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Net neutrality is dead. Bow to Comcast & Verizon.
Old 01-16-2014, 05:43 PM   #1
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Net neutrality is dead. Bow to Comcast & Verizon.

It appears this could alter the cost (structure) of Internet access, directly or more likely, indirectly (streaming services and other bandwidth intensive services).
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Advocates of a free and open Internet could see this coming, but today's ruling from a Washington appeals court striking down the FCC's rules protecting the open net was worse than the most dire forecasts. It was "even more emphatic and disastrous than anyone expected," in the words of one veteran advocate for network neutrality.

Do you want your Internet to look like your cable TV service, where you have no control over what comes into your house or what you pay for it?
Net neutrality is dead. Bow to Comcast and Verizon, your overlords - latimes.com
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...the ruling opens the door for broadband and backbone Internet providers to develop new lines of business, such as charging Internet content companies, like Netflix, Amazon, or Google, access fees to their networks. Companies like Verizon, AT&T, Time Warner Cable, Comcast, and others could offer priority access over their networks to ensure streaming services from a Netflix or Amazon don't buffer when they hit network congestion, providing a better experience for end users.
Wireless providers like AT&T have already proposed a plan in which app developers and other Internet services could pay for the data consumers use to access their services. Again, AT&T argues this service is a win for consumers since it saves them money by not requiring them to use the any of the data they pay for monthly.

But supporters of Net neutrality caution this is a very slippery slope. And they argue that these new business models will likely increase costs for companies operating on the Internet, and that eventually those costs will be passed onto consumers. What's more, erecting priority status for services online will result in bigger players being able to afford to pay the fees, while smaller upstarts will be blocked from competing because they won't be able to afford the fees that a Verizon or Time Warner Cable might impose.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-576...eutrality-faq/
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Old 01-16-2014, 06:52 PM   #2
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I've learned long ago not to trust appellate court split decisions on important national issues. IMHO This one goes to SCOTUS eventually. And Congress could always pass specific legislation on net neutrality. I sense the net neutrality fight is far from over.
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:00 PM   #3
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I've learned long ago not to trust appellate court decisions on important national issues. IMO This one goes to SCOTUS eventually.

Most of the commentary I've read says that the appellate court opinion was reasonable because the FCC rule is based on Internet providers being considered common carriers. I think that rather than the SCOTUS giving a far-out interpretation of the current FCC rule, and contradicting their own earlier ruling which said that Internet providers are not common carriers, which overturning this decision would require, the FCC needs to rewrite the rules. Then let the court battles begin anew but with the FCC supporting net neutrality on another foundation.
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:28 PM   #4
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Most of the commentary I've read says that the appellate court opinion was very reasonable given the way the FCC rule is written. I think that rather than the SCOTUS giving a far-out interpretation of the current FCC rule, which overturning this decision would require, the FCC needs to rewrite the rules. Then let the court battles begin anew but with the FCC supporting net neutrality.
Not sayin' this appellate court decision was unreasonable or will be specifically overturned, but that the overriding issue of net neutrality was not decided by this single ruling. SCOTUS usu weighs in on big national issues eventually...and sometimes repeatedly over the years.
BTW-who ever said courts always have to be "reasonable"? I've been involved with legal system long enough to know that sometimes one judge's logic can be another's fallacy
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:35 PM   #5
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Not sayin' this appellate court decision was unreasonable or will be specifically overturned, but that the overriding issue of net neutrality was not decided by this single ruling. SCOTUS usu weighs in on big national issues eventually...and sometimes repeatedly over the years.
BTW-who ever said courts always have to be "reasonable"? I've been involved with legal system long enough to know that sometimes one judge's logic can be another's fallacy
OK, everyone gets an opinion.......

For me, I'm hoping the FCC and Congress get busy with new laws/rules. I'd rather not just wait and hope that the SCOTUS interprets the status quo, especially in light of their earlier ruling regarding Internet providers not being common carriers, differently than the appellate court.

