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Government The Internet

FCC Planning Rule Changes To Restore US Net Neutrality 235

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-at-first-you-don't-succeed dept.
Karl C writes "In a statement issued today, FCC commissioner Tom Wheeler announced that the commission will begin a rule-making process to re-impose Net Neutrality, which was recently struck down in Federal court. Among the standards Wheeler intends to pursue are vigorous enforcement of a requirement for transparency in how ISPs manage traffic, and a prohibition on blocking (the 'no blocking' provision.) This seems like exactly what net neutrality activists have been demanding: Total prohibition of throttling, and vigorous enforcement of that rule, and of a transparency requirements so ISPs can't try to mealy-mouth their way around accusations that they're already throttling Netflix. Even before the court decision overturning net neutrality, Comcast and Verizon users have been noting Netflix slowdowns for months."
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FCC Planning Rule Changes To Restore US Net Neutrality

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  • Slow clap starting...now
    • by lgw (121541) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @04:39PM (#46289593) Journal

      If this is so great, explain "total prohibition of throttling". Most networks are oversubscribed, and that's OK since most users use a small portion of their allowed bandwidth. One way or another, there will be throttling. What about QoS-based throttling? Voice traffic is harmed much more by dropped packets than torrents. The ISPs sell voice service, and they sell products that compete with torrents. Doing the right thing for QoS directly serves the financial interests of the ISPs. Should we cut off our nose to spiderface? Never spiderface.

      So are we going to have clear rules about what you can and can't throttle? Simple rules won't work. ISPs will be better at gaming those rules than the FCC will be at writing them. As SuperKendall posted about 4000 times the last time this came up (and still most people didn't get it): the way Comcast was throttling Netflix was perfectly OK under the last set of rules. Do you think more rules will help? There are always corner cases to exploit, because each new rule just creates new corners.

      Anyhow, we know where any complex set of rules ends: the big players end up writing the rules. I'm sure the cable companies would happily give up throttling Netflix if they get in exchange the ability to bar any new players from entering the ISP business. After all, they don't have local monopolies everywhere yet, but with a high enough regulatory barrier to entry they could get there.

      • by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @05:11PM (#46289885) Homepage Journal
        I'm pretty sure networks are oversubscribed because ISPs have no motivation to improve them. [arstechnica.com] The margins for large service providers are ridiculous. A lot more infrastructure can be built before providing internet access becomes unprofitable.
        • by lgw (121541)

          That's an orthogonal concern though. The product ISPs sell for home use isn't a guaranteed bandwidth product (those exist for business), it's an oversubscribed product. It's really much cheaper to provide an oversubscribed product, chances are you'd pay 10x for the guarantee of bandwidth.

          In any case, for the world we live in, what do we do about throttling? Do we let the packets fall where they may? That would certainly be fair, but your telephone would become unusable under high congestion. I treasure

          • by Teun (17872)
            I live in a country where net neutrality is written in law.

            An ISP can offer VOIP/SIP telephone as a separate service and legally 'reserve' bandwidth for this service.
            There's no conflict with the neutrality rule, you get what you pay for.

            What they can't do is allow one SIP/VOIP provider faster access than another competing one.

      • by Bengie (1121981) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @05:14PM (#46289903)
        "Oversubscribed" does not mean "congested". If your network is congested, then you're overselling it to the point that you are no longer providing what you're advertising. For wireless networks, I could see throttling until a better design or management solution is available, but fixed line should not do throttling. If an ISP needs to state two speeds, one for "Internal" ISP network speeds and "External" Internet speeds, so be it, but a customer should not have to guess what speeds they will have.

        If an ISP sells a 10mb connection, they should not be the bottle neck. I repeat, the ISP should not have congestion on their networks. They cannot control other networks, but they can control their own. If you don't have it, don't sell it. If the competition is marketing faster speeds that you can't support, tough luck.

        It really just comes down to false advertisement. You don't see people selling cars with "up to 40mpg", then you only get 5mpg in normal driving conditions.
        • by lgw (121541) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @05:26PM (#46290021) Journal

          "Oversubscribed" does not mean "congested".

