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Net Pioneers Say Open Internet Should Be Separate

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the digital-segregation dept.

The Internet 216

angry tapir writes "The US Federal Communications Commission should allow for an open Internet separate from specialized services that may prioritize IP traffic, a group of Internet and technology pioneers has recommended. The document, filed in response to an FCC request for public comments on proposed network neutrality rules, steers clear of recommending what rules should apply to the open Internet. Among the tech experts signing the document are Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple; Bruce Perens, founder of the open-source software movement; Clay Shirky, an author and lecturer at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program; and David Reed, a contributor to the development of TCP/IP and an adjunct professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab."

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216 comments

Internet2 was great for academia.. (1)

molo (94384) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168084)

Internet2 was great for academia, but it doesn't help me when my ISP choices are monopolistic, greedy and don't have my best interests at heart.

-molo

Re:Internet2 was great for academia.. (5, Insightful)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168156)

I bet your ISP would LOVE to sell you 2 internet connections, they might even let you 'bundle' them together... Of course, the open one would probably cost more.

Re:Internet2 was great for academia.. (1, Offtopic)

by (1706743) (1706744) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168204)

Well, suppose the power mains to your block had a relatively low capacity. And suppose your neighbor starts growing copious amounts of a "cash crop" which is not exactly legal (analog: illegal torrents), hogging many kWh (dumbest unit ever...) in the process with grow lamps, which means you're constantly experiencing brownouts (analog: sluggish 'net). Would you be in favor of throttling electricity (analog: bandwidth) to said neighbor? What if the power company started throttling electricity to all grow lamps, even those used for legitimate gardening uses (analog: legal torrents)? My (rather shaky) point is that, although your best interests aren't taken to heart, perhaps someone's best interests are.

Onward came the -1 Trolls...

It's NORML to own a grow lamp (1, Offtopic)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168286)

Would marijuana law reform (analog: copyright law reform) figure into the solution? Or would the major drug and synthetic fiber companies (analog: the MPAA which controls the news media [pineight.com] ) continue to lobby so hard against it that it's considered unthinkable [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:It's NORML to own a grow lamp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34168486)

I think with the opposition Prop 19 we saw pretty clearly that the opposition to legalized marijuana is not coming from synthetic fibers, big pharma, or private prisons (if you can cite a single firm from these industries that donated to the no-on-19 campaign, I'd be curious to see). This is not some sort of corporatist conspiracy...it's simply a difference of opinion (one on which I agree with you, personally, though) between young and old, urban and suburban, whites and minorities (despite being horribly wronged by drug prohibition, black and Hispanic voters are horrifyingly OK with the status quo), secular and religious.

Re:It's NORML to own a grow lamp (0, Offtopic)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168568)

Uh, I have no idea if this is still on topic and now my head hurts (analog: the copius amounts of throttling on the internet means that the free internet is signed by some of the big people of the internet and that rthe square root of 81 is 9 and ben and jerry's ice cream is awesome). How close was I?

Re:It's NORML to own a grow lamp (0, Offtopic)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168666)

How close was I?

Purple.

Re:It's NORML to own a grow lamp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34168792)

Purple.

(analog: the Magna Carta)

Re:Internet2 was great for academia.. (1)

molo (94384) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168322)

The only interest ISPs are looking out for is profit of their conglomerates/keiretsu.

-molo

Re:Internet2 was great for academia.. (1)

int69h (60728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168354)

Oh Oh I know the answer to this one. Is it the power companies interests?

Re:Internet2 was great for academia.. (1, Insightful)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168360)

Would you be in favor of throttling electricity (analog: bandwidth) to said neighbor?

No.

What if the power company started throttling electricity to all grow lamps, even those used for legitimate gardening uses (analog: legal torrents)?

HELL no.

My (rather shaky) point is that, although your best interests aren't taken to heart, perhaps someone's best interests are.

Yah - the CEO and shareholders. Is that supposed to make me feel better?

Re:Internet2 was great for academia.. (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168546)

What if the power company started throttling electricity to all ...

Perhaps not grow lamps but they do offer lots of customers "throttled connections" Utilities in most major US cities sell power at discounted rates to customers who will all them to put a remote controlled breaker on things like air conditioners and heat pumps, that allow them to turn these devices off at peak load hours. This "service" is pretty popular; so it would seem the market has spoken and does not want electrical neutrality. Now I don't anyplace where you can't opt out, though.

