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  • Open forum on ISP's vs. Neutrality

    Posted on Cascadian Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums Outside the box Rants Open forum on ISP's vs. Neutrality

    This topic contains 40 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  cesmart4125 2 months, 3 weeks ago.

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    • #122193 Reply

      Cascadian
      AskWoody Lounger

      I still have not reached a conclusion for myself. I do not like being a fence-sitter, it hurts the bottom end. Kristy has raised an excellent topic for discussion, but rules are keeping information low. Here is offered a place to let it out a bit more, within respectful bounds, please. [orig. misspelled as bonds, hope that is not an omen]

      Reference: https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/net-neutrality-day-is-july-12th-2017-a-call-to-action

      If this topic is successfully mounted I will cross link there as well.

      EDIT: In real life, I was asked if I was challenging other posts. That is not my intention. In geek terms think of it as a test bench. You are free to try here and learn more what may be filtering you, because I do not believe Kristy, or anyone else is doing it.

      • This topic was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by  Cascadian.
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #122203 Reply

      Cascadian
      AskWoody Lounger

      One point I’m working at was brought up by flackcatcher. That is FTC in contrast to FCC.

      At first, it seems electronic transmission of text, sound, and images, still or moving, would be FCC domain.

      But I read flackcatcher’s summary, and think of a framework where the ‘goods’ or product is intellectual property, being ‘shipped’ or transmitted across state lines in a omnidirectional web; and I conclude interstate commerce. So that feels like a good fit.

      But isn’t that just trading one federal agency operating under the executive branch’s chief officer DJ Trump, for another? Does the brand of Red Tape make it less sticky? Does a stickier tape work better at securing lasting service?

      I’m still working it out. Existing law is not stone here, but I prefer changes to start with the legislature writing new law rather than one president, nine justices, or some uncounted thousands of bureaucrats.

      Here recognize the issue of those 535 agreeing on anything in the next 3½yrs. But is status quo the thing we want anyway?

    • #194655 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Lounger

      I am posting this looking forward to the reanimation of this forum on a most important topic, one that has been dormant here since last year, now that the date when the change in regulation by the FCC will take effect is less than two weeks away, on June 11th of this year.

      So here it goes: There is a quasi-Maltusian issue here that truly intrigues me.

      Put in admittedly vague and unscientific terms, the amount of bandwidth available increases linearly (at best) while that of its demand goes up exponentially (or it seems to, these days). I doubt that the solution by the actual FCC’s members majority, Ajit Pai et al., is the right one, but I also doubt that pure laissez faire, or no restrictions of any kind, is really better.

      Now this is a fact I learned about the hard way the last time that this became an issue, the adverse reaction to which helped bring about a change in regulation to classify the Internet as a “common carrier communications service”, same as the Post Office, something that the new FCC commissioners are now working to revert to “information service”, same as radio and TV stations. Back in 2015, Verizon, my ISP, and a declared opponent of Net Neutrality, started to throttle the streaming of videos and would stop doing that only if they were paid extra to allow preferential passage through the master pipes they controlled to some high-volume streamer such as Netflix. So, one good day and without warning, the Netflix videos mysteriously became very slow to load and, when they did, showed a very grainy, low resolution picture. Verizon swore up and down that they were not throttling Netflix or anyone else, but lo and behold, when Netflix started paying for the extra bandwidth it needed, the picture quality and download times, as if by magic, went back to what they were before this incident.

      This would affect everyone, whether their ISP contract has a cap to the number of bits they can send and receive every month before they have to pay an additional fee, or has not such  cap. And the extra cost to the companies providing streaming video and other services that use up lots of bandwidth, will end up in the monthly bills that users of those services will be getting from those companies.

      But there is more to this than users’ convenience or telecom’s profits: the Internet is now a priceless common asset, having become an integral part of the basic infrastructure of 21st Century societies. It has to be used both fairly and prudently, to avoid one of two disasters:  On the one hand, this asset being fully available only to the few with the money and, or the power to get it, while everybody else is relegated to using unreliable, inferior service (if at all). Or, on the other hand, having totally unrestricted access available to most, but where entertainment and infotainment end up saturating the Internet installed capacity: a high-tech tragedy of the commons. The answer, it is often said, is to increase capacity to accommodate the increased traffic demands on the system. But, in reality, when demand is increasing continuously and fast, without signs that of ever reaching a steady state, the story of that solution might well come to resemble the story of the race between the hare and the turtle, only without the edifying ending.

      So, what is wrong with this opinion?

      • This reply was modified 4 months ago by  OscarCP.
      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #194776 Reply

      Cascadian
      AskWoody Lounger
      … …
      But there is more to this than users’ convenience or telecom’s profits: the Internet is now a priceless common asset, having become an integral part of the basic infrastructure of 21st Century societies. It has to be used both fairly and prudently, to avoid one of two disasters: On the one hand, this asset being fully available only to the few with the money and, or the power to get it, while everybody else is relegated to using unreliable, inferior service (if at all). Or, on the other hand, having totally unrestricted access available to most, but where entertainment and infotainment end up saturating the Internet installed capacity: a high-tech tragedy of the commons.

      There is nothing wrong with the opinion. It is yours, and it is well written out. Thank you by the way for using this space to present it.

      My response doesn’t even rise to the level of critique, because I don’t really disagree. However, I reflect my own opinion when I write that in your effort to condense a complex marketplace into a few paragraphs, you have compartmentalized the universe of solutions into an either or dichotomy.

      Here is another example of my trademark sloppy analogous reasoning. Where you describe a priceless common asset, I will substitute a basic need of survival: potable water. I choose this because it is truly necessary for a flourishing existence. And while some of us may view it as common, it is definitely not an asset equally available to all. This is not even really an issue of fairness, just fact. There are places in our world where providing clean drinking water requires a disproportionate effort by the individuals involved.

      Does this create a burden on humanity as a whole to address this basic human need to all. I think it does. I support efforts to assist in this area in spirit, dollars, and on one occasion made actual contact with individuals in need in this, the western, hemisphere.

