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[Click to enlarge] Want the web? Well prepare to pay. Wireless carriers are plotting per page monthly or data-based fees. And net neutrality legislation looks unlikely to pass, thanks to their healthy flow of lobbyist money.  (Source: Fierce Wireless Semina via Wired)
Leaked slides reveal that net neutrality advocates worst fears may soon be realized

The topic of net neutrality is a thorny issue.  After all, the American public is increasingly adopting the stance that the less government meddling in the private sector, the better.  On the other hand, advocates of the government adopting net neutrality restrictions have long laid out a dystopian vision of the future in which users have only partial paid access to the internet and smaller independent websites fold under the inability to draw paying customers.

Such visions could have been dismissed as alarmism -- until now.  A presentation from Allot Communications and Openet, two wireless industry giants who supply the likes of Verizon and AT&T, leaked out onto the internet and verifies that the wireless industry is plotting just such a scheme.

I.  Want the Web?  Prepare to Pay

At its web seminar the pair revealed a stunning plot in which wireless customers would be forced to pay additional monthly fees per web page accessed and -- in some cases -- per MB used.  The slide suggests a $0.50 USD/month YouTube access fee, a $0.02 USD/MB Facebook access rate, and a 3€ (appr. $3.95 USD) Skype access fee.

Aside from the payoff from immediate fees, the leaked PowerPoint presentation (1.5 MB/PDF) reveals a double benefit to carriers, at consumers' expense.  The slides suggest that top UK carrier giant Vodafone (who partially owns Verizon Wireless) create its own websites -- such as social networks and video sites -- and offer customers free access to them.

By forcing customers to pay for external sites, but offering free internal sites, carriers could attempt to force customers onto its own sites.  While such knockoffs would likely offer inferior quality to carefully crafted services like YouTube and Facebook, carriers wouldn't mind that -- they would be to busy reaping the additional ad revenue.

II.  The FCC Won't Let Me Be

It is unclear whether the leak is coincidental or is meant to test the U.S. Federal Communication Commission's resolve, a week ahead of its planned meeting to discussing net neutrality.  

Current laws do not clearly grant the FCC the power to regulate wireless internet traffic or enforce net neutrality over wired and wireless service providers.  The FCC's attempts to enforce net neutrality regardless were struck down in the spring by a federal court.  The FCC now hopes to draft legislation to present to Congress.

But the legislation faces serious political resistance.  While some Republicans are supportive of net neutrality, much of the Republican party opposes net neutrality.  And the Republicans in January will gain control of the U.S. House of Representatives.  

Among the staunchest opponents of net neutrality regulation is former presidential candidate, U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Az.).  Sen. McCain, like many Republicans, has previously opposed net neutrality legislation due to a stance against government regulation.  However, Verizon and AT&T bequeathed $237,600 upon his 2008 presidential campaign.  AT&T and Verizon lobbyists also raised from various donors – $2.3M USD and $1.3M USD, respectively – for his campaign.  They also offered free services to his 15-acre Arizona ranch.

Sen. McCain is obviously not alone, however -- such contributions are common in Washington.

Thus net neutrality legislation faces tenuous prospects.  And as our computing heads increasingly into the mobile sphere (with smartphones, tablets, laptops, netbooks, etc.) that may soon mean that customers will be paying a lot more for a lot less.  And in the process any government censorship of the internet will likely pale in comparison to that which the "free" market is cooking up.

Many refer to the current generation of web businesses as Web 2.0.  Well if these developments are any indication, we may soon be greeting Web 3.0 -- the transformation of the internet into a series of toll roads.

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Good idea if...
By Spivonious on 12/20/2010 10:09:16 AM , Rating: -1
If ISPs went from the flat rate "unlimited" to charging per MB, I might be interested.

I check my Facebook page about once per day, stream lots of Netflix, and the rest is random surfing. If that would let me pay less than $45/month, I'd really have to consider it.

