Over 100 Internet Companies Call On FCC To Protect The Open Internet

from the don't-fail-us-fcc dept

As the net neutrality debate has kicked into overdrive, over 100 internet companies -- including most of the big names such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Netflix, Amazon, Ebay, Reddit, Automattic, Yahoo, Kickstarter, as well as many smaller names, such as us here at Floor64/Techdirt -- have all signed onto a letter to the FCC asking it to actually suck it up and protect the open internet. Consider this a warning shot to the FCC from the internet community. The community knows what's at stake in this fight and it's watching closely what the FCC does. Having helped to get some of the companies to sign on, I can say that many leaders at companies are both very informed on the topic, and very engaged about it. If the FCC thinks it can sneak one by the tech community, that may be more difficult than it expects.

Along those lines, one FCC commissioner, Jessica Rosenworcel, has suggested that the FCC should put the brakes on its net neutrality plans to think things through a bit more carefully -- though apparently FCC boss Tom Wheeler has rejected that idea and plans to move forward with his rule-making proposal next week.

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    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2014 @ 1:45am

    Those companies should clearly take the Viking route through the FCC, as it's not currently fit for purpose - murder, pillage, rebuild.

     

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    Whatever, May 8th, 2014 @ 2:15am

    100 companies...

    It's 100 companies with a vested interest in not having to pay any more than they already do to deliver their content. The internet is basically a series of business models that rely on other people paying a big chunk of the costs of doing business.

    Net Neutrality seems to have been mutated to "force ISPs to buy more bandwidth and not pass the cost on to consumers". While bandwidth is somewhat cheaper than it was, the amount getting used is ever increasing, and there seems to be no upper limit. The middle man interconnect companies make it on both sides, charging the ISPs for connectivity and also charging websites and hosting companies for a connection as well. Maybe true net neutrality comes when those interconnect companies are required to shift the bill away from consumers and towards the providers, then the ISPs could afford to add a whole lot more bandwidth for home users.

     

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      PaulT (profile), May 8th, 2014 @ 3:10am

      Re: 100 companies...

      I bet you believe all that crap too.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2014 @ 10:24am

        Re: Re: 100 companies...

        I bet you're a moron that is incapable of thinking outside this silly propaganda-fueled echo chamber.

         

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          silverscarcat (profile), May 8th, 2014 @ 11:55am

          Re: Re: Re: 100 companies...

          And I bet that you deny reality to substitute it with your own.

          How does that work for you anyway?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2014 @ 12:10pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 100 companies...

            pretty much, I think it would be great if Google, Facebook, Github, Dropbox, Netflix etc all started charging Comcast and Verizon for access to their services.

            2 can play this game.

            1 tier for everyone and a slow or blocked lane for Verizon and Comcast. Just need to reconfigure those load balancers.

             

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          PaulT (profile), May 9th, 2014 @ 12:51am

          Re: Re: Re: 100 companies...

          You know how to stop this from being an "echo chamber"? Stop with childish name-calling and provide a real alternative opinion. One backed with provable facts instead of lies, false assumptions and baseless accusations.

          Are you able to do that, or is intelligent people having discussions based on reality too "echo chamber"-y for you??

           

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      Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2014 @ 3:22am

      Re: 100 companies...

      Well, maybe the end-line ISPs should have thought of that ebfore stealing billions of tax dollars in the name of 'upgrading'.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2014 @ 3:59am

      Re: 100 companies...

      Yeah, I'm crying too for AT&T, Verizon and Comcast. Don't know how they can survive on mere ten-figure profits.

      They will just continue to raise rates if they need to. If they can't, they will adapt.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2014 @ 4:09am

      Re: 100 companies...

      Only ISPs with a regional monopoly are complaining about network upgrades, and refusing to augment their interconnections with other ISPs. Which is why these regional broadband monopolies need to be classified as public utilities, like the water, telephone, and electric monopolies.

       

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      RD, May 8th, 2014 @ 4:35am

      Re: 100 companies...

      Net Neutrality seems to have been mutated to "force ISPs to buy more bandwidth and not pass the cost on to consumers".

      They ALREADY get paid to "buy more bandwidth" - its called your monthly internet service bill. Expansion is built-in to the price they charge the consumer.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2014 @ 3:56pm

        Re: Re: 100 companies...

