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Survey Finds Canadians Support Net Neutrality Law

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the hands-off-our-packets-eh dept.

The Internet 201

An anonymous reader writes "A new public opinion survey conducted in Canada finds overwhelming public support in that country for net neutrality legislation. Three-quarters of Canadians believe the government should pass a law to confirm the right of Internet consumers to access publicly available Internet applications and content of their choice — even though most of those surveyed did not know the term 'net neutrality.' The survey was commissioned by eBay." Of course the devil is in the wording. Given the survey's sponsorship, it's unlikely that respondents were presented with examples of the value that ISPs say packet shaping can bring, or asked to weigh such against net neutrality.

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And if you care too (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20830431)

You can go sign the petition at http://www.neutrality.ca/ [neutrality.ca]

Re:And if you care too (3, Funny)

multisync (218450) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831521)

You can go sign the petition at http://www.neutrality.ca/ [neutrality.ca]


Oh, sure, slashdot the petition in favour of net neutrality. That'll convince 'em ISPs shouldn't do traffic shaping ;^)

Right? (-1, Troll)

darjen (879890) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830453)

the right of Internet consumers to access publicly available Internet applications and content of their choice
Internet access is not a right. It is a service provided through someone's labor, with all the associated costs that entails.

Re:Right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20830557)

You might want to read your quote. It appears to be at odds with your post.

Re:Right? (1)

d0rp (888607) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830623)

Internet access is not a right. It is a service provided through someone's labor, with all the associated costs that entails.
True, but you are paying for that service. Shouldn't you expect to get what you're paying for? Not what the highest bidder is offering for the service provider to give you.

Why should the service companies be able to charge on both ends for a service that they are already providing to paying customers?

Re:Right? (2, Insightful)

Acrimonymous (1164185) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831053)

Shouldn't you expect to get what you're paying for?


It's the old adage of "better on paper". People should be holding companies liable when they pull that sort of crap, but consumers don't act in a self-interested manner anymore. Capitalism only works right if everybody involved in the process does their part to keep everybody else in check, but consumers have just rolled over and asked for it up the rear over the last few decades, so they're getting exactly what they requested now.

Re:Right? (2, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831471)

Yeah, for example, they're supposed to prevent the formation of monopolies.

People in the US never seemed to have learned that lesson.

Re:Right? (1)

Acrimonymous (1164185) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831697)

I always figured it was a symptom of a larger problem. The majority of people seem to have very little ability to completely think through the consequences of their actions (or are unwilling to). Think of how many people you know who will get completely raped by a store over something, to the point they're fuming mad, but they'll immediately go back and buy something else just because it's the cheapest place to buy that something else.

The problem here is really that IQs are specifically built to fit a bell curve so they're always an average, but the average person isn't really that bright. The vast majority of people, speaking from the perspective of an absolute intelligence, are pretty dumb.

Re:Right? (3, Insightful)

nilbud (1155087) | more than 6 years ago | (#20832159)

"Only in America"

Re:Right? (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831645)

True, but you are paying for that service. Shouldn't you expect to get what you're paying for? Not what the highest bidder is offering for the service provider to give you.

You do get what you pay for. So does the service provider on the other end.

"You should get what you pay for" is a pretty nonsensical argument. Because service providers paying to get their traffic prioritised (or not de-prioritised) is a fairly standard example of exactly that.

Why should the service companies be able to charge on both ends for a service that they are already providing to paying customers?

Same reason they can now. They have a resource that various parties want to access. According to free market ideology, they should be able to charge both parties as much as they are willing to pay.

Re:Right? (5, Insightful)

mweather (1089505) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830663)

Labor and public tax money. You forgot that. Speaking of, where is the fiber optic network we paid for?

Re:Right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20831773)

Labor and public tax money. You forgot that. Speaking of, where is the fiber optic network we paid for?
It's being built, but only in a way that locks out competition [slashdot.org] . Once it's fully rolled out and competition's no longer possible, expect things to get much worse.

Re:Right? (2, Insightful)

SignupRequired (1165001) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830797)

There are laws against abuse of monopoly and laws against collusion between what should be competitors. A net neutrality law would be along the same lines.

Right! Re:Right? (2, Insightful)

Erris (531066) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830841)

When I pay for bandwith, I expect to be able to use it as a chose not as YOU or anyone else sees fit. I understand that this costs money and that is the source of my outrage.

Conversely, use of public servitude and spectrum are privileges not rights. Those that would use those public resources have obligations to the public. It can be argued that the current owners of spectrum and networks in this country have failed those obligations and should be removed from their position of privilege and jailed.

Re:Right! Re:Right? (2, Insightful)

Brandee07 (964634) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830971)

When I pay for bandwith

I understand that this costs money

When taken in conjunction, these two statements are all that needs to be said. You are paying for a product or service. You should receive it.

re: Right? (1, Insightful)

SpeedyDX (1014595) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830885)

If what you're saying is correct, why are we always up in arms when oppressive governments censor internet access? After all, if the government of China provided the labour in order to provide internet service for their citizens, then China has every right to limit what their citizens do. And so on for other countries. Why do we care about the "Great Firewall of China" or any other government that limits their citizens' activities online? What do we care about the Burmese bloggers?

I don't know the answers, and I don't pretend to. What I do know is that we should probably rethink what we understand as "rights" and "privileges", when it comes to novel technologies that act as mediums for free speech. Maybe the internet should play by different rules, like those that would be provided by a net neutrality act. Maybe not. But what is obvious is that the internet is somehow different than other privileged services, in that it has become a somewhat essential medium for global citizens to convene and engage in free speech.

As I said, I don't know the answers, but I do believe that your approach is not the direction that we should go in.

Re: Right? (2, Interesting)

mrlibertarian (1150979) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831389)

If what you're saying is correct, why are we always up in arms when oppressive governments censor internet access?

Because an oppressive government uses stolen money (i.e. taxes) to fund its operations, and it prevents competition through physical violence or violent threats. In contrast, a company must acquire its money by providing goods and services, and a company can not use violence or violent threats to stop competition. A company can only oppress you to the extent that you allow yourself to be oppressed.

Another poster mentioned that it's dangerous to allow a random CEO to price a provider out of the market. Yes, a CEO exercising his right to control his company's property on behalf of the shareholders is dangerous to your "freedom" to dictate to that company how they will use their property. However, I don't believe in your so-called freedom. Build your own damn network.

And no, I don't think the government has a right to control the internet because it was partially built with tax dollars. If the government has funded the internet infrastructure in the past, then the solution is for that money to be repaid to the government, and for the government, in turn, to return the money to the taxpayers. The solution is not to treat the internet as though it is a "public resource", because that is both immoral and inefficient.

