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AT&T The Internet Communications The Courts Technology

AT&T Seeks Supreme Court Review On Net Neutrality Rule (bloomberg.com) 143

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: AT&T and other broadband providers asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Obama-era "net neutrality" rule barring internet service providers from slowing or blocking rivals' content. The appeals, filed Thursday, will put new pressure on a rule enacted in 2015 when the Federal Communications Commission was under Democratic control. Filing a separate appeal from AT&T were the United States Telecom Association, a trade group, and broadband service provider CenturyLink. The embattled net neutrality rules bar internet service providers such as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast from blocking or slowing some web traffic in favor of other content -- their own or a paying customer's. "The practical stakes are immense," AT&T said in its appeal of a ruling that backed the FCC. The company pointed to a dissenting opinion that said the regulation "fundamentally transforms the internet" and will have a "staggering" impact on infrastructure investment.
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AT&T Seeks Supreme Court Review On Net Neutrality Rule

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 28, 2017 @10:37PM (#55274183)

    It is clear these corporations no longer serve the public good.

    Why are they allowed to continue existing?

    • Because they have us by the balls.

    • While 150 years ago no one could establish a corporation without showing it would serve the public good, that is no longer the case. In fact, current US legal theory is that a corporation can only consider the interests of its shareholders (including top management) - any public good can only be incidental to making the owners richer. If management considers the interests of the employees, customers, environment or the general public, the shareholders can sue them for not trying to squeeze out every possi
    • by MercTech ( 46455 )

      AT&T was broken up as a monopoly into the "Baby Bells".
      Then a company called SBC quietly bought up most of the Baby Bell companies during the dot com bubble then re branded themselves as AT&T again starting a new monopoly.

      I still maintain the thesis that since the internet backbone was developed, bought, and paid for with tax money as a DARPA project; that makes it a public utility. What AT&T seems to want is like the old AOL model where their proprietary network content came lightning fast but

  • by Anonymous Coward

    To all Cell towers - make all towers neutral infrastructure, true "unlimited", no slowing, no shaping, no tiers, no caps, no massive customer wallet raping.
    When a "speed" is sold, that speed is "absolute, rock-bottom minimum" 24x7x52 not "up to".
    Any signs of tampering by the ISPs or backbone carriers will ensue a minimum 50k fine, per customer, per day, payable to every customer effected, not the government.

    To AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, Comcast, Cox Cable, CenturyLink, Time-Warner, T-Mobile and every other

    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @01:29AM (#55274699) Homepage

      That's not possible. It's like everyone should have their own motorway to wherever they want to travel. Reality is that from time to time there's traffic congestion that causes problems.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Then maybe they should stop overselling their bandwidth. Reduce speeds or build out your infrastructure, don't lie about it.

        • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

          Then maybe they should stop overselling their bandwidth.

          There is absolutely no way to do it otherwise except to share bandwidth. Otherwise you are building out dedicated links that will probably sit idle for 90% of the time, and what you get now would cost $1500/month.

      • Net neutrality does not affect a service provider's ability to properly manage congestion.

      • That's not possible. It's like everyone should have their own motorway to wherever they want to travel. Reality is that from time to time there's traffic congestion that causes problems.

        So each hop in a network between the source and your terminal should share in the profit that overriding net-neutrality will produce.
        I can see your bill being itemized, with virus attacks on your system being charged to you.

    • To all Cell towers - make all towers neutral infrastructure, true "unlimited", no slowing, no shaping, no tiers, no caps, no massive customer wallet raping.
      When a "speed" is sold, that speed is "absolute, rock-bottom minimum" 24x7x52 not "up to".
      Any signs of tampering by the ISPs or backbone carriers will ensue a minimum 50k fine

      I read the Net Neutrality paper rule when it was released. Edge servers can throttle network traffic. Better known as BGP's https://tools.ietf.org/html/rf... [ietf.org]

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Or maybe this infrastructure should become a utility like roads, power and water. Do I like the idea of more government involvement? No, but it's clear the current providers can't manage things for the public benefit.

      • This could be done where one company builds out the infrastructure and charges service providers access fees. It doesn't need to be government run, just regulated such that they treat all providers equally and follow net neutrality rules. Then, service providers can do whatever they like, and we can have actual choice in the market. This should be true for wired and wireless ISPs. We only have so much spectrum and physical space on poles. There should be zero reason why we should be building out this infras
  • ...this is what they asked:

    asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Obama-era "net neutrality" rule barring internet service providers from slowing or blocking rivals' content.