          Oversubscribed always means "congested sometimes". If the ISP is doing it's job (pause for laughter) then it's not congested most of the time.

          If an ISP sells a 10mb connection, they should not be the bottle neck. I repeat, the ISP should not have congestion on their networks.

          If you want guaranteed bandwidth price a T3 line sometime. Guarantees are very expensive. A service that's congested 5% of the time likely costs 1/10th as much as a service that guarantees no congestion. Chances are you want the oversubscribed product, not the guaranteed bandwidth for home use.

        • You don't see people selling cars with "up to 40mpg", then you only get 5mpg in normal driving conditions.

          Where the hell do you live? I have never seen a car get anywhere near what the manufacturers claim for mileage. Admittedly not a 35MPG difference, but I am sure you could manage it, if you tried hard enough.

          In a test I did myself, I was able to get close the the claimed mileage, but only by driving and accelerating so slowly that I am sure someone would have run me off the road, or shot me before lon

          • by nobuddy (952985)

            You simply need to learn how to drive. Every car I have owned has gotten better than the MFR listed average. Jackrabbit starts, excessive speed, and constant delta-V change (slow, fast, slow fast, goddammit get outta the way asshole, VERY fast, brake hard, slow. fast) will destroy your fuel economy.

            get to the right and set your cruise control for the speed limit, or even lower. unless you are driving hundreds of miles, you will arrive within seconds of the guy that drives like you do, and use half the gas d

      • by icebike (68054)

        If this is so great, explain "total prohibition of throttling". Most networks are oversubscribed, and that's OK since most users use a small portion of their allowed bandwidth. One way or another, there will be throttling.

        Capacity limitation is distinct from throttling. Not sizing their total bandwidth capabilities to meet peak demand is not the same thing as throttling,
        Everything is impacted when capacity is reached, rather than selectively throttling specific traffic.

        You can't lump them into the same boat.

        • by lgw (121541)

          It not that they're the same, it's that one sort of requires the other. You really want voice traffic to "win" during peak demand, because the total bandwidth is small and the perceived effect of dropped packets is large. So now you're throttling based on rules - showing preference to one kind of traffic, and in fact showing preference to the kind the ISP sells over the kind that competes against what they sell.

          With me so far? Having everything equally affected is not a good answer: you will get better s

    • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @04:51PM (#46289719)
      Assume no. Proceed as if the announcement was made that things are going to get worse. E-mail the FCC, e-mail your congressperson. We should believe that this is merely PR to get us to calm down, then do nothing. Wheeler was a lobbyist for the people he's regulating. That doesn't prove he's corrupt and is doing this to screw us over, but I'd bet good money if I had it that he's corrupt and is doing this to screw us over.
    • As good as censorship on the bad guys sounds; what if those souless fools are correct? Censorship means we'll never know; for certain.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @03:45PM (#46289095)

    There are many times I want to throttle AT&T and with these proposed regulations, I won't be able to do it?!

    NO! We must preserve out right to throttle these people!!

    • IANAL, but in skimming the article and the statement by the FCC chief, I don't see any mention of throttling. ISPs won't be allowed to block traffic outright, but there didn't appear to be any language about throttling it down if they refused to pay, though I assume that the new transparency rules are designed to discourage that sort of behavior.

      I.e. You're still free to throttle them, just as much as it sounds like they're free to throttle Netflix.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @03:46PM (#46289105)

    I imagine there are some legal reasons for not invoking common carrier status for ISPs, legal reasons that will sound like bullshit to everyone not in possession of billions of dollars.

    • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @04:07PM (#46289291)
      It sounds to me like the ISPs position is that if they are going to be subject to net neutrality, they want the whole ball of wax of being a common carrier. On the other hand, the FCC does not want to call them common carriers. It would be interesting to see why the FCC does not want to call them common carriers, since the judge flat out told them that the only way they can legally regulate "net neutrality" is if they change their classification of ISPs to common carrier.
      It looks to me like the FCC's plan here is to keep massaging these rules and re-issuing them until the ISPs decide they cannot afford to keep going back to court over it.
      • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @04:22PM (#46289417)

        It sounds to me like the ISPs position is that if they are going to be subject to net neutrality, they want the whole ball of wax of being a common carrier.

