• Dave (unregistered)

    "I’m thankful that data packets on the Internet are routed and handled the same way, regardless of which network originated them, nor which network is their destination, nor what they may contain."

    Where does that absurdly counterfactual assertion originate? It's widely repeated, but no-one ever tries to justify those nonsensical claims.

    Unless you pay a huge amount for your internet access there is zero theoretical possibility any of those things is true, let alone all of them.

  • Hasseman (unregistered)

    Fun to see that whats happens in many other contries where internet is blocked by government in US might be blocked on commersial reasons.

  • 192-168-1-1 (unregistered) in reply to Dave

    There are differences indeed, but in theory they are based on RFC and not ISP.

  • An effective way to fight back (unregistered)

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  • COBRIEN (unregistered)

    I don't live the US but these changes can and will have many negative repercussions! The article is neither absurd nor counterfactual. When I pay my cable company for internet access, WHAT I download and WHERE I download it from is currently and should be irrelevent to MY network provider. On the other side of the transaction, Netflix pays SOMEBODY for their internet access and they probably already pay a shit-ton of money to get the bandwidth and throughput required for their business model. For most of the world, data packets move from point A to point B more or less unfettered. This is how the current internet works, in a default mostly neutral fashion.

    WHY should Netflix be required to pay extra money to MY ISP to ensure that their data won't be throttled in the hopes that I'll use whatever video streaming service that my cable company has a deal with? Imagine what would happen if your phone company decided that your mom had to pay extra to make sure that her phone calls got through to you?

  • Chronomium (unregistered) in reply to COBRIEN

    Imagine what would happen if your phone company decided that your mom had to pay extra to make sure that her phone calls got through to you?

    My phone bill would go down.


  • ThaumaTechnician (unregistered) in reply to Dave

    Duh, I'm in Canada, and that's how it works here, on the whole. https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/04/as-us-prepares-to-gut-net-neutrality-rules-canada-strengthens-them/

    /maybe Remy lives in Canada?

  • Burner (unregistered)

    Why is it that some people think the Gov't regulating something is always a good idea. Think the cost of health insurance, which does nothing to address the cost of health CARE. And now we want the Gov't to regulate the cost of internet use? What's next, the cost of new automobiles?

  • Dave (unregistered) in reply to ThaumaTechnician

    Do you want to explain why you believe such an astonishing claim? Does everyone in Canada live in the same city and have the same speed connection? Do ISPs not do traffic prioritisation?

    Anywhere the geographic size of Canada is right at the bottom of the list. You cannot have net neutrality with a spread like that - speed of light delays are non-negligible on that scale.

  • Dave (unregistered) in reply to COBRIEN

    "WHY should Netflix be required to pay extra money to MY ISP to ensure that their data won't be throttled in the hopes that I'll use whatever video streaming service that my cable company has a deal with? "

    First up, that sounds like a problem (or not) between you and your ISP. If there were commensurate benefits in the package, it could be the deal someone wants. Of course if you live somewhere the ISPs are uncompetitive by regulation, like most of the US, then you don't have any choices. But places where you do, traffic shaping is the norm, to varying degrees depending on what you pay. My fairly cheap consumer ISP will limit the speed of large downloads at peak times so as to prioritise video traffic. Seems reasonable at this price.

    More generally, it's not about Netflix paying your ISP. It's about what they pay for their end of the connection.

  • Matt B (unregistered)

    In fact the widely asserted claim that packets are neutral goes against the entire operation of networks. Networks often prioritize different packets, and for proper management they absolutely should.

    Most people don’t actually understand networks or Net Neutrality- the later which is changed from its meaning. They definitely don’t understand Title II. It’s a 80 year old law that with the NN rules allows massive control of the internet by the government. It also allows exactly what NN supporters don’t want .

    Either if you for or against NN, you’ll want to oppose Title II regulations and support the FCC in repealing them.

  • TheCPUWizard (unregistered)

    "My fairly cheap consumer ISP will limit the speed of large downloads ...." But they do not do it based on where you are downloading from!

  • TheCPUWizard (unregistered)

    "My fairly cheap consumer ISP will limit the speed of large downloads ...." But they do not do it based on where you are downloading from!

