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Net Neutrality Summit 79

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the climb-the-mountain dept.
Castar writes "BoingBoing has a post about an upcoming summit in San Francisco about the issue of Net Neutrality. The EFF and speakers on both sides of the issue are gathering to debate and spread awareness of Network Neutrality, which is an increasingly important topic. The FCC, of course, might have the final word."
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Net Neutrality Summit

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  • by houstonbofh (602064) on Monday January 14, 2008 @01:25PM (#22036520)
    I think "Net Neutrality" is the wrong term, because it allows people to twist the argument to the wrong thing. I am more concerned with network transparency, and honesty. Make them say what they are doing and why. This will keep the Comcasts of the world somewhat more honest...
    • by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Monday January 14, 2008 @01:30PM (#22036592)
      How about "Nyet Neutrality"? I think that's more like what we're going to end up with.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Nullav (1053766)
      What good is that? $LOCAL_MONOPOLY could start molesting people with gardening equipment as long as the only other option was dial-up.
    • by killbill! (154539)
      Brilliant, indeed, to call "net neutrality" the end of the idea of net neutrality. I prefer to call Comcast's position "the assault on net neutrality", which it is.
      • "The Net" has never been neutral. Everyone who owned there bit did what they want. I remember voting on UDP for the ISP of Spamford Wallice back in the day. That sure as hell wasn't "neutral." However, it was open and transparent, which has never been a problem for Comcast.
  • What makes an Internet turn neutral? Lust for gold? Power? Or was it just born with a tube full of neutrality?
  • by Billosaur (927319) * <wgrother&optonline,net> on Monday January 14, 2008 @01:40PM (#22036720) Journal

    When you think about it, "net neutrality" is hard to describe in terms of the current Internet, because it is based on commercial systems, not on some government-supported network. Government could theoretically legislate neutrality, but the government had spent the better part of the last three decades deregulating industries. There's only one reason the government would get involved: if they could tax it. If the "net neutrality" debate meant legislation that allowed the United States Government to somehow tax Internet traffic, you can bet you'd have it in a minute.

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday January 14, 2008 @03:03PM (#22037922) Homepage Journal

      If the "net neutrality" debate meant legislation that allowed the United States Government to somehow tax Internet traffic, you can bet you'd have it in a minute.
      Tell you what, I'm willing to pay more in taxes to have an internet where the bandwidth provider doesn't give any one packet priority over another. I don't want Google to be able to pay more to AT&T in order to have its pages load faster than Yahoo. Because then the next step is that News Corp pays AT&T to have its pages load faster than CNN, and Mitt Romney's site gets priority over Dennis Kucinich or Ron Paul's.

      I want the bandwidth provider to be classified as a "utility". You pay for your bandwidth and then all packets are treated the same. And if that means that certain "technological breakthroughs" (usually ones that involve privacy violations and advertisement) are hampered, then so be it.

      I happen to like the Internet the way it is. I definitely don't want any corporation or even a small group of corporations to own it. This is one of those cases (and there are more than you think) where the "free market" solutions aren't the best ones.

      I like public schools, and socialized medicine and social security and an open and neutral internet. The misnamed "pro-growth/small government" policies that have been loose in the US since Ronald Reagan have done nothing but bust the balls of the middle and working class in this country. Even in a big city like Chicago, I'd rather deal with the bureaucracy of local government (or even federal government) than the bureaucracy of a big insurance company OR a big phone company. At least when it comes down to it, I can go downtown and find a government official to talk to face to face. With the phone company, it's just a bunch of pseudonymous guys with funny accents who I know don't live anywhere near me.
      • At least when it comes down to it, I can go downtown and find a government official to talk to face to face. With the phone company, it's just a bunch of pseudonymous guys with funny accents who I know don't live anywhere near me.

        The reason you have such pain with the private company is because there is little competition in the market. So the comparison you make between the government and the private sector is logically fallacious; Comcast is a state blessed monopoly (largely). If there were competitio

      • by Zeinfeld (263942)
        Tell you what, I'm willing to pay more in taxes to have an internet where the bandwidth provider doesn't give any one packet priority over another. I don't want Google to be able to pay more to AT&T in order to have its pages load faster than Yahoo. Because then the next step is that News Corp pays AT&T to have its pages load faster than CNN, and Mitt Romney's site gets priority over Dennis Kucinich or Ron Paul's.,

        Why not? It would seem to be an advantage to you if Google pay AT&T to deliver p

      • by dgatwood (11270)

        Too broad a fix. Network traffic should be prioritized. Telephone calls and electrical power are prioritized today. In telephony, 911 calls get the highest priority, followed by other emergency calls, followed by the peons. In electrical power, when the rubber meets the road (or, more accurately, when the load reaches the redline) emergency services (police, fire, hospitals) are prioritized at the expense of everyone else. The last thing the Internet should turn into is bulk traffic hell. That's the s

        • by PopeRatzo (965947) *
          OK, I'll bite.

