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Government The Internet

FCC Planning Rule Changes To Restore US Net Neutrality 235

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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  • by Michael Casavant ( 2876793 ) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @03:45PM (#46289085)
    Slow clap
  • 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 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 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 [] 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.

  • 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 Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @05:04PM (#46289835) Journal

    If there was ever a good reason FOR making them common carriers, I'm going to say that content divestiture is it!

  • 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. [] The margins for large service providers are ridiculous. A lot more infrastructure can be built before providing internet access becomes unprofitable.
  • 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 Karl Cocknozzle ( 514413 ) <kcocknozzle AT hotmail DOT 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 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.

  • 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 globaljustin ( 574257 ) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @05:55PM (#46290277) Journal

    your analogy is's way off

    the FCC is doing the right thing...common carriage principles go back to the early Postal Service in the US and it is a sound legal framework

    only non-techs make the arguments you are making...

    also, i love how you attempt to turn a conversation about a **good step** by Obama in regulating our Capitalist Big Brother into the opposite...

    beware the above post is a full-on troll

  • 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 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.

e-credibility: the non-guaranteeable likelihood that the electronic data you're seeing is genuine rather than somebody's made-up crap. - Karl Lehenbauer