Obama wants FCC to regulate the Internet; Cruz calls it ‘Obamacare for the Internet’

“Obama has called on federal regulators to toughen proposed net-neutrality rules for Internet traffic, including taking the controversial step of changing the way the law treats broadband providers so they are subject to stricter utility-like regulation,” Jim Puzzanghera reports for The Los Angeles Times. “‘Ever since the Internet was created, it’s been organized around basic principles of openness, fairness and freedom,’ Obama said in the video posted on the White House website. ‘There are no gatekeepers deciding which sites you get to access. There are no toll roads on the information superhighway,’ he said. ‘Abandoning these principals [sic] would threaten to end the Internet as we know it.'”

“FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said Monday that he was ‘grateful’ for Obama’s input and called the president’s statement ‘an important, welcome addition’ to the agency’s deliberations. But Wheeler said the legal issues involved with crafting the rules are complex and the FCC had ‘more work to do.'”

“Net neutrality supporters welcomed Obama’s strong statement of support,” Puzzanghera reports. “But broadband providers said Obama’s proposals risked harming the Internet. And Republicans, who have fought adamantly against net neutrality rules, slammed the president for urging stronger government regulation. ”Net Neutrality’ is Obamacare for the Internet; the Internet should not operate at the speed of government,’ tweeted Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).”

“Supporters of tough net-neutrality rules want the FCC to reclassify broadband providers to make them subject to regulation similar to that of telephone companies under Title 2 of the Telecommunications Act,” Puzzanghera reports. “Wheeler has said he’s open to such a move, which is strongly opposed by Internet service providers and most Republicans. And Wheeler has said he and the president are in agreement on the need for tough net-neutrality rules, although Obama had not detailed the exact rules he would prefer.”

MacDailyNews Take: Wait, Obama issued some vague platitudes without giving specifics? Shocking.

“On Monday, Obama was clear that he wanted the FCC to reclassify broadband providers, even though he does not have the power to force them to do so,” Puzzanghera reports. “Cable companies and other broadband service providers have opposed tougher regulation, saying it’s unnecessary and could stifle investment and innovation.”

MacDailyNews Take: Make no mistake: We don’t oppose the sentiment in Obama’s video and statements, specifically that the Internet retain “basic principles of openness, fairness and freedom.”

We oppose the imperious emptiness of it.

Not to mention its inherent illogicality: How, exactly, does the Internet remain “open, fair, and free” with the U.S. FCC regulating it?

“Verizon supports the open Internet, and we continue to believe that the light-touch regulatory approach in place for the past two decades has been central to the Internet’s success,” Verizon Communications Inc. said in a statement Monday,” Puzzanghera reports. “‘Reclassification under Title 2, which for the first time would apply 1930s-era utility regulation to the Internet, would be a radical reversal of course that would in and of itself threaten great harm to an open Internet, competition and innovation,’ the company said. ‘That course will likely also face strong legal challenges and would likely not stand up in court,’ Verizon said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This genie is already long out of the bottle. There is no such thing as pure “net neutrality” as proponents imagine it. What is “Net Neutrality,” exactly? Don’t bother – there are a million different definitions. You back “Net Neutrality?” Great. Do you back the Easter Bunny, too?

Beware: Government meddling often produces unintended consequences and those advocating the strongest for government control have often war-gamed said consequences and likely stand to benefit from one or more of the potential outcomes.

This is a case of putting the cart before the horse. Let the market go where it goes and keep a close eye on it. If and when there is actual cause for increased regulation, then move deliberately but with a consensus and, above all, extreme caution lest there be unintended consequences which could actually end up retarding progress rather than fostering it.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. — Bert Lance

Related articles:
What Apple’s new content delivery network means for so-called ‘net neutrality’ – and for you – August 19, 2014
Apple’s content delivery network now live; paid interconnect deals with ISPs, massive capacity in place – August 1, 2014
Apple’s content delivery network is reportedly live and it’s positively massive – July 31, 2014
Apple negotiating paid interconnect deals with ISPs for their own Content Delivery Network – May 20, 2014

