President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utility

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President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utility

Postby KnightExemplar » Mon Nov 10, 2014 3:35 pm UTC

http://www.theverge.com/2014/11/10/7185 ... obama-says

I'm guessing he was waiting for the election to be over before making a new political move. Does anyone know if Congress needs to pass any legislation for this to happen? Or does the FCC / executive branch have the power to classify the internet as a utility without support from the other branches?
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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby Xeio » Mon Nov 10, 2014 3:43 pm UTC

Oh please, please please.

...

What am I talking about, I'll believe this when it's actually put into effect by the FCC. Public statements mean nothing. [/cynical]

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby sardia » Mon Nov 10, 2014 4:27 pm UTC

The president has no more if not less influence than congress on the fcc. The classification is entirely under fcc control. No law or order needs to be passed. The only reason the fcc is hesitating is its under enormous pressure from high price lobbyists. Not to mention the fcc is made up of former industry execs and those people want a cushy job for being the industrys loyal lap dog.

That said , I appreciate the unequivocal support. The more pressure we can apply, the better chance our snowball of net neutrality has in fcc hell.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Nov 10, 2014 4:39 pm UTC

I may be mincing terms because I'm by NO means familiar with this issue, but we have public broadcast radio. Surely some corner of the internet or minimum internet usage can be afforded as public?
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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Nov 10, 2014 4:42 pm UTC

This isn't about saying that we should have a chunk of public Internet but that the Internet is effectively a utility like roads or a sewage system and should be treated as such.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:12 am UTC

This even got a few of my friends who usually think Obama is the worst possible president to concede that at lest one good thing has happened in his presidency.
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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:38 am UTC

cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:This even got a few of my friends who usually think Obama is the worst possible president to concede that at lest one good thing has happened in his presidency.


Two.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby leady » Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:26 am UTC

I doubt he will get too many plaudits when the new regulation enables the industry to raise their access pricing as a block now when one area of service differentiation has been removed

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby Ormurinn » Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:13 am UTC

I can't wait until the internet is provided as efficiently as U.S public utilities!

Oh wait...
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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby sardia » Wed Nov 12, 2014 3:59 pm UTC

Are orm and leady arguing against net neutrality? Or that old line that government is so bad that you'd trust corporations to do less harm?

Improved by Zamfir

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:36 pm UTC

Thanks to monopolies granted by various municipalities, etc, many areas already have all the WORST parts of being a public utility.

It's entirely reasonable to hate that. However, the consumer protections offered by net neutrality are a good thing for both the consumer and the market as a whole. Monopolization is what has crushed consumer choice, not net neutrality.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby sardia » Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:04 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Thanks to monopolies granted by various municipalities, etc, many areas already have all the WORST parts of being a public utility.

It's entirely reasonable to hate that. However, the consumer protections offered by net neutrality are a good thing for both the consumer and the market as a whole. Monopolization is what has crushed consumer choice, not net neutrality.

I can agree with monopoly being bad but orms one liner implies that we are better off without net neutrality. Because unregulated monopoly is so much better just because it doesn't have government in it.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby Derek » Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:34 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Are orm and leady arguing against net neutrality? Or that old line that government is so bad that you'd trust corporations to do less harm?

Improved by Zamfir

I trust competitive corporations to do less harm than the government. Unfortunately broadband providers are not particularly competitive.

Although Comcast gave me a huge boost in bandwidth speeds right around the time Verizon FIOS moved into my area. Funny that.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Thu Nov 13, 2014 3:42 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:This even got a few of my friends who usually think Obama is the worst possible president to concede that at lest one good thing has happened in his presidency.


Two.

I wouldn't credit Obama for that at all, but there's no denying it did happen during his presidency.
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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby sardia » Thu Nov 13, 2014 5:00 am UTC

Derek wrote:
sardia wrote:Are orm and leady arguing against net neutrality? Or that old line that government is so bad that you'd trust corporations to do less harm?

Improved by Zamfir

I trust competitive corporations to do less harm than the government. Unfortunately broadband providers are not particularly competitive.

Although Comcast gave me a huge boost in bandwidth speeds right around the time Verizon FIOS moved into my area. Funny that.

That's like saying I trust communism unfortunately all the people who tried it failed. The real world isn't like our simplistic models that come with a myriad of hidden assumptions. Try naming 3 important markets where it's supposedly competitive but not regulated by the government.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby addams » Thu Nov 13, 2014 2:08 pm UTC

cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:
cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:This even got a few of my friends who usually think Obama is the worst possible president to concede that at lest one good thing has happened in his presidency.


