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Old May 4, 2014, 11:34 AM   #1
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Default Off Topic Net Neutrality Rant

You guys are my friends. Iím sending a similar message to my family members as well. If you care about net neutrality in the US itís time again to do something. Sadly, the chairman of the FCC, Tom Wheeler (who, like his predecessor, worked in the cable industry and is likely going back to a higher paying cable job at the end of his term) is proposing rules that will gut net neutrality.

The cable industriesí end-goal is to ďcable-izeĒ the internet. They want to be able to say ĎOh, you want to hook-up a Roku or Apple TV to your internet? That will cost an extra $10.00 a monthí or ĎYou want to use Facebook? Facebook is included in the next tier for only $25 extra but youíll also be able to watch YouTube.í

Netflix has already agreed to pay Comcast Ďprotectioní money to be able to provide its users decent service. Thatís right, Payola. You can search it and read the Chairman of Netflix is angry about it but he had no choice if he wanted to provide good service. At least Netflix could afford it. What about smaller operators who canít afford it? What if the traffic on Steveís is determined to be too great and the ISP asks Steveís to pay more? Thatís fine if Steveís is rich but if it isnít, the site may get pushed into the next highest tier, losing readers who canít afford to pay. And shoestring startups? Forget it. Where are they going to get the money? One of the great aspects of the Internet is it acts as an equalizer and hotbed of innovation. You can say goodby to that.

There are a few sites where you can go to learn more or sign a petition that will go to Washington. Better yet, take the time to write your congressman or FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. http://www.savetheinternet.com/sti-home

If you have more money than time hereís an interesting crowdfunded effort started by a Reddit cofounder. https://www.crowdtilt.com/campaigns/save-net-neutrality-billboard-in-fccs-backyard

Thanks everyone.

Fellow photo enthusiast and Steveís user.

Alan Beeler (chiPersei)
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Old May 4, 2014, 11:45 AM   #2
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Personally, I wouldn't use Facebook if they paid me $250 a month to do it.

I'm worried about the day (and I know it's coming....too many tax dollars being lost today) when we have to pay sales tax for online sales no matter where you buy anything. The State of Texas has already forced Amazon into it but I can still nab stuff at places like B&H sales tax free.

Comcast, I can do without. Dumped them three years ago and don't miss 'em.

It was only a matter of time until someone figured out the internet is a goldmine just waiting for someone to see how much they can get out of it.
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Old May 4, 2014, 1:05 PM   #3
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I don't know what ISP you use but if it's Time Warner you may be back with Comcast if their proposed buyout is allowed to go through.

Having said that, I dumped Comcast too. Probably for the same reasons you did; ever increasing rates, poor service, and always putting the program I wanted in the next costly tier. Exactly what they want to do to the internet. Once that happens, where are we gonna go?

Thing is, right now (with net neutrality) we can shop at a lot of sites from humongous retailers like Amazon to a myriad of small mom-n-pop specialty shops. This provides choice and cost competition in the market. Once the mom-n-pops are gone because they can't afford to pay-to-play, the remaining stores will can raise prices, with or without a sales tax.

FYI- you can always move to Oregon, one of two remaining States in the Union who have stood up and said "NO" every time a politician tries to introduce a sales tax.
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Old May 4, 2014, 5:20 PM   #4
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G'day Alan

Thanks for the advisory
We in Australia don't seem to have this 'problem' -yet- as 99% of our internet services seem to come direct via phone companies rather than cable tv companies

We do have a new government that is going 'crazy' over revenue raising via one means or another, and we keep being told 'there's no such thing as a free lunch'
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Old May 4, 2014, 5:55 PM   #5
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Hi Phil-

I'm grappling with the 'no free lunch' you've heard. I get my internet through a phone company too (CenturyLink) but it's not free. In fact it's monthly $47.99 USD. Is your internet free just because you have phone service?
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Old May 4, 2014, 5:58 PM   #6
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AT&T Uverse. Been with them now 3 years now. Really like the service.
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Old May 4, 2014, 6:11 PM   #7
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All major internet providers are in bed together on this. AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner etc. Even my smaller phone-company ISP, CenturyLink, is licking their lips. They'd love nothing more than to send a notice stating if I continue to use my Roku player I'll have to pay an additional $10 per month.
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Old May 4, 2014, 7:40 PM   #8
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I will say that the telecommunication industry is a quickly changing one that has been able to create new products and revenue streams that just didn't exist twenty five years ago, products that people have come to consider necessary to their lives. Who would have thought so many people would gladly be shelling out $70-$100 a month for a cell phone and several hundred for an internet/TV/phone package?

Don't be mistaken these are services you can live without. I grew up in a rural area without cable TV and we were all right with three channels.

