Net Neutrality

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JasonL
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Net Neutrality

Post by JasonL » 30 Apr 2014, 15:16

This is a big topic I don't feel I have a very good handle on.

Looking for the current state best arguments -Pro and Con. Arguments that acknowledge the tradeoffs are the most bestest.

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Warren
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Re: Net Neutrality

Post by Warren » 30 Apr 2014, 15:21

Con - Net Neutrality is a violation of property rights and contract law. Yet another attempt to create a "level playing field" via regulation that will result in the usual regulatory capture, unintended (yet foreseeable) consequences, and stifling of innovation.

Pro - Fuckin' Comcast.
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Highway
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Re: Net Neutrality

Post by Highway » 30 Apr 2014, 15:34

Basically what Warren says. The ONLY pro for why "we need net neutrality" is 'Fuckin' Comcast'. And it's not even all Comcast's fault: They don't own the backbones that get clogged when over 1/2 of the internet traffic is Netflix and bittorrent. The problem is that's a wasteland with under-investment. People blame their ISP, and they blame the server (say, Netflix) because they can't go find Level3 or whoever's got the shitty-ass switch that clogs up everything.

Warren Meyer pointed out that if you want the internet to get better, then you WANT Comcast, Verizon, Cox, and everyone making deals with Netflix, and whoever else is a high profile server, because that means that both sides now have a stake in making that work better. Netflix doesn't want to pay Comcast for preferential treatment only to see their traffic get bogged down in some terrible junction somewhere. That's what'll force investment in that infrastructure.
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JasonL
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Re: Net Neutrality

Post by JasonL » 30 Apr 2014, 15:38

My Big Dummy intuition is that a requirement to treat neutrally content that is not neutral in impact to the network could present problems, but I've seen new swirl around this topic making me wonder if some new consensus in favor of neutrality had emerged in the nerd classes.

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Re: Net Neutrality

Post by Mo » 30 Apr 2014, 15:49

AFAIK, it's not the backbones that get clogged by Netflix and the like, it's the last mile*. But, it's not due to capacity, but due to wanting more money.

* Apparently, when there was the big Netflix slowdown on Comcast, Netflix on Apple TVs worked just fine because Comcast let "Apple" traffic in the clear
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Re: Net Neutrality

Post by Shem » 01 May 2014, 03:09

Given all the regulatory capture that already exists, it's a little hard to see the "more regulation will make things worse" as being a bit simplistic. I mean, it might make it worse, but the state of the industry and the realities of events up to now mean that just cutting regulation isn't going to make it better. It's just going to codify what already exists. Something needs to be done to address the collusion that already exists.

Sandy had an interesting idea on his Facebook; the quickest way to end the argument over net neutrality is to make content providers legally liable for criminal acts committed using their networks. It is a little hard to take the common carrier argument seriously when ISPs aren't actually carrying content in common anymore.
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Re: Net Neutrality

Post by Jadagul » 01 May 2014, 05:18

Warren wrote:Con - Net Neutrality is a violation of property rights and contract law. Yet another attempt to create a "level playing field" via regulation that will result in the usual regulatory capture, unintended (yet foreseeable) consequences, and stifling of innovation.

Pro - Fuckin' Comcast.
Not that I'm disagreeing with you, but to elaborate:

Pro: Natural monopolies are bad and can easily extract monopoly rents. We tend to try to regulate them to keep them from extracting too much of the surplus in an inefficient manner (see utility companies).

Con: The prospect of monopoly-grade profits is a spur to the development of networks and the investment in infrastructure; regulated monopolies tend to get really lazy and stop investing capital in upgrading their infrastructure (See utility companies).

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Re: Net Neutrality

Post by Warren » 01 May 2014, 09:11

Shem wrote:Given all the regulatory capture that already exists, it's a little hard to see the "more regulation will make things worse" as being a bit simplistic. I mean, it might make it worse, but the state of the industry and the realities of events up to now mean that just cutting regulation isn't going to make it better. It's just going to codify what already exists. Something needs to be done to address the collusion that already exists.

Sandy had an interesting idea on his Facebook; the quickest way to end the argument over net neutrality is to make content providers legally liable for criminal acts committed using their networks. It is a little hard to take the common carrier argument seriously when ISPs aren't actually carrying content in common anymore.
WHAT WHAT WHAAAAAAAA? That sounds like a terrible idea.
You actually want to legally obligate Time Warner to read my email, monitor my browsing, and generally approve all the bits that pass through their pipes before I can see them?
How isn't that the worst of all possible worlds?

