"Slow this down" - Wyden

Alert, 2:35 p.m.: Senator Ron Wyden is on the floor of the US Senate right now (C-SPAN 2) talking about net neutrality.

On Sunday, the Oregonian reported on Wyden's threat to put a "hold" on the bill proceeding through the US Senate if it doesn't change.

DailyKos blogger "McJoan" (a former Wyden aide) is covering the fight over there.

Comments

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    Wyden: "I am not going to let this legislation go forward because it will end of the age of surfing the net without discrimination".

  • BlueNote (unverified)
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    I am interested to see how this issue plays out in the progressive community. My friends in Redmond, Washington tell me that this is a battle between Microsoft/Google and ATT/Comcast. Neither side gives a damn about the little guy, in my opinion.

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    BlueNote -- your friends in Redmond are full of it.

    The folks who control the pipes want to charge users of bandwidth more money. One of the sites I run, LeftyBlogs.com, uses a lot of bandwidth in order to index 1500+ websites every hour - and to deliver the BlogWire (seen on BlueOregon's home page) to every single reader of over 400 blogs around the country, hundreds of thousands of times a day.

    In a net-neutral world, I pay my service provider for bandwidth. (And I pay a lot already.) In the Comcast/ATT version of the internet, I would also have to pay EVERY SINGLE pipe provider for access to the websites and users on their network. My indexing traffic would either be slow, or it would be expensive.

    Oh, and please note that those website and users already pay for their bandwidth -- for their access to my site. In other words, the bandwidth providers want to charge both the sender AND the receiver of the data traffic.

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    It's true. Those opposing this bill (large ISPs) have clogged the debate with a lot of FUD. They have a lot to say about freedom and fairness and other platitudes, but when you try to add it up, it simply doesn't.

    That's why the ACLU, MoveOn.org, the EFF, Gun Owners of America, and basically anyone who values the fairly level playing field the Internet affords us, strongly supports Net Neutrality.

    In fact, I heard some guy from the ACLU describe it as "the premier free speech issue of the 21st century."

    Don't worry about the big guys. Worry about your own ability to choose from a wide variety of content providers...including "small players" along the lines of Blue Oregon. (Not to say that Blue Oregon in particular would suffer if Net Neutrality is lost.)

    If you want the Internet to look more like cable TV...if CNN, FOX, and MTV are enough options for you...then by all means, shrug your shoulders, wait and see.

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    If the Net Neutrality is the Republican's new form of "hands off" government, then I'm Elmer Fudd.

    I've called Senator Smith's office (and mind you I'm in Korea) to ask him to vote against the Net Neutrality bill. Did it do any good? No

    The Repubican's are going to try to railroad any legislation through that they can before the fall elections. So far, they've fallen on their faces on immigration and flag burning. I honestly think this one will go through despite the best efforts of those of us that oppose it.

    Already we have monopolies in terms of internet providers. Comcast, one of Gordo's buddies, has raised rates through the roof. The last time I had broadband in Oregon it was about $50 a month. Not sure what it's up to now (and maybe I don't want to know).

    I am looking foward to moving back to Oregon, but not looking forward to the outrageous cost of somethings.

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    Well I will bite my tongue, I guess I'm not as up on the news as I thought. I read the Daily Kos and it appears there might be some hope.

    Keep your fingers crossed everyone...

  • Adventuregeek (unverified)
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    Indeed this is a battle between Microsoft/Google and ATT/Comcast and yes they all could care less about you and I. However it just so happens that in this case the interests of the little guy and Microsoft/Google happen to line up.

    Here's the issue from a technical stand point: the telcos/cablecos want to be able to prioritize the traffic on their fiber backbones giving priority to their traffic or traffic of companies that have paid them for "premium" delivery of their content. That means that unless Google pays ATT to deliver their traffic that transits ATT's networks ATT will downgrade Googles traffic priority. Currently ATT's network treats packets from any site (even if they don't use ATT as their ISP) the same (ie. dumb pipes to quote the telco FUD).

    Now Google of course will be able to payoff ATT's extortion, however I doubt Blue Oregon or any of the millions of other little guy sites that make the Internet the what it is will be able to. Thus their traffic either gets downgraded or not passed at all. This despite the fact that ATT end users pay every month to access ALL of the internet, not just who paid ATT to deliver their traffic. This of course applies to applications like Skype that ATT sees as competition to their long distance business or BitTorrent that Comcast sees as competition to their cable business.

    The Internet was founded on the idea of dumb pipes not a smart network. Dumb pipes allow you to decided how to use them at the ends. The pipes are non specific to the type of service, web, video or some appication we haven't even thought of yet, it doesn't matter. If you can plug it in at the ends YOU decided how you use the network, not ATT. All "smart network" means is that the telcos get to decide what you see and do on the net. They still haven't got over the idea of per minute long distance and interactive TV. This is the single biggest challenge to the net yet and Sen Wyden get huge props for standing up on this one.

