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I don't get it... (5, Interesting)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715132)

So we should allow the highest bidder to choke off the bandwidth from their less wealthy competitors? Honestly, can someone explain to me how this would be a good idea?

Is This Neutral Enough For You? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17715170)

The REAL question remains unanswered after all these years: Just why ARE all Macintosh users homosexual? And why DO the authorities decline to prosecute them for homosexual behavior? Hell, if adulterers can get life imprisonment in Michigan, is it so hard to do something similar to the fanboi's who really are dangerous and annoying?

In your heart, you know I'm right.

Another question (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715240)

Who is "we", and who put "we" in the position of being in charge of what everybody else can do? If "we" is the government, I think "we the people" can count on them botching being in charge of the Internet.

Re:Another question (3, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715332)

Who is "we", and who put "we" in the position of being in charge of what everybody else can do? If "we" is the government, I think "we the people" can count on them botching being in charge of the Internet.

Yes, We, as in WE the People who vote.

Governments, like it or not, are in the best position to provide certain services like roads, water, sewage, defense and so on. If private industries take over these services, bad things happen, like toll roads, dumped sewage and dirty water. Governments are wasteful because they are not bound by profit. Wasteful includes things like repairing roads that are still passable, but need repair and treating sewage before dumping it back into the water supply, even though it is expensive.

Re:Another question (2, Insightful)

empaler (130732) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715398)

Governments, like it or not, are in the best position to provide certain services like roads, water, sewage, defense and so on. If private industries take over these services, bad things happen, like toll roads, dumped sewage and dirty water. Governments are wasteful because they are not bound by profit. Wasteful includes things like repairing roads that are still passable, but need repair and treating sewage before dumping it back into the water supply, even though it is expensive.


Or, put in another way, TANSTAAFL :-)

Re:Another question (3, Insightful)

XanC (644172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715436)

This is not a democracy, or at least it's not supposed to be. People who vote don't have the authority to dictate arbitrary terms to other people, except where specified in a constitution.

Okay, you get some of your infrastructure (water, sewage) from the city. How does that translate into the Feds running the Internet again?

Re:Another question (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715508)

Okay, you get some of your infrastructure (water, sewage) from the city. How does that translate into the Feds running the Internet again?

Think toll roads! I don't want the Internet to look like the Chicago freeway system... Full of tolls! Want to travel on the FREEway, pay a toll. Want to get on another road, pay a toll. Want to get off the FREEway, pay a toll. You can't get anywhere in Chicago without stopping every 5 minutes to pay a toll. I don't want to see the Internet become that way.

Granted, Chicago's streets are owned by the city gov't, but there are private roads all over the country... and they are all toll roads!

Not very convincing. (2, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715830)

Not sure that's a very convincing argument.

I don't live in Chicago. I sure as hell don't want to pay for their highway. Therefore, having toll roads so that it doesn't cost me more in tax dollars sounds like a really good idea.

After all, having the government pay for something doesn't make it "free" it just distributes the cost among a whole lot more people; people whom, in many cases, will never see the benefit of what they're paying for.

If you want to show that government funding for something is a good idea, you have to be able to demonstrate that it's good for everyone who's going to end up footing the bill, not just the metaphorical Chicagoan who doesn't want to pay a toll.

Nobody likes paying tolls, but I think a lot of people like paying for roads they don't use and which may be on the other side of the country even less. That's why you have toll roads: it spreads the cost of a project across the people who actually use it, and assumedly who derive some benefit from it. (The arguments against tolls usually take the form of demonstrating that "people who use" and "people who benefit from" are not the same.) While a toll-free highway in Chicago would be understandably popular to residents there (just like the Gravina Island Bridge is popular with residents of Ketchican), I doubt you'll find a lot of support for it in Honolulu or Miami: after all, those people are going to ask, what are they getting by footing Chicago's bill?

The argument people are making against network neutrality is similar. Someone who doesn't use much bandwidth, and sticks mostly to services provided by their ISP, isn't going to like a 'neutral' net, because to them, it means a higher bottom-line cost than a tiered service might. In other words, they're basically subsidizing heavier users, or users of content that would cost more on a non-neutral net.

If you want to argue against the opponents of network neutrality, you have to come up with some sort of salient argument why it benefits the user who just wants a minimum level of service for the cheapest possible price. What does the $12.95/mo. DSL user, who does nothing but check email and look at things that are on the Comcast portal page, going to get from network neutrality, other than the possibility of higher rates?

Now, for the record, I support network neutrality, but comparing it to toll roads isn't going to help the cause any. If anything, "toll roads" are exactly the argument that the telcos and big ISPs are going to make. You don't want to go down that path.

Re:Another question (0)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715870)

Think toll roads! I don't want the Internet to look like the Chicago freeway system...
Right. Because you want someone else to pay for your usage instead. That's what happens with water, free roads etc. The light users or non users pay for the freeloaders.

 

Re:I don't get it... (1)

thehickcoder (620326) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715266)

I think what he is saying (not that I necessarily agree with it) is that badly worded legislation would prohibit networks from prioritizing traffic at all. (i.e. You couldn't prioritize UDP over TCP or vice-versa.) This word limit innovation at the network core.

Re:I don't get it... (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715700)

I don't have a problem with networks prioritizing data based on the port number or type of data. I do have problems with networks prioritizing data based on its target or originating computers.

