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HR 5252 Bill Dies

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the tubes-will-remain-neutral-for-a-little-while-longer dept.

The Internet 121

Oronar writes to mention a post on the 'Save the Internet' site applauding the death of Ted Stevens' bill. From the post: "The fate of Net Neutrality has now been passed to what appears to be a more Web-friendly Congress ... The end of this Congress -- and death of Sen. Ted Stevens' bad bill -- gives us the chance to have a long overdue public conversation about what the future of the Internet should look like. This will not only include ensuring Net Neutrality, but making the Internet faster, more affordable and accessible."

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121 comments

summary of ted stevens' bill? (2, Interesting)

Aurisor (932566) | more than 7 years ago | (#17176912)

Can someone please link to or provide a quick summary of what Ted Stevens' bill would have enacted? I keep up with the network neutrality to some extent, but all of the corporate power grabs start to blur together after a while.

Thanks.

Re:summary of ted stevens' bill? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17176922)

I heard it involved kicking puppies, but you can never be completely sure about these things.

Re:summary of ted stevens' bill? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17176960)

Sure, here's the link [justfuckinggoogleit.com] you're looking for.

Re:summary of ted stevens' bill? (3, Informative)

forgotten_my_nick (802929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17176990)

According to the cable companies Net Neutrality means that you pay more.

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

Dam those evil Silicon Valley companies!!

Re:summary of ted stevens' bill? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17177144)

All fud and no facts, true or not. Thanks for nothing.

Re:summary of ted stevens' bill? (1)

forgotten_my_nick (802929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17178900)

Some people can't see humour unless its got a tag around it. :) Not sure why that got modded informative when the advert can be taken as nothing other then a joke.

If you want a real documentry on net neutrality here you go.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9jHOn0EW8U [youtube.com]

That's a 101.

If you want information on the bill.
http://saveaccess.org/HR5252 [saveaccess.org]

Re:Anti-Network Neutrality ad. (2, Insightful)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 7 years ago | (#17179480)

Unfortunately, the ad has actually been airing, and I think that there are people uneducated and prone to just follow to buy into it.

Re:Anti-Network Neutrality ad. (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 7 years ago | (#17181410)

Well, at the very least...lets hope the Govt. doesn't start running all the ISP's....

We've seen how efficient the govt. is at running things...................right into the ground.

Re:summary of ted stevens' bill? (1)

m-wielgo (858054) | more than 7 years ago | (#17178236)

Ridiculous! Such blatant lies, disinformation and verbal diarrhea this commercial spreads, should be punishable to maximum extent of the law.

Re:summary of ted stevens' bill? (1)

Monkey Angst (577685) | more than 7 years ago | (#17179108)

Ridiculous! Such blatant lies, disinformation and verbal diarrhea this commercial spreads, should be punishable to maximum extent of the law.
I wonder what the law does prescribe for verbal diarrhea?

I'm inclined to agree, but I don't think the cable companies' ads are actionable. IANAL.

Re:summary of ted stevens' bill? (2, Informative)

BalkanBoy (201243) | more than 7 years ago | (#17177744)

In a nutshell it means that currently there is no QoS (quality of service, or otherwise known as priority queueing in computer science) at the last mile from the ISP to your home. This means all IP traffic arrives at the rate at which they are delivered to you, whether that is HTTP traffic, VoIP (Skype, Vonage, etc) traffic, or any other type of data. There is no discrimination of traffic.

A consequence of that is traffic that may need to be routed there in a more timely manner (like VoIP) may arrive later than desirable. What does this mean to you? You will experience jerkiness and stuttering in your VoIP conversation. Or jerkiness in your YouTube video, or whatever else requires realtime (or near realtime) quality of service.

The argument of the net neutrality people (albeit a dubious one) was that QoS can and will be used to stifle competition, free speech, etc - and hell will freeze over before anyone in America lets that happen.

The argument of the pro-QoS people was that "if you want better, higher quality internet service, we need to do QoS so your conversation over VoIP with your mom can continue flawlessly". The stuff about free speech, well that's a non issue to the pro-QoS people, because they think the net neutrality people are a bunch of paranoid schizos who have nothing better to do than complain.

Whom do you believe? :) (come on, pass judgment, it's ok)

Re:summary of ted stevens' bill? (3, Insightful)

jmauro (32523) | more than 7 years ago | (#17178568)

So what was it with all the talk from the presidents of the telephone companies using a QoS network to extract more money from the Googles and Yahoos to allow their traffic a "higher" priority then others all about. If it was just about QoS and they gave tools to the end user to adjust his or her QoS settings, then it wouldn't be a problem. It seems to be more about the telecom companies being allowed to decided what traffic they will/will not carry without losing their common carrier status.

Exactly (2, Insightful)

remmelt (837671) | more than 7 years ago | (#17179002)

Well, the ISPs thought it wasn't fair that the Googles of the world got to use their (the ISPs) network for free. They felt they had the right to charge Google or Yahoo or MS for use of those network tubes. This is unfair because Google is already paying for its access to the internet by being hooked up to backbones, renting serverspace (well, not in Google's case, but you get what I mean), etc. This greedy move on the part of the ISPs was then justified by saying it's in the customer's best interest. I don't see how it's in my best interest when my ISP suddenly decides which packets it deems more important than others, and which sites pay them more money to get the best response times. Also, when I wake up tomorrow with the great idea for the new MySpaceGoogleTubeFlickr2.0, I'd have to pay off the ISPs to get my site delivered to the customers in a timely fashion. This would stifle innovation.

That's about all I remember off the top of my head, I'm glad this bill has now died.

Re:Exactly (2, Informative)

DJCacophony (832334) | more than 7 years ago | (#17180342)

Not just Google and Yahoo, any website they choose.

Do you want AOL customers to see your website, or call you on VOIP? Without Net Neutrality, too bad, you have to pay AOL for that.
Do you want Comcast customers to see your website or call you on VOIP? Without Net Neutrality, too bad, you have to pay Comcast for that.
Do you want Time Warner customers to see your website or call you on VOIP? Without Net Neutrality, too bad, you have to pay Time Warner for that.

Anti-net-neutrality is nothing about improving services, and all about charging more for them.

Re:summary of ted stevens' bill? (1, Offtopic)

forgotten_my_nick (802929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17178948)

It is possible to have a system that works for pro-QoS people and maintain Net Neutrality.

My ISP does it. :/

Basically they have different tiers of speed and contention. You pay the top amount and I get 3MB line with 12:1 and 100GB download a month (after which contention shoots up).

Lower level means if you just browse normal webpages then the speed is ok'ish.

I can't see the QoS as anything other then trying to force other companies out of the marketplace that is the internet.

Re:summary of ted stevens' bill? (2, Informative)

chis101 (754167) | more than 7 years ago | (#17179232)

I think you are confusing line speed with net neutrality.

You are saying 'If I pay more, I get a connection that is faster. The 3MB line can download files and webpages at 3x the speed the 1MB line can.'

Net-Neutrality is more like, "You pay for a 3MB line. You can download Google at 3MB, Yahoo at 512k, some files at 3MB, some at 1MB, not dependant on your line speed, or the other end's line speed, but the QOS your ISP is putting on the packets. It is basically putting artificial limits on some traffic (such as web pages or file downloads) to allow other traffic better speeds (such as VOIP), but would be easy to abuse, to say, let Company A who paid more than Company B have better download speeds.

