dslreports logo
site
spacer

spacer
 
   
spc
story category
FCC To Vote On Paper Thin Neutrality Rules
Your neutrality regulations, delivered by AT&T
by Karl Bode 10:34AM Wednesday Dec 01 2010
The good news for consumers? After more than a year of inaction, the FCC is planning to vote on network neutrality rules at their December 21 meeting (see FCC meeting anouncement, pdf). The bad news? According to the Washington Post, the rules don't appear to do much of anything carriers aren't doing voluntarily, and largely exempt wireless -- something AT&T pushed hard for during their extensive recent meetings with the agency. There's also no indication the FCC will have the authority to enforce any of them, given Genachowski now seems gunshy about previous plans to partially reclassify ISPs as common carriers. According to the Post:
quote:
The proposal bars the operators of broadband lines into homes from blocking Web sites, applications or any devices that attach to their networks. It would also prevent carriers from "unreasonable discrimination" that would, for example, serve up Comcast's Internet video service Xfinity faster and at better quality than that of rival Netflix. For wireless networks, the rules are weaker. Mobile carriers such as Sprint Nextel, AT&T and T-Mobile would be prohibited from blocking competing voice and video applications such as Skype, Google Voice or Netflix. But wireless providers wouldn't have the same rules against prioritizing certain applications and sites on their networks like cable and telecom firms.
While we'll be able to confirm this soon enough, the FCC's proposal appears to mirror a defeated proposal by Henry Waxman, which in turn mirrored the largely meaningless Verizon/Google proposal. The key similarity with all three proposals is that wireless services are largely exempt from any real consumer protections, justified by the age-old bogeyman that protecting consumers from anticompetitive behavior could stunt sector growth (read: revenues). AT&T pushed the FCC hard to mirror these earlier proposals, largely steer clear of wireless, and avoid Title II reclassification -- and AT&T clearly gets what AT&T wants. It just took six FCC meetings and three weeks.

In typical Genachowski fashion, the FCC head appears eager to please everybody -- and in the process will please nobody. While there will be some complaining by Libertarians about there being any rules whatsoever -- there shouldn't be. Unenforceable rules demanding carriers do what they're already doing voluntarily aren't really rules at all. They're showmanship. If the rules are as paper thin as they appear, the real winner will be carriers, and the losers will be consumers. A Genachowski speech later on this morning (live stream here) will officially begin the FCC process of dressing up AT&T's preferred neutrality approach as a huge win for consumers.

view:
topics flat nest 
decifal

join:2007-03-10
Bon Aqua, TN
kudos:1

closed

USA closed, come back when we regrow a spine against ruling corporations.. Thank you, hesitate to come again!

Snakeoil
Ignore Button. The coward's feature.
Premium
join:2000-08-05
Mentor, OH
kudos:1

Re: closed

Agreed.In my part of Ohio, I can only get cable supplied internet. Is there any true competiton amongst cable companies to help keep prices low?
No.

For some reason AT&T is real slow in rolling out DSL to my area. When I lived in GA, Bellsouth seemed to be on the ball about getting DSL out to nearly everyone.

So, here I am in ohio, stuck with Time warner Road runner.
--
To All Real Dads. For All Real Moms Every Real
Service.
gorehound

join:2009-06-19
Portland, ME
FCC
Fucken Cold Cocks !!!!
need i say anymore ?
decifal

join:2007-03-10
Bon Aqua, TN
kudos:1
Judging from what I am seeing in the postings and even the mods.. Alotta people have the "I got mine, if you don't have it you are below us" mindset.. Yes, we get pissed when this continues to happen and so would anyone else out there that is neglected with a utility that has on multiple accounts received public funding to be there yet it is not.

Maybe the big earthquakes that people say is coming will reshape our country into a big dollar sign... Or question mark.. Either or.. I'm just sick of the current trend... Can you tell?

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

Again

Why is this needed.

The FCC already has, and has used, authority granted to it by the Telecommunications Act of 1934 to enforce Net Neutrality. The FCC hasn't made any case as to why further regulations or powers are needed for any reason whatsoever.

