Greg's bite: Net Neutrality and Apple
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Greg's bite: Net Neutrality and Apple

By Greg Mills

The FCC is preparing to make rules for what is called "Net Neutrality." This is important to those of us who use the Internet and particularly those who might want to innovate in new services related to broadband, like Apple.  

There will likely be a vote today, and it is expected the FCC will move to ban wired broadband Internet providers from blocking or slowing down traffic they don't like. The notion is to make wired broadband unrestricted by ISPs to the benefit of streaming services.

Ironically, despite a lot of concern about what the FCC does in this area, a recent Federal Court ruling raises issues as to the jurisdiction of the FCC to make rules concerning broadband Internet, in the first place. This will play out in the courts and the Congress. As we have seen Apple launch into a number of download services over the last few years, with more on the way, the openness of the Internet will become more and more important to the company.  

If you happen to get your broadband internet service from a cable TV company, as I do, it is only common sense to expect that TimeWarner Cable would prefer that I buy TV service from them. I get my bare broadband service from them, but I am buying movie streaming service from NetFlix.  

NetFlix is coming in to our home over TimeWarner's cable. Should they be able to selectively slow down or stop NetFlix movies to make that service unusable? That is the basic notion; in other words, that providing Internet service should be "neutral." NetFlix is the greatest broadband hog around, consuming up to 20% of the bandwidth in some places so that is a sore subject for cable Internet service providers. Never mind; I pay for "unlimited" service.

The tangled web gets even more twisted when you consider the partisan politics of the pending regulations, the changes in the House of Representatives coming due to the recent elections and the deep pockets that will be directly affected by the new rules. Apple, AT&T, Verizon, Google, NetFlix and a lot of other big names are deeply concerned, as their Internet business plans to deliver digital content are directly at issue.

The "fixed" broadband industry is being treated differently than the mobile Internet providers in the rules being voted on soon. Fixed Internet service providers (as to home or to a building such as cable modem service) are being forced by the new rules to offer a "dumb pipe" sort of service with little or no control over what customers do with that broadband connection that is wired in.  

You pay for a certain class of service, which dictates the amount of data and the speed you are entitled to, and you can do what ever you like -- as a business providing digital data or as consumer downloading data under the new rules. The big idea is to let ISPs sell Internet services, but have no control over how that data pipeline is used.   

Mobile providers, where the connection comes over the airwaves, will have more control over the applications and web content they deliver as the rules are now written. They claim more control over their networks is needed to provide good service to their customers, but there is also an element of wanting to sell certain services without any competition. Why allow texting apps using the Internet as an open pipe when you can block texting apps that do that for free and sell your own text service at outrageous prices? 

AT&T and Verizon are struggling to keep up with mobile broadband demand and also working on paying for building out both the 3G and 4G networks. That costs billions of dollars and they have to raise the money somehow. Mobile broadband is certainly in the purview of the FCC since it is transmitted over the air. Radio spectrum is being bought and sold to expand mobile broadband service since the demand is insatiable. Thank Apple for that. The iPhone, iPad and Google's Android have become both the greatest dream and worst nightmare of the cell phone industry. Just ask AT&T. 

Along with government-ordained monopolies granted to use public airways comes rules to prevent monopolistic behavior. What Uncle Sam giveth, Uncle Sam can sure take away. The administration is working to expand broadband to include fast service about everywhere, and the stakes couldn't be higher.  

Apple is likely to continue to be the big player in Internet streaming and has a lot of responsibility to keep things on an even keel without stifling rules. Recently Apple pulled the Wikileaks app, and some are crying foul over that. The press squeals loudly over virtually everything Apple does anyway. Abuse is often in the eye of the beholder and claiming that Apple wants to rule the Internet universe because they trashed an app that is so controversial is sheer nonsense.

Tim Wu actually coined the term "Net Neutrality." Columbia law professor Wu has written that: "Steve Jobs has the charisma, vision and instincts of every great emperor. The man who created the personal computer 40 years ago is probably the leading candidate to help exterminate it. His vision has an undeniable appeal, but he wants too much control."  

It has been said the very best possible government is that of a benign dictator. I think with few actual issues that are debatable, the rapid growth of the Apple App Store infrastructure has been done in a responsible and well ordered manor. Time will tell as things unfold. So far I am not worried, just a little bummed that I could have purchased Apple stock at $18 back just a few years ago.

That's Greg's bite for today.

