Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet Your Rights Online

Survey Finds Canadians Support Net Neutrality Law 201

Posted by kdawson
from the hands-off-our-packets-eh dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A new public opinion survey conducted in Canada finds overwhelming public support in that country for net neutrality legislation. Three-quarters of Canadians believe the government should pass a law to confirm the right of Internet consumers to access publicly available Internet applications and content of their choice — even though most of those surveyed did not know the term 'net neutrality.' The survey was commissioned by eBay." Of course the devil is in the wording. Given the survey's sponsorship, it's unlikely that respondents were presented with examples of the value that ISPs say packet shaping can bring, or asked to weigh such against net neutrality.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Survey Finds Canadians Support Net Neutrality Law

Comments Filter:
  • And if you care too (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @06:43PM (#20830431)
    You can go sign the petition at http://www.neutrality.ca/ [neutrality.ca]
    • by multisync (218450) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @08:24PM (#20831521) Journal

      You can go sign the petition at http://www.neutrality.ca/ [neutrality.ca]


      Oh, sure, slashdot the petition in favour of net neutrality. That'll convince 'em ISPs shouldn't do traffic shaping ;^)
      • I doubt the Canadians' opinions are of much use either, as they have the highest on-line music piracy rate in the world [variety.com] :-)

        Can we separate "net neutrality" into two distinct issues? I would rather discuss "Internet tolls" in one forum, and "traffic shaping" in another. BTW, screw Internet tolls, and to hell with the politicians trying to ram it down our throats!
        • by kwandar (733439)
          I beg your pardon?! It is PERFECTLY LEGAL to download in Canada because we pay a tax on CD/DVD media that goes to the music industry. Our opinions don't count because we can legally download? I think our opinions should count for more BECAUSE WE PAY FOR THE PRIVILEGE!
    • If you want to show your support for this issue, then take the ten minutes of effort and write your MP [yayacanada.com], both email AND a printed snail-mail copy.

      Online petitions are like prayer. They give you something to do, but they really don't get you anywhere.

  • So What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @06:46PM (#20830483) Journal
    So what if the respondents don't understand QoS issues. Net neutrality isn't about getting rid of QoS, but about the deliberate extortion of money by ISPs and backbones to give preferential service to their own offerings and to those willing to pay. The deliberate muddying of the issue by industry shills is what gets people going "but what about packet shaping". Trying to prevent 5000 customers with Limewire at 8pm from dropping the average subscriber speed to 33.6kbs is not the same thing as demanding Google pay you money or you'll cut the bandwidth from your subscribers to them.
    • Re:So What? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Conspicuous Coward (938979) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @07:23PM (#20830879)

      Net neutrality isn't about getting rid of QoS, but about the deliberate extortion of money by ISPs and backbones to give preferential service to their own offerings and to those willing to pay.

      I think 90% of people on slashdot would agree with this. But then most people here have some understanding of the issues involved. A lot of non-technical people, especially regulators, will get caught up in the FUD being spread.

      I think the real background to this is that certain groups are, for obvious reasons, very keen to change the internet from it's current free-for-all state to a managed tiered service; more closely resembling "push" services like television or other traditional media. ISPs are generally happy to support them as they can see opportunities for profit, e.g charging both the user and the server owner for the same bandwidth.

      If some form of network neutrality legislation is not forthcoming I think this could become a serious problem. There's only a handful of companies that own most of the internet backbone, if they decide to start prioritizing content they like over content they dislike it will force all the smaller ISPs to follow suit and pass these fees on their customers. The dangers for internet freedom of allowing some random CEO to price internet services they dislike out of existence should require no further explanation.

      There are clearly legitimate applications for QoS, prioritizing latency dependent applications over somebody's p2p traffic for example. The question from a regulatory point of view becomes where do you draw the line. What level of regulation is required to stop attempts to change the nature of the net and prevent unscrupulous ISPs charging twice for bandwidth, and to what extent will this interfere with legitimate technologies.

