of itself, strong evidence that there is a violation of procedural rules governing regulation.
You've actually got it backwards. If this were a case of an Executive Branch run amok, the proper move at this point would be for Congress to pass a law and fix it. And Congress itself is definitely an opinion poll, we call them 'elections'.
Elections have consequences, and administrators have a large amount of leeway in how their departments get run.
Which is a straw man, as I did not argue anything about failing to treat the public comment process as a poll.
Take a look at those pushing "net neutrality" and understand why. I am not saying they are not without merit but both sides have merit but one side is funded by very large monied interest for one reason, they know they can use net neutrality to force what they want to relieve costs on their business interest and never have to pass it on because all onus will be on service providers.
Service providers who have since the prior rule changes have reduced roll out of higher speeds including some very big names (google is one). Why should they? Where is the payoff for adding throughput if its going to get regulated.
I remember the last time it was all regulated, my choice was ISDN provided I could get it or T1 provided I could get it or just suck it up and stay on dial up. With lack of regulation new players came in with higher bandwidth and made it available to me increasing competition. With regulation on service people magically expect higher speed broadban but totally ignore the fact there is no incentive to provided it and once regulated it will be mired in delay after delay and only show where powerful politicians want it.
What is also means if with regulation of service providers they will tell you exactly what services you may use the regulated network for. welcome to China
2014 Reclassification was a response to a legal order brought about by Verizon suing the FCC, from 2010 to 2014 NN was in place under Title I regulations, The Courts ruled the FCC exceeded its authority under Title I and if they wanted anything like the Open Internet Order the ISP had to be moved to Title II
Internet Service was also regulated under Title II from its inception until 2005 when it was reclassified by the FCC under Title I
As to violation here is a list, this is not all inclusive but is a good starting reference
>> they know they can use net neutrality to force what they want to relieve costs on their business interest and never have to pass it on because all onus will be on service providers.
This assertion by the ISP that companies like Google are getting a "free ride" is moronic. It fails to identify who the consumer is of these companies, it is not Google or Netflix, it is the average homeowner or resident who pays and obscene amount of money for these companies to go out and pickup data from Internet Peering Points. Google and others also pay money to send data out to these peering points.
This idea that if Verizon and Comcast can start charging Google will be good for the consumer has no basis in reality or history. At best it will simply increase the already extreme profit margins for the companies. Companies with a Captive Consumer market do not "pass savings" along, why would they there is no other competitor around for the consumer to change to.
>>I remember the last time it was all regulated, my choice was ISDN provided I could get it or T1 provided I could get it or just suck it up and stay on dial up. With lack of regulation new players came in with higher bandwidth and made it available to me increasing competition
WOW, that is extreme revisionist history...
Had nothing at all do with advancement of Technology, no, it was all regulations that prevented everything
Jesus. are you for real
Funny. In the UK, with it's massively regulated marketplaces, one has far greater choice in home broadband providers. The concept that all regulation by government hampers innovation and investment is a highschool-level understanding of economics, an Ayn Rand approach. In cases of monopolies, which includes ownership of private infrastructures (railroads, fiber etc), regulation can keep markets open and alive that would otherwise stagnate. In a great many circumstances government regulation can foster competition. But such wider understandings don't fit well with modern identity politics.
However, when incumbents over-invest in the status quo, if a newcomer can change the game then they can disrupt the incumbent and take over the industry. For example, Blockbuster was once the dominant name in video rentals in the US. Then along came a little rent-by-mail service called Netflix. I suspect something similar will happen to ISPs once we figure out how to remove the current reliance on their physical infrastructure. I have no faith that American politicians will regulate for competition in that field at least while the current incumbents remain the top dogs.
For anyone curious about the actual spending on lobbying and donations, here are the numbers:
AT&T (#9 in lobbying spending in 2016): https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/summary.php?id=d000000076
In capitalism, any market with a sufficiently high barrier to entry will always end in a monopoly in the absence of regulation.
Not trying to let trump off the hook, more so trying to get the message across that we have more to focus on.
Edit: I'd appreciate dialogue instead of just down votes. To clarify, by saying Trumps picks were a bit more varied I wasn't saying it was any better than bankers picking almost all of them.
