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June 18, 2006

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Henry Miller

I think this is just another one of those things where in the end the average citizen gets screwed. The internet is a blessing for us lions who refuse to be sheep and believe what the media barons are feeding us.

15 years ago I would have never second guessed what my doctor was telling me. I would have taken his poison pill and never had thought differently. Now, you can basically get on the Internet and discover not only that your doctor quite frankly is a sheep himself, but, also find things that might make your life healthier and happier. Things that FOX or ABC would never say because they don't want to piss off their sponsors.

Turning the Internet into cable TV is exactly the WRONG way to go. Letting corporations decide what we can and cannot search is just a dangerous--maybe even more--and just as "un-American" as letting the government tell us.

For some, the Internet provides the "soap box" for the average person that America has obviously lost. Hopefully these fools in Washington will understand this and choose the most democratic way possible to deal with this situation. But to be quite honest, money talks and freedom walks so my hope is bleak at best....

Marc Mayor

My approach:

1. Stop feeding those who bite your hand, e.g. use Voice over IP instead of a regular phone line, Skype rather than VoIP etc. until the money you send these companies goes to almost zero.

2. Stop financing bad companies, i.e. don't own such stocks on the long side.

3. Short the stocks of the most overbloated pigs. How do you find a good short candidate? It squeals like a pig to defend its monopoly, it spends more money on lobbying than on marketing etc. You get the idea. Short selling being risky, hedge your shorts by going long companies who profit from the trend, e.g. companies in the VoIP business, so you're kind of market neutral. With the profits, you'll have enough money to pay your cable and/or telco bill, and then some. Happy investing!

With the plumbers, it's not quite like a shopping mall. I, as customer, am not required to pay just to enter the mall.

More over, the tenants already pay to be in the mall.

With the tiered internet, it's more like for tenants who pay more, the customers can use the escalators and elevators to go to their shops while customers going to others shops can only use the stairs.

David Davison

Probably one of the best things, action wise, I have read on this topic.

Unfortunately, I dont think any of it will go any place in practice.

As a semi-aside, it is getting old having the telcos keep talking about
how they are not getting paid, and people are using their wires for free.
Either they are getting paid directly, or they have a peering arrangement,
the whole argument is a lie, but the honest truth looks like extortion,
so they cant say that.

nathanh

"[Google, Yahoo, Microsoft are pushing the notion that] Everyone should be allowed to hang out in the town square and use it as they please, one low price, eat all you want at the buffet."

Except that's not true at all. Google pays much more for their Internet connection than I do. The article attempts to caricaturize the debate by implying that Google pays $19.95/month for terabits of bandwidth, when in reality Google would be paying 100s of 1000s of dollars for their Internet connection.

The reality of the debate is that the ISPs have arranged lopsided contracts with each other called "peering agreements". These agreements are beneficial to ISPs with lots of customers like Google and harmful to ISPs with lots of downloaders. But rather than fix the poorly written peering agreements the ISPs want to charge companies like Google for bandwidth even though that ISP doesn't provide Google with an Internet connection! A company like Google would be paying for their Internet connection twice.

This is like the telephone company charging both the person making the call and the person receiving the call. Of course, the telcos are salivating at the thought of doubling their income. But it's a sham and no article should trivialise the debate by claiming it's as if companies like Google are after a "buffet" at "one low price".

catprog

This is like the telephone company charging both the person making the call and the person receiving the call.

No thats how it is at the momment. More accuratly they charge the person making the call, the person getting the call and the person making the call to EVERY exchange the call goes through

Bob

You have it all wrong. ISPs like Verizon and ATT want to deploy new broadband technologies like 3+ Mbps DSL and 10 Mbps fibre. There's nothing wrong with that. Except that it will cost billions of dollars. Where should that money come from? Should the ISP swallow the cost of these upgrades while Yahoo and Google turn around and exploit the fat pipes to make billions in profit? All we're talking about here is to allow the ISP to charge accordingly for the companies that soak up most of the bandwidth. If the ISPs are not allowed to charge extra for the new bandwidth, the fibre will never get rolled out because nobody is going to do it at a loss. I agree the internet itself should be neutral. But it's rediculous to allow advertising companies a free ride. At that rate, we'll never see FTTH in this country.

