Republicans And Democrats Alike Overwhelmingly Support Net Neutrality; Why Don't GOP Officials In Congress Recognize This?

from the who-are-they-representing dept

Within hours of President Obama's surprise call for true net neutrality rules under Title II, Republicans in Congress were in a full-fledged freakout. Beyond the nutty comparisons to Obamacare or suggesting that this will lead to greater oppression in Russia, China and Iran (no, really, that claim was made), a bunch of elected Republicans in Congress sent a letter to the FCC strongly opposing Title II, insisting that it would be "beyond the scope of the FCC's authority."

For years now, we've pointed out how ridiculous it is that net neutrality became a "partisan" issue. In the early days, when it was neither, there were interesting discussions about the pros and cons of it. Once it became a "blue team v. red team" issue, most reasoned debate went out the window, and we were left with ridiculous exaggerations about "regulating the internet" or "the death of the internet." That's not helpful.

But here's the thing: actual Republicans outside of Congress support net neutrality too (though, it helps not to call it "net neutrality.") Two separate studies have come out this week making this point. First up, there was a poll from the University of Delaware's Center for Political Communication, checking in with 900 adult US residents. When not using the term net neutrality, but asking if they "favor" or "oppose" allowing broadband access providers to charge websites or streaming video services extra for faster speeds -- across the board, only 17% favored or strongly favored that idea, while 81% were opposed (37%) or strongly opposed (44%) the idea. Digging down to just the Republicans, it turns out that even more Republicans were against this than democrats. Only 13% favored (11%) or strongly favored (2%) letting broadband players set up such tollbooths, while 85% were opposed (44%) or strongly opposed (41%).
Meanwhile, a different poll released by the Internet Freedom Business Alliance (IFBA) and done by Vox Populi, surveying 1270 active voters, found similarly overwhelming results that conservatives and Republicans actually support (strongly) net neutrality:
Some 83% of voters who self-identified as “very conservative” were concerned about the possibility of ISPs having the power to “influence content” online. Only 17% reported being unconcerned. Similarly, 83% of self-identified conservatives thought that Congress should take action to ensure that cable companies do not “monopolize the Internet” or “reduce the inherent equality of the Internet” by charging some content companies for speedier access.
A few months ago, we wrote about a great argument made by a "self-identified conservative" arguing why Republicans should support reclassification, mainly to block out the harmful monopolistic tendencies of broadband providers. And it appears that conservatives and Republicans (and, of course, those aren't always the same thing, but there is a lot of overlap) intuitively agree with this position.

So why don't their elected representatives? The explanation that still seems to make the most sense is that the money is too good in opposing net neutrality.

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  • icon
    Richard (profile), 13 Nov 2014 @ 6:29am

    Republicans?

    The chart seems to show that "voters" support net neutrality almost irrespective of affiliation - not just republicans.

    Should be a no-brainer for both parties...

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    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 13 Nov 2014 @ 7:38am

      Re: Republicans?

      The trouble is easy to spot: if both parties take the same stance on an issue, then it doesn't matter if the voters agree with that stance or not because it won't cost them at the polls.

      This is yet another way that political parties are harmful to the nation, and especially when there's effectively only two parties.

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

      • icon
        Richard (profile), 13 Nov 2014 @ 8:13am

        Re: Re: Republicans?

        if both parties take the same stance on an issue, then it doesn't matter if the voters agree with that stance or not

        The reality is even worse - usually what happens is that both parties take a stance that appears to align with the voters - but then when in power do the exact opposite.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 8:29am

          Re: Re: Re: Republicans?

          Exactly. The reason for this is that when you're not in power you can't change anything and so there is no harm is claiming that you hold a popular position. That way you can point fingers at the party in power and blame them for taking positions against what the public wants and blame them for nothing ever being changed. When you're finally in power all of a sudden the roles reverse and you're the one taking the unpopular position and the other party is taking the popular position doing the same thing you were doing when you weren't in power. The end result is always that the government effectively doesn't act in the public interest and doesn't do what the public wants. Democracy right?

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      • icon
        tqk (profile), 13 Nov 2014 @ 7:40pm

        Re: Re: Republicans?

