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Save net neutrality and keep our mobile future awesome

I love to tell people what I think of a particular thing, be it a product or brand or service provider. I'll freely tell someone to go with T-Mobile as a carrier, for example, because it offers the best compromise between speed, value, and coverage. Rarely, though, does it occur to me to judge a provider based on its stance towards net neutrality, a topic that has a direct impact on the American people.

Maybe I should.

Today, July 12, is the Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality, where thousands of companies are taking a stand to support the current state of the internet. We at Mobile Nations stand with larger entities like Google, Amazon, Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, and thousands of others in urging the FCC to uphold Title II regulations, which designate as telecommunication services, legally preventing them from changing the way internet traffic is sent, shaped, and received.

Net neutrality is a complicated topic — we have a small explainer if you want to learn a bit more about it — but the move to deregulate parts of the internet comes from a self-proclaimed libertarian FCC chair, Ajit Pai, whose desire is to see less government regulation around telecommunications services at all costs, regardless of whether they negatively impact consumers.

The onus shouldn't be on us, the consumer, to police bad actors. The FCC wants that to be the case.

In an interview he gave with NPR earlier this year, he said that instead of the arrangement we have now, which pre-emptively abrogates the preferential treatment of certain types of internet traffic over others, he wants to move to regulating on a case-by-case basis.

First and foremost, we want to make sure that all content that is lawful on the Internet can be accessed by consumers — that's a bedrock protection of the open Internet that I think everybody would agree with. ... But secondly, we want to make sure that we have the ability to allow all kinds of streaming companies, others who create content on the Internet, to be able to reach their endpoints, which is the consumers.And so we can envision some pro-competitive arrangements that allow for video in particular to be delivered in an efficient way. And one could conceive anti-competitive arrangements. And the simple point I've made is that we can't predict in advance every single potential type of outcome — some might be good, some might be bad — and on a case-by-case basis let's figure out what types of conduct are anti-competitive or otherwise would harm consumers or innovators, and take action if we see something like that arise.

Pai's argument arises out of a firm belief that over-regulation leads to a decrease in investment and cites examples of how certain internet companies have limited wired broadband and fixed mobile expansion into rural areas over the last few years. He also believes in what he calls a "free and open internet" that is not shackled by the 1930's-era Title II classification that oversaw Ma Bell, a true telecom monopoly.

"If you act before the fact, then you're preemptively saying that we think the marketplace is forever going to be the same and we can take account of every particular kind of conduct," he said. "You could be prohibiting a number of pro-competitive business arrangements."

While Pai may be correct in an environment where meaningful competition didn't already exist, if we look at what's happened to the U.S. wireless market since Title II was implemented in 2015, we see a clear trend towards an internet that is more accessible, mobile, and competitive. We see companies like T-Mobile — a proponent itself of the end of net neutrality, mind you — undercutting Verizon and AT&T, pushing the former carrier duopoly to not only lower prices but to become much more transparent in how they treat their customers. An open, free internet also leads to savvier, more educated users, and the expansion of net neutrality laws brought the layperson into the conversation.

Perhaps the most vexing and frustrating thing about Pai's insistence that pre-emptive regulation needs to be removed in favor of a lighter regulatory touch is his placement of the onus on the consumers — you, me, us — to identify violators. "Especially in the Internet age," he said, "consumers are able to complain to the Federal Trade Commission authorities, the Justice Department, the FCC, other state agencies."

Right now, the FCC is forced to police the internet service providers on our behalf, to enforce regulations that prevent companies like AT&T and Verizon from silently and sneakily limiting their unlimited plans, as they once did, and not following through with broadband expansion contracts because they weren't guaranteed a big enough return.

Zero-rating may seem like a good thing, but it opens the door for a lot that's terrible.

