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European ISPs Ask ITU To Limit Net Neutrality

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the have-some-cable-tee-vee-instead dept.

EU 120

judgecorp writes "The UN telecoms body, ITU, is busy writing new regulations for international telecoms — and European service providers, through their body ETNO have urged ITU to enshrine a two-tier Internet by defining a right for service providers to charge more for end-to-end quality of service, as opposed to best efforts connection. The two-tier Internet is opposed by Net Neutrality advocates, and has been outlawed in the Netherlands."

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120 comments

Bell heads vs net heads. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40292139)

End to end quality==phone network. Best effort==internet.

Re:Bell heads vs net heads. (4, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | about 2 years ago | (#40292169)

No, guaranteed end-to-end quality is a private trunk line from point to point. This is basically not useful for general communication except in very rare situations. I can't imagine anyone sane being willing to pay for it unless the service providers deliberately add jitter or otherwise attempt to disrupt typical use of normal connections to force the issue, which is why the ITU should absolutely not recommend such an ill-advised concept.

Re:Bell heads vs net heads. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40292283)

So high-speed traders aren't sane? I've heard they're not ethical, and that we're not sane for allowing it, but never that they're insane...

Re:Bell heads vs net heads. (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 2 years ago | (#40292749)

That's a rare situation. Most folks don't buy a special trunk to the exchange, because most people don't have those sorts of requirements. Other reasonable examples of private trunk lines include companies setting up video feeds for later broadcast, big companies setting up high-speed multi-city intranet systems, etc. None of these are the typical things that most companies or individuals would do, however.

Either way, by "I can't imagine anyone sane being willing to pay for it", the "it" didn't refer to private trunk lines. It referred to a private trunk line for general communication purposes. Sorry for the weak/unclear antecedent.

Re:Bell heads vs net heads. (3, Insightful)

Dwonis (52652) | about 2 years ago | (#40292295)

The ITU shouldn't even be involved. X.500, ASN.1, OSI, and the rest of their ilk are proof enough that telco organizations are simply not capable of engineering good networks.

Re:Bell heads vs net heads. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40293669)

and your valuable input is based on what?

Not that I want to question anything but I just wonder how skewed the vision of some people can be. Of course telecom organisations are for profit so they want to charge as much as possible. They also have to fulfill certain criteria (some evenvery reasonable) that law makers put as requirement on them. Some of them is reliability. For years now I have ISP provided phone service. All IP, SIP what not and the interruptions are indeed rare once in 4 or 6 months. Yet I do not remember that frequent interruptions previously when networks were still using some TDM based solutions. In fact I hardly had any. It may of course be that the quality of service is something that is provided by Euopean service companies as a matter of principle because they are forced to do that by law. I guess US is not in the same league because it cannot and it does not have anybody that could require any consistency from their telcos. I guess maybe it is time to realize that there limits to what free market can arrange itself and where it needs some regulation. Maybe European law is not perfect there but at least we have utilities worth their name. At least up north.

Re:Bell heads vs net heads. (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 2 years ago | (#40293189)

No, guaranteed end-to-end quality is a private trunk line from point to point.

There are protocols that offer guaranteed Quality of service, without dedicating all the bandwidth. If not all of the bandwidth is used, other applications can use the spare capacity. This is something that can be provided relatively inexpensively, to varying levels.

Preventing an ISP adding jitter to force people into using this would be hard, but Net Neutrality is an absolute ban on the protocols and that seems overkill.

Re:Bell heads vs net heads. (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#40293369)

They wouldn't deliberatly add jitter - that would be legally problematic, and very embarassing if the policy were leaked. More likely would be a semi-official policy of 'deliberate incompetence' - under-investing in network upgrades, deliberatly continuing to use obsolete hardware long-overdue for replacement, not bothering to properly optimise the network. From a business perspective it makes perfect sense - when using price differentiation it is important not to make your low-margin, low-value product too good, otherwise it'll start to eat into the sales of your higher-margin offering.

Re:Bell heads vs net heads. (1)

Qzukk (229616) | about 2 years ago | (#40295299)

They wouldn't deliberatly add jitter - that would be legally problematic, and very embarassing if the policy were leaked.

Sort of like how everyone quit using Comcast after it was discovered they were using Sandvine to interfere with Lotus 123 users?

Re:Bell heads vs net heads. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40293613)

It doesn't have to be guaranteed from end to end. I'd be happy to pay an additional few dollars a month for an ISP which, along with its backbone companies would recognize QOS flags so I could priorities VoIP traffic beyond my local network.

I can't for the life of me see why ISPs should be prohibited from selling such a service.

Re:Bell heads vs net heads. (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about 2 years ago | (#40294047)

End to end quality

Ever get an "all circuits are busy" message? Just different granularity during congestion. Instead of per packet, it's per connection.

TWO WORDS. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40292145)

FUCK & YOU.

Whole world is corrupt. I swear.

Re:TWO WORDS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40292375)

Not corrupt. Just blood hounds looking for "revenue streams", trying to "monetize" everything. Squeeze "mo' money" out of Netflix, Youtube, etc. In the old days these would be a bunch of mobsters. Now they're businessmen (not the 'fatherly neighborhood businessman' kind), but one-percenters.

Re:TWO WORDS. (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | about 2 years ago | (#40293925)

Not corrupt. Just blood hounds looking for "revenue streams", trying to "monetize" everything.

Yup, but anything other than this is a bit too close to communism or socialism for a great many people so we are stuck with it.

