Mark Cuban Again Illustrates He Has No Idea What Net Neutrality Is Or Why It's Important

from the words-are-but-wind dept

To be very clear, there are some subjects Mark Cuban has a very good understanding of, ranging from his support of patent reform and his helpful goal of improving antiquated film release windows to highlighting the SEC's disdain for the 14th and 4th Amendments during his fight over insider trading allegations. That said, for some reason when the Dallas Mavericks owner begins talking about telecom, Internet video and net neutrality, a string of cryptic gibberish begins to spill forth from his head that's entirely detached from the cogent, mortal plane.

As the boss of HDNet (now AXS TV), Cuban spent years crying and wailing about the rise of Internet video. He frequently attacked companies offering content for free, insisted that Hulu viewers "leech off the money we pay to enjoy tv," waged a bizarre, unsuccessful one man war against "illegal" YouTube, and told anybody who would listen that Internet video was destined to failure. That mindset fueled his position on net neutrality, one that largely mirrors that of the cable and broadcast industry at large (read: everything is fine and we need no rules). Cuban even at one time urged ISPs to go ahead and block P2P entirely (legitimate uses be damned).

Spurred by the recent Title II debate, Cuban has emerged once again to share his neutrality insights on Twitter, where he recently floated the increasingly stale idea that supporting a neutral Internet is a government assault on on the Utopian miracle that is the telecom free market:
Cuban also offered up a Q&A session with the Washington Post because, Post writer Nancy Scola informs us, "there's nothing that Cuban dislikes more than untested conventional wisdom" (aka the need for net neutrality rules). Most of us by now know the U.S. broadband market isn't free or functional -- it's a broken duopoly, slathered in a layer of regulatory capture, preying on a captive audience incapable of voting with their wallets. Cuban's refusal to acknowledge this reality is on stark display throughout the Q&A:
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The Verizon decision [the January, 2014, court order that struck down the Federal Communication Commission's 2010 passage of net neutrality rules] has created an opportunity for the FCC to introduce more rule-making. They shouldn't. Things have worked well. There is no better platform in the world to start a new business than the Internet in the United States."
Except innovation is being threatened precisely because the U.S. broadband market is indisputably broken. Companies like Verizon and AT&T have abused the fact they dominate 85% of the wireless retail market for years, whether it's the blocking of handset GPS radio functionality to push their own GPS apps, the blocking of Google Wallet to help adoption of their own mobile payment platforms, or the blocking of Facetime to push users toward metered data plans. On the fixed-line side you've got residential ISPs who've also been abusing the lack of competition to impose entirely unnecessary usage caps to hinder Internet video use and protect TV revenues.

As we've noted for many years now, these very real, very clear anti-competitive behaviors are a symptom of the broader disease that is a lack of competition. While there's certainly a conversation to be had about the perils of government over-reach if rules aren't done correctly, if you're still somehow arguing that the U.S. broadband industry is a healthy, functioning free market, you're simply not credible on the subjects of net neutrality or telecom.

We've noted how Title II with forbearance is the best tool we have in light of this lack of competition to keep the Internet healthy and consumers protected. To defend their government-pampered fiefdoms from any attempt to change the status quo, incumbent ISPs have falsely claimed that Title II "bans fast lanes" or "stifles investment," both of which are demonstrably not true. Yet Cuban buys this argument without question:
"I want certain medical apps that need the Internet to be able to get the bandwidth they need. There will be apps that doctors will carry on 5G networks that allow them to get live video from accident scenes and provide guidance. There will be machine vision apps that usage huge amounts of bandwidth. I want them to have fast lanes."
That protecting net neutrality will break grandma's pacemaker is a favorite talking point of the telecom industry, even though none of the proposed rules would hinder things like prioritized machine to machine connectivity, and the FCC's simply never going to ban intelligent network management. You'll recall that one of Verizon's greasier arguments of late has been that net neutrality rules will harm the deaf. Amusingly the majority of deaf and disabled groups not only don't agree (apparently AT&T hasn't gotten around to paying them yet), the majority of deaf and disabled groups support Title II. For someone who claims to hate "conventional wisdom" and professes loving questioning things so much, Cuban seems quick to buy Verizon's line of nonsense.

In one of the more amusing exchanges, Cuban proceeds to insist that because none of the entrepreneurs he speaks to bring up net neutrality in meetings, net neutrality as a concept must not be very important to the broader Internet:
"I have yet to talk to a single entrepreneur, or investment I have, or potential investment I have, or [seen an] acquisition or sale of a company on the Internet where the issue of net neutrality has come up. No one starting a business even considers net neutrality in their business, except for those that are religious about it and ISPs and networks that have to deal with any uncertainty it introduces."
This couldn't possibly be explained by the fact that entrepreneurs or potential deal partners sitting in Mark Cuban's office have done their research, know Cuban loathes net neutrality, and therefore don't mention it because they want his money right?

The Mavs owner then proceeds to brush aside concerns over programs like AT&T's Sponsored Data, which involves companies paying AT&T for the privilege of bypassing arbitrary user caps. That, as VC Fred Wilson eloquently pointed out, sets a dangerous precedent in that it lets deeper-pocketed companies buy an advantage over the same smaller entrepreneurs Cuban professes to love. T-Mobile's Music Freedom plan sets a similarly bad precedent for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Yet like so many people who don't actually understand net neutrality (including the FCC), Cuban thinks these kinds of arbitrarily-erected monetization efforts are cute and creative business models:
"It's a business decision that has as a much chance to fail as work. If you don't like the offering from T-Mobile you may go somewhere else. Or if you like the offering, you may switch to T-Mobile. If T-Mobile came to me and asked me if I wanted to subsidize their consumers getting [Dallas] Mavs games streamed live over their phones or to mobile home routers, without impacting their data caps, I would love it, if the price was right, and would do it in a heartbeat."
Of course Cuban has already made his fortune. Were we to take 1995 Mark Cuban (who was busy building Broadcast.com) and transplant his business into the modern era under AT&T, Verizon and Comcast -- you can be damn sure he'd be taking a very different approach to these issues. Cuban has spent a decade making it abundantly clear he doesn't understand net neutrality, the telecom market or the potential pitfalls of these new cap exempt business models. Perhaps we should put Mark Cuban, Donald Trump and all the rest of the billionaires with plenty to say but little actual understanding in charge of the telecom industry. At least we'd get some entertainment value out of the equation while the Internet burns.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Nov 2014 @ 8:30am

    I can't read his tweet yet because he hasn't paid for the fast lane.

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  • icon
    Daniel Berninger (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 9:02am

    Bode/Pro and Cuban/Con Title II address entirely separate issues

    Karl,

    The post misses entirely Cuban's concerns which have nothing to do with your points.

    The case for Title II as "solution" does not move beyond an exhaustive and endless complaint about a "problem".

    Let's conceded as a hypothetical first step the "problem" of net neutrality threatens the end of the planet.

    Now please find anything in the 80 year history of Title II that promises to solve the end of the world problem.

    Title II exists as a foundational disfunction to all the the complaints and nowhere in the history of telecommunications as a solution.

    Mark Cuban is like many of us VERY worried Title II offers a cure far worse than the disease.

    There exists no need to add words to a description of the dark future of communication.

    There exists a need to explain and establish how extending the FCC's Title II authority to IP networks promises an outcome different than the innovation deadening and communication deadening history of Title II.

    Dan
    .........................................
    Daniel Berninger
    Founder, Voice Communication Exchange Committee
    e: dan@danielberninger.com
    tel SD: +1.202.250.3838
    SIP HD: dan@danielberninger.com
    w: www.vcxc.org

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Nov 2014 @ 12:03pm

      Re: Bode/Pro and Cuban/Con Title II address entirely separate issues

      Daniel,
      You should stop assuming that Title II is the only thing that FCC can do. It is not.

      For example, the FCC can, in addition to Title II classification, enforce Local Loop Unbundling, renationalise last-mile infrastructure (or create a non-profit corporation with a monopoly on last-mile infrastructure), remove paid prioritisation (such as T-Mobile's "Freedom Music" plan, although that's less egregious than the recent Netflix shenanigans) and delegalise throttling.

      The Title II stuff is already in place via the USF, which all telcos are dipping into, even though they are not currently subject to Title II and needed to be to qualify.

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    • icon
      Easily Amused (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 9:12pm

      Re: Bode/Pro and Cuban/Con Title II address entirely separate issues

      its so refreshing when the shills identify themselves with proper references.

      Daniel, your argument follows the same barebones structure as the NRA's for the last decade... "this solution isn't absolutely perfect so it should never even be considered". Fast forward to current, and not only has nothing been done about the issue, but the bickering over it has grown into a ridiculous partisan screaming match with both sides abandoning reason entirely.

      The thing i see missing from all of the anti-neutrality arguments is the explanation for why all of their parade of horribles that come along with a neutral interconnection policy haven't already happened. We have had a neutral internet (for the most part) by default for almost all users because of the rate of tech adoption being fast enough that no company had time to corner any markets and impose their monopolistic will before the next jump in speeds/delivery methods forced them to upgrade the whole network. Every time neutrality has been broken/bent so far has been a negative effect.

      EVERY TIME.

      TL;DR - The crux of neutrality is just codifying what has already been the nature of things since the 'net was born. Anyone arguing against it is either ignorant on the subject, or advocating the subjugation of users. Keep the free and open internet.

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

  • icon
    mcuban (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 9:05am

    Come on guys. I get that you are for NN and Im not, but if you are going to link to 5 years old and older blog posts, at least read them first.

    I didnt say that Internet video wouldnt work in that blog post, I said it wouldn't scale. Compared to TV, it still cant handle large audiences for most. In fact, you contradict yourself if you say it can.

    do you think a small streaming startup can broadcast a live event to millions of people ? If you do, explain to me how that is going to work in an affordable way ?

    As far as Youtube, i stand by what I said. Aereo thought they could change the law and couldn't. Youtube couldn't change the laws or economics, but Google could. So I ended up being wrong about them. But the logic was sound.

    As far as entrepreneurs, few people knew my views on NN until the last couple weeks. Ive looked at thousands of deals over the last 10 years. Not a peep about NN>
    So there goes that premise.

    And why do you and others keep on trotting out the ridiculous premise that in 1995 i benefited from NN type rules. Nothing could be further from the truth. I had to pay for priority , i had to pay a premium to get access to dialup (which was under title 2), and to get access to the broadband homes and businesses. I competed with much bigger companies than mine and beat them every time because we out innovated.

