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Net Neutrality Debate Crosses the Atlantic

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the its-just-business dept.

The Internet 277

smallfries writes "The network neutrality debate has raged on in the States for some time now. Now broadband providers in the UK have banded together to threaten the BBC, who plans to provide programming over 'their' networks. The BBC is being asked to cough up to pay for bandwidth charges, otherwise traffic shaping will be used to limit access to the iPlayer. 'As more consumers access and post video content on the internet - using sites such as YouTube - the ability of ISPs to cope with the amount of data being sent across their networks is coming under increasing strain, even without TV broadcasters moving on to the web. Analysts believe that ISPs will be forced to place stringent caps on consumers' internet use and raise prices to curb usage. Attempts have been made by players in the industry to form a united front against the BBC by asking the Internet Service Providers' Association to lead the campaign on the iPlayer issue. However, to date, no single voice for the industry has emerged. I thought that the monthly fee we pay already was to cover access ... but maybe it only covers the final mile and they need to be paid twice to cover the rest of the journey."

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Heh (-1, Flamebait)

fotbr (855184) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207571)

Well, as an American who's tired of the Eurotrash that have nothing better to do than bash the US, I find this rather amusing.

I know most Europeans are not like that, but there are a few very vocal ones that annoy everyone. You all know who you are.

Re:Heh (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20207663)

Well, as a thinking human who's tired of the nationalist trash that have nothing better to do than wave the flag, I find your post irrelevant to this article.

Re:Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20207761)

This is flamebait and the original post wasn't?

Re:Heh (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20208117)

i think about britney spears during my nightly masturbation sessions.

Re:Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20208225)

Wow you know there are better models available now, some even come with their own remote control

Ugh... (5, Insightful)

oberondarksoul (723118) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207581)

I'm going to hunt down the relevant addresses and start sending letters. The BBC pay for their bandwidth usage. I pay for mine. At what point are the ISPs getting short-changed in this equation?

Re:Ugh... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20208027)

The BBC pay for their bandwidth usage. I pay for mine. At what point are the ISPs getting short-changed in this equation?

It's the typical corporate sense of entitlement. Thus far, they have been making money by selling the bandwidth available to them many times over. The BBC player increases the probability that people will actually use all the bandwidth they have paid for, meaning that the ISPs can't make money this way any more. Thus they view the BBC player as costing them money, not realising/caring that they weren't entitled to that money to begin with.

Re:Ugh... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20208105)

Exactly. Actually, the ISPs can largely thank themselves for allowing this situation to arise in the first place. We could have had real multicasting and proper resource reservation in place, but instead we have (not so) good, old IPv4 and IPv6 is nowhere in sight.

A few years back, I was the instructor for a week-long CIW Security course. The students in that particular class were mostly admins and technicians from one of the larger Norwegian ISPs.

One of the topics covered was IPv6. Naturally, I was curious to hear about their plans for implementing the next-generation IP protocol. The answer I got was "well, there isn't any demand for it at this point, so we'll wait and see." Doh!

And today, surprise surprise, still no IPv6. Still no decent resource reservation and still no multicasting. You can't even expect IPv4 IGMP to work everywhere.

I know that iPlayer is not meant to be a real-time streaming service (which is where multicasting really shines), but bandwidth consumption could still be dramatically reduced by, say, starting streams at predefined intervals and putting as many viewers as possible in each stream.

If iPlayer and similar services (and, dare I say it, P2P protocols) were all multicast-capable, this would almost be a non-issue. But they can't be, because it doesn't work, and now ISPs are trying to make it sound like content providers like the BBC are putting undue strain on the core network. Nonsense! The BBC pay their bandwidth bills like everyone else, and besides, without content the ISPs would have nothing to sell.

Internetz? (0, Troll)

cyanyde (976442) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207593)

The internet is expensive to run. Someone has to pay. That's all that's the concern. It's going to become much the same way television was turned into an Ad waste land. Someone has to pay. Someone has to pay. Lemme repeat several times.

Someone has to pay (5, Insightful)

jombeewoof (1107009) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207661)

I pay, I pay $50 give or take every month to connect to the internet. I pay, I pay $24.99 every month to keep my site up so other people can look at it with their paid internet connection. Someone has to pay, but I guess the money I pay every month doesn't count toward that goal does it.

Re:Someone has to pay (-1, Redundant)

Jarjarthejedi (996957) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207717)

"I pay, I pay $50 give or take every month to connect to the internet. I pay, I pay $24.99 every month to keep my site up so other people can look at it with their paid internet connection. Someone has to pay, but I guess the money I pay every month doesn't count toward that goal does it."


Re:Someone has to pay (2, Insightful)

cyanyde (976442) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207737)

Yes, and depending on the structure of your contract you might have unlimited bandwidth. The argument is that if you extrapolate the figures of BW, somewhere theres a crunch in numbers, somewhere, someone, is going to not be able to have their contract with their provider fullfilled. Based on whatever extrapolation it is, they're telling the BBC in this case, that it's going to cost extra dollars to put in an infrastructure that can handle the amount of traffic expected. You wouldn't like it if even if your unlimited contract was in place, but regardless of the site, you got 3 KB/s download rates. Or that you're promised download rate suddenly dropped down because everyone around you was streaming BBC news as if the internet was their new television. Someone has to pay.

Re:Someone has to pay (2, Insightful)

perlchild (582235) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207917)

And just how does unlimited bandwidth factor in this?
If it costs 200$ for unlimited, the providers should charge for however much it costs, not ask to get subsidised by the other end of the connection

Now notice that contract or no contract, the new customers get the deal...

Why should the content providers have to pay because the isps can't market or price their service?

What the isps are asking is to skip the competition between last-mile...
after all, as long as they can sell "unlimited" that's subsidised, they make money...

I really want to abolush that "unlimited myself" as long as the providers don't sell it as pure upstream (I buy one megabit, they buy one megabit upstream, period)

Re:Someone has to pay (3, Insightful)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208003)


Attn: ISPs
As a content provider, I am the very reason your customers pay for your service. Without me, there would be no internet and, thus, nothing for you to charge your customers to connect to. As it is clear that I am already a source of income for you by providing you with the very product you sell. Your customers pay you for the bandwidth they use. I pay my web host, who pays their ISP (possibly you) for the bandwidth your customers use to access the content I provide which is what you are charging for access to .

Someone has to lay the first chicken. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20208065)

You do realize you just described a chicken and egg problem. True if your site didn't exist there would be no content to view. But then if there was no connection between you and the consumer, then for all intents and purposes your site wouldn't exist.