Re: Right? (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831735)

In contrast, a company must acquire its money by providing goods and services, and a company can not use violence or violent threats to stop competition. A company can only oppress you to the extent that you allow yourself to be oppressed.

This theory works up until the point where avoiding that company's products is a reasonable thing to do. In many cases, that isn't true.

Another poster mentioned that it's dangerous to allow a random CEO to price a provider out of the market. Yes, a CEO exercising his right to control his company's property on behalf of the shareholders is dangerous to your "freedom" to dictate to that company how they will use their property. However, I don't believe in your so-called freedom.

When that CEO and the rest of his regular golfing foursome control 99% - 100% of the avenues you have to access a particular good or service, then you probably should start caring about "so-called freedom".

Build your own damn network.

Needlessly duplicating that sort of infrastructure is a grossly wasteful and inefficient exercise.

Re: Right? (1)

mrlibertarian (1150979) | more than 6 years ago | (#20832143)

This theory works up until the point where avoiding that company's products is a reasonable thing to do. In many cases, that isn't true.

I don't believe there is some threshold of "reasonableness" in which other men become your slaves. For example, I can't say, "I was born without any arms and legs, making it unreasonable for me to take care of myself. Therefore, it is moral for me to ask society to force you, as a non-handicapped human being, to support me." No man owes you anything. If a man does offer you a good or service, for any price, be grateful for it. The fact that you find it unreasonable to refuse his offer shows how grateful you should be to him.

When that CEO and the rest of his regular golfing foursome control 99% - 100% of the avenues you have to access a particular good or service, then you probably should start caring about "so-called freedom".

Why? The CEO owes me nothing. He's going to run his company in order to maximize profit; in other words, to get customers to pay him as much as possible. If he is able to make more profit by providing an inferior service, then that must be because the customers are willing to pay more for an inferior service, and therefore, have only themselves to blame. On the other hand, if the majority of customers are happy with his service, but you are not, then that is your problem.

Needlessly duplicating that sort of infrastructure is a grossly wasteful and inefficient exercise.

If I build my own house, instead of moving into someone else's, is that needless duplication? No, because I value control, and I can control what I build myself. The only way for two people to have full control over a single good is to duplicate that good. You see this as wasteful because you don't like the way one of those individuals chooses to control his good. But why is your opinion of how the good should be controlled more important than his?

Also, don't forget that if company A controls a good in way that his customer B does not like, and B decides to duplicate that good, A will be pressured to give into B's demands. But if the government prevents B from duplicating that good (because it would be "wasteful"), then A has nothing to fear, and very little reason to give into B's demands.

Re: Right? (4, Informative)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831965)

Build your own damn network.
Effectively illegal in a number of places where government sponsored monopolies are the only option. furthermore many of these networks were paid for by taxes to various extents making them effectively partially the property of the government.

Re: Right? (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831417)

There's a world of difference between the Chinese government censoring the internet and net neutrality. They are using taxpayer money to artificially limit what would voluntarily be consumed by paying customers. If you don't like the terms of the internet service providers, you are welcome not to use their service. But over there the people are compelled by force to participate.

I view this the same way as our cable TV provider and ala carte scenario. I don't find that the 200 channels they offer for one block rate is compelling enough, so I simply don't subscribe. When they decide to offer individual channels I want at a reasonable price I will gladly pay for it once more. Until then, I'll go with netflix or whatever other entertainment seems appealing. But I don't believe that forcing others to use their property in certain ways is the right thing to do. I'm sure some people might call me an industry shill for saying that, but that's what I feel is just in this situation.

If internet providers start choking their bandwidth enough, I will not subscribe to their service too. Maybe I'll just stick to using the internet at work... who knows. But what I do know is that it would create a great business opportunity for a new provider to come in and offer what people want to pay for.

Re:Right? (1)

eepok (545733) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830923)

Well, since rights are declared, not given, maybe we can declare it a right and require the government to provide access.

hmm... on second thought, I may actually trust a telecom more.

Re:Right? (4, Insightful)

DanQuixote (945427) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831029)


"Internet access is not a right."

---

Not precisely true. There are other rights besides the "inalienable" ones. Sometimes, we create new rights and give them to the citizens.

This can be a "good thing", especially when advancing technology brings up a new issue.

Now that online video is becoming more prevalent, and people are moving from their TVs to their computer screens, it may behoove us to create and support the poor guy's right to view the same content as the rich guy.

Of course there are always trade-offs, and some who will even abuse such a right, but over-all I think it will be best for the nation to adopt a net-neutrality position, and sick the courts on those who try to profit by claiming some bits are worth more than others.

Re:Right? (1, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831117)

TPP didn't say that access to the Internet was a right. It said that access to Internet content and applications is a right. That might seem like a trivial distinction, but it's not. Access to information is a fundamental right, and if the only way an individual has to access that information is through an ISP, it makes perfect sense to insist that the ISP not play the role of censor.

If you want to stream some music produced by some heavy metal band you just heard about, and your ISP says, "Sorry, we don't carry packets from that server, how about some nice Britney Spears?" then they're interfering with your first amendment rights. Also committing a crime against nature, but that's another issue.

Re:Right? (1)

enrevanche (953125) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831137)

A society has the right to determine the parameters by which a business must operate. This is especially true of large of these large semi-monopolistic organizations for which there is little competition.

So What? (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830483)

So what if the respondents don't understand QoS issues. Net neutrality isn't about getting rid of QoS, but about the deliberate extortion of money by ISPs and backbones to give preferential service to their own offerings and to those willing to pay. The deliberate muddying of the issue by industry shills is what gets people going "but what about packet shaping". Trying to prevent 5000 customers with Limewire at 8pm from dropping the average subscriber speed to 33.6kbs is not the same thing as demanding Google pay you money or you'll cut the bandwidth from your subscribers to them.

Re:So What? (5, Insightful)

Conspicuous Coward (938979) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830879)

Net neutrality isn't about getting rid of QoS, but about the deliberate extortion of money by ISPs and backbones to give preferential service to their own offerings and to those willing to pay.

I think 90% of people on slashdot would agree with this. But then most people here have some understanding of the issues involved. A lot of non-technical people, especially regulators, will get caught up in the FUD being spread.

I think the real background to this is that certain groups are, for obvious reasons, very keen to change the internet from it's current free-for-all state to a managed tiered service; more closely resembling "push" services like television or other traditional media. ISPs are generally happy to support them as they can see opportunities for profit, e.g charging both the user and the server owner for the same bandwidth.

If some form of network neutrality legislation is not forthcoming I think this could become a serious problem. There's only a handful of companies that own most of the internet backbone, if they decide to start prioritizing content they like over content they dislike it will force all the smaller ISPs to follow suit and pass these fees on their customers. The dangers for internet freedom of allowing some random CEO to price internet services they dislike out of existence should require no further explanation.

