Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

UK's Two Biggest ISPs Rip Up Net Neutrality

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the battling-the-inevitable dept.

The Internet 225

Barence writes "The UK's two biggest ISPs have openly admitted they'd give priority to certain internet apps or services if companies paid them to do so. Speaking at a Westminster eForum on net neutrality, senior executives from BT and TalkTalk said they would be happy to put selected apps into the fast lane, at the expense of their rivals. Asked specifically if TalkTalk would afford more bandwidth to YouTube than the BBC's iPlayer if Google was prepared to pay, the company's executive director of strategy and regulation, Andrew Heaney, argued it would be 'perfectly normal business practice to discriminate between them.' Meanwhile, BT's Simon Milner said: 'We absolutely could see a situation when content or app providers may want to pay BT for quality of service above best efforts,' although he added BT had never received such an approach."

cancel ×

225 comments

My response: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33726492)

FFFFFFUUUUUU-

Re:My response: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33727200)

How much would it cost to have an ISP degrade the performance of a competitor's web site to where it is almost unusable? Not much different than this really.

What's with this app horsedookie? (3, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33726552)

You know, not every bit of software is an app...I'm getting really tired of that term becoming so ubiquitous. You would think someone in such a position within a tech-centered company would know this (actually, on second thought...)

Re:What's with this app horsedookie? (2, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#33726590)

Isn't it just short for application?

Re:What's with this app horsedookie? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33726674)

Etymologically, yes...but it's used (or at least is supposed to be used) to describe small applications downloadable to phones. I noticed it really take hold with Apple's App Store, although its been around longer than that.

There's no written rule saying it can't be used to describe all software, but it pisses me off in the same way it pisses me off when someone says "put it on the floor" when they're standing in the middle of a forest, or call a truck a "car".

It's wrong. It's WROOOONGGGG. /Cartman

Re:What's with this app horsedookie? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33726804)

No, it's not wrong. It's perfectly OK to call anything a user uses to perform an activity an app. This is the first time I've ever heard sometime talk about an app being only for cell phones. Weird.

Re:What's with this app horsedookie? (2, Insightful)

gorzek (647352) | more than 3 years ago | (#33726954)

Indeed. The phrase "killer app" was used before the notion of smartphones was a glimmer in anyone's eye. From where I'm standing, "app" is just an abbreviation of "application," and it need not even be a software program. Social networking is an "app," in terms of being an application of Web-based technologies to provide useful services, despite not being a program in any strict sense.

I really hate what Apple does to language sometimes.

Re:What's with this app horsedookie? (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727446)

I agree "Killer App" existed before.

It wasn't used exactly the same way tho.

Most of the crowd around here would would say "I'm getting a new program, word processer, game, software", they didn't say "app" except as "killer app".

I never heard anyone on the amiga, the older apple II's, the ibm pc, AS/400, Vax say they were getting an "app" or "I have a cool new app!"

While "killer App" existed, it was used more by news organizations and visionary groups than by people. As in "What's the next 'Killer App' going to be?"

Re:What's with this app horsedookie? (2, Interesting)

Hylandr (813770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727454)

Way back in 91 they were going nuts trying to get everyone to use the term application when we were referring to a program. Go figure...

- Dan.

Re:What's with this app horsedookie? (3, Interesting)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33726822)

There's no written rule saying it can't be used to describe all software, but it pisses me off in the same way it pisses me off when someone says "put it on the floor" when they're standing in the middle of a forest, or call a truck a "car"

You must be angry a significant portion of the time if trivial things like that set you off. You are using the English language, it's a very flexibile language that allows for a wide variety of 'errors' while still conveying the intended message.

Restated:

You must be fuming a bunch if you make mountains out of molehills. English puts up with a lot of meddling. It can be bungled up and still convey the same meaning.

Re:What's with this app horsedookie? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33726848)

AUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGH

But seriously though, it's just a slow day at work :/

Re:What's with this app horsedookie? (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33726914)

AUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGH

But seriously though, it's just a slow day at work :/

To be fair, I thought the same thing, until I remembered when I was getting angry at everyone calling MP3 players iPods and regular web served audio recordings as Podcasts.

On a related note, ever notice how each company or organization will use a different term for a Powerpoint Presentation?

Slides
Charts
Foils
etc.

I've seen debates on THAT! One of those things you never notice until someone points it out to you. Then you can never unsee it!

Re:What's with this app horsedookie? (1)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727164)

My problems are doubled - my player, though it does play mp3s, is primarilly used for playing vorbis, so calling it an mp3 player is, to me, almost as wrong as calling it an ipod. This technology business is complicated stuff...

