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Net Neutrality in the US Options
Posted: Friday, December 22, 2017 8:22:35 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/2/2015
Posts: 1,965
Neurons: 338,707
Location: Haddington, Scotland, United Kingdom
Net Neutrality is one of those topics that is widely misunderstood on all sides of the debate, which is a large part of why it was so easy for the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) Ajit Pai to remove the protections. First, I need to come back to "Regulatory Capture", as it is how the Republicans have managed to remove this Obama administration protection. Ajit Pai was a Verizon attorney who had fought Net Neutrality before, during and after it became regulation. He was appointed FCC chair precisely so he could kill Net Neutrality.

Net Neutrality is a set of basic principles of the Internet that say that data should not be throttled (certain types of Internet usage should not be slowed down). They also say that the Internet has become important enough to the day to day lives of people that it should be regulated like a common carrier (a utility, like electricity or telephone). Net Neutrality also incorporates the concepts of transparency, open standards and decentralized technical power over the contents and use of the Internet.

Net Neutrality had been an important issue to those of us in IT for many years, going on decades, before the Obama Administration finally did something about it. It took egregious and indefensible actions by the main carriers (Comcast, ATT, Verizon) to finally get Net Neutrality into the news and into people's minds. From traffic shaping to unregulated over provisioning of resources and from protocol and application filtering to outright censorship, these carriers were deciding who could see what, who could say what, and who could even access the Internet.

Traffic Shaping / Throttling / Rate limiting = This is the act of reducing the speed or throughput of certain types of traffic so that other traffic has unrestricted throughput. This is one of the most basic tools of Internet Service Providers (ISP) because they sometimes have more traffic coming over their lines than they have bandwidth. Initially, it was only used to ensure the best performance for all traffic equally, but it became a weapon that carriers used against certain users or certain companies or certain entities that the carrier wanted to punish or squeeze for more money. For example, in 2013, Netflix customers experienced a 25% decrease in speeds through Comcast. In 2014, Netflix was forced to negotiate special terms with Comcast and the customers then experienced a 66% increase in speeds. Netflix was then forced to negotiate with Verizon for the same reasons. This is only an example of what was (and is) happening on the US Internet and those producers who do not have the deep pockets that Netflix has are left with whatever the carriers feel like giving them for access and speed. There have been countless experiments over the past decades showing that producers of content are subject to discrimination and censorship based on content, money, or just by unnaturally high bar set for entry into the carrier industry (effectively making it impossible for anyone to compete with the established carriers). This means that under served areas of the country are not only limited in access to the Internet because the carriers refuse to build infrastructure, but those carriers make it impossible for new carriers to service these areas.

Now that we have carriers also owning content, we have seen those carriers punishing the end users for trying to access content that the carrier does not control. This is quite often simply money driven, but we have also shown that content that contradicts what the carrier wants people to say has also been throttled and/or passively censored.

The dismantling of existing protections will not happen over night and the reality of the situation is that those protections were not being enforced in many cases anyway. The new US after Net Neutrality will simply follow the path it was taking before Net Neutrality; a highly siloed Internet with Internet territories that have certain access and other territories that have less (or no) access. This new path is money driven, so producers will have to not only make money, but they will have to make money for the right people in order to be allowed access.

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
Posted: Sunday, December 24, 2017 11:55:36 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 15,371
Neurons: 48,249
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Proggy - ONCE AGAIN - I go back to education!

Even those who don't go on to study History in High School, get an overview of how things work worldwide - and of the continuing, unceasing progression of humanity as a whole, at school.

Whereas, according to Foundit in American schools in Primary, kids learn a purely American-concocted fairy story of an "empty" country, and bold cowboys and cowering Indians and oppressive English Kings: a mixture of fairy-story, legend, and Hollywood which bears as much resemblance to History as a Disney cartoon. Decades after being inculcated FD still believes this fantastical mish-mash is the truth!

Unless children are taught the truth, how to discover the truth, and the value of truth, then the freedoms we have fought centuries for are going to be value-less.

I see no other way of interpreting this mindless lack of concern that from now on any "truth" they read is going to depend on a price tag. Just as in every dystopian science-fiction or futuristic novel/series/movie ever written - Media which is controlled by oligarchs is the best way to control a population.

And it works seamlessly.
Posted: Monday, December 25, 2017 12:20:23 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/2/2015
Posts: 1,965
Neurons: 338,707
Location: Haddington, Scotland, United Kingdom
I've believed for quite some time that one of the most cost efficient and effective investments the world could make is to fund the education of US children and young adults by sending them to several other countries during elementary and high school to study. This would effectively cancel out the socially inbred corporate education that has infected our country for the past 40 years and virtually wipe out the social class based segregation that has been the foundation of our education system for more than 100 years.

A country full of educated US citizens would be much less of a burden on the rest of the world.

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
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