President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utility

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby Dauric » Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:06 pm UTC

The problem isn't so much the nature of the fee structures, cell-phones have bandwidth usage plans which people aren't in (reasonable) arms over. Unlimited bandwidth is easier to manage, especially if you don't know for sure how much bandwidth you're going to use, but for the most part the actual price structure isn't the problem.

The problem is Comcast owns NBC. The provider of the infrastructure has a profit-stake in the content provided through that infrastructure. It's a conflict of interest. This is where the comparison to other utilities tends to break down. Water, Sewage, electrical utilities tend to be supplied-and-transported by the same organizational entity, or the substance their utility supplies tends to be the same whether it's coming from one reservoir or another (or fungible enough that it ultimately doesn't matter).

In the case of internet content two different sources can have significantly different content, so it starts to matter of the guy with ownership of 'the pipes' has a vested interest in one supply source or another.

As companies like Netflix and Hulu start developing their own content for distribution there's a not entirely unreasonable fear that Comcast will prioritize NBC content over content created and distributed by their competitors, and possibly hide the fact in dodgy accounting tricks or statistical sleight of hand.
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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby leady » Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:16 pm UTC

You can bill on "usage" to users, but that too is a blunt instrument.

The user that watches a single hour of on demand TV at 9pm on a Sunday every week costs as much as the chap doing it 24x7 such is the way network costs work. This is why its much cleaner to append the cost to the video distributor rather than the user - its much neater. Naturally I can also understand why they'd like to legislate a free lunch for themselves under the cloak of "fairness" :)

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:32 pm UTC

leady wrote:You can bill on "usage" to users, but that too is a blunt instrument.

The user that watches a single hour of on demand TV at 9pm on a Sunday every week costs as much as the chap doing it 24x7 such is the way network costs work. This is why its much cleaner to append the cost to the video distributor rather than the user - its much neater. Naturally I can also understand why they'd like to legislate a free lunch for themselves under the cloak of "fairness" :)


You've got the right idea, but your numbers are off. IIRC, most ISPs charge each other in terms of 99% usage. IE: They ignore the 1% highest-bandwidth that you used up, and then charge you on your usage pattern after that.

So its the user who watches 108 minutes of on-demand TV every week (or 432 minutes a month) that has the same overhead cost as the guy who watches TV 24x7. (One month has approximately 43200 minutes).

Tyndmyr wrote:
cphite wrote:Not really. There are limits to how much bandwidth a single source can support that cannot be overcome by simply throwing more money at at. Once you reach that limit - and some providers are getting close - it actually becomes very difficult, or even impossible, to ensure reliable service to everyone using that source. It would be far easier in terms of administration and maintenance to provide dedicated sources for heavier users.

Services that stream video use up massive amounts of bandwidth relative to general usage.

The ironic thing about this whole argument about making the internet a "public utility" is that even public utilities don't work the way it's being suggested. Most water utilities, for example, use a tiered payment structure. As you pass certain thresholds, your per-gallon rate goes higher. Many gas companies do the same thing. In most cases, unless you're a business owner you're never going to go past the first tier.

Likewise, if you run a factory or large corporate building, you don't just plug into the electrical grid like everyone else; you get dedicated lines that you pay a surcharge to use. In this way, people who stress the respective systems the most, pay more to support the growth and additional maintenance that their heavy use incurs.


Netflix is not a single location. None of the really big internet companies are. Yes, piping the entire internet to one location would indeed be challenging, but the fact that netflix is a popular application isn't nearly so troublesome.


Making it more interesting... Netflix is setting up tons of proxies on different networks now. In fact, Netflix has a single box proxy solution that they're setting up all over the place.

Image

Picture courtesy of Gizmodo.

Network going "outside" an ISP's network is expensive. But as long as you're within capacity, all traffic within a network is basically free. (Its basically sunk cost. Sure that $100,000 router and all those wires and telephone poles cost a ton of money... but there's next to no maintenance cost outside of electricity.) ISPs charge each other for bandwidth costs to make up for the startup costs on their network.

