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I’m sometimes asked my opinion on Net Neutrality.

Unfortunately, I have a hard time remembering whether Net Neutrality is what we have right now or what we are being offered. (It’s what we have now, right?) So, basically, I’m the last person who ought to be asked.

But I do have a couple of general purpose questions:

Is the Internet broken? Does it need to be fixed?

 
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  1. The consumer ISPs are already broken because they exist with minimal competition and an absence of price controls. Without net neutrality the worry is that the ISPs will exploit their market position to not only charge consumers whatever they can get away with but also go after internet sites themselves by threatening to deliver content from them either at reduced bandwidth or increased latency unless they start paying not just their own hosts but also consumer ISPs (and possibly backbone ISPs in the middle, I’m not sure). I don’t know exactly what ISPs will do with this new power and whether the opponents of net neutrality are right in their predictions but it’s moving in the wrong direction. ISPs should be regulated fully as utilities with government price controls.

    There used to be a widespread agreement and understanding that areas of the economy incapable of sustaining sufficient levels of competition should have price controls. Then the GOP became infected with the Reagan “get the government off my [big business's] back” disease.

    Other civilized countries have price controls for internet, cable tv, cell phones, health care, etc.

    Read More
    • Agree: (((Owen)))
    • Replies: @Neoconned
    I don't have a dog in the fight really but generally speaking it benefits the big silicon valley companies and the so called FANG stock companies are destroying entire sections of the economy and state level tax bases and yet they continue to want average ppl and infrastructure companies to subsidize their shareholder profits....

    I don't know enough to have a real opinion but I'd like to see the big tech firms pay their fair share....
    , @jtgw
    But the reasons those ISP monopolies exist is because of government regulation. For example, ISPs have to use existing phone lines and cables and can't set up parallel networks. This raises the cost of entering the market and gives the advantage to established phone and cable companies like Verizon and Comcast.

    https://www.wired.com/2013/07/we-need-to-stop-focusing-on-just-cable-companies-and-blame-local-government-for-dismal-broadband-competition/

    I don't understand the argument that total costs will increase without NN. If Comcast ends up charging more for Netflix access without NN just to get more revenue overall, why isn't it raising rates now for all services? It's not NN that's holding them back from doing that right now. But it makes more sense if you understand that Comcast wants to charge Netflix more than other sites since Netflix uses up 40% of the bandwidth while not raising total rates for consumers. NN currently means Netflix doesn't have to pay any more than other sites, which means Netflix' costs are shared by other sites and by consumers. Without NN, Comcast will charge Netflix more and also give consumers the option of lower rates for internet access without Netflix. Those who want Netflix can pay extra.

    Portugal has already gotten rid of NN and internet appears to quite affordable there while also being very flexible in terms of what level access you prefer to buy. There are no blanket bans on certain sites as far as I know.
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  2. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    It basically boils down to how much internet porn you consume.

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  3. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    I used to support net neutrality because I didn’t want my ISP to be able to block or throttle my ability to get to certain sites. However, given how the social media companies and search engines are taking to controlling content, does it even matter anymore whether we have net neutrality?

    Why should I care if an ISP extorts more money from a content provider who is in the process of cutting off people like me from their site?

    PS. I was at a hotel a year ago and tried out their free wifi. Their firewall prevented me from accessing Steve Sailer’s blog at unz.com. Additionally I could not even access Drudge. However, Huffo, Slate and the rest of leftwing lot came up fine.

    Read More
    • Replies: @larry lurker

    PS. I was at a hotel a year ago and tried out their free wifi. Their firewall prevented me from accessing Steve Sailer’s blog at unz.com.
     
    https://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser.html.en

    Also available as an app for Android - not sure how it's done on iPhones.
    , @Neoconned
    I feel the same way. I used to support it but I see now how big tech literally has more $ than Wall Street & the cost of living in the Bay Area is so obscene because of this there needs to be more regulation.

    Considering the taxpayers subsidize online retail via the postal service artificially keeping online retail prices cheap....why not let the shareholders of the companies pay their fair share of the internet's upkeep cost....

    I don't use the internet to really care or have an opinion on the issue.
    , @Seamus Padraig

    PS. I was at a hotel a year ago and tried out their free wifi. Their firewall prevented me from accessing Steve Sailer’s blog at unz.com. Additionally I could not even access Drudge. However, Huffo, Slate and the rest of leftwing lot came up fine.
     
    Well, unless you want more of that sort of thing, you should support net neutrality. You've already seen how the search engines and social media companies here are always willing to co-operate with the deep state--but in that case, at least we still have access to alternatives, such VK.com or Yandex. But what if the deep state, using their 'Russian hacking' meme, gains the ability to effectively block our access to any of those alternatives, too? For that matter, what if they gain the ability to block you from accessing Unz.com from anywhere? If you can't trust Fakebook and Goolag, what makes you think you can trust Time-Warner and ComCast?
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  4. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    This seems to be a question on which genuinely well-intentioned people can reach different conclusion.

    To me, the crucial question seems to be whether providing internet access creates “natural monopolies”. My sense is that this is the case. As to the second issue, it seems that most internet access results from actual humans doing the physical work of putting in cables, and it doesn’t seem likely that more than two, if that, companies are going to do that for any location. But once they’ve done it, then they are likely to try to exploit that fact for financial gain.

    I certainly don’t trust Verizon or Comcast. My sense is that they are certainly trying to screw people. But my distrust of Verizon and Comcast is quite different from my distrust of something like Google. I don’t doubt that actual malefactors are trying to gain power at Google to further their evil aims, and that these evil aims go far beyond extracting money. But I am not sure what this has to do with the issue of “net neutrality”.

    Basically, I think that the de facto control of the internet by leading companies like Google, Twitter, Facebook, etc, is a different issue from the concrete control of the internet by the companies that own the physical means of access. I suspect that many people are confusing these issues, but I grant that these are genuinely complex problems and am open to new ideas.

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    • Replies: @anonymous

    To me, the crucial question seems to be whether providing internet access creates “natural monopolies”
     
    There is no reason that providing internet access should be a natural monopoly. The only reason the major phone and cable companies are in the cat bird seat today is that they were allowed to operate as regulated monopolies for decades. So they inherited the local infrastructure that they built due to the protection from competition they received. Unlike interstates which were funded and built by the government, the local phone and cable infrastructure was built by allowing companies exclusivity in a particular market in exchange for allowing state commissions to regulate their fees.

    Many back in the late 1990s thought we should have separated the ownership and operation of the central offices and the so-called "last mile", which connected homes and businesses to those central offices, from internet services. If that would have been done you would have companies that would bid for the rights to maintain the local infrastructure and not be in the business of providing internet. Other ISPs with internet connections would then access those local facilities to provide the internet services to end users.

    The situation would have been similar to dialup. In the dialup internet days each market had 10 or more local ISPs as well as the big national ones. So some markets probably had 20 to 30 different ISPs competing against one another. The phone company, though they eventually joined the ISP bandwagon, was only needed to provide the phone line which the customer procured for himself regardless of his ISP.

    I was running a dialup ISP at the time and remember we were doomed when broadband came out. Now instead of not worrying about how a local user procured his own phone line, we would have to gain access to the customer's home. At first our local phone company, Southwestern Bell, agreed to allow ISPs access to "their" central office. However, the costs we had to pay to Bell just for that access were higher than what Bell was going to charge a user for a DSL conditioned phone line plus interent service. I suppose Bell was being nice to us given that the cable company in my area, Time Warner, wouldn't even allow us to access to "their" facilities at all. So in the nascent broadband world, we were not allowed to access via the cable facilities and we were priced out of the market via the telelphone facilities. [Note: We explored wifi, but the tech at the time was limited by capacity, range and cost when compared to DSL or cable modem.]

    Keep in mind Bell and the cable companies not only had a captive customer base for years to build up those facilities, but they also had and continue to have right-of-way access to lay their lines. For example, I no longer have local phone or cable service. Yet both the phone and cable companies have buried their junk in my yard and periodically dig it up for maintenance. Of course I get no compensation since the city gave them the rights to do this. I doubt my little ISP would have been afforded the same courtesy.

    In the past 5 years we have had Google enter our market with its fiber serivce. I doubt there are any companies besides Google with the money required to go directly to the end users and bypass the phone and cable companies. Despite their enormous cash reserves, even Google has failed to roll out fiber nationwide. If they can't do it, who can?

    I still believe if they would have separated the local loop from the provisioning of internet services, we would have today much more choices in internet service like we did in the heyday of dialup in the 1990s.

    PS.
    My experience is from one metro market. I have colleagues who were ISPs in smaller areas and rural areas and they are still around today because those areas have smaller phone companies who did not have the market dominace of Southwestern Bell (later SBC,now going by ATT again).

    PPS.
    I supose I should have included satellite as a competior to the phone/cable companies. But my experience has not been that great. I can't even get satellite where I live due to line-of-sight issues with a major group of trees. So most of us are probably stuck with a choice of either your phone or cable provider for ISP service. Some lucky ones have Google fiber and maybe even a satellite choice. So maybe you have 2 to 4 choices. That's a far cry from what it was during dialup.

    Separate the maintenance of the local loop from the provisioning of ISP service and you will open up the market bigly.

    , @Almost Missouri
    I agree. The "Net Neutrality" debate is convoluted and made even more murky by the fact that the nomenclature is mostly dishonest.

    As best as I can tell, it was basically a preemptive shot in the fight by up-and-coming content providers (Facebook, Google, Netflix, etc.) to prevent network owners (cable firms, telcos) from exerting too much (i.e., any) control over them.

    The content providers cleverly positioned themselves as being proponents of "Neutrality", which no goodthinking person can oppose, and got the Obama administration to pass reams of eye wateringly dense regulations favoring themselves under the fake rubric "Net Neutrality". As subsequent events have proved, the content providers haven't the slightest intention of using their newly privileged position to be anything like "neutral" regarding the content they provide. So the net (heh) result is that the "Neutralists" are powerful, favored, and not neutral.

    The Trump administration, whether bowing to network owner lobbying or whether accurately seeing the serious threat from the pseudo-Neutralists, has indicated it will undo a lot of this Obama-era finagling, but exactly how is unclear.

    President Trump could clear a path for himself through the political/PR battlespace here with one of his classic tweets pointing out how "Net Neutrality" is a fake term that helps privileged monopolists to be non-neutral. Against fake "Neutrality", he could promote real freedom.

    Whether the new rules really would promote freedom ... ?

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  5. Clyde says:

    People are rejecting ESPN, bloated cable packages and cable TV completely. With net neutrality I can see Comcast jacking up high speed internet prices to make up for their diminishing cable TV revenues. Comcast (and similar ISPs) can establish five different tiers of internet access, so that if you dump their TV services they will get you on your streaming Netflix and HBO. I can see Comcast sending you a different bill each month based on gigabytes downloaded and streamed.
    Comcast will also negotiate with the large streamers (Netflix, Amazon, etc) where they pay Comcast some of their profits for access to Comcast’s large pipes.

    The general trend is towards streaming and away from cable TV, so Comcast wants some of those streaming profits.

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  6. Is the Internet broken? Does it need to be fixed?

    The internet should be destroyed, at least that part of it which is accessible to the general public.

    All the complaints against the MSM that Dissident Rightists and their nascent or affiliated subgroups have issued over the years can be applied with equal or greater emphasis to the internet, and yet the latter seems to be given a pass, possibly because so many Alt-Righters seem to be programmers or people otherwise involved in IT work. But this is neither very intellectually consistent nor is it helpful to the cause. To take but three obvious examples:

    1) The internet is a purveyor of cultural trash, including endless amounts of free hardcore pornography that can be accessed at will by anyone, even children. This exceeds by many orders of magnitude the sex and violence on television that occasioned such outcry in the better bred culture of yesteryear.

    2) The internet is a megaphone for Narrative code enforcement that is far more pervasive and draconian than the legacy media could ever dream of being. Entire websites, individuals, and specific content is de-platformed at a whim from the masters of social media or the governments with which they are joined at the hip.

    3) The internet as an industry provides a massive slush fund for globalist politicians and their lackeys. In the legacy media era we had people like William Randolf Hearst and Ted Turner as Leftist tycoons working their ill will upon the world, but can they really compare in scope or mendacity to freakazoids like Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg?

    Examples like this could be multiplied endless, and far more more attention ought to be paid the manner in which social media is destroying our ability to think or interact normally. My criticism takes a different approach. Since I’m more interested in things like macroeconomics and political economy, I can’t help but see the internet as a massive capital misallocation and a productivity drain. It’s high-flying FANG companies are nothing but profitless financial abominations funded by QE, ZIRP, stock buybacks, and all the trickery of financial repression ushered in by the most fiscally irresponsible central banking policies since the age of Diocletian.

    The internet simply could not exist in a world of hard money, balanced budgets, and non-globally arbitraged labor costs. And since all these conditions are destined to revert violently to their historic norms during the next financial crisis, I am certain that the internet, too, will be going away.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    "The internet should be destroyed, at least that part of it which is accessible to the general public."

    Do you have any viable way to make this happen? Can you ensure that this does not result in the destruction of civilization? I would not at all discount this if there were some viable path forward.
    , @Neoconned
    Dunno about going away but it will get much more expensive...

    Excellent points though on markets and free trade etc

    I bet you read Zero Hedge like me....
    , @Chrisnonymous
    Re (2), agree, but on the other hand, there is more access to dissenting opinions. When Steve was ejected from NR, I just took it on faith he was the wrong kind of person. When I was re-introduced to him later on, I could start checking things easily.
    , @jtgw

    1) The internet is a purveyor of cultural trash, including endless amounts of free hardcore pornography that can be accessed at will by anyone, even children. This exceeds by many orders of magnitude the sex and violence on television that occasioned such outcry in the better bred culture of yesteryear.

     

    Access to pornography is indeed much easier with the internet but given how much demand there is for it I can't imagine people would not find alternative ways of obtaining it with different kinds of technology. But if your argument is that pornography consumption involves external costs that would be internalized under a sound, hard money economy, I'd be interested to hear it.

    2) The internet is a megaphone for Narrative code enforcement that is far more pervasive and draconian than the legacy media could ever dream of being. Entire websites, individuals, and specific content is de-platformed at a whim from the masters of social media or the governments with which they are joined at the hip.
     
    This is true, but as others noted, it's also true that it can be a powerful vehicle for non-MSM views. Examples like the Daily Stormer aside, my impression is that most controversial sites have managed to keep their platforms. Unz is still here, isn't he? And I'm not clear on how abolishing the internet would reduce the power of the elite to transmit their narrative.

    3) The internet as an industry provides a massive slush fund for globalist politicians and their lackeys. In the legacy media era we had people like William Randolf Hearst and Ted Turner as Leftist tycoons working their ill will upon the world, but can they really compare in scope or mendacity to freakazoids like Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg?
     
    Yes, I think they can be compared and I think Bezos and Zuckerberg come off better by the comparison. I see all sorts of non-PC stuff through Amazon and Facebook that I would not have seen published in a mainstream newspaper or on television.

