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Thread: Hero US Judges Keep Web Open

  1. #1
    Administrator Dreadnaught's Avatar
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    Default Hero US Judges Keep Web Open

    Long ago, the US Federal Communications Commission made a wise choice of designating the Internet as an "information service" instead of a "telecommunications service". Much like the government authorizing non-government use of the Web a few decades ago, this choice has allowed the Web to flourish without government meddling on the business end (notwithstanding some troubling intrusions on the privacy end of things).

    Today a group of federal judges made a heroic move and enforced regulatory simplicity -- they said the FCC made its choice long ago and can't retroactively start meddling in Web business practices. The judges will be under an enormous amount of scorn from quasi-socialists who believe the Web exists far outside of the rules of commerce. They will whine and complain, possibly from their wireless devices, which are based on economic and technological models that would have likely been crushed under a FCC regime of "telecommunications service".

    But we nonetheless get ongoing development in the industry, as well as the open opportunity for well-funded non-telcos to join the industry without having to fear becoming a regulated utility (see: Google Fiber/BalLoon/etc). The business model of the Web remains open for ongoing change and development.


    Court Rejects Equal Access Rules for Internet Providers
    By EDWARD WYATTJAN. 14, 2014

    WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court on Tuesday threw out Federal Communications Commission rules that require Internet service providers to give all traffic equal access through their networks.

    The decision could pave the way for Internet service providers like Verizon and AT&T to charge content companies — say ESPN or Facebook — to deliver their data to consumers at a faster speed.

    Verizon and other big players that have spent billions of dollars building their networks have argued they should be able to manage their pipelines as they see fit. But the F.C.C. and consumer advocates have countered that content providers should have equal access to those networks to encourage competition, otherwise the richest companies will have an unfair advantage.

    The court said that the commission overstepped its authority when it imposed anti-discrimination rules on Internet service providers, because it had previously exempted those companies from such regulation. But the court did acknowledge that the F.C.C. has some authority to regulate Internet service.

    The decision, by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, marks the second case the F.C.C. has lost before the appeals court over its authority to regulate Internet service providers.

    t is unclear how the F.C.C. will respond. The commission could overcome the ruling by reclassifying Internet service as a utility, much like telephone or electric service. Consumer groups have advocated for that solution. But the commission has faced fierce opposition from Congress and heavy lobbying by broadband providers against doing so.

    In addition, Tom Wheeler, the new F.C.C. chairman, has shown some signs that he wants to allow freedom for Internet companies to design new products and see how they work, rather than impose regulations that prohibit potentially innovative services before they are tested. Mr. Wheeler said in a statement that the court ruled that the F.C.C. does have authority to enact measures “encouraging the deployment of broadband infrastructure” and said the commission might appeal the ruling.

    “I am committed to maintaining our networks as engines for economic growth, test beds for innovative services and products, and channels for all forms of speech protected by the First Amendment,” Mr. Wheeler said. “We will consider all available options, including those for appeal, to ensure that these networks on which the Internet depends continue to provide a free and open platform for innovation and expression, and operate in the interest of all Americans.”

    In a decision signed by two judges and joined in part by a third, the appeals court acknowledged that the F.C.C. has the authority “to promulgate rules governing broadband providers’ treatment of Internet traffic.”

    But because, several years ago, the F.C.C. classified Internet service as an “information service” rather than as a “telecommunications service” – the designation given to telephone service – the commission’s so-called net neutrality rules were invalid.

    “Given that the commission has chosen to classify broadband providers in a manner that exempts them from treatment as common carriers” – that is, telephone companies – “the Communications Act expressly prohibits the commission from nonetheless regulating them as such,” the court wrote.

    “Because the commission has failed to establish that the anti-discrimination and anti-blocking rules do not impose per se common carrier obligations,” the decision said, “we vacate those portions of the Open Internet Order.”


    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/15/te...providers.html

  2. #2
    Beyond severely misunderstanding whats going to cause higher prices and stagnation, you missed that the courts told the FCC exactly what needs done in order to fix net neutrality legally.

    Classify ISPs as common carriers. Something that the FCC announced it would do back in 2010. And thankfully we have history to shut you up about those regulations killing an industry.

