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Old 02-28-2015, 09:11 AM   #21
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While this surely prohibits that, it wasn't what was going on, and not really what this was aimed at. What's affected is whether service providers can offer premium treatment for specific services. With that now banned, it means that all services will suffer from network limitations equally, all services will be summarily slowed down the same amount when network utilization is high.
Yes that is what this is about, but I don't think 'suffer' is the correct phrase.

Compare it to a highway. The big communication companies want to build 'lexus lanes' for content providers that would pay higher transmission fees. The problem is, AFAIK, it really is a zero sum game. Everyone else would be left in the clogged regular highway. It really would hamper new startups and competition to the established content providers. That's is why net neutrality, by keeping all lanes open, helps with free and open commerce.

Also, regarding other posts in this thread, that is different than me paying more for higher speeds on my own connection/ Which I do, for streaming and to work at home.
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Old 02-28-2015, 09:35 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Winemaker View Post
Cable TV options are 95% limited by your local government. They don't want multiple cables, and installations of cables digging up yards or more cables on poles. Check your cable bill; there is usually a local municipal fee or tax. Cable companies also pay local municipalities for exclusive access to it's citizens.
I love living outside of town. In our township we actually have two different cables running though our backyard. Yes, we can choose from two different cable companies (WoW and Time Warner) with differing levels of service and pricing.

I personally think having the FCC invoking Title II is ridiculous. Thank you Theodore Roosevelt.

I do wish I could buy stock in the law firms that will be litigating this for years to come.

And it's not like ATT et al don't know how to take advantage of regulatory environment. The big guys will do just fine.
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Old 02-28-2015, 09:54 AM   #23
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I can't see how a modern unregulated technology 2015 be regulated as a "communication utility" under a 1934 law, allowing unelected appointees to make choices for me, yet alone GOOD choices for me

And anything that could possibly limit my sources of information is something that I do not like.
I agree that the laws covering a communication utility need to be updated to reflect modern technology. What we have today is meant to control simple cable TV companies that serve a small number of people who can't get broadcast TV, not huge entertainment and media organizations have huge conflicts of interest and near monopolistic powers.

Manyy sources of information are already limited today, by the cable companies. For example, coverage of Olympics sports and the World Cup - if I don't pay for cable, I can't see it, except for a very chopped up highlight show at the end of the day. Did I mention that my local cable company also owns the network that broadcasts the Olympics? No wonder they won't broadcast it live over the air. They have a monopoly on coverage, one can't turn to another channel to watch the 100 meter dash.

Another limitation, of sorts, is having to pay for things one does not want while having to pay extra for things one wants. My friends with cable have to pay for ESPN which they never watch, but can't get an entertainment channel unless they buy a package that includes it.

What we need is more competition, pure and simple. I am somewhat lucky in that I have FIOS fiber in my neighborhood so I have a choice from a duopoly. That's not enough. Academic studies show a market needs at least three competitors to have reasonable levels of competition. But, it is better than most friends who have no practical choice for internet and TV except for the cable company. The are usually hit by one or two rate increases a year! Sometimes it's the basic rate, sometimes it's changes in the packages, sometimes it's new charges for equipment.

Simply put there is nothing wrong with this business that competition would cure or at least make easier to deal with. The old laws do not allow for competition and need to be changed to allow it. More free enterprise capitalism is the best cure.
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Old 02-28-2015, 10:03 AM   #24
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I'm pretty sure they do. People pay up for higher bandwidth so they can stream. That's not affected here. What is affected is whether you have to pay different rates depending on whose content you are streaming.
Thanks, that's not what I'd read here in early threads before, but we often don't know how credible sources are on the internet.

And I know there are different rates for different speeds, at least 8 speed/cost packages on XFinity that I know of. But I thought you could stream all but 4K/UHD on all but the slowest package?

I learn something every day, sometimes here...
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Old 02-28-2015, 10:57 AM   #25
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Net neutrality has been a concern since at least 2003, according to this wikipedia entry:

Net neutrality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The recent FCC rules will establish some basis whereby you can complain if comcrap slows down your Netflix, as they did previously:

Quote:
In the first quarter of 2014, streaming website Netflix reached an arrangement with ISP Comcast to improve the quality of its service to Netflix clients. This arrangement was made in response to increasingly slow connection speeds through Comcast over the course of the 2013, where average speeds dropped by over 25% of their values a year before to an all time low. After the deal was struck in January 2014, the Netflix speed index recorded a 66% increase in connection.
You could complain before, but the ISP was not dis-allowed from above behavior. So you were stuck with crappy streaming until Netflix paid up.

