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Are you for or against net neutrality?

Are you for or against net neutrality?


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JohnWOlin

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I am doing an editorial for the site Kombo - Beta (Pardon the Dust) | Main Index on why net neutrality is incredibly important for gamers and why it is more beneficial for the FCC, rather than companies that stand to profit off of others losses (such as Google, Verizon) and while to me I feel it is a pretty cut and dry issue, I have heard that there are people against net neutrality, and wanted to get the opinions of more people just to see where others stand on the issue.

Essentially, net neutrality would mean the internet stays the way it is right now, except ISPs such as Comcast would have to allow access to sites they have restricted in the past (usually these sites are P2P sites, pornography sites, etc).

While I do not recommend you just follow this as a source, here is a good starting point on the basics of net neutrality: Network neutrality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

and here is a proposition by the Google-Verizon pact which actually serves as one giant loophole to allow them control of the net under the false pretense of net neutrality: Four Democrats urge U.S. to act on Internet traffic | Reuters
 

Baralis

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I think the subject is a bit of a double edged sword. On one hand you have more government oversight and possible control and on the other you have monopolies that can take advantage of the public.

The very notion of having the internet turn into something similar to cable television just sickens me. I hope I am dead and cold before anything like this happens.
 

Kal'Stang

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It is a double edged sword just as Baralis says. What I would add is that Companies should be able to make the choice if they block something or not. They are not getting rid of the site they are blocking...they are just keeping it off of their servers. Since it is thier servers and they are the ones providing the service I have no problem with them dictating what is allowed or not. It is much like renting a house, the owners should be able to say weather or not smoking or dogs are allowed. Not the renters. ;)
 

Baralis

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It is a double edged sword just as Baralis says. What I would add is that Companies should be able to make the choice if they block something or not. They are not getting rid of the site they are blocking...they are just keeping it off of their servers. Since it is thier servers and they are the ones providing the service I have no problem with them dictating what is allowed or not. It is much like renting a house, the owners should be able to say weather or not smoking or dogs are allowed. Not the renters. ;)
I would agree with you if these companies had used their own capital to build the infastructure but in most cases they were subsidized by the government to place infustructure along with government promises to restrict competition for many years. This gave many companies a monopoly over large districts. Where I live we only have 1 cable provider so the consumer is left with no alternatives.
 

Johnny

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I'm not too knowledgable on this.

I am very much against any sites being blocked.
 

Harshaw

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If you have no choice as to an Internet provider because that provider has a government-imposed monopoly in your area, then sure, they should not be able to restrict anything. That would also keep the government off the 'net, because allowing everything means there's nothing to regulate. (This does not, by the way, refer to schools blocking sites, companies blocking sites from employee access, etc. Those things are up to those entities.)

But if that's not the case, and you have a choice of providers, and those providers are private companies, then they should carry what they want and block what they don't want.
 

JohnWOlin

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Several people however do not have the option in providers, specifically in rural areas. Comcast has been known to block sites just because of sites that offer services that compete with them. Really all this net neutrality regulation does, is keep regulation out.

For example in the gaming sense, this "net neutrality" that Google proposes is anything but. It would allow Google the freedom to make an internet that was used by the highest bidder, to allow only companies that they choose or pay their price to be searched through their engines, and if this were the case then the site I am writing for now, or sites I have written for in the past would have had much less viewership.

An ISP would be able to limit you to only the wireless devices they want you to use; you would have no choice but to use wireless routers that they allow. For gamers, this would also mean that the games they play could be potentially taxed.

Here is a basic way of looking at it:
With net neutrality things stay mostly the way they are now, maybe even possibly better

Without net neutrality companies can nickel and dime you whenever they please, limit your choices, and create monopolies. The main reason for no government regulation in this case is so that other companies can turn a buck at the benefit of themselves and not the end user.
 

The Mark

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From my limited understanding of this....

I am both for and against it.

I am for anything that prevents restrictions of any kind on internet traffic.

I am against more government control/power.