Except for peering agreements, cause things get funky with ISP politics...
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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby addams » Sat Nov 15, 2014 9:19 pm UTC

On Topic:
http://www.sciencefriday.com/segment/11 ... -cost.html

It is a Science Friday podcast.
The subject is Internet as a Public Utility.

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Maybe, President Mr. Obama listened.
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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby KnightExemplar » Sat Nov 15, 2014 9:39 pm UTC

Oh, lemme make my previous post a bit more clear, so that everyone can see where the "problem" lies.

Should ISPs pay for the privilege of having a Netflix box on their network? Or should Netflix pay ISPs so that the Netflix box can have the privilege of being on their network? This is the eternal debate with the internet and peering agreements, and hence the term "natural monopoly". The "bigger" company will force the "smaller" company to pay for the costs. For example, if Netflix is "bigger" than Comcast, then Netflix can simply give Verizon a whole bunch of free Netflix-proxy boxes, which then costs a ton of money for Comcast. (Comcast Users will be getting their netflix traffic from Verizon, which Comcast will have to pay for).

The ideal solution, would be to have neutral party internet exchange points set up with enough capacity for everyone. This can be either government sponsored, or corporation-owned. Perhaps this Netflix vs Comcast issue is indicative that the US doesn't have enough neutral exchange points as part of our internet infrastructure.
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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby Randomizer » Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:10 am UTC

Email subject title: Do you know anyone in San Francisco?
----
Please forward this message to everyone you know.

If the person works with computers for a living, they will know why it's important.

If they do not work with computers for a living, they can simply pass it on and it will get to the people who need to know about it.

"Net Neutrality" is an ambiguous nonsense computer nerd term that geeks use when discussing the underlying functionality of the internet. Like many such technical terms, it is a form of shorthand that encompasses a topic of considerable depth, thereby enabling anyone to easily look it up on the internet what it means if they come across a discussion using it which they don't understand, while allowing anyone who does understand it to not have to write out whole paragraphs of text any time they want to say something about it.

This is similar to someone referencing the movie "Star Wars" under the presumption the other person you are talking to has already seen the movie and doesn't need a rundown of the entire plot when you make a two-sentence joke about Princess Leia.

The following is a message from the Electronic Frontier Foundation: "November 20 Rally and Forum on Net Neutrality at San Francisco City Hall": https://www.eff.org/press/releases/november-20-rally-and-forum-net-neutrality-san-francisco-city-hall

EFF Joins Local and National Groups in Call to Protect the Internet

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is joining a broad coalition of local and national public interest groups for a rally and forum in support of strong net neutrality rules at San Francisco City Hall on Thursday, November 20, at 5:30 pm.

"Bay Area Speaks: A People's Hearing on the Future of the Internet" comes at a key moment in the debate over net neutrality. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has a proposal that does not provide full protections for the Internet and could vote to enact the plan early as December. Meanwhile, President Obama has issued a statement urging the FCC to change course and reclassify the Internet as a telecommunications service. This reclassification would be the best way to achieve strong rules against blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization online, and echoes the demands of millions of Americans who have submitted their own comments to the FCC over the last few months.

Former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps will be one of the speakers at Thursday's rally, along with EFF Intellectual Property Director Corynne McSherry and many others. The event is free and open to the public, and there will be time for community comment. The public testimony will be submitted to the FCC.

What:
"Bay Area Speaks: A People's Hearing on the Future of the Internet"

Date:
Thursday, November 20

Time:
Rally – 5:30 pm
Forum – 7 pm

Where:
San Francisco City Hall
1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102

For more information and to RSVP:
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/933163

Contact:

Rebecca Jeschke
Media Relations Director
Electronic Frontier Foundation
press@eff.org
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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby leady » Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:50 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Oh, lemme make my previous post a bit more clear, so that everyone can see where the "problem" lies.