      I think we need to be very careful. There is clearly a need for regulation, but it's imperative that those drafting it have an understanding of the technical issues involved, as bad regulation could be as much a danger to internet freedom as no regulation.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Wildclaw (15718)
        Pretty much all the advantages of QoS is best done at the endpoint using a QoS enabled router or QoS software. If the ISP wants to do QoS it should be an optional addon for customers that don't have the know-how themselves.

        I am strongly for complete net neutrality, and not the watered out version that the grand parent represents. ISPs should not be allowed to filter packets based on destination nor content. The only exception being if it is provided as an optional service.

        If I use too much bandwidth I shoul
      • Net Neutrality is the Sarbanes-Oxley of the internet. Everyone has good intentations, but people with little understanding are trying to write a law based around the *potential* for a problem that simply does not exist, nor shows signs of existing anytime soon.

        Let's not hasten to have government come in and wedge a big old bureaucratic foot in the door of networking - any bill that specifically defines how ISP's are to shape traffic, even if initially neutral, is only a small amendment or two away from som
        • The purpose of net neutrality legislation is not to tell ISPs *how* they may shape traffic, but to ban them from doing so at all. We're far more likely to see a ban on P2P packets from greedy corporations who don't want people using the bandwidth they've paid for.

          So take the option out of their hands. ISPs may sell bulk bandwidth, no strings attached.
        • by jez9999 (618189) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @05:13AM (#20834545) Homepage Journal
          Sarbanes-Oxley was passed *in the wake of* the likes of Enron, Tyco International, Peregrine Systems and WorldCom. We don't wanna wait to be in the wake of corporations abusing their power to ruin the net, because by then it will probably be too late.

          Besides, the way the US government is now, it may be the only chance to get the legislation through. Once powerful corporations decide they don't like Net Neutrality, their money will start to flow to politicians, and there can only be one outcome then.
    • by Moraelin (679338) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @07:40PM (#20831051) Journal
      The funny thing is that there are well known effects that skew the effects of polls, among which:

      1. People are nice social beings. They tell you what they think you'd like to hear. It's a reflex and enculturation effect that, well, I suppose helps us live with each other. If you know someone, say, likes pink, the nice social reflex is to say "yes, it's a nice colour."

      Why does that matter? Most people, even on a perfectly anonymous poll, tend to answer what they think would please the poller. If they're polled by eBay, of course they'll say what they think eBay would like to hear.

      2. (Or 1.b.) The wording is very important. If you present a skewed view where option 1 is pure good and option 2 is pure evil, you've already told them what you think on that matter. So they'll subconsciously try to be nice and agree with what you told them you like, regardless of what they actually think on the matter, and regardless of whether they even give a damn at all.

      3. All things being equal, there's a bias towards answering more "yes" and less "no". I guess we've all been educated that it's not nice to disagree all the time. So well design polls actually randomize the questionnaires so 50% will ask the question one way, and 50% ask the negative version.

      E.g., if half the questionnaires ask "should we stay in Iraq?", the other half must ask "should we pull out of Iraq?", because otherwise you get it skewed towards "yes". If you only ask "should we stay in Iraq?" you'll get your results skewed as some people will vote "yes" just because it's, you know, a "yes."

      4. Biased sample fallacies. Was that sample representative, or was it, say, only the people who visit site X? E.g., if you were to make a poll about computers or OSes on Slashdot, I hope you can see how the results wouldn't really reflect what the whole population thinks.

      Etc.

      Now I don't know how the poll in TFA was done, so I'm not commenting on that. But basically if you want to know what people _think_, then you _don't_ do a poll along the lines of "do you think we should stop ISP extortion?" If you do that, you'll just get a false result that's good for self-shoulder-patting, but won't reflect what they actually vote for in the next elections.