          Let's let the emergency traffic on the internet have priority. I'm all for social services getting public benefits.

          My problem, is when you can pay to get priority. Once that happens it's going to be a race to the bottom. Not that the "free market" isn't already on a race to the bottom. And by "bottom" I mean the place that anyone who works for a living is going to end up in this "free" new world.
  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Monday January 14, 2008 @01:41PM (#22036734) Homepage

    ...bringing together lawyers, academics, economists, and technologists...
    Those people represent the pro-network neutrality side. Now, please invite the CEO of AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast as well, so we can get the view of all 3 people on the other side.
    • by GroeFaZ (850443) on Monday January 14, 2008 @01:48PM (#22036836)
      Lawyers are interested in law suits, otherwise they would be called Neuters, wouldn't they?
    • by MadAhab (40080)
      Might as well invite the Communist Party of China, as long as you're collecting people who favor restrictions on what you can see.
    • make that 4 (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Quadraginta (902985)
      I can't imagine why I, a consumer, would support what I've heard about "net neutrality." It seems to be all about restricting my freedom to buy the service I want in the service of a dubious and cynical goal that, practically, boils down to making sure freeloaders don't have to pay any more per packet than the rest of us. More or less a guarantee of some kind of Tragedy of the Commons on the Internet.

      For example, it sounds like if I happen to want a massive pipe to my door, and lightning service to variou
      • Re:make that 4 (Score:5, Interesting)

        by MobyDisk (75490) on Monday January 14, 2008 @02:37PM (#22037426) Homepage
        Then it sounds like you've heard about the phony thing that the lobbyists are calling network neutrality. I find this to happen so often I wrote an article about the Myths of network neutrality [mobydisk.com].

        Your second paragraph sums-up most of the myths quite well. AT&T etc. say that network neutrality proponents want a system where everyone pays the exact same amount, and nobody can pay for higher levels of service. That's not true at all. They are trying to redefine network neutrality to make it look bad. What they are basing that on is the fact that network neutrality propoonents want to make it illegal to artificially delay one person's network packets in favor of someone else's. Allow me to give a specific example:

        Scenario 1:
        I want 1MBps down/1MBps up. So I pay $10/month.
        My neighbor wants 10Mbps down/1MBps per month. So he pays $40/month.
        Google wants 1000MBps down/1000MBps up. So they pay $10,000/month.
        This is totally fine and network neutral. Nobody has a problem with that. AT&T/Verizon/etc. want to make it out that network neutrality prevents that. It does not.

        Scenario 2:
        The pipe for my street is a 10MBps up/down pipe.
        My neighbor wants 10 MBps down.
        I want 10MBps down.
        I call the phone company and say I'm only getting 5MBps most of the time. So they offer to make my packets higher priority over my neighbor. So my neighbor now gets 1MBps if I'm downloading a file at 9MBps. So he calls and complains, and gets the level 2 priority as well. So now we are both back to 5MBps. So I call and get level 3 priority, and so on and so forth. This is not network neutral. IF the phone company wants to change their TOS to say that the "PEAK" is 10MBps, and the total shared is 10MBPS that's fine. And if I call and say I want more bandwidth, they can say "oh, we can do that, but we have to upgrade the trunk like so that will cost you." That's totally fair and neutral.

        This game isn't new. When caller ID came-out, they charged for a code that disabled caller id on outgoing calls. Then they charged for special caller-id units that displayed the caller information even if it was blocked. So then they sold stuff that blocks calls from non-caller-id phones. Then they sold codes that get around the blocks. etc. etc. They never provided any new services ever -- they just pitted their customers against each other and sld phony pseudo-services.

        IMHO, the FTC should ban such a practice. All it will do is make the phone companies richer, and they won't have to upgrade their trunk service anymore, they can just re-sell the same bandwidth over and over again.
        • Wish I still had my mod points.
        • I have to say that your post is the single most informative and concise text I've ever read about this network neutrality racketeering scheme. The fact that you posted it as a followup to a post which oozes of astroturfing makes it even greater.

