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Congressional Republicans have successfully killed net neutrality.  (Source: U.S. Gov't)

Throttling and internet speed lanes should help to cut expenses and pad telecoms' paychecks. It may be bad news for customers, but telecoms seems unlikely to care too much about that.  (Source: Flickr)
It has seen the end of the net neutrality legislation, it will soon see the end of the Rebellion...

House Republicans have managed to pull off a high profile rejection of a key tech-related component of the Obama administration's initiatives. In control of the House for the first time in four years, Republicans have voted to overturn so-called "net neutrality" rules proposed earlier this year by the Obama administration.

The rules had previously been approved by the Democratic House, but were stalled in the Senate as Republicans awaited the prospect of regaining control of the House in the new year.

I.  What's Net Neutrality and What Did This Bill Mean?

In the early 1900s the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) basically held a monopoly on phone service in the U.S.  It owned all the lines and it sought to crush or buy out any small competitors entering the market.  Its tactics are viewed in retrospect as "anticompetitive", but at the time the government did little to act.

Today cable internet service providers don't enjoy the same kind of monopoly, but they do enjoy a market in which there are only a few players.  Most people have access to only one to three cable internet service providers.  The rise of tethered internet has helped the market become more competitive, somewhat, adding a few wireless tethering options to the mix.

At best, though, most people enjoy four or five 3G/cable or better internet options.

Worse, the cable and wireless companies tend to make decisions about pricing and services in mass.  Take for example the trend towards cutting "unlimited" data plans on cell phones -- AT&T and Verizon both made the switch and now it looks like Sprint and T-Mobile may follow.  While there's laws against collusion (companies making joint decisions in a loosely populated market), the government can only prosecute companies if it proves they met and worked out the decision together.  That's typically too hard to prove, so they don't bother.

As a result cable providers typically underdeliver on their promised speeds and overcharge customers, as they can work together with their handful of competitors to keep rates high and service quality low.

Further, some companies are eyeing the potential to gain further revenue by offering faster access to some sites like The New York Times or Google Search -- who might be willing to pay to give customers faster access.  To get this faster access, independent sites that didn't pay would be relegated to slow connections.

And telecoms also wanted to "throttle" the connections of users who make full use of their data plans.  These busiest users would see their connections slowed to prevent them from using as much data.

In the face of all of this, the net neutrality movement was born.  Its aims were multifold:

  1. To allow communities to vote and enact municipal Wi-Fi projects delivering faster service at a lower cost (telecoms have fought to outlaw municipal Wi-Fi projects).
  2. To prevent telecoms from charging websites for faster access.
  3. To prevent the throttling of internet connections.

All of these measures were seen as ways of remedying the relatively uncompetitive internet market, and prevent those in power from abusing their dominant positions.

The Obama administration's Federal Communications Commission appointees proposed a series of net neutrality rules that covered much of those points.  It however, cut some deals with the communications industry that frustrated net neutrality advocates.  For example in only prevented the throttling of "legal traffic" opening the door to throttle P2P and torrent connections.  It also exempted mobile operators from certain rules and restrictions.

The bill was tacked on to a spending bill that was passed on December 21, 2010 by the Democratic House.  A copy of the FCC's published rules is available online [PDF].

II. The Death of a Bill

On February 17, 2011 (Thursday), the new Republican 112th Congress voted to overturn the spending bill before it could reach a Senate vote.  With the death of a bill comes the death of the legislation to give the FCC power to regulate net neutrality.

Federal courts have already ruled that current legislation does not give the FCC this power, so essentially unless another bill passes; the effort to legislate net neutrality is dead.

Republicans claim net neutrality restricts the free market.  States Republican Representative Steve Scalise, "We think the FCC overstepped their boundaries. This is something that should be done and solved in the halls of Congress."

Many Republicans, such as Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), argue that any legislation to regulate net neutrality is an affront to capitalism.  They argue for a laissez-faire approach to regulating telecommunications.

Democrats are devastated at the loss of the net neutrality bill.  Democratic Representative Edward Markey says that telecoms and cable providers are now free to squash small competitors and user rights, much as they did during AT&T's monopoly era in the early 1900s.  He states, "Verizon's not going to invent anything new. What they want to do is squeeze competitors."

(The statement appears to allude to the legal challenge from Verizon in January against the bill, which was filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.)

III. What's Next for Net Neutrality and the Internet

Republicans seem dead set against preventing internet service providers from throttling traffic or slowing/speeding up website access.  They also tend to oppose on a state basis allowing local communities to spend their government dollars to set up independent municipal internet access -- even if the citizens in that community want the service and are paying for it with their own tax dollars.  They have championed several efforts to stop municipal internet projects.

Together these stances serve to cement the power of a handful of telecoms and cable providers like Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon Wireless, etc.  And that means a fat payday for these players.

Republicans are being rewarded handsomely for their loyalty.  Various telecoms raised millions for John McCain's 2008 Presidential run and they provided free service to his personal ranch.  Many other Congressional Republicans enjoy similar perks, albeit on a smaller scale.

This mean that over time customers can expect to see slower access to independent sites on the internet, though access to big corporate sites may speed up slightly.  And those who fileshare with torrents, etc. or who use lots of bandwidth streaming Netflix, etc. will likely see their connections slowed.  Last, but not least, customers may find themselves having to pay their cable company monthly fees to access websites on a per-site basis.

Along with the push for metered internet plans, all of this means that customers will be paying more, while getting less -- less website access, less speed, and less traffic types.

Of course cable providers aren't stupid.  They fought hard for this bill to be overturned.  They will likely try to slowly sneak in these changes to prevent public outcry.

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Not convinced
By djcameron on 2/18/2011 11:33:45 AM , Rating: 5
I'm not convinced that "net neutrality" would increase service and lower costs. History has shown, time and again, that whenever the government gets in the middle, service declines, and prices go up.
Deregulation of telecommunications in the 80s has led to massive competition and lower costs. Airlines, Auto Insurance, etc are other examples.

Let's wait and see what happens, we can always pull an Egypt if the wrong result occurs.

RE: Not convinced
By Jeffk464 on 2/18/2011 11:49:19 AM , Rating: 5
Ok it goes beyond slowing your bandwith. Say you get your interenet throught your cable company. The Cable co wants to sell you TV service for $50-$120 a month. If you have great high speed interenet you can start watching TV over HULU, netflix, etc, bad news for the cable company. With what congress just did they can throttle specific services like hulu and netflix, pretty much ensuring the you will continue to spend big money on TV. I was planning on doing everything legitimately and building a HTPC dvr for over the air broadcast recording. I say we all give these companies the finger and get our TV from bit torrent now.

RE: Not convinced
By Jeffk464 on 2/18/2011 11:59:05 AM , Rating: 3
By the way it looks to me that the only companies that don't really have any interests in throttling you on specific sites are the independent DSL companies. They don't provide any content so they probably don't care. We should probably all cut cable internet in favor of these guys. People vote with your wallets.

RE: Not convinced
By bupkus on 2/18/11, Rating: 0
RE: Not convinced
By TheRequiem on 2/18/2011 12:29:43 PM , Rating: 2
Not really, there are workarounds. They can't throttle anything that they don't know what it is. Start getting use to spoofing your ip and using encrypted vpns so they cant detect your traffic or online activities, screw them... I will use any and all available power to mask my freedoms and eliminate any threat of greed from the corporations of government, we will just simply build our own Internet within theirs.

RE: Not convinced
By Entz on 2/18/2011 1:27:09 PM , Rating: 3
Its far worse than throttling... Which do have some work arounds.

You want Hulu accsss, thats an extra 25$ a month. Want access to Youtube $15 a month please, oh you want netflix $40 a month. or get our Online media pack for $45. Oh want everything for under $400 a month you must get our super high end cable package bundle its free.

Pretty soon your internet is going to be tiered like TV is now.Complete BS.

RE: Not convinced
By kattanna on 2/18/2011 11:55:06 AM , Rating: 1
Auto Insurance

LOL WOW.. mandating auto insurance has ALWAYS made it more expensive.. never less so.

RE: Not convinced
By djcameron on 2/18/2011 1:38:01 PM , Rating: 3
Exactly my point. In states where auto insurance is "free market", it's cheaper. When the government starts mandating insurance, or sets rules and restrictions on the insurance companies, prices go up.

RE: Not convinced
By ClownPuncher on 2/18/2011 3:45:20 PM , Rating: 2
There are states that don't require auto insurance?

RE: Not convinced
By RivuxGamma on 2/24/2011 8:32:56 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, Wisconsin's one of them.

RE: Not convinced
By BSMonitor on 2/24/2011 12:52:38 PM , Rating: 2
A state with snow and ice doesn't require auto insurance?? I find that hard to believe.

RE: Not convinced
By Azethoth on 2/25/2011 4:56:24 AM , Rating: 2
You need to provide actual proof for this. Any insurance that is opt in is by definition more expensive than universal. And by universal I do not mean single payer necessarily, you could still have multiple companies compete on price. Even single payer is fine though, car insurance seemed quite cheap to me in BC Canada. Same in CA where it is mandatory as well but multiple companies provide it.

The only thing that matters for insurance is the actual cut that goes to the insurer. 30% cut as is the case for health care in the US is a total ripoff.

RE: Not convinced
By bug77 on 2/18/2011 12:27:03 PM , Rating: 2
I too wish the article did more to explain the motives for voting against the law. Just one generic paragraph won't cut it.

RE: Not convinced
By Shadowself on 2/18/2011 12:58:38 PM , Rating: 2
De-regulation is *not* the same as 'net neutrality. Net neutrality has nothing to do with "regulating" the Internet.

De-regulation (if what you mean is absolutely no laws pertaining to the Internet) in this case means, "screw people as much as you can get away with". It means, make the system so complicated that you can charge people preferentially or negatively in any way you can.

This is not the same as the old voice system. Voice is not treated as 1,000 different kinds of traffic. Voice is voice.

Airlines are NOT significantly lower in cost due to deregulation. Yes, immediately after airline deregulation the prices dropped *dramatically*. There was huge competition. There were many new airline startups. Where are 90% of those startups now? Bankrupt and out of business or bought up by the big players that have been around since well before airline deregulation.