I hope this gets lobbied to death. The best outcome would be either Congress gutting the FCC entirely, as it isn't really doing anything beneficial to anyone anymore, or severely limiting its funding and power back to the point where it can only regulate broadcasts over public airwaves, which was its original function.
--
"Net Neutrality" zealots - the people you can thank for your capped Internet service.

ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Evanston, IL

Re: Again

seriously? ISPs don't need to be regulated?

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

Re: Again

said by ArrayList:

seriously? ISPs don't need to be regulated?

I would presume that like most businesses ISPs are already subject to existing regulation. One example of such regulation is the Telecommunications Act of 1934 which allows for the FCC to fine ISPs should they block access to specific types of content. The FCC has used this law once in 2005 to fine an ISP for blocking access to VOIP services.

»FCC Identifies, Fines VoIP Blocker

So the question still remains, why is more regulation needed.
--
"Net Neutrality" zealots - the people you can thank for your capped Internet service.

canesfan2001

join:2003-02-04
Hialeah, FL

1 recommendation

Re: Again

Because the internet has changed a lot since 1934.

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

Re: Again

said by canesfan2001:

Because the internet has changed a lot since 1934.

And yet the law seems to work fine.
--
"Net Neutrality" zealots - the people you can thank for your capped Internet service.
TheRogueX

join:2003-03-26
Springfield, MO

Re: Again

lol

Suuuuure it does. Maybe on whatever planet you're from, but here on Earth? It doesn't work. At all.
--
»/im/82288374/5591.png

HappyAnarchy

@iauq.com
Do you not follow the news or just enjoy lying?
Comcast quashed the FCC having authority over net neutrality in court - so no, they haven't been able to enfore Net Neutrality.

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

1 recommendation

Re: Again

said by HappyAnarchy :

Comcast quashed the FCC having authority over net neutrality in court - so no, they haven't been able to enfore Net Neutrality.

Comcast was successful in asserting that the FCC has 0 authority to dictate to Comcast how to manage its network. No one has explained why any network operator should have to defer to the FCC when it comes to issues related to traffic and protocol management.

Can you provide one example of where Comcast has blocked its broadband subscribers from accessing particular services? If you can, then this is an issue where the FCC can use its existing authority, which again, is derived from the Telecommunications Act of 1934, to go after Comcast for any alleged wrongdoing.

Here's the link to a story (on this very site, imagine that) that details the FCC use of this authority, just in case you missed it in my previous posts.

»FCC Identifies, Fines VoIP Blocker
--
"Net Neutrality" zealots - the people you can thank for your capped Internet service.

ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Evanston, IL
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: Again

said by pnh102:

Can you provide one example of where Comcast has blocked its broadband subscribers from accessing particular services?

when they block people from accessing services like p2p filesharing? or did that never happen?

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

Re: Again

said by ArrayList:

when they block people from accessing services like p2p filesharing? or did that never happen?

Throttling is not the same as blocking.
--
"Net Neutrality" zealots - the people you can thank for your capped Internet service.
flbas1

join:2010-02-03
Fort Lauderdale, FL

Re: Again

throttle the bandwidth by constantly resetting the connection. the users could PING the remote, but when they connected, the TCP connection was RESET; causing the need to reconnect again; thereby blocking any traffic from being sent/received.

Jim Kirk
Premium
join:2005-12-09

Re: Again

Can't wait to see the pnh102 response to that.

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD
said by flbas1:

throttle the bandwidth by constantly resetting the connection. the users could PING the remote, but when they connected, the TCP connection was RESET; causing the need to reconnect again; thereby blocking any traffic from being sent/received.

But eventually, they did get their information transferred. If there's only a certain amount of bandwidth available, is it fair to everyone else that a subset of users get to monopolize all of it? Why is it wrong for Comcast to throttle down these users so that other users could actually use the bandwidth for which they paid? Bittorrent is not a real-time data transfer mechanism the way something like gaming or VOIP is, so there's nothing lost if it gets throttled to make more room for the other kinds of traffic instead.

