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Save net neutrality and keep our mobile future awesome

I love to tell people what I think of a particular thing, be it a product or brand or service provider. I'll freely tell someone to go with T-Mobile as a carrier, for example, because it offers the best compromise between speed, value, and coverage. Rarely, though, does it occur to me to judge a provider based on its stance towards net neutrality, a topic that has a direct impact on the American people.

Maybe I should.

Today, July 12, is the Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality, where thousands of companies are taking a stand to support the current state of the internet. We at Mobile Nations stand with larger entities like Google, Amazon, Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, and thousands of others in urging the FCC to uphold Title II regulations, which designate as telecommunication services, legally preventing them from changing the way internet traffic is sent, shaped, and received.

Net neutrality is a complicated topic — we have a small explainer if you want to learn a bit more about it — but the move to deregulate parts of the internet comes from a self-proclaimed libertarian FCC chair, Ajit Pai, whose desire is to see less government regulation around telecommunications services at all costs, regardless of whether they negatively impact consumers.

The onus shouldn't be on us, the consumer, to police bad actors. The FCC wants that to be the case.

In an interview he gave with NPR earlier this year, he said that instead of the arrangement we have now, which pre-emptively abrogates the preferential treatment of certain types of internet traffic over others, he wants to move to regulating on a case-by-case basis.

First and foremost, we want to make sure that all content that is lawful on the Internet can be accessed by consumers — that's a bedrock protection of the open Internet that I think everybody would agree with. ... But secondly, we want to make sure that we have the ability to allow all kinds of streaming companies, others who create content on the Internet, to be able to reach their endpoints, which is the consumers.And so we can envision some pro-competitive arrangements that allow for video in particular to be delivered in an efficient way. And one could conceive anti-competitive arrangements. And the simple point I've made is that we can't predict in advance every single potential type of outcome — some might be good, some might be bad — and on a case-by-case basis let's figure out what types of conduct are anti-competitive or otherwise would harm consumers or innovators, and take action if we see something like that arise.

Pai's argument arises out of a firm belief that over-regulation leads to a decrease in investment and cites examples of how certain internet companies have limited wired broadband and fixed mobile expansion into rural areas over the last few years. He also believes in what he calls a "free and open internet" that is not shackled by the 1930's-era Title II classification that oversaw Ma Bell, a true telecom monopoly.

"If you act before the fact, then you're preemptively saying that we think the marketplace is forever going to be the same and we can take account of every particular kind of conduct," he said. "You could be prohibiting a number of pro-competitive business arrangements."

While Pai may be correct in an environment where meaningful competition didn't already exist, if we look at what's happened to the U.S. wireless market since Title II was implemented in 2015, we see a clear trend towards an internet that is more accessible, mobile, and competitive. We see companies like T-Mobile — a proponent itself of the end of net neutrality, mind you — undercutting Verizon and AT&T, pushing the former carrier duopoly to not only lower prices but to become much more transparent in how they treat their customers. An open, free internet also leads to savvier, more educated users, and the expansion of net neutrality laws brought the layperson into the conversation.

Perhaps the most vexing and frustrating thing about Pai's insistence that pre-emptive regulation needs to be removed in favor of a lighter regulatory touch is his placement of the onus on the consumers — you, me, us — to identify violators. "Especially in the Internet age," he said, "consumers are able to complain to the Federal Trade Commission authorities, the Justice Department, the FCC, other state agencies."

Right now, the FCC is forced to police the internet service providers on our behalf, to enforce regulations that prevent companies like AT&T and Verizon from silently and sneakily limiting their unlimited plans, as they once did, and not following through with broadband expansion contracts because they weren't guaranteed a big enough return.

Zero-rating may seem like a good thing, but it opens the door for a lot that's terrible.

The rollback of net neutrality isn't about making legal so-called consumer-friendly tactics such as zero-rating, which has become so pervasive in the U.S. that it's not clear whether people actually associate them with the movement anymore. But that pervasiveness denotes an insidiousness to how network providers approach regulation, always trying to find a legal maneuver around the problem. When T-Mobile stopped counting streaming music and video services against a user's monthly data cap, it did so knowing that the FCC would eventually hold it to account for its actions. It took a new administration and a libertarian, light-touch-regulation chair to drop all inquiries into whether zero-rating violated net neutrality.

