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Mozilla Proposes Their Own Solution For Net Neutrality
by Karl Bode 12:38PM Monday May 05 2014 Tipped by newview See Profile
Add Mozilla to the list of companies that would like it if the government would stop pussy footing around and would simply reclassify ISPs as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act. In a blog post, Mozilla states that they too are "concerned" that the FCC's latest take on net neutrality rules would not adequately safeguard the open Internet:
quote:
Even if the FCC’s current plan is adopted and survives court review, and even if Chairman Wheeler stands ready to use the FCC’s full authority to establish stronger protections later, should they become needed, Internet users and developers cannot know whether future FCC Chairs will maintain vigilance. In contrast, clear authority and meaningful, enforceable rules would provide lasting certainty.
Mozilla's solution? They're urging the FCC to designate remote delivery services as telecommunications services under Title II of the Communications Act, thereby requiring ISPs deliver packets to content companies in a neutral manner. From the blog post:
quote:
Categorizing remote delivery services as telecommunications services is consistent with the guidelines set by both Congress and the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, and would give the FCC ample ability to adopt and enforce meaningful net neutrality. With clear authority and effective rules, ISPs would be prevented from blocking or discriminating against any edge provider, whether on a wireline or wireless network.
The problem is that there's absolutely no indication that the government has the spine necessary to battle incumbent ISPs (and campaign contributors) like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon over reclassification of any sort. Mozilla's approach attempts to take the side exit to avoid conflict on the stage, but it's unlikely the ISPs -- eager to implement all manner of "creative" pricing concepts -- would be any less hostile to the idea.

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Mr Guy

@24.183.212.x

Say ISPs were reclassified

does everyone think it will sunshine and rainbows? Everything will be prefect no negative side effects at all? I'm asking. I know there is no such thing as a free lunch so there has to be some sort of downside to reclassifying ISPs.

atuarre
Here come the drums
Premium
join:2004-02-14
Conroe, TX

Re: Say ISPs were reclassified

It will never happen because first you have to get passed Congress and the lobbyists. Second, it will go to court and the FCC will lose.
shmerl

join:2013-10-21
They were classified like that in the past, and didn't have any special negative effects.
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY

1 edit

Re: Say ISPs were reclassified

The result will be more regulators employed, specific taxes for said regulation (at first to grow out of control), higher cost, and reduced offerings. If they don't open up local competition in kind, the result will be the Bell system all over again. For those old enough to remember, enough said.

Neither the FCC nor the FTC want to flinch, because the first that brings a law for this will get overturned by the ruling elite, and whomever is left will essentially take over regulation of the internet because they will just fill the void and then have impunity to tax.

It seems the FTC is happy playing trust buster in the meantime, and waiting for the FCC to screw up so that it can assert it's power both regulatory and budgetary (who would get all of these new regulatory taxes

If I read the blog it is only concentrating on the ISP to provider, not the ISP to end user. So they are saying no discrimination on the pipe coming in "aka transit fees"/peering but once it is in the dirty hands of Comcast, they can rape and pillage the end user to their liking.

Great compromise. There is nobody left to hate...Even the benign Mozilla are a bunch of a$$holes.
shmerl

join:2013-10-21

1 edit

Re: Say ISPs were reclassified

quote:
If I read the blog it is only concentrating on the ISP to provider, not the ISP to end user. So they are saying no discrimination on the pipe coming in "aka transit fees"/peering but once it is in the dirty hands of Comcast, they can rape and pillage the end user to their liking.
I didn't understand that either. Every user can be viewed as a self contained service (since the concept of server and service is way too blurred these days, especially with emergence of P2P and decentralized networks). So such discrimination should be forbidden on that side as well.

chip89
Premium
join:2012-07-05
Independence, OH
But if someone does't do anything soon we are going to have the cable system soon.

fg8578

join:2009-04-26
Salem, OR
said by shmerl:

They were classified like that in the past, and didn't have any special negative effects.

Not sure what you mean? ISPs have never been classifed as common carriers (at least not in the U.S.).
shmerl

join:2013-10-21

1 recommendation

Re: Say ISPs were reclassified

So what exactly changed in the 2002 then? How were ISPs classified before that?

fg8578

join:2009-04-26
Salem, OR

Re: Say ISPs were reclassified

said by shmerl:

So what exactly changed in the 2002 then? How were ISPs classified before that?

Prior to 2002, cable modem services were not classified at all.

