Mark Cuban Still Has Absolutely No Idea How Net Neutrality Works

from the double-down-on-misunderstanding dept

To be very clear, there are numerous subjects Mark Cuban has a very solid understanding of, ranging from his support of patent reform and the benefits 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. But when it comes to net neutrality, modern telecom competition, and the problems caused by letting unchecked duopolists like Comcast run amok, Cuban has pretty consistently made it abundantly clear he has absolutely no earthly idea what he's talking about.

The latest case in point, Cuban trotted out this little gem last week while public outrage at the FCC's grotesque handout to the telecom sector was peaking:

After taking a pretty severe beating on Twitter, Cuban subsequently doubled down, proclaiming that net neutrality should be killed because, you know, nipplegate happened thirteen years ago:

So look, if you've read our primer on net neutrality or paid attention to our coverage of this subject for the last decade, you should know by now that net neutrality violations are just a symptom of the disease that is a lack of competition in the broadband sector. Net neutrality rules were a temporary, imperfect solution to the fact that nobody in either party seriously wants to address this problem because it would stop campaign contributions from flowing. As a result, our state and federal legislative system is systemically infected by lawmakers willing to sell out the public and the internet for some pocket change.

The result of this isn't pretty. AT&T and Verizon enjoy monopoly control over cell tower backhaul and business data services (BDS). Cable companies like Comcast enjoy a growing monopoly over fixed-line broadband because telcos aka "the market" are refusing to invest in rural and second-tier urban markets. With no competition and apathetic regulators, we've witnessed privacy infractions, net neutrality violations, legendarily-awful customer service, deployment redlining, and endless price hikes (again, all just symptoms of a lack of competition and regulatory capture) time, and time, and time again.

This isn't magically fixed by gutting some modest consumer protections. And keeping net neutrality intact certainly doesn't "put Donald Trump in control of the Internet." There's simply no logical basis for that claim. In fact, passing net neutrality rules is a perfect example of one of the few times over the last twenty years that the FCC actually listened to consumers and was willing to stand up to the nation's powerful telecom duopoly. Punishing them for this based entirely on your gut feelings and misunderstanding of how the telecom sector works only helps ensure that won't be happening again anytime soon.

Cuban (who has sidelined as a commercial pitchman for AT&T), subsequently tried to clarify that the real threat to the internet isn't lumbering telecom monopolies, but Apple and Google app stores:

This idea that the real "neutrality problem" is Google and Apple ("search neutrality" or "app store neutrality") has long been an ISP-driven bogeyman we've deflated time and time again. Users have a choice not to use the Google or Android app stores or devices. They have a choice of search engines. But in telecom, there is no choice. If you're lucky, you have a choice of a lumbering cable company or a telco that refuses to upgrade its network. Usually they're engaged in non-price competition because, again, we've let them dictate state and federal protectionism for a generation.

Cuban is part of a subset of folks for whom net neutrality challenges their belief that all regulation is automatically always bad and the government is entirely incapable of ever doing good. The problem is that's not only overly simplistic (it prevents you from actually weighing the merits of each instance of regulation intelligently), it doesn't really work in the telecom sector. If you obliterated the FCC tomorrow, you'd still be stuck with a lumbering monopoly with a stranglehold over the last mile. A stranglehold that bipartisan corruption on the state and federal level would ensure would never be threatened by disruption or innovation.

Net neutrality protects consumers, small businesses, and startups until we can find a way to drive more competition to the market. Some (including Cuban) seem to labor under the belief that advancements in wireless will have us all swimming in dirt-cheap connectivity in no time, making net neutrality irrelevant. Except wireless connectivity is spotty, carriers are booting users off these networks due to low ROI, these connections are usually capped, throttled and expensive, and again, AT&T and Verizon have a monopoly on the backhaul market feeding it all (but don't worry, Trump's FCC is busy protecting that monopoly, too).

