As Predicted, Attempt At Dutch ISP Filtering Results In Net Neutrality Law

from the backlash... dept

Back in May, Bas correctly predicted that an attempt by some mobile ISPs to filter their internet access, in order to offer different levels of services to consumers has, in fact, resulted in a pro-net neutrality law, one of the first of its kind, in the Netherlands. And, there are suggestions that there will be more like it too. Now as I've discussed in the past, I'm in favor of keeping the end-to-end principles of "network neutrality" in place, because they're incredibly important to innovation. But I am worried about actually legislating net neutrality into law, for two key reasons. First, there are potential unintended consequences. Just defining what counts as net neutrality is difficult enough, let alone having the law based on it. Second, at least in the US (not so sure about the situation in the Netherlands), the giant telcos, with their armies of lobbyists, would dilute such plans so much as to make it the opposite of what is intended. We're already seeing that, with AT&T effectively hijacking such discussions in the US. Still, this does show something: when ISPs start to get too intrusive, public backlash can be fierce, and lead to regulations (good or bad) The US ISPs agreeing to filter the internet to protect Hollywood may want to keep that in mind.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Jun 24th, 2011 @ 3:01pm

    Repost

    Applies just as much to net "neutrality":

    "It's funny how everyone understands that our government works for our corporations, and yet they still argue that the only way to solve it is to give the government more power. That's like saying the only way to prevent yourself from being beaten up by a thug hired by the mafia is to replace the thug's club with a gun. Sure, the gun would be more deadly to a mafia boss than a club would, but you're forgetting who works for who in all of it."

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2011 @ 4:02pm

    "The US ISPs agreeing to filter the internet to protect Hollywood may want to keep that in mind."

    Thought it was a 'graduated response' scheme, not a filter. Though that 'top' 200 sites provision may be considered as such.

     

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  3.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jun 24th, 2011 @ 4:06pm

    Re:

    Future top 200 sites list ...

    MPAA
    RIAA
    ASCAP
    BMI
    SONY
    ABC
    NBC
    CNBC
    Fox (if they are lucky)
    CableVision
    COX
    Time Warner

    ...

    The future looks bright.

     

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  4.  
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    Nicedoggy, Jun 24th, 2011 @ 5:37pm

    Re: Repost

    I will disagree here, the government already have all the power, what net neutrality legislation would do is try to revert that power so it makes some sense and try to even the playing field.

    In the U.S. the government already rule against net neutrality principles and give big players monopolies in disguise.

    Other countries recognized already that without legislation stating those things others would put in place their own rules that negate any neutrality that could appear, they also would push the bar to entry to levels where no small competitors can survive.

    France mandates infra-structure sharing, Japan also, Australia is building their own infra-structure and forcing everybody to share it, that is good government intervention not bad even though everyone of those countries have their share of bad government decisions.

     

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  5.  
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    Nicedoggy, Jun 24th, 2011 @ 5:39pm

    Re: Repost

    There will be no competition in the U.S. and thus a free market that auto regulates if neutrality rules are not defined in some way, we already can see what it happens when the hands off approach is used, the big boys come in and subvert the system in their favor leaving all others out.

     

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  6.  
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    Leucy, Jun 24th, 2011 @ 9:15pm

    Re:

    "Thought it was a 'graduated response' scheme, not a filter. Though that 'top' 200 sites provision may be considered as such."

    Graduated as in they gradually reduce your internet speed until you're surfing the internet at less than 56K dial-up speeds and paying cable internet prices.

    Ouch!

     

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  7.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Jun 24th, 2011 @ 10:46pm

    Re: Re: Repost

    what net neutrality legislation would do is try to revert that power so it makes some sense and try to even the playing field

    Who do you think is going to write the net "neutrality" laws? Is AT&T going to make sure to "level the playing field" for you?

    Again, you're forgetting who works for who.

