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All Things Net Neutrality

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Old 06-16-2014, 01:45 AM   #1
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All Things Net Neutrality

I actually couldn't believe no one had made a thread on this yet but I do believe it's easily the most important related issue since SOPA. I'll try to limit any personal commentary and try to use this initial post to provide a primer on what Net Neutrality is and why its important. Obviously I am very pro Net Neutrality so my upcoming posts will reflect that. So with that out of the way lets begin.

I'm sure some of you are familiar with John Olivers recent rant that went Viral but if you're relatively new to the issue this is a pretty informative and entertaining place to start. (Update: Tom Wheeler was asked directly about the John Oliver piece of which you can see the hilarious result on the right).


The video on the left provides a quick and simple explanation of the net neutrality issue with pretty pictures. The video on the right is just a little more of the same though slightly less 'fancy.'


Great website to find out more about net neutrality and easy ways to get involved: Free Press

Net Neutrality Timeline and Cliff Notes (Link to Full More Detailed Timeline):
- October 2002 - The FCC decided that instead of classifying ISP's as common carriers (ie regulating internet service as a utility) that they should be classified as Information Services hoping that in theory it would encourage investment, innovation, and increased competition.

- September 2007 - Comcast throttles bittorrent traffic under the guise of managing network congestion though it initially denies doing so. The FCC started investigating around January 2008 and in August 2008 ordered Comcast to stop throttling BitTorrent.

Obviously most people associate bittorrent with piracy but for people in the open source community it can easily offer download speeds 3 to 4 times faster than traditional web site based downloads.

- December 2010 - FCC Issues Open Internet Order effectively spelling out and enforcing net neutrality. The order still allowed 'reasonable network management' for mobile 3G/4G etc but effectively banned it from wired home internet. At the moment mobile net neutrality is also a point of interest.

- January 2011 - Verizon sues FCC claiming the FCC had no right to issue the 2010 Open Internet Order.

- January 2014 - Court of Appeals rules in Verizons favor saying that with ISP's classified as Information Services the FCC cannot enforce the Open Internet Directive. Court vaguely suggest that reclassifying ISP's as a Title II Common Carrier would grant the FCC the authority to enforce Net Neutrality.

- May 2014 - FCC Chair Tom Wheeler offers initial proposal of new Open Internet rules which allow for ISP's to charge for Fast Lane access. Proposal allows for transparency and absolutely forbids slowing down lawful content. Passes 3-2 vote among FCC chairs predictably among party lines. It is now open to public comment.

Critics cite the rules as to vague leaving plenty of room for ISP's to abuse the system and squeeze out competitors not to mention it effectively kills net neutrality.

- Optimist have cited that the proposal issued by FCC Chairman Wheeler is the more practical way to salvage net neutrality as its likely Title II reclassification would involve years of lawsuits from the ISP's. It's also said that reclassification would be a bait and switch in terms of regulatory costs. It's also been said since Wheeler, a former telecom lobbyist, is near the end of his career that he's more likely to stand firm in defense of the open internet since he wouldn't have to worry about upsetting potential future employers.

- Critics and Pessimists view Wheeler as a Telecom shrill and an extension of crony capitalism. Theres also been numerous outcries towards Obama's silence on the issue especially after making Net Neutrality a key part of his election platform both in 2008 and 2010.

Theres obviously a lot more to it than this but hopefully this will give you an idea of the basics.

Current Events:
The Net Neutrality Battle May Be Headed To Your Phone

Verizon Lobbyist: Dumping Net Neutrality Helps Blind, Deaf, Disabled - Business Insider
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Old 06-16-2014, 09:53 AM   #2
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Re: All Things Net Neutrality

I think the only people who aren't in favor of net neutrality are the ones who stand to make more money once it's out of the way. It's a shame how much people are ignoring this issue, I've tried talking to friends and family about it as well as posting on FB and everyone just ignores it for the most part. So far Netflix has been leading the charge but if we are going to defeat this it's going to need an outcry similar to the one against SOPA.
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Old 06-16-2014, 10:24 AM   #3
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Re: All Things Net Neutrality

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Originally Posted by mooby View Post
I think the only people who aren't in favor of net neutrality are the ones who stand to make more money once it's out of the way. It's a shame how much people are ignoring this issue, I've tried talking to friends and family about it as well as posting on FB and everyone just ignores it for the most part. So far Netflix has been leading the charge but if we are going to defeat this it's going to need an outcry similar to the one against SOPA.
Agreed, in fact I believe all medium to heavy internet users that are aware of it are strongly in favor. Light users and outright technologically challenged either don't care or have no idea what the hell it is.

