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Obama Picks Net Neutrality Backer As FCC Chief 409

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the can-we-all-just-get-along-now dept.
Ripit writes "President Obama on Tuesday nominated Julius Genachowski as the nation's top telecommunications regulator, picking a campaign adviser who has divided his career between Washington, D.C., political jobs and working as an Internet executive. Genachowski is likely to continue the Democratic push for more Net neutrality regulations, which are opposed by some conservatives and telecommunications providers. He was a top Obama technology adviser and aided in crafting a technology platform that supported Net neutrality rules."
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Obama Picks Net Neutrality Backer As FCC Chief

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  • And then... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spykemail (983593) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @08:49AM (#27063581) Homepage

    Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the sentiment behind net neutrality. But rather than just regulating, which we know never goes wrong, why not foster a more competitive market as well? I hear that sometimes helps keep capitalism from sucking.

    • Re:And then... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Man On Pink Corner (1089867) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @08:51AM (#27063611)

      The carriers can "compete" using their own money. Not with public funds.

      • by spykemail (983593) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @08:56AM (#27063645) Homepage

        Have you heard of monopolies? Granted it's not that bad thanks to competing technologies but it's still pretty darn bad in many local markets. When was the last time you started a telecommunications company? I hear the tubes can be pretty expensive~

        • Re:And then... (Score:4, Informative)

          by jgtg32a (1173373) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @09:13AM (#27063823)
          Do you know how they got those monopolies in the first place?

          It wasn't through their own hard work and superior service, it was given to them.
          • Re:And then... (Score:5, Informative)

            by magamiako1 (1026318) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @09:16AM (#27063859)
            It was given to them by local governments. At least, around here it was. Comcast had an essential monopoly in Baltimore county for many, many years. It made it impossible for any competing ISP to step in and grab market in this county.

            Guess what? The surrounding ISPs/cable companies went out of business because of this.
        • Re:And then... (Score:4, Interesting)

          by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @09:18AM (#27063885) Journal

          There's enough room under the streets, that we don't need monopolies. There's no reason why every urban home can't have access to Comcast, Cox, Time-Warner, et cetera and simply choose which provider they like best. I have two cable companies serving my home - Comcast and Suburban. If it can be done here, and can be done elsewhere.

          Let's have REAL competition, not government fiat monopoly. As for rural homes, i.e. the midwest and west, the focus should be mandating that everyone who has a phoneline must also have the option to upgrade to DSL. No more "we don't offer DSL" allowed. Upgrading existing phonelines is the fastest and cheapest way to get everyone above 56k.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by furby076 (1461805)

            here's no reason why every urban home can't have access to Comcast, Cox, Time-Warner, et cetera and simply choose which provider they like best.

            Sure there is...price control. Just because it's not good for consumer doesn't mean it's not good for someone else. Don't be greedy pay comcast more money. $200 for that phone/internet/cable package is a fair price for a gimped Internet connection, tv connection & phone connection. Don't worry if Google pays comcast a fee you will get full gimp speed to their content.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by dkleinsc (563838)

            There's no reason why every urban home can't have access to Comcast, Cox, Time-Warner, et cetera and simply choose which provider they like best.

            Yes there is: why lay 2 sets of fiber when you can have only 1? Communications is a natural monopoly [wikipedia.org], in that really the cheapest possible phone service (in terms of real costs, not price charged to consumers) is a single phone company.

          • Re:And then... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Fallen Seraph (808728) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @11:56AM (#27066053)
            Spoken like a man who has absolutely no idea how our nation's network infrastructure works.

            Ever heard of the "last mile"? The reason many areas in the US have broadband providers holding local monopolies is because running cable to homes is one of the most expensive undertakings you can make. To say that other providers should run cable to homes to compete for a market would be to say "They should spend millions on construction and infrastructure for a slim chance at succeeding in the local market." It's just not cost effective, and it's difficult to justify to investors. Additionally, in many areas there just isn't sufficient interest to warrant this investment because the local population doesn't see the appeal of broadband, even just for upgrading phone lines for DSL.