The realpolitik response I usually hear is how only industry experts at a high level can fill these positions, but I simply no longer buy this argument.
I fail to see a Betsy Devos type character in either the Bush or Obama admin. She even wrote in a tax benefit to her neocon college in the Northeast.
Usually, the completely crooked, bought-their-way-into-the-Cabinet appointment in any given administration is whoever becomes the Commerce Secretary. You don't usually remember who the Commerce Secretary is because they don't typically do anything, but they're almost always a big money donor. There's a bipartisan tradition of that which stretches back to when it was created at the turn of the century.
1) Once the cat is out of the bag it's a pain in the ass to put back in. "Hey Comcast and Netflix, your fastlane agreement is now null and void". Tell that to every ISP and software company that made such an agreement.
2) It's hard to get the government to pay attention even when there are people sympathetic to your case. Getting Tom Wheeler to about-face was a huge effort.
This isn't to say it CAN'T happen. I'd just prefer for NN to not be removed in the first place.
And even prior to 2004, much of what then passed for broadband was regulated in ways which incidentally protected or encouraged neutrality, though that was piecemeal and incidental to regulation of the particular underlying phone or cable infrastructure, not part of a coherent internet-related policy.
The new rules would not seek to enforce neutrality as the new FCC majority claims enforcement is unnecessary, and that what minimal enforcement against anti-competitive practices should be done should be done by the FTC. This would be a condition which has not existed in the history of the publicly-relevant internet, not a return to the status quo of two years ago.
False. A form of NN was in place from 2010 to 2014. Then the courts rules the FCC exceeded its authority under Title I so the FCC moved the ISP to Title II and reapplied the NN Rules in 2015.
Also one should note that from the internet inception until 2005 Internet Services were Telecommunications Services regulated under Title II.
It is more accurate to state we were only with out the rules from 2005 to 2010.
The only places I see improvement are in markets that have managed to create competition between providers. And that tends to only come from municipal players entering the market as the large ISPs (Comcast, Charter, ATT) generally avoid entering markets that have an established player as they'd actually have to compete.
That's because net neutrality was already the status quo (though enforced via other means than Title II classification up till 2014).
The FCC oversight wasn't supposed to bring improvements -- it was supposed to prevent negative changes (I'm sure we'll see what kinds within the next six months). As for improvements in amount of service, and pricing, and infrastructure, these will require far more intervention.
... hahaha ... congress ... act ... hahahahaha ...
In all seriousness though: I think it's a mistake to focus on the FCC even now. That's obviously a lost cause. Focus on Congress and the next election cycle. Network neutrality needs to be law.
Between the resources at Google/ Yahoo/ FB/ Ycombinator alone they have the money, lawyers, know how, and have had since November of last year to do something about this, anything. anything at all. Actually, any fortune 500 company. Not a single whisper from wall street. not a single whisper from the private sector. Obviously insane levels of fraud happening with the comments being written by russian bots, fake names, and missing real comments with all investigations going nowhere thanks to shit pai.
We will probably loose it for good. it will most likely be a very slow process to make sure nobody is riled up enough to actually do anything about it.
I can almost guarantee instead of fixing or trying to solve any issues. Verizon, comcast, At&T, Tmobile and sprint all have new plans ready to roll out will full marketing behind them.
It is up to us state by state to dismantle the communication cartels once and for all.
But naw, some bot will flag this post just like the other 500+ threads that have popped up since November of last year critical of the government in any way shape or form. Seriously HN get your shit together, absolutely pathetic that it has even come to this point.
Ycombinator is who they are directly attacking, 12 gauge to the head, yet nobody around here seems to actually think they are worthy enough to live. Let alone get a fast, dependable, and cheap/ fair price on our own internet that the tax payers have paid for over and over again.
If that is the case then maybe we all deserve to loose it. I kind of am hoping we do. I want a new internet with blackjack and hookers. only way possible to make it happen is if the entire country were to be pushed at once to move on beyond ISPs grasp and make our own mesh networks. This is that opportunity to build something new and fresh and in our own control, something that will most likely take years and years to accomplish but once its done and stable enough to handle the countries users there will literally be zero use for an ISP beyond a public utility.
