back to article Plan to kill net neutrality is the best thing/worst thing ever! EVER!!1

On Wednesday, Ajit Pai, the boss of America's broadband watchdog, decided to reopen the decade-long debate over net neutrality, despite rules having been finally decided back in 2015 and held up by the court last year. FCC chairman Pai decided that rather than walk through the problems with the current rules and argue for …

  1. Simon Ward

    "Draining the swamp" is clearly working - we're now left with the pond life thrashing around at the bottom.

  2. Gene Cash Silver badge

    On the gripping hand, he's actually gotten action out of congress, for good or for bad.

    That's something Wheeler wasn't able to do.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "That's something Wheeler wasn't able to do." when the house and senate were stacked against him and the president.

      Forgot about that. How convenient for your position, Gene.

      Now we have an idiot with a red tie and an orange Furby toupee who DOES have the deck stacked in his favor with friendly house and senate majority, and he and his paid-for-cronies are STILL unable to do anything meaningful. They are spinning their wheels, and this idiot in charge of the FCC is a clueless windbag who is just trying to hype up a failed position. And doing a shit job of it. Net Neutrality, like abortion rights in the 1970s, has already been decided upon. But that won't stop ideological, and paid for by big Telco and big ISP, assholes wishing it were not so. It's just this new bunch of crooks in the administration need to put their brand stamp on anything and everything, necessary or no, so they can sell more books once we kick their sorry asses out in a few year's time. Just because there are more shitheads in the US than sensible people, it doesn't make them smarter or better or richer. The poor morons who voted for Trump are still stupid and poor, and nothing is going to change that, short of reading some books with valuable knowledge inside, rather than morality stories from dead dickheads. Me? I'm self-incorporated as of 2017, and I plan to take Mr. Tax Man to the fucking cleaners, just like your hero DJ Trump. Not a crook, a "smart taxpayer." Right? I thought so. Sit down, and shut up, Gene.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > "...when the house and senate were stacked against him and the president."

        No, the people kept electing all those Republicans to oppose Obama and his radical takeover. But don't stop calling it "stacking," okay? Makes it easier to identify the paid posters. ;-/

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What action?

      Complaining / praising? The same thing happened when Wheeler ruled that ISPs were under Title II, except the complainers & praisers were reversed.

      Ideally congress would pass an updated telecommunications law since the last one was written before 95% of congress had ever heard of the internet, let alone accessed it. But that doesn't seem likely with the republicans in charge, they believe all regulation is bad, and ISPs will have to abuse their freedom pretty badly before they realize that letting them self regulate is not a reasonable strategy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What action?

        > "...they believe all regulation is bad..."

        You really should avoid easily refuted absolute statements, it makes you look less than credible.

  3. 2Nick3

    Ug

    Partisanship has taken over any semblance of common sense. "If THEY are for it, I'm against it!" puts people in some dumb positions...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ug

      Always gone for the "Don't like either one of you bastards" approach myself.

      Talking of which, as it's internet related shouldn't it be a goatse rodeo? Already seen a massive display of arsehole and this is just the opening salvo.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Ug

        Goatse ropers need love too?

        But I agree ... Both sides are carrying on like four year olds having a slap-fest. Personally, I find it absolutely hysterical ... and just hope we all survive the next couple of years.

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Ug

        But that just puts you in the UNHAPPY medium where EVERYONE ELSE hates (and out votes you).

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Ug

          On the contrary, Chuck. I'm amused, not unhappy. I know of nobody who hates me (except my FIL, and he's coming back around). And guess what, Chuck? "Everybody" always outvotes the individual. Doesn't stop me from making my single, solitary opinion known, though. That's kinda how this "voting" thing works, no?

