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Senators Bash ISP and Push Extensive Net Neutrality

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the there-good-enough-and-smart-enough dept.

Censorship 427

eldavojohn writes "Remember when Verizon sued the FCC over net neutrality rules? Well, Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Al Franken (D-MN) see it a bit differently and have authored a new working bill titled 'Internet Freedom, Broadband Promotion, and Consumer Protection Act of 2011 (PDF).' The bill lays out some stark clarity on what is meant by Net Neutrality by outright banning ISPs from doing many things including '(6) charge[ing] a content, application, or service provider for access to the broadband Internet access service providers' end users based on differing levels of quality of service or prioritized delivery of Internet protocol packets; (7) prioritiz[ing] among or between content, applications, and services, or among or between different types of content, applications, and services unless the end user requests to have such prioritization... (9) refus[ing] to interconnect on just and reasonable terms and conditions.' And that doesn't count for packets sent over just the internet connections but also wireless, radio, cell phone or pigeon carrier. Franken has constantly reiterated that this is the free speech issue of our time and Cantwell said, 'If we let telecom oligarchs control access to the Internet, consumers will lose. The actions that the FCC and Congress take now will set the ground rules for competition on the broadband Internet, impacting innovation, investment, and jobs for years to come. My bill returns the broadband cop back to the beat, and creates the same set of obligations regardless of how consumers get their broadband.'"

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427 comments

Won't someone think of the oligarchs! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35011598)

Won't someone think of the oligarchs!

Franken 2012! (5, Insightful)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011600)

Please, Al, please run!

Re:Franken 2012! (0)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011886)

Please don't...

Re:Franken 2012! (4, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011984)

the man actually reads the bills that come in front of him, and he's actually honest about why he makes a vote.

we don't get that out of other republicans and democrats, almost universally. they just toe the party vote and/or remain as anonymous [techdirt.com] (and opaque) [techdirt.com] as possible.

I'd like to see him up top (pres), but I think he needs time to build some reputable people with him. aka folks who don't whore themselves out to the most expensive lobbyist/corporation.

Re:Franken 2012! (0)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012054)

the man actually reads the bills that come in front of him, and he's actually honest about why he makes a vote.

He read the Healthcare bill before voting for it last year?

Somehow, I think not...

Re:Franken 2012! (0)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012116)

He read the title and trusted who wrote it since the people who wrote it had the matching letter next to their name (D)

Re:Franken 2012! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35012174)

This is why I am glad he's my senator (I'm in Minnesota.) He has a great reputation here. He reminds me a lot of Wellstone.

Pigeon Carrier (4, Funny)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011634)

Speaking for the pigeons, we approve. We don't want to sniff or otherwise inspect your packets. We just want to deliver them and get our feed.

Re:Pigeon Carrier (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35011716)

I love how Slashdot's layout just changes without notice. Awesome.

Now it looks like it was created by the Internet Explorer design team. Lots of bluish color, plus an interpretation of "smooth and pretty" that only a corporate marketdroid could come up with. All it needs now are a couple of arrow buttons.

One thing that's getting old... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35011640)

If we let telecom oligarchs control access to the Internet, consumers will lose.

No offense intended, but could they refer to us as citizens instead of consumers? Or is this revenge for staying home last election?

Re:One thing that's getting old... (2, Informative)

Raistlin77 (754120) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011708)

"Citizen" is not synonymous with "consumer", and in this context, "consumer" is the most appropriate term.

Re:One thing that's getting old... (5, Insightful)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011820)

IMO, the annoying part is ever being called a "consumer."

It reduces my existence down to the one-dimensional act of consuming. Makes me feel like some sort of herd animal grazing on whatever slop the farmer is throwing in front of my face.

Granted, there is utility in only focusing on one dimension when that's the one being, ahem, focused on. For example, IT calls the individuals who operate computers "users."

But from an economic standpoint, it is dangerous to reduce people to consumers, because it locks you into thinking that that is their actual purpose for existence. We see this a lot now: that consumption = good, and any diminution in consumption is somehow bad.

Words are powerful, and "consumer" is not a positive word.

