Comments about ‘In our opinion: Court ruling against net neutrality should be applauded’

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Published: Thursday, Jan. 16 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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Salt Lake City, UT

It is obvious from author of this editorial has no clue about what net neutrality is, or the serious issues that arise because of this ruling.

The author does not explain that this ruling rejecting net neutrality allows internet provider to censor ANY content THEY deem objectionable, for any reason they choose. Nothing stops them without net neutrality. See, they could block this site if they chose. Or any blog, or ANY site at all.

It's not just with the serious questions of freedom of speech involved (what if a cable provided, such as comcast, decided to block all sites with a conservative bent, or more insidiously, just drastically slow down those sites? They can do that.), but, unlike the claims of this article, it could drastically affect competition. For instance, a website (say Facebook) could pay the major providers to block all competitors sites. As things stand now they can do that. No law, or regulation stands in their way.

No, this author(s) of this editorial has really not thought this issue through.

Salt Lake City, UT

"Net neutrality rules required broadband service providers to treat all content the same. The FCC imposed these rules in 2010 under the worry that a large and wealthy provider, such as Comcast, might begin either to manage bandwidth in a way that would slow its competitors’ content and speed up its own, or that it would begin charging premium prices for popular content."

But that is not the half of it. Without net neutrality small business with small websites will not be as accessible as they have been, both for content flow and search presence. This will stifle competition and ensure the big guys get bigger, and the little guys get littler or disappear altogether.

To those who oppose government interference in markets, consider that government often intervenes in markets to create competition, or in other words to create a market which will self-regulate. This seems counter intuitive, but that's just what the Carter and Reagan administrations did in breaking up AT&T. Does anyone think that was a bad thing? It ignited innovation and broke up monopoly. Your great god "market forces" would never have done that.

Fairbanks, AK

Yes. The free market will take care of it. That's why the US has the best medical care in the world.

Bountiful, UT

If this ruling stands, I can see Comcast slowing down their competitor Netflix. No doubt there would be other slowdowns. I really don't see how this could help the consumer.

Midwest City, USA, OK

This was a helpful article to read in understanding the situation better. I'm honestly not that interested in the status of "net neutrality", so I'm not familiar much with its implications.

Durham, NC

" a broadband provider now could offer greater protections from objectionable content such as pornography, even if that content is otherwise legal. "

Are you kidding me? What made up world does this author live in. Sure, Comcast or TWC could do this.... in fact that could do this now, without the ruling. This ruling in now way enables this anymore than is possible today. A la carte network channel subscriptions is possible today - the ComCasts of the world choose not to enable that choice.

On the other hand, what is entirely more possible is that providers will be able to create preferred partners - such as aligning with Google vs Yahoo, or the other way around. And in doing so, restrict network bandwidth for those accessing none preferred vendors.

It is the same type of arrangements they now have with the networks... some get hi-definition channels, some don't. But if you think this is going to stem the tide of pornography on the web... good grief you have a deeply misguided notion of what motivates the people who run these networks.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

In this country virtually all news and information sources are controlled by a mere handful of multi-national conglomerates. On the internet, however, it is possible to find small, independent sources. These could be conservative sites like "The American Conservative" or liberal sites like "the American Prospect". These are the types of sites I worry about. Even though they are tiny, the Corporate Media will try to eliminate the competition, leaving us with no independent news and views.

Salt Lake City, UT

I do have to agree with many of the other comments on this editorial. The claim that somehow striking down "net neutrality" is a blow for freedom and we should all be cheering is so propostorous that I'm crying just a little bit more than I am hysterically laughing.

I am no expert on internet regulation (and clearly neither is the Deseret News Editorial Board), but take a minute to ponder how necessary internet access is now. It is just as important as access to public roads, sewers, telephone lines, clean water, and nutritious food. What if these "market forces" could dictate who we could talk to on the phone? That, my friend, is Big Brother. And it isn't just the government big brother we should be worrying about. It's also the large company with specific "values" that they try to impose upon all of us. If we don't have a referee limiting how these big companies can dictate how we live our lives, we all lose out. Thank God there are people out there that care more about fairness and the rule of law than "market forces."

Clearfield, UT

Simply put, what you see or don't see on the internet will become dependent on how much content providers are willing to spend. The behavior of the internet, much like our government, will be bent to serve the interests of wealthy corporations and individuals. Your opinions will be formed by the information they choose to provide, and that situation suits them just fine.

Thoughtful Voter
Spanish Fork, UT

Net neutrality is a really tough subject for myriad reasons. It is certainly more complicated than this dumbed-down op-ed indicates. For starters, this ruling doesn't auto-magically restore "market forces" to internet service provider subscriptions. All ISP's are still delivering content over a lot of infrastructure that they neither invested in, help maintain, or own outright. And much of that infrastructure was -- or still is -- heavily subsidized by public monies. In other words, market forces were not in place as large telecoms got sweetheart deals to deliver content and market forces are still not in place as they make use of that infrastructure to run their business. So -- despite the fact that I agree with the op-ed on the wisdom and helpfulness of potential "market forces" -- this ruling does not restore market forces and seems quite likely to result in abuse by those telecoms lucky enough to have navigated themselves into ipso-facto monopolistic positions of power before it occurred. Consequently, I'm not a fan of unilaterally striking down the reasonable "net neutrality" restrictions those telecos have had to honor up to this point.

The Rock
Federal Way, WA

I have mixed feelings on this.

Sure, I want providers to be able to limit or eliminate porn.
I am a streamer. I do not subscribe to Cable TV. I have a Roku and Amazon Instant Video. Comcast is also my ISP. Comcast could easily slow down my streaming for my Roku and to my computer.

