T Nation

Icann Transition / Net Neutrality


Will relinquishing US oversight end up turning the internet into another UN snafu equal to Human Rights Council (nearly half of which is consider Not Free or Partially Free) as stakeholders?

Or does it matter?


Do i gotta pay for porn if this goes through?


We were talking about this at my house this morning. TheMister was trying to explain it to me. I don’t understand it very well, but this was the gist of what I think so far.

How this will play out is unpredictable. The internet was rolling along since the mid- 1990’s without these rules. New Regs under the Obama administration allowed the internet to be treated like a utility, be managed by the FCC. A couple of years of that policy.

I don’t know that there’s reason to believe that we’re going to have any disaster. There’s competition for services. Some of the big players like Netflix seem to not care much, since they already have agreements with providers, etc…

I mean, I guess we could see something like special charges to use a service like FB’s Messenger. Sort of like Cable TV making you pay for ESPN. Maybe. People will walk if it’s unreasonable. Concern that some internet traffic will get preferential treatment if people are willing to pay more?

At treating the internet as a utility? What happens when governments regulate utilities? This is what has happened with electrical costs in California. CA, BLUE utopia that it is, has mandates that keep our costs VERY high. Anyway, I’m not sure government having it’s hand in the internet is a guarantee of anything.

"CA residential electricity costs an average of 44.2­% more per kWh than the average for the other 49 states. CA commercial rates (think office buildings and shopping centers) are 60.6% higher. For industrial use, CA electricity is an astonishing 98.5% higher than the other states’ average.

The Texas advantage compared to California is even higher. CA residential electricity costs 71.2% more per kWh than Texas residential electricity. CA commercial electricity costs 115.7% more than TX. But the astounding figure is the INDUSTRIAL rate difference – CA rates are 175.7% higher than TX."


In a very concerning size of the country, there is little to no ISP competition.

For many people, this isn’t an option if you want anything capable of streaming a 360p YT video.

For example, I live in a metro area and I have access to 2 ISPs with halfway reasonable speed. My parents live 15 minutes away and have access to 1 ISP. My grandparents live 2 hours away (out in the country) and have the same ISP as my parents. They pay more for less speed and have no other alternatives.

Edit: This is dated, but probably still relevant


How did the Obama era policy effect this lack of competition in some markets?

I’m not sure I understand why we think this will get worse.

Is it mostly a concern that the Obama era laws/ FCC being in charge would break up monopolies? Fix prices?


I’m not sure it did. The comment was more geared at people assuming the free market will take care of the lack of choice, when that’s not based in history or reality.

When given the option to be a large sack of shit, ISPs will historically be happy to oblige. That’s the main fear. That companies that already spend a large amount of time shitting on the consumer (because they can and a large chunk of people have no options) that they will continue to do so.


Didn’t we have this discussion two years ago?

Glad to see it go.


I must confess a learning block here. The more l read both sides of NN, the more confused l am.

Anyone offer ‘idiots guide’ explanation or a T chart?


It’s essentially the same worry we has with railroads back in the day and the common carrier problem. The worry isn’t simply monopolistic practices in the sense of aggregated control and higher prices (though that is an obvious concern), but also arbitrary exercise of power - a monopolist being able to pick winners and losers in everything, from favored businesses, journalism, and even physical/geographic locations.


Forgive my ignorance, but doesn’t this policy just move the ability “to pick winners and losers” from private companies to the government? I’m not sure I trust the government any more than “greedy corporations.”


Why not? Just because you can keep your house, land, family, friends, and freedom while choosing not to use the services offered by a corporation?


Don’t worry I’m sure Trump Jr would be more than happy to explain how all this stuff works.


I work in telecom and it’s confusing for me too. But here’s an overview:

Since it’s inception, all traffic on the internet has been treated equally. You will be able to access www.joe-blows-tshirts.com just as fast as www.google.com. What the FCC did in 2015 didn’t change anything from how it was before, it just cemented those neutrality rules in place.

Ajit Pai yesterday, repealed these rules. This will allow your ISP to prioritize certain sites over others. IOW, some sites will load much faster than others; some could be blocked entirely.

In a metro area where you have the choice between multiple providers, this may not be much of an issue because they would be competing with others for your business and would likely offer what others don’t.

For the majority of the country, however, they are limited to only one or two providers (sometimes both are owned by the same company). My only choice is Comcast. Comcast owns NBC. They could decide to block me from ABC or CBS, or even Netflix. Or, more likely, they will simply charge me more to visit those sites.

Considering the pro-business sentiment on this forum, I would think most would want NN to stay in place. There will be nothing stopping an ISP from limiting access to a small/start-up website that might be in competition with an ISP or an arm of their parent company. So many people here seem to be against NN simply because it it involves government regulation.

The internet has been working just fine for decades. This gives power to the ISPs to change that to benefit their bottom line.


Since Net Neutrality legislation apparently did nothing, why keep it?


It didn’t do nothing; it ensured traffic remained neutral.


What kept it that way before 2015?


Gotta get my dank memeing in now before they throttle my ass :wink:


Have to step out for a bit, but here’s some examples:


Thank you for your explanation. In light of this information, my previous comment was, as I feared, in ignorance. According to your explanation, the government is not “picking winners and losers.”


Repeal of NN will kill a lot of jobs, not to mention it will prevent new ones being created, especially in the much coveted IT branch for the sake of old dinosaur telcos.

Let’s examine the infamous case of Portugal who basically repealed NN by circumventing EU laws - as a consequence, IT jobs are moving away from Portugal to other EU countries with an iron-clad commitment to NN.

For example, if you browse IT job search sites, you’ll see that you’ve got hundreds of IT openings for Portuguese speakers in Eastern European countries such as Poland and Estonia, in addition to significant expat professional communities (yes, Portuguese IT guys in Poland).

Think that’s a bizarrely specific example? That’s gonna happen on a massive scale in the US, especially if the EU formulates a joint pro NN position.