Net Neutrality



  • “Communism is a drag, man," Lenny Bruce riffed. "It’s like one big telephone company.”

    I have a difficult time imagining that anything good will come of expanding the FCC's power. The charts:



  • Dude, you'll have to explain yourself, because those charts are just charts. Why do they have the slightest connection with what you said, except because, um, Internet?


  • sockdevs

    It seems to me they're just charts for the sake of having charts (they're from the article)

    <!-- Emoji'd by MobileEmoji 0.2.0-->


  • You could RTFA. But since the title actually talks about charts, I thought I'd put them right there. The general thrust of the charts is to point out that typical net neutrality advocates are wrong.



  • If Comcast and Verizon and Frontier are against it, then I'm for it.

    I'd vote for cyber-Hitler if Comcast campaigned against him.

    @boomzilla said:

    “Communism is a drag, man," Lenny Bruce riffed. "It’s like one big telephone company.”

    ... also how the fuck old are you? The phone monopoly was like 50 years ago.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    ... also how the fuck old are you?

    Republican old.

    @blakeyrat said:

    If Comcast and Verizon and Frontier are against it, then I'm for it.

    I'd vote for cyber-Hitler if Comcast campaigned against him.

    Of course you would. How much for you to vote for Cyber-Castro?



  • Oh and by the way, there is no fucking way this chart:

    [img]http://cloudfront-media.reason.com/mc/ngillespie/2015_02/fccfixedandmobile.jpg?h=532&w=500[/img]

    Is accurate, unless it refers to somewhere very different than the United States. Half the country has three providers capable of providing 10+ mbps? I can guarantee there is not a SINGLE PERSON in my entire State with that level of service. You're extremely lucky to have two, that's the people who got FIOS rollouts before Frontier canned that entire operation. I don't know where you live, but broadband monopolies are a fact of life here.

    80% has three providers capable of providing 6+ mbps? Maybe on the technicality that sometimes DSL lines are sold under different brand names (for example, we used to have like DirectTV DSL and Verizon DSL but it was the same fucking DSL and Verizon managed it all.)

    And that's not even to get into the issue that 10 mpbs, the far right-side of your scale, is the absolutely BARE MINIMUM we should consider as acceptable internet. I'd love to see the same chart extended out to 50 mbps.



  • @boomzilla said:

    You could RTFA. But since the title actually talks about charts, I thought I'd put them right there. The general thrust of the charts is to point out that typical net neutrality advocates are wrong.

    Ah, right. Three charts that show that charts exist. In more enlightened circles than this one, it is considered polite to give an executive summary of the article. The blither about Lenny Bruce is just that, blither, and does nothing to explain what's in the article. And the title doesn't help either.



  • @Steve_The_Cynic said:

    . In more enlightened circles than this one, it is considered polite to give an executive summary of the article. The blither about Lenny Bruce is just that, blither, and does nothing to explain what's in the article.

    But it is an accurate summary.



  • Read the chart title as well. The N providers thing includes mobile wireless (presumably 3G, 4G, etc. if it is providing multiple Mbps downstream).



  • @Steve_The_Cynic said:

    Read the chart title as well. The N providers thing includes mobile wireless (presumably 3G, 4G, etc. if it is providing multiple Mbps downstream).

    Then it might be accurate, but it's useless when measuring home Internet speeds (you know, what this issue is about) because it's not even close to economical to use a mobile plan for home Internet. Both technically and financially.

    But that's just detail. The real point here is that if Comcast is against something, than that thing is surely a positive step forward.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Is accurate, unless it refers to somewhere very different than the United States.

    You should take it up with the FCC. If the chart is accurate, then it's evidence that net neutrality is bullshit. If it isn't, it's evidence that the FCC shouldn't be let near it. It also includes wireless / mobile connections, which it even says right in the title. The source study is here, BTW:



  • @blakeyrat said:

    home Internet speeds (you know, what this issue is about)

    :moving_goal_post:

    No it isn't. Your first clue is that it's not called Home Net Neutrality.



