Sunday, May 14, 2006

Don't Believe What They Say

A new site has popped up concerning the ongoing battle centering around the internet. However, unlink all the one's that I have linked and showed to you, this one does NOTsupport neutrality. Over at HandsOffTheInternet, they state:

Hands Off The Internet is a nationwide coalition of Internet users united together in the belief that the Net's phenomenal growth over the past decade stems from the ability of entrepreneurs to expand consumer choices and opportunities without worrying about government regulation.We believe consumers across America see the results of this "hands off"approach - through such benefits as expanded distance education opportunities, improved access and speed to almost any information,on-line commerce, and an easier and inexpensive way to communicate with family and colleagues.

Okay, so they consider Net Neutrality as a form of government regulation. And if you look at there little cartoon clip, you could see that they are painting this as an attempt by the content providers as a way to make millions of dollars while passing the cost on to the consumers, and that net neutrality will be over-regulation of the net and hurt consumers. Well, they may sound very scary. I mean, who wants government always getting in the way? Well, according to this article, Network Neutrality has always been regulated. Now, as much as I am a proponent for a neutral internet, I am also an advocate of doing your own research. As far as I know, I am not aware of Network Neutrality being an amendment law. I am aware of former FCC chairman Micheal Powell implemented a set of standards for the broadband access to the internet in 2004 due to examples of discrimination that were cropping up during that time. Where endangered network neutrality is the revision of these standards by current FCC Chairman Kevin Martin that made discrimination very weak compared to the old standards. I am still looking for any proof of regulation for discrimination and if any of you can provide me with a answer then please e-mail or leave a message.

Even if the internet was never regulated, it was not because of the lack of government control. It was more to do the huge number of competitors during the start of it. With so many competitors, neutrality did not need to become a law, as any provider who would discriminate services and protocols would be tossed away by consumers for one that was neutral. However, with the passing of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the telecoms's preceded to buy each other out, in effect creating a duopoly in network providers. According to HandsOffTheInternet, regulation is still not necessary. The truth is that we may no longer have a choice. The idea of letting the market run itself is reserved for markets that are almost perfectly competitive, where the supply and demand is out of control of a single group and instead is controlled by the market itself. However, under a duopoly or monopoly, these rules no longer apply. The suppliers of a duopoly or monopoly ARE the market. As Tim Wu pointed out in his original essay on Network Neutrality, the network providers no longer have a incentive to keeping networks neutral. Since they face no competition that would keep them honest, nor any regulations, they are free to do with the internet as they please and that is much worse then having government regulate simple provisions that we have gone by for the past 26 years whether it was law or not.

Secondly, the statement that content providers will make millions while passing the cost on to the consumers is nuts! I still for the life of me don't know why this argument is still being used. Maybe it is true that the more you say a lie the more you believe it. The fact of the matter is that content providers must pay for the bandwidth cost, and they pay A LOT for it. Read this article from Forbes about the cost of bandwidth that they have been wadding through.

And if that doesn't convince you that what their sprouting is lies and misguidance, just check out who their contributors are. Yep, thats right. The same network providers who want to close the internet! So sad I tell you, so sad.....

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Lack of content

Sorry about the lack of content in the past week. Finals week is upon me and I have a lot of work to do, including a paper on this particular issue for Political Science. I will still post any breaking news that comes along. I still have to update the site as well with a new batch of links. I should be getting that done this week. One think that I will be doing when I'm done is making my paper available for download when I'm done. So if you want to read it and have any comments on it, you will be free to do so. Anyway, bye for now guys!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

I Guess Money Really Does Talk.....

Reuters is reporting that the Big U.S. Financial Sector is getting into the fight for Net Neutrality. Surprisingly, their on Net Neutralities side. Clip from the article:

For the financial services sector, which is expected to spend $117 billion on information technology this year, tiered pricing could add billions more in expenses to maintain online banking services and other Web offerings -- costs that could hit the bottom line or be passed on to customers.

But it's a fight the financial sector almost missed.

"Net neutrality is an issue that (financial services) firms ignore at their peril," Philip Corwin, a partner at Washington law firm Butera & Andrews, wrote in a memo circulating among financial services lobbyists.

"If the industry does not engage quickly, it may find that the matter has been decided without its input and that the fallout will affect the industry's cost structure and customer relations for years to come," he added.

I have always said that Net Neutrality is beneficial for all of us, so this does not come as a surprise to me. The fact that the financial industry is just starting to take notice is what really bothers me. It confirms my suspicions that does in other industries do not see the huge externality that throwing away the Net Neutrality principals will bring to their companies. There's also one quote from the article coming from a AT&T PR person that just baffles me. Money quote:

But AT&T said those efforts would hurt consumers and action by Congress could deter investment in new advanced networks.

"If anything is going to halt necessary investments in next generation networks it will be Congress dictating business models to companies," said Claudia Jones, AT&T spokeswoman.