You can get rid of net neutrality rules if you first embrace policies that actually drive broadband competition. But we're not doing that. Under Trump's FCC, Ajit Pai is actually busy lowering the base definition of broadband to try and obfuscate this lack of competition. Folks like Pai aren't even capable of admitting there's a problem, making the idea that the former Verizon lawyer wants to fix the problem preposterous. Meanwhile Cuban has been an outspoken Trump critic; are we to presume that Trump magically, mystically got this right? 20 million consumers don't think so.

This isn't the first time we've been over all this. I made many of the same points back in 2014 when Cuban was busy telling anybody who'd listen that net neutrality rules would destroy the internet and prevent sick people from getting necessary medical care (both, again, being lazy canards circulated by ISP lobbyists). Check out the last paragraph of this 2014 post for some unintentional, unfortunate clairvoyance on my part.

It's disappointing that Cuban isn't interested in listening to the countless experts like the EFF telling him that net neutrality rules are incredibly important -- especially for the kind of small businesses Cuban used to represent. It's equally unfortunate that folks that look up to Cuban for guidance are being told to root against their own best self interests -- and to support a Trump agenda item that may just be the most unpopular decision in tech policy history.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Nov 2017 @ 11:13am

    The irony being this man made his billions off something that likely would have died before it's first full day in operation without net neutrality rules in place.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Nov 2017 @ 12:47pm

      Re:

      This ignorant as fuck statement was marked at insightful? This is why fucking idiots are getting fucked by Pai.

      dial up internet was still very common as well as "pay by the minute" internet access. Heck there ares till data CAPs WITH NN here and NN also has Zero Rating still not going to protect you from some fuckery anyways.

      History & his phat stacks of $$$ proves he succeeded making your comment nothing other than "religious drivel" going against historically established facts.

      How can you be this fucking stupid with the internet and facts at your disposal?

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

  • icon
    Doug Wheeler (profile), 29 Nov 2017 @ 11:15am

    Net Neutrality isn't about the Internet. It's about the connection to the Internet.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Nov 2017 @ 11:43am

      Re: OMG! "Doug Wheeler" back for a FOURTH comment in FIVE years!

      Seems no end of these ZOMBIES!

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

      • icon
        Gwiz (profile), 29 Nov 2017 @ 1:35pm

        Doug Wheeler" back for a FOURTH comment in FIVE years!

        Seems no end of these ZOMBIES!

         

        Ahh Blue, you still have the ability to make me chuckle.

        So your definition of a "zombie" is someone who comments only when they have something worth saying?

        My definition of a "zombie" would be someone who spews mindless drivel everyday, even when it makes zero sense and/or contradicts their previous comments, just as long as they are anti-Techdirt in nature.

        Maybe you need a new shtick, your comments are getting a bit blasé these days.

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

    • icon
      Jeremy Lyman (profile), 29 Nov 2017 @ 12:29pm

      Re:

      Yup, we're trying to make sure everyone has public beach access and the Cubans of the world are screaming against regulating the ocean.

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 30 Nov 2017 @ 6:03am

        Re: Re:

        Mainly because the people who own the roads leading to the beaches are afraid they won't collect tolls any more and can't section off the best parts for their friends' exclusive usage.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Nov 2017 @ 11:17am

    I suspect mark Cuban has no idea how most things work

    Rich people are rarely competent at things, they are manipulators not skillfull, the woz is a notable exception but even he in recent years has become more spin than reality

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

  • identicon
    David, 29 Nov 2017 @ 11:20am

    Sherman Act and Net Neutrality are band aids

    The problem is that capitalism is good at serving customer interests as a side effect until it converges to the point where the main target is not delivering value cheaper but delivering cheaper value, by virtue of eliminating rather than beating competition and market, and reevaluating customers from being assets to asses.

    Like a magnet, capitalism loses its attraction when you let it actually succeed in excess. It's a great tool as long as it remains on the way to its goal without coming into reach of it.