        Actually, looking at that chart shows independents show up in relatively comparable numbers as liberals and conservatives. There may be hope for you yet.

        I know "independents" there tend to be flip-floppers (may vote for either Dems or GOP depending on their mood), but that's a lot of people not wedded to either of the biggies.

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        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 8:48am

          Re: Re: Re: Republicans?

          As an independent (in my state, I'm called "unaffiliated" to distinguish from people who align with the Independent Party), I object to being called a flip-flopper. My principles are pretty constant and I vote according to them.

          I may vote for candidates who are affiliated with the Democrats or Republicans (or Greens, or Libertarians, etc.), depending on the candidate, but I am never voting for the party itself. I'm voting for the person.

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

          • icon
            Uriel-238 (profile), 15 Nov 2014 @ 12:05pm

            That's typical of "moderates"

            As an independent... I object to being called a flip-flopper. My principles are pretty constant and I vote according to them.

            Moderates and centrists aren't wishy-washy either. They just have opinions, usually vehement ones, that don't precisely align with the Dems or 'Pubs (or contemporary US Liberals or US Conservatives, for that matter).

            We're a nation of extremists. Just some are extremist in unique combinations.

            e.g. I'm pro-social equality so I tend to vote according to contemporary liberals (Gay rights, welfare state, reproductive rights, secular government et. al.), but I'm also consistently anti-gun control. This is more closely aligned with classical liberalism.

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    • identicon
      jamesb_bkk, 13 Nov 2014 @ 8:47pm

      Re: Republicans?

      Always be suspicious when authoritarians claim the other side is with them. One need only look at the folks in the US government to see that your standard-issue American likely ain't too sharp. This is particularly true in matters of economics and in particular economic liberty.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 6:31am

    "how ridiculous it is that net neutrality became a "partisan" issue"

    It is partisan because these politicians act like children, they're against what the other is for - no matter what.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 6:32am

    $$ Yes, $$ I $$ wonder $$ why $$ they $$ don't $$ recognize $$ this $$, too. $$

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

  • identicon
    Sketch, 13 Nov 2014 @ 6:38am

    hmph...

    Riiiiight.....Because the DemoCorps always do whats in our best interest. How about taking 'sides' out of the commentary - because NO ONE has clean hands here - not the R's and certainly not the D's.

    /George Washington was right - Political parties are evil and divisive.
    //Zombie George Washington for Prez?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 6:50am

      Re: hmph...

      Depends on the plurality. With an effective 2-party system exacerbated by PACs and FPTP you are teeing yourself up for "disenfranchisement as a goal"-tactics and "ad hominem ad nauseam".

      The more you can avoid talking about politics as a politician, the better you are at your job.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 6:55am

        Re: Re: hmph...

        "disenfranchisement as a goal"

        Sadly, this is a real tactic in use for some time.

        One can not go around claiming what a great democracy one has when the above tactic is an accepted practice.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 7:22am

      Re: hmph...

      I'm for the Zombie Party.

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

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 13 Nov 2014 @ 7:40am

      Re: hmph...

      I believe that was the underlying point of this article.

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

      • identicon
        Sketch, 13 Nov 2014 @ 8:02am

        Re: Re: hmph...

        ...while the title is a not-so subtle hint at hitting out at the R's - which purposefully TRIES to color the reader's POV. So as a "journalist", Mr. Masnick is failing at keeping a neutral position and has fallen into ill-repute as an "activist journalist", which is just a schmuck word for political hack.

        \which is it? News or Opinion?
        \\Let me TELL you a Question.

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        • icon
          JMT (profile), 13 Nov 2014 @ 3:37pm

          Re: Re: Re: hmph...

          IOW, "I disagree with your opinion so you're not allowed to have one!"

          How exactly is pointing out that Republican officials' actions are at odds with the position of a large majority of their constituents "taking sides"? Are you claiming Mike wouldn't point out the exact same thing if Democrats were doing it?

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 13 Nov 2014 @ 8:15am

      Re: hmph...

      .Because the DemoCorps always do whats in our best interest.

      Did anyone say otherwise?

      How about taking 'sides' out of the commentary

      WE almost always do. We never name parties, and we avoid nearly all such partisan talk. But in this case it is a partisan issue, and we're just pointing out that's stupid.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 9:10am

        Re: Re: hmph...