Further the fact is most people now have more choice for these services than they did ten years ago. Fifteen years ago I bought my first PC after college and paid $40 a month for a phone line and another $20 for dialup internet, that's more than the $47.99 a month you're paying for high-speed internet and gas was just under a dollar per gallon at the time (late 90s). We have full HD over the air broadcast signals in metro areas, I have friends who have cut the cable and get almost a dozen HD channels for free with a tiny antenna. We have 4g wireless internet that is as fast or faster than home internet. Many people have a choice for isp between services from a cable provider, a phone provider over hard networks that were copper but now are fiber, many wireless providers, and even satellite providers. Such was not the case ten years ago. I am confident that continued competition will bring an improved value proposition just as it has from my $60 for dialup to less for broadband service that is literally 100x faster and with skype and other services replaces the land line.

I do follow the industry and the Netflix Comcast deal has been coming for a while, Comcast claims a great deal of its traffic was from netflix. In the end the Insiders seem to be saying that the deal was more about preventing some other deal that may have put Netflix in an exclusive with someone else, like verizon.

If you ask me the bigger threat to the internet is from government, not from private companies making private deals. With the NSA spying and the motion picture and recording lobies working to take away our freedom to visit sites of our choice and use the encryption we want. With the government gathering our cell phone metadata we are continually being tracked and limited in our freedom to assemble and associate without the IRS or FBI knocking on your door. If you don't like the Comcast Netflix deal, don't support those companies. Put up a digital antenna and get your TV for free, get a 4g hotspot and use your roku all you are willing to pay for. You have choice, with the NSA and the government you have no choice, and that is what you should be mad about.
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Old May 4, 2014, 10:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramcewan View Post
Who would have thought so many people would gladly be shelling out $70-$100 a month for a cell phone and several hundred for an internet/TV/phone package?

I donít know who your friends are but I know very few people who gladly shell out that kind of money for their current service. I can link many sites such as this Forbes article that would indicate otherwise:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/timothylee/2012/06/06/comcasts-obnoxious-price-discrimnation-strategy/

This Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/I-hate-Comcast/97519427151

or these pages.

http://www.girlsjustwannahavefunds.com/20-reasons-why-i-hate-comcast/

http://comcastsucks.org/

One reference I shouldnít mention simply because I canít find the link right now suggests the majority of Comcast customers are not happy with their service. Iíll just let this quote from Executive Vice President of Comcast, David Cohen fill in the blanks: "It bothers us we have so much trouble delivering high quality of service to customers on a regular basis," Cohen said. "Sometimes, we need a kick in the butt."

No David, itís not a kick in the butt you need. Someone needs to take away your keys to the car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramcewan View Post
Further the fact is most people now have more choice for these services than they did ten years ago.

Links or itís not true.

Back when I first got on the internet there were several small ISPs right in my own town. Even our local Salem Public Library offered inexpensive dial-up service. I would gladly include links but sadly, they don't exist anymore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramcewan View Post
I have friends who have cut the cable and get almost a dozen HD channels for free with a tiny antenna.

Apparently your friends are not in the same group you referred to earlier who gladly shell out so much of their hard-earned cash for the service that so troubles the VP of Comcast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramcewan View Post
Many people have a choice for isp between services from a cable provider, a phone provider over hard networks that were copper but now are fiber, many wireless providers, and even satellite providers. Such was not the case ten years ago.

Links or itís conjecture .

Hereís a link for you to a recent article with survey results that show the majority of Americans are against the the Comcast-TWC merger because it further reduces competition.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/26/us-usa-antitrust-idUSBREA2P0BD20140326

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramcewan View Post
I am confident that continued competition will bring an improved value proposition Ö..

Iíll sleep better tonight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramcewan View Post
I do follow the industry and the Netflix Comcast deal has been coming for a while, Comcast claims a great deal of its traffic was from netflix. In the end the Insiders seem to be saying that the deal was more about preventing some other deal that may have put Netflix in an exclusive with someone else, like verizon.

I donít know which part of the industry you follow but apparently itís a different part than what CEO of Netflix Reed Hastings follows who says ďWe Paid Comcast Because of No Strong Net Neutrality.Ē

Oh yeah, hereís the link: http://mashable.com/2014/03/20/netflix-ceo-net-neutrality/

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramcewan View Post
If you ask me the bigger threat to the internet is from government,....

Something we can agree on. Sadly, the person in our government's position of FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler, is a person who has been inducted into the Cable Television Hall of Fame.Think about that.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Wheeler_%28lobbyist%29

I didnít even know there was such a thing. But dang if he isn't in it.

I know some on this forum must be cable installers or otherwise work for or contract with the big ISPs as engineers and techs. In no way do I mean to dis you folks. I worked over 20 years in high tech manufacturing, building computers for Sun Microsystems, IBM, Cray, Sequent Computer and others. I know the hard work you do. My angst is the result of the policy makers. If we don't do something, we've only ourselves to blame.

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Old May 5, 2014, 12:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramcewan View Post
I am confident that continued competition will bring an improved value proposition....
I shouldn't have been so glib with my previous snippy response to the above assertion. I should have kept my wits about me and just pointed mr ramcewan to this link that illustrates the industry he has so much confidence in, an industry that operates in the country that invented the internet no less, now has us ranked (as of this post) #30 in the world.

Link: http://www.netindex.com/download/allcountries/#

BTW- Just what IS an improved value proposition? Sounds like industry speak.
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