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Tech Manufacturers Rally Against Net Neutrality 222

Posted by Zonk
from the not-in-their-best-interests dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Producers of networking hardware such as Motorola, Corning, and Tyco have come out against Net Neutrality. They support the current senate communications bill, and urge immediate action. 'Don't be confused by these spurious complaints about Net neutrality,' Tim Regan, a vice president with fiber optic cable manufacturer Corning Inc., said. 'Net neutrality is a solution in search of a problem.'" From the article: "Supporters say the Senate measure, which was approved by a committee vote in June but has since gotten hung up chiefly over Net neutrality, is crucial because it would make it easier for new video service providers--such as telephone companies hoping to roll out IPTV--to enter the market, increase competition for cable, and thus spur lower prices. Among other benefits, they say, it would also permit municipalities to offer their own broadband services."
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Tech Manufacturers Rally Against Net Neutrality

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  • What about telcos? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by conigs (866121) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:02PM (#16155235) Homepage

    From the summary:

    Among other benefits, they say, it would also permit municipalities to offer their own broadband services."

    Wait, so telcos are rallying for a bill that would allow municipal broadband? I find that hard to believe.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Exocrist (770370)
      Why would "municipal broadband" be impossible with net neutrality?
      • by conigs (866121)
        Beats me. I was just responding to that line from the article. Personally, I'd say it's just something they threw in there to get more support for rallying against net neutrality.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by IAmTheDave (746256)

          Personally, I'd say it's just something they threw in there to get more support for rallying against net neutrality.

          So is this:

          Net neutrality is a solution in search of a problem

          By the way - "x is a solution in search of a problem" - particularly in this case, is an attempt to dismiss anything that's seriously forward-thinking. Like Gonzales trying to get ISPs to retain records for longer periods of time "only" for child pornography, anyone can see that although there are overtures of non-intrusion,

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by MadAhab (40080)
            There's also hind-blindness - the ability of people to regard a negative outcome as something which could not have been predicted, despite the fact that they directly opposed and shouted down the voices who did, in fact, predict it.

            Example: like, the stifling of innovation on the Internet due to "pay-to-play" schemes in which every ISP is it's own version of the Chinese government.

            Another example: the collapse of Iraq into sectarian violence and increased Iranian influence.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TubeSteak (669689)
      I suspect they really mean "Municiple Broadband: brought to you by Verizon." I can't imagine it'd mean anything else. The Cable/Telcos have fought tooth and nail for true municipal internet services.

      Even that line about "easier for new video service providers--such as telephone companies hoping to roll out IPTV--to enter the market, increase competition for cable, and thus spur lower prices" is a nice bit of misdirection.

      "...increase competition for cable, and thus spur lower prices" isn't the freaking poin
      • Typo there, I'm sure: They have fought tooth and nail AGAINST true municipal internet services, not for.
    • by Software (179033)
      Wait, so telcos are rallying for a bill that would allow municipal broadband? I find that hard to believe.
      This is tech manufacturers, not telcos. Just because both they start with a "T" does not mean they are interchangeable.

      How did this get modded to 5?

      • by conigs (866121)
        I brought up the telcos because they were some of the first companies to start rallying against net neutrality. I'm aware that this particular article is discussing tech companies, but that line jumped out at me.
    • by GoodNicsTken (688415) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:45PM (#16155622)
      No kidding, especially since in 2005 the Teleco's pushed bills in most of the states outlawing new entrants from providing wireless service to communities. The Telecos wanted 1-2 years notice so they could deploy the service and bar any competition.

      The link is a map showing cities that have setup municipal broadband access BECAUSE the laws were defeated in many states.

      Not that I want my Internet service coming from the government. I'm sure my civil rights would be a top priority for the bureaucrats when the NSA comes looking for my data from the city government!

      Think about it, Smaller less intrusive government is the solution. Big governement has no business regulating the Internet in the first place. Without the guaranteed monopoly, I would probably have 4 fiber lines running to my house providing me with 10-20 service plans. Other countries are getting 100Mb service, what has kept the US free market from doing the same?
      • by metamatic (202216) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:56PM (#16155718) Homepage Journal
        Without the guaranteed monopoly, I would probably have 4 fiber lines running to my house providing me with 10-20 service plans. Other countries are getting 100Mb service, what has kept the US free market from doing the same?

        You might like to ponder the fact that the other countries you refer to have more heavily regulated telecoms than the US.