The rollback of net neutrality isn't about making legal so-called consumer-friendly tactics such as zero-rating, which has become so pervasive in the U.S. that it's not clear whether people actually associate them with the movement anymore. But that pervasiveness denotes an insidiousness to how network providers approach regulation, always trying to find a legal maneuver around the problem. When T-Mobile stopped counting streaming music and video services against a user's monthly data cap, it did so knowing that the FCC would eventually hold it to account for its actions. It took a new administration and a libertarian, light-touch-regulation chair to drop all inquiries into whether zero-rating violated net neutrality.

While it may sound like programs like T-Mobile's Binge On and others like it benefit consumers — who doesn't want more data for free? — they have the potential to shut out smaller companies that lack the requisite size or influence to make a deal with a massive carrier. Recently, carriers in the UK began mimicking their U.S. counterparts. In Canada, such zero-rating programs were recently banned not just for their own sake, but to show the telecom regulator's commitment to reinforcing the rules of net neutrality.

Should Title II classification be stripped away from the service providers to whom we give thousands of dollars every year, such legal challenges will be more difficult to win, and carriers — even AT&T, which is reportedly joining the fight to uphold net neutrality — will be free to do more in the name of profit, at the expense of the internet we love.

If you want to do just that, you have until July 17 to submit your comments to the FCC about why a truly free and open internet deserves to be something Americans take for granted.

Join the fight to uphold Net Neutrality

Daniel Bader was a former Android Central Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor for iMore and Windows Central. 