            In my area we have both Fios and Cable broadband, but one of my coworkers, who lives in Queens in NYC, doesn't have any broadband access, because he lives on the other side of a highway, and neither the cable company nor the phone company are willing to run wires a block for him and his neighbors, despite very vocal arguments. But you wanna tell me they'd be willing to spring for thousands of square miles for a population that's still primarily indifferent to the technology? I doubt it.

            It's unfortunate, but broadband is very much an "if you build it they will come" technology, where the consumer often doesn't see the benefit of it until they've actually used it. This makes for a very precarious investment for communications companies, and is one of the biggest obstacles to improving our infrastructure.
          • Re:And then... (Score:4, Informative)

            by N1ck0 (803359) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @12:40PM (#27066647)

            One of the real problems is local municipalities. Many of them have signed exclusive contracts for Cable TV services. For example in many Chicago suburbs Comcast has exclusive 'media services' access to the cabling right of way, in exchange comcast has to be able to service all residents within the municipality (in many towns without these agreements they only wire the middle and upper class areas).

            This actually caused a bit problem when AT&T wanted to lay fiber for TV, internet, and phone. Comcast argued that AT&T was encroaching on their 'media rights'

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by spiffydudex (1458363)

          With this bailout Obama set in motion, our government is set to become the biggest monopoly.

          As far as getting a standard telecom company started (cable,dsl), I don't think we will see many more of those. The company I work for started up as a wireless internet provider. I think we may begin to see more and more non-standard approches to providing internet such as wireless, as these solutions do not require as much capital to get started.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ardeaem (625311)
      On the contrary, regulation is what keeps capitalism from destroying itself. Crises at the turn of the twentieth century and now, at the turn of the twenty-first, have confirmed this.
      • On the contrary, regulation is what keeps capitalism from destroying itself. Crises at the turn of the twentieth century and now, at the turn of the twenty-first, have confirmed this.

        Please explain how forcing banks to make bad loans in the name of "social justice" proves that regulation keeps capitalism from destroying itself.

        • by cduffy (652) <charles+slashdot@dyfis.net> on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @09:22AM (#27063943)

          s/social justice/profit/

        • by MobyDisk (75490) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @09:26AM (#27063975) Homepage

          The government didn't force anyone to make bad loans. If you are a loan officer and you made a bad loan, it isn't because the government held a gun to your back.

          It is amazing how on one hand you hear "The government made the banks do it through regulation" and on the other you hear "Deregulation of banks made them do stupid things!" Which is it? Did the government tell them to make the loans? Or did the government fail to tell them not to make the loans?

          Neither: The banks made loans based on their own flawed risk calculations and poor valuation of future property values. Capitalism is based on the power of greed, but it assumes that the greedy ones are also smart. In this case, they weren't.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            >>>Did the government tell them to make the loans?

            As a matter of fact, yes it did. The Democrats pushed through legislation requiring banks to make "no down payment" loans in order to extend housing to as many low-income Americans as possible, and that idiot Bush signed it. (He also signed the stupid anti-bankruptcy law authored by democrat Biden.) So the answer to your question is "yes".

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by BlueStrat (756137)

            The government didn't force anyone to make bad loans. If you are a loan officer and you made a bad loan, it isn't because the government held a gun to your back.

            Oh really? [boston.com]

            "The roots of this crisis go back to the Carter administration. That was when government officials, egged on by left-wing activists, began accusing mortgage lenders of racism and "redlining" because urban blacks were being denied mortgages at a higher rate than suburban whites.

            The pressure to make more loans to minorities (read: to borrowe

            • by furby076 (1461805) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @10:19AM (#27064701) Homepage
              The CRA wasn't about getting loans to minorities who couldn't afford it; the CRA was about getting loans to minorities who COULD afford it but were being discriminated against. There were many minorities who could afford these loans and were being told they couldn't get the loan on spec. This was sometimes done by unconscious racism or conscious racism by people who didn't want "colored folk" from moving into their community

              Now if some mortgage underwriter took this law to mean "give people who can't afford mortgages a mortgage" or "Hey now i have an excuse to sell an extra mortgage and raise my commission" that is not the fault of the gov't that is the fault of the mortgage underwriter who abused the system (shocker).