        Actually, it's worse than that -- they've already got all sorts of discounts and incentives from the government (that's we the people) to increase bandwidth. They've responded by pocketing the added profits and then complaining that honoring their side of the bargain would be too difficult/expensive.

         

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      Bengie, May 8th, 2014 @ 5:11am

      Re: 100 companies...

      ISPs must buy as much bandwidth as their customers demand. The customers are paying for it.

      Many of these companies have have small margins, while many of the offending ISPs have margins approaching 50%.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2014 @ 7:07am

        Re: Re: 100 companies...

        and the government should either

        A: allow competitors to enter the market.

        or

        B: Regulate prices and limit their net profits to something more reasonable.

        You want free market capitalism then the answer is A. You don't want free market capitalism and you want the government to keep granting monopolies then you want B. But service providers and cableco companies can't have it both ways. They can't get a government established monopoly and not expect prices and profits to be government regulated. That's not free market capitalism.

         

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      RUSERIOUS, May 8th, 2014 @ 6:29am

      Re: 100 companies...

      Really? What are we ALL paying 50+ bucks a month for? WE ARE PAYING FOR THE INTERNET ALREADY. You think those companies are going to eat the cost? It'll come back to the consumer ALL over again. It'll be 80+ bucks a month for horrible service then. It will NEVER shift to the content provider. They are already paying to provide the content, and as far as they're concerned, that's their share, the ISP gets paid by us, and we consume the content. ISP's just don't want to actually spend the money we're giving them to increase bandwidth to actually increase bandwidth. It's well know that comcast and the like never expected anyone to actually use what they were capable of offering, which is why there's the upload cap.

       

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        Whatever, May 8th, 2014 @ 6:51am

        Re: Re: 100 companies...

        Yes, and I invite you to go out and price out how much the bandwidth that "you bought" actually costs. Hint: $50 doesn't go a long way considering all of the infrastructure they have to pay to maintain, keep lit up, etc.

        If you actually paid direct to (say) Level3 or he.net for bandwidth, your 10 meg home connection would cost you somewhere between $200 and $1000 a month. Are you ready to pay for what you really use?

        ISPs can sell you internet access on the cheap because they buy bandwidth for a certain percentile of the load, and manage when it gets out of hand. Most of them have done a pretty good job of it until netflix and a few other services came along and consumers started to demand more bandwidth on average than before, and thus they are peaking out more early and for longer.

        refusing to augment their interconnections with other ISPs.

        Answering another post, most IPSs are not directly interconnected with other ISPs, for the most part they interconnect with the major transit providers (level3, he net, above net, and so on) and those companies in turn peer with other providers. The problem of Netflix in particular is that they have what appears to be an exclusive agreement with ONE of those companies, and if you ISP does not have a massive direct connection to that particular transit provider, then the traffic has to go through another provider, and usually though a smaller connection, or one that is already fairly busy. Netflix is essentially paying the ISPs to become a more direct peer with their preferred client, which the ISPs may not have needed to do otherwise. That gets them a more direct route and then they rely less on routes with too many hops and too many clogged lines.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2014 @ 7:10am

          Re: Re: Re: 100 companies...

          Making up numbers isn't going to get you anywhere. The U.S. is falling behind the rest of the world in terms of prices and bandwidth offered. The reason for this is because our government keeps on granting monopolies on everything and why should monopolists innovate?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2014 @ 7:18am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 100 companies...

            and this is well established economics. When a government grants monopolies it's a bad thing. It results in worse service at a higher price. and that's what we're seeing now. Prices are much higher than what they should be and speeds are much slower. In countries with more competition the opposite is true. In areas with more competition, that lack regional monopolies, the opposite is true (even in the U.S. with Google fiber). Those same ISP's that force their customers to pay higher prices for worse service will suddenly offer those customers better service for cheaper prices.

            You may argue that this is a natural monopoly but, if so, in the case of natural monopolies the government should regulate the prices to something more reasonable. That's not what's happening.

            and if ISP's are unwilling or unable to upgrade their infrastructure then communities should be allowed to build their own infrastructure. But every time they do ISP's lobby governments to shut down the projects and it works. The result is that people must pay higher prices for worse service. Their effort paid off.

            If what you're saying is true then ISP's wouldn't be trying everything they can to shut down competing services from coming up and they wouldn't be trying so hard to lobby against community broadband services.