70 Comments
  • Sorry net neutrality is a joke. Plus At&t and VZW have always been sneakily limited their unlimited plans... Always. Plus, We Already Have Net Neutrality. As a result of competition between internet service providers in the marketplace, ISPs generally do not discriminate against highly-trafficked websites. If they did – holding a figurative gun to the head of those websites by throttling back speed to those websites – consumers would dump those ISPs in favor of others. Competition ensures that companies do not have the leverage to discriminate against particular websites. Some Companies Take Up More Bandwidth Than Others. Netflix consumes a huge amount of peak traffic bandwidth. That costs ISPs money. Pornography sites consume a huge amount of bandwidth. That costs ISPs money. Were an ISP to push YouPorn to pay fees for its higher bandwidth, consumers of the ISP who did not use YouPorn would be the beneficiaries – they wouldn’t be subsidizing YouPorn. As Alexandra Petri of Washington Post writes, “To use one of those dreaded analogies, if you are constantly driving huge trucks, full of big deliveries of pornography, along a road, why shouldn’t you have to pay more for the road’s upkeep?” Meanwhile, other ISPs could calculate that they want to absorb the costs of YouPorn in order to carry YouPorn, since YouPorn could refuse to pay the fees to the first ISP. That would be an advantage for the second ISP. In other words, market choices take place, and those can provide options to consumers. Net neutrality would ban such deals. The Government Still Allows Discrimination In Traffic. ISPs inherently have to prioritize traffic. It’s what they do. The government has decided to exempt “reasonable network management” to allow differentiation of traffic – but then defines it ambiguously, leaving it up to the government to determine when an ISP is in compliance. This is a recipe for regulatory disaster, complete with bureaucratic arbitrariness. Barriers to Entry Are Created. There is a reason that Google backs net neutrality. As I wrote in April:
    Google was in favor of net neutrality; that’s because, as Robert E. Litan and Hal J. Singer wrote in the Harvard Business Review, “Absent net neutrality restrictions, entrepreneurs in their garages would devote significant energies trying to topple Google with the next killer application.” Of course, Google became an opponent of net neutrality when it came to GoogleFiber, which the government conveniently neglected to make subject to net neutrality. Technological Stagnation. Comcast and AT&T and the like are using ancient wires to transmit internet. That’s why internet access is so slow in large swaths of the United States. They have no incentive to upgrade their wiring because they have monopolies on that wiring, thanks to the government. According to Andy Kessler of The Weekly Standard, “the United States is 16th in the world in broadband use (behind Liechtenstein!) with East Timor catching up fast. The French may burn Citroëns, but they get 10 megabits for 10 euros–50 times your ‘fast’ Internet access for half the price. That’s just not right.” The solution: open competition and far less local and state regulation, not more federal regulation. Net neutrality does nothing about the real problem with the internet: lack of speed. Internet Taxes Could Happen. Harold Furchtgott-Roth of Forbes writes that by making the internet subject to the strictures of the interstate telecommunications industry, the FCC could impose fees on internet service: By classifying broadband access services as “interstate telecommunications services,” those services would suddenly become required to pay FCC fees. At the current 16.1% fee structure, it would be perhaps the largest, one-time tax increase on the Internet. Content Restrictions From The Government. The government promises that it will use the power of net neutrality for good, not evil. But just like the government’s once-infamous Fairness Doctrine, the notion of the government determining what equal access to the internet looks like is deeply problematic. Kessler writes: You can already smell the mandates and the loopholes once Congress gets involved. Think special, high-speed priority for campaign commercials or educational videos about global warming. Or roadblocks–like requiring emergency 911 service–to try to kill off free Internet telephone services such as Skype. The government is never the solution, especially when there’s no real market failure. As usual, government’s cure is worse than the disease.
  • At least someone understands this farce. However, be prepared for a whole lot of lemmings that will want to flame you just because they actually believe that just because something is titled 'Net Neutrality' actually means that what it does. Rule 1: If you want people to vote for something, title your bill with a name that is exactly the opposite of what it really does. Rule 2: The government is NEVER better, cheaper or more efficient at ANYTHING. Rule 3: The only reason government makes a law is to strengthen government, not the people under it.
  • The Truck driver analogy is great. It's interesting because they do pay more for tolls. The point is though, a utility is a utility and the costs should reflect that. We pay for water and electric but we pay reasonable amounts for daily usage. We only pay a lot when we clearly use more than most. Internet traffic should be usage based and not location based. Meaning, you don't pay more for water because you use one sink in your house. You pay more per gallon, regardless of where it's used. I shouldn't have to pay more because I use Netflix. I should pay because I used more bandwidth. If it does remain a utility, will the government ever just take it over?