  • Solitario (unregistered)
    Anywhere the geographic size of Canada is right at the bottom of the list. You cannot have net neutrality with a spread like that - speed of light delays are non-negligible on that scale

    That aspect og geography has nothing to do with net neutrality. The principle of net neutrality only says that a provider should not place prioritization of traffic in transit. An edge provider can still sell different amounts of bandwidth, but can not treat for example Netflix traffic different from e-mail. A peering provider has to treat all traffic coming from outside their network the same as traffic originating within their network.

  • Bubba (unregistered)

    This is private network infrastructure. Their networks, their rules.

    In the abstract, packets are all the same, yet in reality they are not. They all carry different content, and different priorities & values are placed on them. Bandwidth is finite, so network operators need to profile all forms of bandwidth consumption to best ensure the satisfactory delivery of service to all their customers.

    If their T&Cs say I am paying for a certain amount of downstream bandwidth, then that is what I expect to get. If they restrict my Netflix stream, then that is a violation of the contract between us, and is a matter for a contract law dispute to resolve.

    They also assert their right to alter T&Cs at any time, giving me (and all of their customers) an opportunity to object & cancel our service if we choose. If their network is being swamped with Netflix traffic to the detriment of other traffic, then it is entirely reasonable that they should want to constrain that to better regulate the total flow of traffic. Charging Netflix for enhanced priority is an economic signal that will perhaps incentivize Netflix to be more considerate and/or develop more bandwidth-friendly technology.

    You have no right to an internet service. The government has no authority to dictate how private networks should be managed. NN is utterly unconstitutional federal overreach, and I oppose it in its entirety.

  • Bubba (unregistered)

    Another aspect of NN that really makes me "WTF" is that I hear so many supporters of NN complaining about the eevilz of corporate monopoly, yet are seemingly happy to applaud while network infrastructure they do not own is dictated by the largest monopoly of all - government !

    I guess government monopoly is OK because it is overseen by incorruptible angels...

  • Eric (unregistered)

    Another article about net neutrality, another barrage of angry techno-libertarians who can't understand why corporate monopolies require regulation. Who could have possibly guessed!

  • ARealPerson (unregistered)

    How do I get a job astroturfing for big cable like many of the posters in here? Are there classes I can take to learn to torture logic as effectively?

    I probably won't get the job, too much nepotism. If only I had a tape worm as a father and a prostitute for a mother I might have a chance.

  • Someone (unregistered) in reply to Bubba

    And yet it is unconstitutional if they would discriminate users of their network based on race, gender, political opinion or similar. So is it really their network, ONLY their rules? Or are there rules which should apply to every network even though the network is privately owned?

    And yes, there are different kinds of packets, so we could treat them all differently. But should we? Why should we treat video packets different from web page parts, but not liberal web page parts different from conservative web page parts? These are also different packets in the end. So where do we draw the line? If political opinion expressed in a web page part is a step to far, how about used technologies in a web page? Should it be lawful to slow down a page using e.g. java applets or flash, but not pages using lots of javascript? Unless of course adobe pays for fast download speeds of flash based pages (or just pick any other technologies you want). And if you say that adobe does not send out these packets but someone else and thus he has to pay... That person is already paying, but wouldn't it be nice if adobe is paying, too? I mean, this works with adblocking (publishers paying adblocker fees so some of the ads get through again), so why shouldn't it work for ISPs?

    Maybe my examples are not the best ones, but you see there is a whole world of possibilities to make money from priotizing traffic based on the traffic itself. But should one allow these methods just because making more money means bigger bonuses for some people and maybe a tiny bit more investments in infrastructure? And most of this carried out on the back of normal people who can't really defend themselves against this because there are no other options for them but to accept it? Doesn't the current model also work?

    If there is no right to an internet service, maybe there should be one. So much of our daily life already happens online. And it is increasing every day. So maybe there should be a right, otherwise there will be people who are left behind.

  • Dave (unregistered) in reply to TheCPUWizard

    Yes, they do. Exactly that.

  • Dave (unregistered) in reply to Solitario

    "The principle of net neutrality only says that a provider should not place prioritization of traffic in transit. "

    That's an essential part of what ISPs do.

  • Catprog (unregistered) in reply to Bubba

    So what is your solution?

    Do we build multiple networks driving up the cost for everyone?

    Or do we build one network that has a specific role. Take packets from the home/business to a ISP of the choice of the customer.

