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View Diary: A short refresher course on net neutrality (30 comments)

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  •  Good points (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    duhban

    But the only way this can work is if you treat the network as a utility and subsidize in some fashion the vast amount of money needed to keep the network fast, reliable and growing with bandwidth demands. Someone has to pay for the network, run the network, maintain the network, upgrade the network and so on. This takes vast amounts of capital OPEX and CAPEX. The carriers are being swamped by content providers who pay nothing to use the pipes yet force providers and users to pay more and more just so these content providers can get to their clients. This is not an easy issue to understand unless you understand the intricacies of the business. If I spent millions investing in routers, switches, CPE, accounting software, billing software, fiber, copper, trenches, trucks, tools, CO's and so on, I expect a return on it or why do it? Everyone on the content side of this debate wants free access to the world. Guess what, nothing is free.

    Do facts matter anymore?

    by Sinan on Tue May 06, 2014 at 04:23:04 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Are you kidding? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StrayCat

      Free? You think Comcast et al are providing free service to their customers? No, the customers pay for the service...and pay dearly compared to the rest of the world. The ISPs are already receiving payment from their customers for access to the "free" and paid content. It's the ISP's job to maintain not just the last mile but also their interconnects in order to provide the service their customers already pay for.

      •  My lord. (0+ / 0-)

        The people who I am talking about are the content providers who use Comcast networks and access their client base without paying a nickel to Comcast. Comcast does have content which they own which should be viewed as an anti-trust matter but that is a different topic altogether. I can assure you that the majority of the traffic on the network is from sources that are not paying for the network. Try the porn industry for starters.

        Do facts matter anymore?

        by Sinan on Wed May 07, 2014 at 09:54:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Who? (0+ / 0-)

          Who are the content providers who use Comcast without paying them? If they're business customers, they pay Comcast for hosting and traffic services. If they're residential customers, they presumably have some kind of "included personal hosting" service as part of their residential package, which they pay for and presumably don't generate much traffic anyway (few personal websites get enough hits to even be a blip on an ISP like Comcast).

          I can't imagine Comcast voluntarily providing hosting/colocation/etc services to a large commercial site without charging for it. So who are these content providers on Comcast's network who don't pay a nickel?

        •  And that traffic... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Krotor

          ...was requested by customers of Comcast, who sell people like me a service saying I can access the Internet, not some Prodigy/Compuserve-style walled garden relic from last millennium.

          Everyday Magic
          Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
          -- Clarke's Third Law

          by The Technomancer on Wed May 07, 2014 at 10:39:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  That number's not that vast. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StrayCat

      It would be if they were starting from scratch now, but the costs are largely sunk, and you get accelerated amortization on tech gear due to how short of a life span it has.

      I do understand the intricacies of the business, and I also understand that US ISP's aren't holding up their end of the peering deal anymore.

      Everyday Magic

      Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
      -- Clarke's Third Law

      by The Technomancer on Tue May 06, 2014 at 04:59:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No you don't understand the business. (0+ / 0-)

        If you did, you would not make this absurd claim that costs are sunk and that depreciation makes it affordable. You obviously have never got a bill from cisco for SmartNet. I design, build and sell telephone delivery networks for a living. I work with hundreds of telephone companies, CLECs, ISPs and carriers every day. I also know the lobbyists who try to keep the subsidized system in play and are failing miserably in their attempts to keep the current funding sources available to keep these telcos running. It costs way more than you think to run a telco.

        Do facts matter anymore?

        by Sinan on Wed May 07, 2014 at 09:58:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're misunderstanding me. (0+ / 0-)

          I can get ADSL or VHDSL where it's available from the line owner, or from an ISP or CLEC with access to those last mile lines.

          They need to replicate that model for the cable, because it is too expensive and disruptive to build out duplicate, redundant networks at the last mile like that.

          I understand the business fine, and I understand the costs involved.  It's pretty directly related to my living.  And it's still massively profitable thanks to scale.  To claim otherwise would be absurd, not my statements.

          Everyday Magic
          Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
          -- Clarke's Third Law

          by The Technomancer on Wed May 07, 2014 at 10:43:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Massively profitable to scale? (0+ / 0-)

            Not if you have to pay the fees to the networks for TV. Margins on broadcast, cable and premium channels are horrific. I don't know one single telco that makes money off that service. Not one. They do it to keep their clients on POTS and data services. So lets do the math. One FTTH network using GPON will run you 300.00 for the ONT that is on the side of your house. Add another 500 dollars per port for the OLT that feeds it from a 30,000 outside plant cabinet that has to be fed with a fiber that is buried at a cost of 50 to 200 dollars a foot to build. Then you have the head end, another million bucks or more, the softswitch, the routers, the middle ware, the set top box, the backend billing software, the 24 hour phone support, the installation crews, the management and so on.

            If you just do data and voice, that telco will get around 50-60 bucks a month from you. If you do the triple play, they might get 130 bucks from you a month. It takes years to get the payback and during that time they have to upgrade the core network and the link to the internet not because of the traffic from TV services but from traffic to sites they don't get a dime from. It is a tough business.

            My entire point in this thread is that the conversation here seems to be emotional with hardly any factual data provided or understanding of the business. It is knee jerk nonsense from folks who want to get access for free. Drives the industry nuts and unless you want them to go out of business, you need to start listening to them. Net nuetrality is a great idea but someone has to pay for it.

            Do facts matter anymore?

            by Sinan on Wed May 07, 2014 at 06:17:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  The wire used to be a utility (and should be) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Technomancer

      You have to approach the Internet as layers, not as one thing.  The bottom layer is wire (cable, fiber, etc.).  The next layer is telecom - lighting the wire neutrally.  That was a utility until recently -- telephone rates were regulated by public utility commissions.  The outside plant (wire, conduit, poles, buildings) was very expensive, and regulated on rate of return, like other utilities.

      Broadband services were never price-regulated, but when the telephone company provided them, they were still common carriage.  That's what needs to be restored. This could be done by making just the wire/cable/fiber a utility, so anybody could light it.  The Telecom Act of 1996 started down that path but it was basically gutted.  

      But the higher layers, the actual Internet, the system of computers and connections in data centers, is not a utility.  It is still competitive (once you get there via access connections) and works just fine (in a regulatory sense; the technology is obsolete and dodgy) without regulation.

      •  The utility model is what I recommend (0+ / 0-)

        but it goes right up against the horizontal integration of access and content that has occurred over the last few years. IMHO, the physical network should be viewed as a public good, a utility, with standards, quality of service metrics, common bandwidth goals and so on. But it is not going in that direction. It is going into the direction of mobile carriers and a colossal battle between the telcos and the MSOs. Most every home has several physical connections to the world. The power plant, the water plant, the copper telephone plant, the coax cable plant and if you are lucky, a fiber connection by either the telco or the mso. Say you have a home that has Verizon FIOS and Comcast HFC to it. Both can provide the same services now with the advent of IP. Which one do you call the utility? Which one do you subsidize? Like I said, this is a very, very complicated issue.

        Do facts matter anymore?

        by Sinan on Wed May 07, 2014 at 10:03:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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