Re:One thing that's getting old... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35011900)

I take it by your omission of a better term that you simply don't have one. Would you prefer us to be called "users"? I wouldn't, because "user" doesn't convey the fact that I pay for the service that I am using. If we were referred to as simply "users", it would be much easier to ignore the fact that we are raked over the coals daily by ISPs.

Re:One thing that's getting old... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35011998)

"user" doesn't convey the fact that I pay for the service that I am using

I think you're confusing "consumer" with "customer". All you have do do to be a consumer is to consume stuff.

Re:One thing that's getting old... (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011940)

It reduces my existence down to the one-dimensional act of consuming.

Son, welcome to what's known in these parts as "free market capitalism" where you have two functions: to work for as little as possible and to consume as much as possible.

When corporations have the same constitutional rights as you, the term "citizen" really doesn't have much meaning anymore. "Consumer" is nothing but accurate.

Re:One thing that's getting old... (0)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012140)

When the Libertarians win, that will be amended to slave.

Re:One thing that's getting old... (2)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011970)

My mom was a nurse at the county hospital in San Antonio. In the 90's the a lot of verbiage changed including calling people admitted to the hospital from customers instead of patients.

She felt the same as you regarding that term..

Re:One thing that's getting old... (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011988)

I spend a lot more time fucking than consuming. I demand to be called a fucker!

Re:One thing that's getting old... (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012016)

I LOVE your post.
- I like to call myself a "saver" rather than a consumer. Sure I have certain needs like food and shelter, but I'd estimate 70% of my income goes directly to the bank for long-term savings. My goal is to have enough money I could retire at 40 if I felt like it. (Like Benj. Franklin did.)

Re:One thing that's getting old... (1)

TheReij (1641099) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011720)

Once B&L takes over, you won't mind the wording as much.

If you are a subscriber, you're a consumer.

Re:One thing that's getting old... (1)

jsnipy (913480) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011730)

"consumers" points out the relationship to the ISP

Re:One thing that's getting old... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35011748)

Heaven forbid they offend their undocumented constituents who would also be protected.

Re:One thing that's getting old... (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011960)

.Heaven forbid they offend their undocumented constituents who would also be protected.

You mean the foreign corporations?

Finally! (2)

packslash (788926) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011654)

About time. In before free market advocates spout about how ISP monopolies will self regulate if left alone!

Re:Finally! (1)

mrxak (727974) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011882)

At least I hope my VOIP call to 911 gets priority over somebody's torrent.

Re:Finally! (2, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011982)

At least I hope my VOIP call to 911 gets priority over somebody's torrent.

Maybe that's not what VOIP is for.

Re:Finally! (1)

Doug Neal (195160) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012142)

Why not though? Shouldn't a packet-switched voice service (eventually) have the same quality and reliability guarantees as circuit-switched? It's a step backwards otherwise.

Re:Finally! (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012112)

Don't know how it works in the US actually but over here in Europe things like emergency calls and communications vital to national security and such tend to always have priority. So you could just make a law that says you can't mess with the flow of traffic unless it is necessary in order to ensure that emergency calls get through (with proper legalese wording of course).

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35011916)

No, monopolies don't self regulate except in their own interests. It's one of the reasons that few, if any, free market proponents support monopolies.

They would, in a free market (1)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012072)

But the US is not a free market. It's a big corporation market. It's more Adam Smith than the old Soviet Union, but only barely. I dare say that in many ways, Red China is more Adam Smith than the US, but only because they are growing so fast they don't have time to implement the bureaucracies necessary to slow it down.

Franken may be a little crazy, but not on this (4, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011670)

Franken is one of those comedians who, with age, has gotten less and less funny and more and more nutball. Most of them are SNL alum too, which must say something about the mental toll of being on that show. Dennis Miller and Janeane Garofalo, I'm looking in your direction.

But on this and the Comcast/NBC merger, the guy is dead on. Who better to appreciate the depths of evil at NBC than a SNL alum, after all?

Re:Franken may be a little crazy, but not on this (5, Insightful)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011770)

I don't see it (Franken, at least). His books are the thing that switched my political reality. And they are funny. There's nothing nutball about his political stances--nothing along the nutball levels of a Glen Beck or Michele Bachmann, at least.