Re:Someone has to lay the first chicken. (2, Informative)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208249)

I just described the chicken and the egg problem, did I?

Well, if it's THAT simple, why do ISPs seem to have such a problem comprehending it?

Let's call ISPs the chickens and content (from content providers, of course) the eggs, alright? I chose this arrangement because a customer relies on the ISP to give them content, much like a henkeeper relies on the chicken to give them eggs.

You see, when a chicken quits putting out eggs, or begins doing so more slowly, the henkeeper quits caring for that chicken as it is no longer profitable (read: it becomes a waste of time) to do so. They replace that chicken with one which will produce eggs.

To paraphrase what I just said, when an ISP quits giving access to content, or begins doing so more slowly, the customer quits caring for that ISP as it becomes a waste of time to do so. They replace that ISP with one shich will provide access to content.

You're right, chicken and egg; except that, in this case, if the chickens all died, the eggs would find another way to be made.

Re:Someone has to pay (1)

Exatron (124633) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208011)

Again, someone is paying. Why should I, or the content provider, have to pay extra to make the ISPs meet their end of the bargain? If they can't do the job at the prices they gave, it's their fault, not mine.

Re:Someone has to pay (1)

init100 (915886) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208139)

So first, the ISPs sell "unlimited" bandwidth, and then they want extra money if you are actually going to use it? Wouldn't that amount to false advertising? If they want people to pay extra for actually using their "unlimited" bandwidth, it isn't actually unlimited.

Re:Internetz? (5, Insightful)

PJ1216 (1063738) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207673)

I don't see what they're trying to charge for though. I pay for my bandwidth. The content providers pay for theirs. It sounds like the ISPs just can't actually provide what we actually were told we were paying for. They should expand their bandwidth to handle the traffic. Neither side is actually 'over-using' their bandwidth. Neither side should pay more just because they are actually using what they paid for.

Re:Internetz? (1)

cyanyde (976442) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207711)

Then it sounds like a warning to the BBC: "If you make this service live, then we will have to charge you more." Simple economics?

Re:Internetz? (3, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207803)

then we will have to charge you more." Simple economics?

The problem with your economics is that they're not charging the BBC at all right now because they have absolutely no business relationship with them.

The situation these carriers want is no different than if you had a phone on the AT&T cell network and Verizon billed you (at whatever rate they wanted since you don't have a contract with them setting one, let's say $5000 a minute) for calling a friend on the Verizon network, after all you were "using" their network. Oh and by the way, your friend still had to pay his phone bill for the minutes he used to talk to you.

Re:Internetz? (1)

JustinRLynn (831164) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208289)

Problem is it doesn't work that way now, you do have a business relationship with them viz-a-viz your current provider. If I recall correctly, AT&T would have a contract with Verizon in your stead to cover access to their network for you. As a benefit both companies ensure that their customers are happy because they can contact one another, not to mention that united states federal regulations (iirc, this is certainly true for landline providers, don't know about wireless providers) require each company to sell each other commodity capacity on their networks. The internet currently works the same way, with peering points providing major backbone interchange capacity... it seems what they want to do is move from company-company agreements to user-company agreements, which of course burdens the user more for the same or worse service they had before... it's essentially passing the communications buck (both figuratively and literally).

Re:Internetz? (4, Insightful)

wall0159 (881759) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207969)

Without wanting to defend them, I think the issue is similar to that of banks.

If everyone went to the bank and asked to empty their account, the bank couldn't do it.
Similarly, ISPs have entered into contracts on the basis that most people won't actually use all the bandwidth they've paid for. That assumption is (theoretically*) factored into the price the customer pays.

If customers all start using rich-media web tools (like BBC video), then the ISPs will struggle to deliver. This will mean they'll have to invest in more infrastructure, and raise prices (for apparently, the same service). They're wanting to companies like the BBC, rather than customers, who are accustomed to paying the lower rate.

Customers will ultimately have to pay, whether it's by increased ISP fees, subscriptions to rich media sites, or by watching adverts.

Re:Internetz? (1)

Aetuneo (1130295) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208135)

If the infrastructure cannot handle what they are selling, then they should not be selling it. It's very similar to renting out space in an apartment building by the pound, but selling more pounds of space than the building can take - because not everyone is going to be there are once, right? And then you force the people using the building to pay for upgrading it so that it can handle what they paid for.

Re:Internetz? (1)

wall0159 (881759) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208227)

The whole point is that the infrastructure *could* handle what they were selling, because people weren't using all their bandwidth. Since this is no longer the case, prices will go up and it'll seem like the average customer will pay more for the same bandwidth/speed. However, the truth is that the average customer will actually be using *more* bandwidth (because of rich web-media, more customers will max out their plan)

They're trying to get companies like the BBC to pay them, so that they don't have to increase upfront charges to their customers. I don't know, they must expect customers to be hostile to price increases...

A better analogy (5, Informative)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208437)

Here's a better analogy. A certain toll road is a convenient way to transport goods between points A and B. UPS carries goods for hundreds of clients, but has recently increased their shipment of product through UPS in a way that leads UPS to send many more trucks across the toll road.

The toll road's owner, in an effort to remain price-competitive with other routes, has been neglecting upgrading toll road capacity in favor of keeping prices low. Now, because their roads are choked with UPS trucks, and because raising toll amounts will lead to loss of traffic to other routes, the toll road owner demands that directly subsidize their shipment traffic across the toll road.

There are a few possible solutions. First, could pay the subsidies. Second, could ensure their traffic doesn't cross that toll road. (E.g. air freight.) Third, the toll road could take out a loan or two to build up its capacity, and pay off the loan by raising rates.

The first option would mean the BBC would pay subsidies to individual broadband providers. The second option would require the BBC to find another way to push their content to potential customers. (I.e. move into video on cell phones and the like.) The third option would mean raising rates charged to customers, at least until the loan is paid off.

In a way, this is the result competition working too well. Broadband providers are so desperate to avoid raising prices for their end consumer, they're trying to find other ways to subsidize their costs. Obviously, in many cases, there isn't much current competition. (Let's see...I can choose between DSL and cable, both of whom have monopolies for their respective site access physical layer.) However, they're probably trying to prevent the ISP market from opening up to offer a new kind of competition. (Oops...I forgot I could also choose to connect my computer to the Internet via a phone...)

If new avenues of competition open up, then their lack of investment in infrastructure will be their downfall. Going back to the toll road analogy, someone would see the opportunity to make money in an alternate transportation system, and our jammed toll road will have to deal with another avenue of competition.

