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The unbearable clarity of "common carrier" status


The Federal Communications Commission already has the power to get us Net neutrality. It's called "common carrier" status.

If the FCC classifies Internet service providers as a "telecommunications" service, same as it has long done with telephone service, then common carrier rules apply. When you call somebody on the phone, it goes through and has the same sound quality regardless of whether you're rich or poor and regardless of whom you're calling, right? Voilà, Net neutrality.

That's it. That's pretty much all there is to it.

Aren't you astounded that ISPs aren't already considered telecommunications service providers? Kind of boggles the mind, doesn't it? The FCC had instead tried to regulate them as an "information" service, before a court rightly struck those jury-rigged rules down (see below the fold). Why did the FCC try that? To let the ISPs "innovate" and use their utility-in-all-but-name status to extract tolls coming and going.

Here's a more thorough treatment of the regulatory history:

Under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 [PDF], the FCC can ensure “common carriers” like the telephone companies serve the “public interest” and do not discriminate in who can use their services. [...]

Under the Telecommunications Act of 1996, there is a critical distinction between “telecommunications,” which are subject to Title II, and “information services,” which are not. [...] These services are subject to the vague provisions of Title I, which do not forbid the kind of discrimination that is illegal under Title II. [...]

Some legal experts assumed that while a service sold on the internet would not be subject to Title II, the internet itself would be seen as a “common carrier.” [...] But in 2002, the FCC, led by Republican Michael Powell, the son of Colin Powell, ruled that internet companies provided “information services” and were not subject to Title II regulation.

Obama's FCC Isn't Really Doing Anything about Net Neutrality
By John B. Judis, Feb. 21, 2014, New Republic
The amazing thing is that current FCC Chairman and former telecom lobbyist Tom Wheeler publicly acknowledges it. Listen to this pathetic, plaintive wail of his, as he describes how common carrier is the right thing to do, but he just doesn't wanna:
If the proposal before us now turns out to be insufficient or if we observe anyone taking advantage of the rule, I won’t hesitate to use Title II. However, unlike with Title II, we can use the court’s roadmap to implement Open Internet regulation now rather than endure additional years of litigation and delay. [...]

Using every power also includes using Title II if necessary. If we get to a situation where arrival of the “next Google” or the “next Amazon” is being delayed or deterred, we will act as necessary using the full panoply of our authority. Just because I believe strongly that following the court’s roadmap will enable us to have rules protecting an Open Internet more quickly, does not mean I will hesitate to use Title II if warranted.

Finding the Best Path Forward to Protect the Open Internet
By Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman, April 29, 2014, Official FCC Blog
And it goes on like that, waaah waaah blah blah. Spare us, Chairman Wheeler! Just propose the Title II reg's already! As one commenter on the FCC Blog put it:
chris hern, Apr. 29, 2014
Your proposal would work only in one condition.... if cable companies would care more about customers than profits.
In other words, to be as politely as possible, it's all bullshit.
Classify it as title II. It's the only way information will freely flow.
With an ISP, you pay for a certain rate of connectivity to the Internet. You should not be paying again for the 1s and 0s you already paid to access. It seems the meaning of "financial transaction" is lost: buy something so that you can buy it again! It doesn't matter if half of it is streaming porn video. Too bad for the ISPs, we paid them for the service. Most importantly, don't let the ISPs build a faster rich-folks/big-corporate Internet and leave us human beings behind with slow and censored service. To let go of equal treatment on the Internet would be to surrender a great, revolutionary, and ever-more-versatile power to communicate.

Please make a comment filing with the FCC today and tell them to implement common carrier status for Internet service providers. Click on Proceeding #14-28, "Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet." Now is a great time to do so—the FCC is smarting from the public uproar. And please sign this petition:

[...] The agency can preserve Net Neutrality only by designating broadband as a telecommunications service under the law. Anything else is an attack on our rights to connect and communicate.

Tell FCC Chairman Wheeler to throw out his proposed rules. Demand nothing less than real Net Neutrality.

Stop the FCC from Breaking the Internet
freepress

Here is the key part of the court ruling that struck down the FCC's earlier fake-it-'til-you-make-it rules, as noted in The New York Times:

Given that the Commission has chosen to classify broadband providers in a manner that exempts them from treatment as common carriers, the Communications Act expressly prohibits the Commission from nonetheless regulating them as such. Because the Commission has failed to establish that the anti-discrimination and anti-blocking rules do not impose per se common carrier obligations, we vacate those portions of the Open Internet Order.
United States Court of Appeals
For the District of Columbia Circuit
Argued Sept. 9, 2013 • Decided Jan. 14, 2014
No. 11-1355

Verizon, Appellant
v.
Federal Communications Commission, Appellee

Independent Telephone & Telecommunications Alliance, et al., Intervenors

For more information and links, see this overly-credulously-titled but actually well-written post:
FCC: We'll Treat Internet Like Telephones if That's What It Takes
By Adam Clark Estes, Apr. 29, 2014, Gizmodo
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Comment Preferences

  •  Bit bucket (122+ / 0-)

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 02:25:18 AM PDT

    •  Have to point out... (0+ / 0-)

      While I support "common carrier," there is a fallacy in your argument right here:

      With an ISP, you pay for a certain rate of connectivity to the Internet. You should not be paying again for the 1s and 0s you already paid to access.
      I guess I shouldn't be paying Netflix a monthly fee to stream their content, then.

      Please clarify. Netflix isn't an ISP, but there are plenty of services that consumers willingly pay to have access to their particular 1's and 0's.

      Excessive literary production is a social offense. - George Eliot

      by pyramus on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 08:17:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Pay the ISP for the connectivity, (24+ / 0-)

        and pay the content provider (Netflix) for the content, fine.
        Don't also pay the ISP again for the same content.

        Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

        by Simplify on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 08:21:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Only if you choose to read it... (12+ / 0-)

        ...in a manner that leads one to believe that you'd rather argue over an argument the author isn't making.

        Where the 1s and 0s are originating from shouldn't matter to my ISP, nor should it matter whether or not I'm paying a subscripting to someone else to get a certain set of 1s and 0s.  The ISP model is a dumb pipe model, not the cable TV model they're trying to turn it in to.  Except that they want the content creators/providers to pay to get carried rather than paying them for the right to redistribute the content.

        Everyday Magic

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

        by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 09:20:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  one could argue that's not entirely true (0+ / 0-)

          if your 1s and 0s are coming from a site that dominates traffic.

          Der Weg ist das Ziel

          by duhban on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 09:47:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Right... (6+ / 0-)

            ...except that if the cable industry had transitioned over to IPTV years ago, they'd have far more last-mile throughput available, and at the end of the day, this is the content that their customers are requesting that falls well within the limits of service Comcast, Verizon, and others have sold them.

            Going back and trying to claw money from Netflix is unprecedented from a content provider/creator's standpoint when looked at from the consumer side of things.  Frankly, since Comcast doesn't throttle their own Netflix competitor or count its data against the 250 GB monthly cap, there's an anti-trust argument to be made as well, using the same argument that was used with Microsoft in the '90s in the browser wars.

            And finally, Comcast can either choose to peer more traffic and reinvest some of the 90%+ profit margin they're making, or pay some of it out to the likes of Cogent and Level 3....or pay Netflix a lesser rate to interconnect, rather than vice versa.

            This arrangement helps Comcast and Verizon far more than it does Netflix -- yet Netflix is the one being forced to pay for it.  It doesn't just upend the ISP model as we've known it, but it's upending the Cable model as we know it and giving us as consumers a raw deal.

            Everyday Magic

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

            by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 09:53:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  having discussed that aspect before (0+ / 0-)

              I think you know that I only have loathing and insults for the ISPs. They've wasted time and money for obscene profits.

              However that doesn't excuse what Netflix is doing either. Pushing 30% and climbing of the internet's traffic is going to break any peer agreement and frankly peer agreements are probably dead in the water where over the top video is concerned. However I don't see anything approaching a true impingement on network neutrality as it stands with what prompted this.

              If comcast is truly only applying the cap to netflix than that is a case I think that needs to be brought before the FCC but that's different from what is going on here.

              Der Weg ist das Ziel

              by duhban on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 10:04:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Right... (6+ / 0-)

                ...but Netflix doesn't sign the peering agreements.  It's ISP/ISPs do.  Comcast sold the ability to access that content to their customers -- if I'm remembering correctly, at one point Comcast had a free month promo going with Netflix prior to cord-cutting getting popular.

                Comcast is looking at the cost of transporting a GB of data rising from under 2 pennies a GB to slightly less under 2 pennies a GB to an end user if they have to start settling up their peering agreements.

                Netflix/Comcast/Verizon is really more of a consumer issue than an NN issue, but it does tie into NN because of the throttling aspect and the anti-competitive practices involved.  It's hard to compete with the owner of the pipe if the owner of the pipe can also own content creators.

                Everyday Magic

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

                by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 10:11:51 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm sorry I don't agree (0+ / 0-)

                  I don't see the Netflix issue as anti-competition at all currently. I would be a bit troubled in the case that you mention about selective capping but even there 250 gigs is a pretty big number. I'm sure there will and are people that reach that amount but even then you're looking at a movie a day with those caps. Is that high enough? Not sure, personally I think caps should be higher but it seems like a side issue here.

