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Did you hear about the recent federal appeals court ruling that shot down the terribly-named "net neutrality?"  Most people probably didn't notice the news and aren't quite sure what net neutrality actually means anyway.  Before the court ruling, Internet service providers had to treat all content going through their pipes equally, just like conversations are treated going through a phone line.  That is "net neutrality."

After the ruling, if you're a big company with some bucks, you can pay Verizon, Comcast or a similar ISP to speed your data along faster.  For the right price, your data can jump ahead in line.  ISPs will also be allowed to block content they find objectionable, though they swear they would never ever do that, of course.

Doesn't sound like that big of a deal, right?  Imagine, though, two or more "Internets," one that zips along the latest Netflix movie and another Internet that creeps along, delivering boring old educational material to public libraries.  The Internet will be as fast as you can pay, which seems like a sure way to kill Al Gore's best invention ever.  Enjoy the cartoon, let me know what you think in the comments and be sure to share along the not-so-neutral net.  And as usual, you can find more links to the news behind the cartoon on my website.

In days gone by, Internet was equal and free,
The tubes were all open for you, them and me.

A wild world of freedom and commerce was hopping,
With new stuff and neat stuff, inventions not stopping!

The tubes were expanded to let it all through,
Providers with profits, they grew and they grew.

'Til one day they said, "Let's grow them some more,"
We'll charge for first class and uneven the score!

They'll pay us to speed their bits right along,
The rest will be slower, but they're paying a song!

Mr. Bell would've died, a much richer man,
If he'd split up his lines, with a Gilded Age plan!

He'd give some a preference and others he'd block,
If they dared interfere with the rise of his stock.

Do you really expect us to treat public moochers,
The same as those profitable Hollywood smoochers?

Get with the program, it's our playground of profit!
You won't pay your way?  Log off and get off it!

The playing field's as level as you pay it to be,
Just ask the old FCC man, who's working for me!

So we're off to the races, with Internet tiers,
Fork over more dough and we'll--  [poem interrupted by paywall banner. end.]

Originally posted to Comics on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 06:50 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  And they say that tyranny comes imperceptibly... (13+ / 0-)

    I'm starting to think it comes pretty freaking fast...

    but people are completely shut out of the decision process that leads to it.

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 06:59:37 AM PST

  •  Various content sites actually were already (6+ / 0-)

    doing that to customers by deliberately throttling down 'free' downloads, while giving 'turbo' downloads to paying members.  Now it gets to happen on every site.  It won't matter a bit if we're paying for '100MB download speeds!' if the sites we want to download from aren't also paying extra for fast traffic.

  •  No worries (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    captnkurt, lcrp, Just Bob

    Important stuff like FoxNews, GOP websites and other similar venues won't be touched.  Isn't that what's key here?


  •  Making the Internet corporate-friendly (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Back In Blue, JerryNA, savannah43

    What AT&T wants, it bribes "contributes to"  legislators to get.

    Sunday mornings are more beautiful without Meet the Press.

    by deben on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 07:18:56 AM PST

    •  So don't subscribe to AT&T (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      One of my best friends is an Apple nut (he tends to go overboard on things) and keeps trying to get me to buy iphones and Macs.  I don't do it partly because of cost but, mostly, because I don't want to support AT&T.  I have a Consumer Cellular phone, which is based in Portland, Or, because they employ likely Dem's.  They're also cheaper and my phone service is great.  I don't know about internet but they do have smart phones.  If anyone reading this does go subscribe with them please mention my name....Neil Gilfillan....but I don't make this comment for that purpose.

      "If it takes all night / that'll be alright / if I can get you to smile before I leave." Jackson Browne

      by rainmanjr on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 10:03:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Uh (3+ / 0-)

        Owning an iPhone does no mean that you must use AT&T as your provider.   You could use your Consumer Cellular phone, or StraightTalk, or T-Mobile, etc.

        Secrecy breeds hypocrisy.

        by YankInUK on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 02:46:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I didn't know that. (0+ / 0-)

          I thought all iPhone's contracted through AT&T.  I still don't need one but that's interesting.