Miller and Garofalo were never funny to begin with, so the argument they are no longer funny is invalid ;-)

Re:Franken may be a little crazy, but not on this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35011874)

Maybe you should try opening your eyes?

Re:Franken may be a little crazy, but not on this (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012114)

Maybe you should try opening your eyes?

Man, you really told that dude. Put him in his place.

Nothing wins an argument like "You should try opening your eyes." It's like, BLAM! TKO!

I'm going to have to remember that one. "You should try opening your eyes for a change." It's sort of like, "...because your stupid, that's why!" Except "You should try opening your eyes" has more class. There is just no comeback for "You should try opening your eyes."

Re:Franken may be a little crazy, but not on this (-1, Troll)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011964)

>>>nutball levels of a Glen Beck or Michele Bachmann

What, precisely, do you find more "nutballish" about Beck and Michelle then Franken? Michelle seems like a decent politicians to me (along the lines of Ron Paul), and Beck's show is most prerecorded video of various Elite persons *in their own words* admitting they want a revolution. Or to raise gas taxes. Or to impose carbon taxes ("electricity prices will necessarily skyrocket").

So please, enlighten me and others, what makes Beck/Michelle worse than Franken? In your opinion but backed with facts? Thanks.

Re:Franken may be a little crazy, but not on this (1)

magamiako1 (1026318) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012038)

The very fact that Glenn Beck airs such crazy outbursts of "other people" shows his tacit support of such things. They are being the messenger to get the message heard.

We should not be hearing these messages. Messages invoking violence, murder, or the stupidity of calling out Obama's birth origin.

If Al Franken is a crazy son of a bitch, the message he's trying to get across is the one I agree with. So if it takes a crazy son of a bitch to get that message across, by all means, Mr. Franken, go nuts.

Re:Franken may be a little crazy, but not on this (2)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011894)

Wouldn't a better solution be to break-up the ISP Monopolies, just as we broke-up the AT&T Phone monopoly during the 1980s?

Trying to impose net neutrality is a good idea, but doesn't solve the CORE problem: Lack of choice for customers. They are treating the symptom rather than the root disease.

Re:Franken may be a little crazy, but not on this (2)

magamiako1 (1026318) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012078)

Breaking up AT&T didn't do much of anything these days since most of the companies have gone back to being merged.

The best bet to network neutrality is either institute line sharing rules, or the US government fund the mass expansion of fiber lines which ISPs can then compete for consumers over those lines.

Unfortunately, the latter would require a ridiculous amount of tax dollars, get libertarian panties twisted in a bunch, and would never pass. The former would be hard enough to get through Congress.

Re:Franken may be a little crazy, but not on this (1)

PotatoFarmer (1250696) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012224)

Your choice of ISP doesn't affect the ISP of the site you're attempting to reach, or the various other hunks of network infrastructure you need to pass over to get to that site.

Lack of customer choice is a core problem that needs to be addressed, I agree. But it isn't the only problem.

Re:Franken may be a little crazy, but not on this (2)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011944)

What exactly about him do you find "nutball"ish?

Re:Franken may be a little crazy, but not on this (2)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012036)

I think he's mainly talking about the way that O'Reily goes absolutely apeshipt about Al Franken. It's common knowlege that O'Reily only goes apeshit over nutballs, therefore Franken must be a nutball.

Also Franken has poor taste in ties. It's absolutely unacceptable for a Senator to wear ugly ties.

Re:Franken may be a little crazy, but not on this (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012064)

Franken is one of those comedians who

Franken hasn't billed himself as a "comedian" in well over a decade. Unlike the very unfunny Dennis Miller, who still tries to do standup, mostly in front of audiences who know him from his right-wing radio show. For them, showing up at Miller's shows is more of a tribal identifier than comedy consumption.

For the most part, Franken was always more of a writer than a performer and anyway, he left the comedy business a good while ago, though you could say the U.S. Senate is pretty comical.

First (1)

design1066 (1081505) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011676)

of all. We need more like this!

IFBPCPA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35011718)

It'll never become law, the acronym sucks.

They need an acronym that sounds EAGLE or FREEDOM or something suitably jingoistic.