    You also put a lot of credence in "proposed rules". Which proposed rules and from who ? And where has machine vision been discussed ? You certainly havent discussed it because i wasn't referring to machine to machine communications and network management wont suffice for applications that cant have lost packets.


    Your premise that only big companies can win is so outdated and ridiculous that you would think its 1968 and you just got fired from IBM.

    No question you can find stupidity from every company, large and small including mine and yours, but over the past 12 years can you deny the amount of innovation that has taken place despite any and all efforts by ISPs to slow them down ?

    You using your Facetime over cellular ok ? Has your network wireless performance improved over the last couple years ? Can you hear me now ? Has your wired broadband throughput improved despite NFLX going from nothing to 1/3 of primetime bandwidth ?

    If you want ot look at trends, they are going away from big providers, not towards them. Texting fees ? Gone. Caps, going up. Not fast enough for anyone, but they certainly wont accelerate with more regulation.

    Do i like that the big ISPs get to put all kinds of bs fees on us and in our bills. No. But i dont think regulation solves any of that

    And we have 5g on the horizon. Do you think it will get here faster with more regulation ? Particularly given that all those FCC commissioners you see today. They probably wont be on the FCC when 5g hits the market. THink they will give a shit how the rules they make today impacts future tech ? That is if they can get them done before the senate or congress jumps in and makes this a political play they can take advantage of. Think that will get you the "Proposed rules" you want ?

    And lets not forget that the ultimate fast lane app is also the most popular in this country. Its called digital tv. For many if not most it runs on the same cable into your home as your internet and provides a walled fast lane for content . What happens to digital tv if the proposed rules go a little bit too far because some people think OTT is the future and want to free up that bandwidth ?


    thats where you are on NN. You got it wrong. You made the mistake of getting religious . THe foundation of the NN argument is what you believe will happen. You provide a few anecdotes from more than 10 years of history as a foundation that your premise must be true.

    I try to work on what i know Im working on, what i know is happening. What i know Im investing in.


    on most other things we agree :)

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    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 10:05am

      Re:

      Hi Mark. As always, thanks for stopping by... Wanted to respond to a few of your points (Karl may respond to others as well).

      As far as entrepreneurs, few people knew my views on NN until the last couple weeks. Ive looked at thousands of deals over the last 10 years. Not a peep about NN>
      So there goes that premise.


      I'm not sure this is a reasonable argument. The companies you've looked at are trying to get money from you, and thus are in a position where they're always going to be putting the best possible foot forward, downplaying the potential risks.

      Second, frankly, most entrepreneurs don't know or understand the underlying issues here or the potential risk. They don't realize how the broadband market has changed or the regulatory issues underlying all of this. So, yes, they may assume that the world will continue to work the way it did in the past, but that's because they haven't -- like we have -- followed the top execs from AT&T, Verizon and Comcast make it clear that they're looking to set up tollbooths on the internet and hoping to double or triple charge successful companies just to reach their users. They don't recognize that threat. Yet.

      But, trust me, when you talk to entrepreneurs about that threat, they recognize it quickly. It's why so many entrepreneurs were quick to sign on to a letter pushing for Title II a few months back.

      Your premise that only big companies can win is so outdated and ridiculous that you would think its 1968 and you just got fired from IBM.

      How many successful startup ISPs do you know? There are not that many. There's Sonic -- but they're supporting Title II.

      This is about the difference between infrastructure and companies on the infrastructure.

      No question you can find stupidity from every company, large and small including mine and yours, but over the past 12 years can you deny the amount of innovation that has taken place despite any and all efforts by ISPs to slow them down ?

      We agree. There's tremendous innovation above the infrastructure layer -- but while that's been happening two important other things have happened. First, consolidation of the infrastructure players, allowing them to become much bigger and much more powerful.

      Second, the Verizon ruling earlier this year actually *massively* expanded the FCC's power under 706 to regulate a variety of things on the internet, outside of the net neutrality/open internet rules. Don't underestimate the value of getting the internet away from 706.

      You using your Facetime over cellular ok ? Has your network wireless performance improved over the last couple years ? Can you hear me now ? Has your wired broadband throughput improved despite NFLX going from nothing to 1/3 of primetime bandwidth ?

      It should be noted that cellular is under Title II, and seems to have done okay, so if you're using examples from the cellular world, I'm not sure your argument that Title II is "bad" survives.

      So... based on that Title II has also resulted in improvements and infrastructure investment in cellular. So why is it bad for wired broadband?

      And, actually, *my* wired broadband has not improved. At all. I live in the heart of Silicon Valley and AT&T doesn't give a fuck.

      If you want ot look at trends, they are going away from big providers, not towards them. Texting fees ? Gone.

      Again, cellular is under Title II, so this works against your point. But, more to the point, why are texting fees gone? Mainly because of competition on the network. If the operators were able to block out that competition, they would have, and texting fees would still be around (see examples like blocking Google Wallet in favor of ISIS/Softcard).

      Do i like that the big ISPs get to put all kinds of bs fees on us and in our bills. No. But i dont think regulation solves any of that

      That assumes, incorrectly, that going to open internet rules under Title II *adds* real regulations. Look at what's being proposed. Look at Sections 201 and 202 of Title II. That's not real "regulation." It's not adding regulatory burden. It's just making sure that the network remains open.

      on most other things we agree :)


      Well, that's good. :)

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      • icon
        Daniel Berninger (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 10:45am

        Re: Re:

        Mike,

        Your caveat in the reply to Mark makes something we called in my days at Bell Labs the "spherical cow" assumption.

        Masnick: "That assumes, incorrectly, that going to open internet rules under Title II *adds* real regulations. Look at what's being proposed. Look at Sections 201 and 202 of Title II. That's not real "regulation." It's not adding regulatory burden. It's just making sure that the network remains open."

        I would not fear the imposition of Title II to IP networks if your assertion had a remote connection with reality. You are reaching a conclusion by first assuming a "spherical cow" exists in limiting Title II to issues thant are not real "regulation".

        What in the entire 80 year history of FCC implementation of Title II suggests a capacity to surgically assert regulations? I hear the forebearance and not forbearance arguments and again ask, what in the entire history of the FCC suggests this is possible.

        Trading a presumption of the non-regulation of IP networks for a presumption of regulation is a significant loss for entrepreneurdom. The presumption (I do not need a lawyer or the FCC chairman to confirm) owes to a granting of non-regulatory status for anything born from non-regulatory information services parents.

        No one ever declared all things IP non-regulated, but entrepreneurs can safely make that presumption for the moment.

        As a related point, what in the entire history of the FCC suggests a capacity to hold telco's and cableco's accountable? The problem was never an issue of authority. The problem was always an issue of implementation. The first decade of the NN debate did not even reach the question of implementation. History suggests creating a rule is the easy part. Death to innovation comes from implementation.

        Dan

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        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 10:55am

          Re: Re: Re:

          What in the entire 80 year history of FCC implementation of Title II suggests a capacity to surgically assert regulations? I hear the forebearance and not forbearance arguments and again ask, what in the entire history of the FCC suggests this is possible.

          Section 10 certainly does:

          http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/47/160

          "the Commission shall forbear from applying any regulation or any provision of this chapter... if the Commission determines that... enforcement of such regulation or provision is not necessary for the protection of consumers"

          Shall. Not "may" but "shall."

          And, there are plenty of examples of successful forbearance in the past.

          Trading a presumption of the non-regulation of IP networks for a presumption of regulation is a significant loss for entrepreneurdom.

          Why? Seriously, why? As Dane Jasper recently pointed out, that's bullshit. The regulatory "burdens" of Title II are nothing *unless you're trying to do something shitty*.

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          • icon
            Daniel Berninger (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 11:15am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Mike,

            You are pointing to theory. I am not making a theoretical point.

            Find me someone who interacts with the FCC on a day to day basis that supports Title II.

            Ask the CLEC's about their fortunes under FCC protection.

            Title II does not accomplish in reality what it purports to accomplish in theory.

            The entire pro-Title II campaign presumes a degree of FCC virtue that does not exist.

            Judge Greene pointed out the breakup would have been moot had the FCC ever done its job.

            You are endorsing a dramatic expansion of FCC powers without assessing the existing track record.

            The telco's and cableco's are the only entities with a capacity to actually negotiate FCC processes.

            The FCC's contribution to the proliferation of communication options since 1996 owes to staying out of the way.

            Please find examples where the FCC's direct interventions obtained a positive outcome before endorsing an extension of FCC authority to IP networks.

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            • icon
              Karl Bode (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 11:23am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Find me someone who interacts with the FCC on a day to day basis that supports Title II.

              Ask the CLEC's about their fortunes under FCC protection."
              Sonic.net CEO Dane Jasper had a front row seat to the ILEC/CLEC wars (his company was one of the few to survive), and deals with the FCC on a daily basis. He thinks Title II is likely the correct path forward:

              @camholm No, but absent a competitive market, I do believe Title II will be necessary to fix at least the neutrality issue.— Dane Jasper (@dane) November 15, 2014

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            • icon
              Mike Masnick (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 11:57am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Find me someone who interacts with the FCC on a day to day basis that supports Title II.


              Okay:
              http://www.comptel.org/Files/filings/2014/07-15-14_COMPTEL_Open_Internet_Comments.pdf

              Ask the CLEC's about their fortunes under FCC protection.


              Funny, but they seem to support Title II reclassification.

              http://www.comptel.org/Files/filings/2014/07-15-14_COMPTEL_Open_Internet_Comments.p df

              Title II does not accomplish in reality what it purports to accomplish in theory.


              By itself, no. But with decent rules, it can.

              The entire pro-Title II campaign presumes a degree of FCC virtue that does not exist.


              I don't think that's true. I'm hardly an FCC supporter/apologist, but in this case, Title II makes sense.

              You are endorsing a dramatic expansion of FCC powers without assessing the existing track record.


              You really think I'm not aware of the FCC's history?

              The FCC's contribution to the proliferation of communication options since 1996 owes to staying out of the way.


              *ON* the network yes. But the problem is that the underlying network itself is now in a situation where a few giant players are able to fuck with services on the network -- and they've been itching to do so.

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          • icon
            mcuban (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 12:18pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            if only forbearance was a panacea. Then it would be easy.

            this article provides some insights

            http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/technology/221342-section-10-forbearance-offers-no-eas y-path-to-title-ii-lite

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            • icon
              Karl Bode (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 2:31pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I don't think most people think Title II is a panacea. Keeping sensibility afloat takes work. It is, however, the best path forward in the face of regulatory capture and an uncompetitive broadband market that's simply not getting fixed any time soon.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 26 Nov 2014 @ 11:02am

          Re: Re: Re:

          What in the entire history of AT&T has made you think that they would not purposefully ruin the entire internet for an additional $100,000?