Squeeze "mo' money" out of Netflix, Youtube, etc. In the old days these would be a bunch of mobsters. Now they're businessmen (not the 'fatherly neighborhood businessman' kind), but one-percenters.

"If you look after the pennies the pounds will look after themselves".

Re:TWO WORDS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40294789)

Yup, but anything other than this is a bit too close to communism or socialism for a great many people so we are stuck with it.

That seems a bit short-sighted.

Where communism/socialism redistributes wealth to the population at large, unrestricted capitalism ultimately redistributes wealth to the few at the top. The inevitable direction to this continuing trend is towards a revival of feudalism, where your average person is paid only enough to survive and lives only by the good graces of their "betters". Whether it becomes an oppressive feudal society or turns into a bloody revolution at some point before that is still in the air, but neither option is a particularly palatable one. From a long-view, it is better to get over our pathological fear of socialist programs and use some moderate application of them to preserve a happy balance before we slip too far down that slope.

Screw them (1)

longk (2637033) | about 2 years ago | (#40292161)

Screw those telco's. It's time us slashdotter get of our lazy ass and create that peer-to-peer wifi/radio system.

Re:Screw them (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 2 years ago | (#40292237)

Yeah do that and you will see just how quickly it will become outlawed.

Re:Screw them (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40292723)

APRS [wikipedia.org] is here for years and not banned. No reason to suppose an analogous system with more bandwidth would be problematic...

Of course, the catch is no encryption for amateur radio, which is the only place you can create a nationwide mesh network (Part 15 just doesn't have any suitable frequency bands that aren't already cluttered to hell and back.)

Re:Screw them (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | about 2 years ago | (#40292901)

APRS [wikipedia.org] is here for years and not banned.

Let's say we build a network over these frequencies. You can then watch AT&T, Comcast and all the others complain to the congress for "unfair competition". Your frequencies will all belong to them very quickly, rest assured of that fact.

That is, unless you can lobby congress more than they can. No? I thought so.

Re:Screw them (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#40293823)

Indeed. How many stories have we seen where a municipality requested one of the big cable/comm cherry-picking companies set up operations in their area and were denied? You know the rest of the story: The municipality would go about setting up their own network and the commercial companies would file suits against the municipalities citing unfair competition and other things. The business world is crazy in that they certainly want their cake and to eat it too.

So yeah, the very moment someone sets up free shop in a territory business didn't care to invest in, they will complain and pay politicians to do something about it. We've seen it before.

Re:Screw them (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | about 2 years ago | (#40294039)

That is, unless you can lobby congress more than they can. No? I thought so.

Actually, the amateur lobby is pretty strong. To wit, hams have a nontrivial (but small) amount of some pretty desirable chunks of bandwidth all across the spectrum. Not to mention there's the whole disaster response thing - nobody else matches it. Furthermore, much of that spectrum is internationally allocated - it would be difficult to get away with just selling it off.

Re:Screw them (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 2 years ago | (#40293881)

Of course, the catch is no encryption for amateur radio

Another catch is the forbidding of commercial traffic.

But the biggest catch is scaling, meshes work fine for low data rates but you quickly reach a point where it is difficult to add more capacity in the places where you need it.

Furthermore the latency is likely to be bad due to the very large number of hops.

Personally I highly doubt that a mesh network will ever offer better quality of service than even "best effort" internet traffic over a typical DSL/cable connection.

Re:Screw them (2)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | about 2 years ago | (#40292797)

peer-to-peer wifi/radio system.

This just isn't going to work. WiFi solves the easy problem (range 0-30 metres - you can just pull a cable if you are desperate). The difficult problem is the middle range; 100m -> 10km (or up to about 50km to 100km in country areas). At that kind of range sensible size links are expensive enough that they have to be shared, but there aren't enough people and money to easily afford a dedicated group to maintain them. At one point this was handled by individuals and little mom & pop companies in many places, but those have all been bought out now.

This is a social and technical problem. How to get enough people together to form a decent negotiating block whilst keeping the people who don't care but are needed to pay for it interested.

Re:Screw them (2)

spazdor (902907) | about 2 years ago | (#40293275)

Jesus once said, "That which you do unto the highest-ping of my brothers, so you do unto me."

Re:Screw them (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about 2 years ago | (#40294281)

peer-to-peer wifi/radio system.

This just isn't going to work. WiFi solves the easy problem (range 0-30 metres - you can just pull a cable if you are desperate). The difficult problem is the middle range; 100m -> 10km (or up to about 50km to 100km in country areas).

Actually, it can work, and it has, both in rural areas and poor countries. All at low cost and maintenance. There are devices like the mesh potato [core77.com] that have been used to build networks in South Africa. And the WiLD projects [nyu.edu] have deployed networks with links ... yes, up to 100km.

Just look at all these mesh networks [meshroot.com] deployed or in process!

Re:Screw them (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#40293839)

What would be cool is if DD-WRT and Tomato came in a mesh variant. I personally have a stack of routers running alternative installs, but there must be jillions of routers out there that could participate.

Why would you not want this? (3, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#40292171)

To me, the danger (which has never come to pass in a lasting way) is that an ISP would potentially degrade services for competitors.

Again, that has not really come to pass (the Comcast DDOSing of torrents was about the only example, and they were spanked for it). Exiting laws, without network neutrally, prevent such shenanigans.

But I cannot see in any way why a consumer would not WANT to be able to pay for some premium network service with guaranteed levels of quality for one application (and by that I mean in the network sense) rather than having to pay for an entire internet connection with much greater speed and quality.

