Wednesday, April 07, 2010

All Your Net Are Belong To Us

I for one welcome our new Comcast overlords.

The Huffington Post: US Rules Against FCC in Net Neutrality Case in Big Win for Comcast/4.6.10

The Huffington Post: Federal Court Denies FCC Authority Over Broadband/4.6.10

Pretty soon, like everything else, the internet will be subject to the caprices of the corporations that essentially own it. Did you really expect anything less at this point?


The Bacon said...

I'm going to need someone to explain this to me. I am obviously missing something.

These companies spent billions building their networks, why are they bad guys for wanting to control them?

Stephen said...

Because they'll squeeze any competition to them via their network. In the case of Comcast that's millions and millions of broadband subscribers who may not be able to access something that is faster, cheaper, more efficient, etc. simply because Comcast offers a similar product/application.
Of course, the subscribers are free to change providers, but the other large scale (and heavily discounted) providers would have similar jurisdiction over their domains.

Either way they better not mess with porn. No offense Chez.

drater said...

Because ISPs like Comcast are monopolies, and unregulated monopolies suck.

kanye said...

The Bacon:

They really didn't. Most of the original infrastructure was built by publicly funded utilities. The privately funded infrastructure that was added on later was built by companies that no longer exist.

Also, since Reagan-era deregulation, these companies have been allowed to operate as de facto monopolies.

The truth is that all capital investments made by these companies have come directly out of our pockets. In the mid-'90s, a federal tax was levied for the purpose of upgrading the U.S.'s infrastructure from the old copper-based switching system to an optical fiber system. These companies have been paid 320 billion dollars for these upgrades and they have yet to start the project.

BTW...the expected completion date for rewiring America was 2010.

Recently, the FCC announced their "100 Million Squared" initiative --100mps internet service for 100 million people by the year 2020. Sounds good until you realize that most of the civilized world has had this service for years, for which they pay the exorbitant fee of $20/month. In other words, the best that we can do in ten years is to theoretically put a system in place that will already be a couple of decades behind the then current technology and will only service 1/3 of the population.

Now apply all of the above to every other form of infrastructure that we enjoy and try to wrap your head around this: Compared to our other critical forms of infrastructure (the electrical grid, water, sewers...etc.) the communications network is in above average shape.

Anonymous said...

To start with, they're not the only ones who spent money on building their networks - plenty of that money came from the government.

Anonymous said...

@ The Bacon

This is basically what the internet will look like without net neutrality:

Similar to cable packages. Instead of paying for internet and using it however you see fit there is "basic internet" and then all the extras. Want to go to a site that isn't part of your package? Tough.

And that's just the money angle, think about how much it could be used to control the flow of information. Government or Corporate watch-dog sites could simply just disappear off the internet similar to how the Chinese internet is so heavily regulated only instead of government controlled it's corporate controlled.

Short version: It's bad.

Nkem said...

While I agree it sounds bad, but look at the wording: that the FCC "lacks authority to require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all Internet traffic flowing over their networks"

Thus theoretically, it should be just as simple as the Congress granting them that authority. So expect that to be done by 2023.