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AT&T CEO Attacks Network Neutrality 358

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the does-america-even-understand-why-this-matters dept.
Verteiron writes "The former CEO of AT&T, Ed Whitacre, had some interesting remarks to make about Net Neutrality during his parting speech. Choice quotes include his plans for getting anti-neutrality legislation through: "Will Congress let us do it?" Whitacre asks his colleagues. "You bet they will — cuz we don't call it cashin' in. We call it 'deregulation.' " More information on AT&T's attitude problem and a video of the speech are available. There's no sign that his replacement is any better."
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AT&T CEO Attacks Network Neutrality

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  • Subject (Score:4, Funny)

    by Legion303 (97901) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @09:03AM (#19409517) Homepage
    Why does AT&T hate America?
    • Broken Home (Score:3, Funny)

      by uolamer (957159) *
      Maybe it was when the courts broke up their happy family [wikipedia.org]? Now that they got it back together they are out for revenge? AT&T Part VI: Ma Bell Lives?
      • They hate us 'cause we're *over *there -- we've been bombing San Antonio for 10 years. I'm suggesting we listen to our enemies and the CIA when it teaches about blowback...

    • Re:Subject (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jollyreaper (513215) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @09:51AM (#19410005)

      Why does AT&T hate America?
      Because there's a higher profit margin in exploiting America than loving it.
      • by jZnat (793348) *
        Not if the government steps in and incurs some heavy fines or something...
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Pig Hogger (10379)

          Not if the government steps in and incurs some heavy fines or something...
          You're new around here, aren't you???
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hondo77 (324058)
      Because AT&T hates freedom.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by vandon (233276)
      The "Save The Internet" group, which is for "internet freedom" (that is, it wants net neutrality enshrined in law), has really taken things to a new low. Ed Whitacre, one of the biggest sources of hot air in this debate, stepped down this week at CEO of AT&T. Save The Internet decided to mark the occasion by making a video of what they imagine Whitacre's final pep talk to AT&T execs was like, with all sorts of inflammatory -- and made-up -- quotes. They then put the quotes in a blog post, as if they
  • I guess if they wanted to change, the old boss could have done that; Since they don't want to change the company's direction, it's just logical to get a new CEO with the same mind.
  • by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @09:05AM (#19409541) Homepage Journal
    I once tried attacking network neutrality, however I ended up in hospital having a wifi antenna removed from parts indescribable.
  • no other companies will work with AT&T since they are evil and who would want to be associated with an evil company...oh wait...

    :-) It's a joke....relax...
  • by Odiumjunkie (926074) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @09:11AM (#19409569) Journal
    C:\>ping google.com

    Resolved "google.com" to [64.233.167.99]

    Hello! Welcome to AT&T PingSelect(tm). Please enter in milliseconds your desired ping time to website "google.com".

    >25

    Unfortunately, website "google.com" is not available at that ping time. Please contact the website administrator and advise them to upgrade their AT&T PingSelect(tm) package if you wish to ping website "google.com" at this value. Please select another time in milliseconds.

    >50

    Unfortunately, website "google.com" is not available at that ping time. Please contact the website administrator and advise them to upgrade their AT&T PingSelect(tm) package if you wish to ping website "google.com" at this value. Please select another time in milliseconds.

    >100

    Pinging google.com [64.233.167.99] with 32 bytes of data:

    Reply from 64.233.167.99: bytes=32 time=100ms TTL=247
    Reply from 64.233.167.99: bytes=32 time=101ms TTL=247
    Reply from 64.233.167.99: bytes=32 time=101ms TTL=247
    Reply from 64.233.167.99: bytes=32 time=100ms TTL=247

    Ping statistics for 64.233.167.99:
            Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
    Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
            Minimum = 100ms, Maximum = 101ms, Average = 101ms

    C:\>
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cybermage (112274)
      Actually, What you can expect is not higher latency, but significant packet loss. You'll get clean, packet-loss free connectivity to people paying the extortion money and everything else will be relegated to congestion hell.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by arivanov (12034)
        Not quite so. Depends on the actual hell location.

        If congestion hell is located on the access gear you should expect it to have the three heads of Cerberus - the loss head, the jitter head and the delay head. The reason is that the queues there are deep enough for all of these to occur.

        If the hell is distributed across the backbone and the peering points drop is going to be the most likely result (the queue transmission times are not long enough to make a real influence on the other).