As we seek to replace phones and TV with pretty much just internet it makes a ton of sense to me to allow cable companies to charge for "premium internet" for a portion of content and/or services.

That is why network neutrally laws do much more harm than good; they protect against a danger that is not real while retarding the advanced internet of the future from arriving at our doors.

Re:Why would you not want this? (2)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#40292201)

You're twenty years too late. The Telcos designed such a system. It was called ATM.

You know why most people have never heard of it? Because it fscking sucked and was primarily relegated to providing point to point connections over DSL.

We've seen the Glorious Telco Future and rejected it already. They don't know crap about anything other than making PSTN calls, and we don't need ATM Mk II.

A world of difference (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#40292341)

Come on, ATM required quite expensive dedicated hardware. If you can use the same hardware you own today, but Comcast can guarantee for a fee that accessing video from one particular server will not have hiccups in playback, you don't need to do anything hardware wise to make that work.

Once network service was commoditized to the point where the hardware is not special or expensive, other services that did not make sense before can finally work.

Re:A world of difference (4, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#40292475)

Here's the problem.
1. You pay extra to access that specific site.
2. Other people who don't pay will see slowly degrading quality (simply by letting dead infrastructure hardware go unreplaced).
3. Soon everybody has to pay premium just to get NORMAL access to any site.
4. You'll see anti-competitive behaviour simply by not having a premium plan for specific competitors (nobody is forcing them to provide premium plans for every single website).

Re:A world of difference (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 2 years ago | (#40293087)

How is your example any different than anything currently? Quality of connection degrades as ISPs move away from dial up and websites get too heavy, so you move to their new 512K adsl servic, which is fine for a year or so before sites get heavier and heavier and your quality of connection degrades, so you upgrade to the new 2MBit service....

2G mobile Internet to 3G mobile internet to 4G....

It's not ensrhined in law for a start. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40293211)

Secondly, they do (too slowly) upgrade their networks whereas with enshrined "premium services" means they can squeeze you for access AND the site you want to get to for access which will reduce demand and avoid or at least delay even further access to the internet.

Thirdly they will enshrine walled gardens where the ISP can sell THEIR internet hosting THEIR products and screw over anyone daring not to use the approved connection software. I.e. only their VOIP to their customers. Other VOIP or conversations to other ISP customers will cost you extra.

Fourth: effective denial of access. If you want to retrieve over BitTorrent, you need a premium service. If you want to access Tor? Premium. Web mail? Premium.

Re:It's not ensrhined in law for a start. (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 2 years ago | (#40293479)

So basically you are trying to claim that some versions of AOL and Compuserve would have been illegal under "Net Neutrality", as not all of their offerings were full internet access...?

Re:It's not ensrhined in law for a start. (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#40293869)

AOL and Compuserve were pre-internet online services. They offered services and saw no reason to change their services right away when the internet became a household word.

Re:A world of difference (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#40293847)

I see you have learned well from the cable TV industry. Once cable became widely accepted, TV radio stations decreased broadcast power and the scenario you described above happened just as you said.

This is what they do. It's "bottled water."

Re:Why would you not want this? (2)

DeadDecoy (877617) | about 2 years ago | (#40292207)

orly?

Increasing the data cap is a small step in the right direction, but unfortunately Comcast continues to treat its own Internet delivered video different under the cap than other Internet delivered video. We continue to stand by the principle that ISPs should treat all providers of video services equally.
Cnet News [cnet.com]

Stupid to ignore laws of physics (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#40292359)

Comcast continues to treat its own Internet delivered video different under the cap than other Internet delivered video.

In reality it SHOULD be different getting something from a local network verses a more remote store.

The flip side of your argument, is that you are literally calling to be charged to access data on other computers in your own house.

WHY?

It seems to me that common sense should prevail, and that in the end things that cost less should be charged less for.

Re:Stupid to ignore laws of physics (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | about 2 years ago | (#40292725)

In reality it SHOULD be different getting something from a local network verses a more remote store.

It already is. Every hop in an IP route does it's own traffic management and slows down the connection. The closer you are the faster (in practice; holding all other things, such as link bandwidth and utilisation constant) your traffic goes. That's before you start taking into account that longer distance links tend to have higher latency and lower available bandwidth.

Normally, the way around this descrimination is to connect directly to the ISP where your customers are or to another ISP which has a good enough deal with them by being close enough in enough places. This is fine. The great effect this has is it encourages big internet using compaines like Google to have lots of independent connections to different ISPs and small ones to use a CDN which provides access to the same connectivity.

The descrimination that Comcast and others want is not the same. It's harder to overcome; they choose according to their own commercial benefit; they give their own services free access to this better service and others are lucky if they were able to pay. If there was true competition at the ISP level this would be fine. Unfortunately there can't be. Once one company has a wire to your area it's very difficult even for teleco's to come in and get to be equal with them. This leads to a natural monopooly where in most countries there's only one or two providers available per user. Getting into that monopoly involves digging up public roads, so it's normally very strictly regulated. This means that those companies that have got there have a clear duty to provide equal access and not attempt to use one monopoly to try to create another one.

You have a poor idea of "discrimination" (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#40292869)

It is not "discrimination" to simply give you a better deal on something locally.

It takes nothing away from anyone else if I give you something for free.

I am not sure why this concept is so hard to grasp.