RE: Good idea if...
By Nutzo on 12/20/2010 10:17:27 AM , Rating: 5
If you stream "lots of Netflix" then you are a heavy user and likely to end up paying more.

RE: Good idea if...
By priusone on 12/20/2010 9:10:09 PM , Rating: 2
That is so funny. When my roommate went from MySpace to Facebook, I saw a marked drop in overall bandwidth used. Then she started using NetFlix to watch streaming movies. Needless to say, that shot network usage through the roof.

RE: Good idea if...
By dsumanik on 12/21/2010 2:51:29 AM , Rating: 2
All i know is that the electric company charges me based on my usage, not a variable rate depending on what i have plugged into the socket.

Would it be fair if you got charged an extra fee because your wife likes to use the hairdryer alot???

This whole thing is a scam on an order of magnitude beyond anything ive ever heard of in my life.

The only way to win this battle is to vote with your wallet, if your carrier signs on to this boat...jump ship and vocally let them know why you are doing it.

Another saving grace would be if one carrier decided to vocally go against this optimus prime once said:

"I rise, you fall."

Imagine the ads they could make mocking competitors while raking in the subscriber base.

RE: Good idea if...
By JasonMick on 12/20/2010 10:38:37 AM , Rating: 4

Reportedly, Netflix says that streaming requires about 1 GB/hr.

So assuming the proposed Facebook rates ($0.05/MB), if you watch 3 movies a week (4.5 hours) you'd be paying roughly $230 USD a week or about $920 USD/month .

And god help you if you...
stream lots of Netflix

Hope you have a lot of discretionary cash on hand...

RE: Good idea if...
By MrBungle123 on 12/20/10, Rating: 0
RE: Good idea if...
By JasonMick on 12/20/2010 12:37:08 PM , Rating: 4
I really think this is a lot of freaking out about nothing. The carriers are trying to figure out a way that they can maximize profits however if you remember from economics 101 (assuming you took economics 101) at some point if they charge too much they will cause demand destruction which will cause them to lose money. Juggle this with the fact that there are multiple carriers available in pretty much every area and you can't charge something way out of wack or all your customers will go to the guy down the street and again you lose money.

The free market works if you leave it alone. They will never implement a pricing structure that charges consumers $900 a month for facebook and youtube because the market will not support it. The only thing the government needs to do is make sure there isn't a cartel that is fixing prices, beyond that I say let them do what they want.

I disagree. For a time I exclusively used Verizon's data cards as my internet connection. I mistakenly thought they offered "unlimited" service, as that was what I had been told by the rep who sold me mine.

I discovered otherwise one month when I had a grad school report due and downloaded around 10 GB worth of programs I needed to complete my analysis. I received an overage of $4,000.

I argued and argued with Verizon and finally got them to reduce it, but I still had to pay $2,000 USD .

You are right in a sense, in that I left Verizon as soon as I could and haven't looked back (now on Sprint -- true unlimited -- and couldn't be happier).

However, the customer service reps who I talked to during my long arguments with Verizon called these sort of overages "common" and related multiple stories of customers who has similar or larger overages who had called in over the last week.

I considered retaining a lawyer and fighting the overage, but ultimately that would likely have cost me as much as the reduced rate, plus would have cost time.

My experience is that some telecoms (Verizon) are absolutely merciless in their fees and overages.

Of course some (Sprint) are more fair, but they too may fall to the dark side if the entire industry goes that way.

Ultimately, you're right, the carriers might not be able to milk an extra $900/month out of the masses, but if you cut that down to $100/month it's possible. I bet a number of smart phone owners would still pay that, if all the carriers effectively colluded together and ensured that the customer had no other options...

RE: Good idea if...
By bah12 on 12/20/10, Rating: -1
RE: Good idea if...
By Tanclearas on 12/20/2010 2:32:48 PM , Rating: 4
Why is that wrong? Are you insinuating businesses should not charge what the market is willing to pay?

