Net Neutrality – Both options are failures.

It’s time for S to throw opinions down on a very boring subject.

Imagine that net-neutrality for a moment is a type of government. You as a citizen are given a choice. Either choose communism, or totalitarianism with just some sprinkles of cronyism. You are told that by masses of highly influential people to go with communism because it’s the lesser of two evils. Of course in this scenario you ask yourself:

Isn’t there a better choice? – S

Oh shit, now the glares are setting in. The shaming from your peers and friends begin to kick in as well. Read onward if you wish to hear rando-furry shouting at the clouds.

Anarchist!

How DARE you ask if there is something else! What are you trying to do!?!? We all must stick together or it doesn’t work! If you don’t choose communism right now your nation is going to turn into a shit show! Choose right now! Or else!!

No matter which side you choose or who your fighting for it accomplishes nothing but more pain. Both sides of this conversation are abjectly wrong so we’re going to explain why we think this way starting with the side people are fighting for which is communism (I.E. letting the FCC govern over the internet as-if it were a utility and that everyone has equal access no matter what). Even though the side of pro-net neutrality took to the airwaves and internet screaming why totalitarianism (the cable companies and ISPs) is bad. We’ll get to them as well!

What is Net Neutrality?

It’s good to start from the beginning on this just to get everyone up to speed. But net neutrality is the concept where when you surf the net regardless if it’s YouTube or if it’s my little site right here. That all content is delivered to your devices and computers equally. This means that when you launch Hulu, Netflix, or YouTube the content from those sites are delivered to your computer equally and are not subjected to any biased attacks from the cable or telephone giants which would rather you use their services over a 3rd party.

There was an incident dealing with this between ComCast and Netflix where thirty percent of the subscriber base was complaining about buffering problems. Netflix blamed ComCast, ComCast in turn blamed Netflix for sending too much traffic to their subscriber base. Between all of the finger pointing the customers were stuck in the middle getting more and more upset like a deprived heroine victim because their shows weren’t loading.

The blame legitimately should’ve been shared between the two. Comcast for overselling their trunked fiber connection. Netflix for not devising any redundancies such as pre-buffering shows to prevent streaming TV from getting interrupted mid show. It was from that point onward that people have been screaming for Net Neutrality and wanting the government to get involved. So the FCC did by imposing regulations against the Cable and Telecom companies out there. Regulations that costs a lot of money to uphold because breaking an FCC regulation even accidentally costs millions of dollars.

The FCC

When growing up in the age of punk-rock culture which hell it even goes back to the mid 60’s with the hippie movement. But to us there was a slogan floating around pirate radios, mix-tapes and uttered over airwaves as an act of defiance:

Fuck the FCC! – Every pirate DJ, rapper, internet pod-caster from the 80’s to the 2000’s.

The original intent of the FCC which is to ensure people weren’t blowing up each others cars or giving people cancer with dangerous microwave energy. That part of the FCC is a logical and has a noble purpose making sure that electronics are doing the job they are supposed to do. Because we get so many electrical components imported into the country their role is more important then ever.

People began to feel pure hatred for this organization is when they censor what people can say over radio-waves. Sending down heavy fines on the broadcasters which violate such policies. These types of fines are enough to destroy any locally operated or family owned radio stations even if the incident was a slip of the tongue. Suddenly musical artists which have color within their lyrics or songs can no longer have their works played on the air. Ultimately trampling on the first amendment of freedom of speech within the United States.

If you fast forward to now. You now have thousands of people believing that the FCC is the solution to a free internet. We hope you understand why this statement is confusing and dangerous. You want an organization that censors broadcasters to defend internet free speech? How odd! But now; With corporate lobbyists forcing their hands. the FCC is now saying something like:

You know what? You’re right. We didn’t want to get involved anyways! We’ll leave!

Now everyone is running around like the world is going to come to an end!

Asking a government to meddle in the affairs with how people communicate is like asking a monster to scare your little brother away. Sure, that monster will do it! So well in fact that you’re little brother is going to shit himself to death out of fear! But now you’re stuck with a monster in your room and a dead corpse! Congratulations!

