Friday, February 6, 2015

What is your opinion of 
FCC Chairmen, Tom Wheeler, a strong supporter

Should congress attempt to regulate the internet?

If so, what benefits might such regulation have to offer? 

What negative effects 
might ensue?

Details available at the following link:


  1. We're gonna get screwed. The government wants to get involved.

  2. Preventing companies from charging more for making improvements (speed, capacity, reliability) sounds like a recipe for internet stagnation and overutilization by wasteful content creators.

    1. The internet's been neutral up to now. Would you say it's been stagnant? "Wasteful" content only uses bandwidth if it's being consumed.

    2. "wasteful content creators" -- you mean like US? ;-)

      So censorship "for the public good" would be all right with you, as long as YOU are privileged to act as the censor, eh?

    3. The internet's been neutral up to now.

      If we have de facto net neutrality, then why do we need regulation and a "net neutrality" law? The 'neutrality' of laissez-faire Market forces (invisible hand) no longer good enough?

    4. Why should the regulators subsidize Netflix to the tune of $100 million annually?

    5. One thing we most assuredly do NOT need is any further "improvement" of our already-far-too-vast technological capacities.

      I deeply RESENT the incessant machinations on the part of Industry for ever increasing, ever faster, ever more befuddling, irritating, confounding rates of CHANGE for the SAKE of CHANGE.

      One handy example: The recent FORCED change from analog to digital TV is IN NO WAY and "improvement." The new TV's are less stable, less dependable, and far less durable than those we enjoyed without any longing for "improvement" from the late 1940's until recent years.

      Communists will blame "CAPITALISM" for these unwanted, unneeded incursions, of course. but it's far more complicated than that.

      What we most desperately need to find ways to neutralize is ANY form of CENTRALIZED POWER and CONTROL.

      Back in the lovely old days gone by we READ BOOKS, played amateur SPORTS, enjoyed friendly, family-style evenings playing CARDS and BOARD GAMES. We knitted, sewed, crocheted, wove hooked rugs, painted pictures, refinished furniture, grew African violets, planted and tended our own vegetable gardens, raised our own chickens, lived closer to Nature and to Each Other. We may have been busier, and given far fewer choices, but I KNOW for a FACT that we were happier, friendlier, more generous and less apt to find fault than we are today.

      Conclusions, anyone?

    6. This "change for the sake of change" IS a by-product of the "creative destruction" that IS capitalism.

      The degree to which these forces have been driven by centralized power and control, in the government "creation/sanctioning/protection" of the "corporate" form, and which vastly accelerated the accumulation of capital necessary for accelerating this "rate" for the benefit of the mercantilist class (WalMart's) was driven by the large capitalist's need for the removal of natural market barriers and their corresponding market inefficiencies (hence the incessant government drive for government sponsored and funded "infrastructure" improvements).

    7. Users pay for bandwidth. Why should ISP's throttle users' bandwidth based on the services they choose to connect to? Also the loss of net neutrality would raise the barriers to entry, reducing competition between online services.

    8. If your ISP "throttles you", get another one. That's one of the great things about markets. You don't have to come back to a restaurant serving tasteless cr*p. The only "barrier to entry" that a current service provider has is $. Why fill it with regulatory hurdles, too?

    9. You are right Jez. Monopolization of the net is a clear probability w/o net neutrality. Adam Smith would concur were he here to do so.

      Whether good or bad we'll find out one way or the other.

    10. the man who can't distinguish Karl Marx from Adam Smith.

    11. That's right Farmer.

      If we enact "net neutrality" Comcast's customer service will degrade.

      Please stop.

    12. Right now the providers are raking it in and our internet service lags Asia and Europe significantly.

      So in your view the problem is that we haven't bent over long enough.

    13. Comcast's customer service will degrade.

      Change their shareholders "motivation" from "profit" to "public service" and then see how much more they're willing to invest.

    14. The reason that companies invest bandwidth is to generate more profit. Even the US post office offers "volume discounts" and "priority mail".

    15. Oooops, did I say US Post Office? Talk about your "regulated monopolies".... ;)

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Why don't you pack it in your ass, moron. You drag down the thread 30 IQ points every time you show up, loser.

      Only a pathetic basement dweller would continue to show up where she's not wanted. Why don't you go start a fire somewhere and jump in to it.

    2. Thank you for the "defense," Jack, but we're more than happy to take out our own trash here. When a warped personality such as the Snooze appears, the only thing they accomplish is making an exhibition of their own egregious asininity.