Verizon: We will sue U.S. FCC over ‘net neutrality’ – November 6, 2014
What Apple’s new content delivery network means for so-called ‘net neutrality’ – and for you – August 19, 2014
Forget about Net Neutrality; the Net isn’t neutral now, nor will it ever be – June 23, 2014
Is the FCC the wrong agency to handle net neutrality? – June 21, 2014
Obama backs away from ‘Net Neutrality’ campaign promises after U.S. FCC vote – May 16, 2014
U.S. FCC vote on ‘net neutrality’ will kick off long battle – May 13, 2014
Mozilla proposes new version of net neutrality rules – May 6, 2014
FCC to propose new rules for so-called ‘Net Neutrality’; would allow broadband providers to charge companies for speed – April 23, 2014
FCC plans to issue new so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – February 19, 2014
U.S. federal court strikes down FCC’s so-called ‘net-neutrality’ regulations – January 14, 2014


  1. I must have missed the Apple connection here. If MDN wants to become a 24/7 anti-Obama site, why not at least change the name? Why should Apple be used, in effect, to shill for advertising supporting partisan editorials?

      1. I’m confused. Why is a former industry lobbyist promoting regulation that is opposed by that industry? I was given to understand that in Washington politics, the REVERSE happens: lobbyists and appointed officials form a carousel of employment that acts to perpetuate an industry’s selfish interests. — Do you suppose that is the case here too, that despite Wheeler’s talk, the FCC intends to stall or defuse any Obama initiative?

        1. Wheeler promotes regulation that allows the likes of Verizon to charge money for preferencing traffic — exactly Wheeler’s role as chief lobbyist before he took official position in the government.

          Corporations literally own the government. Crony capitalism at it worst.

          Obama and Wheeler have to be stopped, and any payments for traffic preferences have to be absolutely banned.

    1. You seem to understand very little. Apple is already paying for “fast lane” for their CDN, therefore Apple is in direct opposition to the statements from the unprepared statist they help push upon the country with disastrous results.

      1. “Apple is already paying for “fast lane” for their CDN, therefore Apple is in direct opposition to the statements from the unprepared statist ”

        Netflix is also paying for a fast lane and have already come out in favor of these latest net neutrality proposals.

        Every internet company I’ve seen, other than the internet providers themselves, support these kinds of net neutrality proposals.

    2. Are your Apple devices connected to the internet?

      No? Then you have a point. A minor one, and one that doesn’t apply to the majority of us, but a point nonetheless.

      Yes? Ummmm… If you can’t see the connection, maybe someone can draw you a picture.

    3. Are you that dense? Your Apple device, everything from an iPod Shuffle to a Mac Pro, requires the internet, whether for straight access to operate or software updates. Your Apple devices are severely constrained, especially iOS devices, without the internet. That’s how it involves Apple.

    4. I agree, and the fact is the only way to keep the internet operating properly is to classify it the same as a phone service or electric. It is a service everyone needs and uses hence a public utility. If we ever allow the time warners and combusts of this world to start charging extra for fast lanes we are in deep dodo. There is no fast lane just slower normal lanes! I applaud Obama for this and shame on MDN for the hate filled attempt at tip toeing around it

      1. It will be a can of worms. Here is one way to look at it:

        In honor of true net neutrality, all the TCP/IP packets are divvied up equally.
        Yahoo Mail get a packet, Apple iTunes get a packet, Amazon web page gets a packet, Netflix gets a packet. Then start over on handing them out, or being the traffic cop that keeps everyone in line and taking their turn on the fiber. Think token ring if you are old enough.

        This way everyone get’s their turn, it’s “fair” because everyone gets the same amount of packets at the time of use, but I see a problem with Netflix. They would need a bunch more packets than the email from Yahoo.

        Not proposing this but pointing out another way to look at this and then realizing how difficult any solution will be,

      1. And Obama’s proposing we ensure it remains the way it’s always been. ISPs, on the other hand, want to fundamentally change the way the internet is delivered to users.

        Are you sure that’s the trope you wanna go with?

    5. “Let the market go where it goes and keep a close eye on it.”