Re:Internet2 was great for academia.. (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 3 years ago | (#34169076)

That's opt-in, not out, and they are giving the user a benefit in exchange. (Lower costs.) It's not being forced on people who don't want it, with no extra benefit to the consumer.

Re:Internet2 was great for academia.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34168562)

Really? Your house is getting brownouts due to over usage from a neighbor who, although zoned residential, is using light commercial amounts of electricity. And you are OK with this? I would say throttle the guy, fast. I don't want my power impacted. Now, would I like to see more power brought in? Sure. But that is a pricey, long term solution which may take years even if the power company wanted to do it. Permits, road rip up and reconstruction, tower construction, etc. take time.

Re:Internet2 was great for academia.. (5, Insightful)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168472)

No, I propose that the electric company upgrade their infrastructure to handle the capacity.

Of course, this creates problems. What if one guy is running an MRI machine or something that sucks up insane amounts of juice? Obviously the electric company shouldn't be required to upgrade their infrastructure to accommodate that load. So where do we draw the line?

The issue is that we're not talking about one guy on the block "using up all the internet". It's the fact that bandwidth usage is increasing for EVERYONE. Games are distributed electronically, movies are streamed, music is streamed, web pages have more and more content that you can download, etc. This isn't one guy with grow lamps causing a brownout. It's everyone on the block that wants to turn on their lights at reasonable times that's causing the problem. This more closely models internet usage.

Also, there's no talk here of guaranteed electricity or bandwidth. ISPs promise "up to" such and such a limit. This means that they can give you absolutely no service because 0kb/s is still "up to" 30MB/s (or whatever the fuck they advertise). This would be like the electric company promising you "up to" some power and then not giving you enough to even run your lights. If the electric company did this, people would be rioting until it was fixed. (It's happened before)

In either case, the solution is not to implement throttling.

We can debate all day about whether or not the government should regulate the internet, but I think we can all agree that competition would result in better service for everyone. Once some company actually makes good on a plan that contains a real SLA (including minimum speeds and uptime) they'll start raking in money like none other. The problem is that there is no competition. The barrier to entry is huge, and you have large companies like comcast that have monopolies in large areas of the US and lawyers to make sure it stays that way.

Thus, I propose that the government needs to regulate the internet only to the point that it spurs lots of competition. Congress needs to introduce laws that make it easier for new ISPs to start up and limit how much control a single company can have regarding broadband service in any given area. That way, the free market takes over and we can finally get some good fucking internet service.

Re:Internet2 was great for academia.. (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168706)

If he's using commercial amounts of electricity for commercial purposes in a residential zone then he should move or pay fines for zoning violations. He can get his higher-power connection in an area which is already built out for higher-level electricity usage because it's properly zoned for parties with those needs.

Re:Internet2 was great for academia.. (3, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168820)

It isn't illegal to use commercial amounts of electricity in a residential zone in any place in the USA, even if it is for commercial purposes. No zoning laws cover electrical usage. Car traffic, noise, pollution, perhaps, but not electrical use. If you have a 200 amp main (typical) you are invited, yet ENCOURAGED to saturate it with use, as you are charged by the kWh. They will be thrilled you did. Need more transformer? No problem, one is on the way. Have a really old house with only 100 amp mains? They will gladly upgrade you to 200 amp service (or higher), often at little or no charge, excepting you paying your electrician to put in the new main panel. You don't even need to prove you need that much amperage.

So no, Virginia, there is no Electrical Zoning Police in your neighborhood. Use all you want, as long as you can afford it.

The interwebs works pretty much the same way. There is no such thing as "commercial internet zones" or "residential internet zones".

Re:Internet2 was great for academia.. (2, Informative)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168910)

There's no limit to what electricity they can use other than their breaker, but there is certainly a limit on the use of the property for commercial use in most jurisdictions. They need to be in a commercial zone or have a commercial zoning variance. If they need more than their breaker can handle or need additional service built in from the distribution network, they'll have to pay for it. If they're selling flowers, vegetables, or trees in commercial quantities from their residential home, they'll need a zoning change or variance. It's convenient that the commercially zoned property will already have sufficient electrical service in most cases.

Re:Internet2 was great for academia.. (1)

VanGarrett (1269030) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168490)

Your metaphor is valid, but your argument is not. You and your power company have an agreement in place, to the effect that they will supply you with electricity, and you will pay them according to your usage. If the power company's equipment cannot provide you with power adequate for your demands, then it is the power company's responsibility to upgrade their equipment to meet your demands. If your demands are unreasonable, then the power company is well within its rights to deny you service, on the premise that they apparently are not an appropriate supplier for your needs.