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          • icon
            Daniel Berninger (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 11:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I get the pro-Title II energy comes from the bottomless hate for the operators, but the expansion of communication options from 1996 to 2014 justifies preserving the regulatory status quo.

            If you want to change something, you need to make the case for how your change offers improvement.

            No one will have any luck or has even attempted making the case for the merits of Title II. We do not need to speculate on what Title II might accomplish in theory. The FCC has exercised Title II authority over the telephone network since 1934.

            Let's look at how well that went, before extending Title II to the Internet.

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            • icon
              Mike Masnick (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 12:06pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I get the pro-Title II energy comes from the bottomless hate for the operators

              It's got nothing to do with *hate* for operators, but rather THEIR OWN STATEMENTS ABOUT THEIR PLANS. They haven't been shy about their plans to put up tollbooths and to doublecharge.

              If you want to change something, you need to make the case for how your change offers improvement.


              Open internet rules under Title II could -- quite clearly -- block the operators from doing *what they announced they intended to do* which is to double charge internet companies to reach end users.

              No one will have any luck or has even attempted making the case for the merits of Title II. We do not need to speculate on what Title II might accomplish in theory. The FCC has exercised Title II authority over the telephone network since 1934.

              Oh come off it, Dan. You know better than that -- and you and I know each other enough to know better than to make bogus claims like that. The point is that the FCC can write viable rules to keep the internet open under Title II. Yes, the actual rules matter. But just looking at Title II alone is only doing half the job.

              But they can't write such rules under 706. And that's a problem.

              Let's look at how well that went, before extending Title II to the Internet.


              It seemed to work pretty well for building fiber (which is why Verizon still relies on it for FiOS deployments) and for cellular, no?

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            • identicon
              Mark, 26 Nov 2014 @ 9:54pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I'm sorry but you don't get it. You seem to want a perfect solution straight off. Pragmatists just want something other than the current ISP dominated quagmire of shite. Baby steps to utopia sir, baby steps.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 26 Nov 2014 @ 11:27pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "If you want to change something..."

              This is the perspective that the anti-NN crowd (and the absurdist comedians like Ted Cruz) keeps articulating is the basis of their arguments, but it's a false premise (and disingenuously so).

              The point of net neutrality is not to change things as the end result. The point is to prevent the ISPs from changing things.

              Things like pursuing Title II wouldn't be necessary if the ISPs weren't trying to change things in the first place.

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      • icon
        mcuban (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 11:30am

        Re: Re:

        My point is that there has been competition on the network that has not feared NN. They continue to grow in an non Title 2 environment

        And my experiences with ATT in my neighborhood have been vastly different. And i have apartments, some old bachelor pads in not great places that have seen huge improvements as well.

        but lets go to "what is being proposed"

        Wheeler doesnt know what will be proposed yet. Just that it will be tied up in lawsuits.

        Congress is formulating proposals to try to beat the FCC to the punch. But we dont know what they are

        what do you think is being proposed ?

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    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 10:11am

      Re:

      As far as entrepreneurs, few people knew my views on NN until the last couple weeks. Ive looked at thousands of deals over the last 10 years. Not a peep about NN> So there goes that premise.

      No, what actually goes is our believe in your reading comprehension skills cause Karl already dealt with that flawed reasoning of yours right there in his article.

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    • icon
      Karl Bode (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 10:24am

      Re:

      You've been repeatedly wrong on Internet video. Not to be insulting but it's really not up for debate. Your blog is like a foggy, digital graveyard of inaccurate predictions and false, sometimes downright bizarre claims about Netflix, Hulu and YouTube. These are YOUR words (there's plenty more where this came from):
      "The concept that “over the top” video creates a valid business alternative for content creators is as misguided an internet business myth as there is.
      That kind of speaks for itself, no?
      "As far as entrepreneurs, few people knew my views on NN until the last couple weeks. Ive looked at thousands of deals over the last 10 years. Not a peep about NN."
      Any Google search shows you've been vocally opposed to net neutrality for years, with a particularly vocal flare up in 2009. Anybody worth their salt investigating you for a business pitch would know this. Also, I still don't think that "net neutrality isn't real because the people a billionaire talks to don't mention it much" is really a very cogent point, no matter how many times it's repeated.
      "And why do you and others keep on trotting out the ridiculous premise that in 1995 i benefited from NN type rules. Nothing could be further from the truth. I had to pay for priority , i had to pay a premium to get access to dialup (which was under title 2), and to get access to the broadband homes and businesses.
      One, nobody said you benefited from "NN type rules," the point was that if you were launching your startup today you'd be forced to be more in touch with these issues. There weren't specific "net neutrality" type rules in 1995, and because you paid for multicast tunnels, peering points and a premium for dial up while getting Broadcast.com off the group doesn't mean, or prove, anything.
      "Your premise that only big companies can win is so outdated and ridiculous that you would think its 1968 and you just got fired from IBM."
      There's quite a few off topic straw men in your comment, like this one. I don't think I said "only big companies can win." I did say that as somebody who has covered AT&T, Comcast and Verizon specifically for fifteen years, I've seen these companies repeatedly and aggressively use their gatekeeper and lobbying power to crush smaller companies, competitors and entrepreneurs across numerous market segments. As they've grown and consolidated in the absence of competition, that's only getting worse. That's something you've ignored historically, and it's again something you ignore again here.
      "Do i like that the big ISPs get to put all kinds of bs fees on us and in our bills. No. But i dont think regulation solves any of that."
      Regulation exists. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad. You, in contrast, seem to think that somehow, magically, by doing nothing (because government can never, ever work, right?) that everything's somehow going to be ok. Again, as somebody who covers these companies for a living, I can tell you without a doubt that without some smart rules of the road here, things are absolutely NOT going to be ok -- especially for the smaller entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
      "And we have 5g on the horizon. Do you think it will get here faster with more regulation ?"
      5G isn't even remotely out of the standards over yet, but yeah, I think a complicated global wireless standard impacting hundreds of countries will probably get here just fine whether or not the FCC reclassifies ISPs under Title II. As an aside, did you know portions of wireless infrastructure -- and parts of Verizon's FiOS network are regulated under Title II, and nobody has died? Not a single sky has fallen.
      "thats where you are on NN. You got it wrong. You made the mistake of getting religious . THe foundation of the NN argument is what you believe will happen. You provide a few anecdotes from more than 10 years of history as a foundation that your premise must be true.
      For me it's really not religion or prediction, it's experience from years of writing about these issues for ten hours a day. I provided your own incorrect statements from the last decade. I also provided countless examples of ISPs using duopoly gatekeeper power to hinder smaller companies (I can provide many, many more). I've provided numerous examples of how Title II really isn't going to be that big of a deal and is the only sensible path forward in the absence of competition.

      You, in contrast, seem to be arguing that net neutrality isn't real and rules aren't needed -- because Ayn Rand your tummy tells you so.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Nov 2014 @ 10:42am

        Re: Re:

        I seriously love this website.

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

      • icon
        mcuban (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 11:22am

        Re: Re:

        You've been repeatedly wrong on Internet video. Not to be insulting but it's really not up for debate. Your blog is like a foggy, digital graveyard of inaccurate predictions -

        -You prove again your reading challenges.

        and false, sometimes downright bizarre claims about Netflix, Hulu and YouTube. These are YOUR words (there's plenty more where this came from):
        "The concept that “over the top” video creates a valid business alternative for content creators is as misguided an internet business myth as there is.
        That kind of speaks for itself, no?

        -Let me slow it down and explain it to you.

        content creators = individuals who create content. In Jan 2009 ? The percentage of individual content creators who made money.. approaching zero. Do you dispute this ?

        Those who were dependent on Youtube and had to share branding ? Close to 100pct

        Number of content creators in 2009 that could aggregate 10k simultaneous viewers ? Not many.

        The ability for individual content creators to grow content to get it seen by millions of people - none.
        The ability to even broadcast OTT so that millions could watch it at once ? Unaffordable.

        Now you could make the argument that the content creation business for some youtube stars isnt bad. The number of youtube stars as a percentage of those attempting to join that crowd ... approaching zero.

        Youtube couldnt even create an environment where they could develop content profitably . It gave up.

        Feel free to ask questions if you need more clarification. I know you have only had 6 years to digest the information

        "As far as entrepreneurs, few people knew my views on NN until the last couple weeks. Ive looked at thousands of deals over the last 10 years. Not a peep about NN."


        Any Google search shows you've been vocally opposed to net neutrality for years, with a particularly vocal flare up in 2009. Anybody worth their salt investigating you for a business pitch would know this. Also, I still don't think that "net neutrality isn't real because the people a billionaire talks to don't mention it much" is really a very cogent point, no matter how many times it's repeated.

        Right, because everyone thinks about net neutrality before they start an online business and when they approach investors they google EVERY INVESTOR they would like to approach to get their opinion rather than looking to see what kind of investments they have made.

        Look at my list of investments. Google those. Go on Angellist. More than a few that you might think would be impacted by NN.

        Maybe in your world that is how you work. But then again , I wouldnt invest in a business that after how many years of existence is dependent on Flattr.


        "And why do you and others keep on trotting out the ridiculous premise that in 1995 i benefited from NN type rules. Nothing could be further from the truth. I had to pay for priority , i had to pay a premium to get access to dialup (which was under title 2), and to get access to the broadband homes and businesses.

        One, nobody said you benefited from "NN type rules," the point was that if you were launching your startup today you'd be forced to be more in touch with these issues. There weren't specific "net neutrality" type rules in 1995, and because you paid for multicast tunnels, peering points and a premium for dial up while getting Broadcast.com off the group doesn't mean, or prove, anything.

        Fair enough.

        Let me ask you. What types of sites/businesses should be concerned ? You pick. Then lets ask them how much consideration they have given to NN. Is the company that came to me to stream high school sports discussing NN ? What about teaching entrepreneurship via streaming ? What about all the competitors to Hangouts that im seeing or multiperson video conferencing ?

        What about all the social messaging apps that have aor are adding video ? Should my new deal Ocho be concerned ?

        We all must be missing something because no one brings it up and you would think if they were afraid they would at least ask me since i have given some of them money

        "Your premise that only big companies can win is so outdated and ridiculous that you would think its 1968 and you just got fired from IBM."
        There's quite a few off topic straw men in your comment, like this one. I don't think I said "only big companies can win." I did say that as somebody who has covered AT&T, Comcast and Verizon specifically for fifteen years, I've seen these companies repeatedly and aggressively use their gatekeeper and lobbying power to crush smaller companies, competitors and entrepreneurs across numerous market segments. As they've grown and consolidated in the absence of competition, that's only getting worse. That's something you've ignored historically, and it's again something you ignore again here.