The almighty monetary unit (2, Insightful)

tibike77 (611880) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207993)

Well, it's actually quite simple.
EVERY ISP will "overbook" their bandwidth, and bet on users NOT using it to the fullest all the time, hence being able to get away with it.
Do you honestly believe an ISP expected you, as a "home user", to use up your full bandwidth 24/7 a couple of years ago when they started offering "cheap, unlimited broadband" ?
Hell no, they expected you, on average, to use up about as much as they priced the "cheap package" for, because (they believed) there wouldn't be that much data you could get over the internet that might possibly be interested in on a daily basis.

The problem is that nowadays, people are more likely to use up more bandwidth for longer periods of time... be it a torrent download, internet TV/radio or just old regular (but large) downloads.
So now, the people who "run" the show find they can no longer get away with their overbooking... and instead of "getting more bandwidth" themselves, are going after the people who are likely to generate that increased bandwidth demand.

Pure, simple, unadulterated greed and lack of forethought. That's what's going on. Nothing else.
Know what the flipside is ?

You, the consumer, ACTUALLY paying for what the bandwith you use up is worth, at the ISP side... plus their cut, of course, you can't expect an ISP to run on charity, or do you ?.
In most cases, this would translate in heavily increased rates compared to those you're used to now.
Or, you know, we can always go back to the "pay for traffic" model. That would work just fine... but then again, nobody would take it.

Of course, there's always the alternative of ISPs actually getting a lot more cheap broadband, but that requires infrastructure and indvestment, and in any profit-driven economy, this is not all that good for bussiness, especially when the current model "works just fine" (for them).

The problem is bandwidth is finite.. (1)

msimm (580077) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208421)

And it costs. To keep prices competitive ISP's have got into the habit of charging reasonable, low flat-rate fees. Consumers like this and everyone was happy. But the way they achieved this was not by charging consumers what it would cost to use the allotted bandwidth constantly, because most users don't typically. This way they could provide service for more users less expensively.

Of course the trouble is now that broadband has become increasingly common and bandwidth use is continuously rising I suspect ISP's don't know what to do to keep from saturating their networks (and incurring the added cost). So they are looking for a way out and I guess changing the pricing model for the consumer is probably not a very appealing idea. Not that I think this is anything other then sleazy, but I do see that the problems is a little more complicated then ISP's trying to get paid 3 ways.

We need cheaper, higher bandwidth infrastructure. Because of the shifts in technology this problem isn't going to go away (as it is, it's going to get much worse) and ISP's will fail trying to shift costs in this manner. So who will absorb the cost? Are you willing to pay 2 or 3 times the price for what feels like the same level of service? Most people I know wouldn't. In fact they'd probably scream bloody murder. But that's where the funny accounting is. The BBC is on a commercial pipe. They are, ironically, already paying for the bandwidth their using, it's the end user who's been getting the break. Which makes this a backhanded way to get us to pay. Because if the BBC doesn't cough up the money your service is what would theoretically be effected, ISP's are simply shifting the culpability to the upstream provider. What a funny world.

Re:Internetz? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20207727)

Yeah, we could learn from how South Korea handled the costs...

Re:Internetz? (1)

SwedishPenguin (1035756) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207729)

But consumers as well as companies already pay for the bandwidth they use. If the ISP's feel they are not adequately compensated, they can charge their customers more.

Internetz?-Balanced equation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20208453)

"But consumers as well as companies already pay for the bandwidth they use. "

Indeed? So if one has "unlimited" bandwidth? Doesn't that mean they should have "unlimited" bills?

Re:Internetz? (2, Interesting)

spoco2 (322835) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207741)

Of course someone has to pay, but the problem is that internet companies have been effectively lying about what you're paying for. They say "Unlimited usage for $X", when really they meant 'As much usage as we think the average Joe will use for $X', and when the average Joe starts using a WHOLE lot more bandwidth than the ISP budgeted for, suddenly their $X doesn't cover the usage anymore, so it becomes non profitable.

In Australia we've always paid a lot for our internet in comparison to you lot, but by the same token there's always been a clear statement of how much bandwidth you're buying. Xgig costs $X a month... simple... use it for whatever you like, streaming video, porn, emails, whatever, you've paid for Xgig of bandwidth.

It's when it's the vague 'unlimited' claim that the ISPs get worried. You really should be moving towards plans where you pay for a certain amount of bandwidth, then everyone is happy.

Re:Internetz? (1)

cyanyde (976442) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207785)

Welcome to the Internet's version of Moore's law. Your contract with the ISP is just as extensive as the ISP's contracts with each other, and with the content providers. As economics of the situation changes, those contracts come under pressure of being broken. Once broken, liability ensues. The issue at hand is the bottleneck of an individual ISP, when all their costumer contracts say one thing, and then all these services blindly increase the amount of possible throughput to these individuals. If you want to be able to access these new programs, someone has to pay.

Re:Internetz? (1)

spoco2 (322835) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207875)

But that's the point of my post, if the ISPs charge based on bandwidth then where is the problem? They've budgeted for you using your allowance, who cares what you download? A new service that streams tv comes along and you find yourself always reaching your bandwidth cap... so you pay more and increase your bandwidth limit, or, you just don't watch as much.

You get the content you want at the price you're prepared to pay... where's the problem?

Re:Internetz? (0, Flamebait)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208219)

They are trying to charge based on the bandwidth. They just haven't settled on who gets the bill.

Jeez, you'd think a website full of self-proclaimed intelligent people wouldn't have so much trouble figuring that out.

Re:Internetz? (1)

init100 (915886) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208229)

Are you retarded or what? You make a simple problem complicated. The problem is simply that ISPs are saying that we have "unlimited" connections, because it sounds better in their advertising, while in reality we do not. Now they demand extra money if we would like to use all the bandwidth in our "unlimited" connections. That shows that they haven't been honest with us, and should be sued for false advertising.

The ISPs have nobody else to blame but themselves.

Re:Internetz? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20208017)

They say "Unlimited usage for $X", when really they meant 'As much usage as we think the average Joe will use for $X', and when the average Joe starts using a WHOLE lot more bandwidth than the ISP budgeted for, suddenly their $X doesn't cover the usage anymore, so it becomes non profitable.

If the average Joe starts to use lots more bandwidth, I'm sure that the ISPs will raise prices to cover their costs.

It's not that hard to raise prices...