(Greg Mills, is a Faux Artist in Kansas City. Formerly a new product R&D man for the paint sundry market, he holds 11 US patents. He's working on a solar energy startup, www.CottageIndustrySolar.com using a patent pending process of turning waste dual pane glass into thermal solar panels used to heat water. Greg writes for intellectual web sites and Mac related issues. See Greg's art web site at www.gregmills.info ; His email is gregmills@mac.com )

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

The beginner's guide to Warbits
Warbits is a turn-based strategy that's clearly inspired by Nintendo's Advance Wars series. Since turn-based strategy games can be kind of tricky to dive into, see below for a few tips to help you in the beginning. Positioning is crucial [Read... | Read more »
How to upgrade your character in Spellsp...
So you’ve mastered the basics of Spellspire. By which I mean you’ve realised it’s all about spelling things in a spire. What next? Well you’re going to need to figure out how to toughen up your character. It’s all well and good being able to spell... | Read more »
5 slither.io mash-ups we'd love to...
If there's one thing that slither.io has proved, it's that the addictive gameplay of Agar.io can be transplanted onto basically anything and it will still be good fun. It wouldn't be surprising if we saw other developers jumping on the bandwagon,... | Read more »
How to navigate the terrain in Sky Charm...
Sky Charms is a whimsical match-'em up adventure that uses creative level design to really ramp up the difficulty. [Read more] | Read more »
Victorious Knight (Games)
Victorious Knight 1.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.3 (iTunes) Description: New challenges awaits you! Experience fresh RPG experience with a unique combat mechanic, packed with high quality 3D... | Read more »
Agent Gumball - Roguelike Spy Game (Gam...
Agent Gumball - Roguelike Spy Game 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Someone’s been spying on Gumball. What the what?! Two can play at that game! GO UNDERCOVERSneak past enemy... | Read more »
Runaway Toad (Games)
Runaway Toad 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: It ain’t easy bein’ green! Tap, hold, and swipe to help Toad hop to safety in this gorgeous new action game from the creators of... | Read more »
PsyCard (Games)
PsyCard 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: From the makers och Card City Nights, Progress To 100 and Ittle Dew PSYCARD is a minesweeper-like game set in a cozy cyberpunk... | Read more »
Sago Mini Robot Party (Education)
Sago Mini Robot Party 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: -- Children's Technology Review Editor's Choice -- | Read more »
Egz – The Origin of the Universe (Games...
Egz – The Origin of the Universe 1.0.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0.2 (iTunes) Description: ►►► Special offer until 2nd may : get the game at 2.99€ instead of 3.99€ ! ◄◄◄ Egz is a mesmerizing mix... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

15-inch Retina MacBook Pros available for $20...
B&H Photo has 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $210 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1799 $200 off MSRP - 15″ 2.5GHz Retina... Read more
Target offers Apple Watch Sport for $50 off M...
Target has Apple Watch Sports on sale for $50 off MSRP for a limited time. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices for online orders only, in-store prices may vary... Read more
Apple restocks Certified Refurbished Mac mini...
Apple has restocked Certified Refurbished 2014 Mac minis, with models available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $... Read more
15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
Amazon.com has the 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1699.99 including free shipping. Their price is $300 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model from any reseller (and... Read more
Apple Beats Microsoft at Own Game; Amazon Pri...
First quarter seasonality combined with an overall disinterested customer base led to an annual decline of 14.7% in worldwide tablet shipments during the first quarter of 2016 (1Q16). Worldwide... Read more
Tablets Had Worst Quarter Since 2012, says St...
The global tablet market began 2016 just as 2015 left off, down. Tablet shipments fell 10% to 46.5 million units during the Q1 2016, according to the new “Preliminary Global Tablet Shipments and... Read more
Clearance 13-inch MacBook Airs, Apple refurbi...
Apple recently dropped prices on certified refurbished 2015 13″ MacBook Airs with 4GB of RAM with models now available starting at $759. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and... Read more
Clearance 12-inch Retina MacBooks, Apple refu...
Apple has dropped prices on Certified Refurbished 2015 12″ Retina MacBooks with models now available starting at $929. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping... Read more
Aleratec Releases Mac Software Upgrade for 1...
California based Aleratec Inc., designer, developer and manufacturer of Portable Device Management (PDM) charge/sync products for mobile devices and professional-grade duplicators for hard disk... Read more
Sale! Amazon offers 27-inch iMac, 13-inch 2.9...
Amazon has the 27″ 3.2GHz 5K iMac and the 13″ 3.9GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $300 off MSRP, each including free shipping, for a limited time: - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB HD 5K iMac (model MK462LL/A): $... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
Automotive Sales Consultant - Apple Ford Linc...
…you. The best candidates are smart, technologically savvy and are customer focused. Apple Ford Lincoln Apple Valley is different, because: $30,000 annual salary Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple (United...
# Apple Solutions Consultant Job Number: 48260200 Phoenix, Arizona, United States Posted: Apr. 22, 2016 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.