Re:You have a poor idea of "discrimination" (2)

Teun (17872) | about 2 years ago | (#40293035)

When certain services are explicitly given for free it implies there must be other services that are not to be had for free.
(Remember we're talking about the bandwidth from your ISP, not content!)

Such is not the business your ISP should be in, it's not up to them to decide whether I get my news for 'free' from Fox News or pay additional charges when I get it from CNN. And it makes NO difference who does the paying, CNN the provider or me the consumer.

Re:Stupid to ignore laws of physics (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 2 years ago | (#40295213)

In reality it SHOULD be different getting something from a local network verses a more remote store.

Great, so if I set my torrent client to vastly prefer peers on Comcast IP ranges, there'll be no cap?

Nope, it's only uncapped for their specially ordained traffic.

Re:Why would you not want this? (5, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 years ago | (#40292251)

Easy. It's happening right now on Comcast.

Use Netflix? It counts towards your 250GB limit. Use Comcast's Xfinity service? It doesn't. So you can end up paying more for Netflix once you exceed your 250GB limit, or you can use Comcast's service and get it all for "free". If that's not promoting Comcast's service overy say, Netflix/Amazon Prime/Vudu/ITunes/etc, I don't know what is.

Hell, why should Comcast route VoIP packets for you? They can jitter all packets to make all VoIP stutter annoyingly. Of course, they will happily sell you a phone service free from such irritants.

Or TV - you want Hulu? Sure, 250GB. BTW, we have a special deal if you take Comcast cable - you can use our Xfinity online streaming for free.

It's all about providers intentionally crippling the competition. Hell, you see it in Canada - where all the providers seem to rush headlong into UBB, forcing Netflix to reduce quality to save bandwidth. But of course, their TV over IP solutions are free from such limits. (And we have vertically integrated monopolies too - each of the big three own content produces, TV channels, TV stations, distirbution networks, last mile, and provide phone and internet service).

So they got caught once. It just means they'll be sneakier the next time around.

Why is a bonus a problem? (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#40292325)

Use Netflix? It counts towards your 250GB limit. Use Comcast's Xfinity service? It doesn't.

So what??

It's not harming in any other way, access to any other service.

What they are giving you is a discount that is reflected by the technical reality that they can transmit video to you over their own network for a lower cost than access to services on the internet at large.

Again it's not harming the quality of anything you receive from anywhere. It's not making it more expensive to get video from one source over another on the internet - just letting you access videos that are not technically "on the internet".

You are also getting files stored on your own hard drive for free without using any of your data cap! Does that piss you off also? Don't you think that if you play music held on a server in your living room Comcast should deduct that from your cap as well?

Here's a final question - name a single network neutrality bill that would prevent Comcast from doing what they are doing, and why.

Because quite simply, that's not something network neutrality laws address at all.

Re:Why is a bonus a problem? (4, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#40292429)

It's not harming in any other way, access to any other service.

Indeed, Comcast is not violating network neutrality here. Abusing their regional monopolies and leveraging it to give themselves an edge over Netflix is what they are doing.

Again it's not harming the quality of anything you receive from anywhere.

Which, in the context of Comcast's activities, is beside the point.

Here's a final question - name a single network neutrality bill that would prevent Comcast from doing what they are doing, and why.

Unfortunately there aren't any. A bill that would go a long way to solving the problem that is Comcast would be one that disallows carriers from owning media companies (and vice versa) and forces ISPs into the Common Carrier part of telecom law. Network neutrality and conflict of interest concerns solved.

Re:Why is a bonus a problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40293921)

You realize you're agreeing with what the parent poster said, right? You sound like you're arguing. You're even quoting him and saying "unfortunately." What is your problem?

Re:Why is a bonus a problem? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40292561)

...What they are giving you is a discount that is reflected by the technical reality that they can transmit video to you over their own network for a lower cost than access to services on the internet at large...

Exactly what cost to drag data off the internet and send it to you? A phony cost. ISPs use caches and only need to bring (static) content onto their network once. Popular content stays in the caching equipment and then, cost-wise, it is the same as content that originated from their network. THE ISPs need the caching equipment anyway, so no real cost there. When all is said and done, the extra cost is very, very small. In some cases ISP peering arrangements make the cost go away.

There should be very strong laws to prohibit any kind of binding and/or bundling of content and distribution. That road leads nowhere but to a broken internet that serves corporations and not people.

Re:Why is a bonus a problem? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about 2 years ago | (#40292799)

DRM'd content often isnt static, depending on the scheme used it might get encrypted with a different key per user.
Also some of these providers like to insert ads into the stream, so you're not downloading a static video file...

Re:Why is a bonus a problem? (1)

Alex Belits (437) | about 2 years ago | (#40293679)

ISPs use caches and only need to bring (static) content onto their network once.

No. There are services that provide it for specific content providers, however passing EVERYTHING through a transparent proxy is infeasible.

Re:Why is a bonus a problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40293697)

The harm, of course, is in having the damned data caps in the first place. Outlaw that and you won't have a problem. And don't start screaming and whining about the free market. Even if there was such a thing, it certainly doesn't apply in this situation.

Re:Why is a bonus a problem? (1)

BlueParrot (965239) | about 2 years ago | (#40294301)

Here's a final question - name a single network neutrality bill that would prevent Comcast from doing what they are doing, and why.

Strenghten antitrust legislation adn start to actually enforce it with some teeth.

Re:Why is a bonus a problem? (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 2 years ago | (#40294673)

What they are giving you is a discount that is reflected by the technical reality that they can transmit video to you over their own network for a lower cost than access to services on the internet at large.