          "If it takes all night / that'll be alright / if I can get you to smile before I leave." Jackson Browne

          by rainmanjr on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 09:32:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  There's also Credo, started by Ben and Jerry (0+ / 0-)

        They have Android smartphones, which are just as good as Apple's (maybe they will be able to hook up "liberated" iPhones in the near future).  They donate to progressive causes, give you free minutes to call Congresspeople, and also give you a vote on how their donations (which come from you, of course) are distributed.  Also, you have the option with each bill to round up to the next dollar, five or ten, to make an extra donation to progressive causes.

        If you get an account, tell them 904-343-1766 sent you.

  •  The corporations have just found the way to (8+ / 0-)

    stifle Democratic fundraising and organizing. They saw that the Dems were much more successful than Repugs in using the Internet to win elections and they quashed it. This is not CT.

    Watch and see what happens when it costs a fortune to get to Websites like Daily Kos and when Kos has to pay a fortune to have this site load with any speed at all. Middle class and poor, the elderly, students (all part of the Democratic demographic) will be priced out of the Internet.

    The progressive movement has just been effectively squashed, yet not many seem to be aware or care.

    Free delivered a petition to the FCC, in the last few days, with one million signatures asking the FCC to change the rules and not allow net neutrality to be gutted by the court. That petition should have been signed by millions and millions of people. No one seems to care, but this is going to extremely change the face of our political landscape. The Internet is going to end up like talk radio.

    The sites that will be easily accessible will be Republican sites
    paid for by the bottomless well of Koch, Adelson, etc. money  and the RWNJs will own the Internet like Rush and his pals own the radio. It's coming.

    "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

    by rubyr on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 07:23:32 AM PST

    •  The ruling... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Just Bob, rubyr, JerryNA

      .....leaves room for the FCC to reclassify ISPs as common carriers. In that case, I believe net neutrality would survive. It's up to us to make that happen.

      Misconduct by the government is by definition NOT a government secret.

      by Doug in SF on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 08:32:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's what the petition that was just presented (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        atana, rainmanjr

        to the FCC was about (see my comment above). The petition had a measly one million signatures. People do not care about this. What a lousy shame. That petition was the work of about 47 combined groups working to get the petition signed and that's the result. One million. Not even 1/2 of one percent of the overall population. The FCC was not inclined to make the change anyway and a tepid response like that is not going to change anything. It should have been 20 or 30 million people that signed.

        "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

        by rubyr on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 11:43:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Petition overload... (0+ / 0-)

          Sign a few petitions and see what happens to your inbox.  It doesn't take long before you feel like a 'mark' and the tsunami of pleas for donations confirm your new status.  
          Don't think it's as simple as 'people don't care'.  

        •  One million signatures on a petition ... (0+ / 0-)

          is actually pretty awesome.  It needs to go to the President, and the Democratic national Committee, also.  Without net neutrality, Republicans would have a great advantage over Democrats.

    •  You're correct. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      We gave it a great shot and I'm proud of all those who grew and supported the Dem Party.  It was always uphill for us, after 1968, and only the more conservative Dem's could win office.  The GOP had a stranglehold over the WH, however, and were able to appoint Judges that were likely to increase corp power.  Now those corp's will start to kill the GOTP and use govt power solely to advance corp interest.  Americans, all, will become surfs.
      "That's how it goes...and everybody knows."

      "If it takes all night / that'll be alright / if I can get you to smile before I leave." Jackson Browne

      by rainmanjr on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 10:11:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Before we all become surfs... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        there will be another American civil war against the corporations. The big corporations are the new Confederacy.

        If you like bicycles, check out the newest and coolest products at my site, "" You can also find my products at e-Bay under the name, "Ziggyboy." See all the products on my "See seller's other items" link.

        by JohnnieZ on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 01:23:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think you're wrong, JohnnieZ. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I'd like to think we have that much gumption left in us but I don't believe it.  So long as the majority of ppl have a job, any job, that is allowing them to eat and/or have a roof w/heat & ac then they will believe in the American dream.  I work with the public, in a job that produces nothing but entertainment, and business is doing swell.  Nobody really cares.  My employer has taken damned near everything away from us and is trying to do the same to his Union employees.  They won't strike until April, though, because they don't want to go while it's cold.  This is the desert and the highs are in the 50's this week.  Cold.  His non-Union employees won't walk out, either, because it would only serve to put us out of work.  We get whipped to make customers happy and business is booming.  Everyone loses except the Executives but we show up to do it again tomorrow.  Surfs.
          There won't be another civil war.  There will be ecologic disasters which create panic, loss and death before that war happens.