I have to think that this could morph into the gov. deciding what traffic instead of the service companies.

But I don't know the details, so I'm not sure.
 

JohnWOlin

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Simply put, the FCC has been given a treatment from Verizon and Google, however their treatment has several special interest. Several democratic representatives and senators have been approached by Google and Verizon in the past to lobby for special little loopholes that help their business out and have since refused to hear out either Verizon or Google and are urging the FCC to not be influenced by any outside interest other than the American people.

I understand the fear that government could somehow control this but as it stands, the FCC is unsure about the issue themselves and if they even have the authority, whereas most in congress simply want them to make it a federal regulation to keep the internet, worldwide web, all intranets (that are in public domain), ftp (in public domain), and internet connected devices free from any specific proprietary arbitration.
 

Cephus

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It is a double edged sword just as Baralis says. What I would add is that Companies should be able to make the choice if they block something or not. They are not getting rid of the site they are blocking...they are just keeping it off of their servers. Since it is thier servers and they are the ones providing the service I have no problem with them dictating what is allowed or not. It is much like renting a house, the owners should be able to say weather or not smoking or dogs are allowed. Not the renters. ;)
The problem is, this isn't just one of many, many, many houses, most people have a very limited choice of ISPs that service their area unless they live in metropolitan areas and even then, they may only have a handful. What you're saying is that people ought to be able to censor what their customers have access to, which I wholly disagree with. Except for things that are blatantly illegal, I want to have access to everything that is available on the net, without restriction and without anyone telling me what they think I ought to be able to see. I'm paying for access, not for someone to decide for me what they think I should be able to view.
 

RightinNYC

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I don't think we're anywhere close to the point where there needs to be legislation to change the status quo.

Even should we reach that point, I'd be very hesitant about relying on government regulations to solve the problem.
 

JohnWOlin

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I don't think we're anywhere close to the point where there needs to be legislation to change the status quo.

Even should we reach that point, I'd be very hesitant about relying on government regulations to solve the problem.
Even though were getting closer and closer to a controlled internet?
 

Zyphlin

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I'd prefer we remove the regulatins and restrictions that create the monopolies the telecomms currently have over giving the government more power over it that could later be used by the government to censor rather than businesses. However, I would prefer Net Neutrality over doing nothing.
 

Cephus

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I don't think we're anywhere close to the point where there needs to be legislation to change the status quo.

Even should we reach that point, I'd be very hesitant about relying on government regulations to solve the problem.
Who else has the ability to do it? I'm not saying I trust the government, but there's just no other body who can police such things. At present, Google and Verizon are attempting to control how you see things and what you can see, they want to sell companies the right to send you ads faster and restrict access, or significantly slow access to content that isn't paying them a kick-back. That means YouTube might come down quickly to the end-user, but other video-provider sites may be throttled to the point of being useless.

That decision making is going on TODAY. What do you mean we're nowhere close to that point?
 

Kandahar

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I don't think we're anywhere close to the point where there needs to be legislation to change the status quo.

Even should we reach that point, I'd be very hesitant about relying on government regulations to solve the problem.
I thought exactly the same thing until about six months ago, when I first noticed ISPs starting to restrict their traffic. If the Google/Verizon deal doesn't take us to the point where there needs to be legislation, I don't know what possibly could. It's best to nip this problem in the bud while it's still small, instead of waiting until it becomes a major political issue and there are corporate lobbyists throwing millions of dollars at politicians to protect their interests.

I'm looking at this from a long-term perspective. As I see it, there are two main reasons for net neutrality: 1) It will keep the cost of using the internet as low as possible in the long term, which I think will be very important to our nation's long-term competitive advantage, and 2) It will prevent the internet from becoming a splinternet, with each ISP becoming its own little fiefdom with its own rules as to what you can and can't do.
 
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The Mark

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I thought exactly the same thing until about six months ago, when the issue became important as ISPs started restricting their traffic. If the Google/Verizon deal doesn't take us to the point where there needs to be legislation, I don't know what possibly could. It's best to nip this problem in the bud while it's still small, instead of waiting until it becomes a problem and there are corporate lobbyists throwing millions of dollars at politicians to protect their interests.