Re:What's with this app horsedookie? (1)

rogabean (741411) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727482)

I can see your point on the fact we call every portable device that stores/play music these days an MP3 player... I can't remember when I last used an MP3 file... then again I don't think I call my iPod an MP3 player... I call it an iPod. On the subject of apps though.. I just assume they mean appetizers. I'm still waiting on my phone to give me those damn mozzarella sticks I asked for.

Re:What's with this app horsedookie? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727048)

Etymologically, yes...but it's used (or at least is supposed to be used) to describe small applications downloadable to phones.

Bullshit. The term was in use before mobile phones even existed.

it pisses me off in the same way it pisses me off when someone says "put it on the floor" when they're standing in the middle of a forest, or call a truck a "car".

It annoys you when people use language wrongly, but insist they're correct?

Pot, let me introduce kettle...

Re:What's with this app horsedookie? (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727136)

I'm getting really tired of that term becoming so ubiquitous.

Don't be such a whiner.

but it's used (or at least is supposed to be used) to describe small applications downloadable to phones

No, it isn't.

Re:What's with this app horsedookie? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33727184)

Etymologically, yes...but it's used (or at least is supposed to be used) to describe small applications downloadable to phones. I noticed it really take hold with Apple's App Store, although its been around longer than that.

There's no written rule saying it can't be used to describe all software, but it pisses me off in the same way it pisses me off when someone says "put it on the floor" when they're standing in the middle of a forest, or call a truck a "car".

It's wrong. It's WROOOONGGGG. /Cartman

No, you've got it totally backwards. App is an abbreviation for Application, and to try to twist it into anything else is stupid marketing-speak.

Re:What's with this app horsedookie? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33727264)

You seem angry about this. You should relax. I'm sure there's an app for that.

Re:What's with this app horsedookie? (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727518)

Etymologically, yes...but it's used (or at least is supposed to be used) to describe small applications downloadable to phones.

Supposed by whom? I've been calling programs "Apps" since the mid-1970s, long before there were mobile phones that you could download software to. Just because you want to change the language doesn't mean anybody else has to follow.

Re:What's with this app horsedookie? (1)

MMInterface (1039102) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727534)

You know, not every bit of software is an app...

Isn't that why it said "and services"? Although...

Etymologically, yes...but it's used (or at least is supposed to be used) to describe small applications downloadable to phones. I noticed it really take hold with Apple's App Store, although its been around longer than that

That usage of the word apps especially "internet apps", web apps etc predates the mobile phone usage. Your reference is just the more recent trend even it if has been used for a while.

Re:What's with this app horsedookie? (2, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 3 years ago | (#33726884)

Yes, and it's been used as a short form of "application" for decades. The fact that Apple has made use of the term has gotten some people to use it conventionally to mean iPhone applications specifically, but I remember people using it to mean "application" long before (e.g. people talking about having a "killer app" [wikipedia.org] ).

Re:What's with this app horsedookie? (0, Flamebait)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727270)

If app had meant, from time immemorial, what Patoot (1027544) claims, there'd have been no need to coin the term applet to describe a mini java program downloaded from a website; the suffix would be redundant.

He's of those arrogant little twerps who speaks English pretty well for a non-native, but vastly underestimates the difference between that and perfection. The icing on the cake is that he always gets a major strop on when you call him on it.

Re:What's with this app horsedookie? (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727620)

Well I'm not sure it's worth getting personal about it.

Re:What's with this app horsedookie? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33726612)

"senior executives" - At a tech company, I assume they *may* have an understanding of the difference between an operating system and an application or a computer and a cpu. Unless they come from the marketing side. In which case I assume they *may* have an understanding of the difference between a computer and a rabbit.

Re:What's with this app horsedookie? (1)

qubezz (520511) | more than 3 years ago | (#33726878)

"senior executives" - they will gladly whore out their network for a buck.

Not every web site provides just content (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#33726690)

You know, not every bit of software is an app...I'm getting really tired of that term becoming so ubiquitous. You would think someone in such a position within a tech-centered company would know this (actually, on second thought...)

I suspect what he means is companies providing web-based SaaS solutions may wish to pay so that data relating to their service is prioritised, making their product faster.

Re:Not every web site provides just content (1)

mbkennel (97636) | more than 3 years ago | (#33726792)

"I suspect what he means is companies providing web-based SaaS solutions may wish to pay so that data relating to their service is prioritised, making their product faster."

Or may """wish"""" to pay so that the data relating to their service doesn't have a sudden increase in ""accidental"" packet drops. Especially after their competitor was rumored to pay the network.

