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Congress introduces the 'Save the Internet Act,' a bill that could restore net neutrality

By Polycount · 40 replies
Mar 6, 2019
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  1. For example, California has enacted (and then put a temporary hold on) its own net neutrality bill in response to the FCC's decision; a move FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai has called "illegal." More recently, Texas politicians introduced a similar bill.

    In terms of more wide-reaching examples of pushback against the FCC's vote, Democrats have attempted to use the Congressional Review Act to reverse the agency's decision entirely, but with limited success so far.

    Democrats aren't going down easily, though. Congress members have now introduced a bill called the "Save the Internet Act of 2019," which would effectively re-instate Title II legislation.

    Title II rules, for the unaware, aimed to protect consumers against ISP throttling, paid prioritization, and other undesirable activities.

    You can read the bill in its entirety right here, and we recommend that you do. It's short and relatively easy to understand, even for those who are unfamiliar with US law.

    We'll let you know whether or not this bill picks up any traction, but for now, we'd love to hear your thoughts on the net neutrality debate in the comments below.

    Image courtesy Getty Images via Fortune & Ars Technica

    Permalink to story.

  2. audioman83

    audioman83 TS Rookie Posts: 17

    Shouldn't ISPs be allowed to charge more for more bandwidth?
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,246   +3,661

    I must say, that may be one of the shortest and best written bill to come out of Congress in several decades .... while there may not be another one, this one is a gem!
    Clamyboy74 likes this.
  4. Clamyboy74

    Clamyboy74 TS Member Posts: 24   +16

    not if they are purposely throttling your bandwidth
  5. ZackL04

    ZackL04 TS Guru Posts: 519   +251

    Arent they already “throttling” us by limiting our speeds based on the tier we pay?
  6. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,900   +3,343

    It depends on how you definite throttling. In terms of "You paid for a certain speed and they reduced the speed" that is throttling. Otherwise charging more for faster plans is not throttling because you new from the onset what speed you were going to get. It's not a reduction, it's exactly what you paid for.

    Really throttling is only a really small part of Net Neutrality and not even the main purpose.

    On your question, no ISPs should not be able to charge more for bandwidth. ISPs do not create the content you are downloading nor do they pay a unit cost for data facilitation. Why should ISPs per charging a unit price for an infinite resource? A resource (bits in this case) they themselves don't even create, they simply facilitate.
    Burty117, ForgottenLegion and psycros like this.
  7. ZackL04

    ZackL04 TS Guru Posts: 519   +251

    Just a question, not wanting to argue here:
    If the ISP’s are/were able to give us all gig speeds, dont they need upgraded equipment to support that demand? Doesnt their tiered system alleviate that need from being immediate?
  8. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,900   +3,343

    A majority of ISPs already have the capacity to upgrade your internet speed, just like how comcast switched from 20/5 plans to 100/20 plans and everyone's internet suddenly became faster with the flip of a switch.

    Aside from the public money they already take to expand their network and the taxes everyone pays to do just that. FYI the system is already tiered into speeds.

    Segmenting it further by charging per GB will increase prices in the US market, which already pays more then most other markets.

    All this an the fact that charging per GB does nothing to help alleviate network congestion . If a majority of Americans get home and eat dinner from 6-8 PM and the windows for them using netflix is thus 6 - 11 PM, that means the network will be most congested during what is called "Prime Time". How exactly does charging per GB affect that? It doesn't, they will continue to watch shows during and / or after diner. The only affect you might see is less use during off hours, which helps no one.

    In fact this isn't even needed as every ISP already has a clause stating that they may throttle your connection as part of network management. So really this problem has been solved for some time. ISPs already throttle your connection if the network isn't able to handle the load.

