Cable Industry: Don't Worry About Neutrality Case, Trust Us!
In a blog post
the cable industry's chief trade group the NCTA promises that no matter how the Verizon and FCC net neutrality case
turns out, cable broadband customers should have confidence that "they will continue to enjoy the same fast and open Internet experience that millions of Americans cherish every day." Denying they have any interest in harming Internet video competitors, the industry (now led by ex-FCC boss Michael Powell) first promises they simply love net neutrality:
"The cable industry has consistently endorsed – and fostered the development of – an open Internet," said the NCTA. "Long before the FCC’s adoption of net neutrality rules, the cable industry made clear that it does not – and would not – block our customers’ ability to access lawful Internet content, applications or services."
Except for that time when Comcast was caught throttling BitTorrent traffic
by a user in our forums
using the protocol for entirely legal reasons, resulting in a massive country-wide media firestorm as the public realized carriers were engaging in rather clumsy and ham-fisted traffic discrimination, right? The public outcry from that incident forced the cable industry to implement more intelligent and nuanced forms of traffic management. But I digress, and the NCTA continues:
"Critics have argued that cable has the incentive to limit access to online video," said the NCTA. "In fact, cable has invested over $200 billion in upgrading our broadband networks that have enabled streaming video services to succeed and grow. Consumers now expect the ability to enjoy online video and cable has consistently provided a robust nationwide platform that allows it."
Well, as long as you ignore the caps and overages put in place specifically to limit access to Internet video. While the government pretends caps are the height of pricing innovation
, most users realize they're put in place for two reasons: to jack up the price of an already-expensive service and to both hinder and cash in on Internet video. Said caps were imposed under the pretense of being necessary due to congestion, something even the NCTA had to recently admit wasn't true
...if instances of anticompetitive conduct do occur, agencies like the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice have the necessary authority to police it.
From there, the NCTA promises that nobody should worry because government will step in whenever abuses occur:
And if instances of anticompetitive conduct do occur, agencies like the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice have the necessary authority to police it. Thus, even if the FCC loses today’s case and its rules are overturned, one thing that will not change is consumers’ access to an open, growing and vibrant Internet.
So the government will come to your rescue. Except for the fact that government has repeatedly shown (in AT&T's blocking of Facetime
, CBS's recent blocking of Online content
and other examples), it has no real interest in standing up for consumers the vast majority of the time. When they occasionally do try, they get sued and blasted for over-reach as the FCC can attest.
If the FCC loses they won't have the ability to protect consumers from gatekeeper abuses, unless the FCC tries to reclassify ISPs as common carriers
-- or a heavily-lobbied Congress passes new laws. Neither of those are remotely likely, in part because the NCTA will spend countless millions and fight tooth and nail to stop them. Top that off with the fact that incoming new FCC boss is a former cable industry lobbyist
, and the NCTA's gushing optimism rings hollower still.
Free marketeers and Libertarians would profess the solution to network neutrality is improved competition, but as we've seen time and time again, most Americans are lucky to have the choice of one or two uncompetitive, expensive carriers. When this lack of competition is brought up as something that simply needs discussion, groups like the NCTA are first in line to pretend there's absolutely no problem
But yes, aside from virtually nothing the NCTA is saying being particularly honest, you can trust the cable industry when it comes to network neutrality.
Caps If they can't kill network neutrality they will keep increasing revenues over current levels by increasing internet fees and prices. They win via monopoly regardless. I'm still waiting for our fiber/Ethernet 1Gbps internet with a 5GB cap for $150/month. If its your only choice it's your only choice. Others will say it's simple vote with your wallet and live without decent internet at all. Which isn't even a choice most can make for such a important communication medium(utility) needed to keep in touch with family/work/school.
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the corporations discover that money can elect representatives to vote themselves a monopoly, buy media to blame 'The Godless' and forced price inflation on the public.
How many times should an company be able to charge for bandwidth. I connect to Netflix, I pay for using the bandwidth to me, Netflix pays for the bandwidth to me. Double dipping. It should be illegal, as there isn't twice as much bandwidth being used.
Trust Us? What they say:
"The cable industry has consistently endorsed and fostered the development of an open Internet," said the NCTA. "Long before the FCCs adoption of net neutrality rules, the cable industry made clear that it does not and would not block our customers ability to access lawful Internet content, applications or services."
What they really mean:
"The cable industry has consistently endorsed and fostered the development of an open Internet," said the NCTA. "Long before the FCCs adoption of net neutrality rules, the cable industry made clear that it does not and would not block our customers ability to access lawful Internet content, applications or services, (cough) provided you pay us extra fees each month (cough)"
said by IowaCowboy:Free speech does not work like that. It is either a matter of net neutrality or not. You can't pick and choose what you like or do not like.
I do support net neutrality but only for 100 percent lawful content.
Re: Except And against the 'no servers' clause that was doubtless in his customer agreement. Residential connections were never intended to be used for content distribution, legal, illegal, centralized, or peer to peer....
Didn't Comcast's system simply prevent seeding after your download had been completed? One wonders why they didn't pass it off as enforcing the 'no servers' clause instead of trying to wave the traffic management flag.
said by Crookshanks:Residential connections don't seem to be intended to be used for much of anything. If these ISPs got what they wanted people literally wouldn't be doing anything but checking e-mail.
And against the 'no servers' clause that was doubtless in his customer agreement. Residential connections were never intended to be used for content distribution, legal, illegal, centralized, or peer to peer....