Should ISPs pay for the privilege of having a Netflix box on their network? Or should Netflix pay ISPs so that the Netflix box can have the privilege of being on their network? This is the eternal debate with the internet and peering agreements, and hence the term "natural monopoly". The "bigger" company will force the "smaller" company to pay for the costs. For example, if Netflix is "bigger" than Comcast, then Netflix can simply give Verizon a whole bunch of free Netflix-proxy boxes, which then costs a ton of money for Comcast. (Comcast Users will be getting their netflix traffic from Verizon, which Comcast will have to pay for).


Except that in the discussion above you don't seem to understand that this is not a peering problem, but a delivery problem. Whether the boxes are in one network or another makes about 5% difference to the overall cost of delivery. This is the problem, i.e. who pays for the remaining 95% of the delivery costs

The ideal solution, would be to have neutral party internet exchange points set up with enough capacity for everyone. This can be either government sponsored, or corporation-owned. Perhaps this Netflix vs Comcast issue is indicative that the US doesn't have enough neutral exchange points as part of our internet infrastructure.


This doesn't address the problem at all. Neutral peering points do not address the cost implications of streaming video over the access network, they just make the discussion of who pays who a fairly trivial amount of money (in the grand scheme of things) for the interconnection a lot simplier.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby elasto » Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:40 am UTC

To me it's plainly obvious the taxpayer should fund all up-front costs and then recoup them in proportion to usage. It'd be a nonsense for all roads to be built with private money, with toll booths every time you cross from one owner to another.

Much better to manage such national infrastructure with a bird's eye view and long-term planning, and then balance the books by charging a proportionate usage fee: A gas tax in the case of the roads and a bandwidth tax in the case of the internet.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby leady » Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:26 am UTC

elasto wrote:To me it's plainly obvious the taxpayer should fund all up-front costs and then recoup them in proportion to usage. It'd be a nonsense for all roads to be built with private money, with toll booths every time you cross from one owner to another.


Again how does this solve the problem being put forward? Who are you suggesting pays for the usage directly the end-user or the videostreaming service?

elasto wrote:Much better to manage such national infrastructure with a bird's eye view and long-term planning, and then balance the books by charging a proportionate usage fee: A gas tax in the case of the roads and a bandwidth tax in the case of the internet.


On what basis do you make such a plan and how do you avoid the pitfalls of all central planning for such decisions ? (here is a clue - you can't. Sometimes they guess right though :)). There is a reason that France had its own "internet" built that no one uses!

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Nov 18, 2014 3:35 pm UTC

Do you have numbers on where network costs occur leady? I've got a basic understanding of peering, networks, BGP and such from college. My understanding is that most of the costs on the "access network" are non-trivial upfront costs (router and wires). But otherwise, they're basically free of long-term costs. On the other hand, ISPs charge each other usage fees as traffic goes between the two, based on peering agreements. So I'm under the assumption that Comcast doesn't want to pay Netflix's ISP (maybe... Hurricane Electric, one of the "backbone" ISPs) for all of Netflix's traffic.

So the solution would be for Comcast to purchase a Netflix box for every neighborhood. Now Comcast still needs to allocate 7.5TB / day (~700Mbps pipe) to the Netflix proxy box (per neighborhood) it deploys this box to, but if done correctly that would reduce bandwidth costs significantly.

I understand that a major question remains unanswered: who pays for the 7.5TB daily download, and who pays for the Netflix proxy box itself. But I'm just trying to better understand the issue at hand here...
Last edited by KnightExemplar on Tue Nov 18, 2014 3:42 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Nov 18, 2014 3:37 pm UTC

leady wrote:You can bill on "usage" to users, but that too is a blunt instrument.

The user that watches a single hour of on demand TV at 9pm on a Sunday every week costs as much as the chap doing it 24x7 such is the way network costs work. This is why its much cleaner to append the cost to the video distributor rather than the user - its much neater. Naturally I can also understand why they'd like to legislate a free lunch for themselves under the cloak of "fairness" :)


Flat monthly fee + pricing by bandwidth. Whichever. This isn't a hard solution, or a terribly complicated one. If people using tons of bandwidth is a problem...bill accordingly. If not, then not.

elasto wrote:To me it's plainly obvious the taxpayer should fund all up-front costs and then recoup them in proportion to usage. It'd be a nonsense for all roads to be built with private money, with toll booths every time you cross from one owner to another.