  • Actually saying "Never" is never the solution.
  • "Plus, We Already Have Net Neutrality. As a result of competition between internet service providers in the marketplace, ISPs generally do not discriminate against highly-trafficked websites. If they did – holding a figurative gun to the head of those websites by throttling back speed to those websites – consumers would dump those ISPs in favor of others. Competition ensures that companies do not have the leverage to discriminate against particular websites." Competition - a great concept, but it doesn't translate here. I don't know about you, but I have 2 whole providers to choose from where I live, and they both suck - and don't believe for one minute that either one will resist doing anything to increase their profits at the consumers expense. They know we have nowhere else to go, so they have no reason not to take advantage of us. THIS is why net nuetrality matters.
  • Agree. There really is no competition because the big ISP's don't compete in the same markets. 
  • I didn't know there THAT many providers anyway. VZ, AT&T, and Comcast, maybe Cox. Who else?
  • Not really anyone else. Too high of a barrier to enter
  • Statement:
    "As a result of competition between internet service providers in the marketplace, ISPs generally do not discriminate against highly-trafficked websites. If they did – holding a figurative gun to the head of those websites by throttling back speed to those websites – consumers would dump those ISPs in favor of others. Competition ensures that companies do not have the leverage to discriminate against particular websites." My Response:
    Maybe you live in a big city where there is choice. But the vast majority of America has either 0 or 1 providers that can offer 25+ Mbps download speed. The goal is to have no discrimination, which is possible. Not "generally." If competition existed you and I would not be having this conversation. Statement:
    "Some Companies Take Up More Bandwidth Than Others. Netflix consumes a huge amount of peak traffic bandwidth. That costs ISPs money. Pornography sites consume a huge amount of bandwidth. That costs ISPs money. Were an ISP to push YouPorn to pay fees for its higher bandwidth, consumers of the ISP who did not use YouPorn would be the beneficiaries – they wouldn’t be subsidizing YouPorn. As Alexandra Petri of Washington Post writes, “To use one of those dreaded analogies, if you are constantly driving huge trucks, full of big deliveries of pornography, along a road, why shouldn’t you have to pay more for the road’s upkeep?” Meanwhile, other ISPs could calculate that they want to absorb the costs of YouPorn in order to carry YouPorn, since YouPorn could refuse to pay the fees to the first ISP. That would be an advantage for the second ISP. In other words, market choices take place, and those can provide options to consumers. Net neutrality would ban such deals." My Response:
    Technically companies don't "Take Up More Bandwidth Than Others." Paying customers use more bandwidth depending on the service they are using. In my opinion this has already been taken care of with usage caps and different speed pricing tiers. Even if ISPs could double dip by charging service providers and customers, no customers would be the beneficiary. No ISP would charge consumers less. ALL ISPs oversell their data networks. This overselling ratio largely determines their profit margin. The way the average person uses the internet is changing, ISPs have to account for that. Yes, building more capacity into their network costs money. Large trucks are a finite resource, data packets are an infinite resource. Statement:
    "The Government Still Allows Discrimination In Traffic. ISPs inherently have to prioritize traffic. It’s what they do. The government has decided to exempt “reasonable network management” to allow differentiation of traffic – but then defines it ambiguously, leaving it up to the government to determine when an ISP is in compliance. This is a recipe for regulatory disaster, complete with bureaucratic arbitrariness." My Response:
    I don't disagree with the spirit of your statement. Prioritizing traffic and reasonable network management are not the same thing. For instance, all ISPs should block ports 137-139 for TCP and UDP. This is traffic that should not traverse upstream and would be considered reasonable network management. Prioritizing Vonage VOIP traffic over Ooma VOIP traffic should not be allowed and to be honest, that is a rule that needs to be written down. All of the major ISPs have proven themselves to be untrustworthy at least once. Statement:
    "Barriers to Entry Are Created. There is a reason that Google backs net neutrality. As I wrote in April:
    Google was in favor of net neutrality; that’s because, as Robert E. Litan and Hal J. Singer wrote in the Harvard Business Review, “Absent net neutrality restrictions, entrepreneurs in their garages would devote significant energies trying to topple Google with the next killer application.” Of course, Google became an opponent of net neutrality when it came to GoogleFiber, which the government conveniently neglected to make subject to net neutrality." My Response:
