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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Curses, foiled again!

Once more, the techno-left is astonished by the discovery that giving more control to the federal government doesn't work out in exactly the precision fine-tuned way they had planned in order to solve every problem everyone except white Christian men have with everything and implement a socially just paradise on this Earth:
For many months, EFF has been working with a broad coalition of advocates to persuade the Federal Communications Commission to adopt new Open Internet rules that would survive legal scrutiny and actually help protect the Open Internet. Our message has been clear from the beginning: the FCC has a role to play, but its role must be firmly bounded.

Two weeks ago, we learned that we had likely managed the first goal—the FCC is going to do the right thing and reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service, giving it the ability to make new, meaningful Open Internet rules.  But we are deeply concerned that the FCC’s new rules will include a provision that sounds like a recipe for overreach and confusion: the so-called “general conduct rule.”
It never seems to occur to them that the only thing that will ever work is to keep the government the fuck out of it. Once the principle of government "management" is established, the goose is cooked. The only question is to what extent, and to whose benefit.

Once you declare "the FCC has a role to play", your part is done. You won't get to tell them how to play it. The FCC will decide that for itself, thank you very much.

Labels:

206 Comments:

1 – 200 of 206 Newer› Newest»
Blogger Markku February 26, 2015 11:22 AM  

It would have been perfectly adequate to force the ISP's to spell out what services they are penalizing and to what degree, in a clear and unambiguous list they mail to the customer. And whenever anything on the list changes, they have to mail another list.

Anonymous Stilicho February 26, 2015 11:25 AM  

...and the FCC is leaping squarely within the sights of hacktivist groups. Get your popcorn ready.

Blogger Markku February 26, 2015 11:26 AM  

And if the list is empty, you get to put an official "Net Neutral ISP" stamp on the paper.

Anonymous Salt February 26, 2015 11:28 AM  

A former FCC chair said the FCC getting involved is a bad idea.

Anonymous Alexander February 26, 2015 11:29 AM  

Every time, every time these idiots fantasize about a better future, they always picture themselves as the new commissar, not the anonymous body in the ditch.

And there's never even a bloody plan to become the commissar, it just happens. (Or for the female activist, it's never elaborated why the revolution's ideals will make her more sexually desirable, it simply is).

1. Ask overlords to implement socialist paradise
2. ???
3. Promotion!

Blogger Josh February 26, 2015 11:31 AM  

Obamacare for the internet!

What could go wrong?

Anonymous Noah B. February 26, 2015 11:31 AM  

I had no idea the EFF was backing FCC regulation of the internet. Morons.

"It would have been perfectly adequate to force the ISP's to spell out what services they are penalizing and to what degree, in a clear and unambiguous list they mail to the customer. And whenever anything on the list changes, they have to mail another list."

That's exactly how it should be handled -- by private contract. If one party doesn't hold up their end of the bargain, that's what courts are for.

Anonymous rho February 26, 2015 11:35 AM  

I've been arguing with the Net Neutrality supporters for quite a while, and they have never offered a satisfactory answer to this simple question: "Once the federal government has executive oversight on Internet traffic, what will stop them from controlling the content of Internet traffic?"

The question has an answer--"there is nothing to stop that"--but it's an unpleasant thought, and Net Neutrality sounds awesome, so shut up you Ayn Rand shitlord and go back to watching Faux Noise.

The Internet has had tiered service for decades. Usenet traffic was constantly throttled and delayed to take advantage of cheaper haul rates and to prevent it from eating up every scrap of available bandwidth. All those Net Neutrality myrmidons will be shocked--SHOCKED--when the FCC starts fiddling with their new levers and dials to remake the Internet as those in power want it to be.

Anonymous Susan February 26, 2015 11:36 AM  

According to my Webster's, the leftist's Utopia doesn't exist except in their imagination.

Drudge had some links yesterday that said the left is now worried that the FCC is overstepping here. Well, DUH!!
Since the FCC Chair feels he can ignore legal requests by Congress to appear before them, I hope somebody realizes that might give them the legal ammo to stop this disaster.

Blogger Markku February 26, 2015 11:40 AM  

I had no idea the EFF was backing FCC regulation of the internet. Morons.

Net Neutrality has been EFF's pet project for at least the last five years, if not ten.

Anonymous Salt February 26, 2015 11:43 AM  

Once it's done it can take years (Court processes being so slow) to undo, if that's even possible. One thing's for sure, the internet will become more expensive for worse service.

Anonymous Noah B. February 26, 2015 11:45 AM  

Clearly I haven't researched EFF thoroughly, but at least I've never given them any money. Most of what I've heard about them just comes from news coverage on WIRED, Torrentfreak, and several blogs. Given the good work they've done in other areas, I do find myself kind of surprised they could be this stupid.

Anonymous Athor Pel February 26, 2015 11:48 AM  

Just ask any large capital intensive industry how much federal and state regulatory oversight costs them.

A large part of my job is done just to satisfy regulatory oversight. Multiply that by thousands of jobs inside just one company and you'll get part of the answer to why some things cost as much as they do.

Anonymous Starbuck February 26, 2015 11:50 AM  

One thing's for sure, the internet will become more expensive for worse service.

Then it might be prudent to go home and have your internet service disconnected. If enough people did that the service providers will raise such a stink that maybe the FCC would reverse their decision. Maybe not, but everyone would lose so much money because of that something would have to happen. At very least it would be entertaining...

Blogger Markku February 26, 2015 11:54 AM  

This is so funny because Net Neutrality was EFF's Hill To Die On. It was their Messiah project. It was the reason to give your money to EFF.

And now, in one fell swoop, it has become the end of freedom in the internet.

"oops".

Anonymous kfg February 26, 2015 11:54 AM  

" . . .they always picture themselves as the new commissar, not the anonymous body in the ditch."

Bingo!

Blogger Markku February 26, 2015 11:55 AM  

I can only imagine the first call.

"Uhh, we have a problem..."

Anonymous Stilicho February 26, 2015 11:59 AM  


1. Ask overlords to implement socialist paradise
2. ???
3. Promotion!


brilliant!

are these the thunderpants gnomes? full of flatulence and fury signifying nothing?

Anonymous Noah B. February 26, 2015 12:02 PM  

"This is so funny because Net Neutrality was EFF's Hill To Die On."

Mission Accomplished

Anonymous Samuel Scott February 26, 2015 12:02 PM  

Vox, who should control public goods such as water and electricity? Businesses whose only goal is to maximize profits? That's a recipe for disaster and why the government created the idea of natural monopolies.

I'd consider the Internet -- perhaps better defined as *access* to the Internet -- to be a public good.

Blogger Markku February 26, 2015 12:04 PM  

It's not really fair to doubt EFF's intentions in this, though. If I saw the US Federal Government as anything less than 100% evil, I would have said that Net Neutrality is the best thing to ever happen to the Internet since it was born.

Blogger Markku February 26, 2015 12:16 PM  

This is an example for how lack of Net Neutrality realizes itself even right now for me.

Let's say we get a big idea to not only sell ebooks through First Sword, but direct streaming video also. No problem, right? I just calculate the bandwidth I need, and inform the customer that if he has at least this fast internet, he can use the feature.

WRONG!

Not unless I can strike as good a deal with every individual ISP in America as Netflix. Otherwise I have no idea whatsoever, if the service is going to work for the customer. So, I simply won't implement it.

Anonymous Difster February 26, 2015 12:23 PM  

Next up, "online drivers licenses."

Blogger MidKnight February 26, 2015 12:30 PM  

Yeah.

What "net neutrality" means to most people who talk about it, including almost certainly the EFF, is "I pay for X bandwidth, and I don't care if it's from netflix, google, yahoo, or russia, you don't block or throttle it because you have a competing TV service, you do your best to deliver whatever content I choose to consume over the bandwidth I'm paying for."

As someone mentioned above, just a clearly stated "here's what you're paying for "X" amount of bandwidth, we may shape or throttle netflix traffic to ensure everyone gets access (but are working to get a forwarding server in our server room and are upgrading our backbone to handle the traffic as we oversold our capacity) - so we can CHOOSE to pay for more capacity or not have streaming video throttled, would be great.

Those of us who have seen the "improvements" of government management elsewhere knew that no matter what the intention was, the government would make it worse.

And in the meantime, yes, I know running cable at our population density is not cheap, but good lord, there's little excuse for our current bandwidth costs except "we're upgrading outdated cabling and switching and in 12 months we'll be providing 4x the bandwidth for subscribers in your area at no extra cost...."

Blogger kurt9 February 26, 2015 12:32 PM  

Guys, contact your representative and senators to get the FCC out of the internet regulation business. I have already talked to my rep's staff (GOP) once a couple of weeks ago. I plan to contact them again tomorrow pending the outcome of today's FCC "vote". There is no need to roll over for this.

Blogger Markku February 26, 2015 12:33 PM  

We indies have been drooling for Net Neutrality for SO long. It would finally have made it possible for us to do what the biggest corporations are doing. Right now the question has been "do I have millions to spread like candy? No? Ok, then I will not implement the feature."

But of course the Federal Government would find a way to insert the evil to the one thing that would open the playing field to us. Of course.

Blogger Cataline Sergius February 26, 2015 12:33 PM  

Another day, another GOP sell out. I wish I could angry anymore.

Anonymous Noah B. February 26, 2015 12:36 PM  

Requiring ISP's to fully disclose the conditions of contracts is all that is necessary though, as you already pointed out. And states have the power to do that without federal involvement. Getting the FCC involved is unfathomably stupid if your goal is the preservation of freedom.

"It's not really fair to doubt EFF's intentions in this, though."

Why not? EFF could be following the NRA business model of creating a problem so they can present themselves as the only one able to solve it. Especially if a right-wing government comes to power.

Blogger Markku February 26, 2015 12:37 PM  

Why not?

For one, because they have impeccable track record, and for two, because I myself have been PRAYING for Net Neutrality for so very, very long.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 February 26, 2015 12:37 PM  

Net neutrality ignores the property rights of ISPs. You pay to use a system that is owned by someone else. Since it is their property they should be allowed to regulate it as they see fit.

Instead we have all these communists telling us that there is no such thing as property rights.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus February 26, 2015 12:42 PM  

Alexander: "Every time, every time these idiots fantasize about a better future, they always picture themselves as the new commissar, not the anonymous body in the ditch."

Exactly.

Anonymous Porky February 26, 2015 12:43 PM  

It's simple.

AT&T hates it, so I'm for it.

FU AT&T.



OpenID artraccoon February 26, 2015 12:45 PM  

The problem is that LibProgs would rather have government in control of the internet, even if it becomes slow, ponderous, monitored, and filtered of anything the statists don't like, than allow the free flow of ideas that might oppose them, or allow free market forces work...let alone let a business make an profit( especially if they aren't giving kick backs to the people or causes).

Blogger The Remnant February 26, 2015 12:49 PM  

Indeed. The founding generation knew that any power that CAN be abused WILL be abused. Then again, they had a firm understanding of sin and man's fallen nature; to the godless creatures of today, every predictable abuse comes as a shock.

Blogger Markku February 26, 2015 12:52 PM  

If there had been some credible pathway to Net Neutrality, I would have been really happy. It would have opened the kind of doors for indies that the ebook revolution did. It would have just been a waiting game. In the meanwhile, we would have been doing the revolution that is already in place.