  • @boomzilla said:

    If the chart is accurate, then it's evidence that net neutrality is bullshit.

    As a practical manner, no it is not, for two reasons:

    1. None of those ISPs is independent, they all have the exact same interest in shaping competitor's traffic. Going from Comcast to Verizon is not going to necessarily give you an environment where Netflix traffic is being treated fairly. It's much more likely that of those 3 ISPs 50% of people have access to, all 3 of them do preferential traffic shaping.

    2. Mobile Internet isn't competitive with home Internet. So even if Verizon wasn't shaping traffic against my interests, you can't simply slot in a 4G card to replace your cable modem because the costs would be through the roof. "Well if you don't like Comcast throttling Netflix, just buy $400 in equipment and pay 5-6 times as much for Verizon! Oh and it goes down every afternoon because 4G ain't reliable worth shit!" is not a solution.

    Oh and BTW, the reason we finally got around to breaking up the phone monopoly was that they were taking tax credits in exchange for promising coverage of rural areas, then reneging on that promise. For decades. Guess what? Comcast does the same fucking thing. I'm not crying a tear to see them more regulated, those fuckers are one step away from just plain evil.



  • I live in a metropolitan area of around a million, and we only have two providers if you're in the right part of town. Even then it's not really a competition because you can get 100 Mbps cable, or 700k DSL.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    As a practical manner, no it is not, for two reasons:

    Meh...RTFA.

    The monopolies that existed with the phone company and with internet companies (where they exist) are because the government did that. So clearly the solution is more government.

    @blakeyrat said:

    Comcast does the same fucking thing. I'm not crying a tear to see them more regulated, those fuckers are one step away from just plain evil.

    Yeah, but you're looking to the Feds, who are often one step past plain evil.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Then it might be accurate, but it's useless when measuring home Internet speeds (you know, what this issue is about) because it's not even close to economical to use a mobile plan for home Internet. Both technically and financially.

    Then there is something wrong with your mobile service. I get multiple tens of Mbps (enough to download a 40MB object in five or six seconds) on my "4G" service here in France if the signal is good. My mobile provider allows tethering, and I get 4GB per month for free, with data use beyond that being throttled rather than chargeable. And I can use it for telephone calls as well! By comparison, my six-year-old ADSL2+ service is 20Mbps max, normally around 15Mbps down, with no caps of any sort discernible.


  • mod

    @Steve_The_Cynic said:

    My mobile provider allows tethering

    That was extra here until the FCC challenged Verizon on it

    @Steve_The_Cynic said:

    I get 4GB per month for free

    Verizon charges (on one of their many plans, but the first one I grabbed) $70/month for 4GB. They also classify 3GB as "heavy usage". "light usage" is 1GB, $40/month.

    @Steve_The_Cynic said:

    with data use beyond that being throttled rather than chargeable

    For plans 1 GB and above, data overage is $15 per 1 GB of data if you go over your plan allowance.

    So in short, no, that's not economical here.



  • @boomzilla said:

    The monopolies that existed with the phone company and with internet companies (where they exist) are because the government did that. So clearly the solution is more government.

    The government granted the monopoly on the condition that AT&T roll-out phone service to rural addresses. AT&T reneged on their part of the deal. We broke them up. Phone service got infinitely better and cheaper after we did.

    By your logic, we should be breaking Comcast up.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    By your logic, we should be breaking Comcast up.

    No, by my logic we shouldn't be giving them monopolies.



  • I agree with that too, but that doesn't help us here in this place called "reality" where they do have a monopoly.

    What's the point in crafting solutions that only work in fantasy kingdoms full of magic and wizards and dragons which do not exist? Let's solve the problems of reality first.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    What's the point in crafting solutions that only work in fantasy kingdoms full of magic and wizards and dragons which do not exist?

    Isn't that the purpose of government?



  • Your reality is pretty stupid, though. It routinely ignores obvious things, just like the post I just replied to.

