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  1. #1
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    Why — and when — net neutrality is important




    TOP STORY

    Why — and when — net neutrality is important


    By Woody Leonhard

    Netflix and Comcast now have an agreement allowing Netflix to link directly to Comcast's servers.

    Similar agreements are in the works, involving Verizon and many other ISPs.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/top-story/why-and-when-net-neutrality-is-important/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

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    New Lounger pszwarc's Avatar
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    FYI, 3 years ago France added Internet access among the basic commodities along with water, electricity and land telephone. Strangely enough, sewer is not in the list.

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    This article doesn't make any sense, and here's why: Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is explicitly calling this Comcast agreement a "toll" for better Netflix performance on its network. If it were merely an argument about Cogent not paying Comcast more money, why couldn't Cogent just go to Netflix and say "Hey, they're charging us more for Netflix traffic and we have to pass that along to you"?? That would be the typical business arrangement. In other words, if this is beneficial to Netflix from a money point of view - as well as a user experience point of view - why would the CEO go out of his way to decry essentially being blackmailed into a pay-for-play scenario? You see the problem there?

    Read here: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2...-just-comcast/

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    I'm confused about "net neutrality." If Comcast elects to increase its bandwidth, and sell that increase to, say, Netflix, then net neutrality would prohibit that sale. Result -- we all have less bandwidth. Comcast, (with whom I was a customer for 20 yrs, and for whom I have little love) has invested significantly in their infrastructure. They have an obligation to their shareholders to make a profit on this investment. If we, as a nation, say all must be "fair" (as I mean fair -- not as you mean it), then the investment will stop, and we will all be poorer for it. If Comcast wants to compete with Netflix, they, and I, are free to do so. If Netflix wants to sign a contract with their competitor, they are free to do so. If they don't like the terms, don't sign the contract, or continue to negotiate.

    As I see it, the *only* issue is an ISP's monopoly, as is typical for the cable companies. However, that is changing. I now have access to good internet independent of the cable companies (but didn't in my previous location). When a cable company has a government-regulated monopoly (is there any other kind?), then the business model should change to permit more diversity in traffic. In the case of a virtual monopoly, I agree with Woody. In the case of a relatively free market, with good alternatives to cable, I disagree vehemently.

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    Sadly all above the head for non-US Windows Secret members. So, the global implications?
    Tim

    (Asus Transformer Aio. Win8.1. Galaxy S4. Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5)

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    Star Lounger pseudoid's Avatar
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    Some Aids in How to Determine ISP Throttling?

    I guess for the US consumers the question would be "How to determine if my ISP is throttling my connection".
    If one was to google this question; one of the articles that will pop-up as a result is related to a utility called "Glasnost" as reported by this CNet article.
    I don't use Netflix nor do I visit BitTorrent networks directly thru my ISP, so such tools are not of interest to me but they may be of use to other members of WSL.
    The easier method of monitoring ISP network (Upload/Download) speeds is to run a little FREEware utility on the WinOS desktop called the NetMeter EVO v2.0, which is an upgrade to the old NetMeter FREEware (NOTE: be careful that you are not downloading/installing a version that has some built-in FOISTware [unchecky]. I am a paid customer of DU Meter by HagelTech which has served me well for over a decade (which I run as a start-up (TSR) program).
    I hope the above information isrelevant to topic at hand and is of use to other WSL members.

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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timsinc View Post
    Sadly all above the head for non-US Windows Secret members. So, the global implications?
    Some countries, like France, do enshrine Net Neutrality in their national laws. Others, sadly, do not. It's not just the USA.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    On another note: Where is there a current list of which US Reps and Sens favor or oppose the Comcast-TimeWarner deal?

    Yet another point -- if Netflix really does consume the lion's share of streaming bandwidth, why shouldn't Comcast and Netflix get together and turn Netflix into just another Value-Added service, like On Demand Video, which is paid for separately, makes no contribution to the Internet Service bandwidth cap, and has priority access to available bandwidth, as the Cable/TV channel streams and the On Demand streams have now? Not an outright acquisition, but treat Netflix as a Value-Added Cable TV service, not an Internet Streaming Video service. Would the legal issues be too thorny?

    Live Streaming services (like Aero in New York) could be treated the same way, and not contribute to Cell Data bandwidth caps. Nielsen Ratings could take viewers using these services into account in their official ratings. That way, content providers and advertisers could work out rates based on the actual total viewership, without "losing" viewers to pirate services. Same with next-day streaming availability of network shows. It doesn't have to be a Members-Only Club as CBS and ABC have now.

    The way things stand now in the USA, using pirate streaming and download sites is actually easier and cheaper than using legitimate channels or services. Under the current cat-and-mouse enforcement and evasion game, no one is winning!
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2014-03-27 at 13:45.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    Some countries, like France, do enshrine Net Neutrality in their national laws.
    It's been proposed a few times, but I don't think it's actually been enacted: France Considers Net Neutrality Law


    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    Others, sadly, do not. It's not just the USA.
    Only 1 or 2% of all the countries in the world have net neutrality laws.