    Funny how the only 2 examples you provided are either multi-billion dollar companies that were able to buy and bullishly push themselves into market, or currently rely on established companies to provide fair access to existing infrastructure. With internet you either die by the sword or get bought by the crown, and with nothing stopping existing market leaders from downgrading the traffic of smaller competition, they will be a whole lot more dying, and a whole lot less being bought.

    Pile this on top of AT&Ts shakedown attempt and we're already seeing that even congress understands change is needed.
    Last edited by Ominous Gamer; 01-15-2014 at 02:23 AM.
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    Let sleeping tigers lie Khendraja'aro's Avatar
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    Wait, Dread actually thinks that having no net neutrality is a good thing?

    Talk about someone being a corporate shill.
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    Senior Member Flixy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnaught View Post
    Long ago, the US Federal Communications Commission made a wise choice of designating the Internet as an "information service" instead of a "telecommunications service". Much like the government authorizing non-government use of the Web a few decades ago, this choice has allowed the Web to flourish without government meddling on the business end (notwithstanding some troubling intrusions on the privacy end of things).

    Today a group of federal judges made a heroic move and enforced regulatory simplicity -- they said the FCC made its choice long ago and can't retroactively start meddling in Web business practices. The judges will be under an enormous amount of scorn from quasi-socialists who believe the Web exists far outside of the rules of commerce. They will whine and complain, possibly from their wireless devices, which are based on economic and technological models that would have likely been crushed under a FCC regime of "telecommunications service".

    But we nonetheless get ongoing development in the industry, as well as the open opportunity for well-funded non-telcos to join the industry without having to fear becoming a regulated utility (see: Google Fiber/BalLoon/etc). The business model of the Web remains open for ongoing change and development.
    A few things:

    First of all, do you actually support this (and know what you're talking about), or are you just saying this because you don't like supporters of net neutrality? Because it seems to clash somewhat with your previous opinions on internet related matters. Or, to put it another way, if this had been in Europe you'd likely have called it anti tech lunacy.

    Also your definition of heroism is seriously lacking, agreeing with one side of massive lobbying vs another side of massive lobbying isn't brave in any way, so not heroic. Plus, heroism implies they aren't following the law, since applying the law as a judge isn't heroic but his job.

    Oh, and the thing about wireless devices is just stupid, since this case is about future plans, and wireless device already exist, so apparently it's perfectly possible to exist in the status quo.

    That said, I'm on the fence here. On one side, this goes against the basic freedom of the internet, and could cripple start-up companies, skew competitiveness towards big existing companies at the cost of small companies, killing the massive opportunity for innovation that made the internet what it is today. On the other hand, qos tiering could make the internet more efficient. Then again, from what I read here, it sounds like the plans are mostly to shake down companies to have their services offered to the customers, standing in the way of an open market. Frankly, services like YouTube already pay for their broadband access, bandwidth they provide, access to the web, etc., and customers pay for access to internet, for their bandwidth, etc., so I fail to see why they should pay extra to cable companies. It can either mean that the internet becomes more expensive, or that costs are shifted from users to service providers (but let's face it, that's not likely). But the end result is that it's going to be harder, and more expensive, to offer your services to customers, hurting the innovation you love so much.

    So,I would like to hear your actual opinion on the matter, not vague terms like 'ongoing development, change' and liking it simply because 'quasi-socialists' oppose it.
    Keep on keepin' the beat alive!

  5. #5
    Administrator Dreadnaught's Avatar
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    My opinion is that net neutrality is code for pricing regulation, and that this is fundamentally a struggle between two large, well-funded interest groups trying to control how Web traffic is priced.

    We can theorize all day about how web companies could throttle services any more than they do. But net neutrality is a relatively new buzzword, and the Web developed plenty rapidly without such price controls and government interference. I don't think it serves anyone any good to have that start now.

    Furthermore, I think net neutrality activists don't realize they are undermining the open-ended nature of the Web that makes it a tool of free speech. As we saw during last year's International Telecommunications Union, regimes like Russia, China, etc. are trying to seize control of the Web away from the companies and NGOs who currently "manage" the Web. They are doing this under various banners, but they all lead to government control. It's hypocritical and deleterious for net neutrality people to demand government price and content controls for "net neutrality" purposes, but oppose the efforts of dictatorships to impose their own content controls.

