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FCC Looking Into Paid Peering Deals 37

Posted by timothy
from the and-people-trust-the-fcc dept.
An anonymous reader writes The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced on Friday that it has successfully obtained the details regarding paid peering deals between Netflix and Comcast as well as Verizon and is working to obtain similar information for other video streamers and their respective ISP peers. The FCC's goal is, as they pointed out themselves, not to regulate as yet but to examine these deals with the goal of providing some transparency to the American public regarding the internet services they pay for. Verizon and Comcast issued statements expressing their willingness to be open about their peering activities and stressed that no regulation is required. The peering market 'has functioned effectively and efficiently for over two decades without government intervention,' Comcast claimed at a congressional hearing. The Free Press policy director nevertheless points out that 'when the FCC required reporting from AT&T after the company blocked Skype in 2009 and Google Voice in 2012, the disclosures revealed that AT&T was indeed misleading its customers.'
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FCC Looking Into Paid Peering Deals

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  • No fault found (Score:5, Insightful)

    by symbolset (646467) * on Saturday June 14, 2014 @07:34AM (#47235807) Journal
    Tom Wheeler's FCC is not going to do anything helpful for end users.
    • by ganjadude (952775)
      of course not. When you put the wolf (lobbyist) in charge of the henhouse (FCC) what do you expect to happen?

      The peering market 'has functioned effectively and efficiently for over two decades without government intervention,

      that was before they got greedy (greedier?)

    • by PopeRatzo (965947)

      Tom Wheeler's FCC is not going to do anything helpful for end users.

      That's not his job. His job is to maximize profits for a small number of corporations. Profits that will come out of the hides of a population already in difficult straits from the financial terrorism of the 2000s.

      The people who are pulling the strings of our society are dead-enders. They have a vision for a glorious future that does not include you and me.

      Tom Wheeler is Reason #1438 that Barack Obama is the worst president in the last h

      • Re:No fault found (Score:4, Informative)

        by mcgrew (92797) * on Saturday June 14, 2014 @12:43PM (#47237067) Homepage Journal

        Tom Wheeler is Reason #1438 that Barack Obama is the worst president in the last half-century.

        Do you think Romney or McCain would have appointed anyone better? And "worst President in 50 years?" Dude, when he took office the country had its largest budget deficit in history, the economy was in its worst shape since the Great Depression, and we were fighting two wars. Now the economy has improved greatly although it has a long way to go, particularly among working people, the unemployment rate is lower than when he took office, one war is over and the other will be over in a year, two states have legalized marijuana and he hasn't siced the DEA on them, and he gets no help whatever from Congress.

        Contrast that with his predecessor, who took office in boom times and left it in the worst recession since the great depression, ignored the previous administration's warnings and his own FBI agent's reports and got our country attacked, started the longest war in our history and then started another completely senseless war that has resulted in Civil War there, rammed through the misnamed PATRIOT act, started the TSA and all the NSA bullshit Obama is (rightly) condemned for using, rammed through "No Chid Left Behind" which should have been "Leave them ALL behind"... name ONE positive thing Bush did for this country? Obamacare is a clusterfuck, but it's better than what we had.

        Bush was the worst President in my 62 year lifetime and likely the worst in history. No other President damaged our country (indeed, the whole world) as badly as Bush.

        Hell, with the exception of Bush, Carter was the worst president in fifty years. IMO the only decent President I've seen since Eisenhower was Clinton, who turned HW's recession into a boom, presided over the end of generational welfare, took office with until then was history's largest deficit and left office with a balanced budget, and put 100,000 more cops on the streets... coincidence that the crime rate started dropping then?

        Wake up, friend. Both parties suck, and neither produce very good lawmakers or executives.

        • by PopeRatzo (965947)

          Do you think Romney or McCain would have appointed anyone better?

          No, but they would not have had the built-in cover from people that President Obama has enjoyed. People who supported him are loathe to point out the massive amount of damage that Obama has wrought, and his sheer incompetence and dishonesty. The nuts on the Right are discounted because they're, well, nuts and there is a protective impulse from the Center and Left because a), like me they supported Obama and b) because he's just so damn histo

          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            I agree about Romney, he would have been worse than Shrub. As to income inequality, making the haves richer and the have-nots poorer has been his career; his job is firing people, dismantling companies and selling the parts for a huge profit.

            As for McCain, he sounds reasonable when he talks; he's on the Sunday morning news shows a lot. As to Palin, I'm sure there was some dealing done by someone to get her on the ticket, because McCain just doesn't seem stupid enough. Someone must have made him an offer he

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Reading the article till I got to the part where Wheeler said we will not regulate these deals, we just want them to be open to the public. And then to hear the idiot from CONcast rabble on with his propaganda made me slap my forehead.

      Wheeler is (was) a lobbyist for cable companies what did you expect? This is the very problem with politics in DC, and nation wide, I have a problem with republicans bitching and moaning about the President hiring "special interest" people/persons in high ranking positions or

  • by rmdingler (1955220) on Saturday June 14, 2014 @07:47AM (#47235861)

    Verizon and Comcast issued statements expressing their willingness to be open about their peering activities and stressed that no regulation is required.

    Well hell, as long as the for-profit corporations are on record promising there's nothing to see here, what's all the fuss?

  • "The peering market 'has functioned effectively and efficiently for over two decades without government intervention,' Comcast claimed at a congressional hearing."

    When they say anything

  • I was very excited about this, until I read:

    He did not say whether the deals would be opened to the public.

    Also, it seems like these are only for the "Paid fast lanes" but it's hard to tell.
    Reveal all the peering agreements, when they start, when they end, their term... etc...
    Then this entire problem will make a hell of a lot more sense to the public. The peering agreements ARE the problem. Charging for them is not the solution.