While it may sound like programs like T-Mobile's Binge On and others like it benefit consumers — who doesn't want more data for free? — they have the potential to shut out smaller companies that lack the requisite size or influence to make a deal with a massive carrier. Recently, carriers in the UK began mimicking their U.S. counterparts. In Canada, such zero-rating programs were recently banned not just for their own sake, but to show the telecom regulator's commitment to reinforcing the rules of net neutrality.

Should Title II classification be stripped away from the service providers to whom we give thousands of dollars every year, such legal challenges will be more difficult to win, and carriers — even AT&T, which is reportedly joining the fight to uphold net neutrality — will be free to do more in the name of profit, at the expense of the internet we love.

If you want to do just that, you have until July 17 to submit your comments to the FCC about why a truly free and open internet deserves to be something Americans take for granted.

Join the fight to uphold Net Neutrality

67 Comments
  • Less government intervention is a good thing, especially in such a fast moving industry. Also, when did companies such as Amazon, Google and Facebook become such paragons of selfless virtue?
  • -some- government intervention is a good thing, or companies will do like they please. Ex. US ISP's.
    The EU forced the mobile telecom companies to open up the borders for mobile users, so fees (esp. for data) wouldn't bring your vacation to a screeshing halt cost wise.
    So yeah.. some interference or slap on the wrist is sometimes a good thing. I just don't understand the American's 'nope' against anything government related, or throwing in the word 'socialist' in a conversation. Always fun stuff as a result.... ;-) And just think about it.... What if Comcast start charging Facebook for better throughput. Will FB compensate this by more advertising, or maybe a fee to use FB? And Amzon starts charging you more, due to the same thing? Or a add filled Google search page? Be sure to think about it before giving Pai the means to do what the big ISP's want from him.......
  • in response to the "I don't understand why the American's 'nope' against anything government related" comment. It could be because the government is 20 trillion dollars in debt of our money. And most of the people in charge of the government don't give a shoot because they're still getting their paychecks and perks - and they go and exclude themselves from what they put into law (Obamacare, which is a complete and utter failure).
  • "government intervention is a good thing, or companies will do like they please. "
    Nonsense, companies that do things their customers don't like go out of business, unless the gov intervenes and artificially props them up.  No gov employee can protect you from yourself, and no gov employee knows better than you what you want. 
    .
    "The EU forced the mobile telecom companies to open up the borders for mobile users, so fees (esp. for data) wouldn't bring your vacation to a screeshing halt cost wise."
    You have this backwards, the businesses would have been doing this on their own were it not for gov regulations in the first place.  Gov can't solve problems created by gov, and gov coming in to force a business to behave a certain way isn't actually solving the underlying problem. 
    .
    "What if Comcast start charging Facebook for better throughput. Will FB compensate this by more advertising, or maybe a fee to use FB? "
    ...or will customers leave comcast for an ISP that doesn't impede their ability to browse social media?  Can comcast afford to give their competition a massive advantage like that?  
    .
    "Be sure to think about it before giving Pai the means to do what the big ISP's want from him......."
    ...As opposed to giving the power to a different, likely less idealistic, bureaucrat?  You are just rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic at this point. 
  • In this case it is Goverment chossing some Business to win over others, under the idea that it protects them. We already have laws for Freedom of Speech and anti trust/compatition that give us what it promesses. In true the Goverment regulation would remove cost from some businesses and at the same time over come the anti trust/compatition laws throught the title II loopwhole so that there is no compatition. So yes Goverments opening compatition and borders is good.
  • @Narr Your comment regurgitates an ideological talking point. I'd venture you have literally no understanding of the actual topic.  The talking point might sound good, and make life simple for you, but it will almost always make you wrong. Regulations are not good or bad per se. It always depends what is being regulated and how. Sometimes regulations really are expensive, governmental overreach. Other times, as is the case here with net neutrality, they are absolutely essential to maintaining an innovative high-tech economy. I can't give you a comprehensive explanation, but I'll try and give you a few examples. 1) You are right that Amazon, Google and Facebook aren't paragons of selfless virtue. Still, most people wouldn't sell their grandmother for profit. For many of the executives, often technically minded idealists, axing net neutrality seems similar. Every one of these companies went through a phase that would have been much more difficult, or which they possibly wouldn't have survived at all, without net neutrality rules. In a high-tech environment where most people intuitivley understand what is at stake, you simply can't help but be pro net neutrality, just like most people can't help but be pro grandmothers. Netflix is a good example. Last time net neutrality was under siege, Netflix lobbied hard for net neutrality. Without net neutrality U.S. carriers would have intentionally slowed Netflix's streaming service down. AT&T actually tried that. Why? Because Netflix competes with AT&T's own content services. If AT&T can legally  kick a competitor when he/she is down, they aren't totally wrong to do that. It was only net neutrality rules that eventually forced them to stop and return Netflix to a level playing