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 Net neutrality solved

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PostSubject: Net neutrality solved    Net neutrality solved  Icon_minitimeMon Feb 05, 2018 7:49 am

Finally cracked this. Basically the issue of net neutrality is a red herring, it stalls the debate at a superficial level. The issue isn’t about whether or not to force ISPs to treat all data packets equally, but instead the issue is about ISPs being banned from seeing what is in those data packets, much like how UPS or the postal office cannot just open your packages that you send through their mail routing service.

Think of ISPs like informational routing services, because that’s what they are. They are like much more complex forms of the post office. You create a bunch of data packets on your end and then send them to a website, and it does the same to you; you and the website are sending tons of these packets back and forth to each other, and your computer is decrypting or interpreting the bits in those packets into useful information on your computer screen. But right now the ISPs are able to open your mail, so to speak, and read everything inside it, so the worry is that if you allow ISPs to discriminate between packets what’s to stop them from blocking or slowing down certain packets that they happen to not like? Hence net neutrality.

But ISPs don’t actually want to do that, at least not ostensibly, they just want to be able to charge larger bandwidth users like Netflix more money for the cost of building out existing infrastructure to accommodate that extra bandwidth in a way that would not impact overall network function, and they want to have tiers of speeds so that the Netflix and other large bandwidth users will be in one tier which would clear up the other tiers from getting bottlenecks on the network. But ISPs are apparently not allowed to do this under net neutrality because it would mean “prioritizing” Netflix traffic over other traffic into special lanes. And of course we should worry about ISPs eventually using their power of discrimination on their networks to block or slow down content they do not like, for example for politics purposes.

The answer is very simple: ban ISPs from being able to know what is in the packets they deliver. This wouldn’t be hard to do, since ISPs do not need to know what is in a packet in order to route that packet from point A to point B. Just apply the fourth amendment to the Internet. Now ISPs could be able to set up tiered lanes depending on bandwidth usage, which wireless ISPs almost already do with your cell phone data plans because you pay more for more data except that it’s still all on the same one tier network; allow ISPs to create multiple tiers, for the purposes of maximizing network speed and efficiency, much like how the post office has different classes of mail like standard delivery or overnight delivery, you pay more for the faster delivery, or you pay more if your package is heavier or larger.

Of course the concern is still that ISPs could put certain users onto the “slow tiers”, but there really wouldn’t be slow or fast tiers because the entire purpose of having tiers is to clear lanes for maximum speed on all lanes. Smaller lanes need less bandwidth, and won’t get bottlenecked by massive packets because those massive packets will be on larger bandwidth lanes now. And write into the law that ISPs can’t arbitrsrily slow down their service on any tiers or for individual users, because that would be a violation of free speech in so far as the ISP would basically be shouting down or silencing your “speech” (content creation online) arbitrarily, in the same way that it would be illegal for the post office or UPS to arbitrarily decide to take four months to deliver your mail just because they don’t like you or your organization.

So yeah, no net neutrality needed. Get rid of it, as Trump did. But now we need a new law or amendment that 1) explicitly applies privacy protection to data packets moving through ISPs, and 2) explicitly prevents ISPs from deliberately slowing down or blocking your “mail” (packets of data) on their systems, at least without being open and transparent that they are doing it (an ISP could perhaps openly refuse to deliver data from certain users, but it would have to be open and transparent about that otherwise it would constitute fraud). Once that is in place you can let ISPs make as many tiered lanes on their networks as they want, and they can charge users for the amount of bandwidth that they use.
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