  • Time for Finesse (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tokolosh ( 1256448 ) on Thursday September 28, 2017 @10:49PM (#55274225)

    The Internet is a set of agreed protocols and standards. If these protocols are not adhered to, then the service provided is not "Internet". It becomes something like the late, unlamented AOL.

    So if an ISP violates net neutrality, like deep packet inspection, blocking ports, injecting data, prioritizing or blocking specific traffic, it is violating one or more of the protocols or standards.

    In such a case, the ISP should lose all Safe Harbor protection, government subsidies and assistance, such as peering, right-of-way access, tax breaks and the like. Of course, under truth-in-advertising regulations, they may not use the word "internet" in advertising or describing their product.

    • So if an ISP violates net neutrality, like deep packet inspection, blocking ports, injecting data, prioritizing or blocking specific traffic, it is violating one or more of the protocols or standards.

      Really? Which Internet standard RFC covers net neutrality as enforced by the FCC?

      When did the the government telling people how to interconnect their network and how to manage traffic on their network and even what to allow on their network become a key moral value of the internet? Notice how I keep saying "the

      • The whole ethos of the IETF and the internet has always been for net neutrality.

        The whole point of finesse is that the government does not tell people how to run their networks. So you have (deliberately?) misunderstood - they can do what the hell they want with the networks they built.

        But at the same time, if they are providing some parody of the internet, then it is proper that they not mislead their customers. And if the state is protecting, supporting or subsidizing the provision of internet, they do n

        • Re:Time for Finesse (Score:4, Informative)

          by Obfuscant ( 592200 ) on Thursday September 28, 2017 @11:32PM (#55274373)

          The whole ethos of the IETF and the internet has always been for net neutrality.

          Not the way it is being used today. The whole ethos of the IETF is ENGINEERING a network that can provide service in a timely and efficient manner. That might include prioritizing certain kinds of traffic. And gosh if there isn't a flag in every internet packet that deals with that.

          But at the same time, if they are providing some parody of the internet, then it is proper that they not mislead their customers.

          That's why they define speeds as "up to". And it is not misleading for them to claim a speed "up to" that is not met because there is a bottleneck of all traffic at a border gateway. It is not misleading when they claim an "up to" speed that is not met because the source cannot meet it.

          The next time you hear someone demand that their email or web page traffic be given exactly the same priority as a service that requires low latency to be effective, keep in mind that the Internet does, indeed, include provisions for such prioritization and that this demand is NOT what is meant by "net neutrality" in any practical sense.

          • Not the way it is being used today. The whole ethos of the IETF is ENGINEERING a network that can provide service in a timely and efficient manner. That might include prioritizing certain kinds of traffic. And gosh if there isn't a flag in every internet packet that deals with that.

            There's also an "evil bit"...

            None of the VOIP traffic I'm getting from the "Apple" and "Microsoft" people claiming "your PC has a virus!" is setting that bit, either.

      • by PoopJuggler ( 688445 ) on Thursday September 28, 2017 @11:20PM (#55274333)
        Omg stfu dude. Government regulation is what keeps corporations from doing all sorts of evil shit. The internet is now too important to not have protections for consumers.
        • Precisely. Unless someone is 100 years old or older, or if someone actually pays attention to history, people are spoiled by the way things are now and can't imagine a world where there are things like Debtors Prison, Indentured Servitude, Slavery, Child Labor, and no labor standards or labor laws whatsoever. They also can't imagine a world where companies can claim whatever they want about their products, with impugnity (smoking is healthy and good for you! SMOKE MORE!) or a world where you can't really su
          • Please go read some history that doesn't contain the propaganda based on the phrase "The people's history".

            Debtors prison is by definition an artifact of government laws and regulations. It WAS a labor law.
            Indentured Servitude, ditto...
            Slavery, ended primarily by the countries which were more laissez faire and free market. Still exists in some places which aren't, so difficult to tie that to free markets without regulation.
            Child Labor was ended by private companies BEFORE a national law in the U.S. was pass

            • So are you saying that we should just let ISPs in this country do whatever the hell they want, and to hell with everyone else? Because if you are then you can get fucked.
              • No, I'm saying that unless someone is actually harming someone else, we should just leave them alone and let them make whatever agreements they want with each other.

