FCC brings down the gavel on Net Neutrality


Another win for big old media.

If it gets bad enough, it will provide incentive for mesh networking to become a reality. If the NSA wants to keep listening to activity on the Internet, they need to get their position known. Privately, of course.

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This is getting scary, I really thought the proposal would get tossed out on its’ ear. Time for the public to make it’s hue and cry known in a big, meaningful way.

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Ok, net neutrality is obviously the most fair thing, which I am for.
But, what is the big deal? Network speed/bandwidth has been increasing at a phenomenal rate, as end users we basically have video-on-demand and all other benefits of high speed access, at home, and even on our phones. Next year it’ll be twice as fast.
It’s not really that the service provider would ‘limit’ a company’s bandwidth for some nefarious purpose, they want all their clients to succeed so they make more money; preventing this just takes away their own income.
We have many options of internet speed at home depending on how much we want to spend or use. We aren’t ‘bribing’ our ISP, we are paying for what we need.
Netflix wouldn’t just get a ‘super fast lane’, they would pay for it. A smaller company could save a bunch with a lower-tier plan. And the ISP would love them to succeed and want a more expensive plan.
And when the network can provide to your house the ability to watch 10 4k movies simultaneously, Netflix can pay for the full package and a little company can pay a tenth and still provide the same service.

I keep hope that web sites can and will realize that if an ISP is charging them out the ass for content, that they simply just purposely limit or cut off entirely any service and leave up a notice along the lines of “We’re sorry, but due to rising costs, Our Website is unavailable through Time Charter And Tee, Or Whatever. Please telephone or write your local CEO and have a calm but stern discussion with him or her (but most likely him) about the situation.” Sorta like when OKCupid put up a message exclusively for Firefox users a few weeks ago, only instead of browsers, it’s ISPs.

Can websites do that, actually? There has to be some way to determine that.

EDIT: Also, turns out you have to add to your body if you’re editing a post, even if it’s just to change formatting. I did not know that.

wait- the EFF says it’s launching a new comment app (or something) to make submitting comments simple- but I can’t find this thing. Please update the link so people can start commenting!

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They can work out the source network a connection is coming from, though it can be a pain to set up something like that. The larger problem, though, is that the ISP in practice has a captive audience - their customers aren’t exactly going to have a lot of choice to go to a different company. Unless the web site in question is large enough to get media attention with that kind of move, they won’t have much leverage against the ISP.

As is the case with our government generally, this guy is not acting in good faith. He’s acting on behalf of his paymaster lobbyists and the corporate interests they represent and, again, as is the case with our government generally, they will prevail.

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At the heart of all of this is Netflix being charged to ensure its site is not capped. I imagine that if Netflix were to implement something like that, then people are bound to take notice. The harder part would be making sure the message is put forth across all methods of delivery, by which I mean that other apps (Android, iOS, Xbox/Xbone, PS3/4, Wii/U, etc.) are updated to include the new code. I guess it would have to be a silent update at least a few weeks before any actual blackouts, though, or else people will just say “Yo, just don’t update and you can still have your ‘Bob’s Burgers’ through ConGlomCo CableNet.”

The Internet was supposed to decentralize everything. Yet we’re still drawn to only a handful of locations, which then become behemoths and treat us like crap. We’re like flies to a honeytrap. So we complain to have them change their ways, often unsuccessfully.
The only way for any real sort of net neutrality to succeed is to decentralize ourselves. Stop using Netflix. Stop using Google. Stop using facebook. There really are actual alternatives.
I realise the issue of neutrality goes deeper than that, but it’s us who create these monsters by continually feeding them.


The situation already happened with Netflix. Comcast and Verizon refused to upgrade their links to Cogent when they became saturated, and Netflix saw its average available bandwidth to each customer drop (below HD levels in many cases) steadily over time as they added more users. Both Comcast and Verizon were able to demand extra fees from Netflix to alleviate this slowdown, and as a result Netflix’s rate has to go up.

Note that people paid their ISP for the bandwidth already, and if they were streaming from Verizon or Comcast’s own streaming sites they would not be slowed down.

