What Net Neutrality is and what it isn’t

The last couple of days has been a minor bout of head aches. It seems that no matter how smart you are in other areas, some people can still get other things wrong.

I’ve been arguing with a physics professor named Ricardo Rademacher, hence forth known as Mr. Rademacher. He supports the repeal of Net Neutrality because:

1) “Ma Bell” is an instructive example of why the government needs to stay out of telecom. The growth of mobile phones is another example.

2) The fast, broadband internet we have it today is the result of company investment, not government.

3) Free speech was not stifled, nor in danger of being stifled prior to 2015.

For these reasons and more, I support the repeal of title 2 protection.

His #1 and #2 points here make sense IF he was talking about how technology has been stiffed by the government WHICH IT HASN’T because the internet was a government project BEFORE it became a commercial one. Also, #3 is only partially related to Net Neutrality. The government is neutral on how technology evolves with the internet. The government ONLY upholds policies against carriers abusing its role in providing a gateway to the world wide web.

At the very core of Net Neutrality, it is the following:

  • 1) Prior to 2015, it wasn’t simply about free speech. It was actually about phone carriers who double up as internet service providers having the authority to block all of their users from accessing specific websites.
  • 2) Net Neutrality is removing that authority from carriers and enforcing a policy where all carriers and ISP’s MUST allow its users the open access to all websites, no matter its contents, so long as those contents are not illegal.
  • 3) The internet isn’t just a tool or a platform. It is a virtual world. Phones and television are tools. To try to limit access to certain parts of the internet, is like limiting access for every day people into various places around the city because that company doesn’t want you to get that access. It should NOT be up to the ISP or carrier to limit your access to those websites because they don’t have any relationship with those websites. That authority lies with the individual websites. The ISP and carrier acts like a gateway, a doorway and that’s all they should be.

Mr. Rademacher also made the following comment:

“Furthermore, without Net Neutrality,” we will be charged more to maintain the same internet speeds because ISPs will legally be allowed to, and will be further charged to access websites.”

Yeaup. In capitalism, the key is that you charge what the public will pay, not what the product is worth. Thus, if they can charge more and we can pay that, we will. If they charge more and we can’t/won’t pay that, they won’t. The balance between what the public will pay and won’t pay is what determines the final worth of the product, in this case, internet access.

Further, if you want access to netflix or hulu, you might have to pay more… just like if you want access to HBO or Showtime, you pay more for cable. That model has worked fine for cable for close to 40 years without having to make it title 2 protected so I see no need to “kneejerk” and bring the government into things, to make the internet a “public utlity”, to, in effect, have the government tell corporations what they can and cannot do with the backbones the corporations built, not the government.

Market forces will prevail, as they have for cable TV and mobile phones (neither under title 2 protection) and that is another reason I support title 2 repeal of the internet.

It’s really amazing how someone can get something so utterly wrong. He’s mixing a whole bunch of different things together to try to argue why Net Neutrality should be repealed. You know why his information is wrong? Take for example Canada, they already have Tiered Internet Services, but Tiered Internet Services means “X” bandwidth + “Y” speeds on a monthly basis. It doesn’t give internet service providers the authority to censor what its users can see. Repealing Net Neutrality means carriers and ISP’s HAVE THE AUTHORITY to do just that.

The reason why his Cable Television example is totally off the mark in trying to make a comparison with the Internet, is because Cable Television is like going to the movie theatres. Using the internet is like getting access to one giant network of information. Cable television has one specific purpose: a one-way singular delivery system for entertainment to the watcher. The internet on the other hand has a broad assortment of purposes. It is a virtual world in which people from around the world can interact with each other using many different platforms.

Mr. Rademacher continues with his remark, as follows:

Work through my other example then:
Mobile Phone internet however is not under title 2 protection and it’s doing fine and there is no big movement to get it under title 2 protection.
What is different about mobile phone internet providers such that it doesn’t need title 2 protection but other providers do?

In which I responded, in near frustration because he is just not understanding what NN is:

You’re comparing apples to truck tires. Two totally different things.

Cable television, mobile phones and cars have one specific use. Cables deliver one-way entertainment. Mobile phones delivery a chatting service. Cars are used for driving and delivery.

The internet is not specific to any of those things. The internet is an information gateway where people can interact with each other, by sharing, conversing, debating, researching, so on and so forth.