Will problems go away? I don't think so. But you at least know in principle that the carriers are not supposed to de-prioritize certain traffic.
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Old 02-28-2015, 12:10 PM   #26
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Looks to me like we have net neutrality now. I really don't care.
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Old 02-28-2015, 12:49 PM   #27
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The typical counter-argument is that it doesn't make sense to charge people for hogging bandwidth when there is excess bandwidth available. The fact of the matter, though, is that resource-hogging services are those that make it necessary to incur the high cost of expanding capacity in the first place.

The problem is that past trial balloons aiming toward metered service have indicated that standing at the ready is a PR firestorm that would hurt service providers far more than perpetuating the unfairness you outlined. I don't think there is any viable path out of that, not even through government regulation. It isn't as if light users would band together into a class-action suit demanding fairness in pricing.

I am all for charging the content provides that use up the vast majority of the bandwidth to pay for the use of it... kinda like making trucks pay more in taxes to support the road system...

But, I do not think that service providers should provide 'fast lanes' to these hogs.... just like the highway system, the trucks are on the same lanes as the cars....

I also do not think that the service providers should throttle back content that we (their paying customers) want to see.... IOW, if I am paying for 50 mbs it should not matter what 50 I am requesting... If I want to watch the Amazon or Netflix content, then the cable providers should not slow them down so their content is faster...

IOW, I think that it matter which side of the stream you are on....
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Old 02-28-2015, 01:04 PM   #28
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Yes that is what this is about, but I don't think 'suffer' is the correct phrase.
I don't know about that. Regardless the situation, I would always think that "limitations" are "suffered". :shrug:

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Compare it to a highway. The big communication companies want to build 'lexus lanes' for content providers that would pay higher transmission fees. The problem is, AFAIK, it really is a zero sum game. Everyone else would be left in the clogged regular highway. It really would hamper new startups and competition to the established content providers. That's is why net neutrality, by keeping all lanes open, helps with free and open commerce.
Except, as ArkTinkerer alluded to, it actually does the opposite. It makes it even more expensive to complete against Netflix and the other entrenched suppliers, since upstarts cannot afford to establish the multitude of points of presence that Netflix can.

Anyone who thinks this was about consumers versus Comcast missed the message: This was about Netflix versus its future competitors.

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I agree that the laws covering a communication utility need to be updated to reflect modern technology. What we have today is meant to control simple cable TV companies that serve a small number of people who can't get broadcast TV, not huge entertainment and media organizations have huge conflicts of interest and near monopolistic powers.
So what do you see that update including? I ask because the reasoning you give seems to imply that much more draconian regulation would be necessary to either ensure that there are multiple new competitors offering similarly-priced and similarly-spec'ed high-speed Internet service, or ensure that boundaries are built up around the incumbents so they cannot use unfairly exploit the excessive power that they have.

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For example, coverage of Olympics sports
I think this was a bad set of examples. Back when I was growing up, there was one and only one source for coverage of Olympic games - and I mean one - one channel, one feed, period. Today's Olympic coverage alludes to so much more offered to the viewer than was offered fifty years ago.

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Another limitation, of sorts, is having to pay for things one does not want while having to pay extra for things one wants.
This is a characterization of the reality. You pay for a service. You don't have to use every bit of the service. Back to my "fifty years ago" touchstone: My parents subscribed to the newspaper. They probably read two or three sections and threw the other sections away. They never complained that they were "having to pay extra for things one wants". It simply isn't the case. We pay for the offering that fits our needs best, even if that includes a sports section within which we have absolutely no interest.

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What we need is more competition, pure and simple.
That would be nice, but do you really think the American consumer is willing to pay the costs associated with more competition? I say "costs" because there is no reason to believe that more competition will lower prices. We had three suppliers where I used to live: Comcast, Verizon and RCN. Our prices weren't better than where there was only one supplier. Competition doesn't always have the desired effect. In this case, it could just result in having more telephone phones more crowded with more wires.

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I am somewhat lucky in that I have FIOS fiber in my neighborhood so I have a choice from a duopoly. That's not enough. Academic studies show a market needs at least three competitors to have reasonable levels of competition. But, it is better than most friends who have no practical choice for internet and TV except for the cable company.
I only have one choice here. Let's compare my bill, with one choice, to your bill, with two choices. I bet they're not much different.

