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December 20, 2010 7:20 PM   Subscribe

Everyone take a moment to enjoy the last night of the open internet
posted by T.D. Strange (139 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Google and Verizon pretty much wrote the laws they wanted. This shouldn't be much of a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:23 PM on December 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


TL;DR anyone?
posted by Malice at 7:23 PM on December 20, 2010


.
posted by jeffamaphone at 7:24 PM on December 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


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posted by theodolite at 7:25 PM on December 20, 2010 [87 favorites]


I could barely even get this letter form to load so I could send a message to my congresspeople about this. I can only imagine how it'll be on a non-neutral Internet...
posted by limeonaire at 7:32 PM on December 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am dismayed, but not surprised. We all knew it was coming. Where the hell is shrill republican obstructionism when you need it?!
posted by milarepa at 7:33 PM on December 20, 2010 [6 favorites]


Wireless carriers openly considering charging per service
posted by Tenuki at 7:34 PM on December 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Maybe I'm misreading this, but it seems to me that only mobile broadband is exempted from net neutrality. Don't get me wrong, this definitely sucks. However (and I am going to kick myself later for actually defending the telecoms) from a logistics point of view, I don't blame the telecoms for lobbying hard for this. Setting up the infrastructure for mobile broadband is incredibly expensive in this country because of (a) high costs of labor (technicians and engineers), and (b) how expansive and spread-out the population of the US is. By pushing for this legislation, they can do things like precaching and recompressing YouTube videos to save money (providing it through a cheaper channel), and then charging realistic rates for the other content. Again, a tiered internet is awful; however, there's a logic and business case to made for this.

One thing to look forward to: once they do get their networks up to speed, there's always the opportunity to reverse this in the future.
posted by spiderskull at 7:35 PM on December 20, 2010 [6 favorites]


This isn't a legislative issue. It's up to the FCC to define its own rules. I want some more information. This is one link, to an interested source. It's hard to tell what the lay of the land actually is. I don't doubt there might be something of concern here, but some more info and context would help make this seem a lot less like a hatchet job.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:36 PM on December 20, 2010 [5 favorites]


One thing to look forward to: once they do get their networks up to speed, there's always the opportunity to reverse this in the future.

You're funny :D
posted by milarepa at 7:37 PM on December 20, 2010 [62 favorites]


I don't doubt there might be something of concern here, but some more info and context would help make this seem a lot less like a hatchet job.

It's been covered on the blue before, at this point it's a done deal, the vote is tomorrow. Nothing else to be done.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:39 PM on December 20, 2010


Everyone take a moment to enjoy the last night of the open internet
A more accurate statement would be "Enjoy the last night of a closed internet that won't be opened up as much as Net Neutrality advocates would like."

There is no legal protection for Net Neutrality in the U.S. The new FCC regulations would create some. It's amazing how many people don't seem to understand this. The FCC lost a court case recently about their ability to enforce net neutrality under their old rules. The new rules could fix that. But it's only for wired networks, and I guess there are some loopholes.

If the rules don't pass, the phone companies will be able to do whatever they want. People are disappointing, but the rules would be an improvement over the current situation.

People really need to get their facts straight. Ugh.
Google and Verizon pretty much wrote the laws they wanted.
Pretty much, and since Net Neutrality lost it's biggest financial backer, there's been hardly any promotion of this.
posted by delmoi at 7:40 PM on December 20, 2010 [14 favorites]


For those of us without a lick of technical sense, can someone spell out how exactly we're getting screwed? What's actually going to change?
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 7:41 PM on December 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Al Franken has been very outspoken in his opposition to the proposed rule-making. Here's his HuffPost piece from this morning. Franken is one of the few people in Congress who seems to actually get it and doesn't have the cable companies' cocks in his mouth all the time.
posted by briank at 7:43 PM on December 20, 2010 [16 favorites]


I am dismayed, but not surprised. We all knew it was coming. Where the hell is shrill republican obstructionism when you need it?!
The republicans are shrilly opposing the rules. But they can't do anything because it's up to the FCC governors board, not congress. But the republicans oppose this and want the phone companies to "regulate themselves"

Just to clarify: the new FCC rules protect net neutrality on wired networks. Right now, ISPs could theoretically charge Youtube, netflix, etc extra if they wanted too. They haven't much yet, probably because of the uncertainty about the future. but if these rules don't pass they will be able to. If the regulations don't pass they won't.

So the regulations are better then the status quo, legally. However Net Neutrality advocates view this as a sellout.

One of the reasons the compromise is actually so bad is because of the election. The FCC chair has said that the election "narrowed" what he was able to do.
posted by delmoi at 7:44 PM on December 20, 2010 [12 favorites]


Can someone just tell me if this comment and this comment are still relevant and applicable to the situation?
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 7:46 PM on December 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


as someone who even lobbied for net neutrality a few years ago, my rage meter is broken. this is the straw that broke this camel's back. am starting my "DONT VOTE" campaign for 2012.
posted by liza at 7:48 PM on December 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


Al Franken has been very outspoken in his opposition to the proposed rule-making. Here's his HuffPost piece from this morning
Here's an important paragraph from Franken's peice:
After all, just look at Comcast -- this Internet monolith has reportedly imposed a new, recurring fee on Level 3 Communications, the company slated to be the primary online delivery provider for Netflix. That's the same Netflix that represents Comcast's biggest competition in video services.

Imagine if Comcast customers couldn't watch Netflix, but were limited only to Comcast's Video On Demand service. Imagine if a cable news network could get its website to load faster on your computer than your favorite local political blog. Imagine if big corporations with their own agenda could decide who wins or loses online. The Internet as we know it would cease to exist.
The problem is we don't have to imagine Comcast is already doing that. They're already trying to block netflix, or charge them more. That's because there is nothing stopping them.

Net Neutrality advocates want stronger rules. And I assume they know what they're talking about, maybe holding out for better rules is a better strategy. But it's important that people understand that the Rules are an improvement over the status quo (just like, for example the HCR bill is an improvement over the status quo, while not not going as far as Healthcare reform advocates wanted)
posted by delmoi at 7:49 PM on December 20, 2010 [11 favorites]


For those of us without a lick of technical sense, can someone spell out how exactly we're getting screwed? What's actually going to change?

You will pay even more for access to the public Internet than you did yesterday. Some parts of the Internet will cost more than others, at the discretion of your local Internet service monopolies.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:49 PM on December 20, 2010 [5 favorites]


I am Canadian. Does this concern me, and if so, how?
posted by Sternmeyer at 7:50 PM on December 20, 2010


But it's only for wired networks, and I guess there are some loopholes.

That's more than a loophole. How much longer will there be such a thing as consumer wired Internet? Ten years? Less? Plenty of people are already using Clear and other WiMax services, and when they become a little more widely deployed and suck a little less, who is going to want to take the day off work to wait for the Comcast guy — who is pretty much guaranteed not to show during the 4-hour window — ever again? And at that point this regulation becomes a dead letter.
posted by enn at 7:52 PM on December 20, 2010


am starting my "DONT VOTE" campaign for 2012.

