back to article You know this net neutrality thing? Well, people really love it

It's a funny thing, but the ability to buy an internet connection and not have the company you buy it from control what you can see and at what speed you can see it is a popular thing in the Land of the FreeTM. According to a poll by Ipsos and commissioned by open source software developer Mozilla, no less than 76 per cent of …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "According to the poll, which spoke to 1,000 people split evenly across political lines (and including independents), 73 per cent of Republicans support net neutrality too."

    So what? None of them pay lobbyists.

    1. DNTP

      Pai would stick his hand in a garbage disposal with only a brief pause if his owners' lobbyists asked for that. He's a soulless mercenary bastard, happy to be owned by a corporation.

      1. Vector
        Devil

        "He's a soulless mercenary bastard, happy to be owned by a corporation."

        Isn't that one of the definitions of Lawyer?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Beat me to it. Washington is run by lobbyists. They use talking points to convince people of one party or the other to back them to give them cover, but when they just plain can't, like with net neutrality, they'll still get their own way because they're buying off all the right people.

    3. veti Silver badge

      Lobbyists are powerful because they can deliver votes. One way or another. In their own right, they're nothing; their power is solely in how many votes their support can be bartered into.

      If you can persuade a politician that a single issue is so unpopular that no lobbyist can outweigh the votes it'll cost them, then the lobbyists are powerless. That's what happened to Trumpcare Mk I and II, and will probably happen to Mk III.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you want to help protect NN you can support groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU and Free Press who are fighting to keep Net Neutrality.

    https://www.eff.org/

    https://www.aclu.org/

    https://www.freepress.net/

    https://www.fightforthefuture.org/

    https://www.publicknowledge.org/

    https://demandprogress.org/

    also you can set them as your charity on https://smile.amazon.com/

    also write to your House Representative and senators http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

    https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm?OrderBy=state

    and the FCC

    https://www.fcc.gov/about/contact

    You can now add a comment to the repeal here

    https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/search/filings?proceedings_name=17-108&sort=date_disseminated,DESC

    here a easier URL you can use thanks to John Oliver

    www.gofccyourself.com

    you can also use this that help you contact your house and congressional reps, its easy to use and cuts down on the transaction costs with writing a letter to your reps.

    https://resistbot.io/

    also check out

    https://democracy.io/#!/

    which was made by the EFF and is a low transaction​cost tool for writing all your reps in one fell swoop and just a reminder that the FCC vote on 18th is to begin the process of rolling back Net Neutrality so there will be a 3 month comment period and the final vote will likely be around the 18th of August at least that what I have read, correct me if am wrong

  3. Jim-234

    Don't expect any change

    I would not expect there will be much change in policy anytime soon.

    The big companies in favour of Net Neutrality pretty much all did their utmost to help the party that ended up loosing the election with their campaigns.

    The winner has a historical penchant for getting back at those who try to hurt him & help his opponent.

    I'm pretty sure the cable companies & telcos are fairly confident things will go their way for some time to come.

    Interesting things however could happen because of this, you might see Google actually building their own ISP again or some other group start breaking into the internet delivery scene.

    1. Mike 16 Silver badge

      Re: Don't expect any change

      In many states, any potential competitor will be either outlawed outright (e.g. municipal or co-op ISPs) or made to jump through so many hoops that it would be cheaper to hand deliver each datagram on a gold platter.

  4. Grade%
    Megaphone

    Do not discount the power of the written word.

    I was going to try and be funny. This isn't funny. As a Canadian, it pains me to have our neighbours ostensibly being hijacked to a strange surreal land where they use words like "free" and "democracy" but they don't seem to mean what we in the English speaking world generally take them to mean.

    If you are a citizen of the United States, I urge you with all the stretched tendons of my being to write to your representative. I urge you to urge others to write. I urge you to urge the ones you urge to urge and write and write. Send a tsunami of mail to your government and TELL them that this will not stand.

    The real truth of the world? A pen in the hand of a determined citizen is true power. Use it. Save your online world.

    We know you can do it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do not discount the power of the written word.

      Y'know, all those tendons wouldn’t be so stretched if you had avoided the knee jerk reactions ;-)

      1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Re: Do not discount the power of the written word.