          "If it takes all night / that'll be alright / if I can get you to smile before I leave." Jackson Browne

          by rainmanjr on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 09:28:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  surfs (0+ / 0-)

            I'm pretty sure you meant "serfs" and I agree with your argument, because I pretty sure you weren't talking about those really, really large waves in the ocean or even "surfing the net".  We ARE becoming "serfs" to corporate greed and domination, however.

    •  rethugs and faux noise take over internet (0+ / 0-)

      What could be more fair... and balanced.

  •  There was a time when TV was new (6+ / 0-)

    and its inventors wondered if a new golden age was upon us where the average child would be exposed to university lectures on ancient greek philosophy and art history.

    But we all know how that turned out.

  •  The non-rich just dont deserve nice things (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AJ in Camden

    because they havent earned them. Or God hasnt blessed them because, well, frankly theyre just not as good as their betters. But hey, real poverty means not having any internet at all (like in Kansas). So dont complain, little people. Just try  harder. Or else.

    •  Well stated. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The ironically funny part is that our species is about to descend into small tribes, again, as climate change makes life in many parts of this nation unlivable or dependent on small farmers growing what little food they can.  Places that have water, unspoiled by chemical or oil pollution, will survive but most others won't.  As the nation descends into panic and chaos the govt will fall.  America, as we've known it or feared for it, will be no more.  Neither will any other nation, though.  Humans are on our way out and it's going to begin very soon.
      "Everybody knows that the naked man and woman, are just a shining artifact of the past."

      "If it takes all night / that'll be alright / if I can get you to smile before I leave." Jackson Browne

      by rainmanjr on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 10:25:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Few really have a clue what this will mean (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FrankenPC, ajr2005, RiveroftheWest

    Some things that could happen...if the carriers choose to:

    1. You'll have to pay extra for email.
    This could mean they can charge corporations money to route corporate email. It could mean they'll put a monthly cap on your personal email they'll deliver "free."

    2. Sites like DKos or any site deemed critical of, say ALEC, could be choked, returning lots of 404 errors and such. Criticize the Matrix and you'll be black listed.

    3. The porn industry is done.

    4. Bloggers and ALL independent voices no longer have a voice, or at least one that can be "heard" by others.

    5. Not only can they bloke or choke URLs, but this also means they can selectively choose to prioritize or restrict types of "packets." Things like voice (VoIP), video, etc.

    6. The "Internet of Things" is dead now before it even starts. Or at least the network owners can now put a toll in front of anything and everything, rendering such services economically unjustifiable.

    I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

    by pajoly on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 07:33:34 AM PST

    •  ...most importantly (3+ / 0-)

      It is the END of being able to organize and spread information over the Internet. Societies have just been forced back into the Industrial Age in terms of disseminating thought.

      Have you seen how countries like Egypt choked the Internet, banned Twitter and Facebook, etc.?


      Chew on that!

      I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

      by pajoly on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 07:39:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Somehow I Doubt It (0+ / 0-)
      3. The porn industry is done.

      "A famous person once said, 'You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.' But as I once said, "If you don't teach them to read, you can fool them whenever you like." – Max Headroom

      by midnight lurker on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 08:03:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It will not be part of any normal package (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        as it is a bandwidth hog (think interactive live cams). Carriers may offer a special plan or plan rider that includes it, but who's gonna want to have that plan on record? Far fewer than who casually browse such content now. The cash cow days (at least for content creators) of Internet porn are over.

        I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

        by pajoly on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 08:48:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  On another note (3+ / 0-)

    If you are an investor, there will be billions sold now in top end packet shapers and such...

    Frankly though, it is the end of our gasping democratic society. The means to spread knowledge and organize revert back to Industrial Age methods. Period.

