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The Truth About Net Neutrality Job Loss 187

Posted by Soulskill
from the watch-out-for-net-neutrality-death-panels dept.
snydeq writes "Robert X. Cringely investigates recent claims that passing net neutrality regulations will result in nearly 1.5 million lost jobs by 2020, finding the report at the center of these claims suspect. The report, put forward by The Brattle Group, conjectures that net neutrality adoption would curtail broadband growth by 16 percent, costing 342,065 jobs in that sector alone. The 'total economy-wide impact,' however, of such a policy would result in five times as many job losses by 2020, they say. The study is the latest of several weighing the economic impact of net neutrality, including those by law schools (PDF) and free-market think tanks alike. The Brattle Group report (PDF), however, should be met with skepticism, Cringely argues, in large part because the lobbying firm who paid for the report, Mobile Future, is anchored most notably by AT&T. Moreover, the report is 'based entirely on a single assumption: Regulating US telecoms in the late 1990s and early 2000s hurt them to the tune of about 15 percent per quarter, relative to the cable companies.' Yet, as he points out, regulation was not alone in causing this sector shrinkage. In fact, the Baby Bells' own bureaucratic intransigence was much to blame."
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The Truth About Net Neutrality Job Loss

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  • So how exactly would passing a law that basically codifies current practices cause job loss?

    I have yet to hear of any ISP charging Youtube extortion money. My files are still downloading at 2MB/s. Net neutrality legislation would just prevent future abuses by ISPs.

    Outlawing all forms of traffic shaping technology, sure, I can see how that might cause a hit to ISP's profits, but the majority of proposed net neutrality legislation allows for some traffic shaping, it just prevents "pay up or else we'll make sure no one can access your website" levels of manipulation.

    • by CyprusBlue113 (1294000) on Monday April 26, 2010 @05:45PM (#31990780)

      It costs them jobs the same way minimum wage, hours regulations, vacation time, health insurance, OSHA, and all of the other restrictions on whatever the hell you want to do business do. Just because its true doesn't mean its the right answer.

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday April 26, 2010 @06:06PM (#31991126) Homepage Journal

        It costs them jobs the same way minimum wage, hours regulations, vacation time, health insurance, OSHA, and all of the other restrictions on whatever the hell you want to do business do.

        So in other words, it does not cost jobs.

        Remember, all those laws and benefits were in effect during a time when we had 4% unemployment (aka "full employment").

        Minimum wage does not cost jobs. Vacation time, benefits, OSHA, etc do NOT cost jobs. In fact, after OSHA went into effect, total employment in the US went up for decades. Vacation time and health insurance started showing up in benefits packages after the big war, and the most prosperous decades for the US and for the middle and working-classes generally were yet to come.

        Maybe it sounds "truthy" to you to say those things, CyprusBlue113, but that doesn't make it so.

        • by gangien (151940) on Monday April 26, 2010 @06:17PM (#31991342) Homepage

          Minimum wage does not cost jobs.

          umm yes it does.

          It's an increase in cost that has to be paid. whether that's not hiring an additional worker, firing a current one, increasing prices to customers or whatever. it certainly does cost jobs.

          • by zifferent (656342) on Monday April 26, 2010 @06:48PM (#31991820)

            May cost actually jobs but ends in a net increase of jobs.

            Follow along, you might learn something.

            Thought experiment:
            Assume that we got rid of min wage, and according to your argument instead of hiring one person at min wage the business could get away at hiring 2 people at half minimum wage (it would never happen in the real world. ITRW a business would just cut wages and keep the employment the same; keeping the resultant increase in efficiency for themselves but whatever) Those two people would be earning much less and could only realistically afford to live in shanty-towns with barely enough money left over to feed themselves, much less add any utility to the greater economy. Hence, the money doesn't move around the economy. Hence, no multiplier; no extra goods bought and sold and importantly no jobs created upstream of the way-less-than-poverty wages.

            It might even be argued that wages below a certain level have a negative utility to the economy. The externalities not picked up by the slave-wage employer are passed on to society as a whole contribute to a net-loss of real jobs. Obviously this kind of thing can snowball and pick off previously higher paid jobs as it goes, pushing wages further down as unemployment rises. Creating a real world with haves and have-nots without a buffering middle-class.

            Keep believing that the free market fairy will come and magically make things right; leaving goodies under your pillow as you sleep.

            • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday April 26, 2010 @07:37PM (#31992534) Homepage Journal

              Thought experiment:

              Well said, friend.

              I only wish I could have made the point so clearly and convincingly.

              Conservatives just don't want to admit that the years of greatest growth and economic strength across class lines occurred in the US after some of the strictest regulations, most socialistic programs, and widest influence of organized labor were in effect. Social safety nets, strong regulation, public works and collective bargaining make for a better, more equitable society, but they also make for a more dynamic and successful private sector.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Moridin42 (219670)

              Follow along with this thought experiment.

              Lets say that minimum wage is $7 even. Joe is earning $7.50. Minimum wage is raised to $7.50. Joe probably isn't going to be getting a raise. But now prices have gone up a little to pay for the increase to the minimum wage earners who got a legislated raise. So Joe is poorer than he was before. And so is every one else who wasn't earning minimum wage, but you probably have more empathy for somebody earning on the low-but-not-minimum part of the pay scale.

              Minimum wag

              • Even if we presume everything you say is true, I would much rather live in the situation you describe than that of sweatshops paying a few cents an hour. This, too, would have negative ripple effects. By failing to set a "floor" on what a wage is, you lower the wages of higher wage workers as well. If fast food is paying fifty cents an hour, a buck an hour for management is a nice raise. It also limits the ability of corporations to "externalize" the cost of not paying a living wage to social welfare systems funded by the public, while enjoying all the benefits of cheap labor.

                At least with a minimum wage, it matters if you get hired or not. I'll gladly trade a slightly lower chance of getting hired for a better wage once I do. And if my hours are fewer, is that really a loss either? Am I better off working sixty hours a week at fifty cents an hour (with no overtime regulations), or forty hours a week at $7 an hour (with overtime if I'm periodically needed more)? Which would you choose, given the option?

                Reality isn't economic theory. The people being hired are human beings. Given that, there are interests of human dignity and basic needs, not just the "optimal economic outcome". If the "optimal" outcome crushes a bunch of people under its wheels, it isn't the optimal outcome. As it stands, until the economy hit the crapper, most people were able to find work just fine, minimum wage notwithstanding.

                The same is true of many other regulations. I'm very happy to take higher prices in exchange for safety in both products and the workplace. Lower prices don't do me a whole lot of good dead, and they certainly don't do me much good if I've got to regularly pay massive hospital bills to recover from illnesses and injuries caused from unsafe work environments and products and don't have a mechanism to recover damages from those responsible.

                • by Moridin42 (219670)

                  Perhaps you didn't notice, but I made no ethical judgements in what I said. Zero. But this odd belief that somehow government intervention frees us from the problems of resource allocation does not serve us well.

                  Not all "lost jobs" are necessarily bad. But a failure to acknowledge the losses tends to lead to overapplication of the protocol generating the losses. That can be bad.

              • > But minimum wage work probably isn't absolutely necessary.

                Have you ever worked in a factory? They pretty much define the case where you have a ton of minimum wage earners and yet you need them if you want to get any production done. And no, you can't run a factory with no laborers, even if they are unskilled.

                I think that if you look around at minimum wage jobs, you'll find many that can be replaced by machines and many more than cannot (and believe me, we're trying... everywhere from clerks at checko

                • by Moridin42 (219670)

                  Where did I say anything about running a factory with no laborers? I didn't. I said absolutely necessary. Which it isn't. Go ahead, tell your factory managers that they'll have to pay each minimum wage worker $1/hour more. It won't surprise me a bit if they find some unnecessary minimum wage worker to ex-employ. Because the work he was doing was not indispensable. Important? Quite possibly. Can you get as much done without him? No. Can you get by without him? Almost assuredly.

                  Of course we're automating as m

            • Minimum wage is just a form of price control. It makes it illegal for labor to be sold at a price lower than some set amount per hour. If this price control is beneficial, then why wouldn't a similar price control at the grocery store be beneficial? Make it illegal for any food item to be sold for less than $10. Clearly this wouldn't cause the elimination of lots of food items, it would just mean that everyone happily pays $10 for oranges, etc.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            No, it means that the business will have the same 5 workers at $7.50 instead of $0.03 per hour. Would you really want to have companies with the ability to keep pay rates the same for 60 years with nobody forcing them to pace with inflation?
            • by gangien (151940)

              No, it means that the business will have the same 5 workers at $7.50 instead of $0.03 per hour. Would you really want to have companies with the ability to keep pay rates the same for 60 years with nobody forcing them to pace with inflation?