        I think the best way to say this... this issue is beyond sides... it will be corrupted by politics as usual so that some rider, or 12th hour madlib will be attached ruining the whole damn thing making Ted Cruz right in the end... they just cannot help themselves.

        I am all for classifying ISP's and utility, but we still see the FCC playing monopoly maker with traditional telco too...

        Obamas proposal sounds good, but things from congress these days NEVER come even close to what it sounded like when advertised.

        And of course if nothing happens then the punk companies will just get greedy and rape us for every last penny.

        We are literally caught between a rock and a hard place because someone is waiting in the shadows to screw us no matter which path we take.

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

  • identicon
    Dreddsnik, 13 Nov 2014 @ 6:40am

    While I am certain this has a lot to do with money, it also has to do with this .....

    "Within hours of President Obama's surprise call for true net neutrality rules under Title II"

    Obama supports it. Yes. Children. But we just let almost all of them stay there. Don't even try to blame them.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 6:49am

    Don't forget:

    Voters don't determine elections. Campaign money determines elections.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 7:07am

      Re:

      Nonono...

      Campaign money doesn't determine elections!

      It determines what those elected will defend: not the voters, but the contributors!

      And since the real good contributors contribute to both sides, their business interests will always be covered. Whereas your interests as a voter and consumer... well, not so much.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 9:21am

        Re: Re:

        Indeed!

        And you only get 1 vote every 4 years... Whereas the lobbyists / contributors / bribers can visit them over and over again.

        So yes, your vote got them into office, but then the contributors took over and now they decide which proposed laws are supported or opposed.

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

    • icon
      cgalbsgo (profile), 15 Nov 2014 @ 10:46am

      Re:

      This is not really the truth, contrary to popular belief, and far from any kind of iron clad law... Take the recent Congressional elections for example, many of the Democrats vastly outspent Republican candidates and got beat. Do some research instead of recycling cynical fallacies.

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

  • icon
    msmolly (profile), 13 Nov 2014 @ 6:51am

    WWhy Don't GOP Officials In Congress Recognize This?

    Because, Obama.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 7:23am

      Re: WWhy Don't GOP Officials In Congress Recognize This?

      Absolutely correct. There is a large segment of the population (including people in Congress) that will reflexively oppose anything that Obama writes, says, does or proposes simply because it's him. If you read carefully in the right places (while trying to avoid being nauseated) you can find the overt and covert racism, the latter coded carefully in the usual dog whistles.

      It started even before he was elected and it has continued to this, uninterrupted. The merits of his positions don't matter. The costs don't matter. The political implications don't matter. All that matters is that he is not white.

      We will see this again if Ms. Clinton is elected: all that will matter is that she is not male.

      Until the inferior members of the species -- the ones whose bigotry, prejudice, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and misogyny cripple their thinking -- are rendered extinct by the slow and painful process of evolution, so will it be.

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

      • icon
        Chris Rhodes (profile), 13 Nov 2014 @ 8:44am

        Re: Re: WWhy Don't GOP Officials In Congress Recognize This?

        Clearly, any opposition to Obama must be racism because the Republicans were totes cool with Bill Clinton as prez and would never have obstructed, disagreed with, or impeached him. (And don't blow your load so soon; the election isn't for two more years! You've got plenty of time to spread your very reasonable "DAE republicans are evil and I hope they all die?? lolz!" opinion before you activate The Misogyny Card.)

        Are you sure you're not parody?

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

        • identicon
          Pragmatic, 14 Nov 2014 @ 8:04am

          Re: Re: Re: WWhy Don't GOP Officials In Congress Recognize This?

          Until you see tweets and status updates that explain, "It's called the White House for a reason." Just for fun and for my amusement, do a search on "It's called the White House for a reason."

          Let me know how you get on.

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

          • icon
            tqk (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 10:11am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: WWhy Don't GOP Officials In Congress Recognize This?

            Obama should paint it black. Call it a solar heating initiative. It'd look cooler that way. It'd also match what all the cops are wearing these days.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 6:04pm

        Re: Re: WWhy Don't GOP Officials In Congress Recognize This?