Re:What's with this app horsedookie? (2, Insightful)

Que914 (1042204) | more than 3 years ago | (#33726740)

I don't think that such is accidental, it's marketing. As we all know, there are legitimate reasons to shape traffic, i.e. VOIP is far more sensitive to latency that FTP. By calling everything an application they're hoping to confuse the legitimate traffic shaping described above with the crap that they're describing here. Technocrats aren't likely to fall for it but it will be very useful in confusing those with a vague understanding of the issues.

Re:What's with this app horsedookie? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#33726880)

The other exec used the word "discriminate," which to me seems like the bigger word choice gaffe. Granted, he avoided saying things like raping free speech, fucking over the little guys who can't afford our extortion, whoring your ability to access content out to the biggest spender, or comparing his own company to nazis, but I'd argue he probably didn't want point out that they intent to "discriminate." Seems like a bad PR move.

Credit where credit is due (2, Insightful)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 3 years ago | (#33726554)

At least they're upfront and honest about this. No weasel words, no political doublespeak, just a flat out, "Yep, bigger payoffs, bigger pipes."

Re:Credit where credit is due (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33726650)

You know who else was up front and honest about what he wanted to do? Yeah, that's right.

Re:Credit where credit is due (-1, Flamebait)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33726700)

Your dad?

I mean, you were born, so....

Re:Credit where credit is due (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33726710)

Nixon?

Re:Credit where credit is due (1)

Wocka_Wocka (1895714) | more than 3 years ago | (#33726788)

I know, I know! Hitler!

Re:Credit where credit is due (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33726950)

I thought that Hitler was pretty duplicitous such that most of Germany had no clue about the Holocaust until after the war.

Re:Credit where credit is due (1, Offtopic)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727140)

While the rank and file German population may not have known specifically that the Jews (and others) were being starved/gassed/experimented upon/worked/prostituted/etc. to death and then skinned so that their skin could be made into lampshades and other common objects one might associate with leather goods for the amusement of the SS (yes, that happened, look it up), it strains credulity to think that the German people thought that all the Jews who were being rounded up into trucks were going to some halcyon isle of puppies and rainbows. Ignorance of the specifics does not absolve them of complicity with prima facie wrongdoing.

Re:Credit where credit is due (1)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727318)

or that speech where he said that he had no quarrel with Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, etc.

Also, Godwin!

Re:Credit where credit is due (1)

jimrthy (893116) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727434)

If you go back and read the text of his speeches, he wasn't being very subtle.

I haven't gotten around to reading Mein Kampf yet, but I've been told it's pretty obvious. I think the general excuse is that everyone thought it was just over-the-top hyperbole.

That's why all those people warning about freedom and vigilance just won't shut up. We have to remember, at all times, that it only takes 1 generation for an entire country to degenerate into psychotic madness.

Not exactly. (0)

khasim (1285) | more than 3 years ago | (#33726672)

The pipes are still the same size. They don't say that they're going to use the money to buy more bandwidth overall.

What they're saying is that if Company A pays them, they'll make sure that Company B's users get less of the available bandwidth.

If the size of the pipe doesn't change, in order to "prioritize" something, you have to "de-prioritize" something else.

Re:Not exactly. (4, Insightful)

karnal (22275) | more than 3 years ago | (#33726772)

What they're saying is that if Company A pays them, they'll make sure that Company B's users get less of the available bandwidth.

No, that's not what they're saying. What they're saying is that they'll give Company A's packets "priority" - this would not necessarily have to have any impact over Company B's available bandwidth, until a saturation point is reached.

Re:Not exactly. (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727010)

No, that's not what they're saying. What they're saying is that they'll give Company A's packets "priority" - this would not necessarily have to have any impact over Company B's available bandwidth, until a saturation point is reached.

'Not necessarily' is what we are worried about. How much 'priority' are they willing to sell?

Re:Not exactly. (2, Insightful)

Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727114)

How much are you willing to pay them? There's your answer.

Re:Not exactly. (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727304)

Likely as much as it takes to get basic internet access, which is something that most people use frequently, if not need for many things.

Re:Not exactly. (1)

Drummergeek0 (1513771) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727340)

They are basically saying that the company that pays will have better quality of service. They are saying nothing of hurting those that don't pay. The sites that don't pay get the same service they always have, the companies that do will be treated differently. They may make optimize routes in their equipment, or ensure that in the event of some form of downtime that the paying customers will be brought online first if possible while troubleshooting the overall problem. This does not hurt the internet, and will most likely, help it. Imagine if Hulu and Netflix pay for better QOS, then you can be sure that the video you play from their end will be of higher quality with less problems.

