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"“I am a strong supporter of net neutrality.....What you’ve been seeing is some lobbying that says that the servers and the various portals through which you’re getting information over the Internet should be able to be gatekeepers and to charge different rates to different Web sites…. And that I think destroys one of the best things about the Internet—which is that there is this incredible equality there.”"

I agree, 2007 Barack Obama.

I haven't written a diary here in a while, but this fiasco inspired me. More below.

This one is on you Mr. President.

You appointed a fucking cable industry lobbyist to chair the FCC, and unsurprisingly, this is what happens.

"The Federal Communications Commission said on Wednesday that it would propose new rules that allow companies like Disney, Google or Netflix to pay Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon for special, faster lanes to send video and other content to their customers" (NY Times)

If the new FCC rules going around the web are to be believed, then they are a perversion of Net Neutrality. An insult even. And it does a lot of damage to the Obama Presidency, at least in my eyes.

It certainly doesn't undo the good things he has accomplished, like ending the Iraq war, killing a bunch of terrorists, and getting Healthcare reform done which is making the uninsured rate drop like a rock.

But, if he goes down as the President who allowed Net Neutrality to die, thereby ruining perhaps the most transformative invention since the printing press, I think all the rest of his accomplishments will be overshadowed.

Or perhaps worse, they won't. Because most people are blissfully unaware of what Net Neutrality is or the harm that will result once it is gone. Net Neutrality's death in the United States IS the most important event to happen during this Presidency, yes, even above Healthcare Reform.

The bitterest irony for me is that it wasn't a Republican President that allowed Net Neutrality to die (there are plenty of exceptions, but most of the GOP has long opposed Neutrality), but a Democratic one.

Meanwhile, Europe and much of Asia has strong Net Neutrality rules and are getting faster and faster speeds due to real competition along with price controls.

A sad state of affairs. I hope President Obama surprises me and turns around and does something about these new FCC rules, perhaps pushing them to reclassify ISPs as common carriers. But I doubt it. He is the one after all who made a Cable Lobbyist chairman of the FCC. He put a god damn wolf in charge of protecting the hens.

I'm depressed now....

1:36 PM PT: Thanks for the rec list guys. The more attention this gets, the better.

Ya, I agree Cliven Bundy is a racist freeloading asshole and I am thrilled that he is exposed as such. I'm loving watching Fox News and others squirm, and can't wait for Stewart's take tonight.

But it is sad to me that that is the primary story today, and not Net Neutrality's apparent death, which has been relegated to secondary status.

Here is the petition on the subject, sign if you can:

3:57 PM PT: Another argument I am often seeing is the whole "Well Netflix and Youtube use so much bandwidth, it is only fair they pay more!" This is the exact argument the ISPs fall back on when people challenge them on wanting to destroy Net Neutrality.

Don't buy that for a second. Yes, Netflix and other streaming services use loads of ISP bandwidth. They also have customers who PAY THESE ISPs for cable access in large part to use their services.

For example, I pay for a 30mbps connection because I enjoy using streaming services and want them to load quickly. If it weren't for that, if I just wanted to read and post on DailyKos, I would buy a cheaper, slower connection. My ISP is thus BENEFITING from my wanting to use Netflix.  

Additionally, it’s not like these providers who are whining about Netflix and Youtube are hurting, ISPs charge $60 or more a month for service that costs them, on average, $5-10. At&t for example, one of the most frequent Netflix-bashers, made $5.2 billion in just the fourth quarter of 2013.

Also compare to other countries:

Average internet speeds in South Korea and Japan are many times faster than ours, and cost far less, and also use plenty of streaming services. In Tokyo for example, you can get 2 gigabit internet speeds (TWICE google Fiber) for $50 a month. The only reason we can't have that here is because ISPs are greedy and don't want to establish faster networks if they can charge you more per month and give you 1% what someone in Tokyo can get.

There is NO BANDWIDTH CRISIS, period. Any shortage of bandwidth comes from gigantic cable companies who are unwilling to reinvest a portion of their immense profits into building new infrastructure to support more bandwidth. If there is a crisis, it is of their own making. But of course, they want to keep it this way; Why spend money building infrastructure when you can make people pay a lot of money every month for sub-par internet?

And then, they can even convince these same people that Netflix is the culprit and Net Neutrality must go away! It is ludicrous.

The cable companies are in no danger of going under. They make billions. If we aren't going to reclassify them as common carriers, then we do need to get the antitrust hammer out and start smashing (The Comcast-Time Warner proposed merger should be it's own angry diary if it isn't already).

The whole bandwidth argument is spread by ISPs because it makes some degree of intuitive sense, as some here have proven by buying into it. "It's only fair that Netflix pay for access! It is costing us soooo much money!"

Those poor, poor, Internet Service Cable Company conglomerates.....

Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 11:05 AM PT: So a bit of a shameless plug here, but I promise it is relevant to the topic at hand. A couple friends and I have recently begun doing a podcast for fun about gaming and tech, and have released two episode so far. I have promised them that I will keep my one unhealthy obsession (politics) away from this new show so we can focus  on my other unhealthy obsession, gaming.

But when the two worlds collide a little, we do talk about it. In episode 1, we had a good discussion on Net Neutrality. For those of you who could cares less about gaming but are interested in this particular topic, that discussion begins about 50 minutes and 40 seconds in. The episode can be found here:

(Disregard the "Pixel Apocalypse" stuff though, we are just borrowing a defunct podcast's website til ours is ready to go)

And now for the shameless plug part. If you DO like gaming and want an extra podcast to listen to, like us on Facebook at the URL below, we post all our updates and episodes there:

Thanks guys, hope you like the discussion.

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