    Established companies like Google would have no issues paying for prioritization. Crating a much larger barrier to entry for any new search engine, music streaming service (Google Play Music), tv streaming service (YouTube TV), movie streaming service (Google Play Movies), data storage service (Drive), email service (Gmail), app store (Play Store), etc... Statement:
    "Technological Stagnation. Comcast and AT&T and the like are using ancient wires to transmit internet. That’s why internet access is so slow in large swaths of the United States. They have no incentive to upgrade their wiring because they have monopolies on that wiring, thanks to the government. According to Andy Kessler of The Weekly Standard, “the United States is 16th in the world in broadband use (behind Liechtenstein!) with East Timor catching up fast. The French may burn Citroëns, but they get 10 megabits for 10 euros–50 times your ‘fast’ Internet access for half the price. That’s just not right.” The solution: open competition and far less local and state regulation, not more federal regulation. Net neutrality does nothing about the real problem with the internet: lack of speed." My Response:
    You can't argue that some services take up huge amounts of bandwidth requiring ISPs to upgrade their infrastructure and also claim they are using "ancient wires." I'm all for open competition! I was ready for the FCC to open up line sharing on all telephone and cable lines into every household. Wheeler was not willing to go that far. Cable companies refuse to build over one another. in nearly all locations it isn't financially feasible for multiple carriers to run physical connections to every household. In my opinion Net Neutrality is about regulating the companies that supply internet, not the internet itself. For regulatory purposes it is far easier to write laws about what the internet should be rather than what each individual company can't do. Statement:
    "Internet Taxes Could Happen. Harold Furchtgott-Roth of Forbes writes that by making the internet subject to the strictures of the interstate telecommunications industry, the FCC could impose fees on internet service: By classifying broadband access services as “interstate telecommunications services,” those services would suddenly become required to pay FCC fees. At the current 16.1% fee structure, it would be perhaps the largest, one-time tax increase on the Internet." My Response:
    Yes, Title II does give the FCC the authority to tax the internet. That is a fact. Wheeler was also not willing to do that. I'm not sure why any ISP would really care about this though. They would pass this tax along to the consumer. They are already disguising bogus fees as taxes. Statement:
    "The government is never the solution, especially when there’s no real market failure. As usual, government’s cure is worse than the disease." My Response:
    No market failure!? You freely admitted that ISPs have no incentive to upgrade their infrastructure and America's internet is slow. We pay more for slower internet than almost any country in the world. That sure sounds like a market failure to me.
  • Great response.
  • Maybe if this crap goes way, the barriers to entry for other ISP's will disappear
  • Competition? If I don't see a competitive market for ISPs in Los Angeles I don't see much chance for one to exist in Smackover, AR. ISPs act as defacto monopolies or duopolies is most US markets and have little incentive to actually compete with one another. They haven't just ceased infrastructure improvement in rural America, either, and it's not because of Title II classification. I don't have access to internet service that takes advantage of fiber optic lines (in LOS ANGELES) because they ceased that rollout years ago. Upkeep of the legacy copper wire network is significantly more expensive than upkeep of a fiber optic network but shareholders are holding back the initial investment in FO infrastructure in exchange for short term profit. It's shortsighted, but greed works in funny ways. These companies don't care how happy you are with your internet service as long as their shareholders are happy with their profit margins. If competition isn't there to provide an incentive to make an ISP improve service in your area, who is going to keep your ISP from price gouging you every month? Who is going to keep your ISP from demanding fealty from your favorite sites to keep traffic flowing? How is that new upstart going to get traffic if it can't pay Google level money to keep access speeds reasonable? Just because it hasn't happened yet doesn't mean it won't in a world where that's not against the rules. Which sites get traffic when people have limited data allotments and some traffic is zero rated? The sites that have paid an ISP to be zero rated. Consumer friendly regulation is not the devil you make it out to be - you can easily find evidence that the Title II classification has not made ISPs alter investment. A little long and rambling but it's a comment on a blog post, not a doctoral dissertation.
  • The fact that you think all consumers have the choice of dumping their ISP and moving to another one shows you have a complete lack of understanding of this issue, or more likely - you're either the type of person that watches Sean Hannity and therefore knows very little about the world - or you're a paid shill of one of the companies that stand to benefit from this. There's a reason why every, every, EVERY respectable technology site stands behind net neutrality.
