AS HEARD ON: WGAN – The Best Explanation of Net Neutrality Ever: AS HEARD ON – The WGAN Morning News [12-06-17]
On This Episode…
The best explanation on net neutrality ever!
Hear from Craig on what net neutrality is all about, and learn on why the battle on net neutrality has been going on for a while. Is it really going to be good or bad for us?
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Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.
Airing date: 12/06/2017
The Best Explanation Of Net Neutrality Ever
Craig Peterson: [00:00:00] Got a chuckle at myself here. This is probably the best job I think I’ve done on the air explaining Net Neutrality. Ken Altshuler, of course, one of the hosts of Morning Drive on many stations throughout the state of Maine, asked me about Net Neutrality asked me to explain it. I ended up taking the whole segment and I think there’s some great points that are made by the hosts and now a little bit of back and forth here. So if you have any question about Net Neutrality you have to listen to this.
Matt Gagnon: [00:00:33] And it is Wednesday at 7 38 which means it’s time for Craig Peterson. How are you doing Craig?
Craig: [00:00:40] Good morning. Doing well. How’s the bacon?
Matt: [00:00:43] Well, consumed.
Ken Altshuler: [00:00:44] Done. Gone. History. Delicious.
Craig: [00:00:46] I have a friend that eats six eggs and a pound of bacon for breakfast every day.
Matt: [00:00:52] Oh my God.
Ken: [00:0:53] And he’s alive?
Matt: [00:00:55] Oh he’ll outlive every one of us because he’ll be dying happy at the age of a hundred.
Craig: [00:00:59] Yeah. And he doesn’t have any of this extra fat that, you know, that some of us have. So yeah. He’s just and he works out every day. He’s he just goes crazy sometimes. So you have bacon. It’s a magical food. Let me tell you it makes anything taste good.
Ken: [00:01:13] Exactly right.
Matt: [00:01:14] It really does.
Ken: [00:01:16] Like chocolate. So let’s talk first about Net Neutrality. Could you explain to our listeners what Net Neutrality is and what should happen with Net Neutrality?
Craig: [00:01:26] Sure. Net Neutrality. Wow. This is a very good subject.
Matt: [00:01:28] How much time do we have? Seriously
Craig: [00:01:30] Yeah exactly. It’s a very, very big subject and it’s something that President Obama campaigned on. He was out talking about Net Neutrality and he got a lot of people really worked up saying hey listen you know you don’t want your cable company to charge you more than your neighbor, do you? You don’t want to have certain websites blocked. And he kind of went on and on and really fanned the flames. In fact he got involved directly with the FCC lobbying them to pass what was called Net Neutrality. Now the concept that is being put out there behind Net Neutrality is that what we’re talking about is that all are created equal. In other words all of the data on the Internet should be treated exactly the same. Now there’s a few things that people seem to forget about the Internet. First of all there were no problems with people mistreating bits if you will before Net Neutrality went in place. We’re talking about…
Matt: [00:02:35] This is the last two years basically that we’ve had.
Craig: [00:02:37] Yeah exactly. But what we have seen over the last two years since Net Neutrality went in place and Obama’s appointees to the FCC passed it, what we have seen is a 6% decline in investment into the Internet infrastructure. We’ve seen a number of companies that have not pursued some of their goals. Investments are down. And here’s why. Think about the phone company. Ken, you and I are old enough to remember the days of rotary phones. In fact we had a phone, we dialed four digits. Do you remember those days?
Ken: [00:03:14] I do. Well, not four digits.
Craig: [00:03:18] No? You’re never in the four digit area. I was in the middle of nowhere and we just dialed four digits and we’ll be able to reach anyone in the neighborhood. And if we wanted to call further we’d get the operator on the line. Well if you think about the phone company and how for incredibly dozens and dozens of years, over a hundred years really, there were very few changes in the way the phone company worked. You had a monopoly in place that was a government granted monopoly and they did not bother to do much in the line of innovation at all.
Matt: [00:03:55] Yeah. Why would they?
Craig: [00:03:56] Yeah exactly. You know they had a license to print money. When you’re a government monopoly you get to make a certain percentage of your gross in profit. So it’s to your advantage to be as inefficient as possible so that you can charge more, so that you can make more money. There’s all kinds of things that are problematic when it comes to government monopolies. So now fast forward to today. Why is investment way down in the Internet? Why has innovation been stifled in major parts of the Internet? Well who is behind this Net Neutrality? Where is it coming from? The big guys pushing it are a few companies like Facebook, Google. You have Twitter out there saying hey we need Net Neutrality. We’ve got to stop the bad guys from mistreating our bits that are out there. Well, all of these companies are well established and frankly it looks like they’re just trying to get rid of competition.
Matt: [00:04:59] That’s exactly what they’re doing.
