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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Net Neutrality

Views: 308
Comments: 12
Net neutrality is currently a hot-button and very important issue. For the four of you who have been living under a rock for the past... while, I'll explain what it is. Net neutrality is the idea that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should have no right to restrict the internet.

Now, most people are totally for net neutrality; however, the main reason for this is because they haven't really thought it through. Net neutrality=unfettered access to internet=free porn for life. Thus, most people who use the internet are totally for it. After all, what else is there to look at besides porn?

But if you look past your own preferences, you can see that the issue isn't as cut and dried as you think.

Before we get into the meat and potatoes of the issue, let's define the current battle. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has undisputed control over all wired methods of communications, such as phone lines and wired internet. So the only thing being disputed right now is wireless internet, and by "wireless" I do not mean WiFi. I mean 3G and 4G. ISPs want to be able to regulate the content, and potentially restrict said content.

Moving on. ISPs are a BUSINESS in a FREE MARKET ECONOMY. They aren't a charity organization dedicated to giving the internet deprived as much content as possible for as little as possible. They exist to get as much profit as they can. ISPs aren't people, they're companies. This is basic capitalism, so if you can't wrap your head around this part, then you should leave America. Go to China; I hear they have good egg rolls.

Since we've established ISPs as corporations/businesses in a FREE MARKET ECONOMY, what is their product? Oh, that's right! Internet!

They sell internet. Now, think about a carpenter. His name happens to be Leslie. But leave him alone. He's gotten too much crap about his name over the years AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE ANY MORE!! Um, I mean, he won't. So Leslie makes tables. And he has this standard dining room table. But then he thinks to himself, I'm going to carve a little wood off the corners. And raise the price. But I'll tell my consumers about it, so that they'll be appraised of the situation. Would you say Leslie (DON'T LAUGH) has the right to do that?

If you said no, you don't believe in capitalism.

If you said yes, why is that different from the net neutrality battle? After all, both BUSINESSES exist to make money in a FREE MARKET ECONOMY, and they both want to change the product they sell to the masses.

Here are some questions you may ask (and ones I've been asked):
1. But if ISPs can restrict internet, those big corporations can gain monopolies through advertisement 'n' shit!
2. The FCC can regulate all methods of communication!
3. Eliminating net neutrality would result in massive price hikes for the consumer!
4. ISPs all already almost monopolies in different regions. Take away net neutrality, and you'll fuck shit up!

Here are some answer to those questions:
1. Gaining an advantage in advertisement is a part of capitalism. And I'm sure the FCC would pass something to prevent ISPs from wantonly blocking websites OR being paid to block specific sites.
2. No they can't.
3. Only people who don't understand basic economics would say that. In a FREE MARKET ECONOMY, there's something called "price elasticity." It's the quantification of how consumers respond to price changes. In an elastic economy, with an elastic good, price increases result in a decrease of revenue. And in a situation like this, where wireless internet (not WiFi, just 3G or 4G et al) is a luxury good with many cheaper substitutes such as the newer MiFis and good ol' fashioned WiFi, major price increases are a BAD idea. Businesses like these know this. So I don't really think they will raise the prices that much, if at all.
4. Not really. In my town, TWC is the only available option, so they're already monopolies. They could raise prices if they wanted. But they know they can't. Also, there are no monopolies on the 3G network by region. So the question doesn't even make sense.

However, many of you probably have noticed by now that there is one substantial question, the most important, and the root of the situation, that I've left out. And that is censorship. Restricting the information flow is a bad thing. It brings us one step closer to countries like China and North Korea.

But remember, WiFi is still regulated by the FCC, so the internet as we know it wouldn't change that much at all. MiFi sales will go up, depending on how much the 3G networks change in price and product, but the internet will remain an unrestricted flow of information.

Please, give me your thoughts on this issue. Has this blog given you some new thoughts or a better understanding of the issues? Do you agree or disagree? Why?
12:36 am - 12 comments - 0 Kudos - Report!
Comments
necrosis1193 wrote on Oct 10th, 2010 3:11am

I like my real world capitalist with a few socialized things here and there(I feel education, basic food like bread and water, and such basic necessities should be provided by the government. I know a government that can afford to do this is a near-impossibility, but its nice to have a goal), and my internet the opposite.

