Stand with the Public. Pass a Strong Network Neutrality Rule.

The public demands the strongest Network Neutrality rule possible, without loopholes. Millions of Americans have called for nothing less, and now the FCC must act decisively, putting the public interest first and not giving in to pressure from AT&T, Comcast, Verizon and their lobbyists.


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Similar Ideas [ 5 ]


  1. Comment

    The public demands and deserves the strongest Net Neutrality rule possible, without loopholes. Millions of Americans have called for nothing less, and now the FCC must act decisively, putting the public interest first and not giving in to pressure from AT&T, Comcast, Verizon and their lobbyists.

  2. Comment

    It's crucially important to all of us that the internet remain open. Don't be fooled by Trojan Horse arguments like "Gamers vs. VOIP emergency calls" and the like.

  3. Comment

    Considering that free speech is essentially banned from public television since international media conglomerates have monopolized the airwaves, the Internet is the American citizens', as well as our global communities', shining light for free speech and communication.

    Following the money to who exactly is behind any movement away from net neutrality always leads to corporations, which are almost invariably in conflict with the demands of the public.

    FCC, who do you work for? We The People, your rightful owners, demand your servitude. Vote Net Neutrality.

  4. Comment

    A free and open Internet is vital to society, the economy, politics, and the advancement of human kind. Don't let big money control it.

  5. Comment

    How do Net Neutrality rules take away our rights? That's the most nonsensical thing I've ever heard. Net Neutrality PROTECTS our rights.

  6. Comment

    Protect the people from corporations gaming the system to make undue profits.

  7. Comment

    The neutral net is the great equalizer. It allows the little man/woman to compete in a way that was impossible before.

  8. Comment

    The public interest should outweigh corporate interests.

    Thanks to the FCC, media conglomerates are now in control of the public aiwaves to the detriment of the citizens. Don't make the same mistake with the internet. We need net neutrality!

  9. Comment

    Protect freedom of speech by supporting network neutrality. You can't exercise free speech without access!

  10. Comment

    Freedom of speech & expression. Freedom of association. Freedom to contract as we please. Our fundamental freedoms in just about every arena of life can be impacted by allowing corporate gatekeepers to decide what we can & can't see, how we can & can't participate.

    We must never let that happen.

  11. Comment

    Dar-- nobody asked you to BUY ME anything. I pay my bills myself, thanks very much.

  12. Comment

    The idea that net neutrality rules protect our rights is pure nonsense.

    What rights have no protection? What unbound violations of our rights will this address? Breach of contract? Theft? Fraud? Those are all protected by state laws.

    Net Neutrality rules can only bound us, not free us. They do not protect fundamental rights.

    If people are truly concerned about net neutrality, they would call for better market information and competition. They would call for removing rules that give power to a few businesses and limiting entry into the industry. Since they do not do this, we know those who call for Net Neutrality rules have some ulterior motive.

    Sorry to say pal, you have it backwards ....... You must work for AT&T ?

  13. Comment

    We've seen what the telecom industry does with the cell phone 'highway'.

    Long, inflexible contracts.

    A closed hardware environment where *they* decide which features of *your* phone you may and may not use.

    Exclusive deals with manufacturers (iPhone comes to mind) which prohibit us from using the gear we'd prefer.

    Per-message/photo/video charges.

    Rented ringback tones.

    Outrageous internet access charges.

    Roaming fees.


    Now they want to do the same thing to the 'Net. Are they out of their minds...or are we for even considering it?

  14. Comment

    What is with these talking points that identify fraud, breach of contracts?! If you don't know about the issue - don't vote. Do some research as to how our networks operate - Net Neutrality has been in place - and understand that the infrastructure in place is threatened. It is owned by companies who have no interest in protecting the content, but only delivering it.

    If you think internet costs are bad today, wait until tomorrow. The companies that provide the internet are on the path of cable television.

    "Want to visit,, websites faster? Purchase our 'Reference Site Package' for only 10 dollars a month and make sure those sites load at an optimal rate!"

    "Dont think you have broadband in your area? We just lobbied to get the definition of broadband dropped to 256K in your area - you get broadband now!"

    Anyone in that isn't in support of a neutral network either: (1)has an interest, as in profit, in the network (2) doesn't understand the complex nature of the network (3) attempting to block information from being distributed freely on that network.

    Have fun advocating against something you don't quite understand - then complain when the 'free market' is deregulated and all content is selected and delivered: just like TV and Radio

  15. Comment

    Hi n1kko. Were your comments directed at my post? If so, what gives you the notion that I'm not in favor of Net Neutrality?

  16. Comment
    Kristofer Young

    Equal access to the internet is critical to freedom and democracy.

  17. Comment

    For those who seem NOT to understand this point- advocates for net netrality are not trying to force companies to give internet access for free. (ridiculous) BUT- net neutrality will go a long way to keeping your ability to go where you want on the net. The FEW companies who control access are trying to control WHAT YOU CAN DO AND SEE, which will have the effect of altering the ability for organizatoins to connect. The other side of free speech is the implied right to listen to whomever you wish. The job of our governmental bodies is to act on behalf of the citizenry of this country, (this has nothing to do with my bills.) It has to do with what is right for this country. We NEED net neutrality!

  18. Comment
    Robert Smith

    I don't understand why anyone would want an internet where only the top dogs are allowed to thrive just because they already have the collateral to pay ISPs to have traffic flow faster to them.

    What about for small business like my own that are just starting out? Right now I'm working with some graphic designers to get a website up. I worked with some fragrance makers in the USA to get essential oils I may put in my soap and a farm in Michigan that exports lard throughout the US.

    If people now have to pay more to access sites from smaller businesses such as my own how in the world am I supposed to compete with Dove? The internet is the last place where small business have a place to start and grow. I can't even fathom trying to get an ad on prime time television or trying to put up a billboard next to the street.

    I can however create a website, and spread the word through twitter, facebook, videos of my product on youtube and vimeo, internet forums and even google ads.

    If these companies are allowed like they are proposed to be under McCain's Internet "Freedom" Act, then they can have access to their websites be faster than mine. Or worse yet, not even be able to access it at all without having to buy some type of "unlimited internet access plan" that costs $100 bucks a months as opposed to a "basic internet access plan" that will give users access to major sites like CNN, Dove, Colgate, Fox, ABC, etc. for a lower cost.

    Of course I'm going to lose business if everyone has not purchased this unlimited plan. Why can't the internet just stay as it is where everyone has an equal access? I thought John McCain was for us small businesses, heck I didn't even vote for Obama, but I'm glad he won because I would be beating myself up right now.

    I honestly don't care for all this jargon, all I know is, if companies that have a lot of money already are allowed to over shadow us small businesses, the internet might as well not exist. I am against big government, but the alternative sounds worse. The internet is a great marketing tool for small businesses.

    Yes, net neutrality. No to internet "freedom" act.

    I also wonder...has john mccain even tried to operate a small business using the internet to make transactions?

  19. Comment

    Good point on John McCain! I am soooo glad he didn't win. He is showing where his loyalties lie in this newest power grab for his pals at the net controling companies.

    It always cracks me up to hear someone say that "markets will regulate themselves." STUDY AMERICAN HISTORY, please! The current state of our economy is proof to the contrary. Are you old enough to remember the Savings and Loan crisis 20 years ago? THAT-ALSO- was a product of de-regulation. And to say that we can't trust the government to protect our fereedoms is un-American! Our nation was founded on the idea that freedom does not protect itself, it does not "just happen naturally" in a market. Again, study American history, please before you come back to this forum with personal attacks against me. Fortunately, this decision is in the hands of much more learned people than we.

  20. Comment

    @Dar - I'm afraid that you are entirely uninformed and ignorant or intentionally trying to mislead people. First of all, fishygirl never said ANYTHING along the lines of monetarily free internet being a right for everyone. Ans she didn't "give up" on that because she was never on it. Free as in "free speech" not "free beer".

    Secondly, you clearly have no idea whatsoever about what the Net Neutrality rules propose. All they do is protect freedoms that we currently have. Freedoms that prevent internet access companies from giving preferential bandwidth and connection to specific websites (such their own vs. competitors) and that they cannot block out access to certain websites (except, as I can only imagine, when authorize for the sake of parental controls). Now if you can identify rules in the proposals which would stifle competition for comcast and others, then you should do so here, rather than making wild claims about their existence and the fact that we should be asking for their removal if we care about what we say we care about.

    Thirdly, to your comments that "[if] the feds get involved then we will see freedom of speech limited" is simply not true. There is nothing to this effect in proposal. Again, if you know of a SPECIFIC item in proposal to this effect, bring it up here, don't hand wave at it.

    The government getting involved in the fashion which has been proposed only limits the freedom that corporations would otherwise have to control content access. By limiting these freedoms, they protect public freedoms - so whose freedoms are you more interested in Dar? The public's or the corporation's?

  21. Comment

    @Jim Snowden -

    "If you think Google (and Facebook) is on your side and they are only doing this to protect you, then you probably believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and I have bridge in Brooklyn I would like to sell you."

    That is pushing it, but up until that you made a lot of really good points that are very worth considering. Thank you for bringing an intelligent argument to the table. I'm not sure that I personally know enough about the dynamics of bandwidth flow to be able to say whether your concerns are valid or not, but I would like to hear more on that issue from people who do. Anyone?

  22. Comment

    @JimSnowden: Way to suck up to the boss! We'd heard AT&T executives were imploring employees to use personal accounts to astro-turf the anti-neutrality lobby. Thanks for confirming the sock-puppet rumor. Here's a couple of questions for you:

    1/You're right. Google doesn't pay a nickel. In fact, they pay millions for bandwidth to fulfill content requests. Monthly, I pay my ISP for bandwidth to download my content requests. Why should AT&T be able to shape service quality so as to prioritize 'featured partner content' traffic that kicks-back additional revenue? We've already paid once on each end of the pipe, surely shaping the pipe for additional profit is just extortion?

    2/ Net Neutrality has allowed innovation to flourish and the internet to grow exponentially. Why mess with a good thing?