Craig: [00:05:01] You have to go, today, if you want to do something that’s innovative on the Internet, on bended knee to the FCC and ask them, beg them in order to get something done. Let’s get an example here of the very first thing that went to the FCC under the new Net Neutrality rules. What did the FCC really get involved with here? Was it some local website? Was it a political site? Was it my kid’s soccer site? What was being mistreated? The very first thing the one in front of the FCC under the new Obama era Net Neutrality regulations was a mobile phone company that wanted to give free Internet service to its subscribers. It wanted to partner with a large provider of video and it wanted to give away free streaming video. Now that’s something that’s going to benefit the poor and middle class that are saying hey listen, wow so I can actually I can’t afford cable in my house and I can actually just subscribe here I can get my mobile phone from this company and I can get free movies and free TV shows. Wow that’ll be great. But the reason they were called in front of the FCC is to be told that they could not do it because it would be unfair competition. So we all of a sudden had a situation just like the phone companies of yore where innovation was stifled and controlled and stopped by the federal government in the form of the FCC. That is what’s actually happened with Net Neutrality. Net Neutrality has killed innovation. Because if you do something, again a phone company’s saying hey we want to give free service. The other guys that also have these monopolies granted by the FCC, effective monopolies granted by the FCC, the other guys are going to say no, no, no. You can’t do that. We don’t want to do. That’s going to hurt our bottom line. So innovation has been stifled. Investment is down more than 6%. The cases coming in front of the FCC aren’t coming from the FCC to help the little guy, they’re coming in front of the FCC to help the massive corporations. So once again either the government was lying to us about why they wanted to put something in place to supposedly protect the little guy or a law that was supposed to protect the little guy in this case a regulation just completely backfired on them.
Matt: [00:07:50] Craig you know it goes beyond that though. You know the lack of investment comes from so many different areas. I mean the idea that all bits are created equal is preposterous at its face. I mean think about the idea of you know streaming video going to you know a surgeon who’s doing a really complex surgery or whatever needs to have a very stable and fast connection for that video so that they can do it remotely somewhere. I mean like you have to have that prioritized over sorry, you know, the mobile gaming or somebody you know doing a bunch of text or whatever. I mean you have to prioritize bits in the first place. And beyond that the investment oftentimes comes from some of the deals that are being able to be made for people that are paying for that sort of fast lane service. I mean if you want Verizon or Comcast or somebody like that to invest in something that’s how they recoup a lot of that. And they build more, right. If you want fiber optics everywhere then incentivize them to be able to make an investment back. And if you try to just incentivize it…
Craig: [00:08:46] Build these roads. Build these roads, Matt.
Matt: [00:08:48] Exactly.
Craig: [00:08:49] They’re all owned by private companies. Any evening during the week here in the United States more than 50 percent of the traffic is generated by Netflix and Skype on the Internet. But Netflix and Skype don’t own any of these roadways.
Matt: [00:09:04] Exactly.
Craig: [00:09:05] Any of these pipelines. They’re not. You know if Netflix wants to have so many people streaming so much video they should be paying more. Why should an 80 year old grandmother
Matt: [00:09:20] Absolutely. And you as a consumer, not to interrupt you Craig, but you as a consumer want that to happen anyway. There is nothing in the world that’s worse than lagging service when you’re looking for for instance Netflix. Like you’re trying to watch something and you’re you know the connection is just not doing their, they’re not performing the way that you want to. You’re not going to be able to actually really watch the streaming service in the first place. So you want them to create a fast lane with the provider.
Craig: [00:09:38] And why should an 80 year old grandmother pay the same for her Internet where she’s hoping to get some pictures from the great grandkids. Why should she pay the same amount as her next door neighbor who’s sitting there playing streaming video games all day long, with Netflix screens streaming in the background.
Matt: [00:09:59] Yeah, data hogs. You have Netflix streaming. You have Amazon streaming. You’ve got an online game playing and you are basically paying the same thing as Granny. That is ridiculous and that’s what really it comes down to.
Craig: [00:10:07] That’s what’s really happened here. So Ken, long and short Net Neutrality is a misnomer. It is not providing Net Neutrality. It is destroying the Internet grew ever so well since it became legal to do business on the Internet. Believe it or not in September 1991 that’s when it first became legal to do business. Considering all the way up to 2014 before the Obama administration stepped in in order to effectively provide a monopoly for the big players that were already there and keep new players out of the game, keep innovation out of the game. And now for the last two years we’ve just seen the Internet starting to fall apart. It’s a long story as Matt said. It could take a while. But you know, I’d say Matt 95% of the information that’s out there is misleading. There are now death threats against the chairman of the FCC. There’s posters up around the school where his kids go to school telling anyone who cares to read them including his kid that his dad is a murderer. This is absolutely insane what’s going on now. And I’m glad we get to have a nice level discussion about it.
Matt: [00:11:22] Well as we said it does take a long time to discuss and we are out of time because we took so much time with this one. So unfortunately we got to let it end there. Craig we will talk to you again next Wednesday sir.
Craig: [00:11:29] Take care gentlemen. Bye-bye.
Ken: [00:11:31] Thanks Craig.
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