Re:Internetz? (3, Insightful)

rgaginol (950787) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207797)

Yes. Someone has to pay, thank you for stating the all elusive fact in this discussion. I mean, who would have thought someone would have to pay for usage. /sarcasm

Now tell me, when you call someone with your phone, does the other party have to pay? No. They don't. You are calling them. Let me slow it down a bit:

You ... Are ... Calling ... Them

So therefore, you pay for the phone call. Oh yes, there are special mechanisms which can ask permission to get the receiver to accept the cost, but that is a special case.

This case is exactly the same: the end user is requesting a service (making a call) and someone is answering the call. Why should they have to pay for it as well when we already are.

This issue, as it has been stated many times before, is about ISP's double dipping, not that someone has to pay for services.

Comparing this issue to the case with "Free To Air" television is a ridiculous comparison. Nothing is ever free, and free to air television uses advertising as it's revenue stream. ISP's have paying customers already as their revenue stream. Apples and Oranges. The theory goes that advertising should only creep in if a base cost is not being met. In preference to advertising, if that means that ISP costs go up to end users then so be it - and if some customers don't want to accept the extra prices they might have to accept advertising in their connection.

I think what you're interested in is that _you_ don't want to pay for the cost of the service _you_ are requesting. Think about it for a while.

Re:Internetz? (2, Informative)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208221)

Now tell me, when you call someone with your phone, does the other party have to pay? No. They don't.

May I assume that you don't use a cell phone in the US? Because there, even when you receive a call, it's a race to see which runs out first, the battery, or your credit.

Re:Internetz? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20207991)

The ISPs don't want a comparison with television content, then the content providers would want paid in order for the ISPs to carry the content on their networks. Look at cable tv for an example, even the networks with more commercials then content charge the cable companies for carrying them on their network, even though they are currently broadcast for free.

Re:Internetz? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20208429)

The internet is a demand pull type of consumption. Its the users who ask the content sites to provide data. These requests are satisfied by sending replies with the content requested. It doesn't take much data to send a request while the request can have a lot of data. Thus many customer sites are asymmetric in that upload speeds are far lower than download speeds. So the bandwidth is paid for by the users. The content providers don't need much download bandwidth and lots of upload bandwidth. This bandwidth is paid for. A portion of both is sent to the cross networks that connect the two.

So as of now, the bandwidth and transport should all be paid for. But many have pocketed money by selling more than they actually have. In the old days you paid for as much bandwidth as you could afford or would use at the peak and rarely average anywhere close to that. Thus these ISPs would notice that and could concentrate a set of normal users into one power users worth of bandwidth. Like the old voice network where the average amount a phone was in use was 4%. They spent that extra money on themselves and didn't eventually add that bandwidth being sold. The thing is that usage patterns changed just like in the voice network. There teenagers would talk on the phone for hours or connect to online BBSs. The phone people noticed this trend and added enough capacity to handle it. They were helped by technological advanvcement allowing more users to be serviced by the same amount of equipment. Similarly, people changed their online habits. They went from text based stuff which you could only read or typed so fast, to more dense data like web pages, graphics, sound and now, video. This P2P interactive stuff can't be cached like the old static web pages, graphics, photos, sounds or video. So the bandwidth has to approach that of dumb piping system where the bandwidth must have no bottlenecks through the network.

Now the ISPs have been living off of this unused bandwidth for years. When these higher density traffic rose, they solved it by cacheing the data locally. They cache some requests and duplicate what the content provider sends to many users making the same request. Theoretically, they could simply cache the broadcasts over some small period, say a pool of x amount of video with the newest video supplanting the video not viewed for the longest time and simply send the cached video to the local users. They did it with static or nearly static web sites and news feeds. This allowed them to sell more than what they actually had. This had the added advantage of lower effective latency of the network as seen by the users.

Now many content providers and ISPs used the natural artifact of a low usage internet to have low apparent latency of streaming content. This content was quite valuable and those providers got it for nothing. They weren't guaranteed this by any means. Packet based TCP/IP only guaranteed delivery, not the order or latency of the data. Some newer data could arrive before some older data. This rarely happens in a low usage network. The network has a simple plan to reduce traffic when it becomes congested, it simply drop packets of data until the rest can fit into the outgoing pipe. Get a packet, see if the outbound pipe has enough room. If it does, push the packet into the pipe. If not, just drop it into the byte bucket. TCP/IP fixes this by retransmitting until the data packet makes it through and it only allows so many to be pending. So congestion makes for some packets to be retransmitted. A lot of congestion makes all data streams slow down. Both are bad for music and video.

To make sure this highly valuable data makes it through you have two basic ways to go. One is to give the streaming packets higher priority than normal data so that only low value data packets get dropped. Two is to build bigger pipes so that there is always some room on any given pipe. The first is cheaper only if the amount of such traffic is low relative to all traffic. If it is not, then the low value packets are nearly always being dropped and effectively cut off. And the higher value packets are again being dropped. Putting the network provider back into the same state as before with management being yelled at for none of the other packets making it. The second method is more cost effective in the long run. Dumb hubs are cheaper to make than smart ones. And they can handle far more traffic. You can typically get twice the bandwidth of dumb networks for the amount you spend on smart networks. Dumb networks doesn't mean that it can't handle redistributing traffic amongst many competing routes to the same destination. It means that it doesn't need to look inside a stream of like packets to determine what to do with any given packet. Its this stream decode and encode that makes smart networks take so much more power and resources than dumb ones.

Now the telcos and other network makers want to do the band aid first method because they don't need to make bigger pipes to do that and they delude themselves that they can extort money from the content makers to pay for the upgrades that they should have had already. I think that the network should be neutral. They shouldn't need to know what is passing through it. That is the essence of common carriage. If they do the first method, then they should be accountable for what they transmit because they now know what they are moving (or should know). So if porn goes over it, they should be liable. The second method never looks inside the packets, so that they can't be held liable. The second method also is more robust. When critical packets start dropping, its past time to upgrade the relevant pipes. It can better prioritize what need upgrading and still is able to handle failures in a forgiving way.

Better software at both ends of a streaming video or audio can mitigate the nearly full internet symptoms. Better compression can also help. Both methods increase the effective latency to make it more consistent and thus, less noticable. Watching a movie can handle a minute delay. It can start a minute later so that it has a whole minute to recover from a temporary condition like congestion. The same is true for music. Thew only reason is the MPAA and RIAA being scared of a limited amount of storage of the data stream. Only conversations or gaming interactions can't have this delay as even a second is quite noticeable.

So I would not allow the ISPs and common carrier networks to deviate away from "dumb" netwoorking. Being net neutral is the only good long term solution.

universal encryption (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20207595)

The sooner everything uses encryption, the sooner this type of idiocy will be impossible.