              "High risk borrowers" is a very loose statement. It's akin to saying "How much do I love you? I love you THIS much". The science of mortgage lending is more art then science - if you don't believe me speak to someone who is or was in the lending industry...oh wait, you are.
              So before talking about "pesky facts" make sure you don't skew them.

              Not for nothing, this statement...

              The pressure to make more loans to minorities (read: to borrowers with weak credit histories) became relentless.

              ...Is extremely racist.

            • by dkleinsc (563838) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @10:25AM (#27064795) Homepage

              First off, your source is not appropriate for a serious argument. It's an op/ed by a columnist with accusations of plagiarism to his name, not a news article.

              The loans that caused the vast majority of the current mess were issued by mortgage brokers (firms like Countrywide Financial, Ameriquest Mortgage, and Ditech), not banks. Brokers are not held to the CRA standards. The idea that the CRA caused this mess has been debunked repeatedly by every study done on the subject. If you want some real sources on this, I'd suggest studies put out by a university [unc.edu], the Federal Reserve [clevelandfed.org], or the US Treasury Department [treas.gov].

              Some real reasons behind the arguments about the CRA:
              1. Banks have hated the CRA for a long time. They were trying to dodge it or get rid of it back in the 1990's as well.
              2. Conservatives oppose most government regulation on principle.
              3. By blaming the CRA, it absolved the bankers of any role in creating the problem.
              4. It creates an image of a foreclosed subprime homes is owned by a black person in a bad urban neighborhood. In reality, the areas with the most subprime loans are in suburbs near LA, San Diego, Denver, and Miami. In short, racism.

          • by furby076 (1461805) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @10:06AM (#27064503) Homepage
            Agreed. The gov't reduced regulations to give the banks more flexibility - they didn't tell the banks to shoot the country in the foot.

            The banking industry complained regulations were too restrictive and they couldn't get people into homes - so the Clinton administration made it easier by pushing Congress to remove a lot of these regulations. The banking industry, & republicans loved this on a business level (more sales, less rules). The democrats loved this on a "we are helping the little guy buy a home" level. Nothing was wrong with that...except as history has proven over and over and over again if you give people the opportunity they will do whatever it takes to gain power/money even at the expense of other people. There are way too many sales people, and their managers who demand this, who just want to "SELL SELL SELL". How many times have we heard this on tv shows or movies "SELL SELL SELL"...you think that is a myth? It's "SELL no matter what" attitude.

            There is a local jewelry store (been around for over 30 years) in Philadelphia. They have an insane commercial that says "if you really love her, you can't let the economy stop you. Buy her that diamond because if you love her she is worth it and so is that diamond".... as opposed to saying "You want to get married, the economy is tough, we can help you by getting you and affordable ring. Oh and we can upgrade it down the road for you" Again sales people just want to sell and they don't care about you.

            Order of blame:
            Banks who abused the system
            Gov't who didn't monitor the system
            People who got into those stupid loans.

            Why do I put "People" on the bottom of the list? It is similar to the Stanley Milgram experiment. Given an authoratative figure people will do what they are told even if it is known to be wrong. Authoratative figure = real estate agent (with a LICENSE) & mortgage officer (with a LICENSE) in nice suits telling their customers "don't worry we know what we are doing with years of experience and fancy computer programs that say you CAN do this."
          • by Palshife (60519)

            Just to emphasize the "it's not that simple" angle, read up on the Community Reinvestment Act.

        • by Joe the Lesser (533425) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @09:27AM (#27064003) Homepage Journal

          Subprime loans were not forced or mandated by regulations. They were sought after by the banking institutions who lobbied for them.

          • by Joe the Lesser (533425) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @09:39AM (#27064141) Homepage Journal

            On top of my point, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may have been encouraged to lend to lower credit families, but the crisis would have happened even if they didn't exist because the other unregulated institutions went about it with much more gusto.

            Fannie and Freddie's subprime loans were shown to be on the more respectable end as opposed to the other banks who pushed their mortgage brokers to get loans no matter what the risk.

