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Tech Giants Rally Today in Support of Net Neutrality (theverge.com) 126

From a report: Technology giants like Amazon, Spotify, Reddit, Facebook, Google, Twitter and many others are rallying today in a so-called "day of action" in support of net neutrality, five days ahead of the first deadline for comments on the US Federal Communications Commission's planned rollback of the rules. In a move that's equal parts infuriating and exasperating, Ajit Pai, the FCC's new chairman appointed by President Trump, wants to scrap the open internet protections installed in 2015 under the Obama administration. Those consumer protections mean providers such as AT&T, Charter, Comcast, and Verizon are prevented from blocking or slowing down access to the web. Sites across the web will display alerts on their homepages showing "blocked," "upgrade," and "spinning wheel of death" pop-ups to demonstrate what the internet would look like without net neutrality, according to advocacy group Battle for the Net. But most of the pop-ups The Verge has seen have been simple banners or static text with links offering more information.
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Tech Giants Rally Today in Support of Net Neutrality

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  • Irony (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Arbitary5664 ( 1979712 ) on Wednesday July 12, 2017 @09:10AM (#54793223)
    Just want to point out the irony that when 100,000s of people complain about this: nothing happens, and tech savvy people are hired to post fake anti net neutrality posts to the FCC (which is run by an anti net neutrality asshat). When 4-5 big companies bitch about it, something happens. Think long and hard on this -- if it was worth just a little more money, your rights would still be entirely fucked and your personal vote is worth less than that of business in the US.
    • Or, maybe the giants pay the politicians to kill net neutrality, while publicly supporting it (pacs are anonymous after all). They do this knowing normal cows, er, people, like yourself, won't waste the time to click around and voice their support of NN.

      Or, maybe we could actually research who's lobying against NN: https://www.dailydot.com/layer... [dailydot.com]

      Apologies, that site has tons of ads. Someone please search more and find a better link.

      Bottom line, after the reading I've done, I've decided that there are

    • Just want to point out the irony that when 100,000s of people complain about this: nothing happens

      Complaining rarely solves problems. Now if those 100,000's of people had actually done something, like fund a PAC, then they might have seen results.

  • They can afford to pay AT&T whatever fees get extorted. The smaller players won't be able to pay those fees. No individual telco would bother to make Google rivalling products especially if Google and Netflix are paying them enough. If people can't access Google on AT&T they will switch to someone else. That can't be said for podunk rivals.

    • Until vertical integration locks them out. Imagine TW Cable still existed and merged back with Time Warner the media company. Bang, now only some news sources load fast and Hulu works a lot better than Netflix.
    • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Wednesday July 12, 2017 @09:47AM (#54793519)

      They can afford to pay AT&T whatever fees get extorted.

      But they don't want to pay. Also AT&T can charge high extortion rates.

      . If people can't access Google on AT&T they will switch to someone else. That can't be said for podunk rivals.

      Switch to who? Most ISPs have monopolies in their markets.

      • by NetNed ( 955141 )
        Reports [doc.gov] say otherwise. I am not sure why people all think they have one option in their areas and most people only have one option. True in the late 90's and early 2000's but ISP's do this crazy thing called expanding their markets to make more money and increase share prices.
        • Did you actually read the report:

          At download speeds of 3 megabits per second (Mbps), which is the Federal Communications Commission’s current approximate standard for basic broadband service, 98 percent of the population had a choice of at least two mobile ISPs and 88 percent had two or more fixed ISPs available to them. . . At somewhat higher speeds, such as 10 Mbps, the typical person still is able to choose among two fixed ISPs . . .For example, only 37 percent of the population had a choice of two or more providers at speeds of 25 Mbps or greater; only 9 percent had three or more choices . . . Moreover, four out of ten Americans did not live where very-high-speed broadband service – 100 Mbps or greater – is available. Of those with access to broadband at this speed level, only 8 percent had access to two or more providers; 1 percent had access to three or more. Only 3 percent of the population had 1 Gbps or greater available; none had two or more ISPs at that speed.

          The reports says there are multiple ISPs available for 3MB/s which the government considers broadband. If you are streaming Netflix, they recommend the minimum [netflix.com] is 3MB/s for SD, 5MB/s for HD, and 25 MB/s for 4K. These are the minimums. If you live in a household with multiple users, good luck on streaming and using the internet at the same time. It also does not separate out between different types of ISPs like cable, DSL, satellite, or fiber. I considers them all as equal o

          • At download speeds of 3 megabits per second (Mbps), which is the Federal Communications Commission’s current approximate standard for basic broadband service,

            The FCC defines broadband as 25 Mbps down and 3Mbps up: https://www.theverge.com/2015/... [theverge.com]

            3 Mbps down is no longer considered broadband.

          • by NetNed ( 955141 )
            For one you skipped over the numbers of areas where multiple vendors of 10MB/s is available. Also when it say "fixed" satellite is removed from the equation.

