Commentary: Google, NetFlix begin push back for Net Neutrality

Today’s post is a commentary on Net Neutrality by Steve Hart, co-founder of Relevanza, journalist, author and activist. Hart volunteers for the Naples Free-Net as expert at 501TechClub SWFL meetings. The article was originally posted on Relevanza – This Week in Social Media

One would not expect Internet giants like Google or NetFlix to stand by idly while a U.S. court strikes a blow to Net Neutrality.

Both companies have begun to push back, following a decision January 13 by a U.S. federal appeals court in Washington D.C., which (largely) struck down U.S. government rules which mandated a free and open Internet.

Net Neutrality is the simple term for an Internet that is free, open and unrestricted by governments or internet services providers (ISPs), the companies and entities which deliver the Internet to your door. Nearly all Internet users in the U.S. get their service from major corporations like Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Time-Warner, Sprint and others. Those corporations, not corporations like Google or NetFlix, control the speed and accessibility of the Internet. The January 13th court decision gave ISPs free reign to charge extra for some Internet services – like video, for example – or to block content altogether.

To start its push back, Google launched a website, Video Quality Report, which attempts to educate users about how, exactly, a YouTube video makes its way to your laptop or mobile device.

“When your ISP receives your video from YouTube, they begin the important job of carrying it across their network to your home,” Google explains at the site. “They must ensure there’s enough capacity where they receive the data from YouTube. Otherwise, your video streaming quality will suffer.”

In other words, if you want YouTube to stream flawlessly to your machines you want to be assured nothing (like an ISP) is blocking or restricting that flow of (video) data.

“We’ve invested billions of dollars in the bandwidth and infrastructure necessary to bring our services as close to your Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) front door as possible, for free,” Google explains in another portion of the site.

Google is also building its own Internet broadband infrastructure in several U.S. cities (Kansas City, Austin) and is expected to continue and expand that project.

REL-WearetheWebFor its part, NetFlix released January 22 a letter to share holders in which it not too subtly warned it would rally its 33 million U.S. customers to demand a continued open and free Internet should any ISPs decide to place restrictions or additional charges for streaming videos.

The company also tried to take the high road.

“The most likely case, however, is that ISPs will avoid this consumer-unfriendly path of discrimination,” said the NetFlix letter. “ISPs are generally aware of the broad public support for net neutrality and don’t want to galvanize government action.”

In an interview posted January 23 with VentureBeat, NetFlix CEO Reed Hastings reinforced the high-road approach by pointing out ISPs would only be hurting themselves should they become bullies or bridge trolls on the superinformation highway.

“Part of delivering and expanding [ISPs’ business] for consumers is having a really good Netflix experience, a good YouTube experience. Things like that. That’s why people get higher-speed broadband,” Hastings told VentureBeat. “So I think actually our economic interests are pretty co-aligned.”

Immediately after the court ruling, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler vowed to keep the Internet free and open, promising the U.S. government’s communications regulatory agency will use its authority to readdress the issues rendered dead by the court.

Call for Nominations to the Board of Directors

Pursuant to the bylaws of the Naples Free-Net the Nominations Committee hereby calls for nominations of candidates for election to the Naples Free-Net Board of Directors.
Any member in good standing of the Naples Free-Net may nominate a candidate for the election, after first determining the candidate’s willingness to serve. Candidates need not be members of the Naples Free-Net. Nominations shall be transmitted by electronic mail to: Nominations must include full contact information for the candidate including:

  • Full Name
  • Phone number
  • Address
  • E-mail address if available

The Nominator must fully identify self in the e-mail with the following information:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Nominator’s valid Naples Free-Net account ID

Nominations must be received by midnight Friday, February 7, 2010.

The bylaws of the Naples Free-Net may be found here
The Annual General Meeting will be the evening of March 10th, 2014.
Naples Free-Net Current Board and Org Chart
Naples Free-Net Org-Chart 2014
Org-Chart 2014

Annual Meeting 2014 on March 10th

 Annual Meeting, March 10, 2014  7:00pm

Annual Meeting Notification

The Naples Free-Net Annual General Meeting will be held at 7:00 PM on Monday, March 10, 2014 at the Fleischman Park Community Center. All NFN members are invited to attend.

The Annual General Meeting includes

  • President’s report,
  • a Treasurer’s report,
  • election of NFN board members, and
  • volunteer recognition ceremonies.

If you plan to attend will you please advise by return email to, as a headcount would be helpful. An agenda will be published closer to the meeting date.


Naples Photography Club starts into 2014

dpi sig meeting January 2014An estimated 120 participants, including 10 new members! The breaking news announced during meeting: Naples Photography Club  DPI-SIG is official host club of next year’s FCCC conference in March 2015.

Every year, members contribute photos to the calendar of the Shy Wolf Sanctuary and this year the calendar attracked the attention of a National Geographic Magazine, Kids Edition. Two members participating in the shooting for the calendar of Shy Wolf Sanctuary  will be featured in National Geographic Magazine for Kids.

2014 started with a cloud computing special on Dropbox for file sharing and Google+ and Instagram for social and mobile photo sharing.

The Google+ Event Party Mode enabled photos from the room were uploaded almost in real time.

More in follow-up at DPI-SIG website:

Every 2nd Thursday, the Naples Photography Club, DPI-SIG meets at Edison State College to discuss the latest and greatest photo tools, recaps outings and learns from each other through sharing , collaboration and education.

Video Introduction to all NFN DPI-SIG Club Activities

Happy New Year 2014

Naples Free-Net volunteers wish all members a Happy New Year!

Education Schedule updated

List of scheduled computer classes at the libary, the meetings of the two special interest groups, DPi-SIG and 501TechClub SWFL, and the NFN4Good walking clinics. Education chair, James McDonald and his team are working on the NFN computer lab schedule right now.

Volunteer Awards

Nominate your most treasured NFN volunteer for the Naples Free-Net Distinguished Service Award

2014 Annual Meeting  March 10, 2014

Save the date and watch the space for updates and details.