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Net Neutrality Is Just "Mumbo Jumbo" 362

Posted by CmdrTaco
Ergasiophobia writes "It seems the National Cable & Telecommunications Association is spreading a blatant lie in the form of a commercial claiming that the net neutrality act will cost the consumer more and that it is 'bad' for the consumer. This, of course, ignores how much the cable companies will profit from the act's defeat. For some truthful information on the net neutrality act check out savetheinternet.com" This honestly seems too stupid to actually be real. Anyone know for sure?
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Net Neutrality Is Just "Mumbo Jumbo"

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  • Real? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 03, 2006 @09:25AM (#16032351)
    This honestly seems to[o] stupid to actually be real. Anyone know for sure?

    Shouldn't you work that out before putting it up on the front page?
    • by Ruff_ilb (769396)
      I was going to make a joke about ponies here, but I seriously don't think that the commercial could be more hilarious.
    • by Peyna (14792)
      Shouldn't you work that out before putting it up on the front page?

      I'm sorry you must be new here. The "editors" have never actually "edited" anything. They just add a few comments and click a button. For actualy "editing" to take place; well, I'm not sure what the obstacle is.
    • Re:Real? (Score:5, Informative)

      by SEWilco (27983) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @10:39AM (#16032572) Journal
      This honestly seems too stupid to actually be real. Anyone know for sure?
      The article says the NCTA did it. Their NCTA Net Neutrality [ncta.com] page includes a link to their "Mumbo Jumbo" ad [ncta.com]. Stupidity left as an exercise for the reader. Oh, and it's in Macromedia Flash format so it is not Real.
    • by Duds (100634)
      I don't like the editorialising of the story either, let US make up our mind whether it's a "lie" or "Stupid" thanks.
      • Re:Real? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by darkonc (47285) <`moc.neergcb' `ta' `leumas_nehpets'> on Sunday September 03, 2006 @11:44AM (#16032787) Homepage Journal
        This is a blog site, not a news site. If you want news with the editorializing non-obvious, go watch Fox News -- or even CNN.

        Personally, I prefer sites where they wear their hearts on their sleeves. Makes it far easier to read between the lines.

      • by rs79 (71822) <hostmaster@open-rsc.org> on Sunday September 03, 2006 @01:19PM (#16033162) Homepage
        "let US make up our mind"

        Thank you.

        This net.neutrality debate terrifies me.

        It's the same "we need we need we need" nonsense that gave us icann. If you look at the first time icann was mentioned on this site consensus was that it was a good thing, while a few folks said "this is not good".

        Now history (or is that hysteria?) is repeating itself. It's a fashion statement and the worst form of political incorrectness to disagree.

        The problem I have with this whole debate is, the insistance on changes to the regulatory frameworks and addition of new laws.

        It seems to me people who insist we need new laws either have no experience in this process or are self serving and are looking to get themseleves and their friends jobs in some form.

        So I ask you please please please: look at actual problems that have arisen and look at what happened and how quickly and ask yourself are there existing safeguards in place and do we want and need new laws governing the Internet?

        • by mabhatter654 (561290) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @05:15PM (#16034102)
          simple, net neutrality was an undefined quantity that allowed the original internet to get rolling back in 1995 or so. It wasn't one specific law, but a series of prohibitions and FCC ownership rules that followed in the wake of the ATT breakup. Of corse the breakup took place in the mid 80s so it took nearly 10 years for the internet to catch on for normal users!

          The key to Net Neutrality was that phone companies no longer controlled the lines anymore. They owned the lines and provided telecommunication service... They were not allowed to restrict end user devices that met FCC specification for Telcom (faxing and dial-up took off after this) the local bells were not allowed interstate long distance anymore. Later, the restrictions were included to define the telco as "line owner" and any company could rent the lines and provide service. Also, telcos were prohibited from providing many extra pay-for services outside phone service. Things like providing music over the phone, or even running their own ISPs were orginally prohibited.

          What's happened specifically since 2000 is that there's been a push to designate internet connections as "data service" not "telco". Of course that narrowly defines "telco" as POTS.. when the network is so much more now. Thru FCC rulings and court cases they've got "data service" ruled as a seperate business from telephone. Cable companies pioneered this when they got Broadband over the "public" cable network reclassified as a seperate business from the Cable service with little to no public oversight..(never mind their orginal charters don't include data service either) since then telcos have been biding their time when they can own the whole "internet" all over again. You're still getting the internet over a phone line, they want to own it all again.