THEY ARE LITERALLY GIVING US THE KEYS TO THE FUTURE AND EVERYONE IS FUCKING MOPING AROUND LIKE YOU'VE NEVER SEEN THIS COMING.
Communication cartels RIP was a good run guys. See you around when you crash the markets!
They did. They petitioned, used their own money, tried to convince Pai that his changes were bad. They did their part and Pai ignored them - flat out ignores them as if they don't matter. So... what about your argument works?
Pai was "hired" to screw the Internet and help the big ISPs make more cash. Trump is only there to overturn everything Obama did, nothing more. So Pai is just there to overturn NN, nothing more.
Everybody blacked out for SOPA/ PIPA?
It needs to be more public, an actual movement from within to change something that will not end well for the vast majority.
Trying to convince isn't enough either, they shouldn't have to convince Pai of anything they know why he was appointed.
Why haven't they tried convincing their own users?
Would be wonderful to have a majority of the countries engineers rally overnight and protest by not showing up to work. It would literally take 1 day, less than 48 hours to permanently change the course of history forever. Wont happen of course, mainly because everybody is to busy planning on how to benefit from the repeal.
It's actually worse than that. He uses the imprimatur of the federal government and the commission he leads to ridicule opposing arguments. There's no honest and logical engagement; just the use of Twitterverse-ready phrases like "absurd", "desperate", and "utter nonsense".
I've often thought that mesh networks are where things need to move, but they suffer from a larger problem here in the States:
Essentially, there are large gaps between cities where there isn't enough population, or there are geographic features in the way (or both) that preclude mesh network relays from being setup by anyone other than a corporation which has the resources to purchase the land needed, and either install fiber, microwave relay towers, or whatnot - and maintain all of it over time.
Sure - you could probably mesh network most of the NE of the country. Maybe even California (though there'd be bottlenecks). But how do you jump from LA to Phoenix, or from Phoenix to Las Vegas or DFW? How do you link any of that to the east coast? How do you get this mesh network to the interior of the country?
Not likely to happen without a lot of money and effort.
What I can see happening, though, is a return to lower-bandwidth communication networks - ie, dust off that old BBS software! Dial-up, or low-bitrate comms (which can pass easier thru congested or low-node count mesh networks) would likely become the way to do things.
But I doubt it would become mainstream, as most people just don't seem to be able to live without their streaming TV channels and bookface feeds. But maybe that would be ideal; the hardcore and tech conscious using these lower-level channels to figure out a way to fix the problems in the mesh, so that one day all could share it.
Worst case, the signal to noise ratio would go down, and we geeks could finally have a space with intelligent discourse and fewer trolls.
In that case censoring P2P connerilns would be ISPs next step, which would hamper a ton of progress, especially in regards to privacy.
Managing the functionality/thoroughput/UX of that kind of network sounds like a big challenge.
Having a good UX for rate limititing clients on volunteered lines, and good UX on how routes are temporarily "leased", might be places to start brainstorming.
Sound like someone who doesn't want to be apart of the future. Or anything really.
Good luck to you fellow HNer.
Literally a non comment.
Of course they will try and make it illegal. Of course its privatised, do you have a few spare hundred millions to buy some up and use it?
If you put some thought into the future of this country for just 1 second. You wouldn't have made that sort of non comment. Your not interested in the future. Which makes you a liability for all of us who are interested in it.
Direct action is required. Go vote. Route around broken Internet. Hit them where it hurts them.
I had so much hope for your last paragraph and then you just regurgitated the bullshit “go vote” mantra.
If that’s what direct action means to you people then no wonder you’ve had this pushed down your throat.
At least hopefully this isn't the end.
To some degree, of course we have to adapt to what will happen. But as a society, we're supposed to have standing on important issues for the population as a whole.
There will be harm, routing around it is inhuman to those immediately affected. Seeing "opportunity" in every case is capitalistically narcissistic.
It's a problem with human scale. We're not meant to scale to the billions despite technology enabling that. Once the internet scaled, all the human problems came with it. The innovators are part of a smaller and smaller % of the population. The inertia of current systems bogs down potential future changes. Innovation is traded for security, convenience and entertainment. Certain things become ingrained.
