How to Comment at the FCC on their Dumb Internet Fast Lane Idea of Net Neutrality

Discussion in 'Android News' started by dgstorm, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. dgstorm
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    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member Premium Member

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    Net Neutrality is one of the big stories which has dominated the news media from across the Internet, to regular TV news, to even late night HBO television. This is especially true of the FCC's new proposal to create a two-tiered Internet fast lane system.

    It's amazing how much of a public outcry there has been regarding this issue. Earlier this year, the FCC even implemented a way for the general public to weigh in on the topic by creating a web landing page where the public can comment. The FCC planned to keep that comment site available for 120 days, but they actually extended the deadline because they have received so much feedback about their proposed changes to the concept of Net Neutrality.

    In fact, some of you might have seen the British American Citizen Comedian John Oliver's show regarding the subject in which he called on internet commenters to deluge the FCC with all of their rage. Apparently his show got people's attention, because the day after his "call to action," the FCC website was so overwhelmed with traffic it crashed. (You can check out the video on YouTube here, but be forewarned, it has some R-Rated language, if that matters to you.) Despite his salty language, Oliver's explanation of the situation is very illuminating as it succinctly explains the issue.

    The fact that it is even showing up on shows like this just goes to show the massive importance of this topic. Because of this, we thought it would be worthwhile to post a quick tutorial on the full process for commenting on the FCC website. This way, you too can weigh in and let the FCC know how dumb you think their Internet fast lane idea is. For simplicity's sake, we are going to borrow Gizmodo's excellent "How to" reference that they have been posting regularly. Here's a quote from them,

    For the sake of full disclosure, I commented at the FCC website fully siding with the idea that Net Neutrality needs to exist. It needs to be left alone and in the same state which it existed since the beginning of the web. The Internet fast lane idea is monumentally stupid and basically amounts to giving the cable companies exactly what they want. As an OP-Ed, I have included my own FCC comment in a quote below,

    The time is fast approaching when the FCC comment section will be gone. Please take the time to share your ideas with the FCC on this important topic.
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  2. kodiak799
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    kodiak799 Well-Known Member

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    I keep hearing these same arguments about "fast lanes" and guaranteed service agreements and I wonder if people have any clue how most other industries operate.

    There is absolutely nothng wrong with either of the above. Nothing. The risk you want to protect against - and this is where lack of competition also comes into play - is price discrimination and inequitable price distribution. Internet is not the first nor the last industry to face pricing/distribution challenges from outdated legacy models that have become inadequate as the business has evolved.

    Lack of competition leads to excess margins and underinvestment. But as more video continues to be delivered, ultimately supply/demand says either the consumer or content owner has to provide for the relatively higher cost of bandwidth hogging video. Those two groups can and should pay more and not be subsidized by people casually surfing and simply message board owners. The key is all video content providers (or their consumers) pay the same rate.

    Most of these arguments appear to center around the misconception that internet capacity is both unlimited and costless
  3. JohnDroid
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    JohnDroid DF Administrator Staff Member

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    Unfortunately, I disagree with you entirely. First of all, most of these companies have monopolies in their area -- they willfully refuse to compete with each other. So you can throw your competitive pricing right out of the window.

    Secondly, most of these companies have sold "unlimited" type plans to customers already -- and then try to say "unlimited" doesn't really mean "unlimited" -- This is a classic bait and switch and this just gives them free reign to not only limit you, but do so in an unobvious way. Instead to say, you aren't limited but instead what you are already paying to access is just slow because they didn't pay for the fast lane privilege.

    It's a terrible idea to let the person providing you your pipeline (which again, you already pay for) to slow certain things down, speed certain things up, based on whether someone else is paying them. That is called double dipping my friend and it is disgraceful.

    If you want to sell me a limited internet connection to X sites and charge accordingly, that is on me. But I didn't buy that connection. I bought an unlimited, unhampered internet connection. Don't go changing it on me now because you are trying to up your already record profit margins.
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  4. cereal killer
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    cereal killer DF Administrator Staff Member

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    Whats going to happen when broadband technology evolves to such a degree that everyone in the US could leave their computers streaming YouTube videos 24/7 with zero impact on the network...oh wait that already exists, but lets pretend it doesn't. Are broadband companies going to say "Hey CK, well we finally have the technology in place, you're no longer going to be on a tiered system!" We're lowering the price of your bill and we're going back to the old way!!"