In fact the only 'normal' people (read: non-industry, lobbying, or political figures) that I've seen against net neutrality were part of a group featuring a handful of Verizon employees including a lawyer that conveniently forgot to disclose their background.

Verizon Brings Fake Grassroots Campaign To New Jersey To Claim Support For Not Bringing Real Broadband ‚Äď Consumerist

Cable Companies Are Astroturfing Fake Consumer Support to End Net Neutrality | VICE United States

WARNING: Cable Corps Funding Pro Net Neutrality Campaigns - Top US World News | Susanne Posel Daily Headlines and Research

Verizon led massive astroturf campaign to end NJ broadband obligation | Ars Technica

In fact I can't help but wonder if Verizon owes Comcast a huge favor. Somehow they've committed so many blunders this past year alone that Comcast looks like a model company in comparison.


Apply cold water to the burned area.

The U.S. Government Is Investigating Why Your Netflix Is So Slow
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:40 AM   #4
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Re: All Things Net Neutrality

Good thread Dirtbag! I want to post more about this when I have a little time, but just wanted to comment that I'm also pro net neutrality! This is why I always go back to reminiscing about the good ol' days of the slow, yet more "deregulated" internet of the 1990's. The "Wild West of the World Wide Web". Back then, anything and everything you wanted to look up, you could find. No matter the search engine, no matter the ISP, you could still find whatever it was you were looking for.

This is a result of what happens when things get too commercial. Regulations are bound to happen, censoring is obvious, and if you want access to more information, you have to pay for it! Honestly, in some respects, I'd go back to the old 90's style internet on dial-up speed if it meant knowing that I could have access to information as I did back in the day. I miss having the internet act as more of a "library" of sorts than a shopping mall.
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Old 06-17-2014, 03:37 PM   #5
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Re: All Things Net Neutrality

I agree with the general statement in this thread. Net neutrality must be preserved and the free and open internet is critical to our economy and way of life. Currently ISPs are paid by consumers (you) to provide a service. Theyíve started throttling traffic unless companies pay a ransom to the ISP as well to improve their connections. So the ISPís are essentially double dipping to get money from both sides, the consumers and the companies.

Iím in support of the nuclear option, which is labeling ISPs as Title II common carriers. Declaring them Title II characters preserves net neutrality by ensuring they provide an equal level of service to all internet services. The FCC can ensure these companies arenít giving priority to providers willing to pay. The internet is currently an incubator for innovation, when the internet becomes the haves and the have nots, we will lose that competition and innovation.

Ironically, Iíve seen arguments from the telecoms that labeling them as common carriers would stifle innovation. Please raise your hand if your ISP has been innovating lately. The only place Iíve seen ISPs push to increase their capabilities are areas that have provided actual competition via Google Fiber or a local ISP. Otherwise, they know you have no other options and thereís no incentive for them to provide upgrades. Their primary goal is to accumulate territory and protect it from other providers.

I live in a fairly populated area and have a grand total of one broadband provider. That is an issue. There is no competition and the internet, as I see it, is a necessity. The internet is no longer optional. Itís necessary. I would be happy to see a system reminiscent of the telephone companies of yester year. Have service providers outfit a home with the necessary infrastructure based on territory. From there, the consumer can use that infrastructure to purchase whichever ISP service they desire. The ISP then leases the connection from the owner based on a pre-arranged standard fee per user. This reduces redundant infrastructure and gives consumers real competition.

Iím greatly concerned with censorship of the internet. Censorship is a slippery slope, and banning anything makes me nervous. Please keep in mind, I still support legal repercussions of the actions/contents on the internet, but do not support the banning of anything on the internet. There are some terrible and disgusting items on the internet, but believe banning them undermines the ideals of a free and open internet.
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:26 AM   #6
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Post Re: All Things Net Neutrality

Comcast is turning your home router into a public Wi-Fi hotspot - Jun. 16, 2014

I saw this story a couple days ago but just kind of thought of it as another way for Comcast to just continue being douche bags and not much further then that. Then I saw this video which made a very good point.

A little background. For those that missed it, Comcast has been claiming that they need to eventually enstate soft data caps nationwide to manage network congestion, even though its since been proven that its complete BS. Of course this is a "deal" for customers since now they won't hit you with a year long banhammer for going over their cap.

Of course now they're having peoples with newer models of their home routers, that they require customers to lease even if they have their own, to serve as public Wi-Fi hotspots for other Comcast customers. The feature is enabled by default so its up to the customer to call Comcast to find out how to disable it.