            Either the ISP's can offer a better service for a cheaper price or, when communities want to build their own infrastructure and competitors want to enter the market, the ISP's can get lost. Until that happens you can shut your mouth because I don't want to hear it.

             

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              Whatever, May 8th, 2014 @ 8:05am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 100 companies...

              I think there is a difference here. I don't think it's so much a case of government granted monopolies so much as natural duopolies and a failure of public police perhaps half a century ago.

              The bigger overriding issue here is that competition is unlikely where the upstart would have to pay to cable up households up front. If you are talking a few hundreds dollars a household to hook them up and a long time to get a real return on that investment, few will line up to do it.

              Even in Canada, which many Americans point to as having more competition is in fact not truly competitive. Companies like Tekksavvy basically pay Bell for the last mile, and Bell provides all of the last mile service including the DSL equipment. So even in choosing TS instead of Bell, you end up indirectly paying Bell almost all of your bill.

              ISPs aren't trying to shut down competiting services as much as they are railing against those who want to come in and either cherry pick only the high end neighborhoods / customer base, or those who want to get more public grants to artificially create competition.

              Even one of the cash richest companies on the planet (Google) can only do their Google fiber projects by cherry picking the neighborhoods and taking on only places where they are going to get high market penetration. Further, as an ISP they appear to be a money loser, hoping basically to make the money up in internet searches and such. Their business model appears predicated on dumping the price of internet access below reasonable levels to buy eyeballs. If I was running an ISP at a local level, I would sure as hell be shouting if they came to town and started dumping prices with no consideration for the bottom line.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2014 @ 9:56am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 100 companies...

                For Internet access, it's much closer to 15 years ago. IT doesn't help that there's been unbelievable amounts of collusive behaviours over at least the past decade - in prices, fees and how incredibly shitty 'broadband' service is in the US.

                And there is a slight difference between Bell Systems in Canada and the telcos in the US - at least Bell are forced to actually upgrade the infrastructure. The major telcos in the US have dipped into funds designed to upgrade both copper and fibre optic lines and just shoved it down their pants, so to speak.

                So, there's three-step policy that a competent FCC would do:

                1) negate the duopoly nature of the American market by demanding that they fulfil the promises that the telcos' lobbyists wrote into law, and fining those companies their entire profits for a full quarter (which would equal nearly $1trn, given the most recent earningsa calls) - OR allow them to plough that money into continental infrastructure upgrades;
                2) Enforce common carrier status on the peering connections between backend and fropntend ISP networks;
                3) Enforce clear, concise speed expectations for both upstream and downastream, and bring them closer together.

                 

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                Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2014 @ 12:40pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 100 companies...

                "I think there is a difference here. I don't think it's so much a case of government granted monopolies so much as natural duopolies"

                It doesn't matter what you think. Econ 101 says you're wrong.

                Also, as pointed out, ISP's have had multiple public grants to upgrade their infrastructure with and they failed.

                "If you are talking a few hundreds dollars a household to hook them up and a long time to get a real return on that investment, few will line up to do it."

                But some will do it. and if none will do it then there would be no need for the government to grant incumbents with exclusive rights of way. These exclusive rights of way exist exactly because if they didn't competitors would enter the market.

                When competitors are allowed to enter the market and build new infrastructure and none do then you can make this argument. Until then your argument is baseless speculation.

                But back to the economics. The whole idea behind this alleged natural monopoly argument is that the government should regulate prices and profits so that they only make a normal, and not an economic, profit. Government established natural monopolies are not supposed to be pro-profit entities intended to make an economic profit. They should only be allowed to make a normal profit and government is supposed to regulate their profits and prices. and being allowed to make a normal profit will ensure that some will do it. If there is profit economics says it will be done. but what these companies are doing is they're being allowed to set the prices to maximize their profits. Under a regulated natural monopoly this isn't supposed to be permitted because this is socially bad as it produces less aggregate output. You may argue that government regulating their prices is not free market capitalism. You would be right. But neither is government giving them a monopoly. That's the whole point. They give up their free market capitalism in exchange for a government mandated normal profit and government mandating their prices and profits. They want free market capitalism then competitors should be freely allowed to enter the market. They want monopolies then government should directly regulate prices and profits and only allow them to make a normal profit. A normal profit is enough to ensure it gets done.

