Steve Wozniak: Net Neutrality Rules “Don’t Go Far Enough”

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Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak told reporters Tuesday that new rules passed by the FCC on net neutrality were a good first step, but that they don’t far enough. On hand for the vote, The Woz was concerned that wireless carriers would still be able to interfere with Internet traffic on their networks. He also published an open letter urging Net Neutrality regulations be enshrined into law.

Net Neutrality is the notion that carriers (and governments, but the focus of late has been on broadband and wireless carriers) should not be allowed to place any restrictions on Internet traffic. The concern has long been that such providers would use their so-called “last mile” of infrastructure to choke off and block competition, often in the name of managing overall capacity.

For instance, a cable company blocking or slowing Netflix, Hulu, or iTunes streaming traffic in an effort to protect their own delivery of cable TV and video-on-demand services would violate the idea of Net Neutrality. Similarly, capping or choking Bittorrent traffic also violates the idea of Net Neutrality.

The U.S. government, notably the FCC, has been considering whether or not to install regulations codifying Net Neutrality for many years, and on Tuesday the FCC did just that. The vote was 3 to 2, split down party lines (the three Democrats voted for Net Neutrality, while the two Republicans on the panel voted against it). Indeed, Republicans in Congress are hoping to be able to block the regulations before they go into effect.

The Woz told Bloomberg that he was there because he believes the notion of Net Neutrality is an important one. “I just decided to come here because I was emotionally attached,” he said just after the vote. “This is a very significant, important issue — Internet freedom —and I don’t think they went far enough.”

In his open letter, Mr. Wozniak made an impassioned plea that Net Neutrality was necessary to protect innovation, and to allow small companies to compete in a world of corporate behemoths.

Steve Wozniak
Steve Wozniak

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33 Comments Leave Your Own

ApostasyUSA

Steve Wozniak is correct.  The FCC left much to be determined by the next FCC that is certain to care less about the freedoms of the Internet user when the Republicans put their cronies in to the regulatory bodies.

Get ready for metered service, because Republicans only care about profits for huge corporation and controlling the media landscape in favor of obstructing the dissemination of information to the masses.

Remember, the Internet as we know it today was created by the US Government with the High Speed Computing and Communications Act of 1991. Until 1993 the National Science Foundation (NSF) owned and operated the commercial Internet. In 1993 control of the Internet was leased to the original telcos (AT&T, MCI, Pacific Bell, Bell Atlantic) with the understanding that the Internet be operated in the public interest.

The FCC absolutely needs to determine if the public interest is being served by the current Internet environment where home users and businesses typically have a choice of one carrier or cable company, no competition. If the telcos are not serving the public interest, then the NSF should take back control of the Internet, or lease control to a group or organization that would operate the Internet in a way that is fair to all.

Regulation only works when the regulators care about doing their job. P.G. O’Rourke said it best, “Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work, and then get elected and prove it.”

Net Neutrality forever! Regulate the ISP?s.

ApostasyUSA is retarded

“Get ready for metered service, because Republicans only care about profits for huge corporation and controlling the media landscape in favor of obstructing the dissemination of information to the masses.”

WHAT A RETARD…SO FAR FROM THE TRUTH…GET A BRAIN RETARD.

Paul

Except that there have been no documented cases of this every happening.  Not one.  It’s putting a bunch of regulations into place for something that’s not even a problem.  Why doesn’t the FCC go ahead and regulate teleportation while it’s at it?  I’m sorry, but given the federal government’s record on protection of privacy and censorship (see:  Patriot Act and Wikileaks response) I really don’t trust it to safeguard my internet freedom.  I fail to understand where people’s never ending belief that this time the government won’t abuse authority comes from.  How many times do we have to see it happen before we stop getting fooled again?

techoi

WHAT A RETARD?SO FAR FROM THE TRUTH?GET A BRAIN RETARD.

Really, that is your entire rebuttal? An all CAPS run-on calling him a “retard” twice and nothing more?  I bet you were all the rage in debate class.  Let me help you.  Please provide us with some evidence to support your position.  Shoot, at least Apostasy had a fact or two and a funny quote. 

PS.  The caps lock key is hiding on the left side of your keyboard.  Don’t be afraid to use it.  It’s not that hard.