      Just saying...
      • by roman_mir (125474)
        People are nice social beings. They tell you what they think you'd like to hear. It's a reflex and enculturation effect that, well, I suppose helps us live with each other. If you know someone, say, likes pink, the nice social reflex is to say "yes, it's a nice colour."
        - See, I am on the other hand, not a nice social being. When I know that someone likes pink, the reflex in me is to say: Hey, you know that pink color you like? Fuck you.

        When someone doesn't like the pink color, I say: Hey, you know that p
    • by seebs (15766)
      The problem is that, every time you guys use actual words to describe a proposed law, it ends up being a law that bans QoS in any circumstance where someone might pay for QoS.

      In short, QoS is relevant because it's what the laws people actually propose would ban. I am aware that most advocates of "net neutrality" aren't thinking in those terms. However, the law doesn't care what you were thinking about when you wrote it, and the courts generally enforce the law that got written, not the vague and unspecifi
  • by Cracked Pottery (947450) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @06:47PM (#20830501)
    Does it mean that bandwidth providers can charge more for high demand customers? Probably fair enough. Does it mean that they can charge end users more for extra speed. No complaints. What is not acceptable is that the owners of the backbone can make deals with "partners" and give them a special rate and stiff other customers. Or they can charge their customers more for bytes from one source than another. The concept of a "common carrier" has served will in the the fields of communication and transportation. Regulation is necessary. I don't want a top down controlled Internet where I am merely a content consumer.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Opportunist (166417)
      What net neutrality is about is that you may not charge more for traffic from this content provider than from that content provider. That's pretty much all. That you pay more for a fatter pipe is fine. Use more, pay more. No problem there. The problem is whether the packets from this source should cost (you or the source, doesn't matter) more than packets from that source. Should they be allowed to charge more for this kind of packet than for that kind of packet.

      Generally, the "weigh" is the same, and that'
      • by megaditto (982598)
        No, not all packets cost the same: if you have a peering agreement with some network, or if the packets come from within your own network, then those packets cost you much less than other 'normal' packets.

        If the providers have to pay different rates based on the origin, it's only fair to pass that on to consumers... What's wrong with dividing up the traffic into different tariff zones, and billing each one differently (or shaping them differently in lieu of variable pricing).
        • No, not all packets cost the same: if you have a peering agreement with some network, or if the packets come from within your own network, then those packets cost you much less than other 'normal' packets.

          If the providers have to pay different rates based on the origin, it's only fair to pass that on to consumers... What's wrong with dividing up the traffic into different tariff zones, and billing each one differently (or shaping them differently in lieu of variable pricing).

          Even this could be argued to be in network neutrality. The key is not charging more for google (for example)'s packets more than another website's, based purely on the website. Or, alternatively, purposely slowing google's transmissions to your customer because google haven't paid you extra (despite the fact that you're not google's ISP).

          Network neutrality means that people only pay for where they connect to the network, and don't have to pay a surcharge for every single site they want to visit, and the si

  • kdawson FUD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ejito (700826) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @06:47PM (#20830507)
    Just because its commissioned by eBay doesn't mean the company (the largest independent polling company in Canada) made a loaded survey, especially when AT&T is also a client of theirs [legermarketing.com]. If the survey turned out to be negative for eBay, they could simply not release the information.
  • by cez (539085) * <infoNO@SPAMhistorystartingyesterday.com> on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @06:47PM (#20830517) Homepage
    This just in... Canadians don't want to get ass raped by a panda bear either!?


    Those that heard of a proposal to let a sex-starved panda free to roam the Canadian tundra were outraged.

    On a more serious note TFA:

    While critics will undoubtedly note that the majority of Canadians were unaware of net neutrality, that has not stopped other groups - including copyright lobby groups and the telcos - from commissioning similar surveys and reporting them as fact.


    This happens all too often here in the US as well, and needs to be more severely penalized.

  • But I wants me some video choice [benton.org]!~

    I guess the exchange rate applies to intelligence too, eh? ;)
  • Packet Shaping (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Detritus (11846) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @06:49PM (#20830531) Homepage
    Packet Shaping? Value added?