          Kudos for your post. It's posts like yours that makes it worth spending time reading slashdot.
        • IF the phone company wants to change their TOS to say that the "PEAK" is 10MBps, and the total shared is 10MBPS that's fine. And if I call and say I want more bandwidth, they can say "oh, we can do that, but we have to upgrade the trunk like so that will cost you." That's totally fair and neutral.

          My contract with Time Warner/RoadRunner, specifies that they will provide up to a certain level of service (as does all of their advertising that I've seen). The key words there being "UP TO". I get "UP TO" 10Mbp

      • Re:make that 4 (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Dance_Dance_Karnov (793804) on Monday January 14, 2008 @02:37PM (#22037432) Homepage
        it isn't about you paying more. it's about google, vonage, et all paying verizon more. It's QoS based on who pays your isp the most. It's a fucking protection racket, plain and simple.

        "gee, sure would be nice if your VoIP packets from that competeing service weren't put last in line to get to you. I mean, the internet is a dangerous place, they might get mugged on the way."
        • it isn't about you paying more. it's about google, vonage, et all paying verizon more.

          Aaah, but it's even worse than that. Any extra costs that a company has to pay will almost certainly be passed on to the consumer in one way or another.

        • by cdrguru (88047)
          You don't really think the ISP is going to say "well, if you are going to make it hard we just don't need that revenue." Really?

          No, they are going to say "We are getting it from Google or our customer. Pick one."

          If you think it isn't going to turn out that way, think again.
      • what I've heard about "net neutrality."

        is clearly wrong. Perhaps, prior to forming and expounding at length upon an opinion on any given issue, you should make the effort required to learn about that issue. Wikipedia might well be a good place to start your self-education. Network neutrality is not a

        one-size-fits-all price and service level set by some doofus bureaucrat in Washington.

        Rather, it is a requirement that the ISPs (and possibly all the backbones and such as well) do exactly what you have paid them to do, nothing more, nothing less. That is, they provide the equipment necessary to implement the IP protocol, and th

      • by 0xdeadbeef (28836)
        Right, because if there is any industry that exemplifies market efficiency over government bureaucracy it's the phone company.

        I've been on hold with both AT&T and Comcast for times longer than the longest I've ever been in line at the DMV.
      • Re:make that 4 (Score:5, Informative)

        by kebes (861706) on Monday January 14, 2008 @02:53PM (#22037710) Journal

        I can't imagine why I, a consumer, would support what I've heard about "net neutrality." It seems to be all about restricting my freedom to buy the service I want in the service of a dubious and cynical goal

        Net neutrality wouldn't be needed if the consumer had the freedom to buy from a plurality of services in the first place. The fact is, for a variety of reasons (such as the limit on the number of cables you can bury, as well as the particular history of the industry), there are not very many choices available to consumers for data carriers. The usual rules for consumer decision and free-market optimization simply don't apply when you have monopolies controlling the market.

        Net neutrality (if done properly) is about preventing monopolies from abusing their position and artificially limiting consumer freedom.

        [It] boils down to making sure freeloaders don't have to pay any more per packet than the rest of us.

        I can't parse this statement. How are they "freeloaders" if they are paying the same amount as "the rest of us"? It hardly seems unfair for everyone to pay the same amount for a given level of bandwidth usage. If the "freeloaders" you are referring to are companies that make money over the Internet (e.g. Google), then I remind you that they are paying for their net connection same as you or I. No one right now is freeloading, despite what the telcos would have us believe.

        it sounds like if I happen to want a massive pipe to my door, and lightning service to various IP addresses of my choice, then ... the government isn't going to allow me to cut a deal with my ISP for speedier treatment of my packets in exchange for more money. Likewise, if [someone] is perfectly willing to accept 4th class parcel-post service for her packets if the price is in the basement, then she, too, is up a creek, because it's a one-size-fits-all price and service level.

        Net neutrality is not not "one-size-fits-all" mandate by the government. ISPs are free to offer varying levels of service at varying prices. Everyone is free to purchase the service level they want and need. No one is saying that gigantic corporations and grandmothers have the same Internet needs.

        What neutrality is about is preventing the ISP from discriminating based on the source/destination of the data they transmit (and, according to some, should also include protocol neutrality). To use your mail example, no one is saying that we can't have Express vs. Regular vs. 4th-class. What we are saying is that the postal service cannot charge you to send a package, and then charge the receiver, again, to receive up the package (and moreover have variable charges depending not on distance or quality of service, but on whether they have "a deal" with the source or destination).