    Charging per GB is nothing but pure greed.
    Burty117, ForgottenLegion and psycros like this.
  9. Soulburn74

    Soulburn74 TS Enthusiast Posts: 43   +16

    Network neutrality, or more simply net neutrality, is the principle that Internet service providers should treat all Internet communications equally and not discriminate or charge differently based on user, content, website, platform, application, type of equipment, or method of communication.[4] When net neutrality is required, Internet service providers (ISPs) may not intentionally block, slow down, or charge money for specific online content. Without net neutrality regulations, ISPs may prioritize certain types of traffic, meter others, or potentially block traffic from specific services, while charging consumers for various tiers of service.
  10. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,661   +2,414

    You gotta love a government that's perfectly fine with California ignoring ALL immigration laws but gets its hackles up when the state refuses to let greedy corporations Balkanize the Internet.

    Things that would make this bill perfect:

    * ISPs are not allowed to alter the contents of data packets except for purposes of error correction and legitimate routing.
    * ISPs may not intercept and redirect domain lookups. For years now Suddenlink has been randomly intercepting Google searches and 404s and routing them to their Yahoo-powered search page. I'm sure their not the only provider engaging in this kind of shady activity and if anyone else were doing this they would go to jail.
    * ISPs cannot be legally required to provide any government entity with the ability to monitor or duplicate their internal network traffic in real time.
    * ISPs cannot block certain Internet traffic based on content, origin, destination or other discretionary criteria except when ordered to do so by authorities in direct response to a declared state of emergency.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
    wiyosaya, Evernessince and Stark like this.
  11. Stark

    Stark TS Addict Posts: 108   +97

    sigh, of cource they charge you for the bandwidth they provide to you, but they also want to charge the other-side, I.e. the sites you access, kind of double charging the same without any value addition, think of it like as the bouncer at the local pub starts charging a "priority Fee" even after you paid the entry charge, a crude but kind of get the point example.
    psycros, wiyosaya and ForgottenLegion like this.
  12. RaXoR

    RaXoR TS Addict Posts: 141   +96

    Yes they should be able to. The problem also arises from the fact that they are charging outrageous amounts for no reason. In my area, I have two options for gigabit. ATT and Spectrum/Charter. ATT wants to lock me down into a 2 year contract, I pay $90 a month for the first year and then $180 a month after that first year. Spectrum has no contracts but as an existing customer, I have to pay a $200 installation fee plus $125 a month meanwhile new customers get the installation fee waived and a discounted amount of $105 a month. How much does gigabit cost outside of the US? S.Korea is like $20 to $30 a month. Parts of Europe are on par in price with S.Korea. We are a first world country with the worst internet service and outrageous costs. Hell, there isn't even parity in costs throughout the country itself. The next city an hour away from me gets gigabit from Spectrum for $70 a month, even for existing customers... you see the issue? Also, those that live in rural areas and have one single option... yeah they get shafted even worse. Outrageous prices, even slower speeds and they can be throttled/data capped to hell without repercussion.
    psycros likes this.
  13. Versutus

    Versutus TS Enthusiast Posts: 52   +28

    In Hungary I pay 12 USD for a gigabit connection. No download or upload data limit. But to be honest, most of the time I got like 500-600 Mbps. I'm not complaining, it's fast, it's cheap. When I read stories like yours, that you have to pay over 100 USD for a gigabit connection, maaaan. And you live in the US...
  14. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,484   +1,288

    Sorry but that's just not true, The UK is a much smaller country than yours, we do not have a Gigabit option for homes, even experimental homes max out at 330mbps and that covers about 5 properties in the entire country.

    Most of the UK still runs on copper wires from the 60's. At least you have the option for Gigabit.

    If I desperately wanted Gigabit Fibre to my home, I did enquire about it, They wanted £2500~ to examine if it was worth it, another £4500~ to install the line down the road then another £1000~ a month to keep it.

