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Net Neutrality Campaign To Show What the Web Would Be Like With a "Slow Lane" 91

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-so-fast dept.
blottsie writes In a move out of the anti-SOPA campaign playbook, Fight for the Future and other net neutrality activist groups have set up the Battle for the Net coalition, which plans to launch an "Internet slowdown day" later this month. No actual traffic will be slowed down. Instead, participating sites will display embeddable modules that include a spinning "loading" symbol and information about contacting the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the White House, and members of Congress.
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Net Neutrality Campaign To Show What the Web Would Be Like With a "Slow Lane"

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 01, 2014 @06:13PM (#47802843)

    "If you thought comcast was slow now, wait until they're allowed to decide which websites will work"

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kohath (38547)

      If you thought Comcast was powerful now, wait until the government you're trusting to enforce "net neutrality" against them lets them merge with NBC Universal.

      Oh wait, that was 2 years ago. Wait until the government you're trusting to enforce "net neutrality" lets them merge with Time Warner.

  • by redshirt (95023) on Monday September 01, 2014 @06:29PM (#47802921)
    Using the beta slashdot instead of classic is all the slow lane experience I need.
  • by ohnocitizen (1951674) on Monday September 01, 2014 @06:42PM (#47802985)
    "Net Neutrality Campaign To Show What the Web Would Be Like With a "Slow Lane"" vs "No actual traffic will be slowed down".

    It's a newsworthy and important topic that deserves a headline both inviting and accurate.
  • by CrzyP (830102)
    It's becoming very obvious that traditional methods of protest don't work as quickly as we need on this topic. Why not just do a mass cancellation of service and show these corps that we have that control over them? We all have internet on our phones, if there were more than enough Comcast or TWC customers calling in to cancel their service that would really show those corp-o-thugs who owns who.
    • Re:Boycott (Score:5, Informative)

      by anthony_greer (2623521) on Monday September 01, 2014 @07:05PM (#47803089)

      That sounds great until you consider that for some our job demands that we have internet access...the system goes down in the middle of the weekend or something? guess who is getting that call, and for many Comcast is the only choice. Some places may have an alternative of DSL but that is usually 2Mbps at best in my experience and not very reliable on VPN connections in recent years - again that is just my experience.

      We need to regulate internet at the state level like power...I dont have a choice in electric utility providers but I pay a reasonable price for a good quality of service because the PUC looks out for the people. lets do that with cable internet

      • Plus, they'd probably be pretty happy about the mass ETFs that they receive due to said cancelations, followed shortly thereafter by a mass influx of the same customers returning to say "I am so sorry, baby... I'll never leave you again!" when they realize that there are no other options or that said options are in fact worse (Sold 20Mbps, got 12Mbps service on a "sorry, it's not available, here's this instead" that is usually only 3).
        • by Anonymous Coward

          It erks me to no end peoples claims of ADSL. Cable sucks and you bought into Comcast's propaganda. While ADSL might suck if your too far from the CO it's great for the rest of us.

          Everybody who thinks cable is faster is fooling themselves. Cable companies play all sorts of games to trick users into thinking its super fast. It's not. Those speeds are 'burst', etc or only available at 4AM if your lucky. Even the advertisements compare the lowest tier ADSL packages against the fastest cable offers (ohh and that

          • woho, I'm moving to XS4all 50 mbit Fiber next month. Including Spotify, a simcard with 200mb/month mobile and KPN Hotspots acces!

          • by Krojack (575051)

            My company offers VDSL up to 60mbit/sec depending on your distance. You can bond those in 2, 4 or 8 channels giving you up to 480mbit/sec. The cost for 4+ channels is pretty high though and more for businesses.

            Now I'm not a fan of cable but I will admit that Charter has been good to me over the years. Just a month ago they increased my speeds from 15 to 60. I put this to a test by downloading various games and it held at 60 for 1.5 hours. I got a steady 7.6MB/second download through Steam. I just wish

          • by EvilJoker (192907)

            The issue isn't the technology involved. Cable and DSL can each be great, awful, or somewhere in between. What matters is who's running it, and how.

            While it's generally acknowledged that Comcast is awful, the DSL alternatives are also usually bad. AT&T, Verizon DSL, CenturyLink, etc aren't exactly known for their quality. You apparently have good service, which is the exception, not the norm.