  • They're right (Score:4, Interesting)

    by XanC (644172) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:03PM (#16155246)
    Net Neutrality, while a wonderful principle, is a poor reason to invite the Feds to regulate the Internet. That always leads to preservation of the status quo, at any cost.
    • Re:They're right (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Bryansix (761547) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:06PM (#16155279) Homepage
      They wouldn't be regulating the Internet per se, but the way in which traffic was controlled by the ISP's. They would make sure all data flowed equally freely.
      • by cayenne8 (626475)
        "They wouldn't be regulating the Internet per se, but the way in which traffic was controlled by the ISP's."

        Well, that's how it always starts, but, give the govt. a rope, it wants to be a 'cowboy'.

        This net neutrality power, would go to the FCC, and we've already seen them trying to overstep their power before (HD broadcast flag anyone?).

        I was originally for NN, but, the more I think about it...I'm a bit worrysome about giving the FCC any control over the internet. I do like the 'consumers rights' appro

    • No regulation... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by jscotta44 (881299)
      The best idea is no regulation. Let the market decide. If people start trying to double up on charges or limit my access, then I'll change ISPs. The Feds need to stay out of this.
      • How many other DSL/cable modem providers are there in your area?
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by painQuin (626852)
          I use Comcast - why?
          is it because of their speed? 6mbps on a device that should be able to do 140 or something? nope.
          is it because of service? roughly 10% downtime a year... nope.
          or is it because my only other option is dialup... yeah, that was it.
      • No No No (Score:5, Insightful)

        by flink (18449) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @03:16PM (#16155898)
        So if UUNet is throttling traffic to Amazon how will switching from Comcast to ATT help? It won't. Chances are all routes from your physical location to a given host passes through one of only a few Tier 1 providers regardless of who your last mile ISP is. Don't think in terms of your local ISP charging you to vist websites, think of trunk carriers charging websites to receive traffic from them.

        Breaking Net Neutrality violates the End to End Principal [wikipedia.org]. Think of it this way: would you want a phone call from Boston to Florida to cost more than one from New York to California because some regional telco in Georgia wanted to charge Miami more to receive calls? The end of a rational peering system won't be the end of the Internet, it will just be the end of this internet.
    • Re:They're right (Score:4, Insightful)

      by SmokedS (973779) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:40PM (#16155580)
      Lets examine the logic of your argument:

      1. The telcos want the power to regulate the internet.
      2. Network neutrality forbids regulation so that we retain a free market on the internet.

      Handing the power to regulate the internet over to a few large corporations, with no goal except to maximize their own profits, seems a bad idea to me.
    • by duerra (684053) *
      Net Neutrality, while a wonderful principle, is a poor reason to invite the Feds to regulate the Internet.

      They're going to regulate the internet anyway. We might as well get them started off in the right direction.
  • It seems to me that telcos would also need a lot of new hardware, supporting more traffic shaping and QoS. I wonder if the tech manufacturers have anything that might help them with that...

    You wanna talk about solutions in search of problems?

  • by TheWoozle (984500) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:06PM (#16155277)
    Basically what this all boils down to is that the phone/cable companies want to make more money for offering us "new" services (that are basically services that they offer now, but *over the Internet*). Of course, by extension, the equipment manufacturers will reap profits by selling everyone new hardware.

    The whole tiered Internet thing is based on the fact that they want to differentiate these "new" services from what we think of as the Internet right now (e-mail, web pages, etc.). They want to break up the current pricing structures so that they can charge more for certain bits.

    They last thing that telcos/cable-cos want is to become generic bit pipes. If moving bits around becomes just another commoditized service (like deregulated electric in some places), then they'll have to compete on price and customer service. Competing on price impacts profits, and competing on customer service...well, I've been a customer of GTE/Verizon, Southwestern Bell, and AT&T at different times and if I were them, I'd be scared of competing based on customer satisfaction.
    • What they're trying to do is errect what is essentially trade barriers, it'll allow the telcos to charge more for the free trade service that we currently enjoy. It's indicative of a lack of competition in the market. Does the US have the equivalent of the competition commission? Perhaps the telcos should be required to unbundle their exchanges.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_loop_unbundling [wikipedia.org]

      Looks like they are. In which case it's up to ISPs, entrepeneurs, co-operatives to grab the oportunity and start t
      • by Cutie Pi (588366)
        Sorry, but you're wrong. It's about enabling the telcos to provide ipTV in competition with the cable companies, without having to get permission from every single local government. FWIW, ipTV is not the same as Apple iTV.