        Just think about all those racist Dems who didn't allow Obama to campaign with them.

        Fortunately the constant false cry of racism has pretty well rendered the word powerless. That is a shame for when it is actually real, but that is the Dems fault.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 6:53am

    Politics has become all about politics, not about solving any issues.
    Republicans have to be against Democrats at all costs and Democrats against Republicans. Screw what you believe in, it's all about opposing the other side.

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

    • icon
      Chris Rhodes (profile), 13 Nov 2014 @ 8:47am

      Re:

      Screw what you believe in, it's all about opposing the other side.
      That's because they essentially believe in the same principles. Raw tribal hatred is the only thing the parties have left to bang the war drums about.

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

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 13 Nov 2014 @ 9:22am

      Re:

      This. Obamacare is the poster child for this problem: it's an idea that was developed by the Republicans, supported by the Republicans, and promoted by the Republicans -- right up until the Democrats decided to be supportive of it. Then it was instantly evil.

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

      • identicon
        Michael, 13 Nov 2014 @ 10:24am

        Re: Re:

        right up until the Democrats decided to be supportive of it.

        I think it was right up until the Democrats decided to implement it. And, as it turns out, it is a poorly implemented bad idea.

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

      • identicon
        Zonker, 13 Nov 2014 @ 1:38pm

        Re: Re:

        Then why do the Republicans not pick one of the other two ideas the Democrats came up with and support that instead rather than insist on repealing their own idea and going back to doing nothing? Claim the Democrats ideas as your own and take the credit for it.

        Oh yeah, partisan politics, always oppose anything from the "other" side, and the revolving door.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 7:03am

    no longer a major issue

    It's funny that the whole issue of "net neutrality" only became a national topic when it started to affect major corporate interests.

    During the many years when the major bandwidth consumers were P2P users, ISPs blocked and throttled them without restraint, yet no one in the government ever had a problem with that.

    The cold hard reality is that things were much worse a decade ago. Neutrality should have been mandated then, not now, since ISPs have now largely abandoned their war against P2P users that they once fought so ruthlessly.

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

  • identicon
    David, 13 Nov 2014 @ 7:05am

    Democrats and Republicans must never agree

    Whenever Democrats and Republicans are in agreement, a decision can be made without additional bribes. That would turn our congress members into paupers and have the industry suddenly sitting on money they don't know what to do with. Their products might get cheaper, thus increasing the already horrifying trade deficit.

    So in order to avoid running the U.S. into the ground, Democrats and Republicans will make sure to disagree, keeping the influx of industry money into congress dependable.

    It's like having two football teams on the field with both free to choose their goal side. If they pick the same frequently, ticket sales will go way down, and sponsors will not see the point in buying expensive players.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 7:39am

    "Republicans And Democrats Alike Overwhelmingly Support Net Neutrality; Why Don't GOP Officials In Congress Recognize This?"

    Because politicians the world over are in support of what the public wants until they get into a position to do something about it. Then they suddenly change their minds when it comes to issues under their control. It's called democracy right?

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

  • icon
    John85851 (profile), 13 Nov 2014 @ 7:51am

    Blue team versus red team

    Once it became a "blue team v. red team" issue, most reasoned debate went out the window?
    And that's the real reason why politicians can't get along: too many of them want their side to "win", even if it's in the best interest of the country to compromise and agree. Instead, we get politicians blocking bills because the other side came up with the idea. Then the other ones block their bills to get even.
    And then when they do give in a little, many politicians try to claim "victory" for their side. Because claiming victory when agreeing to pass a law to help the American people is so adult.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 7:54am

    Simple

    "actual Republicans outside of Congress support net neutrality"

    But the ones inside Congress are bought and paid for. Simple.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 8:58am

      Re: Simple

      Even outside of Congress when many Republicans say they support net neutrality they redefine net neutrality as meaning "not restricting corporate interests."

      I'm reminded of some supposed supporters of "freedom" in the days of slavery redefining "true freedom" as being "the freedom to own slaves."

      Yeah, I don't think so.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 8:58am

    Fairness Doctrine / Campaign Finance

    I blame the Fairness Doctrine and its advocates for this problem, along with some of the Campaign Finance "reform" advocates. Although they failed, I think their heavy-handed tactics left a lurking suspicion that the government cannot involve itself in speech-related issues without inevitably abusing its power to promote one faction's speech to the detriment of others.

