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BitTorrent CEO On Net Neutrality

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the no-way-he's-biased dept.

The Courts 223

angry tapir writes "According to BitTorrent CEO Eric Klinker, the Internet industry has to regulate itself by responding to consumer demands in the wake of the recent US federal court ruling that the Federal Communications Commission didn't have authority to enforce its net neutrality rules."

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223 comments

BitTorrent CEO? (3, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908670)

I didn't know a protocol could have a CEO. :)

Re:BitTorrent CEO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31908786)

Why doesn't Obama give the FCC the authority? He has the power to do so.

Re:BitTorrent CEO? (1)

Rallias Ubernerd (1760460) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909032)

If he executes that power, that would be the end of the need for giant hard drives.

Re:BitTorrent CEO? (1)

Polarina (1389203) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908798)

The original poster probably meant the company [wikipedia.org] .

Re:BitTorrent CEO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31908850)

the person you replied to meant it as a joke most likely, given the smiley

Re:BitTorrent CEO? (1)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908906)

Some people will never - ever - notice smileys :-)

Re:BitTorrent CEO? (1)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909846)

Are you trying to be funny? I really can't tell. If only you could put a symbol or something to mean it was funny.

Re:BitTorrent CEO? (1)

jasmusic (786052) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909078)

Think of him more like...a fan page administrator. :)

I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (5, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908692)

...but unless you work for, are paid by, or represent an ISP, how can you support allowing ISPs to give preferential (or detrimental) treatment to different types of Internet traffic?

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (5, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908744)

No shit.

The problem right now is PEOPLE HAVE NO CHOICE in their ISP.

Or rather, the "choice" is between No ISP, Shitty company A, and if you're REALLY lucky, perhaps Shitty Company B.

My area is an urban area. I'm "lucky" to have cable and DSL competing. Or really not, because it's Comrape and A-Titty-Twister "competing" with each other, which is to say, not competing at all.

We can complain all day long, but we as consumers are fucked, because 90% or better of Americans live in an area where the only ISP has a monopoly, and the other 10% have a duopoly at best if they are lucky. And apparently, nothing short of an act of Congress (and I shudder since Obama and the rest of the Senators/"Representatives" are pretty much bought-off scumbags who don't represent us at all) will fix it.

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (2, Informative)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908796)

Unfortunately, we are stuck with the exact same situation you describe...we just moved into a new apartment building, and everything is almost perfect...except Internet. We have a choice between Comcast Cable, or the local DSL provider. Since my fiancee is a 3rd grade teacher and does a TON of work from home, and I do a lot of online gaming, a DSL line just wouldn't cut it...so, we're stuck with Comcast.

Which blows. Really bad.

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (0, Flamebait)

berwiki (989827) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909552)

What do you people do with your internet that is so demanding of more ISPs.

I live in Atlanta and have Comcast. It's cheaper than Clear, and faster than DSL. I never have downtime and I download a few torrents a month with no problem. I mean, unless Atlanta is the exception, my Internet is never down, and I never have any issues. 45 bucks a month for something so important and integrated into daily life, you don't see me complaining. You could probably negotiate your rent down 100 bucks if you are _that_ strapped for cash.

And if you are completely raping the 'unlimited' service because you want to utilize the full 15mbps 100% of the time, to pull terabytes of illegal data, I don't want to hear about it. You are a fucking retard and I hope your balls explode.

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (1)

olderchurch (242469) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909592)

Can you please explain why DSL wouldn't cut it. The most basic ADSL speed my provider offers is 8 Mbit down and 1 Mbit up. Are these speeds comparable with what you can get for DSL.

More on topic, I can get a range of providers here in the Netherlands for both cable and ADSL. I have chosen a provider that has a history of good service and without the blocking of some ports I use (i.e. port 25).

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909738)

Standard USA "DSL" is 1Mbit down, 128k up.

Yeah. We're still stuck with that.

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31910172)

Check again on the DSL speeds. I was under that same impression (having used 256k/256k in college), but speeds have improved with DSL. Qwest in our area offers up to 22M service (depending how close you are to the box, within 18,000 feet gets you service, closer gets you faster).

That beats Comcast's 6 or 8M service easily.

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (4, Insightful)

1s44c (552956) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908834)

Obama and the rest of the Senators/"Representatives" are pretty much bought-off scumbags who don't represent us at all

All politicals are 'bought-off scumbags' who don't represent anything more than their own self interest. Anyone who really cared would be terrified to have so much responsibility.

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (4, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908866)

Anyone remotely honest doesn't have the kind of money needed to run these days, either.

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (3, Interesting)

sckeener (137243) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909340)

Anyone remotely honest doesn't have the kind of money needed to run these days, either.

"The secret of a great success for which you are at a loss to account is a crime that has never been found out, because it was properly executed." by -Honore de Balzac

which is normally paraphrased as 'Behind every great fortune there is a crime'.

Thus the only way an honest man can get into congress is if a corrupt man helps him get there.

Which leads into this quote "Now and then an innocent man is sent to the legislature." by Kin Hubbard (1868-1930)

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (1)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909932)

yes because everyone on slashdot never broke the law ONCE. We are all corrupt. Just at different levels of the scale.

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908946)

What you need is LLU in the UK I have a choice of what 50-60 Isp's as the ADSL providers can be split from teh phone company and I can buy ADSL from which ever ISP I like.

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909280)

We can complain all day long, but we as consumers are fucked

We're fucked as long as most consumers are so hypnotized by marketing and ubiquitous advertising that they are no longer able to make informed decisions based on their own best interests.

