×

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

Thank you!

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

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

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

174 comments

Same story, second verse, same as the first (2)

Rob Nance (645531) | more than 7 years ago | (#15532903)

It's amusing to me that basically it comes down to greed, and if they have it the way they want it, they'll kill something great and hurt themselves in the long run. I guess the reality is they know that we've grown so dependant on the internet that we can't live without it, so no matter how much they screw it up, we'll keep coming back for more.

Re:Same story, second verse, same as the first (3, Interesting)

Very.Zen (831087) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533023)

I am not sure if it does come down to greed. When I first heard about the whole net neutrality saga I was of the very strong opinion that it was quite obviously the way forward, the net had to be neutral to continue to allow it's free and unfettered nature.

I began to read up on this net neutrality looking for information and expanding my opinion. I personally came to the idea that net neutrality isn't all its cracked up to be. I understand the arguments for it, but I cant help but think that different types of data deserve different treatment. I am not talking about bandwidth here but rather latency.

As a case in point I share a house with 5 others, people use VOIP, people browse pages and I personally play a lot of online games. I don't need a huge amount of bandwidth but my latency needs to be ultra low to get the responsiveness I need to play, if the network was totally neutral would each of my game requests be given the same priority as someone requesting a web page where a second of lag would not matter a jot?

Please note this is not the same as charging large web sites for higher throughput to their service, but it is part of the issue that needs to be addressed sensibly with none of this religious zealot manner. It is not good just because it has the word "neutral" in it.

Re:Same story, second verse, same as the first (1)

Hidyman (225308) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533338)

TCP/IP already has mechanisms in place to deal with prioritized traffic,
so if the network is set up correctly, that shouldn't be an issue.
Things like multicasting would also help control net congestion,
but most ISPs that I've seen don't use it (Like AT&T).
The real issue is content control.
Like saying: You can have all of the HTTP you want, but if X protocol comes from Y supplier, Y has to pay for you to get X.

Re:Same story, second verse, same as the first (1)

BalanceOfJudgement (962905) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533397)

I am not sure if it does come down to greed.... if the network was totally neutral would each of my game requests be given the same priority as someone requesting a web page where a second of lag would not matter a jot?
In reply to this idea, I ask... do you suppose Comcast cares whether your game playing is slow? My guess is no - that is not one of their concerns. If almost all of their customers were huge game players, then maybe, but that is not the case. Few people care (or will even notice) if it takes 1.2 versus 0.7 seconds for their email to be sent.

That means that Comcast's interest in giving different content different priority has to be based on something else. If you can come up with another reason they care other than that caring will make them richer, I'd love to hear it.

I am not talking about bandwidth here but rather latency.

But the telecom's ARE talking bandwidth. Their claim is that sites that use tons of bandwidth are getting a free ride, so they want those sites to pay up. My question is, what bandwidth are they talking about? So the lower-bandwidth apps like plain text search will get throttled just like Google Video, because Google refuses to pay the additional fees? Does this seem reasonable? I would say NO, because there's a huge difference in bandwidth between downloading a video and clicking Search on a web page. Yet, the telecoms want to lump it all up into one company and say "Pay me more" regardless of the content being transferred, which further suggests less-than-honest reasoning in their claims.

Re:Same story, second verse, same as the first (1)

SScorpio (595836) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533440)

Install a packet filter on your end that would analyze and prioritize VOIP and game traffic over HTTP traffic. You're more than welcome to due with your packets as you wish, but someone else's packets should have the same priority on the network as a whole.

Re:Same story, second verse, same as the first (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533441)

You're free to shape the traffic coming from and to you as you please. It's not like your provider didn't already shape it, but you can of course do it according to your own preferences.

Because, one thing is for sure, without neutrality, you'd get exactly what you do NOT want. Webpage providers, especially ones like Google or Amazon, will pay the information highway tax. So webpages come in without delay. Game servers (at lease private game servers that host games like Counterstrike or other multiplayer games that aren't in the MMORPG area) most likely won't be able to afford it. Thus, they get held back.

That what you want?

Re:Same story, second verse, same as the first (4, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533505)

This is another case of misunderstanding network neutrality. Your example has nothing to do with it.

1) If you want a low-latency connection for gaming, nothing today stops you from doing that today. Contact your local telecom and ISPs and ask them what latencies they offer and at what price. There's nothing wrong with doing that, it happens today all the time.

For example, I work for a telemedicine company and our clients are hospitals who use low-latency high-bandwidth pipes, and they pay extra for that. They prioritize the audio/video traffic over the HTTP requests.

2) This would be a net neutrality issue if Microsoft paid Comcast to prioritize XBOX Live traffic over Playstation traffic. Or if Comcast bandwidth capped World of Warcraft traffic unless Blizzard or their customers paid them extra.

Re:Same story, second verse, same as the first (1)

x-vere (956928) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533548)

I think you miss the point... The big telecoms want to control what data you send/receive not priority. You can already do packet prioritization on your end. Managed switches are used plenty in networks that use VOIP to prioritize voice packets. This is a means for telecom companies to force you to use their specific services over their specific infrastructure.

Re:Same story, second verse, same as the first (4, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533751)

There are two big lies coming out of the telco giants these days:

1. Big web sites should pay because they're such a load on us.
Big web sites, like Google, are, in fact, the reason that any ISP large or small even has residential and small business services. Without these portal and the like, it would be like selling a pipe that doesn't connect to a water supply.

2. We have to do this to assure the majority of our customers aren't unduly effected by a few big downloaders.
Traffic shaping has been around for years. The small ISP I worked for regularly throttled down P2P traffic, using nothing more than a couple of Linux boxes. This argument is a non-starter.

What it boils down to is that Congress is once again whoring itself to telecom giants who, rather than evolving their business models to fit the Internet, are using their money and their knowledge of just how willingly politicians will prostitute themselves. These guys are simply electronic mobsters, using IP traffic as their weapon of choice to push their weight around. It's despicable, but expected. What's sad is that Congress is so gleeful in selling out the average Internet user. There truly is no shame, no sense of civic responsbility or any ability to understand the incredible information tool which is now threatened by ugly old behemoths.

Why the red herring? (5, Interesting)

XorNand (517466) | more than 7 years ago | (#15532965)

Over and over again the anti-net neutrallity rant is based on the presumption that web site operators don't already pay for bandwidth. I don't understand why this continues? While most people don't know the nuiances of negotiating a high-dollar agreement with a carrier, there are a great many people out there who pay $10-50/mo for simple web hosting. Surely these people know that both ends of a HTTP connection are already paying. I'd like to know if this is an intentional distortion perpetuated by the telecoms, or if this is an honest misunderstanding?

Re:Why the red herring? (3, Funny)

QCompson (675963) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533049)

I'd like to know if this is an intentional distortion perpetuated by the telecoms, or if this is an honest misunderstanding?

How dare you sir! The telecoms are trustworthy, honorable companies. They would never intentionally release distorted information to increase their profits. Anyone back me up on this?

Re:Why the red herring? (5, Funny)

mkw87 (860289) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533156)

Anyone back me up on this?

Our president probably would.