    Both the platforms of "net neutrality" people and dictatorships are aligned against the internationalist corporate/NGO structure currently running the Web, and that invitation for government policymaking/price-setting should concern people much more than it does.

  6. #6
    one of the major points of net neutrality is that no one can shape, screen, filter, hinder, or degrade any content without a court order.

    I would love to see how you took that and twisted it into some sort of content control on par with dictatorships.
    Last edited by Ominous Gamer; 01-16-2014 at 03:09 AM.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Flixy's Avatar
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    And next to that, until now said throttling has practically never been used, so in your words, 'the Web developed plenty rapidly without such throttling'. Net neutrality is in many ways the status quo.

    And, like OG, I am curious as to how banning throttling and content filters, actually controls the content in a dictatorship kind of way Unless you really don't know what you're talking about aside from the buzzwords 'government control'. Considering none of your post goes beyond that,I really do wonder that. Like I said, I'm a bit on the fence myself, see some arguments against net neutrality, but your arguments.. Wtf.
    Keep on keepin' the beat alive!

  8. #8
    Let sleeping tigers lie Khendraja'aro's Avatar
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    Dread, China doesn't "try" to seize control of the Web.

    They already have control of the Web (for their country, that is).

    That's one extreme example of what you get, by the way, if you don't have net neutrality.

    And Flixy, don't contrinue to try to make sense of Dread's ramblings - regarding technology he wouldn't be able to find his ass with both his hands and massive help from at least two flight controllers.
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    Local talking head LittleFuzzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    one of the major points of net neutrality is that no one can shape, screen, filter, hinder, or degrade any content without a court order.

    I would love to see how you took that and twisted it into some sort of content control on par with dictatorships.
    I see both sides here. On the one hand yeah, that's the principle behind net neutrality. But what does that mean in effect, when it comes down to nitty-gritty implementation? And at that level, it looks a lot more like how Dread just described it, just a competition between different groups trying to be the ones in control of (and reaping the benefits of controlling) pricing. The forest and trees fallacy unfortunately goes both ways.
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  10. #10
    Let sleeping tigers lie Khendraja'aro's Avatar
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    Huh? "nitty-gritty implementation"?

    What's that even supposed to mean?

    I'm honestly confused, let's try an analogy: So you build a highway which anyone can use, unhindered. And you implement only a single speed limit which is the same for everybody (yes, even the trucks).

    And that's somehow exerting control? A scheme to exert pressure? What?

    How exactly is that supposed to work? Because I can't figure it out for the life of me.
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleFuzzy View Post
    I see both sides here. On the one hand yeah, that's the principle behind net neutrality. But what does that mean in effect, when it comes down to nitty-gritty implementation? And at that level, it looks a lot more like how Dread just described it, just a competition between different groups trying to be the ones in control of (and reaping the benefits of controlling) pricing. The forest and trees fallacy unfortunately goes both ways.
    what type of implementation are you seeing that requires content control under net neutrality? The idea is that internet providers maintain the pipes, not the content that flows through them. It stops the internet companies from charging more because you're steaming netflix instead of redbox (owned by a cable company), it stops internet companies from injecting ads and referral links into your browsing. How would any of that be different from a power company not being allowed to charge rates based on what brand vacuum you use? Or the water department not having a say in what type of shower head you use?

    And who are these 2 competing parties? A handful of ISPs and... everyone else?

    how many current and former FCC members are tied to lobbyists? The guy who changed what ISPs are currently classified as in 2002 is now one of the top cable lobbyists. The whole thing is stacked against consumers.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    "Long ago" (and far away) is more appropriately used in/by entertainment venues.

    The "web" has grown dramatically, in scale and time....and woven its way into the embedded fabric of societies. Fast. That's pretty amazing, considering the relative short history of home computers, cell phones, smart phones, internet consumerism, cyber banking, etc.