The director of BT said specifically that they would offer QOS above best efforts. Best efforts is what everyone has now, routes are what they are and if there are problems, everyone is brought back at the same time. Anyone not wishing to participate will have the same QOS they always had.

This is no different than a utility company. If a bad storm downs the grid, the first places brought back online are the ones that affect the most people, or, as the power company is concerned, the most money.

Re:Not exactly. (1)

human-cyborg (450395) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727182)

If it didn't have any impact, then what would be the point?

Let's say we have competitive services A and B. Their traffic travels over a connection with 10 units of bandwidth (the actual units are unimportant). For the sake of argument let's say that the services in equal demand, and both use 4 units of bandwidth so the connection is not saturated. If company A pays the telco money, what exactly do they get for their money? They're not going to get more bandwidth, because they could have used more before and their demand has not gone up.

Now let's say that service A and service B would each use, if available, 6 units of bandwidth. With only 10 available, the connection is now saturated. Treated equally, that means they each get 5 units. But then company A pays out money, their traffic gets prioritized, and now runs at 6 units of bandwidth. That only leaves 4 for company B.

If no bottleneck exists, then there's no point in companies paying for priority. If a bottleneck does exist, then someone's gotta lose when someone else gets priority.

So what, exactly, are they selling? (2, Interesting)

khasim (1285) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727252)

What they're saying is that they'll give Company A's packets "priority" - this would not necessarily have to have any impact over Company B's available bandwidth, until a saturation point is reached.

So they sell "priority" to Company A ... but Company A's packets go through with the exact same speed as Company B's packets.

UNDER IDEAL CIRCUMSTANCES THAT IS.

The only way for an ISP to make a profit is to over-sell their bandwidth. If the ISP is profitable, their lines WILL be saturated.

Re:Not exactly. (1)

citylivin (1250770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727272)

If they can degrade non "bribed" sites, they will. I doubt major ISPs are ever heavily saturated, to the point of which if they dont do QOS they would go offline. I have a hard time believing that most ISPs would be so badly managed. Most likely you are paying to have your competitors connection degraded. They might not word it in such a way, but if you read between the lines, that would be the most logical way to do it.

When was the last time your upstream provider ever got saturated? Your connection might, but unless there is some major temporary infrastructure fault (say forcing everyone over a slow link), the ISPS should have more than enough bandwidth. When was the last time you saw a "connection timeout" that wasnt becuase a server was slashdoted or something. Connectivity has been great for the last 10 years.

In short i dont buy your apologizing for the industry in this case. If it was really paying for saturated prioritization, which would be 99% of the time meaningless as links are very rarely saturated, then people wouldn't be so upset about net neutrality. The isps will use it to justify over selling their links and then offer you an "upgrade" to "fix" your favourite sites. Pure bullshit, and thats what they want to do. They want to make the internet like television channels, with paid apps so they can charge for every last connection. They want to charge both the provider and the subscriber.

Re:Not exactly. (1)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727284)

It wouldn't have any impact on B's bandwidth, but it might well have a huge impact on latency!

Re:Not exactly. (1)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727354)

until you reach saturation and that effect starts, surely there's no value in being prioritised.

i.e. no-one is going to pay for this unless they get some result out (better performance than others), so by definition someone else will be getting poorer performance, else there won't be a service to sell.

Re:Not exactly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33727674)

until you reach saturation and that effect starts, surely there's no value in being prioritised.

i.e. no-one is going to pay for this unless they get some result out (better performance than others), so by definition someone else will be getting poorer performance, else there won't be a service to sell.

So what you're saying is that the overhead involved to do the DPI, coupled with the fact that prioritize in this context means degrade everyone else, is going to lead to a better consumer experience?

Brilliant!

You can't fictionalize this shit!

Degraded service, complete with DPI, all for the sake of poor little us!

latency....I pay and everyone who didn't loses (2)

Chirs (87576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727682)

It's not "someone" getting poorer performance, it's everyone who didn't pay. The bottom of the slippery slope is that if you don't pay the extortion money, your packets don't get through at all.

Re:Not exactly. (2, Insightful)

Dalzhim (1588707) | more than 3 years ago | (#33726774)

That's how you make something's price go up. You make sure it remains scarce.

Re:Credit where credit is due (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33726736)

It's always the same ISPs, BT, TalkTalk; Virgin already announced Net Neutrality is bullshit a year or two ago.
They are the same ISPs that flirted with Phorm, and the first to rat on their own customers.

Do yourself a favour and get a real ISP.
Better yet, get yourself a real country with consumer Gigabit symmetric connections and no caps. There are many to choose from, all in Asia.

