Post User Polls

How important is net neutrality to you?

The Federal Communications Commission recently passed new rules that would prohibit Internet service providers from blocking or giving favorable treatment to certain Web sites. Now, telecommunications giant Verizon is challenging the rules with a federal lawsuit, saying the FCC doesn't have the authority to set such regulations.

By Ryan Kellett  |  November 30, 2010; 7:01 PM ET  | Category:  National Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Smithsonian pulls video | Next: Real or artificial: Which kind of Christmas tree do you prefer?


Please email us to report offensive comments.

Anyone who votes that net neutrality is not important obviously does not use the internet at all or they very rarely use it. Net Neutrality is extremely important! Public schools use Youtube and other educational resources located on the internet. What would happen to those valuable resources if Comcast and AT&T have their way? We already know the answer to this question. Those valuable resources would no longer be available. Stretched out school budgets would no longer be able to provide the valuable internet access our young students will require in order to provide the future skill sets our children will need as adults; in a world where technology will play a major role in their success. If this is going happen to us, as a country that considers itself to be a wealthy nation, what will happen to all of the other countries that are poor and impoverished and are seeking to develop their country through the use of technology? The Internet, as it is, has been a tremendous technological success for our modern day society. With Net Neutrality out, greed will ration out the Internet to those able to pay and at the same time stifle the incredible innovation that has been its hallmark.

Posted by: wingwalker100 | December 1, 2010 1:38 PM

With companies like Comcast blackmailing and throttling its competition, the Internet could become slower and more expensive than cable tv. Net neutrality encourages innovation and competition, without which countries like Japan and Korea will race past us in developing the commerce venues of the 21st C.

Posted by: AxelDC | December 1, 2010 3:29 PM

That's the Corporate owned GOP all Right.

Doesn't matter that Comcast forces us to watch commercials every five minutes during cable shows. Ever notice how often you land on a commercial when you are trying to see what is on a particular channel? Geeze, already!

If we loose Net Neutrality to our Megacorporate users, I'll just buy more old classic TV snd movie disks and forget cable.

Posted by: lufrank1 | December 1, 2010 3:39 PM

We need to maximize competition and choice in access providers. The last thing we need are bureaucrats and politicians messing with networks.

Posted by: thebump | December 1, 2010 9:08 PM

We DO NOT need to be charging folks for different levels of internet access with this Net Neutrality crap.

Right now I am forced to pay for cable (FIOS) channels that I don't even watch.

Hell, I don't even know what half of the channels are, or what is being shown on 95% of them; and yet, I am forced to buy a package of more than 400 channels, and come to think of it, I think this is their basic package. I remember back in the 60's when cable was first introduced, my parents paid less than $20 a month for cable and the only premium channel that we had was one HBO station. As I stated previously, now I am forced to buy a whole package of crap just to watch the 4 or 5 channels that I can locate out of the 400 and that I also enjoy watching, plus internet access 24/7. After that, it's pretty much controlled by the cable company whatever other channels shows up on that box and that I don't need them controlling my level of internet access.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | December 7, 2010 10:24 PM

folks... just a FYI. Net neutrality rules require that everyone that sends a certain amount of data over a carrier pays the same amount. That means for example, that Comcast can't charge one customer one rate (per byte of transfer) than another, or itself.

The reason this is important is because content providers are also becoming net carriers. We will end up with the situation that competing content providers will be squeezed out of the market by the carriers because of the special deals they work out, or because the carriers are also providing the shows that are being transmitted over the net.

People like LCARTER0311 are actually arguing directly against their own stated position. Its amazing what garbage can come from mixing a bunch of ignorance with a little illiteracy.

Posted by: reussere | December 7, 2010 11:29 PM


Please remember inflation... Since you were vague and left it at 1960's, I will pick a year in the middle, say 1965.

In $1965 less than $20 a month (let's assume $17) would be about $117.66 in 2010 dollars. Annual inflation rate of about 4.39% per year.

Here is an inflation calculator (of many) I found on the internet.

(Maybe the problem is not the inflation in the costs in real terms, but that technology should be getting cheaper as it has been out a long time. It is no longer a 'luxury good,' and the companies are trying to substitute quantity instead of listening to what their customers want.)