Many livelihoods have been established based upon the current model. Allowing one group of businesses that have control over the source to suddenly and arbitrarily charge significantly more harms the economy in a drastic way.

Don't believe me?

Oil prices skyrocket. Gas prices skyrocket. If you were paying about $100 per month in gas before, now you're paying $200. Disposable income plummets. If that figure holds true for only 1/3rd of the US population, you are now talking about billions of dollars redirected from the established market every single month. Higher gas prices also trigger increases in travel and shipping, which in turn affects the tourism industry and increases prices on everything that gets shipped. Disposable income drops further. Depression/Recession anyone?

Allowing Internet providers to charge more "per use" means fewer hits per page, which impacts advertising revenues, which has a huge impact on the existing model of site and app development. Those who can't afford the new model adjust their usage to keep their bills level. Those who can afford the new model are now dumping their money into the ISP's, and all of that money is no longer being spent where it used to be.

Your attack that the poster is "straight up anti-business" is laughable. You mock the poster that an increase in regulation is absurd because the existing regulation isn't working. The whole point behind increasing (or more appropriately, changing) a practice is to make the practice more effective.

RE: Good idea if...
By MrBungle123 on 12/20/10, Rating: 0
RE: Good idea if...
By Tanclearas on 12/20/2010 7:28:11 PM , Rating: 2
...and yet that is exactly what happened.

A recession is not good for the economy as a whole, but the reality is people will still buy gas. People still need to get to work. They will still drive to see loved ones. Unfortunately, as spending continues to decrease, fewer people will be working. Once they aren't working, even visiting loved ones becomes a luxury. And yes, it did put pressure on governments to actually start taking alternative fuel research seriously.

Those repercussions take a while to impact the oil companies. Greed, and pressure on management to show immediate results, often keeps people from seeing a much bigger picture.

RE: Good idea if...
By Kurz on 12/21/2010 9:14:21 AM , Rating: 2
Money has to be spent in order to get the wealth from it.
Money is still very liquid... except now people are spending what they have, not spending thousands of dollars to finance over a few years.

Money is just a medium of wealth exchange nothing more.
By itself its worthless.

RE: Good idea if...
By Iaiken on 12/21/2010 10:38:17 AM , Rating: 2
Thank you captain obvious...

RE: Good idea if...
By PrezWeezy on 12/20/2010 6:39:01 PM , Rating: 2
The latter is puzzling because you want more regulation from an entity, that by the very existence of the problem, has already failed to protect you.

Are you insinuating that a government must either be perfect, or otherwise should be non-existant? What puzzles me is why one would argue in an ever changing market the government should not also change and adapt.

Why is that wrong? Are you insinuating businesses should not charge what the market is willing to pay?

A business should charge what it needs to do business and make payroll. Otherwise you end up with what just happened with the housing market. People were willing to pay more and more for the same size house, and Banks were being unethical in their loaning practices.

This is the real and true difference between Republicans and Democrats. What the role of the government should be. And I think it's a great argument to have where both ideas and sides should be respected. I honestly believe that if no one held the Democrats back we would already have collapsed, and likewise if no one pushed the Republicans forward we would still be living in log houses. My personal opinion is that free market is great, but it still requires legistlation and regulation to make it a fair market.

RE: Good idea if...
By MrBungle123 on 12/20/2010 7:11:32 PM , Rating: 4
A business should charge what it needs to do business and make payroll. Otherwise you end up with what just happened with the housing market. People were willing to pay more and more for the same size house, and Banks were being unethical in their loaning practices.

You obviously have little to no concept of what a business is or how one works. A business exists to make money for its investors, it isn't there to make products, it isn't there to create jobs, it is there to make money and as much money as it possibly can within the confines of the law.