                  Der Weg ist das Ziel

                  by duhban on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 10:19:49 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  This argument is utterly without merit. (9+ / 0-)

            It's like arguing a toll road operator should be allowed to bill UPS a surcharge if UPS traffic dominates the toll road.

            The drivers paid the toll at the time of travel.

            It doesn't matter one bit what percentage of total traffic UPS represents - they deserve to pay the same rate as everyone else per vehicle of the same time and weight.

            "If anybody is wondering about Tom’s qualifications, Tom is the only member of both the cable television and the wireless industry hall of fame. So he’s like the Jim Brown of telecom, or the Bo Jackson of telecom.” President Obama

            by JesseCW on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 09:57:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  no it's not (0+ / 0-)

              Peering agreements only function under roughly equal conditions anything other than that and the network operators start to complain (quite rightfully too) that their network is taking on unequal strain.

              Peering agreements are a concept that existed before over the top video and before asymmetrical usage.

              Der Weg ist das Ziel

              by duhban on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 10:00:54 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Streaming Video requires a higher quality of (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              duhban

              service than most other Internet traffic, and that increases costs for ISPs - especially when this traffic dominates the network at peak times.  Treating all packets the same means much higher equipment costs for ISPs if the one service level fits all requirement applies and that one service level supports video streaming in HD or even 4K resolution, instead of allowing ISPs to offer different service levels.  To do this either consumers or content providers will need to pay for this higher cost.

              Taking your reference to UPS for a moment.

              UPS, FedEX and US Post office have different prices for different levels of service such as next day, 2 day, and 1 week delivery.  This approach allows customers who are more concerned about rapid delivery to have that, while those wanting low cost have that choice.

              When the post office first wanted to offer express mail, there were opponents to this with the argument that this would degrade first class mail service.

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

              by nextstep on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 10:47:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It doesn't require it. (6+ / 0-)

                That's why Netflix is using Silverlight -- it can adapt to changing network conditions dynamically.  ISPs don't have to add additional QoS measures on their end -- again, Net Neutrality is telling them to be a dumb pipe and NOT to do this.

                Overcome it at the software layer and have innovation there, which has been happening for as long as we've had an Internet and someone wanting to get around the fact that latency isn't always predictable.

                There's zero evidence to support that doing things as they've always done it thus far leads to higher costs.  The equipment that's out there no, especially at the expensive part of things at the core routing layer, doesn't do quality of service switching, and never has.

                Anything else is a drop in the bucket, as is obvious to anyone who's ever had to build out a data center, purchase said gear, and deal with bringing up a network from the core/BGP layer on up.

                Everyday Magic

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

                by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 11:22:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  You don't understand the subject. You're (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                denise b, No one gets out alive

                repeating what you appear to have cleaned from industry press releases.

                Your analogy is precisely, 180 degrees, wrong.

                The parallel to express delivery is you paying more for a higher broadband speed.

                The correct analogy here is UPS trying to charge Amazon more since they ship so many packages.

                "If anybody is wondering about Tom’s qualifications, Tom is the only member of both the cable television and the wireless industry hall of fame. So he’s like the Jim Brown of telecom, or the Bo Jackson of telecom.” President Obama

                by JesseCW on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 12:42:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Tough (2+ / 0-)

            That's the cable and satellite providers problem. Not mine.

            This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

            by lunachickie on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 11:15:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  By Wheeler's explanation he seems to think (21+ / 0-)

    that he will be FCC chairman forever. Even if I trusted him what reason do I have to trust that future FCC chairmen won't screw over everyone but those with the deepest pockets

  •  Although the FCC tries to sell (44+ / 0-)

    its "information service" concept as promoting innovation, that doesn't really make sense historically.

    What unleashed innovation was actual regulation, not refraining from regulating.  In 1968, the FCC  ruled in Carterfone that Ma Bell is required to allow customers to plug safe electrical devices into its phone lines.  (This came a dozen years after the courts overruled the FCC, and required Ma Bell to allow foam muffs to be pressed onto the handset!  The FCC had upheld Ma Bell's prohibition of them.) Until then Ma Bell owned the whole network, right up to the air.

    Carterfone very quickly led to brand new industries: not just new features on telephone handsets, but Hayes modems, fax machines, and home answering machines.  All of that was prohibited until then - unless Ma Bell decided it could make money offering the devices. Once the FCC said, "You have to offer telephone service without controlling how people use it - like a common carrier," the floodgates of innovation opened.

    What the "information service" doctrine, and related "enhanced services" doctrine, did wasn't to promote innovation.  Instead, it was an attempt to let Ma Bell compete in these areas.  The innovation was happening already, thanks to Carterfone.  

  •  The chairman aggrgated millions for both of the (18+ / 0-)

    President's campaigns. A lot of it from his friends amonng the ISPs. Money talks just like it votes.

    Life is just a bowl of Cherries, that stain your hands and clothes and have pits that break your teeth.

    by OHdog on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 03:57:28 AM PDT

  •  He needs to be replaced (20+ / 0-)

    Obama  needs to remove this Chairman, NOW. How does Obama think the out spent Dems will win more elections, the way he did? A free Internet.

    We subsidize these companies and we deserve something in return. They are grazing on our land, so to speak, and then they want to charge us for it.

    They are the takers.

  •  That's a pretty unfair reading of the situation (7+ / 0-)

    If reclassifying broadband providers as common carriers were as easy as you make it sound, it would have been done by now.  There's a reason why neither Michael Copps nor Julius Genachowski did it when they had to come up with proposals as chairmen.

    It isn't a case of just saying "Ok you guys are now common carriers" and be done, common carriers are subject to some very different regulations, the biggest of which is that you'd see the line opened up in the same way that Telephone/DSL lines are open.  

    Then you have the fact that broadband really isn't classified wrong.  Right now the FCC classifies it as an information service, for it to be classified as a common carrier it would need to be a telecommunications service.  The problem is, it's both.  As wrong as purely classifying it a information service, it equally wrong to classify it as a telecommunications service.  Furthermore the underlying conflict is driven by something that under no realistic scenario can be called a telecommunications service, Netflix.

    The best option is for congress to actually grant the FCC regulatory power in this situation.  That unfortunately isn't going to happen.  I don't know what the next best one is, I'm leaning towards a dual classification where parts of broadband is regulated as telecommunications services and thus subject to net neutrality, with the rest, content deliverers, remaining properly classified as information services.  Whether that's enough and can withstand a court challenge, I don't know.  I do know that it's not as cut and dry as people are making it.  A reclassification would amount to a fundamental shift and I doubt anyone will be able to accurately predict the fallout.

    •  Thinking too hard (18+ / 0-)

      The regulations we need are for Internet Service Providers, not the things that connect to the internet. It's the communications network between them that we're talking about. The service is "Internet" not "Google" or "Netflix" or anything else.

      There's also no need to be limited to "Tele"-communications - the internet is a communication medium that the Federal Communications Commission has every right to regulate.

      [Terrorists] are a dime a dozen, they are all over the world and for every one we lock up there will be three to take his place. --Digby

      by rabel on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 05:37:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am talking about ISP's. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sydneyluv, CS in AZ, Catte Nappe, duhban
        There's also no need to be limited to "Tele"-communications - the internet is a communication medium that the Federal Communications Commission has every right to regulate.
        The internet's a communication medium but it's also a information service medium.  Is there a big difference between an ISP limiting access to it's network and a Cable company limiting a cable tv channel access to its?  No.  A Netflix stream no no more of a communication stream than HBO.  The FCC has right to regulate communication mediums but it's not an unlimited right.  It's powers are limited by the law and by precedence both of which make distinctions between content types.  

        You can't think too hard on a subject as complicated as this one.  The issues are just too important and no solution is a good one.  Further complicating it this could possibly be the last bite at the apple.  If a Republican is elected we're back to the pre Obama administration FCC where Net Neutrality is a cute idea that all those lefties want.  Even if it's a Democrat, they could have their hands tied if the FCC reclassifies and ISP win the argument in the courts that they are entitled to control certain types of content traffic.

        Common Carrier classification isn't a silver bullet and shouldn't be treated as such.

        •  Except in this case, it is. (10+ / 0-)

          Namely, the legal precedent is already there, as telephone pole owners have to allow Cable to run lines along their poles...because of their status as a telecommunications provider.

          Any decision still needs to be backed by the force of law, but reclassification isn't nearly the challenge you're making it out to be.

          Everyday Magic

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

          by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 07:50:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Rec'd for this, so true! (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Catte Nappe, duhban, sviscusi
          You can't think too hard on a subject as complicated as this one.
          This is what rings most true for me right now. This is highly complicated, and I have been trying in my "spare time" haha to learn about what is really going on and what should happen to fix it, and I've read enough to know there are a lot of questions and complexity.

          I am suspect of ideas that seem to involve 1. oversimplifying the issue, combined with 2. blame and outrage aimed at the white house. A message that consists of basically "They are screwing us! Quick, sign this petition!" is just not enough for me to jump on any bandwagon. Sometimes it's true, sometimes it's not that simple. On this issue, the latter seems to be the case.

          I want to be clear, I do not automatically trust the administration on whatever they say. Where I differ from many here is that I also do not automatically distrust everything they do or say either. I like to know the full story. Two-word policy solutions don't tend to work. I appreciate deeper discussion of the details involved.

