White House: Without Net Neutrality "the Internet could turn into a high-priced private toll road"

2011 saw the launch of petitions.whitehouse.gov-- a website dedicated to making petitions that, if they reach a certain threshold, the petition will be formally responded to by the White House. Keeping their word, in 2013, a petition regarding building a Death Star surpassed the threshold and the White House, as expected, addressed it.

The 100,000 signature threshold was passed in a recent petition to prevent ISPs from violating net neutrality, and there has already been a formal pledge for support from the President's Chief Technology Officer, Todd Park. Net Neutrality involves preventing ISP's from charging certain websites, usually bandwidth-heavy websites such as Netflix, Hulu or Youtube, in order to stream their content at full speed. Without net neutrality, ISP's can offer different websites at different speeds which could not only cause significant issues for the end-user, but would also stifle innovation from new companies that are unable to cover the additional costs that are demanded by the ISP's. It may also mean that some websites could pay for preferential service over their competitor, which would unfairly affect how people visit certain websites-- it could grow the userbase of corporate-backed websites, and destroy the userbase of independent websites. 

Luckily, Park is in support of net neutrality, and his post specified that "Preserving an open Internet is vital not to just to the free flow of information, but also to promoting innovation and economic productivity."

Just a few weeks ago the internet community experienced a major shake-up after a court case invalidated the FCC's ruling on net neutrality, which had a tremendous effect on many companies, most notably Netflix.

"Absent net neutrality, the Internet could turn into a high-priced private toll road that would be inaccessible to the next generation of visionaries" - Park

Not all companies will be happy about this, however. Verizon was so anxious to throw in their legal team to try to invalidate net neutrality laws such that one case was thrown out of court because the laws hadn't yet even entered the national register. 

Source: Techcrunch | Check out Park's entire post here.

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You all will hate me for saying this, but first let me say that i like the net the way it is. BUT... if you put yourself in an ISPs shoes, I would hate the way the net is. If I owned an ISP, I alone should decide what traffic I want on.

Example : Lets say you lived in a multi-plex apartment and you have the only land line phone in the whole building that you pay for. What if you were forced to let anyone use it for as long as they want, as much as they want? Its your line so shouldn't you be the one to decide who (if anyone at all) uses it?

Example: Just like private property, Lets say you owned a huge chunk of land and paid big bucks for it and pay a lot of taxes on it. You should get to say who and who can not cross your land. To be "forced" to allow just anyone through is just not right.

So if I plopped down a couple billion investment to run fiberoptic all over a city, I should be able to say what runs on it IF anything at all. That's MY choice.

Now after said that, I really really REALLY hope it doesn't change from the way it is now. Reason being is I am not an ISP

No that not how it works and it isn't how it should work either. If there were solid competition maybe this would work, but with most people having no real choice they would be forced to pay to be subjugated to the whims of their ISP.

Just like how your phone company can't dictate who you call the ISP shouldn't be able to dictate how you use the connection you're paying for. If you need another example. A restaurant can't dictate how you eat the meal you've paid for.

i may have said it in a wrong way. Rewording it: if I made a deal with SPECIFIC companies to stream only specific content, then ran a couple billion dollars in fiber optic lines in a couple major centers, it would be with in my right to do so. Based on Canada law anyways. I assume the US would have the same laws.

But if I only selectively stream NETFLIX/HULU, content I don't know if I would be classified as an ISP then... maybe not.

I would say that applies to small or unimportant services or products. Not to something as important as the internet on a national scale. If companies with a huge national marketshare can control and censor parts of the internet to push their own services at their whim simply because its their property, then we need a service either established by another entity that allows free access on a national level.

The effects of acting like that when the stakeholder is the entire nation could be catastrophic and no different than living in a totalitarian government. If it were a small network, there would be no problem. But AT&T and verizon are tier 1 internet providers with a huge backbone, that means, they usually don't need to purchase internet from other providers and they supply a lot to other companies.
A perspective like the one you are discussing is too archaic and would create a nationwide chaos, depriving citizens of information simply on the basis of hostile competition and greed and not really necessity. It would be too monopolizing.

If at&t shapes traffic against netflix (or any other service that overlaps with them) to push their "uverse" stream platform they should be sued just as a hard, if not more considering the nature, as microsoft has been for pushing internet explorer in their own operating system or like google promoting its services and demoting others in the search results.

When it comes to national or multinational audiences, companies cant and shouldn't be allowed to have the "I do whatever I want because its mine and f*ck the rest" kind of strategy, simply because of what's at stake. A small greedy decision can inflict a great deal of damage and disparity. Not to mention, that these huge companies are deeply tied into the government and have a lot of lobbying power.

Edited by dxgs, Feb 19 2014, 6:44am :

rippleman said,
You all will hate me for saying this, but first let me say that i like the net the way it is. BUT... if you put yourself in an ISPs shoes, I would hate the way the net is. If I owned an ISP, I alone should decide what traffic I want on.