  • CsDot (unregistered) in reply to Bubba

    Bubba, you okay buddy?

  • Chaos215bar2 (unregistered)

    What on earth is going on in the comments here? Are people actually this out of touch with the history and current state of internet access and net neutrality regulation in the US?

  • Derf Skren (unregistered) in reply to Bubba

    That viewpoint holds weight in America where you see your government as a temporary entity that you will all overthrow with your bump-stocked machine guns at any moment. For the rest of the world, the government is seen as representing all of the people in the country, whereas a corporation represents only itself.

  • Zilla (unregistered) in reply to Chaos215bar2

    Mainly the telecom shills are out in full force lately in many of the comment sites of tech websites.

  • Bruce (unregistered)

    Unfortunately Routers being neutral is completely incorrect.

    The BGP routing protocol exists entirely to apply policy to routing. Each time a packet is routed between providers, a decision is made based on a wide range of factors, which way to send it. This can be based upon: peering agreements, bandwidth costs, time of day, service availability, what the destination is advertising and feels is in their best interest, traffic contention targets and a host of other factors.

    People who think the Net Neutrality is about routing everything equally don't understand how the Internet fits together. If everything was treated equally, the internet simply wouldn't work - traffic would be choked all over the world.

    • ISP network engineer of 15 years.
  • ahem (unregistered) in reply to Solitario

    "The principle of net neutrality only says that a provider should not place prioritization of traffic in transit." Priority is fine, think about your voip packets vs my torrent packets; it's when profit enters that issues occur.

  • Kurbein (unregistered)

    TRWTF is having more WTFs in the comments than in the article!

    • NN has nothing to do with traffic-shaping.
    • NN has nothing to do with traffic routing
    • NN has nothing to do with bandwidth, latency or any other mumbo-jumbo tech jargon you might think about.

    NN is about not letting the road dictate what car you want to buy. NN is about not letting the road decide what kind or brand of gasoline you use. NN is about not letting the road charge neither you nor the you favourite radio-station because you happen to use Michelin tires instead of Bridgestone. NN is about not letting the road dictate that Ford cars can have a higher speed limit than Toyota.

    And again this has nothing to do with traffic restrictions on weekends for heavy trucks, speed limits on highways or the quality of roads in low populated areas.

  • although (unregistered) in reply to ahem

    "Priority is fine, think about your voip packets vs my torrent packets; it's when profit enters that issues occur." --> best summary I've seen so far :)

  • Paula Bean (unregistered)

    I don't have a racist uncle. My aunt who fancies herself a progressive feminist is wildly prejudiced and bigoted.

  • Bubba (unregistered) in reply to Derf Skren

    I would argue that my viewpoint holds weight wherever people actually believe in truly free enterprise.

    Neither you, I, nor the 'government' have any rights or claims over the private property of these network providers. Their infrastructure belongs to them, and they have exclusive rights to determine how best to operate them in order to be optimally successful.

    Yes, I am utterly aware that there are some craven people that would salivate over the opportunity to charge us whatever the heck they want, believing that they have us over a barrel - which to a certain extent is true, regrettably. Yet it still does not change the fact that it is their property to sell access to. Ultimately, if they shaft the consumer too hard, we walk away and their business suffers. If it suffers enough, it will end up being sold...and if wisdom is not in short supply, it will be sold to people that understand the mistakes of poisoning the relationship between business and consumer with rapacious practices.

    In a sense, all the cries of "Internetz R a necessity for all" only serve to embolden them. They need to know that we are prepared to let them burn if they screw us. The harsh logic of dollars & cents can be a powerful tool in our favor, without any need for mindless political gubmint gibberish.

  • David (unregistered) in reply to Bubba

    Their property. Running, of course, under my land, as well as the land of just about every other land over in urban areas. Not by individual contracts with each and every landowner, but by rights given to them by the government. Maybe if the landowners had had the right to individually contract with the telecommunications company, I would have the right to demand they don't mess with my content; then again, it's unlikely we'd have the communications network if they'd been forced to negotiate with every landowner, because the government could force landowners to accept standard terms.

    If you believe in truly free enterprise, I'm sure that makes perfect sense. I don't believe in any economic theory; I try to accept economic theories that have evidence to them, and the evidence is that if you have a locked-in audience to a required service that can't easily change to another provider, the provider is going to milk the users for every cent and provide horrible service.

