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Net Neutrality Campaign To Show What the Web Would Be Like With a "Slow Lane" 91

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-so-fast dept.
blottsie writes In a move out of the anti-SOPA campaign playbook, Fight for the Future and other net neutrality activist groups have set up the Battle for the Net coalition, which plans to launch an "Internet slowdown day" later this month. No actual traffic will be slowed down. Instead, participating sites will display embeddable modules that include a spinning "loading" symbol and information about contacting the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the White House, and members of Congress.
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Net Neutrality Campaign To Show What the Web Would Be Like With a "Slow Lane"

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  • by MtHuurne (602934) on Monday September 01, 2014 @07:49PM (#47803271) Homepage

    It's a buzzword for demanding federal control of the internet, to remedy the government-caused problem of last mile providers who are protected from competition by local cable monopoly privileges.

    What kind of additional control would net neutrality give the government over the internet besides the enforcing net neutrality itself?

    Besides, I doubt any possible negative side effects of net neutrality would come close to the problem of ongoing massive warrantless spying, so if you're worried about government control over the internet, this seems like the wrong battle to pick.

    All we need to solve the problem of the Comcasts and the Time-warners of the world is to expose them to competition.

    That may not be easy... The big telcos lobby for laws protecting them from municipal broadband, but as far as I know they are not protected from commercial rivals, yet few are challenging them.

    Here in the Netherlands when it comes to broadband competition, on ADSL there is a lot of competition because the government forced the leading telco (KPN, the former state telco) to share their telephone lines with other ISPs, since those lines were laid with public money. On cable, for some reason such a line sharing wasn't enforced, so two big companies (UPC and Ziggo) bought all the local cable networks and are now trying to merge, meaning there will be one giant cable company for the entire country (*). On fiber, there used to be a lot of different ISPs, but KPN bought most of them and a few other failed (probably because of mismanagement), so there is very little competition left there as well.

    (*) I do agree with the cable companies' reasoning that they are not competing against each other anyway, since they don't operate in the same areas: every house has at most one cable connection. But in my opinion the line sharing should have been enforced for cable too, since those networks were also built with public money. But they were owned by local governments and sold for a lot of money during the dot-com boom (unlike KPN, which was owned by the state and then privatized), so I guess it would be unfair to change the conditions for network use after selling them.

    My point is that mergers and acquisitions will reduce competition, even in situations where there are no corrupt laws blocking healthy competition. So I think it's wishful thinking that if you allow competition it will automatically come into existence, regardless of properties of the specific market.

    There is also a practical aspect: it is inefficient to have to run several cables to each house. In my opinion, ideally each house would be connected to a single fiber optic cable, over which an unlimited number of ISPs could offer their services. The last mile is not a good place to look for competition; the rest of the service is.

  • by Kohath (38547) on Monday September 01, 2014 @08:58PM (#47803593)

    If you thought Comcast was powerful now, wait until the government you're trusting to enforce "net neutrality" against them lets them merge with NBC Universal.

    Oh wait, that was 2 years ago. Wait until the government you're trusting to enforce "net neutrality" lets them merge with Time Warner.

  • Re:Boycott (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gunnnnslinger (793553) on Monday September 01, 2014 @09:03PM (#47803619)
    But this is America. Where any attempt to regulate or otherwise hold corporations accountable is met with a hyperbolic "ERMAGAWD, SOCIALISM!' Imagine what kind of reaction you'd get from "AW MA GAWD, GUBMINT INNERNET!" Americans have been well trained to completely disregard their own self-interests for fairy-tales shilled by corporate owned media.
  • by NotSanguine (1917456) on Monday September 01, 2014 @09:11PM (#47803659) Journal

    It's a buzzword for demanding federal control of the internet, to remedy the government-caused problem of last mile providers who are protected from competition by local cable monopoly privileges.

    All we need to solve the problem of the Comcasts and the Time-warners of the world is to expose them to competition.

    -jcr

    And how, exactly, do you propose to "expose them to competition"? Do you invite multiple last mile providers to install new infrastructure? Good luck getting them all the rights-of-way and access to the poles, tunnels and other access-ways currently in use.

    Do you use eminent domain to take the local monopoly's infrastructure and install a not-for-profit organization to manage, maintain and upgrade the last-mile, while selling access to the infrastructure to independent ISPs who compete on price and features?

    Do you build out (paid for with municipal bonds) a new high-speed last mile infrastructure, with a not-for-profit organization to manage, maintain and upgrade the infrastructure, paid for by selling access to independent ISPs?

    Please do share with the group.

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