They're glad to whip out the plastic and raise their credit limits no matter how much shit they have to eat, as long as it's...shiny.

Until consumers understand that no corporation is their friend, and even the best of them will act badly, we're only going slide further into mercantile serfdom, where we exist to feed the corporations. Either that or we have to elect officials who will enact real consumer protections, with teeth. Since most politicians work for the corporations, that is unlikely.

I'm afraid we're going to have to fight this war ourselves, or accept that things will get worse.

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (4, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909688)

Actually, it turns out that the image of people spending oodles on worthless crap is not an entirely accurate picture. Watch and learn from Elizabeth Warren [youtube.com] . Are there outliers? Sure, but the statistical trends she describes are very very clear.

If you don't have time for the whole thing, one of her basic points is that middle class folks are not in fact buying lots of clothing or appliances or other shiny toys, but are spending far more on housing than they used to (for a house which is not much larger and probably older than what their parents would have bought in the 70's), and because of the higher fixed expenses have significantly less discretionary funds to spend and save. So on average an American middle class family is doing everything they can to reduce spending and still not making ends meet, much less have any savings available.

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (1)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909388)

No shit.

The problem right now is PEOPLE HAVE NO CHOICE in their ISP.

Or rather, the "choice" is between No ISP, Shitty company A, and if you're REALLY lucky, perhaps Shitty Company B.

I wish Americans on Slashdot would really pay attention to this. Where exactly do these people live that supposedly do have choice? I live in one of the top 10 metropolitan areas of the USA and my choice is limited to my cable and my regional telephone provider. That's it. If I don't like one I can go to the other, but if I don't like both then I am out of options. I hear people always talking smack about how you can just change ISPs if you don't like something, but where exactly is this really a viable option? My father lives in a town of about 50,000 people and the best of my knowledge the only ISP in his town is the local cable company and that's it.

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (3, Insightful)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908806)

If Internet service were properly metered like electricity is, then people who use a lot would simply pay more.

Right now it's as if factories and houses were paying the same $300/month for electrical service, and the people in the houses were subsidizing the factories.

On the Internet though, your neighbor can easily run a "factory" by simply seeding a bunch of torrents like an asshole, using all the bandwidth.

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (5, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908862)

On the Internet though, your neighbor can easily run a "factory" by simply seeding a bunch of torrents like an asshole, using all the bandwidth.

Or by watching cats all day on Youtube...or by watching TV episodes on Hulu all day, or streaming movies through Netflix all day, or any other number of bandwith-intensive activities.

Torrent users are being targeted because they are the easiest ones to go after...what about the stay at home mom who streams Netflix and Hulu 8 hours a day, or the patent examiner who works from home and is constantly streaming c-span reruns to help with their research?

There are a lot of high bandwith uses for the Internet that don't involve piracy or torrents...so why is it only torrents are being targeted?

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (3, Insightful)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908920)

Netflix streaming is surprisingly efficient.

Yes, it's possible to run up a large amount in ways other than file sharing, but the passive, 24 hour, unattended nature of file sharing makes it far easier to run up a huge amount on.

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908938)

what about the stay at home mom who streams Netflix and Hulu 8 hours a day, or the patent examiner who works from home and is constantly streaming c-span reruns to help with their research? There are a lot of high bandwith uses for the Internet that don't involve piracy or torrents...so why is it only torrents are being targeted?

Possibly because for every patent examiner who happens to work from home downloading c-span reruns, there are 100,000 kids downloading DVD rips of movies they want to watch.

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31909536)

Possibly because for every patent examiner who happens to work from home downloading c-span reruns, there are 100,000 kids downloading DVD rips of movies they want to watch.

[citation needed]

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31909100)

There are a lot of high bandwith uses for the Internet that don't involve piracy or torrents...so why is it only torrents are being targeted?

Think of the children! The children!

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (3, Insightful)

hitmark (640295) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909308)

i suspect its because its not about bandwidth, but the number of connections.

it could very well be that the ISPs have calculated maybe 1-3 connections pr account (a web connection is only active while a page is downloading, same with mail and such), and so have grabbed cheap gear that can handle only that many connections at a time. But with torrents the count can hit 100+ fairly quickly, and multiply that by the number of accounts attached to a box and things hit industrial quite fast. And these connections are active 24/7, or at least as long as the computer is online.

so the traffic have gone from 1-3 transient connections a minute, to 100+ a second.

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (0)

Ichijo (607641) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909752)

There are a lot of high bandwith uses for the Internet that don't involve piracy or torrents...so why is it only torrents are being targeted?

For one thing, torrents involve a lot of upstream traffic. Upstream bandwidth is in shorter supply than downstream bandwidth.

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31909936)

Wow, that hits a nerve. The only time I've got a nasty letter from Timewarner was when I had to work from home and had 2 RDP session, 1 VOIP, and 8 cameras forwarded to my home computer.

All those other days I was maxing my pipe, nothing. 9 hours of work traffic, and "We've noticed an unusual amount of traffic in relation to your account. Please be aware further activity of this nature may result in the termination of your account"

Unusual? Only in that I was actually using /less/ bandwidth.

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31910268)

On the Internet though, your neighbor can easily run a "factory" by simply seeding a bunch of torrents like an asshole, using all the bandwidth.

Or by watching cats all day on Youtube...or by watching TV episodes on Hulu all day, or streaming movies through Netflix all day, or any other number of bandwith-intensive activities.