    Guess again folks. Once they get us paying higher fee's, its here to stay. When you find out that 'network strain' was nothing but a sham in the first place don't say you weren't warned.
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  5. dgstorm
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    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member Premium Member

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    lol! I figured Kodiak would be the first person to post.

    For some reason some people can't see the forest for all of the trees, and can only look at the smaller picture. It's ludicrous to think that the cable companies have our best interests at heart. They have proven time and again that if they can get away with something shady, they will attempt to do so.

    The other fallacy is comparing the Internet to other industries. There is a huge difference between data flow and electricity or water. Both of those last two are limited resources, but data flow is completely unlimited. It will never run out and never abate. You also cannot put a specific value on data, but an internet fast-lane will indirectly force exactly that.

    As far as internet capacity being unlimited and costless goes... that is exactly the direction it is evolving. All of the big cable companies have already paid for their biggest network infrastructure upgrades several times over, and primarily with U.S. taxpayer government subsidies. They have not lived up to their promises of continuing to upgrade customers to more fully utilize the fiber connections they have in place because of those government subsidies. Yet, they are drinking profit from consumers like they have a money-hose taped to their mouths.

    There is no reason they couldn't offer truly high bandwidth connections (similar to Google Fiber) to more customers. The U.S. ranks so poorly on the global scale of broadband internet it is pathetic, and that is only because the cable companies don't want to change the ultra-lucrative situation they currently have. They are resting on their laurels and sucking away at American consumers like giant leeches.

    Finally, Despite the fact that data flow is an ever increasing volume, network technology is actually outpacing it in technological evolution. Eventually broadband technology growth will evolve to the point which will make this whole argument obsolete because the pipe connection for each person will be greater than their capacity to fill it.
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  6. cereal killer
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    cereal killer DF Administrator Staff Member

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    Oh by the way in 2015 if your post/comments contain more than 750 characters we are going to be charging $.15 a post due to the database strain.

    Thanks for understanding everyone.
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  7. dgstorm
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    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member Premium Member

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    Brilliant sarcasm CK!!!! Jonathan Swift would be proud!
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  8. pc747
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    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member Rescue Squad

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    But I think you missing a key point. Like lets take cellular companies, vzw and att may decide to charge a premium for their service but you as a customer have another option such as T-mobile or a non contract option (ie straight talk, cricket, metro, etc). On the cable side you do not have that option because in some areas comcast/twc has bought the local lawmakers who set laws in place that makes comcast/twc the only option. Now if the law makers lifted those laws and allowed for competition then ok I understand paying more for "the best" but if I do not have money for "the best" I have the option to choose another company.

    whoops i quoted the wrong person....but will let it be since i made my point.
  9. dgstorm
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    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member Premium Member

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    Just as an aside, you are misinformed about the reason there is no competition with the cable companies. It is not local or federal laws causing this issue. In fact, there are legal protections in place to create more competition amongst the cable companies. Despite this, the cable companies have ignored the opportunity and instead are basically creating virtual monopolies by purposefully staying out of each other's territories.

    They have admitted it on video. This is also the other reason why many think the merger between TWC and Comcast is a bad idea. It basically solidifies and consolidates two monopolies into one giant monopoly.

    There is definitely not enough consumer choice when it comes to cable or broadband hardline internet. Ninety-six percent of U.S. consumers only have two or fewer cable provider options.

    Also, if you think the current competition in the wireless industry is healthy, you need do nothing but compare the U.S. to other countries and realize how far behind we are. The only reason for this is too much corporate greed (please note I qualified that by saying "too much." Some corporate greed is good and is what keeps companies hungry, but if it is allowed to run rampant it will cannibalize its competitors and even itself.)