        I'm not a big fan of local governement-sanctioned cable monopolies, seeing how the price of cable is inflating faster than anyhing else.
        • by TheWoozle (984500)
          I don't see how you can argue that it's about telcos vs. cable-cos because this whole discussion started when the FCC changed the classification of certain ways to connect to the Internet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_Neutrality). Under the current regulations, Internet traffic isn't subject to the same rules as either broadcast TV or POTS telephone networks. So nobody has to get persmission from local governments to roll out IP TV, or any other service over the Internet.

          As for IP TV not being the sam
  • Corning? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Otter Escaping North (945051) <otter DOT escapi ... AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:07PM (#16155287) Journal

    Tim Regan, a vice president with fiber optic cable manufacturer Corning Inc.

    Like I'm gonna trust that guy - with all the spam he's been sending me.

    • by smoker2 (750216)
      Tim Regan, a vice president with fiber optic cable manufacturer Corning Inc.
      Like I'm gonna trust that guy - with all the spam he's been sending me.
      Eh ?

      Oh, sp_a_m !

      I know the internet is a series of tubes but that would be the end for me I'm afraid.

  • by FriendlyLurker (50431) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:12PM (#16155351)
    "Net Neutrality" is about control of the future of media - who can deliver what to the masses, with the power to exclude and/or dampen alternative points of view. Simply following long established history of swaying public opinion [wikipedia.org] through control of media [google.com].
    • Damn straight! This is the real catch behind all of this. How nicely it all works out for them: Greed in the immediate leads to tyranically control in the future. Think about this. The World Wide Web is unprecedendent in it's ability to distribute information --grassroots information that the powerful might not like, reports on products, government activities, 9/11 videos, etc. etc. Their campigns of disinformation are only so effective and I would suspect are becoming less and less so e every day. So it's
  • by erroneus (253617) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:14PM (#16155366) Homepage
    Net neutrality is a solution in search of a problem.

    Well DUH! The whole point of the debate is to prevent bad things from happening, not to stop something bad that's already happening. Do these people really understand the issue?
    • by wfberg (24378)
      Net neutrality is a solution in search of a problem.

      Well DUH! The whole point of the debate is to prevent bad things from happening, not to stop something bad that's already happening. Do these people really understand the issue?


      The hardware manufacturers understand this as no other. The thing is, they themselves have been pushing for years their own solutions in search of a problem; MPLS and other Quality of Service schemes. The doomscenarios that the net-neutrality camp sketches are in fact exactly the ki
    • Do these people really understand the issue?
      Yes, they understand. They know that this will mean they won't be able to gouge customers, and that might mean bad things for their bottom line. This is just their way of doublespeaking [wikipedia.org].
    • I wonder how many of the Founding Fathers spoke out against the Bill of Rights as a solution without a problem? Sometimes Regulation needs to step in to prevent our rights from getting regulated away.
  • by nightsweat (604367) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:16PM (#16155395)
    The name, I mean. Who can get excited about being neutral? The Swiss?

    We should start to use "Network Equality" or "Data Non-Discrimination" instead.
    • by aleksiel (678251) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:20PM (#16155422)
      the country likes wars. "the war on information nonproliferation" sounds pretty good to me.
    • by PipianJ (574459)
      If we can have Pro-Life instead of Anti-Choice and Pro-Choice instead of Anti-Life, it shouldn't be hard to have Network Neutrality and Information Equality...

      The EFF should get on this rephrasing, stat!
    • by SydShamino (547793) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @03:17PM (#16155905)
      We should start to use "Network Equality" or "Data Non-Discrimination" instead.

      Those are awful names. They don't apply at all.

      Nothing about net neutrality should limit traffic shaping based on data type. The name "data non-discrimination" makes it sound like it forces ISPs to treat HTML traffic the same way as VOIP traffic, or bittorrent traffic. That is bad ISP policy and bad network design.

      Instead, net neutrality is about ISPs treating all traffic of the same type the same way, regardless of source. VOIP on Roadrunner cable from Vonage should get the same bandwidth as VOIP from Time Warner's phone service. The alternative - Time Warner throttling competitors to push its own service - is what net neutrality is supposed to prevent.

