Story 2014-05-08 3K6 Network Neutrality fight enters a brutal, contentious phase

Network Neutrality fight enters a brutal, contentious phase

in internet on (#3K6)
Like the Internet? Get ready to start talking about the way it was in the "Good old days." If the new proposed changes to the principle of network neutrality take hold, the future Internet of classified traffic and preferential speeds threatens to do irreparable damage to the Internet we know and love. Mozilla has proposed some solutions that are under consideration (or are they?). The Atlantic proposes we step back and reboot the debate with a fresh look at what's important. And it's gotten more political than ever now, as Democrats and Republicans have taken sides over the FCC's proposal .
Time for the big companies to say their piece then, too, and they have: they hate Wheeler's proposal .

Do you care about net neutrality? Do you know the facts? Now is a good time to make this the next SOPA with the equivalent of a blackout. Look to Brad Feld for a good idea: he proposes we demo the slowlane , and show Americans exactly what the end of network neutrality means for the average punter's online experience. I think it's an awesome idea.
Reply 7 comments

Fatigue... (Score: 3, Insightful)

by on 2014-05-09 00:42 (#1G9)

I definitely care about net neutrality, but I probably don't know the facts. I keep A Guide to the Open Internet handy to point people at, but it was created some time ago and perhaps fails to reflect or address the latest threat.

This payola internet is such an obviously terrible idea. "Nice packets ya got there. Be a shame if anything happened to them." I'm so very disappointed in Netflix caving to Comcast and Verizon. ISPs should be dumb pipes, nothing more, and certainly not content providers. I'm so angry and frustrated with this that I've stopped making sense. I've been angry and frustrated for so long that I'm in danger of no longer being able to care. Perhaps that was the plan all along: keep grinding away at the issue until we all get so tired of fighting we give in to apathy. I really hope I'm alone in this feeling. We need to keep fighting.

The "demo the slow lane" proposal is interesting and has merit. To make a real impression it will take widespread participation and, particularly, the involvement of high-profile players. I hope it gathers sufficient momentum.

[Aside: the same guy who created the infographic linked above, has also created No Way NSA ]

Re: Fatigue... (Score: 3, Interesting)

by on 2014-05-09 12:37 (#1GC)

It is rather sad that we let things like this continue to happen. It's even sadder that society won't utter a single cry until they miss the new episode of Honey Boo Boo. I'm already tied to Comcast with a damned iron ball and chain. I'm already paying more money to get a faster tiered connection. I already cancelled my TV 3 years ago because they were charging a MST, I can't just pay for 1 channel, and the only show or channel I cared about was AMC. Screw Honey Boo Boo and the rest of the garbage that litters the cable spectrum. They don't offer channels a-la-carte because of all the deals that make up the packages they shovel at us. So I went with NetFlix, and was happy until recently. Then ISPs started throttling the streaming traffic and whining because nobody wants their services, cable TV or XFinity on Demand.

It makes no sense talking about fast lanes, slow lanes, and different types of packets, shaping, throttling, etc. As I mentioned, I'm ALREADY PAYING FOR HIGHER TIERED SPEEDS!!! I love Pipedot, but if this shit continues, I may very well quit Comcast and home internet completely.

Re: Fatigue... (Score: 3, Interesting)

by on 2014-05-09 14:29 (#1GD)

It makes no sense talking about fast lanes, slow lanes, and different types of packets, shaping, throttling, etc. As I mentioned, I'm ALREADY PAYING FOR HIGHER TIERED SPEEDS!!!
Oh-so-much this. I've not had a cable TV service in over a decade and I can't remember the last time I turned on my television to watch an OTA broadcast, but it's been literal years. My conduit to entertainment and news is the internet (and a sizable collection of DVDs). It's safe to say, then, that I'm attached to having fast, unimpeded internet access. That said, I have considered and will again consider giving it all up out of sheer frustration, and possibly to make some sort of statement, if threats and degradations continue.

My ISP is in the packet delivery business. They need to understand that and, not that it likely accomplishes anything, I try to remind them of that whenever I go down to the local office to renew my service. It doesn't matter if the "packets" they are delivering to me are in the form of cable TV signals or via the internet, nor does it matter where those packets originate. Their whole job is to deliver the packets I request in a timely manner and unmolested. That is all. Any ISP who gets this will get my business.

The trouble is I live in the US . There is but one choice for ISP in my neighborhood (as is likely the case with many, if not most, US neighborhoods). Thus far they have behaved well, but I do not like the idea that my unfettered internet access is wholly dependent on their continued good graces. There is no competition in their fiefdom and they damn well know it.

Just ran across this article, "Comcast is destroying the principle that makes a competitive internet possible" , which is proving a useful read. The same author has other relevant articles here and here .

Comcast sucks (Score: 3, Funny)

by on 2014-05-09 18:29 (#1GE)

Comcast is already a crappy ISP. Google "Comcast Sucks" for some fun reading. People hate them with a passion. This is a clever, PHB strategy to avoid having to invest in a better built-out infrastructure. Let's just insert a pricing scheme [which we can then fiddle with endlessly to see just how much screwing the customer is willing to take] instead of actually building out the infrastructure necessary to handle the increased demands of on-demand video etc.

"But that idea will never fly! It's impossible!"

"No worries, we have fired all our tech staff and replaced them with lawyers and lobbyists. We've got this one in the bag."

Fuck this shit. I'm going back to FIDOnet, the last net that was truly owned by the people.

feeling helpless without government regulation... (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2014-05-09 19:31 (#1GH)

I concur with the view that internet providers are (or should be) providing dumb pipes for information and, as well, should be viewed as common carriers or whatever the right term is for a public utility. I suspect that the owners of said dumb pipes would still make good money and it would still be a great business. However, as the latest moves take us towards a crazy system where internet providers can introduce fees all over the place, more or less as they like, and it is difficult to hold them accountable without government regulation and enforcement, and it is difficult to abandon use of their services, I generally end up feeling helpless...

Re: feeling helpless without government regulation... (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2014-05-09 21:30 (#1GK)

If we could get enough people to stop using their services, we could shift that feeling of helplessness to them. They can't make us pay for internet access like other utilities or health insurance...yet.

Re: feeling helpless without government regulation... (Score: 1)

by on 2014-05-10 01:22 (#1GQ)

I, too, would like to see ISPs declared common carriers (if that's the correct term). Unsurprisingly, AT&T has a nice load of specious reasoning as to why this would ruin everything . Additionally, despite increasing condemnation of the "fast lane" proposal from FCC commissioners and senators (I'm proud to see "my" Wyden in there), it appears this is headed for a vote no matter what.

On the other end of things, Cogent is hopefully discovering its balls as it's taken the stance that it's Comcast who should pay for connectivity , and web host NeoCities has decided to demo the slow lane in protest of the "fast lane" proposal:
"Since the FCC seems to have no problem with this idea, I've (through correspondence) gotten access to the FCC's internal IP block, and throttled all connections from the FCC to 28.8kbps modem speeds on the front site, and I'm not removing it until the FCC pays us for the bandwidth they've been wasting instead of doing their jobs protecting us from the 'keep America's internet slow and expensive forever' lobby,"
Brb, makin' popcorn