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Tuesday, November 21, 2017


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Iggy 1.0

If you want to try anything, contact your representatives by phone or--gasp--print mail. The last time I did so, I got a staffer on the phone and received a polite and detailed reply from my Congressman.

But good luck with this issue, since it looks like Net Neutrality won't survive Trump's wrecking ball. I'd hoped that Libertarians would unite with Progressives for Net Neutrality, against the plutocrats who get financial support from our rotten cable monopolies. Tim Wu's Cycle, from The Master Switch, seems to be coming round again. As Wu shows, every telecomm revolution to date has ended in monopoly and constraint of innovation: Bell Labs had magnetic tape in the 30s, as well as the potential for a fax machine and modem, but AT&T sat on the technology because they feared it would cost them profits. They figured that customers using answering machines would not stay on the phone as much. It took BASF in the 70s bringing the tech to the US to open that particular path to innovation again.

Let's just hope for a new disruptive way to get our connections, because the likes of Comcast are dinosaurs from the last century, very much like a certain bloviating President. And given the US's ongoing political division and slide into a second-class nation, disruptive innovation may well come from overseas again.


It should be pretty obvious by now that anyone who has the ability to actually stop this doesn't care what the people want. It's too easy to just blame everything on Trump and make bank.

Clara Seller

Susan is right. The people who have the power to stop this don't want to and Trump is the perfect boogeyman to deliver this horror. We have entered the post-consumer era where our pittance of money is a given, our power is gone, and the only challenges are to be battled among the elite. They need more dividends. They need more tax breaks. They need more territory. They need more resources. None of these politicians want Net Neutrality. They want information controlled. They are begging you to blame Trump. Please blame Trump. It gives your fake heroes a free pass.

metacam oh

Trump appointed this idiot. It's amazing how cultish Trump supporters are that they can't even criticize him on the things they disagree with him on.

David Cartier

Net neutrality is anti-competetive and takes away choices, rather than providing us with more. It discourages new providers from popping up and giving Comcast and the other piratical cable providers a run for their money. For those of us limited to broadband provided by Comcast, it really doesn't matter, as we are resigned to their predatory pricing. One thing we get in return, though is lightning fast internet. Paying Comcast prices sucks, yes, but I'd much rather pay a premium for faster internet, than join everyone else in suffering some socialist paradise of some "fair" plodding, steerage-class internet for free.

sirhc deSantis

Interesting. Took a look at local providers and in this here country I currently am in country of 11 ish million - our town of 100k has 4. So there's your answer 'David Cartier' :) And same over most of the civilised world, I am sorry, Western Europe. All 350 million ish. Amazing how we can get healthcare and not bad net at the same time =^^= Amazing the States never got beyond telegraph mentality.
So - if you are paying more to be throttled - can we get less US? Outside of Second Life (and this estimable blog) I can't see a downside...

Outside of that? Serious question, what would it even make a difference outside the US?


in New Zealand we have the socialist fibre network internet. The conservative National-led government turned all communist and poured taxpayers money into building a nationwide fast internet backbone. Then they went even more communist and told the dominant ISP at the time that if they wanted in then the company would have to break themselves into 2 separate companies. 1 to provide the connections, the other to provide the services over the connections

o.m.g it was horrible, was gunna be the end of the world and the death of all that was proper and right. Doom was forecast because commies and socialism. The company cried all over themselves about the evilness of it all. The conservative government (now turned totally communist) went: oh! well, if you don't want to help us create a competitive market for internet services, then that's ok, its not like you are the only company who can provide internet services. Upon which the company promptly went oh ok, we can work with that. Still be doom though somehow

the doom never happened. Instead of 1 ISP (with about 3 regional players) dominate everything (throttling, capping, etc etc), we now have over 30 ISPs offering to us, the customers, packages from no-frills naked broadband to full service and everything in between. No throttles, no caps

as it turned out, not at all surprisingly, the market capitalisation of the 2 new companies are worth way than when it was one big company. So their shareholders are pretty happy about that

i suppose that those who say they prefer to pay more for 'fast' have no idea really what fast actually means. Its a bit like saying they are quite happy to pay extra for fast water, fast gas and fast electricity into their homes and workplaces. Like all these 'fast' and 'slow' has nothing to do with the pipes, and everything to do with gates. Artificial gates put into the pipes to slow down the flow of information, water, gas, electricity, etc

basically you are not paying for 'fast'. You are paying to not have your stuff slowed down artificially

where stuff does go slow due to pipe size, is when the number of customers who can connect locally are few. There is not enough income from these few to warrant the capital investment in big pipes. Which is found in the rural areas. Ergo, why a right-wing capitalist market-believing government tipped tax payers money into this. The market itself, on the numbers, couldn't afford to do it on a segmented regional basis. The market left to its own devices goes to where the bulk of the customers are

its actually nonsense to say that private companies will invest further in building bigger pipes, when there are few customers to connect. In the places where there are lots of customers (cities and large towns) they already have big pipes, which are going to be artificially slowed down, so to extract more revenue from the customers who want 'fast'

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