The Open Internet & the Freedom of Speech

The net is neutral now

The internet is basically neutral now and it desperately needs to stay that way. For democracies to thrive and grow, a free flow of uncensored information must flow into the marketplace of ideas, and let the market decide which ideas are good, and which are not.


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Similar Ideas [ 5 ]


  1. Comment

    The net is NOT neutral now.

    First of all, you don't have a choice on ISPs currently, as cable companies don't build on eachother's turf.

    Second, if the cable company that you must get access through chooses to throttle your connection to sites based on financial interests... well, that flies in the faces of your statement that:

    "a free flow of uncensored information must flow into the marketplace of ideas, and let the market decide which ideas are good, and which are not."

    A free flow of information is all that net neutrality will acomplish.

  2. Comment

    "A free flow of information is all that net neutrality will acomplish."

    That's all we can hope for at this moment.

    These telecoms enjoy monopoly status because that was their incentive to increase their network infrastructure, which they haven't done.

  3. Comment

    "And let the free market decide..." It's not about ideas, it's about access. What if your monopoly ISP has a voip and blocks you from using Skype, for example? What it its parent corp has a for-profit heavy-bandwidth feature and it chooses to give you minimal bandwidth so it has more where it makes more money? THIS is what the rules are essentially about, not what your ideas are. And yes, you are absolutely correct that a free flow of uncensored information is essential. And we have to keep it that way, and regulate those who would change it.

  4. Comment

    Everybody has dialup and satellite options. Cable competes with DSL. In many areas there are plenty of DSL options.

    Nobody has a right to the Internet.

    But the Internet is now important to freedoms. We must not let the government get more involved in the Internet.

  5. Comment

    Dar, there is no healthy competiton in local markets for internet service providers. On average the various third-party DSL providers in a region cannot offer prices that match the provider that manages the telecom infrastructure in the area, due to over-inflated pricing by the ILEC (incumbent line exchange carrier... ala ATT, Verizon etc...) to access their network. So either people are forced to pay more, or settle with restricted access by the ILEC (if they even offer service in the area).

    Cable companies cannot co-exist in most markets due to local agreements with the cities that host their cable lines.

    Where is there competiton, where is there a free market? I see none.

    The government has to be involved in this, because there is no one else who will take up this mantle. You think the companies are going to do it???? NO!

  6. Comment
    Dave Kliman

    When we can plug our own modems in, or just connect to the internet directly to a card in our computer, that we can buy...

    when there is as much competition to make those cards communicate faster as there is with hard drive capacity and video card rendering rates....

    THEN we will be one step closer to a neutral internet.

    it is the laws of physics that should be what slows us down--not the whims of some marketing panel in a cable or phone company.

  7. Comment

    We must keep the government out of the Internet business. Obama wants to control everything we do and if we let him take over the Internet too we will have no way left to communicate against the government.

  8. Comment
    Dave Kliman

    actually the government is the ONLY entity that can stop the ISPS and monopoly phone companies from trying to control our internet as if it's theirs. if we allow comcast, at&t, verizon, cablevison, time warner and cox to take over our internet there will be no way left to communicate against them or the government... or anything.

  9. Comment

    If Verizon has Internet policies I don't like, I can go to AT&T. If I don't like Comcast, I go to Charter. If I get really fed up, I open my own Internet provider. Or the government takes over and our freedom is lost forever. Pretty easy call.

  10. Comment

    No, you can't, that is an outright misstatement, and you should research the market situation of the entire US.

    Let me explain based on each point you made:

    "If Verizon has Internet policies I don't like, I can go to AT&T." Not always true, in fact in a LOT of cities it is almost impossible. Verizon and ATT operate competing local DSL services, and generally only provide DSL, FIOS, or Fiber-to-the-node (Uverse) services to customers that reside in areas where they own control and regulate the telecom infrastructure of the area. In this situation they are called the Line Exchange Carrier, or LEC, which means they make ALL decisions about who can and can't use their networks. In very, very few markets do Verizon or ATT establish DSL service in their competitors' territory. No one outside of the telecom industry really knows why they don't short of unspoken agreements or prohibitive cost structures that prevent this. The LEC generally signs an agreement with the city, or property group to be responsible for repair and maintenance of a given telecom infrastructural area in zones the city has control over.

    "If I don't like Comcast, I go to Charter."

    This completely untrue. Cable TV providers almost never share infrastructure with each other. And like the case of the telecom companies, they also sign service network agreements to maintain and provide services for the infrastructure of a given city, or locale. I have never seen cable competition in the US like you speak of in most of the regions of the US I have been to, and I have been to, or worked in at least 25 states in the lower 48.

    "If I get really fed up, I open my own Internet provider"

    I wish you much luck with this. The cost of opening a provider can be expensive, and if you are going to be riding network of a LEC for DSL service, expect that the charges for providing said service are not going to be inexpensive at all. In fact, for most in the US, this is a near impossibility due to the fact of little to no credit to obtain loans, and the unlikelihood of obtaining a line of credit for a business due to current financial market conditions.

    "Or the government takes over and our freedom is lost forever"

    Simply solved, we vote corruption out of office, regardless of how tainted things are, as citizens are empowered and expected to vote our conscience. Network neutrality principles codified into policy, or law, will provide for freedom of speech. These companies that provide the communications pathways between individuals and society and general are essentially the gatekeepers of the information. In this case, the gatekeepers are holding the information hostage, or slowing it's freedom, by charging large tolls to those who would use it's services. Given the difference between improving the public good, and maintaining the bottom line, any properly functioning business will choose the bottom line... period. For these companies, restricting the flow of the internet makes for good profit... it does not make for freedom of speech.

  11. Comment

    Paid speech is not free speech.

    Anyone against Network Neutrality must look forward to the day when America can match China. Instead of the Great Firewall of China, we will have the Great Paywall of AT&T.

  12. Comment

    If it is basically neutral right now that is because the FCC ruled against Comcast in limiting certain types of information. Look into the FCC vs Comcast. Might need to add bittorrent to the search to get the exact ruling I am talking about. What the FCC is doing is trying to codify there previous ruling so they don't have to go forever in court against corporate lawyers so you can use your internet access any way you want.

    Seriously, what the hell is wrong with the right? When did corporate profit replace individual interest? Will anyone of you learn some economics? We do not live in a world with completely competitive markets. We are stuck with ogopolistic competition, which every once in a great while breaks out in a price war and we get the actual competitive cost of a product.

  13. Comment

    There is nor "marketplace" for ISPs. I have ONE option, count them, ONE for my ISP. That is AT&T.

  14. Comment

    We lose all freedom if Obama takes over access to the Internet. Now we can chose cable, DSL, Satellite (Hughes Net), WAN (Clearwire) or Cellular (Sprint, AT&T, Verizon), The choices are many and competition makes for constant innovation. My speed has been increased three times in the past two years with no increase in price. Keep the government away from the Internet.

  15. Comment

    wdcraven - yeah - you are craven...

    cravenly in denial of the problem

    cravenly ignorant of technology

    cravenly ideological

    cravenly willing to stoop to obvious brainwashing by corporate interests

    Are you cravin' to have some company tell you you cannot access your favorite political brainwashing site because the originating server is not on their network and that company has refused to pay their ridiculous transit fee?

    How would you feel if you tried to call someone who was on a Verizon landline from an AT&T landline and Verizon refused to complete the call until you agreed to pay them so much per minute first?

    Keep on cravin' to get banged from behind and you and your uninformed ilk will have us all bending over soon.