      But I would not waste resources of money or effort to provide a choice of Perrier or Fuji water to all comers. My goal would be to provide drinkable water that will not make people more sick than when they were thirsty.

      If other businesses want to then come in and offer — at their cost, and for their profit — refrigerated supplies of exotic refreshment available to anyone who can afford it; then I would think that that also should be allowed.

      Now comes the difficult task of finding how this ethereal idea of a metaphor translates back into some kind of fairness doctrine for network traffic, worldwide internet-work traffic. In my opinion, with apologies to you OscarCP, I do not hold last season’s Game of Thrones in the same category of value as Aunt Maude’s facetime with her overseas daughter and grandson.

      And since I will never be able to weigh the relative value of a hundred other possible claims of importance, I prefer to let the marketplace sort it out. Because I firmly believe government will find a way to mess it up. Yes, this fails to prevent the tragedy of the commons from happening. But it then allows, in its turn, a free market solution to that tragedy. When it rests in the hands of government, entrepreneurs are locked out of the solution.

      Best close this comment out before I ramble too far. I am interested in your thoughts on my rambling, or more alternate ways to view current conditions that do not devolve into a simple dilemma.

    • #194812 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Lounger

      Cascadian,

      Nice to have a conversation going at last on this fundamental topic, particularly when the end of Net Neutrality (or NN, for short) is Nigh. That is: right now, barring some quick and very unlikely change of minds in enough members of House of Representatives, or else remaining in place indefinitely unless reversed next year, assuming the only slightly more likely event of a take over of the House by the now minority party there. And assuming further that, if this minority becomes the majority, more likely by some tenuous margin, its members will all pull in the same direction when it comes the time to vote to restore NN — something never to be taken for granted.

      I describe the central issue as I see it, in the form of a somewhat crude dichotomy, because I want to open up the discussion on what I believe to be the options we shall have to wrestle with as members of a civilized and modern society, putting the options in a very condensed and coarse-grained, but perhaps good-enough-for-now, way.

      Quite frankly, I have no real idea of what might be the right answer to the questions implicit in what I wrote.

      I doubt that the free market can fix the problem of the frivolous overuse of bandwidth eventually getting big enough for your Aunt Maude and you and me to have our access to the Internet seriously restricted, so the big fish (e.g. Netflix, or those big business now pushing hard for the Internet of Things, or the companies hosting all those selfies, cat videos, exhibitionist displays, political ravings and rantings etc.) can get their endlessly increasing volumes of data through a system of limited and, in the end, insufficient capacity. As I see it, a market cannot be free if it is dominated by monopolies, as in this country, with the towering telecoms controlling the pipes, with or without NN. Should one trust them to do a better job than some government agency, at least here, in the US of A? Would it be, for example, better to have the “market”, usually an economist’s faceless abstraction, rather than an FDA — whose members are real people that finally answer to Congress and, ultimately, to all of us — regulating the sale of drugs, in order to ensure that only those evidence-proven to be efficacious and safe to use reach the pharmacies’ shelfs and are OK for doctors to prescribe?

      Bottom line: I doubt that having NN as based on an unregulated or self-regulated free market is the answer, but also have no real idea of what the best way forward in the long run, leaving the always temporary political vicissitudes aside, can actually be. I wait for others to take part in this discussion so, perhaps and in the end, some good ideas bubble up to the surface.

      Hoping that this conversation does not end up with just the two of us commenting on this issue, but that soon others join in as well, I do conclude by saying this:

      To be continued.

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #194903 Reply

        Cascadian
        AskWoody Lounger

        Cascadian,
        Nice to have a conversation going at last on this fundamental topic, particularly when the end of Net Neutrality (or NN, for short) is Nigh. …

        Bottom line: I doubt that having NN as based on an unregulated or self-regulated free market is the answer, but also have no real idea of what the best way forward in the long run, leaving the always temporary political vicissitudes aside, can actually be. I wait for others to take part in this discussion so, perhaps and in the end, some good ideas bubble up to the surface.

        Hoping that this conversation does not end up with just the two of us commenting on this issue, but that soon others join in as well, …

        I like having the conversation. Obviously I’m fond of my own opinion. If I were not, I would create a different one. But I really do enjoy finding new presentations of other opinions. It serves both to test my own and, so much more importantly, may illuminate a new idea I had not considered.

        I knew your own opinion was likely more complex than first written. It is difficult for me to write a comment short enough to be interesting, but long enough for my clumsy presentation. Glad you picked up this old topic, and supporting your call for more voices.

    • #194818 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Lounger

      Before I forget, something I better get out here now: technological fixes are constrained by hard realities.

      Some years ago, the founder and CEO of a hedge fund started a company called “Lightsquared” to bring broad-band connections throughout the country by setting up a dense network of retransmission stations forming a sort of giant cell-phone network. Bringing broadband to every place, from its  biggest city to its tiniest hamlet, was a glorious idea, indeed. And it was warmly embraced as such by the previous Administration until… A tremendous hue and cry was raised by all sorts of people and organizations: makers of GPS receivers, businesses and government agencies dependent on GPS for their work, scientists and engineers whose job required the assistance of GPS. NASA, NOAA, the Department of Defense, the Department of Transportation, and on and on. This was so acutely felt by so  many, because GPS is the other modern backbone that, along with the Internet, guided by science and engineering we have added, in our time, to the basic infrastructure of our industrial society. But why all the commotion? Well (and this, full disclosure, is an issue that impinges directly on how I make my living and manage to find interesting things to do) it turns out that the GPS signals, transmitted from some 12,500 miles above our heads, are extremely weak when they reach us here below. The ubiquitous GPS receivers that can be found in our cell phones, as well as in surveying equipment, electricity grid and financial transactions synchronization and timing equipment, aircraft and satellite navigation instrumentation and more, much more, can pick them up because these receivers are, however everyday and commonplace to us, real technological marvels.