        By the way, the really
    • I can't think of much less funny than the prospect of something analogous to this. Shitbags like Whitacre should be called out for their disgustingly open money grabs. As should their associated bagshits in Congress. Make it loud and clear: the US pioneered the internet, and users here expect, nay DEMAND, that our TAXPAYER FINANCED public networks be available under the most non-descriminatory conditions that can be arranged. This is not negotiable.

      While Whitacre and his ilk are busy partying away megamilli
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Fastolfe (1470)
      Why would you continue to give your business to an Internet provider that did this?
      • Well (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Mateo_LeFou (859634) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @11:19AM (#19411153) Homepage
        'cause the barriers to entry in this market are so incredibly high that you often have no choice. If two providers (the cable and DSL co for a region) do this, that's sufficient.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by antv (1425)
        Because the only other options in most areas are dial-up (slow), cellular (slow and expensive) and satellite (crazy latency).
        Infinitely large number of broadband options (two, that is) are only available in big cities like NYC. And even then both ISPs could be doing this and you still will be screwed.
  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @09:11AM (#19409573)

    "There's a problem. It's called Net Neutrality," Whitacre told the heirs to AT&T's telecommunications empire. "Well, frankly, we say to hell with that. We're gonna put up some toll booths and start charging admission."

    "Will Congress let us do it?" Whitacre asks his colleagues. "You bet they will -- cuz we don't call it cashin' in. We call it 'deregulation.' "
    This sounds like the kind of stuff I'd make up if I wanted to put words in his mouth. What next? "First you get the money, then you get the power, then you get the internets."

    Reminds me of Bush's candid comments we got to see in Fahrenheit 9-11. "This is an impressive crowd - the haves and the have-mores. Some people call you the elites; I call you my base."

    Question: did this guy know there was a camera rolling?
    • by 1ucius (697592) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @09:32AM (#19409785)
      Of course he knew . . it was a joke given at a charity event where the speakers traditionally give lighthearted speeches.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Perren (164318)

      This sounds like the kind of stuff I'd make up if I wanted to put words in his mouth.
      Yeah, if you RTF'n "article", those words WERE put in his mouth. It's some kind of spoof ad. Just something to stir up the netroots rabble. It's even below the level of discourse here at slashdot. ... Wait, who am I kidding? It's perfect!
      • Yeah, if you RTF'n "article", those words WERE put in his mouth. It's some kind of spoof ad. Just something to stir up the netroots rabble. It's even below the level of discourse here at slashdot. ... Wait, who am I kidding? It's perfect!
        I'll say a mea culpa here, can't watch vids. Reality is so warped these days, I have to check the link to see if I'm reading the Onion or the New York Times.
    • This Internet's like a great big pussy just waiting to get fucked. I should've come here years ago.

      Apologies to the worthy script [script-o-rama.com]. None are offered to Ed "cuz" he sounds more like a gangster than the leader of one of the world's largest companies. Shame!

  • by Billosaur (927319) * <wgrother@HORSEop ... minus herbivore> on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @09:15AM (#19409607) Journal

    I mean look at how well "deregulation" worked in the airline industry? More people can fly, flights are cheaper, to more destinations... crammed into tiny airplanes with more people... lousier food... more delays... bad customer service... bankruptcies... never mind.

    • by MindStalker (22827) <mindstalker @ g mail.com> on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @09:32AM (#19409783) Journal
      Actually deregulation of the airlines has helped, the big airlines have crumbled because they can't compete with the smaller more nimble airlines. This is the way it should be.

      Air travel isn't a natural monopoly though.
    • by jollyreaper (513215) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @09:49AM (#19409959)

      I mean look at how well "deregulation" worked in the airline industry? More people can fly, flights are cheaper, to more destinations... crammed into tiny airplanes with more people... lousier food... more delays... bad customer service... bankruptcies... never mind.
      We need to work on the America's word association skills. Right wing radio has done a pretty good job of making "liberal" a pejorative. I want to see the same thing done with a couple of other words. Outsourcing should be known as "fuck America, I got mine." Deregulation should be known as "Enron." Republican leadership should be known as "cock and ball torture." And any use of the phrase "you have to pay top dollar to attract top talent" when used to describe executive compensation at a company should be accompanied by the phrase "and we pay the people who actually make the product or provide the service bottom dollar because, hey, fuck the poor; they're poor, aren't they?"
    • by ducomputergeek (595742) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @09:49AM (#19409973)
      I remember studying the airlines in detail during business school as a "how not to run an industry." Basically the major airlines started to try and slit each other throats with price wars and frequant flyer programs, etc.. And the major players pretty much did. Other carriers, like southwest, didn't play that ballgame manage to make a profit. Hell, for years there was a congressional bill that prevented Southwest from flying in and out of Love field in Dallas without making a stop in within so many miles of Dallas. Now that's repealed, it's cheaper and easier for us to fly to visit family.