                "ISPs aren't trying to shut down competiting services as much as they are railing against those who want to come in and either cherry pick only the high end neighborhoods / customer base"

                Even if your lie is true that's still shutting down competing services. People want to come in and offer customers a competing product for a lower price. What does the fact that they are allegedly doing it in a higher end neighborhood have to with the fact that they are still offering a lower price. A competitor don't care if they get $30/mo from a lower end or a higher end neighborhood, it makes no difference.

                "Even one of the cash richest companies on the planet (Google) can only do their Google fiber projects by cherry picking the neighborhoods and taking on only places where they are going to get high market penetration."

                Even if true this still shows that it's not as expensive as you claim. Plus Google has a lot of regulatory nonsense they have to overcome before they can enter markets.

                "Further, as an ISP they appear to be a money loser, hoping basically to make the money up in internet searches and such."

                Even if true they can't be losing all that much money if it's something they can afford to do on what they make from internet search.

                "Even in Canada, which many Americans point to as having more competition is in fact not truly competitive. Companies like Tekksavvy basically pay Bell for the last mile, and Bell provides all of the last mile service including the DSL equipment. So even in choosing TS instead of Bell, you end up indirectly paying Bell almost all of your bill."

                I agree that Canada is not as competitive as it could be and the stupid ISP cartels are overpricing the market there too. That doesn't change the fact that they are overpricing the market here.

                 

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                Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2014 @ 1:40pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 100 companies...

                So here is the bottom line. Everything you're saying is a lie. Here is what I don't want. I don't want more lies from you trying to justify the current state of politics. I want the current state of politics changed. I don't want ISP's to continue to scam consumers. I want prices and services to be more reasonable. Cable and Internet services are indeed way overpriced. I don't want lies from you trying to say they're not. I want them to stop being overpriced.

                 

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                John Fenderson (profile), May 8th, 2014 @ 2:13pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 100 companies...

                "The bigger overriding issue here is that competition is unlikely where the upstart would have to pay to cable up households up front"

                True. Which is why we should nationalize the existing cable. We paid for it multiple times over, both in cash and in municipal concessions (including monopoly).

                 

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                Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2014 @ 5:15pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 100 companies...

                "Even one of the cash richest companies on the planet (Google) can only do their Google fiber projects by cherry picking the neighborhoods and taking on only places where they are going to get high market penetration."

                If the issue is that Google fiber can only offer what it offers because it cherry picks certain locations then whey is it that the incumbent ISPs couldn't offer what Google fiber offers before Google fiber came in. The ones that do later offer such better service at cheaper prices only offer it after Google fiber or other competitors come in when those incumbent providers are forced to compete. What suddenly changed? The existence of competition is the only thing that changed. The incumbents were able to offer a better service for a cheaper price both before and after competitors entered the market but they chose to do so only after.

                So I'm calling your bluff.

                The determining factor over whether or not customers get a better service for a cheaper price seems to consistently be whether or not competitors are allowed to compete. Area A, B, C, and D offer high price X because they have little competition. A competitor moves into areas A and B. Suddenly area A and B offers a lower price than C and D. The only thing that changed? Competition. Market penetration in A and B was approximately the same before and after. Other factors were approximately the same before and after. It's not like these factors suddenly dramatically changed for A and B but not C and D. It was only competition that brought in that better service for a lower price.

                Just like those ISP's were telling lies when they said they couldn't offer a better connection at a cheaper price to the locations the Google fiber eventually did offer a better connection to a cheaper price to they are likewise telling lies when they claim they can't do it to other locations where governments restrict competition.

                Yes it may cut into their economic profit but, as a govt established natural monopoly, they shouldn't be allowed to make an economic profit. A normal profit is enough to ensure it gets done. Otherwise competitors should be allowed to enter the market.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2014 @ 5:18pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 100 companies...

                  If the issue is that Google fiber can only offer what it offers because it cherry picks certain locations then whey is it that the incumbent ISPs couldn't offer what Google fiber offers before Google fiber came in (to those same locations). *

                  to the locations that Google fiber *

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2014 @ 5:21pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 100 companies...

                  err.

                  "to the locations the Google fiber eventually did offer a better connection to a cheaper price to"

                  Should read

                  "to the locations that Google fiber eventually did offer a better connection to at a cheaper price"

                   

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                  Whatever, May 8th, 2014 @ 5:34pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 100 companies...

                  Area A, B, C, and D offer high price X because they have little competition. A competitor moves into areas A and B. Suddenly area A and B offers a lower price than C and D. The only thing that changed? Competition.

