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U.S. Democrats Propose Legislation To Ban Internet Fast Lanes

Soulskill posted about 3 months ago | from the good-luck-with-that dept.

The Internet 190

An anonymous reader writes: A proposal from Democrats in the U.S. House and Senate would require the FCC to stop ISPs from creating "internet fast lanes." Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said, "Americans are speaking loud and clear. They want an Internet that is a platform for free expression and innovation, where the best ideas and services can reach consumers based on merit rather than based on a financial relationship with a broadband provider." Representative Doris Matsui (D-CA) added, "A free and open Internet is essential for consumers. Our country cannot afford 'pay-for-play' schemes that divide our Internet into tiers based on who has the deepest pockets." Unfortunately, this is only half a solution — the bill doesn't actually add to the FCC's authority. It only requires them to use the authority they currently have, which is questionable at best.

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Just do SOMETHING (4, Interesting)

Brennan Pratt (3614719) | about 3 months ago | (#47257057)

The Republican bill that would remove ISPs from FCC regulation would allow states to regulate. It would make rent seeking a lot more difficult for ISPs. This bill would do the obvious thing that the Fourth Branch has failed to do. It's a sign that the FCC is entirely pointless if Congress has to order it to do every little thing. This wouldn't address the paid prioritization problem, but seems like it would give consumers more rights against ISPs in re traffic shaping, etc.

Re:Just do SOMETHING (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 3 months ago | (#47257097)

It's a sign that the FCC is entirely pointless if Congress has to order it to do every little thing

Making a former lobbyist for wireless and Cable the head of the FCC is a sign the FCC is entirely pointless.

Re:Just do SOMETHING (2)

GodInHell (258915) | about 3 months ago | (#47257321)

At least he has openly declared that he "is not a dingo."

Re:Just do SOMETHING (2)

Farmer Tim (530755) | about 3 months ago | (#47257373)

But only after the dingos objected.

Re:Just do SOMETHING (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about 3 months ago | (#47257375)

meaning?

I mean, you can't get too far from "paid lobbyist, now working the job meant to regulate his old industry"

Re:Just do SOMETHING (1)

click2005 (921437) | about 3 months ago | (#47257439)

John Oliver on Net Neutrality (theres a bit about Dingos)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

Re:Just do SOMETHING (4, Insightful)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 3 months ago | (#47257355)

It's a sign that the FCC is entirely pointless if Congress has to order it to do every little thing

Making a former lobbyist for wireless and Cable the head of the FCC is a sign the FCC is entirely pointless.

Not necessarily -- such a person knows all the tricks, and is in a good position to smack current lobbyists down.

However, in THIS case, his cultural bias is pretty obvious, and it seems that his reason for leaving the lobby was not "I became disillusioned with the whole racket."

Re:Just do SOMETHING (2)

mythosaz (572040) | about 3 months ago | (#47257475)

Indeed.

Who do you want leading the FCC? Someone with no experience in the communications industry?

Any perceived good or bad in his bias is just going to be a matter of which side of the fight that you're on.

Re:Just do SOMETHING (4, Insightful)

mellon (7048) | about 3 months ago | (#47257637)

So our choices are (1) an industry shill or (2) someone with no experience in the industry?

I beg to differ.

Look at Joseph Kennedy (1)

Xaedalus (1192463) | about 3 months ago | (#47257649)

A racketeer, banker, and all-in-all ruthless Wall Street tycoon--he was appointed by FDR to become chairman of the SEC because he was the biggest, baddest wolf of them all. And he did a complete 180--he knew all the tricks because he'd done them (or invented them) and he turned the SEC into a force to be reckoned with. Kennedy not only obeyed the rules, he enforced them and made Wall Street toe the line, which arguably helped us get out of the Depression the first time (before Congress, going populist and austeristic, decided to put us back into the Depression by cutting spending).

Re:Just do SOMETHING (3, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 3 months ago | (#47257717)

This is a shitty argument. I want someone with a SCIENTIFIC background to run our communications, not a lobbyist.

Re:Just do SOMETHING (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47257619)

It's almost like making a former goldman sachs employee the head of the ECB... oh... wait [goldmansachs.com] .

Re:Just do SOMETHING (1)

TemporalBeing (803363) | about 3 months ago | (#47257121)

The Republican bill that would remove ISPs from FCC regulation would allow states to regulate. It would make rent seeking a lot more difficult for ISPs. This bill would do the obvious thing that the Fourth Branch has failed to do. It's a sign that the FCC is entirely pointless if Congress has to order it to do every little thing. This wouldn't address the paid prioritization problem, but seems like it would give consumers more rights against ISPs in re traffic shaping, etc.

