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Net Neutrality and Carrier Incentives To Invest 170

Posted by Soulskill
from the why-buy-one-when-you-can-buy-zero-for-free dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In policy debates before Congress and the FCC, the big ISPs and wireless carriers (Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Cox, Sprint) argued that net neutrality rules would give them less incentive to upgrade their networks. The reality is just the opposite, says Infoworld's Bill Snyder, citing a game-theoretic work done by two researchers at the U. of Florida's business school. If carriers can charge premium prices for expedited service, they have an incentive not to invest. Hmm, this reminds me of the agriculture business, where prices are sometimes propped up by paying farmers not to grow crops."
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Net Neutrality and Carrier Incentives To Invest

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    With wireless technology developing as it is, is there any chance that some day we can create our own ad hoc internet without relying on expensive cables and thus expensive carriers?

    I suppose we would still need some kickass routers, but it's not like open source projects are completely devoid of money. Wikipedia has tons of hardware, no?

    • by Ash-Fox (726320) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @12:12PM (#38086646)

      With wireless technology developing as it is, is there any chance that some day we can create our own ad hoc internet without relying on expensive cables and thus expensive carriers?

      Not without a decent spectrum allocated for it. The 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz band at our current power restrictions don't allow for very good distances, unless you have a very clunky antenna that you wouldn't find on a mobile device.

      Developing an ad-hoc mesh network has many issues to take into consideration, including dealing with the fact that there will be people who are using an unfair amount of resources and no single transmitter can be trusted to keep any information secure or even 'truthful' about who it is.

      • by spidercoz (947220)
        I don't think he meant wireless
        • by Ash-Fox (726320)

          I don't think he meant wireless

          He started his sentence with:

          With wireless technology developing as it is

          • by spidercoz (947220)
            ah, so he did, oops.
            • by hairyfeet (841228)

              Plus he is missing the point that it is no different than our political system, with two groups at the top that are Coke and Pepsi and take any competition VERY nastily. In my own area neither the cable nor DSL has moved a single inch in a decade and when a friend tried to route around them by getting his boss to shell out for a T-1 and renting connections off the line the duopoly made a few calls and has his connection price raised 400%!

              They told him "Just try and sue us" and his lawyer told him flat foot

      • by Catbeller (118204)

        802.22, and limit the hogs. And someday the interference problem will be licked and we will have multiple users on the same frequency; it's a software problem we haven't solved yet, not a physical one.

        • by Ash-Fox (726320) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @01:09PM (#38087500)

          802.22

          802.22 requires dedicated 'towers' to be setup, which can really only be done by big money, this does not work with the idea of "creating our own ad hoc internet without relying on expensive cables".

          and limit the hogs.

          What if the hogs are providing a very useful service? How do you distinguish between a torrent and a game server?

          And someday the interference problem will be licked and we will have multiple users on the same frequency;

          To be honest, a mesh network could be done far better using frequency-hopping spread spectrum radios, you could build the addressing scheme into the frequency hopping, this would allow software defined radios to listen in on specific broadcast messages, as well as provide a new form of security measures for dealing with secure communications between any single node or to a select many without much of an issue with interception.

          802.22 doesn't really seem that developed for a technology for constantly changing mesh network, especially since it seems to expect some kind of dedicated infrastructure setup.

          it's a software problem we haven't solved yet, not a physical one.

          If it's 802.22, it's both for this specific circumstance of "creating our own ad hoc internet without relying on expensive cables".

      • An open source ad hoc mesh network would be immune to government censorship. Your RIAA/MPAA overlords would never allow that.
        • by Ash-Fox (726320)

          An open source ad hoc mesh network would be immune to government censorship.

          Not really, government can raid a physical location and shut it down, just like on the current Internet. They can also tell any major providers to block access to certain things, which is entirely plausible that you would have major 'gateways' which would do exactly the same, just like the current Internet.

    • How would you solve the transatlantic problem?

      • Fuck that, how about routing millions of nodes in general? Ad hoc would result in either massive routing tables or long routes...

      • by Ash-Fox (726320)

        How would you solve the transatlantic problem?