This ruling just enshrines this behavior in law. Now ISPs get to charge twice for all data if they so choose, and can put services on a slow lane if they don’t pay up. There really isn’t a “fast lane” here either, it’s either normal or degraded service depending on if the service wants to play ball.

Youtube has been dog slow on FiOS for ages now for the same reason. We can expect to see Verizon ask Google for money next. Hulu should also get their checkbook ready if they don’t want to end up with the Netflix treatment.

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The problem is, it’s not about sites being capped (or, at least, it isn’t about that yet). It’s about service degradation, which is a LOT harder to quantify.

The recent Netflix issues that got media attention weren’t due to capping, they were due to some connection points between Netflix and their customers being allowed to fill up to the point that all traffic through those points was starting to experience issues. It’s a lot harder for Netflix to tell their customers to tell their Comcast to increase their bandwidth connectivity to Cogent (for instance), since most customers would say “what’s a Cogent? And what does that have to do with me, I’m not their customer.”

Have you ever downloaded a file from one of those file lockers that offers a ‘Fast Download’ [for a fee] or a ‘Free Download’ [where your download speed is limited to 100kbps or something like that]?
That is the big deal. Website owners who don’t pay could have their speed really really cut back.

The comment app: http://dearfcc.org/


Uh, no. I like Netflix. I like Facebook. I like Google.

It doesn’t enshrine this behavior in law at all. Wheeler’s commentary states that it is a separate issue which needs to be addressed later.

It doesn’t do most of the other things that people are complaining about here either. from the actual proposal:

§8.5 No Blocking. A person engaged in the provision of fixed broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged,shall not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices, subject to reasonable network management.A person engaged in the provision of mobile broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged,shall not block consumers from accessing lawful websites, subject to reasonable network management; nor shall such person block applications that compete with the provider’s voice or video telephony services, subject to reasonable network management.

§8.7 No Commercially Unreasonable Practices. A person engaged in the provision of fixed broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not engage in commercially unreasonable practices.Reasonable network management shall not constitute a commercially unreasonable practice.

§8.11 Definitions. (a) Block. The failure of a broadband Internet access service to provide an edge provider with a minimum level of access that is sufficiently robust, fast, and dynamic for effective use by end users and edge providers.

According to Wheeler’s commentary things that are commercially unreasonable include:

If the network operator slowed the speed below that which the consumer bought (for reasons other than reasonable network management), it would be a commercially unreasonable practice and therefore prohibited,

If the network operator blocked access to lawful content, it would violate our no blocking rule and be commercially unreasonable and therefore doubly prohibited,

When content provided by a firm such as Netflix reaches the consumer’s network provider it would be commercially unreasonable to charge the content provider to use the bandwidth for which the consumer had already paid and therefore prohibited,

When a consumer buys specified capacity from a network provider he or she is buying open capacity, not capacity the network can prioritize for its own profit purposes. Prioritization that deprives the consumer of what the consumer has paid for would be commercially unreasonable and therefore prohibited.

In other words if you buy a 30mbps connection, the ISP can’t specially throttle Netflix below 30mbps to reduce their load. They have to throttle everything equally. They can sell Netflix the right to be delivered at speeds over and above what the end user has paid for.

It’s also worth noting that since the Supreme Court ruling. There is no regulation in this area at all. This may be far from perfect in some ways, but it is certainly better than nothing.

Aaaand right therein is the problem.
It’s either/or. Giga corporations or freedom. You can’t have freedom within a giant wall.

You are seriously confused, or, are in turn attempting to seriously confuse somebody yourself.

You’re contradicting yourself, you can’t be for both.

No it hasn’t. And it wasn’t half as fast last year so how can you say it will be twice as fast next year?

Stop, you’re embarrassing yourself.

Net Neutrality is required. Without it, it’s not that those who pay will get superfast lanes, it’s that those who don’t will get superslow lanes. And little people can’t afford superfast lanes, so they will be ignored by people who are impatient, they will lose money and disappear. The only ones left will be the few who can afford it, and it will suck.