If someone wants an unthrottled connection, such service is available, let those users pay the costs if they want it that bad.
--
"Net Neutrality" zealots - the people you can thank for your capped Internet service.
flbas1

join:2010-02-03
Fort Lauderdale, FL

Re: Again

said by pnh102:

But eventually, they did get their information transferred.

comcast was resetting the connection - to block the connection. yes, it was working - but at some ridiculous pace. like days or weeks.

said by pnh102:

If there's only a certain amount of bandwidth available, is it fair to everyone else that a subset of users get to monopolize all of it? Why is it wrong for Comcast to throttle down these users so that other users could actually use the bandwidth for which they paid?

not sure of the specifics, but comcast was doing it to "stop piracy". they have enormous bandwidth, capacity, and infrastructure. people were cutting the cable ($60+/month), and then downloading their weekly tv shows for free from the torrent system. bittorrent uses bandwidth, the same as a video or large webpage. the difference is the amount of data being transferred and duration of usage of the network. comcast plans capacity during the rollout of the service. My friend, i think comcast did it to keep their share of $60+/month by making it hard to do, and covering up with press releases. »Comcast Throttling Saga Finally Ends: Get Up To $16

said by pnh102:

Bittorrent is not a real-time data transfer mechanism the way something like gaming or VOIP is, so there's nothing lost if it gets throttled to make more room for the other kinds of traffic instead.

bittorrent IS real-time - you can connect and download actively. they don't snail mail you the bits (although on comcast's network, it might be easier). it is like you are playing a game, or video - but this game or video has a different purpose. and, it has to be done in real-time, at some point. VOIP usually goes thru network shaping algorithms, giving it a higher priority than email. trust me - if comcast was worried about the landline phone cord cutters, then VOIP would have problems on their network.

said by pnh102:

If someone wants an unthrottled connection, such service is available, let those users pay the costs if they want it that bad.

every other ISP (and now comcast) offers an unthrottled connection. but, you don't just "buy" it - that has to come from the ISP (comcast). that is in the deal that you are buying, that they are selling.

not sure if we are on the same page, but:
you buy internet service from an ISP. they agree to sell you 10MB for $x.

this means that you should be able to download ~10MB continuously. Continuously means 24x7x365 since that is what you bought for $x.

if you are checking, and the rate drops to 2MB, maybe there is technical interference, or maybe they are throttling you.

your argument should focus more on facts: throttling is a decision to force you to spend more money. they slowed your connection (or throttled it) so that only web pages work. they are preventing you from enjoying the 10MB connection that you paid for.

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

justified by the age-old bogeyman that protecting consumers from anticompetitive behavior could stunt sector growth

Preventing net neutrality on wireless networks isn't to improve sector growth as postulated here. But it is to prevent a flood of video from overburdening the cell networks with data they can't handle. The cell service providers must retain the ability to throttle video on cell networks in order to prevent a total brownout on data access.

firephoto
We the people
Premium
join:2003-03-18
Brewster, WA

Re: Wireless net neutrality would bury cell networks

said by FFH:

justified by the age-old bogeyman that protecting consumers from anticompetitive behavior could stunt sector growth

Preventing net neutrality on wireless networks isn't to improve sector growth as postulated here. But it is to prevent a flood of video from overburdening the cell networks with data they can't handle. The cell service providers must retain the ability to throttle video on cell networks in order to prevent a total brownout on data access.

That's a bunch of bull. Data is data and anyone who has a clue can manage a network to make it work. If the pipe is full and someone else needs access to the pipe then everyone on the pipe sees a slow down.

All this lobbying is to serve one purpose and that is to be able to upsell people to a premium service that gives them priority over non-premium paying people. All the big carriers want to offer their special content from special deals they make with content providers and there is no "access the internet" involved with their desires. They want to totally control the content you have access to.
--
Say no to JAMS!

rchandra
Stargate Universe fan
Premium
join:2000-11-09
14225-2105

Re: Wireless net neutrality would bury cell networks

said by firephoto:

All this lobbying is to serve one purpose and that is to be able to upsell people to a premium service that gives them priority over non-premium paying people.