    To your last points, yes there is a lot of misallocation in the economy, but I'm just not convinced that the internet is not something that would have been invented otherwise. It's advantages in terms of communicating information are clearly enormously important for commerce, so I don't see why it would be discarded if we went back to the gold standard and deregulated and all that. I think maybe your concerns about economic globalization are more relevant - instant communication with other countries makes it tougher for any one government to impose economic barriers. I think on balance that's a good thing.
    , @Anonymous
    It's nonsense. Yes, costs would go up and new ways would have to be found to pay for the infrastructure. But the bottom line is that it would not change very much.

    A small fee per email could be charged, of course, for each email and the end providers-ISPs-may have to pass up more of the money users pay, and free wifi at public places may be more strictly controlled.

    The problem of extreme wide access to porn is that now people provide the content for free-large numbers of people post video of themselves in sexual acts, and there are places that distribute it and charge for optional services, et al. Seventy years ago if you wanted a woman to pose nude even for cheesecake you had to pay her rent that month, and you had to find a "Mona Monroe" (as she signed her contract) that was both worth posing and desperate for the rent.

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  7. @anonymous
    I used to support net neutrality because I didn't want my ISP to be able to block or throttle my ability to get to certain sites. However, given how the social media companies and search engines are taking to controlling content, does it even matter anymore whether we have net neutrality?

    Why should I care if an ISP extorts more money from a content provider who is in the process of cutting off people like me from their site?

    PS. I was at a hotel a year ago and tried out their free wifi. Their firewall prevented me from accessing Steve Sailer's blog at unz.com. Additionally I could not even access Drudge. However, Huffo, Slate and the rest of leftwing lot came up fine.

    PS. I was at a hotel a year ago and tried out their free wifi. Their firewall prevented me from accessing Steve Sailer’s blog at unz.com.

    https://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser.html.en

    Also available as an app for Android – not sure how it’s done on iPhones.

    Read More
    • Replies: @International Jew
    With its multiple layers of indirection, Tor is too slow for watching movies and, often, even sites like Breitbart that deliver a hundred bytes of pictures and ads for every byte of stuff you actually wanted to read. But for iSteve, it's fine.
    , @Anonymous
    If it's just a matter of getting around firewall, Tor is a huge overkill and this Russian proxy add-on is perfect: https://fri-gate.org/

    I even turn it on every time I google something.
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  8. utu says:

    Should electric company have a say for what to you use electricity?

    Read More
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  9. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Intelligent Dasein

    Is the Internet broken? Does it need to be fixed?
     
    The internet should be destroyed, at least that part of it which is accessible to the general public.

    All the complaints against the MSM that Dissident Rightists and their nascent or affiliated subgroups have issued over the years can be applied with equal or greater emphasis to the internet, and yet the latter seems to be given a pass, possibly because so many Alt-Righters seem to be programmers or people otherwise involved in IT work. But this is neither very intellectually consistent nor is it helpful to the cause. To take but three obvious examples:

    1) The internet is a purveyor of cultural trash, including endless amounts of free hardcore pornography that can be accessed at will by anyone, even children. This exceeds by many orders of magnitude the sex and violence on television that occasioned such outcry in the better bred culture of yesteryear.

    2) The internet is a megaphone for Narrative code enforcement that is far more pervasive and draconian than the legacy media could ever dream of being. Entire websites, individuals, and specific content is de-platformed at a whim from the masters of social media or the governments with which they are joined at the hip.

    3) The internet as an industry provides a massive slush fund for globalist politicians and their lackeys. In the legacy media era we had people like William Randolf Hearst and Ted Turner as Leftist tycoons working their ill will upon the world, but can they really compare in scope or mendacity to freakazoids like Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg?

    Examples like this could be multiplied endless, and far more more attention ought to be paid the manner in which social media is destroying our ability to think or interact normally. My criticism takes a different approach. Since I'm more interested in things like macroeconomics and political economy, I can't help but see the internet as a massive capital misallocation and a productivity drain. It's high-flying FANG companies are nothing but profitless financial abominations funded by QE, ZIRP, stock buybacks, and all the trickery of financial repression ushered in by the most fiscally irresponsible central banking policies since the age of Diocletian.

    The internet simply could not exist in a world of hard money, balanced budgets, and non-globally arbitraged labor costs. And since all these conditions are destined to revert violently to their historic norms during the next financial crisis, I am certain that the internet, too, will be going away.

    “The internet should be destroyed, at least that part of it which is accessible to the general public.”

    Do you have any viable way to make this happen? Can you ensure that this does not result in the destruction of civilization? I would not at all discount this if there were some viable path forward.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein

    Do you have any viable way to make this happen? Can you ensure that this does not result in the destruction of civilization? I would not at all discount this if there were some viable path forward.
     
    I think it could be done by the sort of government strongman that will likely emerge in the next crisis anyway. If we were already in a state of war and economic malaise, there would be little downside; besides which, the internet under those conditions would become a major liability due to the threat of hacking, cyber-warfare, capital flight, and espionage, so there would be good political rationale for shutting it down. I could well imagine some American Mussolini marching federal troops into the offices of Google and Facebook, suspending their operations, and confiscating their property.
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  10. Roger says: • Website

    The internet worked just fine without regulation for most of its history. A couple of years ago, the Obama administration decided to start regulating it, with 100s of pages of net neutrality rules.

    My problem with net neutrality is that Google, Facebook, and Twitter have lobbied to exempt themselves from the rules. They can call themselves ISPs when the law benefits them, but they also reserve the right to block content on their network however they see fit.

    So net neutrality is really just a big power play so companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter will have exclusive control over the content that most users see.

    Read More
    • Agree: Almost Missouri
    • Replies: @BenKenobi

    They can call themselves ISPs when the law benefits them, but they also reserve the right to block content on their network however they see fit.
     
    So the Cyber-Jew identifies as either website or ISP according to expediency?

    Imagine my shock.
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  11. eah says:

    Read More
    • Replies: @eah
    https://twitter.com/Alba_rising/status/933923727225393152
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  12. eah says:
    @eah
    https://twitter.com/Alba_rising/status/933911694828433408

    Read More
    • Replies: @eah
    https://twitter.com/Alba_rising/status/933922526886948864
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  13. eah says:
    @eah
    https://twitter.com/Alba_rising/status/933923727225393152

    Read More
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  14. Neoconned says:
    @Guy de Champlagne
    The consumer ISPs are already broken because they exist with minimal competition and an absence of price controls. Without net neutrality the worry is that the ISPs will exploit their market position to not only charge consumers whatever they can get away with but also go after internet sites themselves by threatening to deliver content from them either at reduced bandwidth or increased latency unless they start paying not just their own hosts but also consumer ISPs (and possibly backbone ISPs in the middle, I'm not sure). I don't know exactly what ISPs will do with this new power and whether the opponents of net neutrality are right in their predictions but it's moving in the wrong direction. ISPs should be regulated fully as utilities with government price controls.

    There used to be a widespread agreement and understanding that areas of the economy incapable of sustaining sufficient levels of competition should have price controls. Then the GOP became infected with the Reagan "get the government off my [big business's] back" disease.

    Other civilized countries have price controls for internet, cable tv, cell phones, health care, etc.

    I don’t have a dog in the fight really but generally speaking it benefits the big silicon valley companies and the so called FANG stock companies are destroying entire sections of the economy and state level tax bases and yet they continue to want average ppl and infrastructure companies to subsidize their shareholder profits….

    I don’t know enough to have a real opinion but I’d like to see the big tech firms pay their fair share….

    Read More
    • Replies: @BenKenobi

    I don’t have a dog in the fight
     
    Buds you're on the internet -- you are a dog and you're in the fight.
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  15. anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Anonymous
    This seems to be a question on which genuinely well-intentioned people can reach different conclusion.

    To me, the crucial question seems to be whether providing internet access creates "natural monopolies". My sense is that this is the case. As to the second issue, it seems that most internet access results from actual humans doing the physical work of putting in cables, and it doesn't seem likely that more than two, if that, companies are going to do that for any location. But once they've done it, then they are likely to try to exploit that fact for financial gain.

    I certainly don't trust Verizon or Comcast. My sense is that they are certainly trying to screw people. But my distrust of Verizon and Comcast is quite different from my distrust of something like Google. I don't doubt that actual malefactors are trying to gain power at Google to further their evil aims, and that these evil aims go far beyond extracting money. But I am not sure what this has to do with the issue of "net neutrality".

    Basically, I think that the de facto control of the internet by leading companies like Google, Twitter, Facebook, etc, is a different issue from the concrete control of the internet by the companies that own the physical means of access. I suspect that many people are confusing these issues, but I grant that these are genuinely complex problems and am open to new ideas.

    To me, the crucial question seems to be whether providing internet access creates “natural monopolies”

    There is no reason that providing internet access should be a natural monopoly. The only reason the major phone and cable companies are in the cat bird seat today is that they were allowed to operate as regulated monopolies for decades. So they inherited the local infrastructure that they built due to the protection from competition they received. Unlike interstates which were funded and built by the government, the local phone and cable infrastructure was built by allowing companies exclusivity in a particular market in exchange for allowing state commissions to regulate their fees.

    Many back in the late 1990s thought we should have separated the ownership and operation of the central offices and the so-called “last mile”, which connected homes and businesses to those central offices, from internet services. If that would have been done you would have companies that would bid for the rights to maintain the local infrastructure and not be in the business of providing internet. Other ISPs with internet connections would then access those local facilities to provide the internet services to end users.

    The situation would have been similar to dialup. In the dialup internet days each market had 10 or more local ISPs as well as the big national ones. So some markets probably had 20 to 30 different ISPs competing against one another. The phone company, though they eventually joined the ISP bandwagon, was only needed to provide the phone line which the customer procured for himself regardless of his ISP.

    I was running a dialup ISP at the time and remember we were doomed when broadband came out. Now instead of not worrying about how a local user procured his own phone line, we would have to gain access to the customer’s home. At first our local phone company, Southwestern Bell, agreed to allow ISPs access to “their” central office. However, the costs we had to pay to Bell just for that access were higher than what Bell was going to charge a user for a DSL conditioned phone line plus interent service. I suppose Bell was being nice to us given that the cable company in my area, Time Warner, wouldn’t even allow us to access to “their” facilities at all. So in the nascent broadband world, we were not allowed to access via the cable facilities and we were priced out of the market via the telelphone facilities. [Note: We explored wifi, but the tech at the time was limited by capacity, range and cost when compared to DSL or cable modem.]

    Keep in mind Bell and the cable companies not only had a captive customer base for years to build up those facilities, but they also had and continue to have right-of-way access to lay their lines. For example, I no longer have local phone or cable service. Yet both the phone and cable companies have buried their junk in my yard and periodically dig it up for maintenance. Of course I get no compensation since the city gave them the rights to do this. I doubt my little ISP would have been afforded the same courtesy.

    In the past 5 years we have had Google enter our market with its fiber serivce. I doubt there are any companies besides Google with the money required to go directly to the end users and bypass the phone and cable companies. Despite their enormous cash reserves, even Google has failed to roll out fiber nationwide. If they can’t do it, who can?

    I still believe if they would have separated the local loop from the provisioning of internet services, we would have today much more choices in internet service like we did in the heyday of dialup in the 1990s.

    PS.
    My experience is from one metro market. I have colleagues who were ISPs in smaller areas and rural areas and they are still around today because those areas have smaller phone companies who did not have the market dominace of Southwestern Bell (later SBC,now going by ATT again).

    PPS.
    I supose I should have included satellite as a competior to the phone/cable companies. But my experience has not been that great. I can’t even get satellite where I live due to line-of-sight issues with a major group of trees. So most of us are probably stuck with a choice of either your phone or cable provider for ISP service. Some lucky ones have Google fiber and maybe even a satellite choice. So maybe you have 2 to 4 choices. That’s a far cry from what it was during dialup.

    Separate the maintenance of the local loop from the provisioning of ISP service and you will open up the market bigly.

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    • Replies: @Seamus Padraig

    Unlike interstates which were funded and built by the government, the local phone and cable infrastructure was built by allowing companies exclusivity in a particular market in exchange for allowing state commissions to regulate their fees.
     
    Actually, until Ma Bell was broken up by an antitrust suit in the late 70s, it was a natural monopoly nationwide. Back then, there was only one phone company everywhere: the same one founded by Alexander Graham Bell a century before.
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  16. Neoconned says:
    @anonymous
    I used to support net neutrality because I didn't want my ISP to be able to block or throttle my ability to get to certain sites. However, given how the social media companies and search engines are taking to controlling content, does it even matter anymore whether we have net neutrality?

    Why should I care if an ISP extorts more money from a content provider who is in the process of cutting off people like me from their site?

    PS. I was at a hotel a year ago and tried out their free wifi. Their firewall prevented me from accessing Steve Sailer's blog at unz.com. Additionally I could not even access Drudge. However, Huffo, Slate and the rest of leftwing lot came up fine.

    I feel the same way. I used to support it but I see now how big tech literally has more $ than Wall Street & the cost of living in the Bay Area is so obscene because of this there needs to be more regulation.

    Considering the taxpayers subsidize online retail via the postal service artificially keeping online retail prices cheap….why not let the shareholders of the companies pay their fair share of the internet’s upkeep cost….

    I don’t use the internet to really care or have an opinion on the issue.

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  17. Some NN spam:

    The US was under the assumption that net neutrality laws applied for 30 years going. It wasn’t until Verizon won a lawsuit about it that the rules no longer applied to them. They promptly began fucking everyone over:

    2005 – Madison River Communications: Blocked VOIP services before the FCC put a stop to it.

    http://cnet.co/2jeYWrI

    2007 – Comcast: Caught forging packets to interfere with user traffic

    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2007/10/eff-tests-agree-ap-comcast-forging-packets-to-interfere

    2007-2009 – AT&T: Blocked Skype and other VOIP services which competed with their cellphone plans

    http://for.tn/2Apcr35

    2011 – MetroPCS: Tried to block all streaming except YouTube

    https://archive.is/LwLMM

    2011 – Multiple ISPs: Caught hijacking search traffic to increase affiliate revenue

    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/07/widespread-search-hijacking-in-the-us

    2011-2013, AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon: Blocked access to Google Wallet because it competed with their bullshit

    https://www.freepress.net/press-release/99480/att-blocking-iphones-facetime-app-would-harm-consumers-and-break-net-neutrality

    2012 – Verizon: Demanded Google block tethering apps on Android because it let owners avoid their $20 tethering fee. This was despite guaranteeing they wouldn’t do that as part of a winning bid on an airwaves auction.

    https://www.fcc.gov/document/verizon-wireless-pay-125-million-settle-investigation

    2012 – AT&T – tried to block access to FaceTime unless customers paid more money.

    http://nyti.ms/2zZ5Dbk

    2013 – Verizon: Literally stated that the only thing stopping them from favoring some content providers over other providers were the net neutrality rules in place.

    https://unvis.it/theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/07/on-net-neutrality-verizon-leads-push-for-fast-lanes/456891

    2017 – Verizon: Caught throttling customer data in direct violation of FCC Net Neutrality rules

    https://unvis.it/theverge.com/2017/7/21/16010766

    Take Action:

    https://act.eff.org/action/congress-don-t-sell-the-internet-out

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  18. Neoconned says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    Is the Internet broken? Does it need to be fixed?
     
    The internet should be destroyed, at least that part of it which is accessible to the general public.