        I've networked (and I don't mean computer network) across the transatlantic before with only a few watts over short wave. I've done it with both a huge ugly antenna and using a well hidden ground antenna.

        Networking over vast distances is possible (hell, Guglielmo Marconi did it in 1900s), but in my uses, bandwidth was extremely limited, I'm sure someone smarter than me can come up with something far better.

        I feel that due to how fragile shortwave is, that we nee

    • by jopsen (885607) <jopsen@gmail.com> on Thursday November 17, 2011 @12:33PM (#38086910) Homepage
      Today most homes is either hooked directly up on fiber or hook up on cobber with translation to fiber not very far away... I'm guessing here, but I think ad hoc wireless networks, would be crazy unreliable, slow, insecure and have an extreme latency...
      • by Pope (17780)

        Today most homes is either hooked directly up on fiber or hook up on cobber with translation to fiber not very far away... I'm guessing here, but I think ad hoc wireless networks, would be crazy unreliable, slow, insecure and have an extreme latency...

        Cobbler...so you're proposing the return of Sneakernet?

    • by jellomizer (103300) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @12:40PM (#38086988)

      The internet is Open. The specs to communicate over TCP/IP are quite clear. The problem is who owns the infrastructure. Cables, Satellites, and the ability to bring them to peoples location costs money. Then they have the cost of maintaining their routing to other providers.
      An Add Hock network can only go so far, once you scale larger then you get into more issues.
      100 people all maintaining their own routers is fine.
      1000 people you may need to find a good techie and pony up to give him a good router.
      10000 More techies that you need to maintain the router. And you are start having complains on who's cable go where. Or crazy nuts afraid that their house is getting too much wi-fi radation.

      The bigger it gets the most it costs and the more issues that happen. You will start to need Full time people working on this stuff, and they can't starve for the glory of keeping your internet up, they will need to be paid for their work...
      Then when you are done you either have a set of big ISP that you probably need to pay $20-60 a month too or a government controlled internet, where you will get think of the children people yelling at the government to block whatever seems bad information to them at the time.

      • When money is needed, well, money is needed. But, you know, there' re cooporatives and then you own the ISP instead of being p0wnd by it.

    • by ArhcAngel (247594)
      Well if everybody just signed up for FON [fon.com] we'd be pretty close. We'd still be using the carriers but we'd have WiFi access anywhere a FON subscriber is nearby.
      • by Ash-Fox (726320)

        Well if everybody just signed up for FON we'd be pretty close. We'd still be using the carriers but we'd have WiFi access anywhere a FON subscriber is nearby.

        My Internet is usually saturated, I doubt being a FON user would be that helpful. The idea of "Imagine enjoying videos, movies and games at WiFi speeds while you're away from home - for free! " on my already over saturated connection seems a bit unlikely.

    • Interesting idea, but if you want it to be even remotely feasable you'd have to first work on a transition to a more content-addressable web. That way you could vastly decrease network usage at the expense of vastly increasing storage required by nodes. Sticking a 2TB hard drive in every node is a small price to pay for the network savings.
    • You don't expect to build too thick a wireless network in the middle of the ocean, do you?

      But I digress... when you say Internet you obviously meant USAnet.

  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @12:04PM (#38086508) Homepage Journal

    Hmm, this reminds me of the agriculture business, where prices are sometimes propped up by paying farmers not to grow crops."

    I wish as much as anything, we could get the Feds to stop all farm subsidies, especially corn.

    WTF should we be doing this? It isn't like we have food shortages in the US. Let's grow all we can...sell it to other countries, but there is no need for taxpayers to pay someone to NOT grown something.

    Especially since so many of the farms are large corporations now....