                  You are exactly correct, if you don't look at the longer term implications. When pricing is done mostly on the basis of being cheaper than the other guy, what usually happens is that one or the other companies involved go broke, or the companies merge. See airlines as a good example of what happens where there is too much competition. Basically, monopoly (or more likely duopoly) may in fact be the most natural and most stable market setup in many of these areas.

                  Just like those ISP's were telling lies when they said they couldn't offer a better connection at a cheaper price to the locations the Google fiber eventually did offer a better connection to a cheaper price to they are likewise telling lies when they claim they can't do it to other locations where governments restrict competition.

                  The question is will they be able to support it over the long run, or are they over charging in other areas (that do not have competition) in order to support these network upgrades? Everything I am reading so far suggests that Google is doing in fiber what that have done in the phone OS market, which is dump a product on the market with the hope and desire to rake in additional ad revenue not related to operating that core business. Their pricing structure seems to have little in it that suggests long term profitability.

                  Competitors should always be allowed in the market, provided they are held to compete in the market, and not cherry pick. Most phone companies are required the feds to offer service to all, even those that are hard to reach, far, from the central, or otherwise are very expensive to connect. Allowing companies to come in and compete only in high density neighborhoods, rich neighborhoods, or only in areas where they can get the cheapest cabling done isn't really competition, it's just skimming the cream. That doesn't benefit the average consumer in the long run, and might even go further to deepening the digital divide between the haves and have nots of the world.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, May 9th, 2014 @ 5:59am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 100 companies...

                    "When pricing is done mostly on the basis of being cheaper than the other guy, what usually happens is that one or the other companies involved go broke, or the companies merge."

                    Sometimes that happens but as long as new competitors are allowed to enter the market the incumbents must keep prices reasonable or else competitors will be enticed to enter and offer lower prices.

                    "Everything I am reading so far suggests that Google is doing in fiber what that have done in the phone OS market, which is dump a product on the market with the hope and desire to rake in additional ad revenue not related to operating that core business."

                    Even if this is true if they can recoup their costs just from search it can't be as expensive as current ISP's would like to claim.

                    "Their pricing structure seems to have little in it that suggests long term profitability."

                    Another made up opinion with no support. Your argument is that because they charge less they must not be profitable. Just because they charge less doesn't mean there is no long term profitability. Perhaps little short term profitability but once they cover their fixed costs they may achieve long term profitability.

                    "Competitors should always be allowed in the market, provided they are held to compete in the market, and not cherry pick."

                    You don't think incumbent ISP's don't cherry pick already? IIRC there were even articles here on Techdirt where incumbents didn't want competitors to enter markets where the incumbents don't serve.

                    "Most phone companies are required the feds to offer service to all, even those that are hard to reach, far, from the central, or otherwise are very expensive to connect. "

                    ISP's don't have this requirement. There are still many areas not being served.

                    "Allowing companies to come in and compete only in high density neighborhoods, rich neighborhoods, or only in areas where they can get the cheapest cabling done isn't really competition, it's just skimming the cream."

                    Which is still competition because the alternative is to force those same areas to pay more. In the presence of competition they will naturally make a normal profit, not an economic profit, which is not 'skimming the cream'.

                    ISP's are not going to use the profits of one area to subsidize another area. They are going to (do what they do now) pick areas based on whether each area is individually profitable. If there is at least a normal profit to be made someone will enter the market. If there is an economic profit to be made in the presence of a monopoly competitors will enter the market until everyone makes a normal profit.

                    "That doesn't benefit the average consumer in the long run"

                    Sure it does being that consumers pay less. Companies make less economic profit, instead they make a normal profit, and the reduction in their economic profit is a gain to consumers.

                     

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                  PaulT (profile), May 9th, 2014 @ 1:01am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 100 companies...

                  "So I'm calling your bluff."

                  He called it himself.

                  He literally criticised a company for only offering a new infrastructure in the areas they could make the pilot projects work. You know, like every other business on the planet. That's even before he proceeded to attack them for leveraging other areas of their business for their business model to succeed (which, of course, the major media conglomerates in charge of other ISPs *never* do! /sarc), and before you consider that he accidentally admitted that even the most cash rich companies on Earth will struggle to compete with these monopolies. But, of course, he somehow doesn't see the problem with that and this is all Netflix's fault for not paying at least twice for their bandwidth rather than the ISPs for not upgrading their infrastructure with the funds and resources already made available for that task.