                The Internet has been unregulated under the FCC for virtually it's entire existence. No massive harm has occurred as a result. Why do you think suddenly one is going to magically appear now?

        • So your theory is that until now, the Internet wasn't important enough for government regulations and that government regulations are what keep companies from doing "all sorts of evil shit".

          Your contradicts itself, because it turns out that until now, companies haven't been doing "all sorts of evil shit" using the internet. In fact, they've managed to turn the Internet into something "important" without any of those regulations. Funny how your theory doesn't match reality, eh?

          So how about instead of just te

      • by MeNeXT ( 200840 )

        "Their network" passes through land which they were granted access right of way to in order to provide a common carrier service. If they are not a common carrier then, I as a landowner, can revoke access. Their network, my land.

        • When that right of way was granted, a price was paid and/or an agreement made.

          You can't just go back and add arbitrary conditions to those agreements. There is a reason ex post facto laws are prohibitied under Article 1, Section 9, Clause 3 and Article 1 Section 10 of the Constitution.

          So no, you (and the government) can't just go back and tyrannically "revoke" access under a previous agreement. Are you really arguing that President Trump should be a lifetime dictator? 'Cause that's where your philosophy lea

      • Notice how I keep saying "their network", as if they built it, own it and should be able to use it (or not use it) as they want?

        I did notice that! And that's what has me confused. They did not build it [internetsociety.org], as I'm sure you know. They have been helping expand and maintain it. But the Internet has always been a public network and should remain so. It is, at most, a public-private partnership. These companies seem to forget the "public" part, as companies often do. So the public must remind them. However, considering the slant of the current court, that is not guaranteed.

        • Sorry, the Internet as it exists today wasn't built by the government. NSFNET (from your link) isn't even a drop in the bucket. It maxed out at a T-3. Many private companies have multiple 100 GB cross-country links. The Internet primarily consists of privately owned autonomous networks. Sure, make the argument the government owned/built portions should be governed by the government, but don't think that means the private portions should be, which is what we're talking about.

      • The net inherited neutrality from well established international treaties governing the global telephone system, not sure how the FCC can dump it without breaking those treaties and pissing off every other nation on earth? Regardless of who owns the wires, the telephone system is global public infrastructure (much of it was originally funded and built by various governments). If they want to stay hooked up to that global infrastructure then they should follow the established rules and stop pleading for spec
        • You realize the Internet has worked just fine this entire time without the FCC Net Neutrality rules, right? "Dumping" the new rules which mostly either barely or didn't take effect yet isn't going to conflict with anything which wasn't in conflict a year ago.

      • If the ISPs would, in their contract with me, the home consumer, clearly call out that their speed for me was a lie, and that they are going to crappify my Netflix connection unless Netflix give them a cut of what I pay Netflix, then fine.

        Until then, regulate away!

        • I agree that an ISP must state clearly in their contract with you what you are contracting for.

          Since that's already the law (and lawsuits about it have already won their point), you're all set to oppose more regulations.

    • How about this: use encryption on all TCP and UDP packets, including DNS. Then ISPs can't do deep packet inspection, inject data, or anything of the sort.
      Besides which, the way things are going, we probably should have everything encrypted anyway, nothing is safe anymore.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    If Walmart want to make a rule that says you buy toys from them, you have to buy all future toy batteries from them also, it would increase Walmarts ability to invest in toy sales, and enable their future infrastructure investments.

    So they should ditch all consumer protection, since it hurts large cartels abilities to extract profit and since some of those profits go to infrastructure, it follows it's a bad thing.

    Why should government hinder AT&T's ability to make profit in cooperation with conspirator

  • by bjdevil66 ( 583941 ) on Thursday September 28, 2017 @11:51PM (#55274433)
    AT&T apparently can't afford to buy every judge out there yet - like they have likely bought every member of Congress in one way or another.
  • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Thursday September 28, 2017 @11:54PM (#55274443)
    The free market argument works if there's competition. If the customers want net neutrality, they will ditch ISPs which accept payments for fast lanes, and switch to ISPs which honor net neutrality. If customers want services who pay for fast lanes, they will ditch neutral ISPs for ISPs which charge for fast lanes. This is pretty much how Internet service works in most of the world. If your ISP's policies piss you off, you cancel and get Internet using a different ISP.

    Unfortunately, this isn't the case in the U.S. The vast majority of Internet providers have a government-granted monopoly, whether it be DSL (local phone service monopoly) or cable (cable TV/Internet monopoly). Without competition, there is no alternate ISP for customers to switch to if they're unhappy with their ISP's policies.