Encrypt every protocol. If it's a legacy protocol, pass it over an encrypted tunnel. Governments can't censor and corporations can't selectively extort when to them all bits are just bits.

Bandwidth is a commodity. Encrypt, and these people will have to treat it like one rather than abusing their monopoly/cartel positions to implement artificial restrictions and surcharges.

Re:universal encryption (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20207731)

Your idea seems very feasable and well thought out.

Re:universal encryption (1, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207791)

The sooner everything uses encryption, the sooner this type of idiocy will be impossible.

      No, you just wait - they'll start blacklisting and throttling traffic that comes/goes to specific high-volume IP's, despite the content.

Re:universal encryption (1)

Climate Shill (1039098) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208079)

The trouble is, you will need to hide the details of the final destination from the ISP, which means doing your own routing. Which means passing the data round the network more and using even more bandwidth. If you intend doing it at the endpoints, like TOR, several times more.

Re:universal encryption (1)

TheSkyIsPurple (901118) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208137)

Have you ever tried to troubleshoot a protocol issue when the protocol itself is encrypted?

Re:universal encryption (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208257)

Then they will simply block anything they can't decipher, and the government will get a warrant to demand the key.

I do not understand (5, Insightful)

llamalad (12917) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207609)

I do not understand the idea of random networks charging content providers for their bandwidth.

I already pay *my* ISP for my bandwidth.

Content providers already pay *their* ISPs for their bandwidth.

My ISP wants to charge the content providers for delivering their content?

So that means my intraweb tube becomes free for me, right?

Re:I do not understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20207651)

So that means my intraweb tube becomes free for me, right?

You should be entitled to whatever percentage of your traffic comes from the content provider's site deducted from your ISP bill.

There may be a class action suit there. IANAL :)

Re:I do not understand (2, Insightful)

nemoyspruce (1007869) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207699)

They dont want to charge content providers for delivering content. they want a slice of the juicy profit that the content providers are getting out of the tubes that they have already paid for...greedy bastards.

Re:I do not understand (1)

init100 (915886) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208335)

I see two reasons why they want to charge content providers extra:

  • They aren't actually charging you (the consumer) for all the bandwidth that you have available, so that if you and every other customer would start tu use a higher percentage of it, they can't make their ends meet. This more or less amounts to false advertising on their part (they said you had "unlimited" traffic, while in reality you hadn't.
  • They see the content providers make bucketloads of money making all these services available to you, and want a piece of the action, i.e. a part of their profits.

The answer to the first point should be the ASA suing them for false advertising. The answer to the second point is that the content providers already paid for their bandwidth, and the ISPs have no business taxing them just because they make large profits. Would car manufacturers (ahh, a car analogy) have to pay extra for the steel if they make big profits selling their cars? Sounds ridiculous to me.

I guess i'm confused (5, Informative)

jombeewoof (1107009) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207637)

The article doesn't go into much detail, but from what I've read the deal goes something like this.

BBC to ISP/IPP == Hi I have an idea for a website/web based product let's hash out the details.

ISP == oh yeah, great send that money right over here. We're the internet we can do anything.

ISP/IPP actually looks over the details... wait.. we'll be needing more money if you want that service we just agreed to.

That's not right, if a company cannot keep it's part of the bargain they should not have made the deal in the first place.

This reminds me of an ISP I dealt with a few years ago when DSL was just gaining popularity. My predecessor made a deal that we would get free unlimited bandwidth for the school I worked at, in exchange for free classes for some of their employees. After I took over we went from about 3GB a month to close to 25GB. The ISP called and wanted to renegotiate. I said no, unlimited is what the contract says, unlimited is what I'm getting. You may be able to limit the speed at which I download, but you can't limit the amount of time I'm hitting that at 100%.
They did so, and I started removing their employees from the classes. Sometimes in the middle of the class.

Jombeewoof, get off the Internet. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20207725)

Jombeewoof you are a jerk. Move away from Massachusetts. You should be fired for pulling people out of class and refusing to renegotiate. That makes you a real prick. Internet service providers like the one you leach off of here in Massachusetts are barely scraping by with rising costs of business. By refusing to renegotiate, you are ignoring this reality. You are overpaid, too. I will see to it that your ass is fired.

Re:Jombeewoof, get off the Internet. (2, Interesting)

jombeewoof (1107009) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207933)

I know it's flamebait, but I'll bite.

Yes I guess I am a prick. I expect to receive the goods and or services for which I have and continue to pay for.
$75,000 worth of free education, with up to another $25K is not nearly enough to pay for such spectacular service.
15 times through both the Sun Solaris admin, and Cisco CCNP programs with 5 more yet to be named students is not enough to pay. I should certainly think of the poor ISP that doesn't make enough money. I should certainly think of their operating costs. I should certainly think that when I don't get what I pay for; the other guy must certainly be right.

FUCK YOU... that felt good. Let me say it again, FUCK YOU

For what it's worth, I'm no longer at that school. Poor business decisions caused it to go bankrupt.
Poor business decisions like trading seats for goods and or services with companies who expect to be able to renegotiate.

And I'm a jerk, for allowing my students access to the internet so they could do various research on the net. (that made up the majority of the extra bandwidth, could not have possibly been my addiction to the distro of the month club circa 2002), for allowing remote access for students, so they can access network shares from home, for creating labs that could both access and be accessed from anywhere on the web. I'm a prick for giving the students what they paid for and more without asking for more money from them (yes we did hike the prices a bit after, but we didn't go to current students and ask for more.)

Oh, anonymous coward. I guess you "got" me. Get me fired from a job I don't have anymore. Where I was underpaid, and certainly over appreciated. Next time though, why not post as yourself instead of hiding behind the mask of anonymity.

and if you want to get me fired from my current job... good luck.

Re:Jombeewoof, get off the Internet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20208055)

You will never live this down. I will get you fired by ruining your Internet reputation. You messed with the wrong person.

Re:Jombeewoof, get off the Internet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20208241)

12 year old trolls are always amusing in what they think they can do. You are insignificant, get over it and go back to school yourself.

Re:Jombeewoof, get off the Internet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20207977)

Are you having problems in your dysfunctional gay marriage??