        @AC, which knee-jerk reactions would that be? Please list.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do not discount the power of the written word.

      The so called "land of the free" is anything but.

      If you can be fined just for calling yourself an Engineer but not actually earning money as one,

      If you need a permit which costs money/bribes/licking boots to do just about anything

      etc etc etc

      This is not the land of the free.

      Oh, and don't forget getting a $100 fine for not obeying a crossing signal at 03:00 ant the only car on the road (parked) was a police car!

      Ok, it is free, because everyone says feel free to give me all your dosh or STFU.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Could any of the companies who do care about neutrality locate the user accounts of Pai et al and degrade their specific service to mimic the effects of what's to come?

    1. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Quite. Not just Pai, but all customers of the cable companies supporting him.

      If Amazon and Netflix disappeared for a day and got replaced with a message explaining why then people might start to think.

      Google and Facebook are compromised by being on both sides of the fence.

  6. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Bye bye mister Eejit Pai,

    Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levy was high

    And them lobbyist boys were drinking whiskey and rye

    Singin' this'll be the day internet dies

    This'll be the day internet dies

  7. DerekCurrie
    Thumb Up

    How To Write the FCC Without Pain and Suffering

    Due to bad web coding, the FCC website itself is a mess to navigate when you'd like to convey your opinions to them regarding real net neutrality. This EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) page will cut-the-crap and get your message to them painlessly:

    https://dearfcc.org

    "Dear FCC,

    The FCC should ensure a fair and open Internet for all by opposing efforts to undermine net neutrality.

    The FCC should throw out Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal to give the government-subsidized ISP monopolies like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon the authority to throttle whatever they please, stripping users of the vital privacy and access protections we worked for and so recently won.

    I’m afraid of a “pay-to-play” Internet where ISPs can charge more for certain websites because . . ."

    ". . .Thankfully, the current FCC regulations ensure that ISP monopolies can’t slow or block Internet users’ ability to see certain web services or create Internet “fast lanes” by charging websites and online services money to reach people faster. That’s exactly the right balance to make sure competition in the Internet space is fair and benefits Internet users and small businesses as well as larger players. Pai’s proposal would transform ISPs into gatekeepers with the ability to veto new innovation and expression. That’s contrary to the basic precepts on which the Internet was built.

    Why the internet matters to me: . . ."

    ". . .Thanks for protecting Internet users like me by upholding the existing Title II net neutrality rules."

    1. j2f8j8j2fj

      Re: How To Write the FCC Without Pain and Suffering

      Better yet, print it and mail it. Flood the FCC with snail mail. (Since Pai has his head too far up his ass to understand that Americans are sending comments, not bots.)

      Federal Communications Commission

      445 12th Street, SW

      Washington, DC 20554

    2. Vector

      Re: How To Write the FCC Without Pain and Suffering

      "Due to bad web coding, the FCC website itself is a mess to navigate when you'd like to convey your opinions to them regarding real net neutrality."

      You seem to imply that's some kind of accident...

  8. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Megaphone

    it's NOT the FCC's job - that's why

    it's NOT the FCC's job to regulate what goes on the wires, or what the ISPs do with the data.

    That would be the FTC, or for Congress to legislate.

    Overstepping the boundaries of a regulatory body isn't a "solution" to ANYTHING.

    Now, getting Con-Grab off of their collective asses, that's something to do about it!

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: it's NOT the FCC's job - that's why

      You don't agree that internet communications occur by radio, wire or cable, or you don't agree that they run between states? Or maybe you're speaking out against the Communicatioms Act 1934 that frames the FCC as a body that protects consumer access to those sorts of communication tools?

  9. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Coat

    Say what you like but he's the Washing definition of an honest lawyer.

    "When he's bought, he stays bought."

  10. Wolfclaw
    Facepalm

    Funny how it's the same were ever you go, groups who are supposed to protect the public interests and inn fact paid for bitches of big business and will take the side of whoever has the biggest blank cheque. Wonder which brainless pr!ck had the idea of putting an ex-Verizon vulture/parasite, sorry attorney in charge of the overseeing body?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Funny how it's the same where ever you go, groups who are supposed to protect the public interests are in fact paid for bitches of big business and will take the side of whoever has the biggest blank cheque.