          We now return you to your hysterically childish slap-fest, already in progress.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Ug

            Just because you don't know them doesn't mean they don't hate you. And part of the art of voting is convincing people to agree with you. If your stand doesn't have the proverbial leg to stand on, it is you who needs to re-evaluate your stance, even if it IS the right one to you (which is relative; that's why you can never win an argument with an irrational person). If you're the one hen in a house full of foxes, perhaps the best option is to bail the hen house.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    None of this political rhetoric in America is about the facts. It's about fundraising. Republicans and Democrats have the exact same level of discourse about every issue. "It's the worst thing ever". "It's the best thing ever". It's all about getting their core supporters so hyped up that they'll click the "donate" buttons on their web pages.

    You are just being exposed to it in this case because it's a Congressional issue that has to do with your interest area. If you worked in healthcare or insurance or banking, you'd see this kind of back-and-forth from Congress about your industry on a daily basis.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Our contribution to interferring with client traffic...

    When our deep packet inspection matches the text string "Ajit Pai" traversing a link we replace it with "Ajit [Tosser] Pai" to demonstrate the power inequity of those requesting traffic through the wire they pay for and that of those controlling the wire.

    Why do politossers always think they are right, especially as they appear to have marginal understanding of the area to which they are appointed?

  6. Alt C

    So from what I've read, his position basically boils down to all regulation bad.

    So would any Americans who support this view explain why Europe with its 'excessive and burdomsome' regulation has better internet connections and more competition over providers than you?

    This applies to pretty much all infrastructure so its a circle I can't seem to square.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      "So would any Americans who support this view explain why Europe with its 'excessive and burdomsome' regulation has better internet connections and more competition over providers than you?"

      Simple: they're SMALLER. When it comes to networks, geography matters because of the infrastructure costs, and it's worth nothing that the only countries LARGER than the US have WORSE Internet access.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Alt C

        Nice try but how many choices do you have in any big city? from the comments here its still one, two maybe three if your lucky?

        I live in a relativly small city and have at the last look 19 providers to choose from. From wikipedia (not the best source I know) I can see 80+ cities larger than mine in the US. I'd expect the 'free unregulated market' to be offering better choice in those areas where the population supports rollout of networks - which it doesn't appear to be doing.

        N.B. yes even in the UK rural areas suffer and America has more rural areas so i'd expect those areas to not have the best of services.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Not only that, cities can have another handicap: age. I can name two HUGE cities that both have some difficulties wiring up: New York and London. Why? Both are OLD cities full of built-up (and built-DOWN) infrastructure. Anything you want to build in those cities has to get around all that existing stuff first.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Man's an idiot

    From my UK side of the pond, I don't understand how this charmless moron (much like Trump's other cronies, from what I've seen), can unilaterally declare that things will change regarding neutrality - regulations that have been previously written in to law by a court, according to the article. Surely this can't be legal? Mind you, this doesn't seem to have stopped Trump and his kind making up new unworkable rules as he goes along by way of his so-called "executive orders". How you good folk in the colonies voted this complete and utter cretinous ignoramus, who has NEVER been a politician (and sure as hell ain't one now), into the most powerful office on the planet is totally beyond me!

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: Man's an idiot

      "How you good folk in the colonies voted this complete and utter cretinous ignoramus, who has NEVER been a politician (and sure as hell ain't one now), into the most powerful office on the planet is totally beyond me!"

      Simples. Look at who he was running against.

      Slightly more people actually thought he was the lesser of two very nasty evils. (Inept narcissist Vs. political power tripper )

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Man's an idiot

        Narcissist, okay. Inept? Hardly. You are focusing on his technique and missing his true aims. That's what Trump counts on. I predict he'll be the most successful president since Reagan, and even more hated by the impotent Left.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Man's an idiot

      "I don't understand how this charmless moron [Pai] can unilaterally declare that things will change regarding neutrality - regulations that have been previously written in to law by a court, according to the article."

      Such charming ignorance. US judges don't write law (some still try tho), and Net Neutrality was imposed on the country by Obama's cronies at the FCC with no congressional input whatsoever. Thus it has no real standing, and the fact that it's been in place for a little while means squat.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I like the article as it shows all the diametrical points of view.

    In my humble opinion it boils down to one thing, we (I'm in the UK but I'm guessing we're next to some extent) don't have traffic management (at least not to a degree that is noticeable) so net neutrality works. Now if that is the case why would you want to change it to allow a service provider to control what they serve?