field. More importantly, slowing Netflix down would have allowed AT&T to pressure Netflix into paying a fee in order to restore normal broadband speeds. That's exactly what most carriers will do if net neutrality rules are axed. This is terrible for innovation, because smaller startup companies can't afford to pay carriers for "privaledged" treatment. Without net neutrality, Netflix would probably not be around today (just one example). If net netrality is axed, many future U.S. internet startups that could have been won't be. For Netflix, getting rid of net netrality is no longer the existential threat it once was. They are big enough to deal with such issues. For thousands of smaller U.S. internet companies, it still very much is. 2) Net neutrality rules force ISPs to treat all data equally. That's all it does. That's one simple rule. One simple easily monitored and enforced regulation. Consider how axing that rule will affect you. If you pay for 200Mbs broadband speed, that is what you as a consumer should be entitled to. You are paying for it after all. Carriers who are no longer tied to that rule will start using that new found freedom in any way they can with a particular focus on opening up new revenue streams, in particular the "extortion money" angle. But why should you, as a person who payed for 200Mbs bandwidth, care whether or not the service you use payed the ISP its extortion money? If you payed for for 200Mbs that's what you should get. That will all become much more difficult without net neutrality rules. The stalwart libertarian will now counter that customers would leave such an ISP and find a better provider. In a perfect world that would be true, but 99% of real people will neither know or understand any of this. They might notice a website is slow, but most people with think their computer is having a bad day, or the website is simply terribe. The 1% who know enough to determine what is going on aren't a group that is big enough to matter. Even if they were, without net neutrality rules, they will have no legal basis on which to defend themselves. And when they give up and want to change ISPs, they will often realize they can't... many area's are only serviced by a sigle ISP. >>Here<< is some more info on this aspect. 3) At the end of the day, you will have regulations either way. You can only choose which regulations you want. You can have: the one simple rule designed to put all players (ISPs, content providers and consumers), on a clearly understood and level playing field (treat all data equally). or you can have the much more complicated set of regulations designed by ISPs which the average consumer will have no hope of understanding, and which are designed only to artificially obfuscate the situation while opening up as many additional revenue streams from content providers as possible. The resulting extortion payments will of course eventually be passed on to you, the consumer. Net neutrality actually provides us with the closest thing to a free market we currently still have. It forces everyone to play by transparent and easily understood rules. A free market is one where innovation, competence and best meeting customers needs wins out. Net neutrality is fundamental to that. In fact, every libertarian IT person I've ever spoken too is strongly pro net neutrality for this reason. 4) The telecom industry is home to many companies with the worst customer satisfaction ratings in the entire U.S. Every last one of them is currently pumping millions into lobbying congress to overthrow net netrality (no AT&T is not actully pro net neutrality, they just unilaterally redefined the term. They are pro "their version of net neutrality" and against "everyone else's version of net neutrality). If any companies in the U.S. deserve to be viewed as the opposite of 'paragons of selfless virtue', these would be amongst them. If you still think that axing net neutrality and putting all the power of how the internet is run and monetized into these company's hands is a good idea, then I have a bridge to sell you. Assuming you aren't a top level executive at a telecom company, you are literally argueing against your own best interest. This isn't the right time to stick to simple idealogical one-liners. This is too important of a topic.
  • Hi a5cent, I do not have a ton of time to engage in a lengthy discussion with you but I did want to counter your argument on point number 2 (that customers would have no idea about slow access or would not change ISP’s). Judging by the amount of press that Net Neutrality has been garnering, I would argue that a large base of internet consumers (certainly more than 1%) are informed about Net Neutrality and how one ISP slowing down/blocking access to specific sites or services may be detrimental to them or limit their choices. I am not suggesting that it was your intention, but from my perspective it seems you believe consumers are generally unintelligent and/or uncaring about the products they pay for. Furthermore, and I think this is more important, content providers like Amazon, Netflix, Google, or even smaller sites like Windows Central are not defenseless when it comes to pointing out an ISP’s perceived wrongdoings without having Title II in place. For example, just yesterday plenty of sites had pop-ups informing the consumer about the “evil” deeds of ISP’s – who’s to say they could not have another pop-up campaign if their customers are noticing an artificial slowdown from some ISP? No special law needs to be in place for them to make a statement on their site and gain consumer sentiment. Finally, for your last statement regarding the dearth of ISP choices in many areas of the US I 100% agree that there is a problem. I think that this is the one problem that we need to solve the most – how can we give the average Joe more options so that he isn’t locked in to some bad deal? At the very least, I am hoping that you and I can agree that if there were more competition in this space, things would be better and just maybe… having a regulation enforcing Net Neutrality would become less important.
