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Net neutrality update and a potential future of selective data capping and Internet price gouging

By Julio Franco
Jan 17, 2014
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  1. Live in the United States? Enjoy being able to stream and browse the Internet to your cold little heart's content? Don't want your Internet costs to go up? It's time to start thinking about what could be one of this...

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    cliffordcooley likes this.
  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,825   +1,436

    Greedy bastards get their money, every time people pay a monthly bill. If this did go through would it lower prices? No it wouldn't!! It would only complicate everything.
    hammer2085 and wastedkill like this.
  3. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 3,452   +620

    "right now many Internet users are accustomed to unlimited bandwidth."

    Except if you live in Australia/New Zealand, and some other countries I guess.

    We also have net un-neutrality already - Netflix/Hulu is geoblocked. Additionally, the major ISPs pander their own content delivery systems and offer the downloads as uncounted towards your quota. So even if we WANTED to get Netflix, we'd still be stuck with our lame caps and tied to the certain content networks. Even our 'NBN' (fibre network around the country, perhaps to homes) enforces caps, which is simply ridiculous.

    You just don't know how backwards this place is until you've lived or been here.
    wastedkill likes this.
  4. Scshadow

    Scshadow TechSpot Maniac Posts: 352   +40

    You don't understand what Net Neutrality is. Hulu/Netflix is blocked in your country not by the ISPs but by the service providers themselves. Hulu/Netflix has to negotiate content deals for each country. And since they don't have content deals for your country, they can't serve you content because that would be breach of contract and Illegal.

    Also its very reasonable to not count ISP's internal content delivery against your bandwidth. Internal network bandwidth costs the ISP a fraction of what it costs to provide bandwidth of content outside of its personally owned network. If data has to travel on another company's network, that costs extra money. This too also doesn't really violate Net Neutrality. They're discounting you based on the fact that it actually does cost less to serve you that bandwidth. The day a company pays an ISP to artificially create an advantage or disadvantage is when I consider net neutrality to be violated.
  5. Well that's easy, the companies should shrink their f*****g DLC downloads and put all the features on one single game/disc/media, etc, like the old days you know when you played Megaman 3 you didn't need to download a new boss or a new level, you waited until next year for the Megaman 4 with new bosses, levels, etc, I'm not an anti DLC guy, but the reality is that some companies are abusing of the DLC feature and some of them like to even sell the real game ending separately (Mass effect 3), and others are just putting everything on the media but they locked it until you activate a key through the DLC purchase, That could be the best solution for the bandwidth side, but I believe most gamers don't like it either.

    Bottom line, I believe that the DLC is not necessary on most games, but that's my opinion, also please forgive any grammatical error, english is not my first language.
  6. WangDangDoodle

    WangDangDoodle Newcomer, in training Posts: 44   +13

    My first thought is that there's just no way that a big, greedy company won't eventually take advantage of this ruling. Then again, people would start a riot if they did, and I think they know that.
  7. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 213   +26

    I am willing to bet that most ISPs in the US got into the business when the technology was young, and, therefore, today's internet in the US is extremely slow compared to say South Korea or Japan or other countries around the world. Due to that, 10 MbPS (small b for bits rather than bytes) is still the norm here in the US and we pay the same for that service as other countries pay for 100 MbPS service.

    In addition, ISPs, have found ways to exploit 100+ year old telco laws that give them a virtual monopoly. In my area, for instance, Thugs Warner is the ONLY game in town for now unless you find a sweet deal on a 4G usb modem service, and, believe me I have looked, such sweet deals are non-existant. And believe me, in our area Thugs Warner is an appropriate name since they routinely engage in abusive practices like slamming the elderly, as they did with my mother, onto their services with what seems like complete impunity.

    One bright ray of hope for the area that I live in is that there is a small company who provides fiber internet services to local companies that has been given permission by the state public service commission to extend their service to homes as well; however, that is taking a long time due to the fact that it takes time to lay the hardware infrastructure to support their service.

    More and more municipalities in the US are becoming aware of the abuse of these antiquated telco laws and passing laws that are more consistent with the modern world. My hope is that this trend will continue and that it will extend to the service provider - service as in services like Netflix and Amazon and gaming services - however, it will take citizen outrage and/or contacting their representatives to make the difference.

    A free and open internet, IMHO, is a boon to all. The internet is capable of immense good despite the random pockets of trash in the internet that exist. If you are in the US, contact your representatives.