        ISPs don't want to be [cabletechtalk.com] common carriers. The reason given in the link is of course bullshit; the real reason is that being classified as common carriers would force them to divest themselves of their (relatively lucrative) content business.

      • It would be interesting to see why the FCC does not want to call them common carriers, since the judge flat out told them that the only way they can legally regulate "net neutrality" is if they change their classification of ISPs to common carrier.

        As common carriers, the ISPs would have zero liability for the content of traffic they handle, which would upset politically powerful lobbies like the RIAA.

      • by Gryle (933382)
        Actually the FCC tried to reclassify ISPs as common carriers in 2010. There was a partial vacuum created in the ISP buildings as their lobbyists vacated the premises at record speeds in a race to Congress to bribe, er petition, their pet congresscritter to put pressure on the FCC until it decided to leave things alone. (I can't find the original story but it's been referenced in several stories about the JAN2014 debacle) In all likelihood the FCC is trying to figure out ways around the reclassification sche
    • by suutar (1860506)
      If I recall, the main reason is that Congress explicitly said "ISPs will not be classified as common carriers." The ruling that caused all this is based on the idea "if congress said they're not going to be common carriers you can't make rules that effectively turn them into common carriers."
      • No, I think it was the commission themselves, not Congress, that classified them as an "information service" when they COULD have called them a "telecommunications service." However, it is within the FCC's power to reclassify them and they don't need approval from Congress.

        The court told the FCC [uscourts.gov]:

        Given that the Commission has chosen to classify broadband providers in a manner that exempts them from treatment as common carriers, the Communications Act expressly prohibits the Commission from nonetheless regul

      • Thank you for that link; it was quite amusing.

        I like this one:

        "But common carrier regulation discourages infrastructure investment and network enhancement"

        Because the telecoms have been doing so much of that otherwise. That's why I'm still stuck with the option of either using a 5Mbs cable line or a 2Mbs DSL line. It's all that infrastructure they've been investing so much in.

        Or:

        “It is the policy of the United States . . . to preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for t

    • by bobbied (2522392)

      There are reason, but I'm not sure I can agree that we shouldn't.

      HOWEVER, if you want to give common carrier status to ISP's there are going to have to be some technical limits imposed first on what an ISP can actually do that's under common carrier rules, and second, what an ISP cannot do with the traffic it routes.

      FIRST, you have to limit common carrier to ONLY the data transmission part of the business. If it is not *directly* shoveling TCP packets from point A to point B it needs to be OUTSIDE of the

      • by Bengie (1121981) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @05:43PM (#46290185)

        People who want to take advantage of this and disrupt the ISP's network, can, and the ISP will be powerless to monitor, diagnose, and prevent such abuse.

        There is a huge difference between managing your network and snooping on peoples traffic. Network diagnosing and troubleshooting would not be limited. An ISP running snort on a network is not an issue, but an ISP trying to classify your data streams and manipulating them for profit is an issue. Any legal traffic should be left unfettered, but detecting and responding to illegal or malicious traffic is normal operations.

        Otherwise, that you're saying is something analogous to a public park not able to kick someone out because they pose a threat. If someone is chasing people around with a knife, you don't just go "well, it's a public place". It also means you can still have police at public parks. An ISP that monitors their network is like a park with police, and someone doing something disruptive is like that crazy man chasing people around with a weapon.

      • by vux984 (928602) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @06:03PM (#46290355)

        People who want to take advantage of this and disrupt the ISP's network, can

        No. Just no. Just as you are not allowed to disrupt the landline telephone network.

        The telephone company is free to monitor all sorts of performance metrics about its landline operations to ensure smooth functioning. And it is free to disconnect any connection that attempting to disrupt the network.

        So your web proxy, E-mail relay and Web Servers are out but your routers and switches are in.

        Again not sure why. I do not want the ISP liable for the contents of my email messages, nor do I want them inspecting them out of some fear that they will be held liable. That is as it should be. If I get a death threat by email, I don't sue my ISP, nor should I be able to sue them, simply for delivering it.

        And excluding web proxy's is foolish since MANY ISPs run web proxies for performance reasons... no point in having 10 million people download the same file from microsoft.com when the isp can download it once, cache it, and serve it.