  • Yes, we agree that more competition would be great. Why we don't already have more competition is usually the more contentious issue. Some people have been lead to believe that the government is the only force preventing real competition.  While it's true that government does make some things harder (although sometimes due to policies that most people, irrispective of political orientation, would agree with), the goverment's influence (in this particular case) is small compared to other factors. The biggest reasons revolve around the substantial investment required to even enter the market, the very high risks involved (competing against others who have already amortisized their investments) and how long it takes for those investments to start paying off (if they ever do). The government can do little to nothing to change any of those things. The fact that there are many better options that generate a higher ROI sooner, doesn't help attract new competitors either. Even for the established players, it's often more lucrative to concentrate on extracting more value from the areas they arleady serve, then it is to attempt to invest into and break even in areas they do net yet serve. Those are the main barriers preventing more competition in the telecom industry. Anyway, to your main point. I'm not saying consumers are unintelligent or uncaring. They are ignorant on most topics though. Assuming you aren't a surgeon, we're both ignorant on the topic of performing heart surgeries. There is nothing wrong with that. Maybe your experience is different, but my experience is that almost nobody really understands what Net Neutrality is. People may have an opinion on it being good or bad, but few really understand why it is so important and what is at stake. That's not an insult. Most people already have far too many other things to care about in their lives. More imporatntly, I think you are far too optimistic about the influence other companies have on the telecom industry. Beyond taking corporations to court based on violations of law, there is little to nothing other coroprations can do. Reclasifying ISPs limits those options. IMHO thinking that consumers aren't basically defenseless borders on (sorry, no offence) naivite. I think an overwhelming mountain of evidence suggests otherwise. A pop-up compaign changes absolutey nothing! Last time around there was an even bigger public outcry over net neutrality, but that contributed exactly nothing to it being spared. What did change people's minds were lobbyist dollars by large IT corporations. Those dollars influenced Obama via congress, who then used his influence to sway the person he had appointed to lead the FCC. That's all that mattered. Consumer or public opinion mattered zilch. No ISP could care less about what you or I or all consumers think. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is whether or not we keep paying our service premiums. We will, regardless of anything else, because not many of us can navigate modern society without being connected anymore. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying Title II is the best thing since sliced bread. I think it sucks. If you and I were allowed to sit down and design a legal system from scratch, I'm sure we could come up with something far better. That's just not an option we have. Right now we only have two options. A bad option to keep Title II in place, with the benefit of protecting net neutrality, or an absolutely terrible option of removing Title II and net neutrality along with it. Nobody who isn't a top level exec in the telecom industry (or politicians by way of telecom industry campaign donations and board positions) has anything to gain by the second option. I want more competition, but I also want telecom companies to primarily compete with each other in the area of providing the best telecom services to their customers. Telecom infrastructure is a vital part of every country's ability to compete with the rest of the world. I don't want to support a system that incentivizes telecom companies to ignore that part of their business and instead focus on "extorting" money from content creators. That requires zero infrustructure investments and promises very lucrative revenue streams. It's easy money. Obviously it is telecom corporations obligation towards their investors to chase those opertunities. It's not in anyone else's best interest however. Nobody who hopes to stand up for their own interests should be supporting that fight for them. Reclasification is something I'd consider debatable. Net neutrality is not debatable. Unfortunately, those two are currently linked.
  • "the FCC is forced to police the internet service providers on our behalf, to enforce regulations that prevent companies like AT&T and Verizon from silently and sneakily limiting their unlimited plans, as they once did, and not following through with broadband expansion contracts because they weren't guaranteed a big enough return."
    "But that pervasiveness denotes an insidiousness to how network providers approach regulation, always trying to find a legal maneuver around the problem. "
    You can't have it both ways, either the gov is our benevolent protector acting only in our best interest, or the gov is a violent criminal enterprise that avails itself to regulatory capture by "insidious" corporations.  Personally I agree with Pai that the latter is almost always the case. 
    .
    " if we look at what's happened to the U.S. wireless market since Title II was implemented in 2015, we see a clear trend towards an internet that is more accessible, mobile, and competitive. "
    This trend didn't start in 2015, it started long before under the previous light touch regulations. 
    .
    "even AT&T, which is reportedly joining the fight to uphold net neutrality "
    Is AT&T coming to our rescue, or trying to protect their established access routes into power and influence?  It can't be both.  Pick one. 
    .
    "a truly free and open internet " ...controlled by the gov.
    No, I will not be writing in, I wouldn't give a squirt of piss to save the massively foolish enterprise undertaken under the previous administration that is Title2.  I wish all the best to Mr. Pai in his efforts to ensure that customers get the best services available in the market without burdonsome gov interference. 
     