    The key point to this article are the words "without legislation". Unfortunately, it seem that to reign in the greedy dirt balls out there, legislation is needed.
  8. cmbjive

    cmbjive TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 496   +82

    "Nothing will happen right away, and the debate will likely continue for months and years to come, but without legislation protecting net neutrality, there's nothing to stop, say, Comcast from deciding that hey, Netflix uses way too much bandwidth, and if they want the same speeds as every other website, they're going to have to pay a premium. Now, if Netflix has to pay more to your cable company, guess who foots the bill? (You.)"

    Welcome to the real world. And when has legislation ever kept prices from rising or prevented shortages?
  9. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,047   +38

    Now, I've only read through part of this article.

    This might sound crazy but I think the internet is a major part in human "evolution."
    This network of information available to us at the click of a button, the closest we have to a singular large knowledge database, as corrupt as it may be, and riddled with false information as well. Dispite that... why do we want to hinder such a thing? This is a changing world, and the more I grow older, the more I see it.

    I understand these companies got to make some money, but I really hope that it doesnt impede the access to knowledge and useful resources. I can understand they might want to throttle streaming video or music services. I already have this disappointment that some countries dont have access to the internet outside of their country, or at all, because of their government. It's somewhat disappointing. The internet can bring people together, or tear countries apart, sure... but without that knowledge that caused that, well... we'd all be a bit further behind technologically if I just say it simply...
  10. "Can Obama save us?"

    BAHAHAHAHAHA
    Raoul Duke, Matthew and cmbjive like this.
  11. fimbles

    fimbles TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,253   +144

    Bandwidth restrictions = move to another ISP.

    There are plenty of them which shows that someone must be making money.
     
  12. OneSpeed

    OneSpeed Newcomer, in training Posts: 116   +24

    I say, first we boycott the ISPs that imposes this on us, then....
  13. Finally! I enjoyed this feature in world of thanks and many other games!

    Pay to win!

    Internet please take my money!! :)
  14. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 2,050   +699

    I might contact my rep if I had any faith whatsoever that the govt would improve things. They already legislate everything they can get their hands on and it usually has the opposite effect they intend and costs US a ton of money. *cough* Healthcare *cough*

    The cable companies have one thing working for them that's against us. And that's low competition. We need more competition with ISPs. THAT is what will benefit the consumer, not the govt. Look at cell carriers. Competition has gotten us t-mobile's low priced plans and a race for giant networks.

    I'm going to wait until something happens before freaking out over this. We had the same scare when they throttled 4G content, and then we realized that they data limits were so high we never needed to worry anyway.

    Oh, and speaking of 'greedy dirt balls' Did you know that the richest people in this country work for the govt. Look at the list of richest counties in the US. It's all people who work for the govt. Not silicon valley, or San Fran, or Vail. it's freaking Washington DC. (http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomvanriper/2013/04/25/americas-richest-counties/)
    cmbjive likes this.
  15. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 301   +81

    I'm in a city of roughly a million in Canada. Only two internet providers, both with caps, the more you pay, the faster the connection, the higher the cap. For the faster provider I pay $80 CAD/month for "up to 50 Mbps download, up to 3 Mbps upload and 400 GB data transfer"
  16. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 213   +26

    In the US, that plan simply does not exist if provided by major telcos or other "major" ISPs. It is yet another example of how other countries, even ones with much smaller populations, enjoy internet access at a significantly lower rate than what is available in the US.

    From some of the comments here, I also get the impression that some really do not understand what this means. Instead of the ISP limiting what internet USERS get in terms of speed or data maximums per month, this could allow ISPs to pick and choose what DATA SOURCES they serve. In my area, that could mean that Thugs Warner strikes a deal with Amazon Prime and completely excludes Netflix - meaning that no one in my area would be able to connect to Netflix unless they were, perhaps, using an anonymous proxy - which is also of questionable legality in the US due to some stupid law enacted by those who partner with big business. And no matter how many anonymous proxies you ride behind, Thugs Warner, or any other ISP, can still tell that you are getting large amounts of data from a wide-open pipe.

    What I do not get is how some seem to fail to understand the ramifications of the existing system, and fall in line like lemmings being lead to the cliff even when some things are not completely implemented nor have had a chance to even remotely demonstrate performance. Sometimes, I seriously think that I am living in a country full of parrots.

    On the flip side what this might do is encourage data providers like Netflix and Amazon to form their own ISP consortium where they not only provide content, but provide access as well.