        In physical distribution, this "common carrier [wikipedia.org]" rule has done considerable good: it prevents a carrier (especially monopoly carriers like rail) from colluding or discriminating, thereby opening up the service for everyone to use freely and fairly.

        checking out the record of innovation and efficiency growth in industries that have been heavily regulated in the past ...-- such as airlines, telephone service, broadcast radio, power generation and distribution, public education, public health -- then alas any one with half a brain comes to the unpleasant conclusion that such interference always increases the price and decreases the efficiency of the service.

        That's a rather bold statement to make without any specific explanation. Although I could formulate counter-examples, it's largely irrelevant to the debate at hand. I think most of us would agree that government regulation should be avoided where possible. However, there are cases where government intervention can be helpful and even necessary. In particular, since the telco industry is inherently a government-sanctioned monop

      • Sounds about right.
      • by Hatta (162192)
        then alas any one with half a brain comes to the unpleasant conclusion that such interference always increases the price and decreases the efficiency of the service

        Have you noticed all the "deregulation" that's happened in the past few decades? It's pretty much invariably made each affected industry more expensive and less efficient. Just compare airlines, or phone companies, or broadcast radio from today to that of 20 years ago. Every single one of them has descended into utter crapitude. The only thing
    • by Alyyx (1137129)
      Well, look at the list of speakers. One is Richard Clarke from AT&T. I don't know who he is but I think he'll work for who you're looking for.
  • FCC, really ? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bahbar (982972) on Monday January 14, 2008 @01:48PM (#22036846)

    The FCC, of course, might have the final word.
    And I thought that Congress [slashdot.org] would have the final word...
    • Since that is how the system is designed, I agree.

      But, unfortunately, there is another year of abuse
      and resulting damage to the U.S. to put up with.
  • Obligitory (Score:2, Funny)

    by Laguerre (1198383)
    I hate these filthy Neutrals. With enemies you know where they stand but with Neutrals, who knows? It sickens me. What makes a man turn neutral? Lust for gold? Power? Or were you just born with a heart full of neutrality?
  • "If I don't get out of this alive, tell my wife I said Hello."
  • by Futurepower(R) (558542) <MJennings.USA@NOT_any_of_THISgmail.com> on Monday January 14, 2008 @02:14PM (#22037152) Homepage
    So far, the biggest problem with Net Neutrality is that those who want it don't define what they mean by it first. Should VOIP packets be delivered quicker? I think so. I don't mind if my email is delayed for several seconds.

    I don't want complete packet neutrality, I just want all providers to use the same sensible transmission configurations.

    Comcast has its own very expensive and poor quality VOIP. Comcast should not be allowed to delay the packets carrying the much superior free Skype VOIP calls.
    • by Lost Race (681080)
      I think it means that the ISP cannot assign packet priority based on remote (non-customer) IP address. That is, the ISP is neutral with respect to the Internet. The idea is to keep ISPs from forming "trusts" with content providers, like the railroad trusts of the 19th century.
    • by dpilot (134227)
      >Should VOIP packets be delivered quicker? I think so. I don't mind if my email is delayed for several seconds.

      No problem whatsoever with that, nor is it inconsistent with net neutrality.

      Net neutrality is broken when Verizon is your ISP, and Verizon VOIP packets get better QOS (higher priority, more reliable delivery, etc) than Vonage VOIP packets.
  • by killbill! (154539) on Monday January 14, 2008 @02:26PM (#22037302) Homepage
    While the current assault on net neutrality is a blatant money grab from ISPs, they do have a point. Content providers - especially those that rely on peer-to-peer networks - consider bandwidth as something that can be externalized. They are looking at ISPs, looking at their own customers, and see a free lunch waiting to be picked up.

    History and economics prove that such an attitude leads to a non-optimal allocation of existing resource allocations, and removes incentives to invest into additional capacity. In a recent study, the Nemertes Research group warned that last-mile investment by ISPs was falling behind and would slow down adoption of HD content [slashdot.org] on the Internet.

    The solution to the tragedy of the commons is the market. Only the market can achieve an optimal allocation of resources, and drive investment into additional capacity.

    What the Internet needs is a marketplace for hosting capacity, supported by a universal network where:
    • content providers set the price they want to pay in exchange for hosting their traffic;
    • hosting providers decide at what price they accept to host the former's files;
    • hosting providers are guaranteed to be paid (i.e. investments have a predictable ROI).