                  If that's the level of his argument, he's not really worth listening to.

                   

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                    Whatever, May 9th, 2014 @ 3:31am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 100 companies...

                    I don't think you understand. Most telcos and cable companies are pretty much required to offer service in their entire area, profitable or not. When Google came to Kansas, they would only build network in places with enough customers and basically enough income to pay for it. So they didn't offer service in the full area, they cherry picked.

                    They also sold the service far below reasonable cost, many of the reviews I have seen have suggested that Google Fiber as a business will never be profitable at all. They are buying market share at a loss, and hoping to drive others who are actually trying to run profitable business out of the market.

                     

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                      PaulT (profile), May 9th, 2014 @ 4:03am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 100 companies...

                      "When Google came to Kansas, they would only build network in places with enough customers and basically enough income to pay for it."

                      Like every other business. Are you saying that Google should be running their business at a lower rate of efficiency, or that any service has to be available to 100% of a population regardless of cost? If not, what's your argument?

                      Also, a quick glance at the availability in Kansas shows that they are expanding to cover a much wider area within the near future - from the map, more than double the area by the end of next year. Are you saying they should not have allowed anyone to use the service until they had 100% coverage available, or do you just have some vague problem with the chosen areas for their rollout? Because I'm really not seeing the problem here.

                      Do you honestly think that all your other services and utilities were available everywhere on day one, or that they weren't rolled out to areas with higher demand and profitability first? Again, what's your point here?

                      "They are buying market share at a loss, and hoping to drive others who are actually trying to run profitable business out of the market."

                      So, are you saying that the practice of loss leaders should be banned or that any corporation doing such things (that is: all of them) is doing something wrong? Those other large ISPs tend to have exclusive content deals with their own media arms, you know...

                      Besides, unless I'm very much mistaken, the main attraction of Google's services is speed and bandwidth, not cost. If raw cost is the only possible way these other ISPs can compete, they're already doing something very wrong.

                       

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                      PaulT (profile), May 9th, 2014 @ 6:28am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 100 companies...

                      "Most telcos and cable companies are pretty much required to offer service in their entire area, profitable or not."

                      Aha. It just occurred to me that what you're doing here is looking at 2 completely different scenarios and wrongly conflating them. Hence my inability to understand your actual point.

                      Scenario A: An cable/telco has existing infrastructure throughout the city. They offer important, even vital, services to the citizens living there. They are not allowed to arbitrarily cut off service just because they're not making enough profit. This will presumably apply equally to Google, especially if they do kill their competition, once they have infrastructure in place.

                      Scenario B: Google are installing completely new physical infrastructure. They have chosen to install this infrastructure first in the most potentially lucrative markets. If they aren't yet servicing central Kansas City (for example), it's not because they have chosen to turn off services on their infrastructure. It's because the infrastructure has literally not been installed yet.

                      Surely, you see the difference between these scenarios and how they're completely different situations? How Google are being treated different because they're literally in a different situation? If so, now that you've seen past your knee-jerk opposition to Google, how about you apply some critical thinking to the easily debunked, one-sided propaganda and excuses you've been parroting elsewhere in this thread?

                       

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          Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2014 @ 8:03am

          Re: Re: Re: 100 companies...

          Now, regarding the costs, the cost of interconnecting everyone just has to do with buying a bunch of routers and those things have gotten reasonably cheap.

          As far as laying out the infrastructure, the electric companies lay out their infrastructure for much cheaper and so do water companies and gas companies and, if anything, their infrastructure is much more expensive to lay out and maintain (ie: water leaks must be addressed quickly or they can flood streets and water pipes and bigger and more expensive than wires because they must be robust and require strict safety and other standards so they don't flood streets, gas pipes can also be a hazard and so gas leaks need strict standards as well). So their job is arguably much harder in terms of just laying out the infrastructure.

          Again, the one factor that seems to be common among higher prices vs lower prices is the degree of competition offered. In countries/areas with more competition (or a government that regulates the market or runs the service) customers see better service for a cheaper price. In areas with less competition those regional monopolies charge more for worse service and they do nothing but complain about everything. The solution? Yes, this won't be popular among monopolists but the solution is to either abolish those monopolies or have the government set prices to something reasonable and regulate profits to something much much lower. and if the current monopolists don't like it they can find another job. No one wants to hear their baseless complaining. and if politicians want to negotiate back door deals with these monopolists they should find themselves in jail.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2014 @ 8:07am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 100 companies...