    That's something that evades core capitalists like Cuban: they think what's good for 80% of the way should be even better for the rest.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Nov 2017 @ 11:27am

      Re: Sherman Act and Net Neutrality are band aids

      Capitalism is fundamentally a rent seeking system, people keep confusing capitalism and free markets they are not the same thing, in fact they are antithetical to each other

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

      • icon
        ShadowNinja (profile), 29 Nov 2017 @ 11:39am

        Re: Re: Sherman Act and Net Neutrality are band aids

        Wealth also tends to accumulate at the top, without the government stepping in in some way to redistribute some of the wealth (such as welfare programs for the poor, free high quality public education, etc.).

        Too many people today have forgotten about that, and consider any redistribution of wealth as an unfair attack on the rich and successful.

        The US used to have 90% tax rates on the richest people. Now the highest tax rate is just 35.9%.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 29 Nov 2017 @ 12:03pm

          Re: Re: Re: Sherman Act and Net Neutrality are band aids

          "consider any redistribution of wealth as an unfair"

          and they do not see themselves as being guilty of same when they fail to pay their employees enough for shelter and food.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 29 Nov 2017 @ 12:52pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Sherman Act and Net Neutrality are band aids

            So... its okay for me to rob and steal from people with more than me because I got 51% of the people and a few politicians to agree with me?

            Good to know.

            Theft is theft, it does not matter if you do it under the color of law, society, or straight up good old fashion brigandry.

            Big business has been stealing from the poor for a long time by controlling the economy in cahoots with politicians, taxing the rich for the poor is just the poor in cahoots with politicians to steal from the rich.

            Turn about might be fair play, but two wrongs don't make a right.

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 29 Nov 2017 @ 3:20pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sherman Act and Net Neutrality are band aids

              taxing the rich for the poor is just the poor in cahoots with politicians to steal from the rich.

              Mark Cuban could pay $10mm in taxes next year and it would not make a substantial dent in either his level of overall wealth or his ability to buy the most basic necessities of life for himself and his family. But those $10mm in taxes could help pay for numerous things that help the poor—think improvements to the public education system, repairs to failing infrastructure, and better funding for healthcare.

              We have a progressive tax system for a reason: The wealthy can afford to pay more in taxes because they can afford to give up that money without hurting themselves. If Bill Gates lost a billion dollars of his personal wealth tomorrow, that would not really affect his lifestyle. He would still have plenty of money to buy new houses, contribute to his philanthropic causes, and so on. The same could not be said of a poor man who has to decide between paying rent or paying medical bills in a given month—and that is if he can afford to even pay those bills that month.

              If anything, the rich should be working to improve the lives of the poor in substantial and significant ways. That they are fighting to retain wealth they will never spend in their lifetimes at the expense of having the government push more poor people into deeper levels of poverty? That should say all that needs to be said about those assholes.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 29 Nov 2017 @ 4:15pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sherman Act and Net Neutrality are band aids

              So they can purchase another house while we have people starving on the streets. You bet I do. I believe we should tax the rich more. The poor/rich gap is only going to grow as automation is increased.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 29 Nov 2017 @ 4:15pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sherman Act and Net Neutrality are band aids

              King George approves of this comment

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 29 Nov 2017 @ 4:22pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sherman Act and Net Neutrality are band aids

              Ok, you agree with me - cool!

              It is about time for employers to start paying their employees enough that they can survive, not just on the streets but with shelter and food. It is time to stop subsidizing cheap ass businesses by providing their employees supplemental income simply because their employer is a cheap ass son of a bitch.

              On a side note, so businesses have to report their subsidy as income .. you like the rest of us do?

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 30 Nov 2017 @ 11:05pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sherman Act and Net Neutrality are band aids

              The state - from taxes - funded research of:

              These were all high-risk investments - for example GPS was almost shut down in the '80 for overspending. Yet you would deny this venture capitalist it's share of the profits? Why? Don't you like the innovation? Or do you think only the copycats and leeches - Apple, Google, Samsung, ... - are allowed to rip the reward? Have you forgotten, that high-risk investment means high profit?