Unfortunately, I see no reason why a company as large as Google or Microsoft couldn't create their own proprietary protocols like GDP or MS/IP and then pay the companies that own the wires to give priority to those particular protocols.

I guess I'm OK as long as the networks don't prioritize bandwidth based on a payment they have received, and it appears that is already the case.

Re:I don't get it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17715270)

Don't worry. He's not an inventor of the internet. (Everyone knows who invented the internet - Vint Cerf.) Purportedly anti-net neutrality guy (I think he is just against legislation a la libertarianism) did some nice stuff with TCP/IP, but that is about it.

*Al* *Gore* invented the internet, damnit! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17715778)

Everyone knows that.

Re:I don't get it... (4, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715294)

No, it would not be a good idea.

However, is Network Neutrality simply the inverse set of the scheme you refer to, or is it an over-the-top reaction that actually bans many quite legitimate activities an ISP might do (such as providing bandwidth over and above what an end user has paid for, to paying parties. ie you pay for a 256k connection, but it becomes a 1Mbps + 256k connection whenever Apple is sending data to it, because they paid.)

My reading of network neutrality is it makes all forms of improved service in exchange for money illegal, even when the end user doesn't lose out because of it. I'd rather see lobbying for minimum guaranteed service levels than "neutrality", the Internet equivalent of banning 1-800 numbers.

Re:I don't get it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17715556)

> My reading of network neutrality is it makes all forms of improved service in exchange for money illegal, even when the end user doesn't lose out because of it. I'd rather see lobbying for minimum guaranteed service levels than "neutrality", the Internet equivalent of banning 1-800 numbers.

My reading of it is that it makes all forms of artificially hobbled or throttled service in exchange for money illegal. But, obviously, we're no longer talking about the same thing.

Re:I don't get it... (4, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715312)

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The FCC has already stated that they will fine any company that abuses their ability to Tier bandwidth. So we're covered on that front without having to pass new laws. At the same time, the current situtation allows for ISPs to use the tiering features of their routing equipment as it was originally designed: To provide near real-time routing for time-sensitive traffic such as Voice Over IP.

Re:I don't get it... (1)

zipwow (1695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715628)

Can you cite that somewhere? I think it's a great point, and had heard the same thing, but never from an authoritative source.

-Zipwow

Re:I don't get it... (3, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715848)

Certainly:

http://www.networkcomputing.com/channels/networkin frastructure/183701554 [networkcomputing.com]

Federal Communications Chairman Kevin Martin said that his agency has the authority to police any so-called net neutrality violations, both in the voice and video arenas.

In a question-and-answer period in front of the keynote audience, Martin said that "I do think the commission has the authority necessary" to enforce network neutrality violations, noting that the FCC had in fact done so in the case last year involving Madison River's blocking of Vonage's VoIP service.

"We've already demonstrated we'll take action if necessary," Martin said.

Note that the paragraph about "tiered services" is poorly worded by the article. The author of the article for some reason is creating confusion by also referring to different levels of bandwidth availability (e.g. purchasing 768K at $20/mo vs. paying $40 for 1.5M) as "tiering". So read it carefully.

Re:I don't get it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17715494)

Because things like that should be decided by the market. If the market enforces it - then there's no problem and legislation isn't needed, if it doesn't enforce net neutrality - then it means people don't want it, and such a legislation (in country claiming to be democratic) should not be pushed down onto people who don't want it. Sorry, but claiming you're liberal and supporting government regulation such as this is hypocritical - so freedom of choice is good only when people choose what I want them to choose? What if I want to choose cheaper ISP that blocks traffic from non-paying websites? What gives you the right to deny me that choice?!

First, define "neutral". Now let the gov't do it. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17715526)

"Net neutrality" requires that the government first define "neutral".

Follow that to its logical conclusion and you can only conclude that passing "net neutrality" will end up resulting in government regulation of the internet.

Does anyone here that's a good idea?

So, can you explain to us why government regulation of the internet is a good idea?

Yes, actually. (1)

paladinwannabe2 (889776) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715546)

Since internet bandwidth has limits (it can be clogged with enourmous amounts of material) those paying the most money can get the biggest chunk of that bandwidth. If the demand for bandwidth is high enough, that means the people on the low end of the scale get 'choked' for bandwidth.

I find it fair that people who pay more get more bandwidth and less latency. What would be unfair is if the phone companies claimed to give customers a certain bandwidth and latency and then didn't- something that falls under 'breach of contract' or 'fraud'.

Re:Yes, actually. (1)

beringreenbear (949867) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715864)

You mean like is already happening? Works something like this: Your ISP buys a chunk of bandwidth from whomever via a peering agreement. The then parcel that out over their subscribers, betting that most of the time (viewed in terms of microseconds) the bandwidth usage will be idle. This means that the aggregate usage for all "high bandwidth" subscribers is actually equal to the same number of subscribers at dial-up speeds.

Now let's play with it. You have (for argument's sake) 1000 customers using 1000 MB of bandwidth .(I'm throwing out numbers to provide clarity. Real numbers would be bigger.) 90% of the users are "normal" users (porn, email, MORPGS, web...) and use 20% of the bandwidth available, or 200 MB. The rest belongs to the other 10%, the 100 or so users setting up P2P peering and sending out movies, radio stream, and so forth. The ISP *hates* these users as they clog the bandwidth for 90% of their *overpaying* customers. They are looking for any way possible to squelch their usage. Hence why they back legislation that allows them to ID certain types of traffic and throttle them. And this is simply *one* use of said ability to typify net traffic.