      • Re:Boycott (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gunnnnslinger (793553) on Monday September 01, 2014 @09:03PM (#47803619)
        But this is America. Where any attempt to regulate or otherwise hold corporations accountable is met with a hyperbolic "ERMAGAWD, SOCIALISM!' Imagine what kind of reaction you'd get from "AW MA GAWD, GUBMINT INNERNET!" Americans have been well trained to completely disregard their own self-interests for fairy-tales shilled by corporate owned media.
        • by gewalker (57809)

          Socialism is usually used as a pejorative term by those on the right, e.g, Obama is a socialist. Philosophically, I generally agree with the Libertarians. I would not be inclined at all to say the adding some regulations or holding Comcast, etc. is in any way socialism. The problem is that broadband providers are generally running a protected monopoly already, this is a form of corporate socialism already a.k.a. crony capitalism.

          So, one problem is already a result of government interference in the market, r

      • by pnutjam (523990)
        I've had better success with vpn's over dsl then cable, just my experience.
    • by Kohath (38547)

      Boycotts work?

    • Why not just do a mass cancellation of service and show these corps that we have that control over them? We all have internet on our phones

      Do I really need to spell this out for you? I'll give you a hint. It rhymes with corn. It is also the most common answer to any question having to do with the internet.

    • by k6mfw (1182893)
      I still have comcast but only watch a few channels (I pay for hundreds I don't watch which is like paying monthly payments for a car I only drive 3 days a month). Talking with a friend who said there is about 100 OTA TV channels here in SF bay area. Not that all those channels interest me, but when he said OTA HD looks much better than Comcast which compresses the video (gotta fit all those channels through the coax pipe). He further described watching KQED OTA HD channel on oceanic life on a big screen (it
  • by jcr (53032)

    It's a buzzword for demanding federal control of the internet, to remedy the government-caused problem of last mile providers who are protected from competition by local cable monopoly privileges.

    All we need to solve the problem of the Comcasts and the Time-warners of the world is to expose them to competition.

    -jcr

    • by MtHuurne (602934) on Monday September 01, 2014 @07:49PM (#47803271) Homepage

      It's a buzzword for demanding federal control of the internet, to remedy the government-caused problem of last mile providers who are protected from competition by local cable monopoly privileges.

      What kind of additional control would net neutrality give the government over the internet besides the enforcing net neutrality itself?

      Besides, I doubt any possible negative side effects of net neutrality would come close to the problem of ongoing massive warrantless spying, so if you're worried about government control over the internet, this seems like the wrong battle to pick.

      All we need to solve the problem of the Comcasts and the Time-warners of the world is to expose them to competition.

      That may not be easy... The big telcos lobby for laws protecting them from municipal broadband, but as far as I know they are not protected from commercial rivals, yet few are challenging them.

      Here in the Netherlands when it comes to broadband competition, on ADSL there is a lot of competition because the government forced the leading telco (KPN, the former state telco) to share their telephone lines with other ISPs, since those lines were laid with public money. On cable, for some reason such a line sharing wasn't enforced, so two big companies (UPC and Ziggo) bought all the local cable networks and are now trying to merge, meaning there will be one giant cable company for the entire country (*). On fiber, there used to be a lot of different ISPs, but KPN bought most of them and a few other failed (probably because of mismanagement), so there is very little competition left there as well.

      (*) I do agree with the cable companies' reasoning that they are not competing against each other anyway, since they don't operate in the same areas: every house has at most one cable connection. But in my opinion the line sharing should have been enforced for cable too, since those networks were also built with public money. But they were owned by local governments and sold for a lot of money during the dot-com boom (unlike KPN, which was owned by the state and then privatized), so I guess it would be unfair to change the conditions for network use after selling them.

      My point is that mergers and acquisitions will reduce competition, even in situations where there are no corrupt laws blocking healthy competition. So I think it's wishful thinking that if you allow competition it will automatically come into existence, regardless of properties of the specific market.

      There is also a practical aspect: it is inefficient to have to run several cables to each house. In my opinion, ideally each house would be connected to a single fiber optic cable, over which an unlimited number of ISPs could offer their services. The last mile is not a good place to look for competition; the rest of the service is.

      • It is a similar situation here in Canada. You have the historic "ma bell" aka Bell Canada who installed all the POTS lines, and build their DSL infrastructure. Then along came the cable companies who build up their old coax to hybrid fiber/coax about 15 years ago. In Ontario, now sure about other provinces, you have exactly one choice of which cable company you want. There are almost zero overbuilds so depending on where you live you either have Rogers, Cogeco, Shaw or some other small company. About 5-10 y

    • by NotSanguine (1917456) on Monday September 01, 2014 @09:11PM (#47803659) Journal

      It's a buzzword for demanding federal control of the internet, to remedy the government-caused problem of last mile providers who are protected from competition by local cable monopoly privileges.