Two.

I wouldn't credit Obama for that at all, but there's no denying it did happen during his presidency.

oh, So Off Topic:
Spoiler:
He did not do it.
He may or may not have known anything about it, until it was over.

He will be credited with having made the announcement.
Whether that is a Good Thing or a Bad Thing is Public.

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What the Hell does that have to do with The Internet?
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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:23 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Thanks to monopolies granted by various municipalities, etc, many areas already have all the WORST parts of being a public utility.

It's entirely reasonable to hate that. However, the consumer protections offered by net neutrality are a good thing for both the consumer and the market as a whole. Monopolization is what has crushed consumer choice, not net neutrality.

I can agree with monopoly being bad but orms one liner implies that we are better off without net neutrality. Because unregulated monopoly is so much better just because it doesn't have government in it.


The monopolies exist precisely BECAUSE of government.

Now, I'm pro-net neutrality, but we shouldn't pretend like government has been innocent in enabling the current state of affairs.

sardia wrote:That's like saying I trust communism unfortunately all the people who tried it failed. The real world isn't like our simplistic models that come with a myriad of hidden assumptions. Try naming 3 important markets where it's supposedly competitive but not regulated by the government.


I believe the issue here is not one of "markets that work" but "markets that are not regulated". The latter is essentially non-existent. We are simply comparing more regulation vs less. However, regulation is not a simple commodity. How much of an effect regulation has is very complicated, and depends on the specifics of the example.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby sardia » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:33 pm UTC

Some monopolies are naturally occurring. Some exist because of government. And some exist because of corporations lobbying government to give them monopolies. Corporations aren't innocent either.

My comments were directed to derek who claimed to trust competitive corporations over government. That was an naive statement which I called him on. He implied that it was better to trust the telecom companies over regulations for net neutrality simply because government was involved.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby leady » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:36 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Are orm and leady arguing against net neutrality? Or that old line that government is so bad that you'd trust corporations to do less harm?

Improved by Zamfir


Depends on the definition :) Net neutrality in terms of web access sure in principle. Net neutrality in terms of allowing large video providers to swamp networks and forcing service providers to offset the cost across the entire base I've yet to be sold on.

On the specific point I suspect legally enforced neutrality will provide the cover for a detrimental cost hike to end-users but with an industry wide "look we have been forced to" distraction. Frankly someone always has to pay, no free lunches etc etc

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:43 pm UTC

leady wrote:
sardia wrote:Are orm and leady arguing against net neutrality? Or that old line that government is so bad that you'd trust corporations to do less harm?

Improved by Zamfir


Depends on the definition :) Net neutrality in terms of web access sure in principle. Net neutrality in terms of allowing large video providers to swamp networks and forcing service providers to offset the cost across the entire base I've yet to be sold on.


They are not "swamping networks". Customers are accessing them. It's no different than any other data being served. It just happens to have big numbers, so everyone picks on the big target(aka, netflix).

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby Ormurinn » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:45 pm UTC

@ Sardia - I'm pro net neutrality, I was just being tongue in cheek.

I do think that monopoly busting might be a better tactic than declaring the internet a public utility. I also think that a lot of the U.S telecoms monopolies are going to disappear within the next ten years as aerosat coverage gets off the ground (geddit?).
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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby leady » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:50 pm UTC

Its huge numbers, its all at the same time and its subject to service degradation if there isn't enough capacity causing complaints and its a only around 20% of people at the moment driving practically all the cost and everyone picks up the shared tab.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby cphite » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:58 pm UTC

leady wrote:
sardia wrote:Are orm and leady arguing against net neutrality? Or that old line that government is so bad that you'd trust corporations to do less harm?

Improved by Zamfir


Depends on the definition :) Net neutrality in terms of web access sure in principle. Net neutrality in terms of allowing large video providers to swamp networks and forcing service providers to offset the cost across the entire base I've yet to be sold on.

On the specific point I suspect legally enforced neutrality will provide the cover for a detrimental cost hike to end-users but with an industry wide "look we have been forced to" distraction. Frankly someone always has to pay, no free lunches etc etc


What people need to understand is that bandwidth is a limited resource. So when companies like Netflix are streaming tons and tons of data, it has the potential to seriously impact the bandwidth available to other users. The intelligent solution - which many providers have put forward - is to let companies like Netflix pay a premium to use alternate bandwidth. This would mean faster, more reliable service for Netflix customers; and also faster and more reliable service for general users.