      These trolls are more to be pitied than despised. Don't worry about them. Like The Poor they will always be with us, so just be rejoice and be glad you're not one of them.

  4. What could go wrong?

    Look at what government regulation did for the banking industry.

    1. Oh yes, indeed! And look what it's present presently DOING to Medical care!

      And what it did to "DIS-INSENTIVIZE" savings, thrift, and the accumulation of personal wealth to provide for one's own retirement, and enhance one's children's future prospects through inheritance by creating the Income Tax, the Capital Gains Tax, the Inheritance Tax, the Federal reserve and the New Deal, etc.

      The enormity of the harm Marxian-Progressivism has wrought is incalculable.

      But it is the ever-increasing "BIGNESS" and "CENTRALIZATION" that began with the Industrial Revolution that in turned spawned the Labor Movement and Marxism that in turn inspired World Wars, Depression, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Big Government that is at the root of all our modern woes.

  5. The only purpose for government imposing an iron dome of regulation over the internet is for politicians to make money by doling our political favors in the form of exemptions to the dense tangle of laws that will be created.

    But the even bigger game is federal bureaucrats picking winners and losers for Internet superhighway construction work, etc.

    Pay to play. We have the biggest government money can buy.

    1. I'm not saying the government can't screw it up, but do you really want your data transiting a patchwork quilt of independent networks, each at different speeds depending on who you're paying and who has agreements with who?

      Data discrimination is a bad idea. Thersites has some oddball idea that he's the one that's going to see an improvement versus wasteful content like Netflix, or he simply doesn't care... but who do you think is going to be able to pay for preferential data treatment? Netflix or Thersites?

      The end result of data discrimination will be webpages where all the ads load first and you sit there twiddling your thumbs waiting for content.

    2. who do you think is going to be able to pay for preferential data treatment? Netflix or Thersites?

      Under Net Neutrality, I certainly will. And I don't even watch Netflix.

    3. Thersites, you're not getting it. There is not a Comcast internet, a Verizon internet, a Century Link Internet... there is one internet and it is the compilation of them all. When you download a webpage one packet might transit Comcast, another may transit Verizon, and a third may transit Century Link... each piece of the jigsaw puzzle finding a different path from the source to your home. The issue isn't Comcast throttling it's customers data (I have no problem with that, you can as you say always switch providers), the issue is Comcast trying to throttle data going from Verizon to Century Link. By discriminating against data transiting its network a provider is violating the operating rules that the system was constructed under, in essence throwing a wrench in the whole damn works.

    4. Fine, let the packets find a different-faster path. Smart people will figure it out, if the Routers don't.

  6. The concept of net-neutrality has absolutely nothing to do with what a company can charge its customers for providing a service, it is about all data transiting a network being treated equally, meaning a company can't give preferential treatment to some types of data over others or their own data over their competitors. Data equality was one of the foundational principles upon which the internet was based.

    You may think you're a Verizon or other company's internet service subscriber but all they are providing you with is a connection point, any webpage that you view transits multiple companies networks. For example, I did a simple trace route on Drudge, to get there my request took the following path:

    My Network
    My ISP
    Optimum Network Services (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
    CoreSite (Los Angeles California)
    Softlayer Technologies (Dallas Texas)
    TPCM Internet Services (Houston, Texas)

    Now it may seem silly that my request from Colorado gets to Texas via California but that's how the internet works, the handoff occurs to the next available agent and doesn't follow a logical geophysical path. A Verizon customer in Massachusetts doesn't reach a Verizon server in California via solely the Verizon network.

    If you're a Verizon customer do you really want Century Link prioritizing their customers data over yours (a competitors) data every time you transit their network in an attempt to get to your destination? Keeping in mind it's going to work both ways when a Century Link customer's data transits the Verizon network.

    Think of it this way, would you be happy if Colorado driver's were allowed to transit I-70 in Colorado at 75 MPH but if you had out of state tags you could only go 55 MPH?

    All data discrimination is guaranteed to provide is a reduced quality of service as your data transits other networks, and that's a 100% guarantee since it is impossible for the internet function within a closed and private network, you have to venture out onto the roads... so do you want to drive 75 or 55 or 35?

    1. Do you mean "travel" when you say "transit" by any chance? I've never seen the word used that way before. I wouldn't have said anything about it had you not used it so frequently. Have you always referred to driving as "transiting?"

      When I travel, I often say I'm "in transit," but it would never occur to me to say something like "I'm going to transit to Oskosh tomorrow."

      Just curious. Not a criticism.