        Im happy to be corrected. Can you provide a list ?


        "Do i like that the big ISPs get to put all kinds of bs fees on us and in our bills. No. But i dont think regulation solves any of that."
        Regulation exists. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad. You, in contrast, seem to think that somehow, magically, by doing nothing (because government can never, ever work, right?) that everything's somehow going to be ok. Again, as somebody who covers these companies for a living, I can tell you without a doubt that without some smart rules of the road here, things are absolutely NOT going to be ok -- especially for the smaller entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

        My experience dealing with them and competing with them has not been the same. Again, provide examples and im happy to change my mind


        "And we have 5g on the horizon. Do you think it will get here faster with more regulation ?"
        5G isn't even remotely out of the standards over yet, but yeah, I think a complicated global wireless standard impacting hundreds of countries will probably get here just fine whether or not the FCC reclassifies ISPs under Title II.

        we disagree here. but we wont know till its too late

        As an aside, did you know portions of wireless infrastructure -- and parts of Verizon's FiOS network are regulated under Title II, and nobody has died? Not a single sky has fallen.

        Yep. They used it to get paid more . And those regulations havent changed in years. Just as it should be

        Let me say , that im right there with a lot of people that Verizon was stupid to sue the FCC.

        IMHO, the threat and uncertainty of rulemaking detrimental to ISPs is what will make the ISPs you are concerned about most competitive. The minute any regulations are passed , regardless of from the FCC or Congress, the lawsuits pass. And they will take years and that will force startups into the unknown and will negatively impact in a big way. At that point you cant ignore what might happen in the courts. its complete uncertainty, which is never good





        "thats where you are on NN. You got it wrong. You made the mistake of getting religious . THe foundation of the NN argument is what you believe will happen. You provide a few anecdotes from more than 10 years of history as a foundation that your premise must be true.


        For me it's really not religion or prediction, it's experience from years of writing about these issues for ten hours a day. I provided your own incorrect statements from the last decade.

        which were correct

        I also provided countless examples of ISPs using duopoly gatekeeper power to hinder smaller companies (I can provide many, many more).

        I did ask for more above. Your countless was easily counted.

        I've provided numerous examples of how Title II really isn't going to be that big of a deal and is the only sensible path forward in the absence of competition.

        I missed your ability to predict the future. Can you explain that part of it again ? Or at least add the standard disclaimer "past performance is no indications of future returns, etc"



        You, in contrast, seem to be arguing that net neutrality isn't real and rules aren't needed -- because Ayn Rand your tummy tells you so.

        thats funny. The one certainty about me is that no one tells me what to think and I dont follow anyone's doctrine. I should show you my email replies to all those sites/foundations that follow her. .

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

        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 11:30am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Maybe in your world that is how you work. But then again , I wouldnt invest in a business that after how many years of existence is dependent on Flattr.

          Just jumping in here briefly to address this and say WTF? You accuse us of misrepresenting you and your business and experience and they argue that our existence is dependent on Flattr? Really? Come on, Mark.

          We have a variety of different revenue streams, of which Flattr is one very, very, very small part.

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

        • icon
          Dark Helmet (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 11:32am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Maybe in your world that is how you work. But then again , I wouldnt invest in a business that after how many years of existence is dependent on Flattr."

          I'll let you, Karl and Mike hammer out the NN stuff, since all three of you are far more qualified to discuss the topic than I, the guy who writes the post chiefly designed to make fun of people for a laugh...

          ...but dude, while I had and guess I still have a ton of respect for your business acumen, that quote above is apropos of nothing, isn't accurate with regards to Techdirt, and simply makes me glad that this forum isn't your silly reality TV show, though you seem to be behaving as though you think it is....

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

        • icon
          antidirt (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 11:42am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Maybe in your world that is how you work. But then again , I wouldnt invest in a business that after how many years of existence is dependent on Flattr.

          Billionaire burn! Ouch.

          thats funny. The one certainty about me is that no one tells me what to think and I dont follow anyone's doctrine.

          This is why you're my favorite Shark.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 26 Nov 2014 @ 4:54pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            And the contrarian cocksucking goes on.

            I guess considering the both of you have such a wondrous track record of being proven wrong you feel like you've got a kindred spirit.

            Does your wife know you're using her laptop to mancrush again?

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

        • icon
          Karl Bode (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 12:07pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          For the record, we're talking about this 2009 blog post (not exactly ancient history), in which you declare:
          "The Great Internet Video Lie is that the internet opens distribution to compete with the evil gate keepers, cable and satellite...If you have dreams of competing with traditional TV network viewing numbers using the internet, dream on.
          Netflix launched streaming in 2007, two years before your post. They now have 50 million subscribers. The cable industry lost another net 150,000 customers last quarter, and DirecTV saw their first third quarter loss in the company's history during Q3. You were wrong. Sure, there were teething issues for live simultaneous streams in 2009, but that's increasingly becoming less of an issue (LTE multicast, MLB On Roku, DirecTV's Sunday Ticket broadband delivery, etc.). A history of network engineering should have made that clear that these kinds of obstacles were temporary, even WAY BACK in 2009. I'd have to ask: what do you think about Internet video's potential to compete today on the eve of live streaming service launches from Dish, Verizon, Sony, HBO, and Showtime?
          "Im happy to be corrected. Can you provide a list (of gatekeeper abuses)?
          Comcast throttling all upstream P2P traffic indiscriminately (which you agreed with and encouraged), Verizon Wireless blocking handset GPS so people had to use their own GPS software, Verizon Wireless blocking Blutooth so people had to use Verizon's software, Verizon and AT&T blocking Google Wallet so people would use their payment platform, AT&T blocking Facetime so people had to pay more for data, ISPs using DNS direction to embed unwanted advertisements, ISPs using DNS direction to redirect users who mistype URLs to their own advertising pages, ISPs using usage caps on uncongested networks to hinder Internet video, Verizon sticking the Nexus 7 tablet in development purgatory while they pushed their own tablet, Madison River blocking VoIP in 2005, AT&T getting Apple to block Skype from 2007-2009, Verizon's decision to cripple tethering functionality on handsets so users had to pay a premium fee, AT&T's Sponsored Data and T-Mobile's Music Unlimited, which discriminate against smaller companies, MetroPCS blocking all streaming video in 2011...
          "Can you explain that part of it again (that Title II won't cause harm)? Or at least add the standard disclaimer "past performance is no indications of future returns, etc"
          It's called forbearance. To save time, read these two EFF posts on forbearance, or this post by Harold Feld.
          "Maybe in your world that is how you work. But then again , I wouldnt invest in a business that after how many years of existence is dependent on Flattr.
          Mike addresses this above, I don't think this sentence makes any sense.

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

          • icon
            mcuban (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 12:55pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You:For the record, we're talking about this 2009 blog post (not exactly ancient history), in which you declare:
            "The Great Internet Video Lie is that the internet opens distribution to compete with the evil gate keepers, cable and satellite...If you have dreams of competing with traditional TV network viewing numbers using the internet, dream on.
            Netflix launched streaming in 2007, two years before your post. They now have 50 million subscribers. The cable industry lost another net 150,000 customers last quarter, and DirecTV saw their first third quarter loss in the company's history during Q3. You were wrong. Sure, there were teething issues for live simultaneous streams in 2009, but that's increasingly becoming less of an issue (LTE multicast, MLB On Roku, DirecTV's Sunday Ticket broadband delivery, etc.). A history of network engineering should have made that clear that these kinds of obstacles were temporary, even WAY BACK in 2009. I'd have to ask: what do you think about Internet video's potential to compete today on the eve of live streaming service launches from Dish, Verizon, Sony, HBO, and Showtime?

            Me: Again, my blog was in reference to individuals, their ability to make money and scale .

            The part you left out "
            Internet Video. Its the salvation for content creators everywhere. Its the end to dependence on the big bad meanies, the cable and satellite companies. Right ? Hell no. The concept that “over the top” video creates a valid business alternative for content creators is as misguided an internet business myth as there is.

            what content was netflix creating in 2007 ?
            And 8mm people watched a single streamed event and that was deemed an engineering marvel. But tell me how any individual can afford to stream to 2mm or 3mm ?

            You:
            Comcast throttling all upstream P2P traffic indiscriminately (which you agreed with and encouraged), Verizon Wireless blocking handset GPS so people had to use their own GPS software, Verizon Wireless blocking Blutooth so people had to use Verizon's software, Verizon and AT&T blocking Google Wallet so people would use their payment platform, AT&T blocking Facetime so people had to pay more for data, ISPs using DNS direction to embed unwanted advertisements, ISPs using DNS direction to redirect users who mistype URLs to their own advertising pages, ISPs using usage caps on uncongested networks to hinder Internet video, Verizon sticking the Nexus 7 tablet in development purgatory while they pushed their own tablet, Madison River blocking VoIP in 2005, AT&T getting Apple to block Skype from 2007-2009, Verizon's decision to cripple tethering functionality on handsets so users had to pay a premium fee, AT&T's Sponsored Data and T-Mobile's Music Unlimited, which discriminate against smaller companies, MetroPCS blocking all streaming video in 2011...

            Me: comcast got slapped down by the FCC. Im not a bit torrent fan. But that doesnt matter it will die on its own

            Most of the examples of throttling go back years when bandwidth, in particular mobile broadband was more constrained . Exception being tethering, which hwile i would love to see tethering uncapped, its obvious why its not. Mobile broadband is a shared medium.

            Discrimination against smaller companies is a fact. Everyone discriminates against companies with whom they dont see a big enough business benefit. Tmobile has 27 streaming services, but there certainly are more.

            I have lots of little companies , little apps that cant get featured on apple/google app stores while big apps have no issue. Tough shit to me.

            The 2 biggest on ramps to mobile internet and I got no juice. I just have to find ways to innovate like the millions of other apps that have no juice.

            Same applies to dealing with streaming. We stream magnolia pictures. Little company. no juice. Tough shit to me. I have to innovate.

            Mavs i have some more juice. If i can pre pay for streaming it so it doesnt hit bandwidth caps. Done and Done. If i cant. Tough shit to me.

