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The Big Players Won. You Lost.


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#1 Stolen

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 11:11 PM

Picture this. You are sick of the same boring TV channels on your cable or satellite, so you decide to go to the Internet, but now the Internet that comes into your house looks just like your cable TV, you can’t get Netflix because the quality is so degraded, Reddit is no longer available since it is considered inappropriate, and the news from across the world is gone because the country leader shut the service and the provider refuses to transmit. You now have no control over what comes in to your house or even what you pay for it.
 
You just lost Net Neutrality.
 
The Federal Communications Commission has, for many years, been the protector of consumers and the Last Stand of Defense to control and regulate telecommunications. The FCC protected a free and open Internet against the Big Players (AT&T, Verizon, and TimeWarner Cable to name a few) who want to play favorites and block Internet traffic and services because of their bottom line. And they got what they wanted last week.

 
The Big Players won last week in a D.C. District Court ruling that allows them to affect the success or failure of companies while you? You lost.
 

The Big Players have been working quietly behind the scenes with politicians to get their definition of 'telecommunications’ services changed to ‘information’ services. What does this one-word change mean? It means a whole lot. Because they are now under information services, they get out from underneath the regulatory authority of the FCC.
 

The change came from the Big Player’s lobbyist efforts that resulted in the bad decision (by people appointed in both 2002 and also during the current Administration) when they had the chance to reclassify cable modem services as information services instead of telecommunications services. Since the FCC has been the watchdog to prevent monopolies and protect the consumer for many years, they are now completely useless against the Big Players and their ability to discriminate against other sites and other companies they view as competition.

 

But it gets even better. They will block traffic and web services and other oppressive countries will be able to shut down the outflow of news or AT&T just might decide Americans don’t need to know about a threat taking place across the world since it’s all just information now and it is their information to control. They will deny or degrade service based on who are not their customers.
 

You will likely not even know. Your costs will go up (you may say, no big deal). Your will have limited choices. You will notice a few subtle and irritating interruptions in service or your Netflix movie keeps freezing. You may not realize that activists and refugees in China or North Korea or Syria are no longer able to get word to the outside world since the Internet has been completely shut down in that country, because frankly, the Big Players also have a hand in the media companies that report news. In the past, you were able to rely on predictable high-speed service and the freedom to post anything and go anywhere on the net with access to anything on the web.

 

You seriously now lose.
 

The only recourse to regain net neutrality and keep it free is for people to put pressure on elected officials and the FCC directly by writing letters and sending emails. Despite the Big Player’s claim that this is only about them ‘providing better service’ for their customers, it is always and only about money and profit for them.
 

To turn the loss into a win, then it must be about preserving Net Neutrality and defending a free and open Internet.
 

Did anyone see this story reported on their 6:00 news or anywhere else? Oh right, the Big Players can call the shots with media such as NBC, CBS, and CNN since they control their ‘information services’ now. 
 

It’s a pretty big deal, so it’s important that people know.
 

For more information, also see: Net Neutrality



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#2 cryptodan

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 10:48 AM

All I can say is welcome to the ever changing digital age where cable and satellite TV are losing customers left and right due to Netflix and other services like it. This was bound to happen in a capitalistic society where money is the driver of business and our lives. People flocked to Netflix and Hulu and other services to avoid commercials and advertisements. While this is beneficial to the consumer, but it isn't beneficial to corporations that generate revenue based on their contracts with advertising firms and promoting of big shows like CSI and the Superbowl. This was bound to happen and I suspected it would, because those corporations help employ thousands of people who perform remedial tasks such as maintenance and upkeep on the buildings and that costs money, upkeep on their information technology to provide the digital services, and other things. Again I see proponents of net neutrality as people who feel they are entitled to free stuff, but we are not as we are consumers. So all in all those that expect a free lunch are now being presented with a "There is no such thing as a free lunch" slap in their faces.

#3 zingo156

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 12:55 PM

All of these companies that lose profit when people switch from tv to internet should move more of their tv content to their websites in the form of full episodes (with commercials). I am more than willing to watch commercials, I do not live in an area where cable television is a possibility, I could get satellite tv but I can also get DSL. I chose dsl because of the cost (and better internet speed/ping than satellite. Netflix and Hulu do not always offer the newest episode of a tv show so I am stuck waiting. If cable companies and the tv channels hosted the shows on their website, I would go there right now and be more than willing to watch commercials. Just a thought... I have to assume anyone who does not want to be limited will have to find a new ISP that does not limit content. I also have a feeling there may be some new pop-up ISP's that do not limit content. I believe big players will still fall in the end.


Edited by zingo156, 20 January 2014 - 12:56 PM.