Torrent users are being targeted because they are the easiest ones to go after...what about the stay at home mom who streams Netflix and Hulu 8 hours a day, or the patent examiner who works from home and is constantly streaming c-span reruns to help with their research?

There are a lot of high bandwith uses for the Internet that don't involve piracy or torrents...so why is it only torrents are being targeted?

Torrents are being targeted for a couple reasons.

1. Streaming like Netflix or Youtube uses like 500 kbit to 1Mbit, where torrents will use up the entire pipe for days on end.
2. Streams end after an hour and a half or two hours when the movie finishes. Usage quits when the user is no longer actively participating.
3. Torrents generate tons of DMCA complaints for the ISP, which we have to spend man-hours dealing with.

Honestly #3 is enough for me to wish I could just block the whole G-D protocol on my networks. I don't have a problem with streaming, or even purchase download scenarios such as itunes or the Amazon music and movie store. Both have built in limits on how much someone is going to consume, either via the fact that you can only watch one or two things at a time, or the financial limit. They also don't require me to babysit my users.

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (3, Insightful)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908896)

Agreed.

... personally, I would love to move to a purely metered service, perhaps with some monthly minimum. I like my downloads to go really fast, but I rarely download things. My thinking is that the ISPs would very much overcharge for the transfers (at first), but overall this would be a much better model.

The reality is that an ISP cannot make money reselling bandwidth at 10th the cost of the actual bandwidth if people are actually going to expect to be able to use it 24x7. That just doesn't make any kind of sense. So unless you're in the mood to backhaul your own T1 to your house (1.5megs sure sounds slow doesn't it ... $300/m not counting termination fees); how can you realistically expect the ISP to do this for you for $30/m? They can't. They depend on you not using it all the time or they can't make any money.

So they're either going to fuck with our connections *or* we can pay for what we use. Something is going to give and I'd rather they treat all my traffic the same, so I'd rather pay for a metered service like I do with electricity.

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (2, Informative)

hitmark (640295) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909372)

T1 comes with a bit more then just bandwidth. Its industrial grade connection, so the supplier basically guarantees that the connection will maintain T1 come hell or high water. Also, its symmetrical.

cable and dsl do not come with such guarantees. They only claim that they can deliver up to some max speed. Best effort i think the terminology is.

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31909882)

People hate metered service. For most, the additional mental cost of keeping track of how much you are spending outweighs the small savings. You are an outlier.

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (0, Troll)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908982)

"If Internet service were properly metered like electricity is,"

Part of the problem is idiots like you who think bandwidth is like electricity. It isn't. Bandwidth is a static quantity, but a momentary measurement of how much data can be transmitted; whether your network is running at 10AM or 10PM, you have exactly the same bandwidth.

It cannot, unlike electricity, be "stored up" for later use, and "conserving" it only helps if you are actually at risk of saturating (read: using every bit) and having programs still requesting more.

"Metering" electricity makes some sense, given a finite generating capacity combined with storage options that allow for the electric company to "save" unused capacity for times when more is needed than they can generate. But there is no use in "metering" bandwidth, because it cannot be stored. Anyone who says otherwise is trying to rip people off.

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909034)

I don't know if you were trolling... but I'll take you at face value.

Electricity can't be stored either. They have to generate the amount to match demand. Every circuit and generator has an amperage capacity, just like every circuit has a bandwidth limit.

The closest they have to the ability to store electricity is hydroelectric dams that can pump water uphill and then use the kinetic energy later, but it's grossly inefficient.

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (0, Flamebait)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909096)

uhm... no.

Electricity Storage Association [electricitystorage.org] .

Power companies in the US currently use large-scale battery arrays (think lead-acid car batteries but massively larger) for storage; there are also experiments with creating large-scale flywheel farms for the same purpose.

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909208)

Experiments. No one does this.

"The Electricity Storage Association ... established to foster development and commercialization of energy storage technologies."

To foster development and commercialization. Because there's no current commercial solutions for grid-scale energy storage other than hydro pumping.

Is it that hard to admit you were wrong?

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (1)

ycatsce (1204384) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909710)

We have both a hydro-electric and nuclear power plant nearby and both use electricity storage solutions. One uses a battery array, the other is much more interesting. Air is pumped into underground cavities during off-peak hours. This is then released during peak hours to drive turbine systems for additional production..

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (2, Informative)

Voyager529 (1363959) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910274)

Yes, they're experiments, but the GP is still somewhat accurate. Yes, electricity isn't "stored" by electric companies, but they can reduce how much is generated. Lots of highly paid engineers earn their living designing highly complicated systems to determine where to strike that balance. The municipal power company where I live is an old-school oil burning plant. No, they don't store up electricity once it's been generated, but they can do things like burning less oil during periods of lower consumption while increasing oil burning to meet up with demand. This principle admittedly doesn't hold up with things like wind, solar, or nuclear power, but it does here for the intent of my point.

There's no "conserving" bandwidth by leaving it in some sort of unprocessed form. Either bits are going over a wire, or they aren't. To my admittedly limited knowledge, there's no analogous means of "leaving bandwidth in oil form until it's needed", and I think THAT's more what the GP was getting at.

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909760)

It does not matter if energy storage is fairly rare. Until we move to an all solar energy economy, it costs money for every joule of energy produced. When consumption goes down, fuel use goes down as well while boiler furnaces are run at idle.

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909556)

i suspect one part of the problem is the peering agreements that make the net possible.