    All the complaints against the MSM that Dissident Rightists and their nascent or affiliated subgroups have issued over the years can be applied with equal or greater emphasis to the internet, and yet the latter seems to be given a pass, possibly because so many Alt-Righters seem to be programmers or people otherwise involved in IT work. But this is neither very intellectually consistent nor is it helpful to the cause. To take but three obvious examples:

    1) The internet is a purveyor of cultural trash, including endless amounts of free hardcore pornography that can be accessed at will by anyone, even children. This exceeds by many orders of magnitude the sex and violence on television that occasioned such outcry in the better bred culture of yesteryear.

    2) The internet is a megaphone for Narrative code enforcement that is far more pervasive and draconian than the legacy media could ever dream of being. Entire websites, individuals, and specific content is de-platformed at a whim from the masters of social media or the governments with which they are joined at the hip.

    3) The internet as an industry provides a massive slush fund for globalist politicians and their lackeys. In the legacy media era we had people like William Randolf Hearst and Ted Turner as Leftist tycoons working their ill will upon the world, but can they really compare in scope or mendacity to freakazoids like Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg?

    Examples like this could be multiplied endless, and far more more attention ought to be paid the manner in which social media is destroying our ability to think or interact normally. My criticism takes a different approach. Since I'm more interested in things like macroeconomics and political economy, I can't help but see the internet as a massive capital misallocation and a productivity drain. It's high-flying FANG companies are nothing but profitless financial abominations funded by QE, ZIRP, stock buybacks, and all the trickery of financial repression ushered in by the most fiscally irresponsible central banking policies since the age of Diocletian.

    The internet simply could not exist in a world of hard money, balanced budgets, and non-globally arbitraged labor costs. And since all these conditions are destined to revert violently to their historic norms during the next financial crisis, I am certain that the internet, too, will be going away.

    Dunno about going away but it will get much more expensive…

    Excellent points though on markets and free trade etc

    I bet you read Zero Hedge like me….

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  19. Paul Rain says:

    Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat exist, while an Ohio boy whose hometown has been ruined by Somali invasion thanks to the whos had to jump from domain to domain to stay online, so yes, that is broken and both those things need fixing.

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  20. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Thank you! I could have used these exact words.

    The comments so far haven’t done enough to clear this up, at least for me, but perhaps those to come will. I want to learn something about which I’m quite interested and ignorant, so please, knowledgeable commenters, remember to lay things out for the rest of us before fussing with each other. (On this thread, I also hope that Mr. Sailer moderates with a heavy hand. No race, etc. distractions or videos of rock bands, please.)

    It seems likely that there are tensions in play, depending on the nature of the content, e.g., alternative news versus sports, movies. I’m among those who cherish the Internet as an idea exchange, not as a way to pay less for passively consumed product that one can obtain through TV or other media. My selfish concerns are centered on people like Mr. Unz being enabled to publish thinkers like Mr. Sailer, and readers like me being allowed to read and comment, all at little or no cost imposed by anyone else.

    It’s saddening to realize that I am inclined to trust a discussion among my pseudonymous and anonymous fellows more than any mainstream source.

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  21. In this Orwellian day and age, simply attribute the qualities opposite to those evoked by the title or theme ascribed to any proposed legislation or regulation. The cuter the name, e.g. PATRIOT Act or Head Start, the more disingenuous it’s aims.

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  22. @Intelligent Dasein

    Is the Internet broken? Does it need to be fixed?
     
    The internet should be destroyed, at least that part of it which is accessible to the general public.

    All the complaints against the MSM that Dissident Rightists and their nascent or affiliated subgroups have issued over the years can be applied with equal or greater emphasis to the internet, and yet the latter seems to be given a pass, possibly because so many Alt-Righters seem to be programmers or people otherwise involved in IT work. But this is neither very intellectually consistent nor is it helpful to the cause. To take but three obvious examples:

    1) The internet is a purveyor of cultural trash, including endless amounts of free hardcore pornography that can be accessed at will by anyone, even children. This exceeds by many orders of magnitude the sex and violence on television that occasioned such outcry in the better bred culture of yesteryear.

    2) The internet is a megaphone for Narrative code enforcement that is far more pervasive and draconian than the legacy media could ever dream of being. Entire websites, individuals, and specific content is de-platformed at a whim from the masters of social media or the governments with which they are joined at the hip.

    3) The internet as an industry provides a massive slush fund for globalist politicians and their lackeys. In the legacy media era we had people like William Randolf Hearst and Ted Turner as Leftist tycoons working their ill will upon the world, but can they really compare in scope or mendacity to freakazoids like Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg?

    Examples like this could be multiplied endless, and far more more attention ought to be paid the manner in which social media is destroying our ability to think or interact normally. My criticism takes a different approach. Since I'm more interested in things like macroeconomics and political economy, I can't help but see the internet as a massive capital misallocation and a productivity drain. It's high-flying FANG companies are nothing but profitless financial abominations funded by QE, ZIRP, stock buybacks, and all the trickery of financial repression ushered in by the most fiscally irresponsible central banking policies since the age of Diocletian.

    The internet simply could not exist in a world of hard money, balanced budgets, and non-globally arbitraged labor costs. And since all these conditions are destined to revert violently to their historic norms during the next financial crisis, I am certain that the internet, too, will be going away.

    Re (2), agree, but on the other hand, there is more access to dissenting opinions. When Steve was ejected from NR, I just took it on faith he was the wrong kind of person. When I was re-introduced to him later on, I could start checking things easily.

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  23. @Anonymous
    This seems to be a question on which genuinely well-intentioned people can reach different conclusion.

    To me, the crucial question seems to be whether providing internet access creates "natural monopolies". My sense is that this is the case. As to the second issue, it seems that most internet access results from actual humans doing the physical work of putting in cables, and it doesn't seem likely that more than two, if that, companies are going to do that for any location. But once they've done it, then they are likely to try to exploit that fact for financial gain.

    I certainly don't trust Verizon or Comcast. My sense is that they are certainly trying to screw people. But my distrust of Verizon and Comcast is quite different from my distrust of something like Google. I don't doubt that actual malefactors are trying to gain power at Google to further their evil aims, and that these evil aims go far beyond extracting money. But I am not sure what this has to do with the issue of "net neutrality".

    Basically, I think that the de facto control of the internet by leading companies like Google, Twitter, Facebook, etc, is a different issue from the concrete control of the internet by the companies that own the physical means of access. I suspect that many people are confusing these issues, but I grant that these are genuinely complex problems and am open to new ideas.

    I agree. The “Net Neutrality” debate is convoluted and made even more murky by the fact that the nomenclature is mostly dishonest.

    As best as I can tell, it was basically a preemptive shot in the fight by up-and-coming content providers (Facebook, Google, Netflix, etc.) to prevent network owners (cable firms, telcos) from exerting too much (i.e., any) control over them.

    The content providers cleverly positioned themselves as being proponents of “Neutrality”, which no goodthinking person can oppose, and got the Obama administration to pass reams of eye wateringly dense regulations favoring themselves under the fake rubric “Net Neutrality”. As subsequent events have proved, the content providers haven’t the slightest intention of using their newly privileged position to be anything like “neutral” regarding the content they provide. So the net (heh) result is that the “Neutralists” are powerful, favored, and not neutral.

    The Trump administration, whether bowing to network owner lobbying or whether accurately seeing the serious threat from the pseudo-Neutralists, has indicated it will undo a lot of this Obama-era finagling, but exactly how is unclear.

    President Trump could clear a path for himself through the political/PR battlespace here with one of his classic tweets pointing out how “Net Neutrality” is a fake term that helps privileged monopolists to be non-neutral. Against fake “Neutrality”, he could promote real freedom.

    Whether the new rules really would promote freedom … ?

    Read More
    • Agree: EdwardM
    • Replies: @Roger
    For years, the Silicon Valley companies pleaded for no regulation of the internet. Now apparently they are big and powerful enough that their lobbyists can control the regulators, so they welcome certain regulatory efforts.

    A lot of regulations exist to benefit big business, not consumers. Net neutrality is an example.
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  24. Below is Google’s idea of the “net neutrality” it intends to provide.

    On November 20, Sputnik News published an article titled “Google Executive Says New Algorithm Will Hide RT, Sputnik Articles”. Excerpts follow:

    Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, announced Saturday that the company will “engineer” algorithms that will make it harder for articles from Sputnik News and RT [Russia Today] to appear on the Google News service.

    “We are working on detecting and de-ranking those kinds of sites — it’s basically RT and Sputnik,” Schmidt said during a question-and-answer session … “We are well of aware of it, and we are trying to engineer the systems to prevent [the content being delivered to wide audiences]. But we don’t want to ban the sites — that’s not how we operate.”

    Schmidt’s response came after a guest in the audience asked … [about] “Russian propaganda.” …

    Schmidt later noted that he was “very strongly not in favor of censorship,” but that instead he had faith in “ranking” stories. … The official did indicate that it would be able to detect “repetitive, exploitative, false, and weaponized” information. …

    Robert Epstein, a research psychologist, called Google’s interference “very dangerous.”

    “Companies like Google and Facebook play both sides: they pretend to be objective but exercise enormous editorial control,” he said.

    Faced with having to close down its US-based offices and with its employees under threat of arrest, RT announced just a week ago that the the news organization had registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. RT called the sudden deadline to register imposed by the US Justice Department “cannibalistic” and decried the requirement as a blow to free speech. …

    https://sputniknews.com/world/201711201059277108-google-algorithm-to-hide-rt-sputnik-news-articles/

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  25. Jack D says:

    Even if something is broken, it’s always possible to f*ck it up even more with misguided attempts to fix it.

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  26. jtgw says:
    @Guy de Champlagne
    The consumer ISPs are already broken because they exist with minimal competition and an absence of price controls. Without net neutrality the worry is that the ISPs will exploit their market position to not only charge consumers whatever they can get away with but also go after internet sites themselves by threatening to deliver content from them either at reduced bandwidth or increased latency unless they start paying not just their own hosts but also consumer ISPs (and possibly backbone ISPs in the middle, I'm not sure). I don't know exactly what ISPs will do with this new power and whether the opponents of net neutrality are right in their predictions but it's moving in the wrong direction. ISPs should be regulated fully as utilities with government price controls.

    There used to be a widespread agreement and understanding that areas of the economy incapable of sustaining sufficient levels of competition should have price controls. Then the GOP became infected with the Reagan "get the government off my [big business's] back" disease.

    Other civilized countries have price controls for internet, cable tv, cell phones, health care, etc.

    But the reasons those ISP monopolies exist is because of government regulation. For example, ISPs have to use existing phone lines and cables and can’t set up parallel networks. This raises the cost of entering the market and gives the advantage to established phone and cable companies like Verizon and Comcast.

    https://www.wired.com/2013/07/we-need-to-stop-focusing-on-just-cable-companies-and-blame-local-government-for-dismal-broadband-competition/

    I don’t understand the argument that total costs will increase without NN. If Comcast ends up charging more for Netflix access without NN just to get more revenue overall, why isn’t it raising rates now for all services? It’s not NN that’s holding them back from doing that right now. But it makes more sense if you understand that Comcast wants to charge Netflix more than other sites since Netflix uses up 40% of the bandwidth while not raising total rates for consumers. NN currently means Netflix doesn’t have to pay any more than other sites, which means Netflix’ costs are shared by other sites and by consumers. Without NN, Comcast will charge Netflix more and also give consumers the option of lower rates for internet access without Netflix. Those who want Netflix can pay extra.

    Portugal has already gotten rid of NN and internet appears to quite affordable there while also being very flexible in terms of what level access you prefer to buy. There are no blanket bans on certain sites as far as I know.

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    • Replies: @nothanks
    In other words,we can expect to have to pay more for the same popular services we have access to now. That just sucks.
    , @Guy de Champlagne
    Broadband is a natural monopoly. It's incredibly stupid and wasteful to run multiple lines to every house. It was commonly accepted for a hundred years that the way to deal with these economies was with utility style regulation.

    The reason why it's plausible that overall costs will increase is because there's no competition to drive prices down. ISPs are currently bleeding consumers for everything they can get and without neutrality will be free to try the same thing against internet hosts.

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  27. @Anonymous
    "The internet should be destroyed, at least that part of it which is accessible to the general public."

    Do you have any viable way to make this happen? Can you ensure that this does not result in the destruction of civilization? I would not at all discount this if there were some viable path forward.

    Do you have any viable way to make this happen? Can you ensure that this does not result in the destruction of civilization? I would not at all discount this if there were some viable path forward.

    I think it could be done by the sort of government strongman that will likely emerge in the next crisis anyway. If we were already in a state of war and economic malaise, there would be little downside; besides which, the internet under those conditions would become a major liability due to the threat of hacking, cyber-warfare, capital flight, and espionage, so there would be good political rationale for shutting it down. I could well imagine some American Mussolini marching federal troops into the offices of Google and Facebook, suspending their operations, and confiscating their property.

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    • Replies: @Corvinus
    "I could well imagine some American Mussolini marching federal troops into the offices of Google and Facebook, suspending their operations, and confiscating their property."

    That would take a tremendous strain of your brainpower. The Internet remains a potent force for free speech. One need not rely on Twitter or Facebook to advance their ideas. Exactly why this "American Mussolini" is a figment of your imagination. You honestly believe that normies would stand for a Fascist who unilaterally decides to shutter Google and Facebook? Dream on.
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  28. BenKenobi says:
    @Neoconned
    I don't have a dog in the fight really but generally speaking it benefits the big silicon valley companies and the so called FANG stock companies are destroying entire sections of the economy and state level tax bases and yet they continue to want average ppl and infrastructure companies to subsidize their shareholder profits....

    I don't know enough to have a real opinion but I'd like to see the big tech firms pay their fair share....

    I don’t have a dog in the fight

    Buds you’re on the internet — you are a dog and you’re in the fight.

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  29. nothanks says:
    @jtgw
    But the reasons those ISP monopolies exist is because of government regulation. For example, ISPs have to use existing phone lines and cables and can't set up parallel networks. This raises the cost of entering the market and gives the advantage to established phone and cable companies like Verizon and Comcast.

    https://www.wired.com/2013/07/we-need-to-stop-focusing-on-just-cable-companies-and-blame-local-government-for-dismal-broadband-competition/

    I don't understand the argument that total costs will increase without NN. If Comcast ends up charging more for Netflix access without NN just to get more revenue overall, why isn't it raising rates now for all services? It's not NN that's holding them back from doing that right now. But it makes more sense if you understand that Comcast wants to charge Netflix more than other sites since Netflix uses up 40% of the bandwidth while not raising total rates for consumers. NN currently means Netflix doesn't have to pay any more than other sites, which means Netflix' costs are shared by other sites and by consumers. Without NN, Comcast will charge Netflix more and also give consumers the option of lower rates for internet access without Netflix. Those who want Netflix can pay extra.

    Portugal has already gotten rid of NN and internet appears to quite affordable there while also being very flexible in terms of what level access you prefer to buy. There are no blanket bans on certain sites as far as I know.

    In other words,we can expect to have to pay more for the same popular services we have access to now. That just sucks.