But who knows?
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:57 PM   #6
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:22 PM   #7
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I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords.
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:45 PM   #8
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I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords.

Good, we'll put you in front.
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:49 PM   #9
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Old 01-17-2014, 06:40 AM   #10
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There has been far too much having one's cake and eating it too with regard to services in our economy, with our society ratifying reducing big government on the one hand, but expecting business to still operate in accordance with what's best for each consumer personally, on the other hand. People (collectively) are going to realize that maturity requires that they learn how to to PICK ONE, if they ever want to have a reasonable service marketplace, and stop childishly insisting on having it all.

It never made sense to me that a content provider (Netflix) could earn profit on the strength of how they were able to shift the majority of the cost of delivering their service to their customers onto intermediaries (ISPs), and ISPs were somehow barred from charging the content providers based on a reasonable estimate of how much profit the content providers earn from such a service, and barred from charging their consumers based on how much value the consumer derives from such a service. They were inanely boxed into charging the elderly couple across the street who are on the Internet a few minutes a day to see if they got a text email from their granddaughter not much less than someone who's streaming HD movies. Insane.
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Old 01-17-2014, 06:55 AM   #11
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Well, I pay close to $50/mo for some high level of speed, which, in reality, is about 500kb/sec, though, of course, I could pay even more for higher speed, which might get me to where I allegedly already am...
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Old 01-17-2014, 06:55 AM   #12
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Old 01-17-2014, 07:45 AM   #13
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Zactly...

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Well, I pay close to $50/mo for some high level of speed, which, in reality, is about 500kb/sec, though, of course, I could pay even more for higher speed, which might get me to where I allegedly already am...
...but I'd expect we won't see higher rates from Comcast and Verizon for Internet access, they'll just charge Netflix, Hulu and others more, and force them to raise their rates to their customers. Comcast and Verizon increase their revenue while letting others be the "bad guys." Imagine all the money that will get thrown at this. But I realize this is far from over yet.

But one way or another content providers are going to charge cable cutters more. They aren't going to passively let OTA, streaming, Aereo et al eat away at their business. Enjoy them while the last...
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Old 01-17-2014, 08:09 AM   #14
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There has been far too much having one's cake and eating it too with regard to services in our economy, with our society ratifying reducing big government on the one hand, but expecting business to still operate in accordance with what's best for each consumer personally, on the other hand. People (collectively) are going to realize that maturity requires that they learn how to to PICK ONE, if they ever want to have a reasonable service marketplace, and stop childishly insisting on having it all.
I don't think it is about picking ONE at all. It is about a balance. A reasonable level of control, and a reasonable level of freedom for business and people. Am I childish for wanting the best of both worlds? I don't appreciate your inference that I am childish, just because I don't agree with you. Not a valid way for an adult to make a point.

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It never made sense to me that a content provider (Netflix) could earn profit on the strength of how they were able to shift the majority of the cost of delivering their service to their customers onto intermediaries (ISPs),
Isn't there a very simple solution to this, one with a precedent in almost every service we use? Pay for what you use.

For most utilities, most people pay a modest 'connection fee', and then pay by the kWh, the cubic foot of NG, or gallon of water. So why not just charge $X/month for some basic amount, and then charge by the GB above that. Why should I be paying for all the infrastructure to support my neighbor who may be downloading HD 24/7 on torrent to build a library, if I'm a modest user? Doesn't the problem take care of itself then - my ISP should not care if I'm DL'ing from Netflix or youtube, a data packet is a data packet.

This is already in place to a degree, with some people paying more for faster access, and many phone data plans having throttle levels for hi-speed data.

I like that solution because it doesn't get into playing favorites with any source, and it seems to make economic sense, and it is easy to implement.