Especially now that torrents and such moves traffic away from the peering connections heading to the web-farms (or maybe the closest akamai mirror), and onto individual customers. It would not surprise me of the ISP contract contains a mention of not allowing any kind of server to be run from a home customer connection.

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909128)

On the Internet though, your neighbor can easily run a "factory" by simply seeding a bunch of torrents like an asshole, using all the bandwidth.

As the recipient of an AUP violation letter from comcast for using more than 90GB in a month (I actually called and asked what the limit was, and after talking to about four people, some guy told me this, shrug) I know that ISPs will terminate or at least throttle this type of customer. See, they don't make money on these people, so why not alienate 'em?

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (1)

pantaril (1624521) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908936)

I don't care if for example my VOIP traffic if prioritizied over my FTP traffic at my ISP's router as long as the total SUM of bandwidth i get is not lower that bandwidth of other customers with the same plan.

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909074)

Its the USA, the telco gave cash to train their congresscritters.
They have debated out scientists, academics, evidence, facts and reality.
Do you have the cash to train a team of powerful congresscritters to compete against herds owned by your telco and allied companies?
Find the MS, Apples, Googles astroturf efforts and help gain control over your greedy rust belt telcos again.
Their job in life is to lay pipe, not worry about what is pushed out.

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31909520)

I might not want my ISP to allow the pipe that feeds my connection to be saturated with the asshat's packets.

Re:I know everyone is against the FCC and all... (1)

gtbritishskull (1435843) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909896)

I have no problem with them giving preferential treatment to different types of internet traffic. I do that within my own network (QOS on a WRT54GL running Tomato). I do not see why an ISP should not have the same right. It allows them to give better service to their customers. But, I do not think they should be able to hobble a protocol without oversight. And because, as a content distributor, Comcast has an interest users having less access to content online, and they are in most areas a monopoly in providing internet service, I believe regulatory oversight is necessary. Should Comcast have the right to give different protocols different priorities to provide their customers with a better service? Absolutely. Should Comcast have the right to give different protocols different priorities to give their other divisions a competitive advantage? Absolutely not. The problem is that there are no black and white rules that can define the difference, so you need a governmental agency that can react quickly to close loopholes in its regulations.

I REMAIN SKEPTICAL (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31908698)

Everyone fears decentralized networks and lack of central control. It is easier to ban than to utilize what you're not creative enough to adapt to.

Self Regulate? (4, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908710)

Doesn't "self regulation" usually result in services and pricing that always benefit the industry at the expense of the consumer?

Re:Self Regulate? (5, Insightful)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908766)

Doesn't "self regulation" usually result in services and pricing that always benefit the industry at the expense of the consumer?

No, no, no. Here are some examples where it has worked:

  1. there's the ummmm
  2. and the ummmm
  3. and ....

Never mind.

Re:Self Regulate? (1)

Late Adopter (1492849) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909060)

Deregulation worked pretty well in air travel.

Not trying to make a point about regulation in general, just providing an example where the amount of deregulation may have been appropriate for that situation.

Re:Self Regulate? (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909946)

Deregulation worked pretty well in air travel. Not trying to make a point about regulation in general, just providing an example where the amount of deregulation may have been appropriate for that situation.

Remember that the next time a plane sits on the tarmac for 11 hours.

Re:Self Regulate? (1)

gtbritishskull (1435843) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909976)

I agree. But I do not think it is similar to this case. The reason why deregulation helped in air travel is because there were many competing companies, so the market was able to "self-regulate" because people would vote with their pocketbooks. ISPs are different because there is currently a monopoly in most areas of the country, so there is no market to "self-regulate" itself. There are only the monopolies (or duopolies), which do not have the incentive to self-regulate.

Re:Self Regulate? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909166)

Pretty much everything down at the grocery store has competition without much regulation to speak of, it's just that some markets doesn't naturally lead to competition. Run multiple sets of sewage pipes is a great example that most see is extremely impractical. Forced leasing of lines and rackspace in centrals are vital to a working market, and yes the owner do make a good profit off it anyway. They can't just practically shut off people so that it's their service or no service, speed might not be better but you might get a different modem, different ToS, different support, in short dealing with another company if you want to switch. From those beginnings they will sometimes lay down their own lines in addition to leasing, making it a mixed market with what looks remarkably like competition. Funny to say it, but we socialists seems to have a better functioning market than the US...

Re:Self Regulate? (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909576)

iirc, amsterdam is running public fiber that any company can lease capacity on to supply services or connect offices together.

Re:Self Regulate? (2, Informative)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909430)

Hang Gliding.

The United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association is the self-regulating body for non-powered human flight AKA ultralights. FAA regulations part 103 basically says "Do whatever the heck you want, between dawn and dusk, just stay the heck out of the way of regular air traffic." No inspections, no required certifications, no reporting requirements, no helmet requirements, etc.

Self-regulation works in this case because because pilots want to keep the government out of their way, so they voluntarily make-up sensible rules and comply with them. Technically, you don't HAVE to join the USPHA to fly a hang glider, and you don't HAVE to follow their rules. But pilots voluntarily get the certifications, voluntarily wear helmets, voluntarily report accidents, etc. We would rather make our own rules and follow them than have the government do it.

Unfortunately, this model doesn't work for most anything else. Rarely is a for-profit company motivated by a need to do things right.

Re:Self Regulate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31909528)

I'm glad there's so much regulation in the software industry. I hate writing software without checking every detail against a laundry list of rules set by bureaucrats who understand that when it comes to rule making, quantity >> quality.