-- A British ex-pat

Re:Credit where credit is due (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33726858)

Fuck Asia. I lived in Tokyo for 2 years.

Never again.

Re:Credit where credit is due (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33727044)

Tokyo's not in Asia.

-Signed,
The American

Re:Credit where credit is due (0, Offtopic)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727430)

You know, honestly, if I could learn Mandarin and tolerate the deficiency of individual liberty, I would move to Taiwan as soon as possible. The xenophobia of East Asia I can deal with, but I'm kind of attached to the whole 'inalienable rights' thing. I just wish Asia would stop taunting me with all the cute girls, haute cuisine, cheap electronics, fascinating arts and culture... but limited freedom. Motherfucker... I suppose I'm stuck living around Coors-guzzling rednecks where every other radio station is evangelical Christian.

On the bright side, I suppose, if the left ever succeeds in undermining all the freedoms I care about, I won't have anything left to keep me here... too bad I'm already married... so still no cute girls.

Re:Credit where credit is due (1)

capnchicken (664317) | more than 3 years ago | (#33726766)

That only makes it scarier though, they aren't being honest out of some sense of altruism. They are admitting it like they don't think there is anything remotely unethical or wrong about it.

They probably think it would be like a water company building bigger pipes for premium customers so that they can get more water (though you would have to increase the pressure for the whole system).

Rather it would be like redirecting pressure to another customer because they paid a premium, and anyone under that tier would have to sacrifice their water pressure whenever the premium customer's demands are not being met.

Re:Credit where credit is due (1)

MBC1977 (978793) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727244)

Not sure this is flamebait, as it is truth-in-advertising (for once).

And? (3, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33726616)

As a business whose sole existence is to make money and pay their shareholders, is anyone surprised at this? Hell, does any reasonable person expect otherwise? It makes perfect business sense to prioritize websites that pay you. This is why people should not expect businesses to promote net neutrality.

And I'm bloody outraged! (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727088)

And I'm bloody outraged!
One of the purposes of the water/gas/internet providers is to, sure, earn a buck and get paid for their time. I get that. But another reason for their existence is to get me my effin water, gas, or internet. If they failed to do that or the quality was really piss poor, for whatever reason, there would be outrage. I And on a deeper, non-personal level, they are destroying the internet. I'm not one to really cozy up to tradition, and I'm aware that all is transient and change in inevitable, but I'm kind of a fan of this Internet thing. It's one of the very few things that I feel really strongly about, and I'll defend it the best that I can.

Re:And I'm bloody outraged! (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727392)

"and I'll defend it the best that I can."

As everyone knows, the best way to do that is to do absolutely nothing! Or, as the average person believes, it's best to give in to baseless propaganda talking about things that you don't even understand in the slightest while not even bothering to do any research yourself. Net neutrality is just some bad "mumbo jumbo!"

Re:And? (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727150)

As a business whose sole existence is to make money and pay their shareholders, is anyone surprised at this? Hell, does any reasonable person expect otherwise? It makes perfect business sense to prioritize websites that pay you. This is why people should not expect businesses to promote net neutrality.

Not really, no. As a customer of an ISP (i.e. an end user), I'm paying to have my packets transferred across their network. I'm not going to be happy to find that they're prioritizing the traffic of another customer just because that customer is using a service that the ISP prefers to the one I'm using. I download several hundred megabytes of data per day from a specialist streaming data provider. I don't suspect my provider is going to be willing to pay my ISP (in addition to me paying them) to get that data to me, but I do need it to arrive reasonably quickly after it is sent. If my ISP starts playing around with this kind of bullshit, then:

1. I'll be very carefully reading the terms of service for terms like the one in my ISP's terms right now: "[We] attempt to provide [you] with the best possible service" (which is usually followed by a disclaimer that they won't be responsible for failures that are out of their control). If they're prioritizing somebody else's traffic, they're *intentionally* not providing *me* with the best possible service, a breach of this term, meaning I can expect to recover my reasonable costs as a result of this in compensation, which is to say at the very least a partial refund of what I'm paying for the service.

2. I'll be moving ASAP to an ISP that *doesn't* do this.

Re:And? (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727458)

You're missing that this gives them a chance to complete the MAFIAA chain. "Torrents? Who the hell legitimately needs a torrent? That will be $750/Gig, thank you. HTML can go at a Dollar-Per-Megabyte". When you ask to audit then they can wave their hands and call it proprietary.

It's perfectly legal - and I agree (0, Flamebait)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 3 years ago | (#33726624)

The UK's two biggest ISPs have openly admitted they'd give priority to certain internet apps or services if companies paid them to do so

This is what Google does too. A business pays cash to get a chance at being displayed on Google's first page of search results. And nobody raises a finger...right?