        And again, I do not want the ISP to be in any way liable for the contents of the proxy. If someone downloads illegal child porn I don't want the ISP sued into oblivion for caching it in their proxy, nor do I want the ISP inspecting and judging my traffic to ensure nothing they don't want to be held account for ending up in their caches.

        Frankly I want the ISP absolved of all liabilty for that stuff, and at the same time actively prevented from trying to mess with it for any reason except to improve performance, and mitigate active disruption. Note that "Illegal traffic" is orthogonal to "disruptive traffic" just like death threat phone calls, which are illegal, but are not disruptive to the network.

      • by AK Marc (707885)
        The Post Office is a common carrier, yet can still monitor service and terminate abusive/illegal service.

        I think the problem is people don't agree on a definition of "common carrier".
    • by jythie (914043)
      Even if there were no legal reasons, common carrier has become political kryptonite lately. I am not sure who started the rewrite, but the idea that we only have monopolies because of the government has been catching on like wildfire esp over the last few months, thus under that concept moving ISPs to common carrier status would destroy the market or something, despite history not actually supporting the idea.
  • That's what NetFlix, Hula, and anyone else should be suing ComCast and Verizon for.
    • by mjm1231 (751545)

      It's less complicated than that. If you are a Verizon or Comcast customer, you are paying for internet access, and you aren't getting it. Why hasn't there been a class action suit?

      • Because Verizon and Comcast customers are subject to binding arbitration. (Hey if they don't like it, they can always refuse and use one of the [nonexistent] other ISPs instead, so what's the problem?)

        • I've been beginning to feel arbitration courts are a fundamental violation of my rights as protected by the 5th-8th amendments in a fundamental way and should be physically destroyed.

          • "Beginning to?!"
          • by Obfuscant (592200)

            I've been beginning to feel arbitration courts are a fundamental violation of my rights as protected by the 5th-8th amendments in a fundamental way and should be physically destroyed.

            It's a private contract between two consenting entities. You agreed to it. It's not the government stepping on your rights, it's you waiving them voluntarily. It's like you waiving your right to "free speech" when you walk into a movie theater. OMG, the horror, I can't stand up and speechify in the middle of a movie! Those corrupt bastard movie theater owners are trampling on the First Amendment.

            • It's a private contract between two consenting entities. You agreed to it. It's not the government stepping on your rights, it's you waiving them voluntarily.

              If the government has allowed the duopoly ISPs to collude to introduce binding arbitration, and the government has forbidden anyone else from laying fiber to start a third ISP, then yes, the government is stepping on citizens' rights.

      • by swb (14022)

        I agree in principal with you, but I'd guess it's the constellation of asterisks that come next to advertised bandwidth which are attached to all manner of limitations and constraints that may prevent you from getting the bandwidth you think you're buying, along with some kind of magical hand-waving about how they can't promise you a specific bandwidth to any particular site on the internet due to all manner of network engineering limitations.

        If consumer connections had a SLA attached to them they would hav

        • by Bengie (1121981)
          Yes, fraud is a moral issue. Not often you get to pay "up to" the amount on the sticker, then randomly decide that some products are worth less to you, so you may pay a small fraction of what you think it's worth.

          An ISP is free to oversubscribe, but as soon as they push it to its limit and it starts to affect the end user, then the ISP is at fault for not being able to actually provide what they're selling. As long as the customer's traffic is on their ISP's network, the traffic should not be degraded.
  • I'll believe it only if it survives the many lawsuits that will come from the corps.

    All this translate to in my mind is:
            "Yo, corps. That last cheque is not gonna cut it."

    • I'll believe it only if it survives the many lawsuits that will come from the corps.

      why did you bother to tell us this? if you wanted to discuss the in's and out's of 'common carriage' you would have...um...you know, mentioned it more than just a quick set up to accuse Obama of pulling a Chris Christie with Comcast (?)

      by your sig it's obvious you're an Obama hater...so automatically you're going to look like a troll

      you're position is that, yes this is the **right policy**, but somehow you're making the fact

  • I've heard that Netflix has a caching server that it will happy colocate in the ISP's sites, so that Netflix customers can get good streaming quality without the ISP incurring massive traffic back to Netflix's CDN(s).

