Net Neutrality Day of Action

Cross of Corn is a contributing writer on Leavenworth St.

You may have heard some rumblings of a so-called “Net Neutrality Day of Action” this week featuring some of your favorite websites.   The so-called on-line protest is supported by lefties like NARAL, The Nation, MoveOn.org and BoldProgressives.org.   In today’s era of Fake News, here’s what’s really going on and what this is all about:

 

What is Net Neutrality?

This is the policy term that essentially means all internet users, stakeholders, and their online activity and content should be treated fairly and equally. Internet service providers (ISPs) should not be allowed to interfere with the data crossing their networks and the rules of the internet should ensure an open and dynamic platform for all. Basically, everyone and their dog (even Sen. Ted Cruz’s dog Snowflake) supports net neutrality.

 

So, what’s the problem?

The net has been neutral and thriving since its creation—but I don’t have to tell you that. Our society enjoys the boon of technological and life-improving advances enabled by the internet (without my weather app, I’d have to go OUTSIDE to check the rain gauge so I would have something to talk about over coffee at the Farmers Co-op). For years, a bipartisan slew of lawmakers and regulators in Washington, D.C. advanced policies that enabled unfettered access without stunting the growth of the internet, allowing networks to expand and connect more communities and help get more folks online.

Fast-forward to 2015: the Obama Administration reversed decades of that successful policy by applying highly controversial and much more restrictive public utility regulations, also known as Title II, on the internet. Created to regulate the telephone industry of the 1930s, these utility regulations make it more difficult for internet companies to invest in growing their networks and focus on the development of new products and services (think Elizabeth Warren regulating your internet).  Essentially, an unprecedented step in the wrong direction.

The Obama Administration conflated Title II with net neutrality, arguing that one could not exist without the other—despite the fact that it had, for decades.  

 

What’s the solution?

It’s possible to secure an open internet without this silly attempt by progressives to over-regulate the internet. Those behind this Day of Action know this.  For some, it’s about cronyism.  For others, it’s about government control.

Rather than letting the FCC continue to play ping-pong with this issue with each changing Administration, Congress needs to step in and find a permanent legislative solution.  One that protects the essential principles of an open internet while removing the overarching Title II-public utility regulations imposed by Obama-era regulators.  Nebraska’s delegation appears solid on this issue, but the rest of the 530 voting members of the House and Senate need to support legislative action that creates lasting, commonsense policy that returns the internet to the approach that garnered extraordinary success and innovation.   That should be our call to action.

 

***

Leavenworth St. is aware of the current slow page-loading issues.

We’re working on it.

-Ed.

47 comments

  1. Sparkles says:

    Re slow load –
    It appears you use Site Meter to monitor traffic.

    Try instead StatCounter, Google Analytics, or another traffic monitoring service.
    (and make sure to delete the Site Meter code in the template)

  2. TexasAnnie says:

    Well I don’t know what all that means Sparkles, but I haven’t been able to wait long enough for it to load for several days now, possibly it’s been a week. I missed ‘ya!

  3. Oracle says:

    SS, I wish you’d stick to things you know. I’ve been in I.T. for many years and have closely followed the net neutrality issue. Yes, legislative action would be the best fix. But that’s been impossible because most Republican congresspeople don’t want net neutrality. The entities that form the backbone of the Internet (i.e. AT&T, Verizon, Level 3 and more) don’t want it because it prevents them from setting up tiered services that would allow them to charge more for prioritizing access with $0 additional investment. It’s a pure profit enhancer, and these entities donate to the Republican congresspeople. The circle is complete.

    • The Grundle King says:

      In the interest of getting a better look at ‘both sides’ of the issue, I’ll ask an honest question…what was ‘wrong’ with the way the internet worked before Obama’s ‘fix’? Was it in response to a problem that existed at the time? Or a problem that was on the horizon?

      I’m genuinely curious about it, and what this tiered system of fees and access would look like.

      • Oracle says:

        It was working fine, but the companies that run the Internet backbone were planning on offering tiered services which would have broken net neutrality. Tiered services basically allows favoritism of one vendor’s content over another. For example, say Amazon agrees to pay a fee to Verizon for their content to be prioritized over others. Consumers using Verizon may then find that their Amazon video streams works much better than Netflix’s, especially when the network is near capacity. Or even worse, Verizon might offer their own streaming service and prioritize it on their network. And new competition is effectively cut out because they will be priced out of the market.