Example : Lets say you lived in a multi-plex apartment and you have the only land line phone in the whole building that you pay for. What if you were forced to let anyone use it for as long as they want, as much as they want? Its your line so shouldn't you be the one to decide who (if anyone at all) uses it?

Example: Just like private property, Lets say you owned a huge chunk of land and paid big bucks for it and pay a lot of taxes on it. You should get to say who and who can not cross your land. To be "forced" to allow just anyone through is just not right.

So if I plopped down a couple billion investment to run fiberoptic all over a city, I should be able to say what runs on it IF anything at all. That's MY choice.

Now after said that, I really really REALLY hope it doesn't change from the way it is now. Reason being is I am not an ISP

Why should an ISP (that you already overpay) get to decide what legal content you have access to? IMO I don't think that's right. I should be the one who gets to decide that. If the ISP gets to decide the content available on their version of the internet, since lets face it that's really what they're aiming for, then they should not be allowed to charge as much for that service since they're not allow full access to what the real internet has to offer. (that doesn't include crap that isn't legal)

Just my opinion, and the reason why I want Net Neutraity to be a thing that exists.

Funnily enough, there is a "right to roam" in UK which is having to allow anybody through your large private estate if there is an existing path...

Data is data. Protocol is irrelevant, it's still bits down a transmission medium. The big ISPs should invest the billions they make in profit into handling greater capacity instead of crying poverty and overcharging for throttled access.

I do see the importance of net neutrality, I just feel its a government service. As it is right now, new laws should be written to separate the 2 levels of internet that seem to coming. One being completely private enterprise with in-house rules, and secondly being completely wide open governed by laws of openness and government subsidized to a degree to off set operational profit loss to ISP's that offer the service.

The ISP is exactly that though - a service provider. Just like my power and gas companies are service providers.
They don't get a say in how my services can be used, the same should be said for internet as well.

Something not fast enough? Improve the bandwidth. Costs too much? Then charge more. You are a business after all... Sometimes, you have to think of something other than the bottom line dollar!

rippleman said,
You all will hate me for saying this, but first let me say that i like the net the way it is. BUT... if you put yourself in an ISPs shoes, I would hate the way the net is. If I owned an ISP, I alone should decide what traffic I want on.

Example : Lets say you lived in a multi-plex apartment and you have the only land line phone in the whole building that you pay for. What if you were forced to let anyone use it for as long as they want, as much as they want? Its your line so shouldn't you be the one to decide who (if anyone at all) uses it?

Example: Just like private property, Lets say you owned a huge chunk of land and paid big bucks for it and pay a lot of taxes on it. You should get to say who and who can not cross your land. To be "forced" to allow just anyone through is just not right.

So if I plopped down a couple billion investment to run fiberoptic all over a city, I should be able to say what runs on it IF anything at all. That's MY choice.

Now after said that, I really really REALLY hope it doesn't change from the way it is now. Reason being is I am not an ISP

Your analogy doesn't really work though. They're not being forced to allow anyone to use their networks. They can have no subscribers if they want and they will still be neutral.

Without net neutrality a more fitting analogy would be: Someone has bought a big chunk of land and charges people to cross it. They then decide that some types of people can cross their land, others can use the land but can only go at 5mph and others can't use it at all. Why should some types of people be allowed to cross and others not?

rippleman said,
You all will hate me for saying this, but first let me say that i like the net the way it is. BUT... if you put yourself in an ISPs shoes, I would hate the way the net is. If I owned an ISP, I alone should decide what traffic I want on.

Example : Lets say you lived in a multi-plex apartment and you have the only land line phone in the whole building that you pay for. What if you were forced to let anyone use it for as long as they want, as much as they want? Its your line so shouldn't you be the one to decide who (if anyone at all) uses it?

The problem with that analogy is that we pay for access. It's not just "letting anyone use it" - it's providing the service that I paid the agreed upon amount for. I pay x amount of money for up to a certain speed (traffic & overhead permitting). I should be able to use that agreed-upon amount of bandwidth to access whatever I choose. If I pay into use of a landline, I would expect to be able to use my share of that service to call whomever I choose. The same thing applies with internet access.

I pay for a certain speed, I should have that speed (or as close to it as the amount of traffic and overhead allows) for accessing whatever I choose. Giving certain services preferential treatment over others is no different that saying that I can call my best friend in the next county, but not my brother in the next state, even though I pay into the long-distance service used to call both.

I pay to have decent access to whatever services I want, not simply the ones that Verizon decides I should have good access to.

If my Netflix video quality or download speed drops because of heavy traffic, that's reasonable, but it shouldn't be limited artificially.

rippleman said,

Example : Lets say you lived in a multi-plex apartment and you have the only land line phone in the whole building that you pay for. What if you were forced to let anyone use it for as long as they want, as much as they want? Its your line so shouldn't you be the one to decide who (if anyone at all) uses it?