My point in bringing this up is that Net Neutrality is a slogan, endemic to the current all-or-nothing point of view. There are a lot of gray arguments that calls for a balance in how network traffic routing and monitoring is allowed. It becomes a question of how and how much the government should be involved. Do we say "Private network, do what you like, but be prepared to be sued?" That's one option. Another is to granularly legislate what types of traffic can be monitored. And none of this even comes close to talking about the various ways of making one type of traffic look like another. It's a nasty can of worms.

Myself, I hope this is viewed as a case of dangerous lawmaking and is handled as such, is given significant public discussion and is open to review from everyone. A law seems to be needed as internetworking merges with telephony (do you really want lag on an e-911 call? And what happens when a storm knocks out the LAN, but emergency communication is needed?). If a law is passed, it will need vigorous and periodic review as the technology changes.

Yes, we should (1, Insightful)

HighOrbit (631451) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715640)

So we should allow the highest bidder to choke off the bandwidth from their less wealthy competitors
Did you sleep through Econ 101? That's called Allocative_efficiency [wikipedia.org] via the Free Price System [wikipedia.org] . The market price allocation of goods and services is the best that humankind has come up with in the last 4,000 years of recorded history, and the only one that matches production to demand, because it is the only scheme that accounts for human nature and motivations. Price allocation means people will pay for a good if the good is worth the price and other people will produce the good if the selling price is worth their efforts. Every other type of allocation scheme has brought woe and shortages.

If your content is "worthy", people will pay what it is worth to see it. The installed bandwidth will increase to meet the demand (absent any non-competative tinkering like monopolies or goverment franchises, which may be the problem here).

Re:Yes, we should (2, Informative)

4e617474 (945414) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715816)

Did you sleep through Econ 101? That's called Allocative_efficiency via the Free Price System.

Did you sleep through the 90's? The reason every geek on Earth was excited about the Internet and extolled its virtues to a critical-mass of non-geeks was that it delivered information and innovation to you as fast as it could be generated, and by anyone who could express it - not that "goods and services" were being delivered.

Re:I don't get it... (3, Insightful)

mc6809e (214243) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715674)

So we should allow the highest bidder to choke off the bandwidth from their less wealthy competitors?

That's like saying someone can go to Ford or Honda and buy up all the cars, and thus deprive all others of automobiles.

It won't work for the simple reason that Ford and Honda can make more.

No one will pay big money to monopolize all the bandwidth, because the more money they spend trying to do it, the more incentive there is for providers to make more.

And keep in mind that it's easy right now to choke off bandwidth. Simply open a huge number of simultaneous TCP connections to overwhelm all others. All other things being equal, if someone has 1 TCP connection moving data and another person has 16 TCP connections, the latter person will grab 16/17ths of the bandwidth.

Or maybe recruit thousands of zombie computers to ping flood a destination IP in a DoS attack. In effect network neutrality means those with the most bandwidth and most servers will win.

One solution to these problems would be to set up queues for all destination IPs and use prioritization to implement fair-queuing. The only trouble is that, under certain net neutrality proposals like that of Markey, fair-queuing would actually be illegal since it uses a prioritization scheme not among those allowed.

Think about that. It would actually be illegal in to fairly allocate bandwidth.

Re:I don't get it... (2, Interesting)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715874)

That's like saying someone can go to Ford or Honda and buy up all the cars, and thus deprive all others of automobiles.

No, it's like someone buying up all the lanes on the freeway and then dictating who can drive and how fast. And they wouldn't even have to buy all the roads, just a few "choke points". Actually, a bit more accurate would be that a company would pay the "road-company" to dictate who can drive what, to where and how fast. Of course, as each company owns different stretches of roads, I see different companies paying for different roads so that all traffic moves at a stand still.

However, the rest of your comment makes sense. And while the existing legislation under consideration may suck, the absence of it would imply that what I mentioned above is legal.

Re:I don't get it... (1)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715732)

Right now, saying "Net Neutrality" is like saying "Power to the people, man!". It is a nice slogan, but it doesn't mean anything until there is some real understanding and consensus on what Net Neutrality really means.

Right now, you don't have the vaugest idea of what any sort of Net Neutrality legislation would entail, because no sort of legislation has been written up. And right now, without any sort of Net Neutrality legislation, companies have yet to choke off bandwidth of less wealthy competitors. It continues to get easier and easier for small companies to compete with big companies over the internet. So you are essentially demanding a solution without knowing what that solution even is, to a problem that doesn't exist and may never exist.

Net Neutrality legislation could indeed be a nightmare that cripples innovation in the internet, in the same way there have been virtually no improvements in land line telephone service since I was born. Net Neutrality legislation could be so gobbled up by special interest lobbying in government to be something 100% completly different than what you want it to be.