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The old laws do not allow for competition and need to be changed to allow it.
Neither do the new laws. No laws will make that happen if consumers' behaviors don't change.
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Old 02-28-2015, 01:09 PM   #29
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Why the term "data hog"? I don't get it.

The analogy with trucks is flawed too. It's not like large amounts of data wear out the fiber strands.
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Old 02-28-2015, 01:09 PM   #30
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I am all for charging the content provides that use up the vast majority of the bandwidth to pay for the use of it... kinda like making trucks pay more in taxes to support the road system...
Well, unfortunately for you, that's what the rules passed this past week will ban.

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But, I do not think that service providers should provide 'fast lanes' to these hogs.... just like the highway system, the trucks are on the same lanes as the cars....
You're quibbling about the method. Unless you specify how many lanes each highway must have, it is meaningless. So is that your plan? Are you going to have these new rules dictate the capital investments that the service providers have to engage in? Are you going to order them to add new transmission assets?

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I also do not think that the service providers should throttle back content that we (their paying customers) want to see....
Let's not go there. That's a characterization of the situation crafted specifically to make it sounds like something bad was going on. Let's stick with the actual facts expressed straight and direct. And let's talk not forget that the what the customer "wants" means, in business, what the customer is willing to pay extra for. If you want other customer preferences to hold sway in the marketplace, then you are going to have to have government impose it in the public interest. And we're back to where we started, with 50% support and 50% opposition to the idea.

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IOW, if I am paying for 50 mbs it should not matter what 50 I am requesting... If I want to watch the Amazon or Netflix content, then the cable providers should not slow them down so their content is faster...
Again, that is not actually what happened. It's a red herring.

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Why the term "data hog"? I don't get it. The analogy with trucks is flawed too. It's not like large amounts of data wear out the fiber strands.
Excessive consumption during peak times has an impact on the quality of service that reasonable network management delivers to all customers.
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Old 02-28-2015, 01:33 PM   #31
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Prioritization was a barrier to startups.

New services would be disadvantaged by telecoms which deliberately slowed down certain services unless they got paid.

This practice has become more common in recent years. If it had been the practice years ago, maybe Netflix doesn't become successful.

Fact is, this battle lined up between startups, tech companies and consumer advocates vs. the telecoms, of which companies like Comcast are widely reviled.

Unless one has financial interests in these businesses, it's hard to see why any individual would support the continuation of extortionate practices.
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Old 02-28-2015, 01:46 PM   #32
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Prioritization was a barrier to startups. New services would be disadvantaged by telecoms which deliberately slowed down certain services unless they got paid.
Again: That's a mischaracterization. Effectively, that didn't happen. Conclusions based on that assumption are flawed.

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This practice has become more common in recent years.
Like this one.

Comcast was not singling out Netflix streams for lesser quality service. Netflix paid for premium treatment, which gave them superior quality service as compared to everyone else. Big difference.

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Unless one has financial interests in these businesses, it's hard to see why any individual would support the continuation of extortionate practices.
I understand why they would: Roughly have of our nation objects to government interfering with business exploiting whatever opportunities they can. Consumers speak with a single, very loud voice when they're complaining as consumers, but when it comes time to impose consumer protections, half of Americans support the exact opposite of what would benefit themselves as consumers.
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Old 02-28-2015, 02:04 PM   #33
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Here's a quote from a letter that the Electronic Frontier Foundation wrote to the FCC. They have been big proponents of Net Neutrality, but even they are warning about the way the FCC is implementing it.

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The FCC will evaluate “harm” based on consideration of seven factors: impact on competition; impact on innovation; impact on free expression; impact on broadband deployment and investments; whether the actions in question are specific to some applications and not others; whether they comply with industry best standards and practices; and whether they take place without the awareness of the end-user, the Internet subscriber.

There are several problems with this approach. First, it suggests that the FCC believes it has broad authority to pursue any number of practices—hardly the narrow, light-touch approach we need to protect the open Internet. Second, we worry that this rule will be extremely expensive in practice, because anyone wanting to bring a complaint will be hard-pressed to predict whether they will succeed. For example, how will the Commission determine “industry best standards and practices”? As a practical matter, it is likely that only companies that can afford years of litigation to answer these questions will be able to rely on the rule at all. Third, a multi-factor test gives the FCC an awful lot of discretion, potentially giving an unfair advantage to parties with insider influence.
As I said previously, my concern is that the gov't will manage the internet as well as they manage most things. Right on into the ground.
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Old 02-28-2015, 02:09 PM   #34
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EFF's concern is, in a nutshell, that the FCC will evaluate factors other than those that EFF itself considers important. No surprise there.
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Old 02-28-2015, 02:11 PM   #35
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Here's a quote from a letter that the Electronic Frontier Foundation wrote to the FCC. They have been big proponents of Net Neutrality, but even they are warning about the way the FCC is implementing it.