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    • Replies: @jtgw
    You would pay less for internet overall so what extra you did pay for Netflix would not be a net increase in cost, i.e. you'd pay the current rate for internet + Netflix but you could also pay a lower rate for internet - Netflix. At least, that's the scenario that makes most sense to me. As I said, if Comcast could increase total costs after it could start charging more for certain sites, that means it has that much room to raise total rates, so there's no reason it can't just raise total rates right now. Abolishing NN is about Comcast recouping its costs of business from Netflix and other high-bandwidth sites, not about punishing consumers.
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  30. The Pareto principal applies here too; 20% of users consume 80% of bandwidth although this may change as more and more people stream video. Comcast and Verizon both know how may gigs everyone uses; how about charging a flat fee for 250 gigs and then some amount for everything over that? Let the heavy users pay for what they consume no matter what its origin.

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  31. BenKenobi says:
    @Roger
    The internet worked just fine without regulation for most of its history. A couple of years ago, the Obama administration decided to start regulating it, with 100s of pages of net neutrality rules.

    My problem with net neutrality is that Google, Facebook, and Twitter have lobbied to exempt themselves from the rules. They can call themselves ISPs when the law benefits them, but they also reserve the right to block content on their network however they see fit.

    So net neutrality is really just a big power play so companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter will have exclusive control over the content that most users see.

    They can call themselves ISPs when the law benefits them, but they also reserve the right to block content on their network however they see fit.

    So the Cyber-Jew identifies as either website or ISP according to expediency?

    Imagine my shock.

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  32. Roger says: • Website
    @Almost Missouri
    I agree. The "Net Neutrality" debate is convoluted and made even more murky by the fact that the nomenclature is mostly dishonest.

    As best as I can tell, it was basically a preemptive shot in the fight by up-and-coming content providers (Facebook, Google, Netflix, etc.) to prevent network owners (cable firms, telcos) from exerting too much (i.e., any) control over them.

    The content providers cleverly positioned themselves as being proponents of "Neutrality", which no goodthinking person can oppose, and got the Obama administration to pass reams of eye wateringly dense regulations favoring themselves under the fake rubric "Net Neutrality". As subsequent events have proved, the content providers haven't the slightest intention of using their newly privileged position to be anything like "neutral" regarding the content they provide. So the net (heh) result is that the "Neutralists" are powerful, favored, and not neutral.

    The Trump administration, whether bowing to network owner lobbying or whether accurately seeing the serious threat from the pseudo-Neutralists, has indicated it will undo a lot of this Obama-era finagling, but exactly how is unclear.

    President Trump could clear a path for himself through the political/PR battlespace here with one of his classic tweets pointing out how "Net Neutrality" is a fake term that helps privileged monopolists to be non-neutral. Against fake "Neutrality", he could promote real freedom.

    Whether the new rules really would promote freedom ... ?

    For years, the Silicon Valley companies pleaded for no regulation of the internet. Now apparently they are big and powerful enough that their lobbyists can control the regulators, so they welcome certain regulatory efforts.

    A lot of regulations exist to benefit big business, not consumers. Net neutrality is an example.

    Read More
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  33. biz says:

    We need net neutrality because without it, your internet service provider, of which most people only have two to choose from (Comcast and Verizon), could block you from accessing anything on the internet that they felt like you shouldn’t access.

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  34. The way the media frames it is disingenous: scrappy little dot coms being oppressed by big mean ISPs.

    The reality is that giant dot coms didn’t want to pay for using the infrastructure, and so we got horror stories about ISPs filtering out content “they didn’t like”, and then the dot coms went and did the exact same thing.

    Everyone tweeting in favor of “net neutrality” is another useful sucker who eats up the agitprop paid for by Google/FB/Netflix so they don’t have to pay a charge for consuming so much of a limited resource.

    Furthermore Google does this bait and switch depending on the circumstances where voila! Its a content provider when its convenient, and then honk honk clown nose now its an ISP when its convenient. Transparently its trying to flank the current ISPs and the start up regulation (with costs & restrictions) so that when it goes live it has a leg up on them. See Lyft and Uber for other examples of this card game that SV has been playing versus “innovating” anything useful.

    Personally while I’m not some libertarian bowing down to a corporate charter, Comcast and Verizon never went out of their way to screw with what I wanted to see, as far as I know. Meanwhile Facebook and Google have blue hair trannies running their Stasi and unpersoning people left and right while Netflix can’t fund anti-White television fast enough. Thats good enough for me to want to put a stick in their eye.

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    • Agree: jtgw
    • Replies: @Seamus Padraig

    Comcast and Verizon never went out of their way to screw with what I wanted to see, as far as I know.
     
    As it now stands, they're not allowed to. Do you really want to change that?
    , @biz
    Google and Facebook can spread their own propaganda but cannot block your access to, for example, this website. Without Net Neutrality, your ISP easily could. I get that you don't like the FANG companies, but the enemy of your enemy is not your friend.
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  35. Orthodox says:

    Net Neutrality is about Google and Facebook and Amazon forcing Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and Spectrum to do their bidding. Google and Facebook and Amazon argue they can provide goods and services cheaper because AT&T charges them the same as it would charge Joe Sixpack small businessman. Win for consumer! Except Google and Facebook and Amazon don’t provide neutrality on their platforms. Huh.

    The one company in the gray area is Netflix. Verizon could theoretically damage Netflix’s business by driving up the cost of Internet service for Netflix to make their cable offerings more competitive, or convince its customers to upgrade to fiber. The fact that AT&T is trying to buy Time Warner tells us something about the position of the telcos. Netflix definitely wants Net Neutrality (all packets are equal!) I’m not sure I would favor Net Neutrality simply to let Netflix continue existing.

    Net Neutrality puts cost on the telecom company, and then the consumer. Theoretically, without net neutrality, the telcos can extract rents from the Internet giants such as Netflix or charge their superusers who stream HD Netflix movies higher rates for Internet service.

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  36. Net Neutrality?

    Is that similar to Net Isolationism?

    Is the Internet broken?

    Al Gore broke it!

    Does it need to be fixed?

    That’s what I thought of Al’s boss.

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  37. Here are some questions which make it obvious to me how I should feel about ‘net neutrality.’

    1. Does the name of the act sound intuitively ‘good?’ Most laws which have ‘good’ names do the opposite of their name. Think ‘free trade’ laws which contain thousands of pages of tariff schedules, etc.

    2. Whose administration put the regs in? Would it be anomalous for this to be the one (or one of the very few) good things that came out of his admin?

    3. Follow the shekels. Who is paying for the ads supporting ‘net neutrality?’ Do those parties typically have my interests at heart?

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    • Replies: @biz
    Don't shoot yourself in the face to shoot your enemy in the foot. Without net neutrality your ISP could block your access to this website, and likely will.
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  38. @larry lurker

    PS. I was at a hotel a year ago and tried out their free wifi. Their firewall prevented me from accessing Steve Sailer’s blog at unz.com.
     
    https://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser.html.en

    Also available as an app for Android - not sure how it's done on iPhones.

    With its multiple layers of indirection, Tor is too slow for watching movies and, often, even sites like Breitbart that deliver a hundred bytes of pictures and ads for every byte of stuff you actually wanted to read. But for iSteve, it’s fine.

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  39. kihowi says:

    It’s phony as hell. Nobody cares about absence of censorship of conflict of interest of whatever lofty sounding reasons are being given why isps having a say in what they do with their own bandwith is so awful.

    This is about teenagers who are concerned about their pirated porno on places like pornhub, their pirated anime torrents. and their unboxing videos on youtube.

    Actually not that last one because youtube will be fine whatever happens.

    You’ll notice that none of the Bandwidth Justice Warriors are concerned about google throwing off any pretense to disinterestedness and just removing unwanted political content from youtube and their search results. But tranny porn in anything less than 1080p would be censorship akin to book burning and a victory for Hitler.

    It’s 2017 and everything is phony.

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  40. countenance says: • Website

    Net Neutrality is where mendacious ISPs have weaponized the Republican right, while mendacious content providers have weaponized the Democrat left, and are constantly firing shots at each other across our boughs.

    Similarly, long before now, the insurance industry weaponized the Republican right, while the trial lawyer industry weaponized the Democrat left, and once again, we’re stuck in the free fire zone.

    We should not consummately pick a singular side in either one of these questions, for much the same reason why it is not a good idea to get in between rabid pit bulls mauling each other.

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  41. Whiskey says: • Website

    is only half-right. The Faceborg, Gulag, etc. are hostile to the West and White men. True.

    BUT, Net Neutrality is central to keeping things like this site, Gab.ai, and others which provide the ONLY alternative to mainstream media. Without Twitter, Trump would have been an obscure also ran and someone like Ben Carson with a President Hillary cackling in the White House rounding up all White men for mandatory castration if not execution. [I'm only slightly exaggerating.]

    Ajit Pai wants Comcast and Verizon to be able to block BitTorrent. Among other things this eliminates Linux and BSDs as an alternative to Windows and Mac OS. Its a giant wet kiss to corporate America. Yes, Piracy which is A. Stupid, if you visit pirate sites you give up control of your computer to bots; B. Piracy hurts corporate Poz America which is good.

    Ending Net Neutrality is a way for Pozzed ESPN/Disney for example, to still extract Poz Rents on people who don’t subscribe to ESPN Poz and gouge them for any streaming content. Say a video by Steven Bannon or even Steve Sailer. A way to strangle in the crib the Alt Right forever, and have nothing but Hillary! type media people (or worse, Kamala Harris) running things.

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    • Replies: @Live Free or McRib

    Ajit Pai wants Comcast and Verizon to be able to block BitTorrent. Among other things this eliminates Linux and BSDs as an alternative to Windows and Mac OS.
     
    No...that's kind of a silly argument.
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  42. jtgw says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    Is the Internet broken? Does it need to be fixed?
     
    The internet should be destroyed, at least that part of it which is accessible to the general public.

    All the complaints against the MSM that Dissident Rightists and their nascent or affiliated subgroups have issued over the years can be applied with equal or greater emphasis to the internet, and yet the latter seems to be given a pass, possibly because so many Alt-Righters seem to be programmers or people otherwise involved in IT work. But this is neither very intellectually consistent nor is it helpful to the cause. To take but three obvious examples:

    1) The internet is a purveyor of cultural trash, including endless amounts of free hardcore pornography that can be accessed at will by anyone, even children. This exceeds by many orders of magnitude the sex and violence on television that occasioned such outcry in the better bred culture of yesteryear.

    2) The internet is a megaphone for Narrative code enforcement that is far more pervasive and draconian than the legacy media could ever dream of being. Entire websites, individuals, and specific content is de-platformed at a whim from the masters of social media or the governments with which they are joined at the hip.

    3) The internet as an industry provides a massive slush fund for globalist politicians and their lackeys. In the legacy media era we had people like William Randolf Hearst and Ted Turner as Leftist tycoons working their ill will upon the world, but can they really compare in scope or mendacity to freakazoids like Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg?

    Examples like this could be multiplied endless, and far more more attention ought to be paid the manner in which social media is destroying our ability to think or interact normally. My criticism takes a different approach. Since I'm more interested in things like macroeconomics and political economy, I can't help but see the internet as a massive capital misallocation and a productivity drain. It's high-flying FANG companies are nothing but profitless financial abominations funded by QE, ZIRP, stock buybacks, and all the trickery of financial repression ushered in by the most fiscally irresponsible central banking policies since the age of Diocletian.

    The internet simply could not exist in a world of hard money, balanced budgets, and non-globally arbitraged labor costs. And since all these conditions are destined to revert violently to their historic norms during the next financial crisis, I am certain that the internet, too, will be going away.

    1) The internet is a purveyor of cultural trash, including endless amounts of free hardcore pornography that can be accessed at will by anyone, even children. This exceeds by many orders of magnitude the sex and violence on television that occasioned such outcry in the better bred culture of yesteryear.

    Access to pornography is indeed much easier with the internet but given how much demand there is for it I can’t imagine people would not find alternative ways of obtaining it with different kinds of technology. But if your argument is that pornography consumption involves external costs that would be internalized under a sound, hard money economy, I’d be interested to hear it.

    2) The internet is a megaphone for Narrative code enforcement that is far more pervasive and draconian than the legacy media could ever dream of being. Entire websites, individuals, and specific content is de-platformed at a whim from the masters of social media or the governments with which they are joined at the hip.

    This is true, but as others noted, it’s also true that it can be a powerful vehicle for non-MSM views. Examples like the Daily Stormer aside, my impression is that most controversial sites have managed to keep their platforms. Unz is still here, isn’t he? And I’m not clear on how abolishing the internet would reduce the power of the elite to transmit their narrative.

    3) The internet as an industry provides a massive slush fund for globalist politicians and their lackeys. In the legacy media era we had people like William Randolf Hearst and Ted Turner as Leftist tycoons working their ill will upon the world, but can they really compare in scope or mendacity to freakazoids like Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg?

    Yes, I think they can be compared and I think Bezos and Zuckerberg come off better by the comparison. I see all sorts of non-PC stuff through Amazon and Facebook that I would not have seen published in a mainstream newspaper or on television.

    To your last points, yes there is a lot of misallocation in the economy, but I’m just not convinced that the internet is not something that would have been invented otherwise. It’s advantages in terms of communicating information are clearly enormously important for commerce, so I don’t see why it would be discarded if we went back to the gold standard and deregulated and all that. I think maybe your concerns about economic globalization are more relevant – instant communication with other countries makes it tougher for any one government to impose economic barriers. I think on balance that’s a good thing.

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    • Replies: @Jack Hanson
    >Unz
    >Controversial

    Lmdo God bless the boomercons who really think this.
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  43. jtgw says:
    @nothanks
    In other words,we can expect to have to pay more for the same popular services we have access to now. That just sucks.

    You would pay less for internet overall so what extra you did pay for Netflix would not be a net increase in cost, i.e. you’d pay the current rate for internet + Netflix but you could also pay a lower rate for internet – Netflix. At least, that’s the scenario that makes most sense to me. As I said, if Comcast could increase total costs after it could start charging more for certain sites, that means it has that much room to raise total rates, so there’s no reason it can’t just raise total rates right now. Abolishing NN is about Comcast recouping its costs of business from Netflix and other high-bandwidth sites, not about punishing consumers.

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    • Replies: @nothanks
    I understand the claim. I just doubt very much that it's true. If comcast tries to extort more from netflix, netflix will wind up charging more. Comcast will then certainly charge more. The same thing will happen across the board. There may be a stripped down tier of service that is priced less than current packges, but it will be very limited access.
    Maybe you're right, I just doubt it.
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  44. @jtgw

    1) The internet is a purveyor of cultural trash, including endless amounts of free hardcore pornography that can be accessed at will by anyone, even children. This exceeds by many orders of magnitude the sex and violence on television that occasioned such outcry in the better bred culture of yesteryear.

     

    Access to pornography is indeed much easier with the internet but given how much demand there is for it I can't imagine people would not find alternative ways of obtaining it with different kinds of technology. But if your argument is that pornography consumption involves external costs that would be internalized under a sound, hard money economy, I'd be interested to hear it.

    2) The internet is a megaphone for Narrative code enforcement that is far more pervasive and draconian than the legacy media could ever dream of being. Entire websites, individuals, and specific content is de-platformed at a whim from the masters of social media or the governments with which they are joined at the hip.
     
