back to article Look out, FCC: R.E.M., Aerosmith, Jello Biafra, 57 others join net neutrality crusade

Pity poor FCC chairman Tom Wheeler. Not only does he have some corporate heavyweights such as Verizon and Cisco opposing net neutrality and others such as Google and Microsoft supporting it, he now has another group voicing its concerns: rockers, poets, actors, and other members of "the creative community." "The open Internet' …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Michelle Bachmann

    Does this cow even understand what's at issue here?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Michelle Bachmann

      Well, she knows the internet is a thing, and um, things use that thing to talk to other things and if the government sticks its big fat thing (not the NSA thing, a "censorship" thing) in the middle, it will be the end of the United States as a country, although the land will mostly still be here. So yeah, she knows some things.

      1. noominy.noom
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: Michelle Bachmann

        @AC1

        Re: Michelle Bachmann

        "Well, she knows the internet is a thing, and um, things use that thing to talk to other things and if the government sticks its big fat thing (not the NSA thing, a "censorship" thing) in the middle, it will be the end of the United States as a country, although the land will mostly still be here. So yeah, she knows some things."

    2. Nunya Biznas
      Alert

      Re: Michelle Bachmann

      Whoa, no need to insult cows!

    3. NogginTheNog
      Facepalm

      Re: Michelle Bachmann

      Who??

    4. Munchausen's proxy
      Pint

      Re: Michelle Bachmann

      She knows that Obama is A.) A Democrat, and B.) Black. I don't know which of those is the lever and which the fulcrum, but between them she knows she can move her world.

    5. Euripides Pants Silver badge

      Re: Michelle Bachmann

      She's more like a monkey flingin' crap than a cow.

  2. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Normally....

    When such a list of distinguished and prominent people voice opinion, I reach for the 50 kg block of salt. When rock stars voice opinion, I would roll my eyes and wonder what planet they're from.

    However, in this case, with so much of the celebrity and business world coming out in favor of neutrality, I wondering if the world got hit with an intelligence or common sense ray... even briefly?

    So other than Wheeler a few select greedy providers (both content and connectivity), who wants to take it away???

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Normally....

      It might have to do with the idea that many of these professional entertainers and such have to deal with middlemen everyday. The Internet eases the concept of self-publishing, cutting out the middlemen and their cut of the take.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Normally....

        "It might have to do with the idea that many of these professional entertainers and such have to deal with middlemen everyday. The Internet eases the concept of self-publishing, cutting out the middlemen and their cut of the take"

        If it hadn't been for 'middlemen' (managers, record labels, producers, tour promoters, film studios, website providers...) then NONE of those entertainers would be where they are today. NO-ONE can do everything themselves.

        1. Eradicate all BB entrants

          Re: Normally....

          @AC No. 2, think of it this way. You sell goods to your customer. Your courier charges a certain amount to pick the parcel up and deliver it. The highways agency then contacts you saying it wants a cut of the profit you made on that sale because the courier used the roads they look after, even though the courier will have paid the correct taxes in order to use it.

          And I noted you were careful of whom you listed as middlemen, seeing as all of those you mentioned are ultimately controlled by record companies, who are the real middlemen.

        2. MissingSecurity

          Re: Normally....

          It would be naive to if it weren't for those middlemen...If we had different middlemen we may have had a better, more sane content delivery system all those years. There angry now because they built a closed system based on brick and mortar and physical content and hate losing that control.

  3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Joke

    Send the supporters to the new Gitmo

    on the 'Dark side of the Moon' or we will soon be 'Back in the USSR', wondering who is 'Riding my Train'.

    Sorry couldn't resist it.

  4. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    I wonder

    ... which one is more palatable to Internet users in USA : internet access censored by their ISP ("you can only have fast access to content paid for") or capped internet access ("you can only use this much data per month, unless you paid for more"). ISPs do not have unlimited back-haul capacity and money has to be charged from someone to prevent it from getting congested too much.

    Here in UK we learned to live with the latter, which is why we have absolutely wonderful ISPs such as AAISP with quality of support and services next to none, but with relatively steep pricing per amount of data downloaded. Importantly, UK does not have monopoly on last mile (BT is legally obliged to provide wholesale last mile access to other ISPs), which I feel is far bigger problem to consumers in USA than "web neutrality".

    Paris because of question mark.

    1. KjetilS

      Re: I wonder

      Or people could try the Scandinavian model...

      Telenor did try to push for bandwidth caps in the beginning of broadband, but that was swiftly abolished once it became clear that none of the consumers wanted anything to do with that, and neither did their competitors. So here we have net neutrality and no bandwidth caps.

      It does cost a bit more per month, but nothing above what's reasonable. I pay around £30 per month for 17mbits (measured) speed over DSL.

      You can get 60/60mbps (also measured) FTTP for around £60 per month.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: I wonder

        Scandinavian countries are relatively small. Geography plays a role in bandwidth costs, especially backhaul which is always metered.