    3/ The campaign to protect Net Neutrality has been transparent, open and inclusive. Why are big ISPs like AT&T employing sock-puppets and astro-turf campaigns to push their case?

  23. Comment

    We need Net Neutrality. Period. (For my reasons why, see pretty much anyone else's reasons.)

  24. Comment
    Craig Pope

    For all the nutcases that think net neutrality is the solve all for their future internet uses and punishment to corporate greed: Remember your past position when you are silenced by your master in the future.

  25. Comment

    For those who resort to derision tactics and name calling- there can be only one reason why- you know that logic and reason are on our side as well as TRUTH. And for those who wish to muddy the waters to make the truth less visible, I say you can't fight it for long.

    Because, as Schopehauer said "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

    Truth | Arthur Schopenhauer quote

  26. Comment

    I am not against net neutrality in its common meaning. I would enjoy an open Internet.

    I am against Net Neutrality RULES.

    I would be happy if my neighbor finds true love, and I might even cook dinner to help. I would stand against the guy that would tie him up to keep him from meeting his sweetheart at the library. But I would not shoot him if he does not fine true love.

    What is the best way to encourage an open Internet. Give control to one entity? Or let there be alternatives in access to the Internet? Clearly FCC rules start us down the road to one entity controlling what we can do with the Internet. Market competition allows us alternatives. Clearly, the way to an open Internet is to remove government barriers to competition.

  27. Comment

    Without strong net neutrality rules, we might have to rely upon the good will of large telecoms to protect our access to the diversity of political perspectives. We might have to trust companies like Comcast, which actively and secretly interfered with users' ability to access popular video, photo and music sharing applications; AT&T, which censored anti-Bush comments made by Pearl Jam's lead singer during a concert; and Verizon Wireless, which blocked text messages between a pro-choice reproductive rights group and its members.

    Corporate America already has absolute control over all mass media. The internet has been a significant tool in combating corporate censorship. A free and open internet - without corporate gatekeepers - is essential.

  28. Comment

    Once more, and believe me this is the last time I will reply to this,DAR more out of respect to all others who deserve the right to be heard in regard to this issue. Your constant misquoting and refusal to listen to my clarification proves one thing. You are not interested in a civil debate with fellow citizens in this public forum. You, and people like you are far more interested in confusing issues by focusing on nonsensical details which REALLY have NOTHING to do with the very important issue at stake here. America is filled with BULLIES who are trying to shut down the democratic nature of our public forums, town hall meetings, etc with sheer volume. I recognized your tactics for exactly what they are from the beginning. And though I can imagine this bickering back and forth must be irritating to more sensible readers here, I beg their pardon. And offer only this in explanation for my continued rebuttal--It is not for the sake of trying to win this ridiculous pissing contest which has arisen. It is for the sake of all of us who have been drowned out by the LOUD obnoxious BULLIES of the world who all too often win the small battles in life because sensible people simply say to themselves that "this is not worth the fight" and we move back to our peaceful existence. But I am here once again to say that this battle is worth it. I will not repeat the reasons again. I will not bother to explain to Dar how he has misquoted me. I believe he has done so on purpose, because to paint me as some fool who is begging for a handout is much easier than dealing with the real issues we have discussed. So for those who want to stand firm for net neutrality, I say, THANK YOU. To all others Good night and Goodbye.

  29. Comment

    Fishygirl, I think the thing is, he truly, honestly doesn't comprehend what Net Neutrality is.

  30. Comment

    fishygirl.fl, I did listen to your clarification. And I accepted that.

    It was metasaurus who dragged this on. He said I misquoted you and I showed the exact quote.

    I understand your concern about bullies. Fortunately, the market discourages bullies. But government does not. It encourages bullies. It is important that we not set up the federal government as the bully. We have little recourse to bypass that except by becoming criminals. On the market we have alternatives. We can bypass several ways.

    I am interested in civil debate. I have been polite in all my statements and I have attempted to be clear in my position.

    Let's stand together against bullies. Real bullies, not phantom bullies. Let's work together to identify those.

  31. Comment

    Oh, and fishygirl.fl, I did point out a few comments up where I did agree with you.

  32. Comment

    Consider this - the economic crisis we have found ourselves in occurred (at least in large part) by DEregulation on the side of the government. And we can all see where that got us. Assuming that competition in the free market will work out important issues is dangerous. Obviously, there should be limitations to the power of the government over corporations and individuals, but when they matter significantly (as in the case of economic stability) it is important that we not leave the country exposed to serious threats.

    I feel that the neutrality of the network content as provided by providers is just as important as maintaining a stable economy given the increasingly important role that information plays in our world. Protecting this neutrality means ensuring that regulations are in place which

    a) do what we want them to do, and;

    b) don't do anything we don't want them to do.

    Not all regulations are good regulations. I don't trust every little thing the government does. I don't believe that the government only wishes to do well for us. I think that in many cases, the government pushes things through that are not good for us (like the food - mostly corn and soy - subsidies which are destroying the health of the planet, third world economies and dietary nutritional value). Still, that doesn't mean we need to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire. The key is not to not regulate, it is to make sure that when regulation is needed, that it is established properly. Don't mistrust the government and everything it does just because they don't always do well - make sure that it does what it needs to and doesn't throw in anything that will mess the stew up.

  33. Comment

    Dar is clearly on the payroll for a telecom company - yesterday, (s)he spent roughly 9 hours straight doing nothing but commenting and voting, and today has done the same for roughly a "day's work." A quick click on his/her name will show the comments history. His/her arguments, which are clearly on the side of de-regulated freedom for large corporations to be free to do whatever they please at the expense of the public good, are wrought with fallacies - too many to list! From straw-men to red herrings to flat-out misinformation, the fallacious grasping of the telecom companies to find justification for "freely" screwing the Public Good are despicable. Dar - try making a valid argument in favor of why it's a good idea to let a few mega-corporations with virtual monopolies (and a minuscule population who profits from them) be free to profit at the expense of the PUBLIC GOOD, because that's what the argument is about. There's no chance for real competition at that level anymore, and you know it, and so do our politicians.

    The free market is good for some things, but certainly NOT for others. The way some people treat the idealistic (as in not realistic) free market as dogmatic gospel really have their heads in the clouds. That's just not how the world works, and the greedy & power hungry will never let it work that way. The corporate oligarchy that we live with now is barely recognizable as a "free market," have you noticed?

    Public utilities are something that should not be left to private corporations to censor and throttle - and the Internet has become a public utility in practice. Sometimes the pragmatic Public Good needs to overshadow unattainable ideals.

  34. Comment

    @Dar you have just shown that you do not understand the issue. Your analogy does not apply here and I don't understand how you can interpret fishygirl's line that you quoted as if she's asking for something free. Free speech, in America, means being able to voice your opinions and thoughts without censorship. It has nothing to do with money or a free ride.

    Your analogy regarding the printing press is also flawed and proves without a doubt that you do not understand the issue.

    The internet was created for the public good much the same way that highways were created. Comcast and ATT didn't create the internet. These companies were given the framework that was already in place and they were given huge tax breaks and kickbacks to help them create more infrastructure. For this they were allowed to use the internet to make money. It's a pretty good deal; use the framework in place to make money and in turn have some tax breaks to help build the framework all in the interest of the public good. The ISPs own the lines but the don't own the traffic. Net neutrality is about the ISPs not ever being able to own and regulate the traffic. But they are free to use the infrastructure to make money.

    A better analogy than yours would be a comparison to the roads and highways. Imagine that the highways were privately owned by companies like Ford or GM. Then imagine that ford said, you have to own a ford to use the fast lane, everybody else has pay an exorbitant fee to use the fast lane. One could say as you have pointed out that you don't have to use that highway just go find another one. But you can't because there aren't that many highways. Drive a Ford or go in the slow lane and drive at half speed.

    It's the same with the internet, there aren't that many choices for ISPs. I live in New York and my old building only had two choices. Dial-up and Verizon DSL. I am an artist and my whole business depends on the highspeed access. I need to send really large graphic files, use FTP, Skype, Vonage, maintain a forum, I use remote desktop, and VPN because I travel a lot. Before highspeed my business was local because my one foreign client (Toronto) was too expensive to keep because every month my phone bills were astronomical. Hi-speed service opened me up to the world.

    When my Verizon service started to get quirky, by slowing down, and having frequent service outages, my business took a big hit. I tried to complain but I was basically told that if I didn't like it, I could just terminate my contract. I couldn't because there are no options in that building. I now live somewhere else and there are three options here; dial-up, Verizon, and Time Warner. Fortunately Time Warner works for me and my business is flourishing. But if they decided to change their business practices and regulate my traffic, it would be devastating and there is nothing I could do. There are no other options unlike in your printing press analogy. And chances are that that there will never be too many choices because of the prohibitive cost of creating an ISP with your own infrastructure. The consumer is backed up against the wall in the same way that cell phone users are.

    That's were you have a misunderstanding about what net neutrality is. No one is asking for the government to regulate your traffic or to give people a free (as in beer ride) ride. All we are asking is for the government to keep the ISPs, (which are using the infrastructure that was put in place by the government, colleges, and tax breaks), to not discriminate between the packets of information. To treat all packets equally. It's not about people paying more if they use more internet, (many ISPs already do that and many only have unlimited plans as marketing strategies because the average user uses so little bandwidth). It's about the ISPs not having the right to decide which traffic gets priority or which kind of traffic gets blocked.

    I use Vonage and it is crucial to my business. Time Warner has a competing service. The legislation that is being proposed and that we are all fighting would make it possible for Time Warner to block my Vonage or severely cripple it so that I would have to use their service. And because their service is the only VOIP service getting priority, they could charge what ever they want and I would have choice or option but to pay it. There would unfair competition and Vonage is not a big enough company to create it's own highways.

    That's all that the proponents of net neutrality are asking; to keep the internet the way it is. The ISPs provide the highway and we decide what cars we want to drive and where we go.

  35. Comment


    Suppose Aunt Ruth has a tiny trailer park in the mountains.

    Cell phones don't work well. There is electricity, but no phone; it would cost Aunt Ruth over $200,000 to get a cable up to the park which she does not have.