            You admit you have options in your area but then say they are not viable to you. Viability and availability are two different things. Add to that you don't seem to think you can use one ISP off the other to negotiate a lower price out of one. That is done ALL THE TIME. I call yearly to get mine lowered and I am not talking 10 bucks or so. I get them to
            • For one you skipped over the numbers of areas where multiple vendors of 10MB/s is available. Also when it say "fixed" satellite is removed from the equation.

              Now I know you didn't bother to read it. I didn't skip over the numbers. Here is the entire paragraph:

              At somewhat higher speeds, such as10 Mbps, the typical person still is able to choose among two fixed ISPs. The typical person also has the option of choosing among three mobileISPs. At even higher speeds, however, the number of providers drops off dramatically. For example, only 37 percent of the population had a choice of two or more providers at speeds of 25 Mbps or greater; only 9 percent had three or more choices

              You admit you have options in your area but then say they are not viable to you. Viability and availability are two different things

              So you're saying I should pick internet that I can't really use. In this discussion since we are talking about streaming videos, you'd want me to pick an ISP that can't reliably let me stream. At that point why don't you include dial-up.

              Add to that you don't seem to think you can use one ISP off the other to negotiate a lower price out of one. That is done ALL THE TIME.

              And how do you know I didn't negotiate? You can't know, can you? I can get a better price for 6 months, even a year. Heck I can get them to throw in free boxes. For a locked

    • They can afford to pay AT&T whatever fees get extorted.

      Why the hell should Netflix, google, et al pay twice for their traffic?
      Also the thing with extortionists is that you pay them once and soon enough they are at your door again asking for money.
      That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld. You never get rid of the Dane.

  • I have to guess that since the FCC policy is a US only policy (although it would likely affect those outside of the US also), this would explain why I don't see anything when accessing any of the sites listed.

    What is being displayed on the various sites?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    And I don't mean this story.

  • by Beerdood ( 1451859 ) on Wednesday July 12, 2017 @09:58AM (#54793585)
    Imagine if pornhub, xhamster, etc... decided to band together and block all access from Congress (or even all of Washington D.C) for 24 hours from accessing their sites. Bonus points if they add some sort of family-values message to their site ("We at [website] have taken the necessary steps to prevent our elected representatives from accessing the ungodly smut they claim is destroying this great nation. You're welcome").

    Now that might actually trigger some change!
  • by RogueWarrior65 ( 678876 ) on Wednesday July 12, 2017 @10:07AM (#54793637)

    There is really no competition in the ISP space. Two providers is not competition. Two is essentially sanctioned price-fixing. The consumer hasn't liked the way TV is distributed for a while now which has resulted in Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and many others. But they still all need to use the infrastructure that's owned by the cable and phone companies. If they can't charge high-bandwidth users more, they're just not going to upgrade it and you can't force them to either.

  • Hoes don't care for sweet words and enticement, they want money. So unless you throw some money at the whores in Washington, they won't listen.

  • Not sure why it's buried, but here's the link:
    https://www.battleforthenet.co... [battleforthenet.com]

    • That's because TFA discusses the written FCC comments. But the battleforthenet link might arguably be more effective.

  • Net Neutrality is a function of Last Mile Monopolies. Fix the last mile problem, and you won't need Net Neutrality rules foisted on us by Government and all the special interest groups paying to have their interests represented in DC, at the cost of the electorate's interests.

    Seriously, do you think, even for a second, that the Politicos in DC care a shit about Net Neutrality, even when they claim they do? They care about lining their pockets with Special Interest Cash to next years campaign and vacations.

    W

    • Sounds lovely. However, NONE of this is on the table today.

      On the table today, is keeping the lack of competition status quo until some future undefined change. And then either keeping the neutrality rules in place that offer protections to offset that lack of competition or destroying those protections.

      It's nice to say, let's add competition. But, please, actually DO THAT BEFORE you gut and destroy all the protections. There's a definite sequence that needs to be followed to prevent harm.

      • So, what? It should be on the table, because knowing where the actual problem is, allows us to fix the problem CORRECTLY. Saying corrupt politicians should be in charge of defining net neutrality laws is simply asking for more problems and worse outcome than leaving things as is. Why can't people see that franchise agreements (governmental) are the root cause of Net Neutrality issues to this day? The fix isn't more of what caused it, it is less.