            (that is the electric, gas, and water companies charge much less yet they still have to lay out and maintain equivalently expensive, if not much more expensive, infrastructure. Yet my cable/Internet bill is more than my gas, water, and power bills combined. and lets not forget all the high fixed costs of running a water plant to clean tap water and make it meet high standards so that it can be safe to distribute. ISP's have it easy and I don't want to hear their complaints).

             

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          LAB (profile), May 8th, 2014 @ 8:20am

          Re: Re: Re: 100 companies...

          "If you actually paid direct to (say) Level3 or he.net for bandwidth, your 10 meg home connection would cost you somewhere between $200 and $1000 a month. Are you ready to pay for what you really use?"

          Using your hypothetical numbers, I could sell to a group of people the use of said connection and bring my cost back down to $50. I probably would be able to turn a profit because I could get enough people and throttle use so we all aren't using the connection at the same time. The real problem is without competition there is no incentive to upgrade the hardware. If google fiber were everywhere the monopolies would be forced to lower prices because they would lose business. If municipalities were allowed to provide service the competition would lower prices. Upgrading hardware would be forced. That is outcome of competition in the market place

           

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          John Fenderson (profile), May 8th, 2014 @ 8:24am

          Re: Re: Re: 100 companies...

          "If you actually paid direct to (say) Level3 or he.net for bandwidth, your 10 meg home connection would cost you somewhere between $200 and $1000 a month."

          Please support this claim.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2014 @ 12:52pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 100 companies...

            No, he will just keep making baseless claims (like all his other claims) without the requirement to back any of it up despite the mountains of evidence that we can point to to show he is wrong.

            The current state of America's plutocracy is indefensible and anyone attempting to defend it has no moral conscience whatsoever and is likely a shill.

             

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          Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2014 @ 11:33am

          Re: Re: Re: 100 companies...

          First CDNs and Peering uses a different metric than ISPs charge their customers. They charge based on your Peering agreement. If it is beneficial to pass some of their traffic onto your network to get it closer to the people who want it then you maybe pay nothing for Level3 Bandwidth in certain areas. What you don't mention in your example is that you get a Gbit dedicated port or 10Gbit port instead of a 10mbit one for your 200$ (actually worth the money)

          They calculate it based on burst and 95th percentile and total traffic used. Not by mbit speed or your cap.

          A TB of traffic is cheap as hell if you buy it in a datacenter where it lives. It only gets crazy if you buy it from an ISP. The "expense" of getting it the last mile suddenly makes bandwidth expensive. Its not really expensive at all, ISPs would just have you believe that.

          The issue is that ISPs oversell and over saturate their networks and are not effectively delivering their customers requested data because they have decided they can make more money by trying to charge both ends by letting their peering degrade and specifically refusing to upgrade. Simple as that.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2014 @ 7:12am

      Re: 100 companies...

      "Maybe true net neutrality comes when those interconnect companies are required to shift the bill away from consumers and towards the providers, then the ISPs could afford to add a whole lot more bandwidth for home users."

      why exactly would they have to be REQUIRED. Why not provide competition between the two models. Free internet that provides access only to sites which pay for the bandwidth of the directed users would viable option if the business model make sense.

      If it doesn't then "requiring" it an undue hardship on those companies

      make ISP choose either charge their subscribers or charge the content providers not both is a much better solution.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2014 @ 8:45am

      Re: 100 companies...

      The ISPs are the ones screwing their customers and want to charge for for 'delivering' and 'receiving' on the same connection.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2014 @ 10:04am

      Re: 100 companies...

      Maybe true net neutrality comes when those interconnect companies are required to shift the bill away from consumers and towards the providers, then the ISPs could afford to add a whole lot more bandwidth for home users.


      If by consumer you mean average home internet user then you couldn't be more wrong. The only way to shift costs without creating an anti-competitive environment is to shift the cost onto the average home internet user. If costs are shifted onto internet companies, an anti-competitive environment is creating where only large established companies with outsized revenue can afford to pay twice to have their content delivered whereas small startups are completely fucked. This is the exact opposite of network neutrality. The only way to double-dip without harming network neutrality would be to double-dip on the average home internet user.