          Net Neutrality is a "pre-emptive" strike against the telcos that have been manapulating for years to undo the restrictions put on them after the monopoly was broken up. The point is that they clearly plan to go right back to predatory, non-customer-friendly practices just as fast as they can when the ink is dry.. after all, 3 of the 5 were sued just last week after the Universal Service Charge was supposed to come off... but they tried to sneek a new fee in to replace it!!! is there any more proof than that needed to show we need to heavily restrict these guys BEFORE they ruin something really good for their own greed!

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by GreatBunzinni (642500)
            To me that only states one thing. Basic and fundamental services, like power, water and communications, should be a state-offered service instead of a private-offered service. When the privatization of those services enters in effect, the quality and level of service stops being the number one mission objective to be replaced by the all mighty profit. That means that, as we are all seeing in the Us, the consumer always gets the shaft.
  • What's real? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gambit3 (463693) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @09:25AM (#16032353) Homepage Journal
    You asking if the commercial is real?

    It is. I've seen it in the Dallas-Fort Worth area once.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Matt Edd (884107)
      I've seen in it Ames, Iowa for a couple of weeks now.
      • Re:What's real? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by scoove (71173) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @10:01AM (#16032466)
        I've seen in it Ames, Iowa for a couple of weeks now.

        Yea, same in southwest Iowa. Iowa Telecom is pretty active in these things. These same crooks got a usually illegal cross-subsidy snuck through the public utilities commission a few years ago to apply a mandatory fee of $3.50 on every phone line in every home or business from their telephone monopoly that they could use to put into the coffers of their Internet and DSL operations which had competition. Imagine your electric company adding fees that they then put into their inefficient, lousy grocery store so they could drive the good stores out of town that didn't have the extra funding from a monopoly. They also had an issue with some donations of very expensive gifts to the public utilities officials at the same time that got swept under the rug.

        The incumbant phone companies and cable providers don't like competition. They don't like the consumer having choice. They need that video revenue on top of Internet, voice, etc. to really clean things up. $220 a month per subscriber is a target they routinely discuss.

        That they'd run false advertising is the least of their disgusting behavior. When you find out how much money they grease the political skids with (not to mention all the nice fact-finding vacations in exotic locations they're sending your congresspeople to of both parties), you'd be ill.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by arete (170676)
          I haven't seen this ad, but seeing it from Comcast wouldn't surprise me in the slightest - they ROUTINELY lie in their advertising. In particular they just make things up about Dish reliability (We've had both Comcast has ALWAYS been much less reliable, AND they routinely screw up scheduling and commercials so the commercial overruns part of the programming) They also always tout how hard it is to install a Dish - when both companies have constantly offered free professional installation to any new custom
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by DLG (14172)
      Likewise saw it while watching CNN in the NYC market.
    • Yay time warner! It's definitely real here.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bladesjester (774793)
        The first time I saw this (I'm in central Ohio as well), I nearly fell out of my chair laughing.

        The sad this is that people will believe it.
    • As in, home of Verizon. Home of Kenny Marchant, who (I swear) basically has as his platform statement "I'm Bush's lapdog". Who opposes Net Neutrality (surprise) because he thinks the market should decide.
    • I've seen it in Albany, NY during a college football game on a Saturday afternoon.
  • Before you raise a stink, isn't it worth it to learn what it is that you are complaining about? Part of that is understanding the opposition's side.
    • by mapkinase (958129) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @09:43AM (#16032413) Homepage Journal
      Learn? Not from this 30-sec pile of crapload called advertisement. I watched it from the beginning to the end and there is nothing, nada, zilch substantial, only baseless accusations.

      What Google and other companies on the other side need to do is to come up with simple way of explaining how the routing works (nailing the "tubes" cavemanship as a positive side effect), and why messing with the routing is bad for the internet.

      Google et al needs to pick up the challenge and reply with their own advertisement.

      Generalizing: is there something that consumers can do all these industry associations? Is it possible to slap some anti-monopolistic laws against those bastards?
    • by WindBourne (631190) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @09:45AM (#16032420) Journal
      They (the telco/cables) are claiming that by not being able to charge source providers money, that they can not grow. There arguments are that costs are passed to us because the large sources have not paid them money.
      Well, here is the other side.
      1. The large "source" providers have already paid money. That is they are connected to ATT, or MCI, or whoever. How many times do they have to pay?
      2. Once all companies can make more money by charging the other side, they will have no incentive for competeting to get your business. After all, they still get to charge the other side. This is a nice way to remove true market competition.
      3. The "source" provider today, is Google, yahoo, etc (from tellcos POV). But with p2p growing faster, the source will be everybody. So are they saying that they will shortly split our costs based on upload/download?