Also Comcast claims that the Public Wi-Fi is on a separate network and won't affect the speeds of their customers.

So let me F*****G get this straight. You guys already overcharge me for internet access and provide me speeds much slower then the rest of the developed world in spite of me being in a major market (ie I'm most definitely not rural). Then you have me pay extra for going over 300GB and a fee to lease your router even though I have my own. Not to mention that somehow since you enacted the data caps my internet has been more prone to disconnecting and buffering then the year and a half you completely did away with caps to "collect data."

Then on top of that you need Netflix to pay you because they're clogging up your network, cost which they pass on to me, but you have more then enough bandwidth to set up a couple million public hot spots and it will be provided by the same device that I send my personal information like Credit Cards, SS numbers, etc?

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU U
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:49 AM   #7
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Re: All Things Net Neutrality

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Originally Posted by skinsguy View Post
Good thread Dirtbag! I want to post more about this when I have a little time, but just wanted to comment that I'm also pro net neutrality! This is why I always go back to reminiscing about the good ol' days of the slow, yet more "deregulated" internet of the 1990's. The "Wild West of the World Wide Web". Back then, anything and everything you wanted to look up, you could find. No matter the search engine, no matter the ISP, you could still find whatever it was you were looking for.

This is a result of what happens when things get too commercial. Regulations are bound to happen, censoring is obvious, and if you want access to more information, you have to pay for it! Honestly, in some respects, I'd go back to the old 90's style internet on dial-up speed if it meant knowing that I could have access to information as I did back in the day. I miss having the internet act as more of a "library" of sorts than a shopping mall.
Honestly in terms of regulations I believe they are usually a last resort and if possible its better we make due without them, but things have gotten so bad that well...

(Joey addresses US ISP's directly)


And it's not like the US broadband industry has a Google (Fiber is only in 3 cities), Amazon, Steam, or Netflix where even though they're not always perfect virtually everything they do usually results in a better product or service for the customer. The cable industry somehow makes their products worse and then finds ways to charge more for them.

Net Neutrality won't fix the lack of competition but thats not the point of net neutrality. The point is to provide a fail safe so when the industry becomes the Oligopoly it is today we don't get screwed any further by companies that are taking advantage of us already.

As for fixing the competition problem, Tom Wheeler, of all people actually spelled out the solution a couple days ago.

Quote:
If the people, acting through their elected local governments, want to pursue competitive community broadband, they shouldn't be stopped by state laws promoted by cable and telephone companies that don't want that competition.
-Tom Wheeler
Which kind of echos the sentiment written in this article last year.
Donít Blame Big Cable. Itís Local Governments That Choke Broadband Competition | Opinion | WIRED

As for giving the government more power over the internet, well all I have to say is this. Going back to the Comcast bittorrent scandal the FCC could have easily ignored it and said that P2P filesharing just enables piracy and Comcast is well within its write to 'manage it.' Instead the FCC sided with BitTorrent. That incident alone is enough to make me trust the FCC to do whats best for the internet rather then hoping that the "free market' that ISP's 'compete' within will keep them in line. By the way if there actually was free market competition in broadband Comcast and friends wouldn't even try a fraction of the things they're trying now.

@Daseal - The funniest thing about ISP's staring down the gun of the Title II barrell is that the whole reason its even on the table was that Verizon (and friends) wanted to squeeze a couple more nickles out of everyone and they couldn't handle the 2010 FCC order. If they had just STFU and went along with it the initiative would have virtually zero public support.
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:15 AM   #8
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Re: All Things Net Neutrality

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtbag59 View Post
Comcast is turning your home router into a public Wi-Fi hotspot - Jun. 16, 2014

I saw this story a couple days ago but just kind of thought of it as another way for Comcast to just continue being douche bags and not much further then that. Then I saw this video which made a very good point.

A little background. For those that missed it, Comcast has been claiming that they need to eventually enstate soft data caps nationwide to manage network congestion, even though its since been proven that its complete BS. Of course this is a "deal" for customers since now they won't hit you with a year long banhammer for going over their cap.

Of course now they're having peoples with newer models of their home routers, that they require customers to lease even if they have their own, to serve as public Wi-Fi hotspots for other Comcast customers. The feature is enabled by default so its up to the customer to call Comcast to find out how to disable it.

Also Comcast claims that the Public Wi-Fi is on a separate network and won't affect the speeds of their customers.

