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The following message is brought to you by The Future.. Faster industry campaign.

This week, the Senate is poised to vote on the issue of "Net Neutrality," which is a wolf in sheep's clothing and threatens the Internet freedom we now enjoy.

It is up to YOU to stop it. Please
click here
to contact your legislators, and demand they oppose "Net Neutrality."

The Internet has been successful to date because the government has maintained a vigilant, but hands-off approach that has allowed companies to innovate in direct response to the evolving wants and needs of their customers.

A consumer's Internet experience is today unimpeded - in the absence of virtually any regulation of the Internet - because there exists a powerful consumer mandate for Internet freedom. "Net Neutrality" supporters want to change all of that, putting the federal government in charge of how consumers use the Internet.

With Congress set to vote on "Net Neutrality" as early as Thursday, it is imperative that you contact your legislators right now and tell them, Say NO to "Net Neutrality."

Existing net neutrality bills are solutions in search of a problem.

In a new communications era defined by multiple choices - multiple communications pathways - consumers simply will not continue to purchase service from a provider that blocks or restricts their Internet access.

When consumers have choices in the marketplace, consumers have control. Consider the following:

  • There is vigorous competition between DSL, cable modem, wireless, satellite, and other Internet access providers.

  • In some areas free Wi-Fi access is available.

  • In others, access over power line is becoming available. This competition directly benefits consumers - and the latest evidence is the announcement of $12.99/month DSL service from AT&T.

Unnecessary regulatory or legislative intervention in marketplace activities would stifle, not enhance the Internet. Laws are inflexible and difficult to fine-tune - particularly when applied to technologies that are rapidly evolving.

The last thing that consumers need is government regulation of the Internet, disguised as "Net Neutrality." Please click here to tell your legislator, Vote NO! on Net Neutrality.

http://ObjectivismOnline.com/blog/archives/000942.html

Edited by GreedyCapitalist

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"Let us alone! We are not common carriers" is so appropriate here.

According to the Wikipedia, one supporter of Net-neutrality says this:

bits are bits and accurate timing of packet delivery is a form of anti-competitive discrimination that ultimately leads to corporate control of the public commons.

Adds a wiki-author: "...countries like China that intercept certain content do not violate neutrality principles, since it only applies to telecommunication companies, not governments."

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Haha, good news everyone, the bill did NOT pass.

More info: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/5063072.stm

There must have been a great popping sound heard in Washington, DC, as the House of Reps removed their heads from the sand and voted down the net neutrality ammendment 269 to 152.

I was reading a few of the blog entries on the http://handsoff.org/ site today. I particularly found the Blame Canada one quite amusing hahah.

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I just reread the article in the original post and I'm genuinelly curious where he thinks this 'free-market competition' is going to magically appear from. Communication lines are largely a natural monopoly - its not like there are several telecom companies in each state each with their own framework which the consumer can choose between. The writer seems genuinelly confused, especially since he mentions wi-fi as being an alternative - wi-fi lines still have to connect to the standard backbone at some point.

The death of net neutrality will pretty much mean that telecom companies will be free to blackmail individual websites and users. Now you can argue that they have the right to do this if you like, and you may well have a reasonable argument. But dont try to pretend that its going to be good for the end-user - its likely to be disasterous and theres a chance it will end the days of largely free-expression on the internet.

edit: ah, it makes sense now, they arent confused, they are just shills

The Future…Faster® effort is organized by the United States Telecom Association, which represents more than 1,200 of the nation’s leading telecommunications companies, from the smallest rural cooperatives to some of the largest employers and telecom service providers in America.
How surprising that the only people who stand to gain from this are the ones claiming it will have a good effect. Edited by Hal

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But dont try to pretend that its going to be good for the end-user - its likely to be disasterous and theres a chance it will end the days of largely free-expression on the internet.

No to both points.