    Now suppose I start my own company that competes against Netflix's streaming service. Is the ISP "throttling" if they accept Netflix's cache server in their network nodes, but won't accept mine? Or what if there are 10,000 would-be Netflix competitors - do all ISP's have to host 10,000 cache

    • by The Rizz (1319)

      These aren't the same thing at all; if someone has something on an internal network, it'll be faster just by virtue of how the internet works. It's the option of artificially slowing down some traffic that is the issue.

      • Right, but my point was that the ISP can still do things that favor one site's performance over another, even if they're not throttling.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          And his point, I'm guessing, is that they should be and will be able to do those things. Oversubscription is a separate issue and should be handled as such.

    • Now suppose I start my own company that competes against Netflix's streaming service. Is the ISP "throttling" if they accept Netflix's cache server in their network nodes, but won't accept mine?

      Nope.

      Or what if there are 10,000 would-be Netflix competitors - do all ISP's have to host 10,000 cache servers, all on the same terms?

      ISPs want CDN servers because it lowers their costs. The same way mutually beneficial peering arrangements lowers costs. If you operate a service nobody uses no ISP will want your servers. The space they take up is not cost effective.

      It has nothing to do with "blocking" or preferential treatment of packets from sources your in cahoots with.

      • I agree. But my point is that the public and activists are perhaps barking up the wrong tree when they focus on just packet throttling. I.e., they should maybe be focusing on anything that an ISP can do to favor one content provider over another, even if the mechanism is something other than packet throttling.

  • no one has to throttle netflix or anyone else since the outgoing pipes on most ISP's can't handle all the traffic
    the big money guys buy CDN and special private circuits into the ISP's network dedicated to their traffic
    the little guys cry network neutrality

    you can pass NN, but until you force the ISP's to allow CDN's of their competition or force them into allowing private circuits its just a piece of paper

  • by misnohmer (1636461) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @04:07PM (#46289293)

    Wherever there are finite bandwidth connections, there will always be throttling. Whether the throttling occurs based on type of traffic, end user limits, or "naturally" sort itself out via TCP or other protocols, throttling will occur as the bottlenecks fill up. If the carriers will not be allowed to do any throttling based on traffic type/source/etc, then the guy that decides to run a p2p file server will have his 500 connections open while your measly 1 netflix connection will get drowned out, as the "natural TCP throttling" tends to divide the bandwidth equally per connection (not per user). Then people will complain about the quality of service, but it will be neutral. What people are really wanting here is "don't throttle me", but that obviously cannot be satisfied for all users.

    On the other hand, the providers can implement another type of throttling - financial. Once they start charging you for bandwidth used, folks considering watching a netflix movie for $x per show may start throttling themselves.

    • by wile_e8 (958263)
      Strawman - this isn't about "don't throttle me", this is about "don't throttle me while letting the other guys doing that same thing as me go because they paid you $millions". Capacity is finite (although it would be nice if they put all those profits into improving that), but as long as they don't discriminate based on the source there should be fair competition between startups and entrenched services.
    • Wherever there are finite bandwidth connections, there will always be throttling. Whether the throttling occurs based on type of traffic, end user limits, or "naturally" sort itself out via TCP or other protocols, throttling will occur as the bottlenecks fill up. If the carriers will not be allowed to do any throttling based on traffic type/source/etc, then the guy that decides to run a p2p file server will have his 500 connections open while your measly 1 netflix connection will get drowned out, as the "natural TCP throttling" tends to divide the bandwidth equally per connection (not per user).

      Give policy peeps some credit they are well aware of the difference between network management and throttling shenanigans. Simply put application of "network management" preferentially is the issue rather than management itself.

      If content wants to play games by nerfing congestion algorithms for competitive advantage this is separate issue from the typical eyeball network which will simply forward whatever it gets subject to local constraints/queue management.

      I agree with the sentiment people get sad when t

  • Making Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobile, Sprint, T-Mobile, Time Warner and all the other ISPs common carriers will make it illegal to do any of the BS they have been doing lately and solve the problem once and for all.