    But, sadly, it'll never happen...there's always an election around the corner, and they won't want to piss off states like Iowa, etc.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      The problem is that those countries need to be growing their own food. It would probably work if countries where starvation was common they'd be producing other things, but those countries are usually lacking in all around production capability.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by stephencrane (771345)
        The main problem is that the US -does- sell much of our food overseas, but that price point is based on the subsidized price. The price gap isn't recaptured in the form of tariffs. Many countries don't invest in agricultural and associated legal infrastructure at home because there's no way for anyone to grow crops cheaper than the US can sell them.
        • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportlandNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Thursday November 17, 2011 @12:45PM (#38087090) Homepage Journal

          Wrong.
          Many starving areas don't invest because they have no stability to invest. Food is't a problem, delivery to the people who need to east it is.

          • by hedwards (940851) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:43PM (#38091760)

            Precisely, if those nations are unable or unwilling to invest in the infrastructure to feed themselves then it's rather unlikely that they'll invest in the infrastructure to produce goods to trade for food. It's not a lack of people or ability so much as the corruption and war that prevents it from happening. Few populated parts of the world are genuinely incapable of producing their own food for long periods of time.

        • Perhaps better stated "...anyone to grow massive crops cheaper than the US..." In the various countries I've been to in Africa and Asia, most of the produce is cheaper because it is coming from a nearby farm where the grower is planting and selling by hand and working for only a couple dollars a day.
        • Actually, I believe that you would be wrong. IIRC, all of the subsidies are used ONLY for local production that is sold LOCALLY. So, it does not interfere with exports. BUT, what is does is keep out some other nations.
    • by Oswald McWeany (2428506) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @12:19PM (#38086738)

      The crazy thing about the subsidies is that they encourage the growing of things like maize over vegtables and healthy alternatives.

      Maize- yes that wonderful grain that contains almost no healthy nutrition compare to other grains that is often served instead of vegetables.

      From which at subsidized prices we get artificially low sweetners such as corn syrup, and because it is used as animal feed (cattle, pigs)- meat prices drop.

      Not that there is anything wrong with protein- but it is the high fat that goes along with it that would be missing from more veggies instead of a 99cent ham burger- or a steak.

      The subsidies, especially the ones tilted towards encouraging farmers to grow maize of all things does nothign but encourage the obesity epidemic.

      Cut the maize- grow healthier grains, healthier fruits and veggies- why are my tax dollars going towards making my neighbours into fat pigs?

      • by Aqualung812 (959532) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @12:22PM (#38086788)

        Cut the maize- grow healthier grains, healthier fruits and veggies- why are my tax dollars going towards making my neighbours into fat pigs?

        It gets better. Wait until the USA has national healthcare. They they'll use tax money to make people fat (maize), then use tax money to deal with the health issues from being fat! PROFIT!

        • by Oswald McWeany (2428506) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @12:35PM (#38086946)

          Ahh-well the government will love then that not only do corn fed cattle have higher fat contents then grass fed cattle- they also require higher levels of antibiotics.

          These antibiotics in farming is what leads to super bugs and antibiotic resistance in bacteria... which leads to... ... higher health costs and prescription costs.

          Government should double subsidies on maize immediately to help make the loop complete.

          • by inviolet (797804)

            Ahh-well the government will love then that not only do corn fed cattle have higher fat contents then grass fed cattle- they also require higher levels of antibiotics.

            These antibiotics in farming is what leads to super bugs and antibiotic resistance in bacteria... which leads to... ... higher health costs and prescription costs.

            Government should double subsidies on maize immediately to help make the loop complete.

            Grass-fed meat not only has lower fat content (indeed -- it must be cooked differently than the obese meat from the grocery store), but the fats are different. I switched my family to grass-fed after I read the analysis of fat content [texasgrassfedbeef.com] from my local grass-fed distributor.

            They deliver by UPS in insulated boxes packed with dry ice, so everything is still frozen when I get home and pick the box up off the porch.

          • by cayenne8 (626475)

            ...not only do corn fed cattle have higher fat contents then grass fed cattle...

            I'm having a hard time with this one.

            I actually have problems FINDING beef with a decent fat content.

            I saw an old picture from the FDA, of a steak. I believe it was used to grading beef. A piece of Prime Grade beef from the early 60's, was almost pink..it had WONDERFUL marbling, which of course, is where the flavor comes from.