Fastflyer

To much regulation or not enough is irrelevant. The FCC is not Congress. They cannot make laws. The D.C. Circuit Court ruled last spring that the FCC does not have the statutory authority to regulate this industry. Since the statutory basis for this new FCC rule is so murky it is guaranteed only the lawyers will get rich.  Since 300 members of congress recently signed a letter to the FCC asking them not to make this rule, it is extremely unlikely congress will give the FCC clear statutory authority to regulate the net anytime soon. Standby for some interesting times next year. Congress has been known to get a bit testy when the executive branch treads in their turf. We will probably also hear from the Supreme Court when the D.C. Circuit ruling gets appealed. Please note I am not commenting on whether the new FCC rule is a good or bad thing.

techoi

Paul, um…not really sure if the FCC is correct or not being they haven’t really published their official rules, but Comcast is trying to shake down Level3 right now doing the exact thing you say has never happened.  Level3 is providing Netflix with ISP service and Comcast wants to charge them as they serve up Netflix’s data to Comcast customers.  That sure doesn’t sound like the traffic neutral Internet we have today.

Try running a traceroute to someone…Google, Netflix, YouTube, your favorite porn site, etc.  See all those intermediate hops?  Wouldn’t it be fun for each of those providers to start charging you for access in addition to what you’re already paying your local ISP?

markb3699

Paul and his ilk crack me up. It’s pretty common knowledge among people who follow the net neutrality issue that ISPs would love to have a tiered rate for customers, ensuring that the people who can pay receive faster service than others. The whole premise of the Internet and the reason why it has been successful so far is that there has been a level playing field. If there hadn’t been, you wouldn’t have had companies like Facebook and YouTube, which built their companies on a shoestring. If it takes a gold plated shoestring, only those with a gold plated budget will succeed.

Tyler

Except that there have been no documented cases of this every happening.? Not one.? It?s putting a bunch of regulations into place for something that?s not even a problem.? Why doesn?t the FCC go ahead and regulate teleportation while it?s at it?? I?m sorry, but given the federal government?s record on protection of privacy and censorship (see:? Patriot Act and Wikileaks response) I really don?t trust it to safeguard my internet freedom.? I fail to understand where people?s never ending belief that this time the government won?t abuse authority comes from.? How many times do we have to see it happen before we stop getting fooled again?

Actually Paul Carriers will indeed cap your amount of data you can up/download if they see you are using other online video services or downloading things they currently offer. Comcast has capped me @ 20 gigs for the past 2 months because I was using Netflix instant streaming on my gaming consoles. HEllO FIOS!

DannyK

Level3 is providing Netflix with ISP service and Comcast wants to charge them as they serve up Netflix?s data to Comcast customers.

Things are not always what they appear.
http://gigaom.com/2010/12/01/comcast-level-3-battle/

MyRightEye

“WHAT A RETARD?SO FAR FROM THE TRUTH?GET A BRAIN RETARD.”

“Really, that is your entire rebuttal? An all CAPS run-on calling him a ?retard? twice and nothing more?”

Well sorry, but sometimes people can say such stupendously stooopid things that even the most reasoned man is left to call them what they are.

I am glad Woz is no longer at Apple.

Anyone that buys into the net-neutrality BS seriously needs to pay more attention.

Simon

Woz is a cool dude, he knows best

MyRightEye

“Actually Paul Carriers will indeed cap your amount of data you can up/download if they see you are using other online video services or downloading things they currently offer. Comcast has capped me @ 20 gigs for the past 2 months because I was using Netflix instant streaming on my gaming consoles. HEllO FIOS!”

Hello FIOS?? Ohhh…. So NOW you understand HOW the FREE MARKET works. Pay attention people!

techoi

Well sorry, but sometimes people can say such stupendously stooopid things that even the most reasoned man is left to call them what they are.

I am glad Woz is no longer at Apple.

Anyone that buys into the net-neutrality BS seriously needs to pay more attention.

Just another name caller who lacks the basic skills to even produce a single fact or source to attempt to backup his opinion.

At least Simon brings something to the discussion and rises above name calling.  I contend that Simon is wrong though.

Simon,

Your linked article states that this is a peering issue.  Ok, fine.  They can call this a peering issue.  But if that was the case.  If it really was a peering issue then Level3 would just spend the dollars with another carrier and avoid Comcast’s fees.  Nothing wrong with that.  Happens all the time on the internet.  Peer here, pay there, etc.

NO.  What is different with Comcast and Level3 and why it matters to net neutrality is that Comcast is holding the last mile hostage.  That last mile being all those Comcast customers that are paying Comcast to access the internet (and Nextflix running on Level3’s infrastructure).

Not a peering issue then.  Level3 cannot peer with someone else to bypass Comcast at that point.