1) If its disastrous, some other company will prop up which is why none of the companies will make things such that it becomes a disaster. That is unless the government decides to forbid other players from entering the market or something of that sort. If you really believe that graphic you posted before, then you are just being cynical. The main fear of companies like Google is that the net providers are going to make their own web content stream faster while making it slower for competing companies. They are going to do nothing of the kind that the graphic claims they might.

2) End of free expression????? Are you alright? How the hell will it mean the end of free expression?

Net neutrality is just even more government enslavement of big business disguised under an innocuous name.

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1) If its disastrous, some other company will prop up which is why none of the companies will make things such that it becomes a disaster.
As I said, the communications frameworks are a natural monopoly. Its not like opening a new shop that sells cheaper pencils than all the major pencil sellers - the model of market competition doesnt really apply here.

The main fear of companies like Google is that the net providers are going to make their own web content stream faster while making it slower for competing companies. They are going to do nothing of the kind that the graphic claims they might.
Why not? Here's whatll happen: large telecom company X, who owns the communications infrastructure in a certain region, decides that they want to make some extra money. So they go to Google, and demand that they pay them 2 million dollars a year or they will limit their bandwidth to 56K speeds, and promote one of their competitiors instead (altavista or yahoo). Google now has 2 options - either grit their teeth and comply with this extortion, or refuse. If they refuse, 2 things can happen: either the telecom company can go through with their plan to limit Google's bandwidth, in which case Google is pretty much finished as a business in that area. Or, they can instead decide to limit Google's bandwith to 56K in standard cases, but then charge their customer's a few dollars extra in order to access Google at higher speeds. And of course, the logical extension of this is the picture that I posted above.

It's vital to realise that this isnt just a case of 'if customers dont like Google being slow then they can go to another telecoms company instead". This isnt how the telecom's "market" works.

2) End of free expression????? Are you alright? How the hell will it mean the end of free expression?

Net neutrality is just even more government enslavement of big business disguised under an innocuous name.

The beauty of the internet is that anyone can start a site about anything, and anyone in the world can view it. Its the ultimate expression of free-speech, and probably the single most important invention in human history. There's no reason why this will continue to be the case after net neutrality goes - large telecom companies will be able to restrict access to sites they dont like, and you'll probably see the internet start to become centered around a few major corporate sites (who can afford to pay extra to have their sites promoted by the telecom companies) rather than the beautiful anarchy which we have now. In other words, itll end up a horrible corporate mess with vastly reduced consumer choice, just like mainstream radio.

The other thing that could happen is that telecom providers may start being held responsible for the content that their customers access. At the moment, telecom companies cant be prosecuted for allowing their customers to view child porn, because they are not filtering content - they are allowing their customers to access whatever sites they request. But once net neutrality goes, this will no longer be the case - telecom companies will be actively filtering content, and hence its possible that they will be held legally responsible for what they end up providing. Which means that theyre likely to start censoring material which could be deemed offensive, and again, free speech dies.

Edited by Hal

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The best analogy for this is the private roads thing I was talking about in another thread. Imagine the government sold the entire road (and sidewalk) network in the centre of New York city to one company. This company would then have pretty much unlimited power - they would be able to go up to any large business and say "pay us $X million a year, or we will refuse to allow anyone to use the road or sidewalk outside your shop, and you will lose all your customers as a result". And the shop would be powerless to do anything about this - they could either agree to the extortion, or go out of business.

You cant just say "well, in that case car drivers/pedestrians would just use other roads/sidewakls". There arent any other roads. You arent going to be building a new road network to compete either, since the road network is a natural monopoly - it just doesnt make sense to start talking about 'free market competition' in the context of the roads in New York city. The net-neutrality/telecom thing is pretty much the same.

And again, you can argue that road privitisation si a good thing anyway because the government has no right to own roads, and so on. But while this may even be true, it doesnt change the fact that its going to be disasterous for everyone who doesnt end up owning the roads (or the telecom lines).