-ERD50
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:07 AM   #15
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I'm just happy we don't have to pay for the air we breathe when opening the window. At least not yet
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:13 AM   #16
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In the court's decision, it is clearly said that the FCC has all the authority it needs to regulate the net in whole or part. The entire problem is that there was an earlier decision not to treat the ISPs and those who own the fiber as common carriers. If they are common carriers, then there can be at the option of the FCC, net neutrality. There is no need for the FCC to appeal. They just need to hold a meeting and vote.

What isn't clear to me, are the true costs of running fiber. There are thousands of miles of dark fiber in the ground. This is fiber that is yet unused.

How much data can you shove through a fiber optic cable? Quite a lot, as it turns out. Using the ITU standard 50 GHz dense wavelength division multiplexing grid, not only can you easily do 80 x 10 Gbps channels in a single fiber pair, but recent advances in modulation technology mean that with QPSK, 4QAM or 16QAM modulation, 1/80th of a dark fiber pair can carry a 100 Gbps signal in the optical space previously occupied by a single long distance 10 Gbps circuit.

There is enough fiber out there to carry many times the current total internet.

So, in my mind the question is how much does it really cost to run the internet infrastructure?

What is the cost of having one byte of ram in my PC? Zero
What is the cost of one byte of ram on a hard drive? Zero
What is the cost of one byte of storage in the cloud? Zero

What is the probable cost of sending one byte in a data packet on the internet?
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:21 AM   #17
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It's a balancing act. On one hand it seems a little unfair to expect a very light bandwidth consumer to pay the same monthly fee as someone downloading streaming content 12 hours a day, every day. But on the other hand, a large segment of the marketplace seems to want *unlimited*, unmetered services. And it's probably reasonable to expect that segment to pay more each month. (The wireless phone plans are largely like this, where light users can get metered service for $10 a month, or even less, while heavy "unlimited" data users can pay close to $100.)

And in reality, I think the demand for "unlimited" and "unmetered" services is large enough that there will always be fairly competitive plans available for them. My bigger concern is that entities like cable operators (who own an increasingly large share of the ISP business) will single out competitors with much higher fees to be streamed through their networks and to their customers. If these cable companies want to stop losing market share to people "cutting the cable," they can make cable-cutting less cost-effective by charging a lot more for the traffic from Netflix, Hulu and Amazon video services than for other traffic that doesn't compete with its content offerings (usually cable TV).

And that is where I am most concerned. Yes, it's fair to charge people more for using 100x as much bandwidth than someone else. What I find chilling is the idea that not only *how much* you use can determine your cost, but also the *source* of the content. So sure, if someone streams Netflix 12 hours a day you can make a reasonable argument they *should* be paying more than someone just e-mailing their grandkids once in a while. But at the same time, given the same amount of usage, an ISP shouldn't be charging more just because much of your traffic comes from a competitor to their cable offerings.
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:02 AM   #18
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The economics of internet services seem to indicate that the cost per Gigabyte delivered to a home or business is going down. A few years ago I paid $45 for 6 gigs down and 1 gig up service. This was maximum speed, in reality I was more like 4 down and 0.75 up. Today, I pay $40 for 25 gigs down and 10 up. And these speeds seem to be pretty close to what I experience daily.

Gigs are cheap. I see no reason to encourage the cable and telephone providers to charge us more for them. What I don't want is for them to decide what content I can watch at full speed, and content I can watch at throttled speed.
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:19 AM   #19
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Nightmare coming true? There are even more hideous scenarios possible. Blocking sites entirely, provider controlled ad banners layered over existing sites, forced revenue sharing for commercially funded sites, providers blocking content they don't like or serving you content they favor. Hoping the courts get busy on this as the lobby to support the latest path is powerful and well funded (by our subscription fees)...
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:28 AM   #20
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Nightmare coming true? There are even more hideous scenarios possible. Blocking sites entirely, provider controlled ad banners layered over existing sites, forced revenue sharing for commercially funded sites, providers blocking content they don't like or serving you content they favor.
Perhaps I'm being too optimistic but if this scenario began to play out I think the public outrage would force some legislative relief.

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