      Kind of like the Automotive industry has in the past few years when they started offering those 0% deals. GM figured their financing cost of capital was low enough that, yeah, sure, they'd bleed, but it would be stabbing the heart of Chrysler and the slitting the jugglar at Ford when those companies matched the offer. Why? Proably because some idiot was worried about next quarter's marketshare numbers instead of making a profit.

      Well it worked, but the japs didn't take the bait and now what's happening? And the auto industry ain't regulated. There are some businesses that make really stupid decisions. No amount of regulation is going to stop people from being stupid.

      Where I am now, I can have my phone service with one company and DSL through another. My Dad lives in a state where it's a regulated local monopoly and his phone company as screwed the customers for years in DSL rates and the cable company isn't much better since they know the customers really don't have any other choices. If he lived 2 miles north of where he does, he could get DSL for $30 a month where he's paying about $45 now for the same speed. The state I'm living in now "deregulated" by saying that local phone companies had to open their lines to any provider that I choose.

      • by mgblst (80109)
        Well it worked, but the japs didn't take the bait and now what's happening? And the auto industry ain't regulated. There are some businesses that make really stupid decisions. No amount of regulation is going to stop people from being stupid.

        You are right, but it is not as somple as saying the people and businesses make stupid decision. GM made a decision that would have put them ahead, and if they were the only ones they would have been happy. But when everyone followed, that screwed up the indust
      • by jez9999 (618189) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @11:31AM (#19411357) Homepage Journal
        The state I'm living in now "deregulated" by saying that local phone companies had to open their lines to any provider that I choose.

        I'd call that very strong regulation. I think it's just a different kind of regulation, but it sure aint deregulation. Deregulation would be saying, "the line's yours. Go ahead and do what you want. Hell, the owners have a right to profit out of their infrastructure!" The company wouldn't open the line up to competition, and you'd be screwed as hell.
    • ....yes true, but at 1/4 the price.
    • You believe it's a coincidence that they sometimes call airplanes flying *tubes*, eh? ;)
    • Don't forget the results of deregulating the power grid [wikipedia.org].

      But I'm sure once the general public starts to feel the effects of it, they'll blame Canada for that too.
  • Voting time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by packetmon (977047) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @09:16AM (#19409625) Homepage
    For those Americans here who are of voting age, I suggest you start voicing opinions to congress speak to your management if you are in the telco/networking field and make noise. All this "wah wah wah" on a forum is pointless. Sure I can hear you, the trolls can hear you, but I doubt political parties can hear you. Start filling up those blogs of parties who want to "strike a pose" on the technology sector "We're hip... We have a blog" ... Oh so you do Senator Whatever... Start /.'ing them for straightforward answers, comments and plans. Anything else is just linenoise
    • Re:Voting time (Score:5, Informative)

      by Billosaur (927319) * <wgrother@HORSEop ... minus herbivore> on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @09:21AM (#19409665) Journal

      Well, you can certainly fill up your Senator or Congressman's inbox with emails, but you've got to remember that rarely do they actually read all their own email. Usually it's screened by their staff for content first, so they get a sanitized picture of what constituents want. It's better to hunt these people down on the campaign trail and ask them pointed questions before news cameras. Also, even if they do "read" all their email, unless that's followed up by actual votes there's little chance of any great impact. I don't think either party is courting the "Internet voter".

      • by olddotter (638430)
        While asking Face to Face is definately better, these are politicians. And Politicians always have a finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing. So if you can clearly tell them which way you feel and enough like minded people do to, then that will have some influence.
    • by nbritton (823086)

      For those Americans here who are of voting age, I suggest you start voicing opinions

      I did: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5Rh0iH3_X4 [youtube.com]

      and the only thing I managed to get was a bunch of haters. WTF?

      ---
      Yes I know the message was poorly executed... but the facts are 100% correct.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I suggest we combine some tactics that are known to work.