            You:Forbearance.
            Me: Forbearance sounds much better than it sounds. When everyone asks for forbearance, it wont be as simple as you suggest. As a poster mentioned above theory never matches reality. Read http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/technology/221342-section-10-forbearance-offers-no-easy-path-t o-title-ii-lite

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

            • identicon
              Doug, 26 Nov 2014 @ 1:38pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Im not a bit torrent fan. But that doesnt matter it will die on its own"

              Are you saying that the bittorrent protocol will "die on its own"? Because that is a fairly bizarre claim to make, so I hope I'm somehow misinterpreting it. As media and other files get much larger, it is only getting more and more necessary.

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

              • icon
                mcuban (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 1:51pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                because its utility is getting smaller.

                google drive, dropbox, box, they provide easier alternatives to share and host public files

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

                • icon
                  Karl Bode (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 2:38pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  On this we might almost agree. BitTorrent's overall traffic share is dropping in direct correlation to Netflix traffic increases. BitTorrent comprised 2.8% of peak-period U.S. downstream traffic in North America this fall, compared to 34.2% for Netflix. That said, BitTorrent still represents 33% of peak network usage overseas.

                  That said, I'm still not sure that justifies your position that it was ok for ISPs to ban all P2P traffic on their networks and ignore it has some valid utility.

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

                • icon
                  techflaws (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 10:17pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  google drive, dropbox, box, they provide easier alternatives to share and host public files

                  Which contrary to bittorrent don't spread the used bandwidth. Great solution!

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

            • icon
              techflaws (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 10:20pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Most of the examples of throttling go back years when bandwidth, in particular mobile broadband was more constrained . Exception being tethering, which hwile i would love to see tethering uncapped, its obvious why its not. Mobile broadband is a shared medium.

              So, it totally makes sense to increase speed so people burn through their cap in less then a day?

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

            • identicon
              Vontre, 27 Feb 2015 @ 2:00am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              App Store is maybe not the best example of that sort of discrimination - there are tons of apps from small companies featured on there, in fact our app has been featured multiple times over. The App Store front page is far more equal opportunity than a traditional marketing channel, you don't have to pay to be featured.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 26 Nov 2014 @ 2:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          TL;DR Please argue like a non-robot and focus on one pertinent fact at a time thanks.

          It's like your purposefully obscuring your malice in boredom.

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

    • icon
      MonkeyFracasJr (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 11:03am

      Re: Compared to TV

      "Compared to TV, it still cant handle large audiences for most."

      This sounds like you are stuck in the mindset where "time-shifting" doesn't exist. Stop operating on the premise that all viewers must watch a program at a specific scheduled time.

      I have always wondered why advertisers aren't demanding individualized programming, ad targeting would be far more focused and effective. Just because a program is streamed does NOT mean its viewers are intolerant of advertising. Viewers will accept advertising if it is not so heavy handed. And it would be nice to have 50 minutes / hour of actual PROGRAMMING.

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

      • icon
        MonkeyFracasJr (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 12:19pm

        Re: Re: Compared to TV

        Yes even sporting events. I agree that most would want to watch live, but some can't and some just don't mind watching later.

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

    • identicon
      Rich Kulawiec, 26 Nov 2014 @ 11:36am

      Re:

      "I try to work on what i know Im working on, what i know is happening."

      That's an entirely good thing. I suggest that you might want to try getting down in the trenches with those of us who helped build and run this network. I don't mean the nouveau-rich elite, or the investors, or the management teams, or people hobnobbing at resort-hosted conferences. I mean the people who have their hands on the wires and their eyes on the terminals: the network engineers and system administrators that you'll rarely see, and who will rarely, if ever, get to cash out in a big way. I mean the people who actually run the Internet, not the people running operations connected by the Internet.

      The world looks very different from there than it does from boardrooms.

      Those of you who are new to the Internet ("new" means "did not have an email address ending in .ARPA") would greatly benefit from exposure to the ideas of the people who envisioned it decades out. I also think you'd find both their success stories and their failures instructive -- particularly the latter, as we humans seem to learn best from catastrophes. (Sometimes. Other times we seem very intent on repeating painful lessons for no particularly good reason.)

      It's late 2014. I'm just about to tick over year 35 online, and yet the only two choices I have for connectivity at home (Verizon DSL, Comcast cable) are both absolutely horrendous in terms of service, support, price and reliability. (Verizon is, as everyone knows, not interested in maintaining existing copper. And Comcast's shoddy installation work has left the neighborhood with cables laying on the surface and junction boxes "protected" from the weather by garbage bags and duct tape. And it just gets worse from there as I work my way up the hardware/software/personnel stack: I'll spare you the litany. Suffice it to say that I'm not even a Comcast customer and I hate them already.)

      That's absurd. I'm an hour from the friggin' capital of the United States of America, the country where we built the ARPAnet and CSnet and Usenet and thus the Internet, and I can't even get close to the service/support/price/reliability numbers in South Korea. Or Finland. Or Japan. Or Sweden. Or {insert long list of countries not called the United States here}.

      I should have 20M bidirectionally for $20/month with no caps, no throttling, no DPI, no DNS forgery, no HTTP tampering, and only the QoS management that's technically necessary (e.g, prioritize VOIP ahead of SMTP). But you know what I've got? As of 2:27 PM 11/26/2014, I've got .93M down, .40M up. For $39/month. And it'll probably go up again soon because. Meanwhile, the AVERAGE Internet connection speed in Japan was 60M and the price was about $18/month...FOUR YEARS AGO.

      So while I'm not entirely sanguine about Title II, you know what? I don't care anymore. I'm willing to risk it, because the possibility of failure that it entails is better than the certainty of failure that the status quo guarantees. I've seen quite enough of the deliberate crippling of critical national infrastructure for the sake of corporate and personal profit, thank you very much.

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

      • icon
        mcuban (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 12:29pm

        Re: Re:

        i installed my first network in 1983. It was a televideo running an OEM version of Novell Network.

        I was behind i guess, i used compuserve, 70004,216 i think was my id.

        Back in the day we were at one point the largest IBM token ring dealer in the country.

        But I think you got me by a few years. So congrats

        where do you live ? And what was the deal given by your locals for the rights to provide you service ?

        curious

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

      • icon
        btr1701 (profile), 27 Nov 2014 @ 11:41am

        Re: Re:

        > That's absurd. I'm an hour from the friggin' capital of the
        > United States of America, the country where we built the
        > ARPAnet and CSnet and Usenet and thus the Internet, and I
        > can't even get close to the service/support/price/reliability
        > numbers in South Korea. Or Finland. Or Japan. Or Sweden. Or
        > {insert long list of countries not called the United States
        > here}.

        I'd heard stories citing this for a while but it wasn't until I took a trip to Tokyo recently that I realized just how dramatic the difference is between what we're provided in the U.S. (pick your ISP, they're all the same in this regard) and what's available in Japan. The wifi speeds in my hotel made what I have at home in Los Angeles look like I was still on dial-up in comparison.

        It is absurd and as a conservative, I'm loathe to advocate for government regulation, but when duopolistic conditions give rise to such spectacular disparities and poor service like this, with the consumers given no alternatives and no reasonable way to effect change, something needs to be done.

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

        • icon
          Richard Bennett (profile), 27 Nov 2014 @ 12:34pm

          Re: Re: Re: Europe's crappy broadband

          You seriously want to replace US regulatory policy for broadband because one hotel in Tokyo has snappy Wi-Fi?

          Wow, that's amazing.

          High speed networks in Japan - cable and fiber - are deregulated, just like US cable and fiber networks. What you experienced is the result of a hotel operator making a business decision, not a national policy.

          NTT E/W has 71% market share for FTTH in Japan.

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

          • icon
            btr1701 (profile), 2 Dec 2014 @ 2:27pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Europe's crappy broadband

            > You seriously want to replace US regulatory
            > policy for broadband because one hotel in
            > Tokyo has snappy Wifi?

            You might have a point if I was offering my personal anecdote as sole evidence of my position, when in reality, I merely offered it as a personal validation of facts and statistics about the state of consumer broadband reported in many different countries the world over.

            When the average consumer in Vietnam has better and cheaper broadband than consumers in Miami and Los Angeles, something's screwy, no matter what spin you guys in the cable industry put on it.

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

            • icon
              Richard Bennett (profile), 2 Dec 2014 @ 3:14pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Europe's crappy broadband

              From Akamai State of the Internet report, Q2 2014:

              "Mobile Connectivity / In the second quarter of 2014, average
              mobile connection speeds (aggregated at a country level) ranged
              from a high of 15.2 Mbps in South Korea down to a low of 0.9 Mbps
              in Vietnam." page 5.

              Average connection speed for Vietnam: 2.9Mbps, global rank 90th; page 38.

              Try again, that was a fail.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Nov 2014 @ 9:33am

    Speaking as a hearing-impaired person...

    ...and a Verizon DSL customer, I have to admit that this one is new to me:

    "You'll recall that one of Verizon's greasier arguments of late has been that net neutrality rules will harm the deaf."

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over?

    No, Verizon, what harms me is having to pay ridiculous prices for your crappy DSL -- since you redlined my neighborhood and there's no fiber here, nor will there ever be -- and on top of that, having to try to interact with your appallingly poor customer service. It's hard for me to hear over the roar of background behind them -- I presume that's a sweatshop call center somewhere. They don't speak clear, intelligible English. They don't understand anything that's not on their script. They're patronizing. They ignore pretty much everything I say and instead of actually trying to diagnose my problem, they try to sell me FIOS which is not available here and never will be.

    Oh? What's that you say? "Use the online help"? Have you LOOKED at your online help? And has it occurred to you that when I can't get online, online help is rather unlikely to be useful to me?

    No, Verizon, net neutrality is not going to make the online portion of my life worse. You've already pretty much nailed that. But it might make it better, by giving me another choice for connectivity -- maybe one staffed by people who actually (and I know this is a radical idea, brace yourselves) care about customer service enough to, oh, I don't know, staff their phone lines with people who are intelligent and intelligible?

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    • icon
      Daniel Berninger (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 9:58am

      Re: Speaking as a hearing-impaired person...

      It is as important to evaluate what you are running toward as what you are running from.

      An infinite list of complaints describing the problem tells us nothing about the merits of adopting Title II rules as a solution.

      For example, Title II regulation of telecom accounts for the failure to improve voice quality from 1934 to 2014 that imposes a hearing impairment on everyone that uses a telephone.

      Dan

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  • icon
    kenichi tanaka (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 9:38am

    If Mark Cuban has no idea what it is or why it's important then someone explain to me how he became so wealthy in the first place?!

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  • icon
    mcuban (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 9:53am

    Flattr

    one more question, if i give you money using Flattr, does that mean my comments gets posted faster and always stay at the top ?