    The FCC may recognize its agency regulatory limitations, but that doesn't say a damn thing about the "web" itself, how it's used, or by whom....or whether or not it's become a crucial public "utility".


  13. #13
    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnaught View Post
    <snip>The judges will be under an enormous amount of scorn from quasi-socialists who believe the Web exists far outside of the rules of commerce. They will whine and complain, possibly from their wireless devices, which are based on economic and technological models that would have likely been crushed under a FCC regime of "telecommunications service".
    Well, the "Web" definitely exists beyond traditional 'rules of commerce'. You don't have to be a quasi-socialist to know that. And it's rather disingenuous of you to frame this as people using technology to complain about technology....knowing that billions of tax dollars helped build the internet "Web" in the first place.

    WTF?

  14. #14
    Local talking head LittleFuzzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    what type of implementation are you seeing that requires content control under net neutrality? The idea is that internet providers maintain the pipes, not the content that flows through them. It stops the internet companies from charging more because you're steaming netflix instead of redbox (owned by a cable company), it stops internet companies from injecting ads and referral links into your browsing. How would any of that be different from a power company not being allowed to charge rates based on what brand vacuum you use? Or the water department not having a say in what type of shower head you use?

    And who are these 2 competing parties? A handful of ISPs and... everyone else?

    how many current and former FCC members are tied to lobbyists? The guy who changed what ISPs are currently classified as in 2002 is now one of the top cable lobbyists. The whole thing is stacked against consumers.
    But as the Court pointed out (and you acknowledged yourself) they're NOT a utility under the present rules. And if and when they are classified as a utility. . . well I don't know how things go over in Florida but around here, the water department does, in fact, tell us what types of shower heads (and other faucet devices) to use. And we get charged less by power companies for using certified energy-saving devices too.

    The competition here is that the ISP's want a larger segment of the profits from what passes over the infrastructure they've sunk so much money into (and which they've had trouble making pay for itself with contemporary usage habits) and the major content providers (including content enablers like Google) don't want to give it to them. And let's not forget that the content providers are themselves including ads, referral links, etc. The principle you espouse is all well and good but it IS a principle, it's an abstraction and doesn't have much to do with what the fight is really about. It's a third-party interest (compared to where most of the money behind the defense of net neutrality is coming from) and while I agree with the principle I'm not going to let the abstraction keep me from acknowledging what else is going on here.

    And I'm not at all certain that the consumers are actually better cared for with all the control over pricing lying with corporations like Google (or Amazon, or any of the others) than split between them and the ISPs. This isn't a vacuum, it affects things more broadly then throttled access. Price of access overall, the expansion of such access and its speed, the monopoly on third-party content, etc. I don't know what the right answer is, OG, but I do know "information wants to be free" is a deliberately myopic slogan and is not sufficient to base a position on.
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  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleFuzzy View Post
    But as the Court pointed out (and you acknowledged yourself) they're NOT a utility under the present rules. And if and when they are classified as a utility. . . well I don't know how things go over in Florida but around here, the water department does, in fact, tell us what types of shower heads (and other faucet devices) to use. And we get charged less by power companies for using certified energy-saving devices too.
    your water department limits your choice for shower heads? You can't like buy one at the store or order one online? Cause recommendations are a far cry from being forced to use something, or being charged a different rate for not using it.
    and using high power items isnt the same as being charged a different rate for using them. Data caps themselves don't appear to be the focus of net neutrality. Its when those data caps are removed for certain services because of corporate connections or deeper pockets.

    The competition here is that the ISP's want a larger segment of the profits from what passes over the infrastructure they've sunk so much money into (and which they've had trouble making pay for itself with contemporary usage habits)
    I'm going to need proof here, cause everything I've read shows internet and wireless data to be an extremely well padded business. and its been shown time and time again that data caps are a crock of shit.

    and the major content providers (including content enablers like Google) don't want to give it to them.
    maybe because both ends are already paying for a connection?
    No, the issue here is that ISPs, largely controlled by cable companies, are seeing their subscribers flock to better and cheaper services. So instead of innovating, they want a piece of that pie, simply because that wire that runs to your house is now being used to transport a streaming video instead of an email.