    Back in ancient times, the UAW would target ONE company for a strike, in order to get an agreement that could be used later as leverage with the others. Say what you like about the state of the auto industry today, but the tactic worked with great effect.

    Next, we have the NRA, and their targeted boycotts. When they were unhappy with Smith and Wesson's push for high-tech gun locks, they instituted a very effective boycott. Their manufacturing slowe
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Trigun (685027)
      You can boycott guns, and you can boycott lawnmowers, but never at the same time, as you will not be able to use one to protect yourself from the other.
    • by fotbr (855184)
      I'd suggest starting with Embarq

      Their customer service has been crappy anyway, and I'm leaving them as soon as the cable company gets their tech out here. I encourage anyone using Embarq to find a different provider, and call corporate -- not the 800 customer service number -- ask to speak to someone in Daniel Hesse's office and let them know why you're leaving.
    • Back in ancient times, the UAW would target ONE company for a strike, in order to get an agreement that could be used later as leverage with the others. Say what you like about the state of the auto industry today, but the tactic worked with great effect.

      What? The auto industry in America today sucks *because* of those tactics. That goes against the claim of it working "to great effect". It's not going to seems so effective when there are defaults on pension promises.

      Now, a lot of you are going to disagr
      • When GM et. al were saddled with pension costs, it was a while before Japanese competitors without these costs could take advantage of their weakened position.

        If the demands made by the unions were financially impossible, why did GM management agree to the labor contract? There are only three answers I can think of here:
        1) GM's management was ignorant of the fact they were agreeing to terms they could not possibly deliver on in the future.
        2) GM's management thought they could deliver on the terms and were blindsided by external factors and poor management
        3) GM's management at the time knew they were lying their asses off but figured the consequences wouldn't be

        • by UbuntuDupe (970646) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @10:39AM (#19410611) Journal
          Well, since you've admitted your biases, it's only fair that I admit I err on the anti-union side. As to your question:

          So what's the real scoop on their pension issue, is it just BS or a consequence of poor management or is there something more to it?

          This is a very good question. I wanted to know the answer myself for same reason you listed above: why agree to a pension without being able to monitor its funding status, and relying on future profitability? Why allow other creditors to have seniority to pensioners in collecting debt? (Since a pension is deferred compensation, and workers are senior to bondholders in payment of obligations, pensioners should always be senior, and credit ratings and lenders should always assume they'll be behind in line.) How can you assume no competitors will enter the market?

          Unfortunately, it's hard to get reliable information on this, and I try as hard as possible to avoid "well they were just stupid"-type conclusions. I also can't read a financial statement from a corporation. But that's what every source confirms: GM promised an unfunded pension, predicated on future profitability, and the failure of GM was considered impossible. My best guess as to why it happened would be:

          -stupidity on the part of unions, who refused to accept the possibility that their employer doesn't dictate its own profits.
          -malice on the part of management, who was willing to indulge this fantasy in exchange for valuable union concessions, knowing the union would have no leverage when the obligations came due. Likely arrogance about the possibility of competition.

          When I first heard about pension problems affecting profitability, I was confused: aren't they funded in advance from a separate account? Well, they aren't.

          Hope that helps.
          • Wow. Sounds like there's plenty of blame to pass around here. If I may ask, how did you come by your anti-union views? Have you had personal or family experience with the downsides or is it based on a more academic study of history?

            As for me, I have not been personally involved in unions. My dad worked as a mechanic at Bellsouth so I was given a nice observation seat to see how management can completely destroy a large organization. All of their mechanical work is outsourced and they're wasting a fair chunk
        • Kudos to you for making your biases clear. I wish more of others would do the same.

          As for GM, Ford and Chrysler the negative effects of the unions extend way beyond financially hijacking the company's future. The unions also lobbied for, and won, workplace rules that placed rigid limits on worker flexibility. So for example at a Toyota or Nissan factory every worker on the floor is expected to spend some time on every machine in the plant so they'll know how to work it to fill in for someone else if they're
  • by cyberianpan (975767) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @09:28AM (#19409723)
    I hope the fuzzier minded GOP congressmen don't get too confused on this - the "deregulation" banner AT&T are flying under sounds good but consider the financial equity markets: heavily regulated and you won't find an investment banker (paragons of free market capitalism) who'd want it any other way. Certain foundation structures like markets, networks need to be regulated to keep them neutral, transparent & useful. This enables freedom, paradoxical perhaps but pretty obvious.
    • consider the financial equity markets: heavily regulated and you won't find an investment banker (paragons of free market capitalism) who'd want it any other way