There are clearly legitimate applications for QoS, prioritizing latency dependent applications over somebody's p2p traffic for example. The question from a regulatory point of view becomes where do you draw the line. What level of regulation is required to stop attempts to change the nature of the net and prevent unscrupulous ISPs charging twice for bandwidth, and to what extent will this interfere with legitimate technologies.

I think we need to be very careful. There is clearly a need for regulation, but it's imperative that those drafting it have an understanding of the technical issues involved, as bad regulation could be as much a danger to internet freedom as no regulation.

Re:So What? (2, Interesting)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831467)

Pretty much all the advantages of QoS is best done at the endpoint using a QoS enabled router or QoS software. If the ISP wants to do QoS it should be an optional addon for customers that don't have the know-how themselves.

I am strongly for complete net neutrality, and not the watered out version that the grand parent represents. ISPs should not be allowed to filter packets based on destination nor content. The only exception being if it is provided as an optional service.

If I use too much bandwidth I should be capped, independent of what I am using it for.

Lets wait for a real problem before passing a law (2, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831865)

Net Neutrality is the Sarbanes-Oxley of the internet. Everyone has good intentations, but people with little understanding are trying to write a law based around the *potential* for a problem that simply does not exist, nor shows signs of existing anytime soon.

Let's not hasten to have government come in and wedge a big old bureaucratic foot in the door of networking - any bill that specifically defines how ISP's are to shape traffic, even if initially neutral, is only a small amendment or two away from something like banning all P2P packets. And of course any law dictating how traffic is to be shaped includes expensive compliance documentation that must be kept by the ISP, raising service prices for all of us...

The devil is still in the wording (4, Interesting)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831051)

The funny thing is that there are well known effects that skew the effects of polls, among which:

1. People are nice social beings. They tell you what they think you'd like to hear. It's a reflex and enculturation effect that, well, I suppose helps us live with each other. If you know someone, say, likes pink, the nice social reflex is to say "yes, it's a nice colour."

Why does that matter? Most people, even on a perfectly anonymous poll, tend to answer what they think would please the poller. If they're polled by eBay, of course they'll say what they think eBay would like to hear.

2. (Or 1.b.) The wording is very important. If you present a skewed view where option 1 is pure good and option 2 is pure evil, you've already told them what you think on that matter. So they'll subconsciously try to be nice and agree with what you told them you like, regardless of what they actually think on the matter, and regardless of whether they even give a damn at all.

3. All things being equal, there's a bias towards answering more "yes" and less "no". I guess we've all been educated that it's not nice to disagree all the time. So well design polls actually randomize the questionnaires so 50% will ask the question one way, and 50% ask the negative version.

E.g., if half the questionnaires ask "should we stay in Iraq?", the other half must ask "should we pull out of Iraq?", because otherwise you get it skewed towards "yes". If you only ask "should we stay in Iraq?" you'll get your results skewed as some people will vote "yes" just because it's, you know, a "yes."

4. Biased sample fallacies. Was that sample representative, or was it, say, only the people who visit site X? E.g., if you were to make a poll about computers or OSes on Slashdot, I hope you can see how the results wouldn't really reflect what the whole population thinks.

Etc.

Now I don't know how the poll in TFA was done, so I'm not commenting on that. But basically if you want to know what people _think_, then you _don't_ do a poll along the lines of "do you think we should stop ISP extortion?" If you do that, you'll just get a false result that's good for self-shoulder-patting, but won't reflect what they actually vote for in the next elections.

Just saying...

Re:The devil is still in the wording (1)

big_paul76 (1123489) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831617)

Here here.

Having worked for a polling and market research company, much of the polling questions isn't that different from how you get people to say ridiculous things on "Talking to Americans".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talking_To_Americans [wikipedia.org]

The classic example is, if you ask people do you support capital punishment gives much different numbers than asking "do you support the Death Penalty?".

Re:So What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20831439)

You are either a liar or a fool. Net nuetrality is about QoS. Anti-trust laws already exist to prevent blocking of competing services.

Somebody define net neutrality (4, Interesting)

Cracked Pottery (947450) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830501)

Does it mean that bandwidth providers can charge more for high demand customers? Probably fair enough. Does it mean that they can charge end users more for extra speed. No complaints. What is not acceptable is that the owners of the backbone can make deals with "partners" and give them a special rate and stiff other customers. Or they can charge their customers more for bytes from one source than another. The concept of a "common carrier" has served will in the the fields of communication and transportation. Regulation is necessary. I don't want a top down controlled Internet where I am merely a content consumer.

Re:Somebody define net neutrality (2, Informative)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831079)

What net neutrality is about is that you may not charge more for traffic from this content provider than from that content provider. That's pretty much all. That you pay more for a fatter pipe is fine. Use more, pay more. No problem there. The problem is whether the packets from this source should cost (you or the source, doesn't matter) more than packets from that source. Should they be allowed to charge more for this kind of packet than for that kind of packet.

Generally, the "weigh" is the same, and that's where the "neutrality" part comes in.

Re:Somebody define net neutrality (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#20832223)

No, not all packets cost the same: if you have a peering agreement with some network, or if the packets come from within your own network, then those packets cost you much less than other 'normal' packets.

If the providers have to pay different rates based on the origin, it's only fair to pass that on to consumers... What's wrong with dividing up the traffic into different tariff zones, and billing each one differently (or shaping them differently in lieu of variable pricing).

Re:Somebody define net neutrality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20831383)

Actually, if the intertubes were like just about any other product or service, which they are, high bandwidth users would receive a bulk rate that's lower than the standard rate. Only makes sense, no?

Re:Somebody define net neutrality (1)

Nozsd (1080965) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831793)

This is what the internet is going to turn into if we don't have net neutrality:
http://i7.tinypic.com/5z6vt4n.jpg [tinypic.com]

kdawson FUD (4, Insightful)

ejito (700826) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830507)

Just because its commissioned by eBay doesn't mean the company (the largest independent polling company in Canada) made a loaded survey, especially when AT&T is also a client of theirs [legermarketing.com] . If the survey turned out to be negative for eBay, they could simply not release the information.

Re:kdawson FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20831065)

Funny how this article had a bunch of "kdawsonsucks" and similar tags then all of a sudden they all magically disappeared... Ugh

Re:kdawson FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20831577)

hows by "dropkdawson" and "losekdawson" and "firekdawson"

"Critics"? (1)

js92647 (917218) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830509)

While critics will undoubtedly note that the majority of Canadians were unaware of net neutrality
Just because we "live in the north" doesn't mean we are ignorant of our surroundings and what neighboring countries are up to. I'm sure lots of Canadians read /., Digg and are bombarded by American propaganda (interpret that how you may) on a daily basis.