    Time will tell, but the parrots continue to worry me since they seem incapable of seeing anything wrong.
  17. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,825   +1,436

    They will see why it is wrong; when they start to question why they need to pay more than one ISP, to get access to the same material they once did with only one ISP.
  18. cmbjive

    cmbjive TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 496   +82

    I don't know where you live, but where I do I have a choice of speed from 768k all the way to 40Mbps. Well, in my exact neighborhood I can only go up to 12Mbps, but 40Mbps is available to lucky bastards who live in areas where that speed is available.

    And I'm not worried about "private" deals between the telcos and streaming providers. It hasn't happened yet and there is no indication that it will happen in the future. I guess I'm just a big old parrot.
  19. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,490   +292

    I don't think legislation is needed. I may be wrong here, so correct me if needed. But I thought that the US Gov gave telcos a buttload of money in the 90s? to run fiber everywhere, but almost nobody did. They just pocketed that money, and then nobody called them on it. They should be held accountable for all that money that was given to them for something they didn't do. Making more rules isn't good if only some of the rules get followed. Don't force Net Neutrality, but also don't allow (or repeal/update) whatever is in place that prevents startup ISPs from using existing infrastructure that the government provided money to create.
  20. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 301   +81

    I sure hope you are right, but I don't trust them..yes you know...them
  21. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,825   +1,436

    If true, they should be held accountable.
  22. TS-56336

    TS-56336 TechSpot Booster Posts: 571   +98

    America does not even have basic health care for it's citizens or basic banking laws, this is no surprise, lucky it only applies to the USA .

    The only thing free is your right to be exploited by the rich.
  23. Mbloof

    Mbloof Newcomer, in training Posts: 52   +6

    Ahh, one of the misconceptions of the network - who pays for traffic and when. Websites SEND or TRANSMIT more data than they receive but the measurement usually falls into a more general bidirectional "traffic" or "bandwidth".

    You see you have to follow the data from the SOURCE not the destination. If you own a website you ether pay your Commercial ISP for bandwidth or pay the company that is hosting the website for bandwidth (which in turn pays THEIR ISP).

    Website/Service ----> ISP (IP address block X) -----> (IP address block Y) -----> (IP address block Z) ISP -----> End user.

    Think of it as a Onion with each ring paying data forward towards the center (Ring0):
    Website=>Ring3t=>Ring2t=>Ring1t=>Ring0tr=>Ring1r=>Ring2r=>Ring3r=>User

    As you might imagine each ring collects fees on the "T" (send) side to pay for the pipe which in turn is used for "free" in the other "R" direction.

    A ISP would have to pay for more bandwidth (out of their own pocket and essentially equates to building+maintaining more data links to other sources) only if their inbound bandwidth is greater then what their outbound commercial traffic is already paying for. However I don't believe this is what the national ISP's are complaining about.

    Netflix==>AT&T==>Verizon==>User.

    Assuming AT&T is Netflix's ISP Netflix+AT&T is dropping off at Verizon a TON of streaming data which Verizon has to move across its internal network from the AT&T<=>Verizon connection point to the Verizon<=>End user connection point. If Verizon never built its internal network to be able to handle the traffic they are going to have a problem and do with all the traffic its users are requesting. (the national ISP's never expected customers to actually USE the service that they were paying for)

    The fall back statement(s) is that they won't invest in upgrading their network unless someone else is paying for it.
  24. The reality is we are already being hit by companies to pay extra if your a heavy down-loader...my experience is with ATT, so I will focus on them. Companies like ATT already enforce data caps that require you to pay more once you reach the cap...and the caps are pretty low and easy to hit if you're a Youtube or Netflix user. I would be willing to bet that since UVerse TV and internet service is an IP based product that ATT is already giving some sort of network priority to their services, atleast on their network, to ensure a smooth experience.
  25. Fiber from the 90's isn't the same as fiber today and in many cases would need to be replaced to meet today's standards. As far as Telco's getting a butt load of money from the government that is total fiction...I've worked in the industry for decades on the front line as a tech and Manager...so I am positive it didn't happen. The only government money ever given to Telco's to provide service came from the Universal Service Fund charges which appear on your phone bills to support service in rural areas...this grew out of the Rural Electrification Act passed in 1935 which paid to extend electricity out to small town America. In my opinion the Rural Electrification Act and Universal Service Fund were two successful examples of Washington actually doing some good for the common man...but there was no fiber build out paid for by the fed's...


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