But instead, let's just hand ambiguous, sweeping powers to FCC, to get there a little faster. What could go wrong?

Blogger Shibes Meadow February 26, 2015 12:55 PM  

Many moons ago, before my current career, I was a radio DJ. The FCC (affectionately known as "Uncle Charlie" in the biz) has mandatory power to regulate the airwaves "in the public interest". This broad regulatory power enables the Federal Entity to license all broadcasting in the US. In return for a broadcast license, broadcasters must prove to Uncle's satisfaction that they are broadcasting in the public interest. This is why radio sucks: only mainstream voices are allowed over the air. Should a given broadcast be deemed "not in the public interest" by Uncle Charlie, the FCC can yank the license of the broadcaster who transmitted it. In this way the Federal Entity sets the limits on what can be broadcast in the United States.

And now they will have the power to do the same to Internet "broadcasters". I foresee a time when bloggers will have to have a "netcasting license" and prove that his or her blog or site is "in the public interest" in order to keep it.

I'm glad I own my own photocopy machine. The age of print samizdat could be on a return course soon. Dasvedanya, tovarishchi!

Blogger Sam Hall February 26, 2015 12:55 PM  

"AT&T hates it, so I'm for it."

AT&T has many years dealing with the FCC. They know what is going to happen.

Anonymous patrick kelly February 26, 2015 12:56 PM  

Could someone explain wtf is the big problem needing the Feds help to solve?

Every time I ask someone it boils down to they are mad at their ISP for poor customer service. If most merkins think that's justification for more gov't regulation they deserve the tyrannical a$$ fkn they are asking for.....

Blogger Giraffe February 26, 2015 12:56 PM  

So how do I tell the FCC they have no role to play?

Blogger Vox February 26, 2015 12:57 PM  

Vox, who should control public goods such as water and electricity?

Anyone but the fucking government would be an improvement. They are the literal worst option.

Blogger Markku February 26, 2015 12:57 PM  

The EFF had already huge weight to throw around in this issue, having always been the champion for Net Neutrality. It could have been publicly shaming the non-conformant ISP's and certifying the conformant ones. Educating the public about the chilling effect for innovation that the present situation has. Perhaps buying ads, pleading customers to switch ISP's. That would have been the Libertatian Way. The #GamerGate way.

Blogger Markku February 26, 2015 1:00 PM  

Now, it will become the shmuck, the scapegoat, the laughingstock for how we lost the Internet.

Blogger Giraffe February 26, 2015 1:00 PM  

@patrick kelly

If most merkins think that's justification for more gov't regulation they deserve the tyrannical a$$ fkn they are asking for.....

This is a solution without a problem. I don't think most merkins have any complaints, or much of an idea what is coming. The will get the tyrannical fkn anyway. It pays to pay attention I guess.

Blogger pdwalker February 26, 2015 1:00 PM  

Of course, statists will now continue to try hard to clamp down on any speech they find unacceptable. It's coming.

I'm curious, how many people still have dial up modems? I wonder how long before "unregulated" networks are allowed to exist?

I suspect freedom advocates (i.e. domestic terrorists) will have to develop a store and forward bbs style network with some kind of freenet style overlay.

The time will come that having an unregulated network connection will be positive proof of terrorist activity.

Blogger Markku February 26, 2015 1:08 PM  

When Mephistopheles offers to make your dreams come true, you should stop and think for a moment which dreams he is talking about.

Anonymous Porky February 26, 2015 1:10 PM  

AT&T has many years dealing with the FCC. They know what is going to happen.

You'd think that being Baby-Belled would have been a learning experience for them.

Anonymous Ostar February 26, 2015 1:11 PM  

I've argued this with some so-called "libertarians". Their argument for Net Neutrality mainly condenses to this: the telecoms have been ripping the common people off and the government needs to punish them and make the common people pay less. Punish the rich, class envy.

So more socialism and control, less freedom and transparency. They either can't or refuse to see the contradiction in their version of libertarianism.

Blogger Giraffe February 26, 2015 1:13 PM  

Just heard on the radio that is passed.

Blogger Sam Hall February 26, 2015 1:14 PM  

You knew it was coming

https://www.dropbox.com/s/6vns3gvbk69tdhk/net%20neutrality.jpg?dl=0

Blogger pdwalker February 26, 2015 1:16 PM  

Vox,

What do you think of tools like Freenet?

Anonymous Salt February 26, 2015 1:18 PM  

If enough people did that the service providers will raise such a stink

People will be doing that, scaling back, but then it will be subsidies for the payment-challenged. "We're losing business," ~Netflix will say. "EPS," Wall Street will say.

The Train needs to wreck.

Blogger Josh February 26, 2015 1:19 PM  

It's simple.

AT&T hates it, so I'm for it.

FU AT&T.


Weren't lots of healthcare companies opposed to obamacare?

Why didn't you support obamacare, porky?

Blogger Danby February 26, 2015 1:22 PM  

Vox, who should control public goods such as water and electricity?
How about the people who own the equipment and pay the salaries. Seems like a natural fit.

Businesses whose only goal is to maximize profits? That's a recipe for disaster
Why so? What disaster? It seems to be working well enough so far.

and why the government created the idea of natural monopolies.
So they could control yet more? how is that a good?

I'd consider the Internet -- perhaps better defined as *access* to the Internet -- to be a public good.
And you'd be wrong. It is a service, provided by someone at some cost.
Personally, I think we need to separate the network layers. One company provides the last-mile wiring, as a public utility on a cost/bandwidth basis to anyone who wants to buy, and co-location services to the service providers. Another company provides the service, including interconnects to other networks. Much like the ILEC/CLEC system we have for telephone service, or the way it is organized in Korea and Britain.
This would introduce some actual competition into the industry, which would be good for everybody, except Comcast and Verizon

Blogger Markku February 26, 2015 1:25 PM  

Whenever I bought a Humble Bundle, I always directed the majority of my money to EFF. That's how much I loved them. In issues of freedom, they always took the right side. If you gave me a sum of money and asked me to give it to any charity I like, I wouldn't even have thought twice about it. I would have given it to EFF.

And now, they will soon become the symbol of Internet Tyranny.

Blogger Shibes Meadow February 26, 2015 1:25 PM  

Mr. Meadow:

Your blog, Shibes Meadow (FCC License 124-C-41) has been determined to be in violation of the Federal Electronic Social Communications Act. Title IV, Section 33, Hate Speech, due to the use of federally-prohibited Trigger Language (see attached file for specific listing). As a result, your License to Netcast has been suspended. To protest this suspension, you or your agent or attorney must appear in person before the Licensing Board..."

Anonymous Will Best February 26, 2015 1:25 PM  

The libertarian "that is what the court is for line" is utter nonsense. You aren't going to hire a lawyer and go after comcast every time they don't adhere to their contract (whatever it might be this month). It would take at a minimum of 90 days to resolve even if they rolled over, but if they decide to contest it could take years.

ISPs exist in a duopoly mainly because its really expensive to lay down fiber, but much cheaper to operate once its in. Net neutrality doesn't exist without the government saying "you can't discriminate packets based on content or point of origin". The only other way about it is to enhance your bargaining power by having the community own its last mile infrastructure. Of course, even across a community there are vastly different bandwidth needs so getting everybody to agree on spending is going to be problematic.

Just ask any large capital intensive industry how much federal and state regulatory oversight costs them.

That is the price you pay to remove competition. You know why Amazon doesn't care about collecting sale tax anymore? Its more concerned about the next Amazon than it is about WalMart.

Anonymous Alexander February 26, 2015 1:26 PM  

Let's talk water disasters.

Exhibit A: Aral Sea.

Blogger James Dixon February 26, 2015 1:29 PM  

> That's a recipe for disaster and why the government created the idea of natural monopolies.

And an argument can be made that Internet access is exactly one such "natural monopoly". In which case the best solution is probably for local governments to provide the connection and the user contract with who ever they want for the service. The FCC isn't making that argument though.

I think the same argument could be made for electric, water, sewer, and phone. Once standards are codified for such a system, there's no reason the connection method has to come from the service provider.

Blogger Nate February 26, 2015 1:30 PM  

Net Neutrality for Dummies:

NetFlix uses TONS of bandwith... and that requires massive upgrades for carries. Carriers think NetFlix should help pay for those upgrades... Netflix doesn't.

Simple... If you think people should be able to charge what they want... you don't support net neutrality. if you think government should set prices... you DO support net neutrality.

The assholes in this equation are not Verizon or Comcast or even ATT... the assholes are NetFlix who want to eat tons of cake on the provider's dime.

Anonymous Roundtine February 26, 2015 1:30 PM  

Thanks leftists. Now we can ban porn because FCC.

Anonymous Porky February 26, 2015 1:31 PM  

Why didn't you support obamacare, porky?

I support obamacare, net neutrality, and anything else inasmuch as they help burn the unholy corporate oligarchy to the ground.

Blogger James Dixon February 26, 2015 1:34 PM  

> Net neutrality ignores the property rights of ISPs.

So the ISP's own the land the cables run over/under? The own the connection to my house? Somehow I don't think so. I think they contracted with governments for eminent domain so they could run them.

Anonymous Porky February 26, 2015 1:35 PM  

I once asked Vox what he'd do when the left gained control of the web. He said he'd make his own internet.

I would say now is the time for that particular kickstarter.

Blogger Markku February 26, 2015 1:36 PM  

Here's another thing the EFF could have done. They could have created a software to measure the actual service I'm getting from the ISP, and compare it to the bandwidth that my contract states. If these are demonstrated to be far apart from each other to an egregious degree, the software provides me instructions on how to join a class action suit against the ISP.

That would have made it a case of contracts, and kept the government out of it.

Anonymous Donn February 26, 2015 1:37 PM  

Just like with TV there will be winners and losers. Look to see who gets the best bandwidth and most rules to follow (those hinder competition).

Blogger James Dixon February 26, 2015 1:41 PM  

> Could someone explain wtf is the big problem needing the Feds help to solve?

Morons like Comcast throttling traffic from sites like Netflix, redirecting traffic (such as http or dns failures), or even preventing traffic such as Bittorent or VPn; even though they have no rights to do so under their agreement with the consumer.

> The time will come that having an unregulated network connection will be positive proof of terrorist activity.

It pretty much already is. The NSA makes Tor usage a marker for further investigation.

Anonymous Salt February 26, 2015 1:41 PM  

OT -

WashingtonExaminer - "Obama to ban bullets by executive action, threatens top-selling AR-15 rifle"

As promised, President Obama is using executive actions to impose gun control on the nation, targeting the top-selling rifle in the country, the AR-15 style semi-automatic, with a ban on one of the most-used AR bullets by sportsmen and target shooters.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives this month revealed that it is proposing to put the ban on 5.56mm ammo on a fast track, immediately driving up the price of the bullets and prompting retailers, including the huge outdoors company Cabela’s, to urge sportsmen to urge Congress to stop the president.

Blogger James Dixon February 26, 2015 1:43 PM  

And if anyone can't tell, I'm firmly in the camp of true Net Neutrality, just like Markku. Unfortunately, that's not what the FCC is going to give us.

