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Obama wants more regulation of Internet providers

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By ANNE FLAHERTY

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...angering U.S. cable giants who say the plan would kill jobs.

I say we trust the corporations. Who among us does not simply love to death Verizon and AT&T? I am sure that companies such as these would never abuse any pricing power they might happen to come across and would also invest wisely and generously in the cultivation of their workforce for the betterment of society as a whole.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Net neutrality!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This says it all: "“We are stunned the president would abandon the longstanding, bipartisan policy of lightly regulating the Internet and calling for extreme” regulation, said Michael Powell, president and CEO of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, the primary lobbying arm of the cable industry, which supplies much of the nation’s Internet access.

This “tectonic shift in national policy, should it be adopted, would create devastating results,” added Powell, who chaired the FCC during the Bush administration until 2005.

Powell is not a consumer advocate; he's basically a paid woman of the evening, a camp follower, a hooker. In short, a typical "pro-business" [sic] conservative.

angering U.S. cable giants who say the plan would kill jobs.

When you hear this, know it as the corporations' way of screaming: "If you don't give me what I want, I'm gonna hold my breath until I turn blue!"

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

One thing U.S. voters have learned: if Obama wants it, it's not good for America.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

One thing U.S. voters have learned: if Obama wants it, it's not good for America.

Which only goes to prove that US voters are not exactly an intelligent lot.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Think of it in terms of weight taxes on trucks. Trucking companies have to pay road taxes based on trucks' weight. The weight of trucks does much of the damages to road surfaces. It's more about fair use of the roadways(Internet, in this discussion) managed by the various roadway builders/maintainers(network service providers).

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@John Galt The size of the internet traffic does not do damage to the routers like that. And I'm coming to believe that network service providers should be publicly owned, like the roadway builders/maintainers.

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The internet itself was created by the government with support from universities funded by the government. Private corporations fought against the internet as they wanted their own private networks used by their customers. They lost. But now ATT and Verizon are making the case that they again own the internet and can divide it up based on a fee structure that only profits them. It is sick but so typical of corporate strategy to privatize profit after pushing costs off to the government. Of course the republicans in the pocket of this industry will do their masters bidding. Powell is the perfect example of the revolving door in DC, he goes from the FCC directly to the chief lobbying organization for the telecoms he formerly "managed" at the FCC.

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Think of it in terms of weight taxes on trucks.

Why?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Who owns and operates the Internet?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Who owns and operates the Internet?

Al Gore. He said he invented the Internet.

-1 ( +2 / -2 )

The government did not create the internet. Honestly, the stupidity that I read sometimes here...

Net neutrality is nothing more then a way of spinning the government takeover of the internet. Something that it has not had before. Oh, there are laws regarding cyber bullying, and stalking, and taxes on purchases over the internet, but not actual regulation. This has enabled the growth of the internet. The government getting its paws on anything, can't help but make things worse. Prices go up, as regulations increase. Corporations pass those costs along to the consumer. The idea that without the government, suddenly, corporations are going to start charging more, or give preference to certain higher paying customers is nonsense. The threat of a government takeover, has kept that from happening, for more then 20 years, since the idea first got floated.

If you opposed big brother spying on you, why are you suddenly so trusting of big brothers motivations in taking over what has been working fine?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Al Gore. He said he invented the Internet.

He said something different, and meant something different, as explained in detail here.

http://www.snopes.com/quotes/internet.asp

And Gore was defended on this by a couple of crucial figures in the development of the Internet, who jointly had this to say: "As the two people who designed the basic architecture and the core protocols that make the Internet work, we would like to acknowledge VP Gore's contributions as a Congressman, Senator and as Vice President. No other elected official, to our knowledge, has made a greater contribution over a longer period of time....The fact of the matter is that Gore was talking about and promoting the Internet long before most people were listening."

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Which only goes to prove that US voters are not exactly an intelligent lot.

If you go by intelligence, or lack of then pretty much most countries fit that mold.

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The government did not create the internet. Honestly, the stupidity that I read sometimes here...

Oh? Careful throwing out that word "stupid," Molenir. It's clear you don't know how the internet started. It was indeed a government-based project. I'm betting you can't articulate the simple requirement that led to the development of the IP protocol.

The development and improvement of the Internet over time was actually one of the most socialistic and communitarian endeavors in human history. A community "board" was decided upon by the community (a consortium of government, academic and private members) to oversee the development, and anyone could contribute "suggestions" via technical Requests For Comment (RFCs) which lay out how all the pieces work. It is still under development today.

Gore's contribution in authoring the high-speed computing and networking acts was instrumental in creating the public, commercial Internet we are all using now. Ignorant people don't understand that.