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

              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 1 Dec 2017 @ 1:37am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sherman Act and Net Neutrality are band aids

                "rip the reward"

                While I agree with the sentiment, the phrase is "reap the reward".

                But, I love the anti-tax morons, who happily and constantly enjoy the benefits of taxes while whining that they should be abolished. It's a fun game, especially on the internet, where tax dollars are the only reason they're able to have the conversation to begin with.

                Taxes can always be streamlined and nobody likes seeing the money disappear from their pay packet. But the "taxes are theft" crowd re either too stupid to understand how they are being used to benefit them, or too stupid to realise how bad things would be for them if everything had a for-profit motive. I'll take the modern "taxes pay for fire services for everybody" model vs the old "we'll watch your house burn down if it hasn't got our company's plaque on it" model any day.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2017 @ 4:25am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sherman Act and Net Neutrality are band aids

                  rip/reap - as an AC I cannot fix it, sorry.

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

                  • icon
                    PaulT (profile), 1 Dec 2017 @ 6:48am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sherman Act and Net Neutrality are band aids

                    No problem, you can't with a logged in account either :)

                    It's better that way, as the troll brigade here would happily edit their comments to distort the conversation even further than they do with their existing lies.

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

        • identicon
          Valkor, 29 Nov 2017 @ 3:54pm

          Re: Re: Re: Sherman Act and Net Neutrality are band aids

          The US also used to have 1% tax rates on the richest people.

          No rich person ever paid 90% of their income in taxes. Exemptions and deductions back then were even more generous than they are now.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 30 Nov 2017 @ 6:04am

          Re: Re: Re: Sherman Act and Net Neutrality are band aids

          "consider any redistribution of wealth as an unfair attack on the rich and successful."

          Not *any* redistribution. They're usually fine with the stuff that funnels it their way.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Nov 2017 @ 11:22am

    What happens when you learn everything you know is wrong?

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

  • icon
    wevrem (profile), 29 Nov 2017 @ 11:29am

    In our neighborhood the developer had a fight with the cable company (so the urban legend goes) and only those whose property is on the outer edge, and who can convince adjacent property owners to allow some trenching through their yards, can get cable internet. The phone company for many years did not offer DSL in our area.

    There are two radio-based offerings available, and I've used both as well as DSL in the past. I'm now with one of the radio-based providers, which requires an antenna on my roof.

    How does this compare to others? In my mind I feel like I have a few options (though still not cable) for internet providers. It's not clear to me how Title II designation or the looming rescinding of that will affect me.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Nov 2017 @ 11:30am

    Here's what Karl Bode’s Techdirt Profile USED to say:

    "Karl Bode ... has been babbling, jabbering and prattling about technology, politics and culture ... for more than fifteen years."

    Now it's just blank! That's progress for Techdirt, though: understanding that it's foolish to state you're "babbling, jabbering and prattling", and pretend to be an expert too.


    Anyway, tip for minion: it's condescending to evaluate someone's understanding as you start with, irritating to high degree when state "Absolutely No Idea". IF your notion is to at all sway Cuban, I can only advise that you take a few years off to learn TACT.

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

    • icon
      Gwiz (profile), 29 Nov 2017 @ 1:51pm

      ...to learn TACT.

       

      Blue telling someone to learn tact is a bit like a crackhead telling kids to just say no to drugs.

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 30 Nov 2017 @ 6:06am

        Re:

        I always find it amusing when the idiot obsessing over when other accounts have commented and what their profiles say does so with out daring to create a way to perform the same checks on him.

        He must be as afraid of his own comment history as he is of the content of the articles he keeps trying to distract from.

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

  • icon
    Ryunosuke (profile), 29 Nov 2017 @ 11:30am

    Imagine the outcry, if you will, when say AT&T suddenly charges EVERYONE on it's network an extra $20 to $30 a month just to access Fox News. Or that AT&T would purposely slow Fox News and zero rate CNN (if it goes through and as a hypothetical). Net Neutrality eliminates that. It (in theory) treats CNN the same as Fox as the same as Google, as the same as Apple, etc.