          I know that as things are now, I already pay extra to my ISP for faster access, better download speeds. I gave up my cable TV and went to all online for video, paying for an increase in my access speeds which was less than the cable bill so it was an ok deal. So do we have "neutrality" now? I don't see how! I pay for better access than someone who cannot afford that level of service.

          Using the internet for access to information, and entertainment, is just as important to me as email and social media sites where we use it for 'communication' like writing this comment. I don't use it for online gaming but I know people who do, logging on to play some highly intensive game in real time is "communication" -- no. It's entertainment.

          Companies are using the internet to deliver entertainment, and information, but calling these "communication" between the content provider and the customer really is a stretch.

          It's clear that technology has surpassed current law and regulatory structure and those need to be changed to address this in a fair way. I know I'm not expert enough to know what all and exactly that will entail, but I agree it is not as simple as it's being made out to be.

          •  Except that's just not the case. (9+ / 0-)

            Net Neutrality doesn't refer to the speed at which you access the Internet.  It refers to the ISPs having to treat all bits of data the same and deliver them to you as a dumb pipe, regardless of the source of the bits.

            It actually is very simple, and this is coming from a professional in the industry.  The Internet has worked for years and companies have made plenty of money off of treating all 1s and 0s as equal, with few exceptions that usually have sound reasons, such as blackholing spammers and the like.

            Just because you can call a party line or phone sex line and therefore use the phone line for entertainment purposes, doesn't change the fact that it's a communications line and is regulated as such.

            The problem is that people keep trying to paint this as an administration issue, and that missed the point entirely, because they've been trying to do this through multiple administrations now, and will continue to try to do so long after this president or the next is gone without proper regulation.

            At the end of the day, it doesn't even really effect people with my skill set -- we know how to bounce our traffic around to make it look like the origin coming from somewhere else.  Makes it a pain in the ass, but it works.  US ISPs aren't doing deep-packet inspection or anything yet.

            There's a reason why we still advocate for net neutrality (at least, those of us with a conscience).  Unless you'd like to pay my new company that I'll be starting if Net Neutrality dies an extra $20 to $50/mo to bounce your traffic around for you so you can get what you were paying for before Net Neutrality died.

            Everyday Magic

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

            by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 09:33:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  but is that really sustainable? (0+ / 0-)

              We both know that increasing Netflix (which right now is the only site being 'effected') is driving the majority of traffic.

              It feels to me that with the advent of video over the top it was only a matter of time before the old agreements of 'share equally' would fail. I think that's what we're seeing. Not an attack on the nets but a logical progression of matters.

              Der Weg ist das Ziel

              by duhban on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 09:52:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yeah, it is. (7+ / 0-)

                You're right in that the reason we're seeing this is due to peering agreements breaking down, but that's a B2B negotiations issue, not a technical issue.  Backbone peering agreements are set up so that the backbone provider has enough revenue coming in to maintain and expand their network along with making a profit.

                There's not a physical limitation here as far as how much data can be pushed over the backbones -- at least, not one we're in danger of reaching as there's still plenty of already laid dark fiber not in use.  We're not running out of throughput.  This is why you're still seeing the 'Net work with nary a blip when a 400+Gb/s DDoS attack is going over a backbone and crushing some poor VPS somewhere.

                Everyday Magic

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

                by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 10:02:03 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I did not say it's about physical limits (0+ / 0-)

                  but honestly it might as well be given that the 'old model' is falling apart with peering agreements falling apart.

                  Maybe it's the wrong stance but I have no problem with major content deliverers having to pay for the massive content they generate.

                  Der Weg ist das Ziel

                  by duhban on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 10:09:18 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Perhaps.. (4+ / 0-)

                    ...but that model is unprecedented in the US business market.  There isn't another industry, either in communications or entertainment, where the content creator or syndicator pays the last mile delivery mechanism (radio, cable, fiber, or phone) to get delivered rather than the mass distributor paying the content creator for the right to carry the content and make a profit.

                    This is pretty much the same thing as if HBO suddenly had to start paying Comcast because they were taking up a channel listing or 4, rather than Comcast having to pay HBO $7/mo per customer subscribed or on promo.  If you can think of a better analogy than that, I'm all ears.

                    Everyday Magic

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

                    by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 10:17:26 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That's because the delivery is unprecedented too (0+ / 0-)

                      there's really nothing that functions like the internet under the current model and delivery system.

                      I actually don't think there is an analogy for what's happening right now. Nothing really fits.

                      Der Weg ist das Ziel

                      by duhban on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 10:22:06 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yeah, there is. (4+ / 0-)

                        Namely, a Netflix 1080p stream takes less bandwidth to push than the 1080i or 720p stream that's getting pushed over your coax right now from the cable or satellite provider, thanks to better compression than what TV providers are using.  Moving from bound channels to IPTV actually saves throughput, and opens up way more last mile space.

                        It's all data at the end of the day.  Your DVR is a system-on-a-chip with a hard drive and minimal OS.  Your channels, when broadcast OTA or over the wire, is MPEG-2 video.  This isn't unprecedented, nor is it unmanageable.  Let's not muddy the waters here.  Data is data is data, and the amount being sent might be great for one company, but it's consumers requesting it, and ISP companies advertising how we can access our favorite sites like that when they sell us the service.

                        Everyday Magic

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

                        by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 10:47:59 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  except your analogy (0+ / 0-)

                          doesn't take into account that the networks can not handle millions of people all demanding high quality streaming during prime time.

                          That's why it's a poor analogy. Services like Netflix  need high quality service and that creates a backlog.

                          Let's not muddy the waters here cable isn't an analogy here to what is happening with streaming video and never will be.

                          Der Weg ist das Ziel

                          by duhban on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 01:25:09 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  They're all handling them right now. (1+ / 0-)

                            At least where any net neutrality discussion is concerned.  I've said it before, if Comcast is overselling their capacity at the last mile, that's not Netflix's fault.  Comcast says they can deliver 150mbps to my cable modem.  Netflix at 1080p is roughly 7.5MB/min, 4k is 4x that. 150mbps is just under 19MB/sec, well below what Comcast says they can deliver to me and everyone else on my local loop.  But Netflix is putting out as much traffic as they are because people are watching it.  It's getting delivered to them -- that alone breaks down your argument that networks can't handle it.  There's not a backlog, the tubes can't get clogged like Ted Stevens thought -- it's a business and policy dispute with you and me as consumers caught in the middle.

                            Netflix is successful exactly because it does NOT need a high quality connection to you.  It's latency tolerant, adjusts bitrate on the fly, and IPTV like that takes up far less bandwidth than current cable broadcasting methods.
                             You're just incorrect here, dude -- and that's expected because you don't have to deal with it on a daily basis.  IPTV being more efficient than Cable is why AT&T uVerse can offer a full selection of HD channels for up to 4 TVs over a single 20mbps channel.  It's not that it's harder to do streaming video.  It's less bandwidth intensive to do IPTV and streaming video than it is to broadcast over standard channels.

                            Everyday Magic

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

                            by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 02:20:40 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  all very fair points (0+ / 0-)

                            but it's also not Comcast's fault that Netflix is demanding a very large, quite asymmetrical distribution of bandwidth.

                            And whether the networks can handle that or not the fact remains the agreements in place are not designed to handle that.

                            This also isn't about a single stream multiple your number times a couple thousands if not far far more. That's the demand that is being placed on the network during prime time and that's just from netflix. Never mind youtube, hulu etc etc etc.

                            Lastly Netflix is only latency tolerant to an extent even then it's a band aid trying to fix the high spike demand. My technical expertise doesn't match yours but you're only looking at half the picture.

                            Der Weg ist das Ziel

                            by duhban on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 02:40:49 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Actually, it sort of is. (1+ / 0-)

                            More specifically, Comcast sells you an account that ensures that you'll be download-biased and consumption heavy, because your max download speed is anywhere from 3x to 10x your upload speed.  Comcast bills itself as the company where you can get access to all these great things on the Internet at blazing speeds!  Comcast is raking in $6B a year in profit off of those claims, and is throttling entire carriers over a relative drop in that bucket, and blaming it on a popular consumer service, same as they do whenever there's a content dispute on their cable service.

                            And while we are talking hundreds of thousands of streams from Netflix, we're not talking about more than one or two to a single home at a time, so the comparison is still apples to apples.  Data's data, whether you're using older delivery messages or newer ones.

                            Netflix is latency tolerant by design.  It's why they use Silverlight as their video technology.  It's latency tolerant enough to give you a decent viewing experience over 3G+ wireless, which is much higher latency than anything Comcast has to deal with.  It has nothing to do with high spike demand.  It was designed that way from the start, and it's why it's been the killer app for video thus far.

                            Everyday Magic

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

                            by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 02:51:38 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  netflix is not a drop in the bucket (0+ / 0-)

                            I would also think you would realize that given how networks work it doesn't matter if there's 1 stream or a dozen what matters is the entire demand on that region at that specific time.

                            Der Weg ist das Ziel

                            by duhban on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 03:05:18 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I do realize that. (1+ / 0-)

                            And I've told you multiple times that that's not a strain on the networks.  It makes for inequitable peering agreements, but that's solved by money between companies, not more fiber and routers.