    Heck, it might even make it illegal for ISPs to continue with the "copyright alert system".

  • by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @04:08PM (#46289297)

    From the article:

    A likely explanation for recent slowdowns is that Netflix usage went up, but peering and transit bandwidth didn't. Verizon and Comcast also haven't joined Netflix's "Open Connect" content delivery network, which can improve Netflix performance by placing video caches closer to customers.

    After this story published, one commenter pointed out that the declines in performance came after Netflix started delivering its so-called "Super HD" and 3D video to all customers, even those whose ISPs are not members of Open Connect. This may have increased the traffic load.

    Things could get worse for Verizon customers. While Comcast is still bound to follow the FCC's net neutrality rules due to conditions placed on its merger with NBCUniversal, Verizon is under no such obligation...

    Both companies are slow to upgrade their peering infrastructure and they both have been in disputes with bandwidth providers over compensation (eg. Level3). Net neutrality never applied in these two cases.

    • by Tailhook (98486)

      In my case Netflix performance problems (via Comcast) were certainly happening before the ruling. 18 months ago Netflix was responsive; video started quickly and never stalled during play. During the last year there is usually at least one interruption during any given hour when the steam runs dry. It hasn't gotten noticeably worse since the ruling. Claims that the ruling created these problems seem like hysteria to me.

      As for the "Super HD" and 3D video theory; that seems plausible. It seems like it's

  • by Nyder (754090) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @04:09PM (#46289301) Journal

    You want to play unfair? Well, Comcast, guess what? I can download what I want at a better quality then you can offer, so no need for your cable. Oh, you don't like people using Netflix? Well, fuck you then, I'll just download off usenet and torrents (via a vpn).

    Quit being stupid greedy fucks. Forcing me to use your services by fucking with everyone else's services isn't stupid and very short sited. I might currently have to use your internet, but enough people are getting sick of bullshit that you pull and are doing stuff about it. And for the record, I will not use your services, ie, Cable TV/Internet Phone mainly because you pull bullshit all the time. Plus you are way too expensive for the quality and services you provide.

    • by ArbitraryName (3391191) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @04:24PM (#46289431)

      You want to play unfair? Well, Comcast, guess what? I can download what I want at a better quality then you can offer, so no need for your cable. Oh, you don't like people using Netflix? Well, fuck you then, I'll just download off usenet and torrents (via a vpn).

      You understand that's not sustainable, right? Only so many people can cancel cable and go internet only before internet prices increase and speed drops.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        You understand that's not sustainable, right? Only so many people can cancel cable and go internet only before internet prices increase and speed drops.

        Only so many people can cancel cable and go internet before the mainstream cable companies lose their dominance, because without their media empires they have to compete on a level playing field.

      • by jxander (2605655)

        True, but at least this would force some action.

        Right now, the prices of Cable TV (content) vs Cable Internet (connectivity) are artificially linked, inflated and imbalanced. Let them split off and see how the "free market" reacts. If it means cable internet prices skyrocket, at least it might spark some genuine competition.

    • by alen (225700)

      you are probably doing comcast a favor
      torrenting a show once and then watching it from your local copy is better for them than streaming the same show multiple times from netflix

      • Only if the same copy is watched more than once, otherwise, I suspect the torrent overhead is worse, much worse.

      • Not if it's one of the many shows Comcast owns, which Netflix pays them when you watch.
      • Torrents and Netflix are different ways of getting video over the internet. That's not what we're comparing. This is about comparing getting your video over the internet instead of getting it via cable TV.
        • Getting video over cable TV channels will always be cheaper than getting it on demand. Unlike Internet video and cable TV video on demand, cable TV channels are sent using the functional equivalent of multicast. All subscribers in a neighborhood receive a stream that the cable company sends once. Video on demand uses O(n) bandwidth for n viewers in a neighborhood; channels use O(1).
  • The REAL good news (Score:5, Informative)

    by DigitalSorceress (156609) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @04:17PM (#46289365)

    So, when the FCC re-rules ISPs as Common Carriers, the real good news is that means that 6 strikes rules and other copyright stuff is out the window... after all, a big part of common carrier status is taht you are exempt from having any responsibility for controlling the content you're carrying - so you can't be sued by a copyright owner because user susy q used your infrastructure to share/copy movie x.