    And let's not forget that the content providers are themselves including ads, referral links, etc.
    Yes, their ad agreements on their sites. They are not removing referrals from one group and injecting their own. They are not replacing one sites ads with their own. They don't even have the ability to do that. ISPs not only have the ability, but have already been caught doing it. I'll agree that its not exactly easy to use the net without coming across an adsense ad, but those pages do exist, not so much when your ISP wants to fuck with the packets on your connection to further pad their bottom line.
    Last edited by Ominous Gamer; 01-17-2014 at 11:05 AM.
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  16. #16
    Let sleeping tigers lie Khendraja'aro's Avatar
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    Yeah, data caps are moronic. They may make sense for a shared medium like wireless but for wired connections?

    Not so much.

    And Fuzzy, content providers placing ads on a site are a far cry from ISP doing content injection. Because for that they have to use DPI - Deep Packet Inspection. Which means, analyzing everything you're doing.

    Do you actually condone that kind of shit?
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  17. #17
    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    The "web" is quickly becoming a "public utility", in the same categories as air, water, energy, commerce. It's moving so fast that we can't keep up....not in ethical, philosophical, legislative, or regulatory contexts.

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    I find it a bit odd how one can not see a data-connection as a utility. Must be a hold-over from back when ISP's created content themselves AOL-style to give their clients something to do with their connection other than sending an occasional e-mail.
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  19. #19
    Administrator Dreadnaught's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flixy View Post
    And next to that, until now said throttling has practically never been used, so in your words, 'the Web developed plenty rapidly without such throttling'. Net neutrality is in many ways the status quo.

    And, like OG, I am curious as to how banning throttling and content filters, actually controls the content in a dictatorship kind of way Unless you really don't know what you're talking about aside from the buzzwords 'government control'. Considering none of your post goes beyond that,I really do wonder that. Like I said, I'm a bit on the fence myself, see some arguments against net neutrality, but your arguments.. Wtf.
    Quote Originally Posted by Khendraja'aro View Post
    Huh? "nitty-gritty implementation"?

    What's that even supposed to mean?

    I'm honestly confused, let's try an analogy: So you build a highway which anyone can use, unhindered. And you implement only a single speed limit which is the same for everybody (yes, even the trucks).

    And that's somehow exerting control? A scheme to exert pressure? What?

    How exactly is that supposed to work? Because I can't figure it out for the life of me.
    When you think about it, Khend, this is actually not the best analogy at all. What private corporation spends truckloads of money to build a highway that has no usage-based component? Most highways charge both per-use and also based on the size of your vehicle. If you use the highway a lot, you pay more. Trucks are usually charged on a per-axle basis for the very sensible reason that trucks cause more wear on the road because of their weight and increased axle-count. But roads are usually built by the government, which is sort of the key distinction here: private companies are spending billions to build infrastructure to sell in a manner that makes sense for them.

    I think both of you are not considering how complex and cumbersome it is to implement regulations like this. Let's focus just on bandwidth shaping for a moment. All ISPs engage in some level of bandwidth shaping. It's almost a natural part of their business and service maintenance. To avoid bandwidth shaping and deliver good service, they also work with companies like YouTube and Netflix to edge-cache. A fairly decent and practical solution to a legitimate service issue that benefits both the ISP and Netflix.

    But the net neutrality mavens would ban any kind of bandwidth shaping. This is naturally crazy and extreme, but it's the core of what's being demanded. Because it's crazy and extreme, we would have a regulatory compromise that suits no one. The government would create an apparatus to define "appropriate" amounts of shaping. There would be an intense amount of lobbying to create and manipulate this "definition". Once that definition is determined, there would have to be a regulatory apparatus to patrol and enforce this "approved" amount of shaping. The ISPs would always be somewhere along a spectrum of almost breaking the law and risking regulatory sanction, while companies like Netflix would always be pushing the government to issue regulations that lower Netflix's costs.

    So, instead of the cooperative status quo we have now (edge cashing, etc), we would have corporations fighting over regulatory definitions. That's government micromanagement, and I don't think it's a good replacement for the current status quo. As Flixy said, "net neutrality is in many ways the status quo", so I don't think replacing it with government micromanagement will yield any real benefits. And, in the process of setting up this system of government micromanaged price-controls, we'll turn a vibrant private industry into a clunky (and possibly parasitic) extension of the state. Sort of like banks.