The kind of rabid foaming at the mouth mindless support of "Net Neutrality" that you show can be easily exploited. A few big corporations push their client politicians for a "New Neutrality" bill that is full of restrictions that benifit big corporations, and all the "Net Neutrality" zealots jump on supporting it because it vaugly promises "Net Neutrality", and end up promoting legislation that has the complete opposite effect of what "Net Neutrality" is supposed to accomplish - and when someone tries to criticize the legislation as actually being bad for the little guy, you will jump on it with a mindless "NET NEUTRALITY IS NEEDED TO SAVE US FROM THE BIG CORPORATIONS!!! ANYONE WHO OPPOSED NET NEUTRALITY IS FOR THE BIG CORPORATIONS!!! YOU MUST SUPPORT THIS NET NEUTRALITY LEGISLATION OR YOU ARE AN EVIL PUPPET OF THE CORPORATION!!! NET NEUTRALITY GOOD, FIRE BAD!!!! NET NEUTRALITY!!!".

I mean, you support the "Patriot Act", correct? WHAT? You don't support it "Patriot Act"? Why, anyone who would oppose "Patriotism" must be an evil anti-American terrorist! Why are you siding with the evil terrorists? See how easy it is to abuse vauge meaningless non-technical terms like "Net Neutrality" or "Patriot"?

Right now, "Net Neutrality" is a word game. It means nothing until actual legislation is drafted, and then that legislation can be judged on its own merits instead of some empty slogan that may or may not really be what it promises!

It's a good idea because ... (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715760)

There are smarter, more determined, more knowledgeable people out there than you. That's basically it.

If the ISPs choke off their neighbours, the said smarter/more determined people will become upset by poorer bandwidth and will come up with ... something ... which will make internet access faster, cheaper and more pervasive than it is now. What that something is, no idea but I'm sure it's out there.

 

Who? (-1, Troll)

rhartness (993048) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715142)

Robert Kahn? I thought this article was going to be about Al Gore...

Re:Who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17715564)

Not Robert Kahn, but Museum R. Kahn, talking at the recent Computer History.

Confused (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17715148)

Kahn != Khan, so is the blurb talking about two different persons?

Re:Confused (4, Funny)

LordEd (840443) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715176)

Either way, by supporting net neutrality, you will likely incur his wrath.

Let's get this out of the way... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17715178)

KHAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!!

Re:Let's get this out of the way... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17715206)

KHAAAN! [khaaan.com]

If I were you I wouldn't trust what this guy has to say.

Re:Let's get this out of the way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17715440)

Don't forget to use the tags system appropriately...

Re:Let's get this out of the way... (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715770)

That wasn't funny. No really. That was so not funny. It wasn't funny in any way at all. Period. Get a real sense of humour.

Re:Let's get this out of the way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17715336)

Ok now we have to agree on the number of 'A's for the "tagging beta".

Frist KHAAAAAN! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17715516)

damn beat me to it.

Man (5, Funny)

malkir (1031750) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715182)

Fuck the internet, I'm going back to throwing rocks with notes attached.

Rocks (1)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715314)

Another reason not to use windows...

new markets for tunnels (3, Funny)

hotrodman (472382) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715186)


    I wonder, if net neutrality falls apart, and we end up with people charging more for high-speed pipes to certain places, will that generate a big boom in building VPN/GRE/IP tunnels to attempt to work around it? If so, that could become a very lucrative business for Cisco or any other tunnel-equipment maker/provider. Hmmm..makes me wonder if there is a new conspiracy about to brew....
    - E

Re:new markets for tunnels (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715264)

I think what will happen is that you will be charged for services on the Internet on top of your usual connection charges.

A couple of examples:
Google has to pay AT&T, the company that owns the lines in your area, a premium to get higher bandwidth. Google passes the charges onto you and charges you $0.10 a search.
Google pays AT&T a large premium to block all bandwidth to Yahoo. Google passes the charges onto the consumer by charging $0.25 per search.

Re:new markets for tunnels (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715616)

Google has to pay AT&T, the company that owns the lines in your area, a premium to get higher bandwidth. Google passes the charges onto you and charges you $0.10 a search.

Then Google finds out that people would rather use Yahoo or MSN Search for $0.00/search than Google for $0.10/search.

Google pays AT&T a large premium to block all bandwidth to Yahoo. Google passes the charges onto the consumer by charging $0.25 per search.

Then Google and AT&T discover that colluding to keep a competitor out of the market is a violation of antitrust law.

Re:new markets for tunnels (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715350)

Cox has already tried to ban VPN traffic in their AUP according to several reports.

Re:new markets for tunnels (1)

DShard (159067) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715754)

The Cox AUP [cox.com] seems to disagree. I thought it did say that, but it doesn't. I also thought NAT's were also banned, but there not. Though "servers" are banned. Which irks me, but what are you gonna do.

Main Point (4, Insightful)

gravesb (967413) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715196)

I don't think he's against neutrality, just legislation as a means to enforce it. Because, then, if someone does come up with a better system later, it will be hard to implement. However, the telecom's current proposal isn't really better, and does need to be dealt with somewhere.

Re:Main Point (1)

gumpish (682245) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715262)

I don't think he's against neutrality, just legislation as a means to enforce it. Because, then, if someone does come up with a better system later, it will be hard to implement.
Yeah, but the neat thing about laws is that they can be revised or repealed at a later date.

Re:Main Point (1)

wynler (678277) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715330)

You mean like the phone tax for the spanish american war that has just now been removed?