Now as for net neutrality, the "truck tax" scenario is already in play. In the US at least, most Internet providers charge their customers a monthly fee that includes a set limit on included total bandwidth usage. Most are now actively "metering" customers' connections, and levying surcharges on those consumers who exceed the monthly limit. (The company I own was part of a project which tested and calibrated the metering methods for various ISPs.)

As happens in any community, once a few greedy bastards see a way to take advantage of what they consider the generosity, sharing and cooperation (in Randian terms: weakness) involved, they will behave the way all greedy bastards behave. They want to make use of a lot of the infrastructure -- whose development and construction was subsidized by taxpayers -- to create their own high speed lanes for "special" customers. This represents a definite conflict of interest.

Why? Because they are also beholden to maintain and improve the existing lanes, as well as the access to them. Is anyone so utterly gullible and stupid -- (now, there's a correct use of the term, Molenir) -- to believe that once these giants have their toll roads in place, that they are going to treat the "un-tolled" data fairly? Really??

Lastly, the title of this article is a disgrace. It should read: President Obama fights for consumers and taxpayers to maintain the integrity of the public internet.

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“We are stunned the president would abandon the longstanding, bipartisan policy of lightly regulating the Internet and calling for extreme” regulation, said Michael Powell, president and CEO of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, the primary lobbying arm of the cable industry, which supplies much of the nation’s Internet access.

This “tectonic shift in national policy, should it be adopted, would create devastating results,” added Powell, who chaired the FCC during the Bush administration until 2005."

This Michael Powell must not know what he be talking about, Obama knows what's best, not only for the country but the entire world.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

This Michael Powell must not know what he be talking about, Obama knows what's best, not only for the country but the entire world.

Michael Powell is a paid huckster watching out only for the interests who are paying him. The primary arm of the cable industry.

If you think Powell has the interests of the average American in mind, the suits in the cable industry are doing backflips at the utter stupidity of those who would attack our president on this one.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I KNEW this Michael Powell was no good, yabits has confirmed it!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I like my internet service but as with all corporations running their own monopolization they're trying to give less to make more. There are only 2 major HS ISPs in my state that provide services. Comcast and Centurylink. Both have a very bad habit of trying to sneakily upping the price on their data speeds. When I was with Comcast I started with $56 a month bill after taxes for 25mbps. Then each month afterward they started adding all these "extra" fees of their own making that steadily attempted to grow each month until $56 turned into $66 and they still weren't done.

Once I saw it try to reach $67 and no improvement to service I had to call and threaten to cancel my service for them to bring the price back down to $56 which they did. Those magical extra fees disappeared because they weren't really necessary in the first place. A lot of other customers have been complaining as well and the only way to get the original price they started with was to have to call and threaten to leave the ISP.

If the FCC is able to regulate the internet like phone companies then maybe my state will be able to see more than just these 2 ISPs and more smaller companies should be able to grow. And the deals the internet providers are making for other companies shouldn't be allowed, because they're so busy making more money than needed and yes our speeds aren't getting any better but the prices are getting higher.

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Only Congress can decide what the FCC can and cannot regulate. It's been that way here in the U.S. for more than 80 years when Congress created the FCC in the early 1930s.

Seems like the so-called Constitutional scholar and smartest guy in the room should know this. But then again, we're talking about Obama.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Seems like the so-called Constitutional scholar and smartest guy in the room should know this

Wow, Aggie. You worry a lot about who the smartest guy in the room is. (You should, and let's help the readers understand why.)

Only Congress can decide what the FCC can and cannot regulate.

I hope you are not trying to pass yourself off as an expert on the Acts relevant to the authority of the FCC. I work in the industry and there's enough ambiguity to drive a truck filled with routers through. Rest assured, the FCC has regulatory authority over internet services in principle, and was given a goal to ensure that the American public had reliable and affordable access to those services. (That we in the public should be treated fairly when we try to access content seems a given, among intelligent people.)

And that's a key word here: Public -- as in public interest. When a Congressperson is found to be taking a lot of money from the telecom companies, would the smartest person in the room expect them to act in the public interest, or in line with some narrower, special interest?

Who gets to decide whether access to the public internet should take on the model of a "utility" for purposes of regulation? A Congressperson on the take? The lobbyists for the industry who are paying off members of Congress? What are the technologists saying -- guys like Vinton Cerf (considered one of the key founders of the Internet), and professional organizations like the IEEE? (They are strongly in favor of maintaining net neutrality via whatever regulation is necessary.) I'll side with them over a paid camp follower like Michael Powell. Siding with the public is something he's made a career of avoiding.

So, one question Aggie: Are you getting paid to shill the lines you do? Or are you out on the street giving it all away for free?

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Since English is not you first language, I will make this simple for you:

According to our Constitution, tax bills and tax laws are mandated by the U.S. House of Representatives, not the executive branch of my government.