  • This is exactly why this is a mixed bag for everyone regarding this. More government means more rules like eBay taxes for small businesses, and less means the ISPs can sell your emails to the highest bidder all while charging you astronomical fees to download them because you went over some newly imposed cap. There is no one sized fits all answer to this. Big government AND big business is bad.
  • Big Business is a result of Big Government.  The bigger the Gov, the more businesses can use it to protect themselves from competition.  If you want to get rid of big business you have to first get rid of big gov, and let the market take care of the businesses. 
    .
    "and less means the ISPs can sell your emails to the highest bidder all while charging you astronomical fees to download them because you went over some newly imposed cap."
    They can, that doesn't mean they will.  If people make it known they don't like the practice ISPs will offer their services with more privacy, especially if we prevent the gov from standing in the way of new ISPs coming in to compete and sell more private and secure services.  
    .
    "There is no one sized fits all answer to this. Big government AND big business is bad."
    That is the essance of the free market, Big Gov creates Big Business, you can't get rid of the latter with out getting rid of the former first, else one big business will just be immediately replaced by another.  There is NO amount of gov that will prevent businesses from gowing large, thus the answer for promoting competition and improving comsumer offerings is to ensure that gov is as small as possible. 
  • But you forget the fact that most ISPs are essentially monopolies in some places , unless you want to sacrifice essential things like speed. So they really don't care how you feel as a customer, because they know they have you. What I have seen is that less government (deregulation) causes companies to grow larger, not smaller. This is why we had the near collapse of the economy. Banks shouldn't become "too big to fail", but no laws allowed this.
  • Yup like in NYC most places only have internet/tv/phone through Time Warner Cable or now called Spectrum since they merged. There's really no other alternate provider that can provide services even if you refused to go with them depending on your neighborhood.
  • "like in NYC most places only have internet/tv/phone through Time Warner Cable or now called Spectrum since they merged. There's really no other alternate provider that can provide services " ...because local gov regulations make entering the market prohibitively expensive.  You should look up the problems that google had getting their ISP service into certain cities, even as big as they are it was almost impossible due to gov interferecne. 
  • "But you forget the fact that most ISPs are essentially monopolies in some places "
    Monopolies created and enforced by the gov, the answer to the problem of gov created monopolies behaving badly is not to have the gov force the monopoly to do a certain thing.  The gov can never keep up with the myriad wishes and concerns of the customers, so they will never be able to force the monopoly to respond fast enough, or in the correct way, etc.  The answer is to stop the gov creating and enforcing monopolies, and allowing businesses to succeed or fail on their merits.
    .
    "I have seen is that less government (deregulation) causes companies to grow larger, not smaller. This is why we had the near collapse of the economy. Banks shouldn't become "too big to fail", but no laws allowed this."
    You haven't looked closely enough.  Our financial system pre-collapse was one of the most HIGHLY regulated industries, and it was the gov regulations that created the moral hazard that led directly to the economic collapse.  Things have only gotten worse with the additional gov regulations piled on top of the ones that caused the collapse, becuase those weren't repealed.  We ended up with even bigger businesses than we had that are even more danger whe the next collapse comes, and make no mistake, it will come. 
    .
     