      They're not exactly "paragons of free-market capitalism". State-backed corporatism, perhaps. The regulations (in this case as elsewhere) act like a union, restricting the supply of their sort of labor. This ensures that those who find themselves able to meet the regulations command a higher price than they could in an unregulated environment. Th

      • Well take one regulation in markets: on the London Stock Exchange(for example) once you agree to participate your trades can be done blindly- you've no choice who buys from you - they can even hide their identity after settlement usign the "central counter party". Or better still if you agree to act as Market Maker: you have to take reasonable orders for certain stocks. These rules keep the market neutral & thus flowing. If the rules weren't there everyone would be trying to get small one overs on ever
      • Those investment bankers support the regulations because they personally benefit from them, at the expense of the marginal suppliers those same regulations drove out of business.

        That's just so much bollocks. If you argue that invetment banks support regulations because it enforces transparacy and thus reduces their reputational risk (which can get much more expensive then a financial hit) I' m with you. But the idea that investment banks support regulation to force smaller players out of business is ridic

        • That may not be your personal reason, but it is an effect of the regulations nonetheless. Also, forcing others out to protect your reputation isn't significantly different from forcing them out to restrict the supply. The underlying principle remains the same: you are employing force against other for your own benefit at their expense.

    • by jollyreaper (513215) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @10:22AM (#19410391)

      I hope the fuzzier minded GOP congressmen don't get too confused on this - the "deregulation" banner AT&T are flying under sounds good but consider the financial equity markets: heavily regulated and you won't find an investment banker (paragons of free market capitalism) who'd want it any other way. Certain foundation structures like markets, networks need to be regulated to keep them neutral, transparent & useful. This enables freedom, paradoxical perhaps but pretty obvious.
      When you are thinking logically, you are exactly right. I totally agree with you. Would a fisherman support the destruction of the fisheries that are his very livelihood? You wouldn't think so but then you see some fishermen go out there and take a huge catch for great profit this season, not seeming to care that his actions this season will leave less for him to harvest next season and the season following. "But of course he has to catch what he can now, his children ain't gonna eat on moonbeams and well-wishes from fish-huggers!" Yes. So the fisherman will destroy his chance of eating tomorrow so he won't starve today. I can see how the mistake is made.

      Corporations fall into this same pattern. They have to make the numbers this quarter, THE NUMBERS, YOU DUMB FUCK! COKE IS FOR CLOSERS! etc etc. So that's where you see the fans of deregulation coming in. Have you noticed the dismantling of the rules and regs put in place after the '29 crash to make sure that we wouldn't have another one? With the rules in place, you can have a reasonable profit for years to come. Without the rules you can make a fucking killing...and I guess you'd better hope that goose has a lot of meat on the bones because that's all you'll be eating as the markets struggle to recover.
  • by redelm (54142) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @09:29AM (#19409747) Homepage
    "net neutrality" has never really existed. Some people get better service 'cuz their ISPs are more competant [less incompetant] about setting up multi-homing, external links and their routers. Often, you've had to pay for this as ISPs compete on service and guarantees with knowledgeable (high traffic) customers.

    Now, after a lot of ISP/webhost consolidation, some of the biggies want to reintroduce performance tiering. To differentiate commodity IP transport into various service levels. That's elementary marketing to capture increased revenue from those customers willing to pay more.

    I'm far from certain this is a bad thing. Instead of everyone having the same (erratic) latency, some people will pay for better, and the rest will get slightly worse. Frankly, I'm far more concerned about preserving competition between ISPs at all levels, from comsumer last-mile broadband up through the long-haul links.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Arielholic (196983)
      "net neutrality" has never really existed. Some people get better service 'cuz their ISPs are more competant [less incompetant] about setting up multi-homing, external links and their routers. (...) Instead of everyone having the same (erratic) latency, some people will pay for better, and the rest will get slightly worse.

      It seems like you don't understand the issue at hand. Net neutrality is not about differences in connection speed, but about artificial differences between services, based on the amount o
      • by redelm (54142)
        Perhaps I don't understand fully. I'm not sure who does. Currently we have differences in connection speed caused by hardware varagies. Why would bringing them under human control be worse?

    • by mcisely (643971) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @10:01AM (#19410149) Homepage

      You are not understanding the issue here. Put simply:

      This issue isn't about how much I must pay my ISP for decent net connectivity.