      And I really don’t get this sentiment. It sounds like a vote in favor of regulation. I mean, I’m assuming that the “regulation” in “If and when there is actual cause for increased regulation” is saying WHEN there is a case for increased government regulation…

        1. “If it ain’t broke” is easy to understand. “If and when” assumes that eventually regulation will be needed. That’s a dim view of business behavior.

          But then I’m still left with WHO will do the fixing or WHO will do the regulating…the government?

    6. Any stance of Ted Cruz’s is usually a perspective that’s bad for the country.

      He’s one of those people who give “Republicans” a bad name….I think Ted’s motto is “the more radical and extreme, the better!”

    1. Yeah, let’s just trust the communications companies like AT&T and Verizon to have only the customer’s best interests at heart and to treat us fairly – because that has worked out so well in the past.

      1. I agree. If there was a clear market force protecting the internet from biased service that would be preferable. But the telecom industry is already dominated by a few behemoth corporations, so market forces are not an option.

        For those who don’t like bad regulations, consider that good regulations provide rules-of-the-road that make critical markets more efficient and keep the door open for new innovations even from small entrants.

        Net neutrality will provide clarity for telecoms, internet content providers and consumers, avoiding endless negative-sum games where the dominant telecoms continually redefine the service they provide to customers without notice in order to double charge information providers for service the customers have already paid for.

        This is a classic example of a regulation that keeps a critical utility from acting as a gatekeeper. Gatekeepers slow innovation by other actors in the marketplace. Imagine being a small startup and Comcast tells you they need a vig or they will throttle consumer access to your site.

        That kind of cross-business gatekeeping is bad for everyone, especially the consumer who loses improvements without ever having had the chance of being aware of what could have been.

  2. Oblahblah is a lame duck and the Republicans control the U.S. Congress. The lame duck can quack all he likes. It’s even more meaningless now.

    Unintended Consequences:

    It’s too bad that one of W’s decision points wasn’t demolishing the Clinton administration’s policy that caused the horrific housing crisis and the subsequent economic fallout that we continue to languish under to this day. Likely G.W. Bush was averse to being labeled a “racist” by knee-jerk Libs and those who make their profit by keeping their own people slaves to government subsistence living (Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, etc.)

    In 1994 the Clinton administration declared war on an enemy — the so-called “racist lender” — who officials claimed was to blame for differences in homeownership rate, and launched what would prove the costliest social crusade in U.S. history:

    Smoking-Gun Edict Shows U.S. Government Behind Housing Meltdown

    1. I can only assume you are making fun of conservatives by posting such weirdly insane rationalizations.

      You suggest Bush isn’t responsible for letting a huge banking bubble based on systematic loan value fraud becoming an international disaster, because … he was afraid of looking bad! lol.

      Troll on, I think some people here actually think you are a conservative.

  3. I think it’s interesting that on other technology news sites Obama’s position is being characterized as friendly to major content delivery companies such as Apple and unfriendly to the dumb pipes. Of course, here on MDM, we are getting the normal anti-Obama sentiment. This polar antagonism is a considerable part of the reason our country is in trouble these days.

    1. The “other sites” have no depth and most are owned by publishing conglomerates. MDN is independent and tell us plainly what they think.

      You are advocating groupthink. Go read a book. Start with Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell.

          1. Jesus was very liberal. There was no resemblance to a Koch brother.

            (Speaking as an independent who wonders why people keep throwing these labels around as if there can’t be great conservatives and liberals as well as bozos.

            Solutions don’t come from political sides, they come from understanding a problem and finding a solution that works, whether it fits neatly into anyone’s ideology or not.)

            1. Nevermark: Very well said. I consider myself a radical centrist – equal scorn for both the Left and the Right – who just wants the trains to run on time. Partisans – represented by botvinnik and 2014 – view everything through an ideological prism that dictates the answer, whether it is the best one or not. In this case, the Tea Party “hands-off” approach that trusts the telecommunications companies to preserve equal access for everyone is comically absurd; past behavior makes it crystal clear that the telecoms can only be trusted to do exactly is in their best interests, not the public’s or the customers’. That said, I am reasonably sure Obama doesn’t really understand the existing (and potential future) problems, and his new FCC chairman is just a shill for the telecoms. If we had an enlightened and independent Congress (LOL), this is the kind of issue that might be best settled on Capitol Hill, but if any part of our government is bought-and-paid-for by Big Money interests, it is the Congress. Alas, like almost everything these days, net neutrality will have to become a crisis before anything remotely positive is done about (which, by the way, is basically MDN’s stance).