Jobs, goods, services, etc. are side effects of a business existing. The number of customers is inversely proportional to the price of the good or service. So there is a price range where the number of customers brought in will maximize the profit... heres what I mean. There might be 2 people that are willing to pay $500/lb for ground beef but 10,000,000 that will pay $2... by the sheer numbers setting the price at $2 is more profitable. Would the company prefer to get $500 out of each lb? Sure, but they wont because bringing in $20,000,000 is much better then bringing in $1,000. Set the price too low and you lose money also $1/lb might net you 15,000,000 customers but that only brings in $15,000,000.

RE: Good idea if...
By PrezWeezy on 12/20/2010 9:00:13 PM , Rating: 2
So sweat shops are ok? I agree a business' main goal is to turn a profit, but does that mean that the entire idea of business ethics is out the window? How familiar are you with the Big Business busts of the early 1900's? Or how Unions were formed? The law should not be the only thing governing how a business treats their employees, their customers, or their partners.

Also, don't quote to me supply and demand. I understand supply and demand just fine. However, I also understand that is an elementary example and not applicable to a great many transactions. It works fine for hot dogs, or ground beef, but not so well when you start getting into single supplier situations or necessity items.

You obviously have little to no concept of what a business is or how one works.

Please refrain from blanket statements in a constructive argument. You don't know anything about me except for 2 posts I've made in an online forum. That's not anywhere near enough information to make an assessment of my qualifications.

RE: Good idea if...
By bah12 on 12/21/2010 10:09:25 AM , Rating: 2
Oh god where to start.
So sweat shops are ok?
No as the OP said.
quote: is there to make money and as much money as it possibly can within the confines of the law
Sweat shops are not within the confines of the law.
It works fine for hot dogs, or ground beef, but not so well when you start getting into single supplier situations or necessity items.
Of which internet access is neither, one could argue the necessity side but clearly it is not a single provider situation.
A business should charge what it needs to do business and make payroll.
That statement is why you are obviously a socialist. Sorry but in a capitalistic economic system, businesses do not exist to break even as you suggest they should.
I agree a business' main goal is to turn a profit
No you blatantly said that it isn't. So I concur with the other poster you have little to no concept of what a business is or how one works, or possibly are just confused since your own posts contradict each other.

RE: Good idea if...
By PrezWeezy on 12/21/2010 7:30:51 PM , Rating: 3
Of which internet access is neither, one could argue the necessity side but clearly it is not a single provider situation.

From what I understand in a large portion of markets, it is a single provider situation. I know that I can't get anything except Comcast in my area, and I live in a densely populated area. So my point stands.

Sweat shops are not within the confines of the law.

I did not ask if they were legal, I asked if they were OK if you will read. I want to know if he thinks that as long as it is not illegal a company should start using sweat shops. It was not a question of legislation, it was a question of ethics.

That statement is why you are obviously a socialist.

Really? One sentence is now a determination of your entire life's political theory? Wow, had no idea you could read that much about a person in less than 55 characters.

No you blatantly said that it isn't. So I concur with the other poster you have little to no concept of what a business is or how one works, or possibly are just confused since your own posts contradict each other.

No, I'm pretty sure I know what I'm talking about. They don't contradict. They are expressing the difference between blatant greed and ethical business. A business should be focused on turning a profit, that doesn't mean that NOTHING else should matter (notice the "Main goal"? emphasis on MAIN, not SOLE). They need to turn a profit, they ALSO need to make sure they are being ethical about it. Just because you should be paying a fair wage, doesn't mean you can't be focused on profit. As another poster said, Oil prices skyrocketed, the market did not respond. That doesn't mean that they had all kinds of expendable income and could afford to spend more, it means they had no choice, and their money went towards filling their tank instead of replacing their computer. I'm not saying that everyone has no choice, but the last I was aware something to the effect of 65% of people had only a single choice in internet. Which then disproves your point above...again.

If anything I've proven that you are unable to argue politics and business without getting emotional, and with that it proves that you are not intelligent enough to argue theory instead of practice. So stop trying to be condescending. I've treated you with all respect, even though I disagree...up until now where I just took a shot at you, calling you unintelligent, although that is a quantifiable figure and I'm reasonably sure that comparative analysis would prove me right.