Additionally, airlines have been charging fees for every little thing they can to prop up their profits. Think back to the days before airline deregulation (at least for those of us that were flying in the '50s, '60s and '70s before deregulaiton) and compare the serivces provided for your ticket price with those provided today! There really is no comparison.

RE: Not convinced
By djcameron on 2/18/2011 1:45:39 PM , Rating: 2
Airline service reduction is not because of deregulation, nor airline profits. Airlines haven't really made any money in years, mostly due to union labor contracts...and collective bargaining laws are basically government intervention into free market economics.
Today airlines fly to far more destinations, and far more regularly, and far more safely, than in the 50s, 60s, and 70s.

RE: Not convinced
By maven81 on 2/18/2011 1:58:52 PM , Rating: 1
"and collective bargaining laws are basically government intervention into free market economics."

So you're basically saying you want to go back to a time when child labor was perfectly legal.

RE: Not convinced
By wookie1 on 2/18/2011 2:13:28 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, because there's no way a law against child labor could be passed without a union to pass it. All this time I thought that even non-union citizens voted for legislators and the president.

I think that the poster that you replied to was talking about expensive collective bargaining agreements, not child labor.

RE: Not convinced
By maven81 on 2/18/2011 2:21:57 PM , Rating: 4
You're giving him too much credit. All he was saying was government intervention into business = bad. This is clearly not ALWAYS the case. In fact sometimes you need that intervention, or wall street will drive us off the cliff. Did people sleep through 2008 or what?!

RE: Not convinced
By djcameron on 2/18/2011 2:24:36 PM , Rating: 1
You are correct, sir!

RE: Not convinced
By Kurz on 2/18/2011 1:57:24 PM , Rating: 2
You don't know the laws even if it was claimed there was deregulation there probably wasn't. Governments once have oversight and power rarely give it up. If they do its usually of no consquence.

Most startups do fail within the first few years of inception. Its called free market for a reason, some succed many fail. It prevents miss allocation of resources and wasteful spending.

Airlines I believe are trying out a different charging model. Extra services are being charged and there is a lower upfront ticket price. Speaking to your Comparison part of your paragraph, unless you make a comparison your argument is going no where.

RE: Not convinced
By yomamafor1 on 2/18/2011 3:01:46 PM , Rating: 2
Actually that's not entirely true. Deregulations did bring along competitions, but it also brought along collusion and corruption.

Case in point: the power shortage crisis in California during the early 2000 was a direct result of deregulations. The skyrocketing energy price in Texas is also a direct result of deregulations.

In this case, without regulations, telecoms and internet companies can easily collude with each other, and we all get screwed.

RE: Not convinced
By jconan on 2/19/2011 10:22:16 PM , Rating: 2
That's why there are government laws on anti-price fixing and the like, as companies use that defeat competition or to their own advantage. But however congress hasn't addressed the telecommunications company as they are providing service in a conflict of interest to squash competition. A cable provider whose prior sole ability was just to provide media, and now they also provide entertainment. To squash competitors all they have to do is make it slow for their clients who will jump back to cable or vice versa. Congress should address this portion before they go on net neutrality as it basically is a double edged sword. If everyone wants net neutrality they should complain to their congressional representative telling them what they want.

RE: Not convinced
By Sazabi19 on 2/18/2011 3:57:37 PM , Rating: 2
We can't pull an Egypt, if we do that we are viewed as disidents and are ridiculed by the mass media and the brainwashed idiots believe it, they did see it on the tv after all, it must be true (like everything on the internet). This country will probably fall very hard before it gets it act together, especially the new generation coming in here, not many of us have sense anymore. I'm 21 and I know the idiots i went to school with, and i honestly fear for the future of this country :(.

RE: Not convinced
By cmdrdredd on 2/21/2011 11:22:14 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not convinced that "net neutrality" would increase service and lower costs. History has shown, time and again, that whenever the government gets in the middle, service declines, and prices go up. Deregulation of telecommunications in the 80s has led to massive competition and lower costs. Airlines, Auto Insurance, etc are other examples.

I agree but the government should step in and force Comcast and others to honor "unlimited internet service" no matter what. The idea that Comcast can cap me because sometimes I watch a lot of HD streaming is ridiculous. Also, there should be no monopoly of the lines of communication used. In my area either Comcast owns the cable lines or ATT owns the telephone. Those lines should be publicly owned and operated by NON UNION workers and leased to any company that wants to provide internet or TV service across them. Then you have a price war and we all win. However, since the government has allowed the monopoly to continue we don't enjoy anything like this and we're left up to the mercy and whim of a corporate entity.

What's throttling?
By sorry dog on 2/18/2011 11:23:25 AM , Rating: 2
I'm all for allowing Muni Wifi...the old franchise telecom rules are way outdated.

And Comcast singling out torrent traffic wasn't cool. However, I have my doubts that the government can define what throttling is or isn't and the law not have unintended consequences on future tech development.

You can call it net neutrality or whatever but any law actually does comes down how the actual language of the statute defines certain "throttling."

RE: What's throttling?
By Shig on 2/18/2011 11:27:06 AM , Rating: 2
Throttling at its simplest form is charging you for 'unlimited' data but 'capping' it instead.

RE: What's throttling?
By JasonMick on 2/18/2011 11:40:53 AM , Rating: 2
Throttling at its simplest form is charging you for 'unlimited' data but 'capping' it instead.

This, and also throttling is if you're promised a certain speed (e.g. 10 Mbps) but get your connection slowed for making full use of that speed.

Say you use Netflix streaming all the time so average 5 Mbps, v. Joe Schmoe who only browses Wikipedia and uses 0.5 Mbps on avg... your connection gets knocked to 2 Mbps and you're videos now take longer to load and have interruptions.

(These are fictitious numbers... the actual speeds would be different, though the scenario would be similar.)

Comcast, etc. pockets more profit, because its spending less money on electricity, can cut back on router hardware costs, etc.

RE: What's throttling?
By Iaiken on 2/18/2011 12:15:47 PM , Rating: 3
your connection gets knocked to 2 Mbps and you're videos now take longer to load and have interruptions.

This doesn't include the natural conflict of interest whereby throttling your Netflix gives the ISP's own internet media offerings an unnatural advantage.

This ruling essentially gave ISP's permission to engage in anti-competitive behavior by damaging the quality of the competitions services that rely on the ISP's network for delivery.

It also opens the door for them charging you for a la carte site usage.

Want to use Google instead of Verizon's free search? Fee.
Want to use Facebook instead of Comcasts networking site? Fee.

It won't matter what you do, the telecom will make money off you, if you try to use a website that they won't directly derive revenue from there will be a Fee. In the end, the customer will suffer as the telecom essentially penalizes the consumer for executing choice.

RE: What's throttling?
By JasonMick on 2/18/2011 12:20:31 PM , Rating: 3
It also opens the door for them charging you for a la carte site usage.

Want to use Google instead of Verizon's free search? Fee.
Want to use Facebook instead of Comcasts networking site? Fee.

Agreed... and the real problem then becomes the issue of collusion. Telecoms have clearly been colluding in terms of pricing and service plan provisions, but good luck proving that...

There's 3 or 4 service providers act effectively as a single monopoly identity, but you can't prove that, so it's much harder than if one company is acting as a monopoly.

You can't say corporations didn't get wiser during the course of the 1900s! Now you can have a monopoly and say, "Oh no, there's three of us, really!"

Since there's nothing illegal about anticompetitive actions if you don't have a monopoly, these violations you outline will likely go unpunished...

RE: What's throttling?
By djcameron on 2/18/2011 1:55:16 PM , Rating: 2
and the real problem then becomes the issue of collusion. Telecoms have clearly been colluding in terms of pricing and service plan provisions, but good luck proving that...

So basically, it's a straw man argument, right?

RE: What's throttling?
By erple2 on 2/22/2011 6:19:11 PM , Rating: 2
It's not THAT ridiculous. I do find it interesting that the major players in the US in the wireless market have stunningly similar cost structures. Maybe it's a surprising coincidence that the cost of doing business in the Wireless space are the same for ATnT, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile. But I'm not so sure.

RE: What's throttling?
By mead drinker on 2/18/2011 11:56:16 AM , Rating: 2
Throttling at its simplest form is charging you for 'unlimited' data but 'capping' it instead.

Not quite.

Throttling is the dynamic shaping of your internet connection to limit data transmission over a period of time. The idea being that the ISP has a limited amount of throughput but has "oversold" that bandwidth to consumers at a dedicated rate of service(1.5 mbps, 6 mbps, etc.) Usually this is not an issue as nobody is ever using their full bandwidth cap 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It remains an issue for ISPs however because from 5-7 pm internet usage goes up and the "power users" people that torrent 24/7, stream from Netflix, etc. impede others from gaining access. The solution, is not for the shitty ISP to ultimately upgrade their network but rather throttle the "power user" so that everyone can do such menial tasks as checking their facebook and refreshing the page every 5 seconds.

With cloud computing for Joe Schmoe on the horizon, netflix full library on demand, IPTV etc. this country is gonna have a rude awakening when it comes to IP infrastructure. I honestly see "demand" meters and usage charges being implemented as a pricing structure for the internet consumer market.

RE: What's throttling?
By Iaiken on 2/18/2011 1:54:20 PM , Rating: 3
With cloud computing for Joe Schmoe on the horizon, netflix full library on demand, IPTV etc. this country is gonna have a rude awakening when it comes to IP infrastructure.

Not if the ISPs can put innovators like Netflix, Hulu and cloud providers out of business so they can charge more for maintaining the status quo and their cable TV subscription base.

Why compete when you can just harm the competitors service indirectly and blame the consumers themselves. It's not the ISPs fault that their network fell into a state of deficiency because they were too busy rolling in the money they should have put into upgrades and expansions.

Not so complicated
By Shadowself on 2/18/2011 12:41:14 PM , Rating: 4
Why do people make "Net Neutrality" so complicated?

It is simple. Net Neutrality means every bit is treated like every other bit. It's neutral. Period.