That will surely help you get what you want!
posted by dersins at 7:53 PM on December 20, 2010 [29 favorites]


Obama's 'Mission Accomplished'

oh for fucks sake get some perspective you fucking nerds
posted by nathancaswell at 7:57 PM on December 20, 2010 [29 favorites]


It's a pendulum, folks...

Back in the day, I paid by the minute for long distance telcom fees to use my uberslow modem to access gopher....

then came cable, and WOW, no LD fees, I went nuts, downloading crap left and right...software, music, images, eventually movies....

The infrastructure got better, service got better, prices got cheaper... I remember my wife being amazed that my playing chess with someone in Sweden wasn't costing me money...

But.. someone has to pay the piper eventually..

I hate that it might cost me what it's worth to use the net, but, it doesn't seem unfair...
posted by HuronBob at 7:59 PM on December 20, 2010


Well, if it will stop people from fiddling with their toys at all hours of the day and night (esp. while driving), then I'm all for it. If people are addicted to these damn things, why not make'em pay up, just like cigarettes?
posted by Old'n'Busted at 8:00 PM on December 20, 2010


So wait, Bill Gates finally pushed his tax on Hotmail through Congress! Outraged!!
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:04 PM on December 20, 2010


I am Canadian. Does this concern me, and if so, how?
posted by Sternmeyer at 10:50 PM on December 20


yes.

if Comcast gets away with screwing Level 3 (the main delivery provider for Netflix) and forcing them to pay for the right to deliver the content, then we could have ISPs all over the country charging webhosts (and web hosts passing on the cost to website owners) for the privilege to being "found" by any or all of their subscribers.

so it could conceivably happen that a web host would charge website owners for the "new privilege" of Canadian traffic if, for example, Rogers decided they could get away with blackholing whole IPs who havent paid them the bribe. and if that's the case, small website owners like me would have to decide how much we could afford for the new privilege of unfettered world-wide-web traffic.

the googles of the world dont give a shit about the net neutrality of small sites like mine as long as they have theirs. of course, once the billions of pageviews they sell in advertising are reduced by hundreds of millions, then we're going to have a whole different discussion. but at this point, what with the billions in cash they have to throw around, they really dont care.
posted by liza at 8:07 PM on December 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Correct me if I'm wrong (and I'm almost certain someone will!), but didn't the Telcos escape responsibility for content found on their network because they were 'common carriers' and had to carry all traffic equally?

It seems to me that once you start discriminating against traffic, by way of price or degradation of signal, you as a carrier would lose that protection, and become responsible for content. (Not to say I don't like the idea of Comcast being prosecuted for something illegal found on the web, but I digress...)

Or am I so old and out of it nowadays that I just don't realize the world has changed?
posted by pjern at 8:08 PM on December 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


Mobile Carriers Dream of Charging per Page
Just a week before the FCC holds a vote on whether to apply fairness rules to some of the nation’s internet service providers, two companies that sell their services to the country’s largest cellular companies showed off a different vision of the future: one where you’ll have to pay extra to watch YouTube or use Facebook.

The companies, Allot Communications and Openet — suppliers to large wireless companies including AT&T and Verizon — showed off a new product in a web seminar Tuesday, which included a PowerPoint presentation (1.5-MB .pdf) that was sent to Wired by a trusted source.

The idea? Make it possible for your wireless provider to monitor everything you do online and charge you extra for using Facebook, Skype or Netflix. For instance, in the seventh slide of the above PowerPoint, a Vodafone user would be charged two cents per MB for using Facebook, three euros a month to use Skype and $0.50 monthly for a speed-limited version of YouTube. But traffic to Vodafone’s services would be free, allowing the mobile carrier to create video services that could undercut NetFlix on price.
So basically this for mobile devices, which are increasingly becoming the dominant method of accessing the internet for most people.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:08 PM on December 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I am Canadian. Does this concern me, and if so, how?
Maybe. US policy sometimes convinces Canadian politicians to push for the same. Although your government has a much higher average IQ than ours, so I'm not sure you have to worry about that.
posted by XerxesQados at 8:09 PM on December 20, 2010


That's more than a loophole. How much longer will there be such a thing as consumer wired Internet? Ten years? Less?

Wired internet will be slow and shit compared to wired internet for a good long while yet.
posted by markr at 8:10 PM on December 20, 2010


Although your government has a much higher average IQ than ours, so I'm not sure you have to worry about that.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:15 PM on December 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Correct me if I'm wrong (and I'm almost certain someone will!), but didn't the Telcos escape responsibility for content found on their network because they were 'common carriers' and had to carry all traffic equally? posted by pjern at 8:08 PM on December 20

I would also like an answer to this
posted by rebent at 8:15 PM on December 20, 2010


So that means visiting 4chan will be free?
posted by TwelveTwo at 8:18 PM on December 20, 2010


But.. someone has to pay the piper eventually..

I think we've already paid...

How the Phone Companies Are Screwing America: The $320 Billion Broadband Rip-Off
posted by Tenuki at 8:19 PM on December 20, 2010 [13 favorites]


I don't think the mobile carriers are going to really make much of a change. For one thing, there's still some competition in the market. Do you really think AT&T is going to start charging for something when the know the next day Verizon's will trumpet that "it's free" on their network? If multiple carriers announced tiered pricing all at the same time, they be investigated for collusion.

I also think that there are some large corporations, say Google or Cisco, that would love to get into the market if they thought they had a real advantage, and offering an "neutral network" would be one way to do that if the mobile carriers went to tiered pricing. Google already made an attempt to buy into mobile spectrum (or at least made a bid to force more openness in the arena.)
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:24 PM on December 20, 2010


I respect Delmoi's take on this, because I know he's followed Net Neutrality issues closely over time from reading these kinds of threads in the past, but I can understand why some are concerned. If wireless networks/devices aren't covered under the rules, that's a pretty big gap. However, don't most people still get their services over wired connections?
posted by saulgoodman at 8:31 PM on December 20, 2010


Meanwhile, this pdf link includes the actual proposed regulations...all 2 pages of them, which are strangely absent from all of the frothy outrage on all the various blogs.

Some opponents seem to think that the phrase 'subject to reasonable network management' is a one-way street which will result in the complete destruction of all consumer protections immediately, while other opponents think that the the FCC will have way too much power and will push everyone around. Almost nobody is happy, probably because almost nobody is able to articulate precisely what the rules would mean in practice, or exactly what they should be.