Re:Self Regulate? (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909630)

I'm not saying anything about regulation, one way or the other, but do you really want to use the software industry as a benchmark of quality?

Re:Self Regulate? (3, Insightful)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908790)

Doesn't "self regulation" usually result in services and pricing that always benefit the industry at the expense of the consumer?

Only if free markets don't work. I think if you're a libertarian or a liberal* economist, you believe that free markets work by assumption rather than because of the evidence (maybe even in spite of the evidence).

(* liberal as in freedom, not left**-wing)
(** by US standards)

Re:Self Regulate? (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908830)

Unfortunately, the very thing that free markets require to function properly (greed) is also the very thing that causes them to fail -_-;;;

Re:Self Regulate? (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908988)

How pithy; I like it :-)

Re:Self Regulate? (4, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908904)

Only if free markets don't work

Free markets would work, but unfortunately they don't exist, at least not for long. The inevitable state for a mature market is monopoly or cartel, and the price of freedom is eternal regulation.

Re:Self Regulate? (1)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909412)

This is only because of regulation. The reason I can't build a fiber ring in my small town and offer gigabit speeds is because of FCC Regulation. Regulation creates the monopoly you describe. Also monopolies aren't necessarily bad. If the monopoly causes the prices to remain low (think Wal-mart) then the consumer benefits.

Re:Self Regulate? (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909898)

The inevitable state for a mature market is monopoly or cartel, and the price of freedom is eternal regulation.

More exactly, there are some industries (telecom being one of them) for which a monopoly is in fact (theoretically at least) the most economically efficient way to provide the good/service, provided that something is done to prevent the monopoly from overcharging their customers. The reason this happens is because in some industries the economies of scale mean that the volume that produces the lowest possible cost of the service is more than the total demand for the service. Some other industries (such as upscale restaurants) don't work that way at all, which is why they tend to be heavily competitive.

In the case of telecoms, the reason why a monopoly is theoretically cheaper include: It's a lot cheaper to string up one set of fiber rather than many, you need less switching equipment with fewer cables, and because one organization has the full picture of what's going on they can effectively allocate their resources towards the places than need it.

The trouble is that with bought-off politicians, instead of doing what needs to be done to prevent overcharging, there's a tendency to take a hands-off approach and allow the monopolist to profit handsomely in exchange for campaign contributions. The argument they make for deregulation usually involves something about competition and libertarian pixie dust, but the real story is invariably the politicians and the deregulated industry profiting at the expense of the consumers.

Re:Self Regulate? (1)

jakepaulus (1506151) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908928)

Yes, unless you replace "regulation" with competition. Cable companies represent 46% of US broadband subscribers (http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-296239A1.pdf), and the rest of the "competition" in cable markets is at greatly reduced speed and availability, e.g., DSL, etc. Until we get real broadband competition, ISPs are going to continue to focus on cutting costs, e.g., traffic shaping and terminating service for heavy users, rather than investing in better infrastructure to support the increased demand that new applications, e.g., bittorrent, streaming HD video, etc.,create. (e.g. :-P)

Re:Self Regulate? (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910006)

Regulation is time- and context-dependent. Sometimes in some situations it makes sense, sometimes it doesn't. The problem is, most regulation is written in inflexible language (because laws kinda have to be) and don't get revisited unless someone is paying money to have someone pay attention to it. Ideally, it would be monitored by someone with no conflict of interest and removed when unnecessary. This hypothetical person would have to live in a cave and herd goats for a living, but still keep up with details of the economy in order to be completely impartial, and then someone would find a way to send them comfortable shoes which, by the way, would be shipped annually if only this bit of deregulation permitted it, you see.

For example, speculation helped cause the great depression in america, so you get regulation to prevent further problems, like "Glass-Steagall". Some people believe repealing some of those regulations allowed consolidation to the point of "too big to fail", others believe the precipitating event (BoA's rescue of Merrill Lynch) would not have been possible and the real culprits (derivatives to be general) would have happened anyway. So it's not clear what truly would have happened had it not been repealed. But it was done to prevent problems which people caused, usually because of greed.

The problem with american regulation is that it is reactive. A free market is supposed to be self-correcting, but it takes a long time for everyone to correct. Longer because correction requires people to know things that they either can't or don't want to keep up with. But it takes a while. A truly free market would see many failures like the great depression before everyone wises up and decides not to ruin things again - but this would happen on the scale of human lifetimes. A person would have to learn the problems his grandfather had, and how to avoid them, and apply that to the economic landscape 50 or 70 years later. By that time the learned lessons are forgotten, and people think they can sneak by with a little advantage here and a little there.

So, in place of continuous vigilance and a public record of "lessons learned", we have regulation which steps in as the quick-fix and enshrines those lessons into law. When the economic landscape changes, the regulations no longer make sense and we don't truly grasp the original reasons behind the regulations. They get repealed, in whole or in part, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.

But a free market has to be unspoiled. You can't build a processor in a clean room, drag it around in some kitty litter before the final weld, and expect it to function the way it did before. It's tainted. You can't open the oven door before a soufflé is done, watch it fall apart, and prop it up with toothpicks. To have a truly free market, you have to get rid of product safety, and any rules other than procedural "how to" type rules. FDIC insurance goes away because consumers have to learn which banks to avoid by watching their friends lose their life savings. They have to learn which drugs not to take the same way we found them originally - take something and see if it kills you, you get better, or nothing happens. If your internet service sucks, you have to find someone who will dig and build and connect and provide, all before having a single paying customer.