Re:summary of ted stevens' bill? (1)

blake6489 (949217) | more than 7 years ago | (#17180442)

thats actually quite different from QoS. usually its the modem on the user end that is different (or at lest the settings), and that modem bottle necks your traffic to match what you paid for. i think this is entirly diffenent, the issue is whether or notthe osp can give different sites different speeds, not whether they can give the customer different speeds

Your description is biased, not informative. (4, Informative)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17179010)

You're misrepresenting the situation. People are actually using two different definitions for QoS: it can mean prioritizing by protocol (i.e. HTTP vs. VOIP vs. IRC vs. BitTorrent vs. SMTP), as you mentioned, but it can also mean prioritizing by origin (i.e. HTTP from MSN vs. HTTP from Google, or VOIP from Vonage vs. VOIP from Comcast).

The people opposed to Net Neutrality claim that it will be used only for the first type of prioritization, which is by protocol. This group primarily includes the ISPs. If this really is the kind of QoS that would happen, there's really no reason for anyone to oppose it.

On the other hand, the people in favor of Net Neutrality claim that the kind of QoS the ISPs really want to do is the second kind, for their own benefit. For example, they say the ISPs want to pit content providers like MSN and Google against each other to see who'll pay more money to get their content delivered at higher priority. Or as another example, the ISP could try suffocate Vonage by prioritizing its own VOIP service over Vonage's. This is the type of QoS that what would lead to stifling of competition and free speech, if it were to be implemented.

Straw Man (1)

nevesis (970522) | more than 7 years ago | (#17179144)

That would be a straw man argument.

Not that YouTube/VoIP traffic congestion usually happens on the last mile, but another option (if that were the case) is for your ISP to expand their network.The United States is behind the rest of the modern world in broadband speed/price for home users. (Broadband speeds worldwide) [wikipedia.org] This seems like a reasonable request, especially considering the amount of tax dollars the industry has been given to do this.

Further..

(1) Net neutrality is not limited to last mile traffic.
(2) There is significant historical evidence for one to conclude that it is likely for ISPs to prioritize their services over their competitors.
(3) Following on (2) -- it would seem that the lack of net neutrality would actually be harmful to both YouTube and VoIP (unless your ISP is your VoIP provider).

Re:summary of ted stevens' bill? (5, Informative)

modeless (978411) | more than 7 years ago | (#17179170)

I'm sorry, QoS inside the network is and has always been a bad idea. The Internet is a dumb network. It was designed that way and that is why it thrives. QoS can and should be done at the edges of the network, by the nodes which are actually doing the communicating. If your VoIP traffic is delayed by the HTTP download you're doing, throttle it! It's not as if your computer has no control over the rate people are sending it data.

Now, if your VoIP traffic is being delayed by the HTTP download *someone else* is doing, you don't have control over it. However, the correct solution here is NOT QoS. The correct solution to this problem is more bandwidth inside the network at the congested node. Adding more bandwidth is cheap, probably just as cheap as adding QoS, yet more bandwidth solves all of the problems QoS does, plus it increases the utility of the network for *everyone*, not just those using latency-sensitive applications. Furthermore, it keeps the network neutral to everyone, and doesn't introduce the possibility of QoS discrimination between classes of users.

Re:summary of ted stevens' bill? (1)

jthill (303417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17181568)

Thomas [loc.gov] will tell you. Search on bill number for HR5252. Search on keyword for "neutrality" to find more; the one we want is HR5417 [loc.gov]

Uhhh..... (2, Funny)

riff420 (810435) | more than 7 years ago | (#17176918)

"...but making the Internet faster, more affordable and accessible." Isn't that what AOL is for?

Hold on a minute (5, Funny)

JoshJ (1009085) | more than 7 years ago | (#17176940)

What? You can't just pack up one Congress and replace it with another. It's not like a truck. Congress is a series of tubes.

Re:Hold on a minute (3, Funny)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 7 years ago | (#17177806)

Two things:

1) I think in that last word you accidentally typed a 'b' instead of an 'l'...

2) ...and, in any event, that's not how it's spelled.

Yep, dead for now... (5, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17176984)

Next year we will see it as a tag on part of a bill called something like "Keep soldier safe bill" and in trying to save our soldiers or keep porn from the kiddies, they'll find a way to control the tubes of the intarwebs...

Re:Yep, dead for now... (5, Interesting)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 7 years ago | (#17177550)

Next year we will see it as a tag on part of a bill called something like "Keep soldier safe bill" and in trying to save our soldiers or keep porn from the kiddies, they'll find a way to control the tubes of the intarwebs...

Yep, just like they used the SAFE Port Act [wikipedia.org] to block online gambling. I'll never understand why that's legal.

Re:Yep, dead for now... (1)

technicalandsocial (940581) | more than 7 years ago | (#17178324)

Online gambling websites often require you to download (sometimes malicous) software, which may open ports on your computer, thus exposing you and America at large? Keep your ports closed, America!

Re:Yep, dead for now... (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17179526)

IMHO; My orientation is that blocking the ability for people to communicate to each other is an evil of biblical proportions; And the entities at that level, play for keeps.

I Am Shocked (1, Troll)

Kiba Ruby (1037440) | more than 7 years ago | (#17177058)

I couldn't believe that congress is not backward this time. I thought they are all under the control corporate mongers! I thought congress will approve the bill, based on their past action. But they did not this time.

I think this is a dream! Hurry! Somebody wake me up pleaaaaaaaaaaaaase!

Re:I Am Shocked (1)

Cyraan (840132) | more than 7 years ago | (#17177100)

Shhh, its okay, not to worry. The next laughing excuse for an "Energy Bill" packed full of oil subsidies is probably in the works as we speak. All is well.

Re:I Am Shocked (1)

spirit of reason (989882) | more than 7 years ago | (#17177102)

Oh, here, I'll pinch you. The web services corporations combined probably have more money to throw in. So you see... the other corporate mongers won this time. ;-)

Re:I Am Shocked (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17177252)

Ah, but we have corporate mongers on both sides. Version, Comcast and so on vs. Google, Microsoft and so on. Congress nearly exploded trying to figure out which side had more money... in the end they couldn't decide. So nothing happened: status quo remains.

The story assumes (3, Interesting)

Crashmarik (635988) | more than 7 years ago | (#17177084)

That government involvement can make anything faster better or cheaper. If you are actually looking at the situation you might realize the problem stems from the government granting monopolies initially.

Re:The story assumes (5, Insightful)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#17177322)

While I agree with you post, it ignores the history of US telecommunications. First of all the US government paid most of the initial infrastructure cost for the phone network in the US. Time for an example. Lets say the US government in its grand stupidity had contracted out the creation of the Interstate system. They said, OK private companies here is a load of cash to build the interstate, you build it, and you can charge fees, and 95% of those fees have to go back into maintainance and building new roads. That is exactly how the phone system was build and maintained untill the mid 90s. At that point they said, Hey there is demand for an all new phone (sorry falling off the methaphore here, oh forget about the raods) system using fiberoptics. You remove that 95% requirement and give us some extra tax breaks, and we will be motivated more to build a newer better system. Congress fell for this (bribed, whatever..) and that is where we stand today, with the new system that was promised never built. The phone companies are now saying, hey we are thinking about building extra toll booths, ones that allow us to charge large trucks based upon the value of their load and not just how much it weights, and other stuff too. Technically there was nothing in law to stop them from doing it besides oversight, but the new HR 5252 was going to remove a lot of that oversight. Now we are just waking up and realizing the boondongle we got ourselfs into.