By the way, wireless in this context refers to mobile phone data networks, and not really to things like the newly available whitespace which will be open to anyone in similar fashion to wifi now (only over a much greater area and at much higher speeds).
posted by anigbrowl at 8:34 PM on December 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


"How much longer will there be such a thing as consumer wired Internet? Ten years? Less? Plenty of people are already using Clear and other WiMax services, and when they become a little more widely deployed and suck a little less, who is going to want to take the day off work to wait for the Comcast guy — who is pretty much guaranteed not to show during the 4-hour window — ever again?"

I don't know. Logically speaking, this decision should be a knockout blow to wireless service in the US. (Other than for low bandwidth uses like email.) Because who would want to pay extra for a metered service, when you can get the same thing on the wired net for a monthly fee? Wireless should stagnate and shrink, while the regular wired Internet surges into the future. But people already pay extra for bottled water when they can get it cheaper out of the tap, and they pay by the minute for cellphone service instead of using landlines, so who really knows. Consumers are funny creatures that act in unpredictable ways. Maybe the big telcos already have this figured out.
posted by Kevin Street at 8:38 PM on December 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


I love how, in that .pdf anigbrowl linked, the definition of "reasonable network management" is completely circular.
posted by brina at 8:42 PM on December 20, 2010



You will pay even more for access to the public Internet than you did yesterday. Some parts of the Internet will cost more than others, at the discretion of your local Internet service monopolies.
That is the one thing the new rules will PREVENT. At least on wired internet connections, not wireless. But without the rules, there is nothing at all preventing that legally.

So the change will be that Net Neutrality will be legally protected unlike the current situation where it is not
posted by delmoi at 8:43 PM on December 20, 2010 [16 favorites]


Damn facts, not making me angry enough! I'll show 'em.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:45 PM on December 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Nothing like MeFi for my daily does of hyperbole and paranoia.
posted by Argyle at 8:46 PM on December 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


Maybe I'm misreading this, but it seems to me that only mobile broadband is exempted from net neutrality

No. If they're going with Google and Verizon's proposal, the free pass for non-neutrality is not limited to wireless. This sentence from Google and Verizon's joint statement a while ago was referring to "wireline" ISPs: "Our proposal would allow broadband providers to offer additional, differentiated online services, in addition to the Internet".

Let that sink in for a moment: Online services, in addition to the Internet.

It is well-documented that comcast cable internet already has an unspecified monthly transfer cap, and that downloading in excess of it can get you banned from using their service. Presumably, despite being IP-based, comcast's VoIP and on-demand video are the kind of "in addition to the internet" services for which special treatment will be OK under this new rule. Eg, there could be a cheap comcast plan with a few GB of "internet" transfers but unlimited access to comcast's "non-internet" services. (Please, pay no attention to the Internet Protocol behind the curtain.)

But, even if it was just wireless users getting the shaft, would that really be OK? I don't think so.

For a large and growing number of people, wireless broadband is the only broadband available.

When Verizon's LTE launches next month, for many American households it will be the first broadband ever available. Their data plans are expected to start with a 5GB/month transfer quota. What many people aren't yet aware of is that in the not-too-distant future, Verizon plans to have lots of paid and ad-subsidized apps in their app store which include app-specific bandwidth allowances. So, if you want to watch videos on YouTube, Netflix, or Hulu, you won't need to worry about using up your quota. But if you want to download a few high quality movies from archive.org or my self-hosted blog, you'll need to carefully choose how you spend your limited quota of "internet" downloads. If LTE delivers over 20Mbit as they're promising, it will take about 30 minutes to exhaust a 5GB quota.

This is the kind of internet experience many people will be having in 2011 upon finally getting better-than-modem speeds in their homes.

.
posted by finite at 8:46 PM on December 20, 2010 [5 favorites]


They're not literally adopting the "Google/Verizon Plan" are they? I mean, Google and Verizon aren't literally writing the rules--that's just how it's being spun, I think. I'm pretty sure the FCC writes its own rules.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:49 PM on December 20, 2010


Well, at least, this time.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:49 PM on December 20, 2010


Nothing like MeFi for my daily does of hyperbole and paranoia.

It only took four months for your accusations to be proved completely wrong.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:50 PM on December 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's a pendulum, folks...


The infrastructure got better, service got better, prices got cheaper... I remember my wife being amazed that my playing chess with someone in Sweden wasn't costing me money...

But.. someone has to pay the piper eventually..
Right, just like how it used to const a fortune for slow computers. Then over years they got faster and cheaper. And now we're all back to Apple IIs and they cost $5000. Technology goes in circles.

Oh wait. That's not what happened at all. This isn't about what the internet "actually costs". This is monopolies trying to leech the value out of what's going through their networks, so they can give that money to stockholders. One thing to remember, though is that because of the internet, cable and phone companies have seen people abandoning their

And for reasons I cannot fathom, lots of people seem totally confused about what's actually being proposed -- which is to prevent that from happening on existing, wired networks. It's weaker then what people, including the FCC commissioner proposing the rules, actually wanted.
posted by delmoi at 8:51 PM on December 20, 2010 [10 favorites]


Well you heard it here first folks. Obama's creatin' tcp/ip death panels. Begin the thawing of Ralph Nader.
posted by condour75 at 8:52 PM on December 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


They're not literally adopting the "Google/Verizon Plan" are they? I mean, Google and Verizon aren't literally writing the rules--that's just how it's being spun, I think. I'm pretty sure the FCC writes its own rules.
The basic idea is the same as what Google and Verizon worked out. They literally held their meetings at the FCC headquarters. Also Lobbyists write a lot of actual laws that congress passes. (2)
posted by delmoi at 8:54 PM on December 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


So basically this for mobile devices, which are increasingly becoming the dominant method of accessing the internet for most people.

The result of this hopefully is that mobile will not become the dominant method of accessing the internet when people realize what they have to pay to access it. The TELCOs lose wads of cash, and bribe the FCC to change it's policy.

If multiple carriers announced tiered pricing all at the same time, they be investigated for collusion.

You surely are kidding right? They would have been charged with collusion thirty years ago. It's a brave new world today. Cash rules and our government seems to be sliding into banana republic levels of corruption.
posted by dibblda at 8:55 PM on December 20, 2010 [5 favorites]


For a large and growing number of people, wireless broadband is the only broadband available.

Is that really true? Can you point to any statistics to back up that claim? It'd be really interesting to me, if it were true, and I guess it's possible, but I find it doubtful.

I don't think I personally know anyone who primarily gets their broadband access via mobile broadband. On a home wireless networks maybe, but then, those are ultimately wired connections, and so would fall under the neutrality protections. But not mobile. And maybe it's just the people I know.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:55 PM on December 20, 2010


And for reasons I cannot fathom, lots of people seem totally confused about what's actually being proposed -- which is to prevent that from happening on existing, wired networks.

Some honest think-about-it questions: Do you think that wired networks are the future of Internet connectivity? Do you think that this will encourage telecom companies to one day provide unrestricted wired network access to rural areas they don't even bother to support today?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:56 PM on December 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


Almost nobody is happy, probably because almost nobody is able to articulate precisely what the rules would mean in practice, or exactly what they should be.