If the path goes like this
A -> B
where A is the source of the bits and B is paying for the service then B is the *only* entity that can say what can be done differently to the bits B receives. A can decide to have the pipe or not. It can be a source or not. A negotiates a service with B that B chooses. If A is just putting the bits out there it cannot treat the bits going to B any differently than if it sending bits to X, Y or Z.

If the path goes like this
A -> B -> C -> D -> E
and E pays for the service to D (and sometimes to A) (and part of that money goes from D to C, and part of C's money goes to B, etc.) then E is the only entity can can say what can be done differently to the bits along the path to it. Elements B, C and D are *neutral* to all the bits except as explicitly directed by E who is paying the bill. Again, A can decide to be a source or not.

If the path goes like this
A -> B -> C -> D -> F
(note last element is "F" as opposed to "E") again, B, C and D are just neutral pipes. They don't get to choose what bits get priority or any other differentiating factor for those bits that are received by F. F gets to choose its service. B, C and D cannot treat any data going to F any differently than the data going to E unless F says so. Similary, A gets to chose to be a source or not. It cannot treat its service to F any differently than its service to E unless F and E themselve choose different service plans. Don't want to be a source on the 'net, then just don't do it.

Anything else is not "Net Neutrality". Any other description of this is pure obfuscation.

Doing net neutrality -- and enforcing net neutrality -- per the description here stops throttling except as authorized by the end user. Doing net neutrality as described here eliminates any argument over municipal systems (the end user gets to choose what system he/she gets to purchase from, no other discussion allowed).

This is the closest thing possible to true neutrality. The 'net itself is 100% neutral to the bits. No prioritization the providers of the pipes, no behind the scenes shuffling.

Want a free market? Make the 'net 100% neutral.

Want to stop illegal traffic? Prosecute those that send or receive that illegal traffic. Don't make the "bit pipe" do it for you. It won't work.

OK, I'm done with my tirade.

RE: Not so complicated
By Dr of crap on 2/18/2011 12:56:43 PM , Rating: 1
Excellent sir!

RE: Not so complicated
By djcameron on 2/18/11, Rating: 0
RE: Not so complicated
By MrFord on 2/18/2011 2:39:00 PM , Rating: 3
You ARE already paying more if you want to use more. That's why your Internet plan had a speed cap, "up to xxMbps".
If you want a faster connection, you pay more.
That's all they should be allowed to regulate, because you choose what you need, and pay the amount required.

Same thing on the other side, Company X pays $$/month to have a 3Mbps NxT1 for it's web service, and Company B pays $$$/month for a 10Mbps EoC.

The idea of bribing clients so that they're not restricted between both points is just that, bribes. And it's not like the Tier 3 are giving away their bandwidth right now.
What they want is that the government closes their eyes and let them play dirty tricks on everybody to boost their bottom line. They know it is getting pretty hard to charge more for the same level of service, so they want you to charge you the same for less.

I don't understand why people would be against net neutrality. I don't see how, as a customer, they would be in a win situation. The providers are working very hard to shut down emerging competition, either in content or services, and increasingly charge more for the same service, and people are applauding. People are chanting "Free market!" while these companies are lobbying to buy said market for themselves.

RE: Not so complicated
By Iaiken on 2/18/2011 2:44:57 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently you missed the part where the middle men still get paid... you know... the exact same way they already do...

The only difference being, they can't show preference towards internal traffic over that of their neighbors.

RE: Not so complicated
By Boze on 2/18/2011 2:49:49 PM , Rating: 2
Hardware obsolescence is a cost of doing business, plain and simple. I pay my $59.95 for a pathetic 1 mbps upstream / 10 mbps downstream to MetroCrap Communications to cover all of those things. Renting of a big pipe from L3 or AT&T. New hardware. Maintenance. Etc.

We're already paying more or less in just the past 8 years. 8 years ago I paid Time-Warner Cable $44.95 for a 6 mbps upstream / 15 mbps downstream connection in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Now I pay $15 more for 5 less upstream and 5 less downstream. On top of the increased instability of my MetroCrap connection over my Time-Warner connection, I'm forced to pay more for less.

I want a fat pipe from my ISP, and that's all, and I imagine there's a lot more Americans out there like me who feel the same way.

RE: Not so complicated
By MrFord on 2/18/2011 3:10:13 PM , Rating: 2
I hear ya. I know Verizon ain't angels, but FiOS has been a god send gift here in NJ and NY. They're generally not that much cheaper, but at least you get what you pay for. I'm sure there will come a day where they will let us down, but so far, in 2½ years, I've had nothing but praises for the quality of the picture in HD, the fact that Internet is fast like it should be, and that I never had to have a service call, ever.

Time Warner in the city is a joke. But all the sudden, now that FiOS is slowly (and I mean SLOWLY) expanding in Manhattan, things are getting more interesting. Same thing on Long Island with Cablevision. And it certainly wasn't for the lack of customers that these guys had virtually a monopoly.

Competition is great. But see how long it took before we were able to have an alternative? Verizon basically couldn't squeeze anything else from their DSL/copper line network, and had no other choices than go for fiber optic, and in the same time, kick their competition right where it hurts. It cost them millions to implement, but they will be able to profit from it for years to come.

People are willing to pay IF they're getting their money worth of services.

RE: Not so complicated
By djcameron on 2/18/2011 2:03:32 PM , Rating: 1
Want to stop illegal traffic? Prosecute those that send or receive that illegal traffic. Don't make the "bit pipe" do it for you.

LOL! Why don't you just leave your door unlocked on your house, car, and business?? You can just prosecute those that violate your space, right?

RE: Not so complicated
By Boze on 2/18/2011 2:43:28 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, you can moron. Its called "trespassing". Stop debating on the Internet. In fact, stop talking. You don't know have the basic knowledge of general... anything... it seems, to even make the most basic arguments.

When someone steals a car and kills a pedestrian, you don't prosecute the owner of the car, you prosecute the driver of the car at the time when the pedestrian was killed. That's what he's advocating.

Its not hard to understand, unless you're an idiot.

Why are we still even talking about this?
By GeekWithFire on 2/18/2011 1:14:44 PM , Rating: 2
I simply don't understand why we are still talking about this. We are in debt; serious debt! The kind of throttling being discussed is a business decision, to save costs. Businesses that require internet for their operations negotiate these sorts of things within contracts, so it isn't going to affect them. That means we are talking about residential areas. How does that help our economy? We need to stop arguing about entitlements and get down to business. And by the way, business means making money, not making jobs. Somewhere along the line we as American's have forgotten that, which has led to an increase in entitlement, and a decrease of entrepreneurialism.


A "stupid", rural living, republican voting, network administrator,

RE: Why are we still even talking about this?
By maven81 on 2/18/2011 2:09:04 PM , Rating: 1
"And by the way, business means making money, not making jobs."

Then you'd have no problem with me firing you and shipping your job over to China. You really are stupid.

RE: Why are we still even talking about this?
By GeekWithFire on 2/18/2011 2:34:57 PM , Rating: 2
If my job could be done in China cheaper, and my employer can afford to sacrifice quality and lead time, then whether I would mind if they fire me is not relevant. As I mentioned, it is not my employers job to provide me with one. It's my job to allow my employer to make a profit. When liberalism is removed from capitalism, it works every time it is tried.

RE: Why are we still even talking about this?
By maven81 on 2/18/2011 3:17:13 PM , Rating: 1
"If my job could be done in China cheaper, and my employer can afford to sacrifice quality and lead time"

That's not even an IF. If the only goal of a business should be to make money, then quality and lead time are irrelevant, only profit matters.

"As I mentioned, it is not my employers job to provide me with one. It's my job to allow my employer to make a profit."

It IS their job to provide you with one if you sign a contract with them. Now if all you should be worried about is maximizing their profits (do you write speeches for CEOs or what?!) Then logically you should volunteer to give up any and all 401k contributions, health insurance, disability, pay for your coffee, pay for a parking spot if you have one etc etc etc. What kind of nightmare do you want us to live in?!

RE: Why are we still even talking about this?
By GeekWithFire on 2/18/2011 4:18:36 PM , Rating: 2
What kind of nightmare do you want us to live in?!

A sustainable one. It's not scary. Take the hand of a conservative, they will show you the way.

By croc on 2/18/2011 10:18:16 PM , Rating: 2
Hmmm... Let's take your argument to the logical conclusion. Let's use the US constitution's preamble as the start of that argument.

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Now, from that see what govt.'s role truly is. "Form a more perfect Union"... Now, some historical context needs to be added here. By 'a more perfect Union', what was meant in reality was to end the monarchistic rule imposed by England on its colonies, and end the 'taxation without representation' that the Declaration of Independence referred to. Some sort of legalistic framework had to be put into place, as after the war of revolution there was basically none - which would make it impossible to 'establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity'. Some more historical context - the reason that a Union was sought at all was the fact that individually none of the thirteen colonies by themselves could hope to take on the might of England and persevere. But if all thirteen colonies could agree on a common framework, in other words, form an agreed union, then they could all provide together the 'common defence' required by such a small set of colonies against such a large power as England. Note that no where in the preamble is there any MENTION of business, let alone the govt.'s position in regards to business. However, do note the clause, 'promote the general Welfare'. Now, that COULD be construed to have something to do with business, but again - look at the historical context. Up to that time, England was providing many functions that this new union would now have to provide. Markets, some roads needed to get from the rural areas to those markets, a common currency, the historical list of what england DID do for the colonies was rather long and exhaustive, as England was a very organized colonizer, albeit a bit greedy due to some of the wars that required capital to run. So, england demanded taxes from their colonies to pay for wars and conflicts that for the most part did not directly benefit said colonies, but DID benefit England's ability to continue to run those colonies effectively. For instance, the French wanted their bit of the 'new world' as did Spain. Portugal wanted to keep their control of the 'silk road' that brought spices, etc. from foreign markets, and England wanted some of that market as well, instead of paying all of those tariffs to Portugal. Portugal, England and France were all vying for control of Africa, to establish even more colonies... And all of these players in history at that time thought that getting whatever they could get from their conquests was in the best interests of those conquered... Hmm... This begins to sound a bit familiar...