    Bruce

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    EU' Single Telecom Market Move

    Food for Fodder (what ever that means):
    EU Moves Towards Single Telecom Market - Ends roaming charges
    Two weeks ago Neelie Kroes, vice president of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda, scored one of her biggest victories: The European Parliament backed her proposal for a single European telecom market.
    Since the birth of the Common Market 22 years ago, most of the trade barriers on goods and services have disappeared within the EU, except in areas such as energy, banking, and telecommunications. These sectors are heavily regulated by member states, and incumbent telcos are lobbying to keep competitors from entering their home markets. With the new regulation, most of those barriers will disappear, and consumer rights will be protected across the EU.
    The Commission press release states:
    The Telecoms Regulation was proposed by the Commission in September 2013. It aims to bring us much closer to a truly single market for telecoms in the EU, by ending roaming charges, guaranteeing an open internet for all by banning blocking and degrading of content, coordinating spectrum licensing for wireless broadband, giving internet and broadband customers more transparency in their contracts, and making it easier for customers to switch providers... extract from article in EET.
    Synopsis is in this video >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thJ2...u8M6djxI4dvpIg

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    They don't need laws for that when they control the pipes. They have mostly a wholesale model. The provide and maintain the fiber to the home, and the main gateway to the Internet. ISP's compete on service levels and price. That's why service is cheaper, and has higher bandwidth for less money.

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    I have often valued Woody's columns, but I have to completely disagree with his assessment in this one. Not sure what Ars Technica article he was referring to, but that's not what this one talks about: http://arstechnica.com/information-t...rade-networks/

    Nefllix already had servers sited in Comcast facilities, at their own expense. They offered to put in more to handle addtional load. They were discussing Comcast to be their ISP distribution point for Comcast, instead of Level 3 for to the entire Internet. Comcast wanted to charge them for something Comcast was already obligated to to do for their own customers already. And that their own customers were already paying for.

    At the level Comcast wants, their would stlll be a choke point if they desired to favor their own content, and be able to charge other last mile ISP's for Netflix distribution as well. This is unprecidented, as cost-sharing for distribution upgrades was the norm. Instead, this is a step to put Comcast in control of more than just their own subscriber's access to Netflix. THAT's the net neutrality concern. It is the only version of reality in this case.

    This was not so much about cutting out the middleman for Netflix, but Comcast inserting themselves as rent-seekers between their own customers who were paying for that already, and Netflix, for whom Comcast customers were also paying subscribers.

    Comcast wants a cut of Netflix's profits. And they WERE degrading packets to pressure Netflix to cave. They were holding back on, or refusing to allow upgrades to force this issue deliberately. The issue of content and distribution is directly tied to this as well.

    In the weeks leading up to the agreement, it was noticable to Comcast ISP customers and subscribers to Netflix that their connection was degraded, and they were vocal about it.

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    Cool

    Hello.

    Situation with bandwidth is most likely not going to change that much. Todays communications has very large bandwidth necesities. With large file sizes,and increasing format sizes. The transmissions are only going to grow larger. I've read a lot of Mr.Ulonoffs articles from pcmagazine. But I have not exactly seen the topology in a diagram that details the connection scenario I use everyday. Wireless technology is getting better - but there it is most of what you have concerning the inititial device that is communicating. For example,making a device only available to a certain ISP,or carrier. Most are aware of this. Then with this,the applications that are offered are immediately related to which carrier has them. This hasn't been much involved with the wired services. I understand the idea of pay to play. But I dont exactly pay for a wider bit of bandwidth on an alloted time span. With that however I am aware that formats are getting larger,and larger. And what is offered,and what is available to create communication is limited when vying for full sense communication. Sight,Sound,Vision and touch. Seems a monopoly of keeping the elephant if front of the mouse hole within the polarization of the applications.
    Think that for example,lower transmission dimensions where 'good' (when the screens could support them),and the processors were weak. Now there is processing power,and sufficiency goes,.and comes with lack of choice among them. As well as monopoly of the mediums that hold the communications.
    For cable,those transmissions on the cable system that trots that MPEG stuff - you've got a constant 98 to 200 channels of brain rots. For certain they are rocking some bandwidth to do so. Why couldn't I simply trade a 'movie channels' buy in,or an 'internet equivalent to the same bandwidth ? You've got to believe the cable companies have asked this too. Then you see that the upgrade equivalent,is a monopoly for somebody. But it wouldn't be the Internet you need.
    Like to add that the communications is a 'tranceiver'. With that there is an inexhaustable supply of communications. But the limitations are much the same as someone controlling one or the other. Then you know that only reason client-server is a surviving protocal is the investment in it. It is however somehow undeserving to something which should be the farthest from though as trickle. The telcos ,and cable systems need to upgrade with upgradable systems. Dont believe that the 30% of bandwidth Netflicks uses buys the other 100%.
    Last edited by Great Gravity; 2014-03-28 at 05:37.

  15. #13
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    I am from Germany, and we had an issue related to this a few month ago. A big internet provider wanted to slow down the downloadspeed significantly after a certain amount of traffic is used up (70 GB or soemthing). Now the interesting thing: Their plan was to get certain websites whitelisted (which would obviously cost those sites money, or some sort of cooperation with the provider), so those sites would be more attractive for slowed down users. This plan was shut down by the (not sure if i use the right term here) constitutional court within weeks. I dont think it was argued with net neutrality, but cause of unfair competition, since there is no basis for net neutrality in the german legislation that i am aware of.

  16. #14
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marot90 View Post
    I am from Germany, and we had an issue related to this a few month ago. A big internet provider wanted to slow down the downloadspeed significantly after a certain amount of traffic is used up (70 GB or soemthing). Now the interesting thing: Their plan was to get certain websites whitelisted (which would obviously cost those sites money, or some sort of cooperation with the provider), so those sites would be more attractive for slowed down users. This plan was shut down by the (not sure if i use the right term here) constitutional court within weeks. I dont think it was argued with net neutrality, but cause of unfair competition, since there is no basis for net neutrality in the german legislation that i am aware of.
    This seems a lot closer to net neutrality than US courts have acknowledged.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2014-04-06 at 08:03.
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