You are right that this is a technical reality. But that doesn't mean it is okay: we are in this situation because of politics. Comcast should be a service provider (ISP and cable TV provider), but not a content provider. Allowing monopoly content providers and service providers to merge into one distorts the market.

Here's a final question - name a single network neutrality bill that would prevent Comcast from doing what they are doing, and why.

The FTC should not have allowed Comcast to purchase NBC. The people against it, senators did too: yet it passed despite significant opposition, in part, because Meredith Baker voted yes in exchange for a position at Comcast.

Re:Why would you not want this? (1)

LordLucless (582312) | about 2 years ago | (#40292513)

We have bandwidth caps and ISPs offering off-quota services in Australia, and we don't have the problem you describe.

I think the key difference is that for some reason, "free market" America is saddled with a whole bunch of monopolistic ISPs. Here, we had one telecommunications company that was initially publicly owned, but later floated and sold on the market. As far as I can see, this isn't hugely different from America's private ISPs, which used government funding to roll out their infrastructure.

When we sold Telstra (the telecommunications company in question), they were required to give other companies wholesale access to the infrastructure government funding had paid for. I think the reason we don't have the problem you describe is that, if Telstra were to make such an offer with their in-house movie system, people who didn't want it could just switch to iiNet. Or Dodo. Or Optus. Or any of a dozen other ADSL providers using Telstra's infrastructure.

I don't think net neutrality is going to solve your problems, just because it's not the root cause. The root cause is the geographic monopolies your ISPs control.

Re:Why would you not want this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40292567)

Canada is an internet ghetto. Seriously. There are third-world countries that have faster, cheaper service than you can get here. In particular, Telus sucks donkey balls. Worst company to deal with ever.

Re:Why would you not want this? (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 2 years ago | (#40295297)

Uh huh. Telus : They use animals in their commercials because they can't find a human willing to advertise for them.

Saskatchewan seems to be a bright spot with FTTP being rolled out.

Re:Why would you not want this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40293627)

The Comcast problem yu mention exists because the US has steadfastly refused to regulate provision to ensure the availability of competition where the market has failed. This is one area where lessons really could be learned from Europe.

Re:Why would you not want this? (1)

mjr167 (2477430) | about 2 years ago | (#40294061)

I spent 6 weeks home on disability watching netflix and didn't come anywhere close to the 250gb limit. Hitting that limit is pretty hard.

Re:Why would you not want this? (1)

lightknight (213164) | about 2 years ago | (#40292297)

Because, I don't know, suggesting this design is indicative that the people involved have no idea how TCP/IP or networks in general work.

The old solution, which is the hands-down best solution to any network congestion issue, is to increase the size of the pipe! Playing games with QoS and other attempts to 'fix' things are just band-aids to problems that should be solved upstream.

You see, TCP/IP is by its very nature fair; Why? Because it doesn't know what is contained in the data packet it received, only that it is to route it to its intended destination as quickly as possible. It's blind to the packet's contents! Everything is FedEx / UPS / DHL Same Day delivery, so far as it's concerned, and it couriers the data in the order it's received in! You don't get any more fair than that!

Congestion issues with your VOIP or (God help me) streaming video site? Tell your Bit Torrent client to throttle back a little bit. And / or get a bigger pipe. So you can download stuff @ 50MB/s, and still video chat with someone in Hong Kong at full HD.

Re:Why would you not want this? (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#40292499)

And / or get a bigger pipe. So you can download stuff @ 50MB/s, and still video chat with someone in Hong Kong at full HD.

Why would an ISP offer 50MB/s service if it can already sell you the premium package specifically tailored to hong-kong-HD-video-chat?
They don't have any incentive to improve general internet performance or provide better generic plans if they can earn more by selling you only a fraction of that

Re:Why would you not want this? (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 2 years ago | (#40292821)

But I cannot see in any way why a consumer would not WANT to be able to pay for some premium network service with guaranteed levels of quality for one application (and by that I mean in the network sense) rather than having to pay for an entire internet connection with much greater speed and quality.

This is the opposite of network neutrality. On some level most people don't object to consumer paid for QoS for specific traffic. But the key is that the consumer is paying for that service level - not whoever out in 'the cloud' is providing the other endpoint.

Net neutrality is about comcast wanting to bill ME for the traffic THEIR customers request from my servers.

If their customers traffic to my server is using up too much of their infrastructure, build more infrastructure and bill their customers for it. But you don't get to come after me.

Re:Why would you not want this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40292825)

Not really come to pass? There is plenty of mobile ISP's that has banned VOIP.

Re:Why would you not want this? (1)

grcumb (781340) | about 2 years ago | (#40292853)

Exiting laws, without network neutrally, prevent such shenanigans.

Uhm, sorry, but existing regulations[1] (in this example) supported net neutrality.

The point that some of us are trying to make is that they don't do so explicitly, and given the attitude of so-called content owners and telcos, we feel a little more certainty is required.

-----------
[1] It was the FCC, not Congress, who spanked Comcast, as I recall.

Re:Why would you not want this? (1)

Teun (17872) | about 2 years ago | (#40292997)

The consumer wants a working network connection without restrictions.

It is obvious some ISP's will not be able to resist the temptation to raise artificial (speed) barriers on certain services if they feel it would make them an extra dime.

Such barriers could be based on certain ports, protocols, IP addresses or most likely deep packet inspection, all things a free internet can do without.
This would be an extremely slippery slope towards effective censorship and possible a multi-tiered internet, the cheap with limited access and the expensive with all the good stuff.