The City of Portland tried to classify AT&T's cable modem service as a common carrier service; AT&T sued them, and the FCC made its decision in 2002 which classified cable modem service as an information service. This was the first time the FCC had even considered the issue, so there was no "change".

The FCC established the classification, it was not a "reclassification".
shmerl

join:2013-10-21

Re: Say ISPs were reclassified

I see. So it means there were no rules at all (à la Wild West)?

fg8578

join:2009-04-26
Salem, OR

Re: Say ISPs were reclassified

said by shmerl:

I see. So it means there were no rules at all (à la Wild West)?

Sortof. The problem was (and still is) that the laws are kinda vague.

Portland tried to exercise its authority under Title VI of the Communications Act, which authorizes cities to regulate cable television service. But AT&T Broadband said cable modem service was not cable TV service.

Some wanted (and still want) to regulate cable modem service as a Title II telecommunications service. But AT&T Broadband and the other cable providers said cable modem service was not a telecommunications service.

The FCC had always (i.e., since 1998) considered AOL and mom-and-pop dial-up ISPs as Title I "information services providers". I think we would all agree with that. Where the FCC made its mistake was, in 2002, it added facilities-based ISPs to the list and also considered them Title I information services providers.

But there is a world of difference between AOL ordering dial up lines over which you can access the Internet (a very clear example of separate content + transport) vs. an ISP that owns its own access network, whether telephone lines, coaxial cable or fiber.

So the AT&Ts, Verizons, and Comcasts of the world are not like AOL because of the physical infrastructure they own. The FCC should have drawn that distinction, but instead pretended those ISPs were like AOL and ignored the facilities they own (and control).

Hence the current mess we find ourselves in.

Probitas

@206.248.154.x

Re: Say ISPs were reclassified

Just more proof that business involved in creating cable tv content should not also provide internet, direct conflict of interest there, as internet provides an alternative to cable tv these days, and why would they make it easy to avoid paying them an arm and a leg for television, unless, gasp, the goal has always been to control all user viewing behavior and charge what they like for everything, leaving you no options at all. OMG!!

Mr Guy

@24.183.212.x
said by shmerl:

They were classified like that in the past, and didn't have any special negative effects.

No they weren't, At any rate if there are absolutely zero negative effects why are ISPs against it?
shmerl

join:2013-10-21

4 edits

Re: Say ISPs were reclassified

I suspect that practical negative effect is simply increased bureaucracy. Since someone will have to audit how ISPs keep these rules. Obviously ISPs consider it an extra burden. It's the question of necessity. If they aren't controlled - anticompetitive behavior is inevitable.

Another effect would be the intended one - preventing rip offs and monopolization. It means less money for ISPs which can have competing businesses (for example video services), so obviously they are against it. But that effect is negative for their greedy appetites, not really negative per se. To put it simply, it will reduce their monopoly and they don't like that.

For example, in electrical networks there was such separation as well (i.e. delivery companies and suppliers). Delivery companies which own the actual wires and at the same time own energy supply sources can't discriminate against alternative suppliers which can use their electric network to reach consumers.

Mr Guy

@24.183.212.x

Re: Say ISPs were reclassified

said by shmerl:

Another effect would be the intended one - preventing rip offs and monopolization. It means less money for ISPs which can have competing businesses (for example video services), so obviously they are against it. But that effect is negative for their greedy appetites, not really negative per se. To put it simply, it will reduce their monopoly and they don't like that.

If you think ISPs are just going to accept less profit then you're high. If ISPs make less money because reclassification they WILL make it up elsewhere.
shmerl

join:2013-10-21

Re: Say ISPs were reclassified

You asked about negative effects, not about what they are going to accept. Monopolists don't like antitrust restrictions in general. But it's their problem. If public wants to avoid monopoly caused problems with the internet, ISPs should be reclassified and FCC can do that.

Less money for them because of reducing monopoly and increasing competition is not a problem. If less money means that they can't operate - that's already a negative effect. But it doesn't look like that in this case.

Mr Guy

@24.183.212.x

Re: Say ISPs were reclassified

How does this create competition?
shmerl

join:2013-10-21

Re: Say ISPs were reclassified

It creates potential for more competition by preventing anticompetitive abuse.
WhatNow
Premium
join:2009-05-06
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

Re: Say ISPs were reclassified

When Congress deregulated the POTS service the telcos were forced to sell the service below cost while also being forced to give VIP service to their wholesale customers. All problems were on the telco side until the telco tech went out and found out it was inside the house. The telcos were forced to go on the 3rd party troubles before they went on the telco troubles. My friends were even pulled off telco customer troubles to go on 3rd party troubles.

