Net Neutrality - what’s going on?

Firstly I think it’s astonishing that this has even got to this stage, but what the heck is going on with these apparent fake comments in support of dropping NN?

I don’t know a single person who thinks losing net neutrality would be a good thing so I suspect those comments were indeed fake… but who’s responsible? ISPs? If so, how high up?

I’d love for someone to get to the bottom of this :lol:

1 Like

Real person here in favor of dropping it. I’d say the numbers are growing as well as people have delved deeper into that bill and have seen that it does not deliver on said stated goals. I can understand where people are coming from given NN as advertised but I’d give the whole thing another read through and research the implications of what was voted on. Also if tracing the money there seems to have been far more spent in support of it though I would verify that

Why? I can’t see any good from losing it… only bags of hurt, lots n lots of it :101:

Well, I’m always interested to hear more perspectives because it’s a complex issue. I’d listen to Ajit Pai’s explanation (edit: and then verify or look into those points further); he has a few interviews where he goes over reasoning. Most of the points are around removing beurocracy that was slowing down innovation from the smaller ISP’s and making a point that many of the fears regarding the things NN protects against are things that never really happened before it’s inception in any case. Sort of like them being the wrong body to solve/maintain the issue. It’s a bold move either way, you don’t often see a regulator remove power from themselves.

I don’t want to get into it too much :smiley: hopefully there wouldn’t be a war over it here but I’m pretty new to the community :sweat_smile:

But I’ve looked at both sides a little and that’s where I’ve come down so far

I’m indifferent honestly. You are already seeing cell companies promoting “unlimited Netflix” or similar which just means limited everything else. The anticompetitive behaviors that were seen previously should be handled by monopoly law IMHO.

I just haven’t seen any difference in the before/after of NN.

1 Like

Haha no worries, we’re a pretty chilled community here - all opinions and views are welcome… all we ask is that discussions are amicable :slight_smile:

I think that’s bandwidth allowance rather than speed?

Net Neutrality is, from what I know, about treating all internet data equally - in the sense that some sites can’t be given fast (i.e normal) speeds while others (those not paying the ISPs) given a degraded service …where users of such services experience slow, quite possibly unusable speeds (almost certain death for those sites/apps).

Bootstrapping a site (i.e without significant funding) may well be practically impossible in a world without net neutrality.

Precisely this.

NN came about because (I think it was Verizon…) started slowing down Netflix unless Netflix paid up to get their traffic back up to watching levels, they did that because ‘Netflix competed with their own watching service’ (which offered different content, so what the frick there?!). There were others starting to do similar things as well.

NN just means to not specialize any given traffic over others, the reason is that such special connections has a multitude of bad effects that include, but are not even remotely limited to:

  • Preventing upcoming companies online from competing with their rivals
  • Allowing one company (just for argument, say Bing) to pay ISP’s (say Comcast/Verizon) to block Google, like entirely outright.
  • Allowing upcoming local ISP’s to actually compete with the big ones (without NN the big ones can offer substantial discounts to customers to undercut the newbie in the market as they are getting paid for fastlines by internet companies, thus preventing competition).

The things that Ajit Pai have stated have not only been well proven as false, but in many cases just outright lies. Take for example the most repeated argument I’ve been hearing come from him for months that is that is incentivices ISP’s to not upgrade infrastructure, which has been proven entirely false as ISP’s have continued to grow their infrastructure with no slowdown compared to pre-NN days.

NN was a reactionary thing because companies were starting to abuse their monopolistic ways. It keeps ISP’s and internet companies both playing fair and preventing blocking of their competition. Without it we are quite likely to start seeing things like:

  • Pay $20/month for Basic Internet (includes basic Google searching and Facebook)!
  • Pay an extra $15/month for the Video Internet package (unlocks Youtube, Netflix, and Hulu)!
  • Pay an extra $20/month for the Sports Internet package (unlocks…whatever the sports websites are)!
  • Pay an extra $10/month for the Finance Internet Package (unlocks Google/Yahoo Finance and so forth)!
  • etc…

This started to happen with both Verizon and Comcast right before NN started up, and I’ve no doubt it will happen again fairly soon.

Another argument that Ajit Pai says is that the companies can continue to be regulated by the FTC, but the FTC does not have the power to do so (it was taken away by Congress earlier this year as I recall).

Especially if your competition are companies that can pay ISP’s to just outright block you.

What was being slowed down? The only thing that was preventing smaller ISP’s from flourishing are the bigger ISP’s paying off local government to prevent them from getting their licenses, which they have to do without NN anyway. I, thankfully, life in an area where the “Big ISP’s” do no exist (I live in the desert, they have no interest in such a small area) so I have lot’s of competition to choose to from, almost no one else in the USA does (what was it, over 70% of americans have no choice in their ISP if they want service that is even remotely fast?).

Also what the frick? Comcast and Verizon were already announcing tiered services like Cable before NN and Verizon was already slowing down Netflix to unusability before NN. These are not things that ‘never really happened’, NN was pushed through because it was already happening.