    That would pretty much make the "net neutrality" debate a moot issue. Content providers would enjoy lower hosting costs; consumers would enjoy faster downloads; ISPs would make money providing the bulk of the hosting (à la Usenet), instead of setting up roadblocks.
    • by janegirl (1219662) on Monday January 14, 2008 @02:53PM (#22037696)
      We do need some minimum level of Net Neutrality. We do not want a world where Verizon users cannot access AT&T websites. I believe that most people can agree to that. This minimum of accessibility also has to be at some reasonable level of speed. It needn't be entirely neutral, that is, at the highest speed available, but if it is offered only at the lowest speed available then it is essentially the same as no access. This minimum inter-network access has to be at least mid-level speed to be effective.

      Beyond this we must ask which ways of charging for bandwith and content are acceptable and which are not. A big error made by amateur free market thinkers is that they believe that a free market means no rules. Free markets still operate within some level of rules such as no stealing and a certain requirement for transparency. Once information is not available to the consumer as to the difference between products offered this becomes no longer a truly free market.

      I am OK with paying for the bandwidth of the connection coming into my computer. I am also OK with the website paying for the size of the bandwidth leaving their servers. What I am not OK with is interference in between the two. My connection provider should not be able to decrease my bandwidth because they do not like the website that I am accessing. Similarly the website's connection provider should not be able to decrease their bandwidth because the connection provider does not like me.
      • by killbill! (154539)

        We do need some minimum level of Net Neutrality


        Of course. Net neutrality must be defended. ISPs must not be allowed to decide what goes through their pipes. The best defense just happens to be: make it more profitable for ISPs to join us than to fight us.

        This network is not about giving your ISP the right to slow your traffic to a crawl. It is about giving your ISP the opportunity to make your traffic go faster.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SpaceLifeForm (228190)
      The current attack is not so much the ISPs, but the top Level ISPs
      and bandwidth providers.

      They want to milk the current ipv4 infrastructure instead of
      building out the ipv6 infrastructure.

      If we kept ipv4 infrastructure as is, and moved the high bandwidth
      traffic to ipv6 over fibre, the "need" to manage bandwidth (i.e, to
      control the packet traffic), would go away.

      The telcos were given billion dollar incentives by the government
      to build out the fibre, but they did nothing with that money but
      put it into their po
      • by killbill! (154539)

        The current attack is not so much the ISPs, but the top Level ISPs
        and bandwidth providers.

        It's all a scam orchestrated by the darkside to attempt to
        control the Internet.

        I don't buy your conspiracy. Never ascribe to malice, that which can be explained by incompetence. I understand the reasons why existing players are resisting the transition to IPv6. But if the backbone was running out of IPv4 addresses, residential ISPs would just start NATing everyone, just as some of them already do.

        Besides, don't top-lev

    • by Comboman (895500)
      An interesting idea, but I don't know how well having each ISP host a copy of the entire internet would work. In the early 90's some ISPs experimented with keeping a cache of the most frequently visited sites (CNN, etc) to try to minimize bandwidth but the web quickly grew too large and diverse for this to be practical. How to do you keep a local copy of Google?
      • by killbill! (154539)

        An interesting idea, but I don't know how well having each ISP host a copy of the entire internet would work. In the early 90's some ISPs experimented with keeping a cache of the most frequently visited sites (CNN, etc) to try to minimize bandwidth but the web quickly grew too large and diverse for this to be practical. How to do you keep a local copy of Google?

        ISPs don't need to do that. They merely need to cache the most popular files. It is designed so that each ISP knows what's currently popular on its

    • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@yah o o .com> on Monday January 14, 2008 @03:59PM (#22039194) Journal
      So why isn't the free market providing something like that? And what about the high level backbones, which is what net neutrality is about? Hosting providers don't usually control Internet backbones. Neither do ISPs.

      Bandwidth is not externalized. You and I and hosting providers all pay for bandwidth. But the high level backbones want to extort more money from the content providers, basically saying, "Pay us more, or your competitors' packets will get there faster." The thing is, even if you want a neutral net, you can't buy it. Your ISP can not guarantee that a higher level backbone provider is not messing with the packets of content providers that you want to visit.

      Please, don't try to simplify everything down to free market solutions. The issue here is fraud and extortion, which are legal issues and require legal solutions.
      • by killbill! (154539)

        Please, don't try to simplify everything down to free market solutions. The issue here is fraud and extortion, which are legal issues and require legal solutions.

        Which is most likely to happen? That our wonderful legal system reins in rogues bandwidth providers, or that a free market solution emerges and makes the issue irrelevant?

