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Verizon Protest at Occupy Wall Street

Verizon wants you to know that they're only trying to kill net neutrality so that they can help the blind, deaf, and disabled, because net neutrality actually hurts them because it doesn't allow fast lanes. Yes, you read that right. Net neutrality is bad for the disabled.
Three Hill sources tell Mother Jones that Verizon lobbyists have cited the needs of blind, deaf, and disabled people to try to convince congressional staffers and their bosses to get on board with the fast lane idea. But groups representing disabled Americans, including the National Association of the Deaf, the National Federation of the Blind, and the American Association of People with Disabilities are not advocating for this plan. Mark Perriello, the president and CEO of the AAPD, says that this is the "first time" he has heard "these specific talking points."

There's no doubt that blind and deaf people, who use special online services to communicate, need access to zippy Internet. Similarly, smartphone-based medical devices that are popular with disabled people require fast Internet service. Telecom industry lobbyists have argued that, without a fast lane, disabled Americans could get stuck with subpar service as Internet traffic increases. AAPD's Perriello says this rationale could be genuine but seems "convenient."

Of course, Verizon could address the needs of the blind, deaf, and disabled by making sure that their internet service for everyone operates at highest speeds. But that would eat into the bottom line, so don't hold your breath on that happening. Or, they could spend a little less on lobbying and a little more on service. Check out this chart on lobbying on net neutrality by interested groups:
Pie chart showing how ISP lobbying money has dwarfed all other lobbying on net neutrality in 2014.
That's just in the first half of the year. It's a lot of money that could be invested in technology that could help all their consumers. But don't be fooled by this seemingly altruistic argument from Verizon. They really only care about the customers who are willing to pay extra for their consideration.

If you haven't already, send your comments supporting net neutrality. You can use the FCC comments page; the inbox they set up specifically for this issue,; and with Daily Kos's petition.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 11:27 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (43+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 11:27:07 AM PDT

  •  what.utter.crap (16+ / 0-)
    Verizon lobbyists have cited the needs of blind, deaf, and disabled people to try to convince congressional staffers and their bosses to get on board with the fast lane idea.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 11:31:59 AM PDT

    •  netwashing: the only place any telco supports (6+ / 0-)

      diversity is in television ads

      Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

      by annieli on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 11:35:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This disabled person is NOT AMUSED.... (0+ / 0-)

      No my disability does not require special doo-hickies to use the internet BUT I am thinking about making money off of a blog I started. Does this proposal (SCAM) help out people like me who can't work a regular job? NO!!!

      I have been lucky to get a good search rank on some of my posts. I need to look into improving it, but the point is that those of us who are disabled and want to start an internet business would be SCREWED by this, just like anyone else who is not disabled.


      Isn't enough that we struggle with getting help from the government to have our needs met and then some multi-billionaires come along and TRY TO TELL US WHAT WE WANT and NEED???? [PAT, PAT, PAT on the HEAD]

      Of course IT IS NOT about the disabled, it never was. MONEY, MONEY, MONEY and the disabled will never see A DIME of that MONEY!!!

      I take the phrase "Bleeding Heart Liberal" as a compliment...

      by Pixie5 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 08:03:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  netrality is not/negotiable! (12+ / 0-)

    decent wages don't eliminate jobs. Republicans eliminate jobs; and workers, and prospects, and then excuse it all and call for more austerity. there is no end to their ignorant, arrogant avarice. only political dinosaurs support their treachery.

    by renzo capetti on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 11:35:12 AM PDT

  •  The logic is service will be subpar for most of us (13+ / 0-)

    Boy isn't that a compelling argument: they'll be forced to give everybody crappy internet service under net neutrality.

    Not too late to file your comments about that TWC-Comcast merger, folks, and use their own words.

    Some people are intolerant, and I CAN'T STAND people like that. -- Tom Lehrer

    by TheCrank on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 12:40:59 PM PDT

  •  We have a new contender (8+ / 0-)

    for World's Most Evil Corporation.