      This issue is about how much Google must pay my ISP for decent net connectivity.

      Google already pays for their own connectivity. My ISP is already paid by me. My "pipe" is already paid for. Why should my ISP be paid twice? What right does my ISP have to individually charge every conceivable web site that I might access?

      • by redelm (54142)
        They won't be able to. Their ISP will assure them of connectivity, and suffer complaints if they don't provide it. The ISPs are in a heirarchy, each already paying.

        An ISP won't be able to reach across because they have to satisfy their own customers who want everyone to have clear connections to them.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Lockejaw (955650)

          Their ISP will assure them of connectivity, and suffer complaints if they don't provide it.

          Unless Google's ISP runs cable from google to you, Google's ISP cannot guarantee that you and Google can connect.

          In any case, Google should only be paying Google's ISP, and you should only be paying your ISP. AT&T shouldn't be collecting money from Google in exchange for giving its own customers reasonably quick access to Google. You say Google will complain to their ISP? What's Google's ISP going to do to AT

    • by cybermage (112274)
      Frankly, I'm far more concerned about preserving competition between ISPs at all levels, from comsumer last-mile broadband up through the long-haul links.

      There really isn't that much competition at the last mile. The fact that you might have a choice of DSL providers is a product of government regulation. If the AT&Ts and Verizons of this country had their way, they would keep the last mile to themselves.

      In reality, what we're talking about where broadband is concerned is competition between the monopol
    • Instead of everyone having the same (erratic) latency, some people will pay for better, and the rest will get slightly worse.

      Most people have no problem with tiered service at the consumer level (a consumer could be a business, too). We already have that. My provider offers three tiers of residential service and two tiers of business service with better performance and support. I have absolutely no problem with this because I can choose the level that meets my needs. Most of us are opposed to two things

      • by redelm (54142)
        Yes, I understand about the "reach across" worry. Google doesn't need to worry about AT&T's ransom request. They just have to find an ISP that is willing to provide service. That ISP will lean on AT&T, or they will take their traffic elsewhere.

    • "net neutrality" has never really existed.

      net neutrality (or the lack thereof) is a symptom of competition. there is no competition in the telecommunications industry, so clearly there is no net neutraliy.

      the concept of net neutrality is not new. it used to be standard operating procedure for the FCC. the FCC is now owned and operated by the tecos, so now it's not. all that the net neutrality groups want is to make into law the historical practices of the FCC.

      I'm far from certain this is a bad thin

  • Frustrating. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MaWeiTao (908546) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @09:31AM (#19409765)
    The people running these companies always espouse the advantages of the free market, how essential it is for their survival. And yet, these same jerks will be the first ones crying for government protection the second they start feeling threatened. All this serves to do is erode confidence in the free market system. Inevitably, once people start catching on to what's going on they start calling for excessive government control which can end up doing more harm than good. You'd think these idiots at these companies would be wary of that sort of backlash. Ultimately, it's not the system that's the problem but rather lobbyists, corrupt politicians, and an ignorant population.

    That's the ultimate problem here. People don't know this is going on, first of all. I suppose the media doesn't deem it exciting enough to report this. But it wouldn't make a difference if they did because most people likely wouldn't care. Even worse, they probably wouldn't even see anything wrong with what AT&T wants to do.

    People have gotten so used to paying for every little thing that they be able to justify AT&T's position. I suspect that's one of the underlying motivations for this trend. Companies are realizing just how tolerant consumers are of this nonsense. I've read that recent studies have found that consumers are growing increasingly comfortable with monthly payments. A company can raise rates on a regular basis and few complain.

    People like to whine about gasoline prices, but Americans are still paying far less than most of the rest of the world. And it's still cheaper per gallon that a lot of other things they consume. They're getting screwed worse in other ways and don't even realize it or even care. It's frustrating sometimes to see all this ignorance and to see this disdain for the people on the part of the politicians.
    • Re:Frustrating. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jollyreaper (513215) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @10:27AM (#19410451)

      The people running these companies always espouse the advantages of the free market, how essential it is for their survival. And yet, these same jerks will be the first ones crying for government protection the second they start feeling threatened.
      And thus we get to the heart of the matter: they have no motivation but the accumulation of wealth. The religions and philosophies they promote are merely justifications for it, pretenses that will be dropped the moment they threaten the continued accumulation of wealth. They'll sing the praises of the free market up until the point it tries to bite them, then they will club it to death with their diamond-tipped canes.
  • When AT&T merged with Bellsouth, they agreed to Net Neutrality for 30 months. I'll bet, because this is the pattern with the ILECs and particularly SBC and AT&T (SBC and AT&T merged), that they do their darnedest to get tollbooth legislation in before the window ends. Why? Why not wait? Because these guys just absolutely do things that way. If they do something above-board and honest, it leaves them with a bad taste in their mouths.