Consequences of letting the government in.

That monster could sit back and say:

Well! Since you obviously want me around. I need food. You’re going to pay me. Or else! – Monster Government

Usually when a government agency is expected to do a task for the people they typically need this thing called ‘money’ for operation costs. I know I know! They can print it up themselves! But if America did such a thing it would end up like Zimbabwe. No, after a while if you make the FCC police the internet in such a way eventually they will begin to ask for “Internet Tax.” Which is a whole different terrifying argument that has been proposed many of times throughout the years by senators and congressmen. An argument which has been shot down repetitively for the good of everyone.

Supporters for Net-Neutrality.

This ad appearing on OKCupid’s site has to be one of the most confusing to me. Shouldn’t the FCC be pulling their boot away from those from those evil cable companies? I mean, that’s who’s going to theoretically strangle you OkCupid? Not the FCC. If anything that boot should be moving away from on the cable companies with their computer mascot jumping up and down wanting that boot to stay down!

But hey what do we know! We never took a class in marketing so perhaps their bizarre passive aggressive stance towards the FCC works!

Facebook and Google defending net neutrality.

Kind of ironic that these two companies in particular are fighting for net neutrality yet under the same breath they’re modeling their business after the very people to which they are fighting! Facebook enjoys a “Pay to play” protocol stating that if you have a large amount of people following you then you must pay Facebook a certain amount of money for your posts to reach all of those followers. Google on the other hand has been caught in AntiTrust issues in England over promoting companies which pay them to be on the top of their search engines pushing any competitors to page 3 or 4. Google also owns YouTube which is a whirlwind of ethical issues dealing with de-monitization while still collecting ad-revenue. Promotion of certain channels over all others.

This leaves the top defenders of net neutrality looking like total hypocrites. They aren’t fighting because they want to feel all altruistic. That’s an illusion for the “grass roots” activist movements to let social networks know that Google gives a shit about them when they really don’t! Google and Facebook are more worried about their bread and butter which is selling data to marketers. If an ISP decides that they are going to sever the connection to googles DNS servers and replace it with their own. Kiss all of that free data goodbye! In the case of Google their business model works WITH the FCC’s restrictions and they don’t want that to go away!

The list of Net-Neutrality supporters. Can you find Google/Facebook? Let me help you.

Anyone who has been online has seen the list of companies and organizations involved with the fight for net neutrality. But If I didn’t highlight the organization in the list above you would’ve never seen where Google and Facebook is being represented! It would look like both companies aren’t even taking a stand.

This is intentional. It’s a unique way to fight for something but if it backfires horribly you can sit back and go “hey! That was “Internet Association” not us! So you can take this one of two ways. That Google/Facebook and many others have their own lobbyists in Washington looking out for interests they don’t want you the people to fight over. Or they’re cowards hiding behind a political banner. You decide.

Ironically enough there’s a few companies like Etsy and Amazon which are underneath the Internet Association banner yet they choose to have their name listed. Good for them! They obviously have more balls then Google/Facebook by putting their name onto this.

Sup’ DNC?

Ironically there is a LOT of liberal/democratic organizations in the list above. To which using all of those organizations in the list begins to erode the reasons of why people are fighting net neutrality. Is it really for free speech? Or is it you’re butt-hurt that your democratic candidate didn’t get into office? There’s a bit of conflict of interest when you start seeing political parties appear on the supporter ticket for something based around “neutrality.” We understand that our political decisions have consequences but throwing a temper tantrum around every corner is not going to solve anything! It in fact will drive me further away from whatever candidate you present to us.

Bandwidth capping.

Corporations could limit what how much data you spend on the net!

 

That argument is irrelevant as bandwidth capping and bandwidth charging is already happening with or without the FCC’s regulation on net neutrality. ISP data regression is already happening for years now as these companies are slowly rolling out “New Plans” which put us back to the year 2005 in terms of internet cost. The only thing they need to do to complete the loop of tyranny is start charging by the minute your connected and we would be back to Ma-Bell tactics. Sorry not sorry AT&T. This is the reason why America will be shot into the dark ages being the 32nd fastest internet in the world. But that’s a discussion for another time.

