atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#6029: Hyperbole, and as usual it's the opposite of the truth.

No ISP would do this. Let me put it this way: if Comcast started to nickle-and-dime us like that, we'd drop it like a hot potato and get another ISP. But Comcast would only do that if someone insufferably arrogant, with a minor intellect vastly eclipsed by his ego, took over, because it would be a stupid thing to do.

If you look at the history of data transfer service (which is all the service your ISP really provides for you) you see that absent net neutrality rules we've gone from services which seem fantastically expensive--$10 an hour for 300 baud data service, which is what CompuServe charged when they were just about the only game in town--to flat-rate pricing for data service which is literally three hundred thousand times faster, and which has a use limit of something like 150 GB per month...for the price of perhaps two or three hours' worth of use at 300 baud in 1982.

...and in 1982, $10 bought a hell of a lot more than it does now.

As the technology improved, and as capitalism did its thing, speeds and prices have gotten faster and cheaper, so much so that we can now watch movies on our computers, as much as we want, and spend per month about as much as we spend on a single night out at the movies.

Net neutrality advocates insist that without government keeping its thumb in the pie, we're going to take a step backwards and ISPs will start charging more for certain services. It's not going to happen; the trend is, has been, and will be for data transport to become cheaper, and the only way that will happen is to keep government the hell out of the way.

This article goes into more depth, but the general gist of the matter is that ISPs--solely to get subscribers--are doing things like making deals with services: AT&T's, or T-Mobile's Binge program, which didn't count data used to stream Netflix, Spotify, and other popular sites.
I know Verizon has something like that going, too.

The conclusion is apt:
While the scare stories are legion--my favorite is a bizarre rant in the Globe and Mail arguing that the end of net neutrality would mean doom for "the resistance"--and the technical details are often mind-numbingly complex, this is still a simple story. Between 2005 and 2015, competition produced an 1150 percent increase in broadband speeds. Free markets and unfettered capitalism built out the fast internet. Now the government wants to step in and help.
Just as an example, I've noted that Comcast has increased the speed of its data network a couple times since the bunker has had cable--and it hasn't cost any more, and it was across the board. We didn't have to make any changes or anything; Comcast just said, "We're increasing the data speed."

And when confronted with Netflix, what did Comcast do? Why, they made Netflix a subscriber channel, so if you want to pay $10 a month more you can use it. They added it to their service offerings, so you can use your cable box and remote to surf Netflix. So much for "throttling Netflix".

* * *

This reminds me of something from Niven, Pournelle, and Flynn's Fallen Angels. In that eco-dystopia, the Earth has entered a new ice age, primarily because the eco-luddites outlawed the use of fossil fuels. People are harangued to "conserve energy", such that there are propaganda campaigns for people to keep their thermostats at 55° in winter. The big savior was supposed to be hydrogen, but the hydrogen pipelines are leaky and unreliable for a whole host of reasons. Just when people need it the most, there is no way for them to heat their homes (and by the way, burning wood is also illegal). So, a lot of people end up freezing in the dark.

We're seeing that kind of thing happen a lot, though, these days: so many "unusually cold winters" are happening at a time when energy policy is guided by the farcical notion that human carbon emissions are causing the climate to warm. That's why modern winters are "unusally cold"; they're not any colder than they were in history, but the idiots in charge think they're supposed to be a lot warmer now because reasons; so when we have a normal winter, where it's cold and stuff, they're all shocked and surprised that it's not 80° and sunny.

Their plans and policies expect that, and when reality fails to conform to their expectations, people freeze in the dark.

* * *

Things and stuff to do today, but not work; I asked for this day off previously as Mrs. Fungus and I have plans for the day. Back to work tomorrow, but I'm expecting Sat and Sun off again.

But that's later. Right now, fun stuff!

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