    We saw a related form of this with the more recent, and also failed, attempts to plant FCC (or was it FEC?) staff in newsrooms. The regulatory interest there was tangential at best, but someone thought they could get away with it, so they tried it. The public outcry forced that one down. The Fairness Doctrine and the FCC/FEC stunt were mostly Democrat constructs, so the Republicans are the ones suspicious of another attempt. Campaign Finance reform was more about squashing outsiders than about promoting D or R. I don't doubt that if the establishment Republicans figured out a good way to do speech suppression, we'd hear plenty of screaming from the Democrats, and with good cause.

    In the meantime, the inaccurate but inevitable suspicion that net neutrality equals speech regulation will continue to hurt the cause. That may also explain the graph, where presenting the question purely in terms of cost structure diverts the respondent from thinking about the speech suppression angle.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 9:02am

    Take the money out and who supported what would disappear.

    You have to have two sides to vacuum in all the money. Having only one side leaves a lot of wallets with cash out there.

    This has been the complaint of many that fuel the money wagon. It's congress' idea that if you make a crisis you can force the money to come in. One of those 'give me money' or else things.

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

  • icon
    Berenerd (profile), 13 Nov 2014 @ 9:20am

    The sad truth about politics is, its not about doing what is right but doing what is helping them get money to cover up what they did so they can get re-elected.

    Doing what the many want is much more difficult than doing what the few want and hiding it from the many...usually

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 9:25am

    It's all about the incentives. It's clear what the incentives are for congressmen to oppose net neutrality but I can't think of any incentives of similar strength for them to support net neutrality.

    With Obama declaring support for net neutrality, I've finally come to the conclusion that the battle has been lost.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 10:02am

      In the beginning was the Word [was Re: ]

      With Obama declaring...

      Why? Why on God's green earth would Mr Obama's "declaration" have more influence upon your beliefs —your conclusions— than the President's actions? Why?

      Last November, a year ago, Mr Obama nominated Mr Wheeler for chairman of the FCC. Mr Wheeler's background as a telecom lobbyist was known to everyone. Mr Obama's act in submitting that nomination was a Presidential action.

      And here you are a year later, intimating that it's the Presidential words that lead you towards—your conclusion.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 10:19am

        Re: In the beginning was the Word [was Re: ]

        The partisan bullshit means that whatever Obama supports, the Republicans will fight. So when he calls for net neutrality, that pretty much guarantees that the Republicans will respond by making sure the FCC doesn't do anything that can be construed as net neutrality.

        I believe Obama knows this and that's why he declared his support for net neutrality. It's a gift to his telecom backers. You're right that if Obama really wanted to balance the needs of the public against those of the telecom industry, he would never have appointed Wheeler.

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

  • identicon
    Kent, 13 Nov 2014 @ 10:12am

    Forcing Freedom?

    You cannot pretend to be a champion of liberty by supporting policies that deny service providers the liberty to run their business as they please. The poll uses cheap tactics "Support ISPs charging more for certain sites?" The question only SUPPORTS deregulation of ISPs. It effectively tells us that ~85% of consumers would not give their business to an ISP that charged more for certain sites. Great! Sounds like ISPs will stay in business if they don't restrict access to any internet sites. If they try to restrict certain sites 85% of their users will be unhappy and many will likely go to the competitor that doesn't restrict access. That unpopular ISP then goes out of business - that's far worse punishment than simply making them do what you want (regulation) - they won't even exist! Voluntary exchange (read market forces) are more powerful than politicians and parties. Leave people and their businesses alone. Organic demand will create desired supply invariably. "Net neutrality" is just another way to oppress natural and voluntary exchange. Leave it alone - government is bloated enough.

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

    • identicon
      You Go Kent!, 13 Nov 2014 @ 10:26am

      Re: Forcing Freedom?

      Agreed! And you cannot pretend to be a champion of liberty by supporting policies that deny business the liberty to own slaves as they please either! Leave it alone - government is bloated enough.