Move on to MoveOn (1, Insightful)

CrazedWalrus (901897) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533274)

Why does every tech article, without fail, have more political jibes in it than tech comments? I just started reading the comments under this story, and this is only the first one I saw. I'm sure it won't be the last.

Slashdot should just save itself the trouble and redirect all of its traffic to MoveOn.org or DNC.org.

I'm not trying to troll here. It's just that this has gotten increasingly bad over the last couple months. Since there's nowhere else to make such a comment, I'll make it here and expect to get modded Offtopic / Troll / Overrated.

If I wanted to read this crap I'd go to Huffington's blog.

Re:Move on to MoveOn (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15533368)

Then stop reading political stories and stop reading Your Rights Online. Your comment is like asking "Why do I keep bleeding every time I stab myself in the dick? If I wanted to bleed every time I stab myself in the dick I'd use a steak knife, not a pocket knife. I should just save myself the trouble and cut off my dick."

Fucking wanker.

Re:Move on to MoveOn (1)

DSP_Geek (532090) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533484)

$FEDGOV sells itself to the Corporocracy every chance it gets, and as a result techies get hosed whenever something interesting comes up. DMCA, broadcast flag, Net non-neutrality: all of those issue from laws passed by Our Elected Reprehensibles kneeling and nursing at the dicks with the deepest pockets.

Re:Move on to MoveOn (4, Insightful)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533676)

Why does every tech article, without fail, have more political jibes in it than tech comments? I just started reading the comments under this story, and this is only the first one I saw. I'm sure it won't be the last.

Unfortunately, the Internet has become a political battleground now, and the whole Net Neutrality issue has polarized opinions among techies and non-techies alike. Most people with a technical bent see Net Neutrality as necessary, to keep everyone on an even footing. The non-technical can't understand the fuss, because they lack the knowledge of how the technical side of the Internet works and how it's paid for. Let's face, how many people look closely at their phone bill and wonder just what it all means? All they know is, the phone keeps working if I pay the bill.

Now, you won't find a more opinionated person than your average Slashdot user. We squabble over Linux vs. Microsoft, Oracle vs. MySQL, Google vs. Yahoo!, etc. Even those fights are now becoming more political, because they involve legal challenges, laws, foreign governments, and the like. I think it's safe to say that now that the political wind is blowing so strong through IT, Slashdotters wound be hard pressed to saty out of the fight. So don't expect the political diatribes to die down in the foreseeable future. It's the price we're paying for our new technological culture.

Re:Move on to MoveOn (1)

CrazedWalrus (901897) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533897)

I see what you mean -- and you're right. I guess my annoyance is more with the fact that it seems to be the same regurgitated rhetoric, if it can even be called rhetoric, time after time. Gets old after a while.

To tell you the truth, I don't even know why I said anything. I like political discussion if it's informed and thoughtful, which some of it is, but mostly it just seems like groupthink and mindless bashing for the sake of bashing. I've been reading this board for years, and I guess I should be used to it by now.

Guess now I'll go and see how many flames I got from brainless ACs. I'm sure there are a few. :-)

Re:Move on to MoveOn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15533761)

You damn self-righteous liberals, always complaining about something!

Re:Why the red herring? (1, Troll)

Ana10g (966013) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533051)

I'll attempt to clarify the issue that the telecoms are taking with the current setup (note that I support the issue of Net Neutrality). Yes, currently, when a hosting contract is signed, you do pay for the bandwidth to get to the first node (or your provider's node, over a few hops). But, the problem the telcos are having is that when traffic originating on a separate part of the network onto another provider's network, the second in line just has to forward the packets on around, without charging for that traffic.

Lets use an example. I'm looking at Toogle from the east coast. My ISP is Comcast, and (for sake of argument, I have no idea who it really is) Toogle is hosted on a west coast provider, say, Covad. My HTTP request is sent from my system to my ISP's node. The ISP's node then routes the packet to it's next hop, which might be on an AT&T network. The AT&T node then routes the packet to another node, which might be in a completely different network, and so on and so forth, until the packet reaches Covad. The response is performed in much the same way, until it reaches my system. Now, yes, both Comcast and Covad are paid for this transaction, from me in my ISP contract, and from Toogle in the hosting agreement. AT&T's complaint is that they have to carry this traffic for free across their network, and get nothing from this particular transaction.

What I would like to know is if the backbone providers already charge a fee to connect to one of their nodes directly. I'd like to think that they do, but it's an uneducated guess.

Re:Why the red herring? (2, Insightful)

lordkuri (514498) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533088)

If AT&T is in that chain somewhere, they're getting some benefit from it. It could be a peering agreement, or an outright transit purchase, but believe me, they do NOT do it for free.

Re:Why the red herring? (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533134)

Lets use an example. I'm looking at Toogle from the east coast. My ISP is Comcast, and (for sake of argument, I have no idea who it really is) Toogle is hosted on a west coast provider, say, Covad. My HTTP request is sent from my system to my ISP's node. The ISP's node then routes the packet to it's next hop, which might be on an AT&T network. The AT&T node then routes the packet to another node, which might be in a completely different network, and so on and so forth, until the packet reaches Covad. The response is performed in much the same way, until it reaches my system. Now, yes, both Comcast and Covad are paid for this transaction, from me in my ISP contract, and from Toogle in the hosting agreement. AT&T's complaint is that they have to carry this traffic for free across their network, and get nothing from this particular transaction.


But Comcast and Covad are paying for their upstream connections to AT&T. Do you think Comcast and Covad connect to the Internet for free? Everybody who connects pays their upstream provider. It's not like either Comcast or Covad are one of the big backbone providers.

On A Smaller Scale: (2, Insightful)

Vorondil28 (864578) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533534)

Exactly.

On a smaller scale, what if I had a son who was old enough for me to charge him rent. Let's say part of his rent went towards using my DSL. So my ISP is carrying both my and my son's traffic. Should they charge me extra because both of us use their service? Of course not. The bandwidth is bought and paid for regardless of where the traffic is coming from and who is generating it.

The same applies to the whole of the Internet. Some companies want to double-charge for their bandwidth, and it's wrong.

Re:Why the red herring? (2, Insightful)

Talraith (785017) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533626)

Yes, everyone pays their upstream provider. I really think this is the telcos being greedy and wanting more money.

With the backbone providers, here is what must be taken into consideration: each provider allows the traffic of the other providers to freely pass through their network in exchange for free passage on the other providers network. If the large telcos want to start charging for that traffic, they will raise costs for everyone using the internet.

If one provider starts charging for peer traffic, other providers will follow suit. This creates higher costs for all them. The increased costs will then be passed on to the customers because otherwise they would affect the precious profit margin. So one by one, the higher costs will passed on until everyone is paying a higher cost just to satisfy telco greed.

Re:Why the red herring? (1)

MyNameIsEarl (917015) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533857)

But Comcast and Covad are paying for their upstream connections to AT&T. Do you think Comcast and Covad connect to the Internet for free? Everybody who connects pays their upstream provider. It's not like either Comcast or Covad are one of the big backbone providers.


So where does it end, who does not have an upstream connection that needs to be paid for?