As I see it, there are two main reasons for net neutrality: 1) It will keep the cost of using the internet as low as possible in the long term, which I think will be very important to our nation's long-term competitive advantage, and 2) It will prevent the internet from becoming a splinternet, with each ISP becoming its own little fiefdom with its own rules as to what you can and can't do.
On the other hand, such limitations would likely spawn multiple hacks/workarounds that people would use to bypass any restrictions (if they had the required tech skills).

Of course, if the restrictions are not overtly limiting, many wouldn't notice.
 

RightinNYC

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Who else has the ability to do it? I'm not saying I trust the government, but there's just no other body who can police such things. At present, Google and Verizon are attempting to control how you see things and what you can see, they want to sell companies the right to send you ads faster and restrict access, or significantly slow access to content that isn't paying them a kick-back. That means YouTube might come down quickly to the end-user, but other video-provider sites may be throttled to the point of being useless.

That decision making is going on TODAY. What do you mean we're nowhere close to that point?
I could very well be wrong, but I'm unaware of anything like this that is even remotely close to taking place. I know that people are concerned about this or that thing, but I haven't seen anything yet that makes me think it's a reality.

And I agree that the government would eventually be a necessary body if something like this were necessary, I'm simply saying that given our long experience with government regulations not quite doing the job they were designed to do, I don't see the need for a massive proactive government intervention.

I thought exactly the same thing until about six months ago, when I first noticed ISPs starting to restrict their traffic. If the Google/Verizon deal doesn't take us to the point where there needs to be legislation, I don't know what possibly could. It's best to nip this problem in the bud while it's still small, instead of waiting until it becomes a major political issue and there are corporate lobbyists throwing millions of dollars at politicians to protect their interests
I just think there's a large difference between one or two ISPs trying to slow down traffic to bittorrent feeds that are slowing speeds for everyone else and a concerted effort to force people to pay extra for youtube or hulu.

I'm looking at this from a long-term perspective. As I see it, there are two main reasons for net neutrality: 1) It will keep the cost of using the internet as low as possible in the long term, which I think will be very important to our nation's long-term competitive advantage, and 2) It will prevent the internet from becoming a splinternet, with each ISP becoming its own little fiefdom with its own rules as to what you can and can't do.
This really isn't an area that I'm well read in, but according to wiki, it's not at all clear that it would have the first effect and the second seems to be more of a vague threat of something that could develop in the future.
 

Kal'Stang

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I would agree with you if these companies had used their own capital to build the infastructure but in most cases they were subsidized by the government to place infustructure along with government promises to restrict competition for many years. This gave many companies a monopoly over large districts. Where I live we only have 1 cable provider so the consumer is left with no alternatives.
You have only one cable provider but what about for dial up? Or satellite? DSL? Sure dial up may be slower than all out but it is still useable..especially with the right programs running in conjunction with it.

There are always options. It's weather or not the options are desireable to you. ;)

And I firmly believe in the right of the company to restrict or allow anything that they want. It is one of the reasons that I was so pissed at the recent push to make smoking in bars and restaraunts illegal. It should be left up to the owner. Not the user. The user doesn't have to give them business.
 

The Mark

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You have only one cable provider but what about for dial up? Or satellite? DSL? Sure dial up may be slower than all out but it is still useable...especially with the right programs running in conjunction with it.

There are always options. It's weather or not the options are desirable to you. ;)

And I firmly believe in the right of the company to restrict or allow anything that they want. It is one of the reasons that I was so pissed at the recent push to make smoking in bars and restaurants illegal. It should be left up to the owner. Not the user. The user doesn't have to give them business.
The problem is that, with bars/restaurants, you could simply go to another if you didn't like their non/pro-smoking policy (before the laws against smoking in em’, at least)
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With ISP's, in most cases only a few are available - and in some cases, only one per type of available service (cable, DSL, Dial-up, Sat.).