      Once the above occurs, the telcos/cable will start charging for the connections from one to the other. All in all, this is beginning of the end of the net IFF the tellcos are allowed to charge on the other side of the connection.
      • Devil's advocate (Score:3, Interesting)

        by daveschroeder (516195) *
        It's not that it's hard to understand. Here are the problems:

        The large "source" providers have already paid money. That is they are connected to ATT, or MCI, or whoever. How many times do they have to pay?

        Yes, they paid to be connected to a backbone provider. But what about your local broadband provider? You're paying them for your connection, you say? Yes, and that price has been so far structured on use to date. What happens when the use starts shifting from web browsing and email checking to people *rout
        • Your post has far more "truth" in it than the OP.
        • by mrbooze (49713) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @10:52AM (#16032611)
          It's easy to sit here and say Google already pays to be connected to Level3 or Cogent and I already pay to be connected to Charter. But what if I and a hundred thousand others all of a sudden start downloading a few 1 gig movies from a legitimate commercial provider every other night between 6 and 10pm? How can they support that? What kind of buildout to the headends and COs is required by the cable and telephone operators to support this massive surge in use that isn't compatible with their current pricing and service delivery model?

          They do what all companies do. They charge more if their competition allows it, or they change their business model, or they increase their efficiency, or they go out of business for being unable to meet the needs of their consumers.

          Google's telco is entirely free to charge Google more if it needs to. My telco is entirely free to charge me more if it needs to. They are not free to set up an infinite number of toll bridges in between me and Google.
          • I agree with you completely, and as I said, my original post was only Devil's advocate.

            Sure, Google's provider can charge them more if they need to. And they may.

            And your local provider can as well. But what if it's $150 or $200/month? In some areas, it's still $450/month or more to get a T1! Yes, there are other factors there, but that's closer to the actual cost in some markets of providing that as a *dedicated* service. With improvements in efficiency and a change to a focus on providing data services, t
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by jenkin sear (28765) *
              I think there's another issue, and that is how net neutrality is actually regulated and enforced.

              Basically, we'd need some government agency to step in and start suing people if unexpected blips start appearing on traceroutes... or high latency pings... or whatever. Detection is non-trivial.

              After you get past detection, you need to figure out which government agency is going to get this job. Likely candidates include the FCC and the ... FCC. And there isn't a more venal, corrupt, or retrograde beauracracy o
        • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Sunday September 03, 2006 @10:52AM (#16032612)
          I forgot to include an important counterpoint to my devil's advocate.

          The cable and telephone operators - the entities that own by far the majority of the "last mile" into millions of homes - currently are stuck in mentalities that revolve around their traditional businesses. Namely, provision of television content and telephone services. Their unique position of owning wires that physically reach everyone's homes placed them in a unique position to also deliver data services. However, the burgeoning data business is still playing second fiddle to what many of these providers see as their declining core businesses.

          As more and more customers shift to obtaining things like entertainment content and voice/video communications capability from internet-based services, the less customers will patronize cable and telephone operators in their traditional markets.

          What the home broadband providers need to do more than anything is to start seeing themselves as movers of bits, and nothing more, and concentrate on becoming damned good at that. Instead of trying to engineer mechanisms for charging "large" content providers to subsidize their operations, they should be building out and investing in better and better IP data networks. There will be a day when I may elect to get CNN á la carte directly from CNN, obtain my TV shows and movies directly from publishers or commercial aggregators like iTunes, and my communications services from a combination of my wireless carrier and the internet. Some of these are already possible today, and are growing.

          Traditional, regimented television delivery and landline telephones in many large markets are at the beginning of being on the way out. Yes, for many readers here, they already are. But for the vast majority of people, particularly those in the US, we haven't even scratched the surface in some of these areas. The home broadband operators are in the best position to move these bits we'll all need moved. The sooner they realize that's their future, the better it will be for everyone - them included.
        • That's some pretty good devil's advocating there. Well done, pretty balanced.

          what if I and a hundred thousand others all of a sudden start downloading a few 1 gig movies from a legitimate commercial provider every other night between 6 and 10pm. What happens is that we fill up the tubes with enormous amounts of material. Seriuosly. But the response is that we pick a less-congested time to download, we forego the download, or we call up Verizon: "Geez, I need some more bandwidth I guess... $90 bucks! Why?!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 03, 2006 @09:54AM (#16032451)
      We understand the opposition's side just fine. They want to make more money and they spread lies to do so. The net is going to be paid for by the consumer, whether indirectly through Google or by the consumer directly doesn't change that. What net neutrality does ensure is that the consumer, by paying directly instead of indirectly, has the power and right to choose. For the network operators that means real competition instead of backroom deals with other big companies. That's why net neutrality is good for consumers and bad for network operators: Competition means lower prices for consumers and lower margins for network operators. It's quite clear WHY the opposition does what it does.
      • The net is going to be paid for by the consumer, whether indirectly through Google or by the consumer directly doesn't change that. ... Competition means lower prices for consumers and lower margins for network operators.