    I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

    by pajoly on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 07:35:59 AM PST

  •  I'm already throttled. I have a max (6+ / 0-)

    speed as it is.  And the phone company will NOT increase my speed, as they say it is the old copper in the neighborhood.  They find it too expensive to upgrade to either a faster copper or fiber.  Even with competition coming in via the GigabitSeattle initiative, they won't consider it.

    If I have to do any downloads, I have to wait until after everyone is in bed to get the bandwidth, and if it is work related - go into the office to do it where I have 1g speeds both ways.

    "Death is the winner in any war." - Nightwish/Imaginareum/Song of myself.

    by doingbusinessas on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 07:37:30 AM PST

  •  There's an easy way to describe this: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama, kimoconnor, FrankenPC, JerryNA

    Think about how you pay to get cable.  That's how the internet is going to be.


    •  This is what I imagined (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Just Bob, RiveroftheWest

      Also, what about the potential for someone on Comcast not being able to get anything produced by a Time Warner company? Seems like a bad business idea, but if they all do it, will we need two internet connections to be able to watch anything we want?

      I will admit, in the early days of the internet I never thought we would get to this point. We were idealists in a way, expecting everything for free (or just the cost of a cheap dial up connection). I cannot see any outcome of all this that will not price out the poor from equal access to information.

      Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

      by kimoconnor on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 07:58:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  brilliant as always! (0+ / 0-)

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 07:45:59 AM PST

  •  Horrific ruling, but might be technically correct. (0+ / 0-)

    In which case Congress needs to act.

    Great election issue.
    Touches lots and lots of people.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 08:31:52 AM PST

  •  Why do alleged 'progressives' ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ... make the Al Gore internet remark (I'd call it a "joke," but that would require funny stuff in it) as this person did in the diary?

    I understand why the right does it, but why people on the supposed left?

  •  I don't think variable pricing is the issue (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It is not that they will charge more for faster access -- companies do that already.  

    The problem is that it now means the Comcast can slow down or block Netflix, Hulu, or even Youtube traffic because it competes with their cable content.   This may have seemed a minor point ten years ago but now the cable companies are desperately afraid of online content and they should be.   We use Comcast for internet but don't have cable and do not miss it.    We watch what we want when we want to, which removes a heck of a lot of control from the media masters.

       This may seem like only a problem for endpoint users, but Comcast owns a lot of backbone fiber optic lines -- so even if you do not think you are using their lines you probably are.    There is no technical reason that Comcast couldn't slow down traffic to a competitor for a large portion of the company.

  •  You left out Cablevision & Optimum OnLine. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They have been throttling usage for years.
    They block ports they don't like and limit BW to others.

    Nuclear Reactor = Dirty Bomb

    by olo on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 09:07:32 AM PST

  •  Some background on the Comcast-Level3-Netflix- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Time Warner ongoing dispute(s) on which the FCC has seemed quite wiling to simply punt.

    Fox News: Redistribution Of Ignorance.

    by here4tehbeer on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 09:47:16 AM PST

  •  Won't the corporate humans fight this? (0+ / 0-)

    What happens when Comcast throttles down Netflix or iTunes downloads so that they don't compete with Comcast's own offerings?

    I should think that there is some room for divide and conquer here.

  •  How ironic (0+ / 0-)

    While the cartoon (presumably - see ahead) is in favor of net neutrality, unfortunately it's in a format that isn't OS/browser neutral.

    In simpler terms, I can't watch it. I get a message that says:

    "This video can't be played with your current setup"

    It is rather cute that the "exclamation" changes from "Ouch!" to "Ay Caramba!" to other phrases, but that still doesn't let me watch it. I suppose that's just to let me know that a restrictive, proprietary viewer feels my pain or something.

    My "current setup" is Google Chrome (actually, the open SuSE version of Chromium - basically the same damn thing) running on Linux and the most recent version of openSuSE. Of course it isn't possible to determine where the problem is from the cutesy error message.

    I've been watching Fiore cartoons since they were first on the web - at Salon? - and never had a problem before. Haven't viewed them in the last several weeks, so don't know exactly when the change took place.

    I suppose I need one of those restrictive, expensive, capitalist supported systems like a Mac or Windows to watch it.

    Seems ironic to me.