            The only thing Fannie and Freddie really shows is that the government endorsed the practice, but the fat cats of Wall Street made Fannie and Freddie's bad loans look likes child's play.

            • by antibryce (124264) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @10:06AM (#27064501)

              Fannie and Freddie purchased the subprime loans from other lenders, creating a huge market for them overnight. Why not issue a subprime loan if you can turn around and sell it the next day? You keep all the initial fees and assume none of the risk.

            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by dslmodem (733085)

              I am not sure that your 'facts' are really facts!!!

              > On top of my point, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may have been encouraged to lend to lower credit families, but the crisis would have happened even if they didn't exist because the other unregulated institutions went about it with much more gusto.

              This is a big IF. It is not a fact! The fact is that F/F lowered their credit requirement so much that enables others to pursue the aggressive lending practice.

              > Fannie and Freddie's subprime loa

        • I've heard this twice in two days.

          People didn't stop paying their mortgages because they fucking felt like it. Even 'undeserving' homeowners (yes, there are such a thing) as a rule paid their mortgage until they couldn't. For example, losing their job or having a huge unexpected expense (medical).

          Do you disagree with me, or do you think we should be 'fixing' the symptoms by discouraging lending? (For the record, I don't think everybody's entitled to a home - maybe an apartment - but I don't think that you'r

          • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @09:44AM (#27064201) Journal

            Te other reason pay don't pay their mortgages is because they foolishly signed-up with variable rate loans. They could afford the original $300 a month, but when it suddenly jumped to $400 a month, then they were unable to keep up. They were living too close to the edge.

            A secondary reason is an unwillingness to sacrifice. i.e. Cancel the TV, cancel the cellphone, cancel the internet & replace it with free dialup, stop eating dinner at restaurants, et cetera. My niece & her husband fit this category. If these persons learned to sacrifice, a lot of them would probably survive.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by magamiako1 (1026318)
              Or we could regulate areas that require regulation and prevent pricing from being abnormally inflated due to a lack of competition in the market.
        • Two points:
          1) I'd modify the gp's statement to say "responsible regulation." The investment banking leverage ratio was regulated; the increase from 15:1 to 33:1 by Donaldson/Cox was the cause of Bear's failure whereby their management went overboard with leverage.

          2) The increase in loan originations was due to the massive reduction in interest rates per Greenspan's attempt to pull the economy out of the 2000-2 fall.

          Not sure what this "social justice" babble is referring to.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by squallbsr (826163)

        In order for Capitalism to work, there needs to be a free market. When dealing with natural monopolies (and artificial ones like the telecoms), regulation is needed to keep the market somewhat fair because monopolies cannot self-regulate.

        Another big issue is that we need a BALANCE between free market and regulation. Too loose of regulations and we melt down Wall St, too much regulation we stifle innovation and growth due to red tape.

        Compare working for a mega corporation vs working for a small company. I

    • Re:And then... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @08:56AM (#27063647)

      But rather than just regulating, which we know never goes wrong

      Oh yeah, just what we need these days, more de-regulation. Do you live under a rock, or have you not noticed an economic depression lately that is caused by total lack of regulation?

      why not foster a more competitive market as well?

      Competitive market in what? If you propose to let data carriers compete with one another freely, they'll go to bed with big corporations and media companies faster than you can see the dollar signs in their CEOs' eyes. Then loss of net neutrality ensues. If you propose competition between companies that produce said data, then fair enough I suppose.

    • Re:And then... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ByOhTek (1181381) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @08:59AM (#27063681) Journal

      The funny thing is, that's the goal of the regulation.

      Regulation that encourages competition is a good thing. Lack of net neutrality would force people to pay extra charges to the various telcos to compete, which would reduce competition.

      Telcos are already charging their customers, they shouldn't double dip and charge those their customers want to access as well.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by LordKronos (470910)

      Well, they ARE "competing" now, yet net neutrality is gradually becoming an even more important issue despite that. There are a few problems with competition. For one, there isn't truly competition in a lot of areas. In many cities, franchise agreement restrict other competitors from coming in. Even if there are competitors, you might find that the competition works backward from how you hope. When one company starts charging extra for certain services, that gives them a financial advantage, and others may

    • Re:And then... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @09:05AM (#27063729) Homepage

      The problem with the current broadband market is the cherry picking and exclusivity of many areas. While some areas are rich with broadband while others are lucky to have dialup.