  • @treiz I think you're making things far too simple. Removing all regulations will not lead to consumer nirvana. It's true that government made it very hard for Google to enter the market. Primarily because we have rules about where and how you can pull in communications infrastructure. You can't just flatten a school if it's in your way. You have to place stuff where it can be easily accessed and serviced and consider a gazillion safetly regulations (most of which benefit you... assuming you live in an urban area). It's true that there are probably too many of these rules. There's just no absolute right or absolute wrong answer. It's a matter of balance which will always be debatable. Getting rid of ALL of those regulations is something you'll approve of only up until AT&T thinks your house is in the way of their profits. There must be some rules. The question is only how many. As long as there are some rules, there will need to be someone who has the authority to enforce them. That can only be the government. "You haven't looked closely enough.  Our financial system pre-collapse was one of the most HIGHLY regulated industries, and it was the gov regulations that created the moral hazard that led directly to the economic collapse.  Things have only gotten worse with the additional gov regulations piled on top of the ones that caused the collapse, becuase those weren't repealed.  We ended up with even bigger businesses than we had that are even more danger whe the next collapse comes, and make no mistake, it will come." The only true part about that paragraph is that the too-big-to-fail banks are now even bigger than before the crash. Would you mind revealing your sources? The U.S. enjoyed an exceptionally long period of time without major economic crashes. Every economist I know will tell you that Glass-Steagall being instantiated in 1932 (seperating commercial from investment banking) played a major role in that. Of course there were at least half a dozen things that had to come together to create that perfect storm back in 2008, but Glass-Steagal being repealed by Clinton (on behalf of the banks) was one of the most important puzzle pieces. The view that additional gov regulations have since been piled ontop of what already existed is most certainly incorrect. The opposite is true. Glass-Steagal was never re-instantiated. Instead a very watered down version of it (Dodd-Frank) took its place, which today barely even exists on paper. It too has mostly been whittled away. Which economic/banking regulations do you imagine to have been responsible for the crash that still exist today? In what way do you imagine that they were legislatively expanded? I'm familiar with most of the economic/banking related legislation that was passed over the last decade. Your claims do not match reality in this regard.  
  • @treiz, it's good to see someone who fundamentally understands the issue from a big picture perspective and recognize how that affects all of the small implications. You are correct.
  • Big companies have massive law departments to look out for them, who does the consumer have. It seems just because gov is attached to something it is bad. I agree that sometimes less is better but if I have an issue with a big company are they going say let's be careful because Joe blow is watching us...no. We see it everyday in horrible customer service stories.
  • @Musa Siddiqui, you are right -- big companies can afford the extensive legal departments and admin staff to navigate the regulatory hurdles that government raises. They also can afford the lobbyists to skew government policy to their favor. That is precisely why the solution is to keep government regulation to a minimum and let entrepreneurs and the free market sort it out. Government absolutely plays a role, mostly through the courts in the form of disputes, and in policing fraud. But beyond that, regulations beyond the bare bones serves only to foster monopolistic behavior (in this case, of Google and their ilk). The biggest enemy of a monopoly is not the government coming after them, it's the clever entrepreneur who sees a new way around them. Monopolies survive because of government (and those lobbyists), not in spite of it. In the US, every major monopoly only existed because of government legislation that prevented competition -- trains, telephone, and today it's the cable companies, due to local governments granting monopoly rights to certain providers.
  • I believe in net neutrality, but I don't believe Title II is the avenue to achieve it. The internet is quite different than telecom. We need Congress to generate a plan that is both specific to ISP's and achieves what we as consumers all want.
  • Seeing that dumb anti-consumer pricks face just makes me want to punch him. On a more positive note; well worth a watch, John Oliver on Net Neutrality: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpbOEoRrHyU (2014) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92vuuZt7wak (2017 update)  
  • John Oliver, a comedian. Always a great source for news and information... /s
  • News is the enemy now, didn't you know? 😅