Re:"Critics"? (1)

KingEomer (795285) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831009)

I think he meant that most Canadians, like most citizens of all first-world countries, don't know what Net Neutrality is. So, no, this wasn't an insult directed at Canadians.

Lies, Damn Lies, and .... (5, Funny)

cez (539085) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830517)

This just in... Canadians don't want to get ass raped by a panda bear either!?


Those that heard of a proposal to let a sex-starved panda free to roam the Canadian tundra were outraged.

On a more serious note TFA:

While critics will undoubtedly note that the majority of Canadians were unaware of net neutrality, that has not stopped other groups - including copyright lobby groups and the telcos - from commissioning similar surveys and reporting them as fact.


This happens all too often here in the US as well, and needs to be more severely penalized.

Re:Lies, Damn Lies, and .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20830601)

I like anal panda rape you insensitive clod.

Re:Lies, Damn Lies, and .... (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830723)

Those that heard of a proposal to let a sex-starved panda free to roam the Canadian tundra were outraged.

Um, there's not much bamboo in Canada. And none in the tundra.

Let alone panda bears. They're not only not native, they don't understand either of the two official languages and aren't First Nation speakers either.

Plus, they don't grok net neutrality very well.

"Video Choice" (1)

mind21_98 (18647) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830525)

But I wants me some video choice [benton.org] !~

I guess the exchange rate applies to intelligence too, eh? ;)

Re:"Video Choice" (1)

pthor1231 (885423) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830849)

What, virtually 1 to 1? [yahoo.com]

Packet Shaping (5, Insightful)

Detritus (11846) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830531)

Packet Shaping? Value added?

How about just switching my fscking packets and shove your "value added" up your ass. The contents of my packets are none of your business. I'll be very happy when IPSEC is ubiquitous and the only information ISPs will have access to is the minimum needed for routing.

In polite company. Re:Packet Shaping (1)

Erris (531066) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830781)

Well put, but perhaps not the best thing in mixed company.

The easy way to defeat "packet shaping" sophistry is to point out that value comes from bandwith and nothing but. Constricting bandwith through a filter always reduces the bandwith available, even if it favors a few "sensitive" packets. The only way out of bandwith problems is to spend the money on more bandwith. Money spent on other things is wasteful, even if honestly used.

Re:In polite company. Re:Packet Shaping (2, Funny)

fm6 (162816) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830967)

This isn't mixed company, this is Slashdot.

Re:In polite company. Re:Packet Shaping (1)

mc6809e (214243) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831691)

The easy way to defeat "packet shaping" sophistry is to point out that value comes from bandwith and nothing but.

I use a 13kbps 100ms wireless voice link (cell phone) that lets me talk with my brother in Florida. By your logic, we should be just as happy recording everything we have to say on CDs and mailing them back and forth to each other, since the available bandwidth is higher.

Re:In polite company. Re:Packet Shaping (1)

Erris (531066) | more than 6 years ago | (#20832619)

I use a 13kbps 100ms wireless voice link (cell phone) that lets me talk with my brother in Florida. By your logic, we should be just as happy recording everything we have to say on CDs and mailing them back and forth to each other

No, by my logic you would be happier doing both.

What should really make you happy, though, is the liberty to use your cable modem or fiber hook up to communicate with 128bps and exchange the other information in real time. More is better. Filters always provide less bandwith. People in Japan with their 10 mpps connections both up and down are laughing at your featureless cell phone and sorry internet connection.

Re:Packet Shaping (1)

kriss (4837) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830803)

The problem isn't in the contents, it's in the amount. If you've got a limited resource - bandwidth - there's two ways of going about sharing it: Either you got access to your own little slice of the fat pipe (not a whole lot), or a collective/shared pool (much more), but it is just that - shared.

You can, of course, refer to your 'right' to use the pipe however you deem fit - but let's face it - if it's your torrent or 400 average web users that should be prioritized right now, your torrent wouldn't win either the sound business sense vote, nor the democratic one.

Sure, one can say that the provider should upgrade the bandwidth and equipment - to some extent this is possible, of course, but it's not exactly cheap equipment we're talking here and there has to be some sort of ROI, or there won't be a provider.

So if you buy these basic ideas - you're paying for a shared resource and it can't be magically made into an un-shared resource - what would you say is a fair way of doling out the bandwith in?

Re:Packet Shaping (1)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831673)

Ah, but Net Neutrality is fine with traffic shaping and prioritization. What it is against is ISP only shaping traffic based on destination/source instead of content.
The best example is streaming video. Something everyone agrees takes a big chunk of bandwidth. Now, under Net Neutrality, ISPs are free to limit video streaming in order to preserve resources for other uses. What they are not allowed to do is throttle all the video services except the one provided by them. They also can't go to Google and threaten to only filter Google's services unless Google pays them extra money.

So, if ISPs are really having bandwidth problems, Net Neutrality does nothing to stop them from throttling individual services such as torrents, video streaming/downloading or music. What it prevents is the ISPs using their control of the physical connection to extort money out of individual business and consumers.

Ok (3, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830973)

Sounds good. So then let's take a situation some years in the future where it's law. What happens when you are watching TV, and all of a sudden the stream starts stuttering. You call your cable company angry. They explain that TV is now delivered over IP, like everything else. Currently you have some neighbours hitting the P2P really heavy and it is using up enough of the segment that it is interfering with video traffic. They'd love to have video have a higher QoS, but alas the law says they can't. The "contents of your packets are none of their business."

Right now we have a situation where largely there's a disconnect between data, voice and video networks. They run on different standards, are handled by different equipment and so on. However that's slowly changing. VoIP is one of the first examples, but it'll keep going. Eventually we are likely to have everything routed to us over an IP network. However some of it is more important, or rather more time sensitive, than others. I don't mind if packets for my download have to wait a little bit. However with video, you've got to get me the next frame in not more than 33 milliseconds or I'm going to start dropping frames. This is the reason why video that operates over the Internet has to buffer and can't be true realtime, and even then still drops sometimes.

As such it is not a clear cut case of "just leave it alone." If everything goes to IP we are going to need a way to give priority to time critical packets. Even if that doesn't happen there's reason to want to shape packets. The big objection people have to P2P is that it eats up an unfair amount of network time. Most networks, all other things being equal, will work out so that each transfer gets an equal amount of time. Download one file via HTTP on a T1, you get somewhere in the realm of 150-190k/sec. Download a second file, they both go in the realm of 75-95k/sec. Ok, good deal. However P2P works off of lots of connections. You can have a single download having 150+ connections. So it'll grab more resources than its fair share and slow things down.