Not sure about that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35011764)

Many of the democratic lawmakers like to paint ISPs as if they were villains out to screw us as much as possible. The truth is, ISPs need happy customers, or else they will lose them to other ISPs. If an ISP begins to tier their service, and the customers don't like it, they are looking to lose a lot of money. Money talks, and the best way to get your way is with money (hence why you see so many politicians get bribed). It's not always fair, but it's the way life is. We as the collective consumer should vote with our wallets. We will get a better result in the end.

not this tired old argument again (4, Insightful)

codegen (103601) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011862)

Your point requires that the consumer has choice. In many areas, there is only one or (sometimes two high) speed providers. You have to have the alternate choice before you can vote with your wallet.

Re:Not sure about that (1)

SighKoPath (956085) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011878)

The truth is, ISPs need happy customers, or else they will lose them to other ISPs.

Uhh, which other ISPs would they lose the customers to? Very few communities have any sort of choice when it comes to broadband. So the wallet-voting you're proposing is for everyone to go without any sort of broadband access? Good luck with that.

Re:Not sure about that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35012030)

The truth is, ISPs need happy customers, or else they will lose them to other ISPs.

And yet ISPs seem to forget this every day. You are clearly not a Comcast customer.

If an ISP begins to tier their service, and the customers don't like it, they are looking to lose a lot of money. Money talks, and the best way to get your way is with money (hence why you see so many politicians get bribed).

Yeah, because when Comcast screws me, I can just switch to... oh right, the only other game in town for me is AT&T DSL, and I've been down that road already.

It's not always fair, but it's the way life is. We as the collective consumer should vote with our wallets. We will get a better result in the end.

The problem is, we are NOT collective consumers. If we all equally had the same choices of ISPs, then we might have a chance at forcing one of more of them to play fair. The fact is, we DON'T equally have the same choices of ISPs. And I dunno about your wallet, but mine is not bursting at the seems. Voting with my wallet will not get me very far.

Re:Not sure about that (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012186)

Many of the democratic lawmakers like to paint ISPs as if they were villains out to screw us as much as possible.

Wait, you think we all had to wait for the Democrats to tell us that AT&T and Comcast were "villains out to screw us as much as possible"? Have you ever read any of the contracts or end-user agreements from them? Being "out to screw you as much as possible" is in their corporate charter for chrissake.

It's their business model.

I voted against Franken last time (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35011788)

I didn't think Franken sounded any better than Coleman in the last election and voted for the devil I knew.

I must say that I have been shocked to see his name so often attached to great ideas (actual NN, ending ACTA secrecy, etc.). I will definitely be sending my vote his way next time around; I think he is one of the few senators with people's rights actually guiding him.

US = World (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35011796)

The problem is that all telcos are waiting US decision to very soon spread those policies around the world. Will be very difficult to revert once they have control over all internet information. Besides, there is a deeper problem illustrated by two Brazilian episodes: 1) YouTube was blocked to the whole country due a decision involving a celebrity sex video (really). 2) Telcos already advertise promotions like "free social network access", not to mention dozen of lawsuits against Orkut for cloned profile, etc.

Putting all together: As soon as telcos start to dictate internet's tone, will be much easier for governments to implement restrictions without consulting people's right or even the content/service provider.

Let's hope not!!

Getting what you paid for (4, Insightful)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011802)

The key is that everyone should get what they pay for. If I pay for 768kbps, then I should get at least 768kbps. If google wants to pay extra, then I'm ok with google gettting to me at 2mbps, but not with google paying my ISP so that yahoo only comes to me at 250kbps.

I should get what I pay for.
Google should get what they pay for.
Party X should not be able to pay for party Y to get less than what has been paid for.

Re:Getting what you paid for (0)

Ichijo (607641) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011880)

What if you don't care about Yahoo and just want a discount on your connection? Net Neutrality will prevent that, forcing you to pay full price.

Re:Getting what you paid for (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35011930)

Uh. Because it takes more effort and costs more for the ISP to block Yahoo specifically for your connection than it does to just let you have access to the entire internet all the time? Your question is, frankly, a very stupid question if you know how the internet works.

Re:Getting what you paid for (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35011934)

Then buy a slower connection speed.

