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Yesterday I saw this D-Link Router on Amazon.com:

Voip Internet Accelerator Intelligent Packet Priority Engine

for as low as $35.00 and I thought I had better snap one up quick because if Josh Silver and Craig Aaron and others at Free Press get their confused understanding of Net Neutrality written into law, this type of useful Internet device will soon be illegal. This is how Amazon describes what it does:

Typical Internet applications such as e-mail and chat require minimal bandwidth. But other applications such as Voice over IP (VoIP) and video streaming/conferencing require much higher bandwidth as they are real-time sensitive. The DI-102 Broadband Internet/VoIP Accelerator uses an intelligent engine to detect and prioritize bandwidth-sensitive packets so that they can be sent over the Internet as soon as the request is made. This results in faster processing of real-time based packets, less latency, and a better user experience.For instance, there are two computers on your network and both are online - one is using an e-mail program and the other is making a VoIP call.

When data packets from each computer are sent to the Internet at the same time, the DI-102 will automatically classify the VoIP call as more important and send the VoIP packets first, and the e-mail data second. The user on the phone can immediately notice the benefits whereas the user sending e-mails will barely notice a change.

Now I think it is good that this sort of packet prioritizing technology is finally making it all the way down to the home level. Without it at the higher levels, I would not be able to watch Countdown [or any video] on the Internet, and I like watching video and listening to music on the Internet.

But Josh Silver, Craig Aaron and others at Free Press are pushing for a version [or misunderstanding] of Network Neutrality that would make this DLink device illegal on the Internet and for that matter, end Internet service as we now know it.

Josh Silver is the executive director of Free Press and has been a leading critic of Google's stand on Network Neutrality. Friday, on Amy Goodman's Democracy Now he signaled his understanding of net neutrality when he warned "losing net neutrality then allows these companies to prioritize some traffic—video, say—and de-prioritize others." So you see, he would view what this D-Link routers does to be a violation of net neutrality.

Similarly, Craig Aaron, Managing Director, Free Press, wrote in the Huffington Post on Tuesday "Real Net Neutrality means that Internet service providers can't discriminate between different kinds of online content and applications." So obviously this device which discriminates between voice data and email data, for example. is a total violation of Net Neutrality as he understands it.

So they got a quarter million dollar grant from the Knight Foundation in January and now they are going after Google big time on Net Neutrality. They got 300 thousand people to tell Google "Don't Be Evil." Good. Fine. I just wish they understood what they were talking about and would stop making such a muddle out of Network Neutrality.

So Once Again: Network Neutrality means that data, of the same type, is treated the same irregardless of source or destination.    

Now that I have had a chance to watch Countdown with Keith Olberman, thanks to the priority given to video data packets under the current voluntary regime of net neutrality, I have to amend this diary in an attempt to clean up a little his Augeas' stables on the Google Verizon deal and net neutrality because it is clear he has drunk the Free Press - Huffington Post - Democracy Now Kool Aid.

He begins the segment with the type of disaster reporting headline that is designed to alarm, warning of "an end to the Internet as we know it" saying the "Google Verizon deal to throw out net neutrality for the sake of their profits" and warning "it's worst than we thought."

He then goes on to imply that net neutrality is something that is already written into law and which Google and Verizon propose to take away, "What Google and Verizon agreed too was this, that FCC rules assuring equal access to the Internet should still apply to the wired devices like a computer on your desk but thoses rules should not apply to wireless devices such as mobile phones or smart phones or Ipads."

And just what rules were these, Keith? Because my understanding is that there were no rules, i.e. laws, regarding net neutrality and that in April, before Google started talking to Verizon about this, the courts told the FCC they didn't have the authority to make such rules. In that context, Google went to Verizon and won it's agreement to support a legislative proposal that at least in shires network neutrality for wirelines. And again I have to point out to Obermann and everyone else that only thinks as an end user, that data packets, even when destine for "wireless devices such as mobile phones or smart phones or Ipads", only travel the "last mile" on wireless, so net neutrality on wirelines, even for data destine for those devices, is important.

So Obermann is presenting the Google Verizon deal as suggesting that laws already on the books no longer be applied to wireless when it is a proposal that suggests that net neutrality be made the law of the land with regards to wirelines but leaves aside the question of wireless. Wireless is a much more difficult problem from the technology point of view. This is something that people who are clueless about the technology like to leap over. Google CEO Eric Schmidt was alsolutely right when he said "The issues of wireless versus wireline get very messy...and that's really an FCC issue not a Google issue."