I want net neutrality for some things but don't want it on others.

I am also a research engineer for Boeing. Years ago Boeing made air frames, jet engines and operated an airline. The courts ruled that an air frame builder could not also manufacture jet engines and that they could not operate an airline. Pratt and Whitney and United Airlines were created as a result.

Maybe an ISP should be limited to just being an ISP. Force Comcast to separate their Internet and Cable businesses.


"NEW YORK (AP)--Will broadband providers start charging Internet services such as Netflix to deliver the massive amounts of data that streaming video and other content require?

A court ruling this week gives providers such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon more flexibility to do that, even though immediate changes are unlikely.

Technically, providers have always been allowed to charge Netflix, Google and others for priority treatment. But the so-called net neutrality rules adopted by the FCC in 2010 discouraged the practice, and any attempt to do it would likely have faced a challenge from the agency.

Services such as Netflix already pay their broadband providers to send data from their systems. What's in question is whether they'll also have to pay their subscribers' providers for delivery of the data."

Poplar Grove, UT

In this editorial the the claim is made that if specific sites are slowed down that the market would solve the problem. Has anyone at the Deseret News editorial board looked at who they can buy internet from? If you live along the Wasatch Front you only have 2 or 3 options for speeds over 5gbs, and either no or a large limit on bandwidth you can use. If you live in a UTOPIA city or Provo you have the fiber optic option. For everyone else you really only have Comcast or CenturyLink. Comcast has a netflix clone that they offer, and while it's not offered in Utah, Century Link has internet based TV service called Prism. Why would either of these companies provide the same speed access to their direct competitors like YouTube or Netflix, without those companies paying a high fee to the ISP? That's just one of many many reasons why net neutrality is needed. In 2013 the internet is a virtual requirement for getting things done. The internet is not an information service, it's a public utility, and should be regulated as such.

New Canaan, CT

The observation that consumers can pick another provider ignores a reality. I have a choice of Centry Link with an available download speed of 1.5 MPS or Comcast which starts at over 20 MPS and can be boosted higher for an increased fee. Realistically, I am a slave to Comcast and whatever they want to charge me. This potentially opens the door for Comcast to change my service and I don't have another option.

Deep Space 9, Ut

To "mark" actually this is not a free speech issue. They can censor web sites all they want. If you don't like it, then you are free to find an alternate provider. If the Government was filtering web sites, then you would have grounds to start calling this a free speech issue.

To "Noodlekaboodle" actually you have more options than just Comcast or CenturyLink. There is also DIGIS or the cell phone companies make portable hotspots that can provide highspeed access (depending on where you live).

Net neutrality is not needed.

Salt Lake City, UT

No, Redshirt, it is a free speech issue.

The internet is not like someone buying a hamburger and fries, where you can pick and choose where to eat. The internet is an integral communication medium, not only in this country, but world wide. The internet providers provide access to this communications network. If the providers limit or deny access to people or entities based on the providers corporate motivations they are censoring peoples access. The example I provided is a legitimate issue. Comcast, the largest internet provider in the nation, could deny access to a political party or group, and there would be no recourse. That is censorship. And it is a free speech issue.

It is the exact same thing as if ATT refused to let you make telephone calls, or calls to certain numbers. AT&T is a private company. But it is not allowed to do this because it is regulated. Just like the ISP's should be.

You are confusing the ISP's with the content providers. Content providers, obviously can choose what to put on their websites.

Pasedena, CA

To "mark" you are buying a service from the ISP. They can, and do clearly state how their service works. As long as they state that they filter some sites due to content, there is no free speech issue.

For it to be a free speech issue, they would have to be trying to silence you or have those websites removed from their servers.

As for their being no recourse, you are wrong. If they blocked a political party or group that I wanted to have access to I still have the recourse of going with an alternate ISP.

Durham, NC

Redshirt.... are you seriously trying to tell us you can run your business via a wireless hotspot? The net is much more than cruising facebook and reading the DN. Some people actually do serious business over it and any restraint in trade would be hugely damaging.

The DN is clearly way out of their depth on this issue.

Poplar Grove, UT

I hadn't actually heard of Digis, so I checked them out. But the problem is that the direction my antenna would need to face is blocked by a house, that and the fastest speeds they offer is only 15mpb, even if I could get the service. There are three problem with the hot spots provided by cell phone carriers, first is that the top speeds are only 10-12mpb, and I haven't found one with a monthly data limit over 5gbs a month. If you just surf websites and are a generally light internet user that's fine, but if you stream video through Netflix or Hulu, or download files or communicate through Skype you'll burn through your limit in less than a week, not to mention that if you regularly upload files the upload speeds offered through those hotspots is super slow. Even if you are able to get internet through smaller ISP for now Comcast, Time Warner and Century Link are buying these companies up as fast as they can get financing. Give it 5 years, it will be even worse than it is now.

Salt Lake City, UT

Okay Redshirt, clearly you don't understand the issue.

"For it to be a free speech issue, they would have to be trying to silence you or have those websites removed from their servers."

Yes that is EXACTLY what they could do, what they are allowed to do. Obviously you don't realize that, but it IS what they are allowed to do. So yes, it IS a free speech issue.

They are absolutely allowed, because of a lack of net neutrality, to silence people, they could block blogs, political sites, news sites. That would silence them. They CAN have those websites removed from their servers.

Again, it is the exact same thing as if telephone carriers were allowed to refuse people to make certain calls or receive certain calls. But they are not allowed to do this.

And saying that it's okay because you can just change providers really misses the point. First of all as others have shown there really are few realistic options. But more important, it doesn't matter. This is far more basic. The internet is far too fundamental, and influential, a communication medium to allow access to it to be denied.

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