  • Yeah, the dude that wrote this article doesn't have a clue about economics.
  • "Plus, We Already Have Net Neutrality. As a result of competition between internet service providers in the marketplace..." Okay, you're a comedian, right? Because that's literally the funniest thing I've read this year.
  • THank you! The market is the best defense. Not oppressive government interference
  • Keep ISPs as telecoms, heavily regulated before they run amok'
  • Bunch of malarkey. Keep ISPs as telecoms, heavily regulated before they run amok an eff everybody for their insatiable profits'
  • But the government needs to - NOPE
    If the government would just - NOPE
    It would be so much better if the government - NOPE
    Putting it in the hands of the government would - NOPE
  • Infrastructure is crumbling , also police and fire are mostly at the local and state level. No one is saying we do not need some government, some of us however are against a strong centralized federal government.
  • There tends to be a lot of overlap between those that say they are for small government and are also for controlling women's bodies, the war on drugs, spending over half of our discretionary spending on the military, etc, etc. You can't have it both ways...Conservatives like to say they are for small government when the topic is something they oppose but when it's something they are for they can't get enough government.
  • Cool it butthead
  • Last time I looked, gubmint built NOTHING. Construction companies and their workers did. Gubmint only mismanaged the contracts and spent MY money.
  • So you'd rather some other crooked corporation mismanage your money?
  • Straw man argument . Next.
  • That is my concern with Net Neutrality. I have a TON of research to do, because I admittedly do not understand all the facets of this. However, never have I seen a situation where Government control of anything has resulted in a positive outcome. The only real responsibility I see the Federal Government having, is protecting it's citizens from outside threats and terrorism. Aside from that, the Government really is not responsible or capable of doing much. At least they shouldn't be, because it always turns into a huge, unintended mess. So while much of Net Neutrality sounds good on the surface, I hesitate to believe that the answer is more government, because it never is.
  • Food safety. Job site safety. Air travel safety. Water quality. Auto safety. There are literally a ton of examples where government has improved things for the citizens. In some situations it was the citizens pushing for it, but for others it was done proactively.
  • Yeah how's that water quality in Michigan? 
  • Yeah was waiting for that. In most of Michigan it's just fine. In one particular area it's really bad. Now imagine that happening throughout the country and not just isolated areas.
  • It IS happening elsewhere. Read up.
  • That's what happens when criminals ignore regulation in favor of profit.
  • How is it in Your location, ....cause it's also fine in mine.
  • Flint happened because some EPA opposing ass decided not to follow regulations to save a few bucks. If those regulations fall apart (which is the direction it is heading) then you won't be singling out Michigan, it will be everywhere those that hate those regulations get to save a few dollars.
  • Everything you mentioned has so many easy rebuttals, but I don't have time nor do I care to type them all. But job site safety is bogus in so many ways specifically. No one on the job wants to get hurt, people will do what they need to in order to be safe, or they deserve to get what's coming to them. If you need the Government to step in and keep you safe at work, either get a new job because your employer sucks, or you should be in a home because you're a danger to yourself. Even if the things you mentioned were all needs that only the federal government could provide (which they aren't) that still wouldn't offset the endless list of aspects of our lives that Government has screwed up. If you disagree, just ask yourself this.......Were you frustrated and scared that Trump was elected? OR, were you angry and frustrated when Obama was in office? If you can answer yet to either of those, odds are that the Federal Government has gotten too large and has too much control. Edit: I also put most of what you suggested under State Government responsibility. Not Federal. Aside from maybe food safety and air travel. But even food safety is an abortion. They demonize products that aren't harmful, in order to favor particular companies that pay out. Research the ACTUAL facts about aspartame for example, and then look into natural pesticides vs synthetic pesticides. Just make sure you aren't reading your facts from Salon and you'll see what I mean.
  • "But job site safety is bogus in so many ways specifically."