    To think that ISP's WON'T do this, means you are blind to past activities of said ISP's, and you are highly delusional.

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

  • icon
    freedomfan (profile), 29 Nov 2017 @ 11:32am

    the regulation isn't the same as the goal

    I am okay with net neutrality rules. I think there is enough evidence of insufficient competition in this market and of companies like Comcast and it's cohorts doing sneaky (and sometimes not-so-sneaky) things that amount to charging different rates for the same ones and zeros (usually while calling them a different "kind" of data).

    However, people on the pro-net neutrality side need to acknowledge a simple truth: The regulations ostensibly intended to accomplish X are not the same as X, even if they initially look similar. What technically aware people think of as net neutrality will not be the same as what the government is able to do under the guise of ensuring net neutrality. It's important to understand that government isn't some wizard casting a net neutrality spell on the internet and then, magically, we have net neutrality. I know that sounds silly, but that's often effectively what people assume with many kinds of regulation. Instead, the government assumes some power to regulate something and then a bunch of rules come out of that. The government then applies (often very selective) discretion in enforcing those rules. That's the reality. Rarely, that enforcement comes close to the ideal and often it does not.

    People on Techdirt rightly complain about the ill effects of regulatory capture and similar issues. We need to acknowledge that that is in play with net neutrality as well. Similarly, we see many cases where the government is given the authority to do something that's ostensibly useful and it ends up getting used to do something abusive. That is in play here as well.

    I have no idea what's in Cuban's head. But, it's a worthwhile point that, even if net neutrality stays as it has been, Trump's people will be in charge of enforcing the regulations. It's a valid point that changing how this tech sector is defined such that government has more authority over it is giving Trump's people more influence over how the sector is run. I think Mr. Bode has made a strong case that Trump's people are not to be counted on to enforce the rules in ways consistent with what most of us want. We can't go around thinking that, since someone whose views on the topic were more appealing was in charge when the rule was implemented that somehow that cements how it will be used when the next guy comes along. It doesn't. We give the government some authority and the person in charge right now will use it as he sees fit.

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

    • identicon
      Vel the Engimatic, 29 Nov 2017 @ 11:44am

      Re: the regulation isn't the same as the goal

      You're missing the overall point here. Not having the rules in place might give more authority to Trumps people, but without those rules we will be far worse off eventually.

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

      • icon
        freedomfan (profile), 29 Nov 2017 @ 12:06pm

        Re: Re: the regulation isn't the same as the goal

        Actually, the headline of the article is the Cuban is clueless about NN rules. But, at least part of what Cuban is saying is that redefining the sector (reclassifying broadband services under Title II) gives the government more authority to regulate how the internet runs (that reclassification is not limited to NN) and that the people doing that regulation are not always going to be the people that pro-NN folks want in charge.

        The narrow point is that NN may be a worthwhile good. The broader point is that regulation isn't as a straightforward good, because it gives government more authority, which we then have no assurance that it will use in the way that we want.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Nov 2017 @ 12:18pm

      Re: the regulation isn't the same as the goal

      I just want to take a moment to say "Bless you and thank you for that wonderfully thoughtful and well written post!". It is a breath of fresh air compared to what most people who disagree with Net Neutrality implementation post on here.

      I disagree with some of your conclusions but it is truly a pleasure to read the thought, care, and well made arguments you put into writing your post. You have my respect sir.

      I agree with you in part that anytime the government exerts rules over something, they necessarily have to have some power over it and there is the chance for abuse of that power in the future.

      That being said, in this instance, the FCC already has this power as evidenced by the fact that ISPs started out regulated under Title II, were then reclassified, and have now returned to being classified under Title II, all by the FCC. This has been reinforced by the courts who stated the FCC has the legal power and authority to classify ISPs however they wish. The ability to implement net neutrality rules is merely a consequence of their overall power over ISPs. But it is important to note that this control is only over ISPs, not the internet at large.