        That's absolutely true, not only in the internet, but in every single transaction in the economy. It seems that today companies are trying to squeeze profits from every single facet of their operations. This means that, too often, the price is being paid indirectly and the consumer has no

  • Well, *I* know that when somebody opposes XYZ's position on the grounds that XYZ are full of "blatant lies" and that "truthful information" is just a click away, over here, just take the red pill kthxbye, THEN I become suspicious of both parties' position and motives.
    • by thegnu (557446)
      Well, *I* know that when somebody opposes XYZ's position on the grounds that XYZ are full of "blatant lies" and that "truthful information" is just a click away, over here, just take the red pill kthxbye, THEN I become suspicious of both parties' position and motives.

      What if XYZ's position is full of blatant lies and truthful information IS just a click away? Pretending that the veracity of a message is determined by its cool, calm exterior is as idiotic as believing something just because it's on /. Some
      • by giorgiofr (887762)
        A colm and calm exterior is not sufficient to guarantee the veracity of a message, however it is a prerequisite, because when you are right you don't need to scream, and in order to debunk your opponent all you need to do it is *prove* your position. As in, provide logically-valid proof.
        "OMG you suX0r" is not logically-valid proof.
        Then again maybe it's just me. I tend to distrust people a priori when they feel the need to scream into my ears and provide propaganda. That's why I'd never join a protest even
        • That's why such over-emotional behaviour has never brought about a change....apart from all the times it has. In fact a lot of the stuff we take for granted would never have come about without such behaviour.
  • Good grief (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Otter (3800) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @09:31AM (#16032373) Journal
    1) One might argue that net neutrality wouldn't be a net cost to customers but it's hardly a "blatant lie" to suggest it would. At this point, one can only make guesses as to how market forces would net out in either situation.

    2) Even if that claim were obviously false, the submitter's argument against it is a total non-sequitur.

    3) People who write "seems to stupid to actually be real" shouldn't throw stupid.
    • At this point, one can only make guesses as to how market forces would net out in either situation.

      The Internet has practiced net neutrality since its inception. Why do you suggest that one can only guess how it will play out? It's playing out just fine right now and has been doing so since the beginning.

  • I have seen it on our local cable provider, Time Warner Cable in Houston. What's sad is how insulting this is to the intelligence of the audience.
    • > I have seen it on our local cable provider, Time Warner Cable in Houston. What's sad is how insulting this is to the intelligence of the audience.

      For the past 5-10 years there has been a slow but steady increase in the number of "commercials" on television that are nothing but blatant attempts to sway the public on some pending legislation that affects the advertiser's corporate interests.

      Usually FUD based. Certainly not motivated by concern for the consumers' best interests, as they always pretend to
  • by MikeRT (947531) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @09:31AM (#16032377) Homepage
    That Congress makes these laws and then passes them off to the FCC. They'll make some half-assed bad law. The FCC will be lobbied everyday by the telecoms until it works out in THEIR favor and we'll be even worse off because they'll have worked the laws against the market. It may take a decade to undo that kind of damage if it even happens.
  • This honestly seems to stupid to actually be real. Anyone know for sure?
    Sounds like reverse psychology to me: Convice people that Net Neutrality will actually give the telcos and cale companies the ability to charge you more for net access. Of course, the reality is that eliminating Net Neutrality will do that, but most consumers won't take the time to investigate and find the truth. In this world of wrong-is-right, up-is-down, less-is-more, and lies-are-truth it's easy for the companies and government to
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If everybody pays exactly the same for all types of packets, then how are we supposed to get improved delivery for packets that need high QOS? This doesn't make sense. It's like passing a law that forces FedEx and UPS to charge by the pound for delivering *everything*, no matter what service is needed. Now on the other hand, if the big carriers are trying to jack up the rates for Google and Yahoo based on the perception that Google needs them, more than they need Google... well, free markets have a way
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rollingcalf (605357)
      Free market profit-maximizing forces would lead the telecoms to artificially slow down the traffic from web sites that don't pay up, in order to get them to start paying.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by CashCarSTAR (548853)
      Net Neutrality would not, at least as its proposed, kill QOS standards. What it would do, would ensure that say if a major ISP gave preferrred access to VoIP or Gaming packets (as latency critical applicaitons), that your small start-up company if in those fields can partake in the high QOS as well.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Tremor (APi) (678603)
      But UPS and FedEx still gaurantee delivery within a certain period of time. I've heard no gaurantees from the big telcos. I've seen no reassurance from them that if MS keeps paying for their QOS to go up, that those who haven't paid won't see their QOS go down (in relation) indefinitely.