    However, a local line-of-sight ISP has a tower on a nearby mountain. For $300 a month plus an investment in hardware, she can get Internet access. She sets that up with a few /n routers and covers the trailer park. Suppose there are no local laws against reselling communication. She sells access for $10 a month. That doesn't even cover the monthly bill but she considers the rest needed to keep people in the park, even those who haven't signed up.

    She sets up her router to give priority to web and email. Also with priority is VOIP in certain hours and FTP after midnight. But, she thinks boys should go out and play, so she blocks common game ports. Besides she is worried the link will get overloaded.

    Now a fed swat team bashes in her door and takes all of her equipment. They even show up at the line-of-site ISP. She has to go to court. Residents are wondering whether they should rent from a criminal. Channel 10 has called her a public enemy.

    This is what the proponents of Net Neutrality rules want.

    This is part of why I say...

    NO to Net Neutrality rules.

    (Of course, rules proponents will claim they only want to go after mega-corporations not aunts. This exposes their true purpose. They don't care about the Internet. They just want to hurt people who own stock in, or dare to work for, a large company.)

  36. Comment

    Bob Kahn, Internet Protocol's co-inventor, has called the term net neutrality a "slogan" and states that he opposes establishing it.

    He has warned that "nothing interesting can happen inside the net" if net neutrality strictures become legislation.

    Thought you should know.. Look at the source of this one.

  37. Comment

    @dar: Talking is preventing you from listening, and your every new irrelevant metaphor only continues to prevent your understanding of why Net Neutrality needs to maintained. Just like the interstates, the internet took massive govermment investment to build. Your trailer parks Aunt didn't have the scale to build I-80, and neither is she going to be providing a viable ISP alternative to Verizon/Comcast/AT&T. A libertarian free market might be your Utopia, but in the US of A we live in, government build the internet and FCC regs are needed to stop monopolies from taking away Net Neutrality.

  38. Comment

    barnesnoble90210 wrote, "...FCC regs are needed to stop monopolies from taking away Net Neutrality."

    There is no evidence of that.

    Has removing subsidies and rules that block competition been tried? Has a flat broadband seal of approval been tried? Has suing companies for contract violations been tried? Has the state AG gone after companies for fraud?

    I am for a natural emergent neutrality of the net, but I am against increased government control of what can be done on the Internet.

    NO to Net Neutrality rules.

  39. Comment

    There has been plenty of evidence of that. Comcast has been a particularly egregious violator, at one point blocking Craigslist so it wouldn't compete with their in-house classified ad site, and blocking BitTorrent. AT&T has blocked 4Chan.

    We pay for our internet access. Providers pay on the other end. What we are paying for is free and open access to use the infrastructure as we see fit. How would you feel if the government stopped you before you got on the freeway, asked why you needed to use it, and decided whether or not you'd get permission? Without strong & enforced Net Neutrality rules, get ready for corporations to do that to the internet.

  40. Comment

    chris.mccamic wrote, "What we are paying for is free and open access to use the infrastructure as we see fit."

    In that you speak against Net Neutrality rules.

    If that is what is in your contract or that is what the ISP offered and you accepted, then you already have legal recourse. No federal rules are needed.

    An important part of a free market is protection against fraud. Are there FCC rules or other laws that prevent you from protection against fraud? Then go after those! Don't destroy the Internet because of a contract violation. Use the law!

    Stand up for what you bought. Go after those who violate contracts. Go after rules that prevent you to do that. Leave the Internet alone.

    Join me in saying...

    NO to Net Neutrality rules.

  41. Comment

    That's bunk, Dar. We ARE standing up for what we bought by demanding net neutrality rules (and we literally DID buy it- US taxpayers footed the bill for the creation of the internet).

    It costs time and money to enforce these terms- time and money the average private citizen, say an Aunt in her trailer park, doesn't have. So we outsource it by combining our resources as taxpayers and creating a body that DOES have the time, resources, and negotiating leverage to prevent the abuses we have already seen beginning to happen.

    When will you libertarian types realize that citizens choosing to cooperate for the common good through the government we created for that purpose IS self-reliance, IS initiative, IS personal responsibility?

  42. Comment


    So, chris.mccamic, are you saying the rules are needed because people are too lazy or too cheap to call the AG or their lawyer, or join a class action suit?

    I see that as a poor reason for decreasing our freedom.

    We are better off using the force of the government in protection against fraud and in contract enforcement.

    The highest political good is liberty, not mob rule mislabeled "cooperation." Cooperation is when we freely collaborate and trade. Forcing rules on people is not cooperation.

    With the laws in place Net Neutrality rules are not needed.

  43. Comment

    Dar, your arguments are so specious I really can't be bothered to give them the obvious rebuttals they all individually deserve. Bottom line, Net Neutrality doesn't decrease anyone's freedom, except the freedom of large corporations to hose the small customers they prey on, if they are allowed.

  44. Comment

    I disagree with chris.mccamic.

    Large corporations do not have rights. Only individual humans have rights. Corporations are artificial people for some legal processes.

    However, even though government constructs, corporations do have owners and employees. Those are individual humans. They have rights.

    They are individuals, just as consumers are. (And corporation consumers have owners and employees.)

    The rights of all individuals should be preserved. This is not done by giving coercive power to individuals in Washington.

    In working for freedoms, it is important to watch for the freedoms of all individuals, even perceived enemies.

  45. Comment

    @Dar: With every post and every analogy you are showing that you don't understand the issues nor do you understand the stakes.

    Net neutrality is about freedom for the individual and a leveling of the playing field so that Aunt Ruth can compete. The big ISPs don't own the lines nor did they build it. They are like toll booths designed to bring in money for maintaining the lines and building new infrastructure. In return they are allowed to make a nice profit, which they are.

    These companies also provide services and content as well. Everyone can compete fairly and on an even playing field with these large corporations. That is the way it is now and has been since the beginning of the internet. Because the Net has been Open, many businesses have been created because their services and content have been treated equally. Businesses like your Aunt Ruth's, to the 14 year old girl with an extremely successful website, all they way to skype, Vonage, and Youtube, have only been able to exist because of an open and Neutral Net. The Net Neutrality bills are trying to make rules to keep things the way they are right now.

    The reason the internet has grown they way it has is because the current system is working perfectly. Comcast and ATT and those who are against Net Neutrality have proposed a bill that will change everything to give them the upper hand. Want to use Netflix? Well Comcast can set up a competing service and slow down Netflick's packets. Bye, Bye choice. Want to use Vonage? Well ATT has a competing service and with the legislation they are proposing, they can filter Vonage's packets and slow them down. Bye bye competition. (Comcast slowing down Vonage's and Craiglist's packets are partly why the Net Neutrality bill was introduced). That is not fair, especially since Comcast didn't create the lines.

    Dar, the anti-Net Neutrality bill is designed to crush competition. I've read your posts. I know that is not what you want. That is why I believe that you haven't read the bills put forth by the opponents of Net Neutrality nor do you understand it. Net Neutrality is about freedom for the individual. It's about a level playing field. It's the right to compete fairly.

    @ntom: Tim Berners-Lee, the guy who created the internet is strongly for Net Neutrality

    Dar, please watch this video by Tim-Berners-Lee. He created the internet and really understands the issue. Please watch this so that you can make an educated decision about Net Neutrality

    Here is a transcript:

    All of you who do not understand Net Neutrality, please read this post:

    Those of you who have time to read and really want to understand this issue, please read this:

  46. Comment

    rickymujica This is your statement in reply to my earlier comment about Bob Kahn::

    @ntom: Tim Berners-Lee, the guy who created the internet is strongly for Net Neutrality

    Dar, please watch this video by Tim-Berners-Lee. He created the internet and really understands the issue

    This is my reply..Long, the most I have written in years...

    First the vent.. sorry if it sounds personal but fact is fact...

    rickymujica, You just negated your reliablility...your facts are half facts and I am not sure I trust your judgement.

    No one person invented the Internet as we know it today. However, certain major figures contributed major breakthroughs:

    Leonard Kleinrock was the first to publish a paper about the idea of packet switching in 1961.

    J.C.R. Licklider was the first to describe an Internet-like worldwide network of computers, in 1962.

    Larry G. Roberts created the first functioning long-distance computer networks in 1965. He also designed ARPANET.

    Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf invented the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) which moves data on the modern Internet, in 1972 and 1973. If any two people "invented the Internet," it was Kahn and Cerf - but they have publicly stated that "no one person or group of people" invented the Internet.

    Radia Perlman invented the spanning tree algorithm in the 1980s.

    The Internet was well-established before Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau created what is now its most popular application.

    Our former United States Vice President Al Gore did not invent the Internet. What's more, he never said he did!

    Emeagwali did supercomputing research in the eighties. He contributed to no Internet standards, major or minor

    By 1983, TCP was the standard and ARPANET began to resemble the modern Internet in many respects. The ARPANET itself was taken out of commission in 1990. Most restrictions on commercial Internet traffic ended in 1991, with the last limitations removed in 1995.

    Those are facts, if you want to know more about each person,

    go google them they are all over the web.. or just google

    who invented the internet.

    I know congress has talked about net neutrality before,

    but it got no where because.. if you go back to (HISTORY) "your links" and follow the links on those pages you will see exactly that.. our congress has looked at this before and decided it would be too much government involvment in private enterprise.

    This new blocking and slowing the net is new to me and if I was

    in that position I would find a grant writer, and create new competition

    all it takes is a T-3 or even a T-2 to give decent service.

    I know we had to wait a couple years before we had more than two ISP's

    but when the others came in the price leveled out and the bandwidth

    has been stable.. well as stable as poor old wore out lines can handle...hehe...

    Just a thought.. The old rules worked, more competition

    is how to control the blockages from these big company's.

    I know what you say about sueing them. they have too many

    loopholes to protect them .. so.. compete with them instead..

    I have pretty much said what I think and how I feel,

    I do not really think I have any more that can add to this

    discussion in any of the topics..

    I asked my questions and got nevative with a couple half answers...

    maybe the questions are too hard, or maybe I sounded harsh,

    or maybe just maybe you could not answer because it would make you

    look like you do not know your facts???