    That is complete BS. You seem to be under the assumption that companies care about the safety of the worker. The only way they care is if it costs them money. They stand to gain much more money cutting corners than playing it safe. I worked at a machine shop running an automatic. This thing created punches for gas lines. They had an increase in demand and decided we now had to work 16 hour shifts instead of 12 with 1 lunch break and 2 10 minute breaks total. That was doable though fatigue creates a dangerous environment in which one guy lost his hand to do operating while drowsy. I was told to reach in and pull the part out while the chuck was still spinning rather than letting it come to a stop because I could cut 5 seconds off the time per part. I refused and so they fired me. They also fired my brother out of spite as well. They told me to do this after the guy who operated it before me lost a finger because he grabbed the part while the chuck was still spinning. The worst part is that out of 3 machine shops I worked at every one of them was the same way. This is with the regulations in place and they just figured fines/medical payments were so little that it was worth the risk. If you took those same protections away this kind of thing would be even more common.
  • As usual you're throwing the proverbial baby out with the bathwater.
  • So, MN, you also want a private military bases in your principles. See how absurd your "govt. can't or shouldn't do anything" rhetoric really is?
  • Batvanq the meds, you are suppose to take them.
  • Guess you took the blue pill.
  • Lately whenever I hear someone say anything about "common sense", they don't know what that means or they do not have it themselves. It is a way of making a personal attack on someone simply for having a different opinion than yourself. So many of the people who freaked out about this past Presidential election, are the same people who think Government is the solution to every problem. Hint: If we didn't allow our Federal Goverment to have so much power, it wouldn't be as scary to have Trump as the current President because his power would be so limited. But those of us who were upset for the last 8 years and said the President was heaping too much power upon his office, were laughed at and called racists.
  • POTUS can't just give themselves more power. It was given slowly, over time, by Congress. So don't try and blame Obama for POTUS having more power than you think they should have (in many ways I agree, but that isn't the point of discussion right now).
  • You don't think Obama is partially to blame? How about getting into the paris agreement (which is in fact a treaty) without Congress approval? Or how about action in the middle east and Syria without Congress approval? Or how about enforcing marriage and bathroom laws upon the country as a whole when these are enumerated rights of the State in the Constitution? You're right that this isn't the conversation relating to this article, but you're dead wrong on thinking that Obama didn't breach his limits of power constantly. Now Trump is doing the same, unfortunately.
  • Congress got us into the Paris agreement. They approved the framework for the agreement, the agreement also is not a treaty. It was almost every country saying "we'll cut our carbon emissions" while providing no way to enforce it other then shaming the countries that fail. But yes let's use irrelevant 'facts' to support our side without any understanding of these 'facts'.
  • Apparently you missed the memo where it said only take the blue pill if you believe the political lies over the last 40 years
  • F*ck the government. Big business needs to run this country.
  • The government doesn't run the country. Career politicians that are attorneys run the country.
  • Hey, at least we need a government to bail out Big Business when they run the country into trouble like they did in 2008....
  • They already do. Our politicians are bought by corporations to do their bidding and look where it's gotten us...
  • Big Business never wants the Government involved. .....until they need them to bail out their unbridled greed and short-sightedness.
  • Very true. Which is awful because these crony capitalists give Capitalism a bad name, even though it's proven time and time again to be the best solution. Far better than government regulation and "re-distribution of wealth" which is a fancy way of saying "stealing".
  • Yeah sure. Pure unregulated capitalism would result in even more money getting funneled straight to the top. What we have now is a regulated capitalist system and still too much money goes right to the top. I think what you mean is "capitalism is a great way to build a country" but it's not really a great way to maintain a country. At least not the people at the bottom of the scale in the country.
  • Capitalism is like the high and low tides of the ocean. You're always going to have social classes, but everyone gets richer. If you don't believe me, look around you. without capitalism you aren't going to have a big screen tv or a smartphone as capable as you have today. If you think i'm wrong, go look at the smartphones they have in North Korea or Venezuela, and see what kind of TV's and internet access they enjoy. I mean exactly what I said. Of course money will get funneled to the top, because without wealth, no one can afford to run and operate a business. Capitalism's regulation is the people. If you see a company rejecting service to a particular race, you stop shopping there because they're scum bags. If someone doesn't want to sell a cake to a same sex couple, you don't shop there. No government regulation needed in that system. Look at the bailouts of the auto industry from your "Government regulation" of capitalism.
  • I hate it when A.C. takes sides, as if you have the best and only grasp of the issues.