Anyway, to get back to the original argument, Business was never referred to directly in the US constitution, but all regulation of said business DOES fall under the clause 'promote the general Welfare' inasmuch as it applies to the general populace. Keynesian theories aside, no business will 'promote the general welfare' of its customers unless it has to, and if there are several companies competing directly in the same market then they WILL collude wherever possible...

So get govt. out of business entirely. Each to their own. Fix your own roads, set up your own mail delivery, make yourself your own ISP, etc. In other words, dissolve the Union that the Constitution was set up to promote. Why not, it worked so well for your forefathers, surely it will work now... Then you can set up a new Union, "Of the Business, By the Business and For the Business, No Rules Attached"

By jhie on 2/18/2011 2:15:23 PM , Rating: 2
If Comcast is able to turn the internet into just another cable channel paradigm, it will not particularly effect whatever you have in mind about debt and national enthusiasm – it may in fact have a detrimental effect as the internet experienced becomes channeled to only large, well-funded providers.

By HoosierEngineer5 on 2/18/2011 3:03:30 PM , Rating: 2
Sometimes, Republicans forget that pro-business should only be a means to an end; superior competition. Without that,the consumer has no hope. Making money should be the reward for being able to a superior competitor, not a superior lobbyist.

By drycrust3 on 2/20/2011 1:48:42 PM , Rating: 2
We are in debt; serious debt!

Not being an American, it surprises me that there isn't more concern about the level of debt America has, and more importantly, how fast that debt is growing.
Along with the push for metered internet plans, all of this means that customers will be paying more, while getting less -- less website access, less speed, and less traffic types.

Years ago, when the telecommunications market was opening up to competition in New Zealand (where I live) I said to a friend "Well, that will push prices down" and he said, "No it won't", so I asked him to explain and his reasoning was that when you have one supplier of phone calls, and especially long distance phone calls, you just have one lot of switching equipment, one lot of fibre optic cable, one lot of administration, etc, all of which has to be paid for by the end user.
But if you have two (or more), then you have two (or more) lots of switching equipment, two (or more) lots of fibre, two (or more) lots of administration, etc, thus the end user pays for two (or more) lots of everything.
With the internet, having a company restrict those who exceed a monthly cap to a low speed means the cost to the end user goes down, not up, because the ISP isn't an island, they are part of a network, and that means they have to pay for the sum of traffic their customers generate.
If, for example, I generate 10% of that traffic, then using Jason's logic I should pay no more than people that generate 0.0001% of the traffic, which means the ISP has to charge them more to cover the cost of my 10% of traffic. The problem with that is this ISP starts to become uncompetitive and other ISPs, who don't have me on their network, are cheaper, so the customers start to migrate away. This migration away means the ISP has to charge the remaining customers more for my usage, pushing them to other ISPs which slowly pushes up the cost to the end user, and eventually they have to close down. All the while I am laughing because I am getting a free ride at the expense of others.
However, if I have to pay my fair share or suffer with a slow speed, then either I will restrict my usage or I will pay the ISP more, meaning the other end users have a lower bill, meaning the ISP is able to keep their costs down and remain competitive and remain in business.
In regards to Jason's "less website" comments, since most of the websites we access are given to us by a search engine, then those websites are determined by the search engine algorithms and by the fact that most of us don't bother looking past the second page of 5 million results for a website, not by the ISP. My guess is your firewall, browser, and antivirus software (that's if you run Windows) are more restrictive than your ISP. Do you use Windows as your operating system? If you do, then do you question your antivirus software supplier about how they decide on what websites you can or can't see? If you don't, then you won't worry about your ISP either; if you do, then maybe it's time to get a better OS.

Just a slight or should I say major correction
By Kurz on 2/18/2011 11:27:25 AM , Rating: 2
ATT was protected back then by various governments.
It was till they had enough public backlash that government and the judical system split up ATT into its various parts.
Which have again grown into quite a monopoly as of late because of government policy.

If only Local governments didn't give and continue to give special rights to certain ISPs we wouldn't be in the mess we are today.

Monopolies can only exist with the state aidding them.
Monopolies cannot exist without the state.

RE: Just a slight or should I say major correction
By jhie on 2/18/2011 2:01:26 PM , Rating: 2
> Monopolies can only exist with the state aidding them.
> Monopolies cannot exist without the state.

While government is capable of aiding and abetting a monopoly it is not inherent to government. Monopoly is, however, a logical end result of raw, unregulated capitalism as a particular player in a market gains enough economies of scale and capital to acquire or force out other players. The classic example is Standard Oil (resulting in anti-trust laws).

By Iaiken on 2/18/2011 4:05:46 PM , Rating: 2
Monopoly is, however, a logical end result of raw, unregulated capitalism as a particular player in a market gains enough economies of scale and capital to acquire or force out other players.

Indeed, pure unregulated capitalism leads to a perverted form of socialism. Only instead of everything being run by the government, everything is run by Unicorp, including the government and national security. The worst part is, if you don't work for Unicorp, you're essentially not a citizen.

RE: Just a slight or should I say major correction
By Kurz on 2/18/2011 7:58:03 PM , Rating: 2
Thats a falsehood that capitalism leads to a monopoly.

By sorry dog on 2/19/2011 10:19:36 AM , Rating: 2
It depends on the business...

Factors like Barriers to entry/exit and locality are an example that help determine the number of players in a sector.

Take Jumbo Jet building which today is basically a duopoly. It's because the cost of entry is so high (and risky) that only one or two players can afford to play. New entrants would face cost of capital, knowledge, or talent disadvantaged leading to greater costs.

But with something like restaurants then the barriers to entry are low, so there are many entrants to the market.

However, a market like real estate will always be local by nature which makes it very hard to concentrate.

Your words differ from your actions...
By cruisin3style on 2/19/2011 3:06:59 PM , Rating: 1
Republican line: Small businesses fuel the innovation and growth of our economy. We need to stop the Obama administration's hampering of business through uncertainty, et al, and grow the economy.

Republican action: block/kill a bill that would keep big companies from being able to purchase "faster" internet accessibility than small businesses that probably won't be able to afford it.

Republican line: We need to cut spending to get this country on a good fiscal path again.

Republican action: Force Democrats to pass $160 billion over 2 years of tax cuts for the wealthy so that Democrats could pass unemployment benefits (or whatever they are) as well as passing tax cuts for everyone under $250k. Democrats even proposed to extend the tax cuts for anyone who makes $1 million (but not those who make more than that) but the Republicans would not agree to anything other than tax cuts for all income levels. (keep in mind that this is real income, taxable income...not a $1 million dollar business, but $1 million of actual income). Nice that we can pass legislation where 20% of the dollar amount of tax cuts only applies to, what was it, 2.5% of our population.

RE: Your words differ from your actions...
By Quadrillity on 2/19/2011 5:00:43 PM , Rating: 2
Do you not realize what else was in the bill? They slammed tons of other BS legislation in there. Look at it this way, if you had the chance to vote on a bill that allows you to get free ice-cream on fridays if it also contains a piece that allows the pedo's to rape children? No, you wouldn't.
Force Democrats to pass $160 billion over 2 years of tax cuts for the wealthy

Do you think it's fair to tax someone more than 60% of their total income just because they are "rich". Personally, I think they should focus on a flat tax for citizens AND businesses.

RE: Your words differ from your actions...
By cruisin3style on 2/19/2011 6:59:53 PM , Rating: 1
I don't know all of what is in the bill, and I don't know what it is fair to tax someone. I think it is sad that all kinds of crap gets thrown into bills like they do. However, I do know that I would bet everything I'm worth that Republicans won't introduce a similar bill without any crap added in because I'm pretty sure they don't want this bill to pass.

In any case I'm not saying Democrats are much better if at all, just this article was about Republicans. I think Republicans tend to do things mostly for big business or higher income individuals, while Democrats are somewhat idealistic types (i.e. health care bill despite huge debt). Both spend too much money, if you ask me.

By Quadrillity on 2/19/2011 7:47:40 PM , Rating: 2
See my earlier posts to find out what I think about both (or any) party. They all serve self interests; end of story.

The "Tea Party" is a grassroots effort, so they aren't exactly in the same category though. So I guess there are exceptions. I don't associate myself with any political entity because I make a judgment call against my long established personal values for each individual issue. If all politicians would do this, I don't think we would have such a gloomy outlook. Nothing will ever be perfect though.

By cruisin3style on 2/22/2011 2:40:02 PM , Rating: 2
Both of my responses get rated down a few days later instead of this person commenting and responding to my comments which, at least this first one, are absolute facts and information that comes straight from listening to the actual house/senate debates. I dare anyone to dispute this data, as they can go to and hear it for themselves.

Typical of dailytech, some right-leaning people come in to the comments section and rate down anything that doesn't jibe with their ideals. I've noticed this usually happens either after work hours the same day, or a few days later.

They already do anyways
By Shig on 2/18/2011 11:25:01 AM , Rating: 1
and there will be ways to get around it.

The poor / rural will continue to lose. Business as usual.

RE: They already do anyways
By Kurz on 2/18/2011 11:28:09 AM , Rating: 2
The Poor and Rural are not profitable for most companies.

RE: They already do anyways
By Jalek on 2/22/2011 7:55:44 AM , Rating: 2
If the current Republicans had been in charge, rural areas would still have no electricity or phone service.

By SSDMaster on 2/18/2011 12:15:42 PM , Rating: 2
Take for example the trend towards cutting "unlimited" data plans on cell phones -- AT&T and Verizon both made the switch and now it looks like Sprint and T-Mobile may follow.

Verizon never put a data cap on their smartphone unlimited plan. They did put a cap on tethering and the mobile USB thinger's.

But downloading 10GB to my phone a month gets me the same bill. And tethering through easytether gets me the same bill...

Unless your talking about throttling the smartphone connection. They def do that.

I demand my spectrum back
By HoosierEngineer5 on 2/18/2011 2:54:49 PM , Rating: 2
Living 3 miles from the city limits of a top-100 city, I never expected the telecoms to provide broadband internet. Now I see that they are trying to take it back from those it previously provided it to.

