Companies Reach 'Deal' On Net Neutrality... But What Does That Mean?

from the not-really-their-call,-is-it? dept

A few weeks back, we noted that a bunch of tech and broadband companies were back to "negotiating" around net neutrality, leading us to highlight Adam Smith's famous quote that "people of the same trade" seldom meet together except to create "a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices." Now comes the news that those involved -- including Verizon, AT&T, Skype, Microsoft, NCTA and "others" have "reached an agreement," which might be "stricter" than the Googrizon "framework," but which probably doesn't really apply to wireless networks.

I'm still at a loss as to how this actually matters. The companies can agree to whatever they want, and none of it makes a difference if Congress acts (or the courts say that the FCC is allowed to act). I guess the idea is to think that an "industry agreement" will stave off legislation, which perhaps might work for some time, but still reeks of collusion without consumer input or review.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    NAMELESS.ONE, Aug 31st, 2010 @ 5:50pm

    it measn your fucked

    haha

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Bas Grasmayer, Aug 31st, 2010 @ 6:09pm

    Or they can now pit their money and lobbying power to influence congress, to turn their agreement into reality.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2010 @ 6:24pm

    There is no "deal" on net neutrality. It's net... neutrality. Period, end of chapter and book.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Beta (profile), Aug 31st, 2010 @ 6:39pm

    manipulating perception

    Maybe it's purely PR. If they talk and act as if it's their decision to make, and no one slaps them down (which no one will) a lot of readers/viewers/listeners will adopt that viewpoint without critical thought.

     

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  5.  
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    Christopher (profile), Aug 31st, 2010 @ 6:43pm

    Re: manipulating perception

    No, they won't adopt that viewpoint without critical thought unless they have IQ's less than 75!

    The fact is that when I hear stuff like this, as do most people, we get ANGRY because it is NOT these companies choice to make.

     

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  6.  
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    artistinterface, Aug 31st, 2010 @ 7:10pm

    The UK couldn't stop this:

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    CoCO, Aug 31st, 2010 @ 7:12pm

    Re: Re: manipulating perception

    THANK YOU!!! Since when does our government have to get permission from their overlords to do what we pay them to do? Is it just me, or is this an open admission that we're fully under the control of private interests (fascism). Seriously, this, is an appalling, public exhibition of political corruption. No wonder monopolies are so guarded.

    Sounds like they made a big mess out of nothing, so politicians can grandstand for a while.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Zap B., Aug 31st, 2010 @ 10:01pm

    What makes a man turn neutral? Lust for gold? Power? Or were you just born with a heart full of neutrality?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2010 @ 10:29pm

    Telco Politics As Usual

    The whole net neutrality thing is all about telco politics, and always has been and always will be. They are cooking up some scheme to make telcos richer at the expense of the rest of us. We will just have to wait for the legislation to appear to work out exactly how they are going to screw us. But screwing us is definitely what they are up to.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 1st, 2010 @ 5:09am

    Telco Politics start with MaBell.

    It means that infrastructure companies have faster ways to deliver data using the same fiber network and don't want to tell end customers yet.

    Let me explain it to you in simple terms:
    Back in the 1990s, a common telephone copper line was said to only support 300bps. Then as companies innovated and came up with new modulation techniques, we had 1200, 2400, 9600, 14.4, 19.2 and ultimately 28.8. Eventually, speeds topped out at 56k, which was the limit over an analog line. To get faster consumer-grade internet over twisted copper, customers were often told that the phone companies had to lay fiber to the central office, but that wasn't the case. Because it was over telecommunications, the lines had to comply with Federal Wiretap Laws. In the US, ISDN lines were not "consumer grade" and as a result, most companies that offered ISDN did so, but charged $100+ more a month for this service.

    At this same time, people in Germany could acquire a 256k ISDN line from their carrier for $20 a month. But because they didn't have the same Federal Phone Tap and Cable Tap requirements, they saw a much higher ISDN broadband penetration rate than the US did. Perhaps this was because the carriers were not legally required to tap their citizens.

    Now you have new technologies that are about to be rolled out. The difference is that the carriers control the standards now.

    You're silly if you believe that more efficient bandwidth modulation techniques haven't been created and faster rates aren't market ready. But unlike the 1990s, internet and cable traffic remains under Federal Patriot Act laws, and has to be made available under Federal Wiretap Laws. The Patriot Act was enacted during a time of war.

    Just remember...
    It's still pipes paid for by US Taxpayers under the "High Performance Computing and Communication Act of 1991" All they have to do is place new repeaters and line cards along the existing fiber path to get better bandwidth for all US content providers.

    It will be interesting to see if anybody else who uses shared networking like Google follows their lead.

     

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  11.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Sep 1st, 2010 @ 5:33am

    Re:

    Net neutrality isn't neutral. Someone gets what they see as the short end of the stick.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Anti-CO SB 152, Sep 1st, 2010 @ 7:19pm

    Why the Gov't?

    Why is it that the press keeps screaming for government intervention? What good is the government going to do for the Internet? What good has government done for the economy, social security, health care, etc? It is industry that built the Internet and the standards surrounding it. I have a greater trust of Microsoft, Google, Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, et. al. defining net neutrality than Soros, Jessy Jackson, and the like influencing Obama, Reid, and Pelosi who know nothing about the Internet? If you think that Congress and the FCC are representing you then you are naive? Let Congress proceed and the Internet will turn into AOL. If anything the government needs to step out of the way and allow for more competition that will drive a free and open Internet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anti-CO SB 152, Sep 1st, 2010 @ 7:28pm

    Re: Telco Politics start with MaBell.

    Anonymous Coward it encroaching on tinfoil hat territory. There is not secret modulation scheme or technology that the telcos are suppressing. 100 Gbit/s is state of the art at the moment and there are a few different modulation schemes companies use for that. The industry is just now discussing the next step. Pick up an IEEE Communications Magazine and read all about it. As for subscriber line technology there are a few from ADSL2, ADSL2+, and VDSL that continue to squeeze the life out of old copper. The issue is not bandwidth but quality of service. You can have unlimited bandwidth and still suffer QoS problems.

    As for the U.S. taxpayers owning the network. The "High Performance Computing and Communications Act" was insignificant compared to the private sector investment in the telecommunications networks over the past 100 years. True there may have been some lobbying by certain telcos for that money, but it was hardly enough to say the the citizens own the telecom networks.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 4th, 2010 @ 1:45am

    Technology increases and solves problems over time. Inability to understand that is to default on the idea that humans can solve problems.

    What is China doing?


    "There is not secret modulation scheme or technology that the telcos are suppressing. 100 Gbit/s is state of the art at the moment and there are a few different modulation schemes companies use for that. The industry is just now discussing the next step. Pick up an IEEE Communications Magazine and read all about it. As for subscriber line technology there are a few from ADSL2, ADSL2+, and VDSL that continue to squeeze the life out of old copper. The issue is not bandwidth but quality of service. You can have unlimited bandwidth and still suffer QoS problems."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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