            A prime piece of beef...looks NOTHING like that these days. It has far less marbling, and hence..do

      • by geekoid (135745)

        Because you're an idiot. Corn doesn't make people fat, meat doesn't make people fat.
        Corn is the backbone to regular food delivery. It ahs many properties for that.

        Putting too many calories in ones mouth is why there is an obesity problem.

        ITs impact of beef costs isn't that great. without corn subsidies, the 99 cent burger would cost 99 cents.

        • First off, I don't have a problem with "corn" I have a problem with Maize. "Sweet Corn" if you must.

          The word "corn" usually refers to the most commonly grown grain in a region- it is a generic word- so means different things in different countries- and amongst older generations of Americans means different things depending what region you are from. Younger generations are more removed from agriculture so it means maize to them more.

          Absolutely Maize is a problem- your 99cent hamburger would not cost 99 cent

        • Recent work and research seems to indicate that, no, it's not just an issue of thermodynamics through caloric content. Unfortunately, many of the top proponents and researchers are of the sensationalist and inflammatory type. (Like the UCSF dude who proclaims "Sugar is Poison!". 95% of the science and research is exactly correct, and very well done, but I just wish he would shut up because I think he hurts his own cause.)

          Think of it this way-- you know what has lots of calories? Petrol. Will drinking

    • by bws111 (1216812)

      Look up 'dust bowl'

      • by geekoid (135745)

        Dust bowl? the market will fix that~

        The guy is one of many who doesn't understand why something is done, and why it was started, but spouts off it should stop because he doesn't understand what it is he is talking about.

        AND he gets to vote.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      "It isn't like we have food shortages in the US. "
      You answered you're own question.
      we do it s we don't have food shortages.and it works. Since you have bothered to find out why we started doing it, please shut the fuck up, you ignorant Son of a Bitch.

      "Especially since so many of the farms are large corporations now...."
      So?
      The reason we do it remains the same regardless of who is farming.

      • by cayenne8 (626475)
        Ok, then explain it to me...how stopping paying subsidies to farmers, to keep them from planting food, would cause us to have food shortages???

        If you're such and expert on this, how about enlightening all of us with how that would work? Citations, etc...?

        • by BranMan (29917) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @04:25PM (#38089974)
          I'll take a shot at it. In essence, subsidies are an insurance policy so that we always have plenty of food. Without subsidies, farming would be subject to the ups and downs of the free market. Consider this - with subsidies, farms can, regardless of how much of what they produce, KNOW what they are going to have for income, more or less. The subsidies make sure the prices they get are STABLE. With that we can make sure we're always producing the right amount - i.e. too much for us here at home, so we sell the excess overseas - regardless of climate or droughts, since we'll always make sure we have excess capacity.

          That works out really well. Without that, the market rules. If one year there is a drought, for instance, prices will jump as there will be shortages. The next year, all kinds of new people will try to get 'in' on the high prices and end up with a bumper crop, which will depress prices instead. Maybe to the point of bankrupting farmers, closing farms, etc. The next year after that, not enough of a crop is produced, and we have more shortages. Up and down, up and down. Not something we want happening to our food supply.

          I'm probably not explaining it well enough, but that's the general idea - simple economics, lots of players looking for an edge - if we leave prices unsupported, we'll have chaos. And hunger. And if we end up hungry here, what about all the places depending on our exports?

    • The reason is simple.

      Any one farmer is willing to grow and sell as much as they can to make as much money as they can.
      When you get all of them doing this the supply of food rises and the price drops.
      So the farmers need to sell more food to make a living.
      Which ends up the farmers working to death to make ends meat.
      They will also use up their land creating an environmental mess (Farming isn't green, even Organic Farming), they will plant themselves out of business.

      Subsidies keeps the balance.

      • by nedlohs (1335013)

        Or it results in farmers not making ends meet and hence going out of business. Reducing the supply of food and enabling those who were a little more efficient than them to make a living at the then higher prices.

    • The government doesn't pay to not produce any more but does buy land and turn it into prairies or parks. Basically land is so productive now that we don't need it all.