Here in The Netherlands we see no danger of a lack of development due to enforced net neutrality, as a matter of fact the new legislation is partially based on a fear of stagnation due to artificial barriers by greedy ISP's.

In several European countries there is evidence certain services are getting throttled so as to give way for others, an example are the UK where torrents are at times of the day really slow. However much I understand that in a situation with limited bandwidth the torrent might be in the way of an important VOIP call, the solution is to improve the infrastructure, not throttle the torrent.
Or the real fear combined telco/ISP's rather have you use their own phone solution than a cheap VOIP provider.

Re:Why would you not want this? (1)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about 2 years ago | (#40293099)

But I cannot see in any way why a consumer would not WANT to be able to pay for some premium network service with guaranteed levels of quality for one application (and by that I mean in the network sense) rather than having to pay for an entire internet connection with much greater speed and quality.

It is technically impossible to single out one application and treat it in a privileged way without using deep packet inspection, deliberate bandwith throttling, closed communication protocols with lots of encryption and security by obscurity, and a whole bunch of other things that limit the Internet and make it only feasible for global players and large companies to offer certain end-to-end services.

Despite of what you might think, you do NOT want that. (Perhaps you think you want it because you do not have a firm grasp of how TCP/IP works?)

Re:Why would you not want this? (1)

T Murphy (1054674) | about 2 years ago | (#40296179)

It is technically impossible to single out one application and treat it in a privileged way without using deep packet inspection

I've been thinking for a while now that any internet service, in addition to specifying max up/down speeds, should have some portion as a guaranteed (quality metric here) connection. Give the user a way to specify what gets priority. The ISP shouldn't care if it's VOIP or random webpages, if the user flags it as high priority it gets treated as such up to the designated bandwidth.

Any concerns with this? It should satisfy both net neutrality (ISP doesn't discriminate by traffic type) and QoS concerns for things like VOIP.

Re:Why would you not want this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40293959)

The danger, well in france it is fact, Is that the telcom operator checks if you are using port 25 to send mail, and if you do they you charge SMS like prices for each email you send.

The dutch telcom operators wanted to do the same, which is why in the netherlands the net neutrality law was pushed through to stop this.

Re:Why would you not want this? (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 2 years ago | (#40294375)

The problem lies not in ISPs charging end users more for faster, more reliable connections, but in ISPs charging content creators more for faster, more reliable connections.

The ISPs' dream scenario would be to cut deals with content creators, making them pay them millions of dollars a year so that people who go to those sites will get there faster. The problem with this is that:

1) The ISPs get paid twice for the same data. Once when their user (who paid a monthly fee) says "I want to see this YouTube video" and once when Google (who paid for the faster access responds "Ok, here's the video."

2) Content creators who don't pay get left behind. Success will no longer be determined by who has the better service, but by who can afford to cut deals with every ISP in the world. Joe Startup won't be able to afford this and will be tossed onto the slow lane. Super Mega WebCorp will be able to and their service will be fast.

3) ISPs might sign exclusive deals. If Hulu signed an exclusive deal with all ISPs in the US that would put them on the fast lane while locking Netflix out of entering into any deal, that would constitute an unfair competitive advantage. Or maybe which sites worked would vary by where you lived/what ISP you had. On Comcast? Hulu works fine but Amazon VOD and Netflix are slow. Have Verizon FIOS? Netflix works fine but Amazon VOD and Hulu are slow. Time Warner Cable? Amazon VOD works fast, but Netflix and Hulu are slow. Want to use a different service but it is locked in the slow lane? You'd better consider moving your family to another area/state (and hope that the contracts don't change again).

This fight will never end... (3, Interesting)

pegasustonans (589396) | about 2 years ago | (#40292205)

Until networks are government-owned, said government is incorruptible and network neutrality is enshrined in the constitution.

Even then, it only ensures relative safety for the country which meets the above three criteria.

What I'm saying is, fighting against these laws isn't enough.

Someone in Europe or North America is going to enact a severely tiered internet at some point, and everyone in favor of net neutrality needs to be ready with an alternative that will change the game.

Re:This fight will never end... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#40292259)

Someone in Europe or North America is going to enact a severely tiered internet at some point, and everyone in favor of net neutrality needs to be ready with an alternative that will change the game.

I'm stockpiling access points so that I can use them to build a small network in the future. The internet is a network of networks, right? :)

Where this is coming from: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40292215)

The phone companies who will soon be out of dedicated phone lines and texting plans to rip people off with.

'nuff said.

Re:Where this is coming from: (1)

lightknight (213164) | about 2 years ago | (#40292377)

Sadly, I agree.

Mobile phone companies -> "Let's sell customers new cell phones that eat through their data allotment in under a week." I mean, why upgrade their towers? It's not like bandwidth isn't going for knockdown prices, and it's not like they don't already have the equipment to lay a fiber trunk as thick as my leg that will never be completely saturated, even if every person in the US were to use that one particular tower, and all for the corporate equivalent of a few cents.

"But what if the tower's radio spectrum can't handle that number of users?" -> Put up some more towers in the trouble areas. Hell, you could be really evil, and put up a lot of towers with WiFi antennas / components, then force the phones to use 802.11n or something when using that particular tower (You're out in Nebraska? Use the regular transmission method; You're in NYC? Switch to 802.11n for data (or even voice) and use the nearest WiFi cellphone tower).