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

      • identicon
        MikeSoja, 13 Nov 2014 @ 12:15pm

        Re: Re: Forcing Freedom?

        Because forcing a heavy Internet user to pay proportionally more than grandma checking her facebook twice a day is akin to cotton picking fun times in the old South?

        No, Kent is right, out of almost everyone else here.

        I start with the premise that the FCC is an illegitimate blight on the freedom of the citizenry from its beginning. Debating the ins and outs of sundry FCC endeavors is like debating whether the slaves should be fed potatoes or corn.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 1:07pm

          Re: Re: Re: Forcing Freedom?

          "Because forcing a heavy Internet user to pay proportionally more than grandma checking her facebook twice a day is akin to cotton picking fun times in the old South?"

          Except that's not at all what net neutrality is about, no matter how much you guys try to twist it around to be so.

          "No, Kent is right, out of almost everyone else here."

          Hey, You Go Kent was just agreeing with you guys!

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

        • identicon
          Baron von Robber, 13 Nov 2014 @ 1:12pm

          Re: Re: Re: Forcing Freedom?

          So how do you go about fixing the oligopolies that are Comcast, TWC, etc?

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

          • icon
            MikeSoja (profile), 13 Nov 2014 @ 9:54pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Forcing Freedom?

            Rescind the various special dispensations granted them by sundry government bodies.

            No matter what, though, designating them utilities will only solidify the alleged oligopoly.

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

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 13 Nov 2014 @ 3:14pm

          Re: Re: Re: Forcing Freedom?

          "Because forcing a heavy Internet user to pay proportionally more than grandma checking her facebook twice a day"

          Nice job misrepresenting what net neutrality is all about!

          It has nothing to do with paying for the bandwidth you use. Literally everybody is OK with that notion, and that is, in fact, how things have always worked.

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          • icon
            MikeSoja (profile), 13 Nov 2014 @ 10:03pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Forcing Freedom?

            "It has nothing to do with paying for the bandwidth you use."

            Of course it does. The crunch may take place UP one or two levels from my use but it's the same argument.

            Why the hell would I want the FCC to attempt to sort it out?

            They know less what I want than Comcast does.

            At least I can choose Comcast or not. In today's world I can't choose FCC or not.

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            • icon
              John Fenderson (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 8:55am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Forcing Freedom?

              No, it's absolutely not the same argument. At all.

              Net neutrality is about ensuring that bandwidth and access is allocated and charged for without regard to who exactly it is that's using it, not according to how much.

              Internet usage at every level has always been charged according to the amount of usage. Nobody disagrees with that notion, and net neutrality doesn't affect it.

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

            • icon
              John Fenderson (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 8:55am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Forcing Freedom?

              "At least I can choose Comcast or not."

              You're very lucky, then. I have no option except for Comcast.

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

    • icon
      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), 13 Nov 2014 @ 12:38pm

      Re: Forcing Freedom?

      go to the competitor

      What competitor?
      >80% of Americans are limited to at best, 2 broadband options, both of which act in nearly identical ways.
      There. Is. No. Choice.

      That unpopular ISP then goes out of business

      When the unpopular ISP is a monopoly, and ISP service is a necessity, it won't go out of business.

      If ISPs don't want to be regulated, then they need to promote competition in actions (not press releases) and stop doing everything in their power to stop it. No more laws stopping cities from building their own options. No more wink wink nods at non-competing over customers. On the other hand, if ISPs want to be monopolies - just like the utility providers they are - then they damn well are going to be regulated. No having their cake and eating it, too.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 5:54pm

        Re: Re: Forcing Freedom?

        "What competitor?"

        Exactly

        The market forces bullshit only works in a competitive market where there are - what for it ... forces! In a monopoly there is one force, and that is the one with their hands in your pockets. And don't claim there are several ISPs to choose from because that is simply not true. Many places there is only one choice and those with more see little to no competition, there are just several wolves drooling over what is for dinner.

        I suspect that Kent is delusional.

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

        • identicon
          Pragmatic, 14 Nov 2014 @ 8:09am

          Re: Re: Re: Forcing Freedom?

          Will someone please explain to him that there's no such thing as a free market?

          Then can you explain that you can't trade your way to one so it can't correct itself?