Re:It's perfectly legal - and I agree (2)

zorg50 (581726) | more than 3 years ago | (#33726738)

Except that they're completely different services. The only real thing they have in common is that both have something to do with the Internet.

Re:It's perfectly legal - and I agree (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 3 years ago | (#33726814)

Wow - you're saying that being able to even be accessed is the same as being able to display your marketing material somewhere? And let's not kid ourselves - an incumbent with cash to burn will be able to relegate an upstart competitor to the equivalent of a geocities page if this becomes common practice.

As khasim already set, bandwidth in the current set up is largely a zero-sum game. There isn't much headroom into which ISPs can put priority traffic.

Re:It's perfectly legal - and I agree (1)

AltairDusk (1757788) | more than 3 years ago | (#33726824)

Not in the results themselves. They can pay for ads which may appear near the results but are clearly separated from them. Google doesn't sell PageRank.

Re:It's perfectly legal - and I agree (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 3 years ago | (#33726912)

In any case, these businesses get "one nudge ahead" just like those ISP customers that pay. Right?

Re:It's perfectly legal - and I agree (1)

AltairDusk (1757788) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727362)

No, in the case of ISP's this could directly harm the "nudged" companies' competitors by reducing available bandwidth to them. In your example this would be similar to Google letting them buy actual search results that are displayed as such to the user.

Re:It's perfectly legal - and I agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33727550)

No. The ads are separate from the primary search function. If the ads were included as typical search results, then the comparison would be better.

To make it a car app:
Google's ads are like a billboard along the highway. Said billboard takes advantage of traffic, but does not affect traffic patterns. More money gives you better billboard positioning.

These ISPs want to restrict access to the fastlane for only those willing to pay extra, leaving the rest of traffic either unwilling or unable to pay said fee crowded in fewer lanes, which does interfere with traffic patterns.

Re:It's perfectly legal - and I agree (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727312)

This is what Google does too. A business pays cash to get a chance at being displayed on Google's first page of search results. And nobody raises a finger...right?

I'm not paying Google to provide me with search results. They therefore have a right to do whatever the hell they want. I *am* paying my ISP, so they *will* carry my packets, with equal priority to their other customers' packets, or I *will* be terminating my contract and taking my money elsewhere. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels like that.

What about the reverse? (1)

molesdad (1003858) | more than 3 years ago | (#33726704)

And then they could accept payment to block certain "apps" or a least slow them down to crawl.

Re:What about the reverse? (1)

Pop69 (700500) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727040)

That's what they are doing.

For a fixed speed/bandwidth to speed someone elses traffic up the only way to do it when you're at capacity is to slow something else down.

Don't believe anyone who says that they're speeding anything up

Well then... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33726706)

As the owner of a backbone, router, dns, other service, frequented by many of your customers...

Some random guy who hates you paid me to redirect all your customers traffic to tubgirl.

Still think it's a good idea? If money is all it takes to change service and quality for anyone... The net's gonna be stupid and unusable by everyone. Including your own customers.

My website has 9000 partners! (3, Interesting)

Dalzhim (1588707) | more than 3 years ago | (#33726726)

If I want my service to be fast just about anywhere on the web, I guess I'll need to make this kind of deal with >9000 ISPs?
I guess I should do that as an individual as well, I'll pay so that all the traffic with my IP goes on the fast lane to the detriment of other customers in my area.

I can see the company's point. Why improve on the infrastructure of the network when you can get customers to pay an extra to get a better share of the limited connectivity?

Double dipping by the back door (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33726746)

ISP's have long held this rather far fetched belief that both consumers and content providers should be paying to shift data between the two, I'm sure as soon as ISP's got 1 or 2 big players (youtube , facebook etc) they would use it as an excuse to shitlist any non-premium traffic to the extent that you either paid up, or stooped delivering content to that particular ISP's customers and said ISP would throw up it's hands and say "it's not our problem, facebook and youtube are using all our bandwidth and they have paid for priority"

I can see this being an especially attractive prospect considering the looming need for extensive network upgrades as people start to actually make use of their 10+ meg "unlimited" connections for HD content delivery, why upgrade your capacity when you can sell the same bandwidth twice and cut out anyone who's not prepared to pay.

Virgin media has already said it takes a dim view on net neutrality, and most other ISP's are beholden to BT to a greater or lesser extent, truely it is a dark day for British broadband.

