Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Net Neutrality. What Does It Mean To You? A Primer.

Today, the FCC approved Net Neutrality rules governing how your Internet provider can control bandwidth based on the content and the source.

What does this mean to you?

Thankfully, absolutely nothing because the FCC put rules in place to keep things exactly as they are today. That means that everyone is an equal content provider and we are all equal content receivers.

Which is why conservatives, republicans and greedy corporate fucktards have their panties in such a twist! THEY FUCKING HATE EQUALITY! They are screaming that this is another over-reach of Big Government into the private sector! It's more Socialist Obamalism!

Corporations don't want equality. They wanted to ease us into a tiered/metered Internet instead of the flat rate model we enjoy today.

Let's say you pay $30 a month for broadband Internet access from your Internet service provider. Whether you only use the Internet to check your email twice a week or whether you sit at home 24/7 streaming movies, you still pay the same affordable rate for access.

The Suits don't like that. The Suits want to charge power users more than they charge casual users. That's not such a foreign concept. People who consume more electricity have a higher utility bill than people who consume less electricity.

That's metering.

But it's a false comparison. If an Internet service provider wants to offer users streaming video, they have to put the infrastructure in place to accommodate it. If they don't, users who want that broadband service will find another provider. Bandwidth is a commodity. There isn't much in the way of service differentiation.

So they tell you it's all about the users, but it's not. It's about the deep pocketbooks of the content providers.

Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner, all of The Big Suit Internet Providers have huge corporate content providers. What they really want to do is give "preferred bandwidth" to their own content and choke out everyone else through tiered access.

So lets say your Internet service provider is Time Warner and you want to get streaming video via Netflix or Hulu.

Time Warner wants to be able to reserve the largest bandwidth and highest speeds on their Internet service to content owned by Time Warner. All other streaming video providers would have to pay fees for tiered bandwidth that would all be below the Time Warner level.

So ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX and all the major networks might be able to afford Tier 1 and be equal with Time Warner.

Local outlets like KMBC, KSHB might only be able to afford Tier 2 access so their content would be slowed down.

Public outlets like YouTube might not be willing to pay for anything higher than Tier 3 access so their content would only be delivered after the Tier 1 and 2 level content had been delivered.

But if you are a blogger and want to provide your own content over the Internet, you would be at the bottom of the barrel. Tier 4,5,6 or 7. What ever the structure was. The average Internet user would never, ever get to your content unless you were willing to pony up Big Money to get the Tiered Access controlled by your Internet Service Provider.

What the FCC did today was guarantee that corporate greed cannot silence you on the Internet.

The content that you offer on the Internet is treated in exactly the same way that content from CNN or Time Warner is treated. As completely neutral bandwidth with no regard to content or source.

The FCC made the right call.


Banky said...

The issues I have read about its passing have to do that the it didn't do enough to protect consumers. Why pass a bill if it doesn't change anything or in Al Franken's words, "Make it worse."

m.v. said...

it's weird how a person who made it to such an advanced age like yours is always misguided. net neutrality has nothing to do with protecting freedom of speech or whatever else you think it does. it was a fight between one group of billion dollar corporations like google and another group of less popular corporations like att (and I am pretty sure at some point att came out in support of said neutrality,but who cares).i bet if a "public" outlet like youtube belonged to rupert murdoch and was called foxtube,you'd be all about charging them a little extra. in the end the companies who own the backbone and the access lines can just start charging the consumer more. it's not like there are many choices of providers. and just to be sure they didn't apply the same rules to wireless.

Bull E. Vard said...

Interestingly, or not (probably not). I read this little screed, and boy am I surprised you once again take the side of our government overlords, and then I read <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-501465_162-20026346-501465.html>this one</a> which makes the exact case I was contemplating in my head to respond to you.

This is just one more case/law/regulation that will exist to bring more money into politics. Who do you think the politicians are going to listen to more...bloggers or Time Warner? Do you think Time Warner is going to spend millions trying to get regulations written that are friendly to them? And no one will ever know about it or care. For all the good intentions in the world, the end result will be the same or worse. In 20 years, the exact situation you described so eloquently will exist, but it will also be encoded into the law.

I Travel for JOOLS said...

I don't profess to know anyting about this subject but I can tell you there are plenty of us in this country who are hostage to whatever provider happens to be in our neck of the woods. Right next door to me is Road Runner but I cannot get it nor can any of my neighbors to my south. They refuse to run the cable. I have to subscribe via Sprint air card and whatever they offer. Lucky to get that. And I'm only in the sticks of Johnson County. So, how does it affect me?

Anonymous said...

Liberals would boot conservatives off of talk radio completely if they had the power.

Who ya kidding, sport?

And the hilarious thing is, after bellyaching about this you now have Comment Moderation. Hahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa...you funny!

Raytown Hack Lawyer and Mold Expert...I saved samples and pictures!

Xavier Onassis said...

m.v. - No I wouldn't. I think all content, even content I despise should be given equal transport and pricing. That's pretty much the whole point of Freedom of Speech. Greedy corporations must not be allowed to throttle content based on who has the deepest pockets.

Bull E. Vard - That guest column was authored by Adam Thierer, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

From Wikiperdia - "The Mercatus Center was founded by Rich Fink, former president of the Koch Family Foundations, which funds a network of market-oriented think tanks and advocacy groups.

Originally called the Center for Market Processes, it moved from Rutgers University to George Mason in the early 1980s before assuming its current name in 1999.

The Mercatus Center is entirely funded through donations, including from energy company Koch Industries[2], individual donors and foundations."

The Koch Brothers are also the major funding source behind the Tea Baggers who basically want no government regulation at all, ever so that greedy businesses can run rampant and over the working class and ass-rape their incomes with impunity.

It probably won't come as any surprise to you to learn that I'm against that.

I don't think the Koch brothers have the average American's best interests at heart. That's why they have to be regulated and controlled.

JOOLS - The Net Neutrality legislation is about content throttling/metering, not about access. Although, to be fair to Bull E. Vard, the reason you don't have access to more than one cable provider is exactly because local legislation restricts the free market. I'll give you both that.

Bull E. Vard said...

Way to engage in no critical thought whatsoever and not address the issue in any meaningful way. Your response reminds me of Glenn Beck. Instead of George Soros as the boogeyman, it's the Koch brothers.

Xavier Onassis said...

Bull E. Vard - I don't want corporate interests filtering and throttling my access to information on the internet based on which content provider is paying them the biggest surcharges.

If I do a search, I don't want the search results stacked based on how much each one is paying Comcast.

If I'm downloading streaming video, I don't want the bandwidth throttled according to how much each content provider is paying Comcast.

Data is data and it should be accessed and downloaded equally. It doesn't cost Comcast anymore to transport one data packet than it does for any other data packet.

Tiered/throttled/metered access is a just a way for big corporations to charge users more without adding any value. In fact, they want to take away value by manufacturing scarcity where none exists.

Bull E. Vard said...

I know, I read that the first time you wrote this post. What I don't know is why you think this decision by the FCC will prevent any of that other than you taking their word for it.

You can see the rest of my criticism in my original comment.