Anonymous Roundtine February 26, 2015 1:45 PM  

Just like with TV there will be winners and losers.

Actually your TV is the Internet now, and vice versa. Losers are anyone who has a website, or goes on websites, that can't be shown at primetime.

Anonymous sawtooth February 26, 2015 1:48 PM  

Awright! The internet is on the road to being just another outlet for Main Stream Media.

No more religious kooks, gun nuts, or UFO conspiracists fomenting distrust in government.

Just good solid reporting and topical discussion by officially certified professionals.

Anonymous patrick kelly February 26, 2015 1:52 PM  

"Morons like Comcast throttling traffic from sites like Netflix, redirecting traffic (such as http or dns failures), or even preventing traffic such as Bittorent or VPn; even though they have no rights to do so under their agreement with the consumer."

Yeah, that's a customer service complaint, not a federal crisis. Take em' to court, switch isp, or stfu.

Blogger James Dixon February 26, 2015 1:55 PM  

> Yeah, that's a customer service complaint, not a federal crisis. Take em' to court, switch isp, or stfu.

Did I say otherwise, Patrick?

But switching ISP's isn't an option for a good chunk of people out there. There is exactly one broadband option where I live, and I know a bunch of people who are in the same boat. Even more populous areas often only have two.

Anonymous Noah B. February 26, 2015 1:57 PM  

"And if anyone can't tell, I'm firmly in the camp of true Net Neutrality, just like Markku. Unfortunately, that's not what the FCC is going to give us."

I am in favor of genuine Net Neutrality too -- as in, I want the option to buy internet service that doesn't filter or prioritize traffic -- but FCC regulation is sure to backfire in ways that we can't even predict yet. It's almost sure to turn into backdoor content regulation, and sorry folks, porn will be protected while sites like this are punished. Any of the ideas that Markku has come up with would have been far better.

Anonymous farm boy February 26, 2015 2:04 PM  

Sam Scott: I can tell you haven't lived outside the Metropolis very long. You are used to municipal sewer and water, natural gas and high-speed free WIFI so you think that's the normal, natural, inevitable way services should be provided. Spend some time on the farm with well and septic, LP tank and a landline rented from the local telephone co-op. Learn to think outside the Government Box.

Blogger Nate February 26, 2015 2:05 PM  

"Morons like Comcast throttling traffic from sites like Netflix, redirecting traffic (such as http or dns failures), or even preventing traffic such as Bittorent or VPn; even though they have no rights to do so under their agreement with the consume"

Wrong.

The morons in this situation are you and Netflix. Look at the bandwidth NetFlix uses. Its arguably the biggest bandwidth hog out there. If it weren't for NetFlix the infrastructure upgrades would much less necessary.

So damn right. NetFlix should be paying for it.

I cancelled my NetFlix subscriptions over this.

Comcast and Verizon didn't fuck up the internet. NetFlix did.

Anonymous patrick kelly February 26, 2015 2:07 PM  

I don't want the Fed Gov't exercising power to ensure anyone has an option to purchase anything....I also don't want them restricting it either........I like Markku's ideas not involving the heavy hands of the FCC.......

Blogger Nate February 26, 2015 2:07 PM  

NetFlix is the useful idiot the government is using to take the internet.

Anonymous rycamor February 26, 2015 2:12 PM  

pdwalker February 26, 2015 1:16 PM

Vox,

What do you think of tools like Freenet?


Also look up Meshnet and Hyperboria.

In one sense this FCC thing might be one of the last few straws that break the existing centralized internet. Everyone now has several devices capable of sending and receiving bandwidth, and the increasing density of such devices is probably exceeding Moore's law by far.

Every year, the true decentralized and free internet becomes more technically feasible.

Blogger James Dixon February 26, 2015 2:15 PM  

> The morons in this situation are you and Netflix...

What makes you think I use NetFlix, Nate? Someone asked what the problem was, and I gave examples.

Blogger IM2L844 February 26, 2015 2:18 PM  

Lena Dunham thinks the General Conduct Rule will keep people from calling her fat.

Anonymous Randomatos February 26, 2015 2:22 PM  

@Porky
You do realize that oligarchs gain their power due to their political connections, right? Monopolies are always caused by governments, and protected by governments as well. If your true goal is to tear down the cleptocrats and oligarchs, or "the fascist corporations", the first step is to realize that fascism, also called state corporatism, gets its unholy stranglehold power from the government portion of that equation, not the corp. Do you really believe that the same brains and pens behind the bailouts were any more noble while scrawling Obamacare, or that they will change their stripes now?

Blogger LP 999/Eliza February 26, 2015 2:24 PM  

I am not horrified at the timing, the DHS needs mo money, free mongering about ISIS islemc-jizzle is in all 50 states. Now a couple of students are picked up in NYC for terrorism when POst America brought in their own problems, whatever, the fear machine does not work!

Yep, V, make your own web, open source doc it, however that works. So far, if I have to give the web up, so be it.

Gentlemen, would programming be complicated, is the FCC going at this like a utility, as if to be forced to pay more and more for worse service? We know the beltway killjoys (my chemical romance ref) understand economics and retail sales are internet favored over some box retail stores?

Blogger LP 999/Eliza February 26, 2015 2:27 PM  

I am done with the cable/web/phone providers, all of them are just too costly. My bill for phone and web is around 80, I give 50 or so, its all I can do. Billion dollar globalist corps, whoever is lobbying and the system wont leave people alone - refuses to let us read the bill. Just like the NDAA, HCare.

All unacceptable.

Blogger wrf3 February 26, 2015 2:28 PM  

Nate wrote: Net Neutrality for Dummies:

NetFlix uses TONS of bandwith... and that requires massive upgrades for carries. Carriers think NetFlix should help pay for those upgrades... Netflix doesn't.

You're leaving out a crucial piece -- that there is someone between Netflix and the carriers. Netflix pays the intermediary for access to the net. It's the intermediary that interfaces to the ISP. It's that connection where the disputes occur.

Simple... If you think people should be able to charge what they want... you don't support net neutrality. if you think government should set prices... you DO support net neutrality.

It's more complicated than that. First, at least in the US, there is no true competition between ISPs. Absent true competition, monopolistic pricing favors the produces at the expense of consumers. Even so, if the ISP needs equipment upgrades to support additional traffic, then they should be able to charge for it. But as a consumer, I'm paying for bandwidth -- regardless where it comes from. I am not going to pay a monopoly to deliver packets from one part of the net more quickly than another part of the net.

The assholes in this equation are not Verizon or Comcast or even ATT... the assholes are NetFlix who want to eat tons of cake on the provider's dime.

Not even close.

Blogger MidKnight February 26, 2015 2:29 PM  

Nate.

I - and most customers at the current Uverse tiers in my area- pay for far more incoming bandwidth than streaming a netflix movie or two uses.

If they oversubscribe their backbone because they promised me 15 Mbps as long as the server on the other side can send it my way (mid tier around here, I actually have a higher-bandwidth connection for other reasons) , and me and half the people in my neighborhood are watching netflix, and that causes their network to choke up, then they need to upgrade their damn infrastructure.

Netflix pays their ISP's for access to the internet. The ISP's exchange traffic crossing between the networks, and I pay for traffic coming into mine.

Is Netflix being a douche because so much of their traffic is one way? Somewhat.

Is my ISP being a douche because they promised me service, and want to throttle netflix because they can't transfer the info they promised since they oversubscribed - but are happy to sell me VOD?

Absolutely. DSL used to be sold on the premise that it wasn't "shared" like cable, and so you actually had a dedicated slice if the internet server you were contacting could provide enough data to fill it.

Do I want the government involved? Hell, the reson we have so many telecom monopolies/duopolies (now that cable co's do telephone) is because the government blessed that already. I don't want the government to help fix the problem they made.

No. I just want to get the bandwidth I paid for, and AT&T to fork it over no matter where it comes from.

And no, I don't consider Comcast an option.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza February 26, 2015 2:30 PM  

More taxes will be levied against post Americans wallets? Are these people insane, do they not know or seen the retail sales, food prices, etc.?

Huge mistake, terrible policy.

Anonymous Porky February 26, 2015 2:34 PM  

well and septic, LP tank and a landline rented from the local telephone co-op. Learn to think outside the Government Box.

Farm boy's got the right idea. The answer to Obamacare is healthcare co-ops. The answer to net neutrality is independent ISP co-ops.

And so on.... and so on.....

I cancelled my NetFlix subscriptions over this.

That's like canceling your Walgreen's membership to protest Obamacare.



Anonymous rycamor February 26, 2015 2:35 PM  

MidKnight February 26, 2015 2:29 PM

Nate.

I - and most customers at the current Uverse tiers in my area- pay for far more incoming bandwidth than streaming a netflix movie or two uses.


You are aware that there are people streaming Netflix ALL DAY LONG? Sometimes several people within a household?

Blogger pdwalker February 26, 2015 2:36 PM  

rycamor February 26, 2015 2:12 PM

Also look up Meshnet and Hyperboria.


Thanks, I didn't know about those ones.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza February 26, 2015 2:36 PM  

FCC is proven above the law just like all the other public no-support type controls.

Anonymous rycamor February 26, 2015 2:39 PM  

The fact is, centralized delivery of streaming content Netflix-style is a technological dinosaur. A torrent-style network can handle far more media distribution with far lower impact. This is the kind of thing a decentralized internet can provide us.

Blogger James Dixon February 26, 2015 2:39 PM  

> You are aware that there are people streaming Netflix ALL DAY LONG? Sometimes several people within a household?

Do they have an agreement with their ISP giving them the bandwidth to do so? If so, then it's the ISP's problem. If the national providers would have stopped lying about the service level they could provide this probably would never have been a problem.

Blogger Josh February 26, 2015 2:42 PM  

The fact is, centralized delivery of streaming content Netflix-style is a technological dinosaur. A torrent-style network can handle far more media distribution with far lower impact. This is the kind of thing a decentralized internet can provide us.

No no no, we all know that torrents are only used for piracy, child porn, and terrorism...

Anonymous patrick kelly February 26, 2015 2:42 PM  

"No. I just want to get the bandwidth I paid for, and AT&T to fork it over no matter where it comes from. "....

..."You are aware that there are people streaming Netflix ALL DAY LONG? Sometimes several people within a household?"

This. I think the current total bandwidth in the US would be slowed to a crawl if more than 300k users try to stream a 1080 HD video over Netflix at the same time....don't remember where I read that information, but even if it is 10x that amount, it still ain't unlimited. ISPs have to buffer and throttle to meet demand for more bandwidth than exists.....no matter how much they say you're connected to, if it is bottled up within' the laws of physics it ain't gonna get to you, and the gov't can't fix that.

...unless someone has a rainbow bit farting unicorn......



Anonymous Porky February 26, 2015 2:45 PM  

Do you really believe that the same brains and pens behind the bailouts were any more noble while scrawling Obamacare, or that they will change their stripes now?

Hehehe. Silly Randomatos. Obamacare wasn't written by legislators.

Anonymous FP February 26, 2015 2:51 PM  

"Is my ISP being a douche because they promised me service, and want to throttle netflix because they can't transfer the info they promised since they oversubscribed - but are happy to sell me VOD?"