Personally I think the government should claim ownership of ALL lines, and then remove all regulations. Meaning if you want to build new lines and compete with the government, thats fine, but you're going to have to do it on your own penny. But the current system which was created from government money really should belong to the people, not these companies.

Re:The story assumes (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17177870)

Totally, man. I mean the greatest and best innovation was during the days when the feds ran the show end to end. I still long for the good old days of the rotary dialer, it wasn't fast but it fucking worked! And that pin drop shit that MCI did? In the 80's? Remember that? On the old analog lines I really enjoyed hearing all the ambient noise and stuff because it was like audiophile for telephones, you know? It was more warm and had richer texture to the sound.


Since deregulation the only thing we've got it about a billion times more bandwidth, mobility, portability, high speed to your home, options between wireless, POTS and VOIP, and just a bunch more stuff the break and go wrong. It's just like more stuff to debug. Sure my unlimited VOIP is $17 a month (www.sunrocket.com) where as Qworst wants about $34 a month for a basic phone line but I'm pretty sure the audio quality isn't as good, it's more like a CD compared to an album. It's all clear and void of any of the static, crackle and hiss that provides the emotion. I'm also pretty sure it takes like .3 to maybe even .4 seconds less time to actually establish a call and that kind of rips my mojo a bit, it's like I have to engage in the conversation mid breath or something, that extra little bit of time really helps me collect my thoughts.


The other thing that this deregulation has brought us is this porn conveyor called the interweb. It's full of nasty spam, porn and sexual predators that harass my kids on myspace. We don't need that shit either! There was no such thing as SPAM when MaBell did it all for us...

Re:The story assumes (2, Insightful)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 7 years ago | (#17178828)

First of all the US government paid most of the initial infrastructure cost for the phone network in the US. Time for an example. Lets say the US government in its grand stupidity had contracted out the creation of the Interstate system. They said, OK private companies here is a load of cash to build the interstate, you build it, and you can charge fees, and 95% of those fees have to go back into maintainance and building new roads. That is exactly how the phone system was build and maintained untill the mid 90s.

Indeed? The US government paid all the money to string those phone lines and build those telephone switchboards and switches, and just hired Ma Bell to run it? AT&T and its subsidiaries didn't spend their own money building the phone nework? Could you please cite a document that supports your assertion?

Re:The story assumes (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 7 years ago | (#17179908)

They did indeed pay a large portion of the money. You know the land where they strung up all those poles? The land was given to the phone companies. You know all those small communities in the US? Everywhere more than 30 miles from a major city? The US paid for the phone companies to build those lines, same as they did for electricity. The US government paid more than the phone companies ever did.

Re:The story assumes (1)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 7 years ago | (#17182278)

Personally I think the government should claim ownership of ALL lines, and then remove all regulations. Meaning if you want to build new lines and compete with the government, thats fine, but you're going to have to do it on your own penny.

Too bad confiscation of private property is illegal and unconstitutional. That's what socialist and communist states do.

Besides, subsidies very rarely make sense - especially when the recipients large, profitable corporations. You can fix most of the problems by removing the regulations and removing subsidies.

The government has a horrible track record of efficiency. The Social Security slush fund is filled with T-Bills - the government is writing IOU notes to itself so Congress can spend your social security check. Congressmen get paid $dough for barely 100 days of work and little accomplished. The USDA does little of use other than enforce food quality standards, yet only a handful of its myriad of sub-agencies are actually tasked with this. The armed services ordered $400 toilet seats, and the FBI is scrapping a ridiculously expensive, over-budget computer system it purchased for another more expensive one - and they still don't know what they want it to do. The government decided, in its infinite wisdom, that it could provide passenger service much more efficiently than railroad companies (which the governmentalso regulated into maintaining unused passenger routes, because evidently the only way people can travel is by train). Now, look at the mess AMTRAK has become - it's bleeding cache, it's stops were decided for political reasons rather than where there were actual passengers.

Government has a horrible track record in "efficiency" because the individual agents of the government are motiviated not to provide the best possible services to the nation, but to keep their desk and telephone another term.

I hear you saying "If this is true, then it would be easy for private corporations to do it on 'their own penny', right?" Wrong. You just took every telephone, cable, and fiber line in the United States. Building new lines apart from these is worthless - an ISP is useful because it can connect you to the rest of the internet, not just the two ends of the cable the telco just rebuilt between your house and itself.

Also, look at places like India and some middle eastern countries that actually did this and have one official government telco. They're shutting downVoIP services and censoring the internet.

MOD PARENT DOWN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17177432)

parent claims :"The story assumes That government involvement can make anything faster better or cheaper.", but TFA does no such thing

Re:The story assumes (4, Insightful)

ciscoguy01 (635963) | more than 7 years ago | (#17177554)

If you are actually looking at the situation you might realize the problem stems from the government granting monopolies initially.

Close, but not exactly right. The government granted monopolies to the phone company, the electric company, the gas company for good reason. We really didn't want 17 sets of electric wires on the pole out back, did we? Nope.
So what we as a society did was HIRE those companies and gave them a special position in society as regulated utilities.

We paid them to build those networks. The money they used, it wasn't their money, it was OURS. Remember the "Rate Cases" they had to file with the PUC to get a rate increase? "We had to build new wires here, we built a central office there, it cost this much." They were then granted rates as the exclusive provider for those services that guaranteed them a certain ROI (return on investment).

Now there's the "special" position they got, what business is guaranteed to make a certain amount of money, if they lose money somehow they would magically get new increased rates to guarantee that ROI I mentioned? All the while being protected from competition? Not too many.

But now they are big companies and they don't wanna be protected anymore, at least in their "new media" divisions, but there's no real competiton there either.

Think about it: Seen those AT&T ads for $12.99 DSL? After a 1 year term they raise that to $26.99. The $12.99 price is only for "new customers". After you have had them for a year you are no longer "new" so they jack the prices up.

What can you do? Not much, since they have put most of their competitors out of business by overcharging them to use the copper wires that go out to your house and the space in the CO to where they were losing money.

The few competitors that are left are selling DSL on much the same terms but you can't really switch from AT&T to them since AT&T is using your copper pair to provide that DSL service to you, the one they just jacked up the rates on. If you want to switch you have to first cancel the AT&T DSL and wait 2 months for them to "release the line", after which the competitor can hook you up.

You get 2 months downtime. So no real competition.

Back to the "net neutrality" argument. Here's what's really going on:

The phone company wants to screw up the packets of their competitors. Mostly VOIP packets, but they are not proud, they will figure out more mischief that they can use to cheat us.

If you get VOIP phone service from one of their competitors they will delay every fouth packet 950 ms. So the phone calls would arrive out of order. Choppy, digital distorted calls. You couldn't use their competitors, only them. Nothing else would work.