Much better to manage such national infrastructure with a bird's eye view and long-term planning, and then balance the books by charging a proportionate usage fee: A gas tax in the case of the roads and a bandwidth tax in the case of the internet.


This is not necessary in order to have net neutrality. This is killing a gnat with a sledgehammer. There currently is not a significant toll booth problem. In fact, most people who use the internet likely know and need to know almost nothing about traffic, peering arrangements, etc. Net neutrality simply prevents exploitive arrangements in monopolistic situations.

Yes, fixing the monopolistic situations is also desirable, but that also does not require moving to a government funded system, and in any case net neutrality does not detract from this effort.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby leady » Wed Nov 19, 2014 11:31 am UTC

[quote="KnightExemplar"]Do you have numbers on where network costs occur leady?

at a depressingly detailed level :) as a rough guide

the last leg is a close to a single invarient cost (the copper or coax)
the "backhaul" is a huge scaling cost that when averaged over a network is about 80% of the throughput costs covering the first shared connection into the network
the rest is about 20% throughput including peering etc

so you end up with a cost per month of $X + (peak rate usage) x $Y - where the cost of Y is largely dictated by backhaul costs

as a guide for anyone using streaming HD video on sunday evening "peak rate x Y" is about 8 times the scale of X
someone with low intermittent usage then X is about 4 times larger that "peak rate x Y"

that in a nutshell is the problem :) its also why metering the user is a fairly misleading because its a very coarse measure

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:41 pm UTC

I pay Netflix monthly for a password that gets me videos.
I pay an ISP monthly for a cable that runs to my house.
I pay Amazon one time for a device which turns that cable and password into a video.

That's already too much paying. Now for some reason people think that Netflix should be paying ISPs?
Does this idea have merit? If Netflix is going to pay ISPs now, then I shouldn't have to. They should run cable to my house for free and get paid by Netflix whenever I access Netflix. But that would be pretty dumb, as every website on the internet would have to be a paid subscription. This would effectively end the internet as we know it.

How about we don't implement ridiculous and horrific fixes to a system that isn't broken?

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby leady » Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:28 pm UTC

So no intention of reading all the detailed posts explaining explicitly why thats wrong then?

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby sardia » Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:40 pm UTC

I'm surprise d nobody is bothered by how relatively crappy our internet is. Haven't ISP been skimming money by neglecting infrastructure spending? The percentage they spend on the inter tubes is much smaller than other developed countries. This includes adjusting for the size and density of the us.
Of course this is not the same as net neutrality, but it gets lumped together often.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:46 pm UTC

leady wrote:So no intention of reading all the detailed posts explaining explicitly why thats wrong then?

I read all your posts. Nothing is broken. Why exactly do you want to ruin the internet?

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:15 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:I pay Netflix monthly for a password that gets me videos.
I pay an ISP monthly for a cable that runs to my house.
I pay Amazon one time for a device which turns that cable and password into a video.

That's already too much paying. Now for some reason people think that Netflix should be paying ISPs?


Multiple ISPs exist.

You pay ISP#1 for a cable that runs to your house.
Netflix pays ISP#2 for a cable that runs to their servers.

Now ISP#1 and ISP#2 are going to transmit data to each other. Who among them should pay for the costs? Reminder: ISP#1 contains your username / password request to Netflix. That is, data that ISP#2 / Netflix is going to recieve.