So, all the people move on and start again in a greenfield. Maybe its not the best but honestly, taking the lessons of the past and applying it to a new greenfield can't be the worst approach.
Let's tone down the McCarthyism a bit shall we?
Ok, you're suggesting the bot-comments were just domestic.
Think the abolitionist movement (pre-Civil War) was peaceful? Nope. Think women's suffrage was peaceful? Nope. Think Vietnam protests were peaceful? Nope. Think civil rights movement was peaceful? Nope. BLM peaceful? Nope.
Was the Occupy Wall Street movement peaceful? Yup.
Was the protests of NSA spying peaceful? Yup.
Was the Iraq war protests peaceful? Yup.
Was the US Patriot Act protests peaceful? Yup.
Are the net neutrality protests peaceful? Yup.
What's the difference between the peaceful and non-peaceful protests I listed?
People need to be scared of screwing over the average joe. Companies and politicians are scamming us every day, and all we do (if anything is done) is fine them pennies on the dollar.
I understand why, asking nicely and blocking some streets for a few hours has been so clearly effective throughout history /s.
I'm about 98% of the way to certainty that the current crop of ruling elites present an existential threat to (mostly) peaceful human civilization. Thinking about Putin, Kim, and Trump--all with their fingers on their launch buttons--inspired me to think about possible strategies and tactics for 5th generation warfare, and I'm sorry to say that I believe a shockingly large number of innocents are going to die in this century.
Your choice isn't going to be a matter of some people getting hurt and no one getting hurt. Your choice will be whether seven billion people die, or just a few hundred million, possibly including you and your whole family.
All those "preppers" out there are very likely planning for the wrong kinds of disasters. This is not going to be a conflict whose outcome hinges on the number or quality of the guns, or the number of years of stored provisions. It will instead depend upon one's ability to discriminate friend from foe. It doesn't manner how many guns you have if the one in your hand is pointed at your own foot, particularly if you have psyops-induced agnosia.
I'm not certain if I have the fortitude for war. And I'm not sure if I have the moxie for covert ops. I'm not even sure who would be in the smallest possible set of people that have to die in order for the least-bleak future to come about. My heart wants there to be a solution where no one has to die, but my head has already run too many thought experiments where passive acquiescence leads directly to ruin. There's no doubt in my mind that killing people and destroying property hurts one's own moral center, and that those who grow skilled at war become less suited to serve non-destructive roles in a world at peace. I think maybe I'm just too selfish to make a choice based on the proposition that a future might not exist unless I actively disqualify myself from being a part of it.
I'm certainly not going to be the one that moves first. But I am thinking about the second and third moves.
Black Lives Matter or that Bureau of Land Management standoff?
I wouldn't categorize BLM (Black Lives) as NOT peaceful (or at least in the same category as Vietnam protests). If you mean riots, IMHO it's a separate issue.
Strong state and local laws protecting the right to form municipal ISPs would be a good start. Those seem to scare Comcast & friends the most. If corporate ISPs become significantly restrictive, I think we'd see a big upsurge in interest for municipal broadband.
Yeaaah about that? The GOP is no friend of muni.
Not that Democrats love it, but Obama's FCC did try to defend muni against state restrictions alongside its move towards Title II ISPs (it lost)
You probably won't see Pai's FCC defending municipal broadband.
 The map of muni restrictions as of 2015 is fairly evenly split between 2016 "red" and "blue" states on restrictions (red 4 blue 2) and outright bans (red 3 blue 2), however the deep south wins "regulated" for red team by a mile (red 7 blue 2)
> They’re all for states rights
If you actually believe that I've got a great bridge called "Fugitive Slave Act of 1850" for sale I'm sure you'd enjoy it.
My comment is about the "muh states' rights" crowd, back in the 19th century, they were Democrats (quite literally since the Republican Party was founded by anti-slavery democrats splitting off and uniting with the northern Whigs).
Consider selling wheat. If one company owns all the wheat fields, or the wheat fields are evenly split among two companies, the total amount invested in growing wheat is the same. And since multiple companies means competition, lower prices, and more consumers served, having multiple companies is more efficient in the econ sense (higher social welfare = total value - total cost).