    @blakeyrat said:

    What's the point in crafting solutions that only work in fantasy kingdoms full of magic and wizards and dragons which do not exist? Let's solve the problems of reality first.

    I agree. That's one reason I'm against Net Neutrality.



  • @Yamikuronue said:

    @Steve_The_Cynic said:
    I get 4GB per month for free

    Verizon charges (on one of their many plans, but the first one I grabbed) $70/month for 4GB. They also classify 3GB as "heavy usage". "light usage" is 1GB, $40/month.


    Oops, sorry, I misrepresented that slightly. 4GB per month included in the plan. The plan includes X number of call-time minutes (for, as is normal in Europe, outgoing calls only - only barbarians charge the user for incoming calls), Y number of SMS messsages (but I normally use iMessage), some other blabla, and 4GB/month unthrottled, extra throttled, tethering included.


  • mod

    Line access on that plan (unlimited talk and text, that seems to be the norm now and then they fleece you on the data) is $40, so add that to each of the data costs to get approximate price before taxes and so on.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Half the country has three providers capable of providing 10+ mbps? I can guarantee there is not a SINGLE PERSON in my entire State with that level of service. You're extremely lucky to have two, that's the people who got FIOS rollouts before Frontier canned that entire operation. I don't know where you live, but broadband monopolies are a fact of life here.

    That chart (and the FCC data in general) typically includes cellular carriers as available providers -- it basically doesn't distinguish between delivery method, reliability, or data caps for considering what is available. 4G cellular service counts as available 12Mbps/2Mbps, even if you never actually get it and have to pay extreme amounts to use it for Netflix or similar services.

    @blakeyrat said:

    Going from Comcast to Verizon is not going to necessarily give you an environment where Netflix traffic is being treated fairly. It's much more likely that of those 3 ISPs 50% of people have access to, all 3 of them do preferential traffic shaping.

    From the ISP's standpoint (disclaimer: I work for a fixed-wireless ISP), they're kind of in a catch-22, though it's at least partly of their own making. In the early days of the Internet, connections were over a modem, and were metered connections -- pay per hour (either from the start or after some bundled cap like 200 hours per month). A big marketing thing that came up as a competitive point was "unlimited" Internet. Which then led to people leaving their modem connected all the time, whether they were actively using the Internet or not. Well, when the ISP has 200 incoming lines of service and 800 unlimited customers, they can't exactly service that, so they implemented "idle disconnect" and other things to force off the people who were leaving it on b/c "unlimited" even though they didn't need it. This gave them a technical solution to a marketing problem that didn't result in charging people the true price of an unlimited connection (instead selling the same unlimited connection 4+ times).

    The same paradigm has translated to cable/DSL/broadband internet. Your ISP would have to charge you substantially more to offset the cost of everyone actually streaming their full "up to 15Mbps down" all the time. But, they knew (back in the days of static web pages) that you wouldn't, and they continued on the contention-based selling model. Our network is designed around a 6:1 contention model (and we're pretty conservative about how much we upsell our packages from a marketing perspective -- I wouldn't be shocked if CableCo packages are built around higher contention ratios).

    But now, Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc have resulted in a situation where the actual contention ratio that can work before customers "feel" it is coming down a lot. So, the ISPs are stuck in a realm of either needing to offset a lot more capital investment (that degrades really quickly -- how long was that $2000 computer you bought 5 years ago able to play the latest AAA video games at top settings?) to keep their networks up, change their billing model to either double their prices or bill the Netflix users based on their actual usage, or let things contend and operate on a first come first serve basis the way the Internet originally worked.

    Well, customers don't want to pay double for the same service.

    They (read as: really vocal people on the Internet) also tend to get cranky when "unlimited" becomes "metered utility" -- though, I can understand the customer perspective of you're charging me more for the same service...

    And if you let it contend then suddenly streaming video doesn't work (unless Netflix comes to the ISP and pays for a direct peering connection, to route around the congested general peering connections). Which has led to the whole "Net Neutrality" debate. Various sources (including Ars, which has been pretty pro-Net-Neutrality this whole time) have reported that the core of Netflix's problem was actually the policy of the guy they bought bandwidth from, not Verizon/Comcast. But why let a good crisis go to waste when you can extend the reach of Big Government?