Posted by: persimonix1 | December 8, 2010 1:42 AM


What makes you think corporations want competition?

Posted by: persimonix1 | December 8, 2010 1:46 AM

"Net neutrality," like so many buzzphrases you hear around Washington DC, does not have an agreed-upon meaning. In general, it means whatever the lobbyist to whom you are talking hopes to get for his or her client by having the Internet - which has heretofore not been regulated - regulated. Depending on the speaker, it may mean price controls, restrictions on the kinds of service that ISPs are allowed to sell, or even restrictions on content. But one thing is always true: it's never "neutral" and never good for consumers. The Internet has flourished for 26 years without regulation, and there is vibrant competition. There's no problem - and, especially, no systemic market failure - to be solved by this needless regulation. Rather, the corporations which are seeking this regulation - chief among them Google, which has spent many millions lobbying for it and is supporting all of the DC "astroturf" groups which are pushing it - are seeking to get a leg up. (Google also gave nearly $1 million to the Obama administration, and was rewarded for this when Google's chief lobbyist was appointed as a key White House advisor and its CEO and chief "evangelist" were appointed to key tech advisory boards.) In Google's case, the regulations would protect its Internet monopolies by preventing new startups from being able to buy the "priority delivery" service from ISPs that they would need to compete with Google's own multibillion dollar private fiber network.

What would be the effects of "network neutrality" regulation? This, of course, would depend upon exactly what the rules said, and the FCC - contrary to Chairman Julius Genachowski's promise that this would be the most transparent FCC ever - is keeping the proposed rules secret. But in general, the rules would raise the cost of Internet access, degrade the performance of connections by preventing ISPs from managing the network, deter investment in and by ISPs, slow innovation (ISPs would have to ask "Mother, may I?" before implementing new management practices), limit users' choices of ISPs and online services, destroy jobs, slow broadband deployment to unserved areas, and raise the price of access - especially harmful to minorities and the disadvantaged. And, contrary to the lobbyists' false claims, it would not help "free speech" one bit; as evidenced by Wikileaks, free speech on the Internet is not threatened by Internet service providers but rather by governments that attempt to regulate the Net. No savvy consumer or citizen who sees beyond the lobbyists' rhetoric would ever support "network neutrality" regulation.

Posted by: LBrettGlass | December 8, 2010 5:24 AM

LBRETTGLASS with a post full of lobbyist jargon very clearly obfuscates the issues for the masters, eh?

At&t, Comcast and the other ISPs are maintaining bandwidth as a scarce resource by preventing the development and distribution of fiber optic lines and connectivity throughout the US.

This net neutrality straw man exists because they are bribing whichever party is in power, passing national, state, and local laws which maintain their monopoly, preventing "REAL COMPETITION" from companies wanting to lay fiber and provide fiber connectivity.

Never listen to any of these putzes like LBRETTGLASS claiming that business can regulate itself on this matter, real competition from better providers is the last thing they want.

I live in Bulgaria these days. I get 30mbps on my fiber line. I can reach in Dallas Texas at higher speeds than can my father who lives IN DALLAS and has to suffer from the local comcast variant.

America is getting screwed by At&t and Comcast who want to squeeze the last possible penny out of their copper investments from the past.

Posted by: eezmamata | December 8, 2010 6:55 AM

Actually, AT&T, Comcast, and other ISPs are continuously improving their networks, and reducing the cost of bandwidth (which actually IS a scarce resource; reliable networks are very expensive to build) as fast as they can. There is no need for regulation when there is vibrant competition, as there is in the market for broadband. I live in a small town of 28,000 people, and even here there are 9 facilities-based broadband providers and a couple of dozen non-facilities-based ones. Not every place in the US enjoys extremely fast service, but this is due to the sheer size and low average population density of our country... and, in part, due to government regulations which make it difficult to deploy broadband. More regulations certainly will not help, and they certainly will not create competition. In fact, one of the certain side effects of "network neutrality" regulation would be to reduce competition, by imposing burdens that only large companies with buildings full of lawyers can shoulder.

Corporate lobbyists for "network neutrality" regulation often deny the existence of competition or attempt to demonize ISPs. The fact is that ISPs work very hard at what often is a thankless job... and are too often blamed for any problem that occurs in the user's computer, network-related or not (as any technical support representative can tell you).