I really just want to see some monopoly suits in response to those actions. How great would it be to see Verizon get broken up after throttling Netflix?

That would be an amazing thing to see coming out of this! Probably though the parts of it would still keep working together ‘under the table’ though. ^.^;

Excellent points @OvermindDL1!

If that is the basis of their position, then it is the weakest argument I have ever heard - if the industry is making money (which it is, billions!) then companies will always innovate to try and get more market share. Like you said, it hasn’t stinted growth or innovation to date.

There’s definitely something fishy going on - that tweet I linked to above, if you read some of the comments lots of people saying their identities were being used to leave fake comments… which would be easy to do for any ISP since they have all that user data.

I really hope someone gets to the bottom of this, losing NN could be catastrophic for the internet as well as future innovation in all areas of life.

I honestly think that is a red herring and the basis of their position is that they just want to extort even more money out of people and companies, not that they’d say that… >.>

That’s a very simplified article. There is a statistical analysis somewhere that shows most of the comments are simple repeated comments that link texts together in a simple way. Let me see if I can find it…
Should grab the full report PDF.

1 Like

From that report:

Artificial Email Domains: More than 7.75 million comments – the largest percentage of any set of comments (36% of the total comments) – appear to have been generated by self-described “temporary” and “disposable” email domains attributed to and with nearly identical language. Virtually all of those comments oppose repealing Title II. Assuming that comments submitted from these email domains are illegitimate, sentiment favors repeal of Title II (61% for, 38% against).


And more stuff:


The fake comments used Russian email addresses so I suspect Russia. When this comes up in court the FCC is going to look so bad, not to mention their actions of accepting Russian comments was ILLEGAL. I don’t think we have to worry, at least yet.

The point I’ve heard recently in favor of dropping NN is that investigating anti-competitive practices is what the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) is about. The FCC (Federal Communication Commission) never had authority over that sort of behavior and NN was a power grab of theirs.

If that’s the case, and the FTC does its job then all these worst case worries about losing Net Neutrality falls apart to me.

1 Like

Except the FTC knows very little about computers and probably doesn’t understand the concepts. The FTC by the time they figured out the issue and understood it will be far too late to fix the issue.

Net Neutrality is not about anti-competitive practices (although that is a happy bonus), it is about making sure that one of the necessities for modern life is as properly and fully available as electricity itself. Just like how an electrical provider is not allowed to charge you more based on ‘what’ uses the electricity you pay for, same with how ISP’s cannot charge you more based on ‘what’ your bandwidth you paid for is used for.

Thus the FTC should research the anti-competitive practices (they can’t now thanks to the idiots in congress), but that should be done ‘with’ Net Neutrality, not ‘instead of’. There are still stupid anti-competitive things ISP’s can do, like paying off the local city government to deny startup ISP’s (which happens all the time).

1 Like

What would you call Verizon slowing down Netflix? That was at 2014 and what basically cause the NN regulation.
But yeah, we can say it never happened because a regulation stopped it the second it started

1 Like

To that I would say it’s an orthogonal issue to the NN debate since NN still allows for traffic prioritization. Even the paid prioritization ban is fairly nebulously written.

The netflix vs verizon thing was an interesting discussion in itself but for different reasons I’d say though. Property disputes of this nature come up all the time. Who pays for what upgrades and what rights we should enshrine… there are interesting economics papers on this kind of dispute resolution. Hopefully we can solve the issues of difficulty competing in many regions and make the resolution as interesting as possible though in general

I don’t believe it does. With NN all traffic must be served at equal speeds - at least that’s my understanding.

The example Barry provided is to do with paid bandwidth caps in mobile contracts (which are different to landline broadband because the infrastructure is different and so the pricing/service is (currently) different). Mobile carriers have plans based on bandwidth, for example, they have packages that might start at 1GB data included for say $5 per month and another with 5GB at $10 etc. They can allow some services not to eat into that data allowance - which is fine, because it does not slow down all other traffic through the customers standard tariff… if customers need more data allowance, they can simply buy a plan with more data.

My mobile carrier is doing something similar here - free 6 months subscription to Apple Music with all of the 4G data that is used by Apple Music for free (so it doesn’t eat into my 12GB allowance a month). That’s acceptable as I can use my 12GB per month allowance on anything I want and expect it to all be served to me equally. If they were throttling some sites I would be understandably annoyed.

With no NN, they can throttle any website/service who does not pay them a fee - and that will happen - that’s why they want NN scrapped.

I would also think that sooner or later, there won’t be caps on mobile data allowance a month either. We saw this with landline internet, you’d get so much bandwidth a month and now almost all services are uncapped (or have fair use policies - to make sure commercial users don’t abuse the system).

If you are a programmer with ambitions of your own startup/app/company, losing NN means it will be practically impossible for you to compete with the big boys in your field without very large sums of money. This is very bad for innovation and society in general imo.