  • Bubba (unregistered)

    Around here, network infrastructure was added by agreement with individual landowners granting 'right of ways', as it was clearly understood by them to be in their own best interests to help enable access to high speed internet service, as well as a sprinkling of 'sweeteners'. The cables are strung high enough, or buried low enough, that they don't have any impact on the landowners' use of their property.

    If you live somewhere where government forced people to take the deal, then that is disgraceful.

    I don't 'believe' in an economic model, per se, I believe in the essential morality underpinning it...or lack thereof.

  • Dave (unregistered) in reply to Chaos215bar2

    No, they're pointing out that the shitty service provided by the US's regulated-to-fuck ISP monopolies has nothing to do with net neutrality. The parts of the world with LLU or similar simply don't have these problems. Net neutrality is just a fantasy based on a complete misunderstanding of how IP works - every packet on the internet is prioritised - used as a stick to beat US monopoly-ISPs with.

    Round here net neutrality issues are just shitty customer service issues, and when you don't like the customer service you receive, you change service provider.

  • Dave (unregistered) in reply to Kurbein

    Nice to see someone tacitly conceding that NN issues are only applicable to monopoly providers. If you don't live in a monopoly-provider setup, then you simply don't use that 'road'.

  • David (unregistered) in reply to Eric


    1. why do big corporations need regulation?
    2. who should regulate them?
  • Drake Christensen (unregistered)

    I have a longer rant that I could post. I'll do a tl;dr version:

    I don't want Net Neutrality. I want Net Freedom.

    I contend that there does not exist The One Business Model to Govern All Internet Traffic. It's a confluence of bang-for-the-buck, consumer needs, business needs, competition, innovation, infrastructure costs, etc. All of these pull in multiple directions, and keeping it working with all the disparate needs requires constant trade-offs. These trade-offs really need to happen at the speed of business to stay relevant.

    Government regulations will lock things down to yesteryear. The regulations will not allow for dynamic technical innovation nor experiments in pricing among the various players. The regulations will create barriers to entry that lock out potential upstarts.

    I have no confidence that the government regulations will approach anything close to neutral. Governments distort the market. That tends toward economic absurdities.

    Two examples of competition working:

    • When Comcast began to throttle Netflix, customers who were able flocked to their competitors in droves. The two companies ended up working out an arrangement they could both live with, and that their customers could also live with.

    • The one aspect of antiquated telephone regulations that could be argued for Internet access is a subsidy for rural connectivity. But I'd prefer 50 state experiments over a 1,000 page federal bill filled with pork. Or, over control by a faceless bureaucracy. But best of all, there's a new low-altitude satellite constellation going up to address just that market. Once again, lightly regulated competition FTW.

  • Jeffrey Dege (unregistered)

    I'm in favor of the idea of net neutrality, but the specific regulations that the FCC put into place to pretend to accomplish it were a very bad idea.

  • Kurbein (unregistered) in reply to Dave

    Where is this "competition heaven" located? I'd like to move there. ;)

    Provided that "perfect competition" is the (arguably) worst scenario from a business (read profit) PoV, I doubt it exists anywhere in this solar system. May be I should move to Sirius B ;)

  • Zenith (unregistered) in reply to Bubba

    What happened to "my property, my rules?" Already you're weaseling out of that with excuses (b-b-but the cables are out of the way!) and insults (clearly understood to be in your best interests, you dummy).

  • Zenith (unregistered)

    Libertarians don't understand scale. Free market rules stop working when the supply side is so rich that it can screw up into infinity and still not die. You may have heard of the term "too big to fail." How many times has Comcast been named America's most hated company? And yet they're still operating. Of course, the gift of property tax exemptions, amongst other government handouts that libertarians like to pretend don't exist because it shatters their worldview, that the all-powerful free market has yet to overcome but will Real Soon (TM) isn't helping...

  • Bubba (unregistered) in reply to Zenith

    You have utterly misread me.

    The property owners freely consented to allow a 'right of way'. They understood that having high speed internet infrastructure built out was a net benefit for all. It wasn't a hard sell.

    Private property right were respected. No insults.

    Why would you find any of this controversial?

  • Consumer Unit 5012 (unregistered) in reply to David

    David typed: "1. why do big corporations need regulation? 2. who should regulate them?"