            2. The Right re-litigates Everything – the rationale? Take a position, and distort the facts enough times that the uninformed will believe. That’s their road to the White House.

              And where is the far right to discuss the Obama bull run?? Corporate profits are at a 60 year high. This is just one of the many truths of the progress the Obama admin has made Despite the right wing burn-it-down shut down the Congress/Govt commitment

              As the uninformed begin to sift through the right wing lies, the center of America will take back our country,mane there will be more companies like Apple in the name of respected consumers.

              This likely is the last hurrah for the righties.

          1. I am pretty sure that after decades of fighting over “right” vs. “left” ideas we are not better off, and both sides have had many changes to prove themselves.

            Maybe two mentally challenged teams, with red and blue shirts, fighting over power isn’t the best way forward, unfortunately they have convinced a lot of people it is.

            Why not join the team of “lets solve problems” instead.

            Task 1: a balanced budget amendment to start limiting the damage red and blue teams can do.

          2. Why is it OK with you that the few like Koch Bros are committed to buying the vote for their own corporate self-interest, suppressing the voice of the people and to limit the taxpayers’ participation in a democracy?

            It’s true many did not turn out to vote in the midterms, but Big Money is not the balanced approach.

  4. “Ever since the Internet was created, it’s been organized around basic principles of openness, fairness and freedom,” and “Abandoning these principals would threaten to end the Internet as we know it.”

    How do you go from there to genuinely suggesting that we impose regulations? Does he not realize that he just went on record as saying he *wants* to “threaten to end the internet as we know it”?

    1. You ask a good question: What is the role of regulation in providing freedom, when regulations can be seen as a limit on freedom?

      The answer is that freedom isn’t free (in many ways) and it takes some loss of freedom (regulations) to enforce basic freedoms (ownership, safety, fair trade, consumer rights, etc). Your basic freedom to travel is maintained by thousands of regulations keeping roads safe.

      Other regulations protect market freedom. There is no free market without regulation either. For instance it is important to limit the power of entities that are not limited by normal market forces. These include monopolies, providers of critical utilities, or groups of powerful entities acting in collusion.

      Net neutrality is an anti-gatekeeper regulation of this sort. It limits telecoms from using their position as a critical connection to interfere with the freedom of speech and freedom of commerce between other individuals and corporations.

      I don’t know about everyone here, but when I pay for internet service I don’t want someone in a back room deciding for me which services I request will given priority and which will be throttled back.

      I don’t know about everyone here, but if I create a startup and customers attempt to access my site, I don’t want to have telecoms purposely degrade their customer service in order to force my startup to pay a vig just to “fix” service that was already paid for.

      1. You see, nevermark, people like botvinnik and firster think, mistakenly, that civilization is a game where the individual is to accrue the maximum wealth possible. Likewise, this greedy line of thinking would support the dismissal of NFL officials from the field. After all, in their minds, rules get in the way of a really nasty game where “winner” takes all. That’s why they think government should step aside while multinational corporations systematically gerrymander the election systems and the tax code of every country in which they operate to screw small businesses and indivuduals. Bot boy, firster, and their ilk just want to be able to bet on the winners from their gated community while main street crumbles. What greedhead scum.

    2. 1) Wheeler intends to implement internet regulations. Period.

      2) Those regulations are being crafted by the big telecom companies (Wheeler’s friends). Wheeler’s “net neutrality” will include “fast lanes”.

      3) Obama is calling for a type of “net neutrality” regulation that will attempt to keep the internet as unregulated as it is now.

      Q) Which version of “net neutrality” do you prefer?