An easy solution to that, without banning P2P or something like that, is to just make P2P a lower priority than normal traffic. That's what we do on the campus I work on. We have a couple packet shapers that will put P2P packets behind others. That means that so long as there's bandwidth, everything works normally. However if we cap out, P2P slows down before other things do.

This isn't a clear cut thing. I agree that companies should be prohibited, either by law or simply by people refusing to do business with them, for charging people extortion money under threat of slowing their traffic down. However that doesn't mean we want to declare that all packets must be treated equal. Some things are just more important than others on a mixed network, and there needs to be allowances for that.

Re:Ok (2, Insightful)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831109)

Looks like the ISP has some problems with their bandwidth controls. That isn't a QoS issue at all.

Why are your neighbour allowed to download at such a high speed that it prevents you from watching video. The opposite question could of course also be, Why are you allowed to download video at such a high rate that it interfers with your opponents p2p traffic.

An ISP should ensure that it gives each custome adequate bandwidth. What the customer does with that bandwidth is their own business.

Know the counter argument from QoS proponents is of course, What if I want to use p2p, VoIP and play an online game at the same time. Without QoS this won't work.

This is true, but the only place where the QoS needs to take place is on the local router (or using software like cFosSpeed). The ISP doesn't have to be involved at all. I have personally cFosSpeed and played online games while using p2p, and it works just fine.

Re:Ok (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831287)

I mean at a higher level than what you are talking about. Right now, video and data are totally separate. Even if you have a cable modem, one has nothing to do with the other. They are in different frequency ranges on the cable. Ok, but let's look to the future. First we axe the analogue channels, that's coming already. Once you are all digital already, it becomes feasible to unify the service. Rather than having something like 0-500MHz for data and 500-1000MHz for video, you do it all for data. Send cable out via multi-cast. Lots of cool reasons to do that.

However if you do that, that traffic needs to be high priority. Not necessarily because of the bandwidth, but because of the timing. If you want it to work like cable today, where it isn't buffered, where it's real time, you've got a 33 msec window per frame to get that to them. Any more, you have to drop a frame.

As a real world example today, take VoIP. We use it on campus here. Bandwidth is never the issue, a single VoIP call is 80kbits/sec (64k for the data, the rest is overhead). All our links are 100mbit or gbit. However to function VoIP still has to be higher priority than normal traffic. Why? It's time critical. It works with the PSTN and as such should have 0 delay. For that, those packets need to get there right fucking now.

That's what I'm talking about. More than any sort of bandwidth limits, it is making sure that non-critical stuff doesn't interfere with critical stuff. You want to be able to say "Voice always gets it's bandwidth no matter what, video can have what voice doesn't need, data can have the rest, and P2P has to be at the bottom of the heap." This can be important even in situations where the overall link is never saturated. However it becomes really important in cases of situations of saturation. If you have users trying to use 110% of a link, the P2P people won't even notice if some packets get dropped. The people on voice calls will be pissed.

It is the reality we face as we unify previously separate networks and do everything over IP. Should work great and make everything better, but we are going to need to acknowledge that not all packets are created equal.

Re:Ok (2, Interesting)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831559)

And my reply still stands. More specifically the comment.

"Why are you allowed to download video at such a high rate that it interfers with your opponents p2p traffic?". I can tell you for sure that users on ISP that shape bittorrent traffic shaped does notice it.

Using bandwidth limits is in my opinion the only fair compromise. Anything else is basically claiming that your information is more important than my information. In the few cases where that is true, that information should probably be transmitted via a more expensive connection, or be small enough that it fits the within bandwidth limits (like a call to the police over VoIP).

If there isn't enough total bandwidth to even be able to handle the bandwidth of a VoIP call for each user you would have a point. However, in that case, I think the ISP needs to upgrade before trying to sell VoIP.

Re:Ok (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#20832105)

This isn't a problem of just bandwidth limits. You have to do QoS on VoIP even if you don't max the connection. It has to get it's packets through on time. The switch right up the the end user does QoS on our campus. It isn't just preventing you from interfering with others, it i prevention you from interfering with you. It is making sure that time critical packets get through no matter what else you are doing.

Also the problem you suggest with bandwidth limits is that it makes things worse for everyone. Right now on campus people can get gig connections. You can have a gigabit link all the way up to our edge. Our external connections are then several hundred mbps. Now what this means is that generally you get things very fast. When I last grabbed a Linux ISO I got about 3 megabytes/second download. Had that shit done in a few minutes. However, it can work that way because we can monitor and deal with people using more than their fair share.

If you insisted that we do a "You get this much bandwidth, use it as you will," we'd have to take probably half or more off the top for research, servers and such and then divide the rest between the some 20,000 computers on campus. It would end up being probably like 500-1000kbits per user, maybe less.

The system works precisely because not everyone uses all their bandwidth all the time. Most of the day my system doesn't get anything from the net. Even when it does, it is usually very little things like a website. As such it doesn't need bandwidth dedicated to it. However it does need it available.

To implement a plan like you suggest would be extremely expensive. Suppose I have a 48 port 10/100 floor switch which desktops hook to. If I want to ensure they each can have all their bandwidth, I then need 5 1gbps links to the building switch. Now let's suppose there's 5 floor switches hooking to that building switch. It then needs about 3 10gbps links back to the core switch that serves it. If that switch serves 20 buildings it is going to neex a hell of a connection to the rest of the core, and so on.

It just can't be done, and further more doesn't need to be done. It all works pretty well when people just share it. The only time you get in to problems are when you have traffic that is time critical, like VoIP and video, and traffic that can use an unfair amount, like P2P. Rather than just throttling everyone to a small amount, seems to me that a better solution is QoS.

This is doubly true for critical traffic. One of the major reasons for VoIP is that it simplifies things. We can get rid of our 7R/E (the 5ESS's successor) and all the massive amounts of copper wiring that accompany it. Buildings can be fed over just fibre connections, and have only one network. However to work, that traffic for voice HAS to be higher priority. If it isn't realtime, we can't use the system that interfaces with the PSTN as it does and we sure as hell can't use it for E911. Even if we limit each individual port to use only their share, there is still the problem on a per port basis. We need that VoIP traffic delivered over their other data. Even setting aside enough bandwidth isn't good enough. It doesn't just need 80k/sec, it needs it RIGHT NOW, has to happen in a small window.

The suggestion of running over another connection is silly. Why should another network be installed? That's expensive and in fact gets us back to the very thing we are trying to solve: The second network of copper cables.

Like it or not, you have to share the Internet with other people at some point. Also, if you want it cheaper, that sharing is going to have to continue. The idea of complete dedicated bandwidth just doesn't work. The higher a level you want a given level guaranteed, the more you have to pay.