  • Considering that mega Tech Corporations are the biggest backers of net neutrality, it sounds like they are trying to push this through for their own benefit at the tax payers expense. Net neutrality would also benefit AC when the government builds up all the network infrastructure at our expense so websites like AC will have more subscribers. Not that I want AC to fail but the internet has plenty of growth in the US. I live in the middle of nowhere and have fiber. City's, Counties, and States need to develop infrastructure, not the federal government.
  • Just having the infrastructure isn't going to automatically give sites more customers... Come on now. 
  • In a perfect world free market would be fine, and work. But when given the opportunity to be greedy and evil, most big companies choose to be greedy and evil. Then they just call it 'business'.
  • Politicians, like business people, are prone to greed. And more prone to a drive for power. Neither is immune.
  • It's big greedy companies influencing greedy politicians. Humans cant be trusted.
  • In your world , it appears ANY profit is due to greed.
  • At a certain point, yes.
  • You are right Daniel, stay out of it.
  • Thank you for attempting to raise awareness Android Central. It is appreciated by those who understand its importance. Can't save everyone though sadly.
  • @DanteFilth...A typical statist who believes the government can/should save us from ourselves. Because without government, who else could we count on to really f*** sh*t up?
  • The problem is that people like you are shooting down these regulations telling the government to stay out of it while existing harmful government regulations remain in place. If all of the regulations were gone we might have a chance to live in your self regulated fantasy land. Right now the single ISP in my area is increasing prices while simultaneously lowering data caps and no one else can legally provide any competition. The people here pushed for years to get a municipal ISP built and after millions were spent that too was outlawed.
  • Kirksucks hit the nail on the head. There is much good on the surface of net neutrality and it's opposition. Both sides offer very meaningful and consumer and business friendly Solutions. However neither is perfect. And when we as human beings are left to our own devices we will undoubtedly error on the side of greed and Corruption as we have demonstrated over and over and over again throughout history. Do we always end up in this state in all areas of our lives? No. But does it happen often enough and end up affecting way too many people negatively when it does occur? Yes. I don't believe that as a general rule government and regulation is the answer, it is not. However I am only one voice and have only so much time and ability, I am not a duopoly, a monopoly, a pac, a mega-corporation, I do not have the necessary firepower or voice power to investigate every single issue that might hinder me in whatever I'm doing and then make a decision on what I buy sell or who I vote for. I wish I did. I need to rely on some sort of organizational clearinghouse that would have my best interest at heart and ensure that what any organization is reporting is true. I wish it weren't the case but there is just too much out there for any single person to be able to make sense of and to really know whether they're being ripped off or not so that they can vote with their dollars and choose another provider. I wish it was that simple. I wish competition would work, because in most cases it does, but in this case it simply does not. How is it competition when I have 2 ISP's to choose from? How do I vote with my dollars in that case?
  • The point is to prevent such sneaking plans and provide the fair and reasonable rates under Section 201 of Title II of Communication Act. Everyone has the right to use the Internet equally. By following a practice of paid prioritization would benefit the few while regular users suffer because let's face it, ISPs don't go to such lengths to change their infrastructure and separate their servers between different users. If this Title II of Communication Act is retracted from being applied then it will give complete freedom to the telecom companies to do whatever they want, knowing that the broadbrand privacy law has already provided them with unfair advantage. If it wasn't that harmful giants like Google, Facebook, and Amazon wouldn't be supporting the cause, which means that there is something worth looking into. Support from other prominent brands like Reddit, Netflix, Etsy, PureVPN, and Mozilla is a positive message to help repeal Ajit Pai's actions against Net Neutrility.
  • Might as well disband the entire FCC so that the market can equilibriate itself! The markets will take care of themselves!
  • For all of you who are complaining about lack of competition in your town. Blame your local government. https://www.wired.com/2013/07/we-need-to-stop-focusing-on-just-cable-com...
  • Whatever your opinion about government, the way the internet is now is fine for the most part. So I don't buy the fcc chair cry for deregulation. And I don't think anyone else should buy it either. He just wants to take advantage of and make money off of consumers that don't know any better.
  • I think the solution is something to compete with the internet itself. A wireless unregulatable platform that is free and open. This doesn't exist yet, but maybe someone day quantum physics will allow it to. Until that exists you will have the government give a minority of providers a near monopoly in the marketplace and then claim it needs to step into to correct for that lack of competition which it created in the first place.