I find this to be the most comforting aspect of all of this. If nobody is happy, that generally indicates a compromise of at least SOME merit. anigbrowl's link is full of reasonable sounding language with phrases like "Subject to reasonable network management, a provider of broadband Internet access service may not deprive any of its users of the user’s entitlement to competition among network providers, application providers, service providers, and content providers." If anything, it seems slightly toothless, but I don't think that's any reason to fly off the handle into COMCAST WON'T LET ME USE NETFLIX hysteria.

Hell, aren't most smartphones (except mine) WiFi enabled anyway? Screw the wireless companies if they decided to charge per MB.
posted by Existential Dread at 8:56 PM on December 20, 2010


Also Lobbyists write a lot of actual laws that congress passes. (2)

Well, I know that, but in this case, I didn't think the FCC were literally adopting rules drafted by Google/Verizon. Is that what they're doing, or is that an exaggeration?
posted by saulgoodman at 8:58 PM on December 20, 2010


IANA will be out of IPv4 blocks in February anyway.
posted by humanfont at 8:58 PM on December 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Do you think that wired networks are the future of Internet connectivity?

Judging by the speed and general lack of utility of my smartphone (and the fact that I'm using a laptop to do anything meaningful related to the internet) I don't particularly believe that mobile broadband is going to become the only way of accessing the internet. Then again, I'm not really an early adopter.
posted by Existential Dread at 9:01 PM on December 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Some honest think-about-it questions: Do you think that wired networks are the future of Internet connectivity?

Yes, for two reasons: Most people are still going to be using the internet indoors, and I think you will always be able to get better speeds over wires then wireless with everyone sharing bandwidth. I just don't see how everyone in a town is going to be able to access the internet at gigabit speeds over the airwaves.

I'm only talking about ISP access, though. Going the "last meter" with things like wifi are totally unaffected. So even if you use a laptop in a coffee shops or libraries or whatever, you'll still be hooked up to the internet through a wired connection.
posted by delmoi at 9:08 PM on December 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


> HuronBob: I hate that it might cost me what it's worth to use the net, but, it doesn't seem unfair...

*blink* Are we suggesting a "pay what you can be squeezed for" pricing scheme, complete with a pre-signup bank-account audit? ;)

Anyway, given the pricing schemes of Comcast, et. al. I have to wonder how these guys stay in business:
https://epbfi.com/you-pick/#/
(For those who don't want to play with their JavaScript driven monstrosity, they offer 1gbps symmetric for ~$350/mo or 100mbps symmetric for ~$140/mo)

Have I mentioned that this is in Chattanooga, TN?
posted by simoncion at 9:10 PM on December 20, 2010


Well, I know that, but in this case, I didn't think the FCC were literally adopting rules drafted by Google/Verizon. Is that what they're doing, or is that an exaggeration?
Well, Google/Verizon only outlined "general principles" that they agreed on, I'm not aware of anything in this deal that doesn't mesh with the "principles" they articulated.
posted by delmoi at 9:10 PM on December 20, 2010


I don't think I personally know anyone who primarily gets their broadband access via mobile broadband. On a home wireless networks maybe, but then, those are ultimately wired connections, and so would fall under the neutrality protections. But not mobile. And maybe it's just the people I know.

ClearWire is pretty popular in my neck of the woods. For a lot of the people around here it is that or dial-up. I have one of their modems as a backup for my at times unreliable DSL connection.
posted by Tenuki at 9:11 PM on December 20, 2010


Change.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:13 PM on December 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


If ISPs do not currently do an adequate job of bringing (wired) broadband access to rural areas, do you think this kind of tiered pricing encourages monopolies to further establish broadband for rural clients, when higher tiers are more profitable?

If people's current experience with DSL is anything to go by, telecoms are pushing for more profitable services that will continue the existing divide. In the case of DSL, by using slow and poor quality technical support to DSL customers as a means to up-sell more expensive services.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:14 PM on December 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Judging by the speed and general lack of utility of my smartphone (and the fact that I'm using a laptop to do anything meaningful related to the internet) I don't particularly believe that mobile broadband is going to become the only way of accessing the internet.

Already there are billboards for Mifi-style 3G or 4G-to-Wifi hotspots everywhere here, plus Clear WiMax — and this is just the stuff that is advertised heavily enough around Chicago for me to see it. You can get an unlimited wireless plan for $40 or $50 a month. Yes, it's unreliable. Yes, the nominal speeds are not as good as cable and the real speeds are even worse. Yes, the latency is completely shit. But there is no reason to assume that's going to be the way it is in ten years. Ten years ago everyone had a landline, only 35% of the population had a cell phone, and hardly anybody ever sent a text message.

Yes, for two reasons: Most people are still going to be using the internet indoors, and I think you will always be able to get better speeds over wires then wireless with everyone sharing bandwidth. I just don't see how everyone in a town is going to be able to access the internet at gigabit speeds over the airwaves.

How many people access the internet at gigabit speeds now? If you mean speeds of 1 gigabit per second, I've never lived anywhere where anything approaching that was available to consumers. And unlike wireless speeds, consumer wired Internet bandwidth has been stagnant for years unless you are lucky enough to live in one of the very few places with Fios or the like.
posted by enn at 9:20 PM on December 20, 2010


Judging by the speed and general lack of utility of my smartphone

My hopes aren't too high for the wired internet either, judging by the speed of my telegraph.
posted by washburn at 9:20 PM on December 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm just disappointed.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:26 PM on December 20, 2010


Site off-line
The site is currently not available due to technical problems. Please try again later. Thank you for your understanding.

If you are the maintainer of this site, please check your database settings in the settings.php file and ensure that your hosting provider's database server is running. For more help, see the handbook, or contact your hosting provider.

The mysql error was: Too many connections.

posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 9:28 PM on December 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


The site is down, but the letter isn't.
posted by Cranberry at 9:29 PM on December 20, 2010


How many people access the internet at gigabit speeds now? If you mean speeds of 1 gigabit per second, I've never lived anywhere where anything approaching that was available to consumers.

Right but it isn't even possible to have everyone have those speeds over wireless networks, as far as I know. The fact that isn't broadly available (although simoncion linked too a company offering it in Chattanooga, TN) isn't a technical limitation, it's just economics.

One nice thing about wireless networking, though, is that there are lots of providers. Since there's no single hookup like with cable/DSL/fiber you can switch easily.

If competition from wireless grows stronger, wired providers will up their game on the bandwidth they offer.
posted by delmoi at 9:34 PM on December 20, 2010


Dear Rural America you want socialism, you better start voting for it, until then enjoy getting p0wned by your lagtime in every FPS becaue of your shitty broadband.
posted by humanfont at 9:40 PM on December 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Right but it isn't even possible to have everyone have those speeds over wireless networks, as far as I know.