  • Premium service.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, 2011 @12:05PM (#38086522)

    ...is what you used to call 'regular service' yesterday.
    Case in point: Data caps. there were no data caps before, services wee running just fine...and somehow, a couple of years later, you need to pay more for the same data transfer.
    It's artificial shortage is what it is.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      Not entirely, when the iPhone came out for AT&T and became quite popular the data use dramatically increased in a short period of time. Combined with AT&T's network engineering incompetence and bad things happened. Around here despite being more or less smack dab between antennae I still have to climb a hill if I want a decent signal because AT&T didn't really cope with the hills when planning cell tower sites.

      • by Catbeller (118204)

        The big problems with network capacity happened in San Francisco and New York City, both places loaded with tech journalists who had the ability to broadcast their complaints. Other cities are mostly fine.

        SF dwellers complain, but don't seem to realize that it takes two years to get a new cell installed in their city due to NIMBY laws. AT&T simply could not roll out new capacity after the iPhone took off in 2007 for over two years because they were not permitted to do so. The problem started to diminish

  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @12:06PM (#38086530) Homepage

    I am glad that someone did some academic research to prove this, but it seems unnecessary. Isn't the entire point of eliminating network neutrality just so that carriers can charge more for their existing bandwidth? They slow down a site, then charge you to restore the speed back to what it originally was. Or they charge you a fee to make your packets a higher priority than your neighbor's. Either way, no infrastructure changes were required. The highway analogy the article uses is spot-on.

    Can someone explain to me why Republicans keep spewing this illogic about Net Neutrality? Why all the hate and rhetoric? It's really a very simple, and should be a non-partisan issue.

    • by 0racle (667029) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @12:18PM (#38086722)

      They slow down a site, then charge you to restore the speed back to what it originally was.

      Actually, it's worse than that. In addition to the above, they could introduce internet tiering packages where they went to the content providers and charge them for getting preferential treatment or at least slightly less throttling. They charge you for access, charge you again for faster access and charge the content providers for letting them get your traffic in the first place.

      Can someone explain to me why Republicans keep spewing this illogic about Net Neutrality?

      You seriously have to ask this? It's about money. Also, I don't believe anti-net neutrality is a partisan issue, R and D are both for it.

      • by Bloopie (991306) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @12:42PM (#38087022)

        Also, I don't believe anti-net neutrality is a partisan issue, R and D are both for it.

        If both parties are against net neutrality, how do you explain the Senate vote last week where the Democrats voted against repealing it and the Republicans voted for repealing it? And Obama threatened to veto a repeal? Link [washingtonpost.com]

      • Ideology. The republicans, or at least the base that they need to keep happy, oppose all government regulation by default as a matter of princible. They strongly believe in the power of the free market to self-optimise for the good of the people, if the government would just stop trying to fix it. Any times the market fails they'll just blame it on the government anyway.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by spidercoz (947220)
      Because the Republicans have been hijacked by a cabal of narcissistic, egomaniacal corporate toadies. They don't want free-market capitalism, they want a guaranteed ROI of infinity+1. They don't want to invest anything, but they demand profit regardless. They want money for nothing, yet they bitch about people who do that. They're liars, cheaters, and hypocrites, you know, the best we have to offer.
    • They slow down a site, then charge you to restore the speed back to what it originally was. Or they charge you a fee to make your packets a higher priority than your neighbor's. Either way, no infrastructure changes were required. The highway analogy the article uses is spot-on.

      The problem with Net Neutrality is that it won't work. Instead, I support "Internet Justice." After all, it has two good things in its name. How can it be bad?

      Hint: Everything you said about what Net Neutrality is was wrong. Net Neutrality regulations IN THEORY SHOULD prevent ISPs from charging website operators (note: not end users) more for faster access to that ISPs end users. Under Net Neutrality, you (as an end user) can still buy higher priority/more bandwidth lines on either end if you pay for them

    • The sentiment outlined in TFA, "broadband service providers charge consumers only once for Internet access, do not favor one content provider over another, and do not charge content providers for sending information over broadband lines to users" Is laudable. The proposed solutions are rarely so succinct, and the fear is that people want public supported government run "free" internet everywhere, and it's going to mandate that you can only use cisco model bg103 routers and google is in charge of xy and z, e
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, 2011 @12:06PM (#38086532)

    Industry is a bunch of spoiled children these days. They cry and scream and throw a tantrum, threatening to take their ball and go home unless they get bribed with candy to behave. Remember a time when all it took to get a business to make a wise move was prove it would make them more money? Neither do I.

