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No "Net Neutrality" Without Free Internet

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

Do you believe in free, high-speed Internet access? How will, or should, it come about?

Yes, through Federal or National Monopoly
13
31%
Yes, through Local or Regional Monopolies
4
10%
Yes, through Market Oligopoly
2
5%
Yes, through Market 'Trust-Busting'
7
17%
Yes, Some Other Way
3
7%
No, it's Impossible
10
24%
I Don't Know
0
No votes
I Don't Care
3
7%
 
Total votes : 42

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Brunswick-upon-Raritan
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No "Net Neutrality" Without Free Internet

Postby Brunswick-upon-Raritan » Fri Jun 05, 2020 7:50 pm

So from my understanding of it, "Net Neutrality" is the concept that Internet Service Providers (like Verizon and Comcast) shouldn't be able to "discriminate" in how they treat Internet traffic, like prioritizing traffic to big commercial websites like Amazon and Disney Plus, for instance. This prevents the creation of "bundled" Internet service plans, which, depending on how they're adopted, could separate the Internet user population into different, smaller groups of people who have access to only certain parts of the Internet. There are also other types of discrimination under the concept of Net Neutrality that have to be banned, too, like privileging Internet traffic from certain types of machines (like iPhones), different types of users, etc. Often this is talked about in the context of privacy, control over data, fair playing fields and marketplaces of ideas, etc.

However, in the United States, the Net Neutrality concept is rarely invoked to question the existence of an Internet service provider market at all, even though if you take "Net Neutrality" to its logical conclusion, you must abolish any and all financial barriers to accessing the Internet, and make it an essentially free and uniform service for everyone. Otherwise, you will always have different classes of people who will have better Internet access and quality than others, and that's nowhere more apparent than in the failure to bring broadband to rural communities where the user base isn't considered large enough to justify the infrastructure development.

So is that really what Net Neutrality means? And does that mean everyone should have free high-speed Internet access (or legislation towards lowering Internet service costs)? Or should there always be better quality for people who pay more? Or something else?

Also, it's worth noting that private U.S. Internet service providers also outsource a ton of their work overseas. Over the years, the software development for a lot of the infrastructure behind the scenes of all our telecommunications has been globalized and outsourced overseas (or "offshoring" as it's also called), especially to India. So perhaps legislation or a public Internet monopoly could put a stop to that, too.

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Shazbotdom
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Postby Shazbotdom » Fri Jun 05, 2020 7:57 pm

The issue is that, to have nationwide Free Internet For All, it would have to be operated by the Federal Government. For anyone who lives in the US, they know that 99% of what the Federal Government touches is shit. I have a friend who has to deal with the VA on a regular basis and he's always complaining about how it's crap. The roads are crap. And it can go on and on and on.
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Postby Farnhamia » Fri Jun 05, 2020 9:13 pm

Shazbotdom wrote:The issue is that, to have nationwide Free Internet For All, it would have to be operated by the Federal Government. For anyone who lives in the US, they know that 99% of what the Federal Government touches is shit. I have a friend who has to deal with the VA on a regular basis and he's always complaining about how it's crap. The roads are crap. And it can go on and on and on.

The VA may be an outlier. And you know as well as I do why the infrastructure in this country is crap: no one wants to pay for it. Between Grover and his No-Tax Pledge and the take-over of the Republican Party by a second generation of Dixiecrats led by Newt Gingrich, the American people became convinced that they could have a world-class education system, a world-class highway system, basically world-class everything without having to pay for it. Conservatives carry on about liberals wanting to hand out "free stuff" but that's what they've convinced people they can have. "Raise taxes? OMGOMGOMGOMG!"
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Nobel Hobos 2
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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:21 am

Free internet! Goody.

Estimate of what it's going to cost, please.
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Chan Island
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Postby Chan Island » Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:26 am

Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:Free internet! Goody.

Estimate of what it's going to cost, please.



Estimate the profit too. Most broadband expansions and greater access to the internet for poorer folks has made money.
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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:09 am

Chan Island wrote:
Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:Free internet! Goody.

Estimate of what it's going to cost, please.



Estimate the profit too. Most broadband expansions and greater access to the internet for poorer folks has made money.


I don't see how that would work, if it's free to all users.

Even if we nationalize the ISP's without compensation, running their servers is going to cost something.
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Purpelia
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Postby Purpelia » Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:50 am

I don't really see how the two are connected. You can have something be unregulated and uncensored without it also being available to everyone for free.
Purpelia does not reflect my actual world views. In fact, the vast majority of Purpelian cannon is meant to shock and thus deliberately insane. I just like playing with the idea of a country of madmen utterly convinced that everyone else are the barbarians. So play along or not but don't ever think it's for real.