Hah, Comcast video on demand! They want $4.99 for a SD movie 24 hour rental, $5.99 for HD and thats all on their own network with tv. That said, Netflix is not innocent here, they're greedy. Steam has servers with Comcast to speed up data transfers, why not netflix to speed up service to their customers? Netflix is also having slowdowns with mail shipments. I have a two day turn around for dvds now which means one disc a week. Its not worth it. Streaming barely so these days for me.

Samuel: "Vox, who should control public goods such as water and electricity? Businesses whose only goal is to maximize profits? That's a recipe for disaster and why the government created the idea of natural monopolies."

Yes, because the gov monopolies have made great strides for the people by putting fluoride in the water. I pay more each month in electricity taxes for "assistance" to help others pay their bills than to the state or city. The more "efficient" I get with power usage, the more rates seem to go up.

Is it all about the evil oil companies that we don't have a Mr. Fusion unit powering the average family home like an A/C machine or government not wanting to lose its monopoly power on electric power?

Blogger Nate February 26, 2015 3:08 PM  

Obamacare is an excellent comparison here. Because once you decide all bits are bits... guess what... its not just the internet you're radically changing.

TV as you know it will no longer exist.

The only hope we have... is the Boomer love of TV.

Fuck with a Boomer's TV at your peril.

Now most people have no idea that net neutrality is going to have a severe impact on TV... but it will. And they will be PISSED.

Blogger Nate February 26, 2015 3:12 PM  

'Do they have an agreement with their ISP giving them the bandwidth to do so?"

Yes. And that agreement lets the ISP charge them more. Which is what they are trying to avoid.. and why they are fighting for Net Neutrality. Because they want to change the terms of the agreement they already agreed to.

Blogger Nate February 26, 2015 3:12 PM  

'Hehehe. Silly Randomatos. Obamacare wasn't written by legislators."

write it? Hell the legislators didn't even read it...

Blogger Nate February 26, 2015 3:14 PM  

"That's like canceling your Walgreen's membership to protest Obamacare.'

wrong.

its like cancelling blue cross and blue shield over Obamacare.

Anonymous p-dawg February 26, 2015 3:21 PM  

@Nate: Why is my ISP promising to be able to serve me streaming video (Netflix) at a certain speed if they aren't capable of doing that without upgrades? Why are you mad at Netflix, when they aren't the ones promising to provide "unlimited bandwidth" for a monthly fee? That's stupid. If I sell you a dozen eggs, but only provide you with 10, you shouldn't get mad at the chicken.

OpenID cailcorishev February 26, 2015 3:22 PM  

You know, if we have to, we can create a separate Internet free of government control. We were headed that direction in the early 90s with the CIX, before Congress finally opened up the NSFNET to commercial and private traffic and it took off and became the Internet. We can do it now, but we really have better things to do, so why they wanna waste our time?

Anonymous Will Best February 26, 2015 3:23 PM  

The assholes in this equation are not Verizon or Comcast or even ATT... the assholes are NetFlix who want to eat tons of cake on the provider's dime.

No they don't. AT&T promises all their customers 250 GB/mo at speed X, If they can't deliver that they are guilty of massive consumer fraud and should be bankrupted with a class action lawsuit. The solution shouldn't be for them to turn around and force netflix to charge its customers more so AT&T can upgrade their systems to handle the data they already promised their customers.

You are aware that there are people streaming Netflix ALL DAY LONG? Sometimes several people within a household?

How is this relevant? My data contract doesn't single out my uses for it. And it provides for adequate compensation to AT&T if I go over my softcap.

Monopolies are always caused by governments, and protected by governments as well

A cursory examination of the history of business from the 1860s to present would prove this statement false. The statement "monopolies can only be sustained by government", however, is historically accurate.


A torrent-style network can handle far more media distribution with far lower impact. This is the kind of thing a decentralized internet can provide us.

Yes, well at the moment that is a bridge too far for the content creators. And as near as I can tell completely inconsistent with the copyright law as written (which I don't agree with)

Anonymous Porky February 26, 2015 3:26 PM  

AT&T is to Netflix as BCBS is to Walgreen's.

You want to protest net neutrality? Cancel your AT&T, not Netflix.

Blogger Nate February 26, 2015 3:29 PM  

I don't have ATT retard. and you have your parties severely muddled up. ATT and Verizon are against net neutrality.

Netflix is for it.

Which is why I cancelled netflix.

Blogger Nate February 26, 2015 3:32 PM  

"No they don't. AT&T promises all their customers 250 GB/mo at speed X, If they can't deliver that they are guilty of massive consumer fraud and should be bankrupted with a class action lawsuit. "

I think you better read the terms of that agreement a little more closely. Having worked on the tech side with ATT... I seriously doubt ATT guaranteed speed... in fact they probably didn't even guarantee a minimum level of service at all.

Anonymous dh February 26, 2015 3:36 PM  

Right you are Nate.

I have several dedicated, provisioned, actively managed high-speed connections. They are similar speeds to what residential internet offers, but at real commercial grade reliability. A 50MB connection, dedicated, which is about what you can get from DOCSIS 3 cable modems, costs me about $4k a month. For that I get 99.99% uptime, and promised delivery of 95% of provisioned speed, 99.5% of the time, and not less than 80% provisioned speed, the remaining 0.5% of the time.

There is no such thing as a free lunch.

Blogger Josh February 26, 2015 3:41 PM  

There is no such thing as a free lunch.

Not true, schools have a free and reduced lunch program...

Anonymous Porky February 26, 2015 3:42 PM  

ATT and Verizon are against net neutrality.

Netflix is for it.

Which is why I cancelled netflix.


Another clear example of why the whole "my enemy's enemy" crap is futile.

Anonymous Peter Garstig February 26, 2015 3:45 PM  

Netflix are the assholes. Net Neutrality benefits Netflix.

Is that about right?

Anonymous Jerome Horowitz February 26, 2015 3:51 PM  

Nate - February 26, 2015 2:05 PM - ....
The morons in this situation are you and Netflix. Look at the bandwidth NetFlix uses. Its arguably the biggest bandwidth hog out there. If it weren't for NetFlix the infrastructure upgrades would much less necessary.
..
Nate, on this one you are quite mis-guided. People didn't move from dial-up to cable a decade ago because Netflix caused them to.

Anonymous MrGreenMan February 26, 2015 3:53 PM  

@Markku

It sure sucks to live to see your heroes betray you, doesn't it?

Perhaps the EFF is, like the March of Dimes, United Way, the Susan G Koman Foundation, and many, many other non-profits and charities, simply through its useful purpose and into phase two: How can we hoover up enough Soros money to persist forever with these kick-ass offices and managerial jobs?

Anonymous Randomatos February 26, 2015 3:54 PM  

@Porky,
That is precisely my point. The minds and pens aren't the faces, and they know whom they write to benefit.

Anonymous MrGreenMan February 26, 2015 3:55 PM  

So, today, the application providers get what they want, the bigger infrastructure providers will probably get waivers because this administration loves to hand out waivers, and we'll get the costs spread out more to try to punish upstart application providers while the letter of the law will be used against upstart infrastructure providers, because nobody ever used government to give himself more competition. They didn't need that many pages to implement some rule about traffic fairness.

Blogger Nate February 26, 2015 4:01 PM  

"Nate, on this one you are quite mis-guided. People didn't move from dial-up to cable a decade ago because Netflix caused them to."

Who exactly was using dialup in 2005?

Anonymous Noah B. February 26, 2015 4:02 PM  

"Do they have an agreement with their ISP giving them the bandwidth to do so? If so, then it's the ISP's problem. If the national providers would have stopped lying about the service level they could provide this probably would never have been a problem."

Bingo. Netflix may have helped bring this issue to a head, but if ISP's weren't making promises they couldn't keep, there would be no real problem.

I don't think there's a solution that everyone is going to be completely satisfied with. But allowing the private sector to figure this out for itself is what has allowed the internet to grow over the last 20 years, and that approach would continue to serve us in the future much better than government regulation will.

Anonymous Porky February 26, 2015 4:02 PM  

The minds and pens aren't the faces, and they know whom they write to benefit.

Gee, thanks for clearing that up for me. All this time I thought Nancy Pelosi was an evil genius who planned the healthcare takeover for the last two decades.

Anonymous Salt February 26, 2015 4:03 PM  

Net Neutrality in effect subsidizes high bandwidth users on the backs of low bandwidth users. What you get as your content the ISPs have to turn a blind eye to, the net being neutral to the equation. The costs necessary by ISPs to maintain, even upgrade, the Net will be born by all - equally. So if you park your ass here at VP all day, your bill will eventually go up some as the Net expands and upgrades to meet demands and a lot of that demand is for high bandwidth content.

Anonymous Noah B. February 26, 2015 4:05 PM  

"Who exactly was using dialup in 2005?"

I was. It was the only thing available in my area, other than satellite internet, which seems to be totally unsuitable for a VPN.

Anonymous Noah B. February 26, 2015 4:10 PM  

"You want to protest net neutrality? Cancel your AT&T, not Netflix."

I don't like AT&T because they're liars and they have early participated in the creation of the surveillance state. But they happen to be on the right side of net neutrality.

Anonymous MrGreenMan February 26, 2015 4:10 PM  

http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB105120296334113100

Dialup died in 2003.

Blogger JartStar February 26, 2015 4:12 PM  

From the EFF: "But now we face the really hard part: making sure the FCC doesn’t abuse it’s authority." (The incorrect "it's" is in the original.)

Good luck.

There aren't any good guys on this. ATT, Comcast and Verizon certainly aren't anyone's friend when it comes to bandwidth, yet the government always abuses the power it holds.


Blogger James Dixon February 26, 2015 4:13 PM  

> And that agreement lets the ISP charge them more.

Not in any agreement that I've seen, Nate. There are various tiers of service, but by and large all the rates I've seen are fixed.

> A 50MB connection, dedicated, which is about what you can get from DOCSIS 3 cable modems, costs me about $4k a month.

That sounds about right, yes. Of course, that's symmetrical bandwidth, which is not what most ISP's offer. Nor does the ISP offer an equivalent service level guarantee. So the price should be a lot less.

Blogger Nate February 26, 2015 4:13 PM  

What you fail to grasp is that the bandwidth shortage... and there very much is a bandwidth shortage... is more than a little the fault of companies like netflix.

i know I know...

You love your little netflix and dog gonnit ATT is MEAN! Well as much as it pains me to say it... because I loathe ATT as much as anyone... ATT is correct.

Its not ATT that caused the FCC take over.

Its Netflix.

Anonymous Jerome Horowitz February 26, 2015 4:14 PM  

Nate February 26, 2015 4:01 PM
..
Netflix is just an excuse for FCC.GOV to go after control of the Internet, like ATF.GOV going after 5.56 bullets.. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/02/26/obama-to-ban-bullets-by-executive-action-threatens-top-selling-ar-15-rifle/

Blogger Nate February 26, 2015 4:15 PM  

I honestly cannot wait to see the looks on the pro-net neutrality faces when they realize what they've done.

Blogger James Dixon February 26, 2015 4:16 PM  

> Who exactly was using dialup in 2005?