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#4 mjd420nova

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 01:48 PM

I see this whole thing going in another direction altogether.  I and many clients friends and relatives have terminated their cable, satelite or phone company TV service and erected outside antennas for over the air network broadcasts and the rest of content they desire   from the internet.  Now with the rulings that appear to give the ISP's the right to control your content, stopping certain services that may become duplicated in the ISPs content, but all for more money.  The over the air broadcasters have begun an exodus to see how many of their alternate channels they can fill with other content.  Some previous "cable only" networks are getting picked up and added to an OTA channel line up.  (ie. ION & WE)  This craziness with "smart phones" is going to supplant the tablets and netbooks but stil remain slanted to the "average" user.  How many of us are "average users" ?



#5 Stolen

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 03:23 PM

Using Netflix as an example here, the whole point is that for Netflix be a success and continue providing their customers with reliable service, their business is now at risk since the Big Players who provide Netflix with the service are in a position now to make life very difficult for Netflix. Because of the ruling and because competition is a healthy part of our economic system (meaning lower prices and more choices), it means we all take a Big Step backward.
 
The Big Players (AT&T, Verizon, TimeWarner Cable, etc.) will now be in a position of monopoly and be able to provide or limit services to their competitors (Netflix is only one among many) by which the consumer (those who use Netflix) will suffer. 
 
The Big Players want Netflix to look bad and for their streaming services to degrade so that those consumers will return to the Big Players. The Netflix business model is completely based on the ability to stream and whose core strategy is to “grow our streaming subscription business domestically and internationally.” 
 
According to the Netflix earnings report, Netflix lists AT&T, Verizon and TimeWarner Cable among others as their primary competition:
  
Competition (Netflix): 
 
“Multichannel video programming distributors ("MVPDs") with free TV Everywhere applications such as HBO GO or Showtime Anytime in the U.S. and SkyGo or BBC iPlayer in the U.K., and other on demand content from cable providers, such as Time Warner and Comcast; direct broadcast satellite providers, such as DIRECTV and Echostar; and telecommunication providers such as AT&T and Verizon"
 
When the Big Players are the only ones who provide those streaming services AND are in competition with Netflix AND who are now free to dole out good service or bad service as they see fit without oversight or fairness, then competition suffers and so do we. 
 
The Big Players would love to drive out competition, and this allows them to become a monopoly. Capitalism cannot exist when consumers cannot make free choices. Forcing a viable business out because a corporation has been allowed to become a monopoly means we no longer have a free and capitalistic society. It has nothing to do with how many people corporations employee or how much they pay those employees. 
 
Oversight and providing a level playing field for everyone was under the authority of the FCC until this ruling last week. 
 
But that is not the worst of it, and the impact economically and the impact on the consumer is also not the among the worst. The worst part of the ruling is the impact on free speech across the Internet. It has far more reaching implications than simply making consumers suffer by watching commercials on TV. 
 
AT&T has been pushing behind the scenes to relax regulations that have been in place to ensure that everyone has access to basic communications networks. The FCC provided some Internet protection rules when it passed the 'Open Internet Rules' in December, 2010, but Verizon is suing (Verizon vs FCC) over these rules because Verizon wants to control and edit the Internet. If the Big Players win again (decision expected early 2014), they will be able to limit the Free and Open Internet. It means very likely limits on Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Expression across the net.
 
Money is not the driver of business and our lives, but we are living today with both society and business being more heavily regulated by government than ever before. 
 
We don’t expect a free lunch.
 
We do expect a free Internet. 


#6 Animal

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 03:35 PM

I can see it now....

Not only can your Internet be part of a Bundle i.e. Phone, TV and Internet. They can now bundle your Internet part of bundle, Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go etc etc. Talk about Command and Control.

The Internet is so big, so powerful and pointless that for some people it is a complete substitute for life.
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#7 zingo156

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 03:41 PM

I think they may also discontinue "unlimited" internet... You will have to pay by GB.


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#8 Stolen

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 03:55 PM

 

 

They can now bundle your Internet part of bundle, Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go etc etc. Talk about Command and Control. 
I think they may also discontinue "unlimited" internet... You will have to pay by GB.

 

ouch and ouch. Just don't make me pay by Bitcoin...please. 



#9 cryptodan

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 06:31 PM

To those who want a "FREE" internet, do you have any idea how much it costs for this big multi-gigabit a second pipes that deliver the internet to and from your locations costs?

A simple OC-3 can costs up to 20K a month yes that is a month to help facilitate content from to and from your home and business like NBC and CBS and then you add on the costs for equipment such as the routers, switches, servers, hardware maintenance contracts, software licenses and what not.