    In one post around here somewhere someone came up with a good idea

    The darndest thing is I can't find it.. must have gotten negative results because it made sense??? ROFL

  47. Comment

    To Chris.mccamic, your condescension isn't justified. "Net neutrality" has a notoriously ambiguous meaning, and is a misnomer at its worst. For you to say someone doesn't understand its meaning shows you're not understanding the breadth of meanings attributed to it. What is illustrative is that this label has endured to confuse and still isn't labeled as we all know it to be: "Internet Regulation".

    The truth is all of us (customers) want "net neutrality" in theory: Equal access, ubiquitous and nationwide, to lots of bandwith, as cheap as possible. But neutrality implies an absence of participation. When the fed is getting involved to regulate, that's not what you're asking for at all.

    And so now we must turn to the prospective injustices haunting your future online experience. Yes Comcast was warned by the FCC, and yes other broadband providers are practicing network management. Service allocation by price tier is a rather obvious necessity in any market of fixed services. (If you want subsidies just ask for it.)

    So your fears are speculative and as yet unfounded - why would a corporation purposely seek to squeeze out its bread and butter customers? I don't get it. And if they did violate some law: contract, consumer protection, or even antitrust - Dar is right in that we have an existing infrastructure to take care of that. So I say, keep the fed's hands out of the internet.

  48. Comment

    @ntom- First of all I meant to say that Tim Berners-Lee invented the Web, not the internet. Today the internet and the World Wide Web is used so interchangeably and people use the word "Net" as a sort of mashup between the two. My bad :)

    Tim Berners-Lee is widely credited with the invention of the web though he did not invent all the elements that led to it's creation. The same way that Gutenberg didn't invent movable type, paper, or ink but is still credited with inventing the printing press.

    It was Tim Berners-Lee who thought of connecting personal computers together in a web-like fashion to facilitate sharing of information, (that is why his opinion is relevant) and it was he who made the first proposal for it. Here is his proposal:

    He created the first successful connection between HTTP client and a server, the first browser, and the first domain name and website. Check it out:

    He is also the director of the W3C.

    Once again, he is widely credited with being the inventor of the WWW. Look it up:

    A totally free market is impractical just as is an over-regulated one. But there have to be be some kind of basic regulations in place to keep the powerful honest and to keep them playing fair.

    Without basic regulations a corporation could put melamine in babies milk to make it look like it has higher protein

    Or major construction companies could use shoddy unsafe materials in buildings in order to save money

    Ntom, there need to be some rules and there has to be some government control because many industries have proven time and again that they can't self-regulate and that increasing profits is more important than the public good. Imagine if the food and medicine industry had been as poorly regulated as the financial industry?

    The idea behind Net neutrality is to make rules to keep things the way they are. Please go back and read Tim Berners-Lee's post one more time because it's important and it's clear.

    The idea behind Net Neutrality legislation is to keep the unspoken rules that have been in place since the beginning of the Web. No more no less than that. It's not about paying more or less for using more bandwidth or getting better quality of service. It's about the Telcos not controlling which packets and what kind of traffic gets priority. It is already legal for Telcos to charge you more if you use more bandwidth or if you want better service. But their pricing and packet prioritizing is blind to what kind of packets get priority, thus the word neutral.

    The Telcos are trying to pass legislation that decides which kind of information gets priority, not how much. Waht we are fighting for is not having the Telcos decide which information gets priority. This prevents those with the power, from deciding what information we have access to.

    With the current system and laws, (which we who are for Net Neutrality want to protect with legislation), if I were to have a web site that is critical of a politician that is endorsed by Comcast or some other ISP, as long as I pay my bills, I have the right to have my Web Site get treated equally and everyone would have equal access to my views. If Comcast had the right to slow down my packets and prioritize competing information, they could legally censor me. Even if I had a T3 connection with a competing provider, their legislation would allow them to slow down or block my website when my packets travel over their lines to their customers or to customers whose ISPs lines are in areas that have to travel through Comcast's network to get to them. That is what the packet prioritization bill that the telcos are proposing and the one that Mcain is pushing does.

    That is the what we who are for Net Neutrality are fighting. Net neutrality is nothing new, it goes back to the 1860s when telegrams where routed equally without an attempt to decide what information gets priority. The telegraph networks were regulated to keep them "neutral".

    All telecommunication services have laws to keep them neutral. They are considered common carriers under US law and the FCC makes sure that everyone gets fair pricing and access. It is against the law for telecommunication companies to give preferential treatment on their networks.

    Technically, the web isn't a telecommunication industry but it has become a way of communicating for a large part of the world and largely until recently, there have been unspoken rules that follow the telecommunications laws. The telcos are now challenging these unspoken rules. All we want is for the net to be given common carrier status and to be governed by the same neutrality laws that have been in place for over a century for the telecommunications industry.

    Those are the facts my brother.

  49. Comment

    Exactly. These lobbies have spent a half a billion dollars trying to get network neutrality killed. If they had put that much money into upgrading their systems and networks, they would not have any network bandwidth issues. It is all about greed - nothing else. Make sure Network Neutrality becomes the standard, with teeth, fangs and claws to make it work and do its job.

  50. Comment

    It is evident that the Obama Administration would like to control all of the means of communication with the so-called fairness doctrine to the so-called net neutrality rules for the internet. In essence they believe that, if the message doesn't suit their purposes, KILL IT. Obama is a tyrant in his current mode of thinking. He has said in so many words, think of me in terms of those who surround me and those folks are strident communist and socialist sympathizers. Gone unchecked this administration will wreck our country and reduce us to third world status. Their horrendous fraud of "cap and trade" is one of those issues with which they will try to do this. Freedom of speech and the press is a guaranteed right of the Constitution and should be fully enforced.

  51. Comment

    Oh no, here come the wing-nuts.

    Shearwatersoil, you do realize that there are many on the Right who are also for Net Neutrality? These include the gun owners of America, and the Christian Coalition.

    The ideas behind Net Neutrality legislation are to preserve Freedom of Speech and the Press.

  52. Comment

    Dave is right. These companies are creating a pact together to destroy a measure that - virtually - changes nothing and prevents modification.

    We need to stand as together as consumers and taxpayers alike to prevent this tool from being tainted by interests with money as the only motive.

    Take a look at the regulations telecoms in the EU have lobbied for. If we dont take measures now to prevent the slow decay of OUR internet they will do it slowly one chip at a time.

  53. Comment

    Net Neutrality is just another way the government is trying to extend its control. Net neutrality would be anything but neutral. Vote Against the so-called "Net Neutrality!"

  54. Comment

    How is it going to be paid for??? The way it is written

    it will cost oh so much to a country that has totally blown the budget.

    That is what I want to know.. HOW IS IT GOING TO BE PAID FOR?

  55. Comment

    Net neutrality sounds simple--force phone and cable companies to treat every bit of information the same way--until you realize that modern networks are incredibly complex, with millions of lines of code in every router. Making sure services like VoIP, video conferencing, and telemedicine (not to mention the next great thing that hasn't been invented yet) get priority may be necessary to make the Internet work. But the government is working to do just the opposite.

    These networks cost billions of dollars to build and maintain, and if there is uncertainty whether there will be a good return on that investment, private investment will dry up. And then government will step in, spending billions of our tax dollars on a government-owned and controlled Internet.

    That's their plan.

    Enough is enough.

  56. Comment

    It looks as though there are a lot of people commenting who favor government Net Neutral policies and the plethora of rules that will grow from that. OK, supposing we get FCC enforced rules, how will that affect us technically?

    Of the few families up here on Black Rock Ridge, I'm considered the more tech savvy. I volunteered to set up a router so we can all have Internet access.

    How do I set that up so I don't run afoul of NN rules and have the feds break down my door?

    Do I deny all QoS requests or do I allow all QoS requests?

    Can I get by with turning off all priority options and firewall options, or do I need to hire a certified NN consultant to set up my router?

    Can I get a cheap router or do I need to get a NN certified router?

    Do I have to let one of my neighbors inadvertently hog all the bandwidth?

    What do I do to make sure I comply? I don't want to have to buy another router in a few months and have to learn how to set that up.

    Any help is appreciated.

  57. Comment

    "These networks cost billions of dollars to build and maintain, and if there is uncertainty whether there will be a good return on that investment, private investment will dry up. And then government will step in, spending billions of our tax dollars on a government-owned and controlled Internet."

    As taxpayers we have already payed for the telecoms infrastructure. This isn't a fight over a change in policy, it's the preservation. A new law wont come out saying telecoms have to spend billions. It is simply enforcing security of OUR content provided on their infrastructure, NOT ATT's, not Verizon, not Comcasts content. It places on unfair emphasis on people who actually provide information.

    "How do I set that up so I don't run afoul of NN rules and have the feds break down my door?"

    "Do I deny all QoS requests or do I allow all QoS requests?"

    NN will not prevent QoS - It will insure my client doesn't received SPOOFED packets from servers terminating connections. (As what has been practiced)

    "Can I get by with turning off all priority options and firewall options, or do I need to hire a certified NN consultant to set up my router?"

    "Can I get a cheap router or do I need to get a NN certified router?"

    "Do I have to let one of my neighbors inadvertently hog all the bandwidth?"

    If you use the internet, right now, that's exactly how it works.

    "What do I do to make sure I comply? I don't want to have to buy another router in a few months and have to learn how to set that up."

    This isn't a compliance issue. It's to ensure telecoms cannot: manipulate your packets (change the content) inadvertently redirect to the wrong address from the packet header, spoof packets from servers, charge someone extra running a server to allow costumer base access to content on that server.

    Again, it will not change the network now - it preserves it.

  58. Comment

    ATT would like to charge access to their customer base. Why is that a bad thing, this is a free world!? Because I, and millions of others, already pay to our access that site - that's why. If wikipedia can't provide enough money to pay for the customer base, those people wont have access.

  59. Comment

    Wikipedia also pays to have their site hosted on the internet. As long as it's legal, it's not the infrastructure people's business what we use the infrastructure for. We pay for its upkeep, you mind your own business.