Re:Double dipping by the back door (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727236)

most other ISP's are beholden to BT to a greater or lesser extent

AIUI, usually only for the so-called "last mile" (which, on BT's network, averages more like 2 miles), over which there should only be a single customer's traffic, so prioritization shouldn't be an issue at this level.

Transparency and Competition (2, Insightful)

m6ack (922653) | more than 3 years ago | (#33726790)

If the customer cares about Bandwidth to a particular service that is discriminated against, then given the availability of competition the customer will move on. Heck, maybe a particular customer agrees with the discriminatory choices -- in this way, it is a gain and a feature for him. The issue for me is not with network neutrality, it's if companies don't tell you up-front about their practices, and if government allows no competition in the space.

hosted maybe (2, Insightful)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#33726810)

If this ISP hosted the data, sure, that has always been the case, but if this ISP is saying that any data that passes over their wires can get prioritization by paying more, fuck you buddy

the last time this issue came up here (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#33726856)

somebody made the extremely astute comment that to do the kind of thing they are saying they want to do, the ISP would have to slow down everyone else. because there is simply no such thing as speeding up only one website selectively, there is only artificially slowing everyone down (except for those who pay up). this isn't capitalism, this is monopolistic blackmail

everything on a network as TCP/IP currently works is being delivered according to factors that have nothing whatsoever to do with financial input. yes, you can use financial input to build network infrastructure or build more servers, but on an existing pipe, to make financial input a factor, you would need to do artificial things that would add to overhead and cost. you would have to

1. proactively examine the headers,
2. pick out the headers from companies that are paying you,
3. proactively block all other headers

ironically, the effort involved to do this proactive promotion of certain headers is an additional cost on the speed of your network

so in other words, in a world where traffic priority is determined by who pays up, you are artificially hobbling the entire network for the sake of who gets priority in order to make the scheme work, and furthermore, the sheer effort of prioritizing headers hobbles your network even further

its silly

if i were a company and i wanted my traffic to get to internet consumers faster than my competitors, i wouldn't pay the isp to do that. i'd simply build more servers and place them at more nodes. much bigger bang for your buck, and you aren't buying into a bullshit system that creates an artificial rigged marketplace by ruining the elegance of how the internet works best

in the real world, all these ISPs are doing is giving their ISP competitors a selling point: "we're faster, because we don't interfere". the ISPs would have collude against the consumer and the content providers to impose an artificial tax on the internet, that would also slow it down

monopolistic and oligopolistic anti-capitalist schemes are alive and well. we learned nothing from the gilded age of victorian times. bust the assholes up and sue them into oblivion if any of them tries this crap

Re:the last time this issue came up here (3, Insightful)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727052)

Facile BS. Bandwidth is over-allocated, and at some point you need to decide "which packet goes through first, I've got 10 in line". There's no reason not to charge to allow someone to move to the front of the line.

Re:the last time this issue came up here (1)

EdZ (755139) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727152)

There's no reason not to charge to allow someone to move to the front of the line.

Well, apart from destroying the concept of a transparent and reliable packet-switched network, that is.

and the next packet and the next packet (1)

Marrow (195242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727298)

So if your priority clients gets to the front of the line for every packet on this over allocated network, then your unpaying sites are going to start timing out. They are defeated. And then the ISP is going to start lying. The ISP is going to claim that there must be something wrong with the "unpaying site" because otherwise they would have to admit that they shoved the money in their pockets instead of buying more bandwidth.

Re:the last time this issue came up here (1)

iammani (1392285) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727316)

Would it also be fine if someone paid to slow certain packets (and may be even drop certain packets)?

Re:the last time this issue came up here (1)

jimrthy (893116) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727496)

Don't sell more than you can provide.

Re:the last time this issue came up here (4, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727212)

this isn't capitalism, this is monopolistic blackmail

Capitalism tends to monopolistic blackmail, which is why intelligent advocates of economic systems organized for the common good as far back as Adam Smith have argued against allowing economic policy to disproportionately favor the interests of the capital-holding/mercantile class.

Oddly enough, the word "capitalism", originating in the 19th Century and popularized by Marxist writers using it as a label for the 19th Century system in advanced industrial countries that they advocated needed to be replaced is often used in a rather equivocal way to refer to that system, the economic system of modern advanced countries, and the economic systems advocated by classical economic theorists like Smith, as if those all were the same, or even similar, systems; however, its obvious to any sensible observer that those systems are completely different -- the 19th Century system to which the name "capitalism" was first attached was driven by policies of the precise types Smith warned against, and the modern economies sometimes labelled "capitalist" are, virtually without exception, systems which have thrived precisely because they adopted many of the proposals that 19th Century critics of capitalism demanded in the Communist Manifesto.

monopolistic and oligopolistic anti-capitalist schemes are alive and well. we learned nothing from the gilded age of victorian times

The "monopolistic and oligopolistc" schemes of Victorian times are the heart of the system the word "capitalism" was first widely used to describe, and they very much serve the interests of the capitalist class. They are not, in any reasonable sense, "anti-capitalist".

