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How essential is the Internet? Is it a utility?

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by dmc89, Jul 17, 2014.

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Is the Internet a utility?

Poll closed Aug 31, 2014.
  1. I believe the internet is a utility/essential.

    90.1%
  2. I do not believe the internet is a utility/non-essential.

    9.9%
  1. dmc89

    dmc89 Member

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    I've been closely following the FCC's initial public comment period on the future of Net Neutrality. The PR campaign for Comcast, Verizon, et al is arguing they are merely 'information services' and NOT public utilities. That distinction is important because if the internet were deemed essential like telephones or electricity, then the debate on Net Neutrality would easily be one-sided (Comcast would lose).

    Currently, the FCC cannot regulate ISPs like AT&T because they are 'information services' and not 'common carriers' like land-line telephones. If the internet were deemed to be a public utility, the FCC would reclassify ISPs as common carriers and true Net Neutrality would be preserved. The alternative would be to not reclassify ISPs as common carriers; instead the rules for right of way could be changed

    I think in today's world, the Information Age, having access to the World Wide Web is crucial and thus should be a utility.
     
  2. shastarocket

    shastarocket Member

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    Such a stupid debate. The internet is absolutely pervasive in modern society, thus it is essential.
     
  3. Dubious

    Dubious Member

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    I know they utilities because they have had monopolistic contracts with cities since they started out as cable TV providers. They are essentially the Land Lines of the information age.

    But we are going to lose because ISP's can spend billions on lobbying and campaign donations and the doublespeak about the best interest of the consumer is already blurry, i.e. innovation and advances

    Is Making Broadband a Utility the Key to Saving the Internet?
    http://mashable.com/2014/05/15/fcc-broadband-utility-net-neutrality/
     
  4. NewRoxFan

    NewRoxFan Member

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    An increasing amount of your business as a consumer is performed via the Internet (eg statements and payments emailed or downloaded via the web). Internet access is largely a requirement for education.
     
  5. dmc89

    dmc89 Member

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    I'd like the other side to also chime in. I know Mr. Clutch and Haymitch are conservative, but I'm unfamiliar with Beck. It's one thing if you're against government regulation, it's another thing if you consider the internet a luxury or a privilege of a developed society. I realize libertarians like Haymitch may be uncomfortable with answering affirmatively since that can be pro-regulation, but that's not the poll.

    FCC regulation of ISPs and opposition to it is easy to predict in the D&D. It's harder to know who thinks what on the importance of internet access.
     
  6. juicystream

    juicystream Member

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    If a telephone is essential, then internet is as well.
     
  7. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Member

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    What Marc Andreesen has wrote is the best I've read on the subject.


    Marc Andreessen ✔ @pmarca
    Follow
    @bitingtea @mattyglesias Too much of net neutrality debate assumes relatively static market. Static amount of bandwidth, static # of uses.
    2:05 PM - 23 Feb 2014
    1 RETWEET 4 FAVORITES
    Reply


    Marc Andreessen ✔ @pmarca
    Follow
    @bitingtea @mattyglesias Strict net neutrality would kill investment in infrastructure, limit the future of what broadband can deliver.



    Marc Andreessen ✔ @pmarca
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    @bitingtea @mattyglesias Strict net neutrality = Internet version of Marxism. Sounds great; problematic consequences.
     
  8. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Member

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    @pmarca
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    @binarybits @mattyglesias To be clear, I think the answer has to be encouragement/enablement of multiple/parallel networks to same people.



    @pmarca
    Follow
    @binarybits @mattyglesias In my view, regulation of what an individual provider can do is counterproductive. More competition is the key.


    @pmarca
    Follow
    @binarybits @mattyglesias And regulation of what providers can do actually disincents competitive investment; same limits presumed to apply.
     
  9. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Member

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    Just because it's essential doesn't mean the best path is for government to come in and start bossing people around and passing stupid laws.
     
  10. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Member

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    Let's be honest though.

    The liberal position to regulate had nothing to do with it being essential or a utility.

    Liberals want to regulate everything.

    Why?

    Because inequality.
     
  11. mtbrays

    mtbrays Member
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    Hasn't "investment in infrastructure" already been killed due to a lack of competition? From my view, ISPs have colluded to seldom compete with one another and deliberately dilute their own product.

    The issue I have with anti-net neutrality positions is that, as currently governed, the Internet isn't broken at all. Those of us arguing for the preservation of net neutrality don't want to see ISPs' stubbornness and greed institutionalized in the law.

    I live in Austin and it's amazing to see the ISPs shaking in their boots now that Google Fiber is rolling out. The reason why? Because the Time Warners and AT&Ts of the world have had the capability, for years, to dramatically improve the Internet quality of the country but have chosen not to together. It isn't random that Time Warner has suddenly increased speeds, and AT&T has introduced "Gigapower," in Austin. They know what's coming and they know that, if finally given a choice for a better product, consumers will opt for Fiber.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ECT5INZVPEU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Member

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    If the Internet isn't broken why do you want to regulate it? Pople who are arguing for "preservation of net neutrality" are not preserving the status quo. They are arguing for more regulation.

    Also, it does not seem google is on the regulate side. They presented a joint proposal with Verizon.
     
  13. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    Libraries seems to be getting smaller and rarely
    [slowly but it is happening]
    makes the reliance on internet is growing

    More of a utility than telephone.
    I can survive more without my telephone

    THE BIG THREE: Water --> Electricity --> Internet

    Telephone/TV <--- easily replaced by Internet connectivity

    Rocket River
     
  14. mtbrays

    mtbrays Member
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    We want to "regulate" it because ISPs are seeking to change the way that content has always been served up to users. You still haven't given a concrete example why the system of content delivery needs to be changed to fit what ISPs are seeking.

    You seem to be more rightward than myself and, aside from a few sweeping generalizations, interested in debate. So, I have to ask: do you support the concept of ISPs charging more for businesses, on a case-by-case basis, to deliver their content to users? Would this not put an undue burden on new companies and stifle the environment of innovation that onetime start-ups like Facebook, Google, etc. enjoyed? Would this not institutionalize through FCC regulation a worse experience for consumers?
     
  15. mtbrays

    mtbrays Member
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    Sorry for the double-post, but I realize neither of us have addresses the thread's central question: is the Internet a public utility?

    Personally, I believe the ubiquity of the Internet in 2014 necessitates its classification as utility if the alternative is what ISPs are seeking. Internet access is no longer a luxury - try going to the bank, paying your bills or running your small business without it.
     
  16. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    No internet can be crippling to the Modern American

    Rocket River
     
  17. Amiga

    Amiga 10 years ago...
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    Net neutrality is/was the default operating condition of the internet. Now the ISP don't want that. They want fine grained control the flow of traffic. So, yes, if the internet wasn't broken, why would we risk breaking it by allowing ISP to completely change how the internet have operated very successfully?
     
  18. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Member

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    Library's are smaller because the internet grew and people don't need them anymore.

    Not the other way around.
     
  19. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Member

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    I don't think there's a simple answer.

    Clearly, there is tons of growth to go and someone has to pay for it. If internet high speed lanes can expedite more growth and competition, I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing
     

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