If you get VOIP phone service from them it will work great since they control the network and they will then let the packets go on through.

Their argument is they want to provide service to *their* customers. If you are someone else's customer, you will be screwed with. Now they aren't really going to use their scarce resources to serve their own customers instead of YOU, they are going to screw you up deliberately. They have plenty capacity and you are paying them anyway.

When you call them to complain about your bad internet connection that won't work for the services they want to sell you they will say "switch to us and you will then get good service."

The ideal of "hands off the internet" is a completely bogus argument dredged up mostly by the same phone companies. It's mostly fake. A smokescreen.

They don't want to have to provide the service YOU are paying them for. They WILL, but only as long as you keep paying them.

If you want to use a competitive service they will screw it up so you will come back to them.

They hate competition.

Re:The story assumes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17177926)

The government granted monopolies to the phone company, the electric company, the gas company for good reason. We really didn't want 17 sets of electric wires on the pole out back, did we?

That's a false choice. I only own one car and one computer. Why can't I have one electric wire on a pole on MY property? Then I'll sign a contract with my neighbors, that states that we each agree to maintain the single wire and/or pole on each of our properties. Problem solved, no special government monopolies required.

Re:The story assumes (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17178124)

That wire that goes to your house has to be connected to something and that something will have 17 different lines for 17 different companies. If it's connected to only one line that means you have to pay whoever owns that one line.

Re:The story assumes (1)

b.burl (1034274) | more than 7 years ago | (#17178144)

what if your neighbor wants a different wire company with a different ac standard? and your other neighbor is a big DC guy and likes to buy from the company with the cute animie mascott? And then you dont like the tone of the help desk guy from your wire company so you switch? Free markets are not a panacea.

Re:The story assumes (2, Insightful)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 7 years ago | (#17178366)

The government granted monopolies to the phone company, the electric company, the gas company for good reason. We really didn't want 17 sets of electric wires on the pole out back, did we?

That's only half true. The examples you provided are what economists refer to as "natural monopolies," the definition of which is when one firm can provide a service cheaper than many competing firms can. It's not so much that we would mind 17 different sets of wires on our poles (I'm sure that carries it's own problems, though); it's that it costs an ungodly sum of money to run all these wires, gas pipes, telephone cables, etc. If we somehow tried to fragment the audience 17 different ways, the nearly sure bet is that most if not all of these companies would fail to make enough money to make back the money they spent laying those wires, or they would be forced to charge absolutely obscene rates to do so. Knowing that, we did subsidize these industries.

That's not to say that you're not allowed to compete with them if you wanted -- that's exactly what CLECS did, by concentrating on big urban areas and installing then-new fiber optic lines in those densely-populated areas to handle telephone traffic -- just that we recognize competition in these areas was, at the time, fairly limited. The FCC was created to manage the nonsense, and they have been struggling with ways to do it ever since. For example:

"We had to build new wires here, we built a central office there, it cost this much."

Was one of their original attempts at the matter, but that encourages gold plating--buying the most obscenely expensive equipment regardless of whether or not it was needed, because the government would use those costs to increase your profits. Obviously that was not desirable, so they went from scheme to scheme trying to find one that works.

Not much, since they have put most of their competitors out of business by overcharging them to use the copper wires that go out to your house and the space in the CO to where they were losing money.

I'm fairly certain that the costs of these UNE (Unbundled Network Elements) are still regulated by the FCC and state agencies for copper lines. Fiber, however, was recently determined by FCC decision to not fall under the same rules. That's why you saw telephone companies suddenly burst onto the scene with plans to lay a gazillion miles of fiber. They aren't obligated to lease it to competitors.

You're pretty much on about the net neutrality stuff, and they obviously have a bullshit case. The public owns the majority of their wires; whether we use them as our ISP or not should not affect our service. Carrying traffic indiscriminately was part of the deal they signed up for all those years ago.

totally painless and seamless provider switch (1)

BuffPustule (519330) | more than 7 years ago | (#17181458)

The few competitors that are left are selling DSL on much the same terms but you can't really switch from AT&T to them since AT&T is using your copper pair to provide that DSL service to you, the one they just jacked up the rates on. If you want to switch you have to first cancel the AT&T DSL and wait 2 months for them to "release the line", after which the competitor can hook you up. You get 2 months downtime. So no real competition.

That was not my experience.

As my first year of Yahoo AT&T DSL was coming to an end, news reports revealed how AT&T was handing over its customers' calling records to the government, and I decided I was not going to support AT&T financially any longer. (Plus, they jacked my rate up to $35/month for the DSL, not the $27 I expected, then gave me a song and dance, then a shell game, about how I could cut my monthly rate down if I paid more for services I did not need or want).

I switched to TDS Metrocom (http://www.tdsmetro.com/ [tdsmetro.com] ), and it was a completely painless switch. Our phone line and our DSL connection switches were handled entirely by TDS, and it was all done quite a bit faster than even they had promised. I had zero downtime. One day my AT&T DSL connection stopped working, so I pulled the TDS DSL modem out of the box, set it up, and was off to the races.

In the end I'm paying in total (phone plus DSL) a bit more a month to TDS than I did to AT&T, but it pleases me to know that TDS will hand my calling info to the government only as a result of due process (what's left of it, anyhow), and I get slightly faster upload speeds (woohoo!). Let's face it, there's no point b*tching about corporate misbehaviour if you're going to just bite your lip and continue letting them ream you. Money talks.

Re:totally painless and seamless provider switch (1)

nbowman (799612) | more than 7 years ago | (#17181792)

unless there is no competition, yes I live in the sticks, and if I really Reallly wanted better interweb service I would move, but it isn't quite worth it to me. yet. this has been my experience with TDS telecom. (nicknamed by me Tedious Telecom, imaginative huh? )

I pay $35/mo for a plain phone line with no long distance and $50/mo for DSL service. The DSL is supposed to be 1.5M/256K service but the connection won't download from anywhere at over ~350K/s down (bittorrent, file planet, wherever else, it doesn't matter, nothing will d/l faster than that) and chokes at about 55-60K upload.

http://www.tdstelecom.com/about/_terms_of_service. html/ [tdstelecom.com] "1.13 TDS Telecom residential Internet customers are restricted to 50 Gigabytes of bandwidth consumed (uploaded or downloaded) per month. If You exceed this limitation for two consecutive months, You may be required to purchase an upgraded Internet service for an additional monthly fee. See the TDS Acceptable Use Policy for additional bandwidth use restrictions."

They ship my traffic from Northern CA to Madison, WI. seriously. I couldn't manage a ping less than 150 ms to any west coast server, and was wondering what the hell for a while, then I did a reverse IP lookup.

The DSL goes down nearly every night between 2000 and 2300 for anywhere from 5 minutes to 45 minutes. there is no scheduled outage at that time that I can see on the website they maintain. (its really pretty random whats gonna happen each night. hasn't happened yet tonight. makes online gaming real frustrating at times though)

mostly because it beats the hell out of dialup, I still haven't called them about any of my problems, so this is really just bitching. maybe I will have time on my vacation time around Christmas.