That would be me. We didn't get the option for DSL until 2006. Some people still don't have it.

> There aren't any good guys on this. ATT, Comcast and Verizon certainly aren't anyone's friend when it comes to bandwidth, yet the government always abuses the power it holds.

Exactly.

Blogger Nate February 26, 2015 4:17 PM  

"Netflix is just an excuse for FCC.GOV to go after control of the Internet, like ATF.GOV going after 5.56 bullets.."

sometimes I think distributers and ammo wholesalers are behind all of these scares... I mean the guys been in office for 6 years now. And he's done nothing.

Blogger Nate February 26, 2015 4:18 PM  

"That would be me. We didn't get the option for DSL until 2006. Some people still don't have it."

Dude... hughes net exists... and smartphones broadcast wifi. If you don't have it... you aren't trying.

Blogger Markku February 26, 2015 4:20 PM  

I don't think this was betrayal from EFF, it was just lethal stupidity. After all, they were the ones to first call attention to the huge loophole they had created. That is not the behavior of someone who is intent on screwing you over.

Blogger Markku February 26, 2015 4:25 PM  

Over here, the de facto system is, in my opinion, fair. You pay for a certain amount of premium service traffic per month. It doesn't matter, what that traffic is. After you are over your quota, your traffic gets second priority. It's always unlimited, you just pay for remaining a first class citizen in the routing, if that's what you want.

Anonymous Big Bill February 26, 2015 4:27 PM  

This is an incredible benefit to lefties. They love to create and manipulate secret choke points.

Now that we have the Obama Care choke point for all medical care, rather than hundreds of individual state insurance commissioners, they can send a handful of lefties to Washington to get regulations passed requiring free sex change operations in every insurance plan, for example.

Now that the FCC is in charge of the Internet, they can send that handful to Washington to pass regulations banning anonymous email accounts, or requiring all ISPs to log website postings.

The Left loves to work in the dark, just like corporate lobbyists, and the geeks at the EFF have just handed them the choke point and secret lobbying power to do just that.

Anonymous Porky February 26, 2015 4:28 PM  

I don't like AT&T because they're liars and they have early participated in the creation of the surveillance state. But they happen to be on the right side of net neutrality.

FACE_PALM.

"Hi. We're AT&T, and we're opposed to Net Neutrality, because it would limit our ability to throttle you, monopolize you, and give really crappy customer service."


Anonymous Noah B. February 26, 2015 4:30 PM  

"That is not the behavior of someone who is intent on screwing you over."

Of course, they're now going to need plenty of cash contributions so that they can stay vigilant and keep the FCC from destroying the internet.

The NRA, by the way, was the one who wrote and supported the federal ban on armor piercing ammo that is now being used to justify the ban of the SS109 cartridges.

Anonymous Salt February 26, 2015 4:31 PM  

I'm on metered MiFi (Verizon) connection. 10gigs/mo and if I go over, I pay the going rate. What's so bad about paying for what one uses? Oh, that's right... some want premium service on a beer budget.

OpenID cailcorishev February 26, 2015 4:35 PM  

Look at the bandwidth NetFlix uses. Its arguably the biggest bandwidth hog out there.

At my local ISP, 60% of the bandwidth is Netflix.

Now, I'm not sure that's Netflix's fault, and if Netflix's bandwidth provider is getting paid and everyone else along the path is getting paid, I don't see that anyone's screwing anyone here. But there's a problem, because from the beginning most ISPs operated on an all-you-can-eat basis, even though they weren't buying the bandwidth that way, so that's what users now expect. And because people didn't use it full-time, they could sell a lot more bandwidth than they were paying for. At my first ISP, we had a 64K (fractional T1) uplink, and we didn't increase that until we had something like 24 28K modems. Do the math and you'll see we were vastly overselling it; but it was rarely a problem because usage was so intermittent -- pull a web page and then go idle for a few minutes reading it, pull your mail and then go idle while you write up a reply. ISPs could get away with selling "unlimited" Internet because only a few power-users ever used even a fraction of what they could.

Now, if people are leaving Netflix running all day in the background on multiple devices, casual users are becoming power-users in bandwidth terms, and ISPs can't oversell anymore. That means they're going to have to charge a lot more, or they're going to have to start charging for bandwidth. My ISP is doing the latter; they now sell a standard package that gives you more than enough bandwidth for normal usage, including watching YouTube videos and the like, but you can't watch streaming video all day without paying more. They're the ones who will have to buy more bandwidth to support Netflix users, so they're doing something about it. That seems like a reasonable, free-market solution to me, so I don't know why the government needs to come up with a different one.

Anonymous Noah B. February 26, 2015 4:35 PM  

Porky, your limited capacity for analytical thinking manifests itself once again. I never advocated using AT&T, for the reasons I outlined above. But I do happen to believe in making markets as free as possible, and that means that some people are going to provide products and services you don't like. If you don't like it, don't buy it. Simple as that.

Blogger ray February 26, 2015 4:37 PM  

Not my area of expertise, but if the feds are pushing 'Open Internet' via oversight by their government, then I suspect 'Closed Internet' is in the fine print. Last I heard, this 'improvement' was via Exec Order from the Liar-in-Chief, bypassing congressional input. Not that it matters much at this point.


Now that resistance to the New Politburo is widespread on the net, the Great Silencing witnessed the past four decades in media, academia, government, courts, etc. must be extended to the net. For security and safety, of course! In the interest of Fairness! Etc.

Blogger James Dixon February 26, 2015 4:37 PM  

> Dude... hughes net exists... and smartphones broadcast wifi. If you don't have it... you aren't trying.

Not in 2005. DirectPC did, but not Hugesnet (they changed their name in 2006). And the bandwidth/price ratio didn't make them cost effective.

We did try a couple of satellite providers over the years while waiting for DSL. The first had equipment that didn't work properly (Starband). The second worked great (though some site admins didn't seem to understand how it worked, for example Slashdot), but went out of business on us.

The iPhone came out in 2007 and Android 1.0 was released in 2008. Neither were available in 2006.

Anonymous Kevin February 26, 2015 4:37 PM  

I'm one of few people left with 100% unlimited 4G data plan with Verizon. I run a (free) hotspot app called FoxFi to power all my wireless needs. I've done this for years despite being able to potentially pay less with a downgraded data plan and wireless at home, but my gut always told me unlimited data with tethering was going to come in handy some day.

Anonymous Salt February 26, 2015 4:42 PM  

@Kevin, I was grand-fathered in with a 3G unlimited Verizon plan at something like $49 / month. Kept it for some time but I had to throttle back some of my software, run at lowest settings.

OpenID cailcorishev February 26, 2015 4:46 PM  

Every year, the true decentralized and free internet becomes more technically feasible.

True. Back in the late 90s, I was stuck on a modem out in the country (phone line was so bad I couldn't even pull a full 28.8k) so I did a lot of reading about packet radio, satellite networking, and other hobbyist ideas. None of them were really workable and competitive for me then, but people were using them. With all the equipment we have now, it's hard to guess what we might be able to do. All these devices are created to connect to the Internet because that's what everyone wants them to do, but how hard would it be to switch them into other types of networks?

If we could push data around with UUCP back in the day, with each system responsible for dialing into others, exchanging what each needed, and then dialing another and passing things along, I'm pretty sure we could manage with the tools available today.

Anonymous Kevin February 26, 2015 4:51 PM  

Sometimes when my phone flips over to 3G without my knowing I think it's crashed or broken because things are loading so slowly. Then I realize it's not broken, it's just on 3G. I can't remember the exact MB numbers, but speed tests revealed my 4G was faster than any of the other ISPs available at the time.

I've considered just getting regular wireless, but now this whole thing makes me reconsider my consideration.

Anonymous 11B February 26, 2015 4:55 PM  

NetFlix uses TONS of bandwidth... and that requires massive upgrades for carries. Carriers think NetFlix should help pay for those upgrades... Netflix doesn't.

response 1/2
Netflix already pays for its connection to the internet. And end users already pay their ISPs for their connection to the internet. The problem is the duopoly ISPs (cable/telcos) wanted to charge low, flat-rate fees to their end users to drive out the independent ISPs. Now they are complaining about Netflix and others. So what, charge your end users more if they use more bandwidth. The ISP fee that they charge their users is supposed to reflect what it costs to provide those users with internet access. If they are not getting the necessary revenue, then increase the amounts they charge end users.

There are two basic components to pricing for internet access, the cost of line and the cost of providing access to the internet. In the early days, you'd pay about $20 for a local telephone line provided by Southwestern Bell, Michigan Bell, etc.. Then you were free to choose from among hundreds of ISPs, from the in-house phone company's ISP to a small local ISP. You probably paid $20 per month for your dial up service. So in the scheme of things you paid about 50/50 for the line and for the internet access. And the ISP was not concerned what you did on the internet. You paid the ISP for access and were free to go to whatever website you wished. The only constraint on you were the hours you used. Maybe you were on a 20 hour per month plan. But even if you were on a so-called unlimited plan, you might run afoul of the terms of service if you left your modem on unattended 20 hours per day. Heavy, abusive users were driven off the service. But other than that, the ISP had no concerns over where you went or what you did (FBI subpoenas excepted :> )

However, with the advent of DSL that changed. ( I won't discuss cable, because in most areas the cable company won't even let independent ISPs provide access.) In my area Southwestern Bell would charge a customer $40 above the price of a standard phone line to "condition" it for DSL service. So now your local cost for the line with DSL conditioning was around $65/month. But. you still needed to provision internet access. And here is where the local telcos put the squeeze on. If you chose a local ISP, you would have to pay an additional $20, $30, $40 for internet access. The prices varied and since DSL was new, many ISPs were trying to get a handle on bandwidth usage concerns. So many of us tried to come out with a tiered pricing policy that charged heavy users accordingly. But that soon became immaterial because Southwestern Bell's in-house ISP would only charge from zero to $10/month for internet service. This is important to keep in mind. By charging such low rates for the internet access portion, the big phone companies established that light and moderate users would subsidized the heavier ones. Though they succeeded in driving many local ISPs out of business, they have now set themselves up for complaining today that their customers are streaming Netflix and they want more revenue to cover this cost. They could have handled this by establishing tiered service levels that more fairly charged heavy users. But that wasn't their concern in 1999.

Anonymous 11B February 26, 2015 4:56 PM  

response 2/2

So right off the bat two things became apparent. First, the local ISP was doomed because there was no way they could charge zero to $10 per month for broadband speeds since the cost of our internet connections were still very high. And second, broadband access pricing would essentially be flat rate without regard to usage. (Yes, there are some tiers, but they do not account for the massive streaming that some users do today.) As to the high cost of an ISP's connection to the internet, consider this. A local ISP might have had one or maybe two T1 connections to the internet. At the time a T1 connection would set you back two to three thousand dollars per month. So how many DSL customers, accessing you at 1.5 mbs and paying you $10/month, could you squeeze onto your T1 connection and still make a profit? That is why many of us toyed with the idea of charging heavier users more for broadband, but with SW Bell's policy, it made it irrelevant. And remember, even if a customer did sign up and pay the local ISP $30 for access, Southwestern Bell was still getting about $65 in revenue through local phone/dsl conditioning fees. That's a huge advantage when you make that much revenue off your competitor's customers.