        • It's fine to add this and get it on the table. And to correctly point out that it needs to change. Getting to a root cause and fixing it there is a great idea.

          But, the flip side is, you can't throw out the protections that are required because that root cause isn't fixed until AFTER you fix the root cause.

          Saying we're going to get rid of B because while B provides some relief it doesn't actually solve problem A. But, at the same time, we're only going to work on solving A a some undefined future date. T

  • I got a pop-up message when I visited my web host provider, DreamHost [dreamhost.com], this morning.

    Please upgrade your plan to proceed.

    Just kidding. You can still get to this site *for now*. But if the FCC ends net neutrality, your cable company could charge you extra fees just to use the websites and apps you want. We can stop them and keep the Internet open, fast, and awesome if we all contact the U.S. Congress and the FCC, but we only have a few days left. Learn more. [battleforthenet.com]

  • The Trump administration could go one of two ways to fix our broadband infrastructure.

    Carrot: Tax breaks and direct subsidies to build out networks with the requirement that all traffic is handled equally in a best-effort manner. This would dovetail nicely with his $1 Trillion infrastructure spending plans.

    Stick: Anti-trust enforcement action - carriers using their monopoly status to harm competing services clearly violates all manner of anti-trust laws already on the books.

    My guess is the carrot method is

  • After the giant list of major web businesses having a day of action - I have to say, the response seems incredibly underwhelming. Nothing on Wikipedia, nothing on Google or Amazon, Apple or Facebook - tiny banner on NetFlix - nothing on YouTube. I was expecting a "Day Of Action" where all of those major players would at least stick a popup in your face - or darken the site or some other very visible thing. To say I'm disappointed would be an understatement.

    The ~500 daily visitors to my blog site will s

  • The Net Neutrality Cheer

    WHAT DO WANT????
    (crowd) FREE STUFF!!!!
    WHEN DO WE WANT IT?
    (crowd)NOW!!!!
    WHO SHOULD PAY FOR MY DOWNLOADING
    (crowd)RICH PEOPLE
    WHO IS THE RICH?
    (crowd)NOT ME
    HOW MUCH YOU MAKE?
    (crowd)umm, Over $150,000?

    (REST OF THE COUNTRY) STFU
    • by sbaker ( 47485 )

      I think you may be a bit confused about this.

      WITH NetNeutrality - every end user who connects to the internet pays the same amount to their ISP, regardless of what content they transfer. They might pay more if they use more bandwidth - that's not covered by Net Neutrality.

      WITHOUT NetNeutrality - the ISP can charge you more for visiting some web sites than others - they can effectively shut out websites who compete with them (imagine what Cable companies who are also ISP's might do to YouTube and NetFlix)

  • Then Google would spin off Google fiber, and have the other tech Giants invest into them as well to run around installing fiber throughout America.
  • The FCC is an American regulator. Someone did a study and found, after removing big business interests, almost no correlation between how the US federal government passes regulations and the desires of voters. It's not just gerrymandering, a huge patchwork of laws and nearly unlimited political spending that guarantee no one outside the two parties will have power, statistically the USA is not a democracy in anyway*. Just be lucky that today, there are big companies whose interests align with yours.

    If
  • The Net Neutrality "protest" is a poor attempt to mirror the Great Web Blackout [wikipedia.org] of February 8-9, 1996 regarding the Communications Decency Act.

    The difference of course is the CDA was an actual threat government infringement on online speech, as opposed to theoretical traffic allocations by private corporations, and frankly most of the protesting companies are really trying to use "net neutrality" as a negotiating tactic regarding the price of massive streaming video bandwidth (that those protesting companie

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Unfortunately for you, the internet doesn't remain the same as it was in 1996.

      In 1996, everyone mostly used dialup. That meant that there was worldwide custom routing available to every endpoint.

      In 2017 (and, honestly, since about 2001), an "always on" connection has become the norm. You can't just dial into whatever and get a direct connection to bypass your ISP when their gatekeeping pisses you off.

      Government intervention is therefore necessary, but only in the limited scope of preventing ISP's from using

      • by TheSync ( 5291 )

        And THAT is net neutrality. Anything else is just someone's bullshit agenda trying to whitewash itself as part of something you already know to be necessary.

        Just wait until YOU become guilty of ILLEGAL PACKET PRIORITIZATION...

  • In a move that's equal parts infuriating and exasperating, Ajit Pai, the FCC's new chairman appointed by President Trump, wants to scrap the open internet protections installed in 2015 under the Obama administration.

    Well, that sure is the kind of objective reporting we like!

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