    I give that legislation (if it passes) 29 months from the m
  • by DigDuality (918867) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @09:42AM (#19409883)
    Unfortunately my non-AT&T ISP throttles my bandwidth to any page than mentions AT&T. It took me 30 minutes just to post this.
  • Easy Fix (Score:5, Interesting)

    by daeg (828071) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @09:46AM (#19409919)
    You want access to public easements to run your fiber? You play by common carrier rules. The public owns that land and are granting you temporary, paid rights to use it and reserve the right to revoke it at any time, including seizing ownership of anything on that land. You lose temporary rights when you start serving yourself instead of serving the public.

    If you don't like the rules, don't play them. Other companies will step up where you fail and provide the service the public demands and deserves.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mc6809e (214243)
      You want access to public easements to run your fiber? You play by common carrier rules. The public owns that land and are granting you temporary, paid rights to use it and reserve the right to revoke it at any time, including seizing ownership of anything on that land. You lose temporary rights when you start serving yourself instead of serving the public.

      It's more owned by the government than the public, though, right? I mean, if it were really publicly owned, then everyone would be able to used it and we
  • I say we pay any company that doesn't want to be regulated and commit to net neutrality can pull out now at no cost. The amount of money invested into providing internet service for the public will be tallied and then all cuts and grants given to the company for the purpose of providing internet services will be subtracted from that tally, along with any profits the company gained through providing internet services to the public. If the final number is above 0 then that means the company hasn't made a net
  • It's called AOL, and people voted against it with their dollars.
  • by StandardCell (589682) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @10:08AM (#19410233)
    AT&T and all the big telcos can have their net neutrality repealed. In return, AT&T and all the telcos will give back all of the government's money, adjusted for inflation and bearing the prime rate of interest, that was given to them as investments, tax breaks, and other "incentives" to build up their network. Shake on it?
  • Is it April 1st? (Score:2, Informative)

    by corecaptain (135407)
    TFA, looks like a serious article - listing quotes repeated in slashdot story. Curious
    about the accompanying video I click on that. Well surprise! That "video" is a PARODY (funny).

    Am I missing something here?
  • Republicans attack Democrats, Democrats attack Republicans, Microsoft attacks OSS, Iran attacks Israel and US policies, Rosie attacks the Donald, blah, blah, blah...
  • by confused one (671304) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @10:50AM (#19410755)
    we need Gore to run for President. He created the internet; so, I'd expect him to protect it.

    Why is it getting warm in here?
  • by jonwil (467024) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @11:01AM (#19410897)
    What its about is ISPs faced with the rapid growth of sites like YouTube which their network just cant handle.

    They have 3 options:
    1.They can increase their prices so that they can afford to expand their network so it can handle the increased amount of multimedia traffic.
    2.They can introduce limits on how much you can download so that your $x per month only includes 10GB of transfers or 5GB of transfers or whatever.
    or 3.They can throttle access to the high bandwidth multimedia sites unless those sites are willing to pay money to the ISP to cover the fact that the ISPs network cant handle the traffic.

    The ISPs don't want to pick option 1 because they would loose customers to other ISPs who didnt pick option 1 (or with networks that aren't yet congested enough for the ISP to need to pick an option)
    They don't want to pick option 2 either because most consumers don't have a clue how much bandwidth they are using or how much data they are transferring (unlike, say, phone calls where costs are based on how long you are on the phone which is an easy thing to measure). So if ISPs start setting limits, they would loose customers who would think "I don't want to be hit with a bill at the end of the month and I don't have a clue how much I am downloading so I will find an ISP that has no such restrictions"
    So, ISPs faced with increasingly congested networks want to be able to throttle back speeds to known high bandwidth sites. That or have the site pay up to get better treatment.

    Anyone who says net neutrality is about QoS or common carrier or anything else is wrong. The issue at stake here is simply that ISPs want to throttle high bandwidth sites and protocols unless they are paid money by the owners of those sites.

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