So the problem here isn't that the FCC hasn't already tried to do Net Neutrality - they have. The problem is that the Judicial branch told the FCC they don't have the authority to do so, which probably stems from them classifying internet infrastructure and ISPs not as Telcos but as "information" providers.

Re:Just do SOMETHING (5, Informative)

drakaan (688386) | about 3 months ago | (#47257293)

No, the problem is that the judicial branch told the FCC that *until* they classify ISPs as common carriers, they don't have the authority to mandate anything with regards to paid prioritization or de-prioritization.

With Mr. Wheeler in charge, there doesn't seem to be much impetus to reclassify the ISPs in that way.

I am an independent who often votes republican, and I believe that the republican bill as currently laid out is a bad plan. Internet service is a utility in the 21st century, and should be treated that way.

Re:Just do SOMETHING (2)

sjames (1099) | about 3 months ago | (#47257553)

If the Dem's bill passes, they will be required to classify ISPs as telcos so that they will be able to enforce net neutrality since that is within their power. Of course, they will bend over backwards to re-interpret the law until it doesn't mean that.

Re:Just do SOMETHING (4, Informative)

compro01 (777531) | about 3 months ago | (#47257201)

The Republican bill that would remove ISPs from FCC regulation would allow states to regulate. It would make rent seeking a lot more difficult for ISPs.

Not bloody likely. States are already busy shutting down competition for the incumbent ISPs [arstechnica.com] .

Re:Just do SOMETHING (0)

thule (9041) | about 3 months ago | (#47257453)

Good. I don't want the local government running broadband. I want actual, real, competition. I want the right-of-ways to be loosened. I want less paperwork, less cost, less red tape. I want local governments to make it easier for companies like Google to come in and build out infrastructure. Or heck, just the local guy wanting to setup a microwave tower on his farm and then run fiber to all the nearby farms. That's the way make things better. Not government owned broadband.

Re:Just do SOMETHING (2, Insightful)

mellon (7048) | about 3 months ago | (#47257663)

You want your streets constantly being dug up and inexpertly patched? You want your neighbor's inexpertly pointed microwave dish frying your eyeballs? What you ought to be asking for is an end to deals between municipalities and individual providers, and no restrictions on who can get into the market. Maybe it makes sense for municipalities to install last-mile service. Maybe it doesn't. Why not let the local voters decide?

Re:Just do SOMETHING (4, Interesting)

thule (9041) | about 3 months ago | (#47257715)

Did I say I didn't want *any* oversight? I'm not an anarchist. I just want it easier. End exclusive franchises. Open things up. This has to happen at the local level. So, yes, let the *local* voters decide.

BTW, many people already have microwave transmitters in their house. It's called a cell phone. Also, WiFi is microwave. The FCC allows license free use of some frequencies. For all you know, you may already have a dish pointed at your house.

Re:Just do SOMETHING (2)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 3 months ago | (#47257729)

I want the government to own the conduit, i want the ISPs to switch the packets.

Re:Just do SOMETHING (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 3 months ago | (#47257457)

Not bloody likely. States are already busy shutting down competition for the incumbent ISPs.

The article you linked to talked about preventing unfair competition from government-run internet, not all competition. You want to run an ISP where you don't like the service from the existing one? Do it. It will cost you a lot of money and won't be profitable, but that's why there aren't more people doing it now.

Government-run internet doesn't need to be profitable or even have any subscribers -- it will simply spend tax dollars. In the corporate world, that's called "unfair competition" and "predatory pricing".

Re:Just do SOMETHING (3, Insightful)

mellon (7048) | about 3 months ago | (#47257703)

So what you're saying is that we can have a monopoly of greedy corporate bastards, or we can have a government-run monopoly that charges a price that's regulated by voters. And out of these two choices, you are selecting the former, because boo-hoo, the voters will set the price at cost, and the corporations want to make a profit, and that's not fair. Well fuck their profit. They want to own our eyeballs and sell them to the highest bidder. Fuck that.

Re:Just do SOMETHING (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 3 months ago | (#47257889)

So what you're saying is that we can have a monopoly of greedy corporate bastards,

No, I'm saying nothing of the sort. I favor NO monopoly and NO predatory pricing. I thought that would be clear from what I said.

or we can have a government-run monopoly that charges a price that's regulated by voters.