    AT&T charging Wikipedia a premium rate would be like you getting stopped at a tollbooth, asked why you were traveling, and having the government decide whether you get to use the road, and how much you have to pay to use it. Insert AT&T for the government in that situation, and voila, you have the non-neutral net.

  60. Comment

    1kko wrote, "This isn't a compliance issue. It's to ensure telecoms cannot: manipulate your packets (change the content) inadvertently redirect to the wrong address from the packet header, spoof packets from servers, charge someone extra running a server to allow costumer base access to content on that server."

    Those are all things handled by fraud law.

    I mean, how do I comply with the rules that come out of the 6 principles of NN. I don't have time to deal with FCC violations.

    Like reporting on router settings: I don't want want to release info that would help hackers. What is the minimum I have to supply on my community router settings?

    Will there be only one manufacturer of NN compliant routers? Will it have an NN setting so I can make sure I comply? Will I be able to get government money to help pay for it?

    If my router doesn't have much memory, will that illegally harm certain protocols under derived rules? How do I know if it has enough memory?

    Will I have to reserve a port for law enforcement?

    How do I check to see that the router + Internet connection meets the minimum legal latency requirement for game protocols and VOIP protocols?

    Do I have to let routing protocols through? QoS?

    I'm not saying these questions are more important than the above Black Rock Ridge questions.

  61. Comment

    Dar's point is well taken, and if I'm right, he's generally saying this is a slippery slope.

    If the FCC is announcing principles to regulate the internet, make no mistake in that THEY ARE GOING TO REGULATE THE INTERNET. That means all of his questions will have to be addressed by regulations. As his questions note, internet providers will be infinitely difficult to define - and an increasingly difficult market to enter for new niche/small businesses as enforcement (red tape and money) comes in.

    To be sure, how can a federal agency truly understand the goings on and mechanics of what takes place in each unique locale, e.g. Dar's Black Rock Ridge? I'm not ready for this regulation and neither is anyone else who truly wants NN.

  62. Comment

    If you think regulating huge enterprises that we all depend on every day is a bad idea, you must LOVE what deregulation has done for our financial industry.

  63. Comment

    Dar this has nothing to do with routers or new compliance measures for consumers - drop it already.

    The practices i mentioned - those practices ARE NOT covered under law, that's what Net Neutrality is preventing (as i clearly outlined). This has NOTHING to do with QoS!

    Government regulating can be bad. But the government is in place to protect US, the taxpayers, from mishandling of information on the infrastructure we payed telecoms 10 billion dollars for - already. As Chris has stated, the deregulation of banks, and their free market, is a prime example of how greed can destroy something productive.

    Stop defending these large corporations who have enough money to lobby on capital hill - where one of their voices is worth 10 thousand of ours. Look at the EU and their mishaps over the internet. Look at China. These practices are coming to the US. Don't take what we have already for granted.

    We are all here to protect the one thing we love the most - the internet - and how open communication and collaboration is changing our world.

  64. Comment

    "If you think regulating huge enterprises that we all depend on every day is a bad idea, you must LOVE what deregulation has done for our financial industry."

    When you have a couple bad regulations harming people but mostly keeping the consequences of each other in check, and then you remove one, then in that case deregulation harms. We saw that in finance.

    But over all regulation is molasses in the workings of our nation and misses the mark of addressing fundamental wrongs. We see now how it is a drag on the economy. (I know it is not the only drag; taxation and "printing" dollars also are hard on the economy.)

    Now, I fully expect the NN RULES people will get an explosion of rules out of the NN policies. I have to live with that, so I'm trying to figure out how to cope.

    If my Black Rock Ridge router is set up, will there be a way I can test it for compliance. Will the FCC set up a series of web sites I can connect to and make sure all protocols are handled legally the same? Will this cost me a fee?

    Would it be OK to get some sort of gadget to slow down certain protocols so I comply?

    Or will the NN rules that come from NN policy prevent me from even having a community router?

    If my neighbors and I all sign something that says we will not use VOIP, would it be OK to block it then?

  65. Comment

    "has nothing to do with consumers"

    But, as the guy who installs the Black Rock Ridge router, won't I be a supplier? (In fact, are not all ISPs also consumers.)

    "This has NOTHING to do with QoS!"

    How do we know? Did the FCC promise not to put that in any of the rules? Does that emerge?

    Consider this policy statement some have brought up:

    A provider of broadband Internet access service

    must treat lawful content, applications, and

    services in a nondiscriminatory manner.

    Now, some services need a certain quality to work? Others do not? Will I need to turn off all QoS to comply? Or do I need to allow QoS for all services that normally require it? Or is my router supposed to recognize certain protocols and follow some formula for fairness as defined by FCC rules? How do I know whether my router has some sort of systemic weakness that is discriminatory as defined by rules?

    And, suppose I, as a micro-ISP, do block video streaming because of the load and all of my neighbors agree, will I still be in violation?

    The rules have not been written yet, but we do have a lot of experience with federal rule-making. We know there will be rules with extensive consequences and lots of paperwork. Surely NN RULES proponents have looked into this. Surely they can answer my questions.

  66. Comment

    As a member of the public and frequent user of the internet I am surprised to learn that our internet is controlled by only five or so major companies. Now knowing that these companies have the right to slow down my access to information worries me. They have the power to limit my resources because they might not agree with the source of my information. These companies have an extreme amount of power and it makes sense that our government feels the need to step in and take some of this power away. Even though putting the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) in charge may seem like it is in some way taking away our freedom on the internet, it is actually ensuring that we keep it. I also agree with the idea above that the FCC needs to listen to what the pro-legislation people are saying which is, yes we want the power taken away from the major companies, but we don’t want back door dealing and scheming or “loopholes”. Lastly, I feel the need to express my concern that if our government begins to go over board and they start impugning our rights to free speech on the internet then they will have become the powerful company they were trying to stop.

  67. Comment

    The local grocer has the right to sell sugar-added or "blend" juices. And most do. This frustrates me when I'm looking for pure X juice. Many groceries do not even sell pure juices (except maybe grape, apple, orange and grapefruit).

    Now, should I petition the FCC to force all stores to sell only pure juice?

    There is nothing wrong with people limiting the products they sell.

    Often I find a product online that is almost what I want with some deficiency. Should I get the FCC to change the product?

  68. Comment

    once again your analogies show that you do not understand the situation. First of all there are millions of grocery stores and there is a ton of competition. No one is over a barrel. It's very easy to take your business elsewhere. There are about five ISPs in the whole country and that creates virtually no choice.

    A more correct analogy would be a situation where your local grocer wants to sell pure X juice, but the only company that distributes food to your grocer, decides that the sugar-free X juice would compete with the crappy sugar-laden Y juice that they also manufacture. So they refuse to ship sugar-free X juice or they keep it in the warehouse until it spoils and then ship it. It would hurt the consumer and the grocer would have a case. But litigation is very expensive and with the grocer's little resources, his lawyer would never be able to compete with the team of lawyers working for the big distributor. Even if he could, litigation would be so financially prohibitive it would put the grocer out of business.

    That is why we have anti-competitive laws in place, because it's not possible to be constantly take big companies to court.

    Also, speaking of government intervention, don't you think it's a good idea that the FDA makes the food manufacturers label the ingredients on the box? The food manufacturers fought labeling food products and people like you thought it was terrible. Those poor food corporations, it's gonna hurt their business. Don't you think it's good that you can pick up the juice carton and see if they added sugar and corn syrup and any other chemicals before you buy the juice?

    Before the FDA stepped in you had no way of knowing what was in the product you were purchasing. Making an intelligent decision before purchasing was impossible.

  69. Comment
    Jim Snowden


    Accuse ME of astroturfing????

    Who are YOU shilling for? Do you have stock in Google or HULU or one of the other dozens of content providers who want to dump tons of their stuff onto the internet without regard for the impact it will have on users overall experience? So, my simple response is before you go around accusing anyone who has a different opinion from you as being the lackey of some big corporation, I can play that game too.

    Now, I will make the first move here. I have some experience in data communications (15 years to be exact). But that does not mean that what I offer below is not accurate or meaningful. I DO want users to get all of the content they want and seek. I simply am struggling to help us insure that the internet evolves in a way that is appropriate to 2010 and beyond and not be stuck with an internet that was designed for 1995.

    Please allow me to enlighten those of you who are interested in this about how this system works. You have it partially correct, currently no packet is more important than any other packet, so each packet is delivered using what is known as a "best effort" basis. No matter how much capacity you build into the system, each service will have its performance impacted by the weakest link within the transmission pathway.

    The internet is set up as a series of electronic transmission cables and routers. If any router along the pathway gets overwhelmed at any point, then the router will start "dropping" packets.

    Now in the case of an email or a photo being transmitted, this is not very important because if a packet is received out of sequence or dropped, all the receiving computer has to do is wait until all of the packets are received and reassemble or request that the transmitting computer resend the missing dropped packet. This is the beauty of the internet.

    This was fine when the internet was dominated by the transmission of documents and files. However, this is not so good when you are transmitting data to support a real time application such as video or voice.

    In real time, data MUST come in sequentially, and the tolerance for missing packets is minimal. Applications such as Hulu and YouTube try to "trick" the user by using a cache on the local computer. This allows the video to flow somewhat in a fashion that allows for watching the video before the entire file has been transmitted and allows for some tolerance of dropped packets.

    However, in a real time application such as telepresence, where, not only are you transmitting HUGE amounts of data, but it is critically important to deliver the packets without loss and in proper sequence, a "net neutral" approach is not such a good system, because without any prioritization any router along the way that is overwhelmed will start to drop packets. Without any system to prioritize the packets, the router will "throw way" a critical in-sequence real time video packet as easily as an email packet. In the case of the email, no big deal. In the case of the real time video packet, a very big deal.

    So YES, the net neutrality bill as currently proposed will not allow for the development of these types of applications because, no matter HOW big the PIPE is if any single router along the way gets overwhelmed (a VERY likely possibility) then the transmission will be lost, and the real time application (no matter what it is, I only used telepresence as an example) will not deliver a quality user experience.