        So things were fine because net neutrality was the default state of the Internet before the “fix”, but that was about to change.

  4. Columbus Conservative says:

    The post is spot on. When choosing sides, I’ll pick Americans for Prosperity, American Conservative Union and FreedomWorks over George Soros, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Greenpeace, and Rainforest Action Network any day of the week, month or year.

    • Oracle says:

      And you’ve just inadvertently identified the biggest problem in the country today, mostly on the right. Instead of studying the issue yourself, you will just make a decision based on what group supports or opposes the issue. Don’t know if it’s a result of idiocy, laziness or both 🙁

      • The Grundle King says:

        “And you’ve just inadvertently identified the biggest problem in the country today, mostly on the right.

        Oh please, cut this nonsense. There are reactionaries from both sides of the aisle, and pretending to know just how many of these types of reactionaries exist within either side is preposterous.

      • Anonymous says:

        “pretending to know just how many of these types of reactionaries exist within either side is preposterous.”

        Donald F’ing Trump
        Gallup approval poll among Republicans – July 3 – 9, 2017 = 85%

        Preposterous my arse.

      • The Grundle King says:

        And I’d be willing to bet that, had Hillary won, you’d have seen the same approval rating for her coming from the Democrats.

    • Sparkles says:

      Ahoy matey, we’ve discovered Columbus is a sucker for the Koch con. (aka..)

      Apparently your voyage has been limited to the extreme shallows, therefore precluding a stop in the land of reason.

      No phone, no lights, no motor car,
      Not a single luxury,
      Like Robinson Crusoe,
      Their primitive as can be.

      • The Grundle King says:

        Proof that for everyone on the right who invokes the name of Soros, there’s someone on the left to invoke the name of Koch.

        Do these folks think they’re casting spells or something?

      • Sparkles says:

        There’s a dramatic difference of course, between the Kochs and Soros.
        The Koch’s are ten, twenty fold more influential and domineering in their election engineering efforts. The Kochs are the plutocrats your mom should have warned you about.

        In 2004 it was reported the Soros had spent an unprecedented (for Soros) $32 million in an effort to defeat George W.
        After 2004 Soros largely went silent (except in the boogeyman fabrications of the right wing noise machine). He re-emerged in 2015/16 to support HRC and is reported to have donated roughly $25 million in support of her candidacy.

        By comparison –
        It was only a few weeks ago, at a soiree in Colorado Springs, attended by our own Ben Sasse, that the Koch’s promised to spend up to $400 million in the run-up to 2018 midterm elections.
        It was in the run up to the ’16 election that splashed across the national headlines was:
        “Koch brothers set $889 million budget for 2016”

        And it’s the Koch Brothers who annually fund, often solely, a half dozen or so of the largest and most prominent right wing stink tanks and activist organizations in America.

        In addition, the intent behind the donations of George Soros vs. the Koch’s couldn’t be more diametrically opposed.
        When Soros donates money, he supports candidates promising to maintain and sensibly bolster our safety net, insure health care for the working poor, housing for the homeless, food security for the insecure, equal education opportunities and other social programs. Beneficiary: Millions of impoverished, elderly, disabled and working poor. NOT George Soros.

        When the Kochs donate money, they are supporting candidates who promise to secure massive tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of the poor, eliminate estate taxes, gut environmental regulations, dismantle the EPA, insure pipeline approval and unfettered fracking rights, open more sites for offshore drilling and commit government moneys to the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure.
        Beneficiary: Koch Brothers, Koch Industries and the uber wealthy.

        Comparing the two is entirely dishonest, in both sum and substance.
        It’s like comparing robbin’the hood with Robin Hood.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The net neutrality issue speaks to capitalism: those who have capital usually control those who don’t. Why should the internet be any different? Obama wanted to keep neutrality by regulating, and regulating is commonplace in public policy, otherwise we would have monopolies. So whether the FCC takes action on Title II or not, in the end, those with capital will control those without.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wrong. Cisco & Juno network engineers control the Internet. The operating systems that run the core of the world’s networks aren’t amenable to corporate monkeying. Networks are F-R-A-G-I-L-E. Reduce them to money making entities and they break. No Internet, no business, no money, no fun, no nothing.

