FCC Net Neutrality 15

How does the recent FCC Net Neutrality ruling affect us? It affects our basic internet connectivity, what we pay, and who sets the price. With this ruling the Federal Government is now regulating the largest and most innovative platform in centuries.

It is pretty much guaranteed that the cost of our individual internet will increase because of the ruling.

The ruling puts ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) into the same regulatory framework as telephone companies, which laws have root in the Communications Act of 1934. Yes, we now have our grandfather’s rules to stifle the internet just like they did telephone innovation for over fifty years.

The internet infrastructure is financed by large companies who invest hundreds of millions of dollars in building and upgrading the system. ISP’s like ATT, Earthlink, Sprint, Verizon, etc. make these huge investments, and get a return by selling connectivity to consumers, businesses, and content providers. Some of these content providers use large amounts of bandwidth by streaming movies and program content to individual consumers, and right now, these customers are not really paying for the bandwidth they receive.

Companies like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu are the ones streaming high bandwidth video over the internet, posing a problem for the internet suppliers. ISP’s have to invest additional millions of dollars in upgrading the system, and would like to charge the Netflix’s of the world for that bandwidth.

Some ISP’s have penalized Netflix and other video streamers by slowing the data streams to their customers. This has raised a howl from Netflix, etc. To pay for the increased demand for their services, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc., do not want want to raise their price to consumers because they, too, are in a competitive market.

That’s where the government comes in to “take the part of the consumer”. Now, the ISP’s are not allowed to treat any one customer differently from any other. Every customer on the internet is entitled to the same bandwidth as any other customer for the same price. This means that the ISP’s will raise their prices on everybody to pay for the increased investment, and we all will pay for the bandwidth for people addicted to Netflix and Amazon streaming services.

There is a danger the ISP’s will dig-in and not fund the massive investments necessary to upgrade the internet to handle all that streaming traffic. Innovation can plummet just like when the US  Government backed the AT&T telephone monopoly for over fifty years.

Do you think there will be additional “fees” on your internet statement, now that the Federal Government has decided to regulate what we read, think, say, and pay?

Left alone, the market would solve the problem. People would pay for their movie watching thrills, and others would pay for the bandwidth they use and generate. For some reason the government does not like that.

Net Neutrality is not neutral. It is an attack on the freedom of the internet to give away services to those who do not want to pay. Does this sound familiar?

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Plato’s Cave 7

Before I use intellectual shock and awe on people, let me say that I learned of this story through listening to an Audible book, “The Joy of Ancient History” by a whole bunch of historian type scholars. I would like to think that I am a good listener.

picture of Greek theater mask from wikipedia

Wikipedia Greek Theater Mask
Tragedy or Comedy?

The Cave Allegory is all about the difference between seeing the world in a cave, shackled so that you can only see shadows on the wall, versus being brought to the surface to discover a different world in bright sunlight.

My father’s allegory was pretty similar. It involved a country boy on his first trip out of the backwoods, trying to buy a cup of coffee and a piece of pie at the Greyhound bus station lunch-counter. When asked what kind of pie he wanted, the country boy replied, ” I didn’t know there was anything other than sweet potato pie.”

In both cases people found themselves in a different world than the one in which they were trained. Suddenly, what they had learned was no longer relevant, and they were assaulted with new truths.

The Plato thing is supposed to be a commentary on education, and how we let our educations dominate our view of the world whether or not these views are valid. Indeed, how do we know that our new sunshine experience is not more of the figurative shadows on the wall?

The world is what it is. The world exists in all its physical glory whether or not our philosophy agrees. The aspirations of people are the same all over the world. The basics of economics are not overthrown by religion, politics, or schoolboy ideas.

From what cave did Barack Obama appear? What did he have as his shadows on the wall in his education and raising? His mother’s generation were hippies. His fathers’ families were Muslim, socialist, and tribal.

Obama’s college education was cave-like at Ivy League schools. What? Ivy League being compared to a cave?  Yup! As long as liberal, Ivy League professors keep running off the tracks in their archaic, nineteenth century political philosophies, they are in their own figurative caves. Impressionable kids like Barack Obama learn bad history, bad economics, and bad social theory. We are way past the time of Marx and his crowd.

Sometimes we just want to tell Obama to go back to his little cave and leave thinking people alone. I don’t think he ever came out of his cave into the intellectual sunshine, and there is no chance he ever will.