    • by shentino (1139071) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @12:08PM (#38086566)

      Being rich enough to buy laws that keep everyone else poor is a profitable move indeed.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      It still works that way if by "them" you mean "the CEO" and by "more money" you mean "a buttload of tax free money."

    • by Talderas (1212466)

      Have you thoroughly assessed whether providers would get more money with or without net neutrality? Either way I don't see it as a necessity for them to upgrade the networks with it either. With net neutrality, they don't upgrade and start charging a higher price for the same access you had yesterday. Most people won't care unless provider in the area provides a better deal and one we're not talking pennies about. Something that actually justifies the hassle of switching.

      Without net neutrality then they seg

  • by Crashmarik (635988) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @12:11PM (#38086616)

    If you upgrade your base quality of service, you are going to eat into your revenue from selling quality for particular services A la carte. If a carrier is charging you and or netflix to provide a quality connection why would they invest in making the network "better".

  • by JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @12:14PM (#38086664)
    I, for one, am totally shocked.
    Shocked I tell you.
  • by Catbeller (118204) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @12:23PM (#38086798) Homepage

    They aren't providing a service; they are manufacturing a scarcity of service. Any producer or provider will ultimately do this if they are not regulated in some fashion. They will build out a minimum of infrastructure for a maximum of profit. And they will never stop raising fees. Our great-grandparents understood this, so electrical utilities and such are government-regulated monopolies. Some things can't be covered by free market economics. Wiring all homes is one of those things.

    • by cobrausn (1915176) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @12:41PM (#38087000)
      Any producer or provider will not 'ultimately do this' as long as the market barrier-to-entry is not too high. This can occur for a few reasons, one of which is actually the existence of regulations that favor the existing businesses (e.g., Regulatory Capture). Another reason is that the infrastructure required to support the service is incredibly expensive, which serves as a 'natural' limitation to the number of players. It seems in this case we have a bit of both. The only viable solution I see (solution being something that benefits both the market and the consumer) is to not allow the person who owns the lines to also provide service, only rent out the lines in a neutral fashion.
      • by slimjim8094 (941042) <slashdot3@@@justconnected...net> on Thursday November 17, 2011 @01:34PM (#38087852)

        I'm almost a socialist, but you're right on. The classic example is the electrical market - when the utility owned the plants, transmission, and distribution, they made their money by convincing the regulators they had to raise rates. Plant inefficiency actually helped them do this.

        And in that form, they were a natural monopoly. But simply splitting up the three parts made everything vastly better, as long as the split was handled properly. But now that production is competitive and the transmission companies are common carriers, a company can pay for power to be created and transmitted to them - and there's competition for that business, so reliability has gone up and prices have fallen.

        For anyone who hasn't read up on it, basically there's a graph of quantity vs marginal $/MW, sorted by $/MW so it's monotonically increasing (though not linearly). Things like solar and wind are at the very bottom (since they cost nothing to run), hydro, then nukes, coal, gas, oil, peakers (jet turbines), etc. Every day, they predict how much they'll need for the next day (plus a margin) and tell all the plants below it to be ready. The key is that everybody gets the market rate. The last plant to turn on makes no profit, and the solar plants make (near) 100% profit at any load. So there's an enormous incentive to move down that graph.

        It works. It really does, for the past 10-15 years. Prices fall, reliability rises, plants get cleaner. It's because they're not making money by convincing regulators, they're making money by moving down that graph.

