Net Neutrality (and other FCC matters)

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LessIsMore
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Net Neutrality (and other FCC matters)

Postby LessIsMore » Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:43 am

Being a political moderate, I was sitting squarely on the fence on this issue for a long time. But with the "big vote" on it coming up tomorrow, I decided to swing my legs over to the "pro" side of the fence. I'm uncertain whether or not this is a wise choice - seeing the pro side as merely being a lesser of two evils. But beyond this issue, I think the FCC has to do a LOT of work to convince me they're really in favor of "fair" treatment for the average at-home broadband user. Let me make a comparative example.

Let's say you went to a car lot to buy a new car. And when you found a car you liked, you looked at its sticker. Prominently on the sticker, you see EPA estimates of highway/city mileage on the car. But ... what if you instead saw, in bold letters:

UP TO 100 MPG !!!

Descriptors like "up to" and "as fast as" have long been an advertising trick - allowing them to lie by omission. Technically speaking, 1 MPG would be within the definition of "UP TO 100 MPG !!!." And if all you saw was that descriptor, you'd likely assume this was a "highway" estimate - leaving you in the dark as to how badly your mileage would be in "city" driving.

That is exactly how broadband is advertised today ... giving you an "up to" estimate on download speeds while not mentioning upload speeds. Not that he was listening, but I wrote to Commissioner Wheeler - telling him that this advertising practice needs to be stopped - and that the FCC had a responsibility to "require" ISPs to show FCC-estimated download/upload speeds in their advertising - no less than the EPA-estimated highway/city MPG is provided on every new car sticker.

Hehe, my note to Wheeler might have been in vain. But, it did make me feel better to have said something to somebody about it.

There are other issues surrounding ISP marketing practices - especially in rural areas like mine (Vader, WA). There's only one ISP in Vader - CenturyLink DSL. Satellite Internet is the only other option. CenturyLink provides residents with "up to 10mbps" service. Translation = 4-5mbps down, 300-500kbps up. And that's on a "good" day. But on this issue, the free-market might solve things faster than the FCC.

Originally planned for this year, "COMMstellation" low-earth-orbit satellites will be launched (now slated for 2018). Unlike the current medium-earth-orbit scenarios with high latency issues, these satellites should have 7ms latency - making them usable for VOIP applications. And download/upload speeds available might make even the fastest current ISPs blush. Of course, until they do launch, this is all within the realm of science-fiction. But, hope springs eternal. :cool:
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Postby lobbythis » Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:23 am

The speed ratings are more of a misunderstanding to the average consumer than an outright lie.

When they advertise speed, it is measured in megabits, allowing them to advertise 8x actual download speed a customer sees when downloading anything online because that is measured in megaBYTES. There are 8 bits in a byte so when they advertise 100mbps, this really means 100/8 which is 12.5MB/s down. That's what you would see when downloading a file if the server it's located on could support your max download speed.

Now you know. Educate yourself homeslice. People always look at the numbers, not what it actually means.

LG, Samsung, Vizio, Sony etc. all pull the same stunts with TV refresh rates. With no regulation from FCC, they can trick whoever they want.

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Postby LessIsMore » Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:43 am

lobbythis wrote:The speed ratings are more of a misunderstanding to the average consumer than an outright lie.


If an ISP uses a reference to advertise speed, knowing that the average consumer is applying a different reference to the speed, that's a lie by omission. Not an outright lie, but a lie by omission nonetheless. I don't foresee any time in the future when an ISP will tell the "whole" truth and "nothing but the truth" to consumers - unless a regulatory agency mandates that they do.

P.S. Perhaps this is a "misunderstanding" on my part, but I'm assuming your comment, quote, "Educate yourself homeslice" was not meant to be flattering. That's OK, I'm a big boy who can take his lumps. :cool:
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Postby lobbythis » Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:54 pm

LessIsMore wrote:If an ISP uses a reference to advertise speed, knowing that the average consumer is applying a different reference to the speed, that's a lie by omission. Not an outright lie, but a lie by omission nonetheless. I don't foresee any time in the future when an ISP will tell the "whole" truth and "nothing but the truth" to consumers - unless a regulatory agency mandates that they do.

P.S. Perhaps this is a "misunderstanding" on my part, but I'm assuming your comment, quote, "Educate yourself homeslice" was not meant to be flattering. That's OK, I'm a big boy who can take his lumps. :cool:


I was just being dumb. I apologize. It was not meant as a dig. That's why I use funny words like homeslice.

The ISP's will never tell the entire truth. They make billions off of tricking people. FCC is their puppet.

You are the hamster and customer service is the wheel. Their only goal is to keep you on the wheel until you die. You can call customer service for hours, days, months, etc. You will accomplish nothing until you cancel. This is because they keep their CS employees completely out of the loop and ignorant as well. That's why every single person you speak to tells you different prices, packages or just completely made up sh*t they pulled from their a$$ on the spot.