     

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  8.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Jun 24th, 2011 @ 10:48pm

    Re: Re: Repost

    You know how the "big boys" subverted the system? By getting the government (usually local government) to stifle competition in their operational areas.

    And now you expect that same bought-and-paid for government to craft rules to keep them in check? If they could do that, we wouldn't need net neutrality rules in the first place.

     

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  9.  
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    Nicedoggy, Jun 24th, 2011 @ 11:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Repost

    No I didn't forget, I also didn't forget that the laws already are in place to bar neutrality of any kind, there will be no competition on the field without changing the laws and the rules of the game, that is why you don't need to fear net neutrality legislation in the U.S. because if it fails it will stay the same way it was but if it succeed it could change something for the better.

     

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  10.  
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    Nicedoggy, Jun 24th, 2011 @ 11:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Repost

    Exactly, local government gave those companies tremendous power and the federal government also did, now explain to everyone what you got to loose?

    The laws are already there stifling innovation and progress, and to have a market with competition those laws will need to change or there will be no competition, so really what is there to loose?

    People in the U.S. pay through their noses for less service and quality than in other places like France, Japan, South Korea, Netherlands, Finland and others. The U.S. is almost in the same level as third world countries that everyone bashes as being backwards.

    What exactly will people loose?
    If the laws are written by the big boys it will be the same crap as it was before as they don't really want to change things and if some changes happen that could be good no?

    If you know how to jumpstart the market without changing any laws I am all ears, because I know that what is holding the U.S. back are laws designed to suffocate competition, heck not even multibillion dollar companies can enter the market without expending billions of dollars today, therefore there will be no little guys innovating and outsmarting the big guys, regulation and protective laws will take care of that.

    Laws will need to change it will be a fight, but if people don't want to fight then I guess they are content in letting things stay the same way.

     

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  11.  
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    Nicedoggy, Jun 24th, 2011 @ 11:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Repost

    Quote:
    And now you expect that same bought-and-paid for government to craft rules to keep them in check? If they could do that, we wouldn't need net neutrality rules in the first place.


    You know that is not impossible either or other countries wouldn't have rules that make sense like line-sharing or their own infra-structure that others can use to offer services like in Australia.

    The funny part of it, is that the countries that had public owned infra-structure are the ones doing well, because the government sells the use of it to everyone and everyone contributes to the maintenance and upgrades and also help to guarantee the government stays honest.

    So maybe it is time for the federal government to start building the new internet highway and keep control of it like they did it in the beginning, maybe it was a mistake to let the ownership of the basic infra-structure in the hands of the private sector.

    But there are also countries that did go the line-sharing way like France and succeed while Canada is a disaster(blame Canada).

    Again, I fear no new legislation, if it succeeds it will be a good thing if it fails it could be a lesson for the future and probably will end up like all that other crappy laws that we now get.

     

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  12.  
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    Nicedoggy, Jun 24th, 2011 @ 11:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Repost

    Also maybe things need to get worst before they get better, laws change with the winds and right now there are no winds blowing, maybe we need a storm in the form of ridiculous laws passed by special interests to show normal people what that crap really means, once they start living with the consequences of not caring, maybe they wake up and start complaining more louder, if that is even possible.

    God knows my wife doesn't care as long as she get her phone working and she can manage the prices, but once monopolistic rules are in place greed will always prevail and those people will increase the prices and at some point people will start complaining even if they don't understand how things got that way.

     

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  13.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jun 25th, 2011 @ 12:13am

    Re: Re:

    Is the future Orange?

     

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  14.  
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    Squirrel Brains, Jun 25th, 2011 @ 8:07am

    Seems to me that the US Telecoms should be investigated for collusion if the" graduated response" goes through.

     

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  15.  
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    Leander (profile), Jun 25th, 2011 @ 8:23am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Dutch legislation concerning net neutrality and intellectual property are quite liberal*, so it could serve as an example to the rest of the world

    *for instance: downloading music and movies for personal and/or study use is legally allowed

     

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