Edited by Hal

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its not like there are several telecom companies in each state each with their own framework which the consumer can choose between.
It's also not like there is only one possible backbone. Do you also argue that automobile manufacturing is a natural monopoly (if not, why not)?
The death of net neutrality will pretty much mean that telecom companies will be free to blackmail individual websites and users.
In what way is there any initiation of force involved here? Do you mean "blackmail" in the sense that any business can blackmail you into paying the price they set for their goods and services, and you are forced to buy their goods and services or suffer?
But dont try to pretend that its going to be good for the end-user - its likely to be disasterous and theres a chance it will end the days of largely free-expression on the internet.
What do you base that on? There are lots of kinds of end-users -- are you claiming that it will be disasterous for all? For instance, I wouldn't mind if my connection were sped up 10-fold, but I wouldn't pay more than a couple of bucks a month more for that. OTOH many businesses and research facilities would be willing to pay for improved service, if indeed it were improved and not clogged with porn and video-downloaders.

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Hal,

I hate to think of it as extortion. If, say, Time Warner goes to Google and demands $2 million a year to keep their site running at broadband speeds (or even accessible at all), they're not holding anything over Google's head that wouldn't already be there should Time Warner cease to exist. So, it's not Time Warner that's "extorting" Google, it's reality - and we all know that since there's no god reality doesn't have a mind of it's own; so it can't do that. That's like saying that if your power company raises it's rates and you can't afford the hike, they're extorting you by refusing to sell you power at the old, lower price.

In fact, you could argue that if Net Neutrality laws didn't already exist (I believe that the bill that failed 3 days ago was an Democratically enhanced version to prevent it's sunsetting), ISPs already would be charging competing content providers. They haven't been allowed to all this time because of the egalitarian Net Neutrality laws.

It's not the fault of ISPs that competing content providers chose to build their entire businesses on an infrastructure owned by other companies. They should have realized that they were making themselves dependent upon the health of these other companies that very likely were going to become their direct competitors in the future. Of course, nowadays, they don't have to think of these things because when the issue does come up, they can count on the government to force their wishes to come true.

-Grant

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The best analogy for this is the private roads thing I was talking about in another thread. Imagine the government sold the entire road (and sidewalk) network in the centre of New York city to one company. This company would then have pretty much unlimited power - they would be able to go up to any large business and say "pay us $X million a year, or we will refuse to allow anyone to use the road or sidewalk outside your shop, and you will lose all your customers as a result". And the shop would be powerless to do anything about this - they could either agree to the extortion, or go out of business.

What if a bunch of socialists are - er, I mean were - elected to the city and state governments of New York and they decided to raise taxes by $X million a year to pay for roads? Being socialists, they would have to do this since they'd need to offset the costs of all of their new welfare programs. Would that be ok? No, it wouldn't.

I agree that it would be wrong for a road company to exploit other businesses who have been weakened by decades, if not centuries, of socialist road building going on all around them. If and when the roads are privatized, they should be very carefully sold and there should be all kinds of stipulations. Since it would be the government (representing those very taxpaying businesses), they would have a right to stipulate no unreasonable price increases until the effects of past socialism have been worn down. And since the money raised by the government from the sale of the roads would be returned to the taxpayers, you should think of the government as merely a middle-man in a contract negotiation between private firms.

However, your attempt to compare that to the internet is flawed. The internet always has been owned exclusively by private organization, big and small.

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If the phone system is run by private companies with no law saying they cannot prohibit access, would they be blocking access to some phone numbers?

If they did so, wouldn't it be a great opportunity for a new-entrant organization that guaranteed universal phone-number privileges.

Here's what I want to know: what existing "problem" was this legislation trying to "solve"?

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As I said, the communications frameworks are a natural monopoly. Its not like opening a new shop that sells cheaper pencils than all the major pencil sellers - the model of market competition doesnt really apply here.

So you're under the impression that DSL and Cable are the same thing? One runs over your PHONE LINE and the other runs through your CABLE HOOKUP. Plus, there's talk about running the internet over the ELECTRICAL line, too . . . there are already multiple different telecommunications networks in existence, and they are all in direct competition with each other. How is this a natural monopoly?