        I should note that the company with the wires is still regulated, but even they've been split into physical maintenance and procurement divisions - you can swap out the procurement side and the small line fee is still present, but you're not buying your electricity from the local utility any more. You're buying it from someone else. The reason it's cheaper is because the local utility has to be the "provider of last resort"; they pick you up if you don't pay your bill to the other one, so they need to buy a little bit extra. And yes it's all the same power, but the dollars match everything up and if you go through it, it does actually make sense to think about paying for those exact megawatts to get to you (since they're all the same) and it simplifies things.

  • Let's try logic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by brxndxn (461473) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @12:26PM (#38086828)

    Here's simple logic on 'carriers' or ISPs:

    ISPs either have a monopoly or pseudo monopoly (in practicality) or they have competition. Therefore, there are two types of situations:

    1. Monopolistic - Upgrading networks not necessary
    2. Market-based - Carriers must upgrade networks to compete or lose customers

    In either situation, there are two types of sub-situations:

    1. Net-neutral - Carriers must upgrade networks to satisfy bandwidth demand, content decided by individuals
    2. Prioritized - Upgrading networks not necessary, low-priority traffic dropped, content decided by corporations

    What we have now in most of America is Monopolistic, Net-neutral. Carriers are arguing for Monopolistic, Prioritized. Consumers demand Market-based, Net-neutral. What should we get? Market-based, Either. What will we get most likely? Monopolistic, Prioritized.

    The fact we even need a study to prove that the carriers are lying is ridiculous. The best incentive to force ISPs to upgrade their networks is MORE and DIVERSE competition. It is not free-market competition when the only 'normal bandwidth' Internet access at home for a consumer is a choice between either the local cable company or local telco. It is not free-market competition when the only cellular bandwidth is a choice of 1 of 3 major carriers that control hardware and software of the devices and lobby in unison to our government. Carriers are essentially arguing to continue a monopoly and ignore advances in technology that allow unlimited upgrades in bandwidth.

    Instead of arguing net neutrality at all, if our lawmakers started making it easier for some competition in the marketplace, ISPs that do not deliver all traffic quickly would die off.

    • It's called a natural monopoly: The costs to enter the market are so huge (Equipment, laying fiber, buying spectrum, etc) that once one company is established, it's simply pointless for anyone to try to compete - and anyone who has the required billions of dollars isn't stupid enough to try it.
    • Re:Let's try logic (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fermion (181285) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @01:33PM (#38087840) Homepage Journal
      There is one other thing, a thing that most in the US have lot sight of. All mobile operators use the public space to generate a profit and as such should be required to use that space for the public good. If they cannot make a profit using the public space for public good, that public space should be given to someone who can. Nowhere is it written that profit is a fundemental right, although some conservative wackos want profit to be a fundemental right, I am talking about bush and reagan and the bailouts. Profit is merely something we have the right to persue.

      We lost this when TV and radio took over our government and decided they were entitled to the bandwidth loaned to them by the people. The people have every right to take that bandwidth back. Even the cable operators, whose cable runs though and limits the use of public space, has a duty to the public though they too believe they can take from the people without giving anything back.

      The argument for net neutrality is simply that the airwaves are public property and the public should make the decision on what it is used for, not the firms who are borrowing them. Like I said, if the mobile companies can't make a profit, then take the bandwidth away and attempted to be let to a new firm that can make a profit. This is what is done in real life. When a firm rents a space and does not make enough money to pay for that space, the space is taken back and rented to someone else. In the US we do say that they space is theirs forever just because they squatted on it and no one else wants it. We let the market work, except when a firm is so big they can corrupt the market by creating regulation to favor them. Which is the purpose of many regulations. To keep competition out.

      And as far as sig goes with Ron Paul, remember that instead of letting the market work and allowing his constituents to suffer for bad housing and car choices, or to allow the public to decide what food was best for them, he used tax payer money to build a million dollar bus stop and gave untold hundred of thousands of dollars to his fishing buddies so they could be hired as consultants to push shrimp. This is what is wrong with the market. Even those that claim be hands off will not be able to avoid the temptation of free money and helping their friends steal from the poot.