If I am not provided service to the airwaves the government sold to these telecoms, I demand that it return such airwaves to the rightful owners, the people of the US. Perhaps we can make a better decision as to how they are to be used.

By HoosierEngineer5 on 2/18/2011 3:07:50 PM , Rating: 2
It's interesting that few people care whether or not broadband is made available to any specific individual or not. But it amazes me how important it is that if you do have access to broadband, it better not be limited, not by even a single bit (pun intended).

Slanted article
By haldiggs on 2/18/2011 3:07:51 PM , Rating: 2
This is sooo stupid. Did anyone really check who voted for what?

Yeah for the most paret they voted along party lines but more Democrats jumped the line than did Republicans. This looks to be an inside deal all around. Why we have to bring in who controls what is beyond me. Must be a 12 year old baby that wrote this thing.

Give me the news! Leave out your slated views especially when they are wrong.

Read this again...
By Astral Abyss on 2/18/2011 3:55:31 PM , Rating: 2
"On February 17, 2011 (Thursday), the new Republican 112th Congress voted to overturn the spending bill before it could reach a Senate vote. With the death of a bill comes the death of the legislation to give the FCC power to regulate net neutrality."

Notice it doesn't say they opposed net neutrality? It says they opposed the spending bill, which just so happened to have a net neutrality clause tacked onto it. This is nothing new. All kinds of things get tacked onto big bills in the hope they'll get pushed through without much fight.

The problem here is that they tried to tack this onto a spending bill that they HAD TO KNOW was going to be challenged. I mean, most of these Republicans got into office based on their predecessors overspending. If they DIDN'T vote against this bill, they'd have really, truly pissed off their voter base, which is not what a first-termer really wants to do.

The article then goes on to quote a Republican, granted a rather liberal one, but still a Republican, John McCain, who says he likes net neutrality. Umm, what?

So lets recap:

1) Article claims Republican's oppose net neutrality but then says what they really oppose is the spending bill.

2) Article, after saying Republican's don't like net neutrality, then has a quote from a Republican who states that he's pro net neutrality.

3) Article neglects to mention there are Congressmen, both Republican and Democrat, that oppose net neutrality, and those that are for it, both Republican and Democrat.

dont like it?
By Bytre on 2/18/2011 5:04:33 PM , Rating: 2
Don't like it? Call or write to your representative and senators. They are driven by the "party line", but they are also influenced by their constituents and enough of that influence can cause changes to the party line.

The saddest part is?
By atlmann10 on 2/18/2011 11:45:19 PM , Rating: 2
The saddest part is that the large number of citizens either do not see this, or just try to blame someone else in general at all times.

The Republican and Democratic party have already bankrupted this nation we just do not yet realize it. However; in general everyone is still arguing about which one is right. Wake up that is what they want.

The easiest way to get a human group to follow you is fear. The brightest thing either groups does (as they both do it to their prospective group) is fear mentality. Tell the old people they will take your social security and other benefits etc, tell the liberals they will kill you country with pollution etc, tell the conservatives they will take away your right, tell the capitalist's they will take away free industry. This all happens from both groups at different times to outweigh the other side.

A revolution is a good point, but no one does it they just say let's wait and see what happens. I agree whole entirely with one of the post's on here we do not need another party. We need politicians to be singular, and to be held responsible singularly for there actions period.

This taxation system is also really, really old. That should be changed to, and we have the internet people! We have mass communication all over the board. Why can a politician not have specific boundaries in constituents, then the votes are tabulated by every citizen, and then the politician for there district has to hold to the majority of his constituent. On top of that everyone in there constituency should receive the results of every vote they make period.

By GruntboyX on 2/19/2011 1:43:35 AM , Rating: 2
The thing I try and remind myself is that TV is a luxury. If the cable company throttles my bandwidth to certain services to "entice" me to subscribe to their overpriced video delivery system, then I simply ignore it and find something else to do.

As long as I can pay my bills, research for my education and job, and communicate. Then the basic need for the internet is fulfilled. All other activities are "nice to have" I can go read a book, Exercise, spend 120 bucks a month on a very fulfilling hobby, or just go to bed early and be more productive for tomorrow.

TV is an elastic good. I voted with my wallet and cut the cord and hung rabbit ears. So Netflix online gets tempered. It will do one of two things. Create the next generation of video compression technologies (great thing), or the service will live on as dvd by mail. I can wait. In many ways it will help save me some money each month as My hand will be forced to Throttle my demand, and subscribe to the bear minimum of service. Unlike now I consume the higher tiers and make the most value of it. Sure there will be some loss of nice services such as Amazon S3 and Mozy online backup. But hard drives and a safe deposit box are cheep.

Let the telco's try and ruin the internet. I dont care. They wont get another dollar out of me, because I DON'T HAVE to purchase their service. Its called choice via self control.

Enough people gain a little perspective, vote with their dollars and the pendulum will balance the other way.

Honestly I dont blame the Telco's too much. The only reason they are in a race to upgrade their networks, is so a bunch of cheapskates like me can watch 1080p video. Hardly an efficient delivery mechanism. They are forced to cool demand a little, otherwise they will erode their profitability and then the great internet brownouts and data caps will come.

I think everyone needs to take a deep breath and let it play out. Also, try getting a hobby that doesn't involve 1's and 0's. It will help cool the pipes a touch and give the telco's something else to compete with.

Remember Humanity has lived a very long time without television. You will continue to breath if you cut the cord.

The only thing that will piss me off, is if the Telco prevents my ability to update my computers to keep them secure. Then I'll be motivated to march up to Washington and burn the capital down. Until then, its not worth loosing sleep over. There are more important issues to get fired up about.

By Jalek on 2/22/2011 7:51:45 AM , Rating: 2
Where do you have THREE cable options?
Here it's the cable franchise, DSL (not available to me), or satellite/dialup/tin can and yarn.

Idiot Congressmen might think it's great to pay extra to the carrier as well as any subscription services, but they don't pay for anything anyway, the lobbyists are there to comp it all.

By seraphim1982 on 2/22/2011 3:53:32 PM , Rating: 2
That's all these clowns aka cable/telecoms want to do, is to create artificial scarcity.

The whole deal with unlimited internet was to get them from the old dialups systems into a new ages(cable/dsl), stating that unlimited download was the benefit. Unfortunately, when people found out that almost anything could be downloaded,then you reach a point of super-saturated market, in which that the networks were getting taxed, because of the amount of downloads going on. Thus the initiative to move to a throttling of the internet. They did that and people KNEW it was wrong, because they weren't getting the true service that they paid for. Especially with things like netflix and hulu, the cable providers network are put under more stress.

Their solution is the create an Artificial Scarcity, which, whoever pays more gets a better connection. That is the NEW tiered system based off amount of data is what are trying to implement.

By superstition on 2/25/2011 1:28:59 AM , Rating: 2
If Lieberman-style intimidation doesn't work and if not every company (Paypal, Amazon, et cetera) plays along...

you can always throttle the bandwidth down to nothing.

Since Republican policies favor consolidation (monopoly), the chances that the government will get favorable throttling control is strong.

But, really, who needs a free Internet? I think China has the right idea.

By dsx724 on 2/18/11, Rating: -1
RE: Idiots
By Quadrillity on 2/18/2011 11:29:29 AM , Rating: 4
Actually, it's BOTH democrats and rebulicans that have destroyed this nation. Politics in general have ruined everything. We should have stuck to the wisdom of our founding fathers; especially Franklin, Jefferson, and Washington.

Lawyers and lobbyists run this country now. Enjoy :)

RE: Idiots
By JasonMick on 2/18/2011 11:36:38 AM , Rating: 3
Actually, it's BOTH democrats and rebulicans that have destroyed this nation. Politics in general have ruined everything. We should have stuck to the wisdom of our founding fathers; especially Franklin, Jefferson, and Washington.

Lawyers and lobbyists run this country now. Enjoy :)

Yep. The main difference between Democrats and Republicans is who is paying them off and whose violations they are casting a blind eye to.

I think the South Park episode "Do*che or T*rd" summed it up nicely...

Sharon: "Stan, you came back. Does that mean... you learned the importance of voting?"
Stan: "I learned that I'd better get used to having to pick between a do*che and a t*rd sandwich because it's usually the choice I'll have."

RE: Idiots
By MrBlastman on 2/18/2011 12:11:42 PM , Rating: 2
Here here! Completely true.

This is why in the last election, I voted for quite a few Libertarians and Independents when I had the option to. I do admit though, I voted for a couple of Republicans also but, by and large, the majority of votes I cast were for independents.

The two-party system is killing America. All you have to do is go to CNN's comment boards or Fox's and you'll see a pattern. On CNN you have an extreme amount of leftists spouting all sorts of crap supporting our President. On Fox's, you will _always_ see some stupid crap against our President, even when the news story has NOTHING to do with politics at all.

It is terrible.

I can't stand either place. This is why Americans need to wake up, and I can sit here and verbose that they have not yet. They are all still asleep thinking one party or the other will save them.

The truth is, neither will. What they will do is serve their own special interest groups that put money in their pockets to keep getting re-elected.

RE: Idiots
By Murloc on 2/18/11, Rating: 0
RE: Idiots
By JasonMick on 2/18/2011 12:16:36 PM , Rating: 5
The problem is that by and large most U.S. citizens are unwilling or incapable of examining important issues on an individual, independent, and considerate basis, even if those issues impact their lives.

As a result they buy into a particular political brand, be it Republican, Democrat, Green Party, or Tea Party and then just take the agenda and talking points their party spoon feeds them.

Inevitably the members of the party will look to profit off this position of power, as they are doing today.

The only solution, really, is:
A) For people to start caring more about politics and...
B) For people to become more educated so as to develop the ability to understand and reason out complex issues and come to their own conclusions

RE: Idiots
By MrBlastman on 2/18/2011 12:28:45 PM , Rating: 5
B) For people to become more educated so as to develop the ability to understand and reason out complex issues and come to their own conclusions

I think people "think" they care about politics--heck, the amount of banter going back and forth about each party online can become asinine at times.