Bottom line, foreigner, the U.S. Congress will be deciding and implementing any changes, not Obama.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

This dude from Texas has some real issues not only with the FacC but if the is RED and from Texas??? My guess is he is angry white and he cannot stand lock intelligent man as president at states so he will do and say anything to be a little RP commander-in-chief Mr. Barack Obama!!! Your typical Republican, Texas Aggie???

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The companies that paid for the infrastructure that internet traffic uses are the owners of it. If the government wants to control it they should pay the companies for appropriating their property. Oh right we are talking about Obama. He believes that all property should be owned and/or controlled by the government. Obamaism = Marxism.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@ A&M... corporate donations to Presidential canditates will determine the implimentation of any changes. Remember when TV was free in Amerika?... don't argue cable... you NEED a digital TV.

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the U.S. Congress will be deciding and implementing any changes, not Obama.

Wake me up when Congress can decide what day of the week it is, let alone anything of more importance.

The companies that paid for the infrastructure that internet traffic uses are the owners of it. If the government wants to control it they should pay the companies for appropriating their property.

The government can indeed appropriate it and can also decide to make it worthless without any compensation. Part of the price for running a monopoly for so long without any consequences. Don't cry too hard.

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The government can indeed appropriate it and can also decide to make it worthless without any compensation. Part of the price for running a monopoly for so long without any consequences.

One company did not build the infrastructure for the Internet. When government can arbitrarily decide to make a private business worthless, it's no wonder why jobs are fleeing from the US. The Left is turning America into Venezuela.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

How about car neutrality? Filling up your gas tank should cost the same, regardless of if your vehicle is a scooter or 12-ton truck. It should the same cost, for fairness! That is the fundamental idea of "net neutrality".

I wonder how many "net neutrality" advocates would like the same principle applied everywhere.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

How about car neutrality? Filling up your gas tank should cost the same, regardless of if your vehicle is a scooter or 12-ton truck. It should the same cost, for fairness! That is the fundamental idea of "net neutrality".

Yet again, here's another person with a view who has no clue what they are talking about.

Let's assume these internet providers get their way. Here is how a lack of neutrality would apply to your fuel station analogy: Your gas station has 16 pumps, and you'll have the choice to spend 30 minutes at the pump (after waiting in line) because the fuel company has decided that the "regular" price pumps will deliver product/content at that rate. Or, if you want to fill up in less than five minutes, you'll have to go over to one of the four premium-priced pumps. (Maybe you're in a hurry, or you have a service -- like a taxi -- that depends on being able to fuel expeditiously.)

Same product. Different rate of delivery. Over time, you notice that the division of pumps is changing -- with more regular pumps being shifted to premium delivery. With fewer pumps, the lines for the regular pumps get longer, and, on top of that, you now find yourself spending 40 minutes at the pump. In fact, you start receiving word that the gas company is now going to charge not only for product delivered but for time spent at the pump in the interest of "shortening" the lines.

The main reason we can go into a gas station and fill our tanks without a second thought is because of that little sticker the government (Bureau of Weights and Measures) has put on the pump -- ensuring it is actually delivering what customers are paying for. Yes, if the pump doesn't fulfill that, the government can "close it" -- making that pump unable to supply revenue for the gas station until they take steps to make sure it plays by the rules. Wolfpack thinks that government should not be able to do that, or that the government should pay the gas station owner for the lost revenue due to their out-of-calibration pump. Hopefully, there are enough intelligent people out there who can see just how dumb that position is.

I mean, how far are these people ready to go to defend companies that are out to jack customers?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Let's assume these internet providers get their way. Here is how a lack of neutrality would apply to your fuel station analogy: Your gas station has 16 pumps, and you'll have the choice to spend 30 minutes at the pump (after waiting in line) because the fuel company has decided that the "regular" price pumps will deliver product/content at that rate. Or, if you want to fill up in less than five minutes, you'll have to go over to one of the four premium-priced pumps. (Maybe you're in a hurry, or you have a service -- like a taxi -- that depends on being able to fuel expeditiously.)

Lets extend your analogy further Yabits. So, your gas station, or ISP decides to do exactly this. However the gas station down the street, charges around the same price for gas, but has no 'premium' pumps, and no waiting lines. Which gas station do you think will get more business? Thats essentially whats been happening now. Additionally, the threat of, and occasional government intervention has effectively kept ISPs from colluding to fix or set speeds or prices.

Getting back to the internet. Whats wrong with people paying more for higher speeds? ISPs are a business, making money is what they are for. If they want to give premium service to people who pay extra, whats wrong with that? Whats wrong with them competing for customers who are looking for the best service/price? Finally, why are you so anxious to have big brother taking over the internet? Because obviously its been doing so poorly for the past 20 plus years...

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Lets extend your analogy further Yabits. So, your gas station, or ISP decides to do exactly this. However the gas station down the street,

What gas station down the street? Sorry, but the vast majority of Americans have only one or two "gas stations" to choose from and, on this issue, they are working in cahoots.