You can replace "power company" with "ISP", and "power" and "electricity" with "network bandwidth". The resulting statement remains valid.

Simply enough, if an ISP is unable to provide you with the full bandwidth that they are selling to you, then they need to either upgrade their equipment, or work out an agreement with you, which more accurately reflects what they're capable of providing.

Re:Internet2 was great for academia.. (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168656)

Actually, power distribution is a MUCH more highly regulated industry than IP telecommunications even though both have received roughly equivalent percentages of their infrastructure from government subsidies and both largely owe their defacto monopoly/duopoly status to government granted positions. I don't think your local public utilities commission is going to be very friendly to a power company that won't upgrade a substation that's browning out and yet that same commission feels it's fine for the telecomm companies to throttle/cap connections rather than upgrading their backhaul lines or worse yet charge third parties to provide reliable service that just happens to compete with their large media position.

Re:Internet2 was great for academia.. (3, Funny)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168512)

Kwh is not the dumbest unit ever. Edison started selling electricity in Horsepower/hours.

Re:Internet2 was great for academia.. (1)

by (1706743) (1706744) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168894)

<pedantic alert>Horsepower/hours doesn't have dimensions of energy -- I think you want Horsepower-hours (multiplication, not division).</pedantic alert>

Re:Internet2 was great for academia.. (2, Informative)

NoSig (1919688) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168670)

The problem here would be your power company who promised both you and the guy next door to provide more electricity than the power company is capable of providing.

Re:Internet2 was great for academia.. (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168778)

No I wouldn't. The power company is selling both of us 20kWh connections. If he uses all of his 20kWh and it leads to brownouts at my house, that means the power company hasn't actually delivered the product I and my neighbor are paying for. The ISPs would like to blaim the problem on customers who are abusing the system. But the fact of the matter is that the number of people actually torrenting to the point that they cap out their connection is very very small. If the few people that actually do max out their connections can affect everyone else in their neighborhood, that's not because they are doing something wrong, it's because the equipment the ISP has deployed is oversold, not just a little bit, but by massive amounts. I also work for an ISP and I can tell you that it's common in the industry to sell to customers 10meg connections that are connected to equipment that is only fed by a 3 or 4 T1s. Those customers will NEVER get 10meg speed. Even if they are the only customer on the remote. It's just not possible. Your ISP is lying to you. Your ISP is over charging you. It is completely impossible for any single customer, or group of customers to do anything that would slow down your connection short of a DOS attack on your IP address, or possibly some of the routers you hit on your way out to the www. I don't like government regulation, but it should be set into law that an ISP must be able to provide 100% of the speed sold to at least 60% of it's customers on any given remote at any given time. This used to be an industry standard, but greed as all but eliminated it. Now we have 50+ customers all with 3-10meg connections on the same equipment fed by a 6 meg connection. That's criminal. and far worse than torrenting. It's outright stealing.

Re:Internet2 was great for academia.. (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34169104)

No I wouldn't. The power company is selling both of us 20kWh connections. If he uses all of his 20kWh and it leads to brownouts at my house, that means the power company hasn't actually delivered the product I and my neighbor are paying for.

KWh is a measure of energy consumption (1 KwH = 3,600,000 joules), not energy transmission capacity. A residential setting would usually have a 100, 200 or (rarely) 400 ampere service. The 400 ampere service would be 96 kilowatts, not 96 kilowatt-hours.

Incidentally, there are times when the grid can't handle the load for whatever reason. Different regions deal with this differently. California handles it with rolling blackouts. My state handles it by allowing the voltage to drop (brownout) instead of cutting off portions of the grid. Either way, your ability to consume unlimited amounts of power is effectively throttled, even if you are willing to pay for the privilege.

Re:Internet2 was great for academia.. (1)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 3 years ago | (#34169146)

kWh (dumbest unit ever...)

What's wrong with kWh? Would you prefer coulomb-volts, therms, equivalent-snickers-bars-worth-of-calories, or what?

Re:Internet2 was great for academia.. (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168318)

No, I don't think they mean there should be a new separate Internet that is neutral.

What I think they're saying is that advertised speed and bandwidth for "internet service" must be the minimum allowed for any Internet site. If you then want to offer voip or video on demand services that use more bandwidth, fine, but those should be segregated so you can't advertize the speed those access as the speed of your "internet" offering.

In other words, the Internet should be neutral, and content delivery networks should be considered separate even if they use internet protocols.