      But for Lightsquare to do the job, it needed  to transmit with lots of radio power from its towers, and to do so at the ideal (from its point of view) frequencies that just happened to be forbidden by law to protect from interference (due to the always inevitable leakage of power beyond any transmitter’s intended band) the nearby transmission band reserved for satellite signals, in this case the GPS part of it, which was almost next to the one’s proposed for use by the broadband network. Such an interference, as it was feared at first and was later confirmed, would seriously degrade the performance of GPS receivers in the general proximity of the towers.

      There was a long and bitter confrontation with the hedge fund’s CEO behind it all, who is not a man amenable to not getting away with what he wants, while there was no lack of purveyors of receivers touting magical filters that would prevent interference between the ground transmissions and GPS’. Eventually cold and hard engineering evidence demonstrated the inviability of Lightsquared’s proposal, with the FCC eventually terminating the process by not going ahead with the approval of its plans.

      The story is not yet over: the hedge fund’s CEO is back with a new proposal and a new company, called Ligado. Ligado is the old Lighsquare in new clothing and, so far, he is not convincing anyone that he could not convince before. That said, there is a new FCC in Washington DC that is not like the old FCC…

       

      • This reply was modified 3 months, 4 weeks ago by  OscarCP.
      • This reply was modified 3 months, 4 weeks ago by  OscarCP.
      • This reply was modified 3 months, 4 weeks ago by  OscarCP.
      • #194902 Reply

        Cascadian
        AskWoody Lounger

        It is slightly away from Net Neutrality, but it is one billionaire entrepreneurs attempt to address the tragedy.

        What I get from your overview leads to the question, is Ligado pursuing Lightsquared’s proven bad design? Or has an adjustment been made toward a less vital portion of our radio spectrum? A spectrum limited by natural laws of physical reality. Technological advances have allowed us to make better use of smaller segments of this spectrum. (Witness VHF/UHF television signals replaced by digital TV. This allows for more users within the same space, though shifted to yet another segment along the spectrum.) But we cannot magically create new segments for every new idea. It is a limited resource. Some of our earlier work in ELF was incredibly wasteful, but deemed necessary for cold war communication fallback and redundancy.

        You are closer to this subject than most. And I may be making a false connection here. Is this also related to the networking riding on our AC powergrid infrastructure design that was left by the wayside some years ago? I remember there being interference concerns there as well, but I thought that was domestic and terrestrial in nature.

        I’ve gone astray again. If your point was that rich people can abuse the system by affording to take repeated bites at the same fruit, and making disruption where there could be cooperation; then I agree. Working together for solutions is more difficult, but yields better results. Downside for the rich guy is that profits are also dispersed among the cooperative entities.

        Meant to include an acknowledgement of range in RF being a proportional product of power supplied and altitude. Leading to high power for terrestrial systems compared to relatively low power for satellite transmitters. Creating the problem of drowning out the weaker signal. It is intrinsic to your point. I only meant to demonstrate I recognized the conflict.

        • This reply was modified 3 months, 4 weeks ago by  Cascadian.
    • #194910 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Lounger

      Cascadian,

      It’s not just about rich people wanting more and more for themselves and the heck to everybody and everything else, it is about how greed blinds us humans to act irresponsibly and even destructively. To me this is a deep flaw in our natures that most of us are lucky not to see in ourselves, not because we are angels, but because life does not give us a real chance at being this exploitative kind of devils. In other words, when it comes to people in the aggregate, I have a Hobbesian view of mankind. If a somewhat more democratic one than the Big Idea in “Leviathan”: that to keep us b******* in the straight and narrow, it is necessary to have us permanently repressed by an all-powerful state. If my own take on this is the way it is mostly because it fits what, in my own limited experience, I have observed by looking around, by reading the newspapers (these days mostly on line, thus helping to bring forth the day when we run out of bandwidth… ), or just by driving the car and watching others doing the same.

      As to Ligado’s vs. Lightsquared’s systems: the new company claims they are working to reduce interference, and promise levels of signal leakage that are lower than before but still higher than the accepted and rather generous standards for interference in place.

      I should add that the proposed system would work by having the users’ Internet packets uploaded and downloaded through two-way radio links to the towers that, in turn, would send and receive them via geostationary communication satellites to and from ground stations from where they would then enter the regular Internet. So it is a very big, costly and ambitious project.

      For further information:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ligado_Networks

      https://www.gps.gov/spectrum/ABC/2018-03-NPEF-gap-analysis.pdf

      https://rntfnd.org/2018/03/08/haste-and-consequence-in-regulation-the-cautionary-tale-of-ligado-networks-bloomberg-law/

      Probably the root of this problem is that, perhaps by not being Hobbesian enough, the FCC commissioners, once upon a time, sold at auction parts of the radio frequency spectrum in the until then forbidden region meant to protect satellite transmissions. It was done with restrictions put on the buyers as to what and how they could use their purchases, to protect those satellite signals. Lightsquared asked for a controversial waiver so it could get its system to work.

      Be all that as it may, what is at stake is that we either can have terrific connectivity (the Lightsquared/Ligado way) or the full use of GPS, but not both. Which strikes me as not a really great choice.

      There might be new kinds of technology that, if ever proven useful beyond their initial and limited tests, might expand enough the available capacity of the Internet to stay, perhaps for years, the day when it saturates unless restrictions are imposed on its use first. Using “twisted light”, for example, it is possible to send many more bits per second of information through fiber optics or over the air than at present with “straight” laser light:

      https://spectrum.ieee.org/telecom/wireless/twisted-light-could-dramatically-boost-data-rates

      But many promising experimental techniques never pan out because of unexpected and unresolved practical problems found on the way to making them fit for general use. So, for now: who knows.

       

      • This reply was modified 3 months, 4 weeks ago by  OscarCP.
      • This reply was modified 3 months, 4 weeks ago by  OscarCP.
      • This reply was modified 3 months, 4 weeks ago by  OscarCP.
      • This reply was modified 3 months, 4 weeks ago by  OscarCP.
      • This reply was modified 3 months, 4 weeks ago by  OscarCP.
      • #194915 Reply

        Cascadian
        AskWoody Lounger

        But many promising experimental techniques never pan out because of unexpected and unresolved practical problems found on the way to making them fit for general use. So, for now: who knows.