      I do agree with you overall, a better solution is needed in the long run, but I don't see any reason why today's net neutrality rules can't co-exist with that better solution.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Nov 2017 @ 11:37am

    Rich Guys Without Clues

    So what we are saying here is that Mark Cuban is just like the government, a bunch of rich white guys without a clue?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Nov 2017 @ 11:49am

    nobody in either party seriously wants to address this problem because it would stop Legal Bribes from flowing.

    FTFY

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Nov 2017 @ 12:21pm

    I feel like half the reason why Mark Cuban and company don't get the idea of net neutrality is because they assume everything has to be owned by an organization which is correct but it's only half the picture. The roads are mostly owned by governments but the legal history of the commons makes them mostly public. This idea the Internet is just another commons like rivers, roads, and the atmosphere is lost on Cuban and company because their idea of ownership is absolute. Plant a flag and call yourself king of the island is their mantra. They don't accept or believe in the idea that land or any other commons as their idea of property is absolute (in contradiction to much of our recent history).

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Nov 2017 @ 12:24pm

    neutrality - The state or quality of being neutral; the condition of being unengaged in contests between others; state of taking no part on either side; indifference.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Nov 2017 @ 12:54pm

      Re:

      I think we are well past using words correctly around here.

      come up with a word and make it mean whatever you want it to and argue your position with it. the resulting arguments get hilarious!

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 29 Nov 2017 @ 12:59pm

    Anyone here??

    Notice all the Corporate Bouncing around thats been going on FOR YEARS??

    The telecom industry has been buying and selling each other BACK AND FORTH and making things Complicated for years..

    WHO owns WHOM, is appropriate..
    ANd the phone system has been subsidized for YEARS..the Gov, even PAID the corps to run lines OUT TO those country folks and small towns..

    NO development in this nation has EVER been done, without Gov. backing. EVERY TIME the Corps have STOPPED advancing/improving things the GOV. has had to initiate (give money) to the CORPS to get them to DO SOMETHING..

    I just Lost a GREAT Frig, 40 years old, STILL working, but the Door gasket CAN NOT be replaced. and a custom one would cost ALMOST 1/2 the price of a new one..
    Bought a new one, and DO YOU THINK it will last 40 years?? is it Fixable? Can you recharge the Gas??

    You could with my OLD one..

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Nov 2017 @ 3:14pm

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

  • identicon
    Valkor, 29 Nov 2017 @ 4:03pm

    In a nutshell

    "Net neutrality protects consumers, small businesses, and startups until we can find a way to drive more competition to the market."

    UNTIL!
    Remember, government regulation of neutrality is not the goal. Market force regulation is. The more healthy the markets are, the less power the government needs to correct them.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Nov 2017 @ 12:36am

      Re: In a nutshell

      Where natural monopolies are likely, or are the most economic way of providing a service, government regulation is a necessity., and this includes all large scale infrastructure, like electricity and water distribution, roads and communications.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 30 Nov 2017 @ 6:12am

      Re: In a nutshell

      To a degree. The competition will always need to be kept in check and ensured that not only are newcomers able to compete effectively, the incumbent players are not colluding at the expense of the consumer.

      They don't always need to be as visible as they need to be here, but effective regulation is the only way to ensure that markets stay competitive and free.

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

      • identicon
        Valkor, 30 Nov 2017 @ 7:01am

        Re: Re: In a nutshell

        Agreed.
        Less power will never become no power.
        See Federalist 51... if men were angels, and all that. The consumer protection function of government is an unfortunate side effect of human nature, but a healthy degree of competition uses selfish human interest to check some of that.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Nov 2017 @ 4:28pm

    When thinking about these things just remember that free markets and capitalism are anithetical

    This explains all actions taken by comcast, disney etc and also explains why people are so confused, as they have been led to conflate the two things that are actually opposites

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

  • icon
    techflaws (profile), 29 Nov 2017 @ 10:07pm

    Mark who?