--------------

Now leady argues that this problem above only constitutes ~20% of the costs. So its sizable, but still not the major cost issue. Still, as this will account for ~20% of the bill that needs to either be paid by Netflix or you, its good to understand the scope of this peering problem.

leady wrote:at a depressingly detailed level :) as a rough guide

the last leg is a close to a single invarient cost (the copper or coax)
the "backhaul" is a huge scaling cost that when averaged over a network is about 80% of the throughput costs covering the first shared connection into the network
the rest is about 20% throughput including peering etc

so you end up with a cost per month of $X + (peak rate usage) x $Y - where the cost of Y is largely dictated by backhaul costs

as a guide for anyone using streaming HD video on sunday evening "peak rate x Y" is about 8 times the scale of X
someone with low intermittent usage then X is about 4 times larger that "peak rate x Y"

that in a nutshell is the problem :) its also why metering the user is a fairly misleading because its a very coarse measure


Yeah, I figured that as much. I just didn't have an idea of the numbers quite yet.

Before I respond, I want to make sure I understand "The Backhaul". Is "the Backhaul" generally owned by someone else? Say, for Comcast (or Comcast for a specific city... lets call it Springfield), does Comcast Springfield use Hurricane Electric (just an example) as their Backhaul? Or is it all in-house?

EDIT: Or is it that ISPs have enough bandwidth internally for typical usage, but on peek hours... they have to buy extra bandwidth from other sources to handle the load?
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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby Sizik » Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:30 pm UTC

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby Mokele » Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:28 pm UTC



Is this the end of the battle? Or are there mechanisms by which this could be reversed in either the short or long term?
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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby Xeio » Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:43 pm UTC

Congress could always try to get involved directly. Though with a presidential veto awaiting any attempt at that it is less likely at least while Obama is still in office.

There's also a slight chance at some legal appeal, but that is looking relatively unlikely to be granted (but I'm sure we'll be hearing about the lawsuits and stuff over the next few months/years). Title II is much stronger and tried than the previous attempts at regulating net neutrality by the FCC.


Actually, from what I'm reading so far, they only very generally applied Title II status, with some specific provisions for Net Neutrality (blocking/throttling competing services in particular) and access to utility poles for laying new cabling.

There are a bunch of extra provisions in Title II which the FCC now has access to that they will not currently be exercising, such as the potential for price caps or potentially banning things like data caps. It could come up in a future vote, but if they have any realistic plans on that front they're currently playing it slow.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:08 pm UTC

Mokele wrote:


Is this the end of the battle? Or are there mechanisms by which this could be reversed in either the short or long term?


In politics, there's never truly an end. Hell, there are other methods entirely by which the internet could be threatened. But it's still a good development.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby Xeio » Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:17 pm UTC


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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby EMTP » Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:30 pm UTC



A dumb message, but a cute package. Some PR firm worked hard on that!
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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby Derek » Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:34 pm UTC

EMTP wrote:


A dumb message, but a cute package. Some PR firm worked hard on that!

They should have replaced all the periods in the "translated" message with "STOP"s.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby speising » Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:51 pm UTC

Verizon wrote:The FCC today chose to change the way the commercial Internet has operated since its creation.


i thought the point of net neutrality was to keep things like they were, to prevent ISPs to change the way it worked?

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby freezeblade » Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:56 pm UTC

speising wrote:
Verizon wrote:The FCC today chose to change the way the commercial Internet has operated since its creation.


i thought the point of net neutrality was to keep things like they were, to prevent ISPs to change the way it worked?


right, stop that. You're relying too hard on logic. You're seeing this for what is really is, as opposed to what they want you to think it is. Verizon is just playing off everyone's fear of chance, never mind the fact that it's not really change at all, but to stop (bad) change from taking place.
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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby Tirian » Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:49 am UTC

speising wrote:
Verizon wrote:The FCC today chose to change the way the commercial Internet has operated since its creation.


i thought the point of net neutrality was to keep things like they were, to prevent ISPs to change the way it worked?


Yeah, well your first clue that something is up is that Verizon is talking about "the commercial Internet" instead of the actual Internet, which was mandated to be non-commercial from ARPANET's creation in1969 through 1985. In their defense, it was not created to be a public utility, but neither was it created to be an institution where the nodes got to decide which traffic to route (aside from very extraordinary cases like the Internet Death Penalty).