You probably know more about this than I do. Do you know what the theoretical bandwidth limits are for the available spectrum? It seems like you could just add cells and decrease range, but maybe I'm missing something.

If competition from wireless grows stronger, wired providers will up their game on the bandwidth they offer.

No, if competition from wireless grows stronger, wired providers will start making noise about how terribly unfair it is that they are shackled by a bunch of crazy hippie net neutrality regulations that don't apply to their wireless competitors, and eventually the FCC will cave and then everyone will have tiered pricing.
posted by enn at 9:44 PM on December 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


delmoi: If competition from wireless grows stronger, wired providers will up their game on the bandwidth they offer.

I see this as (among other things) a preemptive strike by Verizon/ATT et al, against exactly the kind of wireless competition youre thinking about. Established monopoly providers are the only game in town. Startup costs + legislative capture in favor of monopoly interests effectively prevents any other provider from coming into the market, and these new rules are another example of established interests asserting their power. If those same providers are the only ones allowed to dictate terms of any future advances beyond the current "wired network" as defined by the FCC, the game is already up. They've just cornered the market on 'next-gen' wireless networks, and in the same action, opened a loophole to dictate terms on all future developed network technologies.

It's an opening salvo, not an endgame, and the FCC got rolled really without a fight.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:49 PM on December 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I have an FCC license. Should I burn it?
posted by clavdivs at 9:50 PM on December 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


If competition from wireless grows stronger, by definition it will be because customers find it more advantageous than wired internet. Otherwise they wouldn't have any incentive to drop their wireline service, would they?
posted by anigbrowl at 9:52 PM on December 20, 2010


I have an FCC license. Should I burn it?

Sell it. Apparently it's worth billions.
posted by anigbrowl at 9:54 PM on December 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ah, the FCC... prioritizing corporate interests in communications since 1934.

"Whoever controls radio broadcasting in the future will eventually control the nation." -- Edward
Nicholas Nockels, WCFL ("Chicago's Voice of Labor")
posted by scody at 9:59 PM on December 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I have no idea what's up with the weird line breaks in my comment, but I blame the FCC.
posted by scody at 10:00 PM on December 20, 2010


Setting up the infrastructure for mobile broadband is incredibly expensive in this country because of (a) high costs of labor (technicians and engineers), and (b) how expansive and spread-out the population of the US is

American tax dollars and Congressional tax breaks, over years, have paid for almost all wired infrastructure.

Re: wireless: bandwidth is theoretically unlimited, but anyone who controls wireless "pipes" can find ways to make bandwidth a scarce resource, in service of profit.
posted by Vibrissae at 10:09 PM on December 20, 2010


Re: wireless: bandwidth is theoretically unlimited
Talk is cheap. I'd like to see you back that assertion up with some actual numbers/sources.
posted by anigbrowl at 10:19 PM on December 20, 2010


Oh, FCC, is there nothing you can't do?
posted by maxwelton at 10:48 PM on December 20, 2010


Re: speed / bandwidth: Part of the confusion is that what is currently touted as "4G" ain't 4G - it's "the marketing department wanted a number bigger than 3G". Real 4G - the ITU standard - is now not expected to be ratified until 2012.

The ITU's 4G specs call for a) 1Gbps to stationary clients, and b) a nominal data rate of 100Mbps to 'fast moving' clients. Last I saw, the most successful test for a moving client (@ 10km/h) was a peak rate of 300Mbps, and an average rate of "about 1.5 times 3G". Since the 3G standard doesn't specify a mean or peak data rate for either fixed or mobile use (and it's somewhat implementation-dependant), that could mean anything between ~ 4.5 and 36 Mbps.

I suspect there's a way to go before 4G matches its promises…

Re: the "we can just increase the number of cells" argument : Yes, up to a point. But, alongside that and ignoring the cost per user issue, I believe that current wait times for new base station approvals in the US is stretching out to 4~5 years (last I heard, it's 1.5-3 years here in Oz). Microcells and picocells are often given as a solution to that problem; my response is that you've got to connect them to the network somehow too - and, at the moment, that means fibre.

On preview: Vibrissae: "Re: wireless: bandwidth is theoretically unlimited …"

Really? Somebody had better tell the physicists that certain fundamental problems have been solved…
posted by Pinback at 10:56 PM on December 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


"Re: wireless: bandwidth is theoretically unlimited"

Wow. You really are wrong about many things, Vibrissae. Please note that the Shannon–Hartley theorem establishes a firm upper limit on the amount of information that can be transmitted for a set frequency range in the presence of noise (hint: you will not remove the noise). Wireless is running up against Shannon limitations as we speak; the use of multiple channels is a response to this but is one that imposes its own costs due to increased spectrum required and increased design complexity.

Further information may be found here, if you want a simple grounder: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2010/explained-shannon-0115.html

You may believe otherwise, of course; if you can prove it you can have a Nobel and retire on a tropical island on the telecoms patent royalties.
posted by jaduncan at 10:57 PM on December 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know, as my kids get older, I could take a page from this playbook. I have a router with QoS, and I could throttle the living hell out of any services I didn't want them using, unless they pay me back from their allowances and (eventually) part-time jobs. Meanwhile, access to the public library online would be unthrottled.

note to self: put lock on bedroom door and don't keep knives in the house before implementing this plan
posted by davejay at 11:49 PM on December 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Do you know what the theoretical bandwidth limits are for the available spectrum?

The wikipedia of a million lies says that wimax can in theory get 3.7bps per Hz of bandwidth, and Clearwire has "on average" 120MHz of bandwidth, so the total available in the spectrum would be about 500Mbps.

Presumably effective bandwidth would be half that, so each cell could support maybe ten users going full speed.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:58 PM on December 20, 2010


Sell it. Apparently it's worth billions.

well, the guidelines I cannot sell, burn, or transfer it.
oh, i see the law has loop holes.
will my bill be higher?
posted by clavdivs at 12:00 AM on December 21, 2010


Re: wireless: bandwidth is theoretically unlimited

I think I see what you're getting at, but I still wouldn't want a handheld device that communicated over the gamma frequencies.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:04 AM on December 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


am starting my "DONT VOTE" campaign for 2012.

Concerned that your voice isn't being heard? Feel like your representative doesn't even know you exist? Put those worries to rest with our new breakthrough electoral methodology! For only one easy payment of $20, same as in town...
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 1:44 AM on December 21, 2010


The topic today is net neutrality. The internet today is an open platform where the demand for websites and services dictates success. You've got barriers to entry that are low and equal for all comers. And it's because the internet is a neutral platform that I can put on this podcast and transmit it over the internet without having to go through some corporate media middleman. I can say what I want without censorship. I don't have to pay a special charge. But the big telephone and cable companies want to change the internet as we know it. They say they want to create high-speed lanes on the internet and strike exclusive contractual arrangements with internet content-providers for access to those high-speed lanes. Those of us who can't pony up the cash for these high-speed connections will be relegated to the slow lanes.