    Hopefully the Supreme Court realizes this, and rules that local governments granting ISP monopolies is unconstitutional - state or local regulation of interstate commerce (the Internet crosses state and national borders). That way, everyone wins. The ISPs opposing net neutrality can charge for fast lanes. The ISPs for net neutrality can provide neutral service. And customers can choose whichever ISP they prefer. (For bonus points, websites which don't like ISPs who charge for fast lanes and artificially throttle their service to those companies as a way to "encourage" their customers to switch to a different ISP. After all, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.)
    • You forget that ISPs consist of physical cables owned by them. If you're thinking about carrier provisions that force renting out of lines (ie: how boost mobile rents lines laid by AT&T and others); these are high bandwidth lines. As a company, to be forced to share your line that you dug up and planted with others which will cause congestion and degradation for your own customer base is inexcusable. They will make that argument in court and win.

      Good luck convincing alternative carriers to have as muc
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 29, 2017 @04:10AM (#55275149)

      Unfortunately no, net neutrality is not achieved by making sure competition exists. Violating net neutrality is a competitive advantage, one which works in favor of consolidation. Not only does competition not bring net neutrality, lack of enforced net neutrality reduces competition where it once might have existed. The way ISPs intend to profit from abolishing net neutrality rules is through double dipping: They want to get paid by the content hosting side as well as the content consuming side, data sources and sinks, even if they're not directly connected to the data sources.

      Violating net neutrality is their instrument of torture to get the hosters to pay up. An ISP that doesn't do that has to derive all income from the consumers, so their break-even rates will be higher compared to ISPs that also get paid by the hosters. In the extreme the anti net neutrality ISPs will use "zero rating", exempting some data from data volume caps. Once all neutral ISPs have been driven out of the market (reducing competition), the double dipping will start in earnest.

      Net neutrality is a necessity for an open, fair and competitive market. It's not just a band-aid for a failing market.

    • by MeNeXT ( 200840 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @08:30AM (#55275979)

      The only way this could happen is if the wire were managed by the city and any ISP which desired to use it could connect to it. This raises other questions such as; Will this be financed through taxes or service provider fees?

        But again there is an aspect that is not part of the free market.

      I honestly don't believe the free market works. The incumbent always seems to have the ear of the politicians who puts stumbling blocks to new entrants. Or we play yo-yo with every new election.

    • by kilfarsnar ( 561956 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @08:43AM (#55276049)

      The free market argument works if there's competition. If the customers want net neutrality, they will ditch ISPs which accept payments for fast lanes, and switch to ISPs which honor net neutrality. If customers want services who pay for fast lanes, they will ditch neutral ISPs for ISPs which charge for fast lanes. This is pretty much how Internet service works in most of the world. If your ISP's policies piss you off, you cancel and get Internet using a different ISP.

      This exposes the seed of destruction that Capitalism contains. A free market requires competition, low barriers to entry and informed consumers, among a few other things. But market participants are incentivized to eliminate competition, raise barriers to entry and keep consumers as ignorant as possible. So the free market's participants have a short-term interest in destroying the freedom of the market! It's one of Capitalism's inherent flaws that I have always found interesting, and why government regulation is required to maintain Capitalism.

    • No...the free market doesn't work that way. What you're seeing now is the logical end game of the free market. Basically, if a competitor shows up to disrupt your market, you buy out or merge with that competitor. If that doesn't work, you regulate them out.

    • by jimbolauski ( 882977 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @09:44AM (#55276547) Journal
      It's even worse then that. Common carriers were given authority to seize property to put up telephone poles for the greater good. They own those poles and will not grant competitors access to those poles. If a company uses eminent domain to acquire property they should be bound to operating for the greater good if communications travel on eminent domain poles. They shouldn't be allowed to have it both ways.
  • by Puls4r ( 724907 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @01:05AM (#55274637)
    I've heard Idgit Pai, directly from his own mouth, state that companies haven't violated net neutrality and they should be able to police themselves on this issue because they won't violate it.

    So, if these companies aren't planning on violating the net neutrality rule, why is it so critical that it be removed?
    • by evanh ( 627108 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @03:04AM (#55274987)

      Obviously he's outright lying. And given their privileged infrastructure positions these companies can hide a lot of their behaviour.