      • ummm says:

        “networks aren’t amenable to corporate monkeying.”

        You can train a monkey to throttle back internet throughput.

        The internet breaks every day, that’s why corporations like Cisco (Google, Facebook, Verizon..) keep network engineers on the payroll.
        Network engineers fix the breaks and keep the network functioning, because they’d like to remain on the payroll of corporations.

        No corporation, no money.
        No money, no network engineers.

        Who is it you imagine calls the shots in this relationship?

      • Anonymous says:

        Still waiting for ‘management’ to explain how to program network gear. ‘Cause this “monkey’ is just replaceable commodity.

  6. Millennial voter says:

    Let’s face it, will anyone come here when SS has to charge a subscription fee so he can pay to have his content prioritized?

    • Sparkles says:

      Good point, Millennial.
      And perfect example of the outcome of tiered services is the slow loading many have experienced here on LS lately.

      • The Grundle King says:

        Except these providers are intentionally f’ing with internet users on the basis of what MIGHT happen. I can’t see how this would engender anyone to their cause. It certainly doesn’t stir up any sympathy from me.

    • can you value yourself any lower? says:

      So your time is worth nothing and that is why you come here now?

      Should we value your opinion the same?

      • Millennial voter says:

        Still waiting for your valuable insight into the accomplishments of the Trump administration, bynd.

      • research something important says:

        I could just start posting URLs about whistle blowers in the government. One VA doctor who has spent a year sitting a room because he did so. And why his boss’ should be fired or are not. Why those employees of the VA who fraudulently put forth fake wait list why soldiers died. Or the two VA employees who collude to get themselves promotion while denying them to more qualified employees. Just examples of why those laws are important and a microcosm of what happens in our government. All of these stories having been within then past year. Low information voters and citizens haven’t read them and I see no reason I should become your research assistant. Google the topics and learn for yourself. Or don’t. Those who want knowledge will seek it. Those who don’t will remain ignorant. Those who haven’t have built the government we have today.

        PS. Look at all the hints in this posting that gives you places to start.

      • Millennial voter says:

        Counterpoint: Those aren’t the big policy positions Trump ran his campaign on.

      • Sparkles says:

        Speaking of researching something, bynd, here’s an amazing reality few Americans are aware of – you’re referring to a VA ‘scandal’ that is largely a fabrication.

        In the spring of 2016 The Washington Monthly published a shocking and compelling series of articles proving the VA ‘scandal’ was largely a well coordinated attack by profiteering special interests on our welfare state.
        An attack by a right wing intent on privatizing the VA and diverting those federal dollars toward private pockets and personal enrichment. An attack by a right wing filled with a heinous collection of miscreants who don’t give a f*ck about veterans, the care they receive or our country.

        Alice Mundy lit the fuse at the Washington Monthly:
        The VA Isn’t Broken, Yet
        Inside the Koch brothers’ campaign to invent a scandal and dismantle the country’s most successful health care system.

        Paul Glastris, in a follow up at the Washington Monthly:
        “More on the VA “Scandal” That Wasn’t”

        And Kevin Drum, from Mother Jones gives a well crafted synopsis:
        “The Koch-Fueled Plot to Destroy the VA”

        I know most of you will read those headlines and roll your eyes. Which would make most of you wrong.
        If you read the articles, and you’re capable of critical thought, you’ll find real cause for concern.
        “Bottom line: There were some problems in Phoenix, where employees had gamed the system for recording wait times. However, there was no evidence that this problem was widespread; there was no evidence that it caused any deaths; and there was no evidence that care had been compromised.”

        And bynd, I don’t expect you’ll ever understand why you’re wrong about the VA ‘scandal’.
        Just as I don’t expect Don Bacon is capable of reading the above articles and understanding why the VA scandal was largely a fabrication by a vulturous right wing.
        Yet that still makes Don Bacon less culpable than Jeff Fortenberry, who I’m certain would understand the articles yet would say not a g. d. word about these heinous acts and would do not a g.d. thing to prevent such debauchery in the future.