              Well gee, i can imagine all the employees you'll have offering 3 cents an hour! lol. Of course, if you offered other benefits(such as the case of an internship), you might get some. But then the pay wouldn't really just be 3 cents an hour.

              • by Vancorps (746090)

                And in your brilliant comment have you thought that history shows this to be the natural way of a free market? 19th century America is full of lessons you seem to have manage to not learn. Do you think history wouldn't repeat itself by doing the exact same thing?

                The problem with your thought process is that it wouldn't be one company suddenly paying $0.03 per hour it would be the majority that currently pay minimum wage. In every country where no minimum wage exists even today you wind up with company owne

                • I seriously don't understand how people don't realize that government regulation and intervention is the only thing preventing one corporation from, quite literally, owning everything from government to housing to your time and your mind. This is why government needs to be separated from corporate influence in the strongest ways possible, and government needs to promote unbiased policies regardless as to the "goal" of the legislation. Environmental and national security policy need to be just as unbiased as
          • by hedwards (940851)
            No, it doesn't. And I wish that people would quit claiming that it does. The minimum wage laws have little if any effect on the number of jobs or the standard of living.

            In the US, the minimum wage is set so incredibly low that it's more or less below the cost of living in many areas. Around here, I'm making nearly $13 an hour and I have a hard time finding a place to live that doesn't eat up half my take home. Here in WA, we've got the highest minimum wage in the nation, and it's still below the cost of
            • by gangien (151940)

              OK you can just increase the costs of business, and there are no side effects!

            • by 0123456 (636235)

              No, it doesn't. And I wish that people would quit claiming that it does. The minimum wage laws have little if any effect on the number of jobs or the standard of living.

              Cool. So increase the minimum wage to $100 an hour and everyone will be rich.

              The only time that the minimum wage has no impact on jobs is when people are already paid that much or more... in which case it's useless. Any time it pushes wages above market rates, is merely insures that people whose labour isn't worth that much will be unemployed all their life... in which case it's evil.

            • by ErikZ (55491) *

              "The minimum wage laws have little if any effect on the number of jobs or the standard of living."

              So then why not just make the minimum wage 30$ an hour? After all, if min wage has little, if any effect on the number of jobs then it should just work right?

              Heck, lets make it 100$ an hour.

              1000$

          • Minimum wage does not cost jobs.

            umm yes it does.

            It's an increase in cost that has to be paid. whether that's not hiring an additional worker, firing a current one, increasing prices to customers or whatever. it certainly does cost jobs.

            That's what you think it does. But do you have any hard evidence to this effect? GPP provided actual data; you're providing a model. If there's a conflict between model and data, then it's probably not the data that's wrong.

            • by gangien (151940)

              That's what you think it does. But do you have any hard evidence to this effect? GPP provided actual data; you're providing a model. If there's a conflict between model and data, then it's probably not the data that's wrong.

              where did GPP provide data?

              So feel free to provide some. Of course the problem is, these sorts of things are always really murky. And there are plenty of other external factors potentially in play.

              here's an opinion expressed far better than i can http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ca8Z__o5 [youtube.com]

              • by Wildclaw (15718)

                where did GPP provide data?

                GPP:

                Remember, all those laws and benefits were in effect during a time when we had 4% unemployment (aka "full employment").

                Game over loser.

          • by snarfer (168723)

            Circulating money increases jobs.

            A business doesn't lay of someone because of a small increase in wage costs. Businesses employ the RIGHT NUMBER of people to meet the demand from customers. Increasing the minimum wage increases that demand.

          • by DarkOx (621550)

            Minimum wage is not a job killer nor is it useful. Over the very short term business lose profit which might slow growth but it does not cost jobs just fails to create new ones. Over a slightly longer term they as you say fire an employee, institute a more permenant slower hireing policy or find ways to pass costs on; or get more output from the current labor pool.

            Over the long term those costs do get passed on or the government prints some money to give aways as handouts to displaced works. Its inflatio

        • They don't want it, so they find any old reason they can tie to it (however remotely) to say it shouldn't be implemented. I bet if they could say net neutrality causes paedophiles, they would.