And as a tech savy poster to Slashdot pointed out:

The bandwidth available for wireless transmission is determined by the range of frequencies available, divided by the number of users on that band. It's a FIXED amount. The FCC's not going to widen it just because, there are too many considerations for it.

You can only achieve a given data speed over wifi. We've improved it over time. But there is a physical limit for reliability of the signal, and that's why wireless is a different story. With wired (or land-based into wifi hotspots) you can just lay more lines in parallel, add a separate color laser to your fiber, etc. which makes it feasible to upgrade and widen the bandwidth. When you have an easily maintainable infrastructure, you don't mind letting it be used freely without priority restrictions.

Now pictures this: if wireless providers went all net neutral as per your calls, then a phone call would have the same priority as an app downloading updates in the background. Do you know you're going to always have good enough reception to guarantee call quality? Or are OS/firmware updates not more important than that stupid youtube of a dog who can't get up?

The point is that for wireless, there is a need to prioritize bandwidth, and because it's a fixed bandwidth, if you want priority over something else, you can't just claim it like you do on a landline network.

All these "technical" details are things that Silver, Aaron and Obermann can overlook, but they can't be over looked by the people that make the Internet function everyday. And I really have to wonder what is going on here? Is it just naiveté? Or is it something else? I know that NBC would like to kill net neutrality. I don't know about the money behind Free Press. But I suppose some might find it useful to announce the death of net neutrality now and blame it all on Google.

Originally posted to Linux Beach on Tue Aug 10, 2010 at 09:14 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Tom, Buffalo Girl, debedb, nextstep, BrowniesAreGood
    Hidden by:
    rfall
    •  Ridiculous HR. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      debedb

      I was going to tip anyway though.

    •  The difference is not just type of packet (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      debedb

      but either the customer or the vendor of an Internet service would pay the carrier more to get better Quality of Service (QoS).

      Many who advocate Net Neutrality are unaware of how Net Neutrality hinders some critical areas of innovation that are important in telepresense (so people use a very high quality video conference instead of burning jet fuel traveling - for a much smaller carbon footprint), healthcare (in imaging, medical records, remote diagnostics and control, etc.), Cloud computing (which help small companies compete against the largest companies, etc) , and new applications that will be used by everyone, etc.

      Net Neutrality highly benefits a few large powerful companies (including, Google, Microsoft, IBM, HP, Apple, Netflix, Akamai, Yahoo, Amazon, etc.) as they can afford to build ultra-high speed networks that connect to the Internet at local or regional place or just between their offices - while other companies and new starts cannot afford to do so.

      Some applications need a network that is very responsive, reliable with very short latency times. Blocking the ability for Internet carriers to offer higher Quality of Service (QoS) as a premium service says only the largest companies (such as the ones above) who can afford to build their own global network will be able to have these capabilities.  Net Neutrality is the Internet equivalent of saying you can only fly by jet if you own your own Boeing 747, and airlines cannot exist but you can travel by car.

      Pricing for Internet Access already varies on usage by raw bandwidth and how many GBs of data one moves per month.  I pay more to get 50 Mb/s of bandwidth instead of 25 MB/s service, I am also limited to 250 GB per month - even though 50 Mb/s can move more than 40 times than amount per month. Using more than the 250 GB/mo costs more for personal or commercial use.  

      The issue here is allowing those with applications that need better QoS to pay extra for it, as opposed to requiring them to build private networks with limited access or do without.

      I see the concerns about treating different data packets differently for purposes of corporate censorship or blocking competitors as being the Internet equivalent of fearing "Black Helicopters" or needing to protect yourself with tin-foil hats.  Carriers who did such things (unless it was a clear network management instance) would have major problems from their customers and be highly vulnerable to attacks from competitors, the press and politicians.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Tue Aug 10, 2010 at 11:12:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  forget it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        neroden

        this comment is a diary in its own right.

        but there's no point in any case. 'net neutrality' is a progressive plank, whatever that means. fcc bureaucracy, the one that is concerned about tits, is the one we trust to regulate a nascent technology.

        but then again, this diary is making a botched job of explaining anything, to put it charitably. it's a total hodgepodge of shit. just like most other conversations on nn I'm seeing lately.

      •  Sorry, you are really really wrong. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        opendna, DiegoUK

        QOS is not banned by proper net neutrality (and the diary is correct that Free Press gets the nature of net neutrality wrong); what net neutrality ensures is that any website (or other Internet site) is allowed to specify any type of QOS terms, as suitable.