Holding the last mile hostage is exactly what cannot happen if the internet is to be an equal playing field as it so successfully has been up to now.  It’s not a typical peering issue and Comcast has taken their customer’s money but doesn’t want to pay for the service they promised said customers.

Overworked

“Comcast has taken their customer?s money but doesn?t want to pay for the service they promised said customers”

If this is the case, current laws regarding contracts and services rendered should apply, shouldn’t they? 

I guess the way I see it: if I pay for a service and the provider does not hold up their end of the deal then it is an issue between myself and the provider.

Just my 2 cents

BIlly Bob Covenan

Steve Wozniak was there looking out for his own interests. The FCC does not have authority to regulate internet traffic .. Period. The FCC created this problem that doesn’t exist. It’s made up folks. I have never had an issues viewing Netflix videos. All anyone can say is “These democrats” or “these republicans”. This is how dumbed down everyones is now.

discipline_is_the_key

speaking of innovation

- I guess all those keep updating this social websites like facebook or uplading there pics into flickr bring into the table
- do those people who sit on there couch watching netflix or playing video game or watching porn on the internet bring to the table .

we will see how long this all you can eat buffet system goes.

techrules

1293087651 said:Carriers will indeed cap your amount of data you can up/download if they see you are using other online video services or downloading things they currently offer. Comcast has capped me @ 20 gigs for the past 2 months because I was using Netflix instant streaming on my gaming consoles. HEllO FIOS!

Comcast will be glad to see you go if you are not paying your fair share for the resources you are consuming.

thatguy

i thought this was america. i thought people had a right to choose. tiered pricing offers them choice, why are we squashing that? wozniak is only saying that because now he gets to pollute the internet with his itunes stream all he wants and he doesn’t get to pay the full price. we pick up the tab for his internet use.

Mr Econotarian

As someone who spent most of the 1990’s fighting Federal regulation of the nascent Internet (remember the Communications Decency Act?), I plead with everyone not to drink the Net Neutrality cool-aid.  It will open up a Pandora’s box of Federal government control that will not be what you want.  Corporations will use these regulations for their own good to gain advantage against other providers, no benefit will come to individual users.  Government will use it for censorship (as has already been occurring with domain name seizures).

To date there has been ZERO problems net neutrality would fix that the existing market hasn’t.

It is possible that some day there might be an actual problem somewhere, if so this should be dealt with at the local level through existing local government cable and telco franchise boards.  You can go and talk with your local franchise board members, try to talking with an FCC commissioner.  If you try to get close enough to talk with them, you’ll get tazed.

Asking the federal government to intervene now is insane.

techoi

If this is the case, current laws regarding contracts and services rendered should apply, shouldn?t they?

I guess the way I see it: if I pay for a service and the provider does not hold up their end of the deal then it is an issue between myself and the provider.

Just my 2 cents

That is true.  Unfortunately Comcast has very little competition in a lot of their market.

But, regardless of how their own customers feel, the wrinkle in this case and why it is different is that up to this point ISPs have behaved well and as the internet design intended and not held the final mile hostage to other providers.  Has not happened like this before.  It is not how the internet has operated up to this point.  It is a fundamental change that a lot of people feel is wrong and counter to the very core of how the internet is “supposed” to work.

And don’t forget this is really about Netflix (level3 is just Netflix’s ISP).  Netflix is a direct competitor in a lot of ways to Comcast - who is also a giant cable company and owns (or is about to own) NBC/Universal.  Comcast is messing with how the internet is supposed to work in an effort to hurt Netflix. IMO, that is not only wrong, but, if successful, scary to think of how it will impact the internet as we know it.

Mihai

Users must pay - Internet Is a utility not a luxury - net neutrality is utter bullshit ( water is not a public service) .... Is it?

Doug Reagin

You can read all about Net Neutrality by looking at the Wikipedia link below and decide for yourself.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_neutrality

I agree with Net Neutrality on the basis that it is intended to keep the Internet free and open and not allow an ISP to limit the competition of other companies that offer the same services. It’s all about freedom baby!

Dilip

As a user of the internet, I want to assure myself the following remain true :

* When I try to go to momandpopbooks.com, I should be able to get there with the same speed as amazon.com  

* When I try to go to dailykos.com, I should be able to get there with the same speed as foxnews,com

WiseCow

Steve is a electronic genius and completely clueless on almost everything else. I other words, a Geek. For him to weigh in on the issue is a perfect plum to be picked by those who want to control everything. First of all the FCC doesn’t have the power to make such a rule, and even if this was passed by congress, it’s a foot in the door for government intervention into what is probably the last bastion of any freedom we have left.

techoi

Users must pay - Internet Is a utility not a luxury - net neutrality is utter bullshit ( water is not a public service) .... Is it?