  • mod

    @izzion said:

    typically includes cellular carriers as available providers

    So since most of the country gets Verizon, ATT, and Sprint, that's three providers, meaning most of them don't have any 10+mbps options for home. I'd buy that.



  • @boomzilla said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    By your logic, we should be breaking Comcast up.

    No, by my logic we shouldn't be giving them monopolies.

    Ultimately, there's a lot of (pretty settled) economic theory around utilities with large fixed capital investment costs (power, Internet, water/sewer, gas) that predicts that, without the intervention of government, these services will result in monopoly providers -- the cost of setting up a new power plant plus all the lines to deliver it to every house in a service area is so high, you can never muscle in on someone else's business because they'll just undercut your break-even price by just a little bit, even though the price they charge is much higher than it "should" be based on the marginal cost of producing and delivering new power once you already have all the lines built. You can kind of see the market results of a natural monopoly in the oil market -- OPEC controls enough of the market that they're able to heavily influence the price, and they occasionally just let the price go low enough to put new competition out of business, then raise the price back up to a much higher price (though technology changes keep disrupting the "natural monopoly" in that market).

    The theory (which I sort of agree with) is that you have the government explicitly recognize the monopoly and regulate it to try to keep prices and service closer to the "competitive" result rather than the "exclude new entrants" result. We could argue for months about whether or not the government is effective at that, or how much regulation is the "Goldilocks" point...


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @izzion said:

    I work for a fixed-wireless ISP

    You're someone who actually works in the industry, so you have some idea of how this shit ain't free. The (tyranny of the) majority disagrees with you, so Be Prepared.



  • @Steve_The_Cynic said:

    [...]if the signal is good.[...]

    Yeah. That's about the gist for mobile connections.



  • Yes, lets take a look at what the article is saying

    Now I'm putting this quote before the thing it's talking about so I can point out how it's wrong on a case by case basis.

    It's worth noting—indeed, it's worth stressing—that essentially none of these scenarios has come to pass over the past 20 years, despite the lack of Net Neutrality legislation.

    OK, now it's time to refer to the points they're talking about

    The typical nightmare scenario that gets trotted out goes something like this: Comcast, the giant ISP that controls NBC Universal, will push its own content on users by simply blocking sites that offer competing content.

    OK, they win one point. This hasn't happened... yet. Of course, the government could sue Comcast if they did since this was something they agreed to when they were allowed to buy NBC in the first place.

    Or maybe it will degrade the video streams of Netflix and Amazon so no one will want to watch them.

    This hasn't happen... oh who am I kidding, yes it has. See the next question for more details.

    Or perhaps Comcast will just charge Netflix a lot of money to make sure its streams flow smoothly over that "last mile" that the ISP controls.

    Bad point to mention as it's a complete lie. Time for a chart

    See the upswing on the black bar near the end? That's where Netflix started paying Comcast 'a lot of money to make sure its streams flow smoothly over that "last mile" that the ISP controls.'

    If this chart looks familiar, it should... it's the one that John Oliver used in his talk about Net Neutrality.

    Net Neutrality: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) – 13:18
    — LastWeekTonight

    Or perhaps Comcast will implement tighter and tighter data caps on the amount of usage a given subscriber can use per month, but exempt its own content from any such limitations.

    This actually happened in Georgia.

    There have been occasional cases of this or that issue, but they were generally either the result of human error, technological breakdowns, or short-lived policies that customer complaints put an end to.

    No, it's still going on and has expanded to additional markets to boot.

    As for the charts themselves, one chart is a complete misrepresentation as @blakeyrat already pointed out. Oh, speaking of which, if you think that version's a lie, you should see the 2013 version of it:

    Even the version that excludes wireless is complete BS:

    Yes, it really is saying that 93%+ of Americans have 2+ wired providers that offer 10Mbps service.