If you have HBO Subscription on your TV Service, you do not need to pay for it separately to get HBO Go same goes for a lot of TV Services. I pay 89 a month for an ultimate HD Package, and can use most online viewing channels for free without any surcharge to me or extra fees its all part of the bundle, and its been this way since I have gotten Comcast and now Verizon and thats been well over 11 years in the making.

I can bring say FoxNEWS anywhere in the world and watch it commercial Free, because I use Verizon and can log into my verizon account via their web service and watch. Same goes for Tru2Go (TruTV), and others like it.

My money goes towards another persons family having a roof over their head and food on their table so they do not starve.

There is so such thing as a free lunch period. Data that drives those services to exists costs money, so either pay up or don't watch it all.

Again welcome to the new digital world, expect it to get worse as more and more content is delivered through "Information Technology".

#10 Animal

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 07:57 PM

I'm not expecting Free Internet. Never was talking about that. I'm talking about priority fees for specific content. Metered access for specific services on your existing paid Internet connection. Meaning that now an ISP can charge a content provider to have unthrottled speed for their content. When a smaller competitor can't afford to pay the higher fees they will be throttled and have inferior service. It's reducing the number of realistic choices to only the larger players. Meaning that ultimately you will get your quality content from a limited few content providers. Smaller and niche providers will ultimately be shut out of the game. Fewer choices for the consumer who's already paying for a service. That now that the ISP's see yet another way to squeeze revenue out of the paying public. The geovernment sees fit to give them a blank check to fill in the numbers.

Sadly the US already has the highest fees for third world service. And it's going to get worse now. Just to give you an example.

In Seoul, a triple-play package for phone, TV and Internet at speeds of 100 Mbps for both uploads and downloads will run you $35 a month. By contrast, Verizon will charge New Yorkers $70 a month for a triple-play package with Internet at 15 Mbps down and 5 Mbps up on its FiOS service. Verizon's Internet is both more expensive and slower at the same time.


Bold is mine. Quote from: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/10/28/the-price-of-internet-is-too-high/

And now the ISP's have a government sanctioned way to make it more expensive while further decreasing quality or unrestricted access. If the US was a top 3 provider I could see making more money. But the US isn't even in the top 10 world wide on price or for bandwidth.

The Internet is so big, so powerful and pointless that for some people it is a complete substitute for life.
Andrew Brown (1938-1994)


A learning experience is one of those things that say, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that." Douglas Adams (1952-2001)


"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination circles the world." Albert Einstein (1879-1955)


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#11 cryptodan

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 08:57 PM

Welcome to being on one of the biggest nations land wise where cost per mile is more expensive to put in long haul fiber and to pay people to go out and repair fixes where fixes can take 2 to 3 days compared to a tightly dense metro area like many cities in Japan and Korea where there are dense areas of housing where you can spend less on infrastructure and get more. If the US was densely populated like it is in other nations, there would be the same cost but as it is there are portions where fiber optic cable is laid where it spans several hundred miles and if they cannot dig, they have to erect microwave relay towers to relay that bandwidth across the land where they cannot dig then continue the fiber run. I wished people would realize the geography of a nation and the political land scape when making comparisons to other nations ability to offer cheap services compared to ours. It really puts people in the blind and make them unable to see the true facts. People also need to realize that the US just isn't New York, LA, Chicago, Seattle, San Fran, San Jose, Dallas, and Atlanta there are a lot of other places where there are central hubs for communication cables to merge such as Albuquerque, Phoenix, Denver, Salt Lake, and others whose city limits are surrounded by Native American Sacred Land where DIGGING IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED and that is checkerboard style so more microwave relay towers to relay that bandwidth, and who do you pays for that? You guessed it the so called enemies of the "Free Internet".

I spend 144 a month 85 Meg down and 45 Meg Up with 5 static IP's with a business contract. It is very worth it to me to pay extra for the assurance that my line is treated with higher priority when it comes to outages.

#12 Stolen

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 09:51 PM

This discussion is not about how much the Internet costs. I am not talking about money when I use the word ‘Free’ in reference to a Free Internet. The term ‘Free Internet’ in this context and for purposes of this discussion is not even remotely related to getting Internet services delivered at no cost. 
 
Let me clarify. 
 
Long ago, the Internet was founded and has existed as a neutral vehicle for people all over the world to surf, educate, organize, upload, create, invent, post, share, communicate and otherwise express themselves. 
 
It has always been an Open Internet, a Free Internet. 
 
A long, long time ago, big companies like AT&T and Verizon declared they would not allow this to happen (they had suffered major losses over upstarts such as Skype and Google) and began to devise a plan that would benefit themselves and CHANGE the Internet’s founding principle…that being one of Freedom. 
 