       

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      Jefffa, May 8th, 2014 @ 1:59pm

      Re: 100 companies...

      Have you seen Comcast's profit margin?

       

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    Andypandy, May 8th, 2014 @ 2:55am

    Thankfully

    At least we have a rising up of big businesses on the internet that realise how a two tiered internet will stifle the internet, what would have been nice would have been a comment next to each internet service that has signed this to have stated whether they could have achieved what they have with the supposed new rules. Already we have Investment managers saying they will not invest in any start-up that is involved in video or music or anything that requires or could possibly require large amounts of bandwidth as then they would probably have to pay untold amounts to deliver a half decent service to those that were interested in the new business.

    In fact the one investment manager proved beyond any doubt that just discussing this two tier system at the behest of some isp's is already stifling innovation and must at all costs be stopped. The people are standing up and being heard and hopefully wheeler will do something to stop the isp's from double dipping in the market.

     

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    Ninja (profile), May 8th, 2014 @ 3:08am

    The more the merrier! We have enough proof the ISPs don't give a damn to their customers.

     

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    Maggie (profile), May 8th, 2014 @ 4:30am

    If Wheeler doesn't back down, is that the final outcome?

    I think it would be effective if these 100 companies staged a protest by intentionally slowing all their traffic to a crawl for a period of time, making it clear that this is the outcome they are trying to avoid and for people to make their unhappiness known to the FCC.

     

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    Geno0wl (profile), May 8th, 2014 @ 6:00am

    This is how Net Neutrality will actually be won

    The only way net neutrality will actually be won is when the major players(Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook) step in to flood more money at politicians than Comcast/Verizon/AT&T.
    That is the truth of our current political world.

     

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    Digger, May 8th, 2014 @ 7:19am

    Time to evict Tom Wheeler

    Tom's obviously working for the corporations and not the people of this country and therefor needs to be removed from the position of authority that he is so obviously abusing.

    Also, I would strongly suggest a 5-level of separation financial audit of anyone associated with him with up to 5 levels of separation to make sure that any money sent his way while in office is seized and removed from those involved.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2014 @ 7:41am

    Regarding the merger (I think this is worth posting again).

    When Comcast and the FCC claim that the merger won't affect consumers because the two companies hardly compete in the same areas they are basically admitting that the system is rigged to prevent consumers from benefiting from competition. Since the system is already rigged to provide consumers with a cartel (which is equivalent to a monopoly in terms of the prices provided), they claim, they might as well just merge and make their monopolistic position official. Why have all these companies informally act as a single monopoly when we can just skip the formalities altogether and make the lack of competition official. It won't matter to consumers, they're already paying monopolistic prices either way. That seems to be the extent of their argument.

    So how is the the argument being made by supporters of this merger supposed to reassure me that this merger is a good thing.

    and if our anti-trust laws meant anything then they would be used to stop this nonsense where ISPs conspire to avoid competing in the same areas (something even Comcast and the government seem to indirectly admit to). But no, instead our anti-trust laws get used against Google for doing nothing wrong.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2014 @ 8:01am

    Wheeler didn't get paid by these tech companies, nor will he find a job at one after he quits FCC. He got the money from the cable/wireless guys, and that's where he's getting his next job, too. So of course he doesn't care whether there are 100 or 1000 companies against it.

    The only one who can stop this now is Congress, by enshrining net neutrality into LAW, just like Europe and Brazil did.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2014 @ 9:56am

    of course he has! since when does a know it all have to listen to anyone speaking sense, when there has been some encouragement thrown his way? look across to California for a clue!!

     

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    GEMont, May 9th, 2014 @ 11:30am

    A Means To An End

    "...FCC boss Tom Wheeler has rejected that idea and plans to move forward with his rule-making proposal next week."

    The plan is to end net neutrality.

    Period.

    The web has proven time and time again to be the antithesis of criminal activity by the various Top of The Food Chain Players, such as the Federal Government.

    Wheeler was hired as the hit man, to kill off Net Neutrality through bad legislation, and he has to do the deed to get his offshore account graft paycheck signed.

    Like all good minions, eager to receive his silver, he intends to get the job done regardless of the many obstacles in his path, so all of this protest is 100% pointless.

    Come hell or high water, Net Neutrality will be eliminated.

    After all, that would put an end to comments like this one, making the web a better place to sell shit as shinola! :)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2014 @ 8:16am

    Doh!

     

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