Re:Main Point (1)

KermodeBear (738243) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715366)

the neat thing about laws is that they can be revised or repealed at a later date.
After the damage has been done, sure. It is too bad that people are proposing legislation to 'fix' something that, as far as I'm concerned, isn't even a problem.

If your network provider is giving you crappy service to the sites you care about, then find a new provider or pay for better access. What ever happened to capitalism in America? This whole 'Net Neutrality' stinks of over-regulation. Giving it a friendly name doesn't make it a good idea.

Re:Main Point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17715506)

>If your network provider is giving you crappy service to the sites you care about, then find a new provider or pay for better access.

That's great in theory, but that's not reality. Many people don't have choice when it comes to a network provider.

Re:Main Point (1)

Zonk (troll) (1026140) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715604)

If your network provider is giving you crappy service to the sites you care about, then find a new provider or pay for better access.
Wow, that sounds great. Let's see. For high speed my options are Comcast and, wait, umm nothing else.

Re:Main Point (1)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715648)

I'll just call up the other companies offering competing broadband service in my area...oh wait a minute there are none! I, like much of the country, have a choice of (1) broadband ISP, because of the local monopoly the government decided to give cable companies coupled with the disinterest of verizon in doing anything besides taking the government subsidies and then not expanding their network like they promised. If I lived in just the right place, I might have two. A lot of people in rural areas still can't even get one. Its not a matter of price, its a matter of plain old lack of availability.

The trouble with letting the free market fix things in this case, is that there isn't a free market for broadband. Competition has been stopped at the starting gates, and even if you opened the market up at this point the companies are pretty entrenched. NN isn't really a fix for the horrible situation, its more like a bandaid for one potentially nasty wound. And if there's one thing the cable and phone companies seem to have set a precident for these days, its that given the opportunity, they WILL screw you over.

Re:Main Point (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715682)

If your network provider is giving you crappy service to the sites you care about, then find a new provider or pay for better access.

What new provider? There's only two sets of telecomms-capable wiring running to my home, and both cases the company that owns the infrastructure is also the ISP. And the government isn't about to let another company tear up the street to run more cables. If the phone company and cable TV company both get paid off to degrade my favorite sites, I'm fucked. I have no options left.

Re:Main Point (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715400)

Yes, but having the law on the books can inhibit innovation. Companies/individuals may not spend as much on R&D for promising tech if the end result will not be profitable unless a law is repealed. That is too much risk, both political and technical.

Repealing bad laws (1)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715416)

...the neat thing about laws is that they can be revised or repealed at a later date.
Unfortunately, during the time that laws are in force, they often generate special interest groups that come to depend on them. ( In the 80's there were still lobbyists who worked to maintain mohair laws - initially passed to make sure that WWII troops had uniforms ) Every unfair law seems to create lobbyists, and the more unfair that it is, the more money someone makes from it, and then the stronger the lobby.

Re:Main Point (1)

MarkGriz (520778) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715424)

"Yeah, but the neat thing about laws is that they can be revised or repealed at a later date."

Or often times just ignored entirely.

Unintended Consequences (3, Insightful)

redelm (54142) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715412)

Agreed on the difficulty/undesireablity of legislation: it almost always has unexpected and unintended consequences are people adapt.

A law is advocated to stop behaviour some people see as undesireable. The perpetrators have no such opinion. Whatever impels them to do the undesireable act continues to operate, and they just find a way around.

On net neutrality, in a competitive market, premium services will result in lower prices for bulk services. What do I care about 2000 ms latency when I'm downloading ISOs? I just increase RWIN.

Breaking a forerunner of "net neutrality" is how the Internet got it's international costs so low. Going from channel-switched [voice] to packet-switched [data].

Re:Main Point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17715838)

In the United States, this is like our highways and road systems. It's sufficient for the most part, most people don't think much about it, but it's so based and largely unchanged for the past 50 years despite engineering and vehicle tech vastly improving.

Most roads aren't flat and straight, we still have 65mph while even Kias can go 80mph without trouble (and still, it doesn't rule out have slower travel lanes for older traffic). Most vehicle safety and efficiency laws are from the early 80s.

The fact is, if Net Neutrality does pass, more people will invest in private networks. If Net Neutrality does not pass, people will still look towards other options, like wireless.

I do not like the big telcos, but I like government intervention even less; such schemes may work for now, but in the long run, become a mass of laws and systems that are immovable unless new rules and laws are passed, which means the telcos will end up winning in the long run anyways given government ties to big corporations.

well (4, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715220)

At a recent talk at the Computer History Museum Robert Kahn, co-inventor of TCP/IP, warned against net neutrality legislation that could hinder experimentation and innovation.

Well, as a genetically engineered superhuman, you might want to listen to him. He's a lot smarter than you.

Vint Cerf says... (1)

dreddnott (555950) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715420)

I feel comfortable with good ol' Vint on my side. [senate.gov]

He's the other guy responsible for TCP/IP and, in my opinion, a bit more deserving of the title 'Father of the Internet' - although it really is more of a "founding fathers" situation.

Father of Internet?!? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17715224)

...Robert Kahn, co-inventor of TCP/IP...

Um, how does this make him the "Father of the Internet"?

Co-inventor of TCP/IP, OK, but "Father of the Internet"?!? What about the CERN guys, what about the router folks, what about the...everyone else who co-invented a piece of technology that enabled the existence of the internet?