    Also doesn't seem worth the effort for me to figure out what the problem is.

    No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

    by badger on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 09:48:34 AM PST

  •  Actually, Netflix is the likely victim/target (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JerryNA, SteveS Austin

    Most internet service providers, including both cable companies like Comcast, and (to lesser extent) phone/fiber optic providers like Frontier, are also in the TV business.

    They want to change users another $30 per month (at minimum, and it goes WAY up from there) for a pre-packaged menu of TV choices, delivered on a set schedule, and including whole boatloads of crap.

    Or if you want PPV, they'll sell that to you for extra.

    Nothing annoys them more then Netflix and other "over the top" streaming video services that compete with (and undercut--$8 a month!) their products, and use "their" bandwidth to do it.

    •  exactly (0+ / 0-)

      Netflix and other streaming services are a direct threat to the ones who control the tubes into your house.  

      We must fight providers who use their control of information flow to hold us hostage and squeeze more money out of us in piecemeal fashion in exchange for content.

      Secrecy breeds hypocrisy.

      by YankInUK on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 03:03:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nice. (0+ / 0-)

    That looks like Flash.

    I enjoyed the cartoon. I think in the end, that's really what cost us. Most people didn't understand what net neutrality really meant, so most people didn't know what it was about.

    Ignorance more frequently begets confidence then knowledge. Charles Darwin

    by martianexpatriate on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 10:10:57 AM PST

  •  Bravo. Superb, unexpected ending to the video. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrWebster, RiveroftheWest

    "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions." - Thomas Jefferson

    by rfall on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 10:36:30 AM PST

  •  This will benefit the public how? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The Internet is already clogged with commercials and the providers charge fees to the various content providers so just why is this necessary? People in many other developed countries pay a lot less for speedier service, why can't we do the same? These morons who vote for right-wing candidates who then appoint right-wing judges sympathetic to this stuff never think it through. Then, they blame the government when they take it in the shorts.

  •  Net EQUALITY (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It should never be called anything else.    

  •  Read the Opinion for history & participants. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Case No 11-1355 US Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit has a revision of previously issued opinion. Argued September 9, 2013 -- Decided January 14, 2014 -- Reissued January 15, 2014:  VERIZON, APPELLANT v. FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION, APPELLEE --- INDEPENDENT TELEPHONE & TELECOMMUNICATIONS ALLIANCE, ET AL., INTERVENORS

    The true Opinion of the Court is worth reading go here:

  •  Hackers anyone? (0+ / 0-)

    The FEW will only win if the MANY lets them. But the MANY will only succeed if THEY really want it. Seems the MANY will only rise up when they are already flat on the ground. As it is now, no one cares yet because they can still log onto their favorite site and gaming portal without interruption.

    Society in general is a very inattentive entity. It has to be crushed before it rises up.

    In the end, the hacker will win.

    Let me try to do the one thing no one is willing to. . .walk the path many purposely avoided. . .fight the fight that some may think is foolish.

    by yoda1117 on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 03:36:37 PM PST

  •  Please some IT tech-savvy (0+ / 0-)

    person figure out how "we the people" can become our own ISP. Can we all buy shares (limited to say 10 each), at $10-20  each so we can raise the money to do a start-up ISP?
    Not for profit corporation with a majority of ordinary people on the board
    I'm sure there is a lot to consider but hell our taxpayer dollars paid for a big chunk of the internet and those assholes just want to take it away like a lunch bully in grade school.
    They need a spanking and a people's ISP may be just the thing to give it to em.

  •  Heads up: they ARE out to get us. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thanatokephaloides, enufenuf

    From a blog with folk who have long been inside the industry and the system

    Like mobsters dividing turf, the giant ISPs talk about dividing up the country into fiefdoms

    Comcast and Charter want to split up Time Warner's cable markets  (Ars Technica)

    Comcast and Charter are working out a deal in which Charter would acquire Time Warner Cable (TWC) and then sell some of those assets to Comcast.  Previously, Charter offered to buy Time Warner for $61.3 billion or $37.3 billion excluding TWC's debt. Time Warner management rejected the amount, but Charter is attempting to push an acquisition through by appealing to shareholders.  Today, Bloomberg reported that Comcast "is near a deal to buy New York City, North Carolina, and New England cable assets from Charter Communications Inc. if shareholders approve Charter's takeover bid for Time Warner Cable Inc."