If my children want to research for homework, they will go to the internet. They’re not going to use the television or their mobile phone or drive a car. If my parents want to use Royal Bank of Canada to pay bills, they’re not going to watch television to do that, nor are they are going use a phone or a car to do that. If my wife wants to access their company intranet, she will use the internet to connect to it. She’s not going to drive a car, use a phone or watch television to do that.

Here’s an analogy for you. What’s the difference between using a phone booth (mobile phone) and having access to an entire city (internet)?

My analogy unfortunately did not work, because he couldn’t put 2 and 2 together, plus I admit I could have used a better analogy. He responded:

“Mobile phones delivery a chatting service.”
Smartphones do more than that: they are legitamate internet platform

“f my children want to research for homework, they will go to the internet. They’re not going to use the television or their mobile phone or drive a car”

In fact they can use their mobile phone and if old enough to drive, they can drive to the library

” If my parents want to use Royal Bank of Canada to pay bills, they’re not going to watch television to do that, nor are they are going use a phone or a car to do that. ”

In point of fact, royal bank of canada has a mobile phone app and like above, they can very much use their car to drive to a royal bank outlet

“Here’s an analogy for you. What’s the difference between using a phone booth (mobile phone) and having access to an entire city (internet)?”

Phone booths don’t have internet access.
Mobile phones and computers do.

Mobile phones and cars are not under title 2 protection and yet are just as “necessary” as the internet. Further, we have an example in “ma bell” of what happens when we put telecoms under title 2 protection.

The internet still works today and will work tomorrow… call me when it stops working and then we can resume this conversation.

At this point, I threw my arms up in the air and loudly exclaimed, “How fucking stupid can this guy get?!” I couldn’t stop thinking about the cast in Just Kidding News between Bart, Joe and their guest, David talking about this exact same matter. I can just totally ‘hear’ David saying exactly how retarded the response Mr. Rademacher is making and in my original response to him, I was pretty fed up with the fact he’s just not getting it. However, I changed a few of my words around right after I posted my response because I am of the thought that I should treat people, even if they are utterly daft, with as much patience as I would need to speak with a six year old child. So my evolved response was:

You’re still twisting this into something entirely different. Let me put it in a different way…

Mobile phone carriers in which the member buys into a data plan CANNOT BLOCK YOU from using specific websites in the internet. Period. Mobile phone carriers can ONLY sell you a tiered service that includes the access to ALL websites. A tiered service would mean “X” amount of gigabytes of total bandwidth per month on “Y” speeds. That’s all it is.

To give you an example: After Net Neutrality was made into policy, ALL internet and mobile service providers have tiered plans with X bandwidth and Y speeds, but ALL of them give full access to ALL websites no matter the tier. <– This isn’t what repealing Net Neutrality is. THIS IS WHERE YOU ARE GETTING IT WRONG.

Repealing Net Neutrality means a carrier can block users from entering a specific website.

For example, let’s say I own Comcast and you use Comcast. Let’s say I am an ultra-right wing supporter and I don’t like everything that is not Breitbart. I can in fact block you and every member from accessing any website, EXCEPT Breitbart. <— THIS is what repealing Net Neutrality means.

Prior to 2015, AT&T blocked ALL Apple product users from using Facetime because they wanted all of their members to use something else that they are partnered with. This was when authorities were called in and President Obama introduced Net Neutrality.

Internet Service Providers are NOT the same as cable television providers or car retailers or mobile phone carriers. If a company offers mobile services and they also offer mobile internet services, then they follow the same rules in Net Neutrality as other ISP’s.

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PS:

1. Libraries carry books that contain outdated books. Students over here go to the library so they can use the internet in peace without disruptions.

2. Using a car to drive somewhere IS NOT THE SAME as using the internet. Seriously, what is wrong with you?!

3. Mobile phone carriers are REQUIRED BY LAW to OPEN UP THE INTERNET FULLY even in tiered data services. \

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Lastly, this isn’t about whether the internet is working today, tomorrow, next week or next year. This is about the FCC, the authority over how the internet is being used by carriers, giving away that power and allowing those carriers it regulates that same power on their own. THIS opens up a whole new can of worms.

I am less worried about myself than how information is going to be delivered or blocked in the future, for my kids and their kids.

You know how China’s internet works? EXACTLY THE WAY REPEALING Net Neutrality works.

I briefly visited your profile. I saw some of the stuff you posted. You seem like a pretty smart guy, but WHY are you getting this specific thing wrong? It’s like you’re reading something entirely different!

I’m going to leave it at that. I feel that if I read another response from him, I’m going to face palm myself so hard, my head will fly south into TrumpLand where I don’t want to be.

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