    Furthermore, bandwidth shaping really isn't the only agenda item of the Net Neutrality crowd. There are all sorts of innovative pricing structures being developed that could be interesting in the future, EG sponsored bandwidth, throttle-after-quota, etc. The growth of smartphones has also injected a huge amount of consumer choice in many areas; about 20% of Americans use smartphones as their primary Internet-access device. So, while we fight over traffic shaping, the industry shifts under everyone's feet.



    Quote Originally Posted by Hazir View Post
    I find it a bit odd how one can not see a data-connection as a utility. Must be a hold-over from back when ISP's created content themselves AOL-style to give their clients something to do with their connection other than sending an occasional e-mail.
    I believe that is a highly dangerous idea along the path of calling an Internet connection a "human right" in some fashion. If policymakers think Web access is worthwhile, they can properly fund libraries with public Web access or subsidize wireless plans. Though that has been problematic here.

    Fortunately, this court case in the US explicitly affirmed that ISPs are private corporations who aren't under an obligation to serve people on government-dictated terms without a substantial change in the status quo. My favorite part of the opinion:

    "Railroads have no obligation to allow passengers to carry bombs on board, nor need they permit passengers to stand in the aisles if all seats are taken. If is for this reason that the Communications Act bars common carriers from engaging in "unjust or unreasonable discrimination," not all discrimination." (Page 58)

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnaught View Post
    All ISPs engage in some level of bandwidth shaping.
    I'm assuming here that you mean traffic shaping, because bandwidth shaping isn't really a thing. That would make your statement incredibly false, unless by "bandwidth shaping" you mean something that has nothing to do with ISPs shaping internet traffic.

    and did dread just call throttling, and AT&Ts shakedown, "innovative"? after we just covered how bandwidth caps are full of crap?
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  21. #21
    Let sleeping tigers lie Khendraja'aro's Avatar
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    Dread, you have it exactly wrong: Traffic shaping is complex and cumbersome to implement. I'm not quite sure how or why "treat all data the same" is complex or cumbersome. I mean, look at that rule: "Treat all data the same!"

    It's not complex. Anyone can understand it. It's not difficult to implement because every frickin' router, switch and generally everything network related uses that AS THE DEFAULT!.

    Not to mention that you can work around it by using proxies, VPN and/or encryption.

    And, Dread, please remember that I was a network admin for several years during my time at university. I know exactly what I'm talking about.

    And my example works, by the way: For your "per usage and weight" rules to work, you suddenly need guys or tech which determine weight. They'll need to deal with fraud. They'll need to implement pricing rules and enforce them. They need to deal with erroneous data entry (a Honda Civiv is not a truck) and so on and so forth.

    My way? You pay for admission and that's about it. Dead simple and a minimum of things that can go wrong. Your way? Quite a lot of things that can go wrong.

    Not to mention, my dear, in case you haven't understood it: There's no "wear" on network connections. That's where the boundary of my example is - and you promptly fell for it. Because you obviously haven't got the faintest clue as to how the internet actually works. Or what the real world actually looks like: This is only a brazen attempt by the ISPs to create an artificial scarcity.

    Because in reality, data transmission is quite hugely oversubscribed - the capacity exceeds the demand by far.
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  22. #22
    Resiste et Mords! Steely Glint's Avatar
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    This is naturally crazy and extreme
    ...

    Why?
    Truth serves them
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  23. #23
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    Netflix just reported its Q4 2013 earnings, and amidst the good news was a word of caution in the company's letter to investors. Last week, a federal court struck down the FCC's net neutrality rules — and Netflix took notice. "Unfortunately, Verizon successfully challenged the US net neutrality rules," Netflix writes in its shareholder letter. "In principle, a domestic ISP now can legally impede the video streams that members request from Netflix, degrading the experience we jointly provide."