Obama's podcast on network neutrality, which pretty much sealed my vote for him. The amazing thing is this isn't being done by some supply-side jesus fundamentalist - he knows what's at stake here.

Senator Obama discusses network neutrality on MTV

Normally I hate it when people chime in with defeatist, anti-voting sentiments. But if this is what happens when we elect people who understand the issues, I think I'll just stay home in 2012.
posted by heathkit at 2:10 AM on December 21, 2010 [3 favorites]




I have an FCC license. Should I burn it?

Sell it. Apparently it's worth billions.


LOL - I suspect one of these tickets is what he has. Probably a second class.
posted by notreally at 3:57 AM on December 21, 2010


Separate is inherently unequal.

FWIW, there was a professor/legal scholar from Iowa on Rachel Maddow last night, who agreed that these regs are shitty - but he is of the firm belief that they will be litgated and, ultimately, not stand.

Fingers crossed.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 4:55 AM on December 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Fuck, this is bad, and I understand you Delmoi, but this just isn't enough.
posted by fake at 5:53 AM on December 21, 2010


It's Andrea again. I have made my living selling goods and services online since 1994.

This is a horrible turn of events for us content creators. YouTube almost certainly wouldn't have come to be under this setup.

There are not laws enforcing Net Neutrality, but there have been "rules of the road" and other similar non-law policies by the FCC. The whole thing basically boils down to this: the telcos are now allowed to play favorites, and unless you are already a Very Big Company you will not be one of those favorites.

Also: how long do you think wired networks are going to matter? By the way, if you are in the Mountain West, how good is your wired network now? (Answer: crappy, unless you are near a 100k+ population center.) Wireless has been the direction for a long, long time. It will continue to be so, and it will now continue with the telcos picking winners and losers.

I'm betting that the telcos pick themselves to be the winners.
posted by andreaazure at 6:10 AM on December 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


i'm reading those draft regulations (posted by anigbrowl at 11:34 PM on December 20) and do not see anything indicating wireless providers are treated differently than normal ISPs - what am i missing? are people interpreting "dial-up access requiring an end user to initiate a call across the public switched telephone network" as excluding wireless service providers? because i don't think that's what that means?

these draft regs say ISPs can engage in "reasonable network management" before complying with net neutrality. i have no idea how net neutrality, if at all, is currently enforced...

RNM is pretty broadly defined - what entails a "reasonable practice employed to reduce network congestion" ? seems like this could easily justify practices that people would rightly disclaim as being non-net neutral. but at the end of the day won't it just come down to how these regs are enforced?

the only thing these regs seem to clearly indicate is that the following is acceptable: "preventing the transfer of unlawful content" and "preventing the unlawful transfer of content" - these draft regs seem to give ISPs the green light to employ practices to enforce copyright laws subject to a reasonableness standard...
posted by lulz at 6:27 AM on December 21, 2010


I'm reading that the GOP plans oversight hearings on these proposed rules once they take over Congress next month, so whatever the FCC decides may be (somewhat or mostly) moot. Those who know more, please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
posted by blucevalo at 6:38 AM on December 21, 2010


But.. someone has to pay the piper eventually

This reasoning is based on false premises: bandwidth is not a commodity in the traditional sense. Once the infrastructure is in place there's very little additional cost burden. It's not like gold or coal where you need to hire X more people if you want to mine Y more minerals. It doesn't take ten times the personnel to manage ten times the bandwidth. The bits and packets mostly take care of themselves, you just have to keep the lights on. Prices should be going way down… and they are, in the rest of the developed world. Just not here.

If the U.S. has no problem ceding its technological lead to Europe or Asia they have no right to complain when they lose all those lucrative tech jobs that were supposed to "save" our piece of shit economy.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:48 AM on December 21, 2010 [8 favorites]


to give ISPs the green light to employ practices to enforce copyright laws subject to a reasonableness standard...

bahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

there is no such thing as " employ practices to enforce copyright laws subject to a reasonableness standard" because the DMCA is a law created to kill the due process of "innocent until proven guilty" inherent in Fair Use. i've been at the receiving end, as a content creator, of the "reasonableness standards". People Magazine basically went to the ISP, not the web host mind you, but the ISP and demanded they block the IP were my site resides until i'd remove completely an image of a fucking cover of a magazine (!) i used to right about .... wait for it .... FAIR USE.

yes, i wrote a post about FAIR USE using an image of HELLO! Magazine (not even People) and they under the DMCA had the right to have the ISP pull the plug on my WEB HOST without a court order.

so now with this bogus net neutrality access and policing of the internet are completely in the hands of corporations. completely.

"reasonable standard"? should be the new "change we can believe in".
posted by liza at 6:51 AM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


After reading this thread, I'm somewhat confused.
Is Google still not doing evil, or on they on the way to the darker side?
posted by annekenstein at 7:09 AM on December 21, 2010


Is Google still not doing evil, or on they on the way to the darker side?

Theyre helping put a snazzy new user interface over the old evil of corporate power.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:14 AM on December 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


I used to be hopeless about everything except the internet. Then I learned about the Net Neutrality debate, and realized that there is basically zero hope of any human society ever being a wonderful place to live.
posted by LiteOpera at 7:37 AM on December 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


Obama's 'Mission Accomplished'

DONT VOTE 2012

Really, people? I'm starting to wonder which side of the political spectrum the Onion is lampooning here.
posted by notswedish at 7:48 AM on December 21, 2010


I'm going to turn my homepage black in honor of this decision.
posted by hijinx at 7:52 AM on December 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is all too much for me to read in depth - can someone tell me what happens to websites like WikiLeaks in the new world?
posted by Dragonness at 7:55 AM on December 21, 2010


"This is all too much for me to read in depth - can someone tell me what happens to websites like WikiLeaks in the new world?"

This doesn't directly necessarily impact Wikileaks, but the actual site could quite possibly blocked as illegal content. Most people don't consume the information via the Wikileaks website though; it's not like people are going to ban the NYT.
posted by jaduncan at 8:12 AM on December 21, 2010


Well this clinches it. As soon as I can find a job overseas/in canada, I'm leaving. At least until you guys get all this sorted out. I'm sick and fucking tired of it.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 8:34 AM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Correct me if I'm wrong (and I'm almost certain someone will!), but didn't the Telcos escape responsibility for content found on their network because they were 'common carriers' and had to carry all traffic equally? posted by pjern at 8:08 PM on December 20

No, ISPs in the US are not common carriers like traditional telephone carriers. If they were, they would be unable to filter spam and DDOS attacks, and could be held liable for lost or dropped traffic. That said, ISPs are generally not held liable for the content of their networks, and one solution to the net neutrality issue would be to declare the ISPs common carriers, which would pretty much forbid them from the proposed filtering and surcharges.
posted by Blackanvil at 8:40 AM on December 21, 2010


Well this clinches it. As soon as I can find a job overseas/in canada, I'm leaving. At least until you guys get all this sorted out. I'm sick and fucking tired of it.