    This is true, but as others noted, it's also true that it can be a powerful vehicle for non-MSM views. Examples like the Daily Stormer aside, my impression is that most controversial sites have managed to keep their platforms. Unz is still here, isn't he? And I'm not clear on how abolishing the internet would reduce the power of the elite to transmit their narrative.

    3) The internet as an industry provides a massive slush fund for globalist politicians and their lackeys. In the legacy media era we had people like William Randolf Hearst and Ted Turner as Leftist tycoons working their ill will upon the world, but can they really compare in scope or mendacity to freakazoids like Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg?
     
    Yes, I think they can be compared and I think Bezos and Zuckerberg come off better by the comparison. I see all sorts of non-PC stuff through Amazon and Facebook that I would not have seen published in a mainstream newspaper or on television.

    To your last points, yes there is a lot of misallocation in the economy, but I'm just not convinced that the internet is not something that would have been invented otherwise. It's advantages in terms of communicating information are clearly enormously important for commerce, so I don't see why it would be discarded if we went back to the gold standard and deregulated and all that. I think maybe your concerns about economic globalization are more relevant - instant communication with other countries makes it tougher for any one government to impose economic barriers. I think on balance that's a good thing.

    >Unz
    >Controversial

    Lmdo God bless the boomercons who really think this.

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  45. @Whiskey
    @Intelligent Dasein is only half-right. The Faceborg, Gulag, etc. are hostile to the West and White men. True.

    BUT, Net Neutrality is central to keeping things like this site, Gab.ai, and others which provide the ONLY alternative to mainstream media. Without Twitter, Trump would have been an obscure also ran and someone like Ben Carson with a President Hillary cackling in the White House rounding up all White men for mandatory castration if not execution. [I'm only slightly exaggerating.]

    Ajit Pai wants Comcast and Verizon to be able to block BitTorrent. Among other things this eliminates Linux and BSDs as an alternative to Windows and Mac OS. Its a giant wet kiss to corporate America. Yes, Piracy which is A. Stupid, if you visit pirate sites you give up control of your computer to bots; B. Piracy hurts corporate Poz America which is good.

    Ending Net Neutrality is a way for Pozzed ESPN/Disney for example, to still extract Poz Rents on people who don't subscribe to ESPN Poz and gouge them for any streaming content. Say a video by Steven Bannon or even Steve Sailer. A way to strangle in the crib the Alt Right forever, and have nothing but Hillary! type media people (or worse, Kamala Harris) running things.

    Ajit Pai wants Comcast and Verizon to be able to block BitTorrent. Among other things this eliminates Linux and BSDs as an alternative to Windows and Mac OS.

    No…that’s kind of a silly argument.

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  46. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Net neutrality is an incredibly unintuitive name for whatever it is about. It practically makes my head spin whenever I hear it, because it such a fuzzy, what-the-hell sounding term.

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  47. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    The March 2015 version of the FCC’s Net Neutrality order was over 400 pages long. I’m not sure if that is the size of the current version. Does it really take that many pages to say that ISPs can’t charge subscribers a fee to access certain websites or block them from accessing certain sites?

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  48. @anonymous
    I used to support net neutrality because I didn't want my ISP to be able to block or throttle my ability to get to certain sites. However, given how the social media companies and search engines are taking to controlling content, does it even matter anymore whether we have net neutrality?

    Why should I care if an ISP extorts more money from a content provider who is in the process of cutting off people like me from their site?

    PS. I was at a hotel a year ago and tried out their free wifi. Their firewall prevented me from accessing Steve Sailer's blog at unz.com. Additionally I could not even access Drudge. However, Huffo, Slate and the rest of leftwing lot came up fine.

    PS. I was at a hotel a year ago and tried out their free wifi. Their firewall prevented me from accessing Steve Sailer’s blog at unz.com. Additionally I could not even access Drudge. However, Huffo, Slate and the rest of leftwing lot came up fine.

    Well, unless you want more of that sort of thing, you should support net neutrality. You’ve already seen how the search engines and social media companies here are always willing to co-operate with the deep state–but in that case, at least we still have access to alternatives, such VK.com or Yandex. But what if the deep state, using their ‘Russian hacking’ meme, gains the ability to effectively block our access to any of those alternatives, too? For that matter, what if they gain the ability to block you from accessing Unz.com from anywhere? If you can’t trust Fakebook and Goolag, what makes you think you can trust Time-Warner and ComCast?

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    • Replies: @jtgw
    If we're talking government censorship, they can do that with or without NN. NN is purely about supposed censorship by private ISPs for reasons independent of government censorship, e.g. blocking access to commercial rivals.
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  49. @anonymous

    To me, the crucial question seems to be whether providing internet access creates “natural monopolies”
     
    There is no reason that providing internet access should be a natural monopoly. The only reason the major phone and cable companies are in the cat bird seat today is that they were allowed to operate as regulated monopolies for decades. So they inherited the local infrastructure that they built due to the protection from competition they received. Unlike interstates which were funded and built by the government, the local phone and cable infrastructure was built by allowing companies exclusivity in a particular market in exchange for allowing state commissions to regulate their fees.

    Many back in the late 1990s thought we should have separated the ownership and operation of the central offices and the so-called "last mile", which connected homes and businesses to those central offices, from internet services. If that would have been done you would have companies that would bid for the rights to maintain the local infrastructure and not be in the business of providing internet. Other ISPs with internet connections would then access those local facilities to provide the internet services to end users.

    The situation would have been similar to dialup. In the dialup internet days each market had 10 or more local ISPs as well as the big national ones. So some markets probably had 20 to 30 different ISPs competing against one another. The phone company, though they eventually joined the ISP bandwagon, was only needed to provide the phone line which the customer procured for himself regardless of his ISP.

    I was running a dialup ISP at the time and remember we were doomed when broadband came out. Now instead of not worrying about how a local user procured his own phone line, we would have to gain access to the customer's home. At first our local phone company, Southwestern Bell, agreed to allow ISPs access to "their" central office. However, the costs we had to pay to Bell just for that access were higher than what Bell was going to charge a user for a DSL conditioned phone line plus interent service. I suppose Bell was being nice to us given that the cable company in my area, Time Warner, wouldn't even allow us to access to "their" facilities at all. So in the nascent broadband world, we were not allowed to access via the cable facilities and we were priced out of the market via the telelphone facilities. [Note: We explored wifi, but the tech at the time was limited by capacity, range and cost when compared to DSL or cable modem.]

    Keep in mind Bell and the cable companies not only had a captive customer base for years to build up those facilities, but they also had and continue to have right-of-way access to lay their lines. For example, I no longer have local phone or cable service. Yet both the phone and cable companies have buried their junk in my yard and periodically dig it up for maintenance. Of course I get no compensation since the city gave them the rights to do this. I doubt my little ISP would have been afforded the same courtesy.

    In the past 5 years we have had Google enter our market with its fiber serivce. I doubt there are any companies besides Google with the money required to go directly to the end users and bypass the phone and cable companies. Despite their enormous cash reserves, even Google has failed to roll out fiber nationwide. If they can't do it, who can?

    I still believe if they would have separated the local loop from the provisioning of internet services, we would have today much more choices in internet service like we did in the heyday of dialup in the 1990s.

    PS.
    My experience is from one metro market. I have colleagues who were ISPs in smaller areas and rural areas and they are still around today because those areas have smaller phone companies who did not have the market dominace of Southwestern Bell (later SBC,now going by ATT again).

    PPS.
    I supose I should have included satellite as a competior to the phone/cable companies. But my experience has not been that great. I can't even get satellite where I live due to line-of-sight issues with a major group of trees. So most of us are probably stuck with a choice of either your phone or cable provider for ISP service. Some lucky ones have Google fiber and maybe even a satellite choice. So maybe you have 2 to 4 choices. That's a far cry from what it was during dialup.

    Separate the maintenance of the local loop from the provisioning of ISP service and you will open up the market bigly.

    Unlike interstates which were funded and built by the government, the local phone and cable infrastructure was built by allowing companies exclusivity in a particular market in exchange for allowing state commissions to regulate their fees.

    Actually, until Ma Bell was broken up by an antitrust suit in the late 70s, it was a natural monopoly nationwide. Back then, there was only one phone company everywhere: the same one founded by Alexander Graham Bell a century before.

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    • Replies: @jtgw
    Are you sure it was a natural monopoly? I.e. there were no regulations of any kind that made it difficult or impossible to compete with Bell?

    Apparently "natural monopoly" used to mean something quite different. Originally it meant the idea that, in certain industries, a company could serve consumers more efficiently if the government granted them a monopoly. The companies in question (like the Baltimore Gas Company) argued that "ruinous competition" forced them to cut costs in a way that harmed their customers and that the city or state government needed to outlaw competition. After these companies obtained their legal monopolies and proceeded to raise prices on their captive markets (as economic theory would predict), economists forgot how these monopolies originally arose and began arguing that it was the market that created these monopolies in the first place!

    https://mises.org/library/myth-natural-monopoly
    , @anonymous

    Actually, until Ma Bell was broken up by an antitrust suit in the late 70s, it was a natural monopoly nationwide. Back then, there was only one phone company everywhere: the same one founded by Alexander Graham Bell a century before.
     
    You are incorrect. There was more than one phone company back then. For example, GTE was a fairly large local exchange carrier that operated nationwide providing local telephone service. There were also several smaller local phone companies such as United Telephone which had operations like United Telephone of Indiana, United Telephone of Kansas, etc.

    For sure Ma Bell was dominant in that they had access to the largest markets. In the early days of telephone service the Bell System was able to get the exclusive rights to provide service in the larger metro areas.

    But the real anti-competitive practice involved Ma Bell using her dominant position in local telephone companies to force people to use ATT long distance telephone service. By tying the local telephone monopolies that were granted to it by the local municipalities with its long distance service, ATT was able to dominate.

    MCI, I believe, is the one that instituted the lawsuit in the 1970s that eventually led to the decision to force ATT to divest itself in 1984. And the rapid expansion of long distance competitors to ATT, such as MCI and Sprint, is testament to the fact that the market was long overdue for real competition. Notice how fast the rates per minute for long distance dropped. I remember as a kid in the late 70s having to treat long distance calls like some special event. You had to get on and off as fast as possible because of the expense. By the mid 1990s it was no longer an issue.

    So I don't think ATT was a natural monopoly. And the decision to break them up was for the good.

    Of course since then ATT has basically reemerged. After divestiture ATT long distance was separated from its local phone companies who were organized into 7 regional Bell operating companies (RBOCs). Since that time, two (Bell Atlantic and NYNEX) merged to form Verizon, and four (SWB, Ameritech, Bell South, Pac Telesys) merged into SBC which then bought the old ATT company to form the new ATT. The new ATT is pretty much what it was in 1983 minus its properties that are now with Verizon and Qwest.
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  50. Here’s a primer on net neutrality from The Duran–a good example of a site that you may not be able to reliably access anymore if net neutrality is repealed: http://theduran.com/net-neutrality-debate-everything-us-corporate-culture-little-war-free-speech/

    Trump is making a very big mistake here.

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  51. @Jack Hanson
    The way the media frames it is disingenous: scrappy little dot coms being oppressed by big mean ISPs.

    The reality is that giant dot coms didn't want to pay for using the infrastructure, and so we got horror stories about ISPs filtering out content "they didn't like", and then the dot coms went and did the exact same thing.

    Everyone tweeting in favor of "net neutrality" is another useful sucker who eats up the agitprop paid for by Google/FB/Netflix so they don't have to pay a charge for consuming so much of a limited resource.

    Furthermore Google does this bait and switch depending on the circumstances where voila! Its a content provider when its convenient, and then honk honk clown nose now its an ISP when its convenient. Transparently its trying to flank the current ISPs and the start up regulation (with costs & restrictions) so that when it goes live it has a leg up on them. See Lyft and Uber for other examples of this card game that SV has been playing versus "innovating" anything useful.

    Personally while I'm not some libertarian bowing down to a corporate charter, Comcast and Verizon never went out of their way to screw with what I wanted to see, as far as I know. Meanwhile Facebook and Google have blue hair trannies running their Stasi and unpersoning people left and right while Netflix can't fund anti-White television fast enough. Thats good enough for me to want to put a stick in their eye.

    Comcast and Verizon never went out of their way to screw with what I wanted to see, as far as I know.

    As it now stands, they’re not allowed to. Do you really want to change that?

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    • Agree: Guy de Champlagne
    • Replies: @Jack Hanson
    And if my aunt had balls she'd be my uncle. But lets talk about the world we live in.

    In this world, they have financial incentive NOT TO. Meanwhile we've got Facebook, Google, et so demanding they get charged the same you do for 5gb on your phone while hiring trannies to thought police your shit.

    ISPs want to avoid becoming regulated as utilities, which is a huge incentive to avoid engaging in SJW horseshit.

    , @Sam Haysom
    He wants to see facebook et al take it in the ass and he definitely isn't interested in giving them a sloppy blowjob. Shouldn't the onus be on the people defending the mainframe of the cathedral. I mean it's ok to be soft on your own industry kind of like how Steve is soft on Hollywood because he loves in the company town. But be honest about it- too much of the alt right is burn it down and let Putin take over- except for the tech industries.
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  52. biz says:
    @Jack Hanson
    The way the media frames it is disingenous: scrappy little dot coms being oppressed by big mean ISPs.

    The reality is that giant dot coms didn't want to pay for using the infrastructure, and so we got horror stories about ISPs filtering out content "they didn't like", and then the dot coms went and did the exact same thing.

    Everyone tweeting in favor of "net neutrality" is another useful sucker who eats up the agitprop paid for by Google/FB/Netflix so they don't have to pay a charge for consuming so much of a limited resource.

    Furthermore Google does this bait and switch depending on the circumstances where voila! Its a content provider when its convenient, and then honk honk clown nose now its an ISP when its convenient. Transparently its trying to flank the current ISPs and the start up regulation (with costs & restrictions) so that when it goes live it has a leg up on them. See Lyft and Uber for other examples of this card game that SV has been playing versus "innovating" anything useful.

    Personally while I'm not some libertarian bowing down to a corporate charter, Comcast and Verizon never went out of their way to screw with what I wanted to see, as far as I know. Meanwhile Facebook and Google have blue hair trannies running their Stasi and unpersoning people left and right while Netflix can't fund anti-White television fast enough. Thats good enough for me to want to put a stick in their eye.

    Google and Facebook can spread their own propaganda but cannot block your access to, for example, this website. Without Net Neutrality, your ISP easily could. I get that you don’t like the FANG companies, but the enemy of your enemy is not your friend.

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    • Replies: @Sam Haysom
    Do you work in the industry? Because like the original commenter said it's very strange that the alt right will cut off every nose of in the world to spite every face on the earth but then all of a sudden get very defensive about the Internet globalists.
    , @Jack Hanson
    Except they haven't, while facebook/Twitter/Google et al have entire departments dedicated to policing bad think.

    But here you are, defending High Globalist Zuckerberg's bottom line. "Hello my fellow whites!" indeed.
    , @Roger
    Actually, Google has seized Andrew Anglin's web site, and blocked it. The reasons were purely political, such as disapproval of his comments about the Charlottesville protesters.