    In most industries, this sort of activity would be viewed as illegal restraint of trade. That these firms are so openly talking about divvying up the universe of captive Internet users (that's you and me -- though these companies are clearly interested in our dollar value only, not in providing robust Internet services per say) is not only shameful, but a vivid illustration of how the U.S. Internet access industry has become an effective monopoly in all but name. They sound like mobsters splitting up cities for numbers rackets, prostitution, and heroin sales. Disgraceful.

  •  The biggest problem (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is the assumption that the internet should belong to private interests. Like energy, like education, it should be available to everyone.

    Since government ownership of the internet would come with its own host of problems (witness the NSA) the best move forward would be to establish nonprofit corporations to offer it at cost. Emphasis: at cost. No profit in it anywhere.

    A beggar on horseback lashes a beggar on foot. The beggars change places, but the lash goes on. --WB Yeats

    by kestrel sparhawk on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 04:55:00 PM PST

  •  Do They Dare??? (0+ / 0-)

    I think this is one of the most egregious acts done by corporate America.  However, I believe it will backfire.  I am reminded of a Montgomery Bus Boycott that worked pretty well in the mid 1900s!  Here's my question:  Don't you think companies like Amazon would fight against such a move?  I'm not going to shop on-line if I have to pay extra for a faster speed.  I'll just get in my little car and shop at the nearest Mall.  Hey, maybe that's a good thing.

  •  You can include this in the G W Bush list! (0+ / 0-)

    GW Bush began the tumble by removing the control of the internet from essentially global volunteers who played no favorites. THey were there to protect the INTERNET so it worked. THey were uninterested in WHO was petitioning for a change - just whether the change would make things better. They threatened the big boys - Microsoft, INTEL, and others when they tried to impose bad software or protocols which wold hurt others. Microsoft put out a streaming CODEC which was so bloated it would take over the net and it pulled it because of threats to shut them completely down. GW put that control in the hands of Agencies (who we KNOW don't work to protect anything but someone's profits) and it only took 5 years to see tiered speeds, more monopolies and now this - Walmart deciding nobody else should have a web site that can load. Wait for it - it is coming. Right now any store with a web site has a chance and that will go away as fast as the local hardware store did when Home Depot and Lowe's came on the scene.

  •  Pay for speed? (0+ / 0-)

    We already pay more for faster. In my area, the only providers (land line/optic) are Cincinnati Bell and Time Warner, and both have packages for internet based on speed.

    Protections against abuse (censorship) must be built in, but the core argument of the providers is why should a company like Netflix pay the same to distribute gigatons of data on the broadband, for which they receive a fee, that you and I pay for others to access our personal web pages?  Now, that part of the equation will allow internet providers to base their fee on the one staple that can't be refilled: time, and how much data providers can push through their networks in any given segment thereof.  The cost will ultimately be based on marketplace drivers--ability/willingness of subscribers to pay.

    I don't have a problem with that aspect.  But I do want to see solid protections against unfair advantage, censorship and unfair prioritizing based upon other than throughput.

  •  Over a century ago, Anton Strowger (0+ / 0-)

    owned a funeral home in a small town on the prairie.  When his competitor's wife was hired as the town's telephone operator (which, by the way, may have been the first job to allow telecommuting; by having the switchboards in their homes, operators were "available" 24/7), he began losing business, because when bereaved families called for an undertaker, she routed all the calls to her husband, at least until he was full.

    His response was to find a fairer way to make sure that telephone subscribers could call exactly whom they WANTED to call.  It turned out to be a more EFFICIENT way to complete calls also: the Strowger switch operated by pulses created by the rotary dial.  This enabled him to leave the funeral business and live on his royalties, and led to several improved versions of call switching, up to today's computerized switches activated by audio tones (land lines) or digital pulses (cell phone towers).

    This is all the net neutrality advocates want: NO MORE "COMPETITOR'S WIFE OPERATORS" IN PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS UTILITIES.  Even if they're robots.  Especially if they're robots.

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