Posted by: LBrettGlass | December 8, 2010 7:22 AM

P.S. - Speaking of lobbyists: Anyone looking at the results of this poll should know that Google's corporate lobbyists are using Twitter to encourage people to come to this page and push the "Very Important" button. (It's quite common for unscrupulous lobbyists to try to "stuff the ballot box" at every opportunity.) In any event, this means that the "results" of this poll are biased and useless.

Posted by: LBrettGlass | December 8, 2010 3:51 PM

Net Neutrality has nothing to do with different tiers of access. Everyone should have the same speeds available... tiered access means if you transfer 400GB per month of data, you pay more than someone that transfers only 100GB per month. Just like you pay more for your electric bill if you use 4x more kilowatt-hours that someone else. Or more for your sewer bill if you use 4x more water.

Net neutrality means comcast can't block you when you're trying to watch online shows from CBS or ABC or CNN, or downloading a movie from netflix (they CAN however charge you extra for it if you go over their 250GB/month limit), and Time-Warner can't block or slow down connections to NBC/CBS/ESPN/etc., and ATT can't block you if they see you're checking prices on (or vice-versa), et cetera, ad nauseam.

Why, as long has this been talked about, do some people still think it has to do with different amounts of data per month??? Cheese us.

Posted by: Darr247 | December 21, 2010 1:31 AM

The Post is adamantly against net neutrality so they always try to put in a negative light.

Unfortunately for the Post, serious internet users tend be educated. They have spoken, the FCC has listened and net neutrality is here. You lose, WAPO.

Posted by: karlmarx2 | December 21, 2010 10:29 AM

The poll question is interesting.

It allows you to choose to support net neutrality or be neutral regarding net neutralilty.

There is no option in the poll question to allow someone to oppose net neutrality.

Either WAPO hires incompetent staff, or we have a freudian slip showing how WAPO thinks the world should work. Eliminate the opposition.

Posted by: jfv123 | December 21, 2010 10:43 AM

The ideologues who rant on about network neutrality live in an abstract world that is disconnected from reality. To date network neutrality has been a minor issue that has perhaps had a small impact on people who want to free load entertainment content with protocols like bit torrent. Internet service is a commercial business that users have to pay for. There is no particular reason why all users should have to subsidize those who want to make a virtue out of free loading content. In any case, users have to pay for access bandwidth. The cost of that bandwidth is far more of an issue than whether or not network providers use some kind of traffic management. Consumers who want to use the internet for video on demand should expect to pay the cost of delivering that content. Business models that can support the service are likely to make it more rather than less available. Most of the issues related to video delivery are tangential to the real issues of openness on the internet. The real concerns include a variety of issues where society may have a desire legitimate or not of controlling content distributed over the internet. Examples include political dissent, gambling, pornography, organized group hatred, bullying, extortion of internet services, and communication that is part of some kind of organized criminal activity.

Posted by: dnjake | December 21, 2010 10:55 AM

Those worried about the use of the internet for education might want to note that educational institutions have been some of the biggest users of internet traffic management solutions. The reason is that they have wanted at least some part of the bandwidth on their local networks to be used for something more than student entertainment.

Posted by: dnjake | December 21, 2010 11:25 AM

Net Neutrality vote coincides with Solstice numerology ~ 12/21/2010 = 333. The Power of Communication. Huge implications for freedom of speech and, indeed, free will itself.

Posted by: christine55 | December 21, 2010 4:34 PM

Net neutrality is just about THE most important issue -- the most important being to stop all wars and global warming.
Democracies cannot exist without free and open Internet services.

Posted by: jeangerard1 | January 20, 2011 6:50 PM

The post takes a pro-Google view. Donald Graham of the Post is on Facebook's board, and Facebook has business relationships with Google. Like Deep Throat told Bob Woodward -- follow the money.

Posted by: RepealObamacareNow | January 20, 2011 7:10 PM

LBrett, net neutrality can't destroy any jobs. All jobs were destroyed by Obamacare as per previous lobbyists posts.

Posted by: jackintheboxjf | January 20, 2011 8:08 PM

I can think of few things more uninteresting and useless than a general poll on net neutrality. What difference does it make?

Posted by: cstation | January 21, 2011 1:45 AM

Post a Comment

characters remaining

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company