          Then can you explain what it would take to actually free it up?

          Thanks in advance.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 13 Nov 2014 @ 1:28pm

      Enforcing accountability

      You cannot pretend to be a champion of liberty by supporting policies that deny service providers the liberty to run their business as they please.

      You can if those same businesses have been taking massive government subsidies to install and upgrade their networks(theoretically), and then doing everything they possibly can to not have to hold up their end of the bargain.

      But hey, tell you what, if the various telecom companies are willing to repay the billions of taxpayer dollars that they've been given over the years, as well as repaying a fair price(determined by an independent third party) for all the extra 'perks' they've been given for their networks, then I'll agree that the government has no business dictating what they are allowed to do. Sound fair?

      Until then, those billions were supposed to have strings attached, it's about time they were used.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 3:33pm

      Re: Forcing Freedom?

      Bravo! A teenager with a copy of the Cliff's Notes for The Fountainhead couldn't have put it any better!

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

      • icon
        tqk (profile), 13 Nov 2014 @ 8:29pm

        Re: Re: Forcing Freedom?

        A teenager with a copy of the Cliff's Notes for The Fountainhead couldn't have put it any better!

        You know Rand had a name for these captains of industry who were always clamoring for favorable laws to be passed and subsidies from taxpayers? She called them "moochers", and she was no fan of them.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 10:23am

          Re: Re: Re: Forcing Freedom?

          That sounds like something that might be missed in a sophomoric skimming of the Cliff's Notes. I'll give it a closer read after I get back from the Social Security office.

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

  • identicon
    Bruce, 13 Nov 2014 @ 10:31am

    So an administration that couldn't even get a website running when they had 3 years to prepare now wants to regulate the entire internet? And everyone here is thinking it will be all unicorns and candy? Give me a break!

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 10:51am

      Re:

      So an administration that couldn't even get a website running when they had 3 years to prepare now wants to regulate the entire internet?

      No.

      And everyone here is thinking it will be all unicorns and candy? Give me a break!

      Which ISP do you lobby for again?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 6:03pm

      Re:

      Not too bright are ya?

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

  • identicon
    Rudyard Holmbast, 13 Nov 2014 @ 10:54am

    What a bunch of bullshit. There is a multitude of well-reasoned arguments on the internet in opposition to so-called "net neutrality", yet the clowns who run this site continue to insist any such opposition is motivated solely by money.

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

    • identicon
      Michael, 13 Nov 2014 @ 11:04am

      Re:

      I'm not sure there really are. Do you have some links to examples?

      I have seen a lot of good-reasoned opposition to using Title II for Net Neutrality, but even the telcos that don't want Net Neutrality rules are mostly arguing that they "would never do that" rather than "it's ok for us to throttle specific services when they will not pay us as much".

      Oh, and name calling does not help your argument as much as you think it does here.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 11:46am

        Re: Re:

        Here is a link

        http://www.fcc.gov/

        This organization has essentially ensured Telco Monopolies... while I think it is generally a good idea for ISP to be Title II, why do you think this will fix it?

        The responsibility for convincing should always remain on the shoulders of those who want/ask and never those against! Not saying this is fair, but more fair than the other way around sadly.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 12:06pm

    Just sent an e-mail to my Senator who was part of the group who sent that letter to the FCC. Also sent him links to that University of Delaware poll. He's seemed to be a guy who, when faced with information, does some homework, so I will keep my fingers crossed.

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

  • icon
    Rosco P Coltrane (profile), 13 Nov 2014 @ 12:08pm

    The real problem

    I support the idea that broadband service providers should not be allowed to slow the connection to any site.

    That is all I support.

    I don't understand how anyone could support placing the regulation of the entire internet in the hands of the corrupt FCC. It will be done ostensibly only to support this one small issue, that BTW doesn't even exist as a real problem yet.

    It is not worth it. What we will get will be a strangling collection of regulations that destroy the internet. At best the bloated bureaucracy will just produce tons of thoughtless regulations because that's what they are good at. At worst they will use the opportunity to purposefully screw us.

    The best solution is to leave the internet unregulated.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 6:18pm

      Re: The real problem

      "that BTW doesn't even exist as a real problem yet."