      All we need to solve the problem of the Comcasts and the Time-warners of the world is to expose them to competition.

      -jcr

      And how, exactly, do you propose to "expose them to competition"? Do you invite multiple last mile providers to install new infrastructure? Good luck getting them all the rights-of-way and access to the poles, tunnels and other access-ways currently in use.

      Do you use eminent domain to take the local monopoly's infrastructure and install a not-for-profit organization to manage, maintain and upgrade the last-mile, while selling access to the infrastructure to independent ISPs who compete on price and features?

      Do you build out (paid for with municipal bonds) a new high-speed last mile infrastructure, with a not-for-profit organization to manage, maintain and upgrade the infrastructure, paid for by selling access to independent ISPs?

      Please do share with the group.

      • by ediron2 (246908)

        I pick **D** -- Any or all of the above, as deemed appropriate by a Public Utilities Commission and economists / engineers they supervise.

        We do this. A LOT. Public Utility regulatory bodies have MORE THAN A CENTURY OF PRACTICE IN NEARLY EVERY STATE, in multiple similar infrastructure types. Stop pretending this is impossible. It's a shitty straw man invented by the same deregulatory wonks that got us into this mess in the first place.

        I'm neither Socialist nor Libertarian. Both are false utopias with no

        • I pick **D** -- Any or all of the above, as deemed appropriate by a Public Utilities Commission and economists / engineers they supervise.

          We do this. A LOT. Public Utility regulatory bodies have MORE THAN A CENTURY OF PRACTICE IN NEARLY EVERY STATE, in multiple similar infrastructure types. Stop pretending this is impossible. It's a shitty straw man invented by the same deregulatory wonks that got us into this mess in the first place.

          I'm neither Socialist nor Libertarian. Both are false utopias with no shining example. I like REGULATED MARKETS. CUZ THAT SHIT JUST WORKS.

          I hate to break it to you friend, but you're yelling [slashdot.org] at the wrong guy [slashdot.org].

          I have repeatedly suggested the third option (along with the same comment that this is how public works projects are successfully done). I gave our "herp derp Gub'mint bad" GP several choices as to how to introduce competition, not because I think they won't work (with the caveat that multiple last mile providers with duplicated infrastructure is a really dumb idea), but because GP obviously hadn't thought through his "All we need to sol [slashdot.org]

      • by MobyDisk (75490)

        And how, exactly, do you propose to "expose them to competition"? Do you invite multiple last mile providers to install new infrastructure?

        The answer to your question is to have one "last-mile" company provide the wires, while other companies act as ISPs. So under that system, Comcast and Verizon can run a wire to my house, but they cannot provide service. Other companies such as AOL, Earthlink, and Netzero provide the service. About 20 years ago these two things were called "telephone companies" and "internet service providers" but a foolish regulatory framework allowed the telephone companies to either buyout the ISPs, or limit/deny their

        • And how, exactly, do you propose to "expose them to competition"? Do you invite multiple last mile providers to install new infrastructure?

          The answer to your question is to have one "last-mile" company provide the wires, while other companies act as ISPs. So under that system, Comcast and Verizon can run a wire to my house, but they cannot provide service. Other companies such as AOL, Earthlink, and Netzero provide the service. About 20 years ago these two things were called "telephone companies" and "internet service providers" but a foolish regulatory framework allowed the telephone companies to either buyout the ISPs, or limit/deny their access to the wires until they went out of business. That created the problem we have today. But it is so entrenched that people can't even imagine such a world, even though we already had it. Nobody complained about network neutrality when they could switch ISPs with a 5-minute phone call and a credit card.

          The last true ISP I know of was Cavtel, and they stopped accepting new customers in 2011. Does anyone know any others? It could still be done, albeit inefficiently, with a VPN. Not quite the same though.

          Geez. I can understand why folks don't read TFA. I even get why some might not read TFS. But why have three of you replied to my post without actually reading it? You repeated, pretty much exactly what I wrote, along with (correct) references to the aftermath of the 1984 AT&T consent decree. Yes, I was there. Yes, I remember. Had you actually bothered to read beyond the first sentence of my post you would have realized that. Sigh.

    • by Bob9113 (14996)

      All we need to solve the problem of the Comcasts and the Time-warners of the world is to expose them to competition.

      If that were true, we wouldn't need common carrier regulation for shipping companies. That's where common carrier started (hence the term "carrier"). It was put in place to keep carriage networks, which are naturally limited in the efficient number of competitors, from exploiting their natural n-opolies by making preferred carrier deals with incumbent manufacturers.

