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Why the 2015 Net Neutrality Laws Were Wrong

Termer

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Net Neutrality
Why it's a bad thing
Now, before you start to scream in rage, let me explain myself. To start off, I think the principle of net neutrality is great -- I love it. However, the 2015 net neutrality laws that were enacted in the Obama administration were somewhat of a trojan horse of government control. I know it sounds contrary, but I'll try to explain myself. Recently, I was talking to my friend, who happens to be a lawyer with his own firm. During conversation, net neutrality came up. (It's worth noting that this was before the repeal.) Right off the bat, be went the offensive side, claiming that net neutrality is a terrible thing. I was somewhat angry at that, and attemped to refute his claim. I said all the normal stuff about throttling and censorship. The he told me something that struck me: under the net neutrality laws, ISPs are covered by Title II, meaning they are a public utilities, therefore under direct government control. Now of course, in my research, I had realized that net neutrality laws classified ISPs in Title II, but I hadn't understood the connotations thereof. After a few more proofs, he swiftly won the debate, but he also changed my opinion. This is not easy.

With this revealment, I saw it in a whole new way. This was not just about the principle of net neutrality, but the law causing it. Net neutrality is merely a nice by-product of changing ISP classification. When the president said that the net neutrality policy was a "power grab" I thought he was deluded. Now, however, I see he has somewhat of a point. For this reason, I am rather happy about the repeal. There are still cons to this issue, as it is now fair game for ISPs to block and throttle content to their hearts content. If this happens, people will move away from them, and they'll lost business. This is how the free market works. ISPs shouldn't need the government to motivate them to use good practices.

And then there's Ajit Pai, the most hated man on the Internet. I don't fully understand him. He is a very obnoxious character, and I will freely admit it. He is mostly out of touch with Internet culture. He makes YouTube videos, which isn't part of his job. However, he is not getting personal game from tnis repeal, contrary to popular propaganda. However, I do not care about people who make laws, only the laws they make, so the way he acts is none of my concern.

In closing I'd like everyone to keep an open mind, and be ready for what comes next. Thank you for your time, and I look forward to nearing your opinion on the matter!
 
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grossaffe

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You spent more time asking us to not to tune you out than explaining what was wrong with it. Okay, so Title II puts more government control on ISPs. Now explain what makes that bad when dealing with natural monopolies that have proven they will exploit the fact that they have monopolies.

Also, you are wrong about the free market. We do not have a free market when it comes to broadband. A free market is one that is ruled by the laws of supply and demand which requires competition. Instead we have a market of regional monopolies for a service that is absolutely necessary in the modern world. It is far from a free market.
 
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CrimsonMaple

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There are two takes to Net Neutrality we have tried so far. A reactionary method. Where ISPs are put on a leash, but they can do whatever they want. They can be anti-competitive, and can do this as long as the government, and the people do not care. This is a weak way to manage this, as its well reactionary. Meaning these already greedy companies can do as they please until someone says the can't. And if you say that this is fine because you can just move ISPs. You're largely wrong. There are few people who actually can do that. I only have one choice of ISP where I live. If I don't like them throttling something, I'm shit out of luck. This is also the case for quite a number of other Americans, who for one reason or another cannot switch. This leads to no competition in some areas, leading to no innovation or improvement. There is no totally free market here to combat this. The other option is to lock them down, and force them to play fair. Title 2 made internet more accessible for people with one choice in ISP. Knowing that they were guaranteed an open internet. But yes, title 2 is not perfect. But it is the best solution to an open internet we have had. What needs to happen is a combination of the two. Requiring ISPs to both, create competition, and keep an open internet without borders. To keep all information accessible, not hidden behind another paywall on either side, (company or user).
 