The prices the telcos could charge was set by the FCC and the formula used was from a perfect world. All material was priced at the lowest price. Would you buy from the cheapest fiber or copper cable even if their quality standards were awful.

The only way to do this is to separate transport from content in the last mile. The content providers and their customers will help keep the transport company providing good service. If you don't like your content company then I would guess you will have a handful of choices instead of one or two.
InvalidError

join:2008-02-03
kudos:5
Downside: how does reclassifying ISPs change anything to peering agreements/disputes between ISPs and their peers/transit?

As far as I can tell, it would do absolutely nothing at all: if a peer brings too much unwanted traffic onto the ISPs' networks, ISPs would still be able to favor other transit providers and let the unwanted traffic congest through less desirable peers - all traffic to/from said peer gets treated exactly the same.

ISPs might not be able to force deals but they still get to pick who they peer with and in what quantities. Unless the government starts dictating peering and transit agreements, Network Neutrality still gets screwed and network operators have one more excuse to add yet another below-the-line fee on their bills.

If you want real competition, you need to to open up the infrastructure such as turning it into public-private partnership or co-op utility where many companies can lease the same shared first-mile network to reach subscribers, a bit like Australia's NBN, the UK's OpenReach, Google's pre-GoogleFiber ambitions, Utah's Utopia, Amsterdam's CityNet (very similar to Google's pre-GF scheme: city leases dark fiber to companies, companies co-locate fiber termination equipment in the city's walk-in closets), whatever France calls their scheme to let ISPs tack their own equipment on/near phone junction boxes, etc.

One first-mile public-utility telecom network with rates set at something like costs+10% for everyone. Once the transition completed, this opens up all markets to anyone who wants to take a shot at becoming an ISP of whatever size they want with whatever degree of involvement they want from leasing turnkey/wholesale end-to-end bitstream-level access from a bigger network (NBN, OpenReach, Canadian GAS/TPIA, I think AT&T also does wholesale broadband) to leasing dark fiber all over the place (CityNet) and do everything from end to end for total bandwidth and QoS control.
jjeffeory

join:2002-12-04
USA

No, but it would be better than what there is right now. Improvement is better than now, and it doesn't have to fix all of the problems.

Mr Guy

@24.183.212.x

Re: Say ISPs were reclassified

said by jjeffeory:

No, but it would be better than what there is right now. Improvement is better than now, and it doesn't have to fix all of the problems.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions
jjeffeory

join:2002-12-04
USA

Re: Say ISPs were reclassified

Being "in hell" already regardless of the intentions is a better alternative?
InvalidError

join:2008-02-03
kudos:5
It may not have to solve "all" problems but it needs to solve SOMETHING, otherwise it is just change for change's sake.

If you mess with stuff just for the heck of it just costs money with no guarantee of any benefits. All it does is give the impression legislators/authorities are doing something while in fact, for most intents and purposes, they are merely giving status-quo a new brand.
jjeffeory

join:2002-12-04
USA

Re: Say ISPs were reclassified

This does solve something. It curtails some of the bad behavior of the ISPs and also gives the FCC some power to enforce. Solves SOMETHING right there.
InvalidError

join:2008-02-03
kudos:5

Re: Say ISPs were reclassified

Enforce what?

No blocking and a "baseline level of quality of service?" Most ISPs already do that and this does absolutely nothing about peering agreements which is what Comcast leveraged against Netflix.

Since the internet has no world-standard for QoS - every application and protocol behaves differently depending on dozens of QoS metrics... latency, jitter, peak bandwidth, sustainable bandwidth, short/medium/long burst bandwidth, number of hops, speed of intermediate links, mix of applications the subscriber is using, state of the network and all intermediate hops between endpoints, etc. - defining "baseline" is effectively impossible without a truckload of caveats so even if the FCC mandated "baseline service," carriers would have dozens of plausible reasons to justify failing to meet it.

This is not like phone calls where practically all telcos use the same 2-3 very strictly defined standards.
jjeffeory

join:2002-12-04
USA

Re: Say ISPs were reclassified

It would give the FCC more authority to encourage ISPs to play nice with their peering agreements and more actively take care of that end instead of pissing off their customers. I understand that there may be some valid issues on that end, but it takes two to tango... Of course there are plenty of standards for the internet drafted by the Internet Engineering Task Force, who work with ISO and the W3C. They're also part of the "Internet Society", who talks about Network Neutrality among many other things. As far as the IETF, their RFC are available and widely known.