  5. This involves apple because apple uses the internet to delivery its services to patrons like you and me. Looking down the road in apples product roadmap one is likely to see an online media distribution of entertainment that we will be viewing in a totally different way-the internet

  6. The time for increased regulation is now. Internet providers need to be treated exactly the same way as electric service providers. Service is broken into four components; transmission, billing, metering, and electric provider. The owner of the poles and wires gets a transmission fee. The billing company gets and administrative fee. The metering provider gets an equipment fee. And the electricity provider gets a fee per kWh delivered. Any qualified entity can be assigned one of the four roles. Typically a single utility provides all four. When that’s not the case, most often a different company provides the actual electricity that’s delivered. Sometimes the billing is handled by a third party as well. A utility’s retail people can’t even talk to its transmission people to provide user data.

    This is the way the net would work in the best of all possible worlds. You would pay for content (movies or TV), transmission (internet backbone fees), connectivity (ISP accounts), and administrative costs (web hosting, storage, etc.) separately on one bill, with any competent company eligible to perform any of those roles for a fee.

    Under this plan, Comcast would be a dumb pipe offering transmission only, with no interest in whose content you are buying. Your local ISP would provide you email and web hosting services. Your content provider(s) could be anyone you choose. Billing might be done by Comcast or your local ISP.

    Currently, I have a pretty similar setup. Frontier provides my phone service. Mammoth Communications provides my DSL over Frontier’s lines. My independent ISP provides server space and domain hosting. And it’s all billed through my ISP at quite a savings over Comcast or Frontier internet packages.

    1. And BTW, I have 3 kids and 2 adults who are constantly on the net downloading videos, etc, and we have never experienced content throttling with this arrangement, and I get instant human customer service during business hours from my independent ISP.

          1. Because I, and probably thousands of others like me, have experienced heavy throttling of Netflix on my Verizon FiOS pipe. I am paying (solid money) for 50Mbps downstream speed over fiber optic. This is about four times as much as Netflix needs to stream HD video in real time without any buffering. Almost every night, I have to call Verizon and complain about my bandwidth, because Netflix stream keeps breaking up. They force me to hardwire my computer to their router, run the network speed test, which usually indicates 50Mbps down, after which I have to tell them that my Netflix keeps breaking up and that their service is bull$h!t. On one occasion, I had been lucky enough to get a competent person on the other end who let it slip that Verizon is perhaps “slowing down” Netflix streaming, because it is “clogging the pipes for everyone else”… The pipe I’m paying for…!

            So, yes, the system IS broken and needs to be FIXED.

            Let us just hope that some Republican politician decides that this needs fixing by the government, so that it get done soon. I just don’t have the time to take Verizon to court over this, especially since it is a colossal hassle to gather proper evidence to prove it in court.

            1. At this point, it isn’t. While in New York City there are several ISPs who provide the service, literally ALL of them also provide cable TV services, and I can confirm that they ALL surreptitiously throttle content from independent business that provide competing offerings to their cable TV service. Your wallet (or checkbook, or ApplePay) won’t help you persuade ISPs to stop throttling competitors.

              Besides, even if there was only ONE of these operators who was throttling, and others weren’t, this particular action would be a prime example for anti-competitive behaviour. Leveraging one product/service to prevent competitors from competing with your other product/service.

              This is PRECISELY a kind of thing form which taxpayers are paying their government to protect them.

            2. …”We don’t need the Department of the Internet”.

              Yes, we do. If you leave market and business to its own devices, you get Microsoft monopoly. You get Standrd Oil monopoly. You get AT&T monopoly.

              When AT&T was monopoly, your phone service subscription was around $60 (in today’s dollars). You had to pay 80 cents per minute in today’s dollars for a call from New York to New Jersey. Soon after the break-up, Sprint was offering 10 cents per minute long distance rates in the US. Today, we are paying 3 cents per minute for calls to France and Germany. Domestic calls are included in the subscription.

              As much as some people seem to hate to admit it, but government action (and sometimes regulation) is the only thing that can save consumers from predatory businesses.

            3. • hey, stupid…if you go to a restaurant and the food is lousy, do you demand that the government step-in and regulate it? No.
              • hey, stupid…what’s the most powerful market force to fight any of these mean ol’ corporations? Uh, could it be customers’ money?
              • hey, stupid…who pays for the ISP you use? You or the government? I think even you can answer that one on your own.

