factbased, from your link:
"However, in recent months Level 3, Netflix and Cogent have all gone public accusing some ISPs of keeping those ports congested while trying to charge above-market rates for direct interconnection."
If you read this, and also click on the link in that blog post, you will know almost everything you need to know about Netflix and Cogent's relationship with Comcast.
Cogent was Netflix's peering provider who did not want to pay Comcast in order to secure the bandwidth Netflix required...bandwidth they had accepted money from Netflix to secure. To blame Comcast is like blaming FedEx because Amazon and a manufacturer couldn't agree on who should pay them for shipping.
Netflix did publicly join Cogent and Level 3 in blaming Comcast. But Netflix backed down when Comcast threatened to sue them for liable. I don't know the current state of Cogent and Level 3's complaint but they are no small time players. And they would very much like to promise unlimited access to the major ISP's networks without paying for it. Who wouldn't. They are not uninvolved parties and Cogent at the very least does not have a spotless record.
No. When there is congestion, by default a router will queue up a few packets, adding a bit of latency. When that queue is full, the next packet coming in will be dropped, regardless of whether the source is a small or large content provider.
Generally, yes. But it is not unlimited. Read your terms of service with your ISP. If you download over a certain amount of data you agree to be throttled. The same is true on the supplier end. Businesses with a lot of email and other data traffic pay more than you do at home. Netflix has to pay more than a little hosting site does. Naturally, Netflix would like to not have to do that.
I think you're referencing paid peering / interconnection. Comcast is using their oligopoly market position to extract payment on both sides - content provider and content consumer.
That's not an oligopoly. That's called a middle man. Your real estate brokers also use their oligopolic powers to collect from the seller and the buyer as a charge for bringing them together. The Internet is a two way service. They have to manage both sides of their network in order for the system not to collapse. If they charged only one side for service and support on both ends, it would either be a service only available to wealthy subscribers or to very well-heeled companies. There would be no innovative culture.
The problems were at the interconnection point between backbones (e.g. Level 3) and the residential broadband provider (e.g. Comcast), not between Netflix and its provider.
I'm sorry but I don't believe you know what you're talking about. Read the links I referenced particularly this one. The throttling was a Neflix-Cogent problem. There's no evidence I've seen that Comcast suddenly jacked up its prices per data usage in order to squeeze more money out of Cogent (or, by extension, Netflix).
Keeping the longtime status quo (net neutrality) is a rather obvious option, since it's worked so well.
It's never been neutral. Not the way you think it has. But the FCC would love to codify that it has control over Internet business models and content.
Now Comcast is large enough, has a backbone and has a tight enough hold on its end users that it can demand payment from both sides (end users and peers). The Internet has worked so well because there are a set of tier 1 backbones that cover the globe. Those tier 1 backbones did settlement free peering (with some variation based on coverage and direction of traffic)...
AH HA! So you're saying it wasn't actually as simple as you are putting on. And you are right. It wasn't. The days you are describing were as equal/unequal as they are today. Most subscribers used dial-up. And there were some half-dozen tiers of service above that. And if you were going to be transmitting content to those upper tiers, Heaven help them your connection wasn't up to uploading the content. They would be like the family on the couch watching Netflix buffer. In some ways it was less complicated then, because we didn't have all these different types of services and interconnectedness. But in many ways it was just as complex then, in different ways.
The big residential broadband providers don't love regulation that benefits consumers and keeps the playing field for content open, as we can see from the current dustup.
It won't. It will kill the expansion, upgrading, and speed increases that ISPs are currently making to their networks.
Regulations, and laws in general, can have positive or negative effects. You sound like a reactionary anti-government type. I encourage you to instead evaluate proposed laws and regulations on their merits.
No. I'm a revolutionary anti-government type. Government is always the tool of the strong and the influential. You need to educate yourself on Regulatory Capture and Public Choice Theory. You believe that all we need to do is give a lot of power to some guy downtown and ensure he is smart enough and ethical enough. But as sure as water finds its way to the sea, you will be back at the situation of a bureaucrat taking his orders from a wealthy corporation.
why are the ISPs fighting against regulations saying they can't throttle?
Because that is not what the regulations say. They can't just say a magic word. They have to intricately define what "throttling" means and when it is okay (because they will say it will be). And they won't define every instance. They'll leave it to a bureaucrat to decide what is throttling. And these jobs won't be held by angels. They will be held by humans who are no less desirous to thrive financially and egotistically than you or me.