17 Replies to “COPE a feel”

  1. I have an opposing point of view.

    I object to government setting prices. That’s all that the “net neutrality” law was. It defined what an ISP or carrier could and could not charge for, what it could charge, what was allowed to be a service.

    The events depicted in the strip above does indeed point out one truly awful thing that could happen, but it has nothing to do with “net neutrality”. That has to do with fraud, since my request was packets from ELESR, not Disney. The “net neutrality” bill didn’t say anything about prohibiting fraud, since fraud is already prosecutable.

  2. Please forgive the double post.

    Just in case anyone thinks I’m a heartless bastard, I also like “best effort” backbones. I like the “source neutral” environment we basically have, that once in the transmission medium packets are delivered without regard to source, destination or content.

    However, sites and individuals have been paying a premium for greater bandwidth since the beginning. CNN pays one heck of a lot more for their traffic than ELESR, they pay for bigger pipes to the servers, more servers. I pay more than someone with dial-up, and I expect to get more bandwidth.

    Any ISP who plays games like noted above will be treated like a network fault. Anyone with half a brain will likewise refuse to do business with them, and they and their business model will fail.

    The only thing government interference can do, as it has always done, is prevent that process from working. Instead, a business model that generates lots of campaign contributions *cough*microsoft*att*cough* will be enshrined by law.

    You cannot both object to legally mandated DRM and then support “Net Neutrality” laws. They are the same thing.

  3. >> Anyone with half a brain will likewise refuse to do business
    >> with them, and they and their business model will fail.

    I’d like to agree with you, but I think consumer apathy will prevent the benefits of capitalism on this one. Initially things will be hunky-dory and ISPs will be responsible. [insert obvious slippery slope here] Those who are hurt by ISPs “playing games” like in the comic will be a very small percentage of the population. In order for the American people to fix a problem it has to make the majority of the population extremely scared/angry, which in this case won’t happen. (eg. “I don’t care if NSA taps my phones. I’m not a terrorist!”)

  4. the strip is excellent as usual

    Bob: you are plainly wrong, the law aimed at preventing big companies from using their actual dominance of the market as a way of perpetuating it by crushing opposition

    we are talking of a network, networks are useful only in so far many people use them, if big companies could use their control of a big part of the internet backbone to degrade or block other peoples service this would make it impossible for newcomers to carve out a niche

    its like, right now we have superhighways and little dirt roads underneath, everybody owns or rents a one piece of this roads, some bigger, some smaller, as nobody has roads to go everywhere they need, the deal is sharing the roads but using them with a limit (think speed) proportionate to the amount of road we are paying or own.

    what the bill tried to stop is the big highway owners making a deal between themselves (or a war, but an oligopoly is likelier) to fuck everybody else and begin tolling their use of the infraestructure they own, they do not need to make a deal with the small fish, they can just squeeze them from their dominant position and get a few extra bucks in the proccess, both from content providers (who will have an interest in people being able to access their servers fast without paying) and other service providers (who would not have the installed infraestrucutre from the very begining to reach worldwide, and their customers are not going to pay the same to them from lower quality service).

  5. Bob Robertson: “Anyone with half a brain will likewise refuse to do business with them, and they and their business model will fail.”

    Anyone with half a brain will recognise it’s impossible for an end user to route their traffic over a different Internet backbone.

    These carriers already have massive monopolies. Your free market fantasies are useless here.

  6. “Anyone with half a brain will recognise it’s impossible for an end user to route their traffic over a different Internet backbone.”

    So long as there are no legal barriers to entry, be it ISP or long-distance carrier, those who serve their customers better will attract customers.

    The illusion of monopoly is seductive, but incorrect. The only reason traffic is routed over AT&T’s cables is that AT&T is selling that bandwith to ISPs at various points. If no one buys it because AT&T plays games with the traffic flow, then AT&T will either lower their prices, quit playing games, or alter their QoS to better serve customers.

    The same goes for every supposed “monopoly”, even Microsoft. Monopolies can only maintain themselves by serving their customers better, or by legal mandate the same as local telephone, tv cable, power, water, and other so-called “utilites” have.

    Remember when long distance telephone was considered a “utility” and carried by a single legally mandated monopoly company? No? Too young?

    I suggest you go read a book on the subject. It will help you realize who is having the fantasies.

    Bob-

  7. > So long as there are no legal barriers to entry,
    > be it ISP or long-distance carrier, those who
    > serve their customers better will attract
    > customers.
    Stop acting as if legal barriers are the only barriers. There is a very real, and very powerful monetary barrier. Its name is entry cost, also known as capital. In the absence of anti-trust regulation, those with capital build up capital and use it to “diversify” into many fields, all giving more money to the man with the original capital.

    > The same goes for every supposed “monopoly”,
    > even Microsoft.
    Tell me, what legal mandate does Microsoft have that lets it keep 85% desktop marketshare for two decades? The only one I see is the one based on the fact that we aren’t enforcing the Sherman Act.
    The lack of government regulation of the developing computer monopolies is greater damage than any Net Neutrality bill, despite what the Cato Institute tries to tell you.