    (Ok, so I bet they still WILL do crap like that because they're so far in bed with copyright owners... HHHMMM COMCAST/NBC? but it would be nice to stop them having their cake and eating it too... one can dream)

    I really am happy that the FCC and the Obama administration "get it" - the Internet has become vital to our economy and a free, fair, open Internet is key to innovation and continued growth. If the 'net were allowed to become an expensive toll road, it would only feed the pockets of the already wealthy whilst simultaneously raising the barrier to entry for anything new/innovative.

  • ... stop the US from slipping further down the drain of internet quality. Adn the US is far from the top as it is.

  • I called AT&T about this and they blamed Netflix. I don't know what the truth is. I can stream Amazon in HD fine most days, but even with an 18Meg pipe, Netflix looks like garbage. Hopefully when Google comes to town this year, I can finally get rid of AT&T.

    • > I can stream Amazon in HD fine most days, but even with an 18Meg pipe, Netflix looks like garbage.

      I wonder if Netflix is currently over-utilized due to the recent House of Cards season 2 release. I know I'm using it more than usual, and the video quality while watching House of Cards is worse than even standard-def TV.
  • Obama's hands are tied because the Republicans will reflexively obstruct if he tries to get this through Congress, but the real problem with doing this via FCC rule change is that as soon as a Republican gets elected President network neutrality goes out the window.

  • Saying a one thing but doing it is another thing. All I know is that lobbyist are very strong here since netflix and comcast generates huge loads of money. I don't think Comcast is ready to give up the attacks but this is a good day for net neutrality.
  • by UPZ (947916)
    Are nice but only action means something. What happens six months from now when the topic is not making headlines?
  • The statement reads to me a lot like saber rattling. He basically says, "Remain neutral voluntarily, and don't challenge this next round of rules, or I will make you common carriers." That seems like an interesting approach. Mostly it kicks the can down the road, which is unfortunate since the cable and telco lobbies won't stop trying, but it does seem like it'll get the job done for now at least.

    The last bullet point caught my attention:

    6. Enhance competition. The Commission will look for opportunities to

  • by Karl Cocknozzle (514413) <kcocknozzle@hotma i l . com> on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @05:21PM (#46289963) Homepage

    Everybody else's full-handle is used in their submissions (including people with SPACES and names 3-5x longer than mine) so why am I "Karl C" and not "Karl Cocknozzle?"

    Truncating my last name is an insult to generations of Cocknozzles that have come before me.

    • by liquidsin (398151)

      I clicked your username to see if it shows on your page, and sure enough there's the submission, with your proper full name. I'm hoping Dick Butkus submits a story, just to see if it's changed to "Richard B". HEY DICK! YOU READING THIS?!

  • From (one of) TFA:

    In a statement to the Washington Post, Verizon said it was investigating the report and that the customer rep was misinformed.

    "We treat all traffic equally, and that has not changed," the statement read. "Many factors can affect the speed of a customer’s experience for a specific site, including that site’s servers, the way the traffic is routed over the Internet and other considerations.
    We are looking into this specific matter, but the company representative was mistaken. We’re going to redouble our representative education efforts on this topic."

    Here come the whips and chains...hate to be a Verizon rep right about now...

  • At least it sounds like we are heading the right direction. But since most federal actions have so many loopholes and hidden traps, ill be a bit reserved, but hopeful.

  • "Throttling" is not the same as "blocking", therefore a ban on "blocking" is not the same thing as a ban on "throttling".

  • I'm stoked for this news & I'm relieved that the new FCC chairman is not a bitch like Julius Janikowski

  • by seebs (15766) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @10:27PM (#46292133) Homepage

    Say someone runs a mail server which responds to known spam sources by slowing down to a character a second or so.

    Should this be illegal?

    Because whenever I see simple descriptions of what "net neutrality" ought to be, it seems to me that they are advocating making basic security provisions like "throttle or block attackers" illegal too, because there's no exceptions suggested for them.

Heuristics are bug ridden by definition. If they didn't have bugs, then they'd be algorithms.

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