Sure, in an urban area there may be more options, but if you live in a rural area, your options are very limited.

I know that for a lengthy period the only available options at my location were dial-up or satellite - sat was a bit costly, and we were holding for the cable install (at the time, it was expected to take less time than it did).

No DSL available, as I live too far from the nearest hub.

No Cable, as the cable lines were never installed at the house I live in.

After much maneuvering (and ~1-2 years), cable lines were extended to our residence - as a direct result of new construction next door.

But still, the only cable ISP I'm aware of for our area is Comcast, so if they were to put restrictions on the traffic, well...

And while basic browsing/email is possible via dial-up, online gaming (especially FPS and similar) is nearly impossible.
----------------
 
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JohnWOlin

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You have only one cable provider but what about for dial up? Or satellite? DSL? Sure dial up may be slower than all out but it is still useable..especially with the right programs running in conjunction with it.

There are always options. It's weather or not the options are desireable to you. ;)

And I firmly believe in the right of the company to restrict or allow anything that they want. It is one of the reasons that I was so pissed at the recent push to make smoking in bars and restaraunts illegal. It should be left up to the owner. Not the user. The user doesn't have to give them business.
Wow that anaology doesn't work at all. This is essenitally restricting information from you. You are ok with that?
 

Kal'Stang

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Wow that anaology doesn't work at all. This is essenitally restricting information from you. You are ok with that?
Personally? No. But I still think that they have a right to choose what they allow on their servers. If you were to set up the servers and do all the work I would support your right to do the same.

If you don't like that analogy then there are several others that I could use.

If you're a non-smoker would you allow someone to smoke in your house?

Would you allow someone to boss you around in your own house?

Would you try and boss the moderators on this website and disregard thier rules and expect to get away with it?

Would you follow the rules on an online game? Or would you try and hack it and expect to get away with it?

There are a million and one analogies I could come up with.

Another reason is that I am against the government controling or setting up rules to limit our rights.
 
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Kal'Stang

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The problem is that, with bars/restaurants, you could simply go to another if you didn't like their non/pro-smoking policy (before the laws against smoking in em’, at least)
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With ISP's, in most cases only a few are available - and in some cases, only one per type of available service (cable, DSL, Dial-up, Sat.).

Sure, in an urban area there may be more options, but if you live in a rural area, your options are very limited.

I know that for a lengthy period the only available options at my location were dial-up or satellite - sat was a bit costly, and we were holding for the cable install (at the time, it was expected to take less time than it did).

No DSL available, as I live too far from the nearest hub.

No Cable, as the cable lines were never installed at the house I live in.

After much maneuvering (and ~1-2 years), cable lines were extended to our residence - as a direct result of new construction next door.

But still, the only cable ISP I'm aware of for our area is Comcast, so if they were to put restrictions on the traffic, well...

And while basic browsing/email is possible via dial-up, online gaming (especially FPS and similar) is nearly impossible.
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I know what you're saying and I understand the concern. I currently live 25 miles outside of town surrounded by mountains. The only available type of internet is either satellite or dial up. But I still think that they have a right to block whatever they want since we are just using/renting thier property. It's not ours. We should not have the ability to tell them what they can and cannot do with their property. It's like the government coming into your house and telling you that you're not allowed to have a dog in your own home.
 

rivrrat

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As it is now, with ISPs having a monopoly in the areas they service, I must concede that they should not be allowed to ban access to certain sites. I loathe restrictions on free market and loathe govt involvement, but as it is right now there is no true competition due to govt zoning laws. So, essentially with Net Neutrality, the govt would be stepping in to help fix what they have broken. It's THEIR rules that don't allow true competition, and because of that they then have to forbid censorship since users would have no choice but to use the ISP that services their area.

I would prefer that the govt allow ISPs to truly compete with one another in the same areas, then Net Neutrality laws wouldn't be required. But since that's not happening in the foreseeable future, I have to side on Net Neutrality... reluctantly.
 
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