"The finance community should be wary of wolves in sheep's clothing who are attempting to codify the status quo to their own benefit and to the detriment of consumers everywhere," she said.

Could deter investment? HOW?!?! We have been in a state of Network Neutrality since the conception of the internet, and now keeping those principals would suddenly halt necessary investments to create a better network? And it's interesting that you mention business models, because the current one you have seems to be doing you just fine! And I'm pretty sure that $200 billion in tax payer money could have helped you build a better network. As for the last quote, I find that one the most hilarious. Be wary of wolves? YOU ARE THE WOLVES!!

Monday, May 01, 2006

New York Times Chimes In

An editorial in the New York Times weighed in today on Net Neutrality. Short clip:

One of the Internet's great strengths is that a single blogger or a small political group can inexpensively create a Web page that is just as accessible to the world as Microsoft's home page. But this democratic Internet would be in danger if the companies that deliver Internet service changed the rules so that Web sites that pay them money would be easily accessible, while little-guy sites would be harder to access, and slower to navigate. Providers could also block access to sites they do not like.

What I love most about the article is that its simple, to the point and easy to understand. If you ever want to talk about Net Neutrality to a person who has not heard of it before, I highly recommand pointing them to this article just for starters. It's a must read.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Network Neutrality Bill Voted Down In Congress

In a very unfortunate and sad moment today, Congress decided that they will make the internet less free and open. In a vote today, the members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee shot down a Net neutrality amendment to the COPE Act in a 22-to-34 vote. One of the interesting about voting was how much it went down partisan lines. When did this become a Democrate vs. Republican thing? This is not a partisan issue! This is a issue for all americans!

While the COPE Act does add some fair treatment principles, it still gives the ablility for telco's to create a two-tier internet service, which is the real biggie here. Lucky for us, this isn't the end of it. The amendment still has to be heard in the Senate, and as the Coalition at Save The Internet notes, momentum is swinging to our side. Now is the time to act! Get in contact with your congressmen and tell them how much keeping the internet free means to you!

Oh, by the way, here's a list of how the voting went down.

Monday, April 24, 2006

See, I told you this was important!

You remember how I said in my first post that this was going to be a big deal? How this was going to be important to all of us? Well, today, the coalition at have setup shop for the rest of the world to join in the fight to protect the internet from the big telco and cable compaines.Now, you may be wondering why this is so important. I mean, it's just another website site, right? Don't we have dozens of these "save-the-internet" type sites? Well, we do, but not like this one. Just take a quick look at their list of members.

What I love about this list is not only that the groups on it can represent a far reaching amount of american votes, but also the diversity of it. Gun Owners of America? Afro-Netizen? This only goes to show that this isnt just in the interest of any particular group, but in the interest of everyone.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Welcome to my blog!

Hello everybody. My name is Adam Collado, the creator of this fine blog. While I have occasionally dabbled in writing other blogs, this one is taking more of a serious tone. What this blog will be about is something that is affecting everybody, or will soon affect everybody. I will be talking about the Internet. To be more specific, its about the current attack of the internet by cable and telecommunication (who will, for the remainder of this blog, be called telco's) compaines.

Now, if you are a person familiar with this, then thats good. However, I hope that you are not familiar with this. I hope that your asking yourself how is the internet being attack. The reason why I hope your clueless is because the one's who need to be informed is exactly those who are clueless. My goal, the goal of this blog, is to get more people informed, and more importantly, involved in this ongoing saga.

Now that I you know what my goal is, its about time that I explain to you just what the hell am I talking about. What I am talking about is Network Netruality. Now, I'm pretty sure your asking just what is Network Netruality, and how does this apply to me. Basically, as defined by its wikipedia entry:

Network neutrality is a principle of network design. It asserts that, in order to promote innovation, network service providers such as telephone and cable internet companies should not be permitted to dictate how those networks are used (i.e., not permitted to ban certain types of programs, to ban certain types of devices connecting to the network, or to favor carriage of traffic to certain web sites over others).
In layman's terms, its just a set of ideals and rules that help promote the growth of the internet. However, over the past year, these principles have been under attack by the powerful telco and cable compaines. The reason is simple: profit and power at the expense of the consumer. As much as I would love to update you on everything, it would be far to much to write in a single blog post. The best I could do now is provide you with some links that discuss the points of each side, some of the background concerning Network Netruality, past events that have shaped the argument to the present, and ways that you could could get involved in the debate.

Wikipedia Entry - Network Neutrality
Center for Digital Democracy
Techdirt - Articles on Network Neutrality
James Seng - Network Neutrality
Cybertelecom - Net Neutrality
Network Neutrality: A Broad Band Wild West? (pdf)

I will be posting more in the links section. If you have any questions that you wish to asking, feel free. Whether its trying to find out more on the subject, provide some knowledge on the subject, arguing for or against, I welcome all post.