    > Remember when long distance telephone was
    > considered a “utility” and carried by a single
    > legally mandated monopoly company? No? Too
    > young?
    If I remember correctly, the government broke up Ma Bell. And the free market is trying so hard to bring it back together again so it can screw the consumer.

    > If no one buys it because AT&T plays games with
    > the traffic flow
    *If* nobody buys it. But the consumer is massively uninformed, rather misinformed because AT&T can afford ads, you and I can’t. Again, capital.

  8. “those with capital build up capital and use it to “diversify” into many fields, all giving more money to the man with the original capital.”

    Only so long as they serve their customers. Without that service, or at least the perception of service, they get nothing.

    Two of the biggest non-legal “monopolies” that were prosecuted: Standard Oil and IBM. By the time the Standard Oil prosecute happened, they had maybe 10% share, down from 60%, of the oil supply in America. IBM was able to drag out their prosecution for so long that, same as Standard Oil, their competition had made the monopoly charge moot.

    The anti-trust laws are written with such ambiguity that it is impossible to know what will and will not be prosecutable.

    “Tell me, what legal mandate does Microsoft have that lets it keep 85% desktop marketshare for two decades?”

    Because the people who buy and use Microsoft software believe they are getting better service than if they do not. Who will make that choice for them instead, you?

    You also ignore the criteria by which people purchased software. Compatibility is more important to a large number of people than vague promises of “software libre”. So what is happening now, since it really has been only a very short time since computers have become wide-spread as single-user machines? Diversity is creeping in, and Microsoft is attempting to get government to protect their “monopoly” status with DRM, government granted patents on FAT and NTFS, and other legal games.

    Or haven’t you noticed how Microsoft has been scrambling recently with “Genuine” this and “Trusted” that? It is because their greatest selling point, compatibility, is no longer getting them the customers it used to. Without a legal monopoly grant, customers can abandon even Microsoft.

    “If I remember correctly, the government broke up Ma Bell.”

    The government never removed the local monopoly status of the so-called “baby bells”. The only legally mandated monopoly that Judge Green removed was the restriction on long distance carrier. That’s right, it was a legal restriction that was removed. MCI, Sprint, and a plethora of competition sprang up over night, and the price of long distance service fell into the basement.

    The legal monopoly on local service remains, competition there remains restricted to the whims of politicians.

    “And the free market is trying so hard to bring it back together again so it can screw the consumer.”

    Wrong again. The “companies” with the locally mandated monopoly on service, bought each other up and re-established the name AT&T. They remain monopolies because of the laws which restrict competition.

    BTW, MCI, Sprint and the other long distance competition were funded by the genius of Michael Milken. It is my opinion that by doing so, he so pissed-off the powers-that-be that they went on a which hunt for him no matter what charges they had to make up. Even the so-called “savings and loan scandal” was tied up in that, since the government stepped in and repudiated the “junk bonds” that the banks had bought, then used tax money to bail them out. Had those “junk bonds” been left alone, the banks would have made handsome profits because those bonds were substantially in the new tech businesses that “cannot happen because they cannot get the capital to start-up”.

    Here’s the problem: The free market does not promise perfection. Utopians do, promised through their coercion and central planning. However, central planning always results in lower efficiency than the free market does, because bureaucracies are not allowed to fail. The fact that companies fail means that customers have gone to more efficient providers of that service.

    Government is immune to that “going out of business” or even just “failing to make a profit” force.

    “Just because something is in a book doesn’t mean it’s right.”

    Yes, I’m reminded of that every time I have the unfortune to crack open a TIME magazine. Thanks for the reminder.

    Bob-

  9. Yes, I’m reminded of that every time I have the unfortune to crack open a TIME magazine. Thanks for the reminder.

    Bob-

    Misfortune?

    Are you employed by AT&T to come and make stuff up, or are you just that misinformed?

    Have you seen the effects of major ISP “disputes” where they started dropping one another’s packets? Remember when Cogent and Level 3 Communications quit sending packets to one another?

    THAT is a prime example of why limits must be set. The companies have enough inertia and control over regions that you cannot just circumvent them.

  10. “Because the people who buy and use Microsoft software believe they are getting better service than if they do not.”

    Rubbish.

    People buy Microsoft Windows because that is what their computer is preloaded with. They buy Office because again it either comes preloaded, you can buy it at a discount with a new computer or because “that’s what everyone else uses”.

    Microsoft abuses its position as market leader to ensure Windows is the only operating system that you can purchase preloaded on a PC.

    AT&T will be able to do the exact same thing.

  11. Mike you clearly haven’t heard of the invisible handjob of the market. I suggest you go and read a book on the subject, you god-damn cretin.

  12. Bob – I notice you completely ignored the point about acquiring the required capital…

    The fact remains that AT&T and the other large corps will own all the pipes, in order to compete you will have to have to lay your own cable in areas already serviced by AT&T and the rest. This is not cheap, you need to acquire enough coverage plus a direct route to an international backbone before you can even start, not to mention that all websites inside America will be inaccessible (Gets even better if AT&T refuses to license the pipes to the new competitor). But what about the free market…, everyone else can still access everything, just paying a subscription per domain they want to access so why should they get off their asses to do anything?

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