As early as 2005, the CEO of AT&T discussed a new business model whereby his company could charge companies like Google and Yahoo so that they (Google and Yahoo) could reliably reach their own customers. AT&T was not happy over how things were changing and how the Internet was evolving..and it impacted their bottom line, that being monopoly on phone services just to name one. 
 
Comcast began to try and figure out a way to block some of the web’s most popular and necessary applications…namely BitTorrent. 
 
Freedom of the Internet: Preservation of an Open Internet 
 
Net Neutrality: A nondiscrimination principle. 
 
The one rule that applied (past tense intentional due to the loss of net neutrality) to the Freedom of the Internet was NO discrimination on the part of the Big Players that provide services either directly to consumers or indirectly to their competitors such as Google, Yahoo, Netflix, etc. 
 
Net Neutrality forbids the phone and cable companies from blocking some sites over others and preventing them from discriminating (entering into special business deals to only benefit certain sites over others). 
 
The ruling is still out on the Verizon vs FCC case, but the implications are profound.
 
And pricing is not the only important aspect of the discrimination principle.
 
Losing net neutrality means that the Big Players can make companies live or die all based on a whim...or nothing at all. 


#13 Animal

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 10:12 PM

@cryptodan this vast majority of infrastructure you refer to being built is already in place. And has been in place since the very beginning of the .com boom of the late 90's early 00's. The difficulties of access you refer to is more myth than fact due to the fact the railroads made billions selling right of way next to their tracks. I think it would shock most Americans to know there is more 'dark fiber' laying in the ground or attached to structures and poles than is actually in use. This is to promote the ridiculously high prices and create a 'demand' and false shortage.

The reality of the Internet is not in long haul fiber and the cost to build carrier backbones. It's in a thing called peering points or more accurately called IXP's or Internet Exchange points. It's where companies with content share and meet at a single locations or for redundancy multiple locations and have a connection. These IXP's always have whats known as co-location facilities serving the various customers who want to 'peer' with each other.

http://www.datacentermap.com/ixps.html

The Internet is so big, so powerful and pointless that for some people it is a complete substitute for life.
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A learning experience is one of those things that say, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that." Douglas Adams (1952-2001)


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#14 cryptodan

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 10:14 PM

Unfortunately due the massive propagation of illegal activity and theft of software and malicious content being spread on Bit TOrrent, I fully supported COmcast's efforts to block and to throttle bit torrent connections to make software piracy, spread of malware, spread of child porn, and other nefarious activities on the internet.  I fully support blocking of credit card sites where there is open trade of such things that impact peoples lives, I fully support the blocking of malicious domains internet wide and malicious networks that allow malicious activity to live.  It is pathetic to hear such an out cry to prevent big companies from doing so to promote a FREE and OPEN internet. 

 

You like the propagation of malicious activity?  I know I do not not.  It is disgusting to such support of such policies like big companies blocking such access at their core and border routers. 

 

Do you like people to have openly free access to child porn, because that is what it sounds like to me.

 

@Animal go to New Mexico and tell me the myth of people having to rely on 28.8K Connection, and tell my apartment complex I used to live in why they had to raise cost of rent to help bring FIOS to their residents.  I wanted FiOS and did the foot work regardless of cost to me.  They had to go into each apartment and run wire and that took man hours and man hours cost money.

 

ALso for anyone who thinks that the technology is not in place go to the Desert South West and go around and talk to people.  I worked for an ISP that serviced 25K people and that ISP is now out of business due to cost of upgrades to infrastructure to bring service to extremely rural areas.  It is not myth, and there are people where they would have to pay 35K dollar to just get 56K so they pay for satellite access which is slow and very costly but far cheaper to acquire then getting a teleco to run a simple 2 wire cable to get simple phone service. I beg of you to go to the desert southwest where DSL and Cable finally became a reality at a huge cost early 2000's and many of the places my ISP supported have no access due to the cost of maintenance by carriers like Centry Link and others.


Edited by cryptodan, 20 January 2014 - 10:20 PM.


#15 Animal

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 10:31 PM

@cryptodan. Not going to go off topic and discuss rural residential service when it has NOTHING to do with net neutrality. I responded to your information supporting your assertations of why we don't need net neutrality. I'm not going to chase your ever changing thoughts on it. I know intimately from a tier one Internet provider operations standpoint just how it works and how much it costs to run and what that service is sold to the public for.

The Internet is so big, so powerful and pointless that for some people it is a complete substitute for life.
Andrew Brown (1938-1994)


A learning experience is one of those things that say, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that." Douglas Adams (1952-2001)


"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination circles the world." Albert Einstein (1879-1955)


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