Net neutrality is not bullshit.  And it sure as hell isn’t a new concept.  Net Neutrality is exactly how the internet has run since day one.  It is at the very core of the very internet you are using right now.  How is it a problem? The government isn’t changing the internet.  The big ISPs are wanting to change it.  And if they are successful, you and I will pay more and more for access. 

If it takes the government to keep the damn internet running as it ALWAYS HAS BEEN and with all the benefits it brings to both the big and small player, then so be it!

Again, for emphasis, since the 1970s, since the development of the internet protocols and the concept of host vs. network reliability responsibilities, the merging of the original networks and all the other fundamental operating rules of the internet, the INTERNET HAS BEEN NETWORK NEUTRAL.  Is it broke?  No it is not.  Network neutrality is what the internet is now and has always been up to this point.

The ISPs want more money.  They want you to pay more for less.  They have wet-dreams about being able to force a pay as you go model.  Huh?  Are you paying more for your faster, more powerful computers today than you did ten years ago?  Of course not.  How about those hardrives?  Getting more expensive? Getting smaller?  Nope. That isn’t how tech works.  Bandwidth is not much different.  Between multiplexing on existing fiber, the tons of unlit fiber left over from the net bubble, and the decreasing costs of switching and routing (Hello Moore’s law), it actually gets cheaper on many levels.

It is cheaper and easier for the big ISP to landgrab and spread fear and doubt in the guise of network neutrality being something to fear.  And a whole bunch of people that, frankly, don’t know their ass from a routing table are buying into it.

The internet has been up to this point network neutral.  It has worked pretty damn well up to now.  Why would any of us want that to change?

rplat

He also dated Kathy Griffin so that might give you some insight into his judgement.

zewazir

The idea that internet service providers will start limiting internet traffic according to some pay scheme or other criteria is a boogie.  People pay their ISPs for access. If one provider limits access to enhance big money commercial sites, people will leave that ISP for a different one that does not do so. And while some of their customers will not mind having big money commercial sites given access preference over small sites, non-profits, etcetera, I’d be willing to bet the vast majority of people WILL mind and tell their ISPs as much, either with a letter, leaving for an ISP that does not use a preferential policy, or both.

No ISP, wireless or otherwise, is going to cut their own throat. If ISP A implements such a policy, and ISP B does not, ISP B is going to get a whole bunch of ISP A’s business. There is no way ISP A can make up the lost revenues from customers abandoning them through fees to their big money commercial clients. For one, what big money client is going to pay high-access fees to a rapidly shrinking ISP? Unless ALL ISPs enact the same policy at exactly the same time, a limited or hierarchical access scheme will not be enacted at all. The ISP that keeps an open access architecture will clean up against those who do not.  Therefore, only ISPs led by morons would even dream of actually enacting such a policy. As long as there is more than one ISP out there, the one who offers the most will gain the most customers - and open access architecture is an essential part of offering the most.

In short, the fear that the internet is going to be taken over by big money commercialism and leave the rest out in the cold is a trumped up false concern. It is nothing more than scare mongering founded on a certain faction’s anxiety to paint the business world in as negative a light as possible.

Bryan Chaffin

People pay their ISPs for access. If one provider limits access to enhance big money commercial sites, people will leave that ISP for a different one that does not do so.

Zewazir, you make a great case for the benefits of competition, but this is, unfortunately, the hole in your argument. There is little to no competition for broadband in many markets in the U.S.

The ISPs themselves talk about the benefits of tiered pricing and prioritized traffic—how can it be a boogie man when we’re talking about issues actually being advocated by providers?

I don’t understand the head-in-the-sand attitude on this issue.

MyRightEye

“I don’t understand the head-in-the-sand attitude on this issue.”

You mean the thinking that government knows how to make things better.

Because they have SUCH a good track record… We can really trust them…

Bryan Chaffin

Yes, MyRightEye, the government has a better track record of protecting the environment, ensuring worker safety, enforcing civil rights, regulating the financial markets, and promoting public health (etc.) than Capital.

When given the opportunity, Capital will inevitably take the low road to greater profits. We can have a lovely debate about how much government intervention is the right balance, but it would be simply irrational to debate whether or not we should have regulation.