Just ranting because I'm kind of sick of hyperbole.

Re:Father of Internet?!? (1, Redundant)

jdcope (932508) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715296)

...Robert Kahn, co-inventor of TCP/IP...

Um, how does this make him the "Father of the Internet"?

No kidding...we all know Al Gore invented teh internets.

(Or maybe we should call Maury...) (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17715354)

"Father of the Internet"?!? ... what about the...everyone else who co-invented a piece of technology that enabled the existence of the internet?
They're all fathers, too! The Internet is really just the result of a nerdy bukkake session gone horribly wrong.

Re:(Or maybe we should call Maury...) (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715664)

Do you have a link to the torrent?

Re:Father of Internet?!? (1)

fyoder (857358) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715588)

It should have read 'a founding father of the internet'. As you point out, there were others. Like Vint Cerf [binary-environments.com] .

Re:Father of Internet?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17715790)

Do we know who the mother is?

Finally someone gets it (1)

stry_cat (558859) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715228)

He's right! Any legislation will hurt the ability of people to innovate. What he missed is the biggest reason to oppose net neutrality legislation ... any legislation is another step to the government fully regulating and controling the Internet. This is something we must avoid at all costs. So far we've been lucky that the government hasn't come in and totally regulated it. We've got to work to push back what it does control now.

Re:Finally someone gets it (3, Interesting)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715464)

Any legislation will hurt the ability of people to innovate.

Not true. The regional broadband duopolies can do far more to hamstring innovation than net neutrality legislation would*. For example, with net neutrality, anybody is free to innovate in the fields of VoIP and VoD. But if the broadband companies had their druthers, they'd be the only providers of those services to their customers. How does that help innovation?

* Yes, it's possible to craft legislation that would do more to hamstring innovation and then label it "net neutrality", but then, at its core, it wouldn't strictly be net neutrality legislation.

Re:Finally someone gets it (1)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715468)

What he missed is the biggest reason to oppose net neutrality legislation ... any legislation is another step to the government fully regulating and controling the Internet.

I'm so glad the Libertarians showed up today. I was starting to miss them.

When are you guys going to start handing out Guns for Tots [typepad.com] again?

Re:Finally someone gets it (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715512)

Wrong. If for some reason there are laws blocking my ability to use/modify the Internet, I simply build my own network. What do you think Google has really been doing all these years, building enormous data centers and acquiring dark fiber? Google knows they would be the first target of all the ISPs, given the ubiquity of their searches.

The Internet is not the be all and end all of communications -- it's only the most recent step. Innovation will continue whether there are roadblocks in place or not, simple because someone will always think of a better way to do things.

Does kahn host his own servers at home? (3, Interesting)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715278)

Wouldn't net neutrality help to stop the ridiculous arbitrary blocking of ports that many ISPs impose, which basically keeps people from using the Internet as it was intended?

Re:Does kahn host his own servers at home? (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715514)

Wouldn't net neutrality help to stop the ridiculous arbitrary blocking of ports that many ISPs impose, which basically keeps people from using the Internet as it was intended?

Not as I understand it. Net Neutrality means not allowing your provider to take cash from Microsoft to speed up MSN and slow down Google (for example, but using the typical white and black hats that slashdot so loves). It's about treating traffic that I as a user request without regard as to WHO sends it. I don't take that to mean that they're required to open every port for you (ie, HOW it's sent).

Inevitably, though, net neutrality will fail, simply because there's so much cash lined up against it. The telecoms have historically had more juice up on Capitol Hill than have, say, Google. The telecoms would love to sell every bit twice - once to you, and once to the sender. That would be fine if the sender didn't also have to pay for net access themselves. So in the end, every bit will be sold three times.

Re:Does kahn host his own servers at home? (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715608)

Net Neutrality means not allowing your provider to take cash from Microsoft to speed up MSN and slow down Google (for example, but using the typical white and black hats that slashdot so loves).

Except that's not what the telcos want to do. They want to charge more for MSN to go faster, and if Google doesn't pay extra, they don't get the extra service levels. Sure, to the unwashed masses, it appears that Google is being punished, but to technologically sophisticated types like you and me, it's obvious that MSN is just paying for better service, and getting it.

So, what's the problem, exactly?

The problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17715676)

Well, the only reason why prioritisation of the internet would be needed is if there was more data than the internet can handle effectively.

So if MS pay and get quicker access, then it follows that, the person NOT paying for faster access must be getting slower access.

If MS got faster access and Google got the same access, then there wasn't a problem with the network being congested in the first place, was there?

Or would the internet be upgraded for MS traffic?

I'm confused (4, Insightful)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715316)

Perhaps I don't understand "Net Neutrality" as well as I thought, but Kahn's (KAAAAAAHHHHNN) statements confuse me.

"If the goal is to encourage people to build new capabilities, then the party that takes the lead is probably only going to have it on their net to start with and it's not going to be on anyone else's net. You want to incentivize people to innovate, and they're going to innovate on their own nets or a few other nets,"

"I am totally opposed to mandating that nothing interesting can happen inside the net," he said.
If anything, I would think that allowing corporate entities to throttle bandwidth for whichever site or service they choose, then hold that service's customer availability up for ransom would do far more damage to "encouraging capabilities" and "inventivize innvation". After all, money that might have gone into R&D from these companies (see: Google, Microsoft) might have to be used just so they aren't impeded from their customer.