It might have been approximately true years ago when your phone line was your only option, using a modem, and even then there were many different ISP's, it was simply that your voice phone had only one provider, as mandated by law. Even the phone system isn't a natural monopoly, although it was a government-mandated one for several years, before deregulation.

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Cable itself is a true monopoly in the US (at least in a majority of cities); true in the sense that it is enforced by law.

The city in which I live has granted access to one company. Most of the other cities in the same metro-area as mine have granted access to a different cable company. The one that covers a lot of cities is cheaper, but our city does not relent -- I have not idea if there's some long-term agreement or some political payoff. If not for my city government, I'd have at least one more cable company competing for my business.

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Communication lines are largely a natural monopoly - its not like there are several telecom companies in each state each with their own framework which the consumer can choose between.
As an interesting update, here is a page which links to maps of various companies' backbones in the US. I was lightly surprised how many pathways there are, and in general how much competition exists.

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Thanks for the link to the backbone maps. The claim that the telecom backbone is a natural monopoly is simply false. The reality is a huge network of links operated by different companies pursuant to agreements among them. In the course of a packet traveling from L.A. to New York, it might cross links operated by several different companies. There are also dozens if not hundreds of routes it can take. If Sprint decided to block all Google packets originating in L.A., Google has plenty of routing options to get the packet to New York without touching Sprint's lines at all.

The closest you can come to arguing a natural monopoly in telecom is at the endpoints. The closer you get to your house, the fewer possible options you may have. But as Jennifer pointed out, even this no longer qualifies as a natural monopoly. In addition to the phone network and cable, there is satellite access and soon to be WiMax wireless access covering entire metro areas. There are very few homes that will only have one choice of internet access, and those are the ones so remote they only have satellite.

I see no reason why the market would encourage a fast and slow lane for access to individual websites. For every company that wants to "exploit" its customers and demand higher rates for high speed access to popular sites like Google, there are several others that will offer service with no "slow lane" for the same price. Given the option between the two services, which would customers choose? It's exactly like people choosing cell phone service with free, unlimited long distance over those who charge high costs for long distance.

One last thing is the issue of traffic engineering overhead. For the backbones especially, its not necessarily beneficial to implement different speeds of service for different sources of traffic. When you consider the core routers that have to handle into the millions of packets per second, every bit of information that goes into the routing decision is crucial. Typically the only piece of information used to route is the destination address, which determines the next hop. Implementing different tiers of traffic rates according to what website it came from is a huge investment in terms of overhead. I would be surprised to find that it would be economically intelligent to treat packets in any way other than the fastest possible service. The implication of this: the traffic engineering (fast and slow lane) would not occur in the backbone, but only near the endpoints -- if at all. And it is the endpoints (ISP) where the customers have the choice to reject the “discriminatory” ISP in favor of another option.

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Take a look at this wimpy editorial that appeared in this Thursday's (6/8/6) edition of the Wall Street Journal.

"Neutrality Check" By Charles H. Giancarlo

When the public Internet was created, its guiding principle was that everyone would be free to use it in a way that was privately beneficial without being publicly detrimental. that principle fostered the birth of thousands of companies, products, services and creative activities that together built the Internet to become the indispensable infrastructure that exists today - and the ultimate beneficiaries are consumers.

However, many of the companies that were helped by the light government regulation of the early Internet are now advocating more regulation in a debate turning on "Net Neutrality." The outcome of this debate could change the relationship between consumers and the technology that connects them to information and services. At issue is wheterh broudband access providers will be able to effectively manage their networks and have the incentives to invest in next-generation networks.

We need to foster and maintain innovation of the Internet infrastructure itself, as well as the services and devices operating over the Internet. The principle of an open Internet that enables consumers to access safe, legal applications and the content of their choice must be reaffirmed. Network operators should also be able to use network tools to manage traffic efficiently and to provide customers a range of choice in services and features. As the demands on the Internet grow, consumers, businesses and service providers are increasingly insisting that it be reliable, provide support for voice and video, and be able to meet new damnds in the future. That is why it is critical that service providers be able to develop their networks to provide support for all communication needs. The central concern over Net neutrality is a false one - we can have both open access and differentiated services.