The second part though, about them reasoning through complex issues, I fear, stems from our school-systems being tied too much towards multiple-choice tests, standardized testing etc. and the subsequent requirement towards our teachers in these later years to spoon-feed facts into their students heads without ever having to rationalize through the facts as to why or how they are what they are.

In other words, Americans for decades have not been taught how to think. All you have to do is look around the world and see how we are failing. So, sadly enough, I fear that this "revelation" towards thought and contemplation of a candidates true positioning will not be as forthcoming a revolution as some of us would like to see.

Very few people know how to "think" critically, it is as if we and those recently before us forgot how to pass it on to the newer generations.

My wife constantly goads me to talk to my 1-year old and tell her various things--yet, I myself tend to prefer to sit with her quietly in a room and without any speech at all, guide her into a thought process of discovery so that she might figure out what I otherwise could tell her on her own. I only wish our school systems would realize the importance of such actions. Yes, it is a hard course to take at first, but, much like an exponential curve, the reward in the end is explosively greater than the linear progression that is gained through simply teaching memorization skills.

RE: Idiots
By Quadrillity on 2/18/2011 1:12:34 PM , Rating: 4
You are exactly right about the standarized tests; we are no longer teaching (or persuading) common sense rational.

As for your fatherly duties; I'm sure you are already more aware, but just as added measures: The very best advice that I can give you is to be actively involved in your daughters education. Reading with (not merely reading "to") is one of the most pro-active things that a parent can do! Teaching common sense thinking should be of high importance too.

And never let your schooling get in the way of your education!

RE: Idiots
By vol7ron on 2/18/2011 6:25:08 PM , Rating: 3
I agree with what most have said. As far as learning and critical thinking, I think the Socratic Method should be one of the foundations applied to elementary education. Asking "why?" does more for learning than anything else.

I fear our nation is becoming more and more like Idiocracy. While it's not the best idea, having some sort of base aptitude test would be beneficial to voting, but I guess a perfect system would also have a Fair Tax.

RE: Idiots
By CloudFire on 2/18/2011 11:08:16 PM , Rating: 3
For your fatherly duties part: Talk and read to her, while at the same time guild her onto new discoveries like you've been doing. Children are curious so it's very easy to play on their interests and build a great bonding relationship that way. But most importantly, talk, read, and communicate. The critical junction at 1-2 year old is very crucial for language development and will set a basis for future social development as well. To be honest, having degrees in Human/child development, I nearly died when you said you prefer silence. :)

RE: Idiots
By MrBlastman on 2/19/2011 12:06:13 AM , Rating: 2
Oh I'm not worried about the silent part. My wife if a early childhood teacher (K-5) and she does plenty of that. ;) I'm trying to take it a step further and institute a framework for thought processes now rather than having her try and develop it later through music/math (i.e. give her an edge in those areas) to complement the language skills (which she's already excelling in).

RE: Idiots
By superPC on 2/18/2011 12:30:52 PM , Rating: 2
maybe it's time to build a new political party. people are getting tired of the democrats and republics. maybe that can also increase interest in voting...

RE: Idiots
By Kurz on 2/18/2011 1:22:02 PM , Rating: 5
To be frank there is already movements to change the Republican party back to its foundings. A party based on Liberty, not sure if it'll be successful but lets see.

Though The citizens see government as a way to get money from someone else. That won't change at least in the near term. It'll require a lot of education and outreach to change the people's mind on the subject.

RE: Idiots
By mcnabney on 2/20/11, Rating: -1
RE: Idiots
By Kurz on 2/20/2011 1:02:47 AM , Rating: 1
HA I don't see those new Republicans as the answer.
I see the young party members to be the future.

RE: Idiots
By Quadrillity on 2/18/2011 1:35:33 PM , Rating: 2
maybe it's time to build a new political party.

That's exactly what we DON'T need to do. Political parties always lead to group think and scapegoats. Statesmen/women should be held accountable for thinking and acting for themselves (on behalf of the PEOPLE ) and not "for the party" because the party will never stand for the people.

I think one of the largest problems in this country is the mindset that the "government" should regulate EVERYTHING in our lives. The majority of the statesmen/women that are in power wipe their a$$ with the constitution ever single morning because they have lost sight of the one thing that the US Constitution had (past tense) established; which is: RESTRICTING the powers of government.

The Constitution is not a document that gives power to a governing body of the people; it's a document that RESTRICTS what the governing body can do. Until the we hit rock bottom (revolution) and the power of the people is restored (2nd amendment), this country will continue on it's downward spiral.

Just look in recent news for Gods sake ... they want to force us to buy health-care. Freedom much?

RE: Idiots
By yomamafor1 on 2/18/11, Rating: 0
RE: Idiots
By Quadrillity on 2/18/2011 3:13:09 PM , Rating: 5
Insurance and medical costs can be reduced if more people have insurance, which increase the insurance pool to offset the high risks individuals, but since it intrudes on my liberty, it shouldn't be done.

I think what you are overlooking is that well over half of the recipients of medial care do not pay for it (the taxpayers do.) Furthermore, the taxpayers in this country are outnumbered by the non-tax paying citizens. How is this sustainable? Also, health-care is not a God given right; it's a privilege. What's next; does everyone "deserve" a car?

Even though TORT reform can also reduce the insurance cost by limiting the payout for pain and suffering as a result of malpractice, but since it limits the amount of money I can receive, no way I'm supporting that.

I agree with you that frivolous lawsuits of malpractice are also draining the system; but that's almost a grain of sand compared to the amount of people who are benefactors of medicare (without contributing their fair amount). [Don't even get me start on the illegal aliens that show up in the emergency room every other day and rack up thousands or millions depending on the severity] I work at a hospital, so don't tell me that doesn't happen; I watch it every single day.

Forcing an optional service on someone is NOT an American value not matter how it's spun. Believe it or not, people do survive without medical care. If you don't believe me, then take a look back 200 years ago when there MIGHT have been one doctor in a 100 mile radius.

Don't misunderstand me. There needs to be radical reform in the health care industry, but government needs to stay out of the way as much as possible. Socialized medicine is not an American value, as it forces you to go with the "government" option. [note: do you think the high rank politicians are going to accept the same level of care as everyone else? I laugh at the thought of the social elite waiting in line just like the average citizen haha!] This kind of regulation will lead to MASSIVE quality control and accessibility issues; that I can promise you.

RE: Idiots
By yomamafor1 on 2/18/11, Rating: 0
RE: Idiots
By Quadrillity on 2/18/2011 3:51:22 PM , Rating: 2
The only option we can actually reduce the cost is to increase the insurance pool. Anyone with a basic understanding of economy should understand that concept easily.

It's not the only option; it is only one option.

But again, since "forcing me to purchase health insurance, which not only benefits me, but also others in the long run" is infringing on my liberty, so it is socialism.

Do you not see the downright illogical reasoning that you are using here? Going without running water and electricity also helps out my costs and the costs of the public, but that doesn't mean we should all stop flushing, showering, and refrigerating our food now does it? Forcing the sale of a service is NOT how this country was founded. There is not a single way to spin this. Health-care is an optional service . You are trying to post it such that people without health insurance are going to all spontaneously drop dead tomorrow.
just because a part of the population does not pay for their fair share does not make the cost go up.

LOL, I don't even know how to respond to this statement. I feel like I am talking to a tree right now.
Yes yes, because the American value we so cherish racked us up trillions in war debt, millions in poverty, and now millions without medical insurance.

We are getting kinda off topic, but I feel like I must address this... Since when did any document, person, or group of people guarantee you anything? Our founders granted us the pursuit of the American dream. Permanent poverty is a choice, and you will never convince me otherwise. The ratio of willingness and determination to poverty is 100% inversely related.
not only have the lowest life expectancy and above average infant mortality rate among all developed nation, but we're paying through our nose for the sub-standard medical care.

Where in the hell do you get these facts? ALL developed nations? No I don't think so; we pay a lot for our care, but I can assure you that it's among the very best in the world. I think you have mistaken our unappreciative state of luxury for a sense of entitlement. This mentality needs to stop.
Socialism means centralized planning of production of goods and services, where nationalized health care simply means increased amount of insurance pool to nation wide to drive the cost down. No one in the government tells the doctors which specialty they should practice, nor which procedure they should utilize.

As I said, I work in a hospital that serves over 1.5 million people; so I am on the battle grounds. I have been to several conferences for this very issue, so I know what socialized medicine is, and it's far from the definition that you provide.

You are probably over-thinking the issue... Forcing someone to buy something is unconstitutional; and I won't waste another sentence saying that.

RE: Idiots
By yomamafor1 on 2/18/11, Rating: 0
RE: Idiots
By Solandri on 2/18/2011 4:59:34 PM , Rating: 1

So I assume ranking 7th out of 7th industralized nation is "considered the very best".

I completely agree with you that health care in this country needs to be revamped and reformed. But that study and others like it are flawed because they include "equality" of health care as a factor in their rankings. Equality is already factored into stats like average lifespan, quality of life, and level of treatment needed. People who don't have health care live shorter lives, have a worse quality of life, and seek emergency room treatment later meaning they need more care when they finally do go to a hospital. So the fact that health care is unequal here already lowers our scores in those metrics.

By including equality as a separate metric, you are double-counting its impact and unfairly skewing the survey in favor of countries with universal health care. If you want to include equality as a separate metric, then you have to go back and remove all people without health insurance in the U.S. from your other metrics. That way you are comparing quality of potentially available health care, then weighting it by the equality of availability.

RE: Idiots
By Suganami on 2/19/2011 11:33:01 AM , Rating: 2
I was in a motorcycle accident back in 2005 when I was still a college student (my fault and no one else involved). Injuries weren't life threatening in the least, but I had to go to the emergency room and receive care. Granted, being a college student, I wasn't making much money at the time, but I responsibly payed the full bill ($2000+) with my credit card and spent a few months paying it off. I decided not to go back to get the full cast of my hand after seeing the bill. I just dealt with it. It's fine now though, and I came to realize it wouldn't have helped at all anyway. I didn't have healthcare, but I knew and accepted the financial risks. I still don't have healthcare, but I still know and accept the financial risks. I can pay for it, but it will diminish my overall quality of life due to increased expenses. For me, the benefits do not out-weight the costs. Keywords, "FOR ME", so I don't really care about anybody else's opinions on that matter. I don't want healthcare, and I am more than willing to pay the consequences should anything happen, so please tell me why I should be penalized by the government for not buying a product or service which I do not want nor plan to use. Where is my freedom to make that life choice? I understand your perspective on the topic, but I can't help but view your position as a "whatever the means justifies the end" approach. Just my 2 cents.