    “If you want to do something evil, put it inside something boring." -- John Oliver

    by jim304 on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 12:54:03 PM PDT

  •  That's — insane. (19+ / 0-)

    Speaking as a longtime advocate for (and member of) a disabled community of people with connective tissue disorders, they're talking out of their nether regions. We have spent ten years building community on the web, finally thereby reaching some measure of acceptance within the worldwide medical community for these rare and recently recognized diseases. We're far more concerned about what happens to our nonprofit communities (that are often the only source of information for isolated disabled persons) if we're relegated to a slow lane than we are concerned about device manufacturers making profit off us through fast lanes on the Internet. Wasn't this about Netflix taking so much precious bandwidth? How did we pivot from Netflix to the disabled?

    Support the infrastructure, as we ALL PAY YOU to do at both ends of the data stream, and stop using the sick and disabled as a distraction to boost your profit margins while not fulfilling the contractual obligations to which you're obligated. This really makes me angry. We don't exist for Verizon's talking points.

    •  It's completely unprincipled (7+ / 0-)

      is what it is.

      "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

      by Joan McCarter on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 02:56:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  By the way (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, Schnitzie, cowdab, Yoda54, Ice Blue, hbk

      That would be an excellent comment to send along to the FCC.

      "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

      by Joan McCarter on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 02:56:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  FCC comment (0+ / 0-)

        I was thinking about this diary and came to the conclusion that I wanted to make a comment to the FCC on net neutrality.  If you'd like to make one, too, here is the link.

        There are several issues, as you will see, that the FCC is accepting comments.  The one on net neutrality is 14-28, the one with the huge number of comments.  I believe this is correct.  If not, please, someone jump in.  Thanks!

    •  "We don't exist for Verizon's talking points" (0+ / 0-)

      As another disabled person on here: ABSOLUTELY!!!

      And as I pointed out above, disabled people would be HURT by this if they want to run small Internet businesses. And as you point out, non-profits would be hurt as well.

      What they are doing is despicable!

      I take the phrase "Bleeding Heart Liberal" as a compliment...

      by Pixie5 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 08:11:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I doubt even Ted "Tubes" Stevens would have (5+ / 0-)

    bought into that truckload of bullshit.

    For my own safety, I had to assume you were a bad guy with a gun. Sorry.

    by here4tehbeer on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 01:08:21 PM PDT

  •  Umm, this is not true Verizon. Even if the inte... (8+ / 0-)

    Umm, this is not true Verizon. Even if the internet properly remains neutral, there is nothing that says Verizon can't reserve bandwidth for medical devices under the ada. Swing and miss

  •  Narrative shift. Always a bad sign. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, cowdab

    Not that any more were needed.

  •  well, my kid is deaf (7+ / 0-)

    and they sure as hell don't off him a discount for his internet.

  •  they're going to charge more for this fast lane, (6+ / 0-)

    right? All of my blind friends are poor. Like, poor. The visually & physically impaired people I work with aren't below the poverty level because they're working, but they ain't rich either. So this "we're doing it for the disabled" is crap. Who is going to pay for the fast lane internet?

    We have done the impossible & that makes us mighty - Firefly

    by anotherdemocrat on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 02:29:36 PM PDT

  •  Next ploy: (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joan McCarter, JeffW, Yoda54, cowdab, Ice Blue

    Verizon claims that everyday Net Neutrality is allowed to exist, god kills a kitten.  You like kittens, don't you?

    You mess with the bull, you get the antlers...Taibbi on Friedman

    by JT88 on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 02:30:07 PM PDT

  •  Its the first time (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cowdab, Wendy Slammo, Ice Blue

    I've heard Verizon ever mention a concern for the disabled. Really. Heh.