    Look, I get it, you want access to the sites you want to not be "blocked". I empathize and do believe that we should be able to access any site out there. But the unintended consequence of managing the network by government decree will slow down innovation and lead to a much worse user experience.

    Finally, I go back to one of my original statements. This is not about evil telecom companies trying to keep you from getting to the websites you want. It is not, I repeat, not "the evil telecom companies" against the little guy. This is about two giant industries, with lots of money on each side, going up against each other. On the one side we have the Internet Service Providers (AT&T, Verizon, Cox, etc.) and on the other side the Internet Content Providers (Google, Hulu, AOL, Facebook, etc.)

    Before you heap a whole lot of scorn on the ISPs, just make sure that Google and others aren't wolves in sheep's clothing.

  70. Comment

    rickymujlca wrote, "There are about five ISPs in the whole country and that creates virtually no choice. "

    Hmmm. Perhaps there are more than you realize. In the town where I live there is both cable and the telephone company DSL to several ISPs. There are also a handful of alternate DSL companies. There is a microwave link company where you put a tiny antenna on your roof and that connects to several ISPs. There are two satellite companies available, the last time I checked. At least two wireless phone companies offer computer Internet access in this area. There are many local and national dial-up access companies. Some of those local ISPs can have a T1 link to my place. There are plenty of libraries and coffee shops, a couple of which bypass the above. And if all of those got into a conspiracy, I could call a friend or drive to a nearby town to get my data out. If that became a pain, I could move.

    Perhaps we are using the term ISP in different ways.

  71. Comment

    @ Jim Snowden: That is one of the few really intelligent and thoughtful posts I have read from someone against net neutrality and it is the first post I've seen that makes a valid technical point as opposed to a "right wing small government/ pro-large business political" one.

    Your points regarding the time sensitive nature of information packets is not only valid, it is correct. The solution is not an easy one and the challenge is finding a way to allow for time sensitive matter to get the attention it deserves without creating unfair business practices.

    Tim Wu, the professor who wrote the paper on net neutrality in 2002 has already acknowledged the importance of streaming content over static and has already conceded the argument you make when he wrote the four principals of net neutrality:

    1. Consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of their choice;

    2. Consumers are entitled to run applications and services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement;

    3. Consumers are entitled to connect their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network; and

    4. Consumers are entitled to competition among network providers, application and service providers, and content providers.

    Who knows how this is all going to play out, but the important thing that those of who are for net neutrality want to avoid from happening, is for the ISPs to prioritize packets, not because it is time sensitive data, but because it's a competing service. In other words, packets containing streaming video from google or netflix, should not be throttled to prioritize packets containing streaming video from Comcast or ATT.

    This whole debate as it pertains to the internet started around 2002, but it caught fire in 2005 when the FCC went up against Madison River Communications, a local telephone carrier, because Vonage complained that they were blocking it's voice over IP service. Madison River Communications settled out of court and as a result no precedent was set. Had a precedent been set, we probably wouldn't be having this argument today.

    Before 2000, Net Neutrality wasn't even considered because the majority of the net was through telephone lines and the web was considered a telecommunications industry and was already subject to neutrality laws that have been in place since 1860. Laws that are substantially stricter than what the Net Neutrality advocates are proposing.

    Those of you who are opposed to government intervention may not remember that until the government stepped in, AT&T, told us that using a Wi-Fi service for home-networking constituted "theft of service" and that it was a federal crime unless of course you paid extra for every computer in your house that connected to the internet through your WIFI router. I was an early DSL adopter and I remember having to tell Verizon how many computers would be connected to the net. I remember lying. Some of you who needed VPNs will remember how ISPs either blocked VPN traffic, or charged a small fortune to use a VPN because they considered it a business service.

    So Jim, your argument is very good and contains information that is very important, and shows that there is a real technical argument as opposed to a purely libertarian/republican wing-nut one. But it's only one part of the whole picture, though I concede, an important part. Your argument is one of the main reasons that the Net Neutrality advocates are trying to include a transparency clause. To make it possible to make sure that the reason for packet prioritizing, if needed, is for a technical reason such as the one you pointed out, and not because of a more arbitrary or sinister anti-competitive reason. Like for instance, the ISPs discriminating in favor of their own search engines, Voip, and streaming video and music, while slowing down or blocking their competitors.

    Without a type of "Common Carrier Agreement", a couple of mega-mighty companies would control all distribution of and access to all content. This is what has already happened with cable TV and television. The Internet is the last true free speech platform and the fear of it being "FOX-ified" or "Clearwatered", is what is driving a large part of this debate for those of us who argue for Net Neutrality.

    By the way, in response to your argument about two large factions at war with each other. Do you think that it is a coincidence that at on the anti neutrality side, you have you major conglomerates that have either been around forever or started out as billion dollar entities (ATT, Comcast, Cox), and on the side for neutrality, you have companies that started life as small one or two person operations working from a dorm or a garage (Google, Hulu, Facebook)? Do you think any of these companies would be around to fight this fight if the net hadn't been neutral? Took Google years before they could even figure out how to make any money.

    @Dar Every small ISP purchases it's service from a larger company and these in turn purchase upstream from one or more larger companies. These are called tier 2 and 3 networks because they have to purchase or make deals with other usually larger companies to rout their traffic. A network ISP that doesn't have to pay anyone for access is called a Tier 1 network. There are only a small handful of about 10 or 11 Tier 1 networks in the whole world! These 11 companies provide Internet service to all the other ISPs down the stream. ATT is one, AOL(Time Warner) is another. Verizon, Qwest, Sprint and Verio are the only other ones I can think of without doing an internet search. When ATT decides to discriminate between competing services, and throttle certain services, all the downstream ISPs are also affected. So even if you change to another Tier3 provider, you are still really dealing with ATT.

    I live in Manhattan and there are a couple of choices in my building but only one of which is viable. T1 is prohibitively expensive and satellite is too slow in my price range. 3G is slower than dial-up, can't do that. That leaves two choices cable and DSL. DSL in my building is through Verizon and the service was so bad that I switched to cable. Time Warner is the only cable supplier in my building and it is my only option. Your idea of either using dial-up, going to a coffee shop, driving to another town, or just moving are ridiculous and shows that you are just grasping at straws to prove your point.

  72. Comment

    Ricky, Jim's point has been there this whole time. An ISP is best equipped to meet the needs of its users, given daily advances in technology requiring more bandwidth on its network. How is this more technical than other Libertarians' arguments? There is no other point - that IS the Libertarian argument!

    But in the next statement you concede by calling the issue a 'challenge,' apparently asking for smarter regulators to handle the rest - whomever that may be. On what grounds do you distrust ISPs in favor of an unknown enforcer of internet rules?

    I especially take issue with your characterization of the internet as capable of being "FOX-ified" or "Clearwatered" with one or several carriers dominating all of the distribution and content. The contradiction in your plea is astounding. You are all at once criticizing the FCC created phenomena of tv/radio license oligopoly, while asking for another system to organize the behavior of internet providers. Try starting your own radio station vs. starting your own ISP right now. Which is easier? What are the main barriers to entry? Licenses? Oh you mean GOVERNMENT?

    If you'd just let well enough alone, you would have more than enough content and distribution available for the rest of your life. Don't like the internet you have? Link up with your neighbor and start a new one. That's how it can work - until the government gets involved.

  73. Comment

    Timothy, you're missing the point of my post. ISPs should by all means charge according to usage. However, the criteria should be how much usage, not what kind. Did you read where I mentioned that the goal is for ISPs to not be able to censor competing services? That is the fear.

    What is the Internet? Is it a common carrier? A common carrier is a business that transports people, goods, or services and offers its services to the general public under license or authority provided by a regulatory body. Public airlines, railroads, bus lines, cruise ships, trucking industries, etc... The telecommunications industry is also a common carrier and the Internet was built on the telephone lines. This makes it a great candidate for common carrier status. Common carriers are treated as trustees for the public good and as a result they are very regulated in order to provide fairness and competition.

    Or, are the ISPs simply big corporations with no responsibility to the general public and have to only answer to their stock holders? Their largest priority being to crush competition? Do they own the lines and can they do what ever they want with their lines as one exec from ATT has already stated?

    Do these large corporations and near monopolies own the virtual highways that were built by the government, with government monies, and gigantic tax incentives?

    That is what is at the heart of the debate.

    Your comment about about linking up with my neighbor and starting my own ISP is so ridiculous that I'm assuming that you are joking, because after reading some of your other well thought out posts, I can't believe you would be so ignorant as to make a statement like that.

    Assuming I had the financial resources, time, and business acumen to start my own ISP, I would still have to purchase my service from a Tier 2 or Tier 1 provider. Since the six Tier 1 providers in my area are the proponents of the anti-net neutrality regulations, even if I could start my own, I would still be subject to them throttling my traffic.

    What kind of government do you want? The Left wants a government that watches and regulates big business and stays out of the individual rights. And the Right wants a government that leaves big business alone and unregulated, but tramples all over the individuals rights. Ie.. regulating against same-sex marriage, non-violent drugs, a woman's right to choose, right to separation of church and state, etc...

    There has to be a balance some where and we should be able to count on Government to help us when companies engage in these anti-competitive practices.

    After the mess the Bush administration left us in, I can understand a healthy suspicion of the government. (The previous administration was so bad that they have provided a case for their rhetoric regarding small government. Nothing like self-fulfilling prophesy). "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty", this means watching the government and making sure it works in our favor as well watching the corporations to make sure they keep from doing evil.

    Government should work for the people. That is why I believe in Public schools and colleges, the police force, Medicaid and Medicare, Social Security, the Post Office, public roads and highways, government protections against racism and sexism in the work place and real estate. I'm especially in favor of the Government anti-trust and monopoly laws. And I especially and adamantly believe in the "Common carrier" laws.

    The Internet is a common carrier and legislation should treat it as such.

  74. Comment


    These analogies to shipping companies aren't accurate. I can't currently pay a monthly flat-rate to ship all of the packages I want. It's very easy to see if my package got delivered when it said it would. Your analogy is sort of like saying, "Yeah, the packages normally gets there in three days, but now we're making it take 5 days unless you pay us some enhanced service fee." Or even better, "Oh, you're trying to ship to a family member of a UPS employee? That's going to cost a lot more. We at FedEx find that too many packages are shipped to UPS family members."