      In the case of wired data ca

  • by mjwx (966435) on Monday September 01, 2014 @08:16PM (#47803397)
    If it's anything like a real highway, the slow lane will actually be the fast lane as everyone immediately goes to the passing lane and clogs it up, meaning people with half a brain end up undertaking everyone else using the slow lane.
    • If it's anything like a real highway, the slow lane will actually be the fast lane as everyone immediately goes to the passing lane and clogs it up, meaning people with half a brain end up undertaking everyone else using the slow lane.

      HRM, NO. THAT'S MY JOB.

  • If its anything like a real highway the slow lane will be the fast lane because all the idiots immedately go to the overtaking lane clogging it up. So people with half a brain use the slow lane to undertake everyone else.
  • They used my Comcast simulator without paying!

    • by k6mfw (1182893)
      reminds me of "free Comcast" of leaky cable boxes. Some years ago when Comcast had analog, and when watching amateur television on 421.25 MHz and 427.25 MHz I find certain parts of town being able to see Fox CNN on cable these freq (which are CATV Ch 57 and 58). Though all digital now but there are still lots of leaky boxes around though not sure if stations worth watching.
  • It's really annoying from a technical standpoint to see the twisting of terminology that is going around.

    What would come to pass if some companies pay for higher levels of access sis not a slow lane - it's the lane we've always had, with he addition of a fast lane for some prioritized traffic.

    If you think Net Neutrality is going to deliver you from crappy basic internet you are dreaming. It will just make the crappy basic internet more expensive.

    • I've got a great real-world example of why fast lanes won't work. I spent a night at a 'hip' hotel in West Hollywood. Room, with tax, was $308. I thought I'd catch up on some episodes of House MD on Netflix and had utterly horrid quality. I did some speed tests (testmy.net) and saw I was being shaped down to 500kbps. I had better speeds while stay at some backwoods motor lodge in Minnesota recently. I called reception and they informed me that they offer "super fast internet" for only $14.95 more. Ef
      • When I buy a dedicated pipe at a data center, and they bill per Mbps, what do you think is happening? They're limiting the connection speed (i.e. dropping packets above a certain rate, which is how the Internet signals congestion).

      • The mistake you make is in assuming that without the $14.95 option you'd have any faster speeds. Wrong; you'd have the option to use the hotels entertainment system to get movies instead. Is the option for a faster internet connection you must pay a small amount for ($14.95 being nothing compared to the nightly rate) truly worse than that awful fate?

        You aren't grasping the reality that you cannot let everyone have video streaming quality internet for the a low price.

    • by AvitarX (172628)

      Presumably, it will allow other people that prefer certain services to get priority over me if the services I like are not preferred.

    • by Qzukk (229616)

      with the addition of a fast lane

      So "they" say, but "they" have been promising infrastructure upgrades for years, even taking subsidies from the government for a fiber rollout that never delivered. This time it's different?

      What everyone expects is the same thing that happened when they installed a toll lane on the freeway here. They didn't add any new lanes, instead they walled off the left lane, narrowed the remaining lanes to make room for the wall and new shoulder, then kept the toll lane speed limit th

    • by sjames (1099)

      But what will really happen is that resources will be yanked from the 'normal' internet to provision the fast lane. If that doesn't get enough sign-ups, they'll further cripple the 'normal' service until the pain is sufficioent to get large content providers to pay for the 'fast lane' which will be about as fast as the old internet while the 'normal' internet will resemble dial-up.

      Have you never gone grocery shopping?

  • I live in an area that is serviced by several cable providers as well as at least 2 *DSL providers.
    We have chose to go with Astound http://www.astound.com/ [astound.com] , but Comcast and TWC are also available. On the *DSL side we can get Pac-Bell or CenturyLink. I've previously used SDSL with Pac-Bell and had good results but at a steep cost. About 2 years ago we decided to try Astound due to price issues and have been relatively happy with their performance, though customer service does lack a little in the technical

  • To get any government action on an internet issue, the best method is to show the government the direct effects of the problem. In other words: Slow down all government websites to a crawl. Especially the ones that the elected officials use regularly and expect to be speedy. Most likely the problem will be solved by throwing more tax payer money at the problem, but some conscientious politician will see the problem and start campaigning to get rid of the issue through a law.
  • Or so I thought. It has something to do with my router setup. Whatever.
    But my point is it sucks!

    Its not like its always slow. Instead I'll be surfing the net, and without warning a link will throw up my cable company's Could Not Find URL error page. If I look at the ping, there are these crazy large time lags. Rather than it taking a long time for the page to load, its as if the internet became SMALLER. The I have to WORK slower. And then, just everything is back to normal.

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