RustInPeace

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While your argument is better presented than Pai, one major issue is you're ignoring that these ISPs are evil. Their intentions come off as greedy and Pai basically fellated them. Someone pointed out Comcast's swift changes of their net neutrality page and how lots of things they said they wouldn't do, are gone from the page.

https://twitter.com/henshaw/status/941133127283564544

If I'm not mistaken, Verizon got into some hate for throttling Netflix. I used to have Verizon and backed off due to mounting debt, their charges were ludicrous. That doesn't hurt them, even if there's a mass exodus, this won't put those ISPs out of business, they could surely lure people back in (especially with lack of options, my city for example only has RCN, Verizon, and shitty satellite internet, maybe Comcast but I haven't known anyone in these parts to use that), only to pull the rug out from under them. It just looks like you're oblivious to these massive ISPs, they're one of the biggest reasons why the net neutrality repeal is frightening. In the 2 years since that net neutrality law passed, I haven't encountered, noticed any negative effect of government regulation, if there was any direct intervening from the government at all. When that thing passed 2 years ago, I didn't see it as this all being in the government's court, I saw it as basically them having a child and giving them a huge amount of independence, as the child has proven to thrive (despite the seedy and negative aspects, its underbelly), and it worked. Net neutrality being repealed now means that child, who has experienced independence for a significant amount of time, will be forced into a more closed off, controlling environment. What will happen? The kid will break. The internet will fucking break.
 

Quantumcat

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If this happens, people will move away from them, and they'll lost business.
Wrong. In many areas people only have one provider to choose from. They have no choice but to take what they are given. If there was only one power company and they decided to start charging you ten times as much for your power, would you really start using oil lamps and only eating canned food? No, you have no choice, and they can charge what they like. Government regulation is important.

Not to mention, with net neutrality repealed internet companies do better when they are bigger (so they can make deals with content providers and bully smaller networks into taking their terms or else they'll shut the smaller networks' customers out of content), making monopolies worse and giving people fewer and fewer choices.
 

Blood Fetish

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Since ISPs have regional monopolies/oligopolies they need to be regulated to prevent some of the most egregious abuses. The real solution is for the last mile infrastructure to be a true public utility, with a free market competing to provide internet service.
 
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When writing a debate article, people usually stick to three main arguments. One somewhat strong, one weaker, and at the end the strongest one. Sadly, I only see one single argument which can be easily argued against (and has already been in posts above).

I'd love to hear more arguments against net neutrality to get a bigger picture of the whole situation, but so far I haven't been able to find that many great arguments. If you could provide more, that would be great!
 

SG854

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Title 2 was applied in a way that doesn't give government total power.
So over 700 Title 2 rules does not apply to ISP's.

Things the FCC can't do,
  • No unbundling of last-mile facilities
  • No tariffs
  • No rate regulation
  • No cost accounting rules
  • No new federal taxes or fees...
It was a light approach to the application of Title 2 limiting government power.
Source

It was applied in a way so that it does not hurt business infrastructure or hurt money making possibilites.
So there is not a lot of regulation applied and theres no extra red tape involved.

The internet does not go through the FCC. So the FCC doesn't have direct control over content. Only ISP's have direct control. They only made rules where ISP's can't block or throttle. And they only oversee the Internet to see if ISP's follow these rules.

They already have competitive offerings. Like 5 mbps or 50 mbps. So a cheaper option or a faster one. And how much you pay will give you slower or faster speeds. You compete not by blocking or throttling content unfairly. You compete by research and development. By creating better internet technologies that offer faster speeds and more reliable internet. This is how capitalism should be done.

With this new plan we are going back to Title 1.
We were under Title 1 for a lot longer than Title 2 yet not many ISP's sprung up during this time.
Most Americans have only 1 ISP in their area. So without regulation ISP's will have total internet control of that area.
ISP's merged and went to areas were there is less competition so they can have monopoly in that area and not compete with each other.
Title 2 gives protection for people that have no options. And at the same time capitalism can still exist under Title 2.
 
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Termer

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Wrong. In many areas people only have one provider to choose from. They have no choice but to take what they are given. If there was only one power company and they decided to start charging you ten times as much for your power, would you really start using oil lamps and only eating canned food? No, you have no choice, and they can charge what they like. Government regulation is important.

Not to mention, with net neutrality repealed internet companies do better when they are bigger (so they can make deals with content providers and bully smaller networks into taking their terms or else they'll shut the smaller networks' customers out of content), making monopolies worse and giving people fewer and fewer choices.