Re:Why the red herring? (1)

BigTimMcWhiskers (937998) | more than 7 years ago | (#15534004)

So where does it end, who does not have an upstream connection that needs to be paid for?

From what I understand, it ends nowhere! Everyone is already paying in one way or another (mom'n'pop paying ISP, ISP paying telco, telco paying hardware/copper/fiber manufacturers) which is why the telco argument is completely ridiculous.

Re:Why the red herring? (1, Insightful)

argoff (142580) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533190)

...AT&T's complaint is that they have to carry this traffic for free across their network, and get nothing from this particular transaction.

No they don't, at least that's my understanding as of now. AT&T is free to block that traffic, but then again all the people who connect to AT&T are free to stop doing business with them. Perhaps AT&T is wineing about the free market and wants to use the government to force Google to pay no matter what. Perhaps Google wants to use the government to force AT&T to be neutral no matter what. IMHO, they are both wrong, we don't need any new laws either way.

Re:Why the red herring? (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533448)

but then again all the people who connect to AT&T are free to stop doing business with them.
Until all the internet companies throttle down access to Google.

Re:Why the red herring? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15533346)

you couldnt be more wrong. EVERYONE GETS PAID. DONT FORGET THAT. The ONLY ones who don't pay each other are the tier 1 providers who have peering agreements. AT&T defintly gets paid for bandwidth from smaller ISPs that connect to it.

Re:Why the red herring? (3, Informative)

dfjghsk (850954) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533813)

and to clarify the point about peering agreements:

Peering agreements only exist between two providers who pass roughly equal amounts of traffic between eachother. It's just an agreement that say: I'm passing 1000TB of traffic to you, and your passing 1000TB to me, so we'll carry each others traffic for free.

If one of the companies loses market share, they will not renew the agreement. Take a look at what happened with Level1 and Cogent (IIRC)

Re:Why the red herring? (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533789)

AT&T's complaint is that they have to carry this traffic for free across their network, and get nothing from this particular transaction.

Except that they are getting paid; they are charging the two networks which AT&T connects. Of course they in turn charge AT&T back, so they may not be making a profit on it.

Re:Why the red herring? (1)

Duhavid (677874) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533966)

But they do make an indirect profit from the customers
that pay them to connect to the internet, and not to
*just* their network. Network effect.

Re:Why the red herring? (3, Insightful)

gid13 (620803) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533063)

I manage a tech support call centre, and we get MANY calls that go something like this:
Customer: "I'm getting an 'invalid username or password' error, is your service down?"
Agent (after checking logs): "No, you're typing the wrong username."

Other thrilling examples include "So, is my modem my hard drive or is it my screen?", "What's an X?", "What is a phone?", and "What is a keyboard?" (This last one was from someone who spoke fluent English and said she only used the internet for Yahoo mail, and after 5 solid minutes of explanation using phrases like "The thing your hands touch when you type an e-mail" she still couldn't grasp the concept).

Why is this relevant to net neutrality? People have no idea what the internet IS, let alone how it works. You can't expect understanding of a "complex" issue like network neutrality from someone who thinks he must be connected to the internet because his computer is on.

Senators are not necessarily more technically inclined than anybody else. Believe me, honest misunderstanding, or just lack of understanding, can account for FAR more than you think.

Re:Why the red herring? (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533207)

Senators are not necessarily more technically inclined than anybody else.

No, but they have a staff, and they pay impartial experts to explain things to them, where necessary.

There has been plenty of instances of highly technical legislation going through congress before, and speeches were they discussed the issues in rational and accurate terms. You can't claim many of those same people went stupid all of a sudden.

Re:Why the red herring? (2, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533383)

No, but they have a staff, and they pay impartial experts to explain things to them, where necessary.


In Corporate America, experts pay you (if you are a senator).

Unfortunatly this is how it really works. Somebody wants to get more money, hires an 'expert' and then tells the senator that such and such change would be good for everybody.

Re:Why the red herring? (1)

crawling_chaos (23007) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533387)

No, but they have a staff, and they pay impartial experts to explain things to them, where necessary.

Damn. That's the funniest thing I've read in a while. I'd call you hopelessly naive about how the Congress works, but that would be an insult to hopelessly naive people everywhere. Trust me, no Congresscritter is going to pay for an expert opinion when a lobbyist will pay for it and give him/her/it a free dinner at The Palm or Galileo to boot. Never mind that that opinion will be about as impartial as a Redskins fan's about the Dallas Cowboys.

Call me jaded, but I live and work in this town. I know what I have seen with my own two eyes and the discussions I've overheard on the Metro around the Capital. It disabuses you of a lot of illusions. Fast.

Re:Why the red herring? (1)

Traiklin (901982) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533437)

There has been plenty of instances of highly technical legislation going through congress before, and speeches were they discussed the issues in rational and accurate terms. You can't claim many of those same people went stupid all of a sudden.
Yes only problem is they do go stupid all of a sudden, we've had senators pass stuff then later admit they had no clue what it is they passed or what it ment to anything. Also, All to often they admit to passing something without ever reading the proposal or having it read to them so for all they know they could be passing into law outlawing being jewish and they wouldn't know it till someone who actually read the damn thing points it out. Now they can backtrack and play stupid about not knowing that was in there but then it shows that they don't even care what laws are passed cause they don't even read this stuff.

Look at what happened after 9/11. When congress came back, bill after bill after bill was passed without the blink of an eye, a good chunk of what was passed had nothing to do with terrorism or protection, It was laws that had been sitting around waiting to get passed, when they couldn't get passed on their own they got tacked onto a terrorism bill and poof! it got passed in a hurry.

Re:Why the red herring? (1)

tassii (615268) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533502)

No, but they have a staff, and they pay impartial experts to explain things to them, where necessary.

Actually, they don't. They give it to staff (the intern who is a friend of a friend) or to experts (which are better known as lobbists). I don't recall any impartiality in the process.

Re:Why the red herring? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533375)

Like my grandpa said, "When you got no clue, shut up and let those talk that have one."

Not you. The senators.

Quite seriously, let's imagine I'm charged with making a decision about ... say, a law regulating the use of artificial insemination in cows. Not quite my topic. What would I do?

I would HIRE someone to tell me why it's good or why it's bad. Preferably someone who's neither from one end of the lobby chain, nor the other. Hell, I'd hire TWO guys. One from each side of the chain. Both should tell me why it's good / bad (depending on their lobby group) and then I can make a decision.

Unfortunately, current decisions are based on one sided lobbying. By people who have no clue, who rely on what they hear. So of course we get more and more laws that benefit only the large corporations (who can afford lobbying).

Re:Why the red herring? (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533066)

Its because they want to win.

Most people with any degree of power will say anything that further advances that power, regardless of the truth or not of it.

If you meet anyone who buys into the lie - ask them how they would feel if the phone company suddenly started charging them for receiving calls.

Re:Why the red herring? (1)

synapse1712 (980027) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533310)

ask them how they would feel if the phone company suddenly started charging them for receiving calls

Shh! Telecoms execs could be reading this RIGHT NOW!