        1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

          Re: I wonder

          That's the answer. It's always metered, so why pretend it's "per service" or "per site"? Why pretend that Google don't already pay for the bandwidth they use, and consumers don't pay for the bandwidth they use?

          If the ISP/back-haul companies are not getting paid for the bandwidth, that is what they need to start charging for. Currently, both me and the websites I use pay a fee... so where is this fee going if not to pay for bandwidth?

          A "faster delivery" for any other service is content and provider blind. If I pay for a parcel 1st class, I get 1st class to any destination, not only to "those paying more". Likewise, if I pay for fast (1st class) internet, and Youtube pays for fast internet, why should I THEN pay for the "fastlane" again? No one goes for 1st class stamps, then get told "Sending to Amazon costs more, because they are such a big company", they just pay 1 price for sending/receiving from all companies. It's crazy beyond imagination.

          (PS, any "free delivery" services are just hidden costs. That is not what is being offered here, Youtube etc already "hide" the costs by covering for their bandwidth costs by getting advertising payments. Netflix covers it's bandwidth costs with subscriptions/pay per view. Thus, why do ISPs need to packet discriminate or even provider discriminate on the customer side of the payments?)

        2. M Gale

          Re: I wonder

          especially backhaul which is always metered.

          I thought that depends on the type of peering agreement that has been negotiated? Pretty sure that a few of those go something along the lines of "you carry our traffic, we'll carry yours."

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: I wonder

            But don't those agreements have breakout clauses if the traffic gets too imbalanced (something Netflix would know about)?

        3. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: I wonder

          "especially backhaul which is always metered."

          Last time I purchased backhaul the only metering involved the bandwidth of the link, not the data shifted over it. You pay for the backhaul whether it's full or empty and the trick is to encourage endusers to spread their load out.

  5. Michael Nidd

    Maybe the quotes need more context

    I'm not sure I understand the various quotes about the FCC wanting to control the internet to benefit a few well-connected corporations. The argument sounds like it's in favour of preserving equal access by avoiding laws that require net neutrality.

    Why aren't any of those right-wing individuals you quoted making the more standard argument: the person who owns the network hardware can decide how it is used, and if the customers don't like it they can go with a competitor? I know that assumes fair competition exists, and there are lots of arguments against it, but at least it makes some sort of sense.

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      Re: Maybe the quotes need more context

      It's possibly either mistaken backwards understanding, "The Dr wants to kill you with the antibiotics!!!" or purposeful non sequiturs to break the logical (real) answer and fit in the desired (bias) result, "The Dr is an Alien, run away from him!"

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Maybe the quotes need more context

      How can you go with a competitor in a CAPTIVE MARKET? Most places only have one (two if you're lucky) broadband provider of any substance. It's like trying to find an alternate source of food in a place like a stadium: you simply can't.

      PS. And most of these captive markets were the result of Hobson's choices: captive markets were the only way to get IN the market; otherwise, they'd remain disconnected due to the extra infrastructure that needed to be built just to reach them.

  6. Lars Silver badge
    Coat

    What

    Nothing from Sarah Palin, like "I can see the intermet from my home and Obama is trying to steel it".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What

      Tina Fey was also unavailable, tough guy.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't Panic

    Now that intellectual heavyweight Jello Biafra is on the case, everything's going to be fine.

  8. Measurer

    I'm really Losing my Religion over this one! Where's Henry Rollins when you want some heads banging together (to Mike Watt playing a funky baseline in the background).

    RIP D. Boon

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    This article cannot be taken seriously

    How can we be expected to take this article seriously if you don't let us know what Stephen Fry has to say on the matter? I need to know how Atomic Clocks and Satellites will handle the strain on the internet.

  10. DrGoon

    Use the force

    The simple solution is for companies that respect network neutrality to reject peering agreements with those who do not. The result will be an internet of major media companies that has at best a slow pipe to The Internet.

    1. keith_w
      Childcatcher

      Re: Use the force

      The problem with that is that it is not the peering connections that are requiring additional payments, it is the "final mile" connectors. That is, Comcast, for example, is now receiving payments from Netflix to deliver Netflix content to Netflix subscribers at a speed that allows the computer to receive the streamed signal without buffering issues. It should be noted that the Netflix subscribers in question are also subscribers of Comcast and should expect to receive that signal at the rate for which they subscribed.

  11. Eguro
    Thumb Up

    The more the merrier!?

    See title...

  12. MacGyver

    Rule of thumb.

    As a general rule most organic creatures should do the exact opposite of whatever Glenn Beck or Michele Bachman endorse.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just look at the trends.

    I can remember the day when 300 baud was considered first class access to the wonders of the networked world. Then, came the world wide web and the demise of BBS's like Compuserve. Now we have fiber right down the last mile in rural districts or at least satellite providers who can deliver at equivalent rates.

    Should we expect this dramatic curve to steepen or flatten out. If one or the other, when? I think that this is a very good time for the legislators to do what comes natural to them. Stall for more time. This problem will vanish soon.

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