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 03:08:27 PM PDT

  •  Beyond the obvious BS in this argument (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wendy Slammo, cowdab, raynmakr, nchristine

    is the assumption that disabled watch a lot of streaming commercial videos, do a lot of downloading, and the fallacy that most have smartphones, tablets, and then buy into the faster, faster, faster is better ("buy" being the essential word there.)  In fact, most live at or below poverty levels and if they have a cellphone at all, it would be the free variety with caps on downloads that a commercial video would wipe out most of their month's allotment.

    Add to that a very few areas of the country can accommodate 4G networks (most use 3G despite the advertising blitz) that don't deliver the promised fast speeds of 4G.  (Do a google search for the difference between 3G and 4G for specifics).

    After cellphones, they apparently believe that every blind, disabled, have bought a brand new computer in the last year that can process the faster speeds without caching which makes how fast the data comes at you irrelevant.

    Oh, but, hey!  Let's have a big corporation do something for blind, elderly and disabled for the first time in the history of the world!  (snark alert).

  •  This is good news!! (0+ / 0-)

    Verizon is going to give deaf, blind, and disabled people  free fast lane Internet access!! What a huge philanthropic gesture on the part of Verizon!!

    Obi Ben Ghazi to House Republicans: "Use the Farce."

    by edg on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 03:15:55 PM PDT

  •  Got tears the size of horse turds rolling down my (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, Yoda54, raynmakr

    cheeks.  Good Grief!  Wish I could have witnessed that claim!  Since when has any corporation given a rat's ass what the disabled needed?  Nothing but phony corporate greed here.  

    I quit Verizon wireless a couple of years ago as they gouged me from every direction with every transaction or change.  They could spread the theft over several bills.  There is no way you can get around their "explanation" of what you did and why they had to charge this that or the other.

    I have the cheapest cable internet offers here (Baja) at $39/month.  It does Skype and videos just fine.  Oh, yes, as it happens, I am disabled and can't afford a "fast lane" from these crooks.  Lousy corporate criminals in my book, all of 'em.

  •  One type of non-neutrality might be acceptable (0+ / 0-)

    and would improve the internet if it could be properly regulated against abuse:

    that would be content type preference.
    Some content types -- like audio in phone calls, are far more sensitive to latency variation than others.  A good well-managed system would mix traffic and prioritize it in a way that let the latency-sensitive stuff perform well with little or no penalty to the rest.  Would cut costs too as more capacity could be used with acceptable performance.

    But note -- that's content and originator neutral, based on content type only and I don't know how today's HTTP internet can enforce that.

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

    by dinotrac on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 03:22:19 PM PDT

  •  But don't we already PAY for that service? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yoda54, raynmakr, nchristine

    We already pay for a certain level of service.  If they are unable to provide it, then they need to upgrade their own capabilities to meet that promise.

    I went into science for the money and the sex. Imagine my surprise.

    by Mote Dai on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 03:25:41 PM PDT

  •  Relevent CGP Grey (0+ / 0-)

    Sigline? What Sigline?

    by Khun David on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 03:26:25 PM PDT

  •  Well, gosh. Now I feel bad about it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I thought I was just trying to get cable monopolies to stop collecting extortion money from content providers while doing nothing for their customers. I never wanted to hurt disabled people.

  •  this will enrage (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ice Blue, Yoda54

    about every disabled person I know. Unbelievable.

  •  Verizon is still going to over charge (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ice Blue, cowdab, Yoda54

    the disabled just like those w/o disabilities.   They will screw everybody.