      So, name it net vendor neutrality, if necessary.
    • by muellerr1 (868578)
      We could call it Operation Enduring Information Freedom.

      I for one think that the Information will greet us as liberators and won't devolve into civil war or widespread insurgency. Once the Information is freely flowing, this war on DRM should pay for itself!
    • I'm sure there's a Futurama joke somewhere ...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:18PM (#16155410)
    The momentum to ensure the internet remain a neutral medium has completely died out by this point. Meanwhile, the corps that would benefit from the internet being non-neutral are moving deeper and deeper into a well-funded PR push that just gets more sophisticated and more dishonest all the time. The public, always light on technical issues, is now reaching the point where they don't know what "net neutrality" is, except that it's bad.

    Google, if you're listening, you're losing big time here.
  • Sounds screwy, but it's true. If you optimize a network for one type of application, you de-optimize it for others. For example, if you let the network give priority to voice or video data on the grounds that they need to arrive faster, you are telling other applications that they will have to wait. And as soon as you do that, you have turned the Net from something simple for everybody into something complicated for just one purpose. It isn't the Internet anymore.

    Quote from worldofends.com [worldofends.com] which still r

  • 'Don't be confused by these spurious complaints about Net neutrality,' Tim Regan, a vice president with fiber optic cable manufacturer Corning Inc., said. 'Net neutrality is a solution in search of a problem.'"

    Translation: don't be confused by trivial things like facts and details regarding the case. Instead, please be confused by our utterly content-free, shaded, and spun vague assertions!

    I think it's interesting that most of the anti-net-neutrality statements don't contain any substance. Those that do certainly don't rebut concerns brought up by net-neutrality advocates. They've clearly chosen to try to win over the public and the senate via obfuscation rather than argument. That *alone* should tell you something.

    • by RLiegh (247921) *
      They've clearly chosen to try to win over the public and the senate via obfuscation rather than argument. That *alone* should tell you something.

      What should it tell us? That they're going to win? THAT became painfully obvious once the commercials rolled out!

  • by postbigbang (761081) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:44PM (#16155614)
    What a crock!

    Motorola and Corning have Verizon as a huge customer. Of course they don't want Net Neutrality if Verizon doesn't!!!

  • Google? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ijakings (982830) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:53PM (#16155693)
    I may be missing something here and someone may have alreay said it, but didnt google buy massive amounts of nationwide Dark Fiber a while back? Say someone on ISP A wants to get information from google at B, but they have to pass over backbone C, But google aint playing ball with Backbone C so they restrict their traffic. Couldnt google just send the data directly to ISP A over their Dark Fiber missing out Backbone C entirely? Feel free to flame/destroy me here
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Tancred (3904)
      Good question - yes, they can get around a bad Backbone C. But without network neutrality, the ones that are going to throttle every last dollar they can from their network are the ones controlling the "last mile" to your house - the cable and local telco companies. Google can't get around them without running that fiber to everyone's house - or wirelessly, as they plan to do in the SF area.
  • WTF (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rmadmin (532701) <{gro.edocemoh} {ta} {kelamr}> on Thursday September 21, 2006 @03:11PM (#16155856) Homepage
    it would also permit municipalities to offer their own broadband services.

    Did I read this wrong? Some municipalities already offer their own broadband services. I know this because I'm "Broadband Services Coordinator" at a municipal utility. So I ask.. WTF?
  • by Aqua_boy17 (962670) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @03:24PM (#16155982)
    For me, if I'm ever torn on a candidate for office or a ballot mandate and I don't know or have time to research all of the issues involved, I'll often look at who supports or opposes them. One can often make an informed decision based on this alone.

    So, lets look at who supports Net Neutrality: Google, Yahoo, Vonage, Ebay, Skype, Amazon etc. Now take a gander at who is against it: Most (not all) politicians, major telcos such as Verizon, ATT, Comcast, Time Warner and now hardware manufacturers are coming out against it. Now is it so hard to tell who is telling the truth and who is spreading FUD? Who among those mentioned above has the best interests of the consumer and small businesses in mind, and who else is constantly trying to squeeze more and more and more profits from them?
  • Ethics (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wonkavader (605434) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @03:44PM (#16156178)
    On the same day that we see a story that says over 50% of business students cheat, we see an article in which:

    Network equipment manufacturers lie, because they want to sell equipment.

