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filmfann's avatar

What do you think about net neutrality?

Asked by filmfann (49148points) July 2nd, 2017

How well do you understand the issue?

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12 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

I am pretty up on the issue, and have heard both sides of the arguments. But net neutrality is the best way to provide a level playing field for all participants in something that was developed by the government and through inter-university research funded by government grants.

To allow an entity to disrupt neutrality in such an entity for purely profit motivated anti-competitive reasons is actually anti-capitalist.

PullMyFinger's avatar

…...and here I was, thinking this had something to do with tennis…...

filmfann's avatar

I really have put a lot of time on studying this, and it just isn’t clear cut.
I should note that I am a retired AT&T employee.
We would build a dslam in a neighborhood, to provide customers with a DSL signal. It’s a pipeline that has a limit to how much service it can supply to that neighborhood.
Let’s say the Jones family have several televisions, and are running HD movies from netflix 24 hours a day. The Parkers are next door, and they do it too. So do the Stones down the street. Now other people in that neighborhood can’t get fast enough signal to go on Facebook. Should the phone company be allowed to lower the data limits on Netflix to allow other customers the ability to use their internet?
Now that’s just a small part of Net Neutrality, but it illustrates the complexity of it. Both customers are paying for unlimited access, so both will have valid arguments.

CWOTUS's avatar

I’m essentially neutral …

And I don’t pretend to know a lot about the issue, however, I do have some guiding principles that have worked pretty well.

Markets work. Markets can sort out competing claims, and continue to do that as they evolve ever-better technical solutions to current problems. That is, unless they’re strapped into straitjackets in the form of immutable government regulations. (Witness the way automobile crash protection – NOT as mandated by the government – has continued to improve for decades, while “seat belts” are still 1960s technology, frozen in time from that era.)

Witness also how internet and cable service and options have continued to improve, especially once the “local monopoly” enjoyed by everyone’s local cable television franchise was broken by satellite delivery of service, by jacked-up telephone lines to deliver broadband (as @filmfann notes above) and as wireless service and broadband penetration continues to improve.

I have no doubt that left to its own devices and with only consumer preference and dollars to guide them, ISPs would continue to improve service quality, reliability and options and gradually reducing prices until the technology finally plateaus at some still-undefined point in the future.

That is, unless the government steps in and determines that “internet service shall be delivered in thus-and-such manner”, at which point everyone in the world would soon surpass us (as many already have).

Maybe I’m not so neutral, after all. I would prefer to see the government back out of this as much as it is possible for them to do that.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Should the phone company be allowed to lower the data limits on Netflix to allow other customers the ability to use their internet?

That is not a net neutrality issue. Not at all.

Net neutrality is about content, not bandwidth.

Throttling Netflix is blocking particular content.

Throttling all streaming video content would be managing bandwidth in a neutral manner.

zenvelo's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay is exactly right.

I never got DSL because when I graduated from dial up I was able to get cable internet. But in my area, Comcast, before it bought NBC Universal, was the cable internet company actively fighting Netflix’s because it diverted customers from Comcast content. But suddenly they are providing streaming and they have plenty of bandwidth and speed.

josie's avatar

Neutrality is a dream, like perfection. It does not exist.

PullMyFinger's avatar

…..except if you are Nadia Comenici on the uneven parallel bars.

Zaku's avatar

Net Neutrality is about making Internet access available to people without corporations doing all the shiiiiiiit they can invent to mess with it to get as much money out of their position as ISP without much real competition. Sneaky shit like tracking what you do on the Internet and sell that information. Manipulative shit that favors other huge corporations like making it so only traffic to huge corporations, or by customers who pay extra, get good reliable traffic. Controlling shit like shutting down access to sites that aren’t approved. And whatever other nasty crap they can think of and get away with. Like buying your politicians and media companies to get net neutrality regulations thrown out, and to convince you that that might somehow be a good thing.

Pachy's avatar

The net umpire has to have it in order to accurately and fairly enforce tennis regulations.

Zaku's avatar

Here’s a another good (but this one is highly profane) information page about net neutrality: .

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