New network technologies and management tools not only keep the Internet flowing, they also spur innovation. they can make sure applications requiring low delay, such as voice and gaming, will work. Soon, personalized Internet HDTV will become possible. Gaming will continue to grow as picture quality takes on real-life imagery. And business tolls, such as video conferencing, will become more significant as the quality of video and audio improves. These types of entertainment and communications innovations can only emerge if providers have the incentives to build networks capable to delivering them.

Is regulation needed to accomplish "Net neutrality"? The prudent policy at this point would be not to regulate. First, the Internet is still in its adolescence, and it is undergoing rapid change, Regulations would lock in rules and practices that might seem correct today, but could create havoc tommorw. Instead, we should allow the massive convergence to Internet technology to continue unabated, and regulators should address specific problems on a case-by-case basis.

The FCC has already endored "connectivity principles" that clearly spell out that consumers should be able to access the choice of safe, legal content and applications within the handwidth limits and quality of service of the service plan. The House's Energy and Commerece Committee recognized this approach by rejecting proposals to regulate network technology and managements tools in a way that would have reduced innovation, choices and new services.

Congress must protect freedom and openness on the Internet, while promoting responsibility and fairness among its users, and the ability of providers to compete on technology and servies. Quick, reactionary and heavy-handed regulation could snuff out incentive and creativity. With forbearance and wish policies, we can actually ensure that innovation and growth continue and that consumers win.

Mr. Giancarlo is senior vice president and cheif development officer of Cisco Systems, and president of Linksys, a Cisco-owned subsidiary.

Have you ever seen such ass-kissing? Could he possibly be more cryptic? No wonder our country is speeding down the road to serfdom. I kept expecting the piece to turn into a work of drama, with Mr. Giancarlo begging for mercy in the most colorful language you could think of. God Mr. Giancarlo, just say it: You want to profit! You're in it for the money! For god's sake, don't say "we must be allowed to have incentives." I makes my skin crawl

Just once, just once, please someone besides BB&T actually take a principled, self-righteous position on something.

Did you notice how he kept capitalizing the word "internet" as if it actually were a proper noun - a member of the human race or something - the prized possession of pinkos the world over and their magical "freedom of speech" wand. You only capitalize a noun to differentiate it from other similar nouns. What is similar to the internet? There is only one internet because it's not really a thing - it's just a bunch of computerized relationships. Is there some alternate internet in some other dimension that I'm not aware of? Anyways, I had to get that off of my chest.

Have you ever seen such pathetic pandering so well dressed up as respectful intellectual discourse?

But then again, it's easy to criticize from afar. My neck isn't on the line.

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Things are looking up at the Wall Street Journal. Despite last week's pitiful editorial that I posted above, Steve Forbes was featured yesterday (6/12/6) and offered (for the Journal at least) a much more powerful commentary:

"Ominous Neutrality" by Steve Forbes

If Washington followed Hollywood's lead and gave an academy award for the best political sound bite of the year, "Net Neutrality" would win in a walk for 2006.

Net Neutrality has everything a good soundbite needs. It's short, alliterative, easy to remember and so elastic in meaning that anybody can define it according to their own agenda.

That's exactly what's happening in Congress right now, where well-financed lobbysists are pushing for Net Neutrality legislation. According to their benign-sounding definition of Net Neutrality, it simply means that Internet network operators like the phone and cable companies whould have to give equal treatment to all traffic on their networks, without giving anybody's content preference in handling.

But scratch the surface of what the Net Neutrality crowd is really asking for and Net Neutrality lobbyists want Congress to pass innovation-shifting restrictions on what companies like Verizon and AT&T can do with the new high-speed broadband networks that these companies haven't even finished building yet.