    Speaking of which, both of these charts need to be taken with a grain of salt

    In doing so, however, we emphasize that a provider thatreports residential fixed-location connections of a particular speed in a particular census tract may not necessarily offer service at that speed everywhere in the census tract.Accordingly, the number of providers shown in Figure 5(a) does not necessarily reflect the number of choices available to a particular household, and does not purport to measure competition

    5(b) has a similar disclaimer.

    And now, back to the article.

    The above comes from the FCC's summary of "Internet Access Services: Status as of December 31, 2012" (the most recent document in the series that I found online).

    It took me like 2 minutes to find the 2013 version. Hell, I found it by Googling the name of the version he linked to... it's hosted on the same FCC page as the 2012 version. However, the charts in it make it even more obvious that the numbers have little resemblance to reality.



  • @powerlord said:

    Yes, it really is saying that 93%+ of Americans have 2+ wired providers that offer 10Mbps service.

    Man, I'd really love to know where the deus all those mystery people live. Perhaps there's a mega-arcology hidden somewhere in Alaska that has full-gigabit for all of its 300 million people that nobody's ever heard of except for these providers.

    I'm in a rural area in PA just outside a city, and I've got exactly two providers: The local cable company (who thankfully isn't a Comcast-type) who can give me up to 30Mbps downstream (unless I get one of the special business-class connections which I think would require a massive fiber run that they won't do to a residential area), and Verizon DSL who will only offer a max of 3Mbps downstream even when the lines themselves (which are damn near around the block from the substation) will test as usable for their 7Mbps speed. Nope, they just don't offer it.

    I'm watching all of this recent FCC stuff with some trepidation, but I'm keeping a small shard of hope that between this and the recent "broadband" reclassification that we can finally start seeing some improvements in ISP capability. Even 25Mbps is only good enough if I don't have too many devices running on it at once, and I've got 5 computers, 2 game consoles, a smart TV and 3+ mobile devices on my connection on average at any one time.



  • I'd be happy with 1 provider, myself. Cable stops about a mile down the road, and we're too far for DSL.



  • @powerlord said:

    Even the version that excludes wireless is complete BS:

    Haha whaaaaa!?

    At first I thought ISPs were "gaming" the chart by providing coverage to just a few houses in a census tract purely so they could create charts like this, but it turns out census tracts are quite small (2000-8000 people), so that just means the chart is a blatant bald-faced lie, there's no way around it.



  • @izzion said:

    @boomzilla said:
    No, by my logic we shouldn't be giving them monopolies.

    Ultimately, there's a lot of (pretty settled) economic theory around utilities with large fixed capital investment costs (power, Internet, water/sewer, gas) that predicts that, without the intervention of government, these services will result in monopoly providers -- the cost of setting up a new power plant plus all the lines to deliver it to every house in a service area is so high, you can never muscle in on someone else's business because they'll just undercut your break-even price by just a little bit, even though the price they charge is much higher than it "should" be based on the marginal cost of producing and delivering new power once you already have all the lines built. You can kind of see the market results of a natural monopoly in the oil market -- OPEC controls enough of the market that they're able to heavily influence the price, and they occasionally just let the price go low enough to put new competition out of business, then raise the price back up to a much higher price (though technology changes keep disrupting the "natural monopoly" in that market).

    The theory (which I sort of agree with) is that you have the government explicitly recognize the monopoly and regulate it to try to keep prices and service closer to the "competitive" result rather than the "exclude new entrants" result. We could argue for months about whether or not the government is effective at that, or how much regulation is the "Goldilocks" point...

    Gonna disagree on a bunch of this.

    With power for example, where I live and work power plant does not require direct lines to every house- they just have to get it to one of the entry nodes on the grid. The consumer agrees to a price for x amount of electricity at rate y ahead of time. Any difference between x and what they actually use is settled on the open market with that provider or another provider feeding into the system at that time.

    If Google can come into a town and lay new fiber for everyone, another cable company could certainly come in and do the same. The only thing preventing that is local governments.