This is what I think the problem is... (5, Insightful)

PJ1216 (1063738) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207655)

The ISPs screwed themselves over. They let the consumer pay some amount for a specific amount of bandwidth. However, they can't actually guarantee that consumer that bandwidth anymore. For example, cable has various hubs, each with bandwidth that is split amongst its users (usually a town or city will share a number of hubs depending on its size). They told its users they'll get x amount of bandwidth, but they based that amount on the bad assumption that everyone won't be online at the same time. They severely underestimated how drawn to online content the world would be so now they're getting flooded with users and not enough bandwidth to handle it. Instead of blaming themselves, they'll blame the content providers and say thats why they can't handle the traffic anymore. The content providers are somehow unfairly causing too much traffic for them to handle. The problem is, the ISPs promised the world more than they could actually deliver and now they're trying to shift the cost onto someone else. Each side pays for its bandwidth (consumers & content providers), but now the ISPs are actually being burdened with upholding their side of the deal and somehow that's unfair.

The ISPs never should have promised the amount of bandwidth they're offering, and charging for, if they can't actually deliver it.

Re:This is what I think the problem is... (1)

wall0159 (881759) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207989)

"they'll blame the content providers"

It's not about blaming anyone. It's just that now, with increased prevalence of rich media web-apps, they can't continue to offer the same deal anymore.

Re:This is what I think the problem is... (1)

tiananmen tank man (979067) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208207)

"It's not about blaming anyone. It's just that now, with increased prevalence of rich media web-apps, they can't continue to offer the same deal anymore."

What deal was that? Over selling what they have and hoping that not everyone uses what they paid for at the same time?

Re:This is what I think the problem is... MAYBE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20208047)

but the Internet is fundamentally based on sharing -- it makes
efficient use of connections because everything is packetized
and packets for all users intermix. There can't possibly be
enough connectivity for every end user connection to be used
at full capacity all the time. There's some oversubscription,
but I don't think that's the real issue.

I think the problem is that the telcos who now dominate the
Internet (at least in the US) envy the cable company business
model, in which both viewers and content providers (generally)
are charged. It's much like the phone model, in charging both ends.

Re:This is what I think the problem is... (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208461)

"The ISPs never should have promised the amount of bandwidth they're offering, and charging for, if they can't actually deliver it."

You forget ISP's like most businesses will do anything to make a profit, that means lie, cheat and extort their way to profit on the ignorance of society then so be it. The truth is ISP's tightwads, the reason they get away with such crap is because the majority are not tech savvy.

Before picking on the BBC... (1)

mikael (484) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207659)

...perhaps the ISP's should complain to Sky/Virgin since many people are now viewing Sky news reports through the
website portal rather than through the TV channel.

whoa whoa hold on (4, Insightful)

Shadukar (102027) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207685)

There is something i am clearly missing here and I hope one of you kind sirs could enlighten me on:

The content provider (youtube/bbc) pay for UPSTREAM bandwidth with their ISP. This covers the costs of users coming to the site and downloading data.

Then the users pay for DOWNSTREAM bandwidth with their ISP. This covers the cost of the isp downloading data from the content provider's isp.

Is someone getting money from two directions there AND wanting more ? Even if there is no overlap of payments for costs, etc, based on the above two lines it seems like everyone's getting paid for providing the bandwidth ? Or is it the question of ISPs saying "yes, you pay for bandwidth (upstream or downstream) but you are using too much of it and we'd like to charge you more for some of the services which use up too much of the bandwidth you paid for ?


Re:whoa whoa hold on (1)

xixax (44677) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207773)

ISPs have set their pricing by selling the same capacity several times over on the assumption that no-one will notice as most subscribers will never actually use all the capacity they buy. By dreaming up ways of using this unused capacity we purchsed we've put them in a bind and it's easier to go after large organisations than directly jack up subscriber prices to supply the originally promised capacity.


Re:whoa whoa hold on (1)

dattaway (3088) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208083)

So the ISPs don't like the contract they signed and want to market their bandwidth and change their billing like the cell phone companies? Are we going to end up with 50 page bills like AT&T iphone users?

Re:whoa whoa hold on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20207857)

It's two different providers though. In telco land there is an old thing called recipcomp and carrier access billing - basically a handling and facilities fee for terminating and delivering calls. That's the world that telecoms live in, to them net neutrality is akin to facilities theft.

The really funny thing is that they don't want to share their last mile, but they don't want competition from grassroots or municipal sources either. Don't even try to understand telecoms, just recognize them as an irrational enemy that will do everything it can to screw over consumers to make a buck.

Re:whoa whoa hold on (4, Funny)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207939)

Sure, the upstream and downstream are being paid for, but those aren't the only directions that matter. ISPs have funded research which recently discovered the existence of heretofore unknown directions of bandwidth which are not accounted for in traditional network models and as such has not been profited upon until recently. These directions include the "leftstream" and "rightstream", the former being paid for by government subsidies and the latter being paid through extortion of content providers. Their research is ongoing though, with network theoreticians currently postulating that there may very well be a third set of bandwidth directions, colloquially known as the "forwardstream" and "backwardstream". We can also look forward to later discoveries which derive from current network ideas, such as the theorized existence of such bandwidth directions as the "upperrightstream".

Re:whoa whoa hold on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20208445)

Not to mention North, East, Dennis, Hubwise and Widdershins!

Anticompetitive (3, Insightful)

spiritraveller (641174) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207695)

Attempts have been made by players in the industry to form a united front against the BBC by asking the Internet Service Providers' Association to lead the campaign on the iPlayer issue.

It's not a united front against the BBC, although I'm sure they'd like to portray it that way.

It's a united front against their users who want to pay for "unlimited access" and actually receive same.

Re:Anticompetitive (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207767)

It's a united front against their users who want to pay for "unlimited access" and actually receive same.

      If I recall correctly the UK, unlike other countries, is full of laws that severely punish those who engage in false or misleading advertising.

Monopolies (3, Interesting)

jeevesbond (1066726) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207697)

This is monopolistic behaviour. From the Reg (talking to Lord Currie, chairman of OFCOM):

Speaking to El Reg after the debate, he added that the crucial point was whether providers were attempting to force content providers to pay. A content provider going to a service provider and asking for a guaranteed level of service was OK, he said. Access providers strong arming content providers into paying, was not.

They'd better stop trying to strong-arm the BBC into paying for service, anyone who disagrees with these attacks on the free market should give OFCOM a ring [] . I've contacted them before, aside from being very informative/helpful, the number of complaints has an effect on whether they think they should intervene (assuming the complaint is valid of course).

Re:Monopolies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20208073)

This is monopolistic behaviour.

No it isn't. It's a cartel. Both cartels and monopolies are subject to stringent anti-trust laws, but other than that, they are practically opposites (a group is by definition not a monopoly).

In other news... (5, Insightful)

dosboot (973832) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207723)

Power plants band together to force GE into paying a surcharge on their light bulbs. Spokesperson for the electricity industry said "These bulbs will suck up a sizable portion of our power generation."

