In our opinion: Court ruling against net neutrality should be applauded


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  • Felix Ray binghamton, NY
    Feb. 4, 2014 4:18 p.m.

    When the internet is governed by a handful of ISPs, that's not "a lack of regulation".

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 17, 2014 8:46 p.m.

    Redshirt, I'm curious, are you actually reading any of the other comments, and THINKING about what they are saying.

    You really do not seem to understand this issue.

    First of all, you talk about me, personally, using a filter, as though that's pertinent. Redshirt, I am an end user. That is very different then an ISP. You also bring up content providers (the websites) and you try to say that as long as they are on a server somewhere there is no problem. If the site can't be ACCESSED it is worthless.

    Then you compare this whole thing to buying a car. Again, showing you do NOT understand.

    A more accurate comparison is ISPs to freeways. If all interstate freeways were privately owned by one company (such as comcast) with their very fast speeds and they could deny ACCESS to the freeway for whatever reason they chose, trade in this country would be devestated.

    For instance, Sams Club could pay the freeway owners to deny Costco access. And you would say this is okay because Costco could use side streets to move their goods. Costco would be out of business in a month.

  • cavetroll SANDY, UT
    Jan. 17, 2014 12:08 p.m.

    The Deseret News and their owners aren't concerned with free speech. They are, however, very concerned with limiting what can be found on the internet or other media, especially the content they deem "offensive." This is, in all reality the reason for this severley misinformed op ed.

    I actually enjoy how the DNews is pro market forces in one editorial, yet pro government regulations in others, specifically when it comes to areas like alcohol, smoking, and others they deem immoral.

  • Cincinnatus Kearns, UT
    Jan. 17, 2014 11:41 a.m.

    "Why would they change their policies if they didn't have to? Why risk losing paying customers just to block websites they don't like?"

    I have to say Redshirt, your naivete; is astounding.

    They don't have to change their policies, they want to. This is why they've been fighting net neutrality. They want to charge companies who send more data to the end user (i.e. Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, etc), or slow them to a crawl as to not compete with their own services. When they start charging the providers, the providers start charging the users more.

    ISP's, just like the airlines, with limited options (1 or 2, 3 or 4 providers at best) when one starts tacking on fees, the others are sure to follow. Look at the fees that one airline began charging that quickly moved through the industry. They won't lose customers. Customers will have nowhere to turn.

    This is a much larger issue than "market forces" and "customer choice."

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    Jan. 17, 2014 11:15 a.m.

    To "Cincinnatus" you are now off on a different subject. With RMP or any other power company, there is not an option. They are the only electrical power source available to your home. And then, it is a highly regulated utility that is quite fascist in nature. Imagine the service you could have if there were multiple power companies seeking out customers.

    However, have you noticed that with RMP they have "tiered" power, where they charge you more or less for you power depending on how much you use?

    To "netteO" and "marxist" you have a pessimistic view of society. The fact is that before Net Neutrality, providers were giving you full access to the internet for whatever you wanted. Why would they change their policies if they didn't have to? Why risk losing paying customers just to block websites they don't like?

  • Cincinnatus Kearns, UT
    Jan. 17, 2014 10:56 a.m.

    Redshirt, you're arguments are hilarious.

    You might as well be arguing that Rocky Mountain power tell a business or residential customer that they can only have electricity for 12 hours a day, but those hours are between 8 pm and 8 am. If they don't like it, they are free to find power elsewhere. A generator? Solar Power? A windmill? Alternatives? Yes. Viable for their needs? Probably not.

    If you don't think the Internet has become just as important as other utilities, just try shutting it down and see how quickly business, education, healthcare, transportation, and other infrastructure grinds to a halt. The biggest problem here is that rather than letting the FCC and corporations nitpick this to death in the courts, Congress needs to step in and define the playing field, much like they've done with power, gas, and phone companies.

    I have two options for Internet at my home that provide the speeds I need. Two. I've looked into it. That's because those are the two providers who have built the infrastructure into my area. And, I don't have a "cheap" plan.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 17, 2014 10:51 a.m.

    For a time the internet has provided the ideal market for many goods and services - so many buyers and sellers that none can force a price. As most of you know the promises of the market can only be guaranteed with this situation. This democratization of the market has been wonderful. But as I suspected, it's not going to last. With the end of net neutrality small vendors will become obscure. And the markets which flourished under the wide open and free internet will become distorted by a few large sellers, much like banking today. It was great while it all lasted.

  • netteO Taylorsville, UT
    Jan. 17, 2014 10:43 a.m.