    It is true that you can still find him on Tor, and currently on a Hong Kong site. There would presumably be such work-arounds for sites that Comcast might block.
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  53. biz says:
    @TipTipTopKek
    Here are some questions which make it obvious to me how I should feel about 'net neutrality.'

    1. Does the name of the act sound intuitively 'good?' Most laws which have 'good' names do the opposite of their name. Think 'free trade' laws which contain thousands of pages of tariff schedules, etc.

    2. Whose administration put the regs in? Would it be anomalous for this to be the one (or one of the very few) good things that came out of his admin?

    3. Follow the shekels. Who is paying for the ads supporting 'net neutrality?' Do those parties typically have my interests at heart?

    Don’t shoot yourself in the face to shoot your enemy in the foot. Without net neutrality your ISP could block your access to this website, and likely will.

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  54. @Seamus Padraig

    Comcast and Verizon never went out of their way to screw with what I wanted to see, as far as I know.
     
    As it now stands, they're not allowed to. Do you really want to change that?

    And if my aunt had balls she’d be my uncle. But lets talk about the world we live in.

    In this world, they have financial incentive NOT TO. Meanwhile we’ve got Facebook, Google, et so demanding they get charged the same you do for 5gb on your phone while hiring trannies to thought police your shit.

    ISPs want to avoid becoming regulated as utilities, which is a huge incentive to avoid engaging in SJW horseshit.

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    • Replies: @Seamus Padraig
    I already posted a link above from The Duran detailing the censorship threat posed by repealing net neutrality. Now here's a line explaining the economic threat to the consumer, as well as to small, independent websites: https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/11/thankful-internet-know-may-not-exist-much-longer.html

    I am no fan of Fakebook (I'm slowly migrating over to VK.com myself) or Goolag (I now use DuckDuckGo and Yandex), so don't think I'm defending them at all. But you seem to be operating from the assumption that repealing net neutrality will somehow punish them. It won't--it'll punish us. And it won't get rid of censorship either; it'll just add a whole new (and thicker) layer of it.

    I always feared this day would come: when the 'wild west' days of the internet would be over, and it would become as lame as television.
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  55. @biz
    Google and Facebook can spread their own propaganda but cannot block your access to, for example, this website. Without Net Neutrality, your ISP easily could. I get that you don't like the FANG companies, but the enemy of your enemy is not your friend.

    Do you work in the industry? Because like the original commenter said it’s very strange that the alt right will cut off every nose of in the world to spite every face on the earth but then all of a sudden get very defensive about the Internet globalists.

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  56. @Seamus Padraig

    Comcast and Verizon never went out of their way to screw with what I wanted to see, as far as I know.
     
    As it now stands, they're not allowed to. Do you really want to change that?

    He wants to see facebook et al take it in the ass and he definitely isn’t interested in giving them a sloppy blowjob. Shouldn’t the onus be on the people defending the mainframe of the cathedral. I mean it’s ok to be soft on your own industry kind of like how Steve is soft on Hollywood because he loves in the company town. But be honest about it- too much of the alt right is burn it down and let Putin take over- except for the tech industries.

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  57. jtgw says:
    @Seamus Padraig

    PS. I was at a hotel a year ago and tried out their free wifi. Their firewall prevented me from accessing Steve Sailer’s blog at unz.com. Additionally I could not even access Drudge. However, Huffo, Slate and the rest of leftwing lot came up fine.
     
    Well, unless you want more of that sort of thing, you should support net neutrality. You've already seen how the search engines and social media companies here are always willing to co-operate with the deep state--but in that case, at least we still have access to alternatives, such VK.com or Yandex. But what if the deep state, using their 'Russian hacking' meme, gains the ability to effectively block our access to any of those alternatives, too? For that matter, what if they gain the ability to block you from accessing Unz.com from anywhere? If you can't trust Fakebook and Goolag, what makes you think you can trust Time-Warner and ComCast?

    If we’re talking government censorship, they can do that with or without NN. NN is purely about supposed censorship by private ISPs for reasons independent of government censorship, e.g. blocking access to commercial rivals.

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    • Replies: @Seamus Padraig

    If we’re talking government censorship, they can do that with or without NN.
     
    It's much harder for the government to do because of the First Amendment. That's why they prefer to 'lean on' massive corporations like Fakebook to do it for them: that way, it's legal.

    NN is purely about supposed censorship by private ISPs for reasons independent of government censorship, e.g. blocking access to commercial rivals.
     
    At any time they could choose to block sites for any old reason. Again, this could be used to censor or quasi-censor content. With all this crazy Russian hacking sh*t, they could someday decide to start blocking Russian or 'pro-Russian' sites. When Zuckerberg or Google do this sort of thing, at least there are alternative social media sites and search engines you can use. But what if your ISP starts doing it? Unless you're some kind of master hacker, you're hosed. There are plenty of countries (such as China and Iran) that are doing this right now. The danger's real.
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  58. @biz
    Google and Facebook can spread their own propaganda but cannot block your access to, for example, this website. Without Net Neutrality, your ISP easily could. I get that you don't like the FANG companies, but the enemy of your enemy is not your friend.

    Except they haven’t, while facebook/Twitter/Google et al have entire departments dedicated to policing bad think.

    But here you are, defending High Globalist Zuckerberg’s bottom line. “Hello my fellow whites!” indeed.

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  59. jtgw says:
    @Seamus Padraig

    Unlike interstates which were funded and built by the government, the local phone and cable infrastructure was built by allowing companies exclusivity in a particular market in exchange for allowing state commissions to regulate their fees.
     
    Actually, until Ma Bell was broken up by an antitrust suit in the late 70s, it was a natural monopoly nationwide. Back then, there was only one phone company everywhere: the same one founded by Alexander Graham Bell a century before.

    Are you sure it was a natural monopoly? I.e. there were no regulations of any kind that made it difficult or impossible to compete with Bell?

    Apparently “natural monopoly” used to mean something quite different. Originally it meant the idea that, in certain industries, a company could serve consumers more efficiently if the government granted them a monopoly. The companies in question (like the Baltimore Gas Company) argued that “ruinous competition” forced them to cut costs in a way that harmed their customers and that the city or state government needed to outlaw competition. After these companies obtained their legal monopolies and proceeded to raise prices on their captive markets (as economic theory would predict), economists forgot how these monopolies originally arose and began arguing that it was the market that created these monopolies in the first place!

    https://mises.org/library/myth-natural-monopoly

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    • Replies: @Seamus Padraig
    Natural monopolies arise wherever start-up costs are prohibitive enough to favor the first-to-market company.

    Let's say there's a railroad line from New York to Baltimore, and you, a well-heeled investor, wanted to compete directly with them by building a second New York to Baltimore line right next to theirs. In that case, you would encumber the exact same start-up costs that they did, and once your parallel railway line was up and running, your company and theirs would both simply end up splitting customer revenues with each other. In other words, it would be economically pointless, so no rational investor would ever do such a thing. That means that the company that got to market first would have a natural monopoly on New York to Baltimore train service.

    It can also occur in cases where the first-to-market acquires such a dominant market position that they can easily undercut any start-up competitor by selling at a lower price. Think Amazon. Who really competes with them? Again, it would be pointless. If you wanted to do that, no VC would even bother with you.
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  60. Roger says: • Website
    @biz
    Google and Facebook can spread their own propaganda but cannot block your access to, for example, this website. Without Net Neutrality, your ISP easily could. I get that you don't like the FANG companies, but the enemy of your enemy is not your friend.

    Actually, Google has seized Andrew Anglin’s web site, and blocked it. The reasons were purely political, such as disapproval of his comments about the Charlottesville protesters.

    It is true that you can still find him on Tor, and currently on a Hong Kong site. There would presumably be such work-arounds for sites that Comcast might block.

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  61. @jtgw
    But the reasons those ISP monopolies exist is because of government regulation. For example, ISPs have to use existing phone lines and cables and can't set up parallel networks. This raises the cost of entering the market and gives the advantage to established phone and cable companies like Verizon and Comcast.

    https://www.wired.com/2013/07/we-need-to-stop-focusing-on-just-cable-companies-and-blame-local-government-for-dismal-broadband-competition/

    I don't understand the argument that total costs will increase without NN. If Comcast ends up charging more for Netflix access without NN just to get more revenue overall, why isn't it raising rates now for all services? It's not NN that's holding them back from doing that right now. But it makes more sense if you understand that Comcast wants to charge Netflix more than other sites since Netflix uses up 40% of the bandwidth while not raising total rates for consumers. NN currently means Netflix doesn't have to pay any more than other sites, which means Netflix' costs are shared by other sites and by consumers. Without NN, Comcast will charge Netflix more and also give consumers the option of lower rates for internet access without Netflix. Those who want Netflix can pay extra.

    Portugal has already gotten rid of NN and internet appears to quite affordable there while also being very flexible in terms of what level access you prefer to buy. There are no blanket bans on certain sites as far as I know.

    Broadband is a natural monopoly. It’s incredibly stupid and wasteful to run multiple lines to every house. It was commonly accepted for a hundred years that the way to deal with these economies was with utility style regulation.

    The reason why it’s plausible that overall costs will increase is because there’s no competition to drive prices down. ISPs are currently bleeding consumers for everything they can get and without neutrality will be free to try the same thing against internet hosts.

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    • Replies: @jtgw
    OK, what's stopping Comcast from doubling its rates right now? They have a monopoly, or something near enough, right?
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  62. nothanks says:
    @jtgw
    You would pay less for internet overall so what extra you did pay for Netflix would not be a net increase in cost, i.e. you'd pay the current rate for internet + Netflix but you could also pay a lower rate for internet - Netflix. At least, that's the scenario that makes most sense to me. As I said, if Comcast could increase total costs after it could start charging more for certain sites, that means it has that much room to raise total rates, so there's no reason it can't just raise total rates right now. Abolishing NN is about Comcast recouping its costs of business from Netflix and other high-bandwidth sites, not about punishing consumers.

    I understand the claim. I just doubt very much that it’s true. If comcast tries to extort more from netflix, netflix will wind up charging more. Comcast will then certainly charge more. The same thing will happen across the board. There may be a stripped down tier of service that is priced less than current packges, but it will be very limited access.
    Maybe you’re right, I just doubt it.

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    • Replies: @Jack Hanson
    "Netflix will end up charging more".

    How many price hikes has Netflix had since 2015? If this ABC/Disney streaming service has any legs, it might have problems with that going forward.

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  63. @nothanks
    I understand the claim. I just doubt very much that it's true. If comcast tries to extort more from netflix, netflix will wind up charging more. Comcast will then certainly charge more. The same thing will happen across the board. There may be a stripped down tier of service that is priced less than current packges, but it will be very limited access.
    Maybe you're right, I just doubt it.

    “Netflix will end up charging more”.

    How many price hikes has Netflix had since 2015? If this ABC/Disney streaming service has any legs, it might have problems with that going forward.

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  64. jtgw says:
    @Guy de Champlagne
    Broadband is a natural monopoly. It's incredibly stupid and wasteful to run multiple lines to every house. It was commonly accepted for a hundred years that the way to deal with these economies was with utility style regulation.

    The reason why it's plausible that overall costs will increase is because there's no competition to drive prices down. ISPs are currently bleeding consumers for everything they can get and without neutrality will be free to try the same thing against internet hosts.

    OK, what’s stopping Comcast from doubling its rates right now? They have a monopoly, or something near enough, right?

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  65. wren says:

    Several years ago, I followed Wired and (slashdot) for understanding about this, but wired has become pretty much of a joke (especially to their own commenters) whenever politics are involved, and a lot of what they have to say is just fake news.

    Wasn’t google the biggest white house visitor under Obama? One more reason not to trust them.

    I can’t say that I support any of the ISP’s either.

    https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/top.php?indexType=s&showYear=2017

    If I were Trump right now, I might start tweeting about antitrust laws. For companies like google, Facebook and twitter. The ones pushing for ISP regulation, if I understand it.

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  66. anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Seamus Padraig

    Unlike interstates which were funded and built by the government, the local phone and cable infrastructure was built by allowing companies exclusivity in a particular market in exchange for allowing state commissions to regulate their fees.
     
    Actually, until Ma Bell was broken up by an antitrust suit in the late 70s, it was a natural monopoly nationwide. Back then, there was only one phone company everywhere: the same one founded by Alexander Graham Bell a century before.

    Actually, until Ma Bell was broken up by an antitrust suit in the late 70s, it was a natural monopoly nationwide. Back then, there was only one phone company everywhere: the same one founded by Alexander Graham Bell a century before.

    You are incorrect. There was more than one phone company back then. For example, GTE was a fairly large local exchange carrier that operated nationwide providing local telephone service. There were also several smaller local phone companies such as United Telephone which had operations like United Telephone of Indiana, United Telephone of Kansas, etc.

    For sure Ma Bell was dominant in that they had access to the largest markets. In the early days of telephone service the Bell System was able to get the exclusive rights to provide service in the larger metro areas.

    But the real anti-competitive practice involved Ma Bell using her dominant position in local telephone companies to force people to use ATT long distance telephone service. By tying the local telephone monopolies that were granted to it by the local municipalities with its long distance service, ATT was able to dominate.

    MCI, I believe, is the one that instituted the lawsuit in the 1970s that eventually led to the decision to force ATT to divest itself in 1984. And the rapid expansion of long distance competitors to ATT, such as MCI and Sprint, is testament to the fact that the market was long overdue for real competition. Notice how fast the rates per minute for long distance dropped. I remember as a kid in the late 70s having to treat long distance calls like some special event. You had to get on and off as fast as possible because of the expense. By the mid 1990s it was no longer an issue.

    So I don’t think ATT was a natural monopoly. And the decision to break them up was for the good.

    Of course since then ATT has basically reemerged. After divestiture ATT long distance was separated from its local phone companies who were organized into 7 regional Bell operating companies (RBOCs). Since that time, two (Bell Atlantic and NYNEX) merged to form Verizon, and four (SWB, Ameritech, Bell South, Pac Telesys) merged into SBC which then bought the old ATT company to form the new ATT. The new ATT is pretty much what it was in 1983 minus its properties that are now with Verizon and Qwest.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous

    You are incorrect. There was more than one phone company back then. For example, GTE was a fairly large local exchange carrier that operated nationwide providing local telephone service. There were also several smaller local phone companies such as United Telephone which had operations like United Telephone of Indiana, United Telephone of Kansas, etc.
     
    There were, and still are, over 200 wireline phone companies and cooperatives in the continental United States, but with very rare exceptions caused by loopholes or DIY finagling, at any given place there is one and only one telecom wireless provider, by law.

    The Bells got all the desirable markets, with a few exceptions, and the hinterlands and less desireable spots got taken up by other companies or by nonprofit co-ops. The reason CenturyLink and its Boxcar Willie stumblebum CEO Glen Post are profitable, for instance, is that in 1932, Las Vegas was not seen as territory any telco would want, and then things changed. The larger areas of these non-Bell telco areas consolidated over the years to the point where GTE (Verizon) and United Telecom/Sprint-CenturyTel (Century Link, now with Qwest) are sort of in the same league with the Bells.