    Bobby Rush lies, because he's selling his community out to the phone lobby by pushing a law which will "Improve competition between VoIP Intenet-based telephone services and local telephone services" (by adding more restrictions to VoIP companies, which means less competition for the local phone companies, not more). He has the audacity to promote a law which will "Allow localities to retain control of their rights-of-way and ensure local jurisdictions still receive the franchise fees they collected under the current system. Additionally, the FCC will be authorized to step in if a locality tries to unfairly use its rights-of-way authority to block new competitors from entering the local market." which is simple doublespeak, since it claims to give rights but also codifies the giving of them away.

    The Telcos lie, because they claim no restrictions will be made, while at the same time DESPERATELY fighting any restrictions on their ability to restrict, which wouldn't hurt them at all if they WEREN'T lying.

    Nobody in consumer-friendly (read TV) national news simply calls them on this obvious stuff, because they're in tight with advertisers and telcos advertise.

    And if all the above didn't curdle your toes, the average schmoe in business school thinks that mirepresentation is just fine.
  • by stile99 (1004110) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @04:04PM (#16156360)
    http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20060909 [userfriendly.org] Give the babies their bottle. Just when they are in the middle of jumping and hooting for joy, that's when you tell them they just lost common carrier status.
  • by Irvu (248207) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @04:09PM (#16156408)
    Now is the time for /.ers and anyone else who favors Net Neutrality to Speak Out While it would be nice to sit back and let google fight the fioght for us that is not how this works. If we want something done, if we want to live in a democracy, we have to take action. Action does not mean posting on /. or angrily croaking amongst ourselves while the water boils. It means speaking to others, explaining net-neutrality to our neighbors and *gasp* taking a hand in politics.

    Here's how:
    1. Prepare yourself by:
      1. Familiarize youselves with the issues at hand. Wikipedia has a good piece [wikipedia.org] on the topic.
      2. Identify the specific legislation at issue, in this case the major bill in question is (I believe) S 2686 [loc.gov] brought to you by Senators Ted (Tube boy) Stevens [wikipedia.org] and Daniel Inouye [wikipedia.org]. Ted has been in office for 37 years and Daniel for 43. Daniel is not the longest serving senator. Do not be fooled by the erroneous wikipedia entry stating that the bill was defeated by the Senate Commerce and Science Committee. Stevens and Inouye head that committee.
      3. You should also note the other relevant legislation [wikipedia.org] especially the Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act of 2006 (HR 5417) [loc.gov] and the Internet Freedom Preservation Act (S2917) [loc.gov]
    2. Then:
      1. Contact your Senator and ask them where they stand on Net neutrality as you do explain why neutrality is a good thing and why they should support it (see below). You can identify them online [senate.gov]. You can contact them via e-mail, smail mail, fax, or by telephone. I myself favor the phone followed up by a letter. Over the phone you can ask questions and get more info.
      2. Contact your House Representative [house.gov] . Although this is a senate bill there is a house bill (H5417 above) on this issue and they had better support it.
      3. Write a letter to your local paper. It is a truism that most people in the world do not read /. Many of those people get their opinion fodder from the local newspaper, and more people read the letters to the editor than any other part of the paper. This can likely be done via e-mail and can sway a lot of minds if done right. Those minds can then in turn act for net neutrality.
      4. Tell other people. Surely you know at least one other person who hasn't heard about this threat to their ability to do business and/or just do what they want online as they always have. This person may be friends, family, coworkers, etc. It doesn't matter just tell them.
      5. Repeat the above steps as often as possible.

      In all cases be clear, firm, and polite. Net neutrality is important. Make it clear to any elected official that you will vote based upon their stance and donate money accordingly. You get bonus points if they are up for election this year (Senate [senate.gov]).

      Keep in mind that you will probably not reach them directly. Most likely your call or letter will be directed to an aide. That aide's job is to tell the individual what to think about an issue. The aide will be loyal to their boss but may be more easy to sway (they don't have to appear omnicient). If you make it clear to them why neutrality is important and why a non-neutral internet will cost them then you can get somewhere.

      This tone also goes for letters and for the public.

  • ..repeat after me..

    People who argue against net neutrality because they feel government regulation is ultimately bad for development do to not realize that internet access has to exist in a free market for that development to happen. Most places I've been have 1 local telco and 1 cable provider, both of whom will soon be competing to offer the same thing, data service.

    Both will also be glad to keep a status quo of nickle and diming for new services, ultimately limiting innovation and increasing their profit

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