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Postby LessIsMore » Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:20 pm

lobbythis wrote:I was just being dumb. I apologize. It was not meant as a dig. That's why I use funny words like homeslice.

The ISP's will never tell the entire truth. They make billions off of tricking people. FCC is their puppet.


No problem with the "homeslice" comment. I wasn't offended but did notice it (grin).

On your second comment, I agree with you that "they make billions off of tricking people." But on your "FCC is their puppet" comment, I'd revise that to "FCC has always been their puppet." Perhaps net neutrality will reverse the roles of puppet and puppeteer. Time will tell.
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Postby darkguy2 » Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:44 pm

ISP's have been given the chance at a "free" market if you can call it that. Right now it is next to impossible to start a new ISP. The cost is enormous and many cities will have a exclusivity contract with one ISP. If you do start one up one of the big ISPs will come and crush you. Like Google Fiber is having trouble with right now, they cannot use the utility poles since many of them are controlled by the big ISPs. There is no free market right now. They have had legislation passed that benefits the big ISPs and hurts the small ones. In all this time the quality and cost of internet have not improved. It can be easily shown how the cost has gone up while the quality has stayed the same or gotten worse. There is no reason TWC should be making a 97% profit margin, which is what they are making. Then they want to go and tell companies that they need to pay a fee for their service to get to their customers fast enough. BS.

Right now the US is falling very far behind other countries on internet speed and quality. Did you know that the federal government gave billions of dollars to ISPs so they would expand fiber networks in the US? How many billions? 200 billion dollars. And when was this given? Maybe 10 or 20 years ago? No, it was in the 90s. The telecom companies took $200 billion from the taxpayers and did nothing. It seems at every turn greed is all we have gotten and I think it is about time these companies are reined in.

Also for my last point, the UN has recently labeled access to the internet as a basic human right. Do you think everyone has access to the internet?
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Postby lobbythis » Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:48 pm

That's why I'm for it. We have to try something else. Keeping sh*t the same does absolutely nothing but build their monopoly even further.

The only reason why these morons are trying to cover up/rectify issues with any customers lately is because the last thing they want is "neutrality". The only thing that has ever mattered to them is their kingdom and the mountain it sits on top of, making sure all the plebs are helpless to their powers.

It's hard to have any respect for them when I read article after article of the most asinine direct comments from their executives.

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Postby LessIsMore » Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:07 pm

What follows is a humorous post unrelated to the current topic.

Prior to joining the Navy in 1969, I was a staunch conservative who wore his hair in a crew-cut style (very short). While I was in boot camp, a guy came up to me in the bathroom and said, "Hey, you look like Nikita Krushchev." If he's before your time, Krushchev was a former leader of the Soviet Union. Anyway, I looked in the mirror and said, "By golly, you're right!"

While I consider myself a political moderate now, I was still a staunch conservative when I left the Navy in 1973. But, I'd always wondered what I'd look like with long hair. So, I stopped cutting it.

By the time I started working my 2nd job after the Navy, it was halfway down my back - tied in a ponytail. My 2nd job was with the Veteran's Adminitration (now, Department of Veteran Affairs). I was a lowly clerk working out of a cubicle. One day, I heard 2 people talking on the other side of the cubicle partition. One of them was Dick McClaflin, the Assistant Veteran's Service Officer (like an office VP) and the other was the office's attorney, Sam Menashe - a completely bald man. Both of them were in their 50s and both of them were bad-mouthing hippies. Finally, Sam said, "Well, it just goes to show that you can't trust those long-hairs."

I stood up, peeking my head over the partition and said, "Was someone talking about me?" They both feigned embarrassment but Sam finally glared at me and replied, "I was just telling Dick that grass doesn't grow on a busy street." I thought for a second and, looking at Sam's bald head, replied, "You're right, Sam. It only grows where it's fertile."

I sat back down quickly (grin). And no, I didn't get disciplined. And yes, I still wear my hair in a ponytail at age 64. However, I recently cut the ponytail back so that it's only about 4 inches long. I was trying to capture the image of Sean Connery as he appeared in the film, "Medicine Man." Didn't do it. But I decided to keep the ponytail anyway.
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Postby LessIsMore » Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:12 pm

darkguy2 wrote:200 billion dollars. And when was this given? Maybe 10 or 20 years ago? No, it was in the 90s.


Actually, the 90s was 20 years ago. :cool:
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Postby darkguy2 » Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:17 pm

Well the FCC made their decision. They struck down the state laws preventing public broadband and labeled ISPs as title II. Now it will be up to the courts to see if it holds up or not this summer.
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