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

  • identicon
    Gregory Gilbert, 30 Nov 2017 @ 4:00am

    His argument was oversimplified but there will be data discrimination as long as we have network congestion. The validity of this discrimination will be determined by each FCC head. Regardless if Title II is in place or not, Pai isn't going to enforce any rules, so in effect we have the same as if Title II didn't exist. With each Democrat FCC head the ISP businesses will have to evaluate what are the new FCC head's beliefs regarding "reasonable network mangement."

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

  • identicon
    Andrew D. Todd, 30 Nov 2017 @ 7:29am

    Vested Interests and Mesh Networks.

    It's not a question of whether Mark Cuban understands the Internet, or Net Neutrality, or not. It's a question of whether he has vested interests, and whether the vested interests are talking, or not. I believe Mark Cuban owns sports teams. What do you think about his vested interests?

    Back about 2000, Microsoft was saying that it wasn't a monopolist, because there was Open-Source. That was intended to be a kind of cynical evasion, However, as it turned out, by God, there was Open Source. We need a new model of telecommunications which is something like Open Source, and which does not rely particularly on businessmen.

    We need to think in terms of line-of-sight mesh wireless networks. Mesh wireless is highly competitive, to the point that it doesn't work as a service business model. It has to be run on a non-profit basis, with each user owning his own equipment. Below is a link to the technical report for MIT Project Roofnet. However, the report excluded the most important things. The important points are these: 1) a non-profit organization, a school-- it happened to be MIT, but it could equally well be the local grade school-- set up base nodes on its own campus; 2) it distributed local node devices to its own students, on terms they could easily afford; and 3) it let the local-node users attend to physically installing the things. That was in 2003.

    Equipment is considerably better and cheaper now. Back in the 1960's, when I was a kid in grade school, the school routinely distributed tree seedlings, with instructions to plant them somewhere. It was a cheap and effective way of re-foresting the city. The relevant foundation passes out seven million trees a year, of which five million are actually planted. Let us say, a hundred-dollar wireless unit on every rooftop, which is cheap compared to cable television, and find ways to ensure that people who cannot afford the hundred dollars get a unit for free. Distribute the things through the school system, on the pretext that kids need them for homework. You give one free to any kid which is eligible for Free School Lunch. However, of course, once the machine is in place, everyone in the family can used it, and the WiFi b-band will probably cover the neighbors as well. Spotty cellphone coverage is a consequence of a commercial business trying to see how few base stations it can get away with installing. With any luck, you would get people buying expensive models of wireless relays to prove that they were not welfare recipients. What we need is a "social compact" that every house shall have a wireless relay. "Millions for Defense, but not one Cent for Tribute!"

    -------------------------------------------------

    https://pdos.csail.mit.edu/~rtm/roofnet-b. pdf

    https://meraki.cisco.com/blog/2010/02/7-years-after-roofnet-mit-and-csail-choose-meraki-for-wirel ess-lan/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roofnet

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arbor_Day_Foundation

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Nov 2017 @ 8:27am

      Re: Vested Interests and Mesh Networks.

      >We need to think in terms of line-of-sight mesh wireless networks.

      Unfortunately, a link in such a network has, and will always have less capacity that a single fiber, and if an intermediate link will be serving the needs of multiple users. Note also that you cannot run multiple links directly between the same two points in the network, and so the system will not scale up. Anybody providing trunk capacity between two or more population centers has gone over to fiber because they can run hundreds or thousands of parallel fibers down a single duct, or over poles.

      A mesh network, where it is possible to have line of site between nodes to reach a fiber or copper is useful in low population density remote areas, but cannot deal with apartment blocks, or even high density urban areas, as everybody down a line of site is sharing the same limited capacity. Even where it is useful, do not expect to stream higher definition video streams except when only few users are using a common link to the fiber or copper connection.

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

      • identicon
        Andrew D. Todd, 30 Nov 2017 @ 2:45pm

        Re: Re: Vested Interests and Mesh Networks.