Extortion? (1)

Anomalyx (1731404) | more than 3 years ago | (#33726890)

This is like classic mafia-style "oops insurance". They aren't speeding anything up. It's basically saying "pay us more or your traffic will be slowed down".

Backwards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33726900)

I don't think we'd see Google or other companies paying for their websites to be any faster... they're already pretty much as fast as they're going to get. What would be nice (or the end of the world depending on who you ask) is if users could pay to give their data priority. Think about it, no more lag spikes in the middle of the video game and likely (in theory) cheaper internet access for the people out there that just want email or whatever. And truthfully I already have to pay my ISP more if I want more bandwith (and I do) so where's the harm for paying for faster data too?

Re:Backwards (1)

molesdad (1003858) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727046)

I have a bridge you might be interested in...

We absolutely could see a situation when (4, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727008)

"We absolutely could see a situation when content or app providers may want to pay BT for quality of service above best efforts,"

What's that got to do with it? I could absolutely see a situation when content or app providers may want to pay Assassins to kill their competition. That shouldn't be legal either.

110% ?? (1)

Comboman (895500) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727132)

How exactly do you get "service above best efforts"? Isn't "best" the maximum by definition?

Re:110% ?? (1)

SOOPRcow (1279010) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727338)

Hypnotist: You will give 110 percent. Team: That's impossible no one can give more than 100 percent. By definition that's the most any one can give. 3 Simpsons (Homer at the Bat)

Wait a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33727218)

You expected any different?

Not as bad as in the US (5, Insightful)

AndyS (655) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727220)

Not seen this mentioned yet, but in the UK we have local loop unbundling, otherwise known as line sharing.

This means that any company is permitted to put their own equipment in the exchange and use the last mile as they choose. So in my house I have a choice between about 10-15 ISPs all of whom can have different policies.

I still think that net neutrality is a good thing, but if Google started to slow down, or the IPlayer then most people would simply switch to a new provider - in fact it would be likely that other ISPs would absolutely hammer them in marketing if they started to make other sites (like the iplayer) slower.

Oh goodie! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33727258)

Yet another thing these greedy corporate douchbags can ruin for a quick profit.

Read between the lines, kids (1)

haruchai (17472) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727346)

If they're saying they are willing to do it, bet your bottom dollar they have already done it or are already doing it. And, if they're being public about it, then they want those with the big chequebooks to open their wallets.

Better Than Best (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727426)

"We absolutely could see a situation when content or app providers may want to pay BT for quality of service above best efforts."

What's better than best? Or are they acknowledging that they don't really make a best-effort at present?

Re:Better Than Best (1)

wabbit347 (1453435) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727652)

'Best Efforts' is a Quality of Service marking: usually Priority 1. It doesn't mean do your best at all costs, it just means do your best with the available resources. If a packet is received by a router that's acting on QoS markings that have a priority that's higher (eg Voice @ Priority 5) that should go through first. To use a car analogy; If you pay a premium (or buy a smart card or whatever) you can use special lanes or toll barriers to get onto the freeway faster. If you don't, you're lumped in with everyone else and have to make your best effort to get through the toll barrier. Disclaimer: This is fuzzy and half remembered from a CCNP course I did a couple of years ago. IANANE.

this is why we need a law (3, Informative)

Tom (822) | more than 3 years ago | (#33727672)

This was so obvious, I'm sure even the famous british bookers didn't take any bets on it.

Of course a for-profit ISP will gladly take money to slow down the opposition (there's no such thing as speeding up "selected services" if you assume that they are currently delivering packets as quickly as they can). Who would not love a business model that consists of being the middle man in an exchange where you get money from both sides?

However, most of us here know enough about networking that we realize that no matter what any kind of "priorisation" will come at the expense of everyone else. Even if you don't have saturation, your discrimination protocol is running and taking up router CPU time, adding to the latency, etc.

As someone else pointed out last time we had the topic, "let the market sort it out" is (once again) not a valid solution. You can switch your ISP, but you can't choose what route your packets travel and you have no choice in the backbone providers it may travel through. So there simply is no way to vote with your dollars/euros.

We need a law. One that says in no uncertain terms that network neutrality is the law and if you violate it as an ISP you lose your license to operate. Any less and they will tell their lawyers to go find the loopholes.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...