Christopher Davis

Bob: where should that money come from? Oh, I don't know, maybe from the people who buy that service?

"At that rate, we'll never see FTTH in this country."

We won't, anyway. We were told that the RBOCs would be installing FTTH in return for removing restrictions on their ability to sell other products. Those restrictions were removed. Then we were told they'd be installing FTTH as long as they didn't have to share their lines with CLECs at mandated rates. They don't, any more. Where's FTTH? Waiting for them to be allowed to discriminate over traffic.

I'm sure they'll find another thing they "must have" in order to roll out FTTH as soon as the net neutrality issue has been taken care of in their favor. Probably antitrust exemptions so that they can finally merge Verizon, Qwest, and the current holder of the ATT name and return us to the good old days of Ma Bell.

Xski

catprog, before you accuse Google, MS, Yahoo & others as being 'free-riders' you should ask them how much they pay (yes pay) for bandwidth. Its huge. Telcos are absolutely profitting from every one of those so-called free-riders. Not one of them can deny it. Go ahead, ask them.

So much for the "swallowing the costs" argument.

I've been using Verizon FIOS (thats fiber to the home) for about year now and they're continuing to roll it out across their service areas as are other telcos. You see, big nationwide network upgrades take a long long long time to plan and then when you've completed your plans the tech has changed, so you have to take MORE time to update the plans to current technology and capabilities and this continues through deployment (the equipment installed torwards the end of the deployment will not be the same stuff they're deploying now). It takes a long time to rewire that much of the country. Its coming. Be patient. And if you live in a Quest service area (at least in Oregon), I suggest you move to another providers service area as fast as is feasible.

So much for the "we'll never see ftth in this country' argument. (assuming you're in the US)

If they really wanted to charge accordingly for the companies that soak up most of the bandwidth, they'd be going after the spammers. But honestly, theres not much of a pay off for them to do that and its a heck of a lot more difficult than sending checks to lobbyists, so not much incentive there. Kill off the spammers and what have you done? Well, you've freed up bandwidth certainly but thats not really the point now is it? No, they WANT bandwidth to be used.

Strike three. You're out.

Its not about bandwidth costs. Its not even about the connection between bandwidth use and money. Its just about money. Plumbers see the big profits of the 'free-riders', they want a cut and they know they're not going to be able to squeeze too much more out of John Q. Citizen without risking a backlash and the potential of nasty legislation written as a knee-jerk reaction by legislators too lazy to do the Righ Thing in the first place. So, you go after the other 'big bad bandwidth-hogging, no-paying free-riders' like google, yahoo, ms, etc, coz they have the deep pockets to pay and (the telco industry hopes, so far correctly) lack the 'Washington DC' experience necessary to fight it off. In a nutshell: My Lobbyist can beat up your Lobbyist.

Care to play again?

BTW, this isn't defending the 'free-riders' so much as calling BS on the plumbers. If something needs to be done, fine, just be honest about it or don't expect a great deal of support or respect from me. And if its just about the $$$, perhaps the telcos could go find a business model that can adapt as the world changes instead of using legal and legislative fiction to force the country to accomodate them as-is.


-jmr

MDS

Give Me Bandwidth ... too bad you've been suckered into believing this attempt at changing the law has to do with net neutrality. that's a secondary, perhaps third on the priority list. its simply about access to public property. in addition, not having to pay market rent for use of that property. you know, the one you refer to as "...via local franchise bribes, er, fees, so we get..."
current law requires video service providers to build out an entire community. not "redline", oh don't get offended, read the bill not the press. the telco's don't want to compete directly with each other, in fact, in their own public testimony they only want to gain access to the most affluent, and most populated sections of a town where they have an existing footprint to offer service. like many other changes in our current age of fast info, sound bites, and agressive spin doctors, no one wants to read the fine print, we just like going along with slogans, and ideals, without considering reality.

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