RE: Good idea if...
By Tanclearas on 12/21/2010 8:31:20 AM , Rating: 2
What a ridiculous perspective. Jobs, goods, services, etc are not side effects of business. Business AND jobs are the side effect of a need for goods and services.

Businesses are started in the hopes of making money after identifying a need. Regulations are required to ensure that in the pursuit of money, businesses are not actually doing harm, and there are a crazy number of ways in which a business is capable of doing harm.

RE: Good idea if...
By spazmedia on 12/20/2010 4:52:45 PM , Rating: 1
Well you could have simply not paid the bill... you changed providers anyways.

RE: Good idea if...
By Yames on 12/21/2010 1:43:30 PM , Rating: 2
They would not just forget about $4K. They would have taken him to court and if they won, garnished his wages and/or drained his accounts.

$400, sure that you could probably walk away from with just a hit on your credit report.

RE: Good idea if...
By HoosierEngineer5 on 12/20/2010 6:41:00 PM , Rating: 2
Let's not forget that their only purpose is to extract as much money as possible from their customers. If they could stop spending on upgrades, you can bet they would. The ONLY way to lower the cost while improving performance is through competition (or if that's not possible, government intervention).

Intel proved that back in the Pentium-4 days before AMD started kicking them repeatedly in the rear.

Notice how Windows is getting cheaper since Chrome starting to make noise?

The monopolists need to feel that the need to DO SOMETHING before improvements will be made.

RE: Good idea if...
By Lerianis on 12/21/2010 7:39:35 PM , Rating: 2
You should have searched for a lawyer that would take the case based on payout from you winning the case. There are numerous lawyers who do those type of things today, more than in the past actually.

RE: Good idea if...
By guffwd13 on 12/20/2010 1:59:32 PM , Rating: 5
At the very basic level yes, economics work that way. But in reality they are far more complex than for which you are giving credit. Marxism, Communism and pure capitalism all share one common major flaw: they all assume people are perfect.

But as we are all too aware, we are not perfect, not as individuals and not as a collective and in a pure market system the individual has excessive power at the top and thus imparts their respective individual imperfections on the system.

Food, utilities, gasoline, internet (take it as you will but I truly believe it is) and others (health care?) also all share one thing: they are (now) necessities and the supply/demand relationship fails when a consumer has to have it (non-discretionary goods). The recent gas crisis demonstrated this beautifully. Gas prices were through the roof at $130/barrel which was more than three times what it fell to before rising back up. The demand did not react in any predictable way to this change.

Wall street suffered the same problem. With bonuses being based on performance with no liability for risk taken, traders were encouraged to make risky deals in hopes at arriving at big payoffs in the end. And what happened? A lot of innocent people lost a lot of money when the bad investments that were made (knowingly in many cases) and went sour.

Greenspan himself said he was wrong to avoid regulation and Reaganomics was far from perfect. The free market world is great, don't get me wrong. Freakenomics makes that very clear: incentive drives production and service. It is most certainly the way to go in the modern world and its no accident China, the last of the major Communist nations, is shifting its entire economy over to that.

However, governments absolutely need to regulate necessities because businesses can charge what they want, and people will be forced to pay. Economy collapses due to lack of discretionary money. End of nation.

The net must remain neutral. Full. Inexpensive and at the expense of the unfortunate companies that provide that service. They are disturbingly rich as it is.

However I do agree with you. Free speech should NEVER be regulated and I don't see how one (speech vs internet regulation) should influence the other.

RE: Good idea if...
By MrBungle123 on 12/20/2010 4:43:00 PM , Rating: 1
Marxism, Communism and pure capitalism all share one common major flaw: they all assume people are perfect.