But hey, that's fair after all it was Southwestern Bell's network, right? Well yes and no. Remember, cable and local telephone service were originally government protected monopolies in their regions. That is why people only had one cable and one phone company to chose from. So these companies were protected when they built up the cable and phone networks, and they were GIVEN right-of-way to lay their wires in the ground through your yards. Ever notice those green boxes in many front lawns? The homeowners get no compensation for those even if they are not using the service. Yet try to start an ISP and lay fiber in the ground. You'd have to negotiate usage fees with each homeowner. So while the cable and phone companies argued that those networks belonged to them, and thus they could exclude ISPs or favor their preferred ISPs, one could rightly argue those local phone and cable networks were more akin to a public utility, and thus should be accessible by all companies.

But the latter view never took because the US was in a rush to deploy broadband. And the local phone monopolies and cable providers assured us that if we let them lord over those networks, they'd roll out broadband faster and for a cheaper price than through a competitive marketplace like dialup was. And a lot of those software and tech giants, who encouraged the government harassment of Microsoft for bundling and other issues, were silent to any complaints from local ISPs about the non-competition in the broadband market. They were more interested in getting more and more end users on broadband then in competition matters.

Anyway, sorry to be so long, but I hate the cable/telco giants about as much as I hate AQ. They set themselves up for this by low-balling on pricing years ago. Though the local ISPs have mostly died, I am glad Google has the financial wherewithal to launch Google Fiber. As I speak the Google Fiber trucks are in my neighborhood and I can't wait for them to go live.

OpenID cailcorishev February 26, 2015 5:03 PM  

The fact is, centralized delivery of streaming content Netflix-style is a technological dinosaur.

Remember IP Multicasting? That was supposed to save bandwidth, because a packet could be sent once to multiple destinations. It would have been great for TV-style viewing, if lots of people watched the same thing at the same time, but that ship seems to have sailed. Plus, it mostly would have saved bandwidth at the provider's (Netflix's) end, which isn't where the problem is now.

OpenID cailcorishev February 26, 2015 5:14 PM  

I seriously doubt ATT guaranteed speed... in fact they probably didn't even guarantee a minimum level of service at all.

Yeah, most ISP contracts contain some fine print that says "we guarantee nothing and reserve the right to choke your connection anytime," and I'm sure AT&T isn't an exception. But from a marketing standpoint, ISPs have encouraged people to think of usage as unlimited. That wasn't really a problem until streaming video, because most people didn't use enough to hit any limits.

ISPs are going to have to start charging for bandwidth, and they'll have to be more up front about it if they don't want customers shrieking. It's happened with phones -- people now buy a phone plan partly based on the amount of data they get. ISPs will have to go that direction, putting the bandwidth/speed in their marketing instead of in the fine print -- and then they'll have to be sure they can provide what they sell.

Anonymous rycamor February 26, 2015 5:15 PM  

cailcorishev February 26, 2015 4:46 PM

Every year, the true decentralized and free internet becomes more technically feasible.

All these devices are created to connect to the Internet because that's what everyone wants them to do, but how hard would it be to switch them into other types of networks?

If we could push data around with UUCP back in the day, with each system responsible for dialing into others, exchanging what each needed, and then dialing another and passing things along, I'm pretty sure we could manage with the tools available today.


Think about it this way: If you fire up your home wireless kit without an internet connection, it'll still work for local LAN communications. And if your neighbor does the same, and you both agree on an IP address schema, then you can communicate. A whole neighborhood? No problem, in theory. Connecting neighborhoods to others? Again no problem. In theory. The difficulty with the simplistic approach is that you need to agree on an IP address schema and on a DNS authority.

So if those two problems could be solved with an algorithmic/software approach, then any entity joining this OtherNet simply needs to run the software, search for the closest connecting node, and join up. Use IPv6 addresses and this thing can scale globally.

Now, domain and host naming is still a thorny problem. Currently we have a top-down subscriber system, with distributed hierarchical nodes all looking to the upstream authority, terminating in the main registrars. In a decentralized system one would either have to have some sort of pre-imposed naming convention that includes conflict-resolution (I.E. two people want to use the same name for their site, and the mesh cloud does some sort of polling of all related nodes to see who wins.)

But really, the list of problems to solve is fairly small, and each of these has been solved in various ways. The killer would be if some de facto standard emerges whereby all who want a free internet know where to go.

Anonymous rycamor February 26, 2015 5:19 PM  

cailcorishev February 26, 2015 5:03 PM

The fact is, centralized delivery of streaming content Netflix-style is a technological dinosaur.

Remember IP Multicasting? That was supposed to save bandwidth, because a packet could be sent once to multiple destinations. It would have been great for TV-style viewing, if lots of people watched the same thing at the same time, but that ship seems to have sailed. Plus, it mostly would have saved bandwidth at the provider's (Netflix's) end, which isn't where the problem is now.


There's a lot of that sort of thing being done at the content-delivery network (CDN) level, with multiple levels of geographic caching, but it is still nothing like what could happen with a torrent-style approach. With multi-TB storage so cheap these days, ISPs should actually be *giving* their users torrent appliances. But scary... so, no.

Anonymous Big Bill February 26, 2015 5:22 PM  

This is going to destroy community internet. Once the big players start lobbying, they are going to get FCC regulations passed that are so onerous that only a Monster Corp can deal with them.

Once upon a time, sharp young hustlers drove in pickups from town to town, meeting the mayor and city council and offering to string up phone wires from house to house and out to the nearby farms to get everyone connected via phone. Hell, they would string up phone wire on glass insulators nailed to the top of fenceposts. They got the local townies to chip in for shares in the newly created Doofusville CommunityPhone Company, rented that empty office over the bank where the local operator could work (9-5) and moved on to the next town.

The same sort of hustle has been done in various towns for internet service. But those days of community-built, community-owned, community-operated internet are gone for the internet once the FCC takes over. The reporting requirements alone will wipe it out.

Anonymous Noah B. February 26, 2015 5:25 PM  

It would also make sense if "OtherNet" used a mesh topology at all levels, rather than the tree topology that is the norm with the outer spokes of the internet. The protocols for this do get a bit complicated, but it is much more difficult to control or destroy a mesh network than one with a well-structured hierarchy.

What would be really great is a protocol that combines payment for internet service directly with packet routing. Imagine that every time someone's network equipment forwards a packet to its next destination (and does so in an honest manner, without running the packets around and around in circles) they get paid a small increment of a cryptocurrency.

Blogger Markku February 26, 2015 5:29 PM  

The thing about video streaming is that even though the throughput is very big, the traffic is very tolerant to big changes in latency, as long as the software's buffer knows to expect it. So, I wonder if the perfect system might be that the software - any software - can put a QoS flag on the packet that increases latency but also increases throughput. This might allow for the ISP to have two systems, one with low latency (for most traffic) and one with high throughput (for video). This would then be a level playing field for everyone. Assuming that allowing more room for latency does in fact make it significantly easier to manage high throughput, which is not a certain thing. But it might.

OpenID cailcorishev February 26, 2015 5:39 PM  

I'm on metered MiFi (Verizon) connection. 10gigs/mo and if I go over, I pay the going rate. What's so bad about paying for what one uses?

It's really just what people have gotten used to. Most people pay per kilowatt for their electricity and per gallon for their water. But they pay a flat monthly fee for their trash pickup (or it comes out of their property taxes), whether they put out one bag per week or ten.

People are used to paying for Internet like they pay for trash pickup, and they're going to have to get used to paying for it like electricity, at least at the rates required for streaming video. If they want to have a library of thousands of movies and TV shows at their fingertips, and watch any of them all day long, that might be kind of expensive. (Consider how expensive it would have been when you had to buy them all on DVD.)

With multi-TB storage so cheap these days, ISPs should actually be *giving* their users torrent appliances. But scary... so, no.

Heh. Want to see an ISP employee pucker up like he just sucked on a lemon? Mention torrents.

You're right, though; there's an awful lot that could be done. One sticking point is content ownership -- Netflix can't save a copy of a movie on your system because of the fear of pirating (even though real pirates already got it elsewhere). Watch it three times in a day, it has to stream three times. I don't see how a torrent-style approach would help with that, as long as those user devices aren't allowed to save the data and pass it along when neighboring users request it. And that's a problem with Hollywood, not Netflix.

Anonymous 11B February 26, 2015 5:42 PM  

Keep in mind a lot of telcos are stuck in the mindset of access fees which they receive from long distance providers whenever someone gets a long distance call to their landline. In the good old day the baby bells made a lot of bucks by charging end users for their landlines, and then charging Sprint, ATT, MCI, etc. access fees to complete long distance calls over the last mile. So I think this fixation with charging Netflix and others access fees to be able to interact with end users is probably based on both the fact that they are not charging enough for their access in the first place, and the legacy pricing model they dream about from their landline business.

Access fees are something that pure ISPs probably never envisioned since we weren't phone providers to begin with. So part of this desire to charge content providers is probably rooted in the baby bells' history of charging long distance providers with access fees.

Anonymous Hope Change Hillary 2016 February 26, 2015 5:42 PM  

Obamanet....

Paid for by EBT.

Use it on your ObamaPhone.

Hillary save us.

Anonymous rycamor February 26, 2015 5:43 PM  

@Cail, the thing is torrenting involves the algorithmic fragmenting of files into multiple encrypted pieces that can only be reassembled by the client software. So it should still be possible to handle content ownership if done right.

Anonymous CunningDove February 26, 2015 5:47 PM  

This might allow for the ISP to have two systems, one with low latency (for most traffic) and one with high throughput (for video). ~ Markku

I think this is a great idea. It is not what we will get & I think we are all very aware of this. As someone said it up above, we don't know exactly how the FCC is going to use this to make things go sideways, but there is no doubt that the internet as we know it today is soon to be gone.

OpenID cailcorishev February 26, 2015 5:57 PM  

I wonder if the perfect system might be that the software - any software - can put a QoS flag on the packet that increases latency but also increases throughput.

That comes back to the content ownership issue I just posted about. If content can't be saved beyond a small temporary buffer, then they have to push the stream hard and fast from the start so customers don't complain about waiting and stalling at the beginning. It should be possible to increase the latency once the buffer is full, though. (No idea whether they do anything like that.)

If it weren't for the content ownership issue, there are many things they could do: save a copy like a DVR does, so it doesn't have to be re-downloaded if you watch something and then watch it again with your spouse later that day; trickle your favorite shows to your system during low-usage hours; not to mention the more future-looking options Rycamor is talking about. As long as Netflix is licensed as a rental service, that disallows copies, so streaming source-to-destination looks like their only choice.

So it should still be possible to handle content ownership if done right.

It should, but from what I've read about it, it's very hard to convince Hollywood that a solution is secure enough. As far as I know, we're still waiting on a native Linux player, even though Netflix employees have reported having one in house for years. They just can't get permission to use it, because the content owners don't think DRM will be safe on open-source systems. I'd think the idea of distributing their content across torrent and counting on encryption to keep it safe would give them hives.

Anonymous Salt February 26, 2015 6:00 PM  

I equate Net Neutrality to anti-GamerGate and SJWs. Screw them and their false (government rules imposed) level playing field. Pony up for the service you want. Wanna fly first class? Buy the damn ticket.