And you deflected.  My point was that Zewazir argued that the idea of providers limiting Internet traffic was a boogie man, when it’s those same providers who are the ones who proposed tiered pricing and prioritized traffic in the first place.

My head-in-the-sand comment was specifically about denying the existence of what providers have proposed, and thus your retort—such as it was—was hardly germane.

zewazir

The ISPs themselves talk about the benefits of tiered pricing and prioritized traffic?how can it be a boogie man when we?re talking about issues actually being advocated by providers?

Yet, despite talking about prioritized traffic for years now (as has been pointed out, this is not exactly a new issue) somehow, none of them actually are doing it, are they? Why is that? You’d think that, especially with net neutrality laws being discussed, they’d try to slip their practices under the wire and tehn call for grandfathering their contracts. Yet, somehow, the ISPs are still operate on an open access architecture. Can you think why that would be? After all, they’ve had a couple decades to implement the idea of prioritized access, yet it still has not, in actuality, appeared. Why is that?

As for tiered pricing - what do you expect?  Do you expect a Lamborghini Gallardo for the price of a VW Bug? Cheap plans do not have the features of more expensive plans. Cheap beer does not have the flavor of more expensive beer either. And cheap computers do not have the features of more expensive computers. We Apple fans are always defending the idea that greater value costs more. So why do we buck at the thought that internet access is like any other commodity: you get what you are willing to pay for: faster and better costs more.

Tiered pricing bothers me not at all, and it should not bother anyone else. I could get faster internet at my home IF I wanted to pay a higher price than I currently pay. With speed not a huge issue, I choose the less expensive plan. What is wrong with that? The idea that people are going to see their access prices skyrocket is without merit. As long as there is more than one provider, people have the ability to tell an ISP “Sorry, that’s too much.” I predict that, contrary to the scare mongering, we’ll see overall pricing continue to come down, while top-end, state-of-the-art, fast-as-the-technology-will-allow prices will, indeed, go up because they are, in the end, offering MORE with each technology advance, with their top-end access plans.

As for the other stuff, blocking or diminishing access to a competitor’s site can already be fought under anti-trust laws. Unfair trade practices have been illegal far longer than the internet. This is just a different application to the same tired question of whether a business has the right to purposely diminish their competitors. (Hint: they do not, no matter what methods they use.)

Bottom line: we do not need more regulation for a problem that does not, in reality, exist, or is already addressed through other laws. One reason the internet is as open as it is falls directly from the fact that there are very few regulations governing it. That is a good thing that we want to keep. Start getting government involved, and we’ll start seeing well-intentioned government regulations doing more to squelch the freedom of the internet than industry ever dreamed of doing.

SlyRobber

?WHAT A RETARD?SO FAR FROM THE TRUTH?GET A BRAIN RETARD.?

?Really, that is your entire rebuttal? An all CAPS run-on calling him a ?retard? twice and nothing more??

Well sorry, but sometimes people can say such stupendously stooopid things that even the most reasoned man is left to call them what they are.

I am glad Woz is no longer at Apple.

Anyone that buys into the net-neutrality BS seriously needs to pay more attention.

Yeah ok my reicheye keep your repugnican mussolinian vomit to yourself. Always your reich wing drivel you jackboot morons will just keep spewing forth your masters sceptic tank reports and constructs to ensure the common mans enslavement and the internet, as every source of distributing information, is a prime target that must be controlled at all cost or be discredited or simply destroyed if that isn’t possible. If it comes to pass that the internet falls completely under control of your greedy golden calf preying masters it also will fall when you, your country and its corrupt system implodes.

just sit back and watch the show the previews are past and the show is just beginning. Oh this is the part where everyone looses their houses while the bankers and investment weasels get billions in bonuses, this is hilarious…....

MyRightEye

“Yeah ok my reicheye keep your repugnican mussolinian vomit to yourself. Always your reich wing drivel you jackboot morons will just keep spewing forth your masters sceptic tank reports and constructs to ensure the common mans enslavement and the internet, as every source of distributing information, is a prime target that must be controlled at all cost or be discredited or simply destroyed if that isn?t possible. If it comes to pass that the internet falls completely under control of your greedy golden calf preying masters it also will fall when you, your country and its corrupt system implodes.

just sit back and watch the show the previews are past and the show is just beginning. Oh this is the part where everyone looses their houses while the bankers and investment weasels get billions in bonuses, this is hilarious?....”

You fn stupid ignoramus. Consider writing a book, and call it newspeak. You have it mastered already. Only the most pure form of evil commie calls those fighting for freedom the very thing they themselves are.

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