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[flagged] Why Concerns About Net Neutrality Are Overblown (nytimes.com)
15 points by gerbilly on Dec 7, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 23 comments

If it didn't matter, why is there such a big push to kill net neutrality. It matters. They want to do something they aren't allowed to do today, and doing something they aren't allowed to do today means its not in the interests of the Internet as a whole. Don't let this propaganda fool you.

I am mostly indifferent to the net neutrality arguments. Not sticking my head in the sand, I just feel that most of the traffic discrimination everyone is worried about is already happening. The internet was always designed as a government/corporate hybrid and discrimination based on size, importance, etc is already happening on a daily basis. See Free Basics by Facebook for a very clear example: https://info.internet.org/en/story/free-basics-from-internet...

If it's already happening then we should enforce NN laws, not repeal them.

This OpEd is written by Ken Engelhart[1], former VP of regulatory affairs at Rogers Communication in Canada. He spent most of his professional life lobbying the Canadian government on behalf of their near-monopoly cable and wireless provider. I'm confident that the new FCC regulations are very much in line with what he would like to see in Canada, and not at all in line with the public's own interests.

[1] https://www.linkedin.com/in/kenneth-engelhart-591a204/

Which is why I found this part hilarious: "And there’s still competition: Some markets may have just one cable provider, but phone companies offer increasingly comparable internet access — so if the cable provider slowed down or blocked some sites, the phone company could soak up the affected customers simply by promising not to do so."

As bad as Rogers is, Bell Canada is much worse with regards to NN. And both would like nothing better than than to prevent all the other ISPs from being able to lease the last mile from them.

The best reason to dismiss this article as propaganda is it does not give a reason why repealing Net Neutrality is good. All it says is "trust me, it won't be that bad". Garbage.

Yeah, even more so since the author works in the industry that would benefit.

"All these awful things have happened in the past but trust us, it's not going to happen in the future"


Also, competition? Please.

I need 25mbit+ to do my job, if you think phone companies are offering a viable alternative I've got a bridge to sell you.

The author was a former VP at Rogers Communications, Inc, a Canadian ISP.


"Some markets may have just one cable provider, but phone companies offer increasingly comparable internet access"

No, they don't. Not at all. I am by some miracle grandfathered into an almost affordable unlimited data plan, and even it gets throttled after a certain limit.

What affect would net neutrality have on increasing competition? I am deeply skeptical that it would have a good impact and strongly suspect that any regulation created would be designed to reduce competition.

See airline regulation which did a lot of things and had a lot of goals but ended up being used by the industry to keep new players out of the market place.

Net neutrality would preserve content for online services by preventing ISPs from acting as service gatekeepers; it would have minimal effect on ISP competition, which itself was minimal even before the effort at general regulation rather than slapping-down individual egregious violations in the pre-2010 case-by-case regime.

Would net neutrality do anything about throttling? Should it?

> These incidents are troubling for anyone who wants on open, neutral internet. But keep two things in mind. First, these are rare examples, for a reason: The public blowback was fierce, scaring other providers from following suit. Second, blocking competitors to protect your own services is anticompetitive conduct that might well be stopped by antitrust laws without any need for network neutrality regulations.

Except BOTH examples provided were not stopped by antitrust regulations or public blow back, but by the authority of the FCC to enforce net neutrality.

> I know that it simply is not in service providers’ interests to throttle access to what consumers want to see.

Which is why they've been fighting so hard to have the ability to do it...

I think that if at this point one does not understand the importance of net neutrality, one either is simply not capable of understanding it, or simply wishes not to understand it.

There's nothing left that has not been explained in detail and any sort of argument with someone who claims to understand the matter is futile: they either can not or will not understand.

from the article:

> The good news is that we will soon have a real-world experiment to show who is right and who is wrong. The United States will get rid of its rules, and the European Union and Canada will keep their stringent regulations. In two years, will the American internet be slower, less innovative and split into two tiers, leaving Canadians to enjoy their fast and neutral net?

Isn't this already happening, even with NN?

The big players in the US have already shown they don't care at all about competing and are perfectly content giving the US substandard service compared to much of the rest of the world.

I've listened to interviews with Ajit Pai since the announcement, and I agree with both the headline and the overwhelming majority of the content of this. Once you hear the plan going forward, it sounds pretty reasonable, and I've spoken with people who want to start niche ISPs (in this case, trying to take advantage of a local government-funded fiber expansion that is sitting idle) -- the ask-for-permission-in-advance model of regulation is stopping literally everyone in the local market (although only some of that is federal -- some is local to the county).

As an actual rural independent FTTH provider, I can say you're wrong. It's incredibly hard to go against the incumbent duopoly of cable/telco, and they will most certainly abuse their market power. Though in a sad way it works in my favor, I've had a number of new customers sign up because they don't want their internet throttled. BigCableCo will create 200 Gb packages and they will exclude their service while counting Netflix. Regular people do deserve access to a free, open, and unmetered Internet. I'm super small and still offer par and faster speeds than the cable company in my area. I'm not losing money because someone is streaming two netflix streams instead of one.

Thanks for posting... you touch on something that isn’t ever spoken about. The advocates for getting rid of nn regulation always speak in generalities and concepts like attorneys.

I have the perspective of having worked for a large institution that is in effect a large ISP. Our network delivery costs are nothing in the scheme of things, and where we own fiber the marginal cost of scaling our network capacity 100x a decade ago was actually below zero as we replaced more expensive, more labor intensive equipment.

The issue is never about sounding reasonable.

If people acted only on what sounded reasonable...

Let’s just remind people that America invented the internet and the telcos invented embedding postal code data in auction bids to keep competitors out.

All these discussions assume that the marginal advantage is in improving delivery of services for telecom players.

That offering the same service over the same pipes but just degraded or compartmentalized is not the winning move.

It sounds reasonable until you parse it. Neutral internet is a cash cow until a bigger cow shows up.

So this guys says let them do it and see what happens? And then what? This is the most moronic article I ever read on nytimes. I hope the paper got good money publishing this propaganda.

I don't think it is wise to trust monopolies who have a history of doing the wrong thing.

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