In america, "free market" is the period where companies present evidence for their inevitable regulation.

How about (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31908758)

We just GIVE the FCC the power to regulate (bitchslap) troublemaker isps like comcast.

The free market wont fix it. Nobody else will fix it. So make the FCC do something useful for a change.

Altho i'm not sure why we allowed internet provider greed to ever bring up net neutrality at all. Neutrality should just be the way things are by default.

We're just not a very bright species i guess. Or too many of us are getting paid one way or another to be tools for the isps. Sell everyone out for a buck.

Re:How about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31908970)

That doesnt 'fix' the issue. TRUST me if you live in an area like this gentelman does (and many do).
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1624578&cid=31908744 [slashdot.org]

You get 0 choice in the matter. 'Regulation only' will just end up raising rates. As the companies will raise their prices for the perceived lack of money they are not going to get. The real reform we need is open access carrier. We need a separation of the media holders, the pipe holders, and the ISPs. If that does not happen we will have a stagnating market.

I truly do not understand the short sightedness of the companies that own the wires. They should want dozens of ISPs which would mean more people using their wires. More people demanding more wires be built. More money coming in. A person jumps from one ISP to another and the pipe owner would get to 'keep' that customer. It truly is the ultimate lock in.

Re:How about (1)

uniquegeek (981813) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909986)

In other words, get rid of a vertical monopoly.

Re:How about (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909018)

We just GIVE the FCC the power to regulate (bitchslap) troublemaker isps like comcast.

We don't have to. The FCC can do that part itself.

The only thing that this ruling really says is that the current FCC regulations don't allow the FCC to do net neutrality. But since the FCC writes its own regulations, all it has to do is issue a new set (using the procedures required by itself (public comment periods, that sort of thing)) and they can then do net neutrality to their hearts' content.

Re:How about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31909054)

We just GIVE the FCC the power to regulate (bitchslap) troublemaker isps like comcast.

The free market wont fix it. Nobody else will fix it. So make the FCC do something useful for a change.

Altho i'm not sure why we allowed internet provider greed to ever bring up net neutrality at all. Neutrality should just be the way things are by default.

We're just not a very bright species i guess. Or too many of us are getting paid one way or another to be tools for the isps. Sell everyone out for a buck.

Well, you see, like everything else in American politics, you have to reduce it to a sports analogy. Thus, you can look at this as a "game" ("competition" if you want to get all free market on me) between two forces: the FCC, and ISPs like Comcast. So let's look at the score:

  • ISPs: Millions, maybe billions, of dollars donated to presidential and congressional campaigns.
  • FCC: A few political appointee positions for the President to fill with folks that worked really hard on their campaign.

So there you have it. The ISPs are running away with the win. Remember, in Citizens United, the Supreme Court held that money was equivalent to speech for First Amendment purposes. Given that, ISPs speak much, much louder than a bunch of whiny pirates who don't buy products or donate to campaigns.

Re:How about (1)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909316)

Does nobody read the news? Hello? Google? They are moving into the ISP market offering fiber to the curb at insane speeds. They are putting pressure on the established players and if they don't shape up Google is going to eat them for breakfast. The internet depends on net neutrality and if the established ISPs won't provide it other internet businesses that depend on the internet will.

Re:How about (1)

Ichijo (607641) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909892)

The free market wont fix it. Nobody else will fix it.

Communities here and there are forming cooperatives and laying fiber. So that's one fix.

Free market doesn't work when there aren't alternatives, and the lack of alternatives is, in many cases, caused by neighborhoods which enter into exclusive contracts with broadband providers. So it only makes sense that the solution is also at the local level.

Communities are being sued for supplying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31910056)

Communities are being sued for supplying internet access. Please try again.

Re:How about (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910088)

How's the free market supposed to step in when entities like the FCC exist in the first place?

Pimp speaks out on Ho Neutrality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31908776)

In short: pimps up, ho's down.

Internet industry?? (1)

amn108 (1231606) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908888)

Internet is not an industry. At most it's an infrastructure supporting industries. Is there some school in the woods that teaches those morons marketing speak?

Bittorrent != Piracy (3, Insightful)

Kirin Fenrir (1001780) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908994)

Slight (mostly relevant) rant:

I'm a little tired of hearing "bittorrent" used as a synonym for "piracy". Do lawmakers, ISPs, and IP holders not realize that bittorrent has plenty of legitimate uses as a distributed filesharing platform? And I'm not just talking about Linux ISOs: One example is World of Warcraft, which has integrated bittorrent technology into it's patcher. For a piece of software that popular, not using bittorrent or something similar would probably bring down the patch server constantly.

Bittorrent != piracy (or copyright infringement). Stop using them in the same breath.

Re:Bittorrent != Piracy (1, Flamebait)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909158)

Let's be honest. At least 90% of bit torrent traffic is either downloading p0rn or people pirating games, movies, and music.

Re:Bittorrent != Piracy (1)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909250)

The 3 World of Warcraft patches released so far in 2010 total about 474MB. 11.5M people play WoW.

That works out to 5195 terabytes of data transferred over Bittorrent just for that game so far this year.

Sure, I have no idea how much pirated stuff/pr0n is moved via BT, but more than five thousand terabytes is a lot.

Re:Bittorrent != Piracy (3, Interesting)

Bugamn (1769722) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909420)

I don't know how many people download pirate programs or pr0n, but I think it's more than 11.5M and they download a lot more than 474M each.