Checking Wikipedia, 802.11n is good for up to 820 feet, with 802.11y good up to 16,404 feet.

ETNO != EUROISPA (2)

darkob (634931) | about 2 years ago | (#40292419)

These guys are not ISPs, these are telecoms. They (apparently) succesfully pushed out of the business real ISPs and are now trying to pose as such. In fact Internet is and was succesfull because it works by "best efforts". I would argue that ISPs (EUROISPA) would have different attitude towards "net neutrality".

Not exclusive (1, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#40292619)

Having two tiers doesn't violate net neutrality. Net neutrality is not screwing with your customers because you don't like what they are doing (paying your competitors for video and such). But if I can pay extra to set my own 802.1p tag and have that QoS honored by the ISP, that doesn't violate net neutrality at all. Now, if the ISP set that bit in a manner I had no control over, and did so to their benefit, but not mine, then that would violate net neutrality.

Also, since when does the ITU make "regulations" as opposed to defining standards that others can choose to adopt or not? A country may choose to legislate ITU standards as law, but the ITU doesn't write legislation or regulations themselves. That's like calling RFCs laws. Any ISP that doesn't accept avian carriers is breaking the Internet Law.

Re:Not exclusive (1)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about 2 years ago | (#40293177)

I call that bullshit.Your theoretical defense wouldn't even make sense if absolutely anybody could pay extra for a special QoS tag, because not everybody has the money to pay for it -- smaller companies and makers of, say, free VoIP software, and virtually all p2p software would be left out. But it comes worse, in reality even the companies who'd pay the ransom wouldn't be treated equally, competition would be locked out in secret trade agreements and coalitions, and very likely certain services like movie streaming would be restricted to a few (illegal) cartels. Basically, what the telcos/network provider want is a money milking machine, a layered Internet tax system with all kinds of checkpoints where money is deduced.

The result would be comparable to way taxes in the middle age.

Re:Not exclusive (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#40293429)

What does it cost? You are objecting to it for cost reasons, so you must have some idea. I wouldn't call it a ransom, it's a cost of doing business. The evil ISPs already charge them ransom for access. But a change in billing, and and it's the apocalypse.

very likely certain services like movie streaming would be restricted to a few (illegal) cartels.

If they are illegal, then enforce the laws. You sound like the people that want more laws passed for things like cellular phones while driving, rather than just enforcing laws against distracted driving. They are doing illegal things, so you want to not enforce the laws against what they are doing now, and instead, make more hurdles so they can't keep doing it, hurting other people.

Re:Not exclusive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40293807)

Chances are that you'll be setting a ToS or DSCP tag.

Re:Not exclusive (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 2 years ago | (#40295999)

The 2-tier idea looks nice on paper, but it's not about assuring some level of QoS on tier 1; the purpose is to make the 2nd tier incredibly crappy for services that a) compete with the ISPs own content services, or b) make a lot of money (e.g. Google). The goal is to levy a tax on services deemed useful or essential by end-users, either by asking consumers to pay extra for uninterrupted service, or asking the likes of Google to pony up for tier 2 service to their servers.

If you have to pay extra on top of your subscription for an assured QoS, you can be sure that the "free" best-effort service is going to suck. It's a cute attempt to get around the stipulations of net neutrality, and it might sound reasonable to legislators, but it absolutely does violate net neutrality, both in letter and in spirit.

Define QoS (1)

spectrokid (660550) | about 2 years ago | (#40292633)

Most of your internet connections go through networks which are not owned by your ISP. This is a cheap excuse to build more complex price-plans confusing the consumer and generating more profits. My internet connection goes all the way to 11!

I don't think this is against net neutrality (2)

iampiti (1059688) | about 2 years ago | (#40292637)

As I understand (from the summary, I didn't RTFA), this doesn't violate net neutrality. "Best-effort" vs "quality guaranteed", aren't all consumer connections "best effort" currently?
As long as "best effort" doesn't really mean "we're gonna selectively slow down whatever we feel is using too much bandwidth" I'm ok with that.

Re:I don't think this is against net neutrality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40292741)

It means that. There's one pipe, if things are crowded, the service for the non-priority traffic gets worse.

As anyone at a large company who's switched to VOIP to save costs - all of a sudden the use of the intranet to do real work goes to hell because VOIP has to be prioritized or it sucks.

Re:I don't think this is against net neutrality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40293677)

They won't selectively slow specific services. They'll just allocate 99% of their backbone to "guaranteed" services so that any site which isn't paying their protection money will get worse-than-dial-up speeds.

Contact them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40292677)

http://www.itu.int/home/feedback/index.phtml?mail=itumail

Is this a bad thing? (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 2 years ago | (#40292847)

So, suppose an ISP wants to market itself to gamers. It provides a high speed connection to game servers, negotiates a direct connection, and offers guaranteed bandwidth and latency. Web packets as a result my be delayed by a fraction of a second.

Is this not a service that gamers might want? Is it not something that would be illegal with net neutrality?

The law is a blunt instrument. if you make something illegal, you catch a lot more than what you intend.

Re:Is this a bad thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40294041)

Actually this happens in reverse for real, and doesn't go against net neutrality.

A game that wants to be successful needs to offer low latency to their customer. So the game company multihomes with many ISPs using provider independent IP addresses and become an autonomous network. At least companies like CCP (EVE Online) do this and do BGP routing based on lowest latency.

See, ISP didn't need to prioritise traffic and charge the gamer extra.
The ISP will probably charge the game company less because most traffic will be delivered to local customers.