      What they're really complaining about though is the limits this now places on being able to quadruple, or more, dip on the traffic charges. They already double dip as it is, on entry and again on exit.

    • by zifn4b ( 1040588 )

      They should be able to police themselves on this issue because they won't violate it.

      Let's abolish all laws and let all citizens be on the honor system and see how that turns out. AT&T you have no legal recourse but I promise I will pay my bills and we don't need laws because I would never do that to you.

  • The entire FCC in their pockets and they still turn to other tactics in order to screw over consumers? What's wrong AT&T? Is you BFF Ajit moving to slowly for you?

  • by TimothyHollins ( 4720957 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @05:05AM (#55275257)

    Hey guys, I was a bit concerned about this whole thing, so I spoke to AT&T.
    They said they're doing this to better serve their customers, so we have nothing to worry 'bout.

  • Global Impact (Score:3, Interesting)

    by aquanaut44 ( 5102621 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @06:01AM (#55275391)
    I don't mean any disrespect and I don't mean to offend any US readers, or those in the US who helped create the Internet in the first place.

    The thing is, the Internet has become a universal resource, used by people all across the world. Except that many of the global services - and many of the most popular web-based services - are delivered from the United States. In other words, Net Neutrality is simply not a US-specific topic, but one which has global impact.

    Much as I am *VERY MUCH* in favour of self-determination, local accountability and democracy-in-action... in this specific case I think that the United States needs to recognise that the consequences of net neutrality have global potential impact. In other words, whilst I am very much in favour of the US retaining the current Net Neutrality legal protections, I don't think they go far enough. I think that Net Neutrality needs to be removed from the control of any single nation state - i.e. put beyond the reach of "local politics".

    I accept that this might be an unusual way of looking at this problem, but let's put it another way... Suppose the FCC had the ability to make a decision which could directly degrade the quality of telephone conversations in the UK, or Germany, or China, or Australia. Or suppose a UK citizen wanted to speak to a family relative or friend in the United States, but was left experiencing atrocious line quality. Now imagine that the line quality in that conversation was being controlled by a major US telecoms company that was being paid to carry the call, but which had neither of the two end users as directly paying customers. There would be uproar if that telecoms company started to degrade that call quality just to force the other participants to pay them more money, especially when they had the capacity to offer a flawless service, but were deliberately degrading it so as to coerce their direct and indirect clients to pay more. This would be possible and legal [on the internet anyway] if the Net Neutrality laws are revoked.

    I don't mean to offend US readers, but to be blunt: US telecoms companies should not be given the right to do that.
    • Okay, well, just start your own internet. It can have all the hate speech protections you want, AfD won't be heard at all. It's like that other evil American invention GPS, that threatened to cut off Europe from its service. The service that America offered for free, just so Europe would get hooked. Like a heroin dealer. So Europe designed and launched Galileo and removed the threat.

      Get on it! Oh, it's going to be expensive? Don't worry, you don't have to spend on defense because you have a sucker to

    • So you are saying that as a non-customer who has become accustomed to the use of a service you are NOT paying for these providers should not be able to prioritize network bandwidth or "speed" for the benefit of their paying customers? Well, why didn't you say so, of course we should do things your way. Here is your unicorn-shaped-balloon and a can of WTF. Enjoy, guy-whose-opinion-makes-no-bit-of-difference!
  • The decision needs to be about the technologies and services used. I doubt anyone would object about throttling email. So it reaches your inbox a few seconds later, not a big deal! There may be other services that do not need prime access.
    • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @07:55AM (#55275789) Homepage

      Net Neutrality isn't "e-mails are slightly delayed so video packets can be delivered faster." It's "video packets from Netflix are slowed down because they compete against us and refused to pay us extra for timely delivery of their packets."

      ISPs in many areas are monopolies or duopolies for Internet services. They are seeing competition for their video services, however, so they use their Internet monopoly/duopoly to punish any competitors and prop up their video services. Net Neutrality says that you have to treat all data of the same type the same regardless of where it's from. You can't slow down an e-mail from X provider while making Y provider's e-mails go quickly. You can't slow down Netflix because you want your own video service to seem quicker.

      • In addition to this, we have to remember that Netflix *has already paid for its own internet service*.

        Netflix has an ISP, same as you. They pay their bandwidth costs, and so they've stood up to their end of the bargain.

        YOU paid for your internet service, and so you deserve every bit of that internet service that you paid for. You should not be held hostage by your own ISP for service that you've given them money for.