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    Once the corps gain control of the pricing of pipes you'll see the paradigm faced by US troops in Iraq.

    Fox, Limbaugh, and other approved content will be dirt cheap and easily accessible from AOL and other "portal" or "channel" type content providers.

    We may be inconvenienced, but the less net savvy will actually be herded into little approved compounds where they will happily chew the cud of consumerism without a care in the world.

    Yeah, it's about money, but mostly it's about control.

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    David:

    Exactly how will a bill protecting net neutrality raise broadband rates?

    And how could voting for a bill that Comcast opposes increase their monopoly power?

    Is this that new math I've heard so much about?

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    OH NO

    (desperately tries to remove foot from mouth)

    I was confusing this legislation with an earlier bill that was in the house...I got my "No" and "Yes" positions reversed...sorry David.

    -Pete

  • Robin Ozretich (unverified)
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    We all agree that net neutrality is something we value very much, and is something that several large corporations are instructing their bought-and-paid-for representatives (nearly all Republican reps and senators, several Democrats as well) to take away from us. So who is stepping up to the plate to protect net neutrality? Oregon's Ron Wyden.

    We're lucky to have Ron Wyden fighting on our side. His leadership is to be commended. I've found myself saying it a lot recently: I'm really glad Ron Wyden is my Senator. Too bad our junior senator, Gordon Smith, is taking a leadership role in helping Verizon/Comcast et al create a non-neutral net where we pay them billions more for the same services we get today.

  • Hands Off (unverified)
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    Not sure I can agree with all of you. A lot of you seem to be implying that the Hands Off The Internet side of this debate is all for changing things. We're really not. Our name is pretty clear on that--our goal is to protect the internet from being screwed up by a bunch of ham-handed politicians more interested in their own reelection campaigns than what happens to the internet.

    Do you really think that your average government official has the first idea of how to regulate the fastest-moving and fastest-changing technology out there? Is it really a great idea to take control away from the free market and plop it into the lap of the slow-as-molasses house of red tape that is Washington DC?

    These are our concerns. Frankly, if your ISP is doing something you don't like, pick up and leave them. Your payments are their lifeblood, and without it, they're dead. They know that quite well, and will listen to their consumers first. They can't exist without them. The government, on the other hand, is an entirely different beast. While theorhetically responsible to their citizens, once this gets into the hands of the bureaucracy, the consumers are powerless to be heard. At that point, it's up to the FCC to decide. And no one will truly benefit from that situation.

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    Hands Off:

    It would be nice to know who you are (your name, or the name of the company you're shilling for.)

    You're right, the Internet is changing fast. That's exactly why thoughtful regulation is important. The companies who make their money off it have an interest in how it develops, and so does the public.

    With net neutrality, a "hands off" approach is great for the ISPs, and terrible for the public.

    When ALL the big ISPs start doing something we don't like, we won't have the option to "vote with our feet" (as you suggest.) These changes are fast and pretty much irreversible. It's essential that we (the people, and our representatives) anticipate and prevent things that will damage the utility of the Internet.

    What adverse effects do you anticipate from the protection of net neutrality? Name one, convince us that it's plausible. Otherwise, drop the rhetoric. People here are smarter than that.

  • Adventuregeek (unverified)
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    Hands Off, I've been working in the Internet business for a LONG time (do you remember NSF net, I do) including having built an ISP from scratch. Net neutrality has very little to do with ones ISP, it about the backbone networks and how they pass traffic. When you request a page from say Blue Oregon your packets often transit many companies networks in between Blue Oregon's hosting provider and your ISP. The Telco's who run the transit networks and large broadband ISPs want to decide what packets get priority during transit, obviously giving priority to packets who's originator's have paid for priority service and blocking packets for services they feel compete with their business model (how long do you think VOIP long distance will last on ATT's network). This however is not what the Internet was founded on. What made the Internet different than say a circuit switched long distance network is that all traffic is treated equally no matter if it comes from Google or BlueOregon.com. Any to any, any to many, many to any. The network in between doesn't decide what traffic gets through or doesn't. That's Net Neutrality in a nut shell. Unfortunately the telcos who you shill for prefer the long distance model (ie. the only Bell Heads vs. Net Heads problem) where they control the traffic and charge per packet of information despite the fact they make huge amounts of money on the current Internet as ISPs, hosting providers and via peering agreements. They are benefiting from billions in public (think ARPA Net, NSF Net and Al Gore) and private (think Cisco, Google, Microsoft, Netscape etc.) R&D that went into building the Internet we all depend on, yet due to Comcast, Qwest, ATT's greed that's just not enough. That's why it will take an act of congress to codify protection for Net Neutrality otherwise the open Internet as we know it could be replace by a pay to play corporate controlled world more like cable TV.

  • jami (unverified)
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    Republicans explain the Internet: "The internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck." --Republican Senator Ted Stevens, seen on Boing Boing.

    <h2>If idiots weren't running our great country, it'd be hilarious.</h2>
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