Re:Why the red herring? (1)

ThirdOfThree (901559) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533846)

If you use a mobile phone in the US, this is already the case. Mobile phone calls are already twice paid for by the caller and the receiver.

Re:Why the red herring? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15533096)

> I'd like to know if this is an intentional distortion perpetuated by the telecoms, or if this is an honest misunderstanding?

Like the best lies, it's an intentional distortion that takes advantage of an honest misunderstanding among nontechnical folks.

> While most people don't know the nuiances of negotiating a high-dollar agreement with a carrier, there are a great many people out there who pay $10-50/mo for simple web hosting.

There may be a few hundred thousand people who pay $10/50/month for web hosting, but you're still looking at the top tenth of a percent of technically-aware users.

Most consumers are under the delusion that having a Myspace/Livejournal/Blogger (or back in the day, a Geocities) page/site is the same thing as having "web hosting".

These people outnumber the "$10-50/month for web hosting" folks by a million to one, and they do what they're told: When AT&T puts a commercial on TV telling saying "Don't you want to be able to watch movies on the Internet? Tell your Congressman that your telco should have equal rights to provide the same services your cable company does!", they fall for it hook, line, and sinker, reel, rod, and copy of Angling Times.

I mean, AT&T's customers can all have "have a web site" (read: a Myspace page) without paying AT&T a red cent! Obviously the big web sites like the Googles and the Yahoos, must be getting an even better deal than free!

Re:Why the red herring? (1)

Daravon (848487) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533149)

Naw, the only misunderstanding is that the CEO told his accountants that he has to buy a Porsche for his daughter because the one he bought last week was pink. This week she wants a blue one. And a pony.

The fact that customers oon both ends of the bandwith pipe are getting fucked doesn't matter.

Re:Why the red herring? (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533251)

I'd like to know if this is an intentional distortion perpetuated by the telecoms, or if this is an honest misunderstanding?

While the optimist in me would love to beleive it's the latter, based on the people who are ant-net-neutrality, namely big telecomms and cable companies, it's impossible for me to accept that these people are simply ignorant of how it works. If they are then they certainly don't deserve the positions they hold within their companies.

Re:Why the red herring? (1)

Xenographic (557057) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533370)

> I'd like to know if this is an intentional distortion perpetuated by the telecoms, or if this is an honest misunderstanding?

See http://savetheinternet.com/ [savetheinternet.com] -- the telecoms are spending millions on a [dis]information campaign, they keep whining about people not being charged when the peering agreements, hosting agreements and ISP bills charge all ends of the transaction. They cite "competition" when most people have two or fewer choices for broadband... Or the "our network" bit when we paid them over $100 billion dollars recently to improve last mile connections...

So, I really have to go with "intentional distortion" on this one.

Just business: slow Wikipedia, fast US-Porn.com (1)

Elixon (832904) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533537)

"I don't understand why this continues?"

It is just about money. But I'm afraid that with this kind of discussion I can end up with 3 minutes long page loading from Wikipedia meanwhile my neighbor downloads ten high resolution porn clips... :-( Sad discussion, isn't it?

Re:Just business: slow Wikipedia, fast US-Porn.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15533884)

But I'm afraid that with this kind of discussion I can end up with 3 minutes long page loading from Wikipedia meanwhile my neighbor downloads ten high resolution porn clips...
Sorry about that. I'll move.

The law of unintended consequences at work (4, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 7 years ago | (#15532995)

The key to stopping these problems would be to impose rigorous common carrier status regulations on general bandwidth providers. Allow everything from political speech to hate speech to pornography. The only thing that would get exempt would be IPTV so that IPTV providers could organize content packages according to their customers' tastes.

For the love of God, get rid of all of the bullshit regulation at every level that allows governments to meddle in the prices of bandwidth packages and the ability of property owners to negotiate with the telecoms. Take away EVERY barrier that keeps new players from entering the market, or that even increases the cost of entering.

And I ask one more time. Does anyone want this Congress, with its meth-addled ADHD-afflicted child-level attention span for details and consequences to regulate complex technical issues when most of it are MBAs and lawyers? I wouldn't, and I despise Verizon. I switched to Vonage and would stay with Vonage even if cost more than Verizon or AT&T because it's not AT&T or Verizon, but I sure as hell don't trust this bunch of coin-operated cronies to regulate the Internet.

Re:The law of unintended consequences at work (1)

sporkmonger (922923) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533245)

That kind of statement is probably wide-open for being twisted by the telecoms. Remember, they're styling net neutrality laws as burdensome and unnecessary regulation that will stifle innovation.

Re:The law of unintended consequences at work (3, Insightful)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533323)

Take away EVERY barrier that keeps new players from entering the market...

The biggest barrier is the last mile. You don't want every Tom, Dick and Harry digging up the streets to lay fiber, so localities make agreements with a few players. The problem is, some of these players like the phone company and the cable giants, has historically made exclusive agreements and done their best to keep the public from knowing. (Time Warner has packed town hall meeting with employees so the citizens wouldn't be able to speak)

So, in steps the State and Federal governments. Legislation is proposed to limit the big players, since they have defacto monopolies. These players, sensing that the new law would cost them money, send their paid lobbists to increase their monopoly status. Hilarity ensues.

Lack of basic understanding (0)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533025)

Yes, right now the ISP's are getting paid. $19.95 a month for DSL in many cases. Offered at a loss to build market share and penetration. Even cable systems charging $40-$60 a month aren't really paying the whole bill.

Why is broadband service being oversold at a loss? Because everyone thinks this will turn into some financial windfall in the future when it is a must-have. Someone at one end of the connection or the other will be paying for it. We are now seeing the beginnings of that where the "at a loss" status is trying to be changed.

Do you want to pay $100 a month for your 10Mb broadband connection? Probably not. The DSL and cable providers do not want to charge you that either - they want people that want to reach out to you to pay the difference. If they can convince Google to pay to present ads to you, then your bill will not go up.

Trust me, the money to support this is going to come from somewhere. It will eventually be paid by the consumer, one way or another. The choice is directly or indirectly and every business in the world wants it to be indirectly.

Re:Lack of basic understanding (1)

QCompson (675963) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533141)

Do you want to pay $100 a month for your 10Mb broadband connection? Hell yes. I would much rather pay $100 a month to access the internet unrestricted than to have my ISP decide which websites are going to be fast and which will be slow.

Re:Lack of basic understanding (1)

WickedLogic (314155) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533183)

I'd easily pay $100 for a 10Mb connection. If that is what they sold. However, they sell a 4-6Mb connection for $35-50, that cannot be used to it's full extent despite saying that is what is being sold. I've had home cable, dsl, dialup, done colo, managed hosting, and worked at a tier I backbone as a high level sys admin.

There is simply no reason that those connections could not be run and a profit made at those prices. The *real* choices are direct, indirect, or a lower cost competitor who doesn't make the issues blurry and incurs honest business costs that don't need to be extorted out of the public. Guess which one the geeks/people will create if the businesses assume that the consumer will simply have to pay their fees, directly or indirectly.