      • by Gr8Apes (679165) on Monday April 26, 2010 @06:18PM (#31991358)

        funny enough - hours regulations created more jobs in the factory sector. 40 hour work weeks meant that instead of having 2 workers per day for 7 days a week, they now had to have at least 3 workers per day for 5 days, plus extras to cover the hours on the 2 remaining days. So by my quick look - that was an extra 3 people employed, or 150% addition.

        Did it put a crimp in the employer? I'm sure it did. But so does having to pay their employees anything.

      • by erroneus (253617)

        I wish I said that. It's truth at so many levels. There is a cost to civilization. For most of us, it's a tax. For others, it's a cost of opportunity.

        I think that hours regulations and vacation time are pretty key aspects of keeping a workforce healthy and a population sustainable. Just look at Japan. They work like no one else on the planet works. Overtime is the social norm. No one has time for families and relationships. Their population is on the decline so much so that the government is paying

      • by MobyDisk (75490)

        I don't see how codifying current practice is the same as setting a minimum wage. Could you please explain?

      • by snarfer (168723)

        Actually HONEST studies, including your own eyes, show that raising the minimum wage doesn't cost jobs. And every time it is raised there is a bit of an increase in economic growth.

        Also OBVIOUSLY moving to a 40-hour workweek created more jobs.

        A consumer economy does better when more regular people have more to spend. Passing everything up to the rich is what we did leading up to 1929, and then again leading up to this recent economic crash.

        Business doing whatever it wants to do makes everyone poor. Ultim

    • by EkriirkE (1075937)
      But your ISP needs to hire people to enforce their abuse and create more abusive practices; those are the lost jobs.
    • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Monday April 26, 2010 @05:49PM (#31990862)

      So how exactly would passing a law that basically codifies current practices cause job loss?

      Not to mention that it isn't even job loss that they're talking about. They're merely speculating that growth will be 15% less than without regulation - and somehow, that translates into 300000 jobs that will not be created.

      Can we please, please stop talking about not getting what you think you should get as being the same as a loss or theft? Because if we're going to go down that route, I'm gonna argue that a lack of net neutrality regulation will cost me 2.74 gazillion dollars, and sue the Federal Government for that amount.

      Then again, we're talking about lobbyists here. If the money is right, they'll argue that cigarette smoke freshens your breath and turns babies into geniuses.

      • by SomeJoel (1061138)

        I'm gonna argue that a lack of net neutrality regulation will cost me 2.74 gazillion dollars, and sue the Federal Government for that amount.

        That's a nice thought, but a real number would be more effective.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by pitterpatter (1397479)

          That's a nice thought, but a real number would be more effective.

          How about "1.21 jigadollars"?

        • by ae1294 (1547521)

          That's a nice thought, but a real number would be more effective.

          Lobbyists and politicians simply won't know any better. They just won't know that it's not a real number while the lawyers will look at it as a new definition to be used for billing their clients even moar.

          All the while, people on Slashdot will be complaining that it's not really a real number while they are working 9am to 7pm in their little cubicles with their shitty red staplers just like the good little sheeple they are...

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        They're merely speculating that growth will be 15% less than without regulation - and somehow, that translates into 300000 jobs that will not be created.

        It's called a "talking point", Neutron, and in the new post-media-consolidation world, they don't have to be anything like true.

        All net neutrality does is keep a small handful of companies from turning the Internet into TV. But TV was a big moneymaker for years and years, and it's now the most effective way to get out pro-corporatist agenda messages, so bi

        • All net neutrality does is keep a small handful of companies from turning the Internet into TV.

          Unfortunately, I share your position on this. It is exactly why I love net neutrality, and why the telecoms sponsoring these white papers hate it. I am convinced that the best years of the Internet are behind it... I'd love to be wrong on that, but somehow doubt it.

      • Because clearly all regulation is precisely the same in both magnitude and direction. I'm surprised these kinds of blatant bullshit get any recognition outside the echo chamber in which they're conceived.

      • You hit the nail on the head. It is now common business practice that if we don't always grow grow grow then for some reason it is horrible. If your company is making 50+ million net profit, you do not need to require +20% next quarter! Sustain what you have and refine practices and efficiency, fuck I hate lobbyists. I think they are one of the single most responsible entities for the current corruption of our governmental system, but I see no solutions that would be met with any kind of seriousness due to
    • This is "costing jobs" in the same way a tax cut "costs money", if anything at all. That is, they're claiming it will prevent them from expanding - thus prevent those jobs from being created.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Nahor (41537)

      So how exactly would passing a law that basically codifies current practices cause job loss?