I don't even understand the basis of this proposal. Are you saying FedEx would be open to prosecution for distributing child porn if they made a deal with Amazon? Isn't that actually the case?
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Re: Net Neutrality

Post by Jennifer » 01 May 2014, 09:49

Warren wrote:
Shem wrote:Given all the regulatory capture that already exists, it's a little hard to see the "more regulation will make things worse" as being a bit simplistic. I mean, it might make it worse, but the state of the industry and the realities of events up to now mean that just cutting regulation isn't going to make it better. It's just going to codify what already exists. Something needs to be done to address the collusion that already exists.

Sandy had an interesting idea on his Facebook; the quickest way to end the argument over net neutrality is to make content providers legally liable for criminal acts committed using their networks. It is a little hard to take the common carrier argument seriously when ISPs aren't actually carrying content in common anymore.
WHAT WHAT WHAAAAAAAA? That sounds like a terrible idea.
You actually want to legally obligate Time Warner to read my email, monitor my browsing, and generally approve all the bits that pass through their pipes before I can see them?
How isn't that the worst of all possible worlds?

I don't even understand the basis of this proposal. Are you saying FedEx would be open to prosecution for distributing child porn if they made a deal with Amazon? Isn't that actually the case?
I think Sandy's argument was more along the lines of "If Internet companies want to discriminate based on content, let them deal with ALL the implications of that, not merely the implications most likely to increase their profit margins."
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Re: Net Neutrality

Post by JasonL » 01 May 2014, 09:52

The problem is more regulation can make things worse. Not necessarily, but it certainly can, and a policy like neutrality seems like a blunt instrument imposed from the outside. Intuitively what bothers me is if we have unlimited bandwidth by all means lets not make any decisions about content preferences. In any place where a decision has to be made, neutral is dumb in the sense that it is literally not being thought about. "Okay, we can choose A or B, boys - law says we flip a coin."

I may not understand the problem correctly but that has been my intuition about it.

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Re: Net Neutrality

Post by Mo » 01 May 2014, 10:02

I think opening up the infrastructure to competition, the way long distance was back in the day, would go a long way to solving the issue. It would also be a way to make up for the original sin of municipally granted monopolies.
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Re: Net Neutrality

Post by JasonL » 01 May 2014, 10:12

Does anyone know why efforts like Fios died? Is it one of those things where everyone says they hate comcast but push comes to shove they don't care that much?

I find it a bit sad to give up on competition for better network, which is kinda what opening up existing pipes to competitors feels like to me.

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Re: Net Neutrality

Post by Highway » 01 May 2014, 10:25

FIOS didn't die, they just stopped expanding it, and I think the main reason is, as I've said before, 4G wireless. The sheer amount of infrastructure required for FTTP, the hassles to get regulatory approval (having to say that they're not violating the monopoly granted to whatever cable company, fighting in city hall, etc), and the prospect that that whole network will be redundantly useless in 10 years doesn't make for a compelling business case.

I don't know what Verizon's returns on FIOS are, but I think they've cherry-picked the best areas they could, and realized that from there on out it was just going to get more and more marginal. Maybe they'll end up being wrong, but personally I doubt it. I think wireless has a far bigger upside for providers and users than any physical distributed network.
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Re: Net Neutrality

Post by Mo » 01 May 2014, 10:42

At the same time Verizon announced that they were ending FIOS expansion, they purchased a significant amount of cable company's LTE spectrum. I am not naive enough to believe that this is a coincidence.
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Re: Net Neutrality

Post by dhex » 01 May 2014, 10:55

my home 4g service costs 120 a month. so look forward to that!
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Re: Net Neutrality

Post by Warren » 01 May 2014, 10:55

Highway wrote:I think wireless has a far bigger upside for providers and users than any physical distributed network.
There's a gazzillion times more bandwidth in a fiber.
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Re: Net Neutrality

Post by dbcooper » 01 May 2014, 10:56

+ lantencies on wireless suck
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JasonL
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Re: Net Neutrality

Post by JasonL » 01 May 2014, 10:58

Yeah I guess the test case is Netflicks or similar right? Who is doing something like that wireless and loving life?

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Re: Net Neutrality

Post by Mo » 01 May 2014, 10:59

Latency is less of a concern with something like Netflix. Gaming is where latency kills.
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Re: Net Neutrality

Post by Aresen » 01 May 2014, 11:23

I have more or less ignored the net neutrality discussion, so I reallly don't know what it means.