      Internet service needs to be treated as a utility just like electric power and telephone service. There are plenty of working regulations for telephone and power service and we know from recent history and current events when regulations are removed "to bring about competition" right? Texas and California deregulated power and now Texas and California have VERY high energy rates! That's higher, not lower, even when there is supposedly competition present. The monopoly abuses of phone companies are well documented and while there is some level of competition in phone, there are a lot of nonsense costs associated with phone services abusing customers of every form of phone service.

      Capitalism is viewed by many as "that which the market will bear." This lends itself to how much nonsense and abuse the market will bear which is the condition we see today.

      Right now, everyone is scrambling for ways to make profit from everything imaginable and if that means erecting some sort of toll gate system on the public interenet, then that is what they are prepared to do unless they are regulated as a utility. You should see the mess that is the ATM (Automated Teller Machine) processing industry. If you wonder why ATM fees are so high, you have to know that there are several links in the processing chain and that everyone in that chain pushes their small fees that ultimately amount to large fees. If the internet were to adopt this model, you'd be paying $2/hr to post on slashdot.

      • by wisty (1335733)

        It's called "The Tragedy of the Anticommons". Unlike "The Tragedy of the Commons" (in which a communal resources is abused), too many transaction fees and economies of scale mean that you simply can't split the system up and let the market sort things out. Regulation, monopolies, or government ownership are the only options, some of which are more evil than others.

        Just imagine if your ambulance service, doctor, hospital, drug company and specialist surgeon were all owned / employed by separate owners, all o

        • by Shakrai (717556)

          Or just watch Sicko, where Michael Moore uses to the weak US health system to prove why he thinks the slightly weaker (but cheaper) Cuban system is superior.

          Fixed that for you.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by furby076 (1461805)

        You should see the mess that is the ATM (Automated Teller Machine) processing industry. If you wonder why ATM fees are so high, you have to know that there are several links in the processing chain and that everyone in that chain pushes their small fees that ultimately amount to large fees. If the internet were to adopt this model, you'd be paying $2/hr to post on slashdot.

        I did an intern for a company that processes whole-sale lockboxes for major banks. This gave me some pretty neat stories, & documentations into different areas like ATMs.

        Back when ATMs first came out the gov't mandated that nobody could charge fee's. This was so people would start using the system (hey if you've always gone to your bank teller to get money, why would you now use a machine and have to pay a fee?). Eventually, once ATM's were mainstream the gov't dropped these regulations and BAM C

    • Re:And then... (Score:5, Informative)

      by flitty (981864) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @09:05AM (#27063743)
      What I would prefer, is if the Pipes were open pipes. The Recovery package should have included money to buy up all of the laid fiber/cable and open it up to competition.

      Here in Utah, Utopia is the open fiber that any ISP can use to give you access, and it works wonderfully. Most fiber is approx $50/month, and if you don't like your provider, you can switch without needing a new wire run to your house. If internet access worked this way, Net Neutrality would be unnecessary, but it doesn't, so it's required so Ma Bell doesn't get any bright ideas about which content it should start filtering.
    • by jgtg32a (1173373)
      Quick question about NN

      Have any of the telco's actually started to "double dip" yet?

      This debate has been going on for year and we want regulation that says they can't do it, but beyond expressing interest in charging have any of them actually tried it yet?
      • Other than instituting caps to help stifle competing services, not really.

        It's become a hot issue lately as bandwidth usage across the board is on the rise particularly due to streaming video.

        Youtube takes up a vast majority of the internet's available bandwidth and ISPs are complaining about that.

        Many of these doubling as both phone and cable tv operators, they're worried about the internet dipping into their profits on those services.