A lot of people - prompted in large part by politicians and activists looking for a cause to rally around - read this as somehow "throttling" the general users. This is absurd, and frankly misguided.

The real effect of net neutrality is going to be that as more and more people are using services like Netflix, internet providers are going to be forced to provide more and more bandwidth on the general networks... and guess who is going to pay for that? The average user, even someone who doesn't use high bandwidth services, is going to pay more for their internet access and essentially subsidize the heavy users - and at a cost far higher than if providers were allowed to use the alternate pathways.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby Derek » Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:29 pm UTC

sardia wrote:My comments were directed to derek who claimed to trust competitive corporations over government. That was an naive statement which I called him on. He implied that it was better to trust the telecom companies over regulations for net neutrality simply because government was involved.

Whoa whoa, when did I ever say that broadband providers were competitive? In fact, I'm pretty sure I said the exact opposite.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby sardia » Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:51 pm UTC

@derek. Fair, I partially retract my accusation. Though you still can't trust corporations to be competitive for long.

blaming heavy users is a Trojan horse strawman. The ttelecoms are providing slower and more expensive service even after controlling for population density. This is hurting us competitiveness. So I call bs on the heavy user strawman.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:55 pm UTC

Wait, don't we already 'live stream' through cable lines? How is Netflix using more bandwidth than your traditional HBO show?

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:59 pm UTC

cphite wrote:
leady wrote:
sardia wrote:Are orm and leady arguing against net neutrality? Or that old line that government is so bad that you'd trust corporations to do less harm?

Improved by Zamfir


Depends on the definition :) Net neutrality in terms of web access sure in principle. Net neutrality in terms of allowing large video providers to swamp networks and forcing service providers to offset the cost across the entire base I've yet to be sold on.

On the specific point I suspect legally enforced neutrality will provide the cover for a detrimental cost hike to end-users but with an industry wide "look we have been forced to" distraction. Frankly someone always has to pay, no free lunches etc etc


What people need to understand is that bandwidth is a limited resource. So when companies like Netflix are streaming tons and tons of data, it has the potential to seriously impact the bandwidth available to other users. The intelligent solution - which many providers have put forward - is to let companies like Netflix pay a premium to use alternate bandwidth. This would mean faster, more reliable service for Netflix customers; and also faster and more reliable service for general users.

A lot of people - prompted in large part by politicians and activists looking for a cause to rally around - read this as somehow "throttling" the general users. This is absurd, and frankly misguided.

The real effect of net neutrality is going to be that as more and more people are using services like Netflix, internet providers are going to be forced to provide more and more bandwidth on the general networks... and guess who is going to pay for that? The average user, even someone who doesn't use high bandwidth services, is going to pay more for their internet access and essentially subsidize the heavy users - and at a cost far higher than if providers were allowed to use the alternate pathways.


If this is the problem, wouldn't it then make more sense to charge users based on the amount of bandwidth that they use?

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby sardia » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:03 pm UTC

From what I read, usage caps are a way to boost profits and stifle competition from Internet based content generators. Aka it's barely tolerable in a healthy market and a Trojan horse in our duopoly markets.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:07 pm UTC

sardia wrote:From what I read, usage caps are a way to boost profits and stifle competition from Internet based content generators. Aka it's barely tolerable in a healthy market and a Trojan horse in our duopoly markets.


I was specifically talking about charging for bandwidth, not capping data. Even better would be to charge more for bandwidth during peak hours. If the problem is that 20% of the users are using 80% of the bandwidth, then the most sensible solution is to charge those users at an appropriate rate for their usage.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:36 pm UTC

leady wrote:Its huge numbers, its all at the same time and its subject to service degradation if there isn't enough capacity causing complaints and its a only around 20% of people at the moment driving practically all the cost and everyone picks up the shared tab.


This is entirely because Comcast and company doesn't bill by bandwidth, but simply by access. This is not the only pricing model available(in fact, I've totally used pay by bandwidth models before. It's super common). Comcast doesn't HAVE to use that model.

And this is true regardless of the precise content being served. Netflix merely happens to be a big content provider. If Netflix didn't exist, usage of bandwidth would still be unequal. Some people are simply less interested in using it.