      If UPS delivered all their ground shipments slower and slower and slower because bigger companies were all paying for Next Day Air, to the piont where you might be sure it'd get delivered, but you had no idea when (days, as
    • by LeRandy (937290) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @11:06AM (#16032662)
      The problem is not that companies want to prioritise certain kinds of traffic (eg http is more important than bittorrent, so gets higher priority), but that they want to be able to (for example) prioritise traffic from msn search over google search, because they've done a deal with MS.

      The other main reason is to keep Skype et al. out of their captive markets.

      When it comes to telecos, as I understand it, the competition is in reality an illusion - If your only two choices for high speed net are CableCo and Bell, then you as a consumer don't actually get to choose - particularly if (as often happens) they operate on nod-and-wink basis. It's also highly unlikely that you will know which companies the CableCo and Bell have made deals with for better access before you sign 12 months of your money away - they are hardly going to list such "commercially sensitive" information on their adverts.

      To use the UPS/FedEx analogy - Imagine UPS don't serve your town, so you have to use FedEx. You place an order with Borders for some books, to discover that because they have done a deal with UPS, FedEx refuses to provide any better service than 1-week parcels. Amazon, however, have a deal with FedEx, but charge a little more for the books you want. You can get Amazon books next-day though. It means you are paying more, unless Borders decides to increase their overheads by doing a deal with every carrier. It means UPS and FedEx now have leverage in the market for selling books. Now you might say I'm making a false arguments here, because there's nothing stopping UPS from delivering. However, in the case of the internet, generally once you have a connection, you are tied down for a fixed period with one supplier - regardless of the level of service you get, and in many towns you only have a few choices anyway

      There are fairer ways
      - put download limits on the cheapest contracts
      - impose traffic shaping based on packet type (but not source/destination)
      - make it abundantly clear in the TOS what traffic shaping you do
      - regulation to ensure providers who have a monopoly don't use discriminatory traffic shaping polocies

      If some traffic shaping based on source/company etc. is ever allowed
      - force companies to issue a list of which companies' services will recieve higher QoS, and which will receive lower QoS, so consumers can actually choose.

      I'm not making any comment on the technical merit of net neutrality, rather the consumer issues.

      The thing to remember is that in the case of services like this, the only consumer protections are in the law that governs the service - because the contracts themselves are written to benefit the company, not consumer (since you can't get service without signing their contract, and unless you have $millions you have absolutely no power to negotiate). It's also worth noting that once one company finds a legal (but fairly subtle) way to screw their customers for more money, you can rest assured that the rest of them are not far behind.
  • by Virak (897071) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @09:41AM (#16032408) Homepage
    Are you google-eyed with confusion over net neutrality? No wonder. It's all just clever mumbo jumbo. Net neutrality is nothing more than a scheme by the multi-billion dollar silicon valley tech companies to get you, the consumer, to pay more for their services. Forget all the mumbo jumbo, net neutrality simply means you pay.

    Makes Microsoft's FUD look a bit tame by comparison.
  • by swmike (139450) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @09:42AM (#16032409)
    Net Neutrality is not the answer to the problems seen in the US. The correct answer is to make the largest players rent out their infrastructure with bitstream access and LLUB (Local Loop UnBundled).

    As soon as other companies can buy access to the customer and sell them services, then the largest players can't offer degraded or bad service, because the customer can go elsewhere. The problem that Net Neutrality tries to solve is a problem because the customers in a lot of areas don't have many companies to choose from. Solve that problem instead of trying to enforce Net Neutrality and the US will be much better off.
    • We tried that once with DSL, but the FCC pulled the rug out from under it a few years ago. However, some operators still have municiple deals that have allowed them to stay in operation. And it looks like things are going to stay that way until consumers can lobby as well as the companies that stand to profit. Proconsumer (read: the people) action by the government is a whimsical dream at this point in time.