        I think there is a quote attributed to Edison, possibly apocryphal, about a thousand failures that led to the only one success that mattered, a carbon infused filament. It’s also possible that was another of Mr. Edison’s borrowed ideas. Point being, failure is the flagstones that pave the path to success. That’s probably another important person’s quotation as well.

        I hope I am not read as being against rich people. I still hope to become one myself, for the benefit of my children and theirs. I also like having a rich person or two involved in my business deals. They may pay invoices slowly, but at least they pay with their own money. Government must first take money from active producers, or borrow against an empty ledger to pay. Each of these methods introduce additional levels of waste and inefficiency along the way.

        The personality aspect that causes someone to stubbornly pursue the same path again and again, is not a feature of the rich. Being rich gives the liberty to act on that poor personality trait. People who do not have access to such large reserves must adapt to more practical methods to advance.

        Had more thoughts on Mr. Musk’s wild ideas as well, but should likely do this in small steps. And also need to attend to another item now. Really am enjoying this, thanks again.

        ah, I see you have edititus as well. I suffer the condition. I’ll have to review your changes a little later on. ttfn.

        • This reply was modified 3 months, 4 weeks ago by  Cascadian. Reason: apended at end
    • #194926 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Lounger

      I hope we have already given the first push, and maybe also an initial direction, to an informative and fruitful conversation that now others, to be hoped many, might join, and soon, as this is about to become a much hotter issue than it has been for a while.

      So I am happy to leave things at that for now, hoping to have a many-sided conversation that keeps clear from becoming little more than a monotonous series of rants about the evil Ajit Pai, his two malignant allied commissioner at the FCC, and the big Telecom monopolies salivating over another chance of running things in their own twisted way once more (knock yourselves out, but we also need something more to talk about!), and from hearing endlessly about the, to me, equally uninteresting idea of an absolute free-for-all as the right way to go, which is how, it seems to me, Net Neutrality tends to get defined by default, whether unintentionally, or lazily, or both. Hoping, instead, to hear also about what can be done, in the longer run, to ensure a sustainable increase in the use of the Internet that serves the needs of most people well and fairly. Without discarding offhand, but neither taking for granted, the possibility of technical breakthroughs that might revolutionize communications some day. And aiming beyond just the short-term solution of stopping Pai and his fellow travelers ASAP. Something that, by the way, I am all for.

       

      • This reply was modified 3 months, 4 weeks ago by  OscarCP.
      • #195042 Reply

        Cascadian
        AskWoody Lounger

        …aiming beyond just the short-term solution of stopping Pai and his fellow travelers ASAP. Something that, by the way, I am all for.

        Oh that part comes through, loud and clear. Thank you for choosing your words so carefully. The strain of your restraint is evident in your florid adjectives. I continue to believe we seek the same solution.

        Some believe that solution may come from different sources. I look to open opportunity for individual creativity to access private funding (the way a USAmerican uses the private/public descriptives) to develop ideas to their fruition. That fruit can then be offered to the marketplace for consummers to decide what is worth rewarding with their hard earned paycheck. Conversely, what is not worth supporting is left on the shelf. Meanwhile limited household funds are put to better use in the interest of each family’s self determined best interest.

        Some may argue that individuals on the whole are dumb, stupid, or at best ill informed as to what is actually best for them. That the masses require the firm hand of guidance from a benificient government that knows better how to provide. I disagree.

        … and from hearing endlessly about the, to me, equally uninteresting idea of an absolute free-for-all as the right way to go, which is how, it seems to me, Net Neutrality tends to get defined by default, whether unintentionally, or lazily, or both. Hoping, instead, to hear also about what can be done, in the longer run, to ensure a sustainable increase in the use of the Internet that serves the needs of most people well and fairly.

        I fear that here, you fall again back into an either or all or nothing position. I also fear I’m about to revert to automotive analogy again. Yep, here goes.

        There are a few privately funded roads in the US, and many people prefer to find different routes to drive rather than pay the tolls associated with using these private roads. (The fact that many governments have also picked up on this business model is a different discussion.) For the most part we seem to allow that Government is good at providing basic infrastructure. We also like that it is in society’s interest to allow Government to register all users of the roads, even check for a minimum level of knowledge and proven ability, set certain rules, patrol for compliance, and punish noncompliance.

        We also balk when Government oversteps their role by creating speedtraps for revenue over safety, changes traffic patterns that inconvenience us, or make arbitrary rules that claim certain benefits that are provably silly.

        The ideas that led to coding that makes networking possible were individual accomplishments. The infrastructure that makes the internet work was a Federal program for Government purposes. It is a benefit to us all that this structure was opened for general use. I will now mix side by side the respective examples.

        When I’m on the Interstate Highway/information highway, I respect and give deference to USArmy convoys/government traffic. I also enjoy seeing private carrier trucks/Hulu packets using the same infrastructure. But I would not appreciate the highway patrol limiting all private traffic to the same 35mph speed limit required of the USArmy convoys/treat all traffic exactly alike. And I would feel very uncomfortable if olive green were the only color seen on the road/other packets being excluded. That would suggest to me that very bad things have happened/like censorship of intellectual properties.

        Without discarding offhand, but neither taking for granted, the possibility of technical breakthroughs that might revolutionize communications some day.

        This is where it seems like you are back onboard with a more complex solution where some burden is supported by government, and some liberty remains for the wacky ideas that should be experimented with crazy investments instead of taxpayers hard earned money. When that one from a thousand attempts pays off, the government has never been shy about incorporating the success. In the interest of society, of course. Usually making adequate compensation to the developer.

        Holding back from going further afield. I also hope to see more views ahead of changes taking effect. Discussion ahead of time is better than trying to undo ill conceived regulation. That part I think is already agreed. Even if we have different views of wellness.

    • #195078 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Lounger

      Cascadian! You have misread my intentions here!