    In a worst-case scenario, Netflix imagines a situation in which it would have to pay fees to ISPs to stop that degradation, but it sounds like the company wouldn't just sit back and let that situation happen. "Were this draconian scenario to unfold with some ISP," Netflix writes, "we would vigorously protest and encourage our members to demand the open Internet they are paying their ISP to deliver."

    "Netflix is ready to rally its user base if need be "

    However, the company doesn't see that as a very likely outcome. The company feels that ISPs are likely to avoid this "consumer-unfriendly path of discrimination" because of "broad public support" for net neutrality — and because the carriers and ISPs "don't want to galvanize government action." Additionally, Netflix seems very aware of its position as a potential friend of the ISPs — it says that high-quality video streams (like ones that Netflix provides) are a driver of the more expensive broadband plans.

    That said, Netflix will definitely be keeping an eye on how ISPs respond to the new net neutrality landscape. "In the long-term, we think Netflix and consumers are best served by strong network neutrality across all networks, including wireless," Netflix writes. If "some aggressive ISPs start impeding specific data flows," however, Netflix says more regulation will be needed — and it has a big user base that would certainly make some noise if their video experience starts getting worse.
    Source

    Honestly, I think this might all work out in the best possible way. I want net neutrality, but I'm very uncomfortable with getting what I want because the law demands I be given it. If we get it because ISPs piss off their customers too much by violating it instead of because the law demands it, that's the optimal result to me.

  24. #24
    but that requires competition. Wasn't it someone in Verizon who admitted that customer satisfaction isn't important? and is anyone anywhere happy with comcast?
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnaught View Post
    <snip>

    I believe that is a highly dangerous idea along the path of calling an Internet connection a "human right" in some fashion. If policymakers think Web access is worthwhile, they can properly fund libraries with public Web access or subsidize wireless plans. Though that has been problematic here.

    Fortunately, this court case in the US explicitly affirmed that ISPs are private corporations who aren't under an obligation to serve people on government-dictated terms without a substantial change in the status quo. My favorite part of the opinion:
    It's really funny how you became a corporate lapdog in a matter of a couple of years.
    It's not so much that you have opinions that differ from mine, because as a matter of fact I am a relatively free-market thinker. But your hyperbolic statement, bringing a moral dimension to the question of whether or not data-transmission is a utility or not devoids your message of acceptability.

    The question is not one of morals but of evaluating what the practise is. If data-transmission is not a utility, there is reason to question the status of phone-connections as such. Most phone-connections not only use the same infrastructure but also takes the same form for the biggest part of the way
    Greece shows us that there is a kind of politician worse than the ones that break their election promises; the ones that keep their election promises.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    but that requires competition. Wasn't it someone in Verizon who admitted that customer satisfaction isn't important? and is anyone anywhere happy with comcast?
    Exactly, you can wait untill the lack of competition has done its damage of course, but that's putting the horse behind the cart and in the end you still end up with rules enforced by government, albeit a different part of government.
    Greece shows us that there is a kind of politician worse than the ones that break their election promises; the ones that keep their election promises.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazir View Post
    It's really funny how you became a corporate lapdog in a matter of a couple of years.
    Agreed.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khendraja'aro View Post
    Dread, you have it exactly wrong: Traffic shaping is complex and cumbersome to implement. I'm not quite sure how or why "treat all data the same" is complex or cumbersome. I mean, look at that rule: "Treat all data the same!"

    It's not complex. Anyone can understand it. It's not difficult to implement because every frickin' router, switch and generally everything network related uses that AS THE DEFAULT!.

    Not to mention that you can work around it by using proxies, VPN and/or encryption.

    And, Dread, please remember that I was a network admin for several years during my time at university. I know exactly what I'm talking about.

    And my example works, by the way: For your "per usage and weight" rules to work, you suddenly need guys or tech which determine weight. They'll need to deal with fraud. They'll need to implement pricing rules and enforce them. They need to deal with erroneous data entry (a Honda Civiv is not a truck) and so on and so forth.

    My way? You pay for admission and that's about it. Dead simple and a minimum of things that can go wrong. Your way? Quite a lot of things that can go wrong.

    Not to mention, my dear, in case you haven't understood it: There's no "wear" on network connections. That's where the boundary of my example is - and you promptly fell for it. Because you obviously haven't got the faintest clue as to how the internet actually works. Or what the real world actually looks like: This is only a brazen attempt by the ISPs to create an artificial scarcity.