    An easy example would be gas and electric, would you choose a supplier that forced you onto electric even though it's more expensive than gas?

    Even though I don't use it I'm actually glad at this point that we have bt wholesale adsl because it means if anyone tried these sorts of shenanigans another company would take all their business even if they charged more.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "we (I'm in the UK but I'm guessing we're next to some extent) don't have traffic management"

      Doesn't traffic shaping count. After TalkTalk took over my old ISP they traffic shaped Usenet more or less out of existence during a good portion of the day. So I left them and take the opportunity of informing those sales droids who try to sell it in public places why I'm not interested. In a loud enough voice for any passing sales prospects to hear, of course.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Traffic shaping/management is the same thing really. I've not used talktalk so I'm unaware of it but with talktalk nothing would surprise me.

        Then again I thought newsgroups were mirrored at the ISP so they didn't need to use traffic management because you never left their network.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          They use bandwidth to mirror the newsgroups, though.

          1. jake Silver badge

            "They" don't need to. Usenet works perfectly well over UUCP, mirrors & all. Sensible people would ignore most of the binary groups as wastes of space, as they have since time immemorial.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              But it STILL takes bandwidth they may have to pay for: regardless of the method unless they use courtesy couriers. Especially if they include the "alt." groups that are the REAL draw of Usenet these days.

  9. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Since all US internet traffic is going through the NSA servers, they have a level playing field after all, regardless if you want to pay to speed things up.

  10. VanguardG

    The UK has 94,000 square miles of land mass. The entire European Union taken as a whole comprises 1.7 million square miles.

    The US has 3.8 million square miles, over twice that of the EU. With that much territory to cover, its going to take a *lot* more time for providers to overlap and provide the kind of competition you refer to, for now its really only a competition in certain suburban areas.

    At some point my house was run for fiber - and for some semi-inexplicable reason, all the standard phone and cable outlets were simply cut off and stuffed into the walls, and covered with blank plates. But for THAT, I'd have a choice of 5 home Internet providers, and I know of those and 3 more that offer business-class services. Since my house is set up the way it is, I'm limited to just one, since only one provider has, thus far, run fiber optics in the area - unlike copper lines, fiber lines aren't shared.

    1. Captain DaFt

      "its going to take a *lot* more time for providers to overlap and provide the kind of competition you refer to"

      Yah, try never. The companies go out of their way not to compete.

      The borders are clear and sacrosanct. One house gets Comcast, two houses down get Time Warner, and the house between them gets neither, because it sets on the border.

    2. The_Idiot

      Well...

      @VanguardG

      ... according to most references I can find, the US is actually 3,537,438 sq miles. Canada, which recently adopted a rather different view of net neutrality, is 3,855,100 sq miles. OK - so that includes the wet bits :-). But it does lead me to wonder what the point of the land area comment was in terms of net neutrality - might I ask for enlightenment?

      Oh - and I'll avoid mentioning my 250Mb, symetric, uncapped fiber-to-the-apartment ISP provision. For, um, less than US$40 (or UKP30) a month.

      Oh. Rats. I already did. mention it, I mean...

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Well...

        Because Canada's Internet access still stinks for the most part, especially if you go away from the densest parts to the south. Just go there and listen to all the complaints about the likes of Rogers.

        1. The_Idiot

          Re: Well...

          @Charles 9

          And I'm not saying I disagree. But (to my eyes at least) Vanguard's post seemed to suggest it was the large land area that somehow meant overlap and competition couldn't grow (for the foreseeable future) in the US.

          Well, Canada has a large (depending on how you measure, even larger) land area. And I wasn't suggesting all of it was equally well served, but rather saying that in some of the more densely populated areas there is, in fact, competition even with that large land area. So why doesn't the same hold true for, for example, in New York, San Francisco, Jersey City or Boston? And it might - but all I read/ hear about is how in the US folks don't _get_ a choice. Because while I freely admit I do indeed live in the denser south, I do have choice.