Re:Getting what you paid for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35011974)

So? I still get a ton of TV channels I never have or never will watch, but I don't get a discount for telling Comcast, Dish, etc that I don't want these 5 channels in this package. They'll say "too bad, your other option is to go with the package that only has X channels" which wouldn't include the ones I *DO* watch

Re:Getting what you paid for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35012022)

I guess you missed this part:

"prioritiz[ing] among or between content, applications, and services, or among or between different types of content, applications, and services unless the end user requests to have such prioritization... "

It's pretty clear that they don't intend to prevent you from opting for a managed discount connection if it's what you want.

Re:Getting what you paid for (0)

jimmerz28 (1928616) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012120)

Net Neutrality is about not limiting content: not volume.

Please don't perpetuate stupidity.

Re:Getting what you paid for (4, Insightful)

Sprouticus (1503545) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012124)

If paying full price is the cost of preventing large corps from dominating the internet landscape, Im all for it.

in the end, it is about presenting a level playing field of all participants. There may be some inefficiency in this model, but that cost is more than made up for in choice and innovation.

"up to" means "at least"? (4, Insightful)

George_Ou (849225) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011920)

So you're saying that "up to" means "at least"? Do you not realize that broadband bits cost 20-40 times less than commercial bandwidth, precisely because it's shared 20-40 times? Now you want the government to change the service level of a shared circuit to that of a dedicated circuit? Any idea what this does to prices? Any idea how you'd actually achieve this, since it's impossible to build a core network that can handle all the concurrent data that the end points can throw at it?

Re:"up to" means "at least"? (2)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012154)

IT's a truth in advertising thing. If my ISP is actually selling me a 76Kbps connection that bursts to 768Kbps, make them sell it that way. (Low number first and foremost)

The ISPs should have to spell out exactly what they are selling and what it costs. Selling much, much more than you can deliver is bait and switch.

Today 1mbps is fine for light browsing, but if the local ISP sells that to everyone, then youtube adds HD video, and everyone tried to watch it at the same time, they're going to be glitches.

DSL is being advertised in some markets as being better than the higher speed cable because you're supposed to get that bandwidth all the time, unlike cable that's shared with your neighbors.

Re:"up to" means "at least"? (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012162)

If they cannot deliver it, then they shouldn't advertise it. It's not complicated.

Re:Getting what you paid for (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012088)

One thing this bill overlooks is the Website charging money.
- For example ESPN360.com and Disneyconnection.com block all ISPs except those that pay an extra fee, which of course raises customers' bills. I don't want to see my bills raised for these dumbass sites, just as I don't want to be forced to take ESPN or Bravo with my cable tv subscription. One of the great benefits of internet is A La Carte - the customer decides whether or not to pay the subscription (i.e. gives $1/month to playboy.com). That choice should never been taken away.

Re:Getting what you paid for (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012176)

The other side of that argument is that group discounts is good for both the provider and consumer. A large reliable income for the provider and an overall reduced price for the customer....assuming the consumer uses the service.

I liken it to heath insurance. Much cheaper in groups, but the healthier people lose out because they pay for the unhealthy.

I'm just offering another view... screw ESPN360, my ISP has it to...

Re:Getting what you paid for (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012232)

Very good analysis of the fundamental principle at stake. Said that way, it is very clear that the purpose of Net Neutrality is to defend the free market from those who would bias it, not to inhibit the free market. That is exactly the sort of illumination that ought to send the anti-free-market rats scurrying.

Thank you.

If I may offer one slight modification:

"Party X should not be able to pay party Y to cause party Z to get less than what party Z paid for."

That makes the core anti-free-market agenda a bit more clear to me.

Does someone in Congress actually get it? (1)

mschaffer (97223) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011816)

OMG. I cannot believe that a few members of Congress actually get it. Way to go Franken and Cantwell!!!
I guess we will see what happens.

Re:Does someone in Congress actually get it? (1)

specialguy92 (1974828) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011986)

Makes me proud to have voted for Cantwell. This is in stark contrast to most of the people I vote for who run on platforms of freedom and, upon election, vote for the patriot act and increased TSA presence.

Re:Does someone in Congress actually get it? (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012020)

Only a professional comedian could do it.

The goal of a comedian is to take the stupidity of life and hold it up in full view.

The purpose of the medieval jesters wasn't just to entertain, it was also to get the king's advisers thinking in different ways.