    The reason is that phone service was declared a "natural monopoly", even though it really was not, and the local telco controlled access to long distance as well. Long Distance phone was very expensive because not only was it a monopoly, but it was used to subsidize local phone service. Local service was relatively cheap, and, at least at the Bells, telco employees were very well paid. Like the railroad, telcos paid well over market wage (I knew a phone lineman who bought a brand new Beech Bonanza in about 1972) and telco jobs, like rail craft jobs, tended to be handed down from fathers to sons. (When BigLMM talks about her dad being a Bell phone man, she's saying that the Hyndes were well to do, without saying so per se.)

    Although telephone service was a monopoly de jure, teletype service wasn't and Western Union had what amounted to a parallel telephone service without phones for a while, called TWX, as well as the Defense Department's parallel telephone network, AUTOVON.


    The 1984 Ma Bell breakup was probably necessary for the Internet to have been able to expand past .gov, .mil and .edu domains. For better or worse.
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  67. Svigor says:

    The internet simply could not exist in a world of hard money, balanced budgets, and non-globally arbitraged labor costs. And since all these conditions are destined to revert violently to their historic norms during the next financial crisis, I am certain that the internet, too, will be going away.

    The best parts of the internet are no more complicated than 1990s phone and pc tech, so you’re going to need to explain how those are going to be going away, too. Put another way, I’d be fine with an internet that was 95% text.

    I do wonder how long until someone notices how nasty the internet is for the environment. Server farms the size of small cities ain’t exactly Green. The electrical consumption alone…

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  68. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Intelligent Dasein

    Is the Internet broken? Does it need to be fixed?
     
    The internet should be destroyed, at least that part of it which is accessible to the general public.

    All the complaints against the MSM that Dissident Rightists and their nascent or affiliated subgroups have issued over the years can be applied with equal or greater emphasis to the internet, and yet the latter seems to be given a pass, possibly because so many Alt-Righters seem to be programmers or people otherwise involved in IT work. But this is neither very intellectually consistent nor is it helpful to the cause. To take but three obvious examples:

    1) The internet is a purveyor of cultural trash, including endless amounts of free hardcore pornography that can be accessed at will by anyone, even children. This exceeds by many orders of magnitude the sex and violence on television that occasioned such outcry in the better bred culture of yesteryear.

    2) The internet is a megaphone for Narrative code enforcement that is far more pervasive and draconian than the legacy media could ever dream of being. Entire websites, individuals, and specific content is de-platformed at a whim from the masters of social media or the governments with which they are joined at the hip.

    3) The internet as an industry provides a massive slush fund for globalist politicians and their lackeys. In the legacy media era we had people like William Randolf Hearst and Ted Turner as Leftist tycoons working their ill will upon the world, but can they really compare in scope or mendacity to freakazoids like Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg?

    Examples like this could be multiplied endless, and far more more attention ought to be paid the manner in which social media is destroying our ability to think or interact normally. My criticism takes a different approach. Since I'm more interested in things like macroeconomics and political economy, I can't help but see the internet as a massive capital misallocation and a productivity drain. It's high-flying FANG companies are nothing but profitless financial abominations funded by QE, ZIRP, stock buybacks, and all the trickery of financial repression ushered in by the most fiscally irresponsible central banking policies since the age of Diocletian.

    The internet simply could not exist in a world of hard money, balanced budgets, and non-globally arbitraged labor costs. And since all these conditions are destined to revert violently to their historic norms during the next financial crisis, I am certain that the internet, too, will be going away.

    It’s nonsense. Yes, costs would go up and new ways would have to be found to pay for the infrastructure. But the bottom line is that it would not change very much.

    A small fee per email could be charged, of course, for each email and the end providers-ISPs-may have to pass up more of the money users pay, and free wifi at public places may be more strictly controlled.

    The problem of extreme wide access to porn is that now people provide the content for free-large numbers of people post video of themselves in sexual acts, and there are places that distribute it and charge for optional services, et al. Seventy years ago if you wanted a woman to pose nude even for cheesecake you had to pay her rent that month, and you had to find a “Mona Monroe” (as she signed her contract) that was both worth posing and desperate for the rent.

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  69. Svigor says:

    The Pareto principal applies here too; 20% of users consume 80% of bandwidth although this may change as more and more people stream video. Comcast and Verizon both know how may gigs everyone uses; how about charging a flat fee for 250 gigs and then some amount for everything over that? Let the heavy users pay for what they consume no matter what its origin.

    Yeah the ISPs will never go for that because charging for bandwidth consumed would be a huge hit to their wallets. They like charging the 80% for services not used.

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  70. Fun says:

    ISPs should provide bandwidth for a fee, and consumers should be able to do whatever they want with that bandwidth, with no extra fees or “tiers”, or favoring certain websites over others. Seems pretty straightforward to me.

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  71. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @anonymous

    Actually, until Ma Bell was broken up by an antitrust suit in the late 70s, it was a natural monopoly nationwide. Back then, there was only one phone company everywhere: the same one founded by Alexander Graham Bell a century before.
     
    You are incorrect. There was more than one phone company back then. For example, GTE was a fairly large local exchange carrier that operated nationwide providing local telephone service. There were also several smaller local phone companies such as United Telephone which had operations like United Telephone of Indiana, United Telephone of Kansas, etc.

    For sure Ma Bell was dominant in that they had access to the largest markets. In the early days of telephone service the Bell System was able to get the exclusive rights to provide service in the larger metro areas.

    But the real anti-competitive practice involved Ma Bell using her dominant position in local telephone companies to force people to use ATT long distance telephone service. By tying the local telephone monopolies that were granted to it by the local municipalities with its long distance service, ATT was able to dominate.

    MCI, I believe, is the one that instituted the lawsuit in the 1970s that eventually led to the decision to force ATT to divest itself in 1984. And the rapid expansion of long distance competitors to ATT, such as MCI and Sprint, is testament to the fact that the market was long overdue for real competition. Notice how fast the rates per minute for long distance dropped. I remember as a kid in the late 70s having to treat long distance calls like some special event. You had to get on and off as fast as possible because of the expense. By the mid 1990s it was no longer an issue.

    So I don't think ATT was a natural monopoly. And the decision to break them up was for the good.

    Of course since then ATT has basically reemerged. After divestiture ATT long distance was separated from its local phone companies who were organized into 7 regional Bell operating companies (RBOCs). Since that time, two (Bell Atlantic and NYNEX) merged to form Verizon, and four (SWB, Ameritech, Bell South, Pac Telesys) merged into SBC which then bought the old ATT company to form the new ATT. The new ATT is pretty much what it was in 1983 minus its properties that are now with Verizon and Qwest.

    You are incorrect. There was more than one phone company back then. For example, GTE was a fairly large local exchange carrier that operated nationwide providing local telephone service. There were also several smaller local phone companies such as United Telephone which had operations like United Telephone of Indiana, United Telephone of Kansas, etc.

    There were, and still are, over 200 wireline phone companies and cooperatives in the continental United States, but with very rare exceptions caused by loopholes or DIY finagling, at any given place there is one and only one telecom wireless provider, by law.

    The Bells got all the desirable markets, with a few exceptions, and the hinterlands and less desireable spots got taken up by other companies or by nonprofit co-ops. The reason CenturyLink and its Boxcar Willie stumblebum CEO Glen Post are profitable, for instance, is that in 1932, Las Vegas was not seen as territory any telco would want, and then things changed. The larger areas of these non-Bell telco areas consolidated over the years to the point where GTE (Verizon) and United Telecom/Sprint-CenturyTel (Century Link, now with Qwest) are sort of in the same league with the Bells.

    The reason is that phone service was declared a “natural monopoly”, even though it really was not, and the local telco controlled access to long distance as well. Long Distance phone was very expensive because not only was it a monopoly, but it was used to subsidize local phone service. Local service was relatively cheap, and, at least at the Bells, telco employees were very well paid. Like the railroad, telcos paid well over market wage (I knew a phone lineman who bought a brand new Beech Bonanza in about 1972) and telco jobs, like rail craft jobs, tended to be handed down from fathers to sons. (When BigLMM talks about her dad being a Bell phone man, she’s saying that the Hyndes were well to do, without saying so per se.)

    Although telephone service was a monopoly de jure, teletype service wasn’t and Western Union had what amounted to a parallel telephone service without phones for a while, called TWX, as well as the Defense Department’s parallel telephone network, AUTOVON.

    The 1984 Ma Bell breakup was probably necessary for the Internet to have been able to expand past .gov, .mil and .edu domains. For better or worse.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    One of my college roommates worked at AT&T during the glory years. He said they were guaranteed an 8% return and that he often flew first class. Everybody was fat dumb and happy until the break up.

    Long distance did subsidize local phone service, but AT&T stifled innovation. It was only the 1200 baud Hayes modem that broke AT&T's insistence that you had to have a dedicated line to use one of their 330 baud modems.

    FWIW, this is what Mark Cuban has to say about NN: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/11/24/virgil-mark-cuban-provides-roadmap-for-trustbusting-the-tech-lords-of-silicon-valley/amp/

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  72. @jtgw
    If we're talking government censorship, they can do that with or without NN. NN is purely about supposed censorship by private ISPs for reasons independent of government censorship, e.g. blocking access to commercial rivals.

    If we’re talking government censorship, they can do that with or without NN.

    It’s much harder for the government to do because of the First Amendment. That’s why they prefer to ‘lean on’ massive corporations like Fakebook to do it for them: that way, it’s legal.

    NN is purely about supposed censorship by private ISPs for reasons independent of government censorship, e.g. blocking access to commercial rivals.

    At any time they could choose to block sites for any old reason. Again, this could be used to censor or quasi-censor content. With all this crazy Russian hacking sh*t, they could someday decide to start blocking Russian or ‘pro-Russian’ sites. When Zuckerberg or Google do this sort of thing, at least there are alternative social media sites and search engines you can use. But what if your ISP starts doing it? Unless you’re some kind of master hacker, you’re hosed. There are plenty of countries (such as China and Iran) that are doing this right now. The danger’s real.

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    • Replies: @jtgw
    OK I can see why the courts might still restrain the government from outright censorship and why working through ISP monopolies could be a cover for them. You may have a point there.
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  73. @jtgw
    Are you sure it was a natural monopoly? I.e. there were no regulations of any kind that made it difficult or impossible to compete with Bell?

    Apparently "natural monopoly" used to mean something quite different. Originally it meant the idea that, in certain industries, a company could serve consumers more efficiently if the government granted them a monopoly. The companies in question (like the Baltimore Gas Company) argued that "ruinous competition" forced them to cut costs in a way that harmed their customers and that the city or state government needed to outlaw competition. After these companies obtained their legal monopolies and proceeded to raise prices on their captive markets (as economic theory would predict), economists forgot how these monopolies originally arose and began arguing that it was the market that created these monopolies in the first place!

    https://mises.org/library/myth-natural-monopoly

    Natural monopolies arise wherever start-up costs are prohibitive enough to favor the first-to-market company.

    Let’s say there’s a railroad line from New York to Baltimore, and you, a well-heeled investor, wanted to compete directly with them by building a second New York to Baltimore line right next to theirs. In that case, you would encumber the exact same start-up costs that they did, and once your parallel railway line was up and running, your company and theirs would both simply end up splitting customer revenues with each other. In other words, it would be economically pointless, so no rational investor would ever do such a thing. That means that the company that got to market first would have a natural monopoly on New York to Baltimore train service.

    It can also occur in cases where the first-to-market acquires such a dominant market position that they can easily undercut any start-up competitor by selling at a lower price. Think Amazon. Who really competes with them? Again, it would be pointless. If you wanted to do that, no VC would even bother with you.

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    • Replies: @jtgw
    Your example assumes a lot that may not be true. E.g. why would consumer revenues stay the same once there were two lines available? Why wouldn't revenues increase?

    Amazon is really cheap, while Google and Facebook are free. When people worry about monopolies it's usually because they're so expensive.

    Anyway, I understand the theory about natural monopolies, but where is the evidence that telephones were ever a natural monopoly? Tom DiLorenzo's article that I linked to provides some powerful evidence that it never was a natural monopoly but just a regular government-created monopoly.
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  74. jtgw says:
    @Seamus Padraig

    If we’re talking government censorship, they can do that with or without NN.
     
    It's much harder for the government to do because of the First Amendment. That's why they prefer to 'lean on' massive corporations like Fakebook to do it for them: that way, it's legal.

    NN is purely about supposed censorship by private ISPs for reasons independent of government censorship, e.g. blocking access to commercial rivals.
     
    At any time they could choose to block sites for any old reason. Again, this could be used to censor or quasi-censor content. With all this crazy Russian hacking sh*t, they could someday decide to start blocking Russian or 'pro-Russian' sites. When Zuckerberg or Google do this sort of thing, at least there are alternative social media sites and search engines you can use. But what if your ISP starts doing it? Unless you're some kind of master hacker, you're hosed. There are plenty of countries (such as China and Iran) that are doing this right now. The danger's real.

    OK I can see why the courts might still restrain the government from outright censorship and why working through ISP monopolies could be a cover for them. You may have a point there.

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  75. jtgw says:
    @Seamus Padraig
    Natural monopolies arise wherever start-up costs are prohibitive enough to favor the first-to-market company.

    Let's say there's a railroad line from New York to Baltimore, and you, a well-heeled investor, wanted to compete directly with them by building a second New York to Baltimore line right next to theirs. In that case, you would encumber the exact same start-up costs that they did, and once your parallel railway line was up and running, your company and theirs would both simply end up splitting customer revenues with each other. In other words, it would be economically pointless, so no rational investor would ever do such a thing. That means that the company that got to market first would have a natural monopoly on New York to Baltimore train service.

    It can also occur in cases where the first-to-market acquires such a dominant market position that they can easily undercut any start-up competitor by selling at a lower price. Think Amazon. Who really competes with them? Again, it would be pointless. If you wanted to do that, no VC would even bother with you.

    Your example assumes a lot that may not be true. E.g. why would consumer revenues stay the same once there were two lines available? Why wouldn’t revenues increase?

    Amazon is really cheap, while Google and Facebook are free. When people worry about monopolies it’s usually because they’re so expensive.

    Anyway, I understand the theory about natural monopolies, but where is the evidence that telephones were ever a natural monopoly? Tom DiLorenzo’s article that I linked to provides some powerful evidence that it never was a natural monopoly but just a regular government-created monopoly.

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  76. @Jack Hanson
    And if my aunt had balls she'd be my uncle. But lets talk about the world we live in.

    In this world, they have financial incentive NOT TO. Meanwhile we've got Facebook, Google, et so demanding they get charged the same you do for 5gb on your phone while hiring trannies to thought police your shit.

    ISPs want to avoid becoming regulated as utilities, which is a huge incentive to avoid engaging in SJW horseshit.

    I already posted a link above from The Duran detailing the censorship threat posed by repealing net neutrality. Now here’s a line explaining the economic threat to the consumer, as well as to small, independent websites: https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/11/thankful-internet-know-may-not-exist-much-longer.html

    I am no fan of Fakebook (I’m slowly migrating over to VK.com myself) or Goolag (I now use DuckDuckGo and Yandex), so don’t think I’m defending them at all. But you seem to be operating from the assumption that repealing net neutrality will somehow punish them. It won’t–it’ll punish us. And it won’t get rid of censorship either; it’ll just add a whole new (and thicker) layer of it.