Re:The story assumes (1)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 7 years ago | (#17181536)

"Now there's the 'special' position they got, what business is guaranteed to make a certain amount of money, if they lose money somehow they would magically get new increased rates to guarantee that ROI I mentioned? All the while being protected from competition? Not too many."

Yes, but isn't socialism wonderful? It's worked out great for American telecom and airline companies, and I'm certain anyone else who can't compete in a free market could reap some great benefits as well.

Wires? (1)

abb3w (696381) | more than 7 years ago | (#17182010)

We really didn't want 17 sets of electric wires on the pole out back, did we? Nope.

Want it or not, we had it for a while. Example pic [nih.gov] ; I've seen a lot others from the era (three of the profs I do IT support for are historians focused on that era of technology), but this is the only one that turned up on the Web in a fast search. Alas, this one shows a relatively low level of wire clutter; most of those I've seen were worse.

Re:The story assumes (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17177560)

what I find amusing about all this is that when the US first came up with the internet concept (at the arpanet stage I beleive) they gave it, lock stock and barrel, to the USSR. The reasoning being that the last thing they wanted was a world war starting because of crappy communications.

Now the US (or powerful parts of it, not all of it) wants to regain control and stipulate what can and cannot occur, and charge for bits that were previously free. What an interesting turnaround.

Re:The story assumes (1)

PoochieReds (4973) | more than 7 years ago | (#17180834)

Yep. Apologies to anyone who's read this before, but here's a post I made a few months ago. This describes the *real* net neutrality that this country needs:

------------[snip]-----------------

I'm all for net neutrality, but not in the form currently being campaigned for here and in congress. There is virtually no way that any net neutrality law that gets pushed through congress would be a good thing for consumers.

Here's what needs to happen...

The big problem in the US is that there is no competition between broadband providers. In most places, if you're lucky, you have a choice between DSL and Cable. That usually means getting service from a monopoly telco or a monopoly cable provider. Sure, there are companies like Earthlink that sell broadband services, but they have the uncomfortable position of having to be both the customers and competitors of the monopoly providers. This is never a good arrangement.

For true net neutrality, we need to divorce the companies that own the copper and fiber (local loop) from the ones providing dialtone. This means breaking up the monopoly providers into 2 or more entities each. One monopoly company that owns/services/maintains the wires, and one company that rents these lines from the monopoly provider and provides dialtone. The first one is regulated as any monopoly should be. The second is essentially a peer with all other dialtone providers.

This would put all the dialtone providers in the US on an equal footing, and give some serious incentive for them to add value since changing broadband provider wouldn't necessarily mean dealing with a company that has to buy stuff from their competitor.

There is clear precedent for this. Look at the deregulation of long distance in the 80's.

If we could ever make this happen in the current regulatory environment, then all this net neutrality stuff would go by the wayside. Any provider that wanted to pull this garbage of trying to charge both ends for traffic on a pipe would be writing out their own corporate suicide note, since people would just drop their inferior service.

QED (except for the part of overriding the lobbies of the monopoly companies)

the future of the Internet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17177174)

isn't in the hands of the US government. I think that's a little dramatic. It just so happens a few of us using the internet happen to be living in other parts of the world.

what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17177236)

By "more internet friendly" does this mean a Congress that will finally restrict our freedom of speech on the Internet and set some Federal Sales tax on items sold online across states?

on the highway. (3, Informative)

pseudosero (1037784) | more than 7 years ago | (#17177276)

In order to get normal people to understand what impact net neutrality will have on them we need to fight the TV ads which conclude "NET NEUTRALITY: BAD FOR THE CONSUMER" and create an analogy they can understand.

Although comparing the internet to highways is only marginally better than a "series of tubes" bear with me.

In its simplest form people can drive on roads. Businesses can transport goods by way of them. In fact, even data can be transported on the highway, on roads. So, in order for you to get your camo gear, guns and tobacco from walmart at everyday low prices, walmart uses the same roads as everyone else and there is no tiered system that you, the consumer, has to pay attention to. So there's more walmart trucks on the road and now it's harder to get to work and in fact harder to get to walmart. Thus is the limitation of the highway system.

Net neutrality gives you the option to ignore all the walmart trucks on the road instead of paying for it in the long run. (because if the walmart trucks have to pay more to get to walmart, walmart's going to raise their prices.)

has anyone seen that net neutrality ad? I think they tried to slip that one in there without us noticing. IT totally goes off the series of pipes idea.

Re:on the highway. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17177394)

This is from a while ago, when people were calling the internet the "information superhighway"

"Free speech is such a slippery little eel... Just when you think the Constitution has it right, you run into an interpretation that fails the "common sense / bull shit" test. Perhaps an analogy will serve... Think of the computer highway AS a highway.

There it is again. Some clueless FOOL talking about the "Information Superhighway." They don't know JACK about the net. It's NOTHING like a Superhighway. That's a BAD metaphor.

Yeah, but suppose the metaphor ran in the OTHER direction. Suppose the HIGHWAYS were like the NET. All right! Severe craziness. A highway HUNDREDS of lanes wide. Most with potholes. Privately operated bridges and overpasses. No highway patrol. A couple of rent-a-cops on bicycles with broken whistles. 500 member VIGILANTE POSSES with nuclear weapons. 237 ON RAMPS at every intersection. NO SIGNS. Wanna get to Ensenada? Holler out the window at a passing truck to ask directions. AD HOC traffic laws. Some lanes would VOTE to make use by a single-occupant- vehicle a CAPITAL OFFENSE on Monday through Friday between 7:00 and 9:00. Other lanes would just SHOOT you without a trial for talking on a car phone.

AOL would be a giant diesel-smoking BUS with hundreds of EBOLA victims and a TOILET spewing out on the road behind it. Throwing DEAD WOMBATS and rotten cabbage at the other cars most of which have been ASSEMBLED AT HOME from kits. Some are 2.5 horsepower LAWNMOWER ENGINES with a top speed of nine miles an hour. Others burn NITROGLYCERINE and IDLE at 120.

No license tags. World War II BOMBER NOSE ART instead. Terrifying paintings of huge teeth or VAMPIRE EAGLES. Bumper mounted MACHINE GUNS. Flip somebody the finger on this highway and get a WHITE PHOSPHORUS GRENADE up your tailpipe. Flatbed trucks with ANTI-AIRCRAFT MISSILE BATTERIES to shoot down the KRUD Traffic Watch helicopter. A little kid on a tricycle with a squirtgun filled with HYDROCHLORIC ACID. "

I think that describes it pretty well, and is how it should be explained to the politicians.

Re:on the highway. (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 7 years ago | (#17177592)

That's the best analogy I've ever heard for the Internet. Every word of it is so true.

The internet is nothing short of a miracle to begin with, one we should marvel at.

Re:on the highway. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17177966)

Oh man, why don't I have mod points right now? Mod parent up, please please, it's absolutely the best description of tha interwebs I've ever read. Period!

Re:on the highway. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17180002)

You forget all the naked women - all the geeks driving to work would be looking into other cars containing very attractive women having sex with each other.

Re:on the highway. (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#17180192)

The people in the other cars would be dudes with chick masks. The hot naked chicks would be on billboards or something.