Where I live, there is only one choice of ISP: AT&T. You make a good point in talking about monopolies. I have experiences with such things. But that does not mean that the government needs to get involved to make sure they're doing things we want. If the government needs to hold ISPs' hands, then it's only a matter of time until the government begins more regulations. We've seen this with multiple communication mediums, including radio and Television.

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

Title 2 was applied in a way that doesn't give government total power.
So over 700 Title 2 rules does not apply to ISP's.

Things the FCC can't do,
  • No unbundling of last-mile facilities
  • No tariffs
  • No rate regulation
  • No cost accounting rules
  • No new federal taxes or fees...
It was a light approach to the application of Title 2 limiting government power.
Source

It was applied in a way so that it does not hurt business infrastructure or hurt money making possibilites.
So there is not a lot of regulation and no extra red tape involved.

The internet does not go through the FCC. So the FCC does not have complete power and control over the Internet or content.
They only made rules where ISP's can't block or throttle. And they only oversee the Internet to see if ISP's follow these rules.

They already have competitive offerings. Like 5mbps or 50 mbps. So a cheaper option or a faster one. And how much you pay will give you slower or faster speeds. You compete not by blocking or throttling content unfairly. You compete by research and development. By creating better internet technologies that offer faster speeds and more reliable internet. This is how capitalism should be done.

With this new plan we are going back to Title 1.
We were under Title 1 for a lot longer than Title 2 yet not many ISP's sprung up during this time.
Most Americans have only 1 ISP in their area. So without regulation ISP's will have total internet control of that area.
ISP's merged and went to areas were there is less competition so they can have monopoly in that area and not compete with each other.
Title 2 gives protection for people that have no options. And at the same time capitalism can still exist under Title 2.

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

When writing a debate article, people usually stick to three main arguments. One somewhat strong, one weaker, and at the end the strongest one. Sadly, I only see one single argument which can be easily argued against (and has already been in posts above).

I'd love to hear more arguments against net neutrality to get a bigger picture of the whole situation, but so far I haven't been able to find that many great arguments. If you could provide more, that would be great!
Thanks for the feedback! I'd like to continue this tomorrow. I'm tired, and using a touch keyboard is a pain. When I get to a keyboard, I'll type some more
 
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tech3475

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What Im about to say will likely be controversial, but one option in areas where there is a monopoly may be to force the isp to lease the line to other companies.

Here in the Uk, our former state monopoly was forced to do the same as in many areas their line is the only option (such as where I live), But this does mean we have competition where there would otherwise be none.

Its not perfect, but the idea of only having BT as an ISP seems worse.
 
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Quantumcat

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Where I live, there is only one choice of ISP: AT&T. You make a good point in talking about monopolies. I have experiences with such things. But that does not mean that the government needs to get involved to make sure they're doing things we want. If the government needs to hold ISPs' hands, then it's only a matter of time until the government begins more regulations. We've seen this with multiple communication mediums, including radio and Television.

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------



--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------


Thanks for the feedback! I'd like to continue this tomorrow. I'm tired, and using a touch keyboard is a pain. When I get to a keyboard, I'll type some more
But regulation is so important. Without it, there's nothing stopping AT&T from charging whatever they like. The only thing capping then would be what you can access by mobile. So for instance if you can get 3GB for $30 a month, maybe they'll offer you 5GB for $30/month, 30GB for $100/month, and unlimited for $300/month. And maybe only give you 1Mbps speeds, and you have to pay $50/month extra for 10Mbps speed. Would you be happy paying those sorts of prices, with no other choice available to you? If you're a normal middle class person, you'd probably have to give up online gaming and torrent downloading, and other things. That's what would happen with no regulation. Regulation protects normal consumers, since businesses are moneymaking machines, they will set their policies and prices where it makes them the best profit, not caring if it means people miss out on basic services. I don't know why you would have an opinion that only benefits big business, and not yourself or anyone you know.
 

ov3rkill

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You could've just debated with him and improved your argument with basis. You can refer him to a lot of youtube videos for easy reference.



The government regulating, this is actually a good thing since it's for the people and by the people.
When the time comes and the government would be owned by Disney, that would be a good time to rethink about all that.
Hopefully, the people and its representatives would do something about the repeal.