            4. You are an exceptionally rude individual.

              Let me repeat this, since you don’t seem to understand it and keep repeating political talking points of your favourite political party.

              Unless American government steps in and regulates the internet, current monopolists in the ISP space will eliminate any semblance of competition and essentially kill a nascent streaming video business. There is absolutely NOTHING I or anyone else can do with our wallets to change that. I can switch from Verizon to Time Warner, to RCN, to Optimum, to Comcast, and they will ALL be throttling my Netflix traffic, regardless of the amount of bandwidth I purchase form my ISP. This is what they are doing today, and unless somebody regulates the Internet, Netflix and all other business models that depend on internet will die.

              Today, Netflix pays hefty sum for bandwidth delivery. They use various service providers (such as Akamai) to make sure their traffic is brought safely and reliably to the consumer ISPs. Meanwhile, I am paying my ISP heavy money for a lot of bandwidth; much more than I need to reliable HD stream from Netflix. And I get that bandwidth with all other services and apps (Skype, YouTube, Vimeo…), but when I stream Netflix, it chokes. And the same problem appears with other ISPs. The legal term for this is collusion.

              The government has two choices: either regulate it by declaring it a public utility (like power, phone, water), or sue those ISPs who are doing this.

              The most powerful force in the market is money. But not necessarily the consumer’s money. In this case, the monopolist money simply keeps competitors out of the game by leveraging their other services.

              I’m sure if you put a lot of effort, even you will understand how this works and why government regulation is actually a necessary and positive thing.

            5. It seems that you are STILL not getting it.

              And you continue to be exceptionally rude. Which pretty much completely voids any valid argument that you may attempt to make. Not that you had done that yet today.

            6. I rest my case.

              Feel free to post the same message fifty more times, if that will make you feel better (it must have some therapeutic effect for you, since you keep doing it, even though it doesn’t bring any value to the discussion, or argue any point on any merit).

              Judging by the number of star votes, majority of readers here seem to understand things better than you do. Apparently, some people here actually do understand what I’m talking about.

        1. Because the proposed new rules by the FCC supported by the large internet providers would change things… and Zeke would probably wind up with content throttling under his current arrangement. The only way to keep things “open” is to require them to stay that way. The big businesses with the most leverage would love nothing more than to maximize their ability to hog bandwidth for themselves. The internet would cease to exist as we currently know it without regulation.

          1. is there any way that deregulation can make your bonehead “thinking” cease to exist? If so, please appoint me chairman of the committee created to investigate the possible ramification and how it impacts the prairie dog in Nevada,

        2. Because I am the exception. I know the ins and outs of putting together a package like this. The average person doesn’t want to jump through all the hoops to obtain a package like this. And frankly, every time one of these small companies gets too big and starts to actually compete the monopolies step in and either kill it or buy it out.

          Comcast and its pals love the pseudo-regulation we have now. There’s just enough government involvement to limit their competition in their “home” areas, but not enough to regulate pricing or terms of service (e.g. Throttling). It’s like organized crime families who have divided up the country into protected territories and then wiped out any competition that appears.

          I have use for Obama, but even a stopped clock is right twice a day. I’m not willing to tolerate the cable gangsters simply to defeat a particular political party.

  7. A couple of points. 1) The government funded the basic research and “managed” the internet from day one. Don’t be such ignorant anti-government asses to claim everything they do goes to crap. Without DOD funding, there is no Internet.

    2) The US has among the slowest home broadband connections in the developed world. The market is a joke here. Most people have at most a choice of two providers either an old telco or a cable company. In countries where the broadband infrastructure is regulated or owned as public utility, household speeds of 100 Mbps or more are common. The ISPs in those countries compete on services and not on owning the wire/cable into your house.

    3) If you agree that broadband connectivity is a necessity in this age, there’s good reason for it to be provided to everyone as part of the common good (much like telephone service was).

    4) Net Neutrality will never happen. The infrastructure owners will fight this to the death.