    This isn't about shipping. This is about keeping our packets from being discriminated. Average internet users don't have time or money to go fight some legal battle with a huge ISP with in-house lawyers over filtering their content and discriminating against their packets.

    Let's wait until the internet is so overwhelmed with packets that nothing gets through. Then the people can decide what we are going to do to increase our internet speeds.

    Another unrelated analogy: DAR tried to mention QOS. Normal internet users don't get a QOS! If you want QOS, you pay to get your network directly connected to the backbone.

    The only kind of "QOS" I can see being offered is one that, when paid for in the highest payment plan, gives me the speed I currently have. Once I see my pages loading in an unacceptable amount of time, I'll send money in to my ISP to buy a new router.

    The argument about important information, like medical information, needing to get through the Internet is silly as well. If it's that crucial, they can have their own separate network that doesn't get bogged down by typical internet users.

  75. Comment

    This analysis by the GAO reports that a pandemic might require the federal government to limit bandwidth, protocols and content on the Internet and advised increased FCC controls and DHC power to enable this. This was generalized to apply to any emergency. The FCC must broaden its regulatory power, according to the report. This power is not to enforce neutrality but to remove it.

    It seems the threat to bandwidth and content is less from access providers and more from the government.

    Allowing the FCC to expand and establish so-called Net Neutrality rules will harm freedom on the Internet. It will run counter to goals.

  76. Comment

    I'm with Tims Wu & Karr on this:

    "Without clear and reliable definitions of "non-discrimination" and "reasonable network management," we could see the types of blocking that occurred in 2007 when Comcast secretly barred customers from using file-sharing applications such as BitTorrent.

    Allowing ISPs this much leeway would effectively eliminate Net Neutrality. The rules need to be unambiguous and strong, the scholars write. And even now, at the beginning of the process, the FCC should be clear as to what it believes the standards should be."

  77. Comment

    I have heard another side to this "Government taker-over"

    The other side of the issue says this is so the Government can control free-speach and to filter out what they dont like....such as Fox news,conservative radio,etc......

    Everyone should find out all the facts before you voice your vote!

    these are scary days!

    this net-neutrality is not what it will actually kill free speach

  78. Comment

    Man, there's one born every minute.

  79. Comment

    Millions of Americans have NOT called for this. We are all free to say what we want and search what we want! Leave us alone!! If it weren't for big corporations - there would be no one to provide jobs and fund any innovations!! That is unless you think the government should be there to do everything including wiping your butts too!! Maybe we should have government control of that!! I lived through a time when people believed that "Big Government" was a BAD thing. Now, small minded people think the government should do everything!! Maybe even serve us breakfast in bed if we can include that in the next bill!! STAY OUT OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR, Mr Government!!!! I HATE what is happening in this country and the sad thing is - the U.S. has always been the last best hope for the world - now we are becoming a joke and there is no place to go to escape it!!!

  80. Comment

    "Net neutrality" is a euphemism for government controlled speech and infringes on the constitution which guarantees freedom of speech and association. Only in China, could an idea like this gain traction among the government elites. Sure, democrats would love to silence dissent and muzzle freedom of speech in order to propagandize and perpetrate their ideas which have now been unmasked in the Obama Administration. Our country will not countenance such folly.

  81. Comment

    I suggest to anyone AGAINST a neutral network read this article then try and tell me we dont need government intervention:

    Anyone in that isn't in support of a neutral network either: (1)has an interest, as in profit, in the network (2) doesn't understand the complex nature of the network (3) attempting to block information from being distributed freely on that network.

  82. Comment

    Protect the people from corporations gaming the system.

  83. Comment

    I agree with the unnamed comment near the bottom of the list. I too am on of the Millions of Americans that have NEVER asked for net neutrality and do not want it.

  84. Comment

    I still don't understand what problem we are trying to solve here ... other than listening to rhetoric between the parties.

    When your infrastructure is built commercially, then you need a commerical application that pays the bills. DARPA and associated protocols ( e.g. work at ISI) are a minimal investment ... the lion share of capital for Internet ecosystem is a commercial venture.

    The rhetoric needs to be turned down ... and the device, application developer and data transport players need to have open discussions.

  85. Comment

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. The public does NOT demand that government restrict or regulate the internet in any way.

  86. Comment

    The public demands that Big Government stay out of my house.

  87. Comment

    I have personally experienced being censored on a social Internet site for promoting awareness of stories around the world that aren't reported on the usual mediums we are accustomed to having. I never uploaded content that wasn't mine, I never was violent or malicious toward anyone, but I wasn't even allowed to face my accusers or given the opportunity to defend myself and wasn't even informed why my contributions were deleted.

    We must protect Net Neutrality which allows the freedom for all who use the Internet to control their own experience. If someone objects to something, they should just pass by it. Silencing and prohibiting others from their freedoms is not what America has fought valiantly for protecting for more than 200 years.

  88. Comment

    Why do some people want to decrease our freedoms with Net Neutrality rules?

    Maybe they just want to control people. Maybe they are trying to scare us with big bad business stories.

    Maybe they are afraid themselves and are willing to give up liberty and prosperity for some rules.

    Maybe they are too cheap or lazy to buy quality access, confront providers who misrepresent their services, or form consumer groups.

    Maybe they really want quality uncensored Internet, but have yet to pick up a book on economics, rights or the like.

    It is baffling.

    Let's not let fear control us. Let's abandon our desires to control others. Let's encourage good, honest trade. Let's let the market work. Let's bask in liberty. Let's be diligent in protecting our freedoms from growing government. Let's keep the Internet in the hands of the people not in the hands of those in Washington.

  89. Comment

    Your claims have already been shown to be false, and your motives here are clear, Dar.

    You do not stand for freedom, you stand for profit.

    And business does not have the right in America to profit from censorship of the internet.

    Companies want the ability to control access for one reason only-it will be an easy way to make money.

    It forces a captive audience for the commercials they so desperately want to sell.

    Politicians know that control can keep grassroots groups from gaining momentum. (effectively stifling the will of the American people.)

    But we both know you already know that.

    I, and others, have already explained this to you with supporting evidence.

    I can only conclude that you simply want to spread falsehoods at this point and are ignoring the truth.

    All in the name of making a buck?

    You sue the words "good, honest trade" to describe companies' efforts to create a commodity by BLOCKING what freely is now flowing.

    This is not honest work, it is extortion.

  90. Comment

    Ah, fishygirl.fl, I have already explained to you the nature of freedom and you don't seem to be catching on. What is the issue?

    Nobody forced you to sign on to some Internet access service. Yet you want to force providers to provide access in a package you want including a price you want.

    If some access provider employee broke into your home, wired up Internet, took your money and tied you to a chair in front of a computer, you would have legal recourse. As it is, people are voluntarily buying Internet services. Yeah, some cities are blocking trade, but the access providers are no forcing you or anyone else to buy.

    Yet, Net Neutrality will force consumers to buy only one product, even consumers who want low-cost access. It will force providers to do everything the same way (harming innovation) and limit what they can sell.

    So, where is the real source of coercion? Government.

    I don't see where you are coming from concerning the evidence. Many have shot down all that "evidence". I have contributed to that. I have not lied.

    It is like this. Suppose there is no bread in Fishigirlia. I make a bakery. I sell bread. Many people buy bread. They didn't buy bread before I made the bakery and did so afterward because they thought they would be better off doing so. One girls wants people to shoot at me because I have a monopoly. One guy wants all bread to be fancy wheat & nut and threatens to burn down the bakery if that is hot the case. If either one succeeds, bread and its price and availability will be harmed. (This doesn't even get to the part of the big shot threatening to burn my bakery if the town doesn't obey him, and talks the people into giving him that power.) This is the same as access providers and NN efforts.

    (If you are concerned about the tax break my bakery got for being the first and because I know the king, then the people can petition the king to remove that tax break.)

    When people are free, they are free to trade. People trade when they perceive they will be better off. People tend to be right in trade. In freedom, then people tend to be getting better off. That is profit. You cannot separate freedom and profit as you claim.

    "Good honest trade" must include allowing people to shape products as they wish. Misrepresentation is fraud, of course, and there already is legal recourse for that.

    I don't think there is a good understanding of what the service being sold is and both suppliers and consumers are at fault there. However, that does not need more regulations. That needs good consumerism. I encourage those who call for NN to work for that. That is one problem area, and there are honest avenues to address that.

    Perhaps "extortion" is not the word you want. Extortion is the extraction of payment through a threat of force. It is coercion, a threat of violence. Selling limited product is not coercion. Nobody is forced to buy. But the threat of violence to force people to drop some of the services they sell is extortion. That is what you are calling for. I suppose getting regulators to do it paints it with an air of legitimacy and the word might not be used.

    Some CEOs are not very competent and use regulators and politicians to grant them favors. Now that is nasty. But that does not mean profit is bad or evil. It does not mean that CEOs in general are evil. Normally, bad CEOs lose their jobs or their employers go out of business. But a system of government favoritism allows some who sell them selves to government officials to survive. Let's remove that. We can do that by minimizing the power of regulators and lawmakers. That means NO to Net Neutrality rules.

    The best way to approach these problems is to encourage good consumerism, organize against misrepresentation, and keep Washington and city councils small in power.

    There is also another dark threat we must not allow to grow. Big governments seek greater and greater control over citizens. This is a decrease in freedom. It harms us. Over the past year Washington has increased its scope of spying on citizens. Over the past year, the President has even called for the ability to shut down the Internet if he wants. It is always assumed that totalitarianism only takes hold in other countries. This is not the case. It can happen at home. Citizens and even those in public service who love the nation must fight against this threat. (This is hard for those in public service, because it means working to keep their power small, which is hard for anybody.)

    I encourage you to change tactics and work for good by increasing freedom, not decreasing it.

  91. Comment

    Dar, I have written dissertations refuting your drivel.