Re:on the highway. (1)

Lodragandraoidh (639696) | more than 7 years ago | (#17181590)

I think that describes it pretty well, and is how it should be explained to the politicians.


That would be the worse thing to tell a Congresstroll. They would be falling all over themselves to write legislation resurrecting the Clipper chip, giving Bill Gates bags full of money to DRM the hell out of it with 'trusted computing', and laws requiring only *approved* software and hardware on any network! All wireless routers, cell phones and laptops would be contraband (except for military/governmental use, of course).

Alright --- who threw the wombat...?

Re:on the highway. (1)

shadow349 (1034412) | more than 7 years ago | (#17177524)

Net neutrality in a nutshell:


The Home Shopping Network [hsn.com] gets telephone service for its ordering call center from AT&T.
John Smith gets his home telephone service from Comcast.


Net neutrality prevents Comcast's extortion of HSN by making it illegal for Comcast to tell HSN: "If you want calls from John Smith or any other Comcast customers to come through, you have to pay us".

...except on the Internet.

Re:on the highway - fast line and slow line (1)

neutrino38 (1037806) | more than 7 years ago | (#17177872)

As a matter of fact, on highway, you have cars, trucks and in some of our European highways, some of the lines are dedicated to slow vehicules.

Regarding the concept of net netrality, I am not at ease with it:

  • If this is about business fairness that ISP shoud not silently the content that they are hosting, I would agree
  • If this is about content provider not wanting to share the pie with ISP for the infrastructure, it will either have a negative effect on the future of Internet as ISP might not be able to finance the infrastructure needed to support new demanding interactive services or end up with vertical integration for some big service providers in order to finally implement class of service on the Internet
  • If this is about this Internet dogma that consists in saying that every IP packets are equal, I vote fully against this.

Having founded a company to offer interactive video service, I would love to be able to request a specific class of service for the video for IP communications that we use.

A class of service where my RTP packet would be garanteed to be delivered in order with a fixed latency,predefined frequency, dropped in case of congestion with bandwidth reservation. And this, end to end regardless of the ISP hosting my servers and regardless of the ISP used by my customers.

Of course, I would pay this and charge it back to my customers as part of my service fees.

This is currently not possible and will never be if the dogma on absolute equality of all IP packets is turned into law. I am coming from the telco world (yes, SS7, circuits and all the stuff) and I believe that some of the telco technical heritage has to make its way into the Internet for its own sake.

The only aternative would be to setup an IP VPN between me and my customer. I suspect that some other innovative service providers are thinking along the same lines. In effect, those VPN might eventually coalesce and we might see new IP network appear dedicated to media transport, parallel to Internet because of this stupid domga.

Emmanuel
IVèS
http://www.ives.fr/ [www.ives.fr]

Re:on the highway - fast line and slow line (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17178448)

The problem is, the phone companies were allowed to charge us $5.00 a month for caller ID in the nineties when it cost them a nickle. This was to allow them to pay for fiber optic service. They made huge profits, we got no fiber optic service. now we get to pay them again for it. I don't even really know what the fuck i am talking about and i know more about it than what I see others in this thread say. the great thing about deregulation is it allows companies like Enron to fuck us. Americans love to get fucked, and clamor for it. Why are there so many late night "make a million the easy way" commercials? i might not be making sense, i am still kinda fucked up about Conan O'Brian dying. my anonymous post above makes more sense.

Re:on the highway - fast line and slow line (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17178548)

As a matter of fact, on highway, you have cars, trucks and in some of our European highways, some of the lines are dedicated to slow vehicules.

We have that in the Northeastern US too (Connecticut comes to mind), but if the slow vehicles (trucks) get into that lane, the 4-wheelers won't let us back in at the top of the hill when that lane ends, resulting in an 80,000 pound truck driving on the shoulder to keep from running over the oblivious idiot who can barely register the fact that she's driving, because she's also talking on the cell phone, sipping her latte, and munching on her breakfast.

Therefore, I don't use that lane if I can avoid it. I'd rather stay in that second lane and pull hills at 35mph with cars backed up for a mile behind me than run over the stupid bitch in the SUV. It's not her life that I value so much as my freedom. That is to say, if I just move over when my lane ends, and the moron still doesn't speed up, slow down, or change lanes to get out of the way, I end up running over her car and going to prison for manslaughter. If it weren't for the jail time involved, there'd be a lot more dead idiots on America's highways.

Re:on the highway - fast line and slow line (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17178892)

but maybe she has a linux cellphone! didn't think of that, mr. smartypants. running linux on a phone driving in the opensource car on the information superhighway.plus maybe her latte is fair trade. and, could it be possible she is eating breakfast and it is great news that she is over her eating disorder? the internet makes all of this possible. take a step back and breathe it in. we are living in the future. -j7

Re:on the highway. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17177968)

You're mistaken - it doesn't allow us to ignore the Walmart trucks. It allows the Walmart trucks to ignore the rest of us. Their traffic will get priority because they'll have had the means to pay for it. To continue with your analogy - if the internet is an 8 lane highway, Net Neutrality would have allowed Walmart to purchase 3 or 4 or 5 of those lanes and dedicate them to their own private use. Then if you wanted to benefit from increased throughput, you'll have needed to subscribe with them or one of their services to get decent bandwidth.

Or in other words, play ball or suck it up.

The internet is finite. Bandwidth is finite. If they're getting higher priority, then that means the rest of us get a lower priority.

Re:on the highway. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17178196)

I always perfer mail delivery as a analogy for net neutrality.

To get to any house, you must use roads. The city owns the roads leadin up to our neighborhood, but, a private company, say, Comcast, owns the roads in our neighborhood, and in order to get to our house, you must go on roads owned my Comcast. You pay Comcast each month a LOT of money (about $50) to use that road, with the assupmtion that others can also use that road to get to you (like mail desivery people), as well as anything you take own it yourself.

All is great, exept for the crappy roadwork, and expensive toll, but, the city has given Comcast a monopoly to own that road, so there is nothing you can do but complain, and complain you do, between the times you yell "get off lawn!". One day, however, Comcast decides it want more money, and istead of trying to make you pay, they see that many bussineses use their roads in some fashion to get to the people there, Comcast is especially intrested in UBS, seeing how much it takes down its road to get to the customer (whos already pays a toll so they can use that road, and even let others use the road to get to them), gets the bright idea of charging a toll on both sides, and so, Comcast goes to UBS headquarters and says "you must pay us $10 for each package you deliver down our roads". UBS thinks this must be a joke, the city owns all the roads leading up to the Comcast owned road, and the city lets them use those roads, but now, here is Comcast owning literally the last few meters of roads that UBS delivery trucks must go down, and is telling them they must pay? The people in the houses who get the delivery have already paid, UBS has already paid the city a tax like everyone else, why must UBS pay two times? Moreover, other companies in the same situation as Comcast (owning the last few meters of roads to people) have also said they are planning on charging companies like UBS to deliver customers's packages down their roads.

Meanwhile, FedEx, also owned by Comcast, dosent have to pay. UBS, seeing no way out, decides to just pay up, and push that toll onto the customers. So now, FedEx is much cheaper then UBS for Comcast customers, and more reliable to, as Comcast has setup checkpoints on their roads that stops UBS trucks every now and them, while FedEx trucks never have to stop, and never have any limitations on Comcast roads.