I don't see the problem. That's the way it should be in a free market. It's not unlike wanting to pay for business-class service, or try to save some dollars by leasing a best-effort residential use service instead.
said by firephoto:

All the big carriers want to offer their special content from special deals they make with content providers and there is no "access the internet" involved with their desires.

...and so? Again, it's businesses free to offer whatever services they want.

said by firephoto:

They want to totally control the content you have access to.

uhhhh....no. Under what you yourself have written, you may still opt NOT to partake of the premium service.

It's their content. They own the rights. What you seem to be implying is they don't own the rights and you should just be handed this content just because you're you. You want the content, and you want it via that medium, you can pay for the content as well as the service across that medium to deliver that content to you.

What I would have a problem with, and would FIRST seek any free market solutions to remedy (such as switching carriers), is if content were manipulated based for example (and only as an example) on the peer IP address. As someone has already posted, it seems untoward for a carrier to go into octet streams and deliberately break connections in order to upset them (RST). I might go along with prioritizing packets in a nondiscriminitory way (e.g., if you transmit X% of RTP packets before transmitting Y% of FTP packets, or give priority to some DSCP-marked packets over other DSCPs, regardless of other criteria). That's just prudent traffic engineering. This also doesn't stop some carrier from OFFERING some (potentially higher-priced) service where your DSCP markings are trusted.

(That's one fundamental problem with general purpose traffic engineering...can you trust your customers will genuinely mark packets which need priority, instead of sending everything at top priority, just because they can?)
--
English is a difficult enough language to interpret correctly when its rules are followed, let alone when a writer chooses not to follow those rules.


Jeopardy! replies and randomcaps REALLY suck!

firephoto
We the people
Premium
join:2003-03-18
Brewster, WA

Re: Wireless net neutrality would bury cell networks

You're totally misunderstanding what I'm saying or intentionally twisting it.

Content is not always prime-time, consumer driven, mass market appeal type of things. I and others want what is available not just what is popular and marketed towards me.I don't want super fast access to YouTube ans sub-par access to SomeOtherTube...
--
Say no to JAMS!

rchandra
Stargate Universe fan
Premium
join:2000-11-09
14225-2105

Re: Wireless net neutrality would bury cell networks

Nope, not intentionally twisting it, but possibly misunderstanding...sorry for that.

That's what I was getting at by saying the criteria for traffic engineering must be uniform. Give priority to particular DSCPs, if they can be trusted not to be amped up all the time to top priority. Prioritize (but at the same time, do not starve others) RTP traffic because of the real-time nature of it. As long as YouTube is using the same protocols as SomeOtherTube (presumably HTTP), and the carrier doesn't own either YouTube or SomeOtherTube, that's fine; the companies who bring that content to you (TWC, Comcast, Sprint/Nextel, Level 3, etc.) shouldn't ordinarily be prioritizing traffic based on IP address.

However, I just don't see the big harm in allowing companies to run their networks otherwise as they see fit. If they want to create a different service wherein subscribers to that service get some differentiation, I don't see why they shouldn't. We already see this in cable and satellite TV where there are standard channels and premium channels, and in Internet services where additional dollars per month means additional (potential) kilo/mega/bits per second or different levels of support (business-class vs. residential-class). I just don't see premium Internet services as substantially different than those past three examples.
--
English is a difficult enough language to interpret correctly when its rules are followed, let alone when a writer chooses not to follow those rules.


Jeopardy! replies and randomcaps REALLY suck!
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO
Wireless has competition so neutrality should apply to all networks regardless as an over congested network will ALWAYS work itself out given time.

People will get sick of being on the bad network and switch to another wireless carrier or the carrier will invest in the network to improve service to keep or even gain consumers. We saw this with the iPhone debacle. If neither of those "improvements" happen then they should not be taking on any more consumers until their network can handle it. Its that plain and simple.

In addition, they can deter the use of their network by limiting the bandwidth that consumers can use by speed, caps, or by raising their prices creating less demand. However, blocking services for any reason should not be an option, PERIOD.

With all that in mind, what is you justification for allowing them to restrict the network use?

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrwvW088···embedded


Story on his speech and reactions by various parties:
»newenterprise.allthingsd.com/201···vestors/
mrbueno

join:2002-08-03
US

Open networks, not net neutrality.