In my city, we have a government-run monopoly on sewer and water supply. We have not had a public vote on rates ever in the more than twenty years I've lived here. It is ridiculous to assume that any other government-run service will have voter-set prices. Even were they to be voted on, you'd wind up with the situation easily predicted -- the voters who want free stuff will outnumber the fiscally responsible ones who actually pay the bills and there will be NO possibility of competition because you can't sell cheaper than "free".

And out of these two choices, you are selecting the former,

No. I am selecting competition and leaving the taxpayers off the hook.

because boo-hoo, the voters will set the price at cost,

Right. The voters will have no say, and if they do, they'll choose "free". The "cost" will be paid by everyone, even those who want different service or no service at all. If I want internet, I don't think I have a right to demand that my neighbor pay for it. Why do you?

Re:Just do SOMETHING (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47257911)

And private-run internet doesn't need to provide internet, just have subscribers and be profitable. That is called a "monopoly" or an "oligopoly" and it is what a surprising number of us live under. So we hand over money privately and publically hand and fist for this vital technology and improvements to it and service gets choked more and more.

Re:Just do SOMETHING (3, Interesting)

arth1 (260657) | about 3 months ago | (#47257317)

The Republican bill that would remove ISPs from FCC regulation would allow states to regulate.

That would be useless, given that most internet traffic is interstate or international. It's enough that one hop is in a state that hasn't forbidden slow lanes, and it's defeated.

Re:Just do SOMETHING (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47257517)

Really? route through a different state then. Geography favors routing around a "slow state".

Anyway, the "last mile" is "pay for quality" already. Pay a premium for fiber to the home, pay less for adsl or even less for suffering a modem.

Re:Just do SOMETHING (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 3 months ago | (#47257607)

They think tubes run in straight lines.

finally.... (1)

davethomask (3685523) | about 3 months ago | (#47257079)

phoenix arise!

Re:finally.... (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 3 months ago | (#47257107)

Not going to happen. Sorry. It is a good idea, but there's a good enough mixture of corporate shilling and pointlessly oppositional partisanship to make this not actually make it through the whole process.

Re:finally.... (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 3 months ago | (#47257261)

phoenix arise!

I disagree that "it's not going to happen". In fact I think fatalistic attitudes like that are a rather large part of the problem.

Most of this can be solved by simply regulating ISPs as Title II Common Carriers. Do that, and the vast majority of problems go away. No more surveillance without warrants, no more internet activity tracking for profit, no more throttling of certain kinds of traffic.

Re:finally.... (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 3 months ago | (#47257807)

Alright, so... let's put it this way: the obstacles to it happening are greater than the collective will to see it happen.

Re:finally.... (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 3 months ago | (#47257901)

Alright, so... let's put it this way: the obstacles to it happening are greater than the collective will to see it happen.

How is that different? You merely said the same thing using different words.

I don't think there was any confusion over what you meant. My point was that you appear to be -- intentionally or otherwise -- participating in or even promoting that mentioned lack of "collective will".

just label ISP's as common carriers already (1)

litehacksaur111 (2895607) | about 3 months ago | (#47257089)

If they would label ISP's as common carriers none of this would be needed.

Re:just label ISP's as common carriers already (1)

alen (225700) | about 3 months ago | (#47257171)

why not?

is it some magic law that will make them upgrade their edge routers? common carriers just says they have to carry all traffic equally and without discrimination.

Re:just label ISP's as common carriers already (2)

medv4380 (1604309) | about 3 months ago | (#47257289)

Basically. It would mean they could be regulated. The "Fit Willing and Able" part of being a common carrier would require them to upgrade as the regulations demanded. There is only one argument I see as valid against making ISP's common carriers, and that the resulting legal mess might make things chaotic for a few years, or even a decade. Too many legal/court things have been done under Information Services that changing would give a lot of lawyers a lot of money.

Re:just label ISP's as common carriers already (1)

alen (225700) | about 3 months ago | (#47257397)

except that all the regional bell companies were common carriers and charged for terminating calls onto their networks
kind of like almost every video provider out there pays commercial CDN's to host their content or transit network to carry. the CDN's in turn pay the ISP's for bandwidth. kind of like the RBOC's of old. almost everyone except your precious netflix who is trying to get special treatment with having ISP's host their CDN for free

Re:just label ISP's as common carriers already (4, Insightful)

mellon (7048) | about 3 months ago | (#47257751)

The difference is that provisioning the last mile is what's expensive. Running fiber to the point of presence is easy. So if you regulate telcos as common carriers, suddenly you have competition between ISPs again, and so they can't pull that crap.