Re:Internet2 was great for academia.. (2, Insightful)

molo (94384) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168376)

Why should video or VoIP be treated differently? How do you differentiate voip UDP from video game UDP? No deep packet inspection, please. Packets are packets and bits are bits. Just deliver them without regard to content. Is that too much to ask?

-molo

Re:Internet2 was great for academia.. (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168698)

I think he's talking about services like DOCSIS-VoIP where a separate carrier is allocated for that additional service or like UVerse where there is a certain amount of bandwidth going from the pole to the house and the amount available for pure IP service is dependent on the other services being used at the time (IE that 40Mbps connection might have a 50% QoS setting for IPTV where the pure IP portion of the circuit gets half the speed if multiple HD streams are being watched).

Re:Internet2 was great for academia.. (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168758)

Actually, yes, it can be. Some prioritization has to happen when bandwidth is limited. I don't want the ISPs recording my voice traffic, but I also don't want my neighbor's torrent traffic causing unnecessary jitter or lag in my phone call. Some analysis can be done without deep packet inspection. We do it all the time where I work. Our application proxy firewalls observe enough of the traffic to know what it is and how to handle it before streaming the rest through. It's a little more complicated than that, but that's the gist of it. It's possible to look at traffic just deep enough to know how to qualify it without getting at the entire payload.

Re:Internet2 was great for academia.. (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168878)

I think I figured out what we need. We need a stated *minimum* internet speed.

example. You pay for a 60mbps i-net connection, but obviously no ISP could actually handle every user sucking down 60mbps. This is an "up to" speed. What we also need is a listed minimum speed.

So, lets say your 60mbps connection has a minimum listed speed of 8mbps.

OK, now what? Now we need some form of QoS, even as simple as High and Normal. Lets say you can assign QoS on your local network. I assign My video games to be high priority. Now, up to that 8mbit, is all mine. So, if I start playing video games and some other user is downloading bit-torrent, his first 8mbit will be all his, but packets past the 8mbit will be lower priority than my first 8mbit.

I still get my low pings, and other users still get their high bandwidth. My "high" priority data can only get processed before someone else's data if the packet in question is past their allotted minimum speed.

My ISP has power boost and it already does something very similar to this. Powerboost allows me to use any "free" network bandwidth. I have a 16mbps connection, but it will burst up to 38mbps(max speed for my non-bonded connection) if network usage is low. People on my ISP with bonded cable channels are reporting their 16mbps connection bursts upwards of 120mbit during non-peak hours.

But in the case of my above, local LAN QoS will make sure that the packets I want will get in that first 8mbps of my guaranteed connection, while the rest of the lower priority packets will get shoved into the "what ever is free" portion.

Most latency sensitive applications are fairly low bandwidth, so it's not like you'd need a high minimum bandwidth.

Because of the way networks work, this would only be useful if the client and the cable modem had some sort of QoS. You need a way to distinguish which packets are part of that 8mbit, and the only real way is to have QoS so those packets get to the front of the
line in the modem's buffer.

I would assume there would still be a decent amount of jitter, but the overall average latency would be lower for data in that minimum speed.

halp (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168090)

Am i supposed to be happy about this or not?

Re:halp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34168114)

We'll let you know shortly.

Re:halp (1)

FrYGuY101 (770432) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168196)

To me, it sounds like "separate, but equal".

That didn't work out that well, either.

Re:halp (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168826)

Agreed. I often post about replacing the Internet's physical infrastructure with a community-run network, I think it's the only long-term solution. Corporate control is the immediate threat, but government control is the long-term threat, both only have incentives to destroy the free Internet, none to protect it. Neither of these groups can be allowed to have control.

Re:halp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34168856)

To me, it sounds like "separate, but equal".
That didn't work out that well, either.

That has been working out fine for a long time. In the US, most public bathrooms are and most university housing is gender-segregated.

After reading TFA (3, Informative)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168106)

I can honestly say I don't understand it. But it does sound like something that I end up paying for. Santax is Dutch and hates paying.

Re:After reading TFA (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168262)

I would pay for it if I could. Will Comcast offer it? No? How about AT&T? No? Well, I am out of options... And I have one more than many.

We already did the closed/locked off thing... (3, Insightful)

Chas (5144) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168130)

And exactly how are people on these "prioritized" networks supposed to reach the "open" Internet?

Oh yeah. Through their prioritized network's traffic-prioritized peering point.

I summon Picard. Patron Saint of the Facepalm.