                            If what you're saying was true, every time there's a sustained distributed denial of service attack, the 'net would crawl.  There's a reason why it doesn't do that, despite the fact that we see regular ones crossing the 100Gbps threshold now.

                            It's not a network strain.  The only place where there is a network strain is on certain oversold last mile loops, and that's like saying it's Oahu's fault if Hawaiian Airlines sells 250 tickets for a flight on a plane that seats 200.  And then, that's not regional, that's at those individual local loops and a problem with Comcast overselling their capacity.

                            Everyday Magic

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

                            by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 03:13:01 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  um actually DDOS attacks (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            The Technomancer

                            have in the past effected general net speed.

                            The recent use of the time request for example effect general internet speeds. Granted the attack has to generally be both large in volume and specifically targeted at the right node but it can and has happened.

                            Honestly I'm punting on whether this generates network strain. I've been told that netflix can, I accept that I lack the technical expertise to defend that position or really talk about that in general with you. It's probably a bit like you and me talking chemistry ;). To me though whether it generate strain or not is only part of the problem. The far worse problem is what this does to peer agreements which is namely destroys them.

                            I can't find the article on the time stamp DDOS but here's another example: http://www.bbc.com/...

                            Der Weg ist das Ziel

                            by duhban on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 03:27:17 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  In the past, yeah. (0+ / 0-)

                            What's actually pretty nifty is that a lot of the tricks the industry learned in mitigating the impact of DDOS attacks helps with managing Netflix's traffic.

                            I think the big place where you're getting confused (and where a lot of other people get confused), and please, correct me if I'm wrong because I don't want to be putting words into your mouth, is that because all of this traffic originates from Netflix, that that's the problem because it can impact that region's traffic.

                            In reality, Netflix has built out a content delivery network (and previously used other companies' CDNs).  A content delivery network works like this:

                            I have content that I want to show all over the world.  The source for this content is a server in data center A.  Rather than having everyone connect to that server or bank of servers in data center A, I upload that source information to banks of servers spread all over the world, and direct people there to the bank closest to them as determined by geolocation methods.  Once that data's in those content delivery server fleets, it gets cached, replicated, and served from there until the information expires, at which point it then grabs it once from Netflix's origin server in data center A and does that replication/delivery cycle all over again.  Even at primetime, all that traffic and nicely and neatly geographically distributed in this manner, which is what stops that amount of traffic from crushing either the heaviest region of Netflix use or the region that houses Netflix's main data centers or cloud instances.

                            Does that help clear it up, or did I just make it more confusing?  :P

                            And yes, I'd imagine you'd blow me the hell away when it comes to chemistry...my education there stops at a high school class I skipped pretty often.

                            Getting back to the DDOS though, you're more likely to be impacted by Amazon Web Services having a network partition in their Virginia (US-East-1) data center, since I swear it seems like a quarter of the US Internet is hosted there nowadays...at least it seems that way when it goes down.

                            Everyday Magic

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

                            by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 03:41:01 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, Technomancer, I respect your opinion on this (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              duhban

              In fact it was your diary the other night that first raised my interest in this and led me to the idea it's not all that simple, as you said with reluctance that "Comcast had a point" too, and there were complicated technical as well as policy issues involved.

              I fully accept your technical expertise, but not so sure you fully know the legal implications. For instance, can you address this, which is from an article in PC magazine:

              If all else fails, meanwhile, the FCC could consider reclassifying broadband as a telecom service rather than an information service - which would give the FCC a more firm authority over the issue. In D.C.-speak, it's known as Title II for its placement within the Communications Act, but the move would not be an easy one. The road to classifying Internet as an information service, after all, went all the way to the Supreme Court in 2005 via the Brand X case. So reversing that decision would probably prompt a lengthy legal and political battle.
              Are you completely certain this is not true?
              •  It's sort of related. (5+ / 0-)

                Brand X was trying to overturn the FCC's classification of internet service, which was a challenge to the FCC's right of classification.  That's why the Brand X case failed.  The Supreme Court was upholding the FCC's classification of Internet service as an information service.  The FCC has the right to reclassify.

                It would end up going through the courts again, but Brand X would actually provide stare decisis for ruling that the FCC has the authority to make such a classification change.

                Everyday Magic

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

                by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 11:28:59 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  "It would end up going through the courts again" (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  duhban, sviscusi

                  Yes. So the idea that they could just wave a pen and fix the entire issue in one minute is not quite the case after all. Just as I thought... maybe there are reasons for another approach then? beyond that... sigh, being at my job as usual, I am reading and trying to learn but cannot devote more time to this right now. And being insulted in the process, well that doesn't help. (not by you, others down below. Frustrating to be insulted for daring to think, question, and consider things.)

                  •  But while it goes through the courts... (2+ / 0-)

                    ...the reclassification stands, or if a stay is put in place, it becomes the default probability, which prevents ISPs from assuming it'll stay that way.  And if there's one time you can count on capitalism to work in your favor, it's that businesses will wait for a clearer risk picture before moving on with a plan at Comcast's size.  They won't build out services assuming they won't get regulated as a common carrier until that's cleared up.

                    Everyday Magic

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

                    by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 11:38:58 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It only 'stays' if a judge refuses (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      sviscusi

                      to hold the law while it is being challenged which often is not the case.

                      Case in point all those voter id laws and abortion laws getting thrown out of court? They were never implemented.

                      Would a judge issue a stay? I'd think so given the sweeping changes we would be talking about.

                      Der Weg ist das Ziel

                      by duhban on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 01:34:41 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Right. (0+ / 0-)

                        I'd expect a stay is issued.  I also expect Comcast to not proceed with any plans to build out a fast lane until the case is resolved -- too much risk on their end, stay or not.

                        Everyday Magic

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

                        by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 02:07:10 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  no I'm talking common carrier designation (0+ / 0-)

                          if the FCC issued that there would be a fight all the way to SCOTUS and likely it would only be enacted if it won there. Which would likely be a minimum of 5 years from now.

                          Speaking personally I'd rather the FCC try this and see what happens than do that.

                          Der Weg ist das Ziel

                          by duhban on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 02:34:53 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I know you are. (0+ / 0-)

                            I am too.  And Comcast won't be putting in place any new rules (or network expansion buildouts, to be fair) until that question gets decided.  Too much risk of investment that can be lost by a court decision, and having the appeals process start is a surefire way to ripen that risk.

                            Everyday Magic

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

                            by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 02:44:31 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  exactly which is why (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            sviscusi

                            even though I ultimately think common carrier will have to be the choice we should explore other less dramatic options first.

                            Der Weg ist das Ziel

                            by duhban on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 02:50:15 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The less dramatic option is what we have now. (0+ / 0-)

                            It's treat 1s and 0s from legitimate services the same (I'd be against any net neutrality reg that said my ISP couldn't filter spam for me, per se).  Without that, you have to have common carrier so that if my ISP does some stupid crap like throttle Netflix, I can leave them for the ISP that doesn't pull those stunts.

                            I'm not aware of a middle ground between those two.

                            Everyday Magic

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

                            by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 02:55:20 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  the middle ground is what is happening now (0+ / 0-)

                            where in asymmetrical upstream providers are being asked to  pay for the difference.

                            Der Weg ist das Ziel

                            by duhban on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 03:03:49 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

          •  It's not that complicated, and you do not (4+ / 0-)

            understand it.

            We have net neutrality now (or did until very recently).

            It has NOTHING to do with what speed of broadband you, the end user, purchase.  If you think it does, I don't believe you've made a good faith effort to understand the issue.

            It's stunning to see how consistently the Dkos right falls into lock step on literally every issue.

            "If anybody is wondering about Tom’s qualifications, Tom is the only member of both the cable television and the wireless industry hall of fame. So he’s like the Jim Brown of telecom, or the Bo Jackson of telecom.” President Obama

            by JesseCW on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 10:11:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh FFS, I cannot believe you get away with this (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              duhban, sviscusi

              shit of insulting people on here like this! You don't know jack shit about me, and calling me "the Dkos right" is fucking insulting and totally ridiculous. People rec'ing this insulting bullshit should be ashamed too.

              I happen to work full time and have a  LOT of shit I'm dealing with in my life, and I have nonetheless spent a lot of time reading about this topic. Your rude insults don't do shit to convince me of anything except that you are not worth listening to.

            •  the only thing stunning (0+ / 0-)

              is how often and reliably you reach for insults instead of common ground.

              I disagree with Technomancer on this but I respect his position and understand where he is coming from. You on the other hand have a lot to learn about how to disagree without being disagreeable.

              Der Weg ist das Ziel

              by duhban on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 01:36:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  "The Dkos right"? (0+ / 0-)

              God your pathetic.

          •  Common misunderstanding (5+ / 0-)
            I know that as things are now, I already pay extra to my ISP for faster access, better download speeds. I gave up my cable TV and went to all online for video, paying for an increase in my access speeds which was less than the cable bill so it was an ok deal. So do we have "neutrality" now? I don't see how! I pay for better access than someone who cannot afford that level of service.
            Yes, neutrality is more or less what we have now (and is already being challenged). Neutrality doesn't mean everyone has the same rate or the same service, it means that within a given service tier the ISPs are not allowed to 'favor' traffic from specific sources. Ideally, Netflix packets don't get to me any faster than those from some upstart streaming service, all other things being equal.
            Companies are using the internet to deliver entertainment, and information, but calling these "communication" between the content provider and the customer really is a stretch.
            It's not a stretch at all. The internet literally runs on a communications protocol. The coax cable running into my basement doesn't care if I'm using it to make a VOIP call to London or to stream a cat video from Japan. It's all just data flowing over a vast communications network.
          •  Look at the upper left corner of your browser. (2+ / 0-)

            Somewhere in there you will find applications for writing in some version of HTML, the scripting language used to make web-pages. Anyone can fiddle around with this & create a website.