        Net Neutrality is fundamentally about forcing ISPs to give everyone what they've already pai

    • Email's a bit less important than it was a few years ago, because of other messaging solutions, but slowing it down doesn't seem like a good idea. Once the ability to slow it down is in place, it'll go from a few seconds today to minutes tomorrow, perhaps to hours in years to come. That makes email considerably less useful than today, so effectively you've given an ISP the ability to decide what apps you should and should not be using.

      Besides, this isn't about slowing down one protocol or another - it's abo

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 29, 2017 @06:34AM (#55275505)

    Back in the day, ISPs begged for Common Carrier status because they were being sued over the content of data passing over their networks, and facing criminal charges for the distribution of child pornography. Common Carrier status was granted, allowing them to say "we're just the network, we just pass traffic, and we don't look at it, and therefore have no responsibility."

    Now they want to be able to examine everyone's traffic and make punitive routing and delay decisions based on profit, but I argue that the second they start examining the content of everyone's Internet traffic, they bear the legal responsibility to quash illegal content and activities, and should face the full force of criminal law for failing to stop 100% of it.

  • Suck it. Enjoy your lack of competition while it lasts. When it's not like that anymore, you're going to get kicked on the way down and while you're down. What goes around, comes around.
  • by sbaker ( 47485 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @09:50AM (#55276581) Homepage

    1) I put up a website for my small business.
    2) Without net neutrality - I'll probably have to pay some contribution for the bandwidth YOU consume when you visit it or I'm in the S-L-O-W lane.
    3) There are a bazillion ISP's - they demand money from me - how does that even work? I have to write 1000 checks every month? How do I track which ISP the end-user used to pull down my data to verify what I owe them?
    4) Because I have no way to know whether my website might "go viral" - I have no easy way to cap the fees I might wind up having to pay!

    End result is that I can't risk having my own website.

    5) Hence, the only way to do business is to sign up with Amazon/Facebook/Apple-store/etc middle-men. They have the clout to haggle good prices from the ISP's because nobody wants to be the ISP that doesn't let you to connect to Amazon/Facebook/Apple/etc at reasonable speeds.
    6) Hence, I have to pay a chunk of my profits over to an organization who did NOTHING to earn that money.
    7) Hence big businesses get bigger, small businesses find it even harder to survive than they do now.
    8) Worse still - if I do something that the ISP's and/or the middle-men don't like (maybe I try to compete with them) - then they kick me off the service.

    If the ISP's truly need to make more money - they need to charge the end user for the bandwidth they use, not the information provider.

    Since SOMEONE pays - no matter what - the end user either pays for the bandwidth they use - or pays for higher priced goods and services that indirectly cover the cost of the bandwidth they used. So for end-users. it's a zero-sum game...UNLESS we're all forced to pay tolls to Amazon/Facebook/Apple-store/etc for doing something that really didn't need to be done. Adding an extra (pointless) layer is expensive. The expression "highway robbery" is literally what can happen.

    Incidentally, the same problem happens with healthcare. Come what may, healthcare charges must be paid for by someone. But adding an HMO between patient and doctor/hospital adds an extra pointless layer that adds cost and delivers nothing of value.

    Hence net-neutrality.

  • I'm not surprised, but man -- AT&T sure does hate the internet.

  • I've noticed that some of the corporate proponents of net neutrality also seem to be the ones wanting to control what third-party content can and can't appear.

  • What's staggering to me about network infrastructure in the U.S. is how pitifully small the investment is that's being made by companies like AT&T. The Net Neutrality decision has only been in effect since, what, 2-3 years ago? Maybe if AT&T had been making infrastructure investments for years and years before the Net Neutrality regulation came into being--instead of spending a mountain of money buying politicians^W^Wlobbying for changes to laws that let them kill off all their competition--the infr

  • AT&T may seek however that doesn't mean the Supreme Court will oblige. If they decline then that's that. If they hear the case then their job is to find it constitutional if at all possible. There job isn't to see if it is illegal but to see if it is not illegal. There's a huge difference there.

  • No, net neutrality rules represent a codification of the way the internet has functioned all along, so far. So this business of Net Neutrality being something that "fundamentally transforms the internet" is simply a lie. A blatant lie intended to confuse the clueless jurists and politicians who think of the internet as 'a series of tubes'.

A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on. -- Samuel Goldwyn

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