    You claim I and others are calling for violence? This IS A LIE. I will not waste my time with you further. The only sense you made recently had to do with keeping government from getting too powerful. The writers of our constitution, and most of us here calling for net neutrality whole heartedly agree with you.

    But you can't warn against "big government" and then ignore "big business" which is in fact the real puppet master of the government.

    Your HYPOCRISY is fully exposed here.

    You don't mind the power of "big business" growing for one logical reason...YOU BELIEVE YOU WILL PROFIT !

    So stop lecturing US about freedom when the only freedom you care about is your own.

    WE are fighting for our larger more important freedoms, and they are much more valuable than your petty scheme to make a buck.

  92. Comment

    Violence, fishygirl.fl? If I sell low-cost access that limits download speeds to enhance browsing enjoyment, and some person in Washington says I can't, but I continue and the consequence is that my door is knocked down and my property and person are hauled away, is that not violence? Isn't that what you are advocating?

    I care about the freedom for all. That includes Internet access consumers. That includes those in the access business. That includes those who don't even use the Internet but will be harmed by government control of the Internet.

    I look at the broad picture, not just some blip that can better be handled by contract enforcement or fraud recourse, or even better consumerism.

    Adding government power might create some mock freedom, but in the end, overall it will decrease freedom for all.

    Consider Obama. I don't know where you stand politically, but Obama has to be an embarrassment to liberals everwhere. Obama wants the ability to shutdown the Internet. He wants to increase his ability to spy on what we do. Obama is more Bush than Bush. The next president, whether Democratic or Republican, will likely be worse. We should drag our feed against this trend.

    I don't own any stock in big Internet access providers. I don't work for one. I don't have any as customers (though I did have a customer who had one as a customer). I am against harming or favoring any big business through government.

    Those who are against NN are the ones fighting for the larger realm of freedoms, not those for NN, who take a myopic view of wanting high-class access without paying for it. It seems the NN set are all gimmee, gimmee.

    You claim the bad guy is big business. In big business bad CEOs fail. Unless they can get help from government cronies. How can the government cronies do that? Because you gave them the power to. So where is the problem? Is it big business? No. It is big government.

    Suppose you sold goldfish. Suppose your business tripled every year for ten years. Does that make you evil? Of course not. Success (in itself) does not make you bad.

    I encourage you, fishygirl.fl, to abandon greed and stand for freedom for all.

    (Though I might be a hypocrite, that does not apply to this subject. In this area, I am consistent in my desire for freedom.)

  93. Comment

    Fishygirl, don't waste your time arguing with Dar. The bad grammar, the incoherent sentences, and the incorrect analogies, provide a clue that he isn't the fastest packet in the transmission. In fact his ridiculous conspiracy theories show that he has probably lost a few packets along the way. (Obama wants the ability to shutdown the internet. Really?! Sounds like he gets his information from listening to Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh).

    There are plenty of intelligent, people on the other side of the argument. Save your debate for them.

    Those of you who haven't read the bill please read it now. It's not a huge piece of legislation. Only a couple of pages. Arguing against uniformed people is like banging your head against the wall.

    The Net Neutrality bill is about freedom. Contrary to what many on this thread believe, this legislation is not a gift to the file sharers and bandwidth hogs. It allows for Internet service providers to charge for tiered service and to charge heavy users more money. The caveat is that they must disclose this information up front. This protects the Internet providers.

    It bans the Internet providers from censorship and unfair market practices via prioritization. This protects the consumer, alternate viewpoints, and small business.

    The Internet does not belong to, and was not built by any one company. The ISP's were and are still given huge tax breaks and subsidies to build and maintain the lines. Lines that were first created by government with tax-payer money. That means that the tax-payers, the government, and the ISP's have a joint-ownership of the lines, it is a shared resource.

    Net Neutrality rules are a codification of rules that have been unspoken and maintained through constant litigation between the consumers and the ISP's. Codifying the rules will hopefully put and end to the constant litigation involved in keeping the Internet as free and open as it is now.

    Once again, please read the bill before you listen to the fear-mongers.

  94. Comment

    @rickymujica - Thank you for bring some clear-headed sanity to the discussion.

  95. Comment

    To Whom This May Concern At The FCC,

    The following are my suggestions and observations for protecting Net Neutrality and the Open Internet from being closed off by big cable and phone company ISPs, a few analogies to be studied on how Internet should be viewed (Information Superhighway analogy it should be kept open and competitive, with some government regulation to ensure this)

    The recent tragic decision by The U.S. Supreme Court on Citizen's United which undid democracy emboldens big cable and phone company ISPs to suggest Net Neutrality violates their free speech which is bogus -- by the way 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 needs to be protected -- using this analogy the Internet should be kept open and accessible like our federal highways -- I'm not advocating that government control the Internet but the Internet be open and we should be able to access any website without corporate gatekeepers on the Web. A majority of our nation's roads and highways have no toll booths and even those that do aren't owned by corporations that can set arbitrarily high prices. The way we do this is to return to some form of government regulation that existed in the past. That the FCC focus on the parts of the 1996 Telecommunications Act that provided them the power to mandate competition among broadband Internet access providers (the 1996 Telecommunications Act was a blueprint by Congress for the FCC to use to ensure a vibrant and competitive broadband Internet access market would continue in the U.S. instead the FCC ignored that portion of the Act and focused on another area in the Act dealing with de-regulation to completely de-regulate the market and allow big companies to consolidate) and the FCC revise its definition of broadband Internet access changed tragically in 2002 by the Bush Administration from an information service back to an information service using a telecommunications service to give them more regulatory clout to protect the Internet. Before 2002 the FCC defined broadband Internet access like this but it was changed in 2002. We also need to restore Net Neutrality protections lifted in 2005 when the Internet Policy Statement of the Bush FCC was released without nondiscriminatory service mandated for the freedom of Internet users.

    We need wholesale open access and wireless Net Neutrality for mobile phones so the mobile Internet has the same nondiscriminatory protections as the rest of the Internet and cellular phone users can access the legal mobile applications of their choice over their carrier's network even if it is a VOIP app like Skype or Vonage Mobile for iPhone or Blackberry that competes with the carrier's network in offering call services. For example, AT&T Wireless cannot block apps it dislikes because they compete with AT&T's offerings like Skype for iPhone thus restricting such apps technically capable of working over 3G to Wifi. Wholesale open access likewise would apply the benefits of the Carterfone ruling to wireless and say cellular phones have to be opened up so you can use any phone with any carrier of your choice and that can result in increased competition. Breaking up business and financial monopolists in the cable and telecommunications industry (separating AT&T from SBC Communications & Bell South again; and AT&T Wireless from Cingular Wireless) etc and banning further mega mergers like Comcast NBC Universal -- which poses a huge conflict of interest with a company owning the pipes for distributing TV channels and Internet access owning content. Already Comcast with their TV Everywhere scam want to force us to bundle digital cable TV with broadband Internet access if we want access to video services online.

    That is unacceptable and wrong. By the way cable prices have been rising for too long. Cable companies with Internet and TV services have a conflict of interest between allowing fast Internet and access to video sites and blocking them without Net Neutrality so we can be forced to pay for their expensive digital cable TV offerings as well.

    Comcast and companies like AT&T claim they don't make enough money to make massive network upgrades and improve infrastructure to accommodate higher bandwidth and provide access to more users like unserved users -- in poor rural areas that are on the wrong side of the digital divide -- or underserved users who have Internet but their high speed Internet is slower than it should be. Yet they make millions and even billions of dollars of profit each year and have enough money to pay special interest lobbyists to fight Net Neutrality rules that would benefit users. Like U.S. Senator Al Franken said he feels Comcast would say or promise anything to win support for the merger but afterward if allowed permission to merge might break those promises. Comcast's word should not be trusted.

  96. Comment

    Yes we need Net Neutrality.I agree with Free Press's Timothy Karr and the rest of the Free Press team on this (see and for more info). Net Neutrality is essential to free speech, equal opportunity and economic innovation in America. Since the FCC removed this basic protection in 2005, the top executives of phone and cable companies have stated their intention to become the Internet's gatekeepers and to discriminate against Web sites that don't pay their added tolls.

    This fundamental change would end the open Internet as we know it. It would damage my ability to connect with others, share information and participate in our 21st century democracy and economy. The FCC must ensure that broadband providers do not block, interfere with or discriminate against any lawful Internet traffic based on its ownership, source or destination.

  97. Comment

    The FCC Chairman's statements are very cleverly worded to sound positive, but really are just additional rules that could be used to control the Internet. How?

    Firstly, tell me how is Net Neutrality going to increase competition or break the monopoly of AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon? Is the government going to force service provider companies to be created? Is the government going to fund service provider companies that compete with the big companies? They could tax the big providers more than the small, but does that mean that under-served areas will get more bandwidth or will those small companies go to downtown areas and use their tax breaks to provide service to companies?

    The government has never meddled with business in a constructive way. You might say: what about the breakup of AT&T's telephone monopoly. Well, there were already laws in place to fight the monopoly, but AT&T was exempt because they were a utility. All the government did was stop meddling and simply allowed existing laws to be enforced.

    This website is filled with comments which suggest that these rules would be used to end discrimination in terms of broadband access... that the government would force providers to increase bandwidth in under-served areas. The free market already forces providers to do so. Where there's money to be made, businesses invest. Or, do those who support this think that providers should be forced to put in additional bandwidth into areas that don't generate revenue? Does this mean that scarce taxpayer dollars will go to provide another entitlement to citizens? Or does it mean that the government will force providers to invest their own money into areas that will not generate enough revenue to pay for equipment. Either way you look at it, it's redistribution of wealth. Either taxpayer money going to provide service to under-served areas or the premiums paid by well-served areas going to pay for under-served areas. Taken to an extreme, the government could even force providers to become insolvent (and require government rescue because "The Internet is Too Big to Fail").

    Do you see how these two "harmless" additions to the FCC's charter could be used to harm our freedoms?

    I say we need LESS government intervention and the Internet is best without government meddling.

  98. Comment

    korz100, I think you are right.

    We do not want more intervention, we need to unwind intervention.

    State laws, civil courts, personal responsibility and consumer reviews will do much better to address the issues.