I'm not supporting the "Charge more because it came form someone who didn't pay us," thing, but you have to be realistic about new technologies over a unified IP network.

Re:Ok (3, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831141)

In this case, I don't question my neighbor's use of his pipe but the company's selling policy. Appearantly they sell more bandwidth than they can sell. They should not sell him a pipe fat enough to interfere with the TV broadcast.

God beware my neighbor actually uses what he pays for!

Re:Ok (1)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831715)

Net Neutrality allows for all sorts of traffic shaping. In your example, the ISP is welcome to carve out a chunk of bandwidth in order to ensure that TV streams get through. What they are not allowed to do is to distinguish between the TV service they offer and the other TV services. They can't play dirty by intentionally slowing down the signal of competing services while giving extra bandwidth to their own.

There is no problem filtering things based on the type of traffic. What we need to prevent is filtering based on where the traffic's origin or destination.

Evidence against packet shaping for QoS (2, Insightful)

Geof (153857) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831843)

The Internet2 project found [oreillynet.com] that the costs and complexities of implementing quality of service guarantees exceeded the benefits. It was more practical to add sufficient bandwidth than it was to prioritize packets. They also predicted - and other research supports [ufl.edu] - that QoS would encourage ISPs to deliberately downgrade service in order to charge more.

Re:Ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20831891)

To all other replies to parent comment: stupid networks are not the answer. You are never going to get an end-to-end bandwidth guarantee, because it is impossible to guarantee billions of people will get a perfect connection from anywhere to anywhere. You don't get that now, and you never will. Packet shaping is the only efficient way to solve the LATENCY problem associated with routing time sensitive audio and video traffic.

Re:Packet Shaping (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831111)

As a long time hardware buyer, I learned that "value" is the new word for "crap".

For reference, see the "value edition" of various graphic cards, memory sticks and other hardware.

Re:Packet Shaping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20831807)

I want to be able to pay Netflix to see video on demand without your fscking bit torrent traffic causing it to drop out fascist (actually socialist, but that's a fscking complement here).

Re:Packet Shaping (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 6 years ago | (#20832113)

How about just switching my fscking packets and shove your "value added" up your ass.

Truly the words of someone who doesn't know wtf their talking about. See, I want to use VoIP. I want to give the local telco monopolies (lucky, we have two!) the big Fsck You. But because my ISP *disabled* QoS, which would grant my VoIP packets guaranteed low latency, at the expense of throughput, I can't get reliable service, as my calls would cut out the minute a few people decided to fire up bittorrent. Meanwhile, I'm perfectly happy if the packets for the ISO I'm downloading get held up a little bit, as long as the total throughput is nice and high. But, alas it is not to be.

Ironically, in this case, I suspect my ISP (which is the local cable operator) disabled QoS because they wanted to deploy their own VoIP service, which runs over a private network on a separate set of channels. IOW, disabling shaping, in this case, was *anti*-competative.

Gee... maybe this whole "net neutrality" thing isn't so simple after all, eh?

phrasing (1)

mark_jabroni (547666) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830553)

How about "Do you approve of an ISP change that would you faster access to certain websites while reducing your rates for internet access?"

Kind of a loaded wording, but no more loaded than the survey question.

But...so? (3, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830581)

Given the survey's sponsorship, it's unlikely that respondents were presented with examples of the value that ISPs say packet shaping can bring, or asked to weigh such against net neutrality.


Since traffic shaping that is done based on the kind of content without regard to the source of content and which is accompanied by sufficient bandwidth so that non-prioritized content isn't just dropped on the floor in favor of prioritized content is neither inconsistent with the concept of net neutrality as a common-carrier-like provision nor inconsistent with the goal articulated in the question asked in this survey, I'm not sure how you think pointing that out would be relevant.

Re:But...so? (1)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831611)

I disagree with that. As soon as you start to look at the content of packets, be it their destination or their content, you are violating the concept of neutrality. Neutrality is about not caring what you deliver and just making sure that it gets delivered at a fair price per packet.

Sure, you can claim that "net neutrality" has a specific meaning that is defined differently, but in that case "net neutrality" is about neutrality as much as the "us patriot act" is about patriotism.

Re:But...so? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831833)

Sure, you can claim that "net neutrality" has a specific meaning that is defined differently, but in that case "net neutrality" is about neutrality as much as the "us patriot act" is about patriotism.


Net neutrality is about neutrality of origin, it originated as a term as a reaction to ideas aired by telcos and other ISPs regarding charging the original sender of packets (particularly high-volume sites like Google), as well as the immediate customer of the ISP receiving the packet, for packets crossing the ISPs network. It most critically refers to packets being treated without regard to origin.

But whatever "net neutrality" may or may not mean to you or me, the kind of issue raised in TFS after the excerpt is irrelevant to the question asked in the poll referred to in the part of TFA excerpted in TFS, so in any case I disagree with the suggestion in TFS that the assumed failure to frame the question in the way suggested is, even if the assumption is acccurate, not a substantial failure, since the suggested framing is completely irrelevant to the question asked, even if it might be relevant to some particular vision of "net neutrality" in the abstract.

Name one (3, Insightful)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830679)

Come on, name one benefit that packet shaping can bring. In all serious I can't think of a single example where it would be acceptable.

If an ISP needs to shape packets they've over sold their service, and that is their problem. Not ours.

Re:Name one (1)

kriss (4837) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830937)

* Service level control (give the customer the service level they pay for)
* Prioritizing empty acks for improved transfer speed
* Congestion avoidance - if you're approaching the wirespeed, you'd rather want to drop a packet from something non-interactive than say, a DNS query. Well, given a normal ISP consumer scenario anyhow.

That's three. I'm sure you can Google for more.

Re:Name one (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831207)

Service level control is already in place. That's why many ISPs have different up/downstream offers for different needs (and also different price ranges). You want more, you pay more. But what you use it for is your decision, as it should be.

Prioritizing acks ... what for? If the ISP has troubles getting a double digit byte sized ack through his pipes, he has problems. Big problems. But not my problems. Stop overselling your bandwidth and you're fine.

"Selective" dropping is also a touchy subject. Who says what's important? I'm fairly sure an MMORPG enthusiast in the middle of the raid will give you a piece of his mind if you tell him his neighbor's DNS request for bigboobsandfatasses.com is more important than his 3 hour buildup for the final boss. Not to mention that within nanoseconds after such a "selective dropping" policy becomes accepted, money will tell which packets are "more important".

Re:Name one (1)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831683)

Prioritizing acks is nice if you are using up all your bandwidth.

However, there is no need for the ISP to get involved. QoS software like cFosSpeed is all that is needed to ensure that everything works nicely.