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Nobel Hobos 2
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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:48 am

Purpelia wrote:I don't really see how the two are connected. You can have something be unregulated and uncensored without it also being available to everyone for free.


It seems to be based on the idea that ISP's could succumb to commercial interest (since they're for-profit), and providers of content might pay them to give users a superior connection to that provider. This would take some of their bandwidth away from users trying to connect to basically anything else.

The free internet then is basically "nationalize the bastard ISP's so they can never do that" and does seem (even to me) a bit like overkill.

There are other arguments for Internet For All though. I feel this argument adds to them.


(Net neutrality IS regulation btw, free market without regulation will lead to a segregated internet of for-profit services that work great, and every free-and-for-free-speech use of the internet working quite badly)
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Nobel Hobos 2
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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:50 am

When Americans thought they had Net Neutrality, what they actually had was a presidential order. And that got taken away by the current president.

Net Neutrality legislation must be high on the agenda of the next Democratic congress.
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Merni
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Postby Merni » Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:52 am

Heck, when we don't even have free water and electricity connections, why should we have free Internet connections?
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Postby Greater vakolicci haven » Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:55 am

Obviously not.

The internet isn't some sort of human right, you're not going to die without it, and we don't even make things that you could die without free.
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Servilis
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Postby Servilis » Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:38 am

I believe it should be implemented by the government, not the State or the Markets, and it should be introduced nationwide in a decentralized manner so that everyone gets it at the same time rather than the more richer people get it first.
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Asle Leopolka
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Postby Asle Leopolka » Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:13 am

Another factor that nobody has brought up is maintenance, upgrading, and upkeep. The human capital required would be huge and the government is nothing if not inefficient when it comes to managing a large number of people.
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Purpelia
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Postby Purpelia » Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:41 am

Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:
Purpelia wrote:I don't really see how the two are connected. You can have something be unregulated and uncensored without it also being available to everyone for free.


It seems to be based on the idea that ISP's could succumb to commercial interest (since they're for-profit), and providers of content might pay them to give users a superior connection to that provider. This would take some of their bandwidth away from users trying to connect to basically anything else.

The free internet then is basically "nationalize the bastard ISP's so they can never do that" and does seem (even to me) a bit like overkill.

There are other arguments for Internet For All though. I feel this argument adds to them.


(Net neutrality IS regulation btw, free market without regulation will lead to a segregated internet of for-profit services that work great, and every free-and-for-free-speech use of the internet working quite badly)

I do not understand your response. You do realize that one can simply create a law that says "No special throttling or billing for content on the internet. ISP's must treat all content as equal." That's it. Net Neutrality achieved.
Purpelia does not reflect my actual world views. In fact, the vast majority of Purpelian cannon is meant to shock and thus deliberately insane. I just like playing with the idea of a country of madmen utterly convinced that everyone else are the barbarians. So play along or not but don't ever think it's for real.



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Serrus
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Postby Serrus » Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:29 am

Greater vakolicci haven wrote:Obviously not.

The internet isn't some sort of human right, you're not going to die without it, and we don't even make things that you could die without free.

You heard it here first, folks. This dude's stuck in the 2000s.
As for the internet connection itself, haven't various municipalities been setting up internet infrastructure? And doesn't that sidestep all that ranting about "fEdErAl gOvErNmEnT!1!"?
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Postby Stellar Colonies » Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:15 pm

Greater vakolicci haven wrote:Obviously not.

The internet isn't some sort of human right, you're not going to die without it, and we don't even make things that you could die without free.

It's becoming a basic necessity for functioning in modern society.
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Postby Cisairse » Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:18 pm

I believe that there should be a low-cost public option run by the federal government to directly compete with private ISPs.
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King of the Incels
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Postby King of the Incels » Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:38 pm

Stellar Colonies wrote:
Greater vakolicci haven wrote:Obviously not.

The internet isn't some sort of human right, you're not going to die without it, and we don't even make things that you could die without free.

It's becoming a basic necessity for functioning in modern society.


And?

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Postby Shazbotdom » Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:42 pm

Stellar Colonies wrote:
Greater vakolicci haven wrote:Obviously not.

The internet isn't some sort of human right, you're not going to die without it, and we don't even make things that you could die without free.

It's becoming a basic necessity for functioning in modern society.