        Without Net Neutrality, Verizon could simply pick which packets to prioritize based on its corporate presence.  With net neutrality, everyone doing telepresence could specify high QOS whether or not they were "approved" by Verizon.  It does rely on other people to not fake up high-QOS claims, but that has been surprisingly easy to get people to do.

        I see the concerns about treating different data packets differently for purposes of corporate censorship or blocking competitors as being the Internet equivalent of fearing "Black Helicopters" or needing to protect yourself with tin-foil hats.  

        Well, Telus actually did it in Canada.  Look it up.

        Carriers who did such things (unless it was a clear network management instance) would have major problems from their customers and be highly vulnerable to attacks from competitors, the press and politicians.

        Sure.  They did get major hostility from customers, the press, and politicians.  But they're a monopoly.  No competitors.  So they got away with it.  What could have stopped them?  Politicians putting in a net neutrality law.

        Repeat: Telus actually did, in Canada, what you deride as tinfoil.

        -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

        by neroden on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 03:42:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Oops. You're wrong. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DiegoUK

        I see the concerns about treating different data packets differently for purposes of corporate censorship or blocking competitors as being the Internet equivalent of fearing "Black Helicopters" or needing to protect yourself with tin-foil hats.  Carriers who did such things (unless it was a clear network management instance) would have major problems from their customers and be highly vulnerable to attacks from competitors, the press and politicians.

        Already happened, and nothing was done to stop it. It turns out that there isn't nearly as much competition in last-mile network infrastructure as laissez faire requires. What's worse, the monopolies are rent-seekers engaged in regulatory capture. And you're a cheerleader. :P

        --- Perma-ban or bust. - opendna

        by opendna on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 04:19:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  But you did not post a solution. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    neroden

    What can be done to ensure that all our websites are protected from censorship?  We don't want to see Comcast, Google, Verizon, or anyone else for that matter, be able to keep progressive ideas flourishing.

    In Cheney's era, if he could have done so, he would have shut us down.  How do you protect us from corporatists who do not have the American People's interests at heart?

    -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

    by sunbro on Tue Aug 10, 2010 at 09:22:14 PM PDT

  •  I'm more interested in hearing your explanation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Decih

    Of what the hell the mission of your blog, which you link to in your profile, is supposed to mean:

    To bring together the people's of all nations to throw off the chains of the past and to utilize the hard one develops of science and industry to end poverty, oppression and save the Earth.

    Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

    by RandomActsOfReason on Tue Aug 10, 2010 at 09:32:41 PM PDT

  •  You clearly do not understand TCP/IP (5+ / 0-)

    ...traffic handling.

    All the D-Link router is doing is tagging packets as "high priority", which downstream routers are free to honor or ignore.

    Nothing about the "death of Net Neutrality" would make these illegal.

    Further, this sort of technology has been in use in residential equipment for several years--you just haven't known about it until the marketing droids thought to make a point of it.

    Bottom line: this diary is a waste of bandwidth (prioritized or not) and should be taken down.

    "Certainly the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you; if you don't bet, you can't win." Lazarus Long

    by rfall on Tue Aug 10, 2010 at 09:42:16 PM PDT

    •  I thought i made clear (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      debedb

      that some people think that net neutrality means that tagging some packets as high priority and not others, and having downstream routers free to honor it would be a violation. Also as the description makes clear, the Dlink router itself "prioritize some traffic—video, say—and de-prioritize others." to use Josh Silver's happy phrase, when sending data, so I assume it violates his understanding of net neutrality. That's my point.

      •  Your point is wrong. (0+ / 0-)

        so I assume it violates his understanding of net neutrality. That's my point.

        That's my point.

        "Certainly the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you; if you don't bet, you can't win." Lazarus Long

        by rfall on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 07:15:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It seems to me.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    neroden, Gravedugger

    That this is a device I use at home to make my own choice as to what I want to prioritize which is, in my view totally legit and no way violates the net neutrality of anyone else. So I have no clue why there is a problem with this.  

    I also don't get the post about the solution.  The solution is clearly stated in the last sentence.

    Net Neutrality means that data, of the same type is treated the same irregardless of the source or destination.

     Duh! If it's all being handled the same it means it isn't being tampered with by the carrier so it couldn't be censored for instance and there is no "public" Internet sitting in the weeds languishing beside the bright shiny new and improved private Internet created to suck bucks out of your pocket and into the treasury of big business.  

    Net neutrality doesn't mean I can't set  my personal computer up to process the packets anyway I want to once I've received them in fact just the opposite.      