      Nothing funny about it. Why wouldn't you pay big money to quangos and activists to run their organisations for your benefit? Look no further than e.g. Greenpeace, who having ditched their founder Patrick Moore and airbrushed him out of the record now are entirely at the behest of the oil gas and green energy industry.

      The first thing a big corporate or government does when faced with an activist or regulatory group opposing its interests, is to put their own people in to run it if they can, or buy those who are running it, or simply give it addictive doses of funding that it cannot do without.

      Corruption on that scale is no longer corruptions, it's just the way the system works.

  11. Kev99

    You'd think that when over 70% of the people want something it should come to pass. Unless one lives in a oligarchy bought & paid for by those who profit the most by not giving the people what they want. What's really sad is the number of less developed countries that have freer access and higher speeds than the US.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "What's really sad is the number of less developed countries that have freer access and higher speeds than the US."

      I can't answer for the freer access but the higher speeds can sometimes be explained by some less developed countries having little to no existing comms infrastructure to sweat out and have installed all new, latest gen kit because it's their first roll-out. Even in developed countries, there is a leap-frog effect whereby one set of kit is has it's capital value sweated while other countries upgrade theirs and by the time they reach the sweating the assets stage, you are upgrading past them.

  12. dbayly

    What happens to external internet users ...

    .. when the US does away with net neutrality?

    will my access to US sites from Europe be affected (well sure) and how ?

  13. Prndll

    Net Neutrality is about politics

    ....NOT technology!

    The web/internet was already neutral before 'net neutrality' came into the picture.

    I find it interesting that most of the people yelling the loudest in favor of net neutrality are the very same ones that are more likely to rent their modem (and more importantly....their router) from their ISP.

    If you want control over your connection, use YOUR OWN router. Using your own modem would be a good idea too.

    You have a choice....

    You can take control over your network or you can give it all to someone else to control. If you choose to give it to your ISP then you have nothing to complain about.

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Net Neutrality is about politics

      If you want control over your connection, use YOUR OWN router. Using your own modem would be a good idea too.

      And what if the ISP doesn't allow third-party routers / modems to be connected? This is quite common.

      And to forestall your next idea, what if there is only one ISP in your area, so you can't change?

      1. Prndll

        Re: Net Neutrality is about politics

        Any ISP not allowing it's customers the use of purchased (non-ISP provided) routers is a problem for many people. But many people will simply go with whatever the ISP gives them so they don't have to be responsible for anything. For many, the option is there but is refused.

        What I'm saying is:

        Many (if not most) of the concerns people have can be solved by taking direct and meaningful responsibility for what does and does not happen on your internal network. It serves no real purpose to be upset at an ISP for something you should be handling on your end.

        An ISP directly limiting your access to Netflix is a problem. But, most people are never going to see the difference between that and their problems using Netflix based on virus infection, a poor or cheaply made router, or even technical problems from Netflix itself. How ridiculous is it to blame your ISP if Netflix gets hacked?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Net Neutrality is about politics

      OK, I've bought my own router.

      How exactly does that stop the ISP from throttling or blocking traffic that originates beyond my network? You can't stop the ISP from favouring their own video service and throttling Netflix by changing your router and modem.

    3. Fatman

      Re: Net Neutrality is about politics

      I strongly suggest that you bone up on the fundamentals of network traffic flows, and really come to understand this concept called "QoS", and how it can affect network traffic.

      Here is a good place to get started:

      http://docwiki.cisco.com/wiki/Quality_of_Service_Networking

      a key point being:

      <quote>The primary goal of QoS is to provide priority including dedicated bandwidth, controlled jitter and latency (required by some real-time and interactive traffic), and improved loss characteristics. Also important is making sure that providing priority for one or more flows does not make other flows fail. </quote>

      Now, think for a second how a malicious greedy ISP can fuck with the traffic that flows through its network? If I am an ISP, and I see traffic destined for (say Netflix) and I have a competing offering, why shouldn't I consider it a priority that MY traffic flows are smooth and jitter free, all the while degrading Netflix's? Why should I give shit if Netflix's flows are lousy, it is my priority after all!