These networks are the superhighways for transporting Internet content and services. They will also permit Verizon and AT&T to offer Internet-based cable TV programming in competition with the cable companies, which are already competing in telecom services. Slapping these networks with premature, unnecessary regulations would be an inexcusable barrier to the tradition of innovation at the heart of the Internet.

Phone companies are investing billions of dollars in network innovation. They need to earn a return on their investment. One logical way is to use a tiered pricing system that charges a premium price for premier services - which means super high-speed services that gobble extra bandwidth on the network. Those who are happy with standard broadband speeds would continue to pay the same price they pay now.

This is the same concept as mail service. If you want to send a letter from New York to Los Angeles and delivery in four days to a week is OK, you can do it for the price of a 39-cent postage stamp. But if you want the letter delivered without fail by 10 a.m. the next morning, you upgrade to FedEX and pay for the extra service you need.

Applying this principle to the Internet sounds like the free market at work to me. But the Net Neutralizers have responded with manufactured indignation, claiming that it's discrimination and somehow tramples on the egalitarian spirit of the Internet.

Surprisingly Google, E-Bay and other high-tech companies have become big supporters of this flavor of Net Neutrality; they supposedly fear discrimination from Internet providers. But they have no real evidence to back-up such fears. If problems do arise, then these can be dealth with specifically.

Pass Network Neutrality legislation would be a re-run of the disasterous Telecom Act of 1996 which forced telecom to provide network access to competitors at below market prices. That certainly put a chill on network innovation. After years of wasteful lawsuits and regulatory infighting, the network access monster has gone away. But it was a big factor in letting America slip into the high-tech Stone Age, which consumer broadband services lagging far behing what's available in countries like Japan or South Korea.

Members of Congress are on the verge of updating the Telecom Act to bring it into sync woth a communications industry that's been transformed by Internet technology. As they do that, we can only hope they don't conpromise the future of this vital industry by falling for the rhetoric of Net Neutrality. After all, what network operator would be silly enough to keep investing billions in network innovations if the fruits of it's innovation had to be given away at below cost?

Mr. Forbes is president & CEO of Forbes, Inc. and editor-in-chief for Forbes magazine.

I like this alot -especially the part where he calls Net Neutrality what it really is: egalitarianism. What I don't like is that he doesn't reject the notion that the internet is egalitarian in spirit. What does the word "internet" mean? Well, it's a combination of the prefix "inter" and the word "network". This means that it's just a way of describing how a bunch of networks - whether it's your $600 Dell talking to your friend's $400 HP or something much, much bigger - interact with one another. That's why I got pissed at Mr. Giancarlo's incessant capitalization of the word; and why I'm equally unnerved by Mr. Forbes'.

Also, I don't think that all the side-commentary about super-high speed broadband and a tiered pricing system is particularly worthwhile. It's not as if there's some fundamental right to violate the property rights of providers of common services but not those of elite service providers. There's no difference in the two types when it comes to the appropriate level of government involvement.

Also, I hate the part where if the fears of Google, eBay, et. al. prove to come true and networks do end up discrimiating against them, they should be dealt with specifically. What does this mean? That instead of explicit egalitarianism enshrined into law, we have ad-hoc egalitarism by law enforcement? Effectively, what's the difference? Which, not surprisingly, is why the entire editorial is framed in the egalitarian spirit of modern America with repeated protests about the damage stifled innovation will have on "the greater good".

-Grant

Edited by ggdwill

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But once net neutrality goes, this will no longer be the case - telecom companies will be actively filtering content, and hence its possible that they will be held legally responsible for what they end up providing. Which means that theyre likely to start censoring material which could be deemed offensive, and again, free speech dies.

I love lines like this. "Once net neutrality goes". There IS NO net neutrality right now. Everyone acts like it is some sort of protection of freedom that has been shot down, it never existed to be shot down. The internet got to be where it is by leaving it be, not regulating it.

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*** Merged meta-blog post into an existing topic. sN ***

 

By David from Truth, Justice, and the American Way,cross-posted by MetaBlog

In response to a criticism of a defense of Senator Steven’s essentially correct “Internet tubes” speech.