But with fiber infrastructure, having two copies of the infrastructure is a huge waste of total resources. It is far more efficient to only have one set of wires. The problem is if they are controlled by a monopolist, they will keep high prices and serve fewer people. So a single copy of infrastructure with a monopolist is sub-optimal, but so is multiple copies of infrastructure with competition. Optimal is a single copy of infrastructure along with regulation or some other means of keeping prices lower than monopoly.
Of course, you can still try to implement market competition over those wires via regulations that force companies to share the wires, etc.
Legally protected monopolies are intended to avoid the latter state, especially where interruptions of service could have ripple effects on other industries.
I believe the legislative goal was never about costs or overbuilt infrastructure, but to ensure that at least one provider was always available. So they chose to mandate that there could never be more than one. For the sake of having a dial tone 99.99% of the time, they made the choice for everyone that phone service would cost more, for everyone, every day, forever.
Talking about "natural monopoly" is just a distraction. The de jure monopoly is about the difference between "no choice" and "zero choices". You may have made the same choice on a smaller scale when designing code that expects exactly one input instead of zero to N inputs. An alternate solution would be to operate a state-owned, not-for-profit utility, as the supplier of last resort, but that has its own problems, which may be more or less difficult than the monopoly problems, depending on specific circumstances.
Von Mises is a good economics resource for libertarian-leaning folks, but you can't trust any single macro-economist to get everything right. I'm actually not sure any single one of them is more than 50% correct, or even if their amount of correctness is stable over time. Markets have this annoying habit of integrating all information, whether true or false, and reacting to it. This includes everything that all economists in all schools have ever written. It truly is a dismal science.
What ever happened to the ~2003 promise of local WISPs and wireless mesh networks?
2.4Ghz is noisy in cities/apartments, 5Ghz doesn't penetrate well.
All that on top of the fact that there's still not really a standard, easily set up protocol for that kind of mesh ISP arrangement.
Anything involving this will be handled by gov't lawyers, not by him, and you can bet if he does end up in front of the court, his responses will be 100% coached by those lawyers.
Where's the PR push back from the techno-intelligentsia? Why aren't we pointing out Pai's attacks on the rights of American citizens? Why aren't we pointing out to regular people why this is clearly an attack on one of the few freedoms they have left? Where are the "Put this in your Pai hole" t-shirts and bumper stickers?
I'm familiar with Republic Wireless and Google Fi, but I'm a long-time iPhone user who doesn't really want to switch. Are there any similar carriers who fully support iOS?
Given the control wired home ISPs have, what are the alternatives? Is there a good, reasonably affordable wireless alternative?
The only thing I can think of is supporting municipal broadband. I wish there was some generic nation-wide municipal broadband fund I could pledge to donate to if net neutrality is revoked. I'd even pledge the same monthly amount I pay my ISP.
This phrase bugs me so much. I can't believe they're calling the end of net neutrality "internet freedom".
Freedom from what? In this case it’s freedom from regulation.
It’s like hospitals always wanting to cut costs. But it’s never about the patient saving money.
You will be pissed.
A follow up, if all it is is them charging customers more for using more bandwidth, how is that any different from any other fundamental resource like water, electricity, etc? Why should I pay as much money for my SSH and Hacker News as the guy down the street streaming Netflix all day?
One way to think of it is that we already have "electric neutrality" (not a real term), which is to say, you pay for the amount of electricity you use, but you're free to plug in any appliance you want. Losing "electric neutrality" would mean that, for example, your utility could charge you more or less for plugging in an Apple microwave than a Microsoft microwave. That would be insane. Can you imagine trying to start a company selling a new appliance if you had to pay a special fee to an electric company to stop them preventing your customers from plugging it in?
Net neutrality supporters want the internet to be treated like a utility. We are willing to pay for the amount of data we use, but we are not willing to let an ISP decide which websites should have their data made cheaper or more expensive.
An internet with net neutrality is one where you pay for access to the whole internet (perhaps per Gb or perhaps your ISP chooses to sell you a plan with unlimited data). An internet without net neutrality is one where you might pay $X for a connection that only talks to Facebook, and connecting to Gmail costs $Y more. A brand-new startup in a world without net neutrality is at a huge disadvantage if they aren't included in the package of websites that a customer buys. That's the end of the internet as we know it.