  8. Net neutrality is great, but I don’t trust Obama or his appointed minions to regulate the internet. Period. I don’t fully agree with the Republicans on this, but regulation is not the answer. Just tell the ISPs to stop being assholes, and allow all traffic that their customers want to go through. What the hell are we paying out the ass for? I pay a lot of money to AT&T for the fastest possible U-Verse service, and I will not stand for them limiting access to online services. That being said, I don’t want some government bureaucrats sticking their unqualified noses into how ISPs are run. Soon, they will start making rules about the content of the internet, and decide for us what is acceptable. Let the nanny state get hold of the internet, and it will cease to exist as we know it.

    1. Without the leverage of your government requiring companies to NOT limit access to online services, which you say you won’t stand for… how exactly to you expect to prevent that? The only weapon the average citizen has if the corporate board rooms take over is…nothing. If you think changing ISPs will help, guess again. You will be forced to subscribe to multiple services, if they’re even available in your area, which might mean having several ISPs at the same time. One for Netflix, one for YouTube, one for Comcast content, one for Apple services, one for… well, you get the picture. Either your cost will skyrocket, or your internet experience will be dummied/slowed down. Business is betting you’ll cough up the extra money. If that isn’t as bad a taxing us for something we already get (supposedly) for free, then have at it. It’s ironic how bad internet service already is in the US compared to other countries, and it will only get worse for the average citizen if the FCC rules in favor of Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and the rest.

  9. This is one area where I actually agree with the President.

    I used to be a Netcomm and a AT&T dialup subscriber. These companies had relationships with certain organizations. With these approved websites you had full access. Other non preferred websites were slow or unusable.

    Besides limiting web company access, both Netcomm and AT&T even tried to limit access to church websites. If you were a Protestant good luck downloading this weeks bulletin. After six months of complaining, AT&T stated that a rouge employee had placed restrictions without instruction or permission on some Protestant religious groups. This is a classic case where the Internet can be abused without net neutrality.

  10. The political posturing on MDN is increasingly putting me off. Not only is it extremely dull to read (especially from people who don’t live in the US) it has no place on what is supposed to be an Apple news site. I get it, you don’t like Obama, but how about a sensible take on Net Neutrality and regulation without boring personal attacks on your own president?

    1. MDN just gave you the most sensible take on Net Neutrality that you’re likely to get. It does not exist. Obama is a political animal always angling for more government control. He’ll use any excuse. It’s not what you wanted to hear. I get it. Tough shit. Try dealing with the truth for a change. Enough empty platitudes read from a teleprompter by an affirmative action puppet inoculated, until recently, from any real criticism due to his skin color.

      1. Actually, you are absolutely wrong and so is MDN.

        There is a very, very simple definition of ‘net neutrality. It exists. It is not unlike how the land line phone systems were in the early 80s after AT&T was broken up. The problem is that the vast majority of the large ISPs don’t like the simple definition.

        And the U.S. President did outline a way to make ‘net neutrality work: make ISPs common carriers under Title II and regulate them appropriately for their explicit business implementations. He did NOT come out with empty platitudes.

        You should try dealing with the truth in this case. Don’t just *assume* that the situation is impossible to fix.

        If we all looked at it your way, we’d have Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, Century Link and others saying, “If you want Netflix and Hulu and others, you’ll need to pay me an extra fee every month — and per our contract I can change that fee *any* time I want. Otherwise I’ll slow those services down to kilobits per second data rates!” But, as in the case of Comcast, “If you’ll use my own ‘On Demand’ extremely limited system, I’ll charge you less and not throttle that poorer quality imagery.”

        People love to hate the current U.S. President on this site. It does not matter what he says or what he proposes. For some on this site, like First/Then and botvinnik, he could come out on the side that gang rape and mass murder are bad things and those two would take the opposite stance “just because”. It’s no different than on another site I sometimes view where an anti President Obama person literally stated, “I thought Net Neutrality was a good thing, but if Obama is for it then it must be a bad thing.” Just hate the individual to exclusion of all reason.

        1. “Wheeler said Obama had not detailed the exact rules he would prefer.”

          ISPs simply cannot just charge end users (you and I) whatever they want. Regardless of your belief, market forces DO work very efficiently. When the government interferes, bad things happen more often than not. I have history on my side.