Re:just label ISP's as common carriers already (5, Insightful)

Aryden (1872756) | about 3 months ago | (#47257341)

common carriers just says they have to carry all traffic equally and without discrimination.

You answered your own question.

Re:just label ISP's as common carriers already (1)

mellon (7048) | about 3 months ago | (#47257739)

Back when they were still regulating data transmission under common carrier rules, there was competition in the point of presence: the telco had to lease lines to the home at the same price to competitors as to their internal service provider. The consequence of this was that they could not use their stranglehold on the last mile to charge monopoly rents. They could still make money selling Internet, but if they screwed you (e.g. with a "fast lane") you could switch. Now there is no competition, and guess what? They are starting to put in fast lanes.

Re:just label ISP's as common carriers already (1)

thule (9041) | about 3 months ago | (#47257383)

What does common carrier have to do with peering? Even long distance companies of old had to connect to the local exchanges. The local exchanges had only so much capacity on their switches. It would be possible that a call couldn't go over a particular long distance router because the switch was full "all circuits are busy, please try again." This is no different than Internet peering except that Internet peering doesn't have discrete channels for each "call".

Re:just label ISP's as common carriers already (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47257473)

stupid, common carriers means comcast will have to increase their edge capacity until they can carry whatever netflix requires

Re:just label ISP's as common carriers already (1)

thule (9041) | about 3 months ago | (#47257545)

That what is means to you. Net Neutrality in the beginning only meant that all packets were treated the same. Peering *does* treat all packets the same. Peering is a good thing so that ONE large provider of content can't spike out the connection for *everyone*. How is that helpful?

Think about my example with long distance companies. Even *with* common carrier it was up to the individual long distance companies to accommodate the required capacity at the local exchange. The entire long distance traffic for a CO didn't come out of a single port on the switch. MCI in the early days built out their own alternative path for calls using microwave towers. Phone companies had to pay other telcos to connect calls at the local level. Sound familiar? Isn't that what Netflix is doing?

What you are proposing is not common carrier, but something brand new.

Re:just label ISP's as common carriers already (1)

mellon (7048) | about 3 months ago | (#47257787)

No, it means they have to rent it for the same price to whomever wants to rent it. They don't have to upgrade it.

Re:just label ISP's as common carriers already (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 3 months ago | (#47257407)

If they would label ISP's as common carriers none of this would be needed.

Then you get into the issue of "What is an ISP?"

The Internet, and IP (v4/v6) in particular, are designed to be fully routable, with one person's ISP being another person's client. Anyone with a router (meaning most people connected to the Internet) could be considered an ISP.

If you narrow the scope to "Commercial ISP" then that leaves out Freenets and the like, as well as open access points -- unless you define them as for-profit even though they are non-profit. In this case, an individual with an open AP could be considered a "Commercial ISP" too, and have to follow ALL the Common Carrier regulations.

The only way I can see it being worded that would make sense is to apply CC status to anyone with commercial peering agreements or IP-level routing equipment -- so it wouldn't *necessarily* apply to the local network provider, but it would if they were also trunking data and not just using some other ISP's trunking/peering services.

Anybody else find it odd... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47257099)

..... that they do not refer to it as net neutrality?

They want to ban "fast lanes"....which is a vague (does that mean if you create slow lanes, it no longer applies? etc.) term....Also why is more authority required?

Smells fishy to me....

Re:Anybody else find it odd... (1)

gnupun (752725) | about 3 months ago | (#47257135)

So, what's the proposed difference in download speeds (in MB/s) between fast lanes and normal lanes?

Re:Anybody else find it odd... (1)

Aryden (1872756) | about 3 months ago | (#47257367)

Up to their judegment. Comcast says they want a "fast lane" and a "faster lane" but since there is a finite amount of bandwidth available, who do you think is going to suffer?

Re:Anybody else find it odd... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47257395)

Fast lane: anything operating at above 56 kilobaud.

Since telephones are the most common communicative resource, and equality is a primary goal, civilians will be limited to speeds that are possible with standard modem hardware. (Congress is exempt, and will continue to have fiber optic cable unspooled out to their vacation homes at the taxpayer expense)

Re:Anybody else find it odd... (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 3 months ago | (#47257379)

They want to ban "fast lanes"....which is a vague (does that mean if you create slow lanes, it no longer applies? etc.) term....