            You likely have a built-in webcam too, or at any rate some means by which Windows/Mac/whatever will allow you to use pictures & even make short films if you learn how.

            For that matter, you're here typing on Daily Kos (& I'll bet the site admins didn't make you get a journalism degree before being able to do that).

            In short, YOU are a content creator. Most importantly, you did not have to fork over a big chunk of your hard-earned cash in order to attain that status.

            The Internet is an active medium of participation, not a passive "information" service like TV. That is what makes it what it is to us all.

            That is what Tom Wheeler wants to take away from you.

            Stop the FCC from killing the Internet! E-mail them. Call them. Tell the President & your congressmen to help save Internet freedom!

            by Brown Thrasher on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 12:00:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  The real problem is Congress (0+ / 0-)

            The FCC should have the authority to regulate ISP's the way it's tried to under the Obama administration.  ISP's don't fit the current molds that the law allows.  But Congress is useless at this point because of Republican control, and didn't want the fight when Democrats controlled the House so we're stuck where we are.

            Ultimately reclassification may be the only livible solution.  Packet throttling is the antithesis of what I believe when it comes to the Internet and it's going to be pretty hard for the FCC to convince me that they are going to be able to ensure that ISP's keep the current quality of service while allowing a fast lane.  But anyone who claims the decision is cut and dry or an easy one is lying their ass off.

    •  Then let's apply common carrier status now (13+ / 0-)

      and re-start the policy negotiation from a position of strength over Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T, rather than one of weakness.

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 06:55:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Michael Copps (9+ / 0-)

      On Democracy Now he stresses reclassifying broadband as the first step to correction.

      •  Michael Copps on Moyers 2010 (6+ / 0-)

        http://www.pbs.org/...

        The Comcast Case and Net Neutrality

        In 2006 Bill Moyers investigated the complicated debate about net neutrality in the documentary THE NET @ RISK. Some activists describe the ongoing debate this way: A few mega-media giants owns much of the content and controls the delivery of content on radio and television and in the press; if we let them take control of the Internet as well, immune from government regulation, who will pay the price? And how can we assure equal access for all materials and ideas? Their opponents say that the best way to encourage Internet innovation and technological advances is to let the market — not the federal government — determine the shape of the system. As Michael Copps defines it: "This isn't about regulating the Internet, this is making sure that the Internet is kept open and that others don't close the doors and become gatekeepers or the keepers of those tollbooths."

        In early April 2010 a federal appeals court handed a set-back to the FCC's ability to police the Internet — ruling that the FCC's purview under current law gives it little authority over broadband services. Copps believes that the companies providing and making a profit from Internet services are not the right people to police the system. And Copps doesn't mince words about the importance of the net neutrality issue:

        Our future is going to ride on broadband. How we get a job is going to ride on broadband. How we take care of our health. How we educate ourselves about our responsibilities as citizens. This all depends upon being able to go where you want to go on that Internet, to run the applications that you want to run, to attach the devices, to know what's going on. That's what net neutrality is all about.
        Direct link the documentary, "The Net @ Risk":
        http://www.pbs.org/...

        **Run time 1:23:23**

        I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

        by Just Bob on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 08:28:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And former FCC Commissioner Copps (5+ / 0-)

        lays out his case for common carrier here:

        The Buck Stops at the FCC
        By Michael Copps, Benton Foundation and Common Cause, January 22, 2014

        Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

        by Simplify on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 09:37:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The solution present by the (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Choco8, Simplify, JesseCW, Brown Thrasher

      FCC chairman is potentially more harmful that any scenario presented under reclassification.

      •  How so? (0+ / 0-)

        There are two basic solutions presented, a reclassification and a current system with ISP's allowed to sell a priority lane.  Up to this point no one has bothered to explain the pros and cons of the former and just focused on the latter.  One option being not good doesn't make the other one good.

  •  This Is Not Much Less Fundamental to Civilization (11+ / 0-)

    than allowing a desk clerk to arbitrate ownership of the high seas a century ago.

    But the list of lethally dangerous archaic features of the American system is long and only grows longer.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 04:44:04 AM PDT

  •  Part of the problem is that the American public (13+ / 0-)

    seems to be apathetic on this issue. Only 745 comments as of Wednesday morning. There should be millions of comments to the FCC. So tragic. If we lose this one, we lose a LOT.

    Thanks for the informative diary.

    Maybe you should republish later so that more people see this diary and sign the petition and make a comment. Thanks.

    "Southern nights, have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint Remember the Gulf of Mexico.

    by rubyr on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 05:25:35 AM PDT

    •  The problem is (10+ / 0-)

      that the American public are victims to an almost complete media blackout over this issue. Big Rightwing Business didn't spend the last 30 years buying up all the media outlets so they coiuld inform the public.

      The public isn't apathetic. It is in the dark.

    •  Also, I wouldn't equate lack of comments (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Simplify, katiec, JesseCW, Brown Thrasher

      with apathy. Even those who are informed on this issue, and care about it, may not comment because most people seem to have figured out that petitioning the government is a waste of time.

      There is, and has always been, only one thing that can influence politicians - the ability to make them win or lose their next election.

      And since a large segment of the American left's brains have fallen out, and has decided to support anyone who calls himself or herself a Democrat, even when their record is to the right of Reagan, that power to influence politicians, at least Democratic ones, has been thrown away.

      Until enough of the Democratic base decides to stop listening to snake oil salesmen, and realize that failing to hold so-called democrats accountable, and throw their asses out on the streets, is NOT the way to get more or better Dems, but in fact, helps the Republicans, then you can enjoy watching your country continue to descend into decay and ruin.

  •  Someone is going to end up paying for bandwidth (5+ / 0-)

    I believe the main fear of the FCC is that if they make ISPs into common carriers then the ISPs will stop selling unlimited internet and switch to metering.

    Now that would stifle innovation.

    The other fear is that the ISPs who have sunk $billions into expanding their networks over the last decade would just stop expanding service altogether because as bandwidth demands increase adding customers wouldn't be as profitable.

    We'd have a lost decade where the ISPs just stood pat with the network they already have.

    Obviously there are ways to address these concerns, but they have their own tradeoffs and downsides, same as the current FCC proposal.

    •  Lack of access to Netflix doesn't threaten... (5+ / 0-)

      ...democracy.

      I don't give a rat's ass whether the internet makes video on demand better.

      That's bread and circuses.

      I care whether news and political information is easy to disseminate.

      Obama: Pro-Pentagon, pro-Wall Street, pro-drilling, pro-fracking, pro-KXL, pro-surveillance. And the only person he prosecuted for the U.S. torture program is the man who revealed it. Clinton: More of the same.

      by expatjourno on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 06:53:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, it's a fuzzy distinction (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Simplify, Iberian, JesseCW, expatjourno

        Netflix hosts a lot of political documentaries. Some you won't find elsewhere easily. Throughout history, plays, even operas have been lightning rods for political change and instruments of subversion.

        In some periods, theater was the news and opinion all wrapped up in one. Which is why the theater was so heavily censored across Europe. Could modern movies serve this function? Yes.

        Don't get me wrong. Your point is valid. I just don't think it's wise to throw a big barrier of distinction up between different media outlets.

      •  and so? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        duhban

        if DKos takes an extra 0.1 seconds to load is that a threat to democracy? If Amazon.com loads faster than NYTimes.com is that a threat to democracy?

        •  You've had this explained to you... (8+ / 0-)

          ...in multiple threads now.

          Your comparisons are wrong.  It's far more about being able to find and reach in a timely matter the sorts of sites that call NYTimes.com on their bullshit when stuff like the Judith Miller saga happens, than "o noes, teh amazons is loading faster than MSNBC!!!1!!!!111!!!one!!!"

          What advantages do you see with ISPs doing more traffic shaping than they're doing now, and what's your technical reason for thinking those are advantages?

          Everyday Magic

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

          by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 07:55:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have? Well that's interesting... (0+ / 0-)

            Since I haven't posted on multiple threads. You must be thinking of someone else who also hasn't bought into the net neutrality groupthink panic.

            "o noes, teh amazons is loading faster than MSNBC!!!1!!!!111!!!one!!!"
            Yup. That's how I read the situation. There will be some sites that gain competitive advantage by delivering their content a little faster, online trading sites, casinos and other games, streaming video sites like Amazon or Hulu... places that have high bandwidth needs and market instant gratification.

            Most of the internet isn't like that. Political news and analysis can brook a delay of a few milliseconds. Sites like DKos have limited bandwidth usage (images and videos are all hosted elsewhere, so their bandwidth is marginal).

            What advantages do you see with ISPs doing more traffic shaping than they're doing now, and what's your technical reason for thinking those are advantages?
            The advantage I see is that it will allow the ISPs to charge content providers rather than us. It will give them a perfect motivation to compete with each other, to expand into new markets, and to build out capacity.