It would also stall innovation on the end of ISPs- if they note that their current systems can't handle traffic from a certain site or service, they just throttle back that site/service, make them cough up dough, then use that dough to get more systems to handle the bandwidth (or just release the throttle, upgrade nothing, and screw the consumers; depends on which ISP we're talking about). So instead of handling it with improvements, they'll just look to throw more money for more of the same solution. (Which, granted, could be what they do now.)

Perhaps he's saying that the government shouldn't get involved on pro- or con-neutrality, which I can understand more, but then that opens the door for the greedy corporations to start throttling away.

A side thought on net neutrality: If an ISP decides to limit access to such sites as Microsoft.com, thereby hampering the Windows Update service, and the computers that can't get updated turn into botboxes (for spam or virii- or both), would the ISP then be liable for any damage caused by the spam/virii?

Re:I'm confused (1)

phantomlord (38815) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715684)

What net neutrality always fails to take into account is that ISPs don't exist on an island. If my ISP starts making things unusable, I will complain loudly and vocally... I will tell my friends. Other customers get pissed. If enough of us get pissed and they refuse to take action, we'll be lobbying our towns to get rid of the local franchise.

Similarly, outside interests will see a market to serve by providing what the current provider isn't. We could very well see Google or another major player offer an alternative high speed access to the net.

Some rural people might not have the leverage against their ISP nor be dense enough to attract the major players but do we really need major legislation begging to invoke the law of unintended consequences without even letting the market try to solve the problems itself at this point?

Re:I'm confused (1)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715866)

I agree that the less government involvement, the better, but you're assuming that the average consumer cares enough to do anything if they are hampered by their provider. While people on Slashdot such as you or myself may become active enough to fight against the ISP, I have to wonder how many Joe Sixpacks would stand up and scream with us.

Now, in an ideal market, we would be able to switch ISP service. Unfortunatly, too many areas, especailly the smaller ones (not even going into the rural area) are restricted to only one choice, either through some sleazy city government deal or because they aren't close to major metropolitan areas.

For instance, where my folks live, they only have one choice for phone, internet, and cable, and it all happens to be the same company. This company is, as far as I've been informed, currently in the process of just letting their analog cable service degrade in the hopes of getting people to jump to the Digital service. I'm not quite sure if that's the issue, but I wouldn't be surprised, and if it is my parents have no other options; they're lower middle class, and can't afford such things as satellite (nor do they watch enough TV for satellite to be attractive). However, the most they are interested in doing is complaining about it when the cable has extra-distorted fits. No one in my family is going to write letters or do daily calls to the company; they might complain to friends and neighbors, but they won't start a campaign to get everyone to fight back. To them, it isn't a large enough issue.

I would bet that if ISPs did put in a tier system, most consumers would sit there and take it, because making noise can get you in trouble. Society has become complacent, and it will take a major change to get them active against something (and I guarentee you that tiered internet is not that major change). So we have to hope the government will step in, at least in this case, to protect consumer interests for the few who do care (and, somewhat ironically, the major companies that would be affected).

Re:I'm confused (1)

mc6809e (214243) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715738)

A side thought on net neutrality: If an ISP decides to limit access to such sites as Microsoft.com, thereby hampering the Windows Update service, and the computers that can't get updated turn into botboxes (for spam or virii- or both), would the ISP then be liable for any damage caused by the spam/virii?


The question is: would they have any customers left?

Re:I'm confused (1)

melikamp (631205) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715820)

Perhaps he's saying that the government shouldn't get involved on pro- or con-neutrality, which I can understand more, but then that opens the door for the greedy corporations to start throttling away.

I think that's what he is saying. I tend to agree with him. After all, what's the worst they can do? Take their cables and go home? Well, guess what, we'll just find another way to connect our networks! They (telcos) will be left to rot with their tv-cable-like internet, while the rest of us will happily use our ghetto wireless network. Without legislation, no one can take away our ability to connect our networks the way we bloody like; they can only take away a few "tubes"--albeit very nice ones. But with the legislation, we are risking to loose some of our freedom as to how to connect.

Re:I'm confused (1)

Jtheletter (686279) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715826)

You bring up an interesting point about the ISPs becoming liable for critical services not being delivered. However, I doubt it will happen since as it stands now, no one is liable for bot-laden boxes except perhaps the criminals who created them, assumig they are ever caught. If MS can get away with no culpability for easily exploited systems then it would be difficult to impossible to try to pin the blame on an ISP blocking access to an update, especially if there are other exploits not patched by the update - who would be held responsible for botnets created through those open holes? I think along with the current net neutrality debate the idea that a multibillion dollar corp can sell known-broken tools and claim no liability for their misuse needs to be revisted.

One other quick note: at best virii [wikipedia.org] would be latin for 'men' (and even then it is spelled viri) and means nothing in english, please help stop the use of this rediculous made-up word.

Listen to your father (2, Insightful)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715342)

I agree with this guy. We can't even begin to imagine what our children are going to invent after growing up in this early phase of the internet culture. I, for one, am not excited about letting the geriatric politicos shackle our kids from innovating in ways we cannot anticipate today.