    How about just switching my fscking packets and shove your "value added" up your ass. The contents of my packets are none of your business. I'll be very happy when IPSEC is ubiquitous and the only information ISPs will have access to is the minimum needed for routing.

    • Well put, but perhaps not the best thing in mixed company.

      The easy way to defeat "packet shaping" sophistry is to point out that value comes from bandwith and nothing but. Constricting bandwith through a filter always reduces the bandwith available, even if it favors a few "sensitive" packets. The only way out of bandwith problems is to spend the money on more bandwith. Money spent on other things is wasteful, even if honestly used.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by fm6 (162816)
        This isn't mixed company, this is Slashdot.
      • by mc6809e (214243)
        The easy way to defeat "packet shaping" sophistry is to point out that value comes from bandwith and nothing but.

        I use a 13kbps 100ms wireless voice link (cell phone) that lets me talk with my brother in Florida. By your logic, we should be just as happy recording everything we have to say on CDs and mailing them back and forth to each other, since the available bandwidth is higher.

        • by Erris (531066)
          I use a 13kbps 100ms wireless voice link (cell phone) that lets me talk with my brother in Florida. By your logic, we should be just as happy recording everything we have to say on CDs and mailing them back and forth to each other

          No, by my logic you would be happier doing both.

          What should really make you happy, though, is the liberty to use your cable modem or fiber hook up to communicate with 128bps and exchange the other information in real time. More is better. Filters always provide less bandwith.

    • Ok (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @07:32PM (#20830973)
      Sounds good. So then let's take a situation some years in the future where it's law. What happens when you are watching TV, and all of a sudden the stream starts stuttering. You call your cable company angry. They explain that TV is now delivered over IP, like everything else. Currently you have some neighbours hitting the P2P really heavy and it is using up enough of the segment that it is interfering with video traffic. They'd love to have video have a higher QoS, but alas the law says they can't. The "contents of your packets are none of their business."

      Right now we have a situation where largely there's a disconnect between data, voice and video networks. They run on different standards, are handled by different equipment and so on. However that's slowly changing. VoIP is one of the first examples, but it'll keep going. Eventually we are likely to have everything routed to us over an IP network. However some of it is more important, or rather more time sensitive, than others. I don't mind if packets for my download have to wait a little bit. However with video, you've got to get me the next frame in not more than 33 milliseconds or I'm going to start dropping frames. This is the reason why video that operates over the Internet has to buffer and can't be true realtime, and even then still drops sometimes.

      As such it is not a clear cut case of "just leave it alone." If everything goes to IP we are going to need a way to give priority to time critical packets. Even if that doesn't happen there's reason to want to shape packets. The big objection people have to P2P is that it eats up an unfair amount of network time. Most networks, all other things being equal, will work out so that each transfer gets an equal amount of time. Download one file via HTTP on a T1, you get somewhere in the realm of 150-190k/sec. Download a second file, they both go in the realm of 75-95k/sec. Ok, good deal. However P2P works off of lots of connections. You can have a single download having 150+ connections. So it'll grab more resources than its fair share and slow things down.

      An easy solution to that, without banning P2P or something like that, is to just make P2P a lower priority than normal traffic. That's what we do on the campus I work on. We have a couple packet shapers that will put P2P packets behind others. That means that so long as there's bandwidth, everything works normally. However if we cap out, P2P slows down before other things do.

      This isn't a clear cut thing. I agree that companies should be prohibited, either by law or simply by people refusing to do business with them, for charging people extortion money under threat of slowing their traffic down. However that doesn't mean we want to declare that all packets must be treated equal. Some things are just more important than others on a mixed network, and there needs to be allowances for that.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Wildclaw (15718)
        Looks like the ISP has some problems with their bandwidth controls. That isn't a QoS issue at all.