So let me F*****G get this straight. You guys already overcharge me for internet access and provide me speeds much slower then the rest of the developed world in spite of me being in a major market (ie I'm most definitely not rural). Then you have me pay extra for going over 300GB and a fee to lease your router even though I have my own. Not to mention that somehow since you enacted the data caps my internet has been more prone to disconnecting and buffering then the year and a half you completely did away with caps to "collect data."

Then on top of that you need Netflix to pay you because they're clogging up your network, cost which they pass on to me, but you have more then enough bandwidth to set up a couple million public hot spots and it will be provided by the same device that I send my personal information like Credit Cards, SS numbers, etc?

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU U
We were just talking about this at work yesterday. I don't believe Comcast when they say it won't effect your internet speed. That can't be true. The more internet connections you have on the node that is feeding internet to your neighborhood, the more likely it will effect internet speed. That's just the nature of having cable internet - it's all shared. If that wasn't true, then the 25 mbps download speeds I pay for would be 25 down at all times - yet on average I get about 13 mbps download speeds. What happens when someone logs onto the hotspot being served on your router, and they happen to be doing something illegal? Who gets in trouble?
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:31 AM   #9
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Re: All Things Net Neutrality

And in my opinion, ISPs instituting data caps is just another way to get around net neutrality. Knowing that you're up against a data cap, you're not likely to watch Netflix or You Tube videos, or stream music from your favorite website. It would naturally limit you on your usage. And what burns me up is that these ISPs, like AT&T, will dangle the carrot of offering you gigabit speeds, but then turn around and slap a data cap on you. Come on...the biggest reason why people would purchase gigabit service is to better support services such as Skype, Netflix, and faster download speeds of large files. If I know I have a data limit that is realistically reachable within a month, I know I can't freely use the internet the way it was intended.

I'm currently with Time Warner (which, of course, got bought out by Comcast) and I looked at my data usage just the other day. My wife and I have been streaming a lot more since we reinstated Netflix. Therefore, my data usage shot up almost triple from what we were using beforehand. From what I saw, it looks like there is a "soft" data cap with Time Warner, but the cap is set high enough where you'd have to be downloading HD movies (or torrents) on a daily basis while streaming Netflix on a daily basis. We don't really do a lot of major downloading of anything (unless I'm downloading a TV show from iTunes or Linux Distros), but we do use Netflix and Amazon Prime Video on a regular basis. While gigabit speeds are enticing for me for streaming as well as upload speeds (if I decide to Skype), not if there is a strict data cap like what you get with cell phone companies.
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:38 AM   #10
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Re: All Things Net Neutrality

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daseal View Post
I agree with the general statement in this thread. Net neutrality must be preserved and the free and open internet is critical to our economy and way of life. Currently ISPs are paid by consumers (you) to provide a service. Theyíve started throttling traffic unless companies pay a ransom to the ISP as well to improve their connections. So the ISPís are essentially double dipping to get money from both sides, the consumers and the companies.

Iím in support of the nuclear option, which is labeling ISPs as Title II common carriers. Declaring them Title II characters preserves net neutrality by ensuring they provide an equal level of service to all internet services. The FCC can ensure these companies arenít giving priority to providers willing to pay. The internet is currently an incubator for innovation, when the internet becomes the haves and the have nots, we will lose that competition and innovation.

Ironically, Iíve seen arguments from the telecoms that labeling them as common carriers would stifle innovation. Please raise your hand if your ISP has been innovating lately. The only place Iíve seen ISPs push to increase their capabilities are areas that have provided actual competition via Google Fiber or a local ISP. Otherwise, they know you have no other options and thereís no incentive for them to provide upgrades. Their primary goal is to accumulate territory and protect it from other providers.

I live in a fairly populated area and have a grand total of one broadband provider. That is an issue. There is no competition and the internet, as I see it, is a necessity. The internet is no longer optional. Itís necessary. I would be happy to see a system reminiscent of the telephone companies of yester year. Have service providers outfit a home with the necessary infrastructure based on territory. From there, the consumer can use that infrastructure to purchase whichever ISP service they desire. The ISP then leases the connection from the owner based on a pre-arranged standard fee per user. This reduces redundant infrastructure and gives consumers real competition.