      • clowns ot the left and right of me says:

        See, you have become just another whiny defender of your own incompetence. Go read the question you asked and try to understand what you asked. It has nothing to do with the sniveling post you just posted. Nothing worse than someone who can’t even understand their own writings.

      • the head clown's post says:

        sparkles,

        You point to one source and say what a great little researcher am I.

        Especially for one who has never been involved with the VA. The evidence comes from those who use the system. Your constant conspiracy claims are old news/falsehoods. And your constant drum beat against the Koch brothers is no longer of any interest. Especially since you give Soros a pass.

        I didn’t roll my eyes at the headlines, but that it was you posting. Because we know you haven’t posted an unbiased thing in your life.

        There are far more who print the opposite. Even the mainstream.

        But then, you never have liked those who have sacrificed so you can sit here and put your
        BS out. Try again. You have no case.

      • oracle wants me says:

        Oracle,

        You make me laugh.

        That should be your new line, intelligence you can laugh at.

        Y (es)
        (i) Am
        (I)ntelligent

  7. net neutrality is a moot point says:

    Too bad progressives want fairness in everything but government. Let’s go for something that will certainly improve everyone’s life, government neutrality. No more Dems or Repubs. Two of the most destructive forces ever know to man.

  8. Hello all!

    Sparkles wins the “Commenter of the Week” award for proposing the fix to the page-loading issues. (You all knew Sparkles would eventually come in handy right?)

    It looks like it was as simple as getting rid of a very old statcounting widget.
    So no, it was not a “net neutrality” issue.
    And for those criticizing my writing on this topic, please note that I didn’t.

    Stay Cool!
    -SS

    • Sparkles says:

      Speaking of Handey –

      Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself: “Mankind.”
      Basically, it’s made up of two separate words, mank and ind. What do these words mean? It’s a mystery, and that’s why so is mankind.

  9. Sparkles says:

    Charles P. Pierce takes a Gentle jab at Ben this morning –
    “Christopher Wray Signifies America’s Thirst for Normalcy”

    • clowns ot the left and right of me says:

      Which in this case becomes a compliment to Trump. He picked the guy. Even though you certainly didn’t mean it as a kudos to Trump, you just can’t help youkrself.

    • Ssassifornia Uber Ales says:

      Charles Pierce dealt with “Young Sasse” by saying. “Nobody was more plaintive than Young Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska. He’s already on the record a number of times as being Very Troubled by the shenanigans of the family Trump. On Wednesday, he was Very Concerned about how the country has lost faith in its institutions.”

  10. Happy Warrior says:

    I’d post a link (if that was permitted by SS), but I would encourage Sparkles and others to listen to the recent podcasts on Freakonomics about the Kochs.

    • Sparkles says:

      I’ve listened to it. It’s 90 minutes of ‘the best of Charles’.
      It’s a fluffy expose on the Kochs by the Kochs, much of it carefully crafted hooey. Of course it should be carefully crafted – the Koch’s have spent countless millions employing top executives from some of the largest P.R. firms in America (i.e., Burson-Marsteller) to craft an appeasing, if not genuine message for the masses and to help Charles reshape and relaunch the Koch brand.
      Dubner disappoints in that he makes no effort to peek beyond the Koch spiel in order to present to the listener even a synopsis of the actual agenda the Koch’s are pushing via their sundry activist organizations. The Koch deeds in no way match Chuck’s rosey rhetoric.
      It was interesting to hear Charles admit that the Koch’s personally employ 1200 people at the sundry right wing organizations they fund. Just a simple ballpark shows 1200 people at an avg salary of $50,000, not including benefits, office space… anything, comes to $60,000,000 a year.

      Anyone listening to the podcast should be required to read The New Yorker article. “Rebranding the Koch Brothers”
      It’s only one of the many recent expose’s that tell the real story of the plutocrats who own the Republican party.

      • ideology drives responses says:

        “The Koch deeds in no way match Chuck’s rosey(sic) rhetoric.”

        It’s all about perspective. And of course, you have no bias at all. (chuckle)

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