The same with websites which have a lot of traffic, like google, or akamai, are multihomed. These two are actually using anycast addressing, which means they can distribute their servers accross the globe.

Re:Is this a bad thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40294175)

And conversely, the same law that allows the gaming setup you describe may also be opening the door to a tiered and stifled Internet. Last thing we need is for a parallel and highly monetized series of networks to be running alongside a steadily neglected Internet.

gov't created lack of competition (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#40293031)

When US gov't killed off 3000 [google.com] phone companies to give AT&T the monopoly (because of 'national security reasons', but in reality because monopolies make better money donors to politicians), that's when the problem was born actually.

There is no reason why a business should not be able to discriminate and sell various types of products that do different things, like give preference to traffic that is more profitable.

There is no reason why in a competing market there wouldn't be various products that would also provide access to the Internet that does not discriminate between traffic, but sells access that is understood to be 'neutral' to the content.

But what am I saying.... of-course there is a reason and this reason is lack of competition that originates from government creating monopolies in everything, including delivery of electrical power, water, gas, sewer services, but also telecommunications, etc.

The actual solution cannot be legislative, all of that always ends up creating unintended consequences and causes the exact opposite effect of what is being legislated. The solution is a market solution, but this will not be allowed. So of-course this will be legislative and don't for a second think that you all will be winning from that type of a 'solution'.

Re:gov't created lack of competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40294521)

Nah, the solution can ONLY be legislative. See, you have to remember what the "problem" they are trying to solve here.

The problem is that those ISPs don't have a monopoly, and they want one. So they go to government, since that's the only way to a monopoly.

Re:gov't created lack of competition (1)

El Fantasmo (1057616) | about 2 years ago | (#40295303)

There's no market solution to introduce ISP competition when 1 MAYBE 2 ISPs own the physical infrastructure to millions of customers in metro areas. Their only incentive is to leverage their monopoly and charge extra for "permium access" to flavor-of-the-month.com. It's far too difficult/expensive for private business to lay last mile connections. I'm sure the big ISPs will stand in their way first, followed by local governments refusing to let some "upstart" just run cable all over the community when there's already 1 perfectly good ISP, that also gives government buildings free TV. So, where it's not reasonable or feasible for physical connection competition, legislative net neutrality is necessary.

Re:gov't created lack of competition (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#40295359)

No, it's unnecessary and it's unreasonable because it doesn't have to be a monopoly on the delivery mechanism.

There is always a price for everything, and so a connection to the Internet today doesn't have to be wired at all, satellite Internet exists, wireless Internet is only a step away (I have it on my mobile phone at a very good speed, etc.)

As to cable and all that - gov't creates the barriers to entry by "owning" public assets, such as "public property" and all those taxes that gov't requires to be paid for property create the barriers and support the monopoly power of those already with infrastructure.

Re:gov't created lack of competition (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 2 years ago | (#40295499)

The solution is a market solution, but this will not be allowed.

A "market solution" will not function unless the established players are either removed or restricted.

Either AT&T and the other monopolistic/ogliopogist telcoms need to be chopped up finely (and prevented from T-1000ing like AT&T has) or we go back to forced line leasing as it was between 1996 and 2005.

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Don't forget Chile (1)

ryzvonusef (1151717) | about 2 years ago | (#40293281)

IIRC, Chile also enshrined Net Neutrality in to Law.

Any other countries, besides Chile and Netherlands? I would expect Sweden to be the first...

Value of traffic is the biggest issue here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40294383)

"By endorsing the concept of “quality based delivery”, it will be possible to establish new interconnection policies based on the “value” of the traffic (not only on the “volume”), enabling new business models and implementing an ecosystem where operators’ revenues will not be disconnected from the investment needs made necessary by the rapid growth of Internet traffic."

http://www.etno.be/Default.aspx?tabid=2500

This talk of policies based on value is troubling and most certainly against the concept of net neutrality. "enabling new business models" is surely a euphemism for allowing carriers to impose levies on businesses that use the connection their user is already paying for. They're disconnected from revenues in the same sense that the post office is disconnected from revenues when I open my "diamonds by mail" business, sending thousand pound diamonds at the cost of a first class stamp. Carrying my diamonds costs Royal Mail too much money? Fine, raise the price of stamps. ISPs, charge your customers for the bandwidth they're using, and by all means offer lower latency packages for gamers. Just don't think that you can start slapping on levies simply because you feel you should be cut in on the profits someone else makes legitimately using your service. How about allowing toll road operators to levy a value added tax on motorists who've been shopping? Picked up a nice new diamond ring in the city, and now driving back home via a toll motorway? Seems only fair that the road operator get a piece of the action, after all why should they receive just £1.50 when the guy who sold you that ring trousered over £500? You wouldn't even have been able to go to the city if that toll road didn't exist!

There's already a 2 teir internet... (1)

El Fantasmo (1057616) | about 2 years ago | (#40294855)

(US-centric) Most average Joe internet connections are allowed to reach a MAXIMUM bandwidth, while commercial accounts can be given MINIMUM bandwidth availability and are charged for their average bandwidth. As long as particular services/sites/protocols aren't selected for or against, I'm comfortable with an "up to" and "at least" bandwidth price modeling. However, if ISPs actually need to throttle my paltry 350KBps at any time as standard network management practice, then they are over selling their network and should legally be held accountable.

If I have a data cap, isn't it in the ISP's best interest to allow me a ton of bandwidth to gobble it up very quickly and start charging overages?

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