    What do conservatives conserve?--Carl Sagan

    by YellerDog on Tue Aug 10, 2010 at 09:47:54 PM PDT

    •  It all depends on what you mean by Net Neutrality (0+ / 0-)

      Net Neutrality means that data, of the same type is treated the same irregardless of the source or destination.

      Is my definition. Nothing about the Dlink router violates that. On the other hand Craig Aaron of the Free Press says

      "Real Net Neutrality means that Internet service providers can't discriminate between different kinds of online content and applications."

      And as the person commenting above points out, the Dlink router really doesn't work it the ISP can't honor your request [from your Dlink router] to prioritize it's traffic to you.

  •  You are disingenuous, your argument spacious (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    opendna, neroden

     
    I watch TV and video on my PC. I have MSNBC and CNN running at all times, 14 websites open on my browser automatically when I start it up (gotta love SlimBrowser and it's 'groups'), an IRC server, several IRC channel bots, I watch video from DU, YouTube, etc., etc., throughout the day and download TV shows from the US to watch at night.

    As well as that my son's have a computer they play online games on, my daughters have a computer they play games and music videos on, and they have an X-Box which is connected to the net.

    In all of that, with everything going full-tilt at 8PM or so and the lights on my router flashing so fast I think they might blow, nothing on my system runs the slightest bit slow. Nothing is prioritized and nothing slowed. My service is wonderful. And all of this from the UK.

    So, what is it you're trying to fix by allowing ISPs to discriminate sources, because that is what you are on about. Not content, sources. Abolishing Net Neutrality isn't about prioritizing VoIP over e-mail, it's about giving full access to companies who pay large fees and restricting content from those who don't.

    If you want an idea of what the internet would be like without net neutrality, look at Australia. When you get content from a service on your ISP it is unmetered and unrestricted, but when you get content from a service outside your ISP it is limited to 5gig a month and it's speed is restricted. Once you pass the 5gig limit, you pay extra per gig.

    Want to know what it's like? Have a look: http://bc.whirlpool.net.au/...

    I downloaded about 5gig yesterday, but lets say I only downloaded 2gig a day. In a 30 day month that would be 60 gig. I currently pay $30.00 a month. Under the AU system, which is not net neutral, my bill would be 60gig minus my 4 gig monthly 'quota' = 56gig @ $3/gig = $168.00 + £30 = $198.00

    This is what those against net neutrality want. They see the net as not making enough money. It certainly is (find me an ISP which isn't rolling in dough!), but they want more.

    Abolishing Net Neutrality isn't about giving your VoIP preference over your email, it's about greed. Plain and simple.

    Wise the fuck up.

     

    I will not teach a man who is not anxious to learn and will not explain to one who is not trying to make things clear to himself - Confucius

    by DiegoUK on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 01:18:17 AM PDT

    •  Correction: it's all metered now. Nothing 'free'. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden

       
      I hadn't noticed the change. I learned about the AU system years ago. Back then, there wasn't a limit from sources on your ISP. Not it appears there is.

      Isn't 'tiered' service wonderful!

       

      I will not teach a man who is not anxious to learn and will not explain to one who is not trying to make things clear to himself - Confucius

      by DiegoUK on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 01:39:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If you knew your history... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DiegoUK

    ...etc etc...

    If it weren't for some key court decisions regarding network neutrality for telephone networks, none of us would be here. At all. There would be no public internet, and computer-mediated communication would probably look very similar to MiniTel: designed and owned end-to-end by one company.

    In 1955, AT&T successfully persuaded the FCC that no physical attachments could be made to any telephone (Hush-A-Phone), but the decision was overturned by an appellate court.

    In 1959, Carterfone introduced telephone-connected base stations which patched two-way radios into the telephone network. AT&T banned customers from using the devices; Carter challenged at the FCC, based on the Hush-A-Phone precedent, won a ruling in 1968. The FCC's Carterfone ruling expanded the precedent so that any device could be attached to the network and receive equal treatment, so long as it did not harm the network. That allowed the development of fax machines and data modems outside of IBM's lease-line time share network.

    Network neutrality is a battle that's been raging for at least 50 years, and it's always been a battle between monopoly and innovation, with innovation requiring equal treatment on the network.

    The truth is that without network neutrality you wouldn't be allowed to use that fancy new router of yours. It is network neutrality which protects your right to attach it to the network.

    --- Perma-ban or bust. - opendna

    by opendna on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 04:07:55 AM PDT

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