The answer to not liking those who apply such a technical response to a financial situation is NOT always "make another one that's separate and free". Sometimes it is "remove the financial incentive" for those that do.

Re:We already did the closed/locked off thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34168158)

You don't connect the two! It'll be the new wild internet frontier, with hookers and blackjack.

Re:We already did the closed/locked off thing... (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168174)

Forget the hookers and blackjack and just give me the internet.

Re:We already did the closed/locked off thing... (2, Funny)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168226)

Forget the hookers and blackjack and just give me the internet.

I thought hookers and blackjack ARE the internet! You mean it does more?

Seperate != Equal (1)

Gr33nJ3ll0 (1367543) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168202)

How does this stop the "open internet" from becoming a second rate citizen?

Re:Seperate != Equal (1)

Bobakitoo (1814374) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168466)

The "close internet" become the second rate citizen. Where its only purpose is for corporation to push product to the consumers in a centralized maner. Interactive television, the dream of the media monopolists of this world.

In fact this is perfect, let the spam/ads/junk be on the "safe" corporate Internet and give me back my 1990 Internet as the "open" version.

Re:Seperate != Equal (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168744)

So we could have the Internet which is free, open, and indiscriminate about the data it carries, and then we could have... say... cable and Internet TV that doesn't carry Internet traffic and doesn't interfere with it, either? Great idea! Now, if only we had companies that specialized in providing Internet access that didn't have conflicting interests like delivering their own brand of VOIP and TV... We could even call them Internet Service Providers or ISPS for short. They could focus on providing Internet service and be protected from predation by VOIP and TV peddlers.

Fence Sitting (4, Insightful)

Swanktastic (109747) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168222)

These guys are all smart and should have known better than to hedge to this degree. They have written a lot but not provided any value with their enormous brainpower.

Besides, if you split the internet into two pipes, one neutral and one non-neutral, you kill net neutrality because you can prioritize the non-neutral bit over the neutral bit. In other words, you can't be a little bit pregnant.

   

Re:Fence Sitting (2, Interesting)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168292)

The non-neutral Internet should be ipv6 only and preferably over fibre. Old ipv4 Internet should remain as is.

Re:Fence Sitting (1)

anti-human 1 (911677) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168498)

Why? Why stay with ipv4 on internet Classic? So we can have NAT?

Or, is it just because you're used to it?

Re:Fence Sitting (3, Funny)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168484)

That's a lie sir. My niece called me today and assured me 'we' are a little pregnant. So it is possible.

Re:Fence Sitting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34168616)

So you got your niece pregnant? Is that legal in your state?

Re:Fence Sitting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34169084)

Where I come from, being a little bit pregnant is the colloquial term for having an abortion.

Re:Fence Sitting (4, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 3 years ago | (#34169176)

It's a matter of getting all of the various parties on the signature list. Some of them are polar opposites. As one of the signers, I should note that politics is often the art of getting along with people you don't really approve of.

Wait a second (2, Interesting)

Lanteran (1883836) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168232)

is this making any sense to anyone? The entire internet should be open, we net neutrality lovers shouldn't be relegated to our own little corner. I for one, won't stand by while the internet is turned into the next radio or TV. Some other things: how will one access this 'second' internet anyway? and won't we just have a repeat after the ISPs notice how much bandwidth we're hogging? How long until we have to have a 3rd 4th and 5th internet? What if ISPs block access to the open internet to save money? IMO this idea is fundamentally flawed.

Re:Wait a second (1)

nlawalker (804108) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168876)

I'm going to have to ask you to step back into the Free Speech Zone before making any more comments like that.

Segregation doesn't work (2, Interesting)

rsborg (111459) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168268)

When one part has the money and the other part is where the "poor" or "undesireables" go, this is not going to end well.

We had a chance in the past few years to make internet access a protected right and utility, much like access to power or water... but we failed and now it's going to kill the internet.

Rent-seeking predatory corporation are already licking their chops at all the potential "synergy" and "monetization" they can make of the soon-to-be-gone public commons. Once there is blood in the water, it will be a feeding frenzy for all these local monopolies.

Bruce Perens, founder of the open-source software (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34168276)

Bruce Perens, founder of the open-source software movement? Are you kidding me??

Re:Bruce Perens, founder of the open-source softwa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34168418)

I love that! "Star Wars was George Romeros finest movie" hehehehe....

Re:Bruce Perens, founder of the open-source softwa (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168542)

Bruce Perens, founder of the open-source software movement?

Are you kidding me??