        Well, of course you have to switch over to land trunk-lines eventually, but the monopoly is in the subscriber loops, not the trunk lines. Truck lines have such great economies of scale that they can be built on a competitive basis.

        https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131025/08383625015/bruce-schneier-feudal-internet-how-to-f ight-it.shtml#c154

        https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20160816/05532635253/google-fiber-hasnt-hit-snag -just-evolving.shtml#c190

        If your equipment supports angular resolution of a degree or so, you might have parallel data strems running twenty feet apart for five hundred feet. That was the essential finding of Roofnet, that if the data paths were merely lines on the map between nodes, you could create enough of them to control congestion.

        My primary concerns do not have to do with high-resolution video streaming. I am more interested in the first, say, 250-500 kbits. I've watched videos which had been compressed down to about 130 megabytes/hr, that is, 300 kbits, and of course they had "artifacts," but they were still good enough to follow the story. From what I can discover, the driving limit if internet video seems to be people who want to watch football over the internet. I know that Mark Cuban takes the view that sports are the most profitable thing to broadcast, because they age se fast, and they don't develope used/secondary markets, the way movies do, and that is why he owns sports teams.

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

  • icon
    Padpaw (profile), 30 Nov 2017 @ 8:14am

    Amusingly, I have seen a lot of Trump supporters that think killing net neutrality will put Trump in charge of it.

    Funny how people both for and against it think Trump will be profiting from it.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 30 Nov 2017 @ 8:27am

      Re:

      I have a feeling he will profit from it through whatever shell companies he and his friends have put up. If not directly, I guarantee there will be kickbacks for him making it happen, although he would not be in direct control.

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

  • identicon
    Bart, 2 Dec 2017 @ 8:01am

    You are very naive if you don't think Netflix and Google lobbyists see Net Neutrality as a way to game the system permanently in their favor.

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

    • identicon
      Andrew D. Todd, 3 Dec 2017 @ 2:03am

      The Tired Old ISP Talking Point

      To Google and NetFlix, you might add Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, etc.

      Ifi you don't like Google, there's Microsoft Bing: http://www.bing.com/

      A click will take you there.

      If you don't like Netflix, there's YouTube.

      If I click on your website, you've got a fair chance, and it's yours to blow.

      A lot of my Amazon orders seem to get jobbed out to Google, WalMart/Sams's Club, Costco, etc. Naturally, I have looked into the possibility of dealing with the people who are actually delivering the goods. When Amazon orders arrive with Google tape on them, I donn't understand in logistic terms where they have been, or who would get access to my VISA number if I ordered direct. Google doesn't seem to understand that with money and mechandise, you have to be transparent. Costco seems to have a messed-up website which doesn't work if you haven't got the latest new browser. The same for Target, and a bunch of grocery stores. You cannot go blaming Amazon for the fact that your own website will only work with JavaScript or whatever. That's a bit like the bricks-and-mortar shopkeeper who declared that he would only deal with customers wearing three-inch high heels and fishnet pantyhose, and who wondered why he was going out of business. WalMart has difficulty accepting that people need to get things by mail-order, and keeps telling one to go to the store. They do carry some of this stuff for mail order, but it's back-channel. Someone sets up a little company, which is ostensibly a corner store or something like that, takes orders on Amazon, and passes them to Wal-Mart for fulfillment. In effect, you have all these people whom Amazon is saving from their own stupidity, only Amazon will naturally only do that on orders placed through Amazon.

      None of the big internet companies are truly monopolists, because there is always someone else, only a mouse-click away.

      You cannot fix an internet-access problem by just clicking on a link. It's much more complicated.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2017 @ 7:23am

    Just so you know, the link on the text "patent reform" in the first paragraph is invalid. It has an extra h in the leading "https://, so it says "hhttps://" instead. Please correct this.

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

    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 5 Dec 2017 @ 7:25am

      Re:

      The URL in the link is "hhttps://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130131/12262721843/mark-cuban-agrees-independent-invention-is- sign-obviousness-should-kill-patents.shtml", but it should be "https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130131/12262721843/mark-cuban-agrees-independent-invention-is-s ign-obviousness-should-kill-patents.shtml".

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


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