I agree with you in general though. My data is just as important to me as my neighbours data is to him. The only fair measure is the volume transferred and what you pay for the bandwidth.

Re:Name one (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20832029)

Well, if I have troubles getting my acks through, I should probably start pondering whether my pipe should be bigger. Or I could start cutting back on traffic somewhere (either by actually reducing my load or by QoS). All of my traffic is under my control and I get to decide which is more important than others. If my pipe can't support it, I have to cut down my use.

It's the same for a provider. Though for him, cutting down the use doesn't mean shaping a customer's traffic. When I pay for a service, I expect that service to be available to me. If an ISP cannot provide it, he is required to fix this problem. Either by increasing his bandwidth or by reducing his amount of customers. I do not accept that I pay for a certain bandwidth and am not "allowed" to use it.

Re:Name one (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831629)

TV over IP. Say you're getting TV from your ISP and they both use the same IP connection for both internet and TV. The TV connection is going to require it's own dedicated bandwidth which, unless you know of a few methods I don't, would require some form of packet shaping.

Re:Name one (1)

Spy Hunter (317220) | more than 6 years ago | (#20832217)

First of all, TV over IP is here, and it works right now without any "dedicated bandwidth", despite doom and gloom from ISPs. I've been watching shows from NBC.com and ABC.com and it's worked quite well for me. My connection isn't fast enough for streaming HD, but ABC does offer it and I hear from other people that it works well. Joost works less well for me, but I suspect that's because my upload is crappy (Joost is P2P).

But I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and concede that maybe some kind of shaping is helpful (maybe if you're running BitTorrent while watching streaming TV and talking on Skype). Even so, that kind of shaping can and should be done on the consumer's side of the last mile. If you want glitch-free TV, you can set the router sitting in front of your cable modem to give TV priority over your other traffic. The ISP can even provide you a router with this capability pre-set; no configuration necessary. ABC.com could provide instructions and/or software for configuring routers, and future home routers could attempt to automatically classify and shape traffic (this could be a differentiating factor in the home router market). Doing shaping inside the ISP, where the customer has no control over it, is stupid and wrong. It can only work to benefit the ISP's interests and lock out competition for their services. No ISP is going to configure their routers to favorably shape traffic to services competing with their own offerings.

Re:Name one (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 6 years ago | (#20832411)

You aren't watching TV off of NBC or ABC.com, you're watching videos that buffer on your PC. TV over IP is what Verizon is offering on their Fios networks and uses at least an order of magnitude more bandwidth. UDP packets delivered across the ISPs network to the decoder box to the TV. It requires constant latency. As such, the setups are made so that you have your internet and your TV running off the same line, but even if you aren't using the TV, you aren't getting access to the bandwidth the TV had. It still requires packet shaping to block off bandwidth specifically for the TV.

Three Things To Think About (3, Insightful)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830693)

1. Canadians value privacy, freedom, and their role in creating the open communications systems they depend on (SFU and UBC R001!)

2. Canada is used to having a high-bandwidth internet that is cheaper than the US one, faster, and in more households.

3. Only those who want to sell you less for more are in favor of killing off net neutrality.

Wording is everything (4, Insightful)

Cleon (471197) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830727)

I think in this case wording is everything. It doesn't seem to me that the majority of the general public, outside of techies and their friends, is really informed about "Net Neutrality" and the debate over it.

You could probably get a poll to go either way based on how you word the question:

"Do you believe that governments or corporations should place restrictions on what websites you can visit, or charge you extra based on visiting certain sites?"

"Do you believe that private property should be respected, and that Internet Service Providers have the right to control the content they deliver, such as restrictions on child pornography, sites that contain malicious software, and terrorist web sites?"

I don't see what the problem is. (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831519)

I am strongly in favor of both your proposals and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Well that's no big surprise (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830823)

Even if you understand some of the basics of it, most people come down on the side of net neutrality. I mean having a neutral policy is good right? It takes some fairly detailed understanding of the issues to realise how a well meaning law like that could have unintended consequences that makes things worse overall. It is a complicated situation. On the one hand you have assholes like AT&T saying they want to depritorize traffic from anyone who doesn't pay them protection money, on they other you have network admins worried this means they can't using things like packet shapers and such at all on their network.

It isn't the kind of thing people can give an informed response on unless they are given a decent bit of background info, maybe more than they are interested in listening to.

No doubt (2, Interesting)

ignavus (213578) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830891)

No doubt the people who tell us how wonderful it would be without net neutrality are the same people who tell us how marvellous it is to watch ads instead of TV programs.

series of tubes? (1)

TheSpengo (1148351) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830977)

While critics will undoubtedly note that the majority of Canadians were unaware of net neutrality, that has not stopped other groups - including copyright lobby groups and the telcos - from commissioning similar surveys and reporting them as fact.
Don't worry, I'm sure senator Ted Stevens will be glad to explain it to them... Still, I agree with darjen.

Internet access is not a right. It is a service provided through someone's labor, with all the associated costs that entails.
Why should network neutrality be enforced? You are choosing your ISP and paying them through your own volition, nobody is forcing you to choose one that doesn't support network neutrality. If it says unlimited access on my contract then by god they damn well better be giving me unlimited access, but otherwise there shouldn't be a law forcing ISPs to give everyone the benefits of network neutrality. Let them compete by offering it--why is there a need for legislation? o.O

Re:series of tubes? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20831219)

You are choosing your ISP

You're choosing your ISP from a pool of two or maybe three major players, and all of them have adopted onerous terms and conditions for you to obey with no negotiation.

Let them compete by offering it--why is there a need for legislation?

Because frankly, the ISP doesn't give a shit about you and your double-digits-a-month connection now that they've set their sights on extorting multimillions from other companies. You can vote with your $30 a month or whatever, but that's small fry compared to what they're going after.

I value net neutrality (1)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831041)

That's why I will take and ISP that provides me with the most neutral access to Internet.

As for the *proposed legislation* that would ban ISP from not being net neutral, that's net-statism, a quite different beast which must be beaten to death and then shot to make sure.

"Blame Canada," (1)

LM741N (258038) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831107)

"Blame Canada" The US usually does the exact opposite of our friends up north.

Yes Minister on surveys (3, Informative)

Trillan (597339) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831131)

I think Yes Minister said it best.