RE: Idiots
By Quadrillity on 2/19/2011 2:22:28 PM , Rating: 2
Where is my freedom to make that life choice? ... I can't help but view your position as a "whatever the means justifies the end" approach...

Unfortunately the "ends justify the means" is a prominent approach for a lot of people. I just can't see how forcing an optional service on someone is somehow a part of their "civil duties". What some fail to see is that this nation was never designed to have federal control over just about anything. The power is supposed to reside with the states. I think the outcome of the civil war provided the Fed with WAY too much power;

Mark my words... California will be asking for a bailout here soon; and I put my money that the taxpayers of the entire country will be at the mercy of the federal government when they decide to just dish out ungodly amounts of money.

I think health-care should not weigh of the backs of the taxpayers, rather it should be a local community effort. I think as a whole, we have totally lost sight of what it means to be a community. Why don't we take care of those who are our close neighbors? Why does my tax money go to someone that I don't even know? Don't get me wrong, I love to health out people, but If I can't directly see where my money is going (and where I CHOOSE it to go) how can I truly be aware of the good that it is or is not doing.

The incentives for helping out your closest neighbors far outweigh the condition of just throwing money to people you can't relate to. I think a gross misappropriation of tax money has almost reached it's breaking point; and until we learn that supporting your OWN community is the best route, we will forever forced to carry the weight of those who REFUSE (who are able, but not willing) to help pull the weight.

And I can promise you this, the taxpayers are only going to put up with this crap for a little while longer until the breaking point snaps. And at that point, we will be right in the same situation that our founders were in when trying to escape the extreme taxation of England. I hate saying that, but I see no other route. The federal government has been given way too much power, and it needs to be restored back into the hands of the people. We are tired of being told what is best for us.

RE: Idiots
By eggman on 2/18/2011 4:14:53 PM , Rating: 2
Do you have a solution for our health care mess?

RE: Idiots
By Quadrillity on 2/18/11, Rating: 0
RE: Idiots
By TheBaker on 2/19/2011 11:52:16 PM , Rating: 3
Anyone else have any ideas?

Allow the sale of insurance policies across state lines.

Allow the sale of "a la carte" services. I am a single male. I do not need maternity and child care benefits in my insurance.

Cap malpractice rewards and class action suits. Drug companies shouldn't be hit with hundreds of millions of dollar suits because people died from a drug. They should be hit with hundreds of million-dollar suits from each individual. Prove each case individually. Couple this with...

Institute a "loser pays" judicial system. ALL court fees are paid by the losing party. Are you just one guy going against a billion dollar company? Doesn't matter. If you are in the right and can prove it, hire the most expensive attorney you can find to make sure they can't just bully you into settling. When you are vindicated in court, they will have to pay your attorney fees. But be sure it's not a frivolous suit or you'll be paying THEIR bills. A VAST majority of cases are settled for millions just to avoid the even higher attorney fees that would be incurred proving their innocence and those costs are tacked onto the cost of your prescriptions.

That's a few ideas, for starters.

RE: Idiots
By bobny1 on 2/19/2011 12:11:33 AM , Rating: 2
Perhaps we need to copy the EGYPTIANS!!. Unfortunately, POLITE is not a word in the modern dictionary. "Including the American"...What a shame!

RE: Idiots
By Looey on 2/18/11, Rating: 0
RE: Idiots
By YashBudini on 2/18/2011 2:40:26 PM , Rating: 1
B) For people to become more educated so as to develop the ability to understand and reason out complex issues and come to their own conclusions

And how will that happen? Each party allows, even assists, their cult followers to practice premeditated ignorance. You can't teach past that, no matter what. There's no way to out-Faux them.

RE: Idiots
By Dr of crap on 2/18/2011 12:36:48 PM , Rating: 4
Man I thought I'd never see anyone share my view!

I hate the two parites fighting each other. It's like watching kids. Always at each other. And I hate it when someone asks which party are you backing. I will not put myself with ANY political party!
I vote for who I think will do the best job regardless of which party they may be with.
But then I find that there aren't enough choices. Most politicans are just lying crap, and I refuse to vote for any on them.
The ability for groups to give money to politicans to sway votes HAS to stop. If not I and a lot of others will not vote again.

RE: Idiots
By rcc on 2/18/2011 1:38:58 PM , Rating: 3
If not I and a lot of others will not vote again.

If so then you become part of the problem. Ignoring problems almost never helps.

RE: Idiots
By Iaiken on 2/18/2011 2:00:39 PM , Rating: 5
I will not vote again.

This is the stupidest thing you can do.

If you are going to abstain, protest your vote or vote for a third party. Make sure you tell both of them why you didn't for them.

The problem with politics in both Canada and the US is that there is a fundamental disconnect between the people seeking votes and the people doing the actual voting.

If you feel that no one is qualified in your riding to take office you are allowed to protest your vote. To do so one must go to your local polling station, ask for the document and officially decline your ballot at that time and give a reason why . This is the only way a protested vote will be counted, not bothering to vote at all does not make a statement.

RE: Idiots
By Dr of crap on 2/18/2011 3:00:40 PM , Rating: 1
Yae and THAT will do a lot of good.
Yet another thing to brush under the rug!

The problem is that people like you think things can be helped if the RIGHT person is elected.

RE: Idiots
By Iaiken on 2/18/2011 3:38:07 PM , Rating: 3
The problem is that people like you think things can be helped if the RIGHT person is elected.

If you don't want to use the system for change that is already in place then go ahead and start a revolution. According to you, it's REALLY easy and the US fed would be a push over.

If you aren't happy with the people in power, vote them out. If you don't like the next bunch, vote them out too. Keep voting them out until you arrive at a satisfactory candidate. If you can't arrive at satisfactory government, engage in peaceful dissent. If that doesn't work out then it's time for some good old fashioned civil disobedience.

I've personally protested my last 3 votes and told them what issues they need to take handle of if they want my vote. Each time I wrote all of the people running on exactly how to get my vote.

The problem with two party systems is that the people so embroiled in it attempt to boil down an almost infinitely variable political spectrum into the "right" and the "wrong". What confuses me most about the US is the absence of any "no confidence" method for calling early elections to remove an ineffective government.

RE: Idiots
By Bonesdad on 2/18/2011 12:50:45 PM , Rating: 5
It's actually uneducated americans that are leading to the downfall. Some of them are public leaders, most are voters.

RE: Idiots
By YashBudini on 2/18/2011 2:37:33 PM , Rating: 1
Are they the same one who want to get rid of the department of Education?

Surprised you haven't suffered the wrath of FC.

RE: Idiots
By muIIet on 2/18/2011 12:52:11 PM , Rating: 2
You should have a 10 rating.

RE: Idiots
By eggman on 2/18/2011 4:10:50 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, I agree with you for once.

RE: Idiots
By dsx724 on 2/19/11, Rating: -1
RE: Idiots
By MeesterNid on 2/18/2011 11:30:31 AM , Rating: 2
Who are "they" that need to remove the Republicans currently in power and who are those "real" Republicans? As far as I know people vote representatives into office and we just had elections here several months back...

RE: Idiots
By tastyratz on 2/18/2011 2:49:20 PM , Rating: 3
and those "representatives" are "representing" their parties "belief"

As stated both parties are corrupt. What we need right now is the tea party to submit a candidate. I would vote for them if for no reason other than to disrupt the current chain of payoffs running this country. I would just about elect a chimpanzee if it was not affiliated with either party.

RE: Idiots
By Jeffk464 on 2/18/2011 11:42:00 AM , Rating: 3
Republicans are not idiots they are bought and paid for buy corporations, they do what their corporate sponsors want them to do. If you notice they pretty much always vote against consumers.

RE: Idiots
By JasonMick on 2/18/2011 11:58:54 AM , Rating: 2
Republicans are not smart and selfish ...


I'd say in most cases one party is looking to profit in some way (e.g. Republicans w/ blocking net neutrality, Dems with legislating GHG cuts/carbon credits) and the other party is counter them, more out of principal and for image, rather than out of a real interest in protecting the citizens.

I know that's a little cynical, but it's not far off reality overall.

I would say that both Dems and Republicans try to look after their constituents special interests (e.g. pass along gov't credits, tax cuts to local businesses) and do try to solve some social issues (e.g. discrimination in the military), and provide for basic national needs (defense, road system, etc.) so in that regard they do have some use, though it comes at the price of corruption...

RE: Idiots
By JasonMick on 2/18/2011 12:01:17 PM , Rating: 1
ARE smart and selfish...

I meant to write.... sorry for that.

Remove the not from your mind. :)

**Wishes for edit**

RE: Idiots
By quiksilvr on 2/18/2011 12:55:10 PM , Rating: 2
If the site editor can't even edit his/her own comments, then there's no hope for us getting that feature anytime soon :(

RE: Idiots
By rpsgc on 2/18/2011 1:07:00 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Idiots
By YashBudini on 2/18/2011 2:42:21 PM , Rating: 2
**Wishes for edit**

A decent speed improvement on DT's web server would also be a wonderful change of pace. (Pun intended.)

RE: Idiots
By kattanna on 2/18/2011 11:56:28 AM , Rating: 2
people who continue to elect people who couldnt careless about them are idiots and are causing the downfall of America.

there.. corrected it for you

RE: Idiots
By Jeffk464 on 2/18/2011 12:02:35 PM , Rating: 2
The US election system requires big money for a person to get elected. So guess what, they always will support big money before they support the average Joe.

P.S. in systems where they don't want corruption they take the money out of the elections system, like in England.

RE: Idiots
By dgingeri on 2/18/11, Rating: 0
RE: Idiots
By maven81 on 2/18/2011 1:25:10 PM , Rating: 2
"says the ass who obviously wants everything and wants to pay for nothing."

