Net Neutrality Under Attack

hedgeNet Neutrality Under Attack

I guess it is the nature of the beast. Whenever a profit can be made by converting a public asset into a private one, the knives are out. The reasons for net neutrality are so obvious and so important, it should not be necessary for me to repeat them here. The idea of favoring one user over another has one major advantage over net neutrality, the enormous profits possible on services already provided.

James Pilant

Net neutrality: What is it, and why is the U.S. about to lose it? | Al Jazeera America

For decades, Americans have taken for granted that every website, service and app is treated equally by their Internet service providers. This principle, dubbed Net neutrality, is what allows startups and large corporations to compete on a level playing field, ensuring that Internet providers can’t pick winners and losers by blocking websites or having some load faster than others.

But Internet advocates warn that under a new set of rules scheduled to be introduced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday, this guarantee will be effectively gone, allowing Internet service providers to give prioritized access to websites that pay a premium — and slower service to everyone else.

The FCC proposal would be welcome news for broadband Internet providers like Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner Cable, some of which have already begun experimenting with charging online services for fast-lane access to their customers. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has tried to reassure critics that these arrangements would be strictly regulated on a case-by-case basis. But a growing coalition of Net neutrality advocates, tech companies, investors and members of Congress have slammed the anticipated proposal, calling it “a threat to the Internet” as a domain for free speech and commerce.

“It’s going to be ruinous for innovation online,” said April Glaser, an activist with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “It directs people away from newer, innovative services that might not be able to afford that price tier.”

via Net neutrality: What is it, and why is the U.S. about to lose it? | Al Jazeera America.

From Around the Web.

From the web site, Andelino’s Weblog.

What could that mean for me, in English, please?

First off, the web could get more expensive. The impact on the average Internet user will likely not be felt right away. But over time, websites would probably pass on to consumers the costs of paying for high-speed access, according to Harold Feld, a senior vice president at the consumer group Public Knowledge.

In addition, it could become difficult to view certain websites owned by companies that can’t afford to pay for access to an Internet fast lane, Feld said.

On top of Internet users potentially paying more, they would also be more confused, Feld said. Under the proposed rules, people would need to make sense of a fragmented Internet landscape where the time it takes to load an online video would depend on whether that website paid extra to their Internet provider. Consumers may start choosing their Internet providers based on which websites they like to visit.

Feld compared the situation to the exclusive deals that AT&T and Apple once made that only allowed AT&T subscribers to purchase the iPhone.

This sounds pretty frustrating. It would be. Under the FCC’s proposed rules, the quality of online streaming services like Netflix or HBO Go would depend on whether those services are paying your Internet provider or not, Feld said.

“It will become more fragmented and more frustrating,” he added.

The proposed rules could affect not just entertainment, but also education. If schools use an online curriculum made by a company that cut a deal with Verizon, students who subscribe to Verizon’s Internet service at home would have an advantage over other students who subscribe to another provider, Feld said.

Net neutrality – Who really benefits? (via Now we’re EtherSpeakin’)

This article focuses on the key issue in the FCC ruling. The issue is whether or not the decision actually favors consumers.

I hold the FCC decision in contempt. I do not believe it protects the interests of consumers because it will allow charges for using larger amounts of bandwidth when there is no shortage. Further, the FCC under these rules can only respond to complaints. The FCC does not enforce the rules without customers asking it do so in individual cases. Responding to complaints sounds good until you look at what happens with a complaint. If my web site is discriminated against and my loading time dramatically increased, I will only get redress after a lengthy complaint process. By the time that is completed, I would no longer have a successful blog. It’s the same with anybody else. The Internet is a fast moment by moment product. A complaint system is a post destruction remedy that does in no way mitigate the damage.

This is a good blog entry that asks who does the decision really benefit. If you are interested in a deeper understanding of this issue, I would read the article.

James Pilant

Contributed by: Bill Alessi, EtherSpeak Communications As defined by Wikipedia, Network Neutrality (AKA net neutrality and internet neutrality) is a principle proposed for users’ access to networks participating in the Internet. The principle advocates no restrictions by Internet Service Providers and governments on content, sites, platforms, the kinds of equipment that may be attached, and the modes of communication. About a month or so ago the … Read More

via Now we’re EtherSpeakin’

Enhanced by Zemanta

Is Stepping on Teachers Becoming a National Pastime?

Arizona Bill Would Restrict Teachers’ Speech – Proposed legislation would punish those who violate FCC standards

Arizona doesn’t want its teachers cussing in class—and new proposed legislation would actually make it illegal to do so. GOP state lawmakers are behind Senate Bill 1467, which would require public school teachers to adhere to the FCC’s TV and radio standards. That means certain limits on obscene, indecent, or profane language, the Arizona Republic reports. One teacher notes that the bill applies to teachers’ language not just in the classroom, but even if they are with a colleague.

Arizona Bill Would Restrict Teachers’ Speech – Proposed legislation would punish those who violate FCC standards

About one hundred years ago there were three groups of professionals, the opinion makers, in small towns all over the United States. They were  lawyers, doctors and teachers. Doctors and lawyers have retained their status. Teachers are barely one step above a sixteen year old with a MacJob. How did this come about?

There are a lot of reasons. I suspect the increasing demonization of teachers as the destroyers of educational excellence is a key factor. The strange idea that motivated teachers can overcome massive income inequality to produce high test scores in all populations. The teachers’ inability to produce this utopia of educational success results in constant attacks and ridicule. It takes its toll after a while. Further, teachers are divided in their political loyalties making their backing in a political campaign of questionable value. I estimate teachers’ union endorsement to be worth no more than sixty percent of their votes. Teacher fragmentation has been devastating to their political influence for decades. I remember listening in class to my teachers attacking unions and evolution. I grew up in Oklahoma. Defying teacher unions and refusing to even ask for an endorsement became standard politics long ago.

I don’t get it. Teachers by education and position ought to be opinion leaders but have apparently given up the job to do some version of independent politics on an every man for himself basis. Benjamin Franklin once told his fellow revolutionaries, “We must all hang together or else we shall hang separately.” The teacher unions are dying fragmented and ineffective.

Unless this fragmentation ends, there is only one end to the story, the minimum wage.

James Pilant

Enhanced by Zemanta

“Comcast Owns the Internet” (via Chasing Fat Tails)

At the moment, a great deal of weeping over the defeat of net neutrality is justified. Unfortunately the war for the internet can be lost on more than one front at a time. So, “Chasing Fat Tails” explains.

James Pilant

h/t ars technica Net neutrality has long been the goal of people who care about keeping the Internet free from corporate influence.  The Internet has tremendous potential, but it can only be realized if all users have access to fast speeds that deliver all content at the same rate.  Otherwise Internet Service Providers will be able to privilege some content and users over others, the Internet will balkanize, and the tremendous benefits of a wired … Read More

via Chasing Fat Tails

Enhanced by Zemanta