I disagree. I would say that Marxism and Communism assume that the governing body have the best interests of the collective in mind where Capitalism assumes that people are generally greedy and uses greed to regulate itself.

You cannot blame the crash of 2008 solely on capitalism because the system in place was not pure capitalism. It was some sort of unholy union of capitalism and socialism in which there was privatized gain (greed) but socialized risk (bailouts). That system will not work because it allows greed to run unchecked because there are no economic consequences for taking too much risk (sub prime home loans).

If you want to blame something blame the cronyism of high level excutives and members in congress that allowed the whole house of cards to be built in the first place.

RE: Good idea if...
By PrezWeezy on 12/20/2010 6:47:52 PM , Rating: 2
I would say that Marxism and Communism assume that the governing body have the best interests of the collective in mind

Actually Marxism and Communism don't believe in any governing body at all. The point is a completely volunteer society which needs no regulation or government.

While I agree that the bailouts may fall closer to the "socialized" side of the scale I don't see how they had any effect on how business was done prior to their inception. Things had already failed when they were introduced.

As far as who to blame, I happen to have some insight into the banking industry, and I blame them.

RE: Good idea if...
By MrBungle123 on 12/20/2010 6:59:31 PM , Rating: 1
Actually Marxism and Communism don't believe in any governing body at all. The point is a completely volunteer society which needs no regulation or government.

riiiiight so the form of government in which the government owns everything is the type of government which needs no regulation or government?!

Hey would you be interested in buying some beach front property on Mars?!

RE: Good idea if...
By PrezWeezy on 12/20/2010 8:07:25 PM , Rating: 2
Sure. The moment you can actually point out a Communist country. Sure there are a lot that claimed to be WORKING TOWARDS Communism, but they never actually were Communist. It was an interim government meant to bring the country closer to Communism. At least, that's what they told their people. But you were talking theory, not reality.

RE: Good idea if...
By mcnabney on 12/20/2010 9:20:30 PM , Rating: 2
Don't bother trying to explain what communism really is. People think communism is Stalin and Mao. Those were both dictatorships hiding behind the mask of communism. Communism is what Jesus was talking about. Sadly, it has only ever worked in small groups and then usually not for very long. Now socialism is different, but we can just look over the pond to see how that works (and fails) to varying degrees.

Also, I believe that ISPs should be made into utilities. A low flat rate to 'connect' and than a per-MB or GB charge based upon usage. Since the going rate for data transport that ISPs pay is about $0.03/GB - so Mick quoting a $0.05/MB price is nearly 1000x their cost. Charging that would be like a gas station chargin $2,000.00 a gallon. I could deal with $20/mo for connection and $0.10/GB for how much I download.

RE: Good idea if...
By Kurz on 12/21/2010 9:42:40 AM , Rating: 2
Though I love how people think socialism is a path to communism. You need a huge government to get socialism down. And somehow you go from 100% government control (socialism) to 0% government control (communism). This doesn't make sense.

RE: Good idea if...
By PrezWeezy on 12/22/2010 12:57:14 PM , Rating: 2
That's because the majority of American's have never taken Political Science. So they only understand the "Communism" of the Cold War and modern China. They don't understand the theory or the reality of government.

RE: Good idea if...
By Kurz on 12/22/2010 3:15:28 PM , Rating: 2
I am also talking about those who claim to be communist.
And striving for Socialist programs to level the playing field. However this requires 100% control of the government.

Then They wonder why Communism never came to fruition.

RE: Good idea if...
By PrezWeezy on 12/22/2010 5:54:14 PM , Rating: 2
I believe the thought process is something to the effect of, if the government can get everything setup, and get everyone in line to go along with it, then when they shut the parliament doors and turn the power over it will be a smooth transition. I don't believe that it would be remotely possible for a government to just say "Ok, it's up to you guys now, we're going communist!" and have it work. The system would have to be setup, all the ducks in a row. Although I don't believe it's actually possible, as the entire reason we are what we are today (as humans) is because of drive and the desire to have better, which creates competition. Just what my thoughts.