            The other alternative is metered internet. Where individual users pay their ISPs for the bandwidth they use. That would suck and would be exactly what they would do were the FCC to label them "common carriers".

            •  You do realize... (7+ / 0-)

              ...that your comment history shows where you've posted, right?  And that you posted in Joan's thread yesterday?

              Now that we have that cleared up...

              My Netflix bill is going up a buck, and my Comcast bill ain't going down.  Verizon's isn't either.  Common carrier on DSL lines hasn't caused AT&T to start metering.  As it is now, ISPs are getting paid on both ends, which is even worse than the cable TV model they want to preserve.

              Every packet that gets prioritized under a fast lane scheme is another packet being delayed.  You're acting like all that matters here is mainstream media and popular blogs that can afford CDN charges.  They don't just start out that way.

              But I notice you still haven't answered the technical reasons why you think such a fast lane scheme is possible and won't affect the rest of the traffic.   Being a systems professional myself, I'm interested in hearing the new breakthrough you've learned about that hasn't filtered down to the rest of the industry.

              Everyday Magic

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

              by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 08:23:22 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's not true on the packets (0+ / 0-)

                at least not in the case of Netflix given that Netflix is having their own servers installed. Thus there should be little if any effect anywhere but Netflix.

                Given that this is what has been observed with Comcast service in the weeks following Netflix's deal with Comcast I would say things are functioning as expected.

                Der Weg ist das Ziel

                by duhban on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 09:56:28 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That's because Netflix's deal isn't a fast lane. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  lunachickie, Brown Thrasher

                  Netflix's deal is an interconnection inside data centers where Comcast has equipment present, and there's not an unlimited amount of data center space where this can occur.  You have to packet shape past a certain point to achieve a fast lane.

                  Everyday Magic

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

                  by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 10:20:09 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  which gets into the other issue here (0+ / 0-)

                    A lot of people have been calling this a 'fast lane' when it's not. Assuming the rule is limited in scope especially to the current events this isn't even a 'fast lane'.

                    Der Weg ist das Ziel

                    by duhban on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 10:23:35 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The FCC proposal... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      lunachickie, Brown Thrasher

                      ...is what calls for the fast line, and it's not limited in scope to the Netflix-style issue.  As sweatyb says below, while they're trying to present it as "We'll build a separate fast lane!" like they're going to do a ton of these interconnectionse, if they're not also duplicating the last mile, you're doing packet shaping and degrading the 'net for all non-fast lane traffic.

                      Everyday Magic

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

                      by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 10:41:52 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I will wait to see what the rule says before (0+ / 0-)

                        I go any further on that.

                        Der Weg ist das Ziel

                        by duhban on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 10:48:05 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  The proposed rule is already out there. (4+ / 0-)

                          That's why we know about it.  It's not like the PPACA where the HHS secretary has significant leeway in how it gets implemented -- it's a pretty clear plan to allow a fast lane.  ISPs and the FCC are playing it up like they're going to build a separate infrastructure for this fast lane, but you know as well as I do that they aren't going to duplicate however many tens of thousands of miles of last mile connections out there, meaning at the end of the day, it's packet-shaping and degradation of non-fast lane traffic.

                          Never mind the waste of resources it represents having to have multiple edge locations interconnected to each major ISP rather than being served from distributed CDNs.  All that power isnt cheap and it's mostly coming from coal.

                          Everyday Magic

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

                          by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 11:02:47 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  you're assuming the bottleneck is at the last mile (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            duhban

                            and it might well be. or it might be elsewhere inside the ISP's network.

                            You're arguing that net neutrality is technically superior; that a neutral network will always outperform a non-neutral network for most (if not all) conditions.

                            The ISPs are arguing that net neutrality has created a tragedy of the commons. And that the confines of net neutrality are allowing bad actors to externalize the costs of their business onto the ISPs and their customers.

                            They're saying, "we can build a better network if you just let us." The FCC is saying, "Hmmm, there are obviously some issues here. Let's see what you can do. But I am keeping an eye on you." And everyone here is screaming, "ZOMG! NOOOO! Our freeeeedoms!"

                          •  You keep saying that (1+ / 0-)

                            too bad nobody here believes you.

                            And enough with the cutesy-LOLcat speak, already. That doesn't help you at all...

                            This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

                            by lunachickie on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 11:32:42 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  To be fair to sweatyb... (4+ / 0-)

                            I started the LOLcat speak in this exchange.

                            Everyday Magic

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

                            by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 11:33:34 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The bottleneck is the last mile. (3+ / 0-)

                            I didn't realize a simple fact of networking would be in dispute.  The bottleneck is ALWAYS the last mile.  It's especially the bottleneck for building out an entirely new network, because the last mile is the most expansive area to lay new lines to, and if you're not duplicating the last mile, you're packet shaping at the ISP level, and you've already admitted that that absolutely will degrade Internet traffic.

                            Everyday Magic

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

                            by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 11:35:52 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

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

                            you're arguing for the technical superiority of net neutrality. you might be right. the ISPs don't think you are. the FCC isn't sure.

                          •   yes, but they are basing their argument on (2+ / 0-)

                            their own business interests, not on what's best for the internet, and the people who use it, and the possible up and coming businesses on the internet.

                            Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

                            by greenbastard on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 11:49:52 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  of course (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            duhban

                            I recognize that the ISPs interests and their users' interests are not aligned. The FCC is charged with balancing the needs of many different interests. That's their job. If you think they're just the cable company's puppet, well, what more is there to say? No regulation can satisfy, because the FCC would be the ones to enforce it.

                            I think the Netflix scenario (one company as 30% of the internet traffic) provides strong evidence that net neutrality allows content providers to externalize significant costs. And that hurts not just ISPs and their users, but also all the other content providers.

                            Maybe the Technomancer is right and the "fast lane" isn't the right technical approach to solve that problem. Perhaps, as others are arguing here, the "fast lane" proposal creates even more problems or even presents a threat to the internet and the very fabric of our society.

                            I think the FCC is very mindful of the status and importance of American broadband, and that it will watch very closely as the ISPs run this experiment. The FCC and its director have said very explicitly that they are ready to reign in any ISPs that overstep. (And again, if you don't trust them, then what's the point of any regulation?)

                            I'm beginning to suspect that the underlying issue here is that most people aren't comfortable with the fact that their ISP is a corporation. And that all this time, they've been sending their correspondence, googling their kittens, and tweeting their twits through the slimy tentacles and lusting eyeballs of a grasping, clawing, evil company.

                          •  I hvea no problem with regulations, especially (0+ / 0-)

                            when lobbyists for the industry are at the helm, next to a revolving door.

                            I think that is what people object to, and the idea that all traffic shouldn't be treated equally, and as the EFF has stated, that carriers aren't given the ability to choose winners and losers in that traffic.

                            Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

                            by greenbastard on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 12:37:47 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No it's not (0+ / 0-)

                            the rule is going to be shown and opened for comments on May 15th. There's not even a formal proposal yet.

                            Der Weg ist das Ziel

                            by duhban on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 01:22:33 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

              •  DLS lines! Wow! (0+ / 0-)

                Did you really just reference DSL in a post about how you're worried the internet might get slower? DSL isn't metered, because DSL was slow even when it was rolled out.

                You're acting like all that matters here is mainstream media and popular blogs that can afford CDN charges.

                No, I'm acting like mainstream media and popular blogs aren't going to pay ISPs at all. The "fast lane" concept is an upsell for particular services that require low latency (E.g. trading, gaming and high def video).

                But I notice you still haven't answered the technical reasons why you think such a fast lane scheme is possible and won't affect the rest of the traffic.
                I'm answering your questions as you ask them...

                Obviously, the ISPs think it's possible. ISPs might try to use traffic shaping (as you fear) to move privileged packets on their network through to their customers faster. Or they could build out separate capacity just for the "fast lane" (which is how the ISPs and the FCC are couching it).

                Traffic shaping would make everyone's internet experience slower. Depending on the volume of traffic, it could be significantly slower. And here's the thing: slowing down the internet in that way would be bad for the ISPs. Traffic shaping is an impractical solution, it's difficult to sell, complex to do correctly, intensely fragile, and it doesn't scale. It's also guaranteed to piss off your customers on both ends.

                Building out dedicated capacity would be a much better approach. It would be easier to sell, easier to manage, and easier to grow. And the result of moving streaming video, etc. traffic onto the "fast lane" would be that it would actually speed up the rest of the network. Customers get guaranteed faster access to the sites that pay and generally faster access to everything else.

                This is not to say everything will be hunky-dory, but there are upsides to this proposal and the downsides aren't what everyone here thinks they are.

                •  Yep, I did. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  lunachickie

                  ...because uVerse is VHDSL, which can max out at 40Mbps on a dual-bonded channel line, and is not metered, and has competition (see Sonic.net's Fusion service, which is the their version of uVerse over AT&T's lines) due to common carrier status.  ADSL/SDSL ain't the only DSL in the game anymore, nor has it been for years.

                  No, I'm acting like mainstream media and popular blogs aren't going to pay ISPs at all. The "fast lane" concept is an upsell for particular services that require low latency (E.g. trading, gaming and high def video).
                  Which doesn't change the fact that this has to be done by traffic shaping, because nobody's building out a duplicate Internet infrastructure, and having a separate infrastructure puts us on a splinternet model anyway, which is definitely NOT a benefit to any user of the Internet.