    I always feared this day would come: when the ‘wild west’ days of the internet would be over, and it would become as lame as television.

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    And you're operating from the "if my aunt had balls" paradigm, ignoring the fact that social media and the other dot coms have shown little incentive to not censor, while presenting dystopic sci fi novels as "uh huh totally gonna happen".

    Sure sure.
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  77. @Seamus Padraig
    I already posted a link above from The Duran detailing the censorship threat posed by repealing net neutrality. Now here's a line explaining the economic threat to the consumer, as well as to small, independent websites: https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/11/thankful-internet-know-may-not-exist-much-longer.html

    I am no fan of Fakebook (I'm slowly migrating over to VK.com myself) or Goolag (I now use DuckDuckGo and Yandex), so don't think I'm defending them at all. But you seem to be operating from the assumption that repealing net neutrality will somehow punish them. It won't--it'll punish us. And it won't get rid of censorship either; it'll just add a whole new (and thicker) layer of it.

    I always feared this day would come: when the 'wild west' days of the internet would be over, and it would become as lame as television.

    And you’re operating from the “if my aunt had balls” paradigm, ignoring the fact that social media and the other dot coms have shown little incentive to not censor, while presenting dystopic sci fi novels as “uh huh totally gonna happen”.

    Sure sure.

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  78. STOP SAYING
    “NET NEUTRALITY”
    AND START SAYING
    “COMMON CARRIER”

    This cuts through both layers of sophistry behind which the censors hide by using original and still-effective terminology. The first layer of sophistry is that the network _content_ monopolies like Facebook, Youtube, etc. — despite editing content — are not liable for actual damages that their users inflict on each other. When they involve themselves in content editing, they cease enjoying the protection provided by the common carrier legal classification. The second layer of sophistry is that companies that are, currently, common carriers won’t also lose their common carrier legal protections once they start charging different rates to different customers.

    That means all the network monopolies that are playing games right now — claiming they aren’t common carriers and can therefore censor whomever they wish — are begging to have a swarm of lawsuits reaching into their deep pockets from anyone that is “damaged” by anyone else via their services. These civil law suits for damages are, you may recall, a lot easier to win than criminal trials.

    I addressed this at the inception of the internet in this excerpt from a 1982 essay written while the futures architect for online services in a joint venture between AT&T and Knight Ridder Newspapers:


    There is a tremendous danger that careless promotion of deregulation
    will be dogmatically (or purposefully) extended to the point that
    there may form an unregulated monopoly over the information replicated
    across the nation-wide videotex network, now underdevelopment. If
    this happens, the prophecies of a despotic, “cashless-society” are
    quite likely to become a reality. My opinion is that this nightmare
    will eventually be realized but not before the American pioneers have
    had a chance to reach each other and organize. I base this hope on
    the fact that the first people to participate in the videotex network
    will represent some of the most pioneering of Americans, since
    videotex is a new “territory”.

    The question at hand is this: How do we mold the early videotex
    environment so that noise is suppressed without limiting the free flow
    of information between customers?

    The first obstacle is, of course, legal. As the knights of U.S.
    feudalism, corporate lawyers have a penchant for finding ways of
    stomping out innovation and diversity in any way possible. In the
    case of videotex, the attempt is to keep feudal control of information
    by making videotex system ownership imply liability for information
    transmitted over it. For example, if a libelous communication takes
    place, corporate lawyers for the plaintiff will bring suit against the
    carrier rather than the individual responsible for the communication.
    The rationalizations for this clearly unreasonable and contrived
    position are quite numerous. Without a common carrier status, the
    carrier will be treading on virgin ground legally and thus be
    unprotected by precedent. Indeed, the stakes are high enough that the
    competitor could easily afford to fabricate an event ideal for the
    purposes of such a suit. This means the first legal precedent could
    be in favor of holding the carrier responsible for the communications
    transmitted over its network, thus forcing (or giving an excuse for)
    the carrier to inspect, edit and censor all communications except,
    perhaps, simple person-to-person or “electronic mail”. This, in turn,
    would put editorial control right back in the hands of the feudalists.
    Potential carriers’ own lawyers are already hard at work worrying
    everyone about such a suit. They would like to win the battle against
    diversity before it begins. This is unlikely because videotex is
    still driven by technology and therefore by pioneers.

    The question then becomes: How do we best protect against such
    “legal” tactics? The answer seems to be an early emphasis on secure
    identification of the source of communications so that there can be no
    question as to the individual responsible. This would preempt an
    attempt to hold the carrier liable. Anonymous communications, like
    Delphi conferencing, could even be supported as long as some
    individual would be willing to attach his/her name to the
    communication before distributing it. This would be similar, legally,
    to a “letters to the editor” column where a writer remains anonymous.
    Another measure could be to require that only individuals of legal age
    be allowed to author publishable communications. Yet another measure
    could be to require anyone who wishes to write and publish information
    on the network to put in writing, in an agreement separate from the
    standard customer agreement, that they are liable for any and all
    communications originating under their name on the network. This
    would preempt the “stolen password” excuse for holding the carrier
    liable.

    Beyond the secure identification of communication sources, there is
    the necessity of editorial services. Not everyone is going to want to
    filter through everything published by everyone on the network. An
    infrastructure of editorial staffs is that filter. In exchange for
    their service the editorial staff gets to promote their view of the
    world and, if they are in enough demand, charge money for access to
    their list of approved articles. On a videotex network, there is
    little capital involved in establishing an editorial staff. All that
    is required is a terminal and a file on the network which may have an
    intrinsic cost as low as $5/month if it represents a publication with
    “only” around 100 articles. The rest is up to the customers. If they
    like a publication, they will read it. If they don’t they won’t. A
    customer could ask to see all articles approved by staffs A or B
    inclusive, or only those articles approved by both A and B, etc. This
    sort of customer selection could involve as many editorial staffs as
    desired in any logical combination. An editorial staff could review
    other editorial staffs as well as individual articles, forming
    hierarchies to handle the mass of articles that would be submitted
    every day. This sort of editorial mechanism would not only provide a
    very efficient way of filtering out poor and questionable
    communications without inhibiting diversity, it would add a layer of
    liability for publications that would further insulate carriers from
    liability and therefore from a monopoly over communications.

    In general, anything that acts to filter out bad information and that
    is not under control of the carrier, acts to prevent the carrier
    from monopolizing the evolution of ideas on the network.

    http://www.geocities.ws/jim_bowery/vnatap.html

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  79. The idea of “censorship” is irrelevant in this fight, and those of you banging on about it are swallowing the propaganda put out by Google/Netflix/Etc cause you want your neighbor subsidizing your 4k pornhub use.

    Its a false dichotomy because censorship has a negative connotation, but these are the same Globalists who have unpersoned Andrew Anglin and are currently shaving off the revenue and reach of people to the Right of the Bolsheviks bit by bit. However that doesn’t stop you from engaging in leftist projection on ISPs. Whew lad.

    Pretty sure, yet again, weev’s take is the right take.

    http://weev.livejournal.com/410763.html

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  80. map says:

    Steve Sailer,

    I am a huge fan of getting rid of net neutrality.

    “Net Neutrality” is a misnomer, a fallacy built on reasoning by connotation. Who could possibly be against “neutrality?”

    What it really should be called is The Netflix Rule. It is a rule that allows Netflix to pass all of its infrastructure costs on ISP’s like Comcast. Since there is no way to build out the infrastructure for 10 bucks a month, nre neutrality forces the costs of Netflix, Hulu, Google, Amazon, youtube, onto Verizon or Comcast.

    With net neutrality, a person reading blogs or emails pays as much as a heavy user streaming 4k Virtual Reality games over the internet. t means light users subsidize heavy users. This reverses when net neutrality is removed.

    Essentially, the ISP’s can choke off the streaming services. in addition, it sets up the internet for anti-trust charges along with eventually being treated like a public utility.

    I would like to see the FANG’s become public utilities.

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  81. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @larry lurker

    PS. I was at a hotel a year ago and tried out their free wifi. Their firewall prevented me from accessing Steve Sailer’s blog at unz.com.
     
    https://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser.html.en

    Also available as an app for Android - not sure how it's done on iPhones.

    If it’s just a matter of getting around firewall, Tor is a huge overkill and this Russian proxy add-on is perfect: https://fri-gate.org/

    I even turn it on every time I google something.

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  82. I’m sometimes asked my opinion on Net Neutrality.

    Yes, Steve you want it.

    Simple way to think of this: the network providers–e.g. Comcast, Verizon, etc.–would like to have content control and be able to operate their ISP like their cable offerings of old so that they can shakedown Netflix, Google, Facebook, etc. for a fee to be an available “channel” on their pipe.

    Now think about that. Given that power, what are the chances Ron Unz is going to be a “channel” on their pipe?

    Contemplate this: If the SJWs are able to mau-mau–admittedly a readily compliant–Facebook, into blocking any non-narrative-compliant content from their site (for “racism” or “hate”), once your ISP has content control what in the name of heaven makes you think the SJWs can’t mau-mau them into blocking unz.com or any other hate site? Which–unlike the Facebook case–would mean we can’t reach alternative content at all.

    ~~

    The great thing–really the only great thing–about the Internet is the incredible opening up of communication, of information flow. We can read Steve in his post-narrative-compliant life precisely because of it. Otherwise he wouldn’t have a journalists/opinionator job at all, he’d be doing market research stuff somewhere.

    If someone wants to dream up some “common carrier” freedom of speechy rules to reign in (and punish) preachy globopolies like Google and Facebook–fine. But getting even with them by empowering another coroporate layer–the pipe providers–to regulate content is a bad idea.

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  83. Svigor says:

    The idea of “censorship” is irrelevant in this fight, and those of you banging on about it are swallowing the propaganda put out by Google/Netflix/Etc cause you want your neighbor subsidizing your 4k pornhub use.

    Please tell me “subsidizing” is not referring to ISPs overcharging via service access fees (the current business model), instead charging for bandwidth used. This is just the companies robbing their customers because there’s so little competition, it is not “your neighbor subsidizing” anything. This is all corporate shill speak.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack Hanson
    The guy arguing in favor of Google paying as much as I do for 10GB of bandwidth on my phone because of a focus group tested term calling anyone a "corporate shill".

    My fucking sides are destroyed. Usually you're on point svigor but you're off the reservation on this one.
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  84. Svigor says:

    ISPs should provide bandwidth for a fee, and consumers should be able to do whatever they want with that bandwidth, with no extra fees or “tiers”, or favoring certain websites over others. Seems pretty straightforward to me.

    Agreed, although I could see scaling the fees for time of day, or relative to load, or something. Supply and demand.

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  85. @Anonymous

    You are incorrect. There was more than one phone company back then. For example, GTE was a fairly large local exchange carrier that operated nationwide providing local telephone service. There were also several smaller local phone companies such as United Telephone which had operations like United Telephone of Indiana, United Telephone of Kansas, etc.
     
    There were, and still are, over 200 wireline phone companies and cooperatives in the continental United States, but with very rare exceptions caused by loopholes or DIY finagling, at any given place there is one and only one telecom wireless provider, by law.

    The Bells got all the desirable markets, with a few exceptions, and the hinterlands and less desireable spots got taken up by other companies or by nonprofit co-ops. The reason CenturyLink and its Boxcar Willie stumblebum CEO Glen Post are profitable, for instance, is that in 1932, Las Vegas was not seen as territory any telco would want, and then things changed. The larger areas of these non-Bell telco areas consolidated over the years to the point where GTE (Verizon) and United Telecom/Sprint-CenturyTel (Century Link, now with Qwest) are sort of in the same league with the Bells.

    The reason is that phone service was declared a "natural monopoly", even though it really was not, and the local telco controlled access to long distance as well. Long Distance phone was very expensive because not only was it a monopoly, but it was used to subsidize local phone service. Local service was relatively cheap, and, at least at the Bells, telco employees were very well paid. Like the railroad, telcos paid well over market wage (I knew a phone lineman who bought a brand new Beech Bonanza in about 1972) and telco jobs, like rail craft jobs, tended to be handed down from fathers to sons. (When BigLMM talks about her dad being a Bell phone man, she's saying that the Hyndes were well to do, without saying so per se.)

    Although telephone service was a monopoly de jure, teletype service wasn't and Western Union had what amounted to a parallel telephone service without phones for a while, called TWX, as well as the Defense Department's parallel telephone network, AUTOVON.


    The 1984 Ma Bell breakup was probably necessary for the Internet to have been able to expand past .gov, .mil and .edu domains. For better or worse.

    One of my college roommates worked at AT&T during the glory years. He said they were guaranteed an 8% return and that he often flew first class. Everybody was fat dumb and happy until the break up.

    Long distance did subsidize local phone service, but AT&T stifled innovation. It was only the 1200 baud Hayes modem that broke AT&T’s insistence that you had to have a dedicated line to use one of their 330 baud modems.

    FWIW, this is what Mark Cuban has to say about NN: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/11/24/virgil-mark-cuban-provides-roadmap-for-trustbusting-the-tech-lords-of-silicon-valley/amp/

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  86. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    “Is the Internet broken? Does it need to be fixed?”

    Whether something is broken and needs to be fixed is not really a question that the elites ask. Whether it benefits them is the relevant question. So, understanding that, and understanding the rise of Trump, and questioning the narrative, you can understand the need for Internet control.

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  87. @Svigor

    The idea of “censorship” is irrelevant in this fight, and those of you banging on about it are swallowing the propaganda put out by Google/Netflix/Etc cause you want your neighbor subsidizing your 4k pornhub use.
     
    Please tell me "subsidizing" is not referring to ISPs overcharging via service access fees (the current business model), instead charging for bandwidth used. This is just the companies robbing their customers because there's so little competition, it is not "your neighbor subsidizing" anything. This is all corporate shill speak.

    The guy arguing in favor of Google paying as much as I do for 10GB of bandwidth on my phone because of a focus group tested term calling anyone a “corporate shill”.

    My fucking sides are destroyed. Usually you’re on point svigor but you’re off the reservation on this one.

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  88. Infrastucture is a natural monopoly. Monopolies need to be regulated.

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  89. Corvinus says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    Do you have any viable way to make this happen? Can you ensure that this does not result in the destruction of civilization? I would not at all discount this if there were some viable path forward.
     
    I think it could be done by the sort of government strongman that will likely emerge in the next crisis anyway. If we were already in a state of war and economic malaise, there would be little downside; besides which, the internet under those conditions would become a major liability due to the threat of hacking, cyber-warfare, capital flight, and espionage, so there would be good political rationale for shutting it down. I could well imagine some American Mussolini marching federal troops into the offices of Google and Facebook, suspending their operations, and confiscating their property.

    “I could well imagine some American Mussolini marching federal troops into the offices of Google and Facebook, suspending their operations, and confiscating their property.”

    That would take a tremendous strain of your brainpower. The Internet remains a potent force for free speech. One need not rely on Twitter or Facebook to advance their ideas. Exactly why this “American Mussolini” is a figment of your imagination. You honestly believe that normies would stand for a Fascist who unilaterally decides to shutter Google and Facebook? Dream on.

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