Franken is the common man (5, Insightful)

trollertron3000 (1940942) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011822)

Jesus H Christ, why is a former comedian the smartest politician we have? It's embarrassing that this guy has to come to Washington to kick some sense into them just because our elite educational institutions have been pumping out the smartest dumb fucks on the planet for years.

Re:Franken is the common man (5, Insightful)

phoebus1553 (522577) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011966)

Jesus H Christ, why is a former comedian the smartest politician we have? It's embarrassing that this guy has to come to Washington to kick some sense into them just because our elite educational institutions have been pumping out the smartest dumb fucks on the planet for years.

Is it really? Usually the best way to get the pulse of the public is to see what comedians are joking about. They can rip people a new arsehole from behind the guise of comedy, and nobody really gives a crap. Now if $yourFavoriteTalkingHead does the same thing, they in turn get ripped a new arsehole by $theOpposingViewTalkingHead and it goes into a shouting match on the Today Show.

I'm all for level headed comedian policy makers. I would have moved across the river to Minnesota to vote for Frankin, I had to watch all his ads anyway ;)

Re:Franken is the common man (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012042)

I am not remotely surprised that a comedian could cut through the bullshit that career politicians can't. If fact, it's exactly what I would expect.

Re:Franken is the common man (0)

Caerdwyn (829058) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012128)

Jesus H Christ, why is a former comedian the smartest politician we have?

For the record "agree with" != "smart". We need to get over that. This attitude of "anyone who doesn't agree with me is stupid" is what Balkanizes a country. Learn that people who do not agree with you can do so for intelligent, well-researched, valid reasons. There are excellent arguments both for and against net neutrality, gun control, socialized medicine, capitalism, and just about any other issue.

Re:Franken is the common man (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012150)

Jesus H Christ, why is a former comedian the smartest politician we have?

He's not the smartest, his interests just align with the common man rather than the corporate elite.

Might have something to do with the fact that he isn't a former lawyer/CXX/Trustafarian.

Questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35011824)

So, does this make it illegal to give priority to VOIP packets? Wouldn't this kill VOIP?
So will this eliminate caps, and thus make my connection to an important site vulnerable to my neighbors whim to download a big binary?

Re:Questions (2)

theArtificial (613980) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011956)

I shouldn't feed you but it's listed in the summary.

(7) prioritiz[ing] among or between content, applications, and services, or among or between different types of content, applications, and services unless the end user requests to have such prioritization..

(emphasis added). It's about time something like this happened.

Re:Questions (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012010)

I'm not sure about the legality of prioritizing VoIP traffic under these rules, but if it's illegal to prioritize VoIP traffic, it's not really a problem. VoIP currently works just fine with no prioritization, and that's before you adjust your router's QoS rules.

In fact I'd say it would be better to make traffic prioritization by type illegal to shut the door on any potential future loopholes ("Comcast gives ComCastVPN packets higher priority than all other traffic! Get your ComCastVPN router today! Standard, Gold and Platinum models available! *ComCastVPN traffic only supported to participating sites").

QoS (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011842)

I think QoS could add some amount of value, but I think it needs to be carefully.

I have an idea of how QoS might be implemented in a "fair" manner.

I Win7, I know you can assign QoS to an App or data stream. Let an ISP have 3 different priorities.

1) High priority would be a guaranteed bandwidth that a customer gets. An example of this might be I have a 2Mb up on my connection. I might only have 192Kb of "dedicated" bandwidth because ISPs over subscribes. I can assign on my machine to flag a packet to have high priority, but it is limited to 192Kb but those packets will get higher priority on the ISP's network than a packet of normal or low priority.

2) Normal priority would be the default. A simple first come first server just like on a normal dumb switched network.

3) Idle/Low priority would be that all other traffic would go ahead of this. This would allow P2P to use all idle bandwidth but not hurt the network during peak hours.

These 3 priorities would be ISP valid only. Back bone links could use priorities, but only recognize normal and Idle. This would allow for P2P to not flood internet bottlenecks during peak hours, but still allow the internet backbone to be neutral.

How this would help is ISPs/service providers could reduce costs or make free on any bandwidth that is flagged for idle. This would encourage users to actually set P2P traffic to be idle/low priority.