          And further, the original thread was about net neutrality. A subject on which Canada has (currently at least) taken a very different view from the US, despite US urging to the contrary. So (again), if the response from Vanguard was meant to imply this was somehow a result of land area (and my genuine and sincere apologies if it wasn't), then I have to offer Canada as an environment in which land area has _not_ led to the US view of neutrality, despite it's size.

      2. joemostowey

        Re: Well... Paying through the nose

        I have a 2 mps line- that's right 2 MPS, not 20, not 200, 2 MPS. costs me $100.00 US dollars a month.

        Cable stopped a mile away, landline phone service is really bad- Talk, not data, and we are 40 miles from the state capitol, 100 miles from the nations capitol.

        It's not the area square miles that dictate where cable runs, it's not even population density. It's profit ratio per customer. That's what keeps cables stock price high. More customers on longer cable runs messes up that ratio.

        It's not even the costs associated with running new lines. 3 times in the last 25 years the cable company has upgraded its cables, running all new cable trunk lines, and zero expansion outside the existing footprint.

        To expand would upset the ratio. More profit in the business is no incentive. Higher stock prices are.

        Once you reach the golden ratio, stocks will rise. touch that ratio, stocks fall.

        The business is not to supply service, its to raise the price of the stock.

        Certain grocery chains do the same thing. Once they have the market, they drop the incentives to lure customers. fewer workers running the checkout, product selection falls to the lowest common denominator, and the loss of business or even profit from individual stores means noting. Only how high the stock price is.

        Pai is a stock holder, not a business man. Stock prices make him wealthy, service and product mean nothing.

        Net neutrality hurts the stocks even while assuring the businesses that operate on the internet can grow.

        Hence we are screwed.

    3. H H

      "unlike copper lines, fiber lines aren't shared"

      Oh, but they are - here in Sweden. You even get fibre out in the sticks in quite a few places. Friendly competition FTW.

  11. StillGridlocked

    "Senator Al Franken (D-MN): "Let me be very clear: getting rid of net neutrality would destroy the internet as we know it. "

    Net Neutrality hasn't been in place very long so how did it get to be 'as we know it' all those years without net neutrality?

  12. Adam Higgins
    WTF?

    Here we go again

    It's clear that Chairman Pai is more interested in serving corporate interests than protecting the consumer. I believe his connection with his former employer, Verizon, affects his every move. He has already flatly stated his opinion, and I feel all public comments will be ignored.

    It's time to get rid of the fox guarding the henhouse! The last time this happened, almost 4 million people expressed their strong desire to have ISP's regulated under Title II. Listen to your constituents!

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Here we go again

      4 million in a country with over 350 million people. Can you say "drop in a bucket"? Constituents mean nothing to them since even if they were to vote, the pliable plebs would simply outvote them. For those 4 million people to matter, they would have to have serious business weight behind them with something far stronger than a strong desire to have ISPs regulated. Unless they can threaten a mass defection of business (and jobs, tax revenues, and so on) to Canada or whatever, they're not going to really pay attention.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If US buggers up the net what happens to the rest of the world?

    If US buggers up the net what happens to the rest of the world?

    Will the rest of us still retain ability to use the net unfettered?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: If US buggers up the net what happens to the rest of the world?

      Usenet and Fido are still out of the sight of the idiots in charge. So things slow down a trifle. Wouldn't hurt anything, IMO.

      1. fnj

        Re: If US buggers up the net what happens to the rest of the world?

        The internet is not just the web. Usenet is very much the internet. So is email. Fido, OTOH, is not. Fido is a pure point-to-point POTS modem network.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: If US buggers up the net what happens to the rest of the world?

          Usenet runs perfectly well over point-to-point POTS, no Internet needed.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: If US buggers up the net what happens to the rest of the world?

            USED TO run well. Now with all the data it carries? Think how long it took to download a 650MB ISO over dialup. Now raise it about a hundred times.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If US Buggers Up Net what about Rest of World?

    What happens to the rest of us if US sells off the Net to highest (US) bidder?

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