    2. Maybe they should implement freight neutrality for the railroads while they're at it.

      Oh, that's right, they already did... back in the 1800's...

    3. Transit is indeed a verb "The act of passing over, across, or through something". I use transit in the technical sense, data transits a network, it does not travel it, the data has no control over how it gets from point A to point B. In another sense I may travel to Missouri by driving, but I will have to transit Kansas to do so. ;) I work in telecommunications, it's just the way we talk about network traffic, I would never say I have to transit Kansas to get to Missouri, or I'm transiting Kansas, although technically both statements are correct.

    4. I knew it was some kind of jargon. Nothing wrong with that, but it sounded strange to my inner ear. I would still prefer to say transfer, transmit, transport, even send, but I realize I'm trying to sweep an ocean back with a broom.

    5. When talking about networks I often use verbs like "traverse" or "span."

  7. With all due respect FT, television went through constant improvement from the 1940's until recent years, unless you're huddled in the dark next to a six inch black and white set. I know that you suffer from vision problems which may explain your perception but there is a distinct difference in image quality from the original 480 format through 1080 to the new 4K Ultra HD. You might even benefit from 4K as one of the benefits of it is that it allows you to sit closer to the image without it breaking down into something resembling a pointillist painting.

    As to durability, I also have to disagree. My problem isn't televisions breaking, my last tv (ten years old) broke, but it's the oddball. My problem is I have three functional sets I no longer use because they lack the quality of my newer sets, I can recall going through three or four televisions growing up due to failure, not obsolescence.

    The revolution in digital storage and presentation has taken us from four channels whose content is determined by some guy at the station to over 250 channels as well as almost anything I want to watch being available on demand. I have gone from a seat at the local library with a limited selection to having the audiovisual equivalent of the Library of Congress at my fingertips. Heck, just look at Youtube... who had that selection of classical and symphony performances available at their fingertips twenty years ago, I would think you would be overjoyed.

    1. I think I know what FreeThinke means: built-in obsolescence annoys me too. Also, TVs might be more reliable than they were forty years ago, but I lament that they are so much less repairable.

      But not all progress is of that nature. Bring on the extra bandwidth!

      BTW, your comment from 11:52 is spot on.

    2. Yes. Yes. Yes, but none of that has enhanced the quality of the way we THINK, FEEL, DREAM, DESIRE and INTERRELATE. If anything, as I've said any number of times, it has done great harm.

      Of course, I enjoy having virtually all the great music literature ever recorded at my fingertips, but one can only listen to just so much with any depth of comprehension and appreciation. Because of the way I was brought up, my whole life has been oriented toward quality over quantity

      My parents purchased our first TV in 1949. It was a Dumont with a large round picture tube chopped off top and bottom to give a good semblance of a rectangular image. It was very satisfactory. I can honestly say I have never enjoyed TV any more or any better than I did sixty-plus years ago.

      When Color arrived in the mid '50's we were not interested in it anymore than we were wowed and bedazzles by Cinerama and Cinemascope's attempt to revive waning interest in the movies. In fact I was perfectly content with a cheap 12" B&W portable at the foot of my bed until recently.

      The last time I remember being honestly glad at the arrival of a technological "improvement," was the advent of Long Playing records. Having developed great interest in serious music at an early age I resented not being able to listen to a concerto, sonata, song cycle, or symphony without constant interruptions as a series of heavy, bakelite discs dropped awkwardly from the "automatic record changer" on our Stromberg-Carlson combination AM/FM radio and record player.

      At any rate my view of technology, at least as it has it has developed over the past twenty-odd years, is "It wouldn't be missed, if it didn't exist." ;-)

    3. The more we depend in "technological advances" the less we tend use our powers of IMAGINATION and individual INTERPRETATION. That is why given my choice I'd much rather enjoy a good old-fashioned printed book while stretched out on a sofa or curled up in one of my nice easy chairs than sit in front of these ugly screens observing 'data' someone ELSE has screened, prepared and "edited" for my consumption as THEY deem fit.

      FYI: My preferences for entertainment and enlightenment are these from the top down.

      1. BOOKS
      5. MOVIES (very rare these days)

      I may have 822 channels available to me on Cable TV (I do!) but what good is THAT when over ninety percent of it is ESS-AITCH-EYE-TEA by my discerning, highly discriminatory standards?