You're not ever going to have an accepted world-standard for Quality of Service on the whole internet, no two networks are likely to be the same, and the whole Internet is always in a state of flux. We therefore rely upon "Best Practices" under specific situations; QoS is going to be a very local thing where you manage QoS on YOUR network, assuming that you get a consistent connection from your AS to the outside world, that's all one can hope for.

For an ISP, THEIR network is their equipment to your cable modem/Router and to where they connect to the rest of the internet (L3 or even their own Network).

So you're right, ISPs could play games to justify not providing service, but I'm not sure they'd be petulant children about issues all the time if they knew they'd get a whacking for bad behavior, where as now there is no real consequence for bad behavior.
shmerl

join:2013-10-21

Actual blog post

is here: »blog.mozilla.org/netpolicy/2014/···nternet/
Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
·Embarq Now Centu..
·Comcast
·CenturyLink

Lawmakers bought and paid for by ISP's.

Broadband and the Weather has a lot in common. Everybody talks about the weather but cannot do anything about it. Knowledgeable consumers talk about solving the problem related to ISP abuses but but cannot do anything about them, as long as Lawmakers are bought and paid for by ISP's.
cablemanf250

join:2013-07-15

Depends on the ISP

ISP's / CMTS's are controlled by the company who owns it, Like Cox, Charter, TWC & Comcast are Listed as Entertainment Company's not a Telecom. if that changes THEN and only then the government has a say in it. But i bet it will happen some day. its a shame that I cant live without my internet.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

Re: Depends on the ISP

It doesnt matter what they are called or how they are listed.

If they are delivering a service that falls under the rules of what the FCC would deem as classified as Title II, then they would be required to abide by said rules.

Same thing for you, who is classified and listed as nothing. If you decide to make a device that uses a radio frequency then you can and will be held accountable to the FCC being that it falls under their authority.

linicx
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2002-12-03
United State
Reviews:
·TracFone Wireless
·CenturyLink
said by cablemanf250:

ISP's /Cox, Charter, TWC & Comcast are Listed as Entertainment Company's not a Telecom. If that changes THEN and only then the government has a say in it.

.

IF it has a call sign: it is a LICENSED operator of television, radio, or Amateur Radio. If it provides a wireline it is a regulated company that specializes in installing & supporting local, regional or national phone systems

The above service types are mandated by congress and regulated by laws deemed necessary.

Cell phone tower service is provided by telephone operators that may lease to others.

Neither the ISP, the Internet, the cable companies, and computer powered devices such as VoIP, nor Skype, are mandated, licensed or federally regulated. But the frequency used to provide such services is regulated.

My city has a duopoly of telco who provide either wireline or cable to the home. The telco who delivers cable may not provide a wireline service in our region. Both provide Internet and some type of entertainment that may or may not be provided in all areas by either.

Neither congress nor state utility commissions are concerned about the quality of Internet, or cable services, or the cost to the consumer. Neither Internet nor cable is a mandated service which is why it is labeled as Entertainment.

--
Mac: No windows, No Gates, Apple inside

jgkolt
Premium
join:2004-02-21
Avon, OH

interconnects

How would this affect connections that netflix has to isp's?
InvalidError

join:2008-02-03
kudos:5

Re: interconnects

Most likely: not at all.

This is just a puppet show - legislators trying to look good while all they are really doing is re-branding status-quo.
wkm001

join:2009-12-14

What do you expect?

Wheeler is in the Cable and Wireless hall of fame!
»www.fcc.gov/leadership/tom-wheeler

Meters

@107.77.68.x

No ones talking about metered bandwidth

The issue I see here is all these companies are advocating for title 2, to regulate ISPs as a public utility. With public utilities comes more meters and price caps. So the people wanting netflix will be paying more under title 2, because they're using the most bandwidth. Think of leaving your water running all day because someone is taking a 2 hour shower. That's how internet will be billed under Title 2.

•••••••••••

linicx
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2002-12-03
United State
Reviews:
·TracFone Wireless
·CenturyLink

LOL

FCC doesn't have 'full authority' to do anything except spin the wheels on their little red wagon. They serve at the pleasure of the President and U.S. Congress.

Congress writes the bills that become law while the appointed FCC fanboyz sit on the sidelines and cheer.
--
Mac: No windows, No Gates, Apple inside