    Because in reality, data transmission is quite hugely oversubscribed - the capacity exceeds the demand by far.
    1) Traffic shaping is really not cumbersome and complex. It's fairly common and has been detected across several US ISPs, at least on the downstream end. So far no deaths, dismemberments or heinous acts of free-speech suppression have been reported.

    2) Your insistence that a law can magically work like this is sorta made sillier by your insistence that roads can't/don't use technology, enforcement and regulatory techniques to charge trucks more for usage versus cars. Hell, just charging extra per axle is a very simple way to differentiate. Just one of the several such systems in place, which don't mesh with your fantasy world where payments systems are impossible to manage and thus must be stripped of their variation by the government because you feel like it.

    3) Your idea that capacity exceeds demand is pretty irrelevant. It should not be up to you, me or any single government entity to decide when someone has "too much" of a commercial product and should cut their price. Supply and demand is supply and demand.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hazir View Post
    It's really funny how you became a corporate lapdog in a matter of a couple of years.
    It's not so much that you have opinions that differ from mine, because as a matter of fact I am a relatively free-market thinker. But your hyperbolic statement, bringing a moral dimension to the question of whether or not data-transmission is a utility or not devoids your message of acceptability.

    The question is not one of morals but of evaluating what the practise is. If data-transmission is not a utility, there is reason to question the status of phone-connections as such. Most phone-connections not only use the same infrastructure but also takes the same form for the biggest part of the way
    This is an interesting statement for a number of reasons.

    First, I think it's highly amusing for you to call me a corporate lapdog while you call for ISPs to be turned into regulated utilities. Regulated utilities are created under something of a faustian bargain; in exchange for price stability and working under certain government rules, the utilities are promised fat profit margins so that they can make capital investments and pay steady dividends. On some level, consumers get gauged and the utility corporation gets rich. So I suggest you re-evaluate your idea that I'm the one taking a corporatist position.

    Second, you are the one who added an explicitly moral dimension to this with your utility remark. My views have been implicitly moral, but not explicitly moral. If you want me to be explicitly moral, I will: "net neutrality" is a cynical corporatist ploy to regulate prices and insert government micromanagement into the infrastructure of the Web. It will raise prices, hamper innovation and ultimately provide a shallower experience to generations of Web users. I think this is a net loss and an immoral position given the potential outcome of such regulation.

    Finally, I think many people not part of a telecom union would be happy to question the status of phone connections as utilities. They are often a waste, filled with legacy costs that siphon investment away wireless technology.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnaught View Post
    All ISPs engage in some level of bandwidth shaping.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnaught View Post
    1) Traffic shaping is really not cumbersome and complex. It's fairly common and has been detected across several US ISPs, at least on the downstream end
    Well now, that reversal wasn't very hard. Even if several is a weasel word and you have no idea what cumbersome and complex means when it comes to tech. You might as well claim designing a 5 star car isn't cumbersome or complex because several automakers do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnaught View Post
    It will raise prices, hamper innovation and ultimately provide a shallower experience to generations of Web users.
    you have yet to show any evidence of this. In fact you admitted in your 2nd post thats its all theorizing.

    A majority of ISPs want ISPs classed as utilities. Problem is that the ones already in control don't, and they have far, far more lobbying power. So the little guys have to play by the rules of the controlling few until their service is degraded to the point that its no longer feasible to operate. They go under, and the work they put into bringing services to areas once deemed not profitable enough is snatched up for pennies.


    Oh, and heres the former FCC commissioner agreeing its time to go nuclear on ISPs.
    http://bgr.com/2014/01/27/net-neutra...ulations-isps/
    Last edited by Ominous Gamer; 01-29-2014 at 11:28 AM.
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

  30. #30
    can't believed I missed this gem before bed

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnaught View Post
    the utilities are promised fat profit margins
    In the land of capitalism, where the bottom line rules all, try to picture the insane profit margins the current system is already producing for these ISPs that they are fighting tooth and nail against what you claim will be promised "fat profit margins."
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

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