      I want to have people getting very passionate, maybe even seriously p***** off, when discussing not only the evil scraping by the FCC of NN, but also the less often looked  in depth question of how best to implement NN. Discussion that could be helped take place by having at least two discordant positions sharply defined to kick start a substantial conversation, rather than opening the flood gates to a venting fest for people that just want to have a place where to curse the FCC, or the Obama liberals behind all this, or Trump, or the New York Times, or the followers of Ayn Rand, or Amtrak’s timetable.

      In short: I want people mostly getting down to brass tacks and not so much to raving and ranting or generally taking the discussion off in uninteresting directions.

      I would like for the sparks to fly and something catch fire with, maybe, more light than smoke (no guarantee of that though) to illuminate these issues.

      But then again, that’s just me. You might have some better idea.

       

      • #195091 Reply

        OscarCP
        AskWoody Lounger

        And almost forgot to add: Besides discussing what might be best to do and how, I would also hope some people will exchange news of what is going on and what others may be doing or proposing to do about the FCC abandonment of Net Neutrality and the reinstatement of the status quo ante. Have a small clearinghouse of information on those topics, perhaps.

         

        • This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by  OscarCP.
      • #195241 Reply

        Cascadian
        AskWoody Lounger

        Cascadian! You have misread my intentions here!

        This jumped out at me. Before I have even read the rest, I wanted to respond, for fear that delaying until a thoughtful reply is made, a misunderstanding would persist.

        Reading quickly while distracted with other thoughts can often lead to poor comprehension. It is one of the largest reasons I hold back from pouring out more of the dreck that sometimes comes to mind. I know I don’t write with the best clarity, and worry that my meander looses meaning in the reading.

        If I hove done the same disservice to you, I truly apologize. I will give better attention, and give a more fully considered response later. Further, I’ll try to use questions where I want better understanding. I recognize where I have made statements instead, thinking I was giving points you could respond to.

        I do seek understanding, which is a point you also have made. And regret if I have made that more difficult.

    • #196915 Reply

      Kirsty
      AskWoody MVP

      From Electronic Frontier Foundation:

      While the Net Neutrality Fight Continues, AT&T and Verizon are Opening a New Attack on ISP Competition
      By Ernesto Falcon | June 8, 2018

       

      Until the FCC really digs into why the US market has a monopoly choice for more than half of Americans, it should reject efforts by incumbents to gloss over these important questions rather than take US Telecom’s word that it will all just work out. Otherwise, it might very well embark on a path where we go from more than half of Americans having one choice for high-speed broadband to where only the markets that have Verizon FIOS, Google Fiber, or a community broadband deployment as the only markets with more than one choice.

       
      Read the full article here

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #196934 Reply

        OscarCP
        AskWoody Lounger

        Good article linked there, though I wonder if, in “the markets that have Verizon FIOS, Google Fiber, or a community broadband deployment“, shouldn’t the comma between “FIOS” and “Google Fiber” be replaced with “and”, because otherwise, as written, or so it seems to me, this contradicts the article’s main idea that the big telecoms are eliminating choice through their monopolistic control of the high-speed Internet. (An I idea I wholly agree with — and may add to this the opinion that there are already too many large corporations with controlling monopolies, or that are members of cartels where they act  together as monopolies, of essential infrastructure, commerce and services in this country, besides telecoms.)

         

        • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by  OscarCP.
    • #196925 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Lounger

      According to Woody,  in his Home Page announcement of this forum and its reason for being:

      I, personally, know one ISP — great guy, very smart — who’s convinced the Net Neutrality regulations were written by Google, and he cheers their demise. He has skin in the game, but he swears that the end of the regulations will be good for consumers.”

      Well, he might be even right: ALPHABET, the company that owns GOOGLE, is on record as opposing the FCC’s last year’s measure to end Net Neutrality, and so does GOOGLE itself, and it has been pushing for NN for quite a while now, along with several other organizations that, no surprises here, use the Internet a great deal for the distribution of their goods and services. See for example: http://fortune.com/2018/01/06/google-microsoft-amazon-internet-association-net-neutrality/

      That said, the idea that “the end of regulations will be good for consumers” is a mantra with at best a questionable correspondence with reality that FCC’s Chairman Ajit Pai and those like-minded repeat every time they discuss this subject.

      I wonder, sometimes: could they be the same people that are completely sure that NASA faked those alleged Moon landings all those years ago? If so, they might also be interested on a certain large bridge in New York City I know all about…

       

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #196938 Reply

      Elly
      AskWoody MVP

      There isn’t just one reason to support Net Neutrality… Wired’s 10 Reasons to Care About Net Neutrality lists some consumer fears as:

      “- Freedom from monopolies
      – Freedom to start a business and compete on a level playing field
      – Freedom of online speech
      – Freedom to visit any website you want at the fastest browsing speed”

      There are a limited number of ISPs… and they were given certain concessions to promote their providing access to greater numbers of consumers… and they built upon the existing structure of telecommunications (yep, phone lines) in the beginning. Net Neutrality was so that consumers had equal and fair access to the physical cables, routers, switches, servers and software that run the Internet, treating every byte of data equally. Without that, the ISPs and people with money to buy access can manipulate what services end users are able to access (example, making Netflix movies load slowly, so they are difficult to watch, while making others super easy to access- Right now, Microsoft is ‘herding’ customers in a direction that monetizes the customers’ data… and they have the money and push to do it. Without Net Neutrality, big corporations will be able to manipulate your access to news services, entertainment, video conferencing, banking, etc… because you, the consumer only have the artificial choices that the ISP provides you… Sort of like choosing between W10 Home and Pro, but not being able to choose an OS to stop telemetry… With net neutrality, you can choose to access and use the services and businesses and information providers that you want, at an acceptable speed.