If they wish to sell internet access as "5gigs a mo for $x", then great. I have no problem with that. I *do* have a problem with them advertising "unlimited internet for $x", and then providing...not that.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby cphite » Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:22 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
cphite wrote:
leady wrote:
sardia wrote:Are orm and leady arguing against net neutrality? Or that old line that government is so bad that you'd trust corporations to do less harm?

Improved by Zamfir


Depends on the definition :) Net neutrality in terms of web access sure in principle. Net neutrality in terms of allowing large video providers to swamp networks and forcing service providers to offset the cost across the entire base I've yet to be sold on.

On the specific point I suspect legally enforced neutrality will provide the cover for a detrimental cost hike to end-users but with an industry wide "look we have been forced to" distraction. Frankly someone always has to pay, no free lunches etc etc


What people need to understand is that bandwidth is a limited resource. So when companies like Netflix are streaming tons and tons of data, it has the potential to seriously impact the bandwidth available to other users. The intelligent solution - which many providers have put forward - is to let companies like Netflix pay a premium to use alternate bandwidth. This would mean faster, more reliable service for Netflix customers; and also faster and more reliable service for general users.

A lot of people - prompted in large part by politicians and activists looking for a cause to rally around - read this as somehow "throttling" the general users. This is absurd, and frankly misguided.

The real effect of net neutrality is going to be that as more and more people are using services like Netflix, internet providers are going to be forced to provide more and more bandwidth on the general networks... and guess who is going to pay for that? The average user, even someone who doesn't use high bandwidth services, is going to pay more for their internet access and essentially subsidize the heavy users - and at a cost far higher than if providers were allowed to use the alternate pathways.


If this is the problem, wouldn't it then make more sense to charge users based on the amount of bandwidth that they use?


To a certain point, yes... the problem is that when you have a relatively small number of services using the majority of bandwidth, simply charging everyone more along a flat rate isn't enough to cover the bandwidth increases that those same services make necessary in the first place. After a certain point, the rates will go up to where it adversely affects your typical home user.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby sardia » Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:51 pm UTC

Alternatively, the isp are only whining about heavy users because they skimmed too much instead of reinvesting into their equipment. I understand we can't all be like those small urban Asian cities with godlike Internet that's cheap but you are being fed a bunch of bullplop.

Maybe we should do what Tennessee did in Chatanoga and build a public option. Or pray to our Google overlords.

Edit: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/14/upsho ... f=politics
I was right, FCC is more easily pressured by Congress because that is who controls the purse and rules for which the FCC is funded under.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby Djehutynakht » Fri Nov 14, 2014 2:48 am UTC

Didn't you guys hear Ted Cruz? Net Neutrality is Internet Communism The Affordable Care Act.

This message has been sponsored by xfinity.




edit: Oh, come on xckd censor. Now I can't even quote Ted Cruz correctly.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby Derek » Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:16 am UTC

sardia wrote:@derek. Fair, I partially retract my accusation. Though you still can't trust corporations to be competitive for long.

I don't trust them to be competitive, I trust them if they are competitive. Corporations have a strong motivation to reduce competition in their industry in any way they can (which can often include more regulation). But we can make laws that encourage competition, or not make laws that discourage competition.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby sardia » Fri Nov 14, 2014 4:16 am UTC

Derek wrote:
sardia wrote:@derek. Fair, I partially retract my accusation. Though you still can't trust corporations to be competitive for long.

I don't trust them to be competitive, I trust them if they are competitive. Corporations have a strong motivation to reduce competition in their industry in any way they can (which can often include more regulation). But we can make laws that encourage competition, or not make laws that discourage competition.

A good rule of thumb is to treat corporations like the Soviet KGB treated dissidents or how police treat minorities. They are free to act, so long as they perform under constant suspicion and omnipresent threat of punishment.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Nov 14, 2014 2:33 pm UTC

cphite wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:If this is the problem, wouldn't it then make more sense to charge users based on the amount of bandwidth that they use?


To a certain point, yes... the problem is that when you have a relatively small number of services using the majority of bandwidth, simply charging everyone more along a flat rate isn't enough to cover the bandwidth increases that those same services make necessary in the first place. After a certain point, the rates will go up to where it adversely affects your typical home user.


It does not matter, in the slightest, what the number of services that the average user consumes. Bandwidth is bandwidth(yes, I'm aware that from a networking perspective this isn't 100% true, but a single reliable source of demand is actually EASIER to deal with than a less predictable demand).

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby addams » Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:05 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
Derek wrote:
sardia wrote:@derek. Fair, I partially retract my accusation. Though you still can't trust corporations to be competitive for long.