    And I don't live in the middle of nowhere either, I can get a Tube Train to (Central) London in 30 minutes...
  15. Bubbajim

    Bubbajim TechSpot Staff Posts: 656   +633

    HyperOptic offer what you're looking for, but they only really install in blocks of flats where a sufficient number of people 'pledge' that they'll sign up. But still, 1gb/s lines are available in the UK.
  16. Avenger001

    Avenger001 TS Booster Posts: 57   +44

    Honestly would rather we move away from paying monopoly rent to telecom companies;I hope we see more public broadband in the future.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  17. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,484   +1,288

    Again, barely. I've checked them out before and they cover very few flats as it is.

    As I said, except for the experimental sites, less than 99.5% of UK homes can get gigabit.

    Edit: I'd like to add by the way that I'd happily pay double or triple my internet bill if it meant I could get Gigabit. Just a shame Openreach seem to be really struggling with this Idea of a proper Fibre roll out.

    On top of this, I read that in the 90's BT had geared up to roll out Fibre but the Government sold all the Fibre factories off before BT was allowed to roll anything out...
  18. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,819   +2,173

    We have something like that in my area in the US, too. $50/mo for 500Mbps down/50 Mbps up. I can't wait. Right now, I can't get them, but they are surrounding my area with service, hopefully, they will build into my area, too. Their top tier is 2Gbps down/200Mbps up for $200/mo.
  19. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,140   +835

    Stop calling it "Net Neutrality"

    You confuse the poorly educated.

    Call it: Equal Access To the Internet Act
    wiyosaya likes this.
  20. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,140   +835

    I pay Verizon Fios $144 a month for every channel and a Gigabit connection. My connection speeds on base FIOS used to be high... the new Gigabit speeds are almost three times as fast.

    I REFUSE to pay more than I feel is too much.

    Honestly, if not for Real Time, Game of Thrones and Billions, I'd have already cut off HBO and Showtime.

    Why should I be paying more than $100 a month?
  21. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,819   +2,173

    IMO, they should call this bill the "Get Lost Ajit Pai Bill".
    Well, look at it as demonstrating where the government's priorities are ATM. ;)

    I agree.

    What I found with intercepted isp lookups is that it came from using the ISP's DNS.

    If you are using your ISP's DNS, Maybe if you try one of the DNS' here https://www.zerodollartips.com/best-public-dns-servers-fastest-dns-servers/ your lookups will not be intercepted. Personally, I avoid gagme's DNS as if it were the plague.
  22. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,791   +1,506

    Not really IMO. If I buy a 42HP VW and drive 55mph, that's once choice. On the other hand, choosing a 600HP muscle car and drive 80-90MPH that's another. My gas consumption is a function of my usage(and so is my fuel bill).

    Paying per usage is very fare and easily monitored.

    Same argument applies to cell phone roaming charges.
  23. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,484   +1,288

    Oh dear, Oh dear indeed, I don't think you fully understand how ISP networks work...
    Evernessince and Stark like this.
  24. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,791   +1,506

    So sorry -- been networking since 1993, even in corporate system; :sigh:
  25. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,484   +1,288

    So at least try and seem like you've "been networking since 1993" and come up with a decent analogy that's remotely true.

    When an ISP sells you "100GB" of bandwidth, that's a complete farce and is simply greed.

    Let's go with the basics of a single Network switch for starters, you have 8 Ports, each can do 1Gbps. The server takes 4 of the ports and the remaining 4 ports go to a client PC each. How much does it cost to receive 100GB of data from the server to each client? The answer is nothing by the way, absolutely nothing, It would cost the same to send no data at all.

    Now lets scale this up to ISP grade Class network, You'll find the answer is the same. The expensive bit is actually connecting everyone at a decent rate, it doesn't cost them to send the actual data passing through their network. I understand that some Tier 1 and 2 Network Providers will charge ISP's for routing traffic over their networks, That is a cost that's factored into the billing and is usually only charged when it's information going across the Atlantic for example, When I visited Microsoft's Datacenter in Dublin, this was one of the reason's they created their own Massive Network so they had more control and could connect directly with ISP networks to lower latency as much as possible.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
    Evernessince and psycros like this.

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