      In short, the cracks in the system that have have created this problem in the first place are the sam
  • by e-diocy109 (1000068) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @09:44AM (#16032417)
    from Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS): "Opposing the heavy hand of regulation that network neutraliy represents is critical if we are to maintain the Internet as an open, evolving, and market-based tool, and to protect children and families from the negative aspects of Internet content that exist today" soo... If I'm understanding correctly, Net Neutrality will allow our children to view porn? Aaaannnd voting down net neutrality will protect the children? Hmm... but wait a second... wouldnt opposing a 'heavy hand of regulation' be the EXACT OPPOSITE of protecting people from certain types of internet content? I think giving my telecom control over which websites will get priority traffic and which won't will definitely protect me from some internet content alright. Ought to get rid of all those pesky choices and alternate points of view.
    • by slughead (592713)
      > wouldnt opposing a 'heavy hand of regulation' be the EXACT OPPOSITE of protecting people from certain types of internet content?

      If private companies censure information, you can simply switch to another carrier (or so the story goes), if government censures information, you're screwed.

      Of course, this is the internet, not a sandwich shop. There can be only one! AT&T charging for you to use google may only make them richer, as there may not be an alternative company to carry the data between points A
  • by bsandersen (835481) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @09:47AM (#16032429) Homepage

    We have seen an explosion of telecommunication technology and consumer options since AT&T was broken up and the telephone industry was transformed from a monopoly into a set of carrriers that could each compete on level ground. Many here might be too young to remember how the phone company used to argue that the integrity of their network would be compromised by even adding a diifferent (not AT&T) handset to a line in your house. At that time, AT&T's network ended (barely) at your ear.

    There were plenty of jokes about the break-up at the time and it was impossible back then to see what the full effect of this might be. But today, we have a recent and relevant history to help guide our decision-making. Level ground, competition for services and not territoriality of infrastructure is what gives consumers choices while driving up profits. I believe Net Neutrality is ultimately better for service providers, too, though they appear to be too greedy to see it.

    I've not been hearing comparisions by the media or analysts of Net Neutrality to the phone system break-up but the parallels seem compelling to me. To the extent we can bring the argument to "people who matter", perhaps this is a way to get past that disengenuousness that is the hallmark of today's politics.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bogie (31020)
      "We have seen an explosion of telecommunication technology and consumer options since AT&T was broken up and the telephone industry was transformed from a monopoly into a set of carrriers that could each compete on level ground. "

      You seem to be telling only half the story. Have you noticed how since the very day AT&T was broken up the telecom industry has spent every waking moment trying to merge back into one single company? What are we down to these days? Two companies? AT&T & Verizon? Why
  • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @09:48AM (#16032433)
    It seems the National Cable & Telecommunications Association is spreading a blatant lie in the form of a commercial claiming that the net neutrality act will cost the consumer more and that it is "bad" for the consumer.

    Just look how the BP petroleum company runs all those corporate image advertisements that say how much BP cares about the environment.

  • hmm (Score:3, Funny)

    by legoburner (702695) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @09:51AM (#16032444) Homepage Journal
    Net Neutrality is Just "Mumbo Jumbo"? Mumbo maybe, Jumbo NEVER!!
  • by NZheretic (23872) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @09:52AM (#16032449) Homepage Journal

    From the blog [blogspot.com]

    In California there was an outrage when it was disclosed that electricity companies had deliberately idled plants while supplies were tight and then waited for prices to skyrocket on the spot market. If the current Internet network infrastructure provided by the backbone providers and Internet service providers can currently support much higher speeds and data quantities to current customers, then is the act of packet filtering and setting arbitrary low speed and data caps also effectively providing an "idled" service?

    Is a tiered Internet service, where content providers would be effectively competing on a similar market to the electricity "spot market", a market based entirely on artificial Scarcity?

  • by Frogking (126462) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @09:57AM (#16032456) Homepage
    Time Warner Cable in Green Bay, Wisconsin has been airing this advertisement. I agree with some of the other posters that we should look at both sides of the issue before calling the commercial a blatant lie. Being someone who has worked for a long time in the telecommunications industry, I feel that Net Neutrality is essential for freedom of speech, nothing more. Let's face it, the monopolies that currently "own" the bandwidth in the United States are going to, "raise the cost to consumers," with or without Net Neutrality in place. Why make it more difficult for unpopular ideas (ie, those without big corporate funders or lobbyists) to have a voice?