      I spend more time listening very happily to scratchy old RADIO broadcasts from the 1930's, 40's and early 50's because QUALITY of the CONTENT is so far superior to the CRAP that gets shoved at us today. And it IS CRAP, whether you think so or not, believe me. ;-)

    4. The LP is my favourite format too. :)

  8. If we have de facto net neutrality, then why do we need regulation and a "net neutrality" law?

    We had automobile neutrality at one point, if you had a car you could pretty much drive it as fast as it would go. How did that work out? Not too well as a certain percentage of us without common sense (perhaps a large percentage?) would go careening around corners at 30 MPH running over chickens and small children. Despite the fact that many drivers would drive sensibly, regulation became necessary. As long as all the providers played by the unwritten agreed upon rules, regulation was unnecessary, as providers start playing favorites, careening around corners running over chickens and small children for the sake of profit... regulation becomes necessary.

    Hey, if you want to build your own private internet and get people to subscribe to it... have at it, and do what you want with data internal to your network, but as long as your data is transiting other peoples networks, you need to play fair... and if you won't play fair on your own, then obviously you need supervision.

    1. Then obviously you are much in favor of ever tightening restrictions on the use of firearms, bows and arrows, knives, baseball bats, the ingestion of fats, sugars, starch, cholesterol, and the accumulation of private rock piles, etc. By the same logic you must also favor a government that would tell you exactly what you must wear under certain weather conditions, how many times a week you are permitted to have sex, what KIND of sex you may engage in, and much greater deployment of government spying apparatuses and even drones capable of invading your personal space wherever you may be at home or abroad to make sure you comply with all these marvelous regulations designed to PROTECT you and society.

      I never figured YOU for a Nanny Statist, but once the proverbial camel gets his proverbial foot in the proverbial tent, Liberty, Privacy and Choice are OVER and DONE WITH.

      Orwellian Dystopia HERE WE COME!! WHOOPEE!!!

    2. One does not necessarily imply the other, I am a libertarian in that I am an advocate for freedom, I am not a "Libertarian" with a "L" because I understand that in order for society to function properly we do need some rules, I am a minarchist not an anarchist. The internet evolved, it was not built, and it is a patchwork of a multitude of connected networks. What Thersites doesn't seem to understand is that it doesn't matter whether you elect to subscribe to Comcast or not, Comcast is part of that patchwork and sooner or later your data will transit their network... you can't opt out, the internet doesn't work that way. All I'm arguing for is equality for data transiting the networks, I could care less what Comcast charges their customers or does with their internal data. Data restrictions are like clots in your circulatory system, if you get enough of them sooner or later the entire system collapses.

    3. With my imperfect understanding why this is considered an issue I imagined most would be concerned about GOVERNMENT CONTROL of what we are "permitted" to see, hear and transmit to one another. The very thought is eerily reminiscent of how Red China and North Korea restrict their peoples' access to knowledge the regimes" deem potentially harmful to the totalitarian control they enjoy.

      Since I have a will, a fair amount of education and well-formed tastes, I don't give a damn about the availability of pornography, instructions on how to make a bomb, or even the presence of Rock 'n Roll and Gangstah cRap. ;-)

      The only way to lead the people away from the paths of Temptation, Destruction and potential Ruin would be to EDUCATE them PROPERLY.

      And that, of course, we know is the very LAST thing The Oiigarchs would like to see.

    4. Net neutrality has (or should have) nothing to do with censorship. If there's a bill calling itself "net neutrality" but carrying censorship clauses, I'm against it. Is there?

  9. I don't have any complaints about the speed of the internet service provided by the local ISP. And I'm in agreement with the comments about the ability today to have instant access to almost every subject known to our universe today.

    What irks me more the "net neutrality" is the evident eye of the big brother observer on every internet user. Specifically, Google has no problem informing one that "you have visited this site "X" times over the last "Y" span of time" when you Google a topic and a web site appears in the search results.

    1. Google or the government collecting data on you is not part of net neutrality although the government may very well attach it as a rider to the bill... but the government could attach a rider about pork futures to the bill, that won't however make pigs part of the internet.

      The key and most important feature of net neutrality is equality of data passing through a network and frankly, that's all I'm arguing for.

  10. IMHO anyone who is against Net Neutrality is of questionable character.


    1. Jersey, try to stop being a caricature of yourself, will you?

      No sensible person could possibly believe that YOU could possibly believe what you SAY you believe.

    2. Anyone who thinks government can 'fix' an internet that is not broken has their head up their ass.

      Ever heard of QoS? People pay for guaranteed levels of it.

      Is your stupid YouTube video of cigar eating baboons 'equal' to my grandma's video teleconference consultation with her heart surgeon?

      Hell, let's throw out subjectivity and get down to technological brass tacks. Are UDP packets treated the same as TCP packets? Should they be?