As I said previously, my concern is that the gov't will manage the internet as well as they manage most things. Right on into the ground.
I'm sure every organization and individual has concerns.

But the EFF does endorse the decision, and congratulates the FCC on finally acting:

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/0...races-title-ii

The EFF has been pushing for action as long as I can remember. This ain't perfect, but it is a decision after many years of no action.
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Old 02-28-2015, 02:12 PM   #36
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Unless one has financial interests in these businesses, it's hard to see why any individual would support the continuation of extortionate practices.
Well, since you phrased it in such an evenhanded way, I see your point.

Another thing that's "hard to see" is how broadband will continue to grow at the pace it has been if the government sets the "fair" profit for these companies, and how new broadband providers will get into the market. Once rates are capped, it'll be tough to beat those providers who already have the installed hardware base and the team of lawyers needed to comply with the new regs.

I agree about the need to enforce neutrality regarding content. But this can and will do way more than that. For example, if you've still got a landline phone, take a look at all the mandated taxes and fees tacked onto your bill--you can guess where all that came from. This becomes a new means for the government to gain tax revenue and "spread the wealth around"--is it likey they'll forego that opportunity? Lots of "good ideas" inflicted on public utilities, and they can easily add up to equal the charges for the actual service. I wonder what "good ideas" will accompany this new layer of helpful regulatory oversight.

If it survives court scrutiny. Seems the courts are getting a real workout lately.
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Old 02-28-2015, 02:15 PM   #37
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Looks to me like we have net neutrality now. I really don't care.
It depends on who you get your 'last mile' Internet carriage from. Many companies, especially the smaller regional provides like Sonic, definitely provide 'net neutrality', just moving packets between customers and the major Internet peerage points.

If you are unlucky enough to be limited in choice to certain nationwide providers, you may find this is not the case. See my earlier post at the top of this thread.

Charging extra for the quantity of data, both currently and under FCC Proceeding 14-28 is just fine. Charging extra for what happens to be inside of the data packets or the source or destination subnet is not OK.
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Old 02-28-2015, 03:45 PM   #38
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Charging extra for the quantity of data, both currently and under FCC Proceeding 14-28 is just fine. Charging extra for what happens to be inside of the data packets or the source or destination subnet is not OK.
When I worked at Megacorp back in the 90's we had a private network that covered the entire US and carried data and voice over IP. We prioritized voice packets over data due to Qos issues. Voice was not tolerant of delay as it was easily perceived. I don't know if the ISP's still do this or not but it was an example of giving priority to different packets based upon content.
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Old 02-28-2015, 04:18 PM   #39
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When I worked at Megacorp back in the 90's we had a private network that covered the entire US and carried data and voice over IP. We prioritized voice packets over data due to Qos issues. Voice was not tolerant of delay as it was easily perceived. I don't know if the ISP's still do this or not but it was an example of giving priority to different packets based upon content.
That sort of use of prioritization is fine, and is actually provided for in the Internet Protocol specifications as well as in the FCC Proceeding. It's currently used in 'last mile' services to allocate bandwidth over VDSL (ATT-Uverse and similar services) connections between IP data packets, voice, and their television services.

What's not OK is to play with IP data packet delivery over that 'last mile', blocking, delaying, or dropping packets based on their internal content or source or destination addresses. If one were to actually read FCC Proceedings 14-28, one would find that the actions of several ISPs over the past decade as documented in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was a major driver in the new rulemaking.

Note: I strongly recommend reading the actual FCC documents rather than the 'summarys' in the press. The published press content is rather incomplete and inaccurate. (My actual opinion of the press content would require me to moderate this post...)
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Old 02-28-2015, 04:47 PM   #40
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I'm hearing concerns here that we might end up with a 'ma bell' type situation. I can't believe anyone wants to go back to that, even the regulators. Most regulation is in response a perceived wrong. This whole situation was created by a the potential for the extortion of content providers by content carriers. I blame the Verizon for pushing the old regulations too far. But in every group, there is always someone like that.
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