The catastrophic consequences of the non-Neutral Net will be very hard to spot, until it's too late


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/12/26/creeping-blackmail.html


#2

Alternative last mile solutions will likely have to be developed outside the US and implemented here when they become workable.


#3

Netflix and all become ISPs


#4

"The ISPs are much more likely to approach the existing internet services like Netflix and demand money in return for a guarantee that their bits will reach you, the ISPs’ customers. The services, in turn, will simply raise their prices to make up the difference, resulting in you paying your ISP twice: once to connect to the internet, and a second time to subsidize the blackmail payments the internet services you make are now obliged to make to your ISP. "

This was already happening with peering agreements which weren’t part of NN rules.


#5

What happens without NN is that I get charged 4 times. Once to pay for the bandwidth. Once when Netlu or Huflix pays for the bandwidth. Then again when the peering agreement fails and my ISP charges Huflix or Netlu for access to me. And then again when my ISP decides that it would be more consumer-friendly to unbundle services and charges me for access to Netlu or Huflix. Charging a monopoly rent on each of the four transactions.

And this is without considering the monopoly rents charged to and by CDN’s.


#6

Without neutrality could consumers sue isp’s to make them stop web ads? If you are going to pay more for bandwidth/data and 40% of it is from advertisers you didn’t search out. Seems like consumers would have a gripe there.


#7

Yeah sure, paying for stuff multiple times sucks but that’s beside the point. If the competitive harms presented occur due to paid preferential treatment then peering agreements should cause the same harms.


#8

And the American economy will slowly grind to a halt as the increasingly ursurous corporate monopolies wipe out the middle class and move their profits offshore.


#9

Yep, thanks to rules like this the United States will become a backwater. The future of the net lies elsewhere, this may be the last “American” generation.


#10

You know, if the effects are so subtle and creeping, we’re likely to have a real government in place before much damage is done.


#11

Or it won’t be a big deal but people will whine about it when anything ever about the internet becomes annoying.


#12

Alas, I fear that there will be so much damage in so many areas this will be put on the backlog and not be fixed in time, the fixers losing sight of this until we end up wondering how we ended up behind the Brazilians (for example).


#13

Depending on the peering agreement, how it’s implemented, and the actual network on either side, they could cause the exact same harms. But, because of the structure and actual businesses on those agreements, it’s much harder to come up with an easy rule. That’s why the prior FCC commision rules put those under a “case by case” basis instead of just a simple rule.

It’s easy to write a rule when the ISP is a consumer facing last mile ISP where one side of every connection is a end consumer and the other side is the general Internet.

It’s much harder when for a clear rule when it’s between two more general network providers. Is one of them providing transit to the other, are they peering at a public exchange point, is one of them a global transit provider and the other a regional transit provider, are both of them primarily consumer ISP shortcutting transit providers. And, the biggest hurdle, is one of them BOTH a transit provider sometimes and a consumer last mile provider sometimes, and which of those two is really impacted.

While the article covers all the wasted money that will be paid to ISPs as gatekeepers and not to add value.
There will also be wasted money and innovation time spent on ways to hide traffic types, create routes the disguise actual destinations, other ways to get around paying the gatekeeper, AND the reverse of all of those as the gatekeeper works to defeat all of those methods. Lots of extra overhead spent on getting around artificial limits instead of on actually making a better product.

I still stick by, if it’s not neutral, it’s not really internet access, but something else.

If we’re going to force the FTC and consumer protection laws, mostly around false advertising, to protect us. That should be the simple push. If it’s not neutral, you can’t call it “internet service” but must call it something else. Watch the number of providers the country has access to fall even lower as existing services change to something else instead of being “internet service”.


#14

I expect a lot of people will find other things to do. to keep those people from going dark, bandwidth could be kept as it is for existing hardware but new services charged to accommodate the next wave of tech developments.


#15

I’m afraid people might start tuning us out if we keep telling them each new thing is the end of the world. I’m ready to picket outside the local Comcast or Sprint or Verizon store as soon as they do something genuinely harmful but I think we need something concrete at this point. Telling people it will be too late by the time they find out what is happening sounds like an argument from someone who has made all the rational arguments they can think of and can’t figure out why people are not all out in the streets already. If there is one thing history teaches us it’s that nothing is ever “over.” The battles go on forever.


#16

What will they use for the last mile?


#17

You go right ahead and sue Cox cast over that. Hope you have one huge war chest for lawyers.


#18

Workable is easy. Legal may be another matter.


#19

Same thing that ISPs other than the phone company or the cable company use.


#20

There are virtually none of those. And most aren’t fast enough to be called broadband. The percentage of people with access that isn’t a phone or cable company is so small to almost be nothing.