    OPEC is collusion, not a single provider. The members work together to fix the price.



  • Obviously, the chart (like any government statistics -- unemployment rate, anyone), is subject to manipulation. To some extent, my company games the chart in our coverage area (we have "10/2 Mbps available" in all of our areas, even though we won't sell it to anyone unless they actually pay for a dedicated connection).

    The reason we do it?

    I'll give you a second to guess...

    GOVERNMENT!!!

    If we don't report that it's available in the census tracts we cover, the government will give money to people to come in and compete with us. If we do report it, then my tax money doesn't get spent for someone else to come in and put me out of a job.

    So, color me a Net Neutrality skeptic (sceptic, for those of you on the east side of the pond).



  • @fwd said:

    With power for example, where I live and work power plant does not require direct lines to every house- they just have to get it to one of the entry nodes on the grid.

    That happens currently because of government regulation that requires the local power line builder to hook up any power provider who connects to the grid, at a fixed rate.

    Economic theory and actual history suggests that in a regulation-free environment, the local power line builder also owns a power plant, and will either completely refuse to hook up other power plant operators to their lines, or charge so much that it makes it economically unfeasible. And if the other power plant operator can't hook up, they have to run their own line infrastructure (at great capital startup cost), thus creating the natural monopoly situation.

    Similarly, Google (and Verizon and Frontier) rely on government regulation that requires them to be allowed to attach to poles with their Title II entity. Who then resells the lines to the not-Title II entity to provide service on. Which is a :wtf: with the whole process, because gaming the rules to be Title II only when you want to clearly isn't a free market either.

    So, I guess I'm not as stridently opposed to the FCC actions as some "right wing nutjobs" are. But I certainly default to turning a jaundiced eye on the intervention of Government Regulations -- my default position would be toward investigating the costs & benefits of removing the ability of fiber network operators to use Title II rules to attach to poles & the like, get government completely out and let everyone compete on the same playing field, rather than favoring big entities that are already well suited to play within the rules of government and then twist those rules to crowd out the little guy.



  • WTF?? A reasonable discussion here :wink:

    There really is so much misinformation and a general lack of understanding (by the public at large) about how the internet works, what the limiting factors are and the ramifications of certain decisions...

    My stance is that Net-Nuetrallity is a good and necessary thing. Will the FCC actually achieve this without harmful side-effects - I strongly doubt it.



  • Unfortunately the problem is also that Title II classification is a little too far reaching. Why build out a new line when someone else can do it and you lease the line from them?


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Steve_The_Cynic said:

    Then there is something wrong with your mobile service. I get multiple tens of Mbps (enough to download a 40MB object in five or six seconds) on my "4G" service here in France if the signal is good. My mobile provider allows tethering, and I get 4GB per month for free, with data use beyond that being throttled rather than chargeable. And I can use it for telephone calls as well! By comparison, my six-year-old ADSL2+ service is 20Mbps max, normally around 15Mbps down, with no caps of any sort discernible.

    Yeah, as others have said, data caps are a thing in the US.
    On my phone and tablets, I use ~1-2gb/mo, mostly for music streaming and stuff like that. At home, it's easily 10-15. 10-15gb plans are eye-gougingly expensive, so home internet is really the only reasonable option. If there weren't data caps, I'd certainly use cell service (the local Civil Air Patrol squadron I'm with has unlimited Verizon service through a nonprofit deal and it's fantastic), but that's unfortunately not possible.

    For reference, home ISP is TWC with 30MB/s down 5MB/s up for ~$100



  • Thankfully they don't, generally, apply to residential connections except for Comcast (who no one likes anyway)

    @sloosecannon said:

    For reference, home ISP is TWC with 30MB/s down 5MB/s up for ~$100

    HOLY FUCK you're getting gouged. 50/5 here for $55 with TWC as well, though that's going to drop to $35 because ~Google Fiber~'s coming so they have to drop prices.