"Fast lane" is the term the net neutrality opponents use to describe what's left after they've artificially slowed down traffic for everyone not willing to pay.

Historically, everything has been a fast lane, and that's what net neutrality fights to keep.

The "fast lane" suggestion is like if a county decided to decrease the speed in right hand lanes to 30 mph, and then charge extra for driving in the left lane, which they now call a "fast lane". Can you imagine the protests?

Market (4, Insightful)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about 3 months ago | (#47257109)

This doesn't fix the root cause. I have 1 ISP in my region that provides cable internet. As long as they have monopoly power they will abuse it. Fix the monopoly issue and the federal goverment might not need to regulate the internet like this.

Re:Market (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47257183)

You and your capitalist competition! We don't want any of that here in Soviet America.

Re:Market (1)

alen (225700) | about 3 months ago | (#47257199)

how exactly do you solve it?
you can create a huge company to own all the fiber and last mile wiring, but then the ISP will just dump a lot of debt onto it that they incurred laying the wire and they people will still have to pay the costs?

the ISP's are carrying over $100 billion in debt collectively because upgrades are paid for with bonds that are paid back over decades and we are still paying for upgrades done 20 years ago

Re:Market (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about 3 months ago | (#47257309)

That is bs. http://www.wikinvest.com/stock... [wikinvest.com]
Comcast total debt issuance has flucuated between -2 billion and 2.5 billion over the last 5 years. Compare that with the dividends it pays out in 2014: Quarterly Dividends and Quarterly Share Repurchases Increased 35.5% to $1.3 Billion

Re:Market (1)

alen (225700) | about 3 months ago | (#47257365)

you're an idiot
their TOTAL DEBT outstanding is like $45 BILLION. Time warner is around $20 BILLION. AT&T and Verizon are probably close to $200 billion but that includes their other businesses.
it's in that website you linked to

Re:Market (2)

jellomizer (103300) | about 3 months ago | (#47257351)

Think of the old 1990's ISP model...
You had your local telephone monopoly/government service who gave you your phone connection. Then you could choose your favorite ISP for your internet. You had two bills one for your ISP and one to the Phone Company.

To fix this today
You have the ISP and you have a company/government service providing the cable/fiber infrastructure.
You need to pay for the infrastructure either by paying the company for it, or via your taxes. Then you choose the ISP (probably local) who will give you your internet service. Faster speed means you will pay the ISP and the Infrastructure more. But say you have a 3 or 4 ISP in your area which you can choose from and say 2 levels of infrastructure (Cable or Fiber) then you can pick and choose and mix and match.

Re:Market (1)

alen (225700) | about 3 months ago | (#47257435)

i remember those days. the dial up ISP's used to disconnect everyone who spent more than an hour logged in because no one ever had enough ports available for all of their customers. best you could do was try to dial a non local number and pay for it on your phone bill instead of it being free

Re:Market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47257489)

For a different reason than you think. You are confusing correlation with causation.

The current monopoly situation is 100% unacceptable.

Re:Market (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 3 months ago | (#47257537)

the ISP's are carrying over $100 billion in debt collectively because upgrades are paid for with bonds that are paid back over decades and we are still paying for upgrades done 20 years ago

[citations needed]

I was under the impression that most of those were already paid back, and that some of them were forgiven by the government? Also, those bonds were/are used as a tax shelter. They had a history of being traded around from BU to BU to prevent that unit from having to pay taxes (as their debt was greater than their profit).

Then there's the fact that those bonds were for proposed upgrades 20 years ago, most of which have never actually been completed. The majority were for FTTH upgrades and the upgrades of the switching/routing equipment required to support this. This was supposed to be done for rural and urban environments. What we're seeing is that the upgrades are being completed only in regions where it is both profitable and driven by competition, and *not all the switching/routing equipment was upgraded* with the ISPs instead preferring peering agreements where MORE money traded hands (traditionally, peering was purely contractual, not based on flowing money).

Re:Market (1)

mellon (7048) | about 3 months ago | (#47257861)

Have you ever been to Philadelphia? Check out these sweet digs [google.com] . Corporations do not just put cash in the bank. They invest it in stuff they can sell later, and depreciate and deduct now, so they pay less tax. So sure, they'll cry you a river about how their profit margin is so low, but booking profit and paying the taxes on it is the last thing they want to do.