RE: Good idea if...
By geddarkstorm on 12/20/2010 2:40:23 PM , Rating: 3
You are also forgetting some of your basic economics. Some commodities are more or less insensitive to price changes. For instance, changes in the price of crocs would greatly affect demand, while wild changes in the price of gasoline has almost no affect on demand. Why? Because gasoline has nearly no alternatives and is a needed (rather than wanted) commodity by many people.

However, did you like it when the price of gas was nearly $4 a gallon? The market surely could sustain it since there were no viable alternatives for the majority of the market, but it certainly caused a massive amount of disruption throughout the economy.

The internet has become sort of on par to gasoline these days. Some bills and paycheck statements are solely online (paperless). Purchases can be done all online, maps and information found, and then there's the productivity and collaborative benefits of cloud programs, the social networking, and yes even the entertainment of movies and games.

Due to the internet's integration at nearly every level of our society now, the market has no choice if the ISPs all decided to charge us outrageous prices. We'd be stuck and trapped. If you want, go look back at the late 1800's for a demonstration of how this works in the wild, and why it was a very bad thing. Moreover, such metered based on site pricing would have profound repercussions throughout the economy. Google, for instance, makes the vast majority of its money on marketing. If people now have to choose which sites they can visit based on how much they have in their pocket book, that damages Google's and other companies marketing models. Which in turns damages what sites can even afford to be on the net.

Yes, the free market would regulate itself, but that doesn't mean it won't go through wild swings till it finds balance. And that doesn't mean those wild swings can't greatly damage other economic segments and the consumer. And if those wild swings get wild enough, the entire economy can go into a depression and recession as we've recently seen in 2008! There was a wild economic model swing in the subprime housing market which nearly brought down the developed World's economy. So, don't take such matters lightly, even the best economists were taken off guard by 2008.

So, should we give the ISPs a chance and room to instigate such absurd ideas as we see in this article (for the sake of my argument, I'm assuming the exact details we see in the slide are what would occur, which is realistically highly unlikely)? I don't believe so. As if they did do this, it would require the entire internet and economy around it to fundamentally change and rearrange. That means chaos and trouble until a new equilibrium can be found.

And quite frankly, the ISPs don't need an even more absurd profit margin to make all the pain we consumers would go through worth it.

RE: Good idea if...
By guffwd13 on 12/20/2010 2:54:44 PM , Rating: 2
Your response is very similar to mine above.

For the geeks out there, inelastic goods is the econ101 term we're referring to. The market can't regulate these by definition. Thus a third party (governing body) must step in or we all get stepped on.

RE: Good idea if...
By bah12 on 12/20/2010 6:05:01 PM , Rating: 2
Due to the internet's integration at nearly every level of our society now, the market has no choice if the ISPs
I would stop you there. Although I agree that an inelastic good should be regulated. The very fact that you had to put and "s" on ISP means there are choices. The internet today IS NOT inelastic, and arguably not a necessity.

My point is we have a mechanism in place for dealing with what everyone is concerned about, and that is price fixing.

This is where the oil price analogy fails. Sure there are more than one provider Exxon, Chevron, Shell however it is quite clear that organizations like OPEC are actively engaged in price fixing. Since they reside outside of US borders we are essentially held hostage by them, as our laws would be difficult if not impossible to enforce.

That situation is not comparable to ISP's they are within our borders, and easily regulated under price fixing laws. Most importantly there is no 1 main ISP there are dozens if not hundreds.

The false assumption is that these could all get together and fix pricing, completely unchecked by existing laws. My contention is that is pure tin foil hat thinking and until that time there is no need to further interrupt the free market.

So yes if you are saying that a company cannot legally choose it's own price, then it is obvious you are anti-business. The tin foil hat fear that one day...maybe...sometime they will come together and fix prices AND that we would let them get away with that; is paranoid at best.