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    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 10:06am

      Re: Flattr

      one more question, if i give you money using Flattr, does that mean my comments gets posted faster and always stay at the top ?

      No. But why would that matter?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Nov 2014 @ 12:35pm

        Re: Re: Flattr

        How sure are we that this is the real Mark Cuban? I stopped following the guy years ago when 90% of what he had to say was advertising for his tv network or sportsball team (and the rest stopped being very smart or interesting), but didn't know he went full-on internet troll.

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      • identicon
        Pragmatic, 1 Dec 2014 @ 5:19am

        Re: Re: Flattr

        one more question, if i give you money using Flattr, does that mean my comments gets posted faster and always stay at the top ?

        Nope. This is what net neutrality means, Mark.

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      • icon
        Derek Kerton (profile), 2 Dec 2014 @ 2:27pm

        Re: Re: Flattr

        "does that mean my comments gets posted faster and always stay at the top"
        "No. But why would that matter?"

        Guess it's true that flattry will get you nowhere.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 2:43pm

      Re: Flattr

      Are you really trying to buy attention and increased 'importance' in the discussion? That... says a lot really, none of it good.

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    • icon
      The Groove Tiger (profile), 27 Nov 2014 @ 9:25am

      Re: Flattr

      "does that mean my comments gets posted faster and always stay at the top ?"

      Wouldn't that make them hard to read and constantly out of context?

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  • identicon
    bejamin dover, 26 Nov 2014 @ 10:37am

    Yea

    I know one thing for sure, government intervention surely is NOT the solution. If anything they should be backing off the already existing regulations.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Nov 2014 @ 10:48am

      Re: Yea

      And how would you argue against someone who was equally convinced that in this case government intervention IS the solution?

      See you've provided no facts or evidence at all to support your conclusion. Absolutely nothing.

      Serious question, how would you decide who is correct in a debate between two fanatics who fail to include any facts, data, or evidence at all?

      You say you wouldn't be able to tell who was correct because neither party presented a viable argument? You also say that you're sorry you wasted everyone's time with your meaningless post?

      Good to hear, glad we came to this understanding.

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      • identicon
        JEDIDIAH, 26 Nov 2014 @ 11:23am

        Re: Re: Yea

        His argument boils down to a dogmatic fear of government while ignoring that the same problems that plague government also plague corporations. The same things that cause government beaurocracies to fail to scale do the same for corporations.

        If you are by default suspicious of "Big Government" should should be suspicious of "Big Business" for the same exact reasons.

        This is especially true in any sort of natural monopoly situation (like public utilities).

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        • icon
          mcuban (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 12:23pm

          Re: Re: Re: Yea

          I certainly dont have a dogmatic fear of big government. There are policies i support

          i do have a current fear of how the FCC deals with issues and how the politicians in place and soon to be in place deal with issues. Particularly technology issues

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    • identicon
      Baron von Robber, 26 Nov 2014 @ 10:51am

      Re: Yea

      I'm all ears. What's the alternative solution?

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 2:50pm

      Re: Yea

      Hey great idea, let's take Title II off the table, all of it, including the benefits the ISP's currently enjoy from it(tax breaks/subsidies, legal rights when installing networks on private land...), I'm sure they'd be all for that, right?

      And if they're not going to be bound by any regulations, then they need to be treated entirely as private companies, which means a complete end to any and all money from the government/tax payers meant to upgrade and maintain their networks.

      Oh, and they'll need to hand over the public spectrum they're currently using, no government interference means no government benefits after all.

      I'm sure I could go on, but the short of it is that as long as they get to use and enjoy public money, and public resources, then they also get to deal with the strings attached to those things.

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  • icon
    Daniel Berninger (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 12:08pm

    A simple test of the merits of extending Title II authority to IP networks

    The FCC issues major decisions and rules at monthly meetings at a rate of 3-4 per meeting.

    These decisions and rules can be viewed as falling into two mutually exclusive categories.

    1. Leave IP networks alone. We do not need to do anything.

    2. We need to do something and here is our plan.

    I challenge the forces in favor of extending FCC Title II authority to IP networks to find a single decision in the second category that makes a meaningful contribution to the day to day lives of the communicating public in 2014.

    Feel free to look at decisions going back to the Telecom Act of 1996 or among the roughly 18 years and 800 major decisions.

    In other words, a review of the actual track record will reveal the present positive aspects of the communication environment would exist whether or not the FCC existed (category 1).

    The aspects of the telephone network the FCC asserted positive control over have steadily lost adoption to the point of disappearing from the landscape.

    The fact everything the FCC has touched died seems reason enough to question the expansion of FCC authority to IP networks.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Nov 2014 @ 12:25pm

      Re: A simple test of the merits of extending Title II authority to IP networks

      I certainly hope you're comfortable sitting on your side of this argument.

      I think everyone on both sides knows that the status quo is leading to a broken internet. Why you're fighting to let this slow motion car crash happen is beyond me, but I would wager greed is your main motivator.

      Glad to see you used your full name while debating. Hope that works out for you in the long run when people are looking for someone to blame.

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    • identicon
      Baron von Robber, 26 Nov 2014 @ 12:27pm

      Re: A simple test of the merits of extending Title II authority to IP networks

      Is it me or have neither of you provided an alternative solution to the current problems?

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      • icon
        Daniel Berninger (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 1:44pm

        Re: Re: A simple test of the merits of extending Title II authority to IP networks

        Baron von Robber asks for an alternative to Title II.

        I think anyone pushing Title II has a burden to show the cure is not worse than the disease, but I agree a discussion of alternatives might help move the conversation along.

        The NN debate is a proxy for the larger anxiety about control over the communication future. No one trusts the operators in the sense no one would trust a corporation in control of the air we breathe. This leads to the insertion of government assert the will of the communicating public.

        The alternative is for the public to assert its will directly with the operators in either organized or unorganized manner. The world of 2014 is entirely different from the context of 1934 regarding the ability of the public to assert its will. The massive expansion of communication capacity since the arrival of the Internet represents the primary source of this new power.

        The government itself is the last monopoly standing. The operators have entirely transformed their businesses from 1996 when 98% of revenue arose from PSTN voice services. My 50Mbs FiOS connection would have cost $20,000 per month in 1996.

        The standard lack of competition push back only holds in a zero sum context. The expansion of markets possible with expanding the capacity of IP networks and information technology motivates investment. Intel (a monopoly) funded Moore's Law as the driving forces underlying the entire information technology ecosystem.

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        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 2:52pm

          Re: Re: Re: A simple test of the merits of extending Title II authority to IP networks

          The world of 2014 is entirely different from the context of 1934 regarding the ability of the public to assert its will. The massive expansion of communication capacity since the arrival of the Internet represents the primary source of this new power.

          This is true, but people who don't look at Title II seem to argue that it's chock full of crazy regulations. But that's not truly the case for what's being proposed here. What people are talking about is basically Section 201 and Section 202.

          Those are not onerous regulations. Here's the key bit:


          It shall be unlawful for any common carrier to make any unjust or unreasonable discrimination in charges, practices, classifications, regulations, facilities, or services for or in connection with like communication service, directly or indirectly, by any means or device, or to make or give any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage to any particular person, class of persons, or locality, or to subject any particular person, class of persons, or locality to any undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage.


          When people go on and on about burying providers in regulation... I just don't see it.

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          • icon
            Daniel Berninger (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 3:35pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: A simple test of the merits of extending Title II authority to IP networks

            Mike,

            I think we are getting closer to closing the gap.

            The issue is not the reasonableness of words in a rule.

            The issue is implementation of the words in the rule.

            The issue is the loss of a presumption of non-regulation.

            At the moment, there is a very real limit to the powers of the FCC. The FCC cannot reach across the line separating telecom and information services.

            For example, the Verizon and Comcast courts determined the FCC's attempt to reach across the divide to impose NN rules was illegal.

            Grant the FCC Title II authority to IP networks and the limits disappear. There will be nothing connected to an IP network (aka everything) the FCC cannot construe some authority.

            I appreciate the FCC disclaims interest in anything except constraining the operators, but the fact of unlimited authority exists as a fact.

            The FCC will need to go through a phase of collecting information about all the domains (impose registration and reporting) before it can decide not to regulate domains.

            Consider VoIP. The FCC has never said whether VoIP is a telecom or information service in order to keep its options open. The Pulver Order was a concession for a particular service.

            The odd thing in the embrace of Title II is an utter failure of the domains current under a Title II regime.

            Please just review the FCC pronouncements under Tom Wheeler in the last 12 months. 100% idiotic, 100% political, and 100% lacking a connection to reality.

            I really meant the extreme point in the first post under this subject - 100% of the current proliferation of communication options owes to developments in the information services domain (which the FCC cannot touch for the moment). Everything fostered by the FCC in the telecom domain is dying for a lack of customers, lack of innovation, and lack of value proposition.

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            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 6:29pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A simple test of the merits of extending Title II authority to IP networks

              Grant the FCC Title II authority to IP networks and the limits disappear. There will be nothing connected to an IP network (aka everything) the FCC cannot construe some authority.

              Which, as I understand it, is where forbearance comes in. They invoke Title II, and at the same time 'revoke' the ability to affect those things that aren't needed to keep the balance between the public and the ISP's fair, leaving in place only the parts they need to do so.

              Is Title II the ideal solution? No, but I don't think anyone's arguing that it is; however without some real competition in the market, without solving the core cause of a lot of the problems(effectively, or literally no customer choice, and the resulting abuse of power that causes), Title II would at least make for a passable fix regarding some of the worst problems.

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        • identicon
          Pragmatic, 1 Dec 2014 @ 5:28am

          Re: Re: Re: A simple test of the merits of extending Title II authority to IP networks

          The alternative is for the public to assert its will directly with the operators in either organized or unorganized manner.

          What, you seriously think there's such a thing as a free market, and that we can trade or boycott our way out of this? Stop it, my sides are hurting from laughing!

          First of all, "Take it or leave it" is not an option, particularly when your business relies on the internet. When all you've got is crap and the incumbent ISP has bought regulations that deny anyone else the right to complete in the market, can you really afford to shut down your business and get off the internet in the hope that enough people will follow you into financial suicide till critical mass has been reached? I don't think so.

          People will put up with crap when crap is all there is, particularly when the only alternative is to do without. "Nothing" is not viable competition. If Title II forces the major ISPs to treat all traffic equally (as demonstrated by Mr. Cuban in his post about Flattr), I'm all for it.

          Again, as I keep on saying, there is no such thing as a free market because of all the damn protectionism, which you, sir, are doing nothing about. We can't trade or boycott our way out of protectionism.