Yeah, you know, "Open Source", the movement started in the late 90s, defined in terms that make it a superset of all the various licenses that allow access to and adaptation of the source code? Bruce Perens was one of the founders of the Open Source Initiative and the primary author of the OSI's definition of Open Source Software. That Open Source movement.

Much as "Open Source" isn't the same thing as software libre or "Free Software" in the FSF sense, so too are the founders of the "Open Source" software movement not necessarily the same as those of the software libre movement or similar movements, or the authors of the software in question.

Re:Bruce Perens, founder of the open-source softwa (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168668)

Erm, well, by that definition, I would consider Eric S. Raymond, rather than Bruce Perens, as the founder of the open source movement. After all, he coined the term "open source" and was the first person to "codify" its methods (i.e.;, CaTB)

Re:Bruce Perens, founder of the open-source softwa (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168690)

I think AC still doesn't understand what "Open Source" really means.

Re:Bruce Perens, founder of the open-source softwa (2, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 3 years ago | (#34169194)

Actually, I signed it "co-founder". And I have a video of me acknowledging Richard Stallman, at the U.N. no less, so don't fault me on that. I say that we're standing on his shoulders, and Richard, no kidding, grabs his shoulders and covers them!

AOL has already been done. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34168302)

And it was awful. Why invent it again?

Re:AOL has already been done. (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168768)

Actually, didn't Telex exist years before AOL? And then Compuserv and Prodigy before AOL, too?

No good answers (3, Insightful)

Caerdwyn (829058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168366)

Who pays for a separate "open" Internet?

  • Major ISPs/backbone providers (forced to partition bandwidth on their private networks)? No, they don't. YOU do. These are for-profit companies, and when their expenses go up, your costs go up. If a percentage of their networks are, in effect, nationalized, they will certainly raise their rates to compensate for the losses associated with this seizure.
  • Major ISP/backbone providers (forced to build the "open" internet in parallel)? No, they don't. YOU do. Again, these companies aren't charity and aren't public property. Being forced to build something that is their own competition means they raise their rates to compensate, and again, this is a form of property seizure.
  • A new not-for-profit national company? YOU do. Through regulatory fees, etc... assuming it passes Constitutional muster. It might not. In any event, just how many tens or hundreds of billions of dollars would it cost to duplicate the current Internet infrastructure's capacity, then maintain and grow it? This isn't chump-change. This is hundreds to thousands of dollars per person.
  • The government? No, they don't. YOU do. Through taxes and tarriffs and fees and other bad words (see above for the scale involved). Plus, if the government owns it, you bloody well know they will content-filter it (no porn, access to ammunition-sellers, or websites of uncontrolled news media, grassroots voter-activism sites, etc.), record everything you do and give it to the DHS, have regulatory requirements for "security software" (meaning scour-your-disks-and-record-your-keystrokes software( installed on any machine accessing this "public resource", and turn it off at times of national emergency (cyber-attacks, terrorist incidents, presidential and senatorial electorial victory for third-party candidates).

Idealism is great until you realize that someone has to pay for it, and that someone is always, without exception, YOU. And there's that annoying Fourth Amendment, and case law that would get in the way. Remember, if the government can muster the power to seize a major industry over ideological reasons, what defense would smaller companies (including yours, for all values of "you") have with the takeover of the commercial Internet as precedent? Ideologies come and go, but powers of regulation and seizure only linger and grow.

Don't feed the regulation-monster. Don't feed the confiscation-monster. It only makes them stronger.

There are problems that have to be solved, but there are no functional answers which don't involve imposing expenses on other people or allowing the government far, far more powers over Internet content and monitoring than it already has. It's quite possible that, warts and problems and all, what we have right now may be the least of evils. Please keep an open mind to that possibility.

...oh, wait. Slashdot. Never mind!

Re:No good answers (1)

int69h (60728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168434)

I'm going with C. Regulations that prevent ISPs from double dipping and let the only Internet remain open.

Re:No good answers (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168746)

Uhhh... "C" would be a not-for-profit national company.

Did you even read the post?

Besides, if ISPs can't double dip, they'll just get a bigger dipper. That was mostly the point of the GP's entire comment.

Any time you increase their costs, you increase your own costs across the board. The inverse, however, is not true when there is little competition in the market, because there is no incentive to drop the rates when your expenses drop.

Re:No good answers (1)

int69h (60728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34169080)

The point was there is no need for a second Internet. All that's needed is regulation preventing prioritizing traffic by strong arming content providers. The content providers already pay for their bandwith, I already pay for mine. Why should the providers have to pay twice for "preferred" speeds. If you think that ISPs are going to expand their backbones to provide that priority rather than penalize those who don't pay for protection err priority, I've got a bridge for sale.