Those for Net Neutrality Legislation... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17715356)

(shatner) Khaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnn!!!! (/shatner)

Neutrality.... (1)

Prysorra (1040518) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715372)

Just wanted to let everyone know, I'm totally neutral on how to spell the guy's name....


(FFS, it's spell two different ways in the f%cking blurb!)

Ahem (0, Redundant)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715388)

KHAAAAAAAAAAN!

Note to editors: the man's name is Kahn, you misspelled it in the second to last sentance.

What does Al Gore say? (-1, Redundant)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715428)

I thought Al was the father of the internet, not this interloper!

You've got it wrong. (1)

Aqua_boy17 (962670) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715532)

I thought Al was the father of the internet, not this interloper!
No, he invented the internet. He's the father of Global Warming. Sheesh, I thought everyone knew that.

Time to change the debate (4, Insightful)

snowwrestler (896305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715488)

Net neutrality IS just a slogan, and not a very good one because it means different things to different people. To Robert Kahn it obviously means locking network protocols, which obviously he is against.

But the central issue already has a name--it's called "common carrier." ISPs need to be held to a standard that is content- and author-neutral. My Web site or e-mail or video should not be able to be blocked or slowed based simply on what it says or who wrote it. I don't care about the technology that gets it there--just get it there and don't let me be discriminated against.

Common carrier is so important, and so ingrained in our way of thinking, that to some people it's impossible to imagine that it can't exist. But the fact is that it must be specified by legislation, and right now for Internet services it is not. This is the essence of the issue.

Network protocols, frankly, are not. The network protocols used on telephone and cell phone networks change all the time, but the right to have your call delivered remains. Trucks and tracking technology are improved all the time, but the right to have your package delivered has not changed in over 100 years. There is no shortage of models for how common carrier can be enforced without hindering innovation.

Al Gore? (0, Redundant)

chuck33 (513485) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715490)

Who's this 'Robert Kahn' fellow? He didn't invent the internet..

Odds (1)

g00z (81380) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715610)

100:1 On an Al Gore Joke
6000:1 On a "Kahhhhhhhn!" Posting

Anybody want to post over/unders for number of posts on above subjects?

So much cliche fodder in one article.

Who Is This Guy? (1)

ThisIsNotMyHandel (1013943) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715626)

Why would i care what this fool has to state on the internet. It is a well known fact that Al Gore invented the Internet. What does Al Gore have to say an net neutrality?

i have to agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17715630)

since when has the govt done anything neutral or fair? fair trade? free trade? none of it is fair, and free costs more. the tax cuts have only increased tax, if only for someone else. why do we believe their telling the truth about this? hes right, people shouldnt have to pay more, or less, for their connection speed and going to some sites. i have read comments on here that say it could create a new 'tunneling' service, and i agree, but wont that come about anyway? corporations already 0w3n the internet. cisco makes nearly everything to keep it running. and M$ provides something for, what, 90% of the people. they need no more control, net neutrality is not the answer. there should be no bill, or legislation about it. it should be running as it has been for the last twenty years. anyone for net neutrality is against you. WW IV is being fought right now, in your heads wake up....

Re:i have to agree (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715824)

You know, there are times when government stepping in is NOT a bad thing.

Saftey regulations for autos? Certain regulations for electronics equipment (interference, etc.) Regulations for food quality. Healthcare. Drugs.

Government in and of itself is NOT a bad thing. It is the people that run it that make it a bad thing. Remember that.

Don't Legislate (2, Interesting)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715698)

My stance is that, since the experts are disagreeing over the issue, the worst thing to do is to write something into law.

In fact, I believe the only reason the issue is so important is because too many things have already been written into law. Specifically, existing laws make it difficult to set up ones own telecom operation. This is what makes the incumbents so powerful, and this is why we need to be worried about them locking people out or providing suboptimal service.

If the barriers to entry were lower, perhaps we could have different carriers for different niches, rather than what is basically a yes/no proposition.

If you _really_ want to know my opinion about whether there should be net neutrality or not, I would say there has never been, nor will there ever be net neutrality. There are always some who get better service than others, even if nobody is making a specific effort to make it that way. While I think ensuring everyone can have a certain minimum level of access to information has some merit, network neutrality is either a misnomer or taking things waaaaay too far.

Who is the babies daddy? (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715726)

Seriously, who is the "father" of the Internet. You have the guy who developed HTML, you have everyone who worked on ARPANET, you have everyone who worked on TCP/IP. So who is the father? People need to stop using the name father to refer to people who were in on the early development of the Internet. It is confusing. Besides this guy is an engineer. What does he know about regulation and best business practices?

bit34 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17715728)

I don't want to fucking confirmed: today. It's about

Neutrality? (2, Interesting)

Truman Starr (949802) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715768)

This came up last time I was following a Net Neutrality-related thread. I'm not sure everyone is using the same definition of NN. The definition I generally go by is that Net Neutrality would force ISPs (at all tiers) to offer their full resources to everyone. That is, they cannot give any certain clients/sites preferential treatment. Imagine if "the tubes" were all clogged up with tons of traffic - the companies that paid their ISP a "protection fee" would see their packets moving before the rest of the 'Net.


Using this definition, I am very confused, as I would expect Kahn to support this type of thing. He talks about innovation a lot. I always thought the prevailing consensus was that if ISPs have their way and quash NN, little companies would be effectively "locked out" of the Internet.


Am I wrong here?

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