      If the customer's captive users don't like it, then they can go to the competition. Oh, wait, in my area there IS NO competition Tough shit customer!

      1. Prndll

        Re: Net Neutrality is about politics

        The biggest problems are coming from two areas......government and user ignorance/apathy.

        ISP throttling might be there and might be 'a thing', but comparatively speaking...too small 'a thing' to spend that much time getting all that worked up about.

        I do understand the idea of QoS and ISP's certainly have that power (to a certain extent) but there is a big misconception as to just WHO is doing what.....where....why.....and how. These misconceptions are understandable when you keep in mind that very few people actually understand much about how the technologies really work. Many of those that DO understand have been brain-washed into thinking they have to do certain things in certain ways. For example, it is NOT absolutely mandatory that you include various scripts provided by Google in order to get high rankings on a Google search. These are the scripts that slow things down and make Google 'aware' of everything. Another example is the extensive use of Flash within YouTube. Flash is dangerous and needs to go away. But instead of doing that, we all encourage it's use by updating and continuing to use Youtube. Then we want to blame the ISP when we can't get good throughout on it. There is also this idea that everything needs to be on wifi to "be modern'. Wifi is not usually as good as wired. Regardless of what router you use. There are so many examples of this it is pathetic.

        The end user has so much more control than is ever realized. It is beyond me why anyone would actually want to use routers from ISP's.

        Ya know, people can drastically improve their ability to use the internet if they would just filter out all the advertising. Most people do not understand that most of the code on any given webpage has absolutely NOTHING to do with why your viewing that webpage in the first place. That code gets processed and not only slows down your speeds but is also where you pick up infections.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Critical Thinking

    For a site that tends to lend itself to critical thinking about topics, there is a lack of that here. Follow the money. Over the past decades, after de-regulation, all of the profit in the last mile has dried up, even for wireless. Government access regulations have made it impossible to make any profit for rather large, behemoth carriers. Also, I'm sure there are plenty of insiders that read The Reg and know that all the major US carriers were very unhappy with the election results. Management of every carrier has made statement internally and hinted at publicly. Why?

    Simple, there is no money in the last mile. That is why AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, et al, have been purchasing content providers. If you know anything of the ISP and TV game, you know that is where the money is, not providing access to the content. The point being, a lot of the groups pushing for NN, were pushing for government controlled last mile (re-regulation); and so were the large ISPs. Why? Well if you had an anchor for an aircraft carrier dragging you down to the depths, you would want someone else to take it for you too... Welcome the new and very unimproved Federal ISP for everyone, less speed, less service, and the IRS billing you every possible dime you have for it; and significantly less privacy than before (but NN). Even the survey shows no one wants the government involved, but a large number of NN backers are for re-regulation.

    I'm not a fan of Pai by any stretch of the imagination, nor of the FCC and most regulatory bodies. I often fine the SEC and FAA, having no logic or reasoning skills as well. But I also don't want to have to pay 10x for government internet access, and have all my information be widely available to Google, Facebook, or any other company the new Federal ISP would sale my information to in a heartbeat. At least I can sue AT&T, Verizon, or Comcast for breach of contract, you can't sue the government successfully. NN is a fine idea, but perhaps we are a bit too trusting of those that say they are fighting for us. It is best to ask, what is in it for them, before we assume they are on our side.

    1. j2f8j8j2fj

      Re: Critical Thinking

      "Over the past decades, after de-regulation, all of the profit in the last mile has dried up, even for wireless."

      Nope, try talking to a rural ISP. There's money to be made. The reason you don't see more small ISPs around cities is that cable companies are allowed to throw thousands of frivolous lawsuits at them (which unless the representative from the small ISP shows up in court, it's a default ruling against).

      "At least I can sue AT&T, Verizon, or Comcast for breach of contract"

      You can sue all you like, the contracts have a clause that allows them to change the contract at any time. You'll end up wasting money and very likely be targeted for your stupidity.

  15. Mike Moyle Silver badge

    "You know this net neutrality thing? Well, people really love it"

    ...Just not the RIGHT people.

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