What I THINK it means is either
1) That my ISP cannot charge me more than my neighbor who creates X gigabytes/month in traffic because I create X+Y gigabytes/month
2) My ISP can't allow me to pay more to move further up the polling queue than my neighbor.

Both of these seem to square with the "Canadian Medical Care" plan of Internet.

If it means something else, please enlighten me. (Except for you Jadagul. I want to understand the answer.)

Actually, I would settle for my ISP providing the 30 mps service that they bill me for.
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Re: Net Neutrality

Post by Highway » 01 May 2014, 11:27

Maybe it's just my personal experience skewing my viewpoint, but twitch gaming multiplayer, where the difference between a 20ms ping and a 50ms ping is important, is dying. MMO's don't have nearly the sensitivity to latency. Sure, I don't want a 250ms ping playing WoW, but a consistent 250ms ping is still playable.

But really, I'm not saying that any wireless implementation now is competitive with fiber. I'm saying that I think full 4G implementations are going to be competitive. They have lower latencies than any wireless implementation so far and higher bandwidth. That's the bet Verizon is making: that full 4G implementations will come online within the horizon they had for buildout of FIOS, and make it redundant.

It's nice to say "Fiber has more bandwidth, fiber has lower latency, fiber has butterflies and unicorns." But fiber also has a high buildout cost, and is pretty much a 'me too' to cable, which is already built out almost everywhere. So it's harder to say "We'll get a high percentage of the customers that we run these lines past." Not nearly the same way that cable could do when it was rolling out.
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Re: Net Neutrality

Post by Ayn_Randian » 01 May 2014, 11:27

Jennifer wrote:
Warren wrote:
Shem wrote:Given all the regulatory capture that already exists, it's a little hard to see the "more regulation will make things worse" as being a bit simplistic. I mean, it might make it worse, but the state of the industry and the realities of events up to now mean that just cutting regulation isn't going to make it better. It's just going to codify what already exists. Something needs to be done to address the collusion that already exists.

Sandy had an interesting idea on his Facebook; the quickest way to end the argument over net neutrality is to make content providers legally liable for criminal acts committed using their networks. It is a little hard to take the common carrier argument seriously when ISPs aren't actually carrying content in common anymore.
WHAT WHAT WHAAAAAAAA? That sounds like a terrible idea.
You actually want to legally obligate Time Warner to read my email, monitor my browsing, and generally approve all the bits that pass through their pipes before I can see them?
How isn't that the worst of all possible worlds?

I don't even understand the basis of this proposal. Are you saying FedEx would be open to prosecution for distributing child porn if they made a deal with Amazon? Isn't that actually the case?
I think Sandy's argument was more along the lines of "If Internet companies want to discriminate based on content, let them deal with ALL the implications of that, not merely the implications most likely to increase their profit margins."
This doesn't make any more sense than it did before.
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Highway
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Re: Net Neutrality

Post by Highway » 01 May 2014, 11:32

Aresen wrote:I have more or less ignored the net neutrality discussion, so I reallly don't know what it means.

What I THINK it means is either
1) That my ISP cannot charge me more than my neighbor who creates X gigabytes/month in traffic because I create X+Y gigabytes/month
2) My ISP can't allow me to pay more to move further up the polling queue than my neighbor.

Both of these seem to square with the "Canadian Medical Care" plan of Internet.
#1 isn't really correct. There's not much objection to tiered service (legally) even in net neutrality circles. You use more of a utility, you pay more.

#2 is partially correct. They can't allow you to pay for priority for your traffic, but more than that it generally means that they can't let my Netflix traffic enjoy a higher priority than your Amazon Prime or Hulu or whatever Canadian version of that you have is. And they can't punish that guy with the bittorrent traffic by making that lower priority than everything else.
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Re: Net Neutrality

Post by Warren » 01 May 2014, 11:33

Aresen wrote:I have more or less ignored the net neutrality discussion, so I reallly don't know what it means.

What I THINK it means is either
1) That my ISP cannot charge me more than my neighbor who creates X gigabytes/month in traffic because I create X+Y gigabytes/month
2) My ISP can't allow me to pay more to move further up the polling queue than my neighbor.
No those things are SOP (here in merica anyway). NN is about not giving Disney and Netflix head of the line privileges and thus relegating any non sponsored bits to "if there's no one else wanting to use the tubes" status, thus resulting in not being able to download this weeks Game of Thrones torrent before next weeks airs.
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Re: Net Neutrality

Post by Aresen » 01 May 2014, 11:38

Thanks Warren & Highway.

I am almost willing to be in favor of NN if it fucks Disney, preferably with a elephant-sized red hot iron dildo.
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