Congressman Who Was Against Protecting Net Neutrality Flips Sides After Realizing The Harm Broadband Giants Can Cause

from the nice-to-see dept

Over the last few weeks we've seen a number of politicians come out on one side or another concerning the FCC's net neutrality plans, but most of them were pretty much expected. It actually was nice to see some net neutrality supporters be quite explicit in their support for Title II reclassification (like Senator Chuck Schumer), but beyond that there weren't too many surprises. That's why it was actually great to see Rep. Gary Peters, who is currently running for the Senate in Michigan, come out in favor of net neutrality, warning of the harm that could be caused by the fast lanes and slow lanes as allowed by the current FCC proposal.
"If large corporations can pay more for faster service for their content, this effectively creates a 'slow lane' for everyone else."
This is notable, because four years ago, Peters was actually one of the group of Representatives who actively opposed strong net neutrality rules by the FCC. It appears that four years later he's changed his mind. In his new statement, he makes it clear that he now realizes how many entrepreneurs and innovators rely on an open internet:
"Startups and small businesses are the engines of job creation and economic growth in Michigan, and they rely on open access to the Internet to stay competitive. I have serious concerns that allowing large, established corporations to purchase faster services puts these startups and small businesses at a disadvantage and stifles innovation."
That's a far cry from the letter Peters signed four years ago, which was entirely focused on the question of how these rules might upset the big broadband access providers. It's good to see Peters has realized that the future is in innovative startups, not in protecting big cable and telco oligopolies.

Filed Under: gary peters, innovation, michigan, net neutrality, reclassification, switching sides, title ii


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  1. icon
    PaulT (profile), 17 Jul 2014 @ 3:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: what is net neutrality really?

    "Is Google, running it's own fiber network, giving preference to it's own internal connections compared to others?"

    The "giving preference to its own internal connections" does violate net neutrality. The fact that it has its own ISP or a better peering arrangement with backbone providers does not. As long as traffic going to the consumer through Google's network is treated the same regardless of whether it's Google or Bing, YouTube or Netflix, Android or iOS, net neutrality is preserved.

    "See, you need to learn more about peering."

    Stop acting like a smug moron. I know what peering is and how it works. I also know that the argument is about what happens at the consumer end, not what happens in the process behind the scenes.

    The fact that one ISP near my office has a different backend peering agreement and different, more efficient underwater cabling to their main competitor does not violate net neutrality. If they were to decide that Google need to get better speeds than Bing because they've paid more, that violates it. The fact that Netflix currently has servers installed in datacentres to improve their speeds and reduce bandwidth bills does not violate net neutrality. Comcast giving preferential treatment to their own VoD traffic over Netflix's does. The fact that Google Fibre can offer higher overall speeds than Comcast does not violate neutrality. If Google charged you more to access Hulu than it charges to access Netflix or YouTube, it's violated.

    Are you understanding the actual argument yet, or are you going to continue railing against the alternative argument nobody's making?

    "Can we have net neutrality when Google has the money to connect straight to your ISP, or is in fact their own ISP?"

    If the ISP is not violating net neutrality while doing so, yes. If this response confuses you, try actually reading and understanding the real argument you're responding to before you respond to it. If you try doing this every time, you might even get somewhere with your arguments, since they'll address what you're replying to.

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