          1. To what history specifically do you refer? The big bad government, when it does the people’s bidding, establishes a fair playing field for all. Thus the markets are trustworthy and all can prosper. The anarchy you propose has been adopted over an over in history and it has always ended in disaster. Winner-take-all politics is a dead end, as is your religious belief that markets can manage themselves without officials keeping the game clean.

      1. I’ll help the little red hen. I DO help the little red hen. I spend part of my free time working at the local ‘Edible Garden’, designed for anyone who wants some food to come pick it off the trees and bushes planted there during the growing season. The white raspberries are to die for.

        As for wanting a yacht:
        – I’d want to share it with others and let other people use it. I don’t want the thing all to myself.
        – I’d make sure it only had an inboard motor for going in and out of port. Otherwise, it runs on wind power, aka sailing, a sustainable method of travel and recreation.
        – I’d consider the costs of creating the yacht and who made it. I’d want local skilled craftsmen to make it according to the most efficient designs using renewable resources. I’d want the yacht built to last for generations with minimal maintenance.

        Etc. – We have the best brains in the animal kingdom. There’s no excuse for us being deliberately stupid about anything. That’s why I have little respect for the stupidity called ‘politics’. I like living IRL instead, as much as possible.

        Class dismissed! 😉

        1. Derek—

          We have the best brains in the animal kingdom. Who would disagree with that?

          Only a fussbudget like me, who likes to qualify all such ideas about our vaunted superiority in that realm.

          Rational thought is a poor puppet, an eternal trojan horse for the primitive, hidden thoughts and instincts that pervert logic—our crowning creation—by whispering mad desires into us.

          We all come vulnerable to this delusional force of nature whenever any passion is in play, which is almost always the case.

          So therefore I disagree that we have no excuse for stupidity. We have the perfect excuse: nature predisposes us to shoot first and ask questions later.

          It can only be hoped that passions do cool, and that questions do get asked later — if for no other reason than to exhibit that other crown jewel of the species, self-examination.

  11. It’s a tough one for me. On one hand, I really don’t know want giant corporations deciding what content I can view (or, just as importantly, how fast I can view it). On the other, I don’t want government regulation any more than the average joe.

    In a perfect world, there’d be enough ISP options available everywhere that a company that promised not to throttle or block traffic would be able to win over the market by making that their sales pitch (“Unfettered, fast connections with no restrictions!”) But in reality, the cost of the infrastructure makes that impossible. In my rural area, I have a few options . . . Cable, DSL or a wireless option. Really, in larger metropolitan areas it isn’t any better than that. That’s not many options if you compare it to other industries.

    Cable doesn’t want streaming to be successful at the expense of their core business, so without net neutrality it can block things that compete (or at best, require those streaming firms to pay money for access to their customers). With DSL, it’s pretty much the same. The ISPs sniff profit and so force the ESPNs of the world to make agreements to allow their traffic.

    The consumer loses.

    All of that written, I guess I wouldn’t oppose some very simple legislation that says this: “All ISPs are required to provide all connections to all servers at the maximum speed the network can handle based on what the consumer has paid for.” How do you regulate that? I think it can be simpler than one might realize. Customers will always judge their provider based on the speed of connections . . . and if particular monetary transactions between large corporations in exchange for faster speeds is expressly forbidden, that would be very easy to audit without even peeking at their infrastructure. If they are doing it behind the scenes, their performance would reflect that and customers would leave. The fastest and cheapest ISPs win, and the Cable, DSL, wireless, etc. companies out there will be relegated to the dumb pipes we all wish they were.

    Probably there’s need to be some teeth in a law in case a company is throttling and some access to their infrastructure, but methinks that could be a “probable cause” situation based on slews of complaints by consumers rather than the government constantly monitoring the flow of data (and I mean speeds and connections here, as clearly the NSA already rapes our privacy).

    End rant.

  12. What a surprise. Ted Cruz, who accepted campaign contributions from Comcast, doesn’t want the FCC to crash their party of charging too much for crappy service, with the intention of charging even more for even crappier service. Republicans and Democrats are not the problem. Liberals and Conservatives are not the problem. Companies with deep pockets dictating legislature is the problem. Until that is addressed, we’re all screwed.

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