  • Here's another graph:

    Article: http://www.freepress.net/blog/2014/05/14/fighting-zombie-lies-sorry-isps-title-ii-good-economy

    Honestly, the telcos only have Verizon and Comcast to blame. The FCC tried to settle on three basic rules for the telcos to follow. Verizon said "you can't tell me what to do! You're not the boss of me! Also, Title I, nyah nyah!". The judge agreed. "Yup, they're title I, so unless you want to make them Title II...." Comcast meanwhile extorted Netflix for connection money. So the FCC went "Fine, I'll make you Title II again. But don't worry, I promise not to hurt you. Just as you promised not to abuse the Title I reclassification back in 2006." Now the telcos are butthurt.



  • @JazzyJosh said:

    Unfortunately the problem is also that Title II classification is a little too far reaching. Why build out a new line when someone else can do it and you lease the line from them?

    Local Loop Unbundling, which would be required for what you're talking about, wasn't included in this decision. If it was, the vote would have been 3 to 2... in the opposite direction. This is because one of the Democrat commissioners opposed it.



  • Erm, the Fact that chart shows isn't really true. The decline in jobs/capital expenditure started while Title II was still in effect and it looks like investment was pretty much stagnant after Title II removal.



  • So this is Title II except for the last mile?



  • What the FCC voted to impose is Title II with Forbearance. Or, basically, we're going to pinky swear that we're not going to impose all these other rules until and unless we decide we need to (rate approvals, local loop unbundling, a few others).

    The theory is they go forward with the reclassification, they get to apply the "Net Neutrality" rules that prevent Comcast, Verizon, et al. from treating one type of streaming video service differently than the other (depending on who you talk to and how you define different treatment, you can argue over whether or not they currently are -- my take and the one I most commonly see is that no such discrimination is currently being done by last mile providers). But they electively don't enforce any of the other rules that applied to Ma Bell, so they don't actually stifle innovation by setting the prices your ISP can charge you or requiring your ISP to let their competition use their capital investment to undercut their prices.

    The worry from the "free market lover" side is that just because the FCC isn't applying these rules today doesn't mean they won't tomorrow. And that ISPs will behave under the assumption (or defending themselves against the possibility of) that the FCC will decide to enforce the local loop unbundling or other Title II provisions at a later date.



  • The other thing that chart doesn't (and can't, in a simple chart) try to adjust for is the changes in technology. Prior to 2001, cable and DSL were fairly similar technologies in terms of capacity for broadband internet. In 2001, DOCSIS 2.0 became an accepted standard, and then DOCSIS 3.0 was implemented in 2006, leading to a situation where cable is now pretty far ahead of DSL in terms of capacity per line-mile of cable run and number of remote "head ends" needed in order to reach that maximum capacity. Plus the whole differences in cost and availability of fiber optic lines.

    So it's quite possible that, in a world where DSL technologies kept up with or surpassed other competing broadband technologies, that the investment line post-Title II would be much much higher than pre-Title II. But that, of course, doesn't support the point the company behind the chart is trying to make.



  • The chart's fact makes two claims: it says is that investment and jobs peaked under Title II, and that they declined after it's removal. Not that it always grew under Title II.

    To verify the claim, you just need to look where in the chart the highest points for the green and red lines are. And indeed, they happen to be around 1999. Since they were Title II between 1998 and 2006, the first part of the claim is supported by the chart.

    It then says that they declined after it's removal. And it can be seen that the lines have a generally downward slope from 2006 to 2013. More marked in the jobs line, but still noticeable in the investment line (it is, after all, lower at the end of the period than it is at the beginning).



  • @blakeyrat said:

    The real point here is that if Comcast is against something, than that thing is surely a positive step forward.

    So, you're saying that you've got better service at the USPS than Comcast?

    Interesting...



  • @Kian said:

    It then says that they declined after it's removal. And it can be seen that the lines have a generally downward slope from 2006 to 2013.

    Except Jobs from 2002-2013 is on (pretty much) the same best-fit line which would indicate that there's no correlation between Title II and job loss.

    As well the chart doesn't provide Y axis values.


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