You can get metered at different rates for different uses for electricity. A simple example I found just now is shown in https://www.eversource.com/content/docs/default-source/rates... (see Rate 1 vs Rate 5 vs Rate 18), but that sort of setup is pretty common.
Now, this is metering based on _type_ of use (heating vs hot water vs whatever else), not based on the manufacturer of your water heater. But to be a devil's advocate for a moment, this is the sort of thing ISPs _claim_ they want to do: prioritize certain _types_ of content over others. Now I don't believe them on this, of course...
But a priori, there is not necessarily a problem with an internet where you pay one rate for data streams that need certain bandwidth and latency guarantees and a different rate for ones that don't. That would be equivalent to the different-uses electrical billing above.
It's not -- this is currently legal. Examples of what they can do if NN is repealed are: charge you extra per month to use SSH, VPN or other forms of encrypted traffic; and charge the guy down the street extra per month to stream Netflix (but Comcast video comes bundled free).
> what changes can we expect as ISP consumers if this happens?
It's hard to predict with much certainty. I see short term and medium term possibilities and likelihoods.
1. Short term, expect pricing changes that involve bundled services. Video is very likely first and biggest -- some video services strike deals with some ISPs to be offered at low cost while their competitors cost customers extra.
However this principle could easily be extended to any kind of websites -- music, social media, online banking, retailers, search engines, news sites, etc. For example you could picture a deal between CNN and Comcast such that all basic internet plans include CNN free but block Fox, NBC, etc unless the customer pays for a news upgrade.
2. There is also a near-term likelihood of extra charges for certain kinds of traffic -- SSH and VPNs top of the list because they can circumvent the other blocks; gaming; torrents; etc.
3. Censorship. This I think will start slow but is the biggest medium and long term threat. It could start with some politically unpopular sites like thepiratebay.org and wikileaks.org. Then I would expect it to creep in scope gradually, and soon the government will want to tell ISPs what to block like they do in Britain.
4. Messing with traffic in other ways, e.g. stuttering or buffering videos, dropping packets, changing contents of unencrypted connections to change text or insert/replace ads, etc. These things I see as possible but less likely, especially with encryption being more popular. However, I wouldn't be surprised to see these underhanded tactics employed against competing video services like Netflix, so that the customer gets fed up and switches to ISP Video.
We already have that under NN (the Daily Stormer incident a few months back).
However, the corporate censorship opened up by removing NN is much more direct and, I argue, frightening, because there are much fewer ISPs, and they can directly block users from accessing the site very easily. Once they start it will be very easy for them to grow their blacklists quickly. Further, it's actually in the direct business interest of these ISPs to block sites in many cases, which was not the case for web hosting. Finally, it's much easier for governments to step in and start censoring via this mechanism since they can control all ISPs in their own country -- not true for web hosting.
In the past we've seen ISP's block apps and websites that compete with their own services. For example, Verizon blocked tethering apps and AT&T blocked FaceTime at one point. A slightly different example is the time Comcast imposed a monthly cap on users (250 GB), but then exempted their own streaming media service.
We don't know how it will play out in the future. Most likely ISP's will act slowly at first to avoid excessive backlash. They may try to shake down websites instead of customers directly. For instance, they may take payolla form established players and slow down their competitors. Or they could do the cable TV style bundling thing. I suspect that VOIP, VPN, streaming, bittorent, and cryptocurrencies will suffer first and hardest.
I do believe that if you exempted only your own services you would start to fall into anti-competition territory though.
Varying prices or manipulating quality of service based on the endpoint's identity is.
The ISPs say things like "xx% of traffic is Netflix -- that uses up an unfair portion of bandwidth". But a more accurate phrasing is that xx% of people on the road choose to fill their purchased slots with Netflix traffic.
Right now, since all traffic on the road is routed fairly and equally under NN, all video services can compete on a fair footing. But after eliminating NN, ISPs will be able to charge users a big premium based on what kind of traffic they route down the road, even though there's no difference given that they already paid to reserve that portion of the road. So ISPs can route their own video service faster and everyone else's slower (or charge you extra to regain equal speeds), which squashes competition.