    A government afraid of its citizens is a Democracy. Citizens afraid of government is tyranny! Thomas Jefferson

    by wbishop3 on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 03:52:16 PM PDT

  •  @yoda54: I hope your snark was throughout your ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cowdab, raynmakr

    @yoda54: I hope your snark was throughout your entire post instead of just the end. I have been blind since birth, absolutely love my job as an adaptive technology instructor and have been using an iPhone for 2 years now. It includes a screen reading program called VoiceOver that lets the blind fully use it, from texting, playing games, using GPS and yes, even netflix. The greatest feeling in the world is successfully teaching a client who was involved in the stock market and recently lost their vision the stocks app after they were 100 percent sure they'd never be able to get back in to it again with out a lot of sighted assistance. My wife has an iPad and we picked up a macbook pro last year. We have an apple TV and just finished watching all seasons of family ties, so yes some blind folks do watch streaming video. I will agree with you that yes, a lot of blind/disabled individuals do have it hard and are trying just like everyone else to make it in this crazy world. Many however are far from using free phones, data caps, out of date computers etc. What verizon is doing is beyond Despicable. What also was Despicable was bush not classifying the internet as a public utility.

    •  My respect to you for the way you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      manage your life.  I am astounded at your descriptions of the technology you use and cheer loudly for those who were inspired and able to devise them for others. Those things are all new to my experience.  I deliberately omitted this, but I'll say it now.  I am, also, disabled.  Mine is not blindness, so my experience won't translate directly to yours in all ways.  We have different challenges, but challenges nonetheless.

      I hear and understand that your experience doesn't agree with mine.  Is it possible that I have valid points, too?

      I'd like to ask you some questions.  Are you saying that you support the fast-lane, and Verizon's claim that it would help you personally?  If so, could you tell us how, exactly, it would help you to have a fast lane, and that you would be willing to pay more for?  

      This isn't snark.  It's an honest question to ask you to give us insight into your struggles and how the fast-lane would help you.

  •  I had a good old talk with the FCC (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yoda54, raynmakr

    when I filed a complaint with the telecom company who sent me a free phone when I'm so far out in the hinterlands the damn thing wouldn't work. This after I was tied into a year's contract. That very afternoon the FCC leaked they were considering free WiFi for most of America.

    As things stand I am stuck with 54kbps dialup and no phone at all.

    “You think You're frightening me with Your hell, don't You? You think Your hell is worse than mine.” --Dorothy Parker

    by Ice Blue on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 05:01:07 PM PDT

  •  LOOK! Verizon has got to be a giant turd Republ... (0+ / 0-)

    LOOK! Verizon has got to be a giant turd Republican. Nobody but Repugs can come up with stupid excuses like that and boldly expect people to believe it. Repugs think EVERYBODY'S stupid!

  •  Complex Issue (0+ / 0-)

    First, I must confess that I have not really studied this issue. But in my electronic design work I can see a very good reason to have some exceptions to "net neutrality".

    First step toward being able to discuss this subject is to define the parameter:  internet speed. What is it?

    To most users who want to watch videos and make use of other high bandwidth transfers means moving megabits per second for long periods of time. I don't call that speed - it is usable bandwidth. If it takes 100 milliseconds or a second... or in some cases several seconds... to get from a server to a PC, it makes no difference to the user/viewer.

    I certainly don't care if a youtube video or news from Slobovia shows up 3-5 seconds late on my computer.

    For some users speed is very different - for instance in some of my work. High quality video might involve 2 to 8 million bits per second. In my work, I want to be able to get a few hundreds of bits from one device to another very quickly. To me, moving a packet of 1200 bytes of data in 50-80 milliseconds is important. Applications like robotic tele-surgery, a delay of a second is unacceptable.

    In some of my projects I don't want what might be part of net neutrality - equal treatment of jillions of big packets from Netflix and my small number of short packets. There are technological features in the internet protocols that signal a need for higher "quality of service".  In applications that I am working on, paying 5 or 10 or 20 times the cost per bit to get the bits where I need them is not an issue. So - paying for a "fast lane" does have a rationale. These short packets would have no discernible impact on the fat packets carrying video.

    Maybe my understanding of net neutrality is incorrect. Let's just be sure that we ask for what we really want!

    •  What about the Slobovians? (0+ / 0-)
      I certainly don't care if a youtube video or news from Slobovia shows up 3-5 seconds late on my computer.
      Did you really just spend all those words saying, "I don't know what net neutrality is, so maybe you people don't know either?"

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