The entire American communication grid is limited based off of speed and you spend more to go faster like this “Internet Basic 6” plan which for a whopping 54USD per month you get 6mbs downloads and only a 512kbs uploads. So to those regards to the mission statement from the “Internet Association” has already failed before we even talked about Net Neutrality as well.

Net Neutrality scare tactics.

I really like this one! It’s creative! But part of it is already happening with the “Recharge” fees. As mentioned before with the AT&T bandwidth capping. This is already in effect. So the FCC’s net neutrality laws when they were enacted changed none of this!

Many of the services can be easily monitored/regulated as it does all come off of one DNS and generally through a handful of ports such as SSL/HTTP ports in theory it is possible for an ISP to perform something like this. They would probably add the additional spin that they’re blocking any site that isn’t in their list to better protect their customer base from viruses. Keeping track of only a few thousand sites while shutting the others like mine out from the list. To which if they want to have their own AOL style intranet then good for you! Communities like that only last for so long before people walk away.

Multiplayer gaming.

We would  like to point out where this chart begins to fall apart. When you start talking about gaming such as Steam. Hell even commercial console gaming! Although the content delivery service can be easily monitored and bandwidth limited for software updates and downloads. Multiplayer gaming becomes a lot harder to regulate! Even though in many cases the traffic does go off to a server to behave like a ‘lobby’ of sorts. When a game launches data is also transferred from each client in a P2P network configuration and usually on a vast range of ports. Regulating the gaming traffic from an ISP point of view would be a headache. This is what would eventually blow apart this theory. ISP’s are too lazy to stir up a hornets nest like the gaming community when it’s far easier to just do the “Recharge” thing!

Multiplayer gaming is probably where Net-Neutrality really bites the gamer themselves. You see, Microsoft and Sony would probably be more than happy to pay internet providers the ability to speed up their consoles so that lag becomes a thing of the past for time sensitive data. But if all data is created equal. This will mean that data will stand in line with the Netflix traffic and spam and junk e-mail traffic. That is of course until the ISPs can increase the band and pipe for everyone simultaneously.

MySpace and Napster is on here? Holy shit how old is this piece of propaganda? You guys need something new and fresh!

Innovation.

Loosing net neutrality will hurt innovation and stop the next big site from ever happening.

Will it? Innovation is also about overcoming obstacles and facing challenges that the world wants. A corporation understands this logic better then anyone. This is why they’ll be very careful to not rock the ISP boat too hard because if they do a company could invent a completely different way to get onto the internet that doesn’t utilize cumbersome fiber lines, coaxial and phone wire.

As for the next big website. Who ever said that people wanted the next big site? The next big site which will crowd out all of the little sites? The next big site that will tell the world how to think/act/behave according to their way of life and business? Your definition of innovation needs work.

Totalitarianism / the ISPs.

Now that we’ve sufficiently rocked the Pro-Net-Neutrality boat. Lets burn all of the bridges ladies and gentlemen! And dive into the cult of “Do as we say and not as we do” of the Mom-Bells, Cable Companies, and old world dinosaur media institutions.

What the protesters are saying is all a bunch of crap! We have a Free Market environment that lets the customer decide what they want.

This would be an alright defense if there isn’t a pseudo-monopoly in just about every state in the United States. Chart may be old but cable companies generally agree to stay out of each others zones because those cable companies realize it’s far more profitable if there is one provider per city running one fiber infrastructure then having multiple fiber/coaxial infrastructures in the same city. (The exception to this is google because it’s nice to have fuck-tons of money.)

It gets even shittier when you talk about phone lines like DSL because although there is plenty of DSL providers they have to compete against the companies which own the telephone infrastructure. This results in many DSL companies simply going out of business leaving you with Ma-Bell as your only real choice. Cel-Phone towers have their own problems of overselling subscribers making the connection totally unreliable from tower to tower.

So when you have the communication companies playing games like this. The customer really does have no choice in most major cities within America!