Re:No good answers (4, Insightful)

NapalmV (1934294) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168476)

Idealism is great until you realize that someone has to pay for it, and that someone is always, without exception, YOU.

Sure. My local library is paid from my taxes and has a nice assortment of books and I can discuss with them what they carry or not. They don't bundle advertising and spam with the goods either. Would I want a commercial for profit library instead of it? Hell no. Just imagine what it would be about. Oh wait. We have "adult video rental" shops already.

Re:No good answers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34168540)

So, you'd like a serving of free Internets? You asshat. What's wrong with paying for it? The alternative is paying corporations to screw you over (in favor of someone paying more). The stalemate won't last. Now, if you're worried about your government, do something about it - isn't there something about using your precious guns to overthrow them evildoers (democratically elected, needless to say)? You know what? Why don't your crown yourself as the king of the Cheap Arsed USA? The CAUSA. King AssHat and His magic bullet solution - avoid all giving away of the Precious green paper.

Re:No good answers (4, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168796)

The problem is we ALREADY paid for it, and now they want to seize it and bundle it with a nice bow and hand it to their shareholders. We paid for it in direct taxes, we paid for it in subsidized rates, and we paid for it by allowing a telecommunications duopoly to develop. We have a natural monopoly/duopoly situation going on and we have two valid options as I see it, we can either have the government run the infrastructure and allow all comers to provide open service on a competitive basis or we can have tightly regulated monopolists. Going down your distopian path to corporatism run amok will only lead to America becoming a technology backwater gheto where corporations only service the most profitable customers and spend as little as humanly possible to maintain their existing subsidized infrastructure while maximizing shareholder profits and CEO bonuses until things get so broken that they get another multi hundred billion dollar handout from the government.

Obsolescence? (1)

n00btastic (1489741) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168408)

This sounds like an easy way to avoid the Net Neutrality debate and move the internet as we see it ever closer to obsolescence.

I call BS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34168432)

From the linked article, quoting the paper itself.
'The open Internet would not require network management "unless the congestion was caused by less capacity being available than the provider offers to subscribers," the Internet pioneers' paper said. "It would only be made necessary by the fact that the capacity represented as available by the providers is not available in fact."'

This reads to me like a freemium service; not an open and neutral internet existing alongside a managed, paid network, but instead a free service that would get stomped on if and when paying users' promised dedicated bandwidth / resources exceeded those available.

Shame on those high-profile personalities who signed this document. This is NOT a solution. This is taking it up the tucus.

Don't allow them to advertise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34168494)

The simplest solution is to not allow the companies to advertise their services as connecting to the internet, or world wide web. If they can't say they can access it, people will be hesitant to purchase their service unless they make it otherwise desirable.

The internet is a party line (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168516)

Maybe they can offer private lines like our telephones.. The wire is already there.

Re:The internet is a party line (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34168576)

The internet is NOT a party line.

And what do you mean by private lines? Lines to what? The internet (ie/ what we already have)? Each other (ie/ tunneled connections across insecure lines)?

Wish-wash (1)

zeroRenegade (1475839) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168524)

With all due respect to the 32 internet rock stars, it is fairly clear from TFA that these guys all remember when Keith Richards was young.

It sounds like they are selling out to the lobbyists that kiss their asses. Everything seems a bit too self contradictory.

A better question is "when did we ever think that the internet would/should/could be open and fair?"

Back to the core of the Internet (1)

Targon (17348) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168624)

When the Internet first started, you had a backbone that was paid for by government dollars(tax money), and back in those days, it was easy to be able to advocate for that backbone to be covered by net neutrality rules. As the Internet became more commercial, it became more and more difficult for the government to be able to set rules for the overall Internet. What we have today is the result, where the old government sponsored backbone is only used by a tiny fraction of the overall user base, and setting net neutrality rules would not make much sense at this point since telling a private company what they can or can not do on their own network is against the very nature of private enterprise.

If the government were to really push for a massive backbone for the PUBLIC Internet, and put lots of money behind it, then rules could be applied to THAT backbone, leaving QoS issues to each private ISP that connects to it, but without much overall ability to impact service levels. The government could also set up NAPs at various places around the Internet where any ISP could connect to it free of charge(paying only for the line connecting them to the NAP) as a way to bypass any discrimination by private ISPs. The old MAE-east and MAE-west used to be some of the primary places for ISPs to connect to each other, but the Internet has grown and evolved, and with the old NAPs being privately owned and operated, you couldn't count on Net Neutrality rules working today.