      Go ask the bureaucrats who have screwed up our education and health care markets and driven prices sky high.

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    4. Anybody who voted for Obama already lacks any credibility as to character, let alone judgement of it.

    5. Under a non-neutral net, what makes you think your heart surgeon would get priority. Far more likely that YouTube would negotiate a favourable deal, isn't it?
      My argument against net neutrality is in part a QoS one. If the net isn't neutral, your agreed QoS becomes meaningless. Finntann has the clearest explanation of it that I've seen.

    6. typo: I don't mean against, I mean for.

    7. But Jez, customers and providers are paying for QoS right now, so Net Neutrality is an answer looking for a problem.

      I don't think as much pipe-pinching goes on as people think. It could turn into a real tit for tat. Say we're two big players who own substantial chunks of infrastructure. You clamp me down, I'll do the same to you.

      My point is, all these guys want to make money (and it is accepted by pretty much every one that they also all want to herd us into their proprietary walled garden), and they are going to cooperate with one another so far as that cooperation is beneficial.

    8. Also Jez, my larger concern is that the federal government has screwed up everything it got its grimy mitts on.

      The two markets most penetrated by the US federal government (and I use 'penetrated' deliberately) are education and health care. Theya re also the most distorted markets. Costs are sky-high, we have artificial shortages, grotesque amounts of paperwork and waste...

      It's horrible. Get the government involved in the internet, and we'll be back to carrying packets by pony express within a decade.

      But seriously, or government is horribly corrupt, and that is where the real harm will enter in. Instead of companies bargaining out solutions, they will instead Schmear off some politicians to get an advantage over the competition. Contracts will get awarded based on political connections, all to the detriment of our digital infrastructure.

      That is how it is here in the Corporatist State of America.

    9. No, the net is currently neutral. It's not an answer looking for a problem, it's a condition that's worth preserving. It is a conservative position. It could be that Farmer's right and it'd result in accelerated innovation, progress and lower costs. But I think it's unlikely: it would be a dangerous experiment.

      Take your point about the fed govt. (Maybe the UN should enforce it instead. :)

    10. This is the way I see it. Please correct me if I am wrong: "Net Neutrality" is just another typical obfuscatory leftist-journalist-bureacrat-generated term -- like "Pro-Choice," "Climate Change," "Marriage Equality" or "Income Equality."

      ALL such frames of reference favor tighter, more restrictive more aggressive government supervision of virtually every move we make and every breath we take.

      The so-called FAIRNESS DOCTRINE was the last such attempt to reign in Freedom of Expression. It was aimed at the RIGHT, of course because LEFTIST Talk Radio appeared DOA in the free marketplace.

      NOW, if I read "them" right, they are certain to do what Red China and North Korea have already done and what Stalin's Soviet Union used to do, and that is VILIFY, SUPPRESS and PUNISH OPPOSITION.

      Obama's idea of Net Neutrality is surely designed to KILL Free Speech on the internet.

      While I detest about 85% of the crap that gets posted all over YouTube and the Blogosphere, I believe ONLY in the right of Blog Owners to censor their own comments sections -- a MUST if one hopes to maintain an atmosphere in which meaningful, civilized discourse can take place.

    11. Nope, it's got nothing to do with suppressing certain points of view, in fact it's got nothing to do with content. It's only concerned with the speed of the network.

    12. Time will tell ...

      How could government intervention have anything to do with improving the quality or speed of existing technology? Government creates nothing but taxes and strangling regulations. Government does not develop new and improved technology.

    13. See Finntann's explanations, he's very clear about this.

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  13. Information You DeserveFebruary 6, 2015 at 5:20 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


    EXCERPT: “President Obama’s plan marks a monumental shift toward government control of the Internet. It gives the FCC the power to micromanage virtually every aspect of how the Internet works,” Pai said. “The plan explicitly opens the door to billions of dollars in new taxes on broadband… These new taxes will mean higher prices for consumers and more hidden fees that they have to pay.”

    "In his initial cursory overview of the plan, the commissioner said it would hinder broadband investment, slow network speed and expansion, limit outgrowth to rural areas of the country and reduce Internet service provider (ISP) competition.
    “The plan saddles small, independent businesses and entrepreneurs with heavy-handed regulations that will push them out of the market,” Pai said. “As a result, Americans will have fewer broadband choices.

    "This is no accident. Title II was designed to regulate a monopoly. If we impose that model on a vibrant broadband marketplace, a highly regulated monopoly is what we’ll get.”



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