Re:In other news... (3, Interesting)

terrencefw (605681) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208147)

It's not at all like that - you're metered and billed for the electricity you use, but not for your broadband connection. You pay a flat fee and get "unlimited" access.

The problem here is that (surprise surprise) "unlimited" doesn't mean unlimited, because at the time these deals were created, the ISP customer base had certain usage patterns that meant that it was OK to offer "practically unlimited" service. Customer usage has changed, and people are downloading/streaming more video and now the figures don't stack up.

The BBC will be paying several times more for their bandwidth than an ADSL consumer is on a £20/month unlimited plan. The ISPs need to rethink their pricing in the light of video becoming popular.

Those who moan about how they should be able to download the entire internets every night for £20/month clearly don't understand what a contended service is. You can get uncontended (1:1 ratio) ADSL service for about £1000/month. Buy it and knock yourself out, but don't expect the same level of service for 1/50th of the cost.

The services may have been sold as "unlimited*", but the * was always there, and the service was always contended with certain usage restrictions.

Badgering the BBC etc for payments to support their business plans is cowardly though. The ISPs are feeling the pain of the overly competitive market they've created (with the help of Ofcom). The best thing that could happen now is that Ofcom mandate that all-inclusive plans are axed and replaced with per GB billing all round. I wouldn't have a problem with that because I pay already for my gas/petrol/electricity/baked-beans/socks that way.

Notes: Yes, I used to work for a UK ISP. Yes, I know what the running costs are. No, I'm not biased, just realistic. No I don't use P2P regularly, but if I did I'd expect to pay more for it, just the same as I pay more for everything else if I use more of it.

This is happening! (1)

Stu Charlton (1311) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208155)

Look how many governments are banning [] incandescent bulbs: Australia, The Netherlands, California, Ontario, etc.

An outright ban bothers me.

In other news...Limits eliminated. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20208273)

And how's that any different than say industrial customers paying more for the demands they place on the power grid? As someone else already pointed out the mistake was selling the concept of "unlimited" to the consumer. When even geeks can't figure out that anything physical isn't going to be unlimited. Why should one be surprised at the average joe? The only problem is that it's much harder to sell a service that has limits. People don't like limits.

BTW I notice one of the tags is "greed". Anyone brave enough to tackle the concept of greed when it comes to the consumer? Didn't think so.

"Protection" money (3, Interesting)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207735)

The BBC is being asked to cough up to pay for bandwidth charges, otherwise traffic shaping will be used to limit access to the iPlayer
Am I the only one who sees this as a clear case of racketeering? Gee, this is pretty nice website you got here, it'd be a shame if anything were to happen too it...

The BBC isn't trying to get anything for free here, they pay for their internet connection and their consumers pay for there's as well, the ISP shouldn't expect anything beyond that. Threatening to throttle traffic from a particular site unless the owners pay up amounts to nothing more than extortion and it's a shame that the greedy ISP owners who think differently won't get treated to the same punishment that Vinnie the Protection Racket Thug would get for the same crime.

Stupid 'them' (2, Insightful)

feepness (543479) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207749)

over 'their' networks.
Stupid 'them' for using 'their' money to buy 'their' materials and pay people to do what 'they' asked to put in place 'their' network that we want to use.

It's us vs 'them' people, and there are more of us than there are of 'them' so let's vote to take what 'they' have got! Because 'they' aren't us and no one will ever vote to take what you have*!

*Civil liberties and privacy excepted.

Re:Stupid 'them' (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207909)

Stupid 'them' for using 'their' money to buy 'their' materials and pay people to do what 'they' asked to put in place 'their' network that we want to use.
Stupid them for using OUR government to enforce 'their' right of way on OUR property.
Stupid them for using OUR government to enforce 'their' monopoly on 'their' rights of way.
Stupid them for using OUR government to subsidize 'their' networks with billions of OUR tax dollars.

Run by the state vs run by the people (3, Insightful)

Bragador (1036480) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207759)

I think that having everybody buy their own hardware and building their own internet was great in the beginning. I'm of course talking about the BBS era where people bought servers and modems. That was simple.

Now we are in an era of "inter-BBS" where the ISPs charge you but also let you browse the others "BBS". Since ISPs offer to host websites I'm considering them as the modern BBS. Now the problem is that some users are becoming competitors to these ISPs by providing services and thus are a new breed of "BBS" and they are making money instead of the ISP having full control. But who are managing the wires outside? The ISPs. So do we give all the rights to the ISPs or do we now declare that the Internet's hardware be owned by governments so that all of the citizens pay for the services?

Like the others have said someone has to pay the bill. If the users start to make more money than the ISPs then they should make sure parts of their earnings go into the development of the Internet right? Which is partly why the ISPs are currently bitching about all this.

I strongly believe the governments should invest and build the physical foundations and rent it to the users. Henceforth the Internet would be a service made by the people for the people.

I agree that this would go against the anarchistic Internet many of us wants but for upload and download speeds and efficiency of resources this would be great. I'm of course assuming that bureaucracy will not kill the whole process.

Anyway, if you really want privacy there will always be Tor networks and the old school BBS right?

Re:Run by the state vs run by the people (3, Insightful)

SpecTheIntro (951219) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207929)

I agree that this would go against the anarchistic Internet many of us wants but for upload and download speeds and efficiency of resources this would be great. I'm of course assuming that bureaucracy will not kill the whole process.

That's really the problem in its entirety. Governments are absolutely terrible at providing services to people. Private enterprise is always more efficient--the reason the internet is so fubar'd in the US is because the government granted monopolies to cable and phone companies, in order to get rural areas wired too. Now, though, there's no competition in the market, so shit like this is starting to happen everywhere. The government needs to abolish all of its contracts with the companies and ensure there are no barriers to entering the ISP market. Then everyone and their mother will start laying wire in an effort to undercut the other guy, and eventually the market will settle at a price/performance ratio that's reasonable. At the moment, we have no method of recourse with cable or telephone providers: it's not like I can switch to a competitor. If I don't like Comcast, I don't get cable, period.

What really gets me is how much money the US government has thrown at the telcoms precisely to avoid this problem. Monopolistic greed and incompetence know no bounds.

Myth (1)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208365)

If the Government had stayed out of the cable/phone company issue, a monopoly would have happened anyway.

Or do you intend upon arguing that several different companies would have laid their own fiber networks across an entire city?

Re:Run by the state vs run by the people (2, Insightful)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208433)

"Then everyone and their mother will start laying wire in an effort to undercut the other guy, and eventually the market will settle at a price/performance ratio that's reasonable."