> I have no idea why republicans would support this.
I don't get it either. I think that most republican politicians have little understanding of the issue and how anti-competitive it would be to eliminate NN. Instead, they just hear superficial arguments that "NN is a regulation, and regulations are bad for competition" and since this comes from other Republicans, they trust and believe it. Unfortunately the ones it's coming from are lobbied really hard by ISPs, perhaps they believe their own propaganda.
In the case of roads, heavy vehicles like big rigs cause more wear-and-tear than light vehicles like compact cars. It would be fair then to charge heavy vehicles more so users of light vehicles aren't paying for users of heavy vehicles.
Netflix shouldn't be charged more on the basis that they gave people a reason to use their vans.
 "Obama’s attack on the internet is another top down power grab. Net neutrality is the Fairness Doctrine. Will target conservative media." https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/53260835850816716...
According to the document the FCC released trying to justify this stuff, ISPs can't always figure out how do that, so they need paid prioritization: "Without paid prioritization, ISPs must recover these costs solely from end users, but ISPs cannot always set prices targeted at the relevant end user".
See paragraph 252, which starts on page 142, of this document: http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2017...
Here's the full paragraph in case the FCC site gets slow (their file hosting wasn't designed for a world where people are actually interested in FCC documents):
FCC> 252. Efficiency. We find that a ban on paid prioritization is also likely to reduce economic efficiency, also likely harming consumer welfare. This finding is supported by the economic literature on two-sided markets such as this one, and the record. If an ISP faces competitive forces, a prohibition against two-sided pricing (i.e., a zero-price rule), while benefiting edge providers, typically would harm both subscribers and ISPs. Moreover, the level of harm to subscribers and ISPs generally would exceed the gain obtained by the edge providers and, thus, would lead to a reduction in total economic welfare. The reasons for this are straightforward. Some edge services and their associated end users use more data or require lower latency; this may be the case, for example, with high-bandwidth applications such as Netflix, which in the first half of 2016 generated more than a third of all North American Internet traffic. Without paid prioritization, ISPs must recover these costs solely from end users, but ISPs cannot always set prices targeted at the relevant end users. The resulting prices create inefficiencies. Consumers who do not cause these costs must pay for them, and end users who do cause these costs to some degree free-ride, inefficiently distorting usage of both groups. When paid prioritization signals to edge providers the costs their content or applications cause, edge providers can undertake actions that would improve the efficiency of the two-sided market. For example, they could invest in compression technologies if those come at a lower cost than paid prioritization, enhancing efficiency, or, if they have a pricing relationship with their end users, they could directly charge the end user for priority, leading those end users to adjust their usage if the user’s value does not exceed the service’s cost, again enhancing economic efficiency. And to the extent an ISP has market power, antitrust law would only allow such ISPs to engage in pro-competitive paid prioritization practices.
Is there any way this statement is not a straight up pants-on-fire lie? Why wouldn't an ISP have metering built into its infrastructure? And the only other thing you'd need in order to make it happen is the freedom to set your price -- are there places in the US where ISPs aren't free to price on bandwidth usage?
Opponents would argue that it's pretty much the same as a "slow-lane" by virtue of the fact that everyone else gets de-prioritized. Proponents would argue that companies like Netflix already put their hardware in ISP's data centers to get that advantage, so this is just a more accessible way to do the same thing.
Didn't most of the voting Americans vote against Trump?
It seems like a better approach to US politics is to be rich.
The motivation though, should be on the ~55% of eligible voters who don't vote. If nothing else I think we'd get a better signal to noise ratio in the actual election results, which is exactly why Republicans make up lies about voter fraud, in order to make it harder for citizens to vote. Notice how they aren't running to secure old voting systems and make them auditable. No they go directly to voter suppression and gerrymandering. And it makes complete sense, because if they stop doing that, they lose.
(Can't believe I had to just write that).
Is it possible to build a decentralised and encrypted network on our mobile phones? I guess we still have to run traffic through mobile service providers...
But how about giving them some credit? Maybe the plan is to temporarily allow ISPs to suck on some of Google/Youtube monopoly rents (weakening their defenses) while regulators look into regulating the whole pile of internet monopoly garbage?
It's possible. And it would be so good.