    If you actually have to ask question 1, you are utterly ignorant of history. If you actually have to ask question 2, you have presumably just arrived from another planet.

  • Dave (unregistered) in reply to Kurbein

    A perfectly competitive market isn't bad for business/profitability. What on earth are you on about?

    As for where I happen to be, TBH almost anywhere that's not the US will do, but the UK market is the one I was referring to. It's not 'perfect' competition or any such theoretical nonsense.

  • Dave (unregistered) in reply to Zenith

    Jeez, how on earth do you link net neutrality to that old-fashioned Nazi conspiracy theory about 'teh ebil Jews' running the world?

  • Consumer Unit 5012 (unregistered)

    Found on another forum:

    "There’s nothing hypothetical about what ISPs will do when net neutrality is eliminated. I’m going to steal a comment previously posted by /u/Skrattybones and repost here:

    2005 - Madison River Communications was blocking VOIP services. The FCC put a stop to it.

    2005 - Comcast was denying access to p2p services without notifying customers.

    2007 - 2009 - AT&T was having Skype and other VOIPs blocked because they didn’t like there was competition for their cellphones.

    2011 - MetroPCS tried to block all streaming except youtube. (edit: they actually sued the FCC over this)

    2011 - 2013 AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon were blocking access to Google Wallet because it competed with their bullshit. edit: this one happened literally months after the trio were busted collaborating with Google to block apps from the android marketplace

    2012 - Verizon was demanding google block tethering apps on Android because it let owners avoid their $20 tethering fee. This was despite guaranteeing they wouldn’t do that as part of a winning bid on an airwaves auction. (edit: they were fined $1.24 million over this)

    2012 - At&T tried to block access to FaceTime unless customers paid more money.

    2013 - Verizon literally stated that the only thing stopping them from favoring some content providers over other providers were the net neutrality rules in place.

    The foundation of Reason’s argument is that Net Neutrality is unnecessary because we’ve never had issues without it. I think this timeline shows just how crucial it really is to a free and open internet. "

  • Zenith (unregistered) in reply to Bubba

    Did they actively consent or was it corporate government's favorite trick of "if you don't like what we're about to do to you and charge you for, then leave or die?" Libertarians, for all of their talk about being left alone, always fall back to "choices" like that. Somebody presenting me with such a "choice" is no better than a marauder or mobster. No, when libertarians want to be left alone, the other half of that statement is usually "...to do unto others." They turn a blind eye to corporate tyranny despite being functionally identical to the government tyranny they rail against. If they followed their own advice, they would've just bailed out of whatever oppressive socialist prison they think they live in long ago.

    And @Dave, you're the one who brought up Nazis and Jews....for some reason, I guess. If anything, you're a shill or rent-seeker. All I've done is see through you. That's not a crime...yet.

  • Bubba (unregistered)

    Another angle is that I frequently encounter people talking about 'the internet' as if it is a singular entity that should be kept 'free' (unconstrained) to ensure unfettered access to all.

    There is no nebulous 'internet' out there to connect to.

    There exists a patchwork quilt of private networks that host content and services. You have no 'right' to any of it, beyond that which you contract & pay for.

    Looking over "Consumer Unit 5012"s list, I support the network providers' right to be doing all those things, except the 2012 Verizon tethering fee thing - they specifically said they wouldn't object in order to win an auction, then reneged...they deserved to be fined for that. At least they ultimately failed in their efforts. Charging for tethering was always a bullshit move, and I'm glad that OSS technology defeated such a blatant attempt to extract money from consumers while the network provider was offering zero additional value.

  • Anonymouse (unregistered) in reply to Derf Skren

    No, Derf, that's not actually true at all. We outside of the U.S. view the government as a corrupt and oppressive entity, which represents only the "hoi polloi" majority of folks who actually could be arsed to vote for the corrupt bastards again. Which is like the majority of like the 30-40% of the eligible voters. And it cannot be overthrown with our bump-stocked machine guns at any moment, because a) they have prohibited private gun ownership since the good old days of Hitler and Stalin, and b) the people who actually care and are vocal about it are already in prison and/or a mental institution, ostracized as radical right-/left-wing fanatics by the liberal (i.e. marxist) "cultural front" prevalent in most of Europe at least. It all comes with a tight internet censorship laws in most of the countries as a package, though; so "yay" i guess.

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