I think you provided the counter argument to this in your own comment. It's the high price of laying lines into rural areas that made the government get involved. There are certain segments of the market that costs more than others to penetrate. If not for government intervention, most of rural America won't have telecommunication services. Not everyone and their mother can start laying lines because of the high infrastructure cost. In markets that have very low entry cost, government intervention is rarely needed but in markets where there are high upfront capital cost, government intervention is needed to ensure that everyone is being served. It is definitely inefficient but so are a lot of things that fall under the category of "fairness" or have to do with "social justice".

Local hosting (1)

fishthegeek (943099) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207779)

If it's such a freaking concern to the ISPs of the world why don't they just come up with a few colo (coloation) agreements for those companies that they claim are using too much bandwidth. They ISPs are complaining that youtube et al are using too much bandwidth and I would like us to remember that according to This article [] Windows Update is using quite a bit of bandwidth itself. One has to wonder why MS isn't being targeted by the ISPs.

Double Dipping w/o Return (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20207831)

As people have mentioned, right now the ISP's are essentially double dipping. The content providers pay for upstream, and the consumers pay for the same except downstream. So basically they want to triple dip? Have both parties pay for the same bandwidth and also collect a portion of revenues? Seems like some kind of con job to me.

As far as caps and shaping etc, look at South Korea. There are literally millions of people uploading and downloading gigabytes individually every single day to "web drives" such as fileguri, oudisk, and ed2k services like pruna. They do massive video conferencing, online banking, video on demand, streaming radio. They can do this because the infrastructure can support it. They also have dmb, which is basically h264 video streamed over terrestial or satellite to portable devices. On top of this they're also rolling out massive wifi/wimax/wibro capabilities. I can't speak for europe, but as far as the US goes, where has all the taxes, both directly taken from billing and indirectly through government subsidies gone? Where is the fiber to the curb that's been promised for years going on decades?


Re:Double Dipping w/o Return (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20208393)

Where is the fiber to the curb that's been promised for years going on decades?

You can see it when you pass through AT&T's and other telcos' offices. It's parked just in front of them, all nice and shiny.

Well, duh. (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207873)

Yes, providers will have to raise prices or impose stringent caps.

This is what happens when people start trying to use a hugely oversold service.

over subscribed networks (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207981)

This has nothing to do with TV companys get a "free ride" and everything to do with slimey telco's over subscribing their network, and then lieing about it.

Real translation to English (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20208005)

Since smallfries has chosen to politicize his explanation, I'll give you a better one. It's very simple. Your ISP doesn't have the bandwidth to deliver the BBC via internet to all it's customers. So it either has to charge you more and use the money to improve its infrastructure, or put BBC packets at a lower priority so they don't swamp the network and bring it to its knees. Or it can make charges more fine grain, since it's current prices reflect the fact that no one was using the bandwidth, so it was a good marketing tool to say you had it. Under this approach, the network doesn't change, but you pay more if you think you need the bandwidth to watch BBC.

Perhaps... (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208039)

it's time to move forward [] in video compression. There's so much that can be done, and so little that has been done.

Nine visual profiles have been defined in MPEG-4 Visual Version 1 [MPEG4-2]: Simple, Simple Scalable, Core, Main, N-bit, Scaleable Texture, Simple Face Animation, Basic Animated Texture, and Hybrid.

DivX uses the Advanced Simple profile (which would fall in the first of the above list). And yet MPEG-4 [] can be expanded to use sprites/panorama, animated textures, 2-D animated meshes, 3d-Meshes, natural sound... and you thought DivX was state-of-the-art. <nelson>ha hah!</nelson>

Re:Perhaps... (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208177)

And yet MPEG-4 can be expanded to use sprites/panorama, animated textures, 2-D animated meshes, 3d-Meshes, natural sound...

Too bad nobody knows how to encode that stuff. Out of the codecs that actually work, the BBC is probably using one of the most efficient ones (Windows Media Video 9).

The networks are paid for already. (2, Informative)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208049)

This is a simple matter of greed.

AT&T is more greedy than a beta wolf.
This so-called "net neutrality" is bad business.
it's nothing but greed. There is no other way to describe it. Unless you like "double-dipping"
These few network owners want to charge a premium for allowing commercial traffic on "their" networks.
Everyone pays a subscription fee for accessing the internet. They pay based upon how much bandwidth or throughput they use.
Network owners have peering agreements to share network access. These peering agreements are all based in the same facility and some times in the same room.

Net Neutrality: treating every packet as equal.

What they want: denying or delaying packets whose owners don't pay the ransom.

Hmmm... (1)

NEOtaku17 (679902) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208131)

So it's just a simple matter of which side is greedy and which is not? So Google is for Net Neutrality out of the kindness of their heart...not because they don't want the increased costs for themselves? Oh I see. Some companies are greedy and others are not. That is why companies increase prices or decrease limit supply. It's simply about greed. That settles everything. Right....

Slashdotted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20208121)

Next thing you know they'll want slashdotted content providers to pay for excess bandwidth.

Who needs who ? (3, Informative)

Climate Shill (1039098) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208161)

Fortunately it seems unlikely they'll be able to make this stick. Nowadays, at last, there's some degree of choice of broadband providers for most people in the UK. In fact, usually more choices for ISP than there are television companies. So who needs who most ? If my ISP won't do BBC, it's not likely I'll be dropping the BBC for some other station. I'll be dropping the ISP.

Re:Who needs who ? (1)

Climate Shill (1039098) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208265)

Oh, And Another Thing...

If the ISPs were really concerned about the bandwidth usage of TV-like services, then why didn't they just turn on multicast ?

Frist psOt (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20208191)

formed his Own that FreeBSD is conglomerate in the All major surveys Mutated testicle of flaws in the BSD Trying to dissect much as Windows

Putting the foot down. (1)

weaselanator (954340) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208355)

I think it would be fantastic for a website or group of websites (of adequate size) to put their foot down and cut off any ISP who QOSes them and asks for money. I think at that point if the site was used enough the ISPs home subscribers would either raise a big enough stink or just switch away.

It would really need the right situation but it could set a new precedent and make ISPs realize that their service is useless if the sites their uses use do not preform well.

Re:Putting the foot down. (1)

MacrosTheBlack (169299) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208407)

A better solution would be for the iPlayer to detect a slow connection and then pop up a notice saying something about a slow connection and to check if their ISP is interfering with the connection (or if they just have a slow connection). Kinda like how MSN does when sending files thru a firewall.
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