This brings up something else - to what extent would the new rules affect everyone globally? Maybe that sounds like a dumb question, but it seems that with US-centric organizations such as ICANN having direct control of the worldwide infrastructure, anything's possible.
posted by naju at 9:15 AM on December 21, 2010


This brings up something else - to what extent would the new rules affect everyone globally? Maybe that sounds like a dumb question, but it seems that with US-centric organizations such as ICANN having direct control of the worldwide infrastructure, anything's possible.

You're going out of your way to make it harder for me to sleep at night, aren't you?
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 9:17 AM on December 21, 2010


so, are you IT guys fucked or what.
posted by clavdivs at 10:20 AM on December 21, 2010


There are some dumb, dumb, nail biting, emotional, mis-informed comments in this post. If you've glossed over any of this, please re-read delmoi's posts on the issue. He is spot on. There currently is no regulation, this regulation is a start towards having meaningful framework for how these companies can operate.
posted by cavalier at 10:26 AM on December 21, 2010


I'm not even going to bother commenting in this thread, because every fucking thread on this topic everywhere is full of misinformed vitriol thrown around by people who haven't a fucking clue what they are talking about.
posted by empath at 11:21 AM on December 21, 2010


I'm not even going to bother commenting in this thread, because every fucking thread on this topic everywhere is full of misinformed vitriol thrown around by people who haven't a fucking clue what they are talking about.

Ummm.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 11:31 AM on December 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Why is FCC's 'net neutrality' order still a secret?
posted by finite at 11:33 AM on December 21, 2010


The last thing the telcos want to be is dumb pipes, just delivering bits. There's not much profit in it. They see the big services, like youtube, netflix, google, hulu et al making big money off services delivered over their networks, often competing with their own value-add services (voice; tv and film for cable networks), and they want to see a cut of that. After all, it's their customers and their pipes they reason, why shouldn't they get a slice?

Thus the need for network neutrality legislation, to stop them acting like gatekeepers over what parts of the internet are available for their customers, and to stop them charging service providers directly to get access to their networks.

As I understand it, this legislation will stop them easily cherry picking individual providers for slowdowns or blacklists - they can't deliberately block say, netflix, while allowing other providers access to their network, or degrade google voice without also degrading other voip providers equally.

However, it does allow they a lot of wiggle room. So for example, they can massively degrade torrent traffic as a whole under the 'reasonable' network management argument, along with the copyright infringement clauses. I expect to see more widespread use of the comcast torrent reset packets forgery, for example.

It also leaves in place a huge loophole, which comcast are currently exploiting with level 3. In a nutshell, level 3 agreed to become netflix's content distribution network providers (CDN) - basically, giant caches of stuff at various places around the 'net, so it's not all being downloaded from netflix direct. Level 3 peer with comcast, so they don't have to pay comcast to deliver content to their network, and vice versa. Comcast wants to end that arrangement, on the basis that level 3 will be delivering a lot more data to comcast, than comcast sends the other way. Of course, since comcast is largely an end-user network, with asynchronous pipes, that's always going to be the case - and is the case with comcast's other main pipe to the rest of the world, which is pretty much saturated all the time.

What comcast wants is to be paid for the traffic that is getting delivered to its network - that its own customers are requesting. Alternatively, it wants those CDN servers hosted in its own datacentres, where again it will get paid to host them.

Assuming comcast cuts off level 3, and netflix doesn't end up renting a CDN hosted inside comcast (i.e. akamai) then comcast customers will still be able to get to those caches - but not directly, only over their existing, congested main pipe. So it'll be slow, and stuttery.

So thus the loophole. By charging for peering, or charging for datacenter hosting, it means there will be two networks you can ultimately be on as a big content provider, like google or netflix. You can be on the outside of the congested main pipes - in the slow lane that is deliberately intended to be a slow lane; or you can pay a nice fat premium for a separate pipe, or a nice fat premium to have your cache servers directly inside the boundary.

Thus google, netflix etc etc pay a chunk of money to comcast directly, or via increased fees to a CDN who does. Mission accomplished. Now do the same for every major customer net provider in the US. Who's going to pay for those increased fees? You, the customer in your sub costs to netflix.

The small players, i.e. the new, small clever services are now stuck on the outside of those congested pipes, and can't compete in performance terms with the big boys because they can't pay the toll fees to get in the fast lane. Youtube would probably never have come into being under these circumstances; nor facebook - unless they got invented by microsoft, or google, or apple.

The only thing keeping the telcos in line was fear of pushing the FCC too far, of being demonstably evil and getting heavy regulation. The court case earlier this year that overturned the FCC block on comcast's torrent traffic fiddling pretty much nobbled the FCC, and these toothless rules are the final nail in the coffin.

Are they better than nothing at all, now there's no fear of heavier regulation with a republican congress? Yes. Are they still going to allow open season for telcos to hold their customers eyeballs hostage, and get a nice juicy cut of the big boys money, while screwing over the little guy?

Oh yes, yes they are.
posted by ArkhanJG at 11:37 AM on December 21, 2010 [7 favorites]


saulgoodman asked "Is that really true? Can you point to any statistics to back up that claim?"

I don't have stats about wireless-as-the-only-broadband-option, but I know plenty of people personally for whom that is the case today. I grew up in Sonoma County, California, where sonic.net's wireless broadband is it for many people; my impression is that LTE will reach lots more who have zero options currently.

But, regardless of wireless broadband for PCs, that CNN article I just linked says a year ago Gartner predicted that by 2013 "mobile devices will overtake PCs as the most common Web access device worldwide".
posted by finite at 11:44 AM on December 21, 2010


This brings up something else - to what extent would the new rules affect everyone globally? Maybe that sounds like a dumb question, but it seems that with US-centric organizations such as ICANN having direct control of the worldwide infrastructure, anything's possible.

A lot of worldwide services are hosted in the US, and a lot of the traffic routes through it.

I don't see much impact outside the US for major services; they already use CDNs like akamai to cache the data in datacenters outside the US, where it's local to the people getting it. So windows update won't get any slower, for example.

Those services that are US only though, like netflix or google voice or hulu; they might decide to expand their customer base outside the US where they won't get gouged by the telcos; or they might concentrate on their core market, and not take the risk of expanding. Who knows, frankly.