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:13 am UTC

Huh. I wonder what Title II is.

HOLY FUCK that's long.

Erm... yeah, I'll just... pretend that I know what the fuck is going on right now. Generally speaking, I find the Republican argument of "tldr" actually very similar to my own views. If I don't understand it, I'm gonna be against it by default. I guess its too late to form an opinion on this particular implementation of net neutrality though. I might as well look at it post-hoc to understand the fuss...
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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby Derek » Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:39 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Huh. I wonder what Title II is.

HOLY FUCK that's long.

Welcome to the US legal code.

Erm... yeah, I'll just... pretend that I know what the fuck is going on right now. Generally speaking, I find the Republican argument of "tldr" actually very similar to my own views. If I don't understand it, I'm gonna be against it by default. I guess its too late to form an opinion on this particular implementation of net neutrality though. I might as well look at it post-hoc to understand the fuss...

Under normal circumstances I would agree, and normally I would be opposed to regulations like this. However, it is more than clear that broadband ISPs hold monopoly power in most markets, and they have proven themselves perfectly willing to use this power to fuck over consumers. Given the ability to selectively throttle internet traffic, and the well known conflicts of interest that exist, I have fairly little doubt that they will try. So I'm in favor of this decision.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby PolakoVoador » Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:12 pm UTC

freezeblade wrote:
speising wrote:
Verizon wrote:The FCC today chose to change the way the commercial Internet has operated since its creation.


i thought the point of net neutrality was to keep things like they were, to prevent ISPs to change the way it worked?


right, stop that. You're relying too hard on logic. You're seeing this for what is really is, as opposed to what they want you to think it is. Verizon is just playing off everyone's fear of chance, never mind the fact that it's not really change at all, but to stop (bad) change from taking place.


Actually, it is to stop ISPs from doing what they already started doing. Netflix was already being charged by both Comcast and Verizon for "fast lanes". And even then Verizon was throttling Netflix traffic.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:42 pm UTC

speising wrote:
Verizon wrote:The FCC today chose to change the way the commercial Internet has operated since its creation.


i thought the point of net neutrality was to keep things like they were, to prevent ISPs to change the way it worked?


In theory, yes.

In practice, things are always messier. It is technically a change, but it's not a very significant change in practice for most participants.

KnightExemplar wrote:Huh. I wonder what Title II is.

HOLY FUCK that's long.

Erm... yeah, I'll just... pretend that I know what the fuck is going on right now. Generally speaking, I find the Republican argument of "tldr" actually very similar to my own views. If I don't understand it, I'm gonna be against it by default. I guess its too late to form an opinion on this particular implementation of net neutrality though. I might as well look at it post-hoc to understand the fuss...


I'm not going to pretend I read all of that. I skim these suckers at best. That's probably more than most people do. Hell, it's probably more than some of those voting on it do. They certainly don't read everything personally.

This is kind of a systemic problem, republican/democrat aside. The complexity of the legal system is such that people are deciding on rules by rough summary...and summaries can be slanted for political reasons.

I do not think that this particular law is a particularly significant example of exploiting this complexity, and is not particularly worrying...but as a general principle, your concern is quite sound.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Feb 27, 2015 4:11 pm UTC

speising wrote:
Verizon wrote:The FCC today chose to change the way the commercial Internet has operated since its creation.


i thought the point of net neutrality was to keep things like they were, to prevent ISPs to change the way it worked?


Yeah, but what happened wasn't "Net Neutrality". What happened was "Title II Common Carrier" regulation of broadband. The FCC will then use the new powers granted by Title II to enforce net neutrality. So understanding exactly what "Title II Common Carrier" means is important, which is why I linked the 300+ page Communications Act.

The ideal solution would have been for Congress to write a new law that regulated the internet. Of course, Congress doesn't write new laws so that probably would have never happened >_<. I know people have been talking about Common Carrier for this whole topic, but it wasn't until now that I realized that I don't really understand what it really means.

