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Net Neutrality Bill Aimed At ISP Data Caps Introduced In US Senate 151

Posted by Soulskill
from the fire-up-a-torrent-to-celebrate dept.
New submitter Likes Microsoft writes "Yesterday, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) introduced a Net Neutrality bill aimed at ISPs using data caps soley for profiteering purposes, rather than the 'traffic management' purpose they often claim. The text of the bill is available at Wyden's Senate page. It would require ISPs to be certified by the FCC before implementing data caps. It says, in part, 'The [FCC] shall evaluate a data cap proposed by an Internet service provider to determine whether the data cap functions to reasonably limit network congestion in a manner that does not unnecessarily discourage use of the Internet.' In a statement, Wyden said, 'Americans are increasingly tethered to the Internet and connecting more devices to it, but they don’t really have the tools to effectively manage data consumption across their networks. Data caps create challenges for consumers and run the risk of undermining innovation in the digital economy if they are imposed bluntly and not designed to truly manage network congestion.'"
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Net Neutrality Bill Aimed At ISP Data Caps Introduced In US Senate

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  • Sen. Wyden. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MachineShedFred (621896) on Friday December 21, 2012 @02:02PM (#42361679) Journal

    Dear Senator Wyden,

    Thank you for actually being a good Senator, that introduces good bills that create or change laws that help out the average US Citizen. I'm glad I voted for you the last time you were on the ballot, and if I still lived in Oregon I'd vote for you again.

  • Wary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HaZardman27 (1521119) on Friday December 21, 2012 @02:14PM (#42361841)
    Couldn't this serve to discourage ISPs from improving their infrastructure? If they let their infrastructure age, they'd be spending nothing on improvement, and would eventually be allowed to put data caps in place as bandwidth usage increases.

    Disclaimer: Didn't RTFA.
  • Re:Wary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DigiShaman (671371) on Friday December 21, 2012 @02:30PM (#42362055) Homepage

    The ISP industry is an oligopoly. In some cases, monopoly depending on where you live. Good or bad, you can thank the government for limiting new players entry into this market. So the idea of 'free market' can be thrown out the window in this discussion.

    Caps are bad in that they foster regression of infrastructure. Simply put, there's massive profits in scarcity. That's econ 101.

  • Re:Sen. Wyden. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by afidel (530433) on Friday December 21, 2012 @02:33PM (#42362103)

    Considering basically every transaction carried out over the internet is an interstate transaction you couldn't be further from reality.

  • Re:Sen. Wyden. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by smooth wombat (796938) on Friday December 21, 2012 @02:38PM (#42362151) Homepage Journal

    Dear Bradley

    What part of communication isn't understood in Federal Communications Commission?

  • Re:Wary (Score:4, Insightful)

    by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortexNO@S ...> on Friday December 21, 2012 @02:39PM (#42362171) Homepage

    Couldn't this serve to discourage ISPs from improving their infrastructure? If they let their infrastructure age, they'd be spending nothing on improvement, and would eventually be allowed to put data caps in place as bandwidth usage increases.

    They have no incentive currently. In fact, applying data caps is how they decided to make more money instead of building out infrastructure to meet demand. Look, data caps don't help congestion at all (except, perhaps, through fear of using your service?) If the services are over-subscribed then at peak times the load is more than the bandwidth they advertise -- Think rush hour traffic. Would limiting the distance you could drive per month reduce the demand for car lanes during rush hour? Ni, ni and ni... That's just silly! Instead what you'd do is limit your over all use so that you were assured driving distance when you needed it. This means that there would be less Traffic on Off Peak Times -- When there is plenty of bandwidth available! This is also why metered bandwidth is a farce, unless they charge a lot more during peak times.

    There has to be enough hardware in place to handle that peak load, the number of bits doesn't matter over a month -- It only matters during off peak times: The hardware is still there, it's just not being used. The Current doesn't matter, it's the Pressure / Voltage! The Wires have to be big enough for peak usage, not for total power used in a day, week or month, it's not like you use up the electrons and the wires have to be replaced... THINK MAN!

    You must understand, it's more profitable in the short term to over sell bandwidth than to build out infrastructure. The data caps are merely an attempt to squeeze more money out of the system. WTF does it matter if you use netflix or bittorrent all night long when there is plenty of bandwidth to go around? The problem is that there are more folks trying to use the same sized pipe during peak times -- Not that the damn routers run out of bits!


  • Re:Sen. Wyden. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 21, 2012 @03:03PM (#42362443)

    Practical Reason #1: Because nobody else is doing it. ISPs are basically like utilities in function; natural monopolies that are exquisitely well positioned to price-gouge, because the nature of their business is effectively insulated from competition, and they are completely reliant on the government to deploy infrastructure at all in the first place (Can you imagine how many property owners you need to deal with to lay cable?)

    Pedantic Legalistic Asshole (This is you) Reason #1 : Because the internet is a needed part of interstate commerce, and by screwing with it locally, you screw with your resident's ability to conduct interstate commerce.

    "Go screw yourself" Reason #1 : Because they took federal subsidies to function, you will shut up and listen, or we will yank funding, cripple you, and give it to someone else. See why highway constructors must play nice with the Federal Government or die.

  • Re:Sen. Wyden. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 21, 2012 @03:42PM (#42362951)
    Well most likely the government would at least make sure that the damn ISPs own services (like Comcast On Demand or their services via XBox) aren't mysteriously "exempted" from the cap in a bid to get rid of Netflix, Hulu, etc. We all know that the major streaming players put their content into large distributed content management (DCM) systems that live in the same data centers as the ISPs so the bogus claims they have of "wah, increased transit (peering) costs because netflix, wah" are crap anyway. In fact, now that cable has gone all digital, they shouldn't exempt TV service either. I want to either have no cap or have a cap that is completely agnostic to whatever protocols or data is transmitted over it. My TiVo can record 4 streams at once through the m-card. If I do that, I am consuming more resources than the person recording one stream. Count it in the cap or don't cap at all. This is where government intervention makes sense. We can't rely on any "invisible hand" of the market since the companies were typically granted monopolies in many areas when they agreed to run the wires there. Since the market isn't free, it does need regulation.
  • Re:Sen. Wyden. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fredprado (2569351) on Friday December 21, 2012 @04:25PM (#42363493)
    When healthy competition does not exist which is more often than not the case in our world, regulation, inefficient as it may be, is the only way to combat abuses.
  • Re:Sen. Wyden. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Synerg1y (2169962) on Friday December 21, 2012 @04:32PM (#42363583)
    4G = wireless, comcast = coaxial, different level of availability and yes speed. No idea why 4g is your only option besides you maybe live more rural in which case I'd look into satellite internet (good d/l bad u/l). Also doesn't t-mobile offer unlimited 4g data? I've seriously considered telling comcast to go fuck themselves and getting t-mobile and paying the different to not deal w comcast anymore.

"The only way for a reporter to look at a politician is down." -- H.L. Mencken