    The thing that I found most disturbing about the advertising was its total lack of substance. Never once does it explain how or why costs would rise, etc. It felt really slimy, like a poorly done political mudslinging ad (which, some would say, it was). My gut reaction is that nothing in the advertisement was blatently illegal, just very very unethical simply due to what it does not say. Deceipt by omission of fact is still indeed a lie.
  • Advert kung fu? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by thelost (808451) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @10:00AM (#16032462) Journal
    What are the chances that Google and other pro-net neutrality companies will answer with their own advert? How can peoples awareness of such a complicated issue as NN be raised, when to most people the Internet is simply a pile of black voodoo magic?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Problem is this commercial is not trying to raise the awareness of people on the NN issue.
      They are just trying to spin people that are unaware of the whole issue, so that on telephone polls about net neutrality acceptance in the general public, they will go in the "opposed" section rather than the "no opinion" section. All this in the name of convincing your representants, basing their decision on polls, to do nothing.
      Proponents of net neutrality can either use the same unethical way of using unsubstanciate
  • Unfortunate (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lord_Dweomer (648696) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @10:06AM (#16032483) Homepage
    While it is easy for us, the knowledgeable techies, to see right through this, unfortunately the masses won't.

    Honestly, I think there might be some false advertising in this, but my honest opinion is that we need to fight fire with fire and get the tech companies to start advertising as well. The ads need to be factual, straight to the point, and needs to explain in layman's terms EXACTLY what is happening and why the providers have a vested interest in spreading misinformation.

    Yeah, the rules of this game suck, but if we want to win we either have to play by them, or rewrite them.

  • Yep, it's real... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by demon (1039) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @10:10AM (#16032491)
    I've seen one of the ads - unfortunately they are very real. I thought it was pretty stupid, but I imagine it's going to carry a lot of weight with those who aren't familiar with the issue. It would sure be nice if some major company would put forth an ad campaign to smack the telcos back on this issue.
  • by Joe_NoOne (48818) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @10:14AM (#16032500) Homepage
    I was dong some work in Austin, TX two weeks ago and saw it every commercial break during some periods. I couldn't believe it myself - all "political" ads like this just say "don't understand it, just be against it". Sad part is it works.
  • Rest of the world? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sumadartson (965043) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @10:16AM (#16032505)
    This might be a weird question, but what happens to international traffic from outside of the US to the US? It seems unlikely that sites from Abroadistan will be itching to pay US telecoms for priority access into US homes.

    Does anyone even realize that the internet isn't a US only affair? That abandoning network neutrality could result in isolating the US?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Tau_Xi (958303)
      I'm sure the telcos would make special exceptions for "foreign traffic" of some sort, for incoming traffic only. They would probably make it as difficult as possible (while maintaining a notion of "connectivity") to connect to servers outside the US. And I'm sure the government/**AA would be all over this, considering it would slow down access to The Pirate Bay, and any foreign website they do not agree with.
    • It depends on whether the company in Abroadistan wants to sell things to customers in Americaland. If they do, then they will possibly just pay the protection money and file it under advertising. The way the US economy (not to mention patent legislation) is headed at the moment though, it my make more financial sense for them to just focus on other markets.
  • by Greyfox (87712) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @10:25AM (#16032534) Homepage Journal
    Of exmplaining this to the masses is that it's a highly technical subject that's difficult to address without making them zone out. Start talking about stuff like this and all they hear is "Whaa-whaaa-wha-wha-whaaaa" just like Charlie Brown's teacher. A lot of people using the Internet right now don't realize that you can do more than just browse the web with the Internet, even if they download bittorrents regularly. And it's all those bittorrent users who will probably be the first to suffer if the Internet providers get the green light to start throttling traffic.

    Even among net-savvy people, you see a lot of questions like "Would having a non-neutral network be such a bad thing?" Certainly it might be nice if your provider guaranteed that your voip traffic would get through to your voip provider no matter how many people are running bittorrent at that time. It'd be significantly less nice if your provider did that if you signed on with their voip provider but left you in the bittorrent class if you were using a different one, like Vonage. I suspect that in a non-neutral network that's the much more likely scenario with most providers.

    There's always the option of shelling out some extra cash and signing on with a provider who doesn't pull such shenanigans, but as we have seen most people won't. Even most small-to-mid sized businesses won't bother to check into such things. Really big businesses like IBM have their own infrastructure and probably won't notice.

    So the first trick is figuring out how to explain this in a manner that won't sound like Charlie Brown's teacher to Joe Average Citizen and the second trick is getting that message out to enough people that it'll make a difference.

  • Because people start to wonder what FUD to believe.