        I thought so.
        • by spun (1352)
          As with most free market proselytizers, you simply restate your position when presented with counter arguments, and make no attempt to address the issues I've raised. I posit that this is because you do not understand the arguments you are presenting, and are simply parroting back things you've heard others say. You don't understand the arguments you present, you simply take them on faith because you want to believe them, therefore you are incapable of refuting any counter arguments.
          • by killbill! (154539)
            Fair enough. I'm advocating an (admittedly market-based) solution that revolves entirely around skipping the backbone in the first place, but you were too busy ranting to notice.

            Bandwidth is not externalized. You and I and hosting providers all pay for bandwidth

            We all pay something. But are we paying our fair share?

            Whatever we do, we pay the same: "unlimited" (i.e. oversold), flat-rate has become the rule - even in some segments of the commercial hosting market. If we don't abuse the network, we're implicit

            • by spun (1352)
              This isn't about what we are paying and what we are getting. We already have many varied types of plans available. This is about what, say, Slashdot is paying and getting. Slashdot pays quite a bit more for bandwidth than you do, won't you agree? What will happen is that every single one of the large backbone providers will hit up Slashdot for additional cash, to ensure that Slashdot's packets get to you. Some of them won't even offer Slashdot the option, because they would rather that you go to their paren
    • by 0xdeadbeef (28836)
      I had no idea that bandwidth was a commons. All this time I was under the delusion that it was something that could be metered to the bit. I guess the internet it is more like the ocean than a series of tubes. That must be where the term surfing comes from.
      • by killbill! (154539)

        I had no idea that bandwidth was a commons. All this time I was under the delusion that it was something that could be metered to the bit. I guess the internet it is more like the ocean than a series of tubes. That must be where the term surfing comes from.

        <badanalogy>
        The fact that we are paying to get our waste disposed of does not mean it doesn't end up scattered across the commons. There are some bays you do NOT want to go surfing into! ;)
        </badanalogy>

  • by akb (39826) on Monday January 14, 2008 @02:40PM (#22037486)
    ... there was a company called ATT. The fairy godmother DARPA asked ATT to build it a redundant network that could survive links being severed in a nuclear war. Oh, DARPA also wanted the ability to plug any computer it wanted from ATT's competitors into the network. ATT told the fairy godmother to take a hike, so the fairy godmother asked the hippies at Berkeley and MIT to build it for her instead. And of course the hippies let anyone who wanted to connect to the network and opened the code and the Internet lived happily ever after.

    Oops, or at least they lived happily until another company called ATT and its evil brothers and sisters Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner reared their ugly heads again and wanted to take unplug all those happy services which they don't have revenue sharing agreements with. They also want to lock you into crippled phone/computers so they can charge you $2 for a ringtone and $0.15 for a text message.
  • I'd say "what we need here is some more government meddling, because that always works out well". ANd you'd know i was being sarcastic.

    I'm a bit torn in this case, however, because the government has already meddled and in most cases created internet access monopolies for the local market incumbents. Normally market dynamics would sort out this mess and if any company tried anything stupid, they'd get their asses handed to them. But in a landscape of local government-backed monopolies for net access, a m
    • by spun (1352)
      Pray tell where you have seen local monopolies. I can buy Internet service from my local cable company or several different phone companies, or dedicated ISPs like Speakeasy. I can do that in any of the places I've lived, worked, or visited. That's not the issue. The issue is natural monopolies, not government created ones. Once one backbone provider has laid cable in a particular area, what incentives do other backbone providers have to lay more cable in that area? It's the same reason you don't have multi
  • Great Timing (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PPH (736903) on Monday January 14, 2008 @02:51PM (#22037652)
    Its interssting to note that the summit will be held before the next administration can boot the current set of industry ( * ) kissers out.
  • So in USA you're debating exactly how the network companies should route their traffic so that your CIA-monitored dial-up lines becomes equally bad where ever you connect.

    In Sweden we debate on how we should secure the right to share information privately and how to cheaply get something better than 100/10 Mbit Internet connection.

    USA had a huge lead in Internet adoption, but it has turned to dust by network monitoring and pseudo debates like this. I have 50% of my customers in USA, so can you please stop b
  • Even having an FCC rule over the broad areas it passes regulations on is arguably unconstitutional. The FCC doesn't have the power to control the Internet in detail. It doesn't have the power to stop technologist from inventing ways to supersede any control it attempts to exert or that any corporation or group of corporation attempt to assert against the express wishes of the people. So let's not act as if we are helpless in the face of whatever some unelected body decides. We are not.

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"

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