Non major US hosted services might get slower, if there's a widescale breakdown and reshuffling of peering arrangements, which would also affect transit traffic. I'm not enough of an expert on backbone peering to give a really informed answer here, to be honest. I don't expect it to have much impact for a while though, it will take a while for the fallout to become clear.
posted by ArkhanJG at 11:50 AM on December 21, 2010


Oh, and I don't see anything preventing much more restrictive usage caps. i.e. 40GB a month on the standard package, 80GB a month on the premium package. If there was meaningful competition in wired network providers, or the wireless telcos didn't have free rein to throttle as they want, the threat of losing customers would keep them in line. As it is... Well, good luck.
posted by ArkhanJG at 12:02 PM on December 21, 2010


If multiple carriers announced tiered pricing all at the same time, they be investigated for collusion.

Doesn't seem to bother them much, at least with respect to SMS prices.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:47 PM on December 21, 2010


"US policy sometimes convinces Canadian politicians to push for the same. Although your government has a much higher average IQ than ours,"

Post proof or retract!
posted by sneebler at 5:25 PM on December 21, 2010


> Some honest think-about-it questions: Do you think that wired networks are the future of Internet connectivity?

It doesn't sound likely, does it? But it has already happened once. I never thought people would give up getting their TV wirelessly for free in favor of a system based on a physical cable with monthly access charges. I thought "That's totally bass-ackwards, it'll never happen." But it did.
posted by jfuller at 6:06 PM on December 21, 2010


The FCC's weak new "open Internet" rules: A partisan vote on Tuesday displeases everyone. And everyone's right.
posted by homunculus at 8:48 PM on December 21, 2010


I like it when almost everybody is wrong and delmoi knows what's going on. Seriously dude keep up the good work, I almost took all the shouty alarmist comments at face value before you made me actually examine the issue.
posted by tehloki at 12:03 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


This reasoning is based on false premises: bandwidth is not a commodity in the traditional sense. Once the infrastructure is in place there's very little additional cost burden. It's not like gold or coal where you need to hire X more people if you want to mine Y more minerals. It doesn't take ten times the personnel to manage ten times the bandwidth. The bits and packets mostly take care of themselves, you just have to keep the lights on. Prices should be going way down… and they are, in the rest of the developed world. Just not here.

The problem is that the infrastructure is never "in place". It is constantly growing, constantly changing.
posted by gjc at 6:34 AM on December 22, 2010


It doesn't sound likely, does it? But it has already happened once. I never thought people would give up getting their TV wirelessly for free in favor of a system based on a physical cable with monthly access charges. I thought "That's totally bass-ackwards, it'll never happen." But it did.

The reason is that wires are more efficient. Cable tv grew out of the reality that TV reception sucks in a lot of places. THen it grew even more because you could only get a few channels over the air. But you pay someone $15 a month and you get all kinds of crazy stuff. Braves games, WGN, WOR, etc.

It takes a lot of engineering magic to get a wireless service up and running. You take that same magic and stuff it down a cable and you get (made up number) 100x more bandwidth.
posted by gjc at 6:38 AM on December 22, 2010


So, if this deal is so sweet for Verizon, and they basically crafted it, why is Verizon considering a lawsuit to try to stop the new FCC rules from going into effect?
Multiple sources have told National Journal that Verizon, the nation's second largest telecommunications carrier, may seek to overturn the historic open Internet rules to be approved by the Federal Communications Commission Tuesday morning. Sources said the option is on the table, but cautioned that no final decision has been made.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:12 AM on December 22, 2010


Re-reading my previous comment I don't think I expressed enough anger.

To the Verizon/Google apologists here: what the fuck do you think they mean by "online services in addition to the Internet", if not the total annihilation of the awesomely level playing field between independent and corporate media that the general public has been benefiting from for the last 15 years?
posted by finite at 1:47 AM on December 23, 2010


Hi. I work for a very large dsl provider. The answer is tv and VoIP.
posted by empath at 4:48 AM on December 23, 2010


The answer to what? Are TV and VoiP the internet services? (Sorry, it's early and my reading comprehension is apparently down the tubes. But I still want to know!)
posted by stoneweaver at 8:52 AM on December 23, 2010


The online services in addition to the internet are voip and tv.
posted by empath at 9:00 AM on December 23, 2010


Thanks for clarifying.
posted by stoneweaver at 9:09 AM on December 23, 2010


I don't want to be a Verizon apologist, BTW. I just really want to know, why are they holding a threat of lawsuit in their pocket? What gives? Any ideas?
posted by saulgoodman at 9:30 AM on December 23, 2010


They prefer to have no regulations, but if they do have them, they'd prefer to have a role in shaping them.

This is true of all corporations all of the time, whether or not they have evil intentions.
posted by empath at 9:38 AM on December 23, 2010


if not the total annihilation of the awesomely level playing field between independent and corporate media that the general public has been benefiting from for the last 15 years?

People keep saying things like this, but the 'awesomely level playing field' of the last 15 years was created with practically no regulations whatsoever, and 'net neutrality' would be a change to that level playing field.

If you like things as they are right now, then you should be against 'net neutrality' laws.
posted by empath at 9:40 AM on December 23, 2010


Really, don't kid yourself. This whole debate is about contract negotiations between huge corporations and well intentioned people are being used. If you think how much netflix pays comcast for their peering agreements is a first amendment issue, you've been scammed.
posted by empath at 9:44 AM on December 23, 2010


If you think how much netflix pays comcast for their peering agreements is a first amendment issue, you've been scammed.

I think the question of how much anyone would be forced to pay a monopoly to be allowed on the Internet is a free speech issue. This is an issue much larger than Netflix and Comcast.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:14 PM on December 23, 2010


Fuck.
posted by cashman at 4:11 PM on December 23, 2010


The fact that Comcast is a monopoly in many areas is the problem that should be addressed, then. And I back breaking up cable monopolies 100%. Especially since I work for a competitor. We depend on Verizon leasing us copper to get into homes and businesses, and they only do that because they're required to by law. It would be great if Comcast were also forced to lease us cable.

Net Neutrality is just a smoke screen.
posted by empath at 4:16 PM on December 23, 2010


FCC Net neutrality rules reach mobile apps:
One new item that was not previously disclosed: mobile wireless providers can't block "applications that compete with the provider's" own voice or video telephony services. By including that rule, the FCC effectively sided with Skype over wireless carriers.
Wow.
posted by finite at 5:28 PM on December 23, 2010


initial analysis from the EFF
posted by finite at 5:44 PM on December 23, 2010


People keep saying things like this, but the 'awesomely level playing field' of the last 15 years was created with practically no regulations whatsoever, and 'net neutrality' would be a change to that level playing field.
Why do so many people belive this? The FCC has enforced net neutrality for years, including during the time of the internet's growth. A couple of years ago the phone companies tried to change this through congress, and failed. Eventually they won a legal case on a technicality of how the rules were implemented (which could be changed). So while no net neutrality laws were in place before the new rules that just came out, Net neutrality has been mandated for a long time
posted by delmoi at 9:30 AM on December 26, 2010


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