Again, setting Net Neutrality for any privately owned and operated part of the Internet should be seen as the government pushing to control a private business without having been a primary financial source to fund that business. As a result, if the government has not paid to take a majority stake in a business, then the government should not have the right to demand ANYTHING, except for help in upholding the law in select cases, such as stopping kiddie porn, and even then, it is difficult to justify that an ISP MUST monitor traffic to identify illegal activity. Again, government forcing the private sector to spend money/resources for some new dictate just goes against the idea of government not watching everything private citizens are doing.

Re:Back to the core of the Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34168730)

jskdljcoaisco

Re:Back to the core of the Internet (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168806)

You mean that privately owned fiber built out by tax-backed grants and government-enforced monopolies? That's what you think means the private companies deserve to continually screw the public? How about at least forcing these companies to advertise exactly what they offer rather than an "unlimited up to 20 Mbps connection" which turns out to be a 90 kbps connection with 6 Mbps bursts and a cap which means you can actually only use 40 kbps over the course of the month?

Re:Back to the core of the Internet (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 3 years ago | (#34169102)

Don't forget that fiber is almost always either on government land, or land of some other private enterprise/person. That the government let the private companies use.

Re:Back to the core of the Internet (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34169148)

They let them use those easements without compensating the landowners, too, considering the utilities would be providing their services to the people at much lower cost if they didn't need to buy or rent the easements. It's actually cheaper in some cases now to provide your own last mile if you can find someone to peer you to the Internet. So much for big monopolies giving you better network effects and lower costs than standardization and open access.

Re:Back to the core of the Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34168922)

And don't stop with the telecoms -- the government should never regulate big business at all! Even operating within relaxed regulatory environments, upstanding corporations such as Enron and Lehman Brothers still failed! If only corporations could operate completely without hindrance, failures and market inefficiencies could truly be eliminated and the country would prosper like never before and we'll have true freedom in our lifetimes!

Also, isn't it great being 12 years old?

Are they giving up? (1)

ironjaw33 (1645357) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168704)

This sounds like a major concession by some of the pro net neutrality leaders. They shouldn't be suggesting this at all. By proposing a separate, open internet, they have pretty much given ISPs exactly what they want. What's worse, the average content provider won't know or won't care and will shovel out cash to enter the newly created walled garden, leaving the open internet to rot.

Re:Are they giving up? (1)

hawkingradiation (1526209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34169226)

I think it is a calculated giving up. They know that the money is behind prioritizing traffic and zoning off the Internet and then charging extra to get through each neck along the way. The way I see it, is that this is a brilliant move if accepted by those in power. Prioritized network = one where everybody's connection is slowed to determine who goes less slower. open network = no preference over traffic and as fast as hardware allows. Now if we merge the two what do we get? A chance for someone to connect to the open one which will clearly be superior since it will cost less (meaning it will not be charged more and provide more bang for the dollar). Once people see the benefits or rather the downsides of a closed network, their will be an incentive to use the open Internet. The only concern I have is: who will pay for it? Will the "closed" network having more money upgrade their services although backward and slow so that the "open" Internet cannot compete? I still think the FCC has to get involved and specify that common lines to all should adhere to the principles of Net Neutrality. Anyways looking at it this way gets those "let the market decide" and "creationists should be given equal opportunity" types eat their own words since after all having two is a choice that consumers will have to make.

Separate is fine... over shared lines. (1)

KonoWatakushi (910213) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168718)

Unless there is an impartial third party whose sole charter is to resell access to the lines, there is no such thing as separate. It is a fine idea, but it completely ignores reality.

What we need to do, is exactly what Australia is doing; appropriate Verizon's fiber, and build out a national fiber network, to be shared by all ISPs and content providers with the desire to compete. (Sure, they paid Telstra, but the billions upon billions in subsidies here should more than cover it.)

Given a fair and competitive market, let Comcast/TWC and their ilk wall off their own little sections of fail. Without it though, any attempt at "separate" will completely ruin the Internet.

separate and successful (1)

Aggrav8d (683620) | more than 3 years ago | (#34168766)

This sounds like a great plan. Everybody knows how successful HAM radio and public television have been.

+1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34168858)

I agree completely. if people want a closed internet they can fuck off and start a second one. we've already got an open one, keep that closed shit off my tubes
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