I don't trust them to be competitive, I trust them if they are competitive. Corporations have a strong motivation to reduce competition in their industry in any way they can (which can often include more regulation). But we can make laws that encourage competition, or not make laws that discourage competition.

A good rule of thumb is to treat corporations like the Soviet KGB treated dissidents or how police treat minorities. They are free to act, so long as they perform under constant suspicion and omnipresent threat of punishment.

Off Topic, again.
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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby cphite » Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:29 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
cphite wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:If this is the problem, wouldn't it then make more sense to charge users based on the amount of bandwidth that they use?


To a certain point, yes... the problem is that when you have a relatively small number of services using the majority of bandwidth, simply charging everyone more along a flat rate isn't enough to cover the bandwidth increases that those same services make necessary in the first place. After a certain point, the rates will go up to where it adversely affects your typical home user.


It does not matter, in the slightest, what the number of services that the average user consumes. Bandwidth is bandwidth(yes, I'm aware that from a networking perspective this isn't 100% true, but a single reliable source of demand is actually EASIER to deal with than a less predictable demand).


Not really. There are limits to how much bandwidth a single source can support that cannot be overcome by simply throwing more money at at. Once you reach that limit - and some providers are getting close - it actually becomes very difficult, or even impossible, to ensure reliable service to everyone using that source. It would be far easier in terms of administration and maintenance to provide dedicated sources for heavier users.

Services that stream video use up massive amounts of bandwidth relative to general usage.

The ironic thing about this whole argument about making the internet a "public utility" is that even public utilities don't work the way it's being suggested. Most water utilities, for example, use a tiered payment structure. As you pass certain thresholds, your per-gallon rate goes higher. Many gas companies do the same thing. In most cases, unless you're a business owner you're never going to go past the first tier.

Likewise, if you run a factory or large corporate building, you don't just plug into the electrical grid like everyone else; you get dedicated lines that you pay a surcharge to use. In this way, people who stress the respective systems the most, pay more to support the growth and additional maintenance that their heavy use incurs.

Tyndmyr
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Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:32 pm UTC

cphite wrote:Not really. There are limits to how much bandwidth a single source can support that cannot be overcome by simply throwing more money at at. Once you reach that limit - and some providers are getting close - it actually becomes very difficult, or even impossible, to ensure reliable service to everyone using that source. It would be far easier in terms of administration and maintenance to provide dedicated sources for heavier users.

Services that stream video use up massive amounts of bandwidth relative to general usage.

The ironic thing about this whole argument about making the internet a "public utility" is that even public utilities don't work the way it's being suggested. Most water utilities, for example, use a tiered payment structure. As you pass certain thresholds, your per-gallon rate goes higher. Many gas companies do the same thing. In most cases, unless you're a business owner you're never going to go past the first tier.

Likewise, if you run a factory or large corporate building, you don't just plug into the electrical grid like everyone else; you get dedicated lines that you pay a surcharge to use. In this way, people who stress the respective systems the most, pay more to support the growth and additional maintenance that their heavy use incurs.


Netflix is not a single location. None of the really big internet companies are. Yes, piping the entire internet to one location would indeed be challenging, but the fact that netflix is a popular application isn't nearly so troublesome.

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LaserGuy
Posts: 4558
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:33 pm UTC

Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby LaserGuy » Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:24 pm UTC

cphite wrote:Not really. There are limits to how much bandwidth a single source can support that cannot be overcome by simply throwing more money at at. Once you reach that limit - and some providers are getting close - it actually becomes very difficult, or even impossible, to ensure reliable service to everyone using that source. It would be far easier in terms of administration and maintenance to provide dedicated sources for heavier users.

Services that stream video use up massive amounts of bandwidth relative to general usage.

The ironic thing about this whole argument about making the internet a "public utility" is that even public utilities don't work the way it's being suggested. Most water utilities, for example, use a tiered payment structure. As you pass certain thresholds, your per-gallon rate goes higher. Many gas companies do the same thing. In most cases, unless you're a business owner you're never going to go past the first tier.

Likewise, if you run a factory or large corporate building, you don't just plug into the electrical grid like everyone else; you get dedicated lines that you pay a surcharge to use. In this way, people who stress the respective systems the most, pay more to support the growth and additional maintenance that their heavy use incurs.


But all of the examples you're pointing to are the user paying for increased usage. They aren't charging extra to Sony, say, for selling energy-intensive televisions.


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