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          • icon
            Daniel Berninger (profile), 1 Dec 2014 @ 12:58pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: A simple test of the merits of extending Title II authority to IP networks

            The alternative is for the public to assert its will directly with the operators in either organized or unorganized manner.

            Maybe the last word here, but Pragmatic repeats a common misconception and deserves a response.

            The benefits of the communicating public asserting their complaints directly to operators rather than through government does not rely on the "free market".

            The question is whether there exists a greater return on the energy and prospect of success in complaining to government or the operators.

            Whatever one thinks about the market power of the operators, there exists no exit option with respect to government unless you plan to move to Canada.

            The 80 year track record of the FCC suggests extreme pessimism regarding the possibility of an enlightened outcome.

            The operators need a charm offensive and more mechanisms to give customers a voice, but operators are already far more responsive to the communicating public than the FCC.

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 12:31pm

    IN THE OLD DAYS

    It was interesting..
    WE had broadcast TV..We have 10-12 channels..
    CABLE STARTEd with promises..
    Less commercials
    Almost free.
    but after this debate with the Broadcasters...LOOK at that word..BROADCASTERS. They didnt want to SELL their signal to be distributed PAST certain areas, and if you wanted to send it AROUND...they were going to Charge for it.

    Before CABLE/SAT...The broadcasters got money from? ADVERTISERS..from the areas they were in. the signal was free, but they only got money IF' they advertised..
    THEN we got 20-50 channels we had never seen..AND TONS of adverts. AND WE PAID for it..

    So, from a service that got PAID by adverts
    To a system Paid by, YOU, ME, Adverts, RENTED TIME SLOTS, RENTED CHANNELS(the corps Own most channels, and LEASE them to others, they dont use them)
    And over TIME these prices have gone up..ALOT..

    Lets ask something.
    HOW much money and maintenance would it take for 1 Broadcaster to setup to be heard AROUND the USA..
    1000 Antennas? with POWER and RELAY access to the signal..
    Or send it to 3-5 companies, THRU THE SAT NETWORK.
    WHICH would be cheaper and give you nation wide coverage, CHEAP?

    Something to add..There are OTHER nations, that give SAT service for the price of the BOX..and they have DVR abilities. FREE..
    PAy for 1-3 Sats, or install 1000 Antenna(maintenance, and power and other things) relays?? Hmmmm..

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

  • icon
    mcuban (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 12:31pm

    Mike, Karl, Let me ask the questions a different way

    To replicate what Google Fiber has done. Which city would you think offers the most upside and how much do you think it would cost ?

    What would stop us from doing it ?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Nov 2014 @ 12:36pm

      Re:

      You were asking these questions in your previous post, but in a different way?

      Weird, doesn't seem like that's the case at all.

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

    • icon
      Karl Bode (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 12:44pm

      Re:

      "To replicate what Google Fiber has done. Which city would you think offers the most upside and how much do you think it would cost?"
      There's dozens of variables at play. Many states have passed laws written by AT&T, Comcast and Time Warner Cable that hamstring towns and cities from cooperating with Google fiber on public/private builds. If we're chomping at the bit to kill harmful regulations, that's the best place to start.

      The problem historically is that investors simply lack the patience to wait for the long-term ROI broadband network investment requires. Meanwhile, smaller carriers lack the cash and firepower to do legal and political battle with AT&T, Verizon and Comcast, who've literally been writing telecom law for thirty years (we then ask why regulation fails us).

      Google had the money to burn and wanted to make a point (we need more competition and faster networks for better ads and services), but I'm not sure Google Fiber ever makes its way past a half-dozen target markets.

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      • icon
        mcuban (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 1:04pm

        Re: Re:

        I referenced Google because they faced the same hurdles. Yet they were able to go in and get the municipalities to bid to get Google Fiber to come to the city.

        So there are cities willing to overturn legacy rules.

        So with that in mind. What would your answer be ?

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

  • icon
    Karl Bode (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 1:21pm

    "I referenced Google because they faced the same hurdles. Yet they were able to go in and get the municipalities to bid to get Google Fiber to come to the city."
    They had billions of dollars. Like you have billions of dollars. Things tend to be easier when you have billions of dollars. I'm not sure just anybody could go in and replicate what Google has done without oodles of money for lawyers, lobbying and PR. And you'll note that even Google isn't touching places where major incumbents have had a regulatory stranglehold for generations (like, say, the East coast).
    "So with that in mind. What would your answer be?
    Like I said above, kill these protectionist state laws that hinder public/private parterships or municipal deployments in areas incumbent ISPs are unwilling to improve or upgrade. I'd also stop throwing billions in subsidies at any of the large companies until we've had a complete audit of the money already spent.

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    • icon
      mcuban (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 1:49pm

      Re:

      you are giving me policy. Im asking a business question

      Raising money isnt as difficult as it sounds if you have a great opportunity.

      so back to the question.

      where ?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Nov 2014 @ 1:59pm

        Re: Re:

        I'm not sure why its so hard for you to understand what he is saying.

        If the policy issue isn't resolved, then it does not make sense to start investing in business decisions. As you said earlier, Aereo tried to change the laws and failed (although i disagree with it trying to change the laws). Now working within the limit of the law is a sure way to fail at business so step 1 is to remove the bad policy.

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      • icon
        Karl Bode (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 2:49pm

        Re: Re:

        "you are giving me policy. Im asking a business question."
        In telecom, where AT&T and Verizon have literally written state and federal law for thirty years business is policy. You don't jump into this sector without lobbyists, lawyers, several billions for lawsuits, and an army of policy sockpuppets. It's not, contrary to the Chicago-school bullhorns, a free market that's working properly.

        If you're talking geographically and logistically, Google's picking Western cities that are A. younger so you've got less old-school politics, newer streets, and better fiber conduits and B extremely lacking in competition so you can use the outraged locals as leverage in negotiations.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Nov 2014 @ 1:52pm

    Do you want an example?

    In my country we have net neutrality and government rules for the internet. One of the rules dictates that ISP's can't use the "up to * mbit speed" anymore. They complained in the beginning but they made it happen and now they have to guarantee the speeds they advertize.
    Prices haven't soared and they didn't crash and burn. As a matter of fact, I can choose from 7 or 8 different ISP's where I live with my current price for 100/100 Mbit full duplex being $51.
    Now we don't have the FCC or your politicians and it is not Title II we have, so I couldn't say how it would work, but one thing is for sure; you need change and you need competition and frankly you need it soon or innovation will move.

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    • icon
      Daniel Berninger (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 2:22pm

      Re: Do you want an example?

      The "up to" example from Anonymous Coward reflects the question of transparency that no one - zero - no one objects to - not courts, not FCC, not public interest, not operators.

      A focus on implementing the transparency rules would represent big advance in the productivity of the debate.

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 2:56pm

        Re: Re: Do you want an example?

        Yeah, I wouldn't say 'no one', the ones selling those 'up to...' plans would almost certainly throw a massive fit if they were told they had to advertise with the speeds they could guarantee, not theoretical speeds that the customer might get once the planets align on a certain night on a specific month.

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  • identicon
    me, 26 Nov 2014 @ 2:54pm

    It's such a simple issue.

    When I pay for other utilities I do not expect and would not tolerate the utility provider rationing the provision of services on the basis of whether third parties I was also a customer of had bribed them.

    No electricity provider gets to refuse to supply enough power for my tv if Sony doesn't bribe them. The water supplier doesn't make my shower stop working if Rheem hasn't bribed them.

    Internet service providers charge me money for the service of moving data to and from my computer at usable speeds (I have no other use for their services and no other reason to be giving them my money); they set the packages and rates and it's up to them to fund infrastructure investment from the revenues generated.

    If they have oversubscribed their services, have essentially promised to provide what they know they cannot provide while pocketing our money then the cost of fixing that should be on them. They certainly should not be rewarded for such scam-a-licious conduct by being allowed to extort money from other goods or service providers I happen to be a customer of.

    It's astounding we would even entertain the idea of encouraging what amounts to extortion and all justified by the fact that the extortionists apparently choose to market, sell and accept money for more services than they have the capacity to deliver.

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    • icon
      Daniel Berninger (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 3:40pm

      Re:

      It's such a simple issue....

      Certainly agreed.

      No one does anything in your list.

      I know there exists some talk of imagined business models, but all of the scenarios fall into the category of dumb business models.

      We do not regulate against dumb business models.

      Regulating against future and theoretical problems is extremely problematic at the pace of change in tech.

      Pointing to non-existing practices does not make applying Title II "simple".

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      • icon
        Easily Amused (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 9:44pm

        Re: Re:

        I didn't think it was possible to type while plugging your ears and burying your head in the sand, guess i was wrong.

        No one does these things BECAUSE if they tried, the REGULATIONS they are subject to would quickly remove them from their natural monopoly position.

        But keep telling us how the telcos would never do something like take massive tax money infusions to build out a better network and then not build anything... oh wait- they did that.. several times even...

        The 'theoretical' problems you talk about are either really happening already in smaller scale, or are part of PUBLICLY AVAILABLE future plans. The one the telcos openly admit to having. God help us from the secret bullshit.

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    • icon
      BernardoVerda (profile), 27 Nov 2014 @ 4:36pm

      Re:

      Yes, it is a simple issue:

      "Net Neutrality" is just a relatively recent political label, for the basic -- and explicit -- design principles that the Internet was built on.

      The engineers and comp-sci people who built the Internet used other language (eg. "end-to-end" principle https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/End-to-end_principle) and concepts, because their first concern was to create an internet that was flexible, resilient and robust, adaptable to changing circumstances. Early on, it was realized that the best route to meeting these and other concerns was to keep the infrastructure a simple as possible (a.k.a. "dumb pipes" and non-discriminatory in how it handled traffic -- treat packets and end-points/devices as equally as possible.

      Now, forward several decades, and we see large corporate interests have managed to gain effective monopoly control over large commercial swathes of the internet, trying to redesign the operation of the internet, to let them monetize their position as defacto gate-keepers controlling access to large segments of the market.

      This is no longer an argument about the design principles and egalitarian, meritocratic management of the technological infrastructure, but rather, about effecting commercial control and exploitation over the commerce enabled over that technological infrastructure, by changing the rules of operation and the underlying principles that enabled the infrastructure to be built and to flourish in the first place. If the North American internet had meaningful competition among the infrastructure providers, this debate over "Net Neutrality" wouldn't exist -- the inherent design and principles that governed the Internet's creation and guided its explosive growth to this point would prevent this abuse of what has become a basic utility.