Re:Market (1)

thule (9041) | about 3 months ago | (#47257359)

Exactly! This stuff needs to happen at the *local* level, not at the FCC level. I firmly believe the government is ignorant on how the Internet works and they will only screw it up. The best way to solve the problem is working with the local city that manages right-of-way. Force the city to make it easier for companies to get permits. Reduce the cost and paper work, etc.

Re:Market (1)

Shatrat (855151) | about 3 months ago | (#47257469)

It's not intended to. It's only intended to get some politicians names in the news in conjunction with a popular issue. This is a toothless pointless bill.

Re:Market (1)

Ziggitz (2637281) | about 3 months ago | (#47257487)

I'm actually not opposed to getting rid of the notion of net neutrality in theory. If private entities want to invest in their own infrastructure, compete in an open market and provide a service at the cost and convenience of their choosing then so be it. However you don't get to take billions of public dollars, setup monopolies and then fuck over your customers who have no other options because you made sure they didn't.

Re:Market (1)

mellon (7048) | about 3 months ago | (#47257835)

Right. How do you do that? There are a couple of ways. One is the common carrier way: regulate the last mile, requiring that whoever has a connection from their distribution point to your home rent access to that connection (the whole connection, exclusively, or else just access to the IP layer) at the same price their internal ISP business unit pays for it.

Alternatively, you can have the municipality or even the development own the last mile, and rent it out to whichever ISP the end-user chooses. "But there's only one ISP!" That's because the last mile is so expensive. Dropping fiber to the distribution point is a lot cheaper. So suddenly you open up to more competition.

These are the only ways I know of to fix the monopoly problem. If you've got another way, I'd love to hear it, but don't just handwave it.

Re:Market (1)

westlake (615356) | about 3 months ago | (#47257899)

I have 1 ISP in my region that provides cable internet.

In my home county alone, with a population of 216,000, there are at least 25 geographical and political entities that can negotiate deals for broadband service, including an Indian reservation.

The choice is between DSL or cable. I don't see any motivation for a third entrant here.

What about slow lanes? (1)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 3 months ago | (#47257127)

Slowing undesirable traffic down could be (and therefore will be) interpreted as creating slow lanes, not creating fast lanes. To maintain net neutrality both need to be forbidden.

Re:What about slow lanes? (1)

Stéphane V (3594053) | about 3 months ago | (#47257189)

the end results are the same in the end. If you slow one or increase the speed you end up in a 2 way lane. 1 slow and 1 fast.

Re:What about slow lanes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47257205)

Then there will just be parallel lanes, since everybody knows that electrons all move at the same speed.

And the Telco response (4, Insightful)

zeroryoko1974 (2634611) | about 3 months ago | (#47257151)

Here, Mr. Congressman have some money, we don't need no silly neutrality. How about free HBO for your family instead?

But what does it accomplish? (1)

jetkust (596906) | about 3 months ago | (#47257175)

If they ban internet fast lanes and tiers then what? Netflix can't pay off the ISPs and they just continue throttling the internet as they see fit? And when Netflix confronts them about their crappy service they just say "it wasn't me.".

Re:But what does it accomplish? (1)

Stéphane V (3594053) | about 3 months ago | (#47257209)

no, netflix wont have to pay comcast their due...and comcast will have to cancel their current deal... and netflix customers wont have to pay more for the same service by the way.

Re:But what does it accomplish? (1)

thule (9041) | about 3 months ago | (#47257325)

Netflix chose to build peering links. They could have just easily pulled back all peering and started sending all traffic over transit links. What do you think would have come of that? Netflix decided they received more bang for buck when they directly peered with ISPs.

Dead in the house (2, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | about 3 months ago | (#47257191)

Every single name on this bill has a (D) next to it. It will never make it to the floor in the house.

Re:Dead in the house (2)

just_another_sean (919159) | about 3 months ago | (#47257267)

Not to mention the fact that Democrats get just as much money from Telcos/Cable Companies as Republicans. This is just hand waving and PR. If every member of the house was currently a Democrat I still don't think this would pass.

Re:Dead in the house (2)

Aryden (1872756) | about 3 months ago | (#47257381)

it would get pork-barreled/ridered like any other to the point that it wouldn't look anything like the original bill.

Re:Dead in the house (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | about 3 months ago | (#47257387)

Yes, certainly a possibility. And again it would be both sides of the aisle that would be responsible!