      1. The legislation passes
      2. People get angry at their ISP and set their HQ on fire
      3. The ISPs build bigger meaner bunk^H^H^H^H HQs which requires manpower
      => more jobs

      1. The legislation passes
      2. The ISP demands their protection money
      3. The CEOs and other members of the boards become richer
      4. They buy bigger houses
      5. They requires more maids and gardeners
      => more jobs

      1. The legislation passes
      2. The ISP demands their protection money
      3. The customers become poorer and can't pay their bills
      4. The customers

    • The Big ISP argument is probably that they can't expand into rural areas unless they can throttle/control bandwidth either through rate limits or charging by use, because to do so profitably(or equally profitably) would mean to offset the greater cost of connecting rural populations they'd need to reduce costs on routers and other backend hardware to service the same number of users, with means throttling by either policy or cost incentives.
      That said, I think that case is BS. Companies in all sectors will t
  • are promoting an approach that sustains oligarchies.
    • by FooAtWFU (699187)
      The key point here, as usual, is "putative".
    • Yeah, imagine if ATT had not been broken up, cable companies had been kept out of CLEC competition and the big global carriers like Level3 had not been allowed to grow...

      <sarcasm>Yep, life at 56kB would have really rocked! Man I LOVE ATT they really know what's best for us. </sarcasm>
  • by Anonymous Coward

    At least 1,499,999 of them being lobbyists.

    • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Monday April 26, 2010 @05:53PM (#31990930) Journal

      Exactly. What exactly is the benefit of a society where you are worried about "Job Loss" in a sector that won't promote any growth? Who is not going to have a job? People who are working against net neutrality, and that alone. Its not like the Lawyers don't have skills to apply law in other fields. Its not like Technicians don't have skills to work in other IT Fields. Its not like Lobbyists can't lobby in other fields.

      It's like the idea that we need to have a secretary for every employee because without it there would be job loss.

      • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Monday April 26, 2010 @06:16PM (#31991328) Homepage Journal

        This is the Telephone Operator fallacy. When automatic switching equipment was invented, operators whined that they would lose jobs. If we accepted that mentality we would now need to employ more telephone operators in the U.S. than the entire population.

        If you keep growing the network this "job loss" is negated by orders of magnitude. Again... another report that trying to exploit the ignorance and lack of reasoning ability in the masses (and our legislators).

        • by Znork (31774)

          If we accepted that mentality we would now need to employ more telephone operators in the U.S. than the entire population.

          Indeed. Jobs are not an end to themselves; the whole point of a competitive economy is to create more wealth from less work, making everything more affordable, which will ultimately result in more free time; at the end of scarcity, quite a lot of free time.

          Getting more free time in the economy is not a problem. Inequitable division of it can be. But taking away free time by 'creating job

          • by c0d3g33k (102699)

            Indeed. Jobs are not an end to themselves; the whole point of a competitive economy is to create more wealth from less work, making everything more affordable, which will ultimately result in more free time; at the end of scarcity, quite a lot of free time.

            Not to detract from your insightful comment by going off on a tangent, but ... The increase in free time that needs to be filled with stimulus is exactly what gives the RIAA and MPAA their power.

            People need to fill that free time with something, which is where the power to implement and enforce draconian DRM measures for entertainment comes from. People should find something else to do, like walk around in the Big Blue Room, to deprive these parasites of their power.

            Just sayin'

  • How strange (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ProdigyPuNk (614140)
    How strange that the study paid for by AT&T et al. is a complete 180 from the study mentioned in the article that is NOT paid for my any carrier: http://policyintegrity.org/documents/Free_to_Invest.pdf [policyintegrity.org] Of course there's something "suspect" about the study claiming that net neutrality will cost the carriers billions - especially when it's PAID FOR by the groups it claims are going to be hurt.
  • by Dalzhim (1588707) on Monday April 26, 2010 @05:35PM (#31990590)
    People learning more than one language in school cause job loss in the translating field. People learning how to cook cause job loss in restaurants. Free trade costs a lot of jobs at the customs. I mean, I can create a shitload amount of jobs by having people work on many stupid things. It doesn't make those things worth working on.
  • by santax (1541065) on Monday April 26, 2010 @05:36PM (#31990606)
    Despite hating that whole net-netrual thing this is just plain silly. It would create a lot of jobs. Millions and millions to be precise. Someone has to do the police-work you know... Neh, this is just silly.
  • a simple idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Monday April 26, 2010 @05:47PM (#31990824) Journal
    Maybe they can take those people and switch them away from throttling people's bandwidth, and put them on the job of installing new fiber. It's a win-win situation. No jobs are lost, fiber is installed. Unless somehow these people aren't actually going to lose their jobs......
  • Projections of future events are always "suspect".

