What are the pros and cons of net neutrality?

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  1. dianetrotter profile image69
    dianetrotterposted 11 months ago

    Is net neutrality having a negative impact on the economy?  Is it better for Internet providers to provide faster services discriminantly?

    1. wilderness profile image97
      wildernessposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      My very limited understanding of this is that companies cannot sell the product buyers want to purchase.  Instead they are forced to either sell an inferior one or give away the improvements that makes one product preferable over another.  An elimination of competition, in other words.

      Bad enough that congress forces us to purchase products we don't want or use, but now they won't let the ones we DO want be sold?  This is hardly the basis for a free economy, not even one that controls abuses.

      1. dianetrotter profile image69
        dianetrotterposted 11 months agoin reply to this

        Thanks Wilderness!  I hope we don't revert to dial up!

        1. wilderness profile image97
          wildernessposted 11 months agoin reply to this

          As long as there are at least two providers in the country I don't see that happening.  It's called competition.

          1. GA Anderson profile image82
            GA Andersonposted 11 months agoin reply to this

            Hey Wilderness, this topic has a couple aspects that, I think, would be good fodder for discussion. Like you, I was/am not very familiar with more than just the basics of the issue, but I am 'reading-up' on it, and trying to form a pro or con opinion.

            While I am a gung-ho Capitalist, I do believe there are certain private enterprises that cannot be left entirely to free-market concepts - like our electric and water utilities, for example.

            Following your perspective of free market competition, and your qualifier; "...As long as there are at least two providers...", I wonder how the detail that only 16% (+/- a point or two), of us have a choice of two or more high-speed internet providers affect your thoughts on the issue?

            Here is a short WSJ.com video that does a fair job of defining the debate: Net Neutrality - A Simple Explanation

            I am pondering two questions; "Should access to high-speed internet be an economic determination?" and, "Should internet access, in today's world, be treated like a utility, such as those covered by FTC Common Carrier regulation?"

            What do you think?

            GA

            1. wilderness profile image97
              wildernessposted 11 months agoin reply to this

              It looks to me like this law is aimed more at companies wishing high speed loading of their sites than the home computer enthusiast.  And I also question your statistic of only 16% have more than one possibility (though "high speed" needs defining) - most locations in towns of any size have an option of a DSL or a cable ISP.  Many towns have wireless as well, and everyone has the possibility of satellite.  I can buy a phone plan as well, allowing unlimited tethering at 3G speeds.  Yes, some are faster than others - that's what competition is all about.  Pay them enough and a cable company will run cable into the heart of the Grand Canyon - that you choose to live there is not a reason to limit others to what you can get.

              But I can't see making it like power, water or sewer services, simply because it is not realistic to run more than one power line or water/sewer pipe to every residence.  It is realistic to have more than one ISP provider, though, and more than one choice for a server.

              Biggest problem, as I see it, is that competition breeds innovation and improvement...unless prices are controlled, whereupon there is no reason to provide anything better than anyone else is.  When prices/profits are limited, as they are for normal monopoly type utilities you just don't see the innovations going on that we do in the free market place.

              1. dianetrotter profile image69
                dianetrotterposted 11 months agoin reply to this

                I like you guys' discussion.  GA, thank you for the link.  I am thinking about home users, old people, disabled and the impact.

                My choices are Spectrum (old TWC) and Frontier (old Verizon - really ticked when it changed).  DirectTV tried to trick me with internet but it's not their own - it's Spectrum.

                Companies assume that everyone has internet.

                1. GA Anderson profile image82
                  GA Andersonposted 11 months agoin reply to this

                  Hi Diane, I am glad you are enjoying the conversation. I am hopeful that before we are done some of the most biased pro-or-con statements will be examined. I want more than 'gut reactions' to build an opinion on.

                  For instance; The link I provided gave a figure of 16% of us only having one ISP to choose from, when in fact, as Wilderness mentioned, almost all of us have at least two; Satellite and DSL access, besides the large segment of us that also have cell phone and cable or fiber optics access.

                  GA

                  1. dianetrotter profile image69
                    dianetrotterposted 11 months agoin reply to this

                    What's annoying is that it is cheaper to pay for phone/internet/tv rather than 2 services.  That presents a wiring problem for phone.

                    Many elderly people can't afford to pay for these services.  I live in a mountainous area.  Cable is needed just to watch regular channels.  I haven't been able to get antennas to work.

              2. GA Anderson profile image82
                GA Andersonposted 11 months agoin reply to this

                I think your points about competition and innovation are strong ones Wilderness, and relative to the questioning of the 16% number, I suspect that might be a reference to cable or fiber optics service providers. It seems that `standard' for broadband service is what everyone wants. Understanding that at least satellite, if not mobile phone and DSL, service is available everywhere, it seems a logical conclusion.

                So, could the point of limited access, (the 16% rational), be one of those 'wanting a Cadillac on a Volkswagon budget' arguments?

                My ISP is Comcast cable broadband. I think their prices are too high, and they do have a monopoly on cable service in my area, so maybe that was why I didn't carry that 16% thought through to the Satellite and DSL options. But ... I cringe at the thought of having to `downgrade' to any of those slower non-cable  choices.

                As I process this, it does seem like that "Volkswagon" budget reasoning is sound, and the "no ISP choices" argument is not a legitimate one. Unless of course we adopt an "It's not fair that I have to pay more" rational.

                I think I can go with that thought on this particular pro-Net Neutrality argument, but, until pressed to defend it, I will wonder if I am missing some aspect of it. As nathanville presented in his "Climate Change thread; I will wait for that "Falsifiability(sp?)" challenge to nail it down.

                Next up ... The "fast lane - slow lane" argument.

                GA

                1. wilderness profile image97
                  wildernessposted 11 months agoin reply to this

                  I'm a little confused over this whole thing.  I have cable as well, and there are multiple choices as to speed and what I'm willing to pay for higher speeds.  I DID have DSL and it, too, had different packages available.  My current phone plan gives me 2G of LTE data, followed by switching to 3G speeds, but I can buy a plan with unlimited LTE (if I don't tether).

                  So what did this great law do for me?  If I want higher speeds, or more of it, I have to pay more.  I don't buy the Cadillac, purchasing a Chevy instead - doesn't the law say I must have Cadillac anyway, without paying for it?  I'm confused.

      2. colorfulone profile image85
        colorfuloneposted 11 months agoin reply to this

        BINGO! It was advocate by the Obama admin. It was the brainchild of a socialist professor who wanted government control of the Internet to kill online “capitalist” advertising and to promote “socialist principles." 

        I hope the FCC will do away with the socialist rules and free up the internet.  It sounds like they are in favor of allowing Sinclair and the Tribune to merge, which would expand their reach at the local level.

        We don't need the government regulating the internet and making up the rules. To many have already suffered big loses in revenues, and loss of traffic because of Google algorithm rigging, Twitter, Facebook and now YouTube unfair censoring.

    2. RJ Schwartz profile image92
      RJ Schwartzposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      I just published a Hub on this topic - please refer to it for more information
      https://hubpages.com/politics/The-Ups-a … to-Be-Gone

      1. colorfulone profile image85
        colorfuloneposted 11 months agoin reply to this

        Thanks for sharing that.

      2. dianetrotter profile image69
        dianetrotterposted 11 months agoin reply to this

        Thank you!

      3. dianetrotter profile image69
        dianetrotterposted 11 months agoin reply to this

        I really feel it should be considered a utility.  Every company seems to have online support and billpay.  When you call customer support, they refer you to their website.  Often it becomes a vicious circle.

        It looks classification of a utility is very important.

 
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