Iím greatly concerned with censorship of the internet. Censorship is a slippery slope, and banning anything makes me nervous. Please keep in mind, I still support legal repercussions of the actions/contents on the internet, but do not support the banning of anything on the internet. There are some terrible and disgusting items on the internet, but believe banning them undermines the ideals of a free and open internet.
Strong taek dude. I'm pretty much in agreement with most of your statement. It's a shame that companies aren't smart enough to realize that their greed will contribute to the downfall of a major component of today's society. I can only hope that our gov't is smart enough to recognize that a free and equal internet is essential in today's society, but that might be asking too much if they're all in Comcast/Verizon's back pockets.
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Old 06-18-2014, 11:07 AM   #11
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Re: All Things Net Neutrality

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Originally Posted by mooby View Post
Strong taek dude. I'm pretty much in agreement with most of your statement. It's a shame that companies aren't smart enough to realize that their greed will contribute to the downfall of a major component of today's society. I can only hope that our gov't is smart enough to recognize that a free and equal internet is essential in today's society, but that might be asking too much if they're all in Comcast/Verizon's back pockets.
What shocked me is how LITTLE it took to buy the politicians. I believe Ars Technica did a write up of the congressmen who signed the letter to the FCC asking for no regulation. The donations were pretty damn low all things considered (some as low as 10K.)

I want to clarify. I understand net neutrality doesn't directly lead to censorship, but it does lay the groundwork. It's going to start with companies (Comcast) making Hulu the primary option and pushing netflix out. That will slowly devolve into the outright blocking of sites deemed dangerous or offensive. Some will be legitimate (think child porn), but that opens the gate for special interest groups to push their ideals. If we start blocking we're not too far from being China and allowing the filtering of information critical of the gov, etc.
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Old 06-18-2014, 11:17 AM   #12
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Re: All Things Net Neutrality

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtbag59 View Post
Comcast is turning your home router into a public Wi-Fi hotspot - Jun. 16, 2014

I saw this story a couple days ago but just kind of thought of it as another way for Comcast to just continue being douche bags and not much further then that. Then I saw this video which made a very good point.

A little background. For those that missed it, Comcast has been claiming that they need to eventually enstate soft data caps nationwide to manage network congestion, even though its since been proven that its complete BS. Of course this is a "deal" for customers since now they won't hit you with a year long banhammer for going over their cap.

Of course now they're having peoples with newer models of their home routers, that they require customers to lease even if they have their own, to serve as public Wi-Fi hotspots for other Comcast customers. The feature is enabled by default so its up to the customer to call Comcast to find out how to disable it.

Also Comcast claims that the Public Wi-Fi is on a separate network and won't affect the speeds of their customers.

So let me F*****G get this straight. You guys already overcharge me for internet access and provide me speeds much slower then the rest of the developed world in spite of me being in a major market (ie I'm most definitely not rural). Then you have me pay extra for going over 300GB and a fee to lease your router even though I have my own. Not to mention that somehow since you enacted the data caps my internet has been more prone to disconnecting and buffering then the year and a half you completely did away with caps to "collect data."

Then on top of that you need Netflix to pay you because they're clogging up your network, cost which they pass on to me, but you have more then enough bandwidth to set up a couple million public hot spots and it will be provided by the same device that I send my personal information like Credit Cards, SS numbers, etc?
FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU U
Guys im a novice when it comes to computers in general, but is my security at risk by this hotspot thing? Im a comcast wifi customer, and got a letter in the spring about this...i def dont want some crazy person doing all types of pervy or illegal things using my house as a hotspot.

Thanks for any info...there is an "opt out" option?
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Old 06-18-2014, 02:25 PM   #13
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Re: All Things Net Neutrality

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chico23231 View Post
Guys im a novice when it comes to computers in general, but is my security at risk by this hotspot thing? Im a comcast wifi customer, and got a letter in the spring about this...i def dont want some crazy person doing all types of pervy or illegal things using my house as a hotspot.

Thanks for any info...there is an "opt out" option?
This , and I haven't got a word from them at all .All we have is Comcast and Fios in Charles county and everyone I know is bitching about the fios ,down loads are slow and pictures are breaking up .Now this crap with the router is that one of their routers or on anyone ?
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:15 PM   #14
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Re: All Things Net Neutrality

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chico23231 View Post
Guys im a novice when it comes to computers in general, but is my security at risk by this hotspot thing? Im a comcast wifi customer, and got a letter in the spring about this...i def dont want some crazy person doing all types of pervy or illegal things using my house as a hotspot.

Thanks for any info...there is an "opt out" option?
I'll type more on this later but I'm under the impression that unless your router is this model or newer it will be a non issue.
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:40 PM   #15
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Re: All Things Net Neutrality

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Originally Posted by Dirtbag59 View Post
I'll type more on this later but I'm under the impression that unless your router is this model or newer it will be a non issue.
It's that one
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