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Reader Asks if Net Neutrality Rule Spells Higher Costs for Users

We have already received a number of interesting reader comments on FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's plans to propose net neutrality rules, which would prevent broadband providers from blocking or slowing Internet traffic tied to specific applications or services.

Some readers see the move as nothing less than a government takeover of the Web. Others say net neutrality is long overdue because consumers have borne high costs and been given limited choices at the hands of a few giant network operators who are reaping outsized profits off providing Web access.

Here, KHMJr, poses an interesting question about costs due to net neutrality regulation and how that could pass down to consumers. Agree? Disagree? Sound off!

"I have a few concerns.

As an iPhone user I appreciate Apple's efforts to keep malware off of the systems by reviewing and authorizing apps. With something like 65,000 apps approved in a year they seem to be doing a good job.

I also appreciate their efforts to keep porn off of the iPhone. We simply don't need it.

On the carrier side, my concern is that opening up the market totally will overload the current infrastructure. The United States is behind some countries (like Korea and Japan) but major increases in demand on a rapid basis can overload the system. The explosion of iPhones in various markets is showing that already. They add to the problem? It adds costs and that will be passed onto us.

Posted by: KHMJr | September 18, 2009 4:45 PM "

By Cecilia Kang  |  September 18, 2009; 9:42 PM ET  | Category:  Cecilia Kang
Previous: FCC To Introduce Net Neutrality Rule | Next: FCC Will Get Passing Votes for Net Neutrality


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Apple has always known that exclusivity is profitable, and so has AT&T, for that matter. It's called Retail and has nothing to do with Net Neutrality.

A Railroad is a better metaphor for the value of net neutrality than the iPhone. The Transcontinental Railroad was made possible by many actors smart enough to collaborate on engineering specifications. OTOH, as the Germans learned in Russia, even if you know where you want to go, different gauge tracks limit your mobility.

Posted by: gannon_dick | September 19, 2009 12:10 AM

Jobless gatekeepers of the wired Internet move to the wireless one. Will they succeed?

Posted by: pablogarciaa | September 19, 2009 12:25 PM

Net Neutrality simply means that carriers can't play favorites -- like allowing only iTunes and not Symphony or vice versa. Carriers shouldn't complain about demand -- what company doesn't want to sell more of their service? If they fall too far behind, they lose out also.

Art Brodsky
Public Knowledge

Posted by: artbrodsky | September 20, 2009 7:59 PM

I meant Rhapsody. Sorry.

Posted by: artbrodsky | September 20, 2009 8:00 PM

As a retiree of the telecoms industry, I firmly believe the FCC is on the right track in making sure the Net is neutral. If prices go up for the hogs that use the most bandwidth, so be it. Why should I pay a high price for someone who uses broadband 247? If the money-grubbing ISPs get too far afield, more FCC pressure should be brought to keep prices in line. The critics that say this smacks of Federal running of the Net need to remember, the Net infrastructure is owned by a very few very large telecoms companies...and borders on a MONOPOLY.

Posted by: MoonDoggie | September 21, 2009 2:10 PM

Net Neutrality has been characterized as a "socialist takeover" by a handful of Astroturfing public interest groups paid by providers to try and find ways to get consumers to adopt pro-industry positions, usually at the expense of their own best interests.

Net Neutrality, simply put, protects the content of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, John McCain, Barack Obama, Michael Moore, Ted Danson, you, me, the neighbor, the guy you work with, and his friends.

If it's legal, nobody has a right to interfere with it. For the first time in a long time, whether you belong to the 9/12 Movement, Consumers Union, the ASPCA, or advocate for health care reform, your views, and I do mean -your views- will be judged based on their merits, not on how much money you have to spend to distribute them, not how much tribute you have to pay to an ISP to not block them/slow them down, and not how long a broadband customer has to endure the slow lane your content is stuck on because you didn't pay.

That's it, that's all there really is to it. No socialism, no Obama takeover.

And PLEASE, consumers, do not get suckered into the idea you have to pay more for your broadband service. Providers make BILLIONS in profits on their broadband service and many are actually reducing their investments in those networks to upgrade them. They want to convince you it is somehow "fairer" to engage in Internet Overcharging schemes based on usage meters, usage caps, and overlimit fees. We fought this battle in Rochester, NY with both Frontier Communications (phone) and Time Warner Cable and won when they tried to overcharge us.

No consumer was ever going to pay less for their broadband service with these schemes - many would pay considerably more, up to 300% more for the exact same level of service. Just remember, when is the last time your cable company sent you a lower bill unless you dropped services?

Get the facts.

Phillip M. Dampier
Stop the Cap!

Posted by: dampier | September 22, 2009 3:35 PM

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