        Why are your neighbour allowed to download at such a high speed that it prevents you from watching video. The opposite question could of course also be, Why are you allowed to download video at such a high rate that it interfers with your opponents p2p traffic.

        An ISP should ensure that it gives each custome adequate bandwidth. What the customer does with that bandwidth is their own business.

        Know the counter arg
        • I mean at a higher level than what you are talking about. Right now, video and data are totally separate. Even if you have a cable modem, one has nothing to do with the other. They are in different frequency ranges on the cable. Ok, but let's look to the future. First we axe the analogue channels, that's coming already. Once you are all digital already, it becomes feasible to unify the service. Rather than having something like 0-500MHz for data and 500-1000MHz for video, you do it all for data. Send cable
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Wildclaw (15718)
            And my reply still stands. More specifically the comment.

            "Why are you allowed to download video at such a high rate that it interfers with your opponents p2p traffic?". I can tell you for sure that users on ISP that shape bittorrent traffic shaped does notice it.

            Using bandwidth limits is in my opinion the only fair compromise. Anything else is basically claiming that your information is more important than my information. In the few cases where that is true, that information should probably be transmitted v
            • This isn't a problem of just bandwidth limits. You have to do QoS on VoIP even if you don't max the connection. It has to get it's packets through on time. The switch right up the the end user does QoS on our campus. It isn't just preventing you from interfering with others, it i prevention you from interfering with you. It is making sure that time critical packets get through no matter what else you are doing.

              Also the problem you suggest with bandwidth limits is that it makes things worse for everyone. Rig
              • by Wildclaw (15718)
                "Also the problem you suggest with bandwidth limits is that it makes things worse for everyone. Right now on campus people can get gig connections. You can have a gigabit link all the way up to our edge. Our external connections are then several hundred mbps. Now what this means is that generally you get things very fast. When I last grabbed a Linux ISO I got about 3 megabytes/second download. Had that shit done in a few minutes. However, it can work that way because we can monitor and deal with people usin
                • The thing is, rather than just reducing someone's priority totally, you can deal with it a better way and just reduce the kinds of traffic that use a lot. If P2P is lower priority then during peak times it doesn't interfere with other traffic, though it works plenty fine. When things slow down, it gets more bandwidth. Everyone is happy, you don't have to limit someone just because they like to use P2P.

                  I do that on my home network even using a m0n0wall traffic shaper. SSH gets priority over everything, games
      • Re:Ok (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @07:47PM (#20831141)
        In this case, I don't question my neighbor's use of his pipe but the company's selling policy. Appearantly they sell more bandwidth than they can sell. They should not sell him a pipe fat enough to interfere with the TV broadcast.

        God beware my neighbor actually uses what he pays for!
        • by Blkdeath (530393)

          In this case, I don't question my neighbor's use of his pipe but the company's selling policy. Appearantly they sell more bandwidth than they can sell. They should not sell him a pipe fat enough to interfere with the TV broadcast.

          Such is the duality of the geek argument. Geeks want 4, 5, 8, 10, more megabit connections to the Internet. Ok, so a cable company gives 10MBit/sec connections to all users. Well now they want to use it at capacity and pay the same as the guy down the street who uses it for burst traffic (web, e-mail and such). I remember the outcry over bandwidth caps! "You sold me a dedicated 8MBit connection and now you want me to pay when I max it out 24 hours a day 31 days in a row? FASCISTS!"

          See, the cable connect

          • Then either sell the line as a "burst traffic" line, where you get the 10gb offered only for short periods (and market it as such!) or go back to selling 1gb instead of 10. Sell 1gb and "more if available".

            What you say sounds like ISPs sell what they don't have and want to shape traffic to continue this scam.
      • by Telvin_3d (855514)
        Net Neutrality allows for all sorts of traffic shaping. In your example, the ISP is welcome to carve out a chunk of bandwidth in order to ensure that TV streams get through. What they are not allowed to do is to distinguish between the TV service they offer and the other TV services. They can't play dirty by intentionally slowing down the signal of competing services while giving extra bandwidth to their own.