      Apparently you have not kept up with the news for some time then.
      - Netflix gave in to the Verizon extortion demands - ring a bell?



      "strangling collection of regulations that destroy the internet"

      Any examples? How about a study that supports the claim. Or is just an opinion?



      "The best solution is to leave the internet unregulated."

      So that ISPs can foist upon the public their version of the internet. Worked out well for AOL now didn't it? Oh, you want access to Google? - that will be 9.99 per month extra. We have an upgrade package that includes Bing also! Act now and we will include access to your favorite main stream media website at no additional cost for a period not to exceed one year if you renew your two year contract. Offer subject to limitations, while supplies last.

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

  • icon
    Feedback (profile), 13 Nov 2014 @ 12:21pm

    Simple political calculus. The sad fact is, come election time, collecting campaign cash (from companies like AT&T or Verizon) is more likely to get you re-elected than supporting positions, even popular ones, that simply don't motivate voters. Unfortunately, outside of the TechDirtVerse, net neutrality is one of those issues.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 2:01pm

      Re:

      Unfortunately big (government monopolized) media still disproportionately influences elections and they do not have the public interest in mind at all.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 6:20pm

      Re:

      The public will wake up after they realize how screwed they are, but it will be too late.

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

  • icon
    gorehound (profile), 13 Nov 2014 @ 1:52pm

    The Bigot Far Right Christian Party will never support anything that has to do with Obama.Those schmucks would not care if it was the greatest thing as they will shut it down just because we have a black president.

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

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 13 Nov 2014 @ 6:14pm

    Republicans And Democrats Alike Overwhelmingly Support Net Neutrality; Why Don't GOP Officials In Congress Recognize This?

    Bought to be oblivious.

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

  • identicon
    shortlink, 13 Nov 2014 @ 8:23pm

    Many of us do not want the government involved. Period!

    Political Perspective does not help solve the problems.
    Dems want Net Neutrality mostly to start Internet regulation (read: new taxes), and Republicans want whoever paid them the most for their reelection campaigns. Independents tend to not want big government but also several want the neutrality of the past which is fantasy if they also want the carriers to expand the capacity.

    I see the issue very difficult to come to a good solution without severe unintended consequences. I would prefer little to no government regulation but I'm not sure we can come to terms for a way for carriers to get profits they need to expand without targeting data volume. That is not acceptable to most so something different is needed; a new model is needed that doesn't force us into the old model of the telcos and avoids the bureaucratic model of the Federal government.
    Technology may be the solution. If we could eliminate the weaknesses of traditional IP-based networks and develop something that has QOS by default, there may be a solution, but it will not be the free Internet of the past. That is just not possible.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 2:35am

      Re: Many of us do not want the government involved. Period!

      Many of us do not want the government involved. Period!

      That will only improve matters if that include no government involvement over who can run cable and fiber to people. So long as the ability to run cables and fiber is restricted, the ISP.s should also be regulated to prevent them selecting what data level services, and at what speed, customers can access. Leave the final mile ISPs free to provide services as they see fit and they will use various tactics to shore up or replace their cable TV income.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 2:52am

    Laws don't work, they are made to be broken. :)

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

  • icon
    rebrad (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 8:26am

    Not Another Government Operation

    Based on the actions of the US Government, State Governments and/or International Organizations I would find it hard to trust any political organization to enforce or run net neutrality.

    Until we have a Bill of Internet Rights it doesn't matter because whatever the moneyed want they will get while the user will have no choice but to bend over if they don't want to be labeled Criminal Terrorist.

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

  • icon
    William Brown (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 12:33pm

    Name change

    Maybe it's time to call it Net Equality!

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

  • identicon
    cambooj, 15 Nov 2014 @ 8:16am

    @sketch did you read the article? That's the point they just made. Except they didn't include democrats because they aren't against it. You moron!

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

  • icon
    timmaguire42 (profile), 15 Nov 2014 @ 10:54am

    Rigging polls with stilted wording

    It may not make much difference considering the opposition that showed even with anti-net neutrality wording, but I wonder what the results would be if they phrased it, "slow down the speeds of services that don't pay an extra fee.

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

  • Searches related to Did better broadband make Americans more partisan?
    the irish times
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    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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