      Being disabled, and going through multiple bouts of medical issues that played havoc on the once substantial savings I had, means that I’m one of the people that barely affords internet access at all. That means, by default, I’ll be stuck being manipulated by the ISP determining what I will be able to access, and at what speed. I don’t live (like half of all Americans) in a place where there is ISP choice… so I’m stuck with ISP manipulation instead of freedom of access. Statistically disabled folk make up much more of the lower income levels, while their individualized medical and access needs take up a huge (sometimes impossibly so) portion of what they have to spend on anything… so it further handicaps our choices… Having basic, non-throttled access to the internet is more, not less, essential to me, as my physical mobility is increasingly impaired, and my ability to pay for it lessens… the internet was developed to be a free and open network that allows anyone with a web connection to communicate directly with any individual or computer on that network… without regard to the political or corporate or religious or racial or gender or social or disability or economic classes you fall into. That only happens under net neutrality. Internet access is actively being abused in many countries around the world. Look at China. It needs to stay free, so that individual people continue to have access, a voice, and freedom of choice… so that our money, our votes, our choices, our beliefs matter… because, they do…

      Win 7 Home, 64 bit, Group B

      5 users thanked author for this post.
      • #196941 Reply

        OscarCP
        AskWoody Lounger

        Elly: “That only happens under net neutrality. Internet access is actively being abused in many countries around the world. Look at China. It needs to stay free, so that individual people continue to have access, a voice, and freedom of choice… so that our money, our votes, our choices, our beliefs matter… because, they do…

        In other words: this is about our democracy.

         

        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #196960 Reply

      Elly
      AskWoody MVP

      Glad this is in the rants section so I don’t get into trouble with Woody!

      Yes! Democracy… We, the people, need to be free… not selling ourselves into corporate slavery, where our resources are stolen to benefit a select few… we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be fought over and used as pawns by any political group, or corporation… we need to be free to choose, to have agency over our own lives.

      What if the AskWoody Lounge is identified as too subversive for Microsoft’s corporate interests? Well, without net neutrality, they can just partner with a couple of ISPs and rejoice when it takes minutes instead of seconds for the pages to load… (remember the partnership with Intel and blocking Windows 7 on newer processors? Think internet equivalent) and a place like this, will cease trying to point out problems and solutions… and start advocating everything Microsoft. W10 and telemetry is great. No problem having your day interrupted for updating… take a break, and enjoy! So what if your personal information is being monetized, and being sold… you don’t have the ability to stop those updates from transforming W10 into a spying marketing device, so enjoy Candy Crush! And who cares if your ISP supports a particular political party and discounts their ads to them… Russia is already manipulating and undermining your vote anyways, and don’t discount China’s long term plans to rule the world… but your Congressman doesn’t care about any of that… they just want to be wined and dined and know a job is waiting for them in corporate America after they’ve finished serving up their constituents to the highest bidders!

      Memorial Day was just past… and was spent honoring those that fought for our freedom, giving their lives… serious stuff. But all around me people aren’t willing to choose an open source operating system and readily offer up their data to Microsoft, Google and Apple, allowing algorithms to determine what they can buy or use, and at what price? I could say something about the corporate cowards that seek power and control over improving self efficacy for their users. Yes, the internet and computing is relatively young, but we should be moving forward with the freedoms already fought for and won, established in law, applying them to the internet, spreading them to other people of the world, not allowing them to ensnare us in Cloud colonialism and bowing to oppression!

      Net neutrality is what provides us, individual people, the ability to freely make choices that affect every aspect of our lives… we can’t do that if our very access to the internet is being bought, sold, and manipulated… and waiting until it has a bad effect is too little, too late.

      End of rant… for now!

      Win 7 Home, 64 bit, Group B

      5 users thanked author for this post.
    • #196961 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Lounger

      Wow! You go, Girl!

      Quite entirely so!

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #197022 Reply

      Noel Carboni
      AskWoody MVP

      The thing that worries me most is this:

      How many people can actually tell whether a lack of net neutrality actually affects their daily life? Could you?

      I’m a career geek with decades of experience in data communications and I’m not sure I could.

      If your favorite web site stopped providing you data conveniently fast, would you know why? Or would you – as we all do – just go do something else.

      Let’s say you wanted to watch a YouTube DIY video on fixing your car’s brakes, but it just won’t stream in real time. Maybe you have to give up and just go pay your local dealer 10x what you should have to in order to make the problem go away.

      It could easily be reality, not hypothetical.

      The ability for this one simple thing – to be able to promote a set of choices by standing selectively in the way of certain information – to be used to manipulate people on the down low is downright scary.

      We are all coming to realize that the power of such manipulation is highly valued in these modern times.

      Good luck to us all.

      -Noel

      7 users thanked author for this post.
    • #197042 Reply

      anonymous

      Woody’s ISP pal is correct. “Net Neutrality” is a bumper sticker slogan for a group of policies which would do the exact opposite of what the “slogan” implies. No way the Internet in the USA ought to be regulated as a national public utility! 🙁

      For those who worry about monopolies, more than enough laws are on the books to handle these. Unfortunately, somebody needs to apply them. Sadly the last administration permitted the Comcast – NBC merger to go through because it suited their agenda as it centralizes a large portion of the propaganda machine. Comcast agreed to numerous restrictions to facilitate the merger; note that they have violated these already… 🙁

      Would be nice if the AT&T – Time Warner merger fails. Will take a miracle to block it at this point though.

      You want a free exchange of thought and ideas, break up Google/YouTube, Farcebook, et al.

      If you like dumbing down, least common denominator, and stifling innovation, and you just LOVE single-payer healthcare, by all means support “Net Neutrality”. Expect to pay more and have one choice of pipe, just like your power and water.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #197062 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Lounger

      Anonymous #197042 : “For those who worry about monopolies, more than enough laws are on the books to handle these. Unfortunately, somebody needs to apply them.” and gives several good bad examples of this. Could not agree more with you there. That is part of the problem with Net Neutrality (NN), or rather with its imminent absence: it was an attempt to put some brake to monopolies overreaching their power to do business by constraining, in some form, how these monopolies do it.