  • I guess it's better than him using CNN as a source.
  • You can present news in a humorous way.
  • Also on the side of Net Neutrality, Adam ruins everything https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xjOxNiHUsZw
  • Yeah, John Oliver explains it quite well, I love watching him.
  • Figures that the person who thinks that John Oliver is the person of reason is also the one that writes "Seeing that dumb anti-consumer pricks face just makes me want to punch him" - in other words advocating violence because you disagree with someone politically. I will need to remember this for future conversations we have.
  • I love hypocrites who want less government regulation all the time; especially when it comes to anti-consumer, big bussiness profit areas; but at the same time they are all for extreme government regulation of peoples private lives when it comes to stuff like abortion or LGBT rights.  
  • The little human inside people should have rights too. And what rights are LGBT people missing out on?
  • They can't force people who have a religeous or moral aversion to their lifestyle make them a cake. (not intending to judge here, just providing a recent high profile example)
  • I agree. Government should not be forcing people to do that. Just like I shouldn't be forced to pay for peoples abortions or even contraceptives.
  • I shouldn't be forced to pay for soldiers to go over and fight a war we have no reason to be in either, but I still have to.
  • I agree, none of us should have to pay for that. Let them all kill themselves.
  • I think that might be a reference for the demand of making a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.
  • @John2012, I want less government period, down to the point that it protects against assault and fraud and theft/damage to private propert (and all of their derivatives -- battery, rape, vandalism, etc.) and provides courts for civil disputes. Beyond that, all that laws do is take away freedom from one person to help someone else. Loss of freedom is hugely destructive to everyone involved -- even the alleged beneficiaries, who are less likely to prosper economically and more likely to be angry and depressed as a result. So perhaps you're not referring to me when you say "hypocrites," but I'll happily side with those who want to remove "Net Neutrality" (what a horrible misnomer -- it's really the "Support the Google Monopoly Act") as government overreach, even if I may agree with their opponents on keeping government out of other areas too. However, just to challenge your straw-man -- isn't it a bit arbitrary to say that a child has complete rights to protection under the law after birth, but 0 rights a few hours earlier? At what point do the rights of the baby to have its body protected under the law rise to the level of eclipsing the rights of the mother to her body (where clearly both have some rights)? While I'm pro-choice for the first trimester (longer in the event of a serious medical issue for the mother), I know that's an arbitrary cutoff so I must therefore also acknoweledge that it's perfectly reasonable that people oppose abortion for different amounts of time. If you can acknowledge that the baby has some rights at least a few seconds before birth, then even if you still disagree with those who oppose abortions, you can at least have some compassion for their position and realize it's not necessarily about hypocritical government overreach, so much as just a different analysis on when the baby's rights as a person should exceed the mother's rights as a person.
  • I encourage everyone to read opposing points on this. Instead of claiming something s broken and must have government intervention. http://www.freedomworks.org/content/amazon80%99s-80%9Cday-action80%9D-corporate-welfare-not-free-internet  
  • Good to see a decent amount of others fighting for the other side of this issue. I go to other websites and it seems like me against all of John Oliver and Comedy Central viewers.
  • Net neutrality is the devil!
  • Do you even understand it?
  • Windows central staff... As an avid reader of your site I want you to know that opinion editorials like this lessen my opinion of your organization. Please stop posting about so-called 'net neutrality' and how to 'save' it. Alternatively, give an educational article giving both sides the chance to argue without casting judgement. Stuff like this is only going to drive your readers apart. Of course that is my humble opinion.
  • "We at Mobile Nations stand with larger entities like Google, Amazon, Netflix, Facebook, Twitter" You see this is the reason, they just want to stand along with the larger entities.
  • That was my initial reaction too, but maybe it's just to be provocative -- look at the activity in this thread. If the goal was to start a discussion, well, mission accomplished.