                  Plus, you'd have to build that fast lane infrastructure down to the last mile as well, otherwise you're ending up with the same peering disputes that are forcing this situation that we have now.  And again, it's pretty obvious nobody's interested in getting their streets dug up by any company that wants to run a fast lane through your neighborhood.

                  It'll end up being done by packet shaping, and as you rightly state, that does slow it down for everyone else, and even moreso if they decide to do deep packet inspection to determine content rather than doing QoS at scale from known "fast-lane" sources.

                  I don't see the upside you're talking about from this proposal.  I don't see this providing more and better options for consumers.  I don't see this as making the US internet any more trustworthy to do business over.

                  Everyday Magic

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

                  by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 10:36:33 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  uVerse looks a lot like FIOS (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    duhban

                    I don't see anything to support your contention that uVerse is being regulated as a common carrier. I think they fall under the same regulatory framework as Verizon FIOS or whatever Comcast's ISP is called.

                    I don't see the upside you're talking about from this proposal.  I don't see this providing more and better options for consumers.  I don't see this as making the US internet any more trustworthy to do business over.
                    I have more faith in the system than many here. I believe that if the ISPs intentionally degrade their product, they will be destroyed for it.

                    I watched the growth of the internet, it's gone through many phases to get to where it is today.

                    I guess I just don't see what's so great about the current state of affairs that makes everyone think we should stop here.

                    •  uVerse is fiber to the node. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      lunachickie, pgm 01

                      Last mile is done over the phone, which is why CLECs like Sonic.net can offer their Fusion service over it, which is either a single 20MB VHDSL channel, or a 40MB dual-bonded VHDSL channel.  AT&T has to allow them access to the lines.

                      uVerse service itself a bonded dual-channel, except they subnet (or VLAN) off part of it to deliver IPTV.

                      FIOS is fiber to the door, and not regulated as common carrier at this time, hence why you only get it from the owner of the line, whether that's Verizon themselves or someone they sold the lines to, like Frontiernet or CenturyLink.

                      Right now, ISPs can and do intentionally degrade their product.  We just watched Comcast do it to force Netflix into an interconnection agreement because of a peering dispute with Cogent.  When the ISPs have no competition, they can and will degrade the product.

                      Without competition, we need Net Neutrality.  With competition, your stance that they won't intentionally degrade their product is absolutely correct because they'll get killed by the competition.

                      Net Neutrality is a bandaid until Internet service is classified as a common carrier service.

                      Everyday Magic

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

                      by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 11:15:18 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I don't think that's what happened (0+ / 0-)

                        That's interesting about Sonic.net

                        We just watched Comcast do it to force Netflix into an interconnection agreement because of a peering dispute with Cogent.
                        My impression of that little spat is that Netflix thought it could route its traffic around Comcast to get the same result and it couldn't. Netflix was testing the value proposition of peering with Comcast and unintentionally degraded its own product.

                        Or do you think Verizon forced them to do it too? Conspiracy theories for everyone!

                        Maybe there's a better example of the ISPs degrading their product, but I don't believe that companies that do that are going to survive.

                        •  that's nice (0+ / 0-)
                          I don't think that's what happened
                          And you are....?

                          This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

                          by lunachickie on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 11:33:46 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Your impression is mistaken (0+ / 0-)

                          Which is common enough.

                          It actually comes down to peering agreements breaking down between Cogent and Comcast/Verizon.  What Netflix is doing is different from the FCC "Fast Lane" proposal.  They're basically adding content delivery nodes to Comcast and Verizon's networks, which is a waste of resources and doesn't reduce any impact on Comcast or Verizon's networks.  It makes the peering arrangements more equitable for Comcast and Verizon -- doing them a favor, basically, and paying for the "privilege" of doing so.

                          You already see ISPs intentionally degrading traffic on known peer-to-peer connections like torrents and the like.  You see Comcast decide not to enforce its data caps in areas where it has competition, but enforce them elsewhere where it can.

                          It's not a matter of conspiracy theory.  If I'm a Netflix fan and I have another option for high speed service and Comcast starts being dicks about Netflix speeds?  I go to another service.

                          For even more fun, go overlay Verizon FIOS maps and Comcast Cable service maps, then compare those with where AT&T has uVerse.  Not a lot of people that have Comcast can't even leave for a competitor because the sole competitor for broadband in the same area decided to get in on the racket too.

                          Everyday Magic

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

                          by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 02:41:09 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

        •  Yes. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          stevemb, JesseCW, Brown Thrasher
          if DKos takes an extra 0.1 seconds to load is that a threat to democracy? If Amazon.com loads faster than NYTimes.com is that a threat to democracy?

          Dallasdoc: "Snowden is the natural successor to Osama bin Laden as the most consequential person in the world, as his actions have the potential to undo those taken in response to Osama."

          by gooderservice on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 08:15:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  how? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            duhban

            for the vast majority of the history of modern democracy (say, since the American revolution) the internet didn't exist. now you're saying that a slight change in the relative speeds of some websites is going to kill democracy?

            •  Yes. (0+ / 0-)

              If you can't see or understand this, I can't explain it to you.

              The fact you brought up the American Revolution tells me you have no understanding of the issues here, and I have neither the time nor inclination to teach you.

              I will provide you a link or two if you have an open mind to read them.

              http://www.savetheinternet.com/...

              http://techcrunch.com/...

              Dallasdoc: "Snowden is the natural successor to Osama bin Laden as the most consequential person in the world, as his actions have the potential to undo those taken in response to Osama."

              by gooderservice on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 04:22:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Yes (4+ / 0-)

          Because if you really think its going to stop in 0.1 secs loads you are very naive. It will be like this Dkos will have to pay more to get the same. If not it will have to do away with video or photo loads, or will have to limit traffic, or it will be throttled.

          What do you think will happen to pages critical with Comcast? or Comcast owners?
          Once the door is open what about all content coming from foreign sites?

          Unless this is very regulated and policed it will lead to mafia style rackets by ISPs. DO you have any confidence in the FCC regulatory oversight? I have zero

          •  videos and photos aren't hosted here (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sviscusi

            I think 99% of content providers will not pay for "fast lane" servive and no one will notice. I think 1% of high bandwidth, instant gratification sites with deep pockets might pay to have their content delivered faster.

            DO you have any confidence in the FCC regulatory oversight? I have zero
            So then what do you care what rules the FCC puts in place. If you don't have faith in their oversight, they could enact exactly whatever rule you wanted and then just not enforce it.
        •  That's not the point (0+ / 0-)

          Any new policy will need to ensure that a deterioation of basic services won't happen.  It not a case of one website loading slightly slower because that's not an issue the ISP's face.  The issue is the asymmetrical use of bandwidth and whether ISP's are entitled to limit that.

    •  DSL is already under common carrier. (7+ / 0-)

      They're not metering, and competition from CLECs like Sonic.net has kept prices low there.

      Cable has no such competition, and when they have such competition, we have evidence from the DSL world that it will do nothing but lower prices as they can no longer make a 90+% margin off of a utility.

      I assume you have evidence to the contrary to back your claim that common carrier rules would cause ISPs to move to a metered model?

      Everyday Magic

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

      by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 07:59:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Plus they already meter (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW

        its not like we have an unlimited all equal speed and bandwidth for everyone for a fixed rate

        •  To be fair... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW, lunachickie, Brown Thrasher

          ...metering is charging per unit of data (KB, MB, GB, whatever), like you pay for each kWh of electricity.  Most non-mobile providers don't do that.

          What you're talking about is the fact that ISPs can advertise the maximum speed that they'll allow a certain class of connection to obtain, while the minimum guaranteed speed is much lower or non-existant.

          Everyday Magic

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

          by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 08:28:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  DSL's network is already built, no? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sviscusi

        DSL is cheap because the network is already built and paid for. It's also cheap because it's slow. It's not metered because they DSL connections can barely support a single Netflix stream.

        I assume you have evidence to the contrary to back your claim that common carrier rules would cause ISPs to move to a metered model?
        Somebody's going to end up paying... By the way, do you have evidence for your claim that the FCC's proposal will slow down the internet?
        •  Cable's already built and paid for, too. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lunachickie, pgm 01, Brown Thrasher

          That's not backing your argument in the slightest, and ADSL/SDSL that maxes at 6mbps isn't the only DSL in the game -- uVerse is VHDSL with fiber to the node.

          "Somebody's going to end up paying" isn't evidence, especially when we have existing evidence where VHDSL prices are kept low when a CLEC is around to compete, and how the second Google moves into town, everyone else's speeds go up and prices drop as well.

          As far as my claim? As you say in another reply, the paket switching involved to create a fast line does slow down all other traffic by the same relative amount.  This is backed by the EFF, and they've been sending out experts like Corynne McSherry to spread the word.

          And even if you were able to fully split the Internet into a fast lane-slow lane by building a brand new parallel Internet from scratch, you'd have to tell me how splintering the Internet actually makes it better, since support and evidence for the Internet being far better as a whole rather than splintered is right up there with Climate Change on level of agreement by experts in the field.

          I just happen to be an expert in the field too.  Just saying.

