T Nation

Net Neutrality: Please Discuss and Explain

Hey, guys.

I know this is an important topic; but I am having difficulty in understanding the implications of doing…and NOT doing something when it comes to this issue.

With that said…I am ALWAYS concerned when one party or the other “champions” an issue; whether it’s the DEMS or the GOP…and right now the DEMS seem to be behind the issue (which may or may not be a good thing).

So…I bring it to the PWI family:

  1. What are the issues?

  2. What are the politics?

  3. Which Party seems to be on which “side”…and why. (Try to be as impartial as you can…but if one party is demagoging the whole thing? Feel free to rip them a new one…)

Thanks, guys!

Is this new or just showing up as new with 0 replies? I swear we had a big net neutrality thread in the last two years or so.

Ya, me and Beans went at it in that thread, lol.


Hey, guys!

This is a new thread.

“Net Neutrality” now is truly going into the stage where Politicians are really jumping on (or off) board.

I was not aware of the old thread; but now that there is likely a huge fight about to start in Congress…my hope is that everyone may rehash a lot of their thoughts?

I really am ignorant on the subject.

Depends on whether you prefer goods be allocated by the price mechanism, or by regulatory agencies. One allows obesity to be a problem of the poor; one food rationing.

Ok. Mufasa I think a search hits a lot of stuff on here. I’m not trying to kill the thread just FYI. I will read along or read the older threads because I don’t know hardly anything on the subject.

As an American though fuck neutrality that shits for pussies. I say we take drones and bomb the net. Spread democracy to its bitch ass. I don’t give a damn if it has weapons of mass destruction or not.

Edit: I didn’t mean to reply to you usmc.

1 Like

Okay, @NickViar!

When somebody is as behind on a subject as I am in this one…you’ve got to keep things simple…and allegory/analogy free!


I’d start here just to get the basics:


And while you may not love analogies on this, I’m a fan of comparing it to railroads in the late 19th century - a new technology that quickly became useful (and indeed critical) to people and commerce, and the need to decide whether users of railroad services required protection under law to get equal treatment (as in, everyone pays the same for freight or passage instead of railroad companies picking and choosing who gets to use their services and at what price).

1 Like


It’s all good, TB!

I actually am getting a more basic “feel” of things with the link…and with the Railroad Analogy…
(Thanks for the link!)

Let me get things started by asking my basic question.

Certainly the Internet should be “open” to everyone…but shouldn’t a company be able to offer greater service…or faster service…or a premium service…or a select pay service…like any other competitive company?

Or is this not even the argument?

Okay…I’m a reader…and this is the “drift” I am starting to get (tell me if I’m wrong)…

One “side” wants controls that keep the Internet “free and open” to everyone (but don’t really tell you where the incentives would be for continued growth, development and new advancements).

The other "side’ feels that competition breeds growth and development (but they tend to leave out things like monopolies that in theory could ultimately control any and all Internet Traffic).

Are both “right”?

Are both “wrong”?

Maybe both “partially” right?

Is this not the crux of the arguments for and against?

It depends on whether or not you see the internet as a public utility.

Of course they do. The exact same place it’s coming from now. Market demands. The ones that were working full force prior to NN repeal.

…or as “what”?


I am just echoing the arguments that I have been reading by ISP’s and internet heavy hitters whom feel that Net Neutrality will stifle growth and innovation.

Why do they feel that way?

It depends on how you read the subtext of words.

I read growth and innovation as money and future new product sales. Neither of which I consider a bad thing, but for a lot of people that really gets them angry. Once that comes into play, all of the zep types (small, boutique) get all up in arms about Big and numbers that are counted by the billions.

1 Like

From the link TB posted:

"Net neutrality advocates argue that allowing cable companies the right to demand a toll to guarantee quality or premium delivery would create an exploitative business model based on the ISPs position as “gatekeepers”.

Advocates warn that by charging websites for access; network owners may be able to block competitor Web sites and services, as well as refuse access to those unable to pay.

According to Tim Wu; cable companies plan to reserve bandwidth for their own television services, and charge companies a toll for priority service.

Proponents of net neutrality argue that allowing for preferential treatment of Internet traffic; or tiered service; would put newer online companies at a disadvantage and slow innovation in online services.

The other options to see the internet? I would imagine as not a public utility in this case

Because growth means ‘make more money’

This also means ‘make more money.’ The logic is the more money they have to spend the more innovation we’ll see.

Because corp America apparently still has a capital problem.

Goddamn right. Amazon barely broke over 11 billion in profit. Like closer to 10 billion than 12. That’s why it’s important to slash corporate tax rates as low as possible.

Shit’ll all trickle down and no one will be poor ever. Just gotta wait for the rain.

Good question - I’ve followed this debate and I’m still not sure. The simply make the statement, mantra-like (“net neutrality will stifle innovation”) without backing it up with a rationale.

In fact, the opposite is true. Level playing fields spur innovation because it is a more competitive market. Permitting big monopolistic gatekeepers in this space won’t help innovation - they rack up access fees through economic rent, what incentive do they have to do anything better, faster, cheaper?

1 Like

Keep up the thoughts, guys.

I think I am getting clearer on where the battle lines are being drawn.

Tell be if I’m wrong…

It looks like all of the “Big Hitters” in Media are battling it out for content…no question. We see that everyday.

Now they are battling for how to control the delivery of that content?

(…in steps the Government…?)

My understanding is this:

The argument against Net Neutrality, turning the internet into a public utility, is that it will stifle innovation. The example Beans used was to point out land line telephone (those big ass wooden sticks int he ground) haven’t advanced in decades. The cost to invest in new infrastructure is too greater for a municipality so they just wait for a telephone poll to break and replace as needed. That’s not exactly amazing… That said, telephone technology itself hasn’t been stifled. Cell phones, VO-IP, etc… were all invented after telephones became a public utility. So, I’m not sure how much water the argument holds.

On the other hand, most municipalities have contracts (there’s a specific term, but I can’t think of it off the top of my head) that grants an ISP a monopoly in that location. It’s why you probably only have access to Comcast or Time Warner or whatever cable company controls that area. There isn’t really a “free market” when it comes to cable ISP and I think that’s a problem in and of itself. It’s actually a very good example of how M&A can lead to a Monopoly (http://fortune.com/2015/05/19/cable-industry-becomes-a-monopoly/). If you have a problem with Comcast, tough shit… That’s your choice. Most areas (outside of cities) might have a single cable provider (if you’re lucky) and a DSL choice (garbage).

I’m not sure if the same is true for Fiber (Verizon, Google, etc…) or DSL (snail internet).

That said, and the argument I tried to make with Beans, was that if I pay $X.XX for cable with a speed of X (I use Comcast Blast. I don’t remember the “guaranteed” speeds, but it’s supposed to be fast, lol…) it shouldn’t matter how I utilize the internet. In other words, whether I stream Netflix, browse the news, or just want to check my email, and should be able to do that without throttling (or monthly caps, imo). Where as, the people against neutrality want to be able to charge companies like Netflix more because their product demands more of the data / infrastructure. I can see that argument too, but my understanding is that is more related to contract negotiations between ISPs, third party companies like 3M, and a service like Netflix.

It’s all pretty confusing really… Plus, there’s other interests like TV that are involved because streaming services like Netflix are dominating cable in terms of viewership.