More video sample which will improve your argument with factual basis.

 
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SG854

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But regulation is so important. Without it, there's nothing stopping AT&T from charging whatever they like. The only thing capping then would be what you can access by mobile. So for instance if you can get 3GB for $30 a month, maybe they'll offer you 5GB for $30/month, 30GB for $100/month, and unlimited for $300/month. And maybe only give you 1Mbps speeds, and you have to pay $50/month extra for 10Mbps speed. Would you be happy paying those sorts of prices, with no other choice available to you? If you're a normal middle class person, you'd probably have to give up online gaming and torrent downloading, and other things. That's what would happen with no regulation. Regulation protects normal consumers, since businesses are moneymaking machines, they will set their policies and prices where it makes them the best profit, not caring if it means people miss out on basic services. I don't know why you would have an opinion that only benefits big business, and not yourself or anyone you know.
The thing is, the new plan Pai has, they are not actually getting rid of Net Neutrality
If you read here. (This was uploaded by MaverickWellington.) Its explains NN regulation under this new plan.

We are going back to Title 1 classification under this new plan.
We had Net Neutrality prior to 2015 under Title 1.

Net Neutrality regulations were,

  • No Blocking
  • No Throttling
  • No Paid Prioritization
  • No unreasonable interference or unreasonable disadvantage to consumers or edge providers.
  • Enhanced transparency - They have to tell the public what they are doing and can't keep secrets.
There were successful NN lawsuits under Title 1, and they were enforcing NN prior to 2015, until ISP's found a flaw under Tile 1's Information Service classification.
Which means it was now harder for FCC to regulate. They could only regulate better under Title 2's Common Carrier classification. Which forced them to classify ISP's as Title 2 before they can do anything.

So Pai's plan has regulation, its expecting ISP's to commit and self regulate, and commitments are punishable by law if they deceive customers.
But there is no law that forces ISP's to commit. And at the same time NN will be harder to enforce under Title 1, which is what we're going back to.

It seems Comcast already went back on their pledges the day Pai's plan was announced.

If you wanna know what not having Net Neutrality looks like. Skip to 24:44 on this video. Its show the history of ISP's breaking NN rules.
Like blocking tethering apps, blocking Skype, blocking voice apps, blocking streaming video sites, throttling p2p, zero rating, disabling gps apps, disabling fm radio chips, and so on... These will happen more than actually having the payed packages people talk about.
 
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deinonychus71

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They're repealing something without explaining what are the benefits for the consumers.

Also, not trying to offend the american people, but please, PLEASE, open your eyes to the rest of the world, and look at the price of Internet access in Europe.
You may realize that net neutrality or not, you are being royally screwed by ISPs.
You also kind of have "packaged internet" already. The ISP I use in Chicago at least does. You should NOT be paying an extra to use vo-ip. It's using your internet connection! But they charge you more if you want it.


Before moving to the US, I was in a country where every single region had ISP competition (something even republicans should be ok with), and the internet was on average 30 euros (with taxes), unlimited, including fiber optic if available.
That also included vo-ip phone and basic tv channels.

You are being screwed, and you're asking for more of it.
 
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smile72

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When I lived in America. I lived in an area with a few choices for internet providers then eventually my only choice for internet became Comcast....just google videos to see how evil these bastards are, They are utterly horrible. Do I trust them to give me fair prices....haha...absolutely NOT! So I would rather it be in government hands then Comcast's.
 

blackwrensniper

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So, given that OP didn't actually say any actual reasons for why his opinion was changed I strongly come away from this believing simply having credentials and an opinion are persuasive arguments. Still totally for net neutrality, as it was mostly enacted to stop the SOPA/PIPA bullshit that is far more likely to kill off the pre-2015 rules now that they have been rolled back into effect.

Remember, Title II did a lot more than just protect us from ISP's overcharging and such, it had numerous enshrined laws to stop the need for something like SOPA/PIPA as the FTC has no real power to stop ISP shenanigans but under Title II the FCC actually did have the power. Now the FCC & FTC are useless the republican controlled House, Senate and President will make the real power grab, your ISP charging you to access Reddit and blocking sites like GBATemp will be small beans.
 
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