It is clear that the FCC isn't planning to regulate fees and levy taxes, but both of these actions are well within their powers now that internet is a "Common Carrier". Its going to be a messy process, the FCC knows it has been granted legal authority to do a lot of things to the internet, but they can't use that authority. Of course, internet companies are worried that the FCC will abuse that authority (a fair concern). For now, things will move forward in a messy manner, with only portions of "Common Carrier" enforcement happening.

I don't think this issue will be fixed until Congress makes a new law describing exactly how this country would be comfortable regulating the internet. It seems to me that Title II is a hack-job at best.
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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby leady » Fri Feb 27, 2015 4:38 pm UTC

Now I think one of two things (maybe both will happen)

your end-user access prices generally are going jump every year in direct relation to internet TV usage

The FCC will regulate prices with the likely outcome of equally terrible service for all

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby sardia » Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:03 pm UTC

leady wrote:Now I think one of two things (maybe both will happen)

your end-user access prices generally are going jump every year in direct relation to internet TV usage

The FCC will regulate prices with the likely outcome of equally terrible service for all

And monopolies extorting content providers for more money isn't terrible service + higher prices? your unsupported assertion aside, what you're predicting isn't any worse than what we have now.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby leady » Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:24 pm UTC

Oh I don't know, now you just have effective monopolies, tomorrow you have the same monopolies + the costs of FCC regulation :)

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby Mokele » Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:27 pm UTC

Yeah, I'm already at "equally terrible service for all". My sole options are assorted small providers with draconian data caps, Charter (which drops it's connection every 20 minutes during any Skype and suffers frequent random outages), and Comcast (who are so evil that their local office is a giant tower with a flaming eye on top).

At this point, if a company offered me affordable, reliable service in return for inserting a needle into each of my eyes once a week, I'd consider it.
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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby speising » Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:29 pm UTC

leady wrote:
your end-user access prices generally are going jump every year in direct relation to internet TV usage

i would call this only fair and just.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby Derek » Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:44 pm UTC

Mokele wrote:Charter (which drops it's connection every 20 minutes during any Skype and suffers frequent random outages), and Comcast (who are so evil that their local office is a giant tower with a flaming eye on top).

You have Charter and Comcast as options? You're lucky. Most Americans only get one choice.

I have Comcast and Verizon FIOS as options. FIOS moved into the area a couple years ago, and the quality of my Comcast service skyrocketed afterwards. Competition really does work, it's just sorely lacking from 95% of markets, and that's not likely to change.

PolakoVoador wrote:Actually, it is to stop ISPs from doing what they already started doing. Netflix was already being charged by both Comcast and Verizon for "fast lanes". And even then Verizon was throttling Netflix traffic.

Weren't those fights, at least the Netflix one, over peering?

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby sardia » Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:47 pm UTC

leady wrote:Oh I don't know, now you just have effective monopolies, tomorrow you have the same monopolies + the costs of FCC regulation :)

The monopolies already existed, this regulations only acknowledges that fact instead of pretending its happy fun times. I don't see you complaining about the added cost of lead regulations. But yes, it will cost ISP s the extortion money they used to get.

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Re: President Obama wants the Internet to be a Public Utilit

Postby freezeblade » Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:50 pm UTC

leady wrote:[snip]... the likely outcome of equally terrible service for all

I don't know about you. But This is exactly where most people already are. Look at the rating of customer satisfaction/service in the entire country, the bottom of the list is Time Warner cable and Comcast's internet service divisions, and of any industry, telecoms and internet service providers are consistantly at the bottom.

I have a rant in the rant thread about how it took me getting 2 days off work (they have a 8 hour service window and refused to be more specific), rescheduling 5 times, and over 4 hours on the phone over a week for AT&T to get to my apartment complex and fix my internet. It turned out the problem was another AT&T service guy was there and unplugged my service when he was hooking up another customer in my building. Only after spending time with about 5 customer service representitives was I able to get compensated at all, and they lied to me on how much. They gave me a credit for half the amount they told me on my next billing cycle. I decided it was not worth my time to spend any more time on it.
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