    Wireless internet is typically faster and cheaper elsewhere across the globe. Even some third world countries have cheaper and faster wireless (and wired) internet than the US. There is no excuse for that. None.

    I'm sure some of our European members can share details about their internet speeds and prices which will shock many of us.
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  10. pc747
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    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member Rescue Squad

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  11. dgstorm
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    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member Premium Member

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    Agreed pc747. The situation is abysmal.

    It would cost billions to start your own company, unless you got the government to subsidize some of your network rollout costs. Oh wait, they've already done that for Verizon, Comcast, TWC, etc. It's funny how those companies are basically taking advantage of this "free" taxpayer money to stifle competition.

    Regardless of which side of Net Neutrality you stand on, we all need to comment at the FCC website so they can fully understand how important this is to the American people.
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  12. pc747
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    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member Rescue Squad

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    Yeah I already voiced my opinion, thanks for posting this dg.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk 2
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  13. zinethar
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    zinethar Active Member

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    I already pay Time Warner extra for internet speed that is fast enough to watch netflix without buffering all the time. They already have a fast vs slow lanes as paid for by consumers. So now they want BOTH sides of the connection to pay for fast lanes. You would think they could already see the writing on the wall. People can't afford or don't want to afford the constantly growing costs. Cable cutting has already gotten the wired company's attention. I fear/or hope for the change that we will see very soon when this implodes.
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  14. Vepaot
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    Vepaot Active Member

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    This video sums up everything I feel about American cable companies. (WARNING: Explicit Language Used)


    The fact is, Google's Fiber service is half the cost and hundreds of times faster, without any sort of monthly bandwidth cap. I don't think Google intends to dominate the ISP market so much as prove that it's possible to have fast, reliable connections...at a respectable price. If they can do this as one of their many side projects, then these huge megacorporations like Time Warner and Comcast should be using the billions of dollars they suck out of the working man, to upgrade their systems to the point that they're on par, or more advanced than Google's network.

    And if their technology is already the same, well then that just goes to show how much of a ripoff these things really are.
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  15. Sydman
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    Sydman Premium Member Rescue Squad Premium Member

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    Exactly, look at the price of gas. Once they realized we would pay $3.30 or more a gallon, it was never going to drop below $3.00 again. Prices went crazy back in 2005 because of all the damage of hurricane Katrina, and they were never reasonable again.
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  16. swc2001
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    swc2001 Active Member

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    Ok so I wrote them at two places. One where we were told about here... and an email to
    openinternet@fcc.gov
    I recommend doing both as well. Put you address and other info in the email as well.
  17. swc2001
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    swc2001 Active Member

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    So let me ask this..... when is this going down? How is it going down?
    Should we write our congressman as well?
    Kinda confused really!!
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  18. veraderock
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    veraderock DF Administrator Staff Member

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    I don't think it would hurt to contact your congressman. The more pressure to kill this thing the better!
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  19. cereal killer
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    cereal killer DF Administrator Staff Member

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    +1 We'll have to wait a few more weeks until those useless tools return from vacation though. :)
  20. kodiak799
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    kodiak799 Well-Known Member

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    First off, I specifically mentioned lack of competition and that's entirely different from the net neutrality argument. Because of lack of competition, they're going to make the same money in either scenario so the only question is who pays. Net neutrality in that regard is actually anti-consumer because it forces them to subsidize certain content types and other users.

    It's not double dipping. Again, you appear to be unfamiliar with how many industries operate. There's really nothing superior or advantageous about all revenues coming from the destination/end-user. The pipeline owner is going to get $50 per user one way or the other - limiting how they collect that $50 has no real advantage (except to the people currently being subsidized who, like the unlimited abusers, tend to be the ones whining the loudest because they know they're getting a good deal).

    It's funny to see people take the side of Netflix and Youtube. Those two sites account for like 2/3 of internet traffic which has spiked demand for bandwidth and forcing companies to add/upgrade capacity much earlier than planned or otherwise needed. And this entire debate really boils down to Netflix and Youtube don't want to pay a penny for the infrastructure and pushing Net Neutrality arguments to keep the free ride going.
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