Talk for Article "How ending net neutrality could affect consumers and the Net"

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  1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    As one must accept that these people are ‘good’ capitalist businessmen it does seem that one must also ask if “Several ISP industry leaders insist that consumers will not see any changes to their internet experience once Title II is repealed.” what is the purpose of their spending large amounts of money lobbying for this change from Title II to Title I.
    It is hard to believe really that they would lay out the capital to force the change without some sort of profit and since that profit comes from the public. I don’t think I’m too far afield in thinking that means their users will be on the hook for whatever profits they deem desirable. And the sky is the limit once they control access to this public utility

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    Maybe the rim of my tin foil hat is a little tight, but this holiday season the overarching deregulatory backdrop seems to have cut loose e-commerce marketing sharks as if sucker blood is in the water. I expected upticks in online promotions from many i-net quarters, however, I’m getting many extra pitches from online outfits I’ve had long-term relationships regarding upsell or go pro style offers, many of which just don’t make any sense as if posted in a kind of rampant desperation. It’s as if these outfits have experienced some kind of rapid re-org or just plain bought out. Of course when these things happen those previous statements about the sanctity of your profiles and email addresses goes out the window. I also realize after hacks like the Equifax debacle does anything much matter regarding internet privacy. Still, it seems like open season on unsuspecting web browsers. Then there are the chameleon ISPs that appear to have a victory in sight regarding their zero regulation quest, that is when a phone company they are an ISP when an ISP they are a phone company or cable company whatever is necessary so regulations don’t apply. The results seem to be the floodgates are open for any kind of intrusive ad tactics.
    Examples: Highjacking and redirection, plus one of the silliest yet annoying emails that wife and daughter received yesterday, apparently from Barnes & Noble or whoever they are nowadays: ” We see you recently purchased a nook “, What? That was 5 years ago! They have long since moved on to other tablets. So it seems many ads are the most cobbled together ancient lists. E-commerce is supposed to look contemporary, however, now they look like so many other old businesses whose marketing and ad listings desperately try to reel in pennies online.
    I think there’s a story here where online businesses including ISPs are doing anything online fearing no reprisals from regulators. Their terms of service to their customers are just a formalities, meaning part of the marketing approach.

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    “The electric grid does not care if you plug in a toaster, an iron, or a computer,” Professor Tim Wu, the American lawyer who coined the term net neutrality, wrote in a frequently-asked questions blog post.

    Not sure about this one!

    Perhaps this applies in the USA? Not sure.

    But, in my house I have electric storage heaters which are treated differently to other appliances in the house. The electric company switches the storage heaters on and off, via a signal over the electric grid. I can’t switch them on whenever I want.

    The tariff varies according to time of day, and the heaters are switched on only during the lower rate period.

    This doesn’t seem to fit “grid neutrality” to me, but isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

    Also, during a power shortage the electric company would maintain the supply to some of its customers, and not others. Again, not necessarily a bad thing because they may be maintaining power to essentially services such as the hospitals.

    Electric grid neutrality is also an issue, more so as the grid becomes smarter.

    I think Professor Tim Wu needs to rethink that analogy. He may be comparing the historical electrical grid with the present day internet, and not considering that the electrical grid is facing the same sort of problems.

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      Very good and a very literal point which I thought of too. I think what he means is clear but you’re right, it doesn’t absolutely work.

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      You make a good point, Dan. Net neutrality advocates want the internet to be a ‘dumb tube’ where traffic can flow freely. This used to be how electricity was distributed, but as you point out, today’s electric grids are becoming ‘smarter.’

      Critics of Title II would probably say that the internet should start be a smart grid as well – which means moving away from net neutrality. I included this argument in the ‘anti-neutrality, pro-consumer’ section. Please add to this section if you think something is missing.

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    As a UK-based reader, and given WikiTribune’s avowed international scope, I’d love to see some analysis of the potential impact of these changes outside the USA, which has not so far been acknowledged in this article as it stands.

    I realise I should probably offer to provide that analysis myself, but I don’t currently have the time to do the necessary research and fact-checking, so I humbly offer this as a suggestion for those who might.

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      Good points. We will try to do that.

    2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      Hi Matthew,

      I’m intrigued by this idea. Could you flesh it out a bit more?

      Are you wondering how net neutrality rules in the U.S. affect internet users around the world? (i.e. will Netflix be affected in the UK?)

      1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

        Hi Charles,

        Yes, that would be one example. But I guess it could also affect non-US based companies who operate in the US, for example if Spotify are obliged to pay US ISPs fees to guarantee sufficient bandwidth for streaming services, increased charges may be passed on to consumers outside the US as well. Or it may also entrench the advantages of incumbent tech companies in an international market, stifling innovation or reducing choice for all of us. And then there is potential impact on international not for profit services (eg wikitribune). I guess some may also wish to posit potential positive consequences.

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