The Open Internet & the Freedom of Speech

Neutrality: Telephones don't prioritize connection to telcos financial partners, why should the Internet?

Imagine you picked up the phone to order a Papa John's and Ma Bell tried to steer you towards Dominos Pizza instead, because Dominos pays them commission on your order. Extreme, yes, but illustrative of "traffic prioritization" arrangements that will develop if we don't insist on Net Neutrality. Net Neutrality is fundamental to an Open Internet. Don't be distracted by FUD.


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Similar Ideas [ 4 ]


  1. Comment
    Joe Provo

    Completely bogus. Circuit-switch and packet-switched are fundamentally different. Major fail.

  2. Comment

    Imagine that a 911 call doesn't get priority over an teenage internet gamer killing zombies online. Extreme, NO, but illustrative of what will happen if traffic prioritization isn't allowed under Net Neutrality

  3. Comment
    Wildcoasts ( Idea Submitter )

    @JoeProvo: Gas and electricity are fundamentally different, but both utilities can heat your home. Like telephones, the Internet allows you to exchange information, and should do so unimpeded by the biggest kickback Ma Bell is getting from her financial partners.

  4. Comment
    Wildcoasts ( Idea Submitter )

    @mike.cambell16: Thanks for underscoring my point as to how lobbyists & shills spread FUD (Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt) as a smokescreen while pushing their corporate client's agenda.

    Our telco system does a good job of providing 911 service without allowing Ma Bell to prioritize calls to/from their financial partners.

    Net Neutrality is needed to protect this on the Internet.

  5. Comment
    Joe Provo

    @fawsmith "exchange information" wasn't the desired outcome, rather "internet". To correct your analogy, we'd be talking about dial-up internet and have to talk about the transmission systems behind electricity and gas. I'd rather not, and point out your hyperbole is FUD itself.

    Prioritization has nothing to do with redirection.

  6. Comment
    Joe Provo

    @fawsmith you miss the point, mike.campell16 is talking about a VOIP 911 call, not old-fashioned TDM telco you endorse.

  7. Comment
    Wildcoasts ( Idea Submitter )

    @JoeProvo: Prioritization effectively results in redirection. If your ISP prioritized YouTube videos(over traffic from Break, Vimeo etc.) because Google kiced-back enough ad revenue, then you'd eventually stop watching Vimeo because of perceived lack of service quality. Did the ISP redirect you? No, but your Pavlovian response achieves the desired result.

    To your other comment, I get Mike's point exactly, but respectfully disagree. We can protect VoIP 911 in the same way we protect POTS 911, without yielding Net Neutrality to corporate financial interests. We expect no less of our government, for and by the people.

  8. Comment

    Agreed phones cannot be prioritized so why should the Internet. Likewise, the U.S. Postal Service cannot prioritize what mail to deliver so why should the Internet. Why should Comcast be able to censor its user's emails criticizing Comcast for example even if the email is sent using Comcast's own email service.

    By the way under telecommunications laws Net Neutrality is perfectly legit and it is the moral thing to do. Even with the recent tragic decision by The U.S. Supreme Court on Citizen's United which undid democracy (despite it emboldening big cable and phone company ISPs to suggest Net Neutrality violates their free speech which is bogus -- by the way as the Internet is more interactive than radio or TV ever were -- it encourages participation, dissent, and democracy.) The Open Internet encourages free speech on the part of users. We just pay a monthly fee for access and have unlimited equal access to all Internet websites but big ISPs want to be able to change all of that. They dislike the idea of being forced to deliver every email message even messages by consumer rights groups criticizing them etc. The Open Internet threatens their legacy business model where in the past they would co-op and monetize technologies for corporate gain at the expense of the public interest.

    Big ISPs like Comcast want to be able to censor what we write in our emails and publish to the Web. Let's say I write an email about Comcast criticizing them for anti competitive, and anti consumer policies and I happen to be using Comcast's email service to send the message. Comcast wants to be able to reject my message because they think its unfair for them to be forced to deliver a message criticizing them.

    When the U.S. Postal Service delivers letters every day to mailboxes they cannot filter out and decide which letters to deliver and which not to. If I want to send a letter to someone they cannot refuse to deliver my letter because they don't like what I have to say. They don't have a free speech right to do such a thing. If the Post Office cannot prioritize and discriminate against what mail is delivered ISPs cannot either.

    The Information Superhighway analogy comparing Internet to our national highways run by the federal and state governments most of which are free of toll booths is also a good one and represents the need for why we need to maintain Net Neutrality. While I admit I am concerned with language that would mandate ISPs to act as copyright cops and police the Net to ensure it is only being legally used -- only legal uses should be protected but don't want an unnecessary and vague exemption for Hollywood etc. Net Neutrality should apply to Hollywood as well and if someone is misusing Internet before discriminating against that user and taking action proof should and must be furnished this is indeed the case -- the mere allegation of illegal activites should not be sufficient cause to discriminate.

    That is why I signed the Electronic Frontier Foundation's petition to the FCC for Real Net Neutrality!

  9. Comment

    Why don't we make up a ridiculous scenario like you describe and hand over network bandwidth to companies and individuals who would gladly abuse it for their profit? If we regulate and tax network providers we can triple the cost of the networks while we are at it. Makes sense? No. When Ma Bell won't allow you to order pizza from Dominos, let me know. Till then, quit trying to muddy up the water supply.