        There is no problem filtering things based on the type of traffic. What we need to prevent is fi
      • The Internet2 project found [oreillynet.com] that the costs and complexities of implementing quality of service guarantees exceeded the benefits. It was more practical to add sufficient bandwidth than it was to prioritize packets. They also predicted - and other research supports [ufl.edu] - that QoS would encourage ISPs to deliberately downgrade service in order to charge more.

      • No, the simple answer is; "give me the service I am paying you for". If the ISP is overselling bandwidth, and people are now starting to use the service they were sold. It's not the customers fault. Or the fault of the new services that are starting to crop up. Use the money I am giving you to build the infrastructure you need to provide the service you have promised. If you don't have enough money to build the infrastructure, charge more, or promise less.
      • Re:Ok (Score:5, Informative)

        by grcumb (781340) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @11:06PM (#20832737) Homepage Journal

        Sounds good. So then let's take a situation some years in the future where it's law. What happens when you are watching TV, and all of a sudden the stream starts stuttering. You call your cable company angry. They explain that TV is now delivered over IP, like everything else. Currently you have some neighbours hitting the P2P really heavy and it is using up enough of the segment that it is interfering with video traffic. They'd love to have video have a higher QoS, but alas the law says they can't. The "contents of your packets are none of their business."

        I know you're just responding to the GP, who is off the mark as well, but can we please get something straight: Net Neutrality is not about traffic shaping!

        These silly digressions are really aggravating. We need to be clear about the problem, and we're not. So let's try to keep this topic simple:

        If you believe that people should only pay once for Internet, then you support Net Neutrality. If you think telcos have a right to charge twice for the same service, then you're against it.

        The Net Neutrality Debate [sic] is about letting telcos decide which providers get preferential service, based either on corporate allegiance or on the provider's ability to pay whatever the extortion rate du jour is.

        Anybody who knows anything about multi-user networks knows that some amount of traffic shaping is necessary. While the GP and I probably agree that less is more, there is no real-world scenario in which no QoS occurs. The telcos want us to focus on this red herring, precisely because they know they can win this argument.

        But if we could just stop our collective knee from jerking for a moment, we could consider what is really proposed:

        Google wants to provide the world with search-related services. To that end, they pay gobzillions of dollars for state of the art data centres with tubes so big that even Ted Stevens couldn't comprehend them. The consumer wants state of the art Internet services, of which quick and easy searching is a pretty significant part. So consumer goes to telco and subscribes for X megabits at Y dollars per month.

        So Google have paid for their Internet access. Consumers pay for their access. But telco's still feeling hungry. The Lear jet's in the shop and baby needs a new silver spoon. So they go to Google and say, "It's going to cost you Z dollars per megabyte that you transmit to our consumers. If you don't want to pay, that's okay, we'll just throttle your service and let Yahoo! through quicker."

        Consumer never sees this. All that consumer sees is that Google is 'slow' and Yahoo! is 'fast'.

        Ultimately, what we're looking at is a situation where telcos aren't satisfied with Y dollars per month from the consumer, and gobzillions more from Google. They want to charge Google more for the right to access their particular bunch of consumers.

        There is nothing morally, ethically or even legally right about this model. Telcos know this, so they're lobbying governments around the world to make it legal. The problem that we face is that consumers will never actually see the effect of this legislation, if it ever passes. The only people who will know that things could be different are the geeks. And for all anyone cares, we'll simply be a voice in the wilderness.

      • My P2P traffic is far more important than some yokel glued to the idiot box. Who the fuck cares if TV works? Only children and morons watch it anyway.
      • by canuck57 (662392)

        Sounds good. So then let's take a situation some years in the future where it's law. What happens when you are watching TV, and all of a sudden the stream starts stuttering. You call your cable company angry. They explain that TV is now delivered over IP, like everything else. Currently you have some neighbours hitting the P2P really heavy and it is using up enough of the segment that it is interfering with video traffic. They'd love to have video have a higher QoS, but alas the law says they can't. The "c

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Opportunist (166417)
      As a long time hardware buyer, I learned that "value" is the new word for "crap".