Not necessarily (2)

dcooper_db9 (1044858) | about 3 months ago | (#47257701)

It might. I remember when the first bill was produced a bill to regulate telemarketing. The idea was a classic political maneuver. They'd introduce the bill to give the impression they gave a shit. Then they'd quietly kill the bill or gut it before it got too far. But it turned out that people were really tired of having their phone lines abused. So many people called or wrote their congressmen that they couldn't kill the bill. They did water it down over the years but it had a lot more teeth than they intended. So yes, getting involved matters. When a congressman knows that a lot of people are paying attention it affects how they vote.

Free... Yeah (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47257197)

Representative Doris Matsui (D-CA) added, "A free and open Internet is essential for consumers. Our country cannot afford 'pay-for-play' schemes that divide our Internet into tiers based on who has the deepest pockets."

I don't think you understand what that word (free) really means..

Nothing is free, there is ALWAYS a price and it is usually dumped on the working class.

Quoting Leahy is a hilarious joke (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47257229)

The guy wrote the DMCA. He's in the pocket of every big content industry there is. [techdirt.com] Don't even pretend he has your interests in mind.

free and open (-1, Flamebait)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 3 months ago | (#47257245)

Typical Democrat. Like those college-kids and hipsters who think that everyone should have free WiFi because its a human right.

Re:free and open (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47257447)

The Congress shall have the power to establish Post Offices and post Roads.

The Internet is the post road of the 21st Century.

Re:free and open (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47257877)

Like those college-kids and hipsters who think that everyone should have free WiFi because its a human right.

WiFi is a public property.

Why? Because it's a property of nature, not human endeavor. Thus regulatory schemes are necessary.

Dude, Remember - It's the Government (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 months ago | (#47257285)

Always remember, just because someone in government suggests they do something, and that something sounds like a good idea, does not mean it will bode well for the population at large.

The only thing the feds have done right in the last 20 years, IMO, is expand their own power and influence. I expect that to be the end goal in this case as well.

Bad idea (1, Insightful)

thule (9041) | about 3 months ago | (#47257295)

I predicted this would happen. As soon as lawmakers figured out there was this thing called peering they'd freak out and try to control it. The discussion went from treating each packet the same to controlling peering. How long will it take for lawmakers to completely screw up the Internet? Much of what I see about net neutrality is like reading people's thoughts on organic food. Small bits of truth, but mostly junk. Now turn that ignorance over to the power of the Federal government. No good can come of this.

So basically between 1 in 4 to 1 in 2 packets going over the ISP's transit link will be Netflix data. Why would an ISP do that if they have the option to peer directly with Netflix? It makes absolutely no sense. Any spike in Netflix data will cause everyone's connection to be crap. Not just Netflix users, everyone. This is not helping the potential competitor to Netflix, it is hurting them! Peering is a good thing! Please stop trying to regulate it.

Re:Bad idea (0)

NetNed (955141) | about 3 months ago | (#47257371)

If I had mod points I would give them to you. You have proven me wrong that every poster on this subject on slashdot is completely lemminged in to believing net neutrality is a good thing. It will cripple all our speeds and destroy competition in the ISP marketplace.

Re:Bad idea (1)

Shatrat (855151) | about 3 months ago | (#47257497)

Why would an ISP do that if they have the option to peer directly with Netflix?

When the ISP in question sells pay-per-view video as well, and also wants to choke down that IP traffic growth so they don't have to do as many network upgrades.

Re:Bad idea (1)

thule (9041) | about 3 months ago | (#47257665)

How does common carrier fix this? In the old days, if I was an alternative long distance provider, say MCI (they paved the way for others), wouldn't I have to make sure that I had enough capacity at the local exchange? The local exchange would "peer" with me. I can't imaging the local exchanges forcing all the long distance traffic to the various companies out of a *single* port on their switch.

Let's put it another way. Say I had this brand new idea for a phone service (the industry term is "audiotext"). I decided I want MCI to handle my calls instead of Ma Bell. So I setup with MCI. Suddenly everyone likes my service. The only problem is that MCI doesn't have the capacity that MaBell has at some of the more popular localities. MCI's switch just isn't as big as MaBell's and the link to the metro switch is saturated. Do I stick with MCI and pay MaBell? Or do I make my own links to those popular metro areas?

This is not common carrier stuff. What this fast lane law is proposing is something completely new.

Re:Bad idea (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 3 months ago | (#47257759)

Which ISP is that, or are we now also writing poorly conceived laws to solve imaginary problems?