 

Rockwell’s and Steven’s basic point is that internet bandwidth is a scarce resource, and the only way to efficiently use it is to allow entrepreneurs to decide how resources should be allocated, and how traffic should be prioritized. While the internet was not initially a private entity, the companies that now run it have found many ways to do so in the past, and are currently experimenting with new methods that have been made possible by new technology, and that will make new technologies possible.
Until recently, it was not technologically possible to prioritize certain types of internet traffic over others, making the internet unreliable for mission-critical applications, which required expensive dedicated connection that were only feasible for large corporations. However, the exponential growth in computational power has recently made it possible to examine the contents of individual data packets and prioritize them accordingly. What the net neutrality debate is essentially about is whether ISP’s should be allowed to prioritize those packets by the sender of the packet in addition to the type of packet it is.
I think that there are many possibilities that are made possible by such party-based “packet discrimination” – such as remote surgery, which is currently too unreliable without a very expensive dedicated line. This can’t be done by class-based packet prioritizing alone, since it can’t distinguish between a YouTube homemade video download, and a surgical telecast. Email another area packet discrimination can help –charging a small “toll” for email traffic has been frequently mentioned as the best way to make spam unprofitable.
These possibilities may or may not pan out - but what right does a politician have to stop me from investing in them?

 







http://ObjectivismOnline.com/blog/archives/001815.html

Edited by softwareNerd
Merged

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*** Mod's note: Meta-blog post, merged into an earlier topic. - sN ***

 

By Andy from The Charlotte Capitalist ™,cross-posted by MetaBlog

News.com: On a completely different topic, what do you think of Net neutrality?

T.J. Rodgers, CEO Cypress Semiconductor: This is where basically the Net is not allowed to discriminate? I think it's an obscenity. I think people that have paid for the wires and cables should able to charge whatever they want for their product.

And for other people to come in and force companies to run their





http://ObjectivismOnline.com/blog/archives/001829.html

Edited by softwareNerd
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This is an email that Ebay has sent out to members...

As you know, I almost never reach out to you personally with a request to get involved in a debate in the U.S. Congress. However, today I feel I must.

Right now, the telephone and cable companies in control of Internet access are trying to use their enormous political muscle to dramatically change the Internet. It might be hard to believe, but lawmakers in Washington are seriously debating whether consumers should be free to use the Internet as they want in the future.

Join me by clicking here -- http://www.ebaymainstreet.com/netneutrality -- to send a message to your representatives in Congress.

The phone and cable companies now control more than 95% of all Internet access. These large corporations are spending millions of dollars to promote legislation that would allow them to divide the Internet into a two-tiered system.

The top tier would be a "Pay-to-Play" high-speed toll-road restricted to only the largest companies that can afford to pay high fees for preferential access to the Net.

The bottom tier -- the slow lane -- would be what is left for everyone else. If the fast lane is the information "super-highway," the slow lane will operate more like a dirt road.

Today's Internet is an incredible open marketplace for goods, services, information and ideas. We can't give that up. A two-lane system will restrict innovation because start-ups and small companies -- the companies that can't afford the high fees -- will be unable to succeed, and we'll lose out on the jobs, creativity and inspiration that come with them.

The power belongs with Internet users, not the big phone and cable companies. Let's use that power to send as many messages as possible to our elected officials in Washington. Please join me by clicking here right now to send a message to your representatives in Congress before it is too late. You can make the difference.

Thank you for reading this note. I hope you'll make your voice heard today.

Sincerely,

meg_signature_200-1.jpg

Meg Whitman

President and CEO

eBay Inc.

P.S. If you have any questions about this issue, please contact us at [email protected].

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That is an amazing letter: lots of hand waving about freedom and big bad companies that are trying to change the internet.

Of course, all important technical details are not mentioned, especially what constitutes changing the internet (what is the current state, and what will be the new one?).

Jeez, why can't they at least post a link to some article that discusses technical side of the issue (and the only relevant side here).

EDIT: clarifications

Edited by Olex

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