Re:Lack of basic understanding (5, Insightful)

uniqueCondition (769252) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533336)

Offered at a loss

DSL/cable isn't being offered at a loss. This is simply untrue! Go check out the financial statements of your local exchange carrier (LEC) http://www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml [sec.gov]

Lots of them make huge coin and are paying out big dividends.

Forget the huge windfall later, most assume that data will eventually be commoditized in the way voice was (i.e., things will get worse).

Please mod the parent up and grandparent down (1)

sinkemlow (843906) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533539)

The idea that broadband services are sold "at a loss" is ridiculous. Even for the small time players it is sold for a profit. I've worked for ISPs that have as little as 30 xDSL customers to ones with hundreds of thousands. It shouldn't surprise anyone to hear that all of these companies made a rather nice profit selling broadband.

Re:Lack of basic understanding (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533416)

Hmmm... let's see the options...

Continue paying 70 bucks a month (that's what 1024/256 costs here) and only be allowed to actually use those 1024/256 on pages I don't want to see.

Pay 200 a month for 512/64 and actually get 512 to the pages I want to see.

Not so tough, that decision, if you ask me.

Re:Right for DSL price WRONG FOR CABLE (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533646)

Yes, right now the ISP's are getting paid. $19.95 a month for DSL in many cases. Offered at a loss to build market share and penetration. Even cable systems charging $40-$60 a month aren't really paying the whole bill.

DSL for $19.95 won't make money back for almost 24 months of the roll out.

However, Cable makes money the instant they hook you up.

How do I know this? I used to work for a 3rd party major ISP that leased DSL lines and Cable connections.

Basically DSL was a money hole (at least in 2003)... You'd often pour $1,000 to get a single customer up and running with the installation and fixing all their line problems and finding the load coils and everything else that could go wrong (and even then some of it wouldn't work).

That is why we held this "contractual agreement" over a customers head and threatened them with a big fat cancelation fee if they canceled their service.

But the Cable service on the other hand was pure profit... We'd slap our name on the package and handle the email servers and lease our IP address to the local provider. Sent out an installer and boom they were up and running and bandwidth and support costs were nihl. Cable was setup on the get go and the matainece cost was such that we would get take a smaller cut, but still make more back than we did on DSL.

Of course I quit the ISP in 2003 due to things going downhill so DSL might be a bit more stable these days, but I don't think cable costs anymore.

One you setup a bandwidth it is like running an aqueduct. The only thing it costs the companies is when they need more of it, replace broken equipment, electricity, and pay the network egineers.

Once the structure is in place it doesn't really cost that much IMO. However it is the initial customer buy in and installation is what costs the most money.

This extra charge is not needed for the telcos, cables, and other ISPs to remain profitable. Bandwidth isn't free but isn't not as expesive as they make it out to be.

Re:Right for DSL price WRONG FOR CABLE (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533892)

Basically DSL was a money hole (at least in 2003)... You'd often pour $1,000 to get a single customer up and running with the installation and fixing all their line problems and finding the load coils and everything else that could go wrong (and even then some of it wouldn't work).

That is why we held this "contractual agreement" over a customers head and threatened them with a big fat cancelation fee if they canceled their service.


So, basically the telcos sold something they really couldn't provide, and that's the justfication for locking you into a contract?

You don't think cable companies need to do line tests and what not? We had them come out once because our internet stated going flaky after they line to the cable modem was hooked up to an amplifier (which they later discovered filtered out 'noise' which was actually signal). It took them quite a few tests before they figured out what was going on.

Lets not forget the reason we needed the amp in the first place; the higher frequencies weren't reaching us as well, so we weren't able to use the VOD they just rolled out.

Re:Lack of basic understanding (1)

ArghBlarg (79067) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533654)

With the size and opulence of the new Shaw cable building in my city, I can quite confidently call BS on your claim that broadband must be sold at a loss for $50/month. Hell, it's only $40 CDN here and Shaw is raking in the dough. OK, there's a chance that their cable TV subsidizes their internet, but they've always been perfectly willing to sell an internet connection *without* cable to me.

Re:Lack of basic understanding (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533848)

Offered at a loss to build market share and penetration. Even cable systems charging $40-$60 a month aren't really paying the whole bill.
I call BS. Sorry, no, I do not believe the idea that paying $50/mo is accepting charity, or that I should feel lucky for the privelige of paying to go on the Internet.

If Comcast et. al. aren't happy with the bandwidth business, perhaps they should just leave. Somebody else will come in to collect my $50/mo., I'm willing to bet on it. Bandwidth is cheap and it gets cheaper all the time.

Re:Lack of basic understanding (1)

Khammurabi (962376) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533855)

Do you want to pay $100 a month for your 10Mb broadband connection? Probably not. The DSL and cable providers do not want to charge you that either - they want people that want to reach out to you to pay the difference.
That's not quite the issue being discussed, although the telecoms / cable cos would happily have you believe that. The telcos are still making a fat profit, that is not what is at issue. What is at issue is that the profit growth curve is flattening out, which upsets the shareholders, which forces the telcos to invent new ways to keep the curve going up.

From this miasma of thought and pressure came this idea. It's not really a new idea. (Fedex, UPS and the Post Office charge "per package", so to say.) What's got everyone so worked up into a fuss is that the the extra amount of "work" that is created by this extra traffic is miniscule compared to the post office meme.

The reason being provided with this idea doesn't have much credability, which is why there is a backlash. (People are having a difficult time believing that this isn't just a lame excuse to pick more people's pockets.) Using my example it would be like me sending a two-day package through Mailboxes Etc, only to have the courier call me up and say I'll have to pay another $50 to have it make it there on time. I paid Mailboxes Etc to send the package, so why should I now have to bribe the courier as well?

I understand that the advent of more heavily accessed streaming video will eat up the telco's bandwidth, but they should be working something out with the web site ISP's, not the people sending out the packages. But if the telcos want the market to sort itself out on this matter, I think they'll be in for a rude awakening in a few years time. The telcos should really read up on game theory.

Re:Lack of basic understanding (1)

curunir (98273) | more than 7 years ago | (#15534008)

I'm not buying it. Maybe the promotional $19.95 rates are below cost, but $50/mo isn't. If you look at independent broadband providers, they charge ~$50/mo, and they don't have the cash reserves nor the alternative revenue streams that the bigger companies have to allow them to take a loss on service.

The reality is that the consumer broadband market is like many other markets...they oversell their product with the knowledge that most customers will use far less bandwidth than they pay for. Sure, most people reading this are part of the group that's constantly bittorrenting the latest Ubuntu ISO or some other such bandwidth-intensive activity, but there's enough people (think of your parents, grandparents and all those people who you provide begrudging tech support to) out there that only use a few megs a day, but want those few megs to come down faster than dial-up.

Airlines oversell flights knowing that it'll be cheaper to give out free flight vouchers when everyone shows up rather than let seats go empty. Your local police and fire departments don't have nearly the staff to deal with everyone's problems at once. Even webhosting companies offer insane amounts of bandwidth/storage knowing that only a small percentage of customers will use it. My host offers 1TB/mo with 20 GB storage for only $7.95/mo (PLUG! [dreamhost.com]). Those numbers don't come close to adding up, yet I know they're making money.