      It is not perfect. Someone that reads some of my earlier comments might realize that I have a serious objection to NN’s implicit opening of the floodgates, into a system of finite carrying capacity, to as many porn, movies, shows, animated cat gifs and selfies people are willing to pay for, all of which seems to be endlessly rising in volume, and that content providers are willing to endlessly give, for a price, while constantly opening new fountains of additional content to be delivered down the existing pipes. Exponential growth can only go so far, regardless of efforts to increase capacity (and there are not many of those underway, it seems), before everything comes crashing down and with dire consequences here. Because the Internet is, now days, one of the main components of the infrastructure of the modern world, and not just a venue for commerce and entertainment. And growth can only go so far before strong, even harsh, restrictions are applied. Applied by whom? By governments, of course.

      But the alternative, being peddled as a marvelous stimulus to creativity and progress by Ajit Pai and the like, which boils down, in effect, to letting the monopolies (both the providers and the conveyors of content) regulate things themselves, is even worse than Net Neutrality. Because the monopolies are quite happy with this endless growth of demand for inessential content,  in the form of either content providers’ customer fees, or content conveyors’ pay-for-volume fees (that they may swear never to apply, but hey! THAT was what Verizon was doing to Netflix not long before NN became law). Because such growth brings in the even bigger bucks to the delight and profit of their own captains of industry, and it brings them also the greater power that comes with that extra money, and the greater prestige and fearful respect that comes with that greater power. They are on to a good thing, so why wouldn’t they keep it going? Until the day it all collapses under its own weight but, heck! their guess is that probably (fingers crossed) won’t be for quite some time after they are gone, so… So I don’t see as being offered, right now, by either side of the debate, one clearly good solution, but only one, NN, that is relatively better than the other.

      And, by the way and definitely off-topic, yes, I do LOVE single-payer (or at least the principle of it: that access to good medical care is a right of all citizens and not a burden some can and some cannot afford to bear, and tough luck to those that can’t. But let me see the details before I tell you what I think of any such system). Some of those systems, through chronic underfunding by unsympathetic conservative governments, such as the once magnificent British one, are not doing very well. But I have lived in Australia, Holland, and Denmark, where they are well-funded, and I was so delighted, when there, to go to see a doctor, then walk into a pharmacy to fill my prescription, then have tests made at a hospital, and rarely have to pay (up front) for any of it, and never, ever have to wrangle with persnickety penny-pinching insurers to get my expenses back. Of course, no miracles there: later I had to pay the Health tax. But guess what? I did not mind. Neither did most of the people living there. In fact, those countries have had pretty conservative governments, from time to time, and none of those (however much they would have loved to) have ever dared openly to touch (other than in some occasional, sneaky and small ways) these enormously popular government-run insurance systems citizens pay for through their taxes. Citizens that seemed blithely unconcerned that their health insurance systems were totally run by their democratically elected and ultimately accountable to them governments. Go figure.

      But that is really another topic, for another day.

       

       

      • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by  OscarCP.
      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #197139 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Lounger

      It looks like this forum might have been inexplicably closed, at least that what it looks like when one tries to get to it through “Recent Topics”. So this posting is a test of whether what I can still see here, in the “Rants” section, is more than just the ghost left behind by a dead forum.

       

      • #197143 Reply

        PKCano
        AskWoody MVP

        The Forum is not closed.
        From the Forum tree at the bottom on the right:
        Forums\Outside the box\Rants – it’s at the top of the list.

    • #197152 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Lounger

      PKCano, Thanks!

       

    • #197156 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      Just a test… this topic is wide open.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #197175 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Lounger

      And it’s off to the races! (Or: Hail to Ajit Pai, The Champion of The People! ):

      See here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/goodbye-to-net-neutrality-hello-to-an-even-bigger-atandt/2018/06/10/e7c67f56-6cc0-11e8-bf86-a2351b5ece99_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.f99f5b5066d8

      Enjoy while you can the HD videos of your favorite Netflix and Hulu shows, binge endlessly on them through this night pregnant with foreboding, ’cause tomorrow, or the day after, or next week, or six months from now (let’s say, after the Midterm Elections), all that might start to die in a slow, pixelated death: a  few pixels here, a lot of pixels there…

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #197179 Reply

        anonymous

        Get your analysis from the Amazon Post?! Think about the Bezos/Amazon Prime agenda. Lot of Kool Aid and foil hats going around.

        • #197246 Reply

          OscarCP
          AskWoody Lounger

          Well… at least someone is coming to see what’s here…This forum’s future is starting to look promising!

    • #197281 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Lounger

       

      Read this, but first get yourself a beer, to be properly setup to hear the spoken part… Or maybe pour yourself something stronger:

      https://www.cnet.com/news/net-neutrality-is-now-really-officially-dead-open-internet-congress-now-what/

      Of the written article, the bottom line (but not the juicier part) is this:

      This is a huge change in policy at the FCC and it could affect how you experience the internet. Keep in mind, your experience isn’t likely to change right away.

      But over time, it could change significantly. Whether you think that change will be for the better or the worse depends on whom you believe.

      PS: I’ve posted here, earlier on, some thoughts that resonate with this commentary: #197062 .

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #197429 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Lounger

      And here is another one, just fresh from the press (one can almost smell the ink), take on the issue (and a not terribly hopeful one, at that):

      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/11/technology/how-net-neutrality-repeal.html

      Being from the NYT, I am hoping it might attract at least another dyspeptic troll to rant about it (Sigh). Well, looking at it on the bright side: This is the Rants Section! But at least someone will have paid this place a visit… while they still can use the Internet to access anything other than what the Masters of the On-line Universe choose for them to see and do on it. (Hey, trolls: now have at it!)