Re:Bittorrent != Piracy (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909818)

Sure, I have no idea how much pirated stuff/pr0n is moved via BT, but more than five thousand terabytes is a lot.

Wasn't the last estimate something like 1/3 of the internet?

Re:Bittorrent != Piracy (1)

Mr. DOS (1276020) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909930)

Recently, during a freeleech period, a private music tracker with ~120k users handled over 570TB traffic. In six days. Obviously, beeing freeleech, that's more than that tracker would normally see in a couple months, but that's still a LOT of traffic.

Re:Bittorrent != Piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31910282)

The 3 World of Warcraft patches released so far in 2010 total about 474MB. 11.5M people play WoW.

That works out to 5195 terabytes of data transferred over Bittorrent just for that game so far this year.

Sure, I have no idea how much pirated stuff/pr0n is moved via BT, but more than five thousand terabytes is a lot.

Sorry, but 474MB/person in one year is not a lot of traffic - it's equivalent to maybe four hours of low quality (in terms of compression) YouTube video.

Re:Bittorrent != Piracy (1)

Kirin Fenrir (1001780) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909324)

Let's be honest. At least 90% of bit torrent traffic is either downloading p0rn or people pirating games, movies, and music.

Let's be honest, 90% of guns are used to kill people. Let's abolish the 2nd amendment!

The problem with your argument is, bittorrent is not in the wrong. The people using bittorrent for infringement are.* You might as well blame the internet itself.


*"Wrong" depending on your perspective perhaps, but that is a different discussion.

Re:Bittorrent != Piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31909632)

Let's be honest, 90% of guns are used to kill people. Let's abolish the 2nd amendment!

Sounds like a sensible idea!

Re:Bittorrent != Piracy (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909792)

Let's be honest, 90% of guns are used to kill people.

So, the numbers are from a few years ago, but from what I can find there are about 10,000 homicides and 16,000 suicides a year committed using guns in the US. On the other hand, the US civilian population is estimated to possess over 200,000,000 firearms (65,000,000 handguns).

I am not even any sort of gun "enthusiast", but that statement is pretty ridiculous.

Re:Bittorrent != Piracy (1)

kramerd (1227006) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909862)

Let's be honest, 90% of guns are used to kill people. Let's abolish the 2nd amendment!

There are an estimated 200-250 million guns in the US. In 2009, there were less than 20k gun related deaths, the majority of them suicides. The vast, vast majority of guns are never even fired, but your 90% statistic is off by a factor of approximately 900000 (which also assumes incorrectly that every gun related death is committed by a different gun).

Re:Bittorrent != Piracy (1)

Mr. DOS (1276020) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909944)

I see your point, but please, never use that argument again - hunting makes up far more than 10% of gun use in North America.

Re:Bittorrent != Piracy (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31909790)

Bittorrent is ideal solution for IP broadcasting (one or few sources to massively many destinations).

At least 90% of bit torrent traffic is either downloading p0rn or people pirating games, movies, and music.

It is consistent with my remark. Those are all equivalents of "pirate broadcasting stations" of the past. But the content delivery technology behind it is useful for legitimate uses. Not utilizing it results in clogged Intertubes.

Re:Bittorrent != Piracy (1)

gtbritishskull (1435843) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910122)

Last time I checked, it was not illegal to download p0rn. Why are you lumping it in with illegal activities?

And yes, there are illegal ways of downloading p0rn (copyrighted or underage). But, regardless of the ethical considerations, there is no law against downloading a video of consenting adults engaged in sexual activities. (At least, no federal law that I know of. I am sure some of the more conservative states have laws against it)

Re:Bittorrent != Piracy (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909886)

http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/09/05/0220212 [slashdot.org] "Over time, 'negation tags' fall out of memory: -Saddam didn't plan 9/11- becomes -Saddam planned 9/11.-"

I hear what you're saying, but I'll remember it like this:
"bittorrent" used as a synonym for "piracy". bittorrent has plenty of legitimate uses as a distributed filesharing platform? And I'm not just talking about Linux ISOs: One example is World of Warcraft, which has integrated bittorrent technology into it's patcher. For a piece of software that popular, using bittorrent or something similar would bring down the patch server constantly.
Bittorrent == piracy (or copyright infringement; or apparently DDOS if it brings down servers).

Because that's how the brain works apparently. You have to get someone to actually understand the protocol before they can solidify in their minds that BT is not bad, or use car analogies or something: "Cars are used in bank heists! Cars are criminal tools!"

Problem is not Piracy (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910168)

The problem is ISP over selling their bandwidth.

Users always like their download go fast. They click on a page and it should display immediately.
Initially, ISP clients don't download much over time, only spikes when they clic on pages.
So at a given time, only 1/100th of the user are having any data flowing online.

Thus an ISP could use 100mbit/s upstream per 10'000 users and sell them "1mbit/s connections". As in fact only 100 of them will be transferring data at any given time (while the other read webpages on their screen).

Fast forward to web 2.0 and the situation has changed much.
Lots of users are constantly transferring data at full bandwidth.
The most characteristics are Peer-2-Peer like BitTorrent (no matter what they actually transfers). You launch your bittorrent client and start downloading Debian's Blueray image. Over the next few hours/days (until the image is downloaded) the client will be constantly streaming data from the web. Also, over the next few day, until you decide to shut it down because you've reached an ethically acceptable ratio no to look like a leech, the client will be constantly broadcasting data at network maximal speed.
(It also works with web radios, video streaming, video conferencing, big downloads, and even the increased clutter of webpage with large BLOB like flash. But Peer-2-Peer, especially the legal one, is the easiest to understand, because it tries to work at maximal bandwidth and generates a constant flow until shut-down)

The "bandwitdh required only during spikes" phenomenon disappears. Oh my god, the trick that the ISP have been using to oversell way much more bandwidth than they have doesn't work any more !!!