The money to support this is already being paid. The only reason this is happening is that the telcos will be damned if they let Vonage/Skype eat their lunch over connections they have some measure of control over. Data-only connections are the future, and the bells are finally wising up to this fact and trying to figure out how to maintain their monopoly profits on voice lines in a world where competitors don't have to physically connect with their customers. Prioritized traffic is the obvious answer since it leverages the physical connection to the user against the VoIP providers who they're competing with.

Monkey suits... (2, Interesting)

Brothernone (928252) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533031)

I hope people can start to figure this out. The pipes are paid for. We're all Leasing the bandwidth on both ends. Over the last few years i'm sure the comusmer market has paid for the pipes. I garuntee they're making money. This is just a bully tactic to force people to pay for the "privalige" to use their pipes.
The Confusion is almost all on their side of the argument. It would be nice if congress would look at how things work before they try to pass laws about technology.

Keep it limited (2, Insightful)

Artie Dent (929986) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533032)

Looks like we might get some action from Congress after, that's heartening, I just worry that in regulating this aspect of the net, it could try and get overzealous and use it as precedent to regulate other parts of it too.

My understanding (2, Interesting)

argoff (142580) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533034)

My understanding is that currently a communications company can try to bill someone (like Google) whose traffic gets routed thru their network (and they do not provide the connectivity at the end points), but then Google can tell them to go to hell. Well, if they block Google traffic all their customers will leave, so now they want the government to force Google to pay. So now the 'Google side' has turned things arround and decided to get the government to force neutral access no matter what.

The truth is that we are probably better off with no new laws at all. Let the companies who screw with traffic go broke, and let the market force neutral access and not the government.

Re:My understanding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15533195)

Too many sheep. People have become almost as complacent with their wallets as they have long-been with their votes.

Make no mistake, these companies realize this. In short, they believe they can get away with it and I believe they might be right.

Re:My understanding (3, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533249)

Not quite how I understand it. Currently tier 1 providers can't charge google directly, they have peering arrangements where smaller providers have to pay. They aren't trying to get the government to force google to pay, they are trying to get the government let them charge google directly.

What makes you think the market can force neutral access? Remember Betamax? Undeniably the better format technically, yet the market chose the inferior format. The free market isn't magic. If people are too stupid to regulate something correctly, what makes you think they can acheive a better outcome through random purchasing? Besides, we are dealing with oligopolies here, there is no free market. Adam Smith's invisible hand only works in certain limited circumstances, libertarian rhetoric to the contrary notwithstanding.

Re:My understanding (1)

moogle001 (563970) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533663)

In a perfect world, where the free market operated as the theory would have it work. But if the majority of big companies are blocking/tolling traffic, who are customers going to go to? And of course, as has been stated numerous times, people don't understand the issue to begin with. I'll be the first to admit I don't grasp the sea of telecom/ISP regulations, as much as I might want to.

Re:My understanding (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533914)

The truth is that we are probably better off with no new laws at all. Let the companies who screw with traffic go broke, and let the market force neutral access and not the government.

So if AT&T tries this and slows Google's packets, who exactly do I switch to if my only choices are Comcast and Verizon? Who does Google switch to if their only choices are Bell South or Qwest?

THATS why we need the law enforcing neutrality.

Re:My understanding (1)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533959)

My understanding is that currently a communications company can try to bill someone (like Google) whose traffic gets routed thru their network (and they do not provide the connectivity at the end points), but then Google can tell them to go to hell. I've posted before to this argument, but perhaps it merits another mention since the message clearly is NOT getting through. My dad lives in a town of about 50,000 people that is more than 100 miles away from the nearest large metro area. Bellsouth, his provider, has been very upfront in saying that basically they have no plans to ever build DSL connections to where he lives. My had cable modem with his cable company. So if my dad gets pissed off that his cable company is throttling Google because Google won't pay them the extortion fee they want, exactly where does he go? There's no cable competition in his town. His local cable provider is the only high speed internet provider.

Re:My understanding (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533982)

My understanding is that currently a communications company can try to bill someone (like Google) whose traffic gets routed thru their network (and they do not provide the connectivity at the end points), but then Google can tell them to go to hell.
I might be wrong, but my understanding is that the main enemies of network neutrality are the last mile providers. After all, that's the only place where bandwidth is limited as a practical matter, and therefore where competition cannot easily "route around" degraded service. If Comcast decides to promote their own VOIP by screwing over Vonage, my only real options are giving in to Comcast or going back to BellSouth.

Net neutrality looks dead (3, Interesting)

Whumpsnatz (451594) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533046)

The Bush administration (and the FCC) has already decided to throw out neutrality. That means action by both the Senate and the House is necessary for anything to change. The House already voted against the Markey amendment (by 269-152, I think), so there doesn't appear to be _any_ chance of saving net neutrality.

Re:Net neutrality looks dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15533579)

Don't forget that roughly 30% of the dems voted nay as well.

Wake me when the rest of the world has to care! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15533050)

It's just more Americans being screwed over by their government, nothing to worry the rest of us.

Re:Wake me when the rest of the world has to care! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15533116)

That's a good point. New American laws hardly ever influence legislation in other countries.

AT&T CEO G.R.E.E.D.Y. (1)

vinsanity1 (978226) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533067)

Ed Whitacre claims only half of people's internet access is being paid for:
"I think the content providers should be paying for the use of the network--obviously not the piece from the customer to the network, which has already been paid for by the customer in Internet access fees--but for accessing the so-called Internet cloud."
let's draw a comparison to phone (voice) calls: with a standard phone call, the caller pays the call costs. you don't pay when someone calls you.
this is simply ridiculous.
if Mr Whitacre is successful, the Internet will suffer immensely. AT&T and other ISPs are only hurting themselves here.

Re:AT&T CEO G.R.E.E.D.Y. (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533787)

You may not pay on a per call basis, but you pay a monthly fee for the privilege of leasing a phone number.

TV over IP / FIOS (3, Interesting)

harshaw (3140) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533122)

What a good bit of the debate does not discuss is that a number of players, Verizon in particular, want to bring TV into your house over IP (via a fiber connection) in order to compete against cable. This is the holy grail of the telecoms industry: bundled services.

In general, competition for cable is a good thing. However, what is not often discussed is that TV content would come over a dedicated connection from verizon that you the subscriber would not have access to directly (at least, this is my understanding). The really really bad thing about this is that it would let verizon do what companies in the mobile space are doing: mixing transport (delivering the bits) with content control. In the mobile space this has been a terrific failure for most customers as the wireless companies control the delivery channel and the portals (what applications and ring tones are available).

I think the critical issue here is that we need to insist that the delivery pipe from verizon is a level playing field and that others can delivery TV content if they so choose. The pipe would still be seperate from normal internet access but I would be able to choose my HDTV provider who would let me pick the "geek" bundle of channels (plus oxygen for the wife) and who would undercut both verizon and comcast.

Verizon and the cable companies are natural monopolies: there is no way around that. Verizon is sinking tons of money into deploying FIOS: they should be compensated for that deployment. However, that compensation should not comes with strings attached - they should bill the customer for access to a high speed pipe dedicated to video and that's it.