    It's not really necessary to use adjective-heavy phrasing to debung anti-neutrality propaganda.
  • The entire debate on this matter would be completely and utterly irrelevant (and no one would care, on either side) but for the fact that there is still little to no true open competition for wired broadband Internet access. Most people, IF they are lucky, can choose between either the cable company that holds a geographic monopoly for cable over their service area, or DSL from whoever bought out the 'Baby Bell' that holds a geographic monopoly over the copper loop infrastructure in their location, which fo
  • I don't see a copyright notice on that page... ;)
  • WITHOUT Net Neutrality we all pay extra.... not for our internet access, but for the products and services we use... and in our decreased wages due to higher operating expenses at the company we work for. First it will be Google and Amazon, etc. but then it will be all businesses....
  • by sbaker (47485) * on Sunday September 03, 2006 @10:57AM (#16032627) Homepage
    There is a peculiar concept that if something is funded by businesses it's not costing consumers anything. The trouble is that those businesses are making their money by selling something to the consumers - so if the direct cost to consumers to use the Internet goes down as a result of a non-neutral net, then the cost to businesses goes up. Those businesses have to turn a profit so either they have to cut their profit margins or pass the costs on to the consumer in the form of increased prices. Guess which?

    But worse still, everyone along the chain has to make a profit - so if I pay my ISP a dollar for net access, that's the end of the line - but if the maker of my favorite widget has to pay my ISP a dollar and therefore has to charge me a dollar extra for my Widget - then WalMart has to pay a dollar extra and I have to pay a dollar fifty extra because they have to make a profit too.

    It's the same with "free" services such as Google and MySpace - yes, they are free to the end user - but the Widget makers who are paying them to advertise there are charging me more for their products as a result of that cost.

    I would honestly prefer that the world were utterly devoid of 'push' advertising of all kinds and that I had to pay what these services actually cost. Sure Television would cost more, there would be a penny per search on Google and so on - but the end products I buy would be vastly cheaper as a result.

    According to this: www.transportation.anl.gov/pdfs/TA/57.pdf (for example), 23% of the cost of a new car is the cost of marketing it to us! Now - which would you prefer? No adverts on TV or on the web or on ugly signs everywhere - but TV and Internet that costs (say) $20 per month more than it does now ($200 per year maybe) - but the cost of almost everything you buy being 23% less...or what we have now where a fifth of the price of almost everything we buy is the cost of advertising it to us?

    So - no, I don't WANT cheaper Internet paid for by businesses - I want much, much more expensive Internet with no adverts at all anywhere - because I'm smart enough to realise that it would save me money overall.
    • Those businesses have to turn a profit so either they have to cut their profit margins or pass the costs on to the consumer in the form of increased prices. Guess which?

      In any situation where they have any competition, they'll cut their profit margins slightly. If they raise their prices, they risk their competitors taking away market share by NOT raising their own prices.

      Less profit is better than no profit.

      No adverts on TV or on the web [...] but the cost of almost everything you buy being 23% less...

      I'l

  • They were so pissed off that it was randomly airing relatively frequently on cable channels in NY, and when she gave me a summary of the commercial, I thought "This can't be real."

    Lo, Slashdot proves that there is no glass ceiling for people with little minds.
  • I've been swearing at these commercials for a couple days now. The ad itself is absolute crap, and I'd be surprised if many folks bought into it, but they're definitely being broadcast.
  • The commercial is definitely showing in North Carolina.
  • ..it needs, in effect, a union. At least in a large country like the USA with multiple ISPs.

    Assuming for the moment that you could get MS, Google, Yahoo, YouTube and MySpace into a union, and vote to block all content to a particular ISP until they behaved themselves... ...well, that ISP would probably roll over pretty quickly.

    Even smaller websites could get into the act with technology similar to RBL. And the ISPs' only possible defence would be to band together, forming an effective communications monopol
  • by BlueCoder (223005) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @04:06PM (#16033870)
    First off I support the idea of a gauranteed QOS internet subspace if you will. A background network that can gaurantee the quality of connections between computers. Be this connections for internet games or connections to transfer audio and video feeds for real time communication. And it should be comsumers that directly pay the extra costs for this background internet. Kind of like long distence service.

    I don't support ISP's blackmailing websites for extorion money or being filtered out. And they will do it. Imaging the shitting quality of a site like myspace which is caused by poor design and exponential growth actually being caused by your ISP. At first it will only be the biggest sites. Or giving one site a bandwidth edge over compeditiors. But eventually it will be all sites and the ISP's will degenerate into what AOL use to be.

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