  • This is one of those, "Be careful what you wish for", situations. Net Neutrality is no more consumer focused than total Gov regulation. There needs to be some situational middle ground. I'm not so sure it requires consumers to complain to the FCC regarding uncompetitive practises. That would seem to be on the businesses that believe they are being hurt. I'm not going to complain that Spotify is zero-rated on T-Mobile. Bob's Music service would be more likely to complain that they aren't. Then the discussion of how to fix this needs to happen. Net Neutrality says, no-one should be zero-rated, and the consumer suffers. You could zero-rate Bob's Music, but then T-Mobile is essentially providing music streaming for free, and that's not sustainable either. It's really not just black and white. 
  • "Right now, the FCC is forced to police the internet service providers on our behalf, to enforce regulations that prevent companies like AT&T and Verizon from silently and sneakily limiting their unlimited plans, as they once did, and not following through with broadband expansion contracts because they weren't guaranteed a big enough return." I wonder what your stance is about ad blockers? why enforce the removal of the same? Because you weren't guaranteed big enough return? You refuse to fix the comments system which refuses to play nice when ad blocker is enabled. Well you need to make money I understand but there are other ways, go for a premium subscription but why "FORCE" people to disable their ad blockers. Where's the choice?
  • Anyone else run this site in Opera? Let the ads through and wait while 67 ads from what almost looked like as many domains take forever to load. IDK of any other site that uses so many different domains to load a single page.
  • Thats why I use ad blocker even though that your ad blocker makes me sad message comes up. Before adblocker Surface ran hot with fan always on. Just be sad.....
  • I never used an ad-blocker until I started visiting WPC regularly. Not only did they have the lowest quality ads, but many of them were outright scams (fake download buttons, 'you have mail' etc). Coupled with the fact that they have several dozen ads on one page, and I always opened a dozen articles at a time, just crippled everything I was doing. I don't mind 3-4 ads on a page, but if you're going to flood the page and annoy me too much then I'm going to ad-block. As far as I'm concerned respect goes two ways - if they're respectful with their advertising then I will allow the ads and maybe even click on a few. Having said all that, I just tried viewing the current site without an ad-blocker and it does seem to be a hundred times better now. I usually use the app though, so no ads for me anyway.
  • "Net neutrality" is a scam and a buzzword that will allow tyrrany greater than the problem it purports to solve. I can't imagine a worse solution than to give government the power to determine when and how content should be transmitted. Also, this is a solution in search of a problem. I do not see that this is a serious problem. Shouldn't we at least wait until it's a problem? The few cases I have seen have quickly been solved when these companies have been shamed. Say NO to "net neutrality". A better solution would be more strict anti-trust enforcement to not allow companies to merge & buy each other, especially carriers buying content producers (Verizon buying AOL, Comcast buying NBC). Anyone who thinks the government will actually enforce TRUE net neutrality is dangerously niave. Google "regulatory capture" and then look at the craptastic regulations that came out of the prior FCC.
  • Ehm... no idea where you get your information, but you've got it exactly backwards. Government doesn't have the power to determine when and how content should be transmitted. They say only that all data must be transmitted in the same way, no matter what it is or where it comes from. That's all! I can't imagine a worse solution than what you are in favor of, namely letting ISPs decide when and how data should be transmitted. The government is already enforcing TRUE net neutrality, or more precisely, the free market is. Net neutrality laws are essential to maintaining a level playing field on which all companies can fairly compete. When violations occur, laws must be in place that allows corporations to take others to court over unfair business practices. We don't have to wait for this to become a problem. We already know the exact types of extortion or protection-racket like schemes that ISPs are hoping to put in place. It's these net neutrality rules that prevent that. I agree with you that carriers shouldn't be allowed to purchase content producers. That ship sailed long ago however.
  • Greedy and bad corporations are defeated with your wallet. Government regulations might provide immediate protective, but the unintended consequence is that small business and innovators often times do not have the means to fight through the red tape. Government regulations stifle innovation.. And big business loves that.
  • derp
  • um, maybe because the people never had a chance to vote on it and neither has our legislature???  i dunno, i always though twe lived in a representative republic but what do I know about civics compared to tech bloggers.
  • Government regulations choke an industry and crush innovation and it is innovation and competitiv