That still doesn't mean that we should add more fluff to the Federal Budget with yet another program that they will completely screw up.
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Postby Antityranicals » Tue Jun 09, 2020 6:04 pm

Shazbotdom wrote:
Stellar Colonies wrote:It's becoming a basic necessity for functioning in modern society.

That still doesn't mean that we should add more fluff to the Federal Budget with yet another program that they will completely screw up.

I agree. As the cost of running the internet decreases, and the use people have for the internet increases, eventually a point will be reached that one or more mega tech companies (Possibly Google or Amazon) will find that the cost of providing such internet access for free would be less than the profit gained by all of these new internet users through advertizing. And besides, it's a great way to stick it to their competitors the ISPs. After all, it's hard to compete with free. Just a thought...

And if, on the other hand, the market doesn't make this worthwhile, then that's just proof that free internet for all is just a bad idea anyway.
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Shanghai industrial complex
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Postby Shanghai industrial complex » Tue Jun 09, 2020 8:21 pm

The network should be part of the infrastructure.The most important thing for human beings is matter, energy and information.The Internet should be as essential as roads, electricity and food.There is no doubt that everything in the future will be connected to the Internet. The cost of Internet should not be an obstacle to technological progress.I think the government should pay.
Last edited by Shanghai industrial complex on Tue Jun 09, 2020 8:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Shazbotdom
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Postby Shazbotdom » Tue Jun 09, 2020 9:01 pm

Shanghai industrial complex wrote:The network should be part of the infrastructure.The most important thing for human beings is matter, energy and information.The Internet should be as essential as roads, electricity and food.There is no doubt that everything in the future will be connected to the Internet. The cost of Internet should not be an obstacle to technological progress.I think the government should pay.

Except that the Internet isn't "essential". You don't need it to live. If you can't afford an Internet connection, then you can always go to a library, they are free.
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Shanghai industrial complex
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Postby Shanghai industrial complex » Tue Jun 09, 2020 9:11 pm

Shazbotdom wrote:
Shanghai industrial complex wrote:The network should be part of the infrastructure.The most important thing for human beings is matter, energy and information.The Internet should be as essential as roads, electricity and food.There is no doubt that everything in the future will be connected to the Internet. The cost of Internet should not be an obstacle to technological progress.I think the government should pay.

Except that the Internet isn't "essential". You don't need it to live. If you can't afford an Internet connection, then you can always go to a library, they are free.

In the new era, it is already necessary.Although I can do something without it, I should follow the way of the new era in the new era.It's like the primitive people can survive without books and electricity.If I lose the Internet now, I can't work, I can't shop, I can't take the subway, I can't find a proper restaurant for lunch.Yes, I am highly dependent on the Internet.
Last edited by Shanghai industrial complex on Tue Jun 09, 2020 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Nobel Hobos 2
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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Tue Jun 09, 2020 9:29 pm

Shazbotdom wrote:
Shanghai industrial complex wrote:The network should be part of the infrastructure.The most important thing for human beings is matter, energy and information.The Internet should be as essential as roads, electricity and food.There is no doubt that everything in the future will be connected to the Internet. The cost of Internet should not be an obstacle to technological progress.I think the government should pay.

Except that the Internet isn't "essential". You don't need it to live. If you can't afford an Internet connection, then you can always go to a library, they are free.


You need either internet or a phone, or else how are prospective employers going to contact you?

Don't say "by mail" because no employer wants a hillbilly.
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Nobel Hobos 2
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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Tue Jun 09, 2020 9:46 pm

Shanghai industrial complex wrote:The network should be part of the infrastructure.The most important thing for human beings is matter, energy and information.


How old-fashioned of you. It's mass/energy and information!

The Internet should be as essential as roads, electricity and food.There is no doubt that everything in the future will be connected to the Internet. The cost of Internet should not be an obstacle to technological progress.I think the government should pay.


Here's another argument the same way. Information is empowering: it is enabling. Not having easy access to information, when others have it, makes a person information disabled. What can we say of a government which could enable the disabled but is too cheap to do so?

It depends on how much of a disability that really is. I consider myself mildly disabled because I'm short-sighted; I need glasses but my government only pays part of the cost of a good pair of glasses and won't pay the cost of corrective surgery. So who should come first in the queue for government money, me, or the poor person who needs at least a phone with internet ..?

Well it's the poor person, for two reasons: I'm not terribly poor so I can afford new lenses for my old glasses, but also the poor person may have children. As with so many other things, the poverty of children ahead of any other poverty (even the elderly btw).

Yeah anyway. If government can't find the money to provide free internet to all, it must at least manage free internet for the poor.
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