Re:Bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47257575)

FTFA:

Leahy and Matsui's proposed ban on fast lanes would apply only to the connections between consumers and their ISPs

This has nothing to do with peering.

Re:Bad idea (1)

thule (9041) | about 3 months ago | (#47257757)

Ummm. That *is* peering. Peering doesn't have to happen settlement-free at the Tier-1 level. Yahoo! peered with ISP's way back in the day so they could more efficiently send their content to ISP's. It was "free" because neither side used their transit connections. The traffic certainly wasn't balanced enough to be called a "settlement-free peer".

Re:Bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47257645)

Patrick Leahy is no friend to the internet. That fucking guy doesn't have any clue how it works, he just wants to control shit.

Re:Bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47257669)

The ISPs don't want to peer with netflix. They don't want to make Netflix work better.
They don't want Netflix to work at all.

The ISPs want to sell you the same service instead and are not afraid to degrade Netflix service to get what they want. Either that, or they want to abuse their position in the network to simply rent-seek.

Re:Bad idea (1)

thule (9041) | about 3 months ago | (#47257815)

Why are you assuming it was the cable company that didn't want to upgrade the links? Cogent had just as much incentive not to upgrade the links because they survive on settlement free peering. Upgrading the links would have possibly put them outside of the peering agreement. In fact, it was reported that it did! It was a much better idea for Netflix to handle the peering agreements directly. They are big enough now, they can do that. It only helps everyone's connection. It is a good thing.

BTW, cable companies aren't making money in video anymore. They have been squeezed between "cord cutters" and content providers loosing eyeballs. Cable companies *are* making money on the Internet. Especially metro Ethernet for businesses. They already have most of the right-of-ways they need. They have the crews to build out connections to buildings. I really don't think the cable companies care about Netflix other than it will increase the demand for bandwidth, which they sell.

It's as if Frank Lutz wrote the title. (1)

STratoHAKster (30309) | about 3 months ago | (#47257415)

Silly wording. "U.S. Democrats Propose Legislation To Ban Internet Fast Lanes" The "fast lane" is what customers pays for and we expect to receive. The "slow lane" means they don't have to give us the bandwidth we pay for. They have no obligation to expand infrastructure to meet most customer's demand. Therefore, destroying net neutrality means everything becomes a slow lane.

Re:It's as if Frank Lutz wrote the title. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47257599)

They have the obligation to make money. One way is to provide more speed than other ISPs. In other words, "competition".

Why is this on /.? (0)

guevera (2796207) | about 3 months ago | (#47257459)

It's a bill sponsored by members of the minority party in the House of Representatives. It has zero chance of becoming law, and a nearly zero chance of ever making it out of committee. Why are the editors wasting our time with this? Do they not understand the first thing about how congress works?

Ok, which one is it? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 months ago | (#47257513)

That sounds like a bill that would actually work FOR the consumer and AGAINST the corporations. So which one is it?

a) A bill that he knows will not pass due to never getting the required support
b) A trojan horse that sounds great but is actually going to make things worse
c) A decoy to paperclip something worse to its back
d) All three

Campaign issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47257521)

This is just a Campaign issue to get support for the for the elections. They don't intend to do anything. The president could simple replace the FCC chair or have made a better appointment to begin with. We are getting played.

Banf "First Class" air-travel while they are at it (1)

mi (197448) | about 3 months ago | (#47257819)

The same lawmakers should ban airlines (and other transportation providers) from offering "First Class" travel [townhall.com] .

Oh, and, certainly, the namesake Fast Lanes — now increasingly reserved for customers of E-ZPass and similar payment systems — should be banned too.

Free and open huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47257829)

So uh...I want a Ferrari, but I only want to pay for a pinto. Can the FCC or Rep Matsui help me out here?

All for show? (1)

Dega704 (1454673) | about 3 months ago | (#47257839)

I'm having a difficult time believing that this is a genuine effort to accomplish anything besides PR for the democratic party. First of all, everyone knows perfectly well that the FCC's current authority falls well short of what is needed to ban fast lanes; Verizon did a rather thorough job of demonstrating that if I remember correctly. Secondly, if they are going to pass legislation, then why not pass net neutrality directly into law? This is a farce. Most democrats do not care about this issue any more than the republicans do. They are simply trying to look good to the public while simultaneously pleasing their campaign donors; as if Obama's appointing Tom Wheeler as chairman wasn't proof enough of that already.
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