Reason being that if Net Neutrality goes wayside, and bandwidth begins going to the highest bidder, I no longer have a way to keep in touch with my fans because I'm nothing compared to huge-ass bloggers or huge-ass labels with their huge-ass wallets and huge-ass artists. Same issue with distributing my music.

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mamosaa wrote on Oct 10th, 2010 3:35am

Right. But net neutrality, as it currently stands at least (I can't say whether or not the FCC will lose control over wired internet in the future), ONLY AFFECTS INTERNET LIKE 3G. WiFi is unaffected.

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necrosis1193 wrote on Oct 10th, 2010 3:47am

That wifi has to cross through something that isn't free at some point. If there's a guy with a few hundred million dollars and a way of forcing it to be done so, you can bet your ass within a month they'll have a grip on it. I don't like that idea.

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mamosaa wrote on Oct 10th, 2010 7:31am

Nah bro. The FCC controls wired internet. That's their job. There'd have to be a constitutional amendment or some shit to change that. And fiber optics are used now. They're "wires" so it's cool bro. Super cool.

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necrosis1193 wrote on Oct 10th, 2010 4:38pm

Considering the Minerals Management Service was figuratively and literally sniffing coke off the asses of executives from oil companies, you'll have to excuse me if I don't trust my politicians or government, left or right, to do their job properly unless I see them doing their job properly, especially when John McCEO gives them a few dozen million to look the other way for a few months.

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mamosaa wrote on Oct 10th, 2010 7:25pm

I was totally drunk when I wrote that comment. So don't worry if it doesn't really make sense.

But, really, how do you know if they're doing their jobs properly? You can't see it at all until the results come out.

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acade365 wrote on Oct 10th, 2010 10:09pm

Your analogy (Leslie the carpenter) is not a good analogy. Leslie makes the tables, but ISPs dont make Internet. Hope this makes sense.

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mamosaa wrote on Oct 10th, 2010 10:13pm

Nah. Not really. They provide the Internet. Who cares if they make it or not? Let's say Leslie got tables imported. Could he still carve some off? Yes. Of course.

And the ISPs don't make internet, but they're not selling Internet. I guess I didn't explain this enough, so my fault. ISPs sell Internet CONNECTIVITY.

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necrosis1193 wrote on Oct 10th, 2010 10:30pm

mamosa wrote on Oct 10th, 2010 at 1:25pm :
I was totally drunk when I wrote that comment. So don't worry if it doesn't really make sense.

But, really, how do you know if they're doing their jobs properly? You can't see it at all until the results come out.


Usually I'm an "Innocent until found guilty" man, but with those in power, particularly those regulating things as the MMS thing proved that politicians aren't the types with the conviction to say no to a few million dollars to turn a blind eye, I take the opposite stance, save for a few exceptions.

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mamosaa wrote on Oct 11th, 2010 1:58am

I know. And I don't necessarily disagree. But what I'm asking is that how do you know these people are doing their jobs now? And if they're not, I bet the several thousands of internet watchdog groups would call them out on it. There's just too much risk when it comes to something like internet. The whole situation should have to be vetted by a different, anonymous 3rd party each time.

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necrosis1193 wrote on Oct 11th, 2010 3:50am

And there's the thing. How do you know they're doing their jobs? Based on most politicians, I don't trust them to do their job when companies give them millions more than their pay to not do their job. I'm an optimist, but I'm a realistic optimist. The realistic part includes an instinctive distrust of politicians.

How come none of the power industry's watchdog groups called out the MMS? And I know I keep bringing up the MMS, but that's because it was a perfect and recent example of the kind of thing I'm worried about. But their failure could literally screw up life itself - If that stuff got into the gulf stream and the loop current, it would've started killing everything in the pacific ocean, royally fucking the ecosystem of a huge part of the world. One wheel falls out of place, they all do.

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necrosis1193 wrote on Oct 11th, 2010 3:50am

Cut up for length.

There's a lot more risk from something like the Deepwater Horizon spill than Net Neutrality being taken over by corporations, which I say as an advocate of Net Neutrality. The fact we nearly reached that scenario of the pacific becoming infected goes to show that we can't trust the government to regulate the companies we can't trust, as well as that they have too much power. I'm willing to bet that'll spread to the internet if they can buy up bandwidth.

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