Anonymous rycamor February 26, 2015 6:00 PM  

Yeah, the whole problem of content ownership would have been moot if Hollywood had done the smart thing and invested in ISPs and storage media back in the 90s. Then, it would have been like: "Sure! Go ahead and copy that movie, and every movie you can think of, and let all your friends download it! The more the merrier."

Anonymous rycamor February 26, 2015 6:02 PM  

Hollywood, being owned by Baby Boomer Luddites of the East and Left Coast persuasion, regarded the Internet as a grave threat from day one.

Anonymous rycamor February 26, 2015 6:05 PM  

And really, it is absolutely ludicrous for Hollywood to worry about content ownership technology at this point. That ship has sailed with HD smartphone video and the fact that the decryption hackers are always one smarter than the industry engineers. All they are doing with all their flailing around is driving more and more people to the torrents.

Anonymous Salt February 26, 2015 6:10 PM  

This is hilarious. Verizon's original statement.

Anonymous 11B February 26, 2015 6:10 PM  

I equate Net Neutrality to anti-GamerGate and SJWs. Screw them and their false (government rules imposed) level playing field. Pony up for the service you want. Wanna fly first class? Buy the damn ticket.

How about charge me for internet access and not worry about where I go, or whom I use? How about telling me how much bandwidth I get per month and then getting out of my way? How about just providing me access and not coercing me to use an affiliated service?

Blogger Outlaw X February 26, 2015 6:12 PM  

My service provider has already throttled down RT America. They have lost the information war and are going to make it extremely frustrating for patriot internet. Not that RT is but is an example of frustrating viewers.

Blogger Outlaw X February 26, 2015 6:26 PM  

Salt, below is actually what the Morse code reads.

todays decision by the fcc to encumber broadband internet services with badly antiquated regulations is a radical step that presages a time of uncertainty for consumers innovators and investors over the past two decades a bipartisan light touch policy approach unleashed unprecedented investment and enabled the broadband internet age consumers now enjoy the fcc today chose to change the way the commercial internet has operated since its creation changing a platform that has been so successful should be done if at all only after careful policy analysis full transparency and by the legislature which is constitutionally charged with determining policy as a result it is likely that history will judge today s actions as misguided the fcc s move is especially regrettable because it is wholly unnecessary the fcc had targeted tools available to preserve an open internet but instead chose to use this order as an excuse to adopt 300 plus pages of broad and open ended regulatory arcana that will have unintended negative consequences for consumers and various parts of the internet ecosystem for years to come what has been and will remain constant before during and after the existence of any regulations is verizon s commitment to an open internet that provides consumers with competitive broadband choices and internet access when where and how they want

Anonymous Salt February 26, 2015 6:29 PM  

Yes. Badly punctuated.

Anonymous Sir_Chancealot February 26, 2015 7:12 PM  

(If you are going to read this, please read to the end before you get your panties in a wad.)

The big companies are wetting their drawers over Net Neutrality because they are going to be forced to provide what they said they would provide. Can you imagine ANY other good or service where they don't have to provide you what they said they would, when they would, or could even say how you use their goods/service, arbitrarily?

"Why will your car only run 20 mph? Why, you know since you own a new Ford, it will only do 20 mph on back country roads. That way, our warranty claims go down."

"Yes sir, I know we said we would sell you 2000 board-feet of lumber, but we're only going to sell you 400 feet. Oh, but you still have to pay us as if you got the 2000 board feet."

"No sir, your cell phone is fine, your bill is paid up, and yes, you bought the unlimited service. We just decided since you use your phone almost all day, we are going to randomly cut off your phone calls. Because we don't have the infrastructure to support it. Even though we sold it to you, claiming we do. Of course, if the people that call you all day on your cell phone would like to pay us a lot of cash, then of COURSE we can give you what was contractually promised."

I pay for a 20mbps down and 10mbps internet connection. Yet, my ISP can throttle that based on what I am doing on the internet, even if I am nowhere near the bandwidth limit. THAT is what people (and companies) are complaining about.

As it sits, what do you think is going to happen when some mega-wealthy man/corporation finally realizes all he has to do to get rid of critics on the internet is to send a healthy chunk of dough to the ISP his server(s) sit on?

Most home firewalls can do logging. Go ahead and do an analysis and see if Netflix is using SOOOO much bandwidth compared to your youtube and video gaming habits. I'll wait....

Let's face it, it's the big cable companies that are complaining about it (Remember, AT&T now offers cable service too!) because they don't want to have to undersell Netflix.

Since the internet has a short memory span, let me explain when the cable companies started whining about Metflix's bandwidth: about 10 seconds after they started offering their OWN streaming service. Why, what a coincidence! And yet... yet.... they had no problem whatsoever supporting their own streaming bandwidth. How strange!

We now have ISPs injecting adds into your browser on websites you visit. That's right, they can legally alter what you are seeing on your screen. Guess what they won't be able to do as a "common carrier"?


It would be as if I contracted you to carry 10 tons of cargo from across town and you agreed to do it for a price. For years, I only receive 5 pounds. So, to save money, you sold your dump truck and bought a little Prius to carry my 5 pound load. Only 1 day, I find out I can get some awesome deals on steel. So, I begin asking you to haul 5 tons a day to me, and you complain and say you can't do it, because your Prius can't handle more than 5 pounds. How is that my problem?

Again, why do you think the cable companies and the telephone companies are screaming bloody murder about Google and cities putting in their own ISPs (including the actual fiber)?

Will net neutrality be better? I don't know. I DO know I have an infinitely better chance of throwing out a congressman/senator/FCC Chairman than I do throwing out the board of directors of Comcast/Time Warner/AT&T.

Oh, and for those of you who say "It only promises you UP TO (a certain amount of bandwidth)", go look at your old contracts, back from about 2005 when they were first getting started.

Anonymous rycamor February 26, 2015 7:23 PM  

@Chancealot: forcing ISPs to live up to their contracts is not Net Neutrality. If they really are not living up to their promises, where are the Class Action suits? I guarantee if this were a true legal breach of contract, tech-savvy lawyers would be making billions right now.

Blogger Markku February 26, 2015 7:29 PM  

This is the way to do Net Neutrality:

Thou shalt not make any decisions about prioritizing traffic, of such nature that setting the priority is not available to any service in the internet, free of charge.

Since we still have so much space left on this page:

Mary had a little lamb,
his fleece as white as snow....


300-page bills for this sound like something you have to pass to know what's in it.

Blogger Markku February 26, 2015 7:35 PM  

...err, "his" because animals are people too, and "her" is patriarchal, microinvalidating and triggering language.

Anonymous Low info vibrant February 26, 2015 8:08 PM  

As long as I get free shit and we shut up whitey...

Anonymous Noah B. February 26, 2015 8:22 PM  

"The big companies are wetting their drawers over Net Neutrality because they are going to be forced to provide what they said they would provide."

Herein lies the problem: you have no idea what the government is actually going to do once it gets involved. You hope and believe it will live up to the promises it has made, which meets Einstein's criteria for insanity.

Blogger James Dixon February 26, 2015 8:23 PM  

> If they really are not living up to their promises, where are the Class Action suits?

Ask the ACLU how well their Class Action lawsuits against AT&T over the NSA spying worked.

This isn't like a car failure where there are dead bodies to show. Demonstrating damages is difficult. And the companies are more than willing to pay off a few random customers to keep the suits in check.

Blogger James Dixon February 26, 2015 8:25 PM  

> Herein lies the problem: you have no idea what the government is actually going to do once it gets involved.

Yep. On the other hand, we know exactly what AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, and Time Warner were going to do. Ah, the ancient quandary, the devil you know or the one you don't?

Anonymous zen0 February 26, 2015 8:27 PM  

Whatever the hell it all means, it was inevitable.

Anonymous map February 26, 2015 8:30 PM  

Sir_Chancealot,

What you are arguing is not Net Neutrality. That may be the public face of it, but that is emphatically not what it is.

Net neutrality is about regulating the content of websites on the internet. That is why the FCC adopted the broadcast standard. They want to control the content of sites and make sure they are all in the "public interest."

Just like FCC control over radio broadcasts and licensing is not about making sure everyone gets a clear signal, New Neutrality is not making sure that you can seamlessly stream Netflix.

In fact, I would not be surprised if Concasts' outrage is fake. Now they have a government guaranteed right to double and triple your internet costs while simultaneously slowing down your connection...on top of monitoring your communication.

Anonymous Noah B. February 26, 2015 8:33 PM  

The devil we know is not going away, though. It's more like we're wrangling with some minor demon and inviting Satan to join the fray too. By the time the government gets "Network Neutrality" somewhat settled down, it will probably mean the exact opposite of what all of its proponents wish it were. Kind of like the Patriot Act, the Affordable Care Act, the Firearms Owners' Protection Act (which banned machine guns), or any number of others.

Blogger Robert What? February 26, 2015 9:28 PM  

The basic purpose of "Net Neutrality" is to shut down sites - like this one - that offer people an alternative to the official narratives.

Blogger Rick Caird February 26, 2015 9:29 PM  

It is hard to believe that any sane person could want the government in charge of anything. This is a prelude to censorship and strict bounds on the Internet

Anonymous Jake February 26, 2015 10:13 PM  

There are no good guys in this struggle. I hate all the major ISP's almost as much as I hate the idea of the FCC regulating them.

Appeals to "natural monopoly" are false. The only monopoly here is the very unnatural one created by the major ISP's carving up territory like inner city gangs and bribing local governments to keep competition off their turf. This is the root of the problem with the ISP's and why their service to cost ratio is so low. Nor is this atypical of so-called "natural monopolies"... that term was invented after the fact as a rationalization for good ole-fashioned rent seeking on the part of utility providers. They go to the county/city government, agree to cut them in on the spoils, and enjoy monopolistic prices within that jurisdiction.

That said, you people who complain about your ISP's not delivering "what they promised" sound like morons. When you see a car commercial and the guy's driving down a perfect and empty road at 90+ mph and enjoying the perfect automotive experience do you feel cheated if you buy that car and instead wind up stuck in traffic with your kid crying in the back??? Do you blame the car company for fooling you into thinking buying their car would fix your rush hour commute??? I've never seen any advertisement for consumer grade internet that wasn't clearly qualified... "UP TO 50 mbps" etc. And as DH pointed out above, if you want REAL "I deserve 100% of my advertised bandwidth dedicated to me 24/7" service you can get it, you probably don't want to pay for it. If you want internet for much less than 1k / month you'd better get used to the idea that you're going to be sharing that service with your neighbors. There is no scenario currently available that will allow you and everyone else to enjoy 100% of their advertised broadband service continuously. That's not the way an efficient market works... we'd have to have 20x or 50x more network capacity than was ever actually used. just in case some day everyone was using it at once, we as a whole are unwilling to pay for that sort of over-capacity (and rationally so).

Finally I get Nate's point as well... there's a group of people who support net neutrality under the foolish belief that it will enable them to continue enjoying free lunches. There are statistics I've seen to the effect that 80% of the bandwidth is used by 10% or 15% of customers, and those customers hate the idea of data caps because it means they can't keep using their service with zero restraint and taking advantage of the fact their neighbors are paying for 5 or 10 times more internet than they're using and subsidizing the heavy users. Netflix falls into this category, if for no other reason, because most of these heavy users are Netflix customers.