    If the government would mind it's own business instead of trying to meddle in ISP network management, we can be pretty sure that non-action would cause no extra loss in jobs. Not forcing people at ISPs to do business against their will is probably a good policy.

    I'm a big fan of the government not forcing people to do things against their will.

    • Like maybe the government should have just "stayed out of it" and allowed the ATT monopoly to continue...

      I mean 14kB modems, paying a lot of money for ISDN (128kB), or a whole ton of money for T-1 (1.44MB), that was just AWESOME, and GOD DAMN those pushy gov'ment types for breakin up ATT and lettin them nastly little cable, dsl and bandwidth providers go and provide dramatically increased bandwidth for less and less money.

      The free market is great, until it reaches equilibrium. At that point you just have a

    • by snarfer (168723)

      "If the government would mind it's own business"

      What do you think the business of We, the People IS, if not to mind business? It's OUR economy, and WE set the rules.

      "I'm a big fan of the government not forcing people to do things against their will."

      So go live somewhere that isn't governed by We, the People.

  • That's right. 16 billion.

    All jobs involved in expansive bandwidth usage will be controlled by the owners of the pipes, period.

    They will rule the net, preventing end-users from accessing servers that can serve vast amounts of data.

    And that will stifle growth. Forever.

    So when I say 16 billion, I'm not only mimicking their act of pulling a number out of one's ass, I'm inverting their overestimate by vastly underestimating.

  • by AmigaHeretic (991368) on Monday April 26, 2010 @06:14PM (#31991278) Journal
    I haven't done a study but this seems backwards to me.

    I mean don't they shape traffic to save money? You can appear to have more bandwidth than you do if you shape it, but you don't have to pay keep growing you network ie. jobs.

    If they are not able to shape traffic then they need to spend money expanding their network, which would mean MORE jobs not less.
  • How many jobs will get lost because folks get pissed off and use the internet less when they're confronted with bizarre throttling behaviors, and strangely blocked content? How many baby Google's will get squished by thuggish slow moving oligopolies like the telcoms decide to hold them hostage due to excess BW usage (i.e. excess in their 1980's mindset).

  • Where have we all heard this before?

    Oh yeah... from the MAFIAA...

    Jack Valenti: "I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone."

  • Regulating the phone company's tariffs cost the phone company 15% in potential revenues, therefore regulating how traffic is treated by cable companies will cost the cable companies 15% of their revenue? WTF?!?
  • "There's lots more to say on this topic, but I've exhausted this space for now."

    Hahahahaha. This guy is a big idiot.

  • Small business would have to start paying to play on the internet. This would cost small businesses a lot of money to pay for internet tolls. That's money that could be creating jobs if there were net neutrality. Forcing telecoms to build out their infrastructure would actually create jobs. It wasn't until the net neutrality contractual obligation of a large telecom merger ran out that they stopped building infrastructure and fired the masses of people working on the build out.

    Also crazy is the cost of

  • I don't think it is a problem. Who will believe the Prattle Group anyway?
  • Bastards want to charge me a - get this - $450 NONREFUNDABLE "credit fee" for my new Uverse service because I'm a bad credit risk!

    Well, guess what, AT&T! You can cancel my new service installation. I'll get a new phone line from you (with a $50 prepay ALSO because of being a "credit risk"), then I'll get Earthlink or DSLExtreme or whoever presumably won't be trying to extort another $450 from me.

    AT&T - still the most corrupt corporation in the universe (next to Microsoft, of course).

  • What I find hysterical is the bullshit advertising the large ISPs do to promote their crippled Internet. The local incumbent cable company where I live is offering a 50Mb/s service!!!! It even brags that you can download a 700MB movie in 2 minutes! Whatever kind of movie do they mean? 700MB, yeah, that's going to be a torrent since I can't think of a lot of HTTP sites that are able or willing let users download files at 6250kB/s. So you look at the fine print, and they plainly state that they throttle a

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