Now there are 2 possible way to react :

A. USA-way :
Find a scape goat! Blame it on bit-torrent! Start arbitrarily throttling stuff so peer-2-peer user get the crappy speed that the ISP can indeed realistically provide (a couple of 10kbit/s), while at the same time keep pretending that the other users are getting the luducrious speed their are over-paying for because in fact it only happens in short bursts.
This violate the fundamental principle behind distributed networks like internet : that all nodes should be treated equal.

B. European way :
Try to be more realistic about the bandwidth your are selling.
In France, internet connection are sold as "*up to* 25mbp/s" - not an over-exaggerated bandwidth, and wording signals that this is a best-case scenario (the worst-case scenario is mentioned in small print).
In Switzerland, internet connections are still sold as "guaranteed minimum 1mbit/s" - they are based on the worst case scenario and indeed work so even if more user start to use constant data-flow.
European ISP don't try to over-sell craptastic bandwidth with over-inflated promises.
Of course, the difference is that here we have a little bit more competition. An ISP who starts offering "200mbits" connections but whose service doesn't maintain quality as soon as users fireup some data-streaming application, will soon see all its clients flee to a concurrent with more realistic and conservative offer but with a more consistent quality.

The fault is on ISP for over-selling. So stop blaming the Bittorrent users.

Separation of media and telecom? (1)

archer, the (887288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909090)

Much of this seems to stem from the corporations having multiple interests, e.g. Comcast wouldn't want anything that competes with their Video on Demand. Since corporations are usually interested in Money and not ethics (can't think of a better word right now), maybe we need to remove the conflict of interest? Force any company with an ISP to spin of the ISP from voice/video/music/audio/etc services. I'm kinda leery about news organizations being owned by media corporations as well... Conflict of interest. Some humans are good at dealing with it. Corporations seem to always go for the buck unless someone's in danger of death or serious injury.

industries don't regulate themselves (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909600)

they become monopolies or oligopolies, and warp the marketplace so only they benefit

the greatest enemy of the free marketplace, true capitalism, is not socialism or communism, but monopolies and oligopolies. people need to understand the difference between capitalism and corporatism

capitalism is the engine of growth of any economy, and the country that is able to keep the marketplaces as close to free as possible is the country that prospers. corporatism meanwhile is all about the larger players in the marketplace paying off the government, abusing natural defects in the marketplace, and otherwise ossifying and abusing their size to squash innovation and consumers to maximize profit. what's most important is to realize that the only tool you have against capitalism devolving into corporatism is a government with strong regulatory powers. the players in the mark place won't self-regulate, ever... well, they WILL self-regulate, if by that you mean the degenrate meaning of merely consolidating their power at the expense of the free market

the "shocking" realization for the libertarian free market fundamentalist is that the friend of the true capitalist is a strong central government with lots of regulations. it seems contradictory to the common rhetoric, but its absolutely true. perhaps the common rhetoric has been bought and paid for by corporatists. perhaps those who fight government, whether out of being propagandized or being naive, are actually working for the oligopolies whose true desire is to crush the individual and the marketplace (for then they profit more)

if you are a true libertarian, your greatest enemy are oligopolies, not communists

we need a sea change on the right in terms of seeing that large corporations are not their friends, and represent a greater threat to their beliefs and their country than any bleeding heart liberal could ever be

Whoever creates the monopoly, should regulate it (3, Interesting)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909616)

I'm actually kind of glad it hasn't fallen under the FCC, because it just wouldn't make any sense. Whatever level of government is creating the monopolies, is who should be regulating. Cable Company has a franchise with your city? Then the city is the one who should demand neutrality (and any other necessary pros for the quids). And in the rare situations where an ISP doesn't have any monopoly force, there's no need to regulate them, because their customers and competitors can handle the job.

I know people generally hate this idea, because they don't want to get involved with local politics and only show up for general elections so they can vote party tickets, but tying the special favors directly to the restrictions is the right thing to do. If you don't like local politics, the problem is with you, not the fact that you have a local government. Get over it, face up to your responsibility, and demand some conditions the next time you use government to transfer your power to other private entities.

Official BT clients = 70%? (1)

yuna49 (905461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909972)

From TFA:

About 60 other companies distribute versions of BitTorrent software, which is open source, but the ["official BT"] company has about 70 million users out of a worldwide total of about 100 million, according to Klinker.

I must be on the wrong trackers, because I sure see a much higher representation of non "BitTorrent" clients than 30%. If anything, I'd say Klinker's official BT client represents a minority of users.

And where does that 100 million figure come from? Are there "only" 100 million BT users worldwide?

Well... (1)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910230)

Since we have no choice in what ISP to choose from since they'll all do this if one does it...couldn't we just protest by all dropping all of our providers at once? Simply use wireless hotspots for a month or two (libraries, etc...) to get "work" done and get some extra sleep at night rather than stream one last movie (or, you know, dust off your DVD/VHS/Betamax collection). Go one month without internet--if enough people go along with it and actually commit, the ISPs won't think they have it made like a drug dealer somehow legally peddling at a rehab center.
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