RE: Good idea if...
By Noliving on 12/20/2010 6:41:32 PM , Rating: 2
but the problem though is that it isn't price fixing, its a new business model that charges based upon usage instead of a flat rate for unlimited usage or for certain amount of data.

So for example lets say comcast charges 1 dollar per visit of youtube but qwest charges $.20 for youtube, that isn't price fixing but it will make internet browsing much more expensive. now obviously the prices are lower but those lower prices will still most likely make current internet usages much more expensive.

Again it isn't about price fixing its the new business model that is being proposed.

RE: Good idea if...
By MrBungle123 on 12/20/2010 7:16:31 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't matter if they charge by the website because people will regulate their usage in response to such a pricing structure. IF they charge too much people will find another ISP that doesn't charge so much in which case the ISP with the outrageous pricing structure starts losing money.

RE: Good idea if...
By Noliving on 12/20/2010 10:14:30 PM , Rating: 2
but that other isp that doesn't charge so much will probably be more expensive under this proposed business model then under the current model.

It's the samething with gas, they are all high prices no matter which one, gas station, you go to.

under this new business model the internet will be more expensive no matter what isp you go too compared to the current business model.

RE: Good idea if...
By bah12 on 12/21/2010 9:55:11 AM , Rating: 2
That is pure speculation (aka tin foil hat) on your part. You assume if one goes this route they all will. There is no hard evidence that is the case. Some ISP will most likely continue the current model because it will mean more customers. Take Sprint for example they've elected to still offer a truly unlimited service, and as such their customer satisfaction ratings have exceeded their competition.

But all that is besides the point even if they all switched to this model, again what right do we have to say a business cannot choose how they market and price their goods. As long as no anti-consumer/competitive laws are being broke, let the market at least try first we can always regulate it later.

That is my #1 problem with net neutrality, it is based on paranoid what-if situations by the tin foil hat wearing fools. They are looking to pass legislation on a problem that MAY happen, not IS happening. And most of them use the flawed analogy to the oil and gas. IT IS NOT THE SAME. We are dealing with local entities that reside in our borders. The government would have no issues seizing control of ATT or Verizon and forcing them to comply if new legislation is needed in the future. There in lies the difference, with oil and gas we are essentially powerless against the foreign (illegal by our system) companies controlling the supply.

RE: Good idea if...
By Noliving on 12/21/2010 3:31:34 PM , Rating: 2
How is sprint doing by the way in market share?

Why wouldn't all the ISP's go that way? profit margins will be higher meaning happy share holders, then you factor in that all ISP's want to do this, show a single ISP that doesn't want to have tiered internet.

but why should one always wait till it happens before regulating it. like for example building codes or environmental rules or medical laws, a lot of those were made after tragedy struck. the vast majority of oil and gas that the US gets is from non opec nations. Besides the analogy maybe flawed but it is accurate in showing how dependent US population is on the internet. The argument is that it should be regulated before companies have implemented a tiered internet. I mean why wait?

Here is a question for you, at what point would you argue the government would need to regulate companies like ATT or Verizon?

Keep something in mind, there are millions of Americans that only have access to one ISP, meaning there are no competitors.

RE: Good idea if...
By dark matter on 12/21/2010 2:46:53 AM , Rating: 2
All I can say to you, is you obviously haven't taken life 101, because you expect CEO's to behave in an entirely rational and fair method and play by the economics rules 101 without monitoring or intervention.

RE: Good idea if...
By feelingshorter on 12/20/2010 11:23:22 AM , Rating: 2
Download the Windows 7 desktop gadget Network Meter and you will realize how much you use on a daily basis. I stream DailyShow/Colbert Report, a variety of Hulu stuff, Pandora One and Netflix movie, easily pushing you over 10GB a day. Not to mention the other two power users in my house. Sooner or later these cable companies will be overwhelmed unless they upgrade their network. Verizon on the other hand is already good to go.

"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

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