No intelligent life here (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15533139)

Yeah, reference to "Moonie-Owned Newspapers" in the title. That's the way to initiate reasoned discourse. No intelligent life here, Capt.

ISP Caches (1)

AlzaF (963971) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533250)

Would not a solution to deal with high bandwith content is that these sites get their data cached locally by ISP's?

So, out of curiousity.... (3, Interesting)

Mycroft Holmes IV (217745) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533272)

what prevents Google (or Ebay, or Microsoft) from slowing their internet connections to anyone who goes through the AT&T pipe?

The reason I'm asking is cause, as the article points out, I don't pay $$$ for a fat pipe, I pay $$$ for a fat pipe to these sites.

And if necessary, I'll pay someone else $$$ for a fat pipe.

So...if we lose net neutrality, what prevents Google (or others) from extorting AT&T?

Pipes for free? Hell, before we're done, we'll charge AT&T to use their pipes!

I miss the point (1)

ghyd (981064) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533294)

Wouldn't it fit the US spirit better to ensure more diversity in their ISP, to strenghten concurence and quality of service, rather than over-regulate their 2 or 3 giants ? The whole debate seems a little strange from here where most people can choose between enough quality providers (as one nationalized telecom company had to deregulate its lines, and in a few years time all willing ISP had ADSL2+ access to 75% of the interested population). I wonder how much the sentiment that americans have to have mildly bad and expensive internet accesses (as it is sometime said) influes on this debate. As, if so, the whole debate would somehow misses the point. Adressing an eventual futur problem doesn't improve todays issues. But maybe not, i gladly acknowledge i just make assumptions. As, at the same time, maybe there is a real danger lurking beyond... and maybe being confident in my ISP and in the fact that i could change to another fine ISP if i wanted or needed too, makes me miss some real problem. I just don't see it now. I don't say that the problem is not there, so far i've heard no good argument in favor of net neutrality other than it being supported by google and amazon. Wich as everyone knows are comited to supporting the human specie (especially in China), when telecoms companies are comited to destroy us. Common knowledge.

Net Doublecharge (3, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533364)

Let's break it down even simpler:

AT&T wants to charge Google for carrying Google Net traffic, even if Google isn't directly connected to AT&T. Let's say Google is connected to GCom, which is connected to AT&T, and Google users are connected to UCom, which is connected to AT&T (of course there are really many more intermediaries, but the system works exactly the same). Google pays GCom for its traffic, while users pay UCom for their traffic. GCom and UCom each pay AT&T to carry their traffic. AT&T gets paid its portion by Google and its users through those intermediaries. AT&T gets paid twice, once in each direction, for every transaction, without marketing the traffic: Google does that risky part.

AT&T just wants to doublecharge Google, because 1: Google has money, and 2: AT&T has a blackmail toolkit, including the huge network used by so many people, and Congress. If they just raised their rates, the traffic would flow over the redundant Internet to their cheaper competitors. So they're getting their cartel^Windustry to add a new kind of charge that everyone will collect, killing competition.

What does the telecom carrier industry plan beyond just ripping off everyone paying for our distributed Net access? To start, they're planning to suck up the "fast lane" with video, IPTV, to "compete" with cable companies and independent distributors. Including YouTube and any other upstart not in the telco club. Charging competitors outside the cartel too much to stay in the game, just like they killed the DSL competition. They'll also squeeze out any upstart VoIP competition, so their core voice business can keep its 20th Century domain intact.

Of course, along the way, they'll kick the crap out of any independent media they carry which tells the truth to the people. With voice, video and data under their privileged control, as well as the government, how can they lose?

Re:Net Doublecharge (1)

johnny cashed (590023) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533640)

Gushfest mode on:

Once again, The good doctor boils to down to the brass tacks. Who is this Doc Ruby? He just has this way of explaining complex issues in an easy to grasp manner. Can I fit in anymore accolades and cool idioms?

Gushfest mode off.

I know some have called you a dumbass, but damnit, you have this excellent manner of calling bullshit. Sure you can be abrasive sometimes, but nobody's perfect.

Yes, mod this up.

Disclaimer: I hate the phone company. And the cable company too...

Re:Net Doublecharge (1)

kyoko21 (198413) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533641)

This is a form of racketeering. If you don't pay, we don't have to carry your packets. Simple as that.

Bottom Line (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533422)

If two people have 1 meg connections, and they exchange a file, the exchange should take place at 1 meg rate, all conditions being perfect.

If a company buys bandwidth to accommodate 100 people downloading content a 1 meg each (the speed the customers paid for), and can deliver the data to the ISP at that rate, then each customer, given perfect conditions, should be able to receive the content at a 1 meg rate.

Any slowdown in delivery could actually be considered to be stealing of bandwidth by the provider and/or carriers.

Honestly I see a substantial digital war looming.. (1)

Polarism (736984) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533469)

If the Corporate guns manage to modify the internet away from what it has now become in terms of the overall freedom of information flow, and general anarchism, I think we're going to see massive massive hacker incidents worldwide in numbers so large even the most in-depth IDS/IH techniques will simply fall flat.

Of course, I also think that this would be short-lived, and if the powers that be really do want to change the neutrality of the internet, they will, and that's that.

Reply from Senator Durbin (1)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533660)

I wrote Illinois Senator Dick Durbin about this and got a message back, which I'll include below. Take a look at how he fairly carefully doesn't say what his real stand is.

Durbin has taken $37,000 in the past 6 years from telco PACs. Not a fortune, but might cause him to vote to favor Bill Daley, brother to the mayor of Chicago and shill for SBC ne AT&T.

- - -

Durbin's Office Wrote:

Thank you for contacting me about taxing Internet access and regulating Internet content delivery. I appreciate hearing from you.

The Senate Commerce Committee is currently considering the Communications, Consumer's Choice, and Broadband Deployment Act of 2006 (S. 2686). This measure would require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to report annually to Congress on whether consumer use of the Internet is being affected by changes in how Internet traffic is processed and in the relationships between Internet service providers and content providers. If the FCC finds significant problems, it would be required to recommend appropriate legislation.

This language is one small step toward net neutrality, a principle holding that Internet access providers should not be permitted to engage in favoritism when configuring their networks and delivering Internet content. Such favoritism could occur if a provider transmitted its own offerings at faster speeds than those of its competitors or if a provider charged digital content and application companies a fee for equally fast delivery.

This issue has gained attention recently as several telecommunications company executives have made statements raising concerns that delivery may be impaired for content providers unwilling to pay additional fees for fast transmission. Many of these executives later clarified that they have no intention of degrading or blocking other traffic, particularly if it might prompt customers to switch to other providers, but merely wish to offer video delivery to their own customer base at a premium service level unavailable to non-paying competitors. Some in the industry have favorably compared additional network performance tiers to airlines selling coach and business class tickets or package delivery companies offering ground and air service. Other observers have expressed concern about the impact of such steps on consumers.

Proponents of network neutrality - including major Internet content providers, hardware and software companies, and consumer groups - point to the money that operators already receive from end user and content provider access fees, the technological innovation that network neutrality may encourage, and the lack of high-speed Internet access marketplace competition, which leaves consumers in much of the
country with little opportunity to switch providers if their current provider were to engage in "bit discrimination" against the services or applications preferred by consumers.