    Will the Deseret News think that the ruling is great when internet providers start charging more or throttling access to religious websites, or news websites? Just because it will supposedly limit access to porn doesn't make it a good thing. Will I have to pay to more to look at small business sites or personal blogs?? What about rural areas? What kind of service will they get and the poor and libraries? Shutting down net neutrality limits consumers and freedom of information and speech. Sure, some regulations are needed- just like any utility; but remember that the phone company throttled access and ingenuity for almost a hundred years!

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    Jan. 17, 2014 9:34 a.m.

    To "Noodlekaboodle" you really are nit-picking. If you don't like CenturyLink or Comcast, there are options. Just because you don't like the options, is not something I care about.

    Think of it as a car. You want the best car money can buy, but are only willing to pay as much as the cheapest car out there. You can't have it both ways. If you want an unfiltered internet, find a provider that will give you that. Don't complain because a business won't cower to your demands where there are other businesses that will.

    The fact is, there are many options for your ISP. Once you sign a contract with them, you are bound to accept the terms of that agreement. If you don't like the agreement or the business practices, go find someone that meets your needs. If it costs more money, then that apparently is the cost of your demands. Sorry, but that is just how things work.

    How much money is it worth to you for your demands?

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    Jan. 17, 2014 9:09 a.m.

    Dude, you clearly haven't actually looked into getting any of these ISP's. Lets look at Xmission, well guess what, they rent the phone lines from CenturyLink, and if you sign up with them you pay a bill to CenturyLink and Xmission, and that's for a whole 7mbps, which is not enough for multiple internet users. And have you actually looked at the crazy amount of money that HughesNet and other satellite providers actually costs? When they came out to my place they wanted nearly $1000, just to put the satelliet up, then to get a 40gb monthly cap, and 15 mbps, it's 130 a month. Redshirt, unless you just use your internet to look at this website and Fox News there are really only 2-3 options for internet. And that's not just in Utah, it's in most of the country.

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    Jan. 17, 2014 7:52 a.m.

    To "Noodlekaboodle" there are other highspeed internet providers. There are also satelite DSL providers like HughesNet and other satelite companies. There are other land line providers besides CenturyLink, you just have to look for them, for example there is XMission that provides business internet.

    The point is, there are multiple providers if you just look.

    To "mark" do you have a spam filter for your email? Why are you denying those nice people their freedom of speech?

    So since they are not trying to remove websites from the servers where they reside, this is NOT a free speech issue. This is a business case. If you sign up for a service, and they tell you that they filter sites they find objectionable, what is the problem? If you don't like the way they filter, then you are free to choose a diferent provider that does not filter. Also, freedom of speech is a government restriction, not a business restriction. Your boss does not have to respect your freedom of speech.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Jan. 16, 2014 11:46 p.m.

    Net neutrality prevented more than just censorship. It prevented your local internet providing company from deciding that if you wanted to get Netflix, or Hulu, or Youtube videos, or access to direct league-provided sports broadcasts, or the iStore, or the Google Play Store, that you'd have to pay extra for your service, or pay extra for fixed amounts of data from those services.

    Have a MagicJack telephone, or a VoIP service from Vonage or Callcentric? Your ISP now can bill you an extra "carriage charge" for your phone calls. Why do you think Verizon wanted this?

    As far as censorship of porn goes, don't count on it. They'd probably just charge the same as for any other streaming content service. For the ISP companies, this is just a grab for more revenue. The only "innovation" you can look forward to is larger and more complicated monthly bills, and the U.S. already has among the worst deals in high-speed internet service in the world.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 6:36 p.m.

    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.

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 5:08 p.m.

    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.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Jan. 16, 2014 3:21 p.m.

    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.

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    Jan. 16, 2014 3:03 p.m.

    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.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 1:50 p.m.

    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.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Jan. 16, 2014 12:44 p.m.

    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.

  • rsrino New Canaan, CT
    Jan. 16, 2014 12:09 p.m.

    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.

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 11:22 a.m.

    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.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 16, 2014 11:05 a.m.

    "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."

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Jan. 16, 2014 9:45 a.m.

    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.

  • Thoughtful Voter Spanish Fork, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 9:44 a.m.

    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.

  • Lowonoil Clearfield, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 9:23 a.m.

    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.

  • Spangs Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 9:18 a.m.

    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."

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 9:15 a.m.

    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.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Jan. 16, 2014 7:47 a.m.

    " 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.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    Jan. 16, 2014 6:49 a.m.

    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.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 6:48 a.m.

    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.

  • AgentBlue Fairbanks, AK
    Jan. 16, 2014 4:21 a.m.

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

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 12:41 a.m.

    "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.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 12:28 a.m.

    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.