        Right now, a cable operator can charge you a separate fee for both inter
    • by Suzuran (163234)
      I'm more scared about giving the government jurisdiction over the internet. Just look at what happened with gay marriage rights in California. As soon as they gave the government power over it, the power was turned against them. As soon as we acknowledge the government has jurisdiction over internet usage it's going to be used against us. It's just a matter of time.
    • by 0xdeadbeef (28836)

      why not foster a more competitive market as well?

      WTF do you think net neutrality is for? The word "regulation" does not only mean what talk radio ideologues want it to mean. Property rights themselves are regulation. Without the government to enforce them, there is no such thing as property. Every system has rules, and the rules must be enforced or the system collapses and all value is lost. In this case, the system is more valuable with participant neutrality than without.

      I mean, do you want the internet t

    • I'm disgusted by the blurb for this one. Since it's supposed to be news, not editorial, can we do away with the slant? That's one of the reasons I gave up on mainstream media long ago, most of them write editorial commentary and call it news.

      "...opposed by some conservatives and telecommunications providers..."

      And supported by plenty of conservatives as well.

  • Good (Score:3, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @08:50AM (#27063601)
    Subject says it all.
  • by d-r0ck (1365765) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @08:54AM (#27063623)
    Being against neutrality is like being against equality. It's the internet equivalent of racism and discrimination. There are man many laws and regulations against discrimination, as there should be for net neutrality.
    • by jlmale0 (1087135) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @09:11AM (#27063805)
      While that is a particularly emotional analogy, it's far from a perfect fit. In the naive case, proponents of tiered service argue that the internet is just a bunch of roads (sorry, not pipes in this case). And while we all get to ride cars, some people are in fire engines and ambulances. Voice traffic gets to be so blessed because it can be used for 911 calls.

      Implementation is, of course, another matter entirely, and I do not pretend that it will only be restricted to voice or 'necessary' services. But calling tiered service 'discriminatory' or 'racist' is fallacious and needlessly confuses the issue.
      • Those of us in ambulances don't magically get the road. Everybody is so important that they can't be bothered to pull over, even with the airhorn.

        VoIP is more like a HOV/carpool lane. Nobody is against QoS, but net neutrality isn't about no QoS. It's about no discrimination based on source or destination.

        You aren't going to find any serious people wanting their BitTorrent running at the same high priority as VoIP. In any case, properly set-up QoS won't affect most people ever, even the torrenters. Just at h

      • The internet is not and never has been a bunch of "roads". The internet is a series of interconnected post offices. Sure, there are "roads", the fibre and wires and cables that carry signals. But that's not what the internet is, just like the roads and the warehouses and the green vans are not what the post office is. The post office is a service that delivers post.

        When I subscribe to an ISP, I am not paying to drive on their "information superhighway". I am paying them to deliver packets from to other IP addresses, and to deliver packets from other IP addresses to me. This is the internet. This is the way it has always been and this is the way it is as it scales upwards from users to ISPs, to Telcos.

        Now big Telcos want to turn around to companies like Google and Twitter who are making money and charge them more for deliveries simply because they are deemed able to afford it. In addition, they also want to charge you more for delivering your packets to and from these companies sites. This is bullshit and everyone with half a brain knows that it cannot be allowed to stand.

        When I pay for a stamp and post my letter, I don't expect the post office to turn around and say; "Oh, you're sending correspondence to your great uncle? Suit you sir. But I'm afraid that will cost you a bit extra owing to the fact that your great uncle is a man of some means. You'll have to buy a special stamp." Or "Hmmm sir. It seems your business made quite a lot of money last year, and management feels you can afford to pay an extra few pence for deliveries." Is this acceptable? Can anyone justify that?

        And don't give me bullshit about "international stamps, etc". That's not what this is about. True, bandwidth corresponds to charging by weight, but on the internet, there are no foreign countries. Every computer is a local one. If you want to separate sites in Europe from one in the States then you may as well just shut the whole network down altogether, because you will have irreparably broken it.

        Can anyone give one morsel of justification for why delivering my packets to google.com should cost more or less than delivering to slashdot.org? Do I give a flying fiddlers what kind of "tubes" were used to send them? Do I weep for the packets waiting milliseconds in the queue while mine is processed? Do I contemplate the strain on networks caused by shameless charlatans like myself who actually use the bandwidth they paid for? No, because the whole point of a post office is that I don't have to care how you get my letter there, I just pay you to do it.