      The fact that Net Neutrality has become such a big issue is, itself, an unmistakeable symptom of the pronounced monopolization over internet access, and definitive proof of the growing profound dysfunctionality of the commercial, monopolistic infrastructure providing this service.

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      • icon
        Richard Bennett (profile), 27 Nov 2014 @ 5:35pm

        End-to-end arguments is not the same as net neutrality

        You clearly haven't read the Saltzer, Reed, and Clark paper "End-to-End Arguments in System Design" if you think it has anything to do with net neutrality or any other form of broadband regulation; I would venture to say that you haven't read Tim Wu's "Network Neutrality, Broadband Discrimination" paper either. The connection you draw between these two diverse concepts - both of which are disputable - is based in Wikipedia knowledge, which is, well, not very deep.

        Saltzer et al. admitted that there is often a need to place new functions inside the network core for performance and other reasons. Hence, the "all packets are equal" notion that's the core of the Techdirt understanding of net neutrality isn't supported by end-to-end. There are exceptions to every rule, you see.

        The fact that net neutrality has become such a big issue reflects the fact that 75% of people who regard themselves as Internet experts don't know the difference between the Internet and the Web.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Richard Bennett (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 5:35pm

    Clickbait vs. Real Business

    Interesting discussion. Know-nothings Masnick and Bode are up to their usual tricks, attacking people who actually know something about Internet technology, policy, and business in order keep their crowd riled up. Cuban and Berninger - two guys who actually know stuff - have come around long enough to rip their flimsy whining to shreds without even having to breathe hard.

    Mike and Karl, why don't you give some thought to earning an honest living? Nobody benefits from your brand of BS except the hosting companies who support you: creative people despise you, business people loathe you, and technologists laugh at you.

    You've lost once again. I hope your embarrassment was worth the clicks.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 5:59pm

      I thought when people got older they were suppose to become more mature...

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 6:20pm

      Insult vs Debate

      I feel I should elaborate a bit on the 'maturity' aspect of my prior comment. Those other two you mention? They are presenting arguments in favor of their positions. People may not agree with them, but they're at least presenting their positions and debating on them.

      You on the other hand? You just showed and and started throwing out insults and name-calling like a child. You haven't presented any argument beyond ad-homs and mud-slinging.

      If you want your claims and statements to have any real credibility, leave the childish name-calling and insults at the door next time.

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

    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 10:12pm

      Re: Clickbait vs. Real Business

      Always funny to see morons like you trying to argue things that are disproven easily by simply reading. Cuban and Berninger may know stuff but apparently some of this stuff isn't facts. Tough luck, eh?

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

    • icon
      Karl Bode (profile), 27 Nov 2014 @ 6:38am

      Re: Clickbait vs. Real Business

      I see your insults (thanks), but I'm noticing your entire post doesn't address a single point made in the article?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Nov 2014 @ 6:12pm

    I just have to say that I kind of start to feel sorry for you guys.
    Whenever I read one of those articles people post their speed and how much they pay for it and each time I think wtf?
    I live in a small city in Europe, my friend lives in a village that has a population of 200(not thousand, just 200). We both have 32M down for roughly $30 a month including free phone calls inside the country.

    The part that I don't understand is how can people argue against net neutrality(NN)? The whole idea behind the net is based on NN. It worked until now and maybe that is the reason why there wasn't the need to interfere but it seems that ISPs start/try to change the rules. Charging a premium (maybe on both sides) just doesn't make much sense from a non ISP view. It's not that they cant handle the traffic because of the infrastructure but it seems to me it is for the sole reason to get some extra cash.

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

    • icon
      Richard Bennett (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 7:25pm

      Re:

      What's the connection between the download speeds you and your friend may have and net neutrality? There isn't one, and your speeds are not typical of Europe. You neglected to mention the technology you and your friend use, but the speeds you describe are achievable with FTTH, FTTC, cable modem and ADSL2. If you have ADSL2, then you're the beneficiary of short copper loops that were laid to provide phone service at some point in the distant past. Europe has a lot of short loops because of its population distribution and poor PSTN technology.

      If the "whole idea behind the net is based on NN", then why was there no mention of the term "neutrality" in any of the Internet's first 6000 RFCs? Surely there must have been a passing reference to the concept in the design documents for the Internet.

      Net neutrality is an attempt to solve a series of technical problem with regulation. The main technical problems are:
      1) The dysfunction of the Internet's congestion control mechanism, which is placed in the wrong level;
      2) The side effect that this mechanism has on real-time applications;
      3) The Internet address doesn't refer to the right object: it points to an interface instead of a host, and it can't support secure multicast;
      4) The designed-in vulnerability of the Internet to Denial of Service attacks is another side effect of poor addressing;
      5) The absence of an enrollment procedure before one host can blast away at another;
      6) Generalized security issues with email and financial transactions.

      Rather than admit that the Internet's architecture was created for research and is poorly suited for general purpose networking, a particular interest group seeks to mandate the continuation of traditional behavior at the expense of new opportunities.

      This not good, and it only flies if it's borne on the back of hate-mongering toward ISPs, Big Content, or some other entity that's no better and not worse than the services companies such as Netflix and Uber. They're all in business for the same reason.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Nov 2014 @ 8:50pm

        Re: Re:

        What's the connection between the download speeds you and your friend may have and net neutrality?

        It might be an art to distinguish two different parts of an argument where you come from but it surely isnt one here therefor you lead me to the conclusion that you Sir are a troll and that further arguments would be wasted.

        But none the less I jump on your troll wagon(don't let anyone go hungry imho). The speed has to do with competition which I assume doesnt exist in the USoA. Meaning that a small number of companys offer access to the internet and are in no way encouraged to offer faster plans. Coming from a different law set I am not 100% familiar with what is needed to offer such a service but extrapolating from what I have read the chances of a low budget (read: less than a billion, f.e. see other posts here) company offering said services are slime to none. Therefore the speeds offered are slow compared to civilized countries.

        A second point is that if you argue it is nowhere written that net neutrality is a given than please state the corresponding paragraph which says that "some packet need to be prioritised".

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

        • icon
          Richard Bennett (profile), 27 Nov 2014 @ 1:50am

          Re: Europe's crappy broadband

          I asked about the connection between Europe's broadband speeds and its regulatory policy for a reason. I see you feel sympathy for American broadband users because you believe you're getting a great deal because Europe has "competition" between ISPs offering ADSL service over the legacy telephone network's wires. That's first generation broadband, and Europe has now hit a wall because there's no path to higher speeds than the 21 Mbps you have (you say it's 30, but the EC had measured it and you only get 70% of the advertised rate.)

          Where I live - a small town in Colorado - we have VDSL at 45 Mbps over shortened telephone wires and 150 Mbps over cable TV wires. There is no open access for the cable here, but open access in Europe only applies to ADSL, so there's not much difference. The phone and cable companies here are rewiring the area at Gigabit speeds, or were until the FCC and the President threatened to break the Internet to scare up a few votes from the lunatic fringe.

          So I'll show you a little sympathy for the pathetic first generation technology you're stuck with because the EU places more emphasis on cheap prices than on high quality services.

          When people tell these outlandish stories about the alleged superiority of Europe"s networks few are serious enough to question the claims. If Europe is broadband nirvana, why is there no Internet business there (apart from Pirate Bay, Masnick's and Bode's favorite site)?

          Something doesn't add up.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 Nov 2014 @ 5:16am

            Re: Re: Europe's crappy broadband

            If Europe is broadband nirvana, why is there no Internet business there (apart from Pirate Bay, Masnick's and Bode's favorite site)?

            Spotify, Soundcloud and Skype (no longer in Europe after being bought, but it was for years...). All European, all requiring lots of bandwidth. Interesting. That's just off the top of my head. There are tons of great internet businesses there. Have you ever looked at what's going on in Berlin and London lately?

            You really have no clue what you're talking about, huh? Thanks for displaying your ignorance clearly so people are sure.

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

          • identicon
            Gary O'Brien, 3 Dec 2014 @ 5:49am

            Re: Re: Europe's crappy broadband

            Only 45Meg my oh my you really are deprived of real service, i am currently on FTTH Gigabit, As to the idea that Europe has no internet business is laughable, you do realise that MS, Apple and Google all have a very large presence in Ireland right. Whilst we certainly don't have Broadband nirvana we are also not poor broadband cousins.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Nov 2014 @ 2:05am

        Re: Re:

        Lets put it simply, the basic Internet protocols are designed as a peer to peer communications system, and ISPs provide the communications facilities to allow that to happen. Net Neutrality basically say that those ISPs should allow any computer to connect to any other computer without fear or favor, that is they provide data transport services.
        It has nothing to do with services built on top of those protocols, although the ISPs may provide some QOS management fot low bandwidth real time traffic.
        Users of those protocols are obviously limited by the power of their computers, and available bandwidth, and they should be able to connect to any other computer on the Internet, and transfer data up to the bandwidth that they have purchased.
        Security issues have absolutely nothing to do with net neutrality, as they are service level problems, and not transport level problems.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      icon
      Richard Bennett (profile), 26 Nov 2014 @ 7:28pm

      Re:

      Actually, that comment was a test. Masnick generally delays posting my comments by four hours or so because he doesn't like his logical inconsistencies being pointed out, which is what I do. There's some history here.

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

  • Mark Cuban

    He doesn't understand ANYTHING about patents. FYI, the movement called "patent reform" is a fraud perpetrated by Big Tech to prevent individuals and small startups from acquiring and enforcing IP rights. Don't be so foolish to buy into it.

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

  • identicon
    Rudyard Holmbast, 28 Nov 2014 @ 9:31am

    Yeah, a guy who made his billions in the telecom industry, doesn't "understand" the telecom industry. Whatever you say, jackasses.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Nov 2014 @ 11:00am

      Re:

      Yeah, a guy who made his billions in the telecom industry, doesn't "understand" the telecom industry. Whatever you say, jackasses.

      Uh, his billions didn't come from telecom. It came from streaming audio on the internet... and (more importantly) getting Yahoo to massively overvalue the business thanks to inflated dot com stock. Don't doubt that he's a great business man - have to be to pull one over on Yahoo to that level. But it wasn't from his knowledge of telecom issues. And, even if it was, that was nearly two decades ago. Internet is a different place today.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Nov 2014 @ 10:22am

    Can't believe Americans have to live with this bullshit

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Nov 2014 @ 4:47pm

    Shills are out in full force today, trying to insist that somehow stopping net neutrality will be a magic bullet for anti-piracy.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2015 @ 4:49pm

    "That is straight out of Ayn Rand."

    Might as well have said 'That's in the Bible!'

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


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