If the ISP would be a landlord:
-ISP: Hey, get out!, it is the 9:01AM.
-Customer-Renter : C'mon, it is Sunday.
-ISP: Sorry but no, you are over using our place, so get out of here, the "normal" use is for this apartment is to sleep and nothing more. And btw, another renter will use your kitchen during the noon.

LogicalApex said,
If there were solid competition maybe this would work, but with most people having no real choice they would be forced to pay to be subjugated to the whims of their ISP.
I hate this excuse to regulate. The reason there is no competition in nearly everywhere I have lived and the places where people I know live there are corporation commissions licensing monopolies. I'm sorry, but you can't blame business for a government created problem and then demand government to fix it.

*if* it were *allowed* to be a free market by government (Verizon has pretty much given up trying to get into areas dominated by licensed monopolies) you'd see much more happening.

Brony said,
If the ISP would be a landlord:
-ISP: Hey, get out!, it is the 9:01AM.
-Customer-Renter : C'mon, it is Sunday.
-ISP: Sorry but no, you are over using our place, so get out of here, the "normal" use is for this apartment is to sleep and nothing more. And btw, another renter will use your kitchen during the noon.
If you signed a lease to have those rules instead of doing somewhere else, that's your fault.

MrHumpty said,
I hate this excuse to regulate. The reason there is no competition in nearly everywhere I have lived and the places where people I know live there are corporation commissions licensing monopolies. I'm sorry, but you can't blame business for a government created problem and then demand government to fix it.

*if* it were *allowed* to be a free market by government (Verizon has pretty much given up trying to get into areas dominated by licensed monopolies) you'd see much more happening.

No, government didn't create the need to regulate the companies. The licensing commissions are also not the source of the problems (though Regulatory Capture may create some level of a problem).

Are you saying that anyone and everyone should be able to throw wires up on utility poles without reservation?

I'm really not sure why anyone thinks 'net neutrality' is anything but govt control over the internet. We want to put our trust in the same govt that illegally spies on our every move on the internet? Besides all of this, I like having the option of paying more for a better product. I want the ability to pay a higher price and get a better service. If consumers demand higher (unthrottled) speeds, then the market will answer that demand. When you inject govt, you will get market distortion. Look at govt controlled utilities, govt run healthcare, govt college tuition 'aid'...etc. It all ends up resulting in incredibly inflated prices to the consumer. Politicians like to claim they have the answer to all problems, then once they get a law passed, they spend the rest of eternity fixing the govt program they made to fix the problem in the first place. More govt is not the answer here.

Is the 'Affordable Care Act' (Obamacare) affordable? No, the prices are anything but affordable. If you haven't noticed, politicians give poll tested names to these 'great ideas' they have that turn into law, but the laws end up doing exactly the opposite of their dressed up title. I hate to see the reality of 'net neutrality'.

I'm a capitalist. I HATE all forms of socialism. And I hate net neutrality for the socialism that it pushes. If government has any place in this debate it's in the arena of making sure there are no violations of antimonopoly laws. Competition is key, and I have zero issue with companies making money off of their services and investment. Too many people demand companies shell out the dollars to install or upgrade infrastructure and then whine about it when the companies want to recoup that investment and make money off of it. If we magically had unlimited infrastructure and bandwidth, then there'd be no need for companies to leverage data demands against revenue. I believe in the law of supply and demand and the free market system. I will loudly and actively resist those who try to challenge that.

Robert Wade said,
I'm a capitalist. I HATE all forms of socialism. And I hate net neutrality for the socialism that it pushes. If government has any place in this debate it's in the arena of making sure there are no violations of antimonopoly laws. Competition is key, and I have zero issue with companies making money off of their services and investment. Too many people demand companies shell out the dollars to install or upgrade infrastructure and then whine about it when the companies want to recoup that investment and make money off of it. If we magically had unlimited infrastructure and bandwidth, then there'd be no need for companies to leverage data demands against revenue. I believe in the law of supply and demand and the free market system. I will loudly and actively resist those who try to challenge that.

Socialism is anything but ideal. However, pure capitalism leads to show the worst of the society : greedy and selfish.

Brony said,
Socialism is anything but ideal. However, pure capitalism leads to show the worst of the society : greedy and selfish.
Socialism is a mindset that drives government action. I don't understand why it is rendered flaccid when capitalism is not (it is an ideal too by your standards).

Also, pure capitalism without the government intervention brings the most good to a society.

Also, what is greed?

'Greed' is self interest, and it's a good thing. People buy into the propaganda because they don't know better. This is why vast sections of our economy are totally controlled by govt. While Capitalism is the unequal distribution of wealth, Socialism IS the equal distribution of poverty.

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