This would all be opt in as the OS/app would flag the packets. Assigning high priority to every stream would be discouraged by the limited bandwidth allotted to high priority traffic, but still allow the customer to enjoy low ping/jitter for VoIP/games/etc. Idle priority would be encouraged via perks like idle traffic not counting towards monthly caps/etc.

Re:QoS (0)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012068)

It's really pretty straightforward. I'd love that my ISP prioritized VoIP over Bittorrent, even if it's my Bittorrent. Even streaming video (high-bandwidth, low-latency) should come first.

The problem is decidedly not QoS. The problem is QoS not being applied fairly. If Comcast VoIP works better on Comcast cable lines than Vonage, there's a somewhat-excusable problem - they should be equally shaped upwards - but Comcast's servers are probably fewer hops away, leading to always-lower latency.

Comcast VoIP working better isn't the problem. It probably will, due to the hops thing above. This is the same reason Akamaized web content works better, and shouldn't be disallowed. But when Comcast slows Vonage for profit reasons, we have a problem. When Comcast wants to charge Netflix, we have a problem. When Bittorrent is slowed at 3AM (with no congestion), we have a problem.

Regulation should be constructed to ban for-profit traffic degradation. In other words, the technical decisions of how to shape traffic shouldn't be driven by "we can make more money by slowing this down", but rather "we can make VoIP work really well, at the latency expense of downloads, and nobody will mind - so people will subscribe and we'll make more money".

There is probably a better way to formulate this, but I think people - even here on Slashdot - miss this point of network neutrality. Hopefully this is a better explanation (and hopefully I'm right about what net neutrality is...)

P.S: I'd like to make the Internet a utility, so this stuff wouldn't really happen. How often do you hear about some houses getting crappy electricity in order to appease the (high-paying) steel mill?

Re:QoS (1)

amentajo (1199437) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012146)

So, why would Joe User use a BitTorrent client that makes downloads go slower on purpose (i.e., flags packets as "idle" instead of "normal")?

Re:QoS (1)

amentajo (1199437) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012192)

Disregard, I didn't read the last sentence of your post.

If the government is so concerned re: oligarchies (5, Interesting)

ErikTheRed (162431) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011856)

...then why do they pass laws and ordinances mandating their existence? If you don't believe me, try starting your own phone or cable company sometime.

I love it when government passes laws adding new regulations to solve problems created by government rather than just fixing their initial mistakes. The closest we got to to sanity was the AT&T breakup by the Judicial branch, but the legislative and executive branches were bought off sufficiently bought to more or less undo all of the good done there.

Everyone wants something for free. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35011858)

People don't seem to understand that the people that own the pipes control the pipes. Don't like it? Switch to a different ISP. Let cash talk and bull$h!t walk. Regulation is not the answer. The free market is the answer. Christ, I can just imagine the government dictating to Henry Ford that his model T must go X miles per hour and he needs to sell it at Y price. What has happened to this country?

Re:Everyone wants something for free. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35012092)

This would make perfect sense if there were multiple pipes to choose from. Step away from the soapbox and survey the infrastructure that's *actually* available.

Re:Everyone wants something for free. (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012228)

This was what was done with Telcos as part of common carrier status. If it makes sense for your fucking phone, why the fuck doesn't it make sense for the Internet, which, for the most part, runs on the same goddamn networks as your fucking phone.

Bring on the censors! (-1, Troll)

newton62 (56617) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011868)

When the FCC starts censoring content, you'll be sorry.

Re:Bring on the censors! (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012214)

When the FCC starts censoring content, you'll be sorry.

WTF? How does proposing a specific law that prevents ISPs from interfering with free speech lead you to lame slippery slope fallacy assertion that the FCC will be censoring content?

And a million naked nerds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35011904)

And a million naked nerds dance on the streets in a hedonistic frenzy of untanned, oily flesh. By holy science, politicians are FINALLY starting to learn...

Mobile Service Providers (1)

metalmaster (1005171) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011910)

We need an extension so this hits them too.It wont be long before VZW has a Unlimited Slashdot service* *This service entitles you to to read unlimited idle.slashdot.org stories. All other content from this website will be charged $0.20 per story

In other offtopic news... (1)

eexaa (1252378) | more than 2 years ago | (#35011996)

...the new slashdot censorship icon just isn't cool. Censored guy looks like having no emotions or so.