So in summary,

The ISP's are wrong and deserving of scorn for using monopolistic practices (i.e. bribing the government to keep competition out) and trying to position themselves as gate keepers determining what content they will and will not deliver to their customers

The end users (a subset of them at least) are wrong for complaining about paying for consumer level service but imagining they're entitled to high end (very high cost) service. A smaller subset of heavy users are wrong, and stupid, for thinking gov. imposed net neutrality will prevent ISP's from checking their bandwidth hogging ways.

Content providers like netflix are wrong for thinking net neutrality will allow their customers to continue using their service without paying in fulll for the bandwidth they consume... but justified in their concerns that the ISP's would use their monopolistic control over access to consumers to kill netflix in favor of their own services.

And all of the above look like saints compared to the federal gov.



Blogger CM February 26, 2015 10:37 PM  

Just like FCC control over radio broadcasts and licensing is not about making sure everyone gets a clear signal, New Neutrality is not making sure that you can seamlessly stream Netflix.

I just can NOT get the logic behind this "it's because of netflix!" Thing.

Just WHY do we need government regulation because of NETFLIX!?! Let alone 300 pages worth?

So no... it isn't because of netflix. Even without knowing that much about the situation, government involvement is more than just cuz you can't watch Justified fast enough.

Anonymous liljoe February 26, 2015 10:40 PM  

Watching the proceedings on CSPAN, hard not to be struck by the swagger and arrogance of Mr. Wheeler and his two bimbo rubber stamps as they voted for the secret regs. It was like watching a prom king and two queens hamming it up for the cameras and the cheering audience (guessing they were the activist groups in favor) celebrating a coming out party. The very caricatures of "drunk with power"

The two dissenting Commissioners by contrast were measured and erudite in their statements.

Blogger MidKnight February 26, 2015 10:59 PM  

Also relevant - Netflix actually has, for some ISPs, setup staging racks that can be installed at an ISP's central operations spaces inside their network borders, to cache shows/series/etc.

This would greatly reduce the cross-network traffic.

If I recall, they offered this to Comcast and AT&T as well. It was rejected.

Anonymous zen0 February 26, 2015 10:59 PM  

> The two dissenting Commissioners by contrast were measured and erudite in their statements.



Well, that is very important. ......................... NOT.

for fucks sake.

shit.

Anonymous liljoe February 26, 2015 11:14 PM  

Just an interesting contrast watching the vote process...Not sure but they mentioned additional procedural steps required before implementing the rules and those dissenters will have input there as well. But yeah probably not that important.

Anonymous Scintan February 26, 2015 11:38 PM  

Fascinating thread....


I see a whole lot of people who've spent their time here claiming to be small/no gov't conservatives, and suddenly they are thrilled to be in bed with Uncle Sam. And all it took was the promise of a very temporarily open internet.

Well, you know all know what you are, and how much you cost. Congratutions!

Anonymous Scintan February 26, 2015 11:41 PM  

And I see, from my earlier post, that my keyboard's batteries need replacing...

Blogger Brad Andrews February 26, 2015 11:56 PM  

The providers may be part of the problem, but I cannot see how those like Nate cannot see that being promised something (though the fine print takes it away) and then not being allowed to use it is the problem.

I am moving to a new house and will not even be able to use my Tivo system since only AT&T will provide cable service. Comcast supplies a house on the other side of the street behind, but apparently none of the streets around that.

I can get lower speeds from AT&T Uverse for more money per month, not a good deal. I have to pay them $7 a month to use their router as well, no matter how much tech I have.

And using too much of my promised bandwidth is Netflix's fault? We may use more Netflix in the future, but only because we are now giving a shot at only having an Internet connection, though I have exactly 1 primary choice.

I did learn of a few "business class" options, but I don't want to spend that level, so I will go with what is available, like it or not.

But I am wrong for expecting that option to supply what is clearly sold as what they promise. (Yes, I have read the "speeds up to" part, but that is meaningless the way it is presented except as a dodge to get out of their responsibilities.

Access providers have a government monopoly or duopoly in almost all cases and some of you are crying about the fact that they may get scrutiny. Their complains about Net Neutrality sound a bit like Briar Rabbit not wanting to be thrown in the briar patch!

The government sucks at this stuff, but so do these companies. No heroes here. Fighting only against one side is idiotic. Let AT&T throttle all they want in favor of their offerings when I have the option of more than one (or two) high speed providers at a reasonable cost. Quit running competitors out by allowing the big boys to control all the distribution points.

Blogger Brad Andrews February 26, 2015 11:57 PM  

I should have said only AT&T will provide wired high speed Internet. They are also the only ones providing cable service to my soon to be house, but I only have their basic service because I got the Internet access so much more cheaply for a year. I will drop the TV part when it becomes possible to do so without cost.

Verizon is not perfect either, but I have been spoiled with Fios the past several years and I will definitely miss that.

Blogger Brad Andrews February 26, 2015 11:58 PM  

I should have said only AT&T will provide wired high speed Internet. They are also the only ones providing cable service to my soon to be house, but I only have their basic service because I got the Internet access so much more cheaply for a year. I will drop the TV part when it becomes possible to do so without cost.

Verizon is not perfect either, but I have been spoiled with Fios the past several years and I will definitely miss that.

Blogger Brad Andrews February 26, 2015 11:58 PM  

The providers may be part of the problem, but I cannot see how those like Nate cannot see that being promised something (though the fine print takes it away) and then not being allowed to use it is the problem.

I am moving to a new house and will not even be able to use my Tivo system since only AT&T will provide cable service. Comcast supplies a house on the other side of the street behind, but apparently none of the streets around that.

I can get lower speeds from AT&T Uverse for more money per month, not a good deal. I have to pay them $7 a month to use their router as well, no matter how much tech I have.

And using too much of my promised bandwidth is Netflix's fault? We may use more Netflix in the future, but only because we are now giving a shot at only having an Internet connection, though I have exactly 1 primary choice.

I did learn of a few "business class" options, but I don't want to spend that level, so I will go with what is available, like it or not.

But I am wrong for expecting that option to supply what is clearly sold as what they promise. (Yes, I have read the "speeds up to" part, but that is meaningless the way it is presented except as a dodge to get out of their responsibilities.

Access providers have a government monopoly or duopoly in almost all cases and some of you are crying about the fact that they may get scrutiny. Their complains about Net Neutrality sound a bit like Briar Rabbit not wanting to be thrown in the briar patch!

The government sucks at this stuff, but so do these companies. No heroes here. Fighting only against one side is idiotic. Let AT&T throttle all they want in favor of their offerings when I have the option of more than one (or two) high speed providers at a reasonable cost. Quit running competitors out by allowing the big boys to control all the distribution points.

Anonymous Jack Amok February 27, 2015 12:35 AM  

Let AT&T throttle all they want in favor of their offerings when I have the option of more than one (or two) high speed providers at a reasonable cost.

Define "reasonable."

Anonymous map February 27, 2015 1:19 AM  

Karl Denninger covers this very well:

http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=229877

Blogger Wayne Earl February 27, 2015 2:24 AM  

Anyone who harps about net neutrality. There is a one word response as to why this has always been a joke.

Akamai.

If you don't understand why, maybe you aught to let the policy argument to the grown ups.

Anonymous rycamor February 27, 2015 2:24 AM  

Oh FFS! You guys who are all over AT&T and other companies about "not keeping their promises." This is NOT what the argument is about. No one here is saying companies shouldn't be held to account. But the argument is pretty much B.S.

A) over the past decade or so there was simply NO WAY any serious ISP could make such absolute promises without way overinvesting in infrastructure. The future was just not predictable. Those bandwidth promises were pure marketing and everyone knew it.

B) Also, no company could have predicted the advances (or lack thereof) in bandwidth technology. Fact is, our bandwidth delivery did not advance anywhere near as fast as most of the rest of the computer tech world, often due to all sorts of complex combinations of legacy technology, regulations, politics, etc...

I'm not absolving the ISPs of blame here, but the POINT IS MOOT. Deal with the facts. The facts are that Netflix is one of the primary users of bandwidth in the country, often THE primary user, and it is the one that stands to gain most from net neutrality, and is now being placed in a position of prime influence, since their income from all the bandwidth will serve easily to grease the wheels of our new Web Commissars. Netflix will be able to put any serious competitors out of business.

Blogger ray February 27, 2015 2:25 AM  

"Watching the proceedings on CSPAN, hard not to be struck by the swagger and arrogance of Mr. Wheeler and his two bimbo rubber stamps as they voted for the secret regs."


I didn't bother to watch those fakes. Would have put me off my feed for days.

The mere still of the vid was enough to inspire disgust, and ring alarm bells. Whatever the govt/corp is up to with these changes, it's not what they're claiming or selling, based on the visages of those three scumbags.

Blogger James Dixon February 27, 2015 2:48 AM  

> Those bandwidth promises were pure marketing and everyone knew it.

Everybody? Everybody at the ISP's, yes. And any educated consumer. But how many people believed Obama's "If you like your current doctor" and "If you like your current plan" statements? The vast majority of people out there have absolutely no idea what we're talking about in this thread.

Anonymous 11B February 27, 2015 2:59 AM  

Karl Denninger covers this very well:

Karl writes, "and it's going to ram you right up the chute in the form of higher costs for your Internet connections whether you want to use Netflix and Facebook or not."

It should result in higher costs for those end users who stream a lot and use the most bandwidth. But he seems to argue that the ISPs will just raise everyone's rate. That's the problem to begin with. ATT, Comcast, etc. don't charge the heavy users enough and use light users like myself to subsidize the the heavy users.

I don't understand why ATT, Comcast, etc., don't just charge more for usage. I spend most of my time on the net reading, not streaming videos. Yet I pay similar costs to those who stream, and stream on multiple devices. I have neighbors who might have family members streaming multiple videos simultaneously. Why should they get to pay similar rates to me?

In the old days some ISPs and web hosters charged a monthly surcharge for the top 10 percent of users who consumed their resources, such as dialup time or bandwidth for hosted websites. Just charge the heavy users a similar fee and either they will pay it, and the big ISPs will get their extra revenue, or they will throttle back significantly on their usage, such as ending streaming when no one is watching.

Side note: Google Fiber is offering an interesting plan that costs $300 upfront for installation, but then provides you with 7 years of free service. Bandwidth is limited to 5 mbs, but that is good enough to stream occasionally and do what I need to do. I don't think the cable/telcos are going to have much flexibility in raising the rates on regular users like me in places Google Fiber enters the market.

Anonymous Noah B. February 27, 2015 3:14 AM  

"I don't understand why ATT, Comcast, etc., don't just charge more for usage."

They should move toward that, but total data transfer is not necessarily the most important measure of a user's impact on a network. Given your background, you're probably aware that there are peak times for network usage. It only makes sense that data transfer during peak usage should cost more than data transfer when there is less network congestion. So it all get very complicated, doesn't it?

I understand that some customers already pay variable rates for electric usage, but I've never heard of the same system being applied to internet service.

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