That sums many of the politicians you genius. They start wars and pay for them with monopoly money. Then they continue said wars and pay for them with more monopoly money.

RE: Idiots
By djcameron on 2/18/11, Rating: 0
RE: Idiots
By maven81 on 2/18/2011 2:14:53 PM , Rating: 2
That's what I said! I said politicians!

RE: Idiots
By YashBudini on 2/18/11, Rating: 0
RE: Idiots
By dsx724 on 2/19/11, Rating: -1
RE: Idiots
By 5150Joker on 2/20/2011 12:12:51 AM , Rating: 3
Yet the American public keeps voting in these criminals. So what does that say about us as a society?

By dgingeri on 2/18/11, Rating: -1
RE: Good
By Dr of crap on 2/18/2011 12:54:24 PM , Rating: 4
You sir are in for a BIG tougue lashing.

If I pay for 5mbp I should be able to use 5mbp at ANYTIME for any reason. It is then up to the provider that IT'S network can handle all those other people out there.

It's simple I pay for my speed slice and I should damn well be able to use it whenever.
If you live down the street and you are affected, then the internet provider is not doing it job very well is it!

And If I want to access a certain site it should be as fast as anyother site. Making sites pay for faster access will make for forced infomation - you only get what the provider wants you to get!

RE: Good
By dgingeri on 2/18/2011 1:39:15 PM , Rating: 1
However, you aren't paying for that. With every single Broadband ISP in the US, they are "up to" a certain speed, and in the case of Comcast, they don't even have that shown anymore.

Just because you have a driver's license and pay gas taxes doesn't mean you can park your car in the middle of the highway and block everyone from getting past. It doesn't mean you can drive down the road at 10mph in a 55 zone. It certainly does not mean you can drive a vehicle 3 lanes wide down the highway. this is the mentality of people who hog bandwidth on an internet connection. You have to share with everyone else.

RE: Good
By maven81 on 2/18/2011 1:52:22 PM , Rating: 3
What do you mean he's not paying for that? He's paying for a service. You're comparing a private data pipe, with a public highway?! Worse yet the public highway has specific restrictions that you knew of ahead of time... the speed limit, lane markers, etc. The ISP is free to impose it's own limits, but if they don't tell you what they are when you sign up, how are you breaking the rules?

RE: Good
By Quadrillity on 2/18/2011 2:46:57 PM , Rating: 2
You have to also consider that you are essentially "renting" your access to a public infrastructure. Yes, the telecom's are not even close to real definition of a private organization. Most people don't even "own" the modem that they use to connect to the ISP servers. So as far as your "private pipe" theory goes...

By paying taxes, you also sort of "rent" your access to the roadways. The analogy seems to fit in my opinion.

RE: Good
By maven81 on 2/18/2011 4:44:06 PM , Rating: 2
"You have to also consider that you are essentially "renting" your access to a public infrastructure. Yes, the telecom's are not even close to real definition of a private organization."

What are you talking about? The root nodes, the actual backbone is not private, but the ISP's line from their switch to your home is the property of the ISP. How are they not a private organization?
Here's a better driving analogy for you. A cab driver quotes you a price of $40 dollars to drive you to the airport. But in the middle of the trip he tells you that because your luggage is really heavy the car is using more gas, so the trip is costing him more then he thought it would. He tells you that he either has to drive really really slow, or only take you 80% of the way.
There's no way in hell anyone would tolerate this, but if the ISPs use essentially the same excuse, they actually get people defending them!

RE: Good
By Quadrillity on 2/18/2011 8:19:26 PM , Rating: 2
but the ISP's line from their switch to your home is the property of the ISP.

I'm not so sure you would be right in every case about that. The vast majority of lines that run from CPE to the distribution trunks are considered municipal property. When I said "the telecom's are not even close to real definition of a private organization." what I meant to convey is that they are so heavily regulated by the gov (FCC, FTC, NSA) that they aren't any means of a traditional or true private entity. Who can own communication? No-one. That's why they are so heavily regulated.

My point is that when you place a phone call/surf the net, you hit public infrastructure all along the way; so you are in fact borrowing no matter how you look at it.

Your taxis analogy is spot on. I think you misunderstood me from the beginning; because I agree with you. ISP's screw us left and right, and there isn't a damn thing we can do about it. Case and point? If you don't like you ISP, then cancel their service... oh wait... there's only one ISP available in the area...

I'm not disagreeing with you in principal; just a couple of details.

RE: Good
By djcameron on 2/18/2011 1:48:44 PM , Rating: 2
It's this mentality that will eventually lead to "pay per MB" pricing structures.

RE: Good
By rcc on 2/18/11, Rating: 0
RE: Good
By Dr of crap on 2/18/2011 3:21:13 PM , Rating: 2
No your not getting it.

I want fast access to the internet and the things I want to use on there. I set up with an ISP and they say I can get XX speed for $$ dollars. I agree.

The ISP then should not REDUCE my speed just because it CAN'T handle all the other users speed requests. That is not my concern. I paid for XX speed at any given time, and as such I can use it as I see. There were no restrictions giving to me that I could not use AS MUCH BANDWIDTH as I wanted. And I should be free to use as I see fit.
The compsrision would be if I used to much water the city would restict the amount flowing to my house. Although there is an odd even watering system inplace, I live by that and go by what they set up!

Now if I had agreed to reduced speed at high demand times than that would be different, and maybe I'd have to pay more to keep my speed at those high demand times, but I didn't agree to that. And I wouldn't agree to paying more so that if I wanted a Netfix movie, I could get it.

It all boils down to I pay for XX speed and I should get what I pay for. If they raise the price and keep the speed, then I would have to pay more. But the sticking point is NOT TO REDUCE MY SPEED after I have paid for the agreed speed from the ISP!

RE: Good
By Quadrillity on 2/18/2011 3:26:58 PM , Rating: 2
Let me introduce you to my little friend called: " up to " xxMb per second

Unfortunately, if you have ever read your contract, they have total lawyer-lingo control over what is actually delivered to you. It's a nasty tactic, but what you do expect from a company that makes profit a priority over service to the customers.

I agree with you though, we should get what we pay for. But the odds are stacked against us when it comes to actually getting a fair contract.

RE: Good
By Lerianis on 2/18/2011 7:05:37 PM , Rating: 2
Courts have ruled that just putting an 'up to' statement in these things does not make something not false advertising.

So, let me introduce you to my little friend called "state court rulings".

RE: Good
By Quadrillity on 2/18/2011 8:12:18 PM , Rating: 2
You let me know when you find an actual court ruling that changes anything and I'll kiss your rear. Telecom lobbyists have the courts by the jewels.

RE: Good
By Lerianis on 2/19/2011 2:49:21 AM , Rating: 1
Don't need to find it for you. Put in the words "court ruling", "false advertisement", "telephone service" in Google and be amazed.

RE: Good
By Quadrillity on 2/19/2011 11:08:11 AM , Rating: 1
hmm... seeing as how I still have to pay $50 per month for 10 down and 1 up because there is a geographic monopoly in my area, I would say that there has yet to be a court ruling that made any difference.

Unless you have found one that allows for competition, it's going to be business as usual.

RE: Good
By rcc on 2/22/2011 6:30:51 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, I get it. But I'm not sure you do.

So you signed up for 5 Mbps. And your ISP gives it to you. That's no guarantee that the website you are on can support those speeds, or that the various services your data passes across can or will handle it.

Your ISP, at best, can guarantee your connection speed to its resources. They will never be able to control your speed everywhere in the world.

So, if you owned a chunk of the backbone, or the servers handling data interconnects, would you really charge someone sourcing 10 GB of data per month the same as someone sourcing 100 TB? And if so, why?

I have no problem with your assertation that "your" ISP should provide the services you agreed to, but that is rarely if ever the problem. I can build you a 150 MPH driveway, but that doesn't mean the city will let you drive that fast.

RE: Good
By Wererat on 2/18/2011 1:36:03 PM , Rating: 1
I'll certainly agree on muni wi-fi. If everyone's ISP is the government, everyone gets not only the lowest common denominator but, obviously, the government then gets to know your every 'net activity.

Are you comfortable with the same people who like to enact social control (whether right-wing social-conservatives or left-wing liberals) deciding which political opinions, hobbies, and family-friendly content you're allowed to access?

The mega telecoms are bad but there's nothing so bad that sticking government into it can't make it worse. In the meantime we can continue to respond to throttling and other coercive practices on the part of ISP/media companies by changing services, making bad publicity for them, and otherwise costing them $. Companies at least have to listen to our $, whereas governments don't listen at all.

RE: Good
By dgingeri on 2/18/2011 1:44:01 PM , Rating: 2
Are you comfortable with the same people who like to enact social control (whether right-wing social-conservatives or left-wing liberals) deciding which political opinions, hobbies, and family-friendly content you're allowed to access?

Certainly not. The ISP can limit certain things, but putting in content filters costs extra money, so no ISP does it right now. They might in the future, but there's always competition where you can leave and get a different service if you want, at least if the government doesn't get mixed up in it.

Whenever the government gets into stuff like this, they limit competition and degrade the quality of the goods. That's basic politics.

RE: Good
By maven81 on 2/18/2011 1:54:40 PM , Rating: 2
I hope you're enjoying the delicious irony of using the internet to rail against the government when it was the government that created the internet in the first place!

RE: Good
By Jalek on 2/22/2011 7:54:17 AM , Rating: 2
They created it, they regulate and control it, but they don't fund it anymore.

In fact, it was government agents that came a-knocking when we were causing trouble for companies trying to commercialize the internet in the early 90's. I was fired from my admin the day after I got the visit. Good times.

RE: Good
By maven81 on 2/18/2011 1:37:57 PM , Rating: 4
"To allow municipalities to have free or low cost internet connections would have 2 detrimental effects: slow, state run service that puts good services out of business, leaving us with just slow, state run service, and insecure, everyone can see everyone else internet service."

That makes no sense. Did free newspapers put other newspapers out of business? How about publically broadcast radio and tv vs cable tv and satellite radio? People WILL choose a paid service over a free service if they feel it's significantly better.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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