This problem was happening during the FCC’s regulation and will continue to do so well after Net Neutrality dies. Perhaps the jurisdiction of the actual fiber should fall underneath municipal jurisdiction and leased accordingly may be an approach to ending this type of monopoly. But that’s another argument entirely!

We block outside servers to protect our customers from the dangers of the net!

Not your job! I understand that you wish to make all of your customers happy and part of that is keeping grandmas computer free of viruses whenever little Jimmy comes by and looks up robot porn! If you regulate free speech and you try to firewall what your customers are looking for then you’re no better then the government that you hate so much!

We all keep our prices as competitive as we can but due to regulation that’s the best we can do!

This only works if there is a visible progression in the Moores law of technology. In many cases the cable and DSL infrastructures that needs to be upgraded to give your customers better speed rarely happens. This is why customers feel like you’re just sitting on the money instead of doing something for them. The support for this argument then falls completely apart afterwards!

We would never block or downgrade any sites!

This is a type of power that has even corrupted Google. The world seriously doubts any company has that level of self-control. You’re going to do it which is the very reason why people will continue to tell ISP’s to fuck off. Not that you care really given the stranglehold you have on a city by city basis.

We can’t have fire alarms interfering with twitter feeds! This is why we need to abolish this stupid law!

Or you could improve your infrastructure to where the rest of the world is at. That way all data would be moving faster instead of worrying if you’ll get a text message a few seconds later that a building a burning to the ground.

Final thoughts.

We’re left at the crossroads between total government control where you could get taxed and eventually restricted from the net in different ways such as offering a dissenting opinion or saying “Fuck” too many times! Or, the other option is getting blasted into a realm of circa 1990’s AOL clients where you are presented a set of websites and that’s all you’re allowed to get from the net like channels on a TV station because people can’t be trusted with choice. Both sides are hellish dystopian worlds that is the byproduct of political mud-slinging. But the truth of the future is not so black and white like politics wants you to believe. If it was then we would be in the investment market being the one percent right now!

They’re all EVIL I say! Evil!

The pro-net-neutrality crowd it thinking that these people at Time Warner, AT&T, Cox, and so forth are going to wake up with a handle-bar mustache the day after net-neutrality is defeated rubbing their hands together cackling “At last after 10,000 years I’m free!” and send down giant monsters to crush the little guys. No, some of these providers will more then likely go “Oh, our lobbyists did something? that’s cool!” and continue onward with business as usual eating their fruit cup. Supplying internet service to millions is tough as it is. Most of the people working at these places don’t want to throw anymore wrenches into the works!

Accountability.

It is however important to call out providers that do put on the handle bar mustache so others know that the customer isn’t going to put up with such crap and will jump ship. This is why Time Warner/Spectrum does not deal with bandwidth capping because after trying it in a few states people walked away from them. Which the loss of revenue speaks 100 of times louder then some direct action protest in Washington.

Telling us the consumer that the only path to freedom is underneath the boot of government regulation is not freedom at all. And flat out screaming calling everyone villains isn’t going to bring anyone to the negotiation table to talk.

Sane in an insane world.

Net-Neutrality is about as insane as the “War on Drugs.” Not only because that too is hosted by the government and look how much of a bang up job it’s working. But because no matter what happens, pass or fail, companies will continue onward. Government will continue to be obstructionists by the will of a few people rather then innovators. People will continue finding new ways to get the data they want! The only difference is how good you feel about yourself at the end of the day. That and gobs of money you may or may not make if a law passes/fails.

It just feels to us that Net Neutrality is the wrong answer all around in dealing with the state of communications

YOUR website will be affected by this too S! You should care more about what people are fighting for!

Oh please, playing out both scenarios described to me. My website will be censored by some crazed ISP or data-mined and eventually consumed by some aggregate feed by Google to be sold to the highest bidder. There is zero incentive for me to decide one way or the other on this issue. You’re welcome to comment. We’re fully aware that not deciding is a choice on itself. A choice which probably helps the cable industry. But I’m not going to sit here and say “Time Warner is innocent!” either.

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