What Comcast has done, amounts to extortion, by basically saying "pay up or we will take away your customers from you, there is nothing they, or you can do to stop us". Comcast and friends have avoided a blackeye in the publics eye by extorting money out of others, even tho the others eventually push those extra expenses onto their costumers. But, they dont know Comcast is the real reason for the latest price increases in services. When eventually questioned by the people, Comcast says they did this because they needed the money to lay more roads, and fixup those that needed repair, as its very costly to keeps those roads in shape. But the people said "but our roads are still shitty!, when are you going to fix this?", Comcast said "we are working as fast as possible to correct this situation", the people buy it, and go on in peace.

About a year latter, Comcast has placed checkpoints at its roads, and placed gaurds along the roads. The checkpoints have a habbit of saying "go away" to those cars/trucks owned by companies that havent paid Comcast to use this road. Even some regular cars are turned away, ruining many family gatherings as relatives couldent get onto the road, even when they said they where just visiting someone on the street. Shocking even more, is that 'questionable people', such as gays, hippies, and liberals have the hardest time trying to get on the road. The gaurds have a habbit of pulling over cars/trucks of various companies, and even making them go very slow along that road. Meaning while, rival companies to those that get pulled over move along with much less fuss, but this is only because they paid Comcast to do those bad things to those other companies, but even they still get some fuss. Even more meanwhile, companies Comcast owns get to move along the road with no fuss, and there are even enforced rules that all other companies must yeild to those companies Comcast owns.

This is why people want net neurality, to make it so companies like Comcast cant extort money, or use its users as a cash crop. Its also why people are scared of what Comcast and friends intend to do, they would hold all the power, and could, altho unlikely, limit free speach by preventing that content onto their networks, or simply making it load so slow no one would sit around to wait for it to load.

Re:on the highway. (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#17180232)

If that's the goal, we would be way better off with 'fair pricing' rules or some such. That is to say, low volume, uninterested customers only have to pay some specified multiple of cost, etc, etc.

So if it costs Comcast $0.01 to transfer 15MB(pulled out of somewhere) to my computer, they can't charge me more than a nickel or whatever. The situation where this broke down would be quite a lot worse than net neutrality, but when it worked, high volume users that are interested in priority would end up paying for upgrades, and low volume users would end up with a network that had really nice minimum guarantees, on the cheap.

Re:on the highway. (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#17178336)

Net Neutrality: The speed limit decreases as traffic increases, and if Walmart wants better service, they have to build their own roads. When it sucks it sucks equally for everybody.

No net neutrality: Walmart pays for the right to use a siren instead of building their own roads. When it sucks, it sucks more for anybody that doesn't want to pay for a siren.

Of course, much(most?) of the time, things don't suck and it doesn't matter.

It isn't really a bad law, but I think people are over reacting towards the consequences; if my isp told Google that they needed to pay for my access and Google said no(and they would...), I would be finding a new isp, not finding a new Google. Sure, bandwidth companies could collude to drive up prices, but there is so much demand that it is hard to believe that new money wouldn't be jumping all over an inflated market.

you know what i say to this? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17177306)

get a job hippies!!!!!!!!!1

But... (1)

professorfalcon (713985) | more than 7 years ago | (#17177466)

Will the "more Web-friendly Congress" also pass bills to reform electronic voting machines? Like the ones that got them elected this year?

Oh, wait...

What about the rest of the world? (4, Interesting)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17177664)

As a Brit with only a limited understanding of how the interweb works, how does net neutrality affect me? If this bill had happened, how would it affect my internet experience? Presumably it would affect the way my packets are handled within the US, depending on who picks them up at the end of the atlantic cable and who they are destined for at the other end. Are there any signs of change in the EU? My Warcraft packets have to make their way to Rome and back apparently, so I'm a little concerned that they will get held up by a French farmers' blockade or something.

Re:What about the rest of the world? (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 7 years ago | (#17178134)

Right now, most backbone network providers would like to be able to provide less quality of service or charge more for things they don't want to carry. This includes VOIP, BitTorrent, and video streaming that people find handy now, and that they can't easily make into second class services. Many of them would like to force such traffic to either cost more, or to only be carried with such high quality if it originates from inside their own network and goes to hteir own network, making their larger networks more valuable and preventing smaller companies from providing such high levels of connectivity.

These companies want to create a high-bandwidth, higher quality infrastructure for which they can charge more but don't have to build the infrastructure to support for everyone, only for those privileged expensive customers. This is even more important with the growth of video streaming, for shows and movies. They don't want to provide enough bandwidth and support for that without charging a premium, and they don't want to provide that bandwidth for small competitors with peering agreements.

Re:What about the rest of the world? (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#17178592)

As a Brit with only a limited understanding of how the interweb works, how does net neutrality affect me? If this bill had happened, how would it affect my internet experience?

Well, it would make internet access more expensive in the US, so you would indirectly be affected by that in any number of ways. No doubt US-based websites would do more aggressive advertising on their sites, and you'd see fewer and fewer personal or non-profit websites, as the costs become prohibitive.

If you make calls to VoIP customers in the US, you may have more drop-outs. If you play online games, you'll find the US users have higher delays, etc.

Though it's possible, I really doubt they'll extend it to the backbone, so traffic from and to someone outside the US, that just happens to go through the US, shouldn't be affected.

Thank God . . . (1)

KalElOfJorEl (998741) | more than 7 years ago | (#17177898)

that this bill went down the tubes. After all, Ted Stevens only wanted it so he could do packet prioritization when one of this staff sends him an Internet.

How about dealing with blocking of port 80? (3, Insightful)

volkris (694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17178070)

It seems to me that a much more important discussion is being completely overlooked. With all the focus on the interdealings of large selfinterested corporations nobody seems to be talking about the evolution of the access that consumers are seeing today.

"The internet" has largely come to mean "the web" with everything else being secondary. This evolution has severe implications for everything from self publication to the value of peer to peer communication. In short, it seems that most ISPs have made it illegal to run any servers or do anything else that results in decentralization of power. This creates an environment where all content MUST be hosted on the servers of some powerhouse, and therefore be subject to whatever costs that involves.

The internet no longer connects people and people. It connects people to businesses that sometimes happen to relay traffic from person to person.

Let people do what they want with traffic and then it doesn't matter quite so much whether YouTube is being slowed down: the big centralized sites won't hold such a monopoly on the content.

Re:How about dealing with blocking of port 80? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17178312)

From the beginning of time ISPs have banned the use of residential customers having any kind of server. Not sure this is new and/or unwanted. If you want a server, get a business line.

Re:How about dealing with blocking of port 80? (2)

volkris (694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17178824)

From the beginning of time, huh?

Most people probably run servers of some sort and just don't know it. ISPs are doing society a tremendous disservice by labeling personal servers as some sort of business only or power user only device. If people were allowed to run their own servers, properly packaged as user-friendly appliances of course, many of the internet's problems would be solved. It could even have significant positive influence on the entire OS and ways that people use computers.

The server restriction serves only to make the internet into a one way medium, cracking down on pariticpation in a really sad way.