And well, I wanna see how this process will look like in Europe.

Re:In other offtopic news... (1)

ajaxlex (658555) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012126)

Hear Hear - please bring back the original icons - they were much better because of their 'oddness' - these ones are ultimately sterile.

Great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35012000)

I can't wait until ISPs can't de-prioritize or drop TCP SYN floods and can't QoS VOIP or Future-Technology-X until it passes through congress. Great... Fucking... Idea...

Manufacturing does NOT fuel jobs (1)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012014)

Or rather, manufacturing doesn't fuel jobs any more than any other job fuels jobs. What idiots usually mean when they say this is that manufacturing makes things people can hold, actual physical products, but that has nothing to with anything. People buy what they want. Whether they spend $10 on a movie ticket or a toaster or cell phone minutes, they still spend $10. Someone else gets that $10, spends it on resources used to sell the service or product that was bought.

I am soooo tired of this malarkey.

Re:Manufacturing does NOT fuel jobs (1)

Schadrach (1042952) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012230)

Manufacturing does in a way fuel jobs, in that it produces new goods that bring in money external to the local economy. You can't support an economy composed entirely of service personnel unless there's a great outside desire for the service (read: tourist traps, Vegas, and the like). The money incoming from manufacturing however has a greater tendency to come in from outside the local environment, and money flowing into an area rather than circulating around it creates demand for additional services and with them service industry jobs.

I like the bill but it needs some work (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012094)

The underlying problem is that a certain level of proritization IS network management.

You actually want to be able prioritize across different classes of services to make the most effective use of available bandwidth in cases where there may just not be enough to go around.

Bulk items such as file downloads can tolerate infinite amounts of delay and or jitter without noticably effecting service. However known delay intorlerant applications such as an RTP streams (VoIP) or UDP based realtime multiplayer games while not consume the large volumes of data that a large download of a file or netflix video would are extremely sensitive to delay.

There needs to be some formulation of what network management means in terms of proritization of services for legitimate reasons (Improvement of overall balance of quality of service for everyone)

A youtube video can tolerate large amounts of jitter and delay but a realtime video conference can not without being severly effected. Operators with limited bandwidth who are not allowed to differentiate between these classes of service will result in unecessary degregation of service for all in cases where network resources are limited.

The venn diagram including circles for network management and restriction of service differentiation needs more text to make the intent and acceptable overlap clearer.

Re:I like the bill but it needs some work (1)

magamiako1 (1026318) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012164)

In an ideal world, this would be the case. But unfortunately we cannot trust the people in charge to ensure that they are doing nothing more nefarious.

Furthermore, what I consider to be priority should be different than what you consider priority. In a classic "Me" vs. "You", why should your VOIP/Skype traffic get any more priority than my WoW traffic? But that's what it would come down.

Many services these days are pushing the bounds of latency and fighting for the priority.

The problem is that the companies want to throw money around to make all of this happen. They want to charge you for the "voip" package. Or charge me for the "gaming" package. Then charge companies such as Activision Blizzard for "priority access to their customers".

I'm a "customer" dammit (1)

Migraineman (632203) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012172)

Stop calling me a "consumer." I'm a customer, and I don't appreciate being treated like a wallet with legs.

One suggestion (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012190)

The bill lays out some stark clarity on what is meant by Net Neutrality by outright banning ISPs from doing many things including...(7) prioritiz[ing] among or between content, applications, and services, or among or between different types of content, applications, and services unless the end user requests to have such prioritization.

Hopefully the bill will specify that's an opt-in request, not an opt-out.

.

nice screw up on the dept (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35012196)

"there-good-enough-and-smart-enough dept"

Apparently the /. editors are not. Must have spent too much time studying HTML + CSS and not enough English.

This is why Slashdot needs to have a special HERO (1)

TrentTheThief (118302) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012212)

Finally, someone in an elected office who understands what net neutrality mean to us.

In order to free the internet.. (1)

HiMorons (1951132) | more than 2 years ago | (#35012216)

We must control the internet..
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