  • ... & become the law of the land?
  • by nimbius (983462) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @12:30PM (#38086888) Homepage
    you start a business, and we impose regulations to prevent you from abusing your tacit monopoly be it global or regional. Comply with them or spend more lobbying dollars.

    do not threaten the customers hoping they will back you. verizon and AT&T subscribers enjoy some of the shittiest wireless service in the first world, comcast customer experience is comparative to that of an internet subscriber in rural india. cox service, if it ever gets installed, is just as bad. Sprint does nothing more than bait-and-switch its customers hoping they remember the CEO chortling about some amorphous unlimited everything plan on paid advertising.
  • by silas_moeckel (234313) <silas@nOspAM.dsminc-corp.com> on Thursday November 17, 2011 @12:36PM (#38086954) Homepage

    Require some truth in advertizing from them. Enact legislation where if they do not meet there advertized speeds one average during peek times they are fined and eventually loose there monopolies. There networks are cash cows network upgrades are a simple matter of trending and re engineering for wired networks. They want to suck all the money they can out and avoid capx purchases to make there bonus bigger. Honestly most monopoly services should be bid out where the carrier offering the most for the least gets the contract. I would love to see AT&T loose out on DSL and have to give up that franchise, they have no cost of bandwidth (paying your sister company does not count) but aggressively limiter there subscribers.

  • by rsilvergun (571051) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @12:37PM (#38086958)
    is that there's a good reason to prevent over farming. Over farming tobacco turned Virginia into a desert in the 1800s. Plus in agriculture you sometimes have to get people to grow food that's not profitable but that people need to eat, e.g. it might be a bad year for potatoes, but we still need potatoes.

    The trouble with net neutrality, indeed with any concepts on the Web, is that we're brushing up against a post-scarcity economy here. There really isn't any analogy that works because we've never done that before.
  • If I were Jobs, I'd stomp in, put my bare feet up on your desks, give you the old staring laser eye, and say: "The Internet is shit. We need to make a new one."

    Apparently he was of the same mind as I. In 2006-2007 he wanted to build a new data network using 802.22, the old TV spectrum which goes through walls quite well, to build a new nationwide WiFi network.

    Image this. A 99 dollar box, an Apple Net box, as it were, that anyone could buy and plug into the wall. It automatically meshes with any other AppleN

    • Here's a thought. Why don't we just do it anyway? FCC be damned.

    • by Catbeller (118204)

      Oh, I know indeed. And sound cannon and tax investigations and pepper cannon. But at some point, if we don't, we're never leaving a world-wide police state. They will become ensconced into the Panopticon State, and to add insult to that they will make us pay car-loan prices for our incarceration. We need comm they can't control. A century ago, our lives weren't funneled through one network. Now it is, and they have grabbed control and we are now seeing the beginning of what that means. It will become infini

  • In policy debates before Congress and the FCC, the big ISPs and wireless carriers (Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Cox, Sprint) argued that net neutrality rules would give them less incentive to upgrade their networks.

    When industry reps for government policy based on whether or not that policy would give them an "incentive to do X", they almost invariably really mean "profit without doing X".

    (They are more likely to be honest if they talk about a policy that would give someone else an incentive to do something

  • They will be less enticed to provide more bandwidth.

    What part of: More product = More Customers. Better Value / Price = Happier customers willing to pay more.

    That's like, the system. Don't bypass that system, unless we can strip you of management and turn you into a crown corporation (a Canadian/Brit/Aussie concept, but something the U.S. should consider).

    Can we see some statistics on how much it's costing in support calls due to poorer than advertised speed/latency/availability? I'm pretty sure these
  • That analogy falls down. Bandwidth is a high fixed cost, nearly zero marginal cost resource. Once some level of capacity has been installed, the cost to carry one additional megabyte is zero (assuming the capacity limit isn't reached). So its a question of how best to distribute the fixed charges among the users. That is, the capital costs incurred by burying all that fiber in the first place.

    The whole Net neutrality thing is an argument about price discrimination [wikipedia.org] and its use to manage classes of users rat

  • How far back has this idea gone?

    I'm trying to think of a car analogy here...
    Ford cars run better/faster on Ford gas?

You know, the difference between this company and the Titanic is that the Titanic had paying customers.

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