  • by alzoron (210577) on Saturday June 14, 2014 @08:03AM (#47235903) Journal

    They keep saying that additional regulation will degrade service, raise prices and reduce healthy competition, yet the United States has some of the worst prices, service and competition with the little regulation that already exists. I don't see how adding additional regulation at this point is going to make things any worse unless modems and routers will start spontaneously catching on fire or service technicians are going to start shooting people's dogs.

    • Re:Yeah (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Charliemopps (1157495) on Saturday June 14, 2014 @08:43AM (#47236029)

      They keep saying that additional regulation will degrade service, raise prices and reduce healthy competition, yet the United States has some of the worst prices, service and competition with the little regulation that already exists. I don't see how adding additional regulation at this point is going to make things any worse unless modems and routers will start spontaneously catching on fire or service technicians are going to start shooting people's dogs.

      In the case of the Cable companies (not telecoms) they are basically not regulated at all. So yes, some regulation would have little impact and improve service. In regards to Telecoms, regulation is VERY heavy. It's a significant portion of their operating costs and a lot of it is just plain stupid. It could probably use more regulation in 'some' areas but needs a significant reduction in others.

      The biggest problem in the US is our government and the FCC are completely incompetent. Rudimentary basic reforms would solve a lot of our problems. We're still operating under regulation that was, for the most part, developed prior to the Internet. It's literally a completely different industry now. It's unrecognizable compared to what we had in the 80s. So why are we still using that same regulation?

      We need what we buy defined, in law. i.e. "You'll have 5mb/s service 60% of the time, minimum degraded level of 500k/s" or whatever. So you know what you're getting. This should be enforced by weights and measures.
      Content providers need to be regulated. Netflix in particular has been operating in a completely irresponsible way. Don't regulate what they can provide. Regulate how they provide it. You can't move a 10gig peer overnight without telling anyone.
      All ISPs need to operate under the same regulatory framework. No more pretending Cable and Telephone provide different products. They don't.
      Get rid of all the nonsense like regional laws that require working pots lines in abandon homes. Most state and federal buildings dont even have pay-phones anymore, why should an abandon home? If the states not willing to pay for it, why should the ISP have to?

      Common sense rule changes would do us all a lot of good.

      • This should be enforced by weights and measures.

        Good luck with that.

        There are thousands of variables that can affect the bandwidth available between points A and B across the internet, many of which beyond the end-users and the ISPs' control, which makes any sort of bandwidth guarantees with "best-effort" transit impossible to actually guarantee in any remotely meaningful way. Throwing W&M, NIST or whatever else at this is not going to do anyone any good.

        If you want everyone's internet service to effectively be covered by an end-to-end bandwidth SLA

        • There are thousands of variables that can affect the bandwidth available between points A and B across the internet, many of which beyond the end-users and the ISPs' control, which makes any sort of bandwidth guarantees with "best-effort" transit impossible to actually guarantee in any remotely meaningful way.

          Seriously, do you think this is the reason W&M shouldn't be involved? I worked at a jeweler (where you have to have W&M certification on some equipment), and they wouldn't inspect the scales every certification period. Not even close. It would be 5+ inspection periods, at a minimum, before they would show up to provide their certification instead of mailing it - and this is in an industry where literally hundreds to thousands of dollars directly rely on each time the scale is used, not someone's hom

          • Weight measurements are simple: the weight of a non-volatile substance (or volatile substance in a container) does not change with time, temperature or other variables. You have a quantity of whatever, put it on the scale and you are done.

            Jewelry is a poor example for W&M policing since jewelry is luxury goods and jewelry is not sold by weight in the first place. Try the retail food and gas industry instead. I do not know how it works in the USA but in Canada, calibration stickers for pumps and balances

        • This should be enforced by weights and measures.

          Good luck with that.

          There are thousands of variables that can affect the bandwidth available between points A and B across the internet, many of which beyond the end-users and the ISPs' control, which makes any sort of bandwidth guarantees with "best-effort" transit impossible to actually guarantee in any remotely meaningful way. Throwing W&M, NIST or whatever else at this is not going to do anyone any good.

          If you want everyone's internet service to effectively be covered by an end-to-end bandwidth SLA of some sort, things are likely going to get a fair bit more expensive if the minimum guarantee is to be remotely usable.

          I work for a major ISP and one of my jobs is to maintain a provisioning system that, when you call in to order service, tests the remote you'd be operating off of and returns the max speed of the equipment. The "5mb/60%" thing is an industry standard way of measurement already for data lines. We do it all the time for businesses, and we already have the software in place to do it for residential. We usually take the aggregate number from the remote to flag it as "undeserved" when it starts capping out. Then

          • Currently the ISPs market "Up to 50mb!" but thats only if no one else out of your remote is currently online.

            If you have 50Mbps over phone lines, you have VDSL2 and VDSL2 remotes typically have at least 20Mbps of available upstream capacity per port so if everyone on the same remote has 50Mbps service, about 40% of people connected to it can simultaneously use their service at full speed before the remote actually becomes a choking point. This part of the service is something the ISP has full direct control and visibility into. Even ancient ADSL1 DSLAMs had the ability to probe lines for service quality monitoring

    • Shut the Hell up, they'll start charging extra for modems that don't burn my house to the ground, having to hide my dog is bad enough.

    • by NoKaOi (1415755)

      the United States has some of the worst prices, service and competition with the...regulation that already exists

      Then clearly, the answer is to completely deregulate! It's worked out quite well for [the CEOs in] other industries.

  • by troll -1 (956834) on Saturday June 14, 2014 @08:11AM (#47235909)
    http://jointhefastlane.com/ [jointhefastlane.com]
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