There are many technical limitations for Wireless ISPs that wireline providers don't have to deal with. Sometimes "ADD MORE BANDWIDTH" isn't a viable answer.

What really needs to happen is the big telcos should be required to provide competitive access to smaller companies like they did in the 90s and then you will see more competition again. With more competition regulation is not needed as more competition brings more choice. Then the consumer can decided if they want kind of company they wish to do business with.

Further, cable companies should be required to allow ISP competition on their networks under the leased access rules already established.
tman852

join:2010-07-06
kudos:1

Re: Open networks, not net neutrality.

That's also a big reason why our national broadband services are pathetic compared to what a lot of other developed countries around the world are able to offer to typical residential customers.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO
I would agree 100% that line sharing with other ISP's should be required (not for free). I personally would like to see a nationwide network, but wont get into that again.

Your claim for the difference between wireless and wired are bogus though. Sure bandwidth is more restrictive in wireless, but they can use a multitude of other methods to limit its saturation that does not include blocking services.

They can easily do any combination of the following to ease the network:
* Limit the demand for their service through price hikes, bandwidth restrictions, or implementing caps that incur additional cost or further bandwidth restrictions.

* Do nothing and allow the network to get saturated and service to degrade thus causing consumers to seek a better alternative from another carrier.

* Invest in their network to make more bandwidth available.

All of those things I listed there are simple market economics that do not require an engineering degree, marketing degree, or government intervention.
celtictoad13

join:2009-02-25
Carlinville, IL

Forgetting Consumers Confidence...

Hey F.C.C..... Grow a pair will ya.... stop playing the corporate lapdog... we get enough of that through our elected politicians and the D.O.J.
buzz_4_20

join:2003-09-20
Limestone, ME

Re: Forgetting Consumers Confidence...

Agreed, the government is of and by THE PEOPLE... not BUSINESSES...

Bill Neilson
Premium
join:2009-07-08
Arlington, VA

Just cut through the crap

FCC won't do anything

Cable Companies will eventually get something in writing and passed which is HARSHLY worded to protect customers (because they understand the severe backlash given to them writing it) yet it will include small loopholes that allow the Companies to do basically whatever it wants, whenever it wants, etc....

CableConvert
Premium
join:2003-12-05
Atlanta, GA

Move to Chattanooga

They just announced some company bringing 2000 jobs due to the citys FO network
TimCo

join:2005-01-14
Ronkonkoma, NY

goodbye-to-internet-freedom

»www.washingtontimes.com/news/201···freedom/

rchandra
Stargate Universe fan
Premium
join:2000-11-09
14225-2105

Re: goodbye-to-internet-freedom

When more than two of any type of service (say, cable TV providers) are allowed to set up an outside plant, I might go along with this. Then there's real competition. Even taking under consideration Telcom-1996 and UNEs, that's barely palatable as "competition," because you're still going through the one entity, the one outside plant (not two or three). It's a shame it isn't exactly practical to lay three sets of gas lines for example, and instead we have pseudocompetition by being able to select an alternate supplier. It's still National Fuel (in my case) which has the sole right to deliver that gas (and charge for that delivery). I just think it's still practical (although horrendously expensive) to string more power, cable TV, and phone lines. Even so, it remains an issue of how to divvy up existing pole space (I'm not necessarily advocating granting the right to erect more poles (as CURRENT utilities share them), although maybe that ought to be discussed as well). Any resulting arguments (pro or anti regulation) fall flat because true competition can't occur.

The base problem therefore is not how much to regulate the existing companies, it's opening up rights-of-way to competing comanies wherever practical. And piped products such as gas and water (need to be buried) are the only utilities I can foresee where that's just not practical. All the rest of the utility poles I can recall seeing still have room for more cables.

Similarly, I don't share the commissioner's view that wireless is somehow fundamentally different. What's good for the wireline goose ought to be good for the wireless gander.
--
English is a difficult enough language to interpret correctly when its rules are followed, let alone when a writer chooses not to follow those rules.


Jeopardy! replies and randomcaps REALLY suck!