      For reference, see the "value edition" of various graphic cards, memory sticks and other hardware.
    • by Abcd1234 (188840)
      How about just switching my fscking packets and shove your "value added" up your ass.

      Truly the words of someone who doesn't know wtf their talking about. See, I want to use VoIP. I want to give the local telco monopolies (lucky, we have two!) the big Fsck You. But because my ISP *disabled* QoS, which would grant my VoIP packets guaranteed low latency, at the expense of throughput, I can't get reliable service, as my calls would cut out the minute a few people decided to fire up bittorrent. Meanwhile, I'
  • But...so? (Score:4, Informative)

    by DragonWriter (970822) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @06:53PM (#20830581)

    Given the survey's sponsorship, it's unlikely that respondents were presented with examples of the value that ISPs say packet shaping can bring, or asked to weigh such against net neutrality.


    Since traffic shaping that is done based on the kind of content without regard to the source of content and which is accompanied by sufficient bandwidth so that non-prioritized content isn't just dropped on the floor in favor of prioritized content is neither inconsistent with the concept of net neutrality as a common-carrier-like provision nor inconsistent with the goal articulated in the question asked in this survey, I'm not sure how you think pointing that out would be relevant.

    • by Wildclaw (15718)
      I disagree with that. As soon as you start to look at the content of packets, be it their destination or their content, you are violating the concept of neutrality. Neutrality is about not caring what you deliver and just making sure that it gets delivered at a fair price per packet.

      Sure, you can claim that "net neutrality" has a specific meaning that is defined differently, but in that case "net neutrality" is about neutrality as much as the "us patriot act" is about patriotism.
      • Sure, you can claim that "net neutrality" has a specific meaning that is defined differently, but in that case "net neutrality" is about neutrality as much as the "us patriot act" is about patriotism.

        Net neutrality is about neutrality of origin, it originated as a term as a reaction to ideas aired by telcos and other ISPs regarding charging the original sender of packets (particularly high-volume sites like Google), as well as the immediate customer of the ISP receiving the packet, for packets crossing the

        • by Wildclaw (15718)
          While filtering on content type isn't as bad filtering on destination, but it is similar.

          Ok, I know that this is a bad example that would never happen, but imagine if an ISP decided to deprioritize all World of Warcraft packets and demand blizzard to pay up money unless they wanted it to continue. Not much different than the google example is it.

  • Name one (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Frogbert (589961) <frogbertNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @07:02PM (#20830679)
    Come on, name one benefit that packet shaping can bring. In all serious I can't think of a single example where it would be acceptable.

    If an ISP needs to shape packets they've over sold their service, and that is their problem. Not ours.
    • by Ironsides (739422)
      TV over IP. Say you're getting TV from your ISP and they both use the same IP connection for both internet and TV. The TV connection is going to require it's own dedicated bandwidth which, unless you know of a few methods I don't, would require some form of packet shaping.
    • name one benefit that packet shaping can bring

      A service I was with increased priority on interactive services, like http, ftp and ssh. Smtp service dropped to a standstill, and I was without spam for several days.

      Next?

  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @07:03PM (#20830693) Homepage Journal
    1. Canadians value privacy, freedom, and their role in creating the open communications systems they depend on (SFU and UBC R001!)

    2. Canada is used to having a high-bandwidth internet that is cheaper than the US one, faster, and in more households.

    3. Only those who want to sell you less for more are in favor of killing off net neutrality.
  • by Cleon (471197) <cleon42@@@yahoo...com> on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @07:07PM (#20830727) Homepage
    I think in this case wording is everything. It doesn't seem to me that the majority of the general public, outside of techies and their