Getting back to the internet. Whats wrong with people paying more for higher speeds?

This is dumb. There needs to be, as there exists now, one interconnected backbone with all data being treated equally. Period. When providing higher speeds to some means discriminating against others on the backbone, or the access to it, it is a recipe for real trouble. Stop trying to foolishly justify a two-tier system.

Finally, why are you so anxious to have big brother taking over the internet?

Anyone who really knows anything about this issue knows that's a completely ignorant question. Any competitive game needs good referees. You don't depend on teams to referee themselves. That's just dumb.

Because obviously its been doing so poorly for the past 20 plus years...

The status quo of the past 20 years is precisely what the big ISPs want to change. Declaring the public internet (backbone) as a public utility would be the very best way of maintaining the status quo.

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Stop trying to foolishly justify a two-tier system.

Oh you mean like first class airline seats, box seats at sporting events, presidential suites at hotels, luxury cars, tiered health care plans in Obamacare, Ivy League Universities, etc.? Are you trying to reduce every product and service down to the one thing that even the poorest can afford?

It you would just take a few minutes to think about it you would realize that this is a ridiculous way of doing business leading to poor quality and failed companies. There is room in the market for more than one way of doing things. Please stop with the never ending desire for Socialism. It is been proven to be unsustainable and nearly a century of evidence has shown that it inevitably leads to failure.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

If internet providers contributed piles of money to political campaigns... there would be less intrusion to the consumers plight. Take big pharmaceutical companies as an example... They know how to own a politician.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh you mean like first class airline seats, box seats at sporting events, presidential suites at hotels, luxury cars, tiered health care plans in Obamacare, Ivy League Universities, etc.? Are you trying to reduce every product and service down to the one thing that even the poorest can afford?

No, and it's clear you don't understand the real issue. If you want to use airlines as an analogy, it is not about seats on the same plane: Travelers would be faced with the choice of paying a first-class rate to fly a direct route on modern aircraft with state-of-the-art maintenance -- a sub-standard plane that will have to make five or more hops.

The ISPs can charge variable rates to customers for access to their pipes -- just like there's different rates for seats on the same plane. But once on the backbone, all data should be treated fairly. Don't have air traffic control allow one plane to fly direct and another forced to make five hops -- if they're both headed for the same destination.

It is been proven to be unsustainable and nearly a century of evidence has shown that it inevitably leads to failure.

The very internet we are using right now has been developed via one of the most cooperative and communitarian efforts in human history. Don't try to ignorantly claim that it has been a failure. It has succeeded being treated as a de facto utility and now that status has to be formalized.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

No, and it's clear you don't understand the real issue. If you want to use airlines as an analogy, it is not about seats on the same plane: Travelers would be faced with the choice of paying a first-class rate to fly a direct route on modern aircraft with state-of-the-art maintenance -- a sub-standard plane that will have to make five or more hops.

You do know that first class seats are not on "sub-standard" or even above standard airplanes don't you? They are on the same planes as coach class seats. And like differently priced seats being on the same plane, all Internet traffic is carried on the same pipe. You pay more for better access and more bandwidth. Again, you are arguing to make everything conform to the least common denominator whether it be an airline seat or Internet service. When you force conformity on an industry out of some misplaced sense of 'fairness', they will have little incentive to innovate because they will not be able to profit from it. It's a bad way to run an airline and it's a dumb way to provide services.

The very internet we are using right now has been developed via one of the most cooperative and communitarian efforts in human history. Don't try to ignorantly claim that it has been a failure.

I take your point that government and the US Defense Department came up with the idea for the Internet. The original intent was for the military and then later for use by research institutions. However, the Internet was made widely available to consumers by private industry - not the government. The US government developed ARPANET. They did not develop the Internet as it is known today. I doubt you would enjoy your user experience if you went to the Japan Today website using the infrastructure used by ARPANET. The only reason the Internet is so successful today is because of it's development by profit making companies (first achieved, sadly, by the porn industry). If the idea for the Internet was never passed on to the private sector, the information revolution never would have occurred.

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You do know that first class seats are not on "sub-standard" or even above standard airplanes don't you? They are on the same planes as coach class seats

Yes, and that is precisely why your analogy of seats on the same plane does not fit this scenario.

And like differently priced seats being on the same plane, all Internet traffic is carried on the same pipe.

If the big telecom companies get their way, it won't be.

When you force conformity on an industry out of some misplaced sense of 'fairness', they will have little incentive to innovate...

Nah... The only innovative incentive these companies have is how to get more money out of your pocket into theirs. Let the innovation happen at the edges, and keep the backbone neutral, with all data treated without prejudice.

If the idea for the Internet was never passed on to the private sector, the information revolution never would have occurred.

That's a fairly long and complicated story -- and does not lend itself to an overly simplistic "free market" explanation.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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