          Everyday Magic

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

          by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 10:59:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  They (3+ / 0-)

      already meter!!!! On both sides too!!

  •  Better litigation from Comcast, etc now (9+ / 0-)

    than no net neutrality for the forseeable future.

    Wheeler's rationale is lame.  He's doing what the ISPs want.  Or at least is afraid to piss them off.

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 06:32:06 AM PDT

    •  I'm pretty sure (0+ / 0-)

      what the ISP's want is to be in full control of every packet entering their network, to be able to cripple content competing with their own and to form content Oligopoly amongst non competing ISP's and content providers in order to smother competing ISP's.  That's pretty far from both of the proposals.

      •  It's already happening... (7+ / 0-)

        ...because of the proposals and lack of regulation.

        Netflix counts against your Comcast 250GB monthly data cap.  Movies and TV streamed from Comcast's video service StreamPix does not.

        Everyday Magic

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

        by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 07:56:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You sincerely don't get why Comcast is (3+ / 0-)

        going to cripple other content providers from Hulu to Netflix to Amazon (or charge them outrageous fees) in order to provide competitive advantage to their own overpriced On Demand services?

        This ruling allows that.

        "If anybody is wondering about Tom’s qualifications, Tom is the only member of both the cable television and the wireless industry hall of fame. So he’s like the Jim Brown of telecom, or the Bo Jackson of telecom.” President Obama

        by JesseCW on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 10:18:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Really, they don't even have to cripple them. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brown Thrasher, JesseCW

          Just leave the caps the same as bandwidth usage goes up.  Just don't count NBCUniversal, Comcast SportsNet, or content from other Comcast/NBCU properties towards the cap.  Do the same for On Demand/StreamPix content.

          Why bother crippling it when the price itself will do that for you -- if they even bother to charge you for extra space rather than shutting you off as a "network abuser" which is what usually happens if you go over that monthly cap?

          That's the endgame, not so much slowing don the competition, but crippling the competition's ability to deliver a product that can compete on the same level due to Comcast's ownership of the lines.

          Everyday Magic

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

          by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 02:30:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You seriously don't get that Comcast (0+ / 0-)

          wants to do that and a whole lot more?  Comcast wants to throttle everything that they don't have a piece of.  Comcast wants to throttle everything entering and exiting their network.  Netflix is a drop in the bucket compared to what Comcast wants to do.  

          The question is the best way under current law to keep Comcast from having carte blanche to do that.  That may be a reclassification, the bad from that may be liviable enough to make it the best option.  It may also not be.

          •  The best way is common carrier status. (0+ / 0-)

            But there is zero chance that a Telecom lobbyist is on our side in this.

            "If anybody is wondering about Tom’s qualifications, Tom is the only member of both the cable television and the wireless industry hall of fame. So he’s like the Jim Brown of telecom, or the Bo Jackson of telecom.” President Obama

            by JesseCW on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 09:56:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Obama: Closing off all threats to the plutocracy (15+ / 0-)

    With Citizens United, the increasing concentration of wealth and the concentration of media into a few plutocratic hands, net neutrality is the only obstacle to the total control of all media into the hands of a small group of plutocrats.

    Now, by delaying the decision to make ISPs common carriers, the Obama Administration is attempting to run out the clock on any comeback by individuals via internet channels.

    It's despicable, but equally, it is transparently so.

    This administration may or may not let a future administration administer the coup de grâce on democracy. What it is most certainly doing is failing to protect ordinary citizens from malefactors of great wealth.

    As usual.

    Obama: Pro-Pentagon, pro-Wall Street, pro-drilling, pro-fracking, pro-KXL, pro-surveillance. And the only person he prosecuted for the U.S. torture program is the man who revealed it. Clinton: More of the same.

    by expatjourno on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 06:47:27 AM PDT

  •  this is an exquisitely written diary! merci for (6+ / 0-)

    your diligence on this topic.

    I am tired of laughing at the irony of their stupidity.

    by stagemom on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 07:44:08 AM PDT

  •  I Paid For My Connection (6+ / 0-)

    And paid for the rate of connectivity. The people who argue against it (including the occasional comment here) boils down to, "But we didn't think you'd use it."

    Tough luck. The speed limit says 55, I'm driving 55. I'm not going faster but I don't need an ISP forcing me to go slower.

    And as the song and dance begins, the children play at home with needles, needles and pins.

    by The Lone Apple on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 08:18:13 AM PDT

  •  This is just another (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW, Brown Thrasher

    part of the whole capture of anything public by the owners of the place. Why should the government, the spokespeople for the too big's, get to decide who deserves to be the next Google or Facebook? Like we need more giant corporate ownership of the world wide web.  They want to turn the net into another vast wasteland like the TV for many reasons.

    One of them being that the net is the common square where people globally can exchange information and organize without the filters of corporate control of content. It's democratic and a threat to their shaping of content.  The net is already a common carrier and the last thing the too bigs want is ordinary people having access to a medium that is open and free.    

    By-partisan 'sophisticated' lawyers and lawmakers are weaseling over the wording and meaning of Clinton's Telecommunication Act.  Another deregulating privatizing across the board monopoly wherein a handful of too big's get to own, control and make a obscene profit off communication and information from both ends.

    Like healthcare we are going to have to pay the trolls before we can cross the bridge and even then what's on the other side will be served up by the likes of Google, Facebook, Amazon's, now and forever.  The truth is out there but unless you can pay the vig it will remain obscured. As a Democratic Senator from Louisiana said of the PO there is no such thing as a free lunch. Apparently we have to pay and can only eat what ever they decide is fit fare.          

  •  The worst part of the FCC comments? (6+ / 0-)

    Is that they say "if" the internet companies abuse their power.  "If" they do what the whole point of removing Net Neutrality allows them to do...then Title II will be considered.

    Last I checked, that "if" train left the station months ago.  How clueless is the FCC?  This is clearly a case of corruption and willfull ignorance to help internet companies make billions by turning our internet even worse that it already is compared to countless other countries.

    The situation I refer to is the crap Netflix is dealing with.  Where Comcast (?) was throttling the internet for people who subscrived to Netflix.  They recently struck a deal here if Netflix wants their customers to get proper speeds (which they paid for), Netflix should have to pay them money.

    This is called "rent seeking".  Companies trying to get money while doing/offering nothing at all.  I don't care what side of the political spectrum you fall on, nobody should be supporting or defending this sort of profiteering.  

  •  Yet another Koch-Bought/corporate shill (0+ / 0-)

    type -- just like his predecessor Michael Powell (Colin Powell's)

    We're batting for the 1% in this rigged game!

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 09:22:05 AM PDT

  •  Very nice diary, Simplify. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify, Brown Thrasher

    Classism on the mind?

    Broadband speeds are increasing in many areas, "but the last thing we want is for USF to result in some kind of second-class status for broadband in rural areas," Wheeler said.
    "FCC adds $9 billion to broadband subsidy fund" for ~5million rural subscribers...
    http://www.networkworld.com/...

    I hope this is within the context of the diary, for I have been very confused lately...

  •  That's incredibly unfair and inaccurate (0+ / 0-)

    to what Wheeler said.

    I get that this is a passionate topic but could we at least be reality based about it? I have no clue if Wheeler's way is the right way or not but he is right that it is a guarantee that the ISPs would challenge common carrier status in court all the way up to the SCOTUS. Maybe he should do it anyways though I personally think it would be more effective for Congress to do it.
     

    Der Weg ist das Ziel

    by duhban on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 09:45:57 AM PDT

  •  It would seem that the strongest argument on (4+ / 0-)

    behalf of ISPs being common carriers is that for too many of us, we have no choice.

    The only broadband available where I live is from Time Warner. Because the other providers like AT&T Uverse do not want to invest in the infrastructure, and the city has decided to only allow TimeWarner to provide cable service.

    When the government, at any level, determines what service shall be available via cable, how can the cable companies be considered anything but common carriers?

    •  Exactly right (3+ / 0-)
      When the government, at any level, determines what service shall be available via cable, how can the cable companies be considered anything but common carriers?
      It's that way in large sections of this country. And if a locality takes the power to decide what service shall be available in any jurisdiction, then the ISPs are "common carriers". Otherwise, localities all over the country are violating the rights of these private companies, and I don't see them suing the localities to make them overturn those laws.

      Make sure you mention that when you comment to the FCC. Unlike many "online petitions" that go nowhere, your comments can make a difference. Volume gets these folks' attention.

      This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

      by lunachickie on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 11:47:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Appointing the other side is not working (0+ / 0-)

    Somebody tell Obama not to do a Clinton.

  •  Riddle me this, then (0+ / 0-)
    If we get to a situation where arrival of the “next Google” or the “next Amazon” is being delayed or deterred
    How the hell is a former cable guy lobbyist going to be able to predict what's the "next Google" or "next Amazon" going to be. Google and Amazon took the world by storm precisely because, like the Spanish Inquisition, nobody expected them to grow as big as they did. If the cable industry had any clue, they'd have been all over it ten years ago, but they weren't and they didn't, and it's not up to us citizens to protect their delicate fee-fees over whether or not they can make obscene profits instead of just huge profits.

    How does the Republican Congress sit down with all the butthurt over taxing the wealthy?

    by athenap on Fri May 02, 2014 at 09:16:12 AM PDT

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