Reply to post: Kieren having a moment.

5 reasons why America's Ctrl-Z on net neutrality rules is a GOOD thing

Alistair Silver badge

Kieren having a moment.

And I think in this case it was a well deserved moment, he's been all over this case.

Net Neutrality. This short two word quip has a whole *lot* of room for interpretation. Sadly, libertarian 'no government' Ayn Rand shruggies tend to (as is *required* by libertarianism) wear fairly large blinders. They ignore history - which has made it abundantly clear that monopoly enterprises will manufacture wealth for the owning cabal, poverty for the employees, and engender illiteracy in order to ensure their existence into perpetuity. They ignore facts (we have a free market!!! there is more than one (Bell!!/ISP!!!/Train company!!!))

1) when your ISP is *the only* ISP in your area there is no competition at the carrier level -> monopoly

2) when there are more than one ISPs in an area and they either are a content producer or are owned by content producers, there is no competition at the content level -> monopoly

3) when there is no competition at some level, the idea (?ideal?) of 'free market solving the problem' is no longer possible. -> monopoly

4) when the content producers own the ISPs and have access to *all* communications then the content they will produce will be designed to perpetuate the perceptions, concepts and type of the content of the audiences communications.

What happens *rapidly* at this stage is that information delivered to these end users will become an echo chamber, and will perpetually narrow the perceptions of the end users. This is where extremism comes from, and the inability to rationally decode 'programming' (interesting that the cable companies used that term. Isn't it ironic?) that is being fed to the end users.

I am *not* an advocate of the 'wild wild west o the intarwebs' where *anything* goes - I am not for 'rules rules rules rules rules', I however *am* inclined to say that the provisioning of internet connections to end users does need some rational regulation. Including that the ISP delivering the packets must treat the connections as dumb pipes. They are, even when they are part of a content provider corporation, providing *infrastructure* to the current modern household.

The biggest issue that will now ensue in the excited snakes is that the ISPs that are part of content producer corporations (and it will be started in 3 months) will now go out of their way to *kill* torrenting, as fast and as efficiently as possible. How they do this will be variable but it will be done. There will be substantial collateral damage, and there will be much hand waving and ghostlighting on the subject, but it will happen.

Happily up here in Kanuckistan we have several giant ISPs and dozens and dozens of smaller ones, and (yay!!!) we have local loop unbundling. I may have to *pay* (in my case $4.52/mo) to unbundle and connect to a non standard ISP but it *is* a negligible charge). I know that in at least Ohio, Washington and Virginia you *cannot* unbundle cable connections, and at least in three cities that I'm aware of you only have a choice of *one* ISP, who owns your local loop, your pipe, and apparently owns the poles as well, for both cable and DSL. These circumstances are not a fee market.

The keystone argument; should the FCC be in charge of this or the FTC? -> the FCC was created in order to regulate the telephone industry, which was providing at the time an infrastructural service. It is *very* hard to see the provisioning of internet pipes as anything *other* than infrastructure. Title II -- probably needs an overhaul and may not have been the correct form, but --- oh right. There was a bit of a lag issue in the second half of that presidency wasn't there -- one party was stalling all over the place to prevent legislation being prepared......

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