        Packets are packets are packets. IPs are IPS are IPs. Data is Data is Data. There are no tubes, no roads, no cars, no tiers, no premium IPs or domain names. Net neutrality is the only sane answer.

    • In otherwords (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jgtg32a (1173373)
      So its a completely BS and loaded term, like fair, that can be used to side step the actual debate?

      Lets try to make intelligent arguments. Please leave these kind of arguments for the politicians.
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @09:05AM (#27063733)
    Thanks to recent efforts by the RIAA/MPAA, the threat now isn't just that ISP's will throttle P2P, it's that they will outright BLOCK it (and any sites related to it). Their counterpart in the UK has already succeeded in this effort with most of their ISP's, and you can bet it will happen here too soon. If this guy doesn't step in with some legal protections (and threats) for these ISP's, the days of typing www.thepiratebay.org into your browser and getting any message besides "This site has been blocked for copyright infringement" are numbered.
    • by Aladrin (926209)

      That might be so, for the current incarnation of P2P. It has evolved in the past to route around censorship, and it'll do so in the future as well. Even now we have DHT and just need a way to identify the torrent we want. I'm sure something like freenet will evolve to allow us to browse to the .torrent file and DHT will let us download it.

      Honestly, I'm rather looking forward to something like that existing. It just adds 1 more level of crap that the RIAA has to wade through to prove anything whatsoever.

    • UK is a fascist dictatorship. But instead of one Mussolini, it is governed by elected MPs and thousands of unelected bureaucrats.
      Plus, those Neville chamberlains (citizens of UK) are perfectly content to be under such a benevolent dictatorship!
      Hell, next they will invite the Government to put up a webcam inside their bedrooms so that the Government can "monitor" their "activities" for safety purposes.
      Please don't compare US and UK.
      They both may speak English, but we have Obama. And they have Brown-:))

    • by furby076 (1461805)

      it's that they will outright BLOCK it (and any sites related to it).

      No...free....porn???? :(_-_-_-_-

  • ...it's just a matter of time before he caves to lobbyist $$$.
  • by drewvr6 (1400341) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @09:23AM (#27063951)
    I just want to know; can I sue if my 911 call is delayed due to my downloading of porn while engaged in asphyxiation-heightened auto-erotica?
    • If your traditional landline is busy because you are listening to $6/min porn AND you want to dial 911 because you ate too much viagra, then you can't sue Comcast/Verizon because of your stupidity.

    • by furby076 (1461805)
      You can sue for anything, and you can win for almost anything. Sue away. Btw, when you are ready to sue I know a good lawyer. And even if you don't sue, and you are interested in pursuing more kinky fetish stuff...call me
  • Huh?? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by agorist_apostle (1491899) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @09:23AM (#27063953)
    Why does anyone think a Net Neutrality bill wouldn't come with a couple of hundred billion more in spending for special interests, some new regulations mandating national content filtering, maybe even taxing E-mail and so on...just sayin'..
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by evanbd (210358)
      Because most bills don't come with a couple hundred billion in extra spending. You're off by at least a couple orders of magnitude.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MrMista_B (891430)

      Why does anyone think it would?

  • I was wondering what you all thought of this idea and what the feasibility of it would be:

    If I can see my neighbor's wireless hub, and he can see the next neighbor's down the street, and he can see the next neighbor's further down, aren't we getting to the point where we can begin decentralizing the internet from the handful of ISPs? IIRC, the early internet was basically a system of interconnected switches. By interconnecting our own personal wireless hubs, we can begin recreating the internet at a gra
  • Paradoxical Position (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jlmale0 (1087135) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @03:25PM (#27068735)
    Telcos have long claimed non-responsibility for content because they're just providing the information and that they have no way of filtering it. It seems, then, that to promote tiered service breaks down this legal defense. After all, if they can pick and choose between types of traffic based on origin, it erodes their ability to say they can't filter on other criteria.

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