Re:How about dealing with blocking of port 80? (1)

m-wielgo (858054) | more than 7 years ago | (#17178512)

I'm with you on this. I cannot stand how ISPs react and place restrictions on consumers on how they use their service. Not only that, but what's with my upload speed being so crappy? (<7% of my download speed)

I wish I had the ability to say... "Ok, my pipe is 7000kbps; let's set aside X for download and Y for upload."

Re:How about dealing with blocking of port 80? (1)

volkris (694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17178766)

Give users more legitimate (you know, from the polite society's point of view) reasons to upload, and the upload pipes will probably grow.

Once the restricted upload starts keeping video of grandma's birthday party from being distributed to the cousins you better believe ISPs will feel pressue to increase them. For now, though, high upload rates are supposedly only needed for people pirating music.

Re:How about dealing with blocking of port 80? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17181738)

What do you expect if you keep thinking of yourself as a consumer?

Net neutrality == gov't regulation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17179162)

Because before you can have "neutrality", someone has to define what "neutrality" means in legal terms.

Which means federal regulations, and the ensuing court cases.

Fuck that. Let the FREE MARKET decide who pays for content and service. Does your usage require high bandwidth or low latency? Well then PAY FOR THE QUALITY OF SERVICE YOU NEED!!!!

You can't afford it? Tough shit. That means your product DOESN'T HAVE A MARKET AT THE COST NECESSARY TO MAKE IT VIABLE!

Re:Net neutrality == gov't regulation (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 7 years ago | (#17179886)

Fascinating. And where is this free market in American telecommunications? Will Time-Warner and others surrender their local concessions on cable service?

Re:Net neutrality == gov't regulation (2, Interesting)

teebob21 (947095) | more than 7 years ago | (#17181130)

(Beware: this post contains information for someone involved in the cable industry, and thus knows what he is talking about. Slashdotters looking for ignorant bullshit are advised to proceed elsewhere.)

Again, I'm forced to reply to someone making assumptions about the state of cable TV service in America. The fact is that Time Warner, Comcast and nearly every other MSO in the nation pay a pretty penny just for the RIGHT to service the areas which they do. They are a business participating the the same free market that you are welcome to participate in.

While your local cable company isn't going to give up their "local concessions" any sooner than AT&T or any of your POTS providers are, you are welcome to come to my town and establish licensing and permission from the various city offices and county boards that mandate easements and pole rental in the 11 communities that we serve. Pay their fee, and poof! Your complaint about government regulation seems to go up in smoke.

Come on in; in the telco industry, it's called an overbuilder. Keep in mind that in most jurisdictions you are required to cover the entire franchise area that you wish to serve, meaning you can't just service the homes by the golf course where snobbies will pay for whatever is the newest and coolest. You also have to service the south end of town, where the minority population lives paycheck to paycheck, and paying the TV bill is a option rather than a requirement in the monthly budget. (No offense to any creed or color intended, simply describing the simple facts in my job.)

Once you have completed building the entire town, have fun trying to achieve a sustainable ROI in the first 5 years before your funding and capital dries up while you try to convert a entrenched customer base from their choice of either satellite or cable service. Oh yes, don't forget about the (literally) millions of dollars charged by folks' favorite channels. You know, it will be tough to get subscribers without TNT, ESPN, FX, the NFL Network and HBO/Showtime. Wait?! You wanted to offer High Definition? Hmmm, prepared to pay double, since those dollars you are paying to ESPN only covered their standard definition feeds. But at least there are local feeds in HD...unfortunately the retransmission consent laws permit a broadcaster (ie, FREE TV) to charge cable and satellite operators for their HD. (Which is precisely the reason many MSOs still do not offer local channels in HD) In our system, monthly basic service provides 67 channels for $42.50 + sales tax and city franchise fees totaling $48.12. Of that $48, $39 goes to content providers and city coffers. Our revenue monthly for providing your service: $9.

I'd go on about the expense to provide service as an independent ISP...but I believe I made my point already. Point is, the free market exists in cable service just like any business; but the big bucks are going to the content providers (ESPN, HBO, Google/YouTube, etc.) not to the cable co.

Why don't they realize? (1)

nog_lorp (896553) | more than 7 years ago | (#17180922)

Come on people, net neutrality doesn't exist! It's either for us or for the terrorists!
~troll

Same song, second verse same as the first. (3, Insightful)

davmoo (63521) | more than 7 years ago | (#17181136)

Anyone who thinks the Democrats are any more "net friendly" than the Republicans is being woefully naive. Neither party gives a flying fuck about John Q. AverageAmericanNetUser or Jane Y. Nerd. Except for one tiny difference (the Republicans rob from the middle class and give to the rich, while the Democrats rob from the middle class and give to the poor), both parties are a carbon copy of each other. And just like the Republicrats, the Democins will do what is in their own best interests and the best interests of their corporate contributors.

The United States has the best political system in the world...we have the best political system money can buy.

Democratic Trivia (2)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 7 years ago | (#17181586)

Interesting bit of Trivia:

Until September the Democratic National Committee (DNC) had their main Internet servers hosted at Verizon Business' Ashburn Virginia data center. This past January, Verizon Business (VB) was asked to provide a quote on a major upgrade: More space, more electrical power, more bandwidth, bigger "tubes." They failed. Badly: it took them two months to provide a quote and when they did it was outrageous. And oh yeah: they couldn't guarantee that they'd be able to meet the very modest space and power requirements: 200 amps @ 120 volts + a cage with 5 cabinets. How outrageous was the quote? Well, with Cogent selling bandwidth for $10/meg and most providers in the $50-$100 per meg range, VB was asked for a rate in the $100 per meg neighborhood. They had been charging $250. The new rate? $290.

But that wasn't the end of it. Oh no. A set of vendors was chosen to replace Verizon Business. The contracts were signed in the summer with completion on each scheduled for the end of August. VB was asked to provide one simple component in the replacement: some Internet bandwidth at a different data center where they confirmed existing connectivity. In particular, the DNC wanted them to do what any reasonable ISP is capable of: move the DNC's IP addresses to the new location. Not only did they miss the August 30 installation deadline by the better part of a month, they never were able to transfer the IP addresses. Working around that with the help of the other vendors was one hell of a scramble.

This mess all happened in August and September, by the way, threatening to spill over into the main part of the election cycle... And the DNC was under contract to host the Internet servers for the DCCC and DSCC this cycle. So it impacted and very nearly impaired election operations for three of the top Democratic Party committees responsible for helping take back the Congress.

So, the next time you wonder how Verizon treats folks whose good will they actually need, now you know.

As for Verizon's lobbying efforts in the 110th Congress? Yeah.

Perhaps the bill got lost... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17182108)

Perhaps the bill wasn't voted for by enough people, because it was sent over the internets, and got stuck in one of the tubes. A piece of it might have broken off when all the other stuff going in the tubes came up behind it. I remember a Simpsons episode where Homer got stuck in the waterslide. All the kids who came after him, slammed into his head DOH! Then they had to remove a section of pipe. Perhaps part of the bill is still stuck in a piece of the tubes, and has to be removed. All we have to do is find where and dig up the copper wire, turn it around end-for-end, and then push hard from the other end (send a bunch more stuff through the tube going the other way), and unclog the tube, and get the rest of the bill that way.
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