Humphrey: You know what happens: nice young lady comes up to you. Obviously you want to create a good impression, you don't want to look a fool, do you? So she starts asking you some questions: " Mr. Woolley, are you worried about the number of young people without jobs?"
Bernard: Yes
Humphrey: "Are you worried about the rise in crime among teenagers?"
Bernard: Yes
Humphrey: "Do you think there is a lack of discipline in our Comprehensive schools?"
Bernard: Yes
Humphrey: "Do you think young people welcome some authority and leadership in their lives?"
Bernard: Yes
Humphrey: "Do you think they respond to a challenge?"
Bernard: Yes
Humphrey: "Would you be in favour of reintroducing National Service?"
Bernard: Oh...well, I suppose I might be.
Humphrey: "Yes or no?"
Bernard: Yes
Humphrey: Of course you would, Bernard. After all you told her you can't say no to that. So they don't mention the first five questions and they publish the last one.
Bernard: Is that really what they do?
Humphrey: Well, not the reputable ones no, but there aren't many of those. So alternatively the young lady can get the opposite result.
Bernard: How?
Humphrey: "Mr. Woolley, are you worried about the danger of war?"
Bernard: Yes
Humphrey: "Are you worried about the growth of armaments?"
Bernard: Yes
Humphrey: "Do you think there is a danger in giving young people guns and teaching them how to kill?"
Bernard: Yes
Humphrey: "Do you think it is wrong to force people to take up arms against their will?"
Bernard: Yes
Humphrey: "Would you oppose the reintroduction of National Service?"
Bernard: Yes
Humphrey: There you are, you see Bernard. The perfect balanced sample.

Re:Yes Minister on surveys (1)

bjorniac (836863) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831567)

Video link - tells you all you need to know about surveys. I loved Yes Minister + Yes Prime Minister - you can get them on Netflix Watch Now :)
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4093618813050375979&q=Yes+minister+youtube&total=136&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=4 [google.com]

So it seems we have ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20831343)

proof, apparently, that the idea is not a sound one.

3 of 5 Canadians are retarded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20831569)

"three in five Canadians concur that ISPs should be required to treat all content, sites and platforms equally."

This prevents any sort of packet prioritization. Therefore, services which require QoS will ONLY be provided by telecom companies. Telecom companies have their own private networks, and don't need the internet. However, net neutrality makes it impossible for a company like Vonage to sell a quality phone service, and compete directly with telecom companies. It makes it impossible for Netflix to guarantee quality on the video on demand service. It makes it impossible for a company that is not a telecom company to offer quality IPTV. Given consumers choice. Don't strangle the internet.

Re:3 of 5 ACs are retarded (1)

Spy Hunter (317220) | more than 6 years ago | (#20832423)

IPTV can't possibly work without QoS, huh? I personally am using IPTV all the time right now, provided by ABC.com, NBC.com, Comedy Central, Joost, iTunes, and yes, even YouTube. None of these services are provided by telecoms, and all are high enough quality for me in the *complete absence* of QoS. Whoops! Turns out QoS isn't quite as vital as you thought. OTOH, without net neutrality, it is likely cable companies will begin throttling video packets (and phone companies too as they try to move into the triple-play market). Given a choice between ISP-enforced QoS and net neutrality, I choose net neutrality.

Mobile Phone Carriers Failed The First Time (1)

guggs (1166171) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831599)

If we compare the Internet like the airwaves that we allow mobile phone companies to operate, we can see first hand how anti-net neutrality causes the US to fall behind the rest of the world. Freedom of the airwaves would give consumers better choice of phone services than if each carrier stingly guards and closes their own network - same with the Internet.

Perhaps a compromise? (3, Funny)

PhysicsPhil (880677) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831651)

We always want the ISPs to be treated like other common carriers, but people seem to have differing notions of what they really want. With other common carriers like transportation, it is possible to pay higher rates to receive faster delivery. The post office is a fairly standard common carrier, but it has had various classes of postage for ages. Companies shipping food know that canned soup can take a couple of weeks to get from California to New York, but the fresh produce needs to move now. Can something like this be implemented on the Internet?

The Internet was really designed to move data around reliably rather than quickly. In the past, it was more important to get the data around a bombed-out relay than to provide real-time delivery. The Internet has moved beyond that and now applications, VoIP or Starcraft for example, really do need fast delivery or else the application is useless. So much of the discussion of network neutrality seems to treat it as all or nothing: either every packet is treated with the same priority or else the ISPs get to gouge the senders and/or receivers for priority.

It seems to me that something similar to the postal system might be a viable compromise. One could imagine the ISPs operating on several tiers, where they could charge different prices according to the speed of data transmission. On the flip side, they would have to charge in a non-discriminatory manner, with rates based only on the volume and priority of data (perhaps with discounts on high volumes). First class data from Google, EBay and a tiny VoIP startup would all move at the same rate, but would move faster than low-priority transmissions such as web browsing. One could also imagine mandating that ISPs allocate bandwidth to the various tiers in a fixed ratio as well, so as to avoid them ignoring the lowest tier stuff. Class 1/2/3/4 bandwidth, for example, might have to be transmitted in a fixed 10%/20%/30%/40% of total available bandwidth.

Re:Perhaps a compromise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20831971)

the difference is the post office cant discard your mail while ISPs can discard packets. so your analogy is false.
how bout it works like this :
google pays the isps so you get realtime from google. every website which doesnt pay gets blackholed and doesnt show up in your webbrowser. like that ? because thats what it leads to.

Re:Perhaps a compromise? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20832233)

Maybe you just haven't noticed yet, but that's exactly how it already works. If I am running a web-site, I can pay to have a faster connection to be able to better serve up my content to the demand. If I am a joe user, I can pay for a dial up connection (56k) isdn (112k) dsl/cable (1.5+ Mbps). DSL and cable even have scalable service offerings with many providers.

Given that both ends of the line already pay for scaled service, why should they have to pay _again_?

Flawed (2, Interesting)

6-tew (1037428) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831835)

I'm a Canadian and I have had Internet access since the dark days of dial-up (which at the time were rather sunny and bright come to think of it) and no one asked me about this. I'm appalled. If they had asked me, whoa boy, I'd have given them my opinion, which since I wasn't asked I guess is irrelevant.

Well shit.

I guess I'll just go... away.

What about small developers? (1)

Athaulf (997864) | more than 6 years ago | (#20832191)

If net neutrality is destroyed, what will happen to the small internet developers such as the high schooler running the server out of his parent's basement or the guy trying to work out a few bugs in a new program that needs large automatic updates? From my position, it seems like there would be a great risk of losing some of the hobbyist programmers necessary to the open source community, especially considering the dropping of packets. I know that I (the high schooler running a web-server from his basement and the programmer) would just find a different hobby if I had to pay outrageous (or any) rates to test and implement my programs and setups at a decent speed (besides what my family is paying for broadband already).

Michael Liberal Geist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20832261)

Yawn.

And 75% of Venusians support (1)

Ogemaniac (841129) | more than 6 years ago | (#20832415)

little ponies for every girl...until they know what the heck is being talked about.

What a pointless survey. 95% of people don't know enough about the issue to have an informed opinion.
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