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #198923 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Lounger

      There is also this forum on Net Neutrality, started by Woody last year:

      https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/time-to-make-your-net-neutrality-opinion-known-to-the-fcc/#post-198920

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #199260 Reply

      cesmart4125
      AskWoody Lounger

      A number of contributors have made valuable points  (and have shown they have excellent writing ability.)  To add more food for thought, I’m mentioning the excellent articles Woody wrote for WindowsSecrets some years ago.    If your subscription hasn’t run out, these are still available at htps://windowssecrets.com

      A quote from one is as follows:
      There’s a proposal on the table that Congress really should consider. I know it’s an impossible dream, but cloud guru Paul Venezia suggests that the U.S. take steps to make Web access fast, reliable, and cheap for everybody. “Here in the U.S., we’re doing the exact opposite, as fast as we possibly can.” Paul’s proposal, published in an InfoWorld story, is to classify ISPs as common carriers — just as are phone companies. We then commoditize broadband, with “true, free-market competition.” He — and many, many others — suggests we treat Internet access like electricity, water, and sewer. The devil’s in the details, but it sure sounds like a great first step to me.
      For those of us who just want a fast, reliable, cheap, content-independent Internet connection (as is already available in many areas outside the U.S.), the Comcast/Time Warner Cable deal raises all sorts of red flags. But once you have the facts, the Comcast/Netflix deal doesn’t (make any sense at all).

      The June 19 edition of WindowsSecrets has this article: The Fiber-to-Home Gigabit Experience.  In his article, Lincoln Spector  discusses why many of us pay more for internet service and get slower speeds than many parts of the world.

      Hope this provides more food for thought.

      PS

      Germany makes telephone companies provide quality service by permitting its citizens to change companies at any time.

      [Edit: Addendum sent by email]


      As we Americans pay more for internet service and get
      slower service than many areas of the world, I am writing to express my
      concern over the continuing mergers of the giant telecommunications
      companies.  I am also concerned about the loss of internet neutrality. 



      In the past Comcast and Netflix worked out a deal whereby Comcast
      played favorites with Netflix at the expense of Hulu, Apple TV, the New
      York Times, and others.  Please let me know if the reprehensible
      Comcast caps carried over into the Comcast and Time-Warner deal. 



      For your information, Comcast is trying to force me to pay for
      service before I was connected to their network.  This company has
      ignored repeated letters to their CEO and other executives.  Their
      service was as slow as 1MB/sec and sometimes stopped altogether.  (For
      obvious reasons, I resent their strong arm tactics, and I’m no longer a
      customer.)



      Shouldn’t we regulate ISPs as common carriers?  This would permit
      us to price bandwidth as a commodity.  Also, many of your constituents
      are using VOIP and Skype.



      Please tell me your definition of net neutrality.  For many
      people in the tech industry, net neutrality means non-discrimination
      against packets from origin to destination. A packet from Netflix or
      YouTube or the New York Times or Apple TV is treated and priced exactly
      the same from server to client and back again.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #199268 Reply

        cesmart4125
        AskWoody Lounger

        The part in italics is from a letter I wrote my senators and congressman.  Unfortunately the last part, in which I thank them for responding to my concerns and answering my questions, didn’t appear in the attachment.

        I put “US Senators and addresses” and “US Representatives” into Bing or Google.  This enabled me to contact them at their Washington offices.

        Hopefully my letter will help my fellow readers thinking of writing to their elected officials.

        3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #199379 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Lounger

      And just now this in the news:

      https://newrepublic.com/article/149305/atttime-warner-merger-already-government-feared

      And in my email too! Thanks, AT&T, for remembering to tell me:

      “Hello,

      WarnerMedia (formerly Time Warner) has joined our family! The AT&T companies share your information with each other. With our merger, WarnerMedia is now included.

      This will mean great deals, relevant offers and new ways for you to enjoy premium content from Turner, HBO and Warner Bros. Your privacy comes first, as always. Please read more at att.com/PrivacyUpdate.

      Thanks for choosing us,  AT&T

      And so it goes. Oh, well…

    • #199580 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Lounger

      I just received a message from someone who sent with it the three links below to documents he thought can be relevant to this forum. I agree:

      https://windowssecrets.com/top-story/why-is-the-internet-slow-and-costly-in-the-u-s/

      https://windowssecrets.com/top-story/why-and-when-net-neutrality-is-important/

      The first two are from the days before Net Neutrality was adopted by the then FCC, one of them by Woody, explaining clearly the reasons for endorsing it because of the serious problems with the system at the time, the same system the new FCC has now returned this country to, dragging us who don’t have reason to like it by the hairs, kicking and screaming.

      The last link is to a letter to his Congressman, short and to the point ). It has been posted already here at #199260  .)

       

      • This reply was modified 3 months ago by  OscarCP.
      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #200384 Reply

      cesmart4125
      AskWoody Lounger

      Here are some more articles from WindowsSecrets.  They are as follows:

      The fight for net neutrality goes to round two

      “Network Neutrality”
      The Fiber-to-the-Home Gigabit Experience
      How to measure your <i>true</i> Internet speed

      It should be noted that The Fiber-to-the-Home Gigabit Experience,
      indeed mentions the marked improvement possible if one’s ISP lays
      fiber-optic cable to one’s home.  The author, Lincoln Spector, is served
      by one of the few independent ISPs in the US.  He mentions that his own

      equipment will prevent him from enjoying the full benefit possible with
      a Gbps connection; nevertheless, he is connecting at faster speeds than
      most of us.

      The Fiber-to-the-Home Gigabit Experience also explains the role of
      AT&T in limiting the entry of smaller independent ISPs.  Lincoln
      Spector is served by a smaller ISP, which amazingly decreased his
      monthly charges after laying fiber-optic cable.  This fiber-optic cable
      literally comes right into his office.

      The possibility of Gbps speeds amazes me.  With Comcast, my internet
      speed was as low as 1 Mbps, and sometimes the connection broke.  If more
      ISPs  are permitted to enter the market, speeds may well increase for
      the rest of us.  Newer equipment should enable us to more fully utilize
      these increased speeds.

      The CEO of Sonic.net, Spector’s ISP, believes if even 10 ISPs are
      competing in a given market, competition will lower prices.  We are one
      of the few countries to restrict entry into the market.  Interestingly,
      (as mentioned earlier) we pay more and get slower speeds than many other
      countries.

      Hopefully, these articles engender some further discussion of net neutrality.  Best wishes in your endeavors.

      Charles

      1 user thanked author for this post.

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

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