Opponents of network neutrality argue that a regime prohibiting bit discrimination would deny network operators the opportunity to differentiate their services from other providers, thereby stifling the incentive to create innovative content for their customers. They also argue that network operators may face greater difficulties in raising the funding necessary for planned infrastructure upgrades if the improved network speeds would benefit their competitors as much as themselves.

S. 2686 would also change federal law so that the government's Universal Service Fund is supported by every "communications service provider" in the United States instead of every "telecommunications carrier that provides interstate telecommunications services," as is currently the case. The bill would establish a "Broadband for Unserved Areas Account" within the Universal Service Fund to help pay
for the deployment of broadband Internet service in areas that currently do not have broadband service.

Since Congress passed the Telecommunications Act of 1934, the federal government has sought to ensure access to telephone service for all, without regard to socioeconomic status or geography. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 required all interstate telecommunications carriers to contribute to a fund the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established to achieve this goal. Most carriers recover their contributions through fees billed to their customers.

The USF provides assistance to help provide basic phone service for low-income consumers, telecommunications services for rural health care providers, Internet access for schools and libraries, and more affordable service for consumers in mostly rural areas with high
costs.

            S. 2686 has been referred to the Senate Commerce Committee. Although I am not a member of this committee, I will keep your thoughts in mind in case this legislation reaches the Senate floor.

            Thank you again for contacting me. Feel free to keep in touch.

Sincerely,
Richard J. Durbin
United States Senator

Re:Reply from Senator Durbin (1)

elmerf9001 (921143) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533718)

Dick Dirtbag is a traitorous piece of shit...... I hope he burns in hell like the rest of you fucking libs....

The pipes are not yet full (1)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533720)

When 1gb/s of traffic goes down a 2gb/s pipe, we're all happy. If it's Qwest's pipe, then they'd like more traffic, or may think this is over-engineered, but there's no outage.

If we start paying a premium for some bandwidth, then a 2gb/s pipe may have 1gb/s of premium paying traffic on it, and all the receivers of that traffic will be happy. But there also might be 100gb/s of non-premium paying traffic. From the carrier's standpoint, that's not a problem. Who cares if other traffic can't get through? The traffic which makes money can, so there's no reason to upgrade.

Like your Internet the way it is now? Good, because without network neutrality, it's not going to change AT ALL. It'll never get upgraded, unless someone is willing to pay for more premium traffic on it.

List (3, Informative)

ndansmith (582590) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533749)

Joshua Marshall's Talking Points Memo has a list of where senators stand on Net Neutrality here [talkingpointsmemo.com]. It still needs work, so if you have any information about your senator, you can contribute that info to TPM and they will update the list.

More importantly, if you don't like where your senators stand, give them a call.

Idiots (1)

Stevecrox (962208) | more than 7 years ago | (#15533894)

Ok I'll break this down for you

Creating a phone network costs a hell of a lot of money, and in mosts cases it is heavily funded by the government, in 1980 BT wanted to have Fibre optic to every door but couldn't because of lack of funding, they have now started to get said funding. The Telco's have a huge barrier to entry, in order to run your own telco you need a huge investment a multi billion pound investment at the least. This means that in the UK at least only the few telco's who were there from the start stood a chance and as the industry was nationalised any chance for competition went out of the window. So in the UK we have only really one big telco company.

Now I move to France and want to call home, now france is going to have a series of other telco's owning the network there, but they won't necessaily own a network in the UK, so in order to phone my home line on ther BT network they need to connect to the BT network.

Well obviously using someone elses network is going to cost that person money, they are only going to let you use it if you pay them to. However the BT and french Telco agree to allow each other to access each others networks as its expands the possible number of people on the network, which in a communication industry makes the telco more attractive.

Now lets think about this in internet terms, I'm with BT.Yahoo broadband, I pay my £20 a month for a connection to the BT network at a set data rate and data amount(we'll get to this later) There's something on a french server I want, the french server pays for a connection and bandwidth. So i send a request off to France for the information through the BT network which in turn is transmitted onto the french network, the french telco has an agreement with BT and so it reaches the french server. Which then sends the information off back towards me. Again as the french telco and BT have an agreement BT doiesn't charge access to use its network.

Now why do I have to pay for a set data rate and data amount? The more bandwidth I use the greater share of the network i use, so at 56k I'm using the equivlent of one phone line, at 512k i'm using the same as 10 lines. Now I know some people are shouting 'horse shit'. But most networks now run digital systems there are no longer 500 lines going into my local server just a few pieces of fibre with a limited transmission rate. One analgue phone call only needs x amount of bandwidth, so increasing your transmission rate increasing thes bandwidth on a line. I'm not explaining this well but you should get the point.

Now its in the telco's interest to provide me a cheap rate to other countries and networks, because it means I will use their service, Again it was in their interest to provide the line and quality to anouther telco because if they didn't that telco wouldn't do the same for them, they would lose customers.

The internet is different in how it operates, and is why net neutrality is so damm important, it doesn't matter if I'm in the UK,France,USA i might be downloading from the USA,UK,France wherever the server is located. Now companies are still have an agreement to use each others networks but net neutrality means that no company will hurt anouther in sending information by delaying packets accross their network. Its in their interests to get that information around

However the natural monopoly status of many telcos means people have limited choice. So if BT decided that because a German telco paid it then its packets would have priority over french ones, could effectivly ruin a frnech telco, the lack of choice would hurt the customers, its a bad idea. Because I have to use BT (because there aren't any other ISP's) then BT is increasing its cash at the detriment of the consumer, its not priortising german packets for any other reason than money.

So we go back to our world internet, Now its in the telco's interests to pass information faster for telco's which give them more money. So verizon pays BT alot and verizon using servers can now be accessed by me at my 2Megabits, but a Swedish server may have a lower package with BT, its connection is slower so when communicating with say the pirate bay i now only get a 512k connection.

The telco gets more money from a network which the tax payer funded and the tax payer is shafted, his 2megabit connection is not really 2 megabit.

Thats why government regulation is important in this case, natural monopolies have been created or oligopolies exist, in this case the great american ideals of the free market cease to operate. The consumer can't vote with their wallet as there is no choice or a limited choice, the company in question has little reason to improve their service because they face little to no competition. A company exists to make the maximum amount of money it can to appease shareholders or owners, you can't expect a company to perform a social service which will cost it money unless it is forced to, this is the job of government.

By enforcing telco's to allow fellow telco's access to their network you give a great socail benifit to the populace that otherwise would not be afforded.

As foir this idea that the Telco's should have a percentage of the profits gained by using their service, I can even begin to explain why this is absurd. the world has never worked this way and never will If I pay my Telco x amount to access its network and the server pays x amount then the networks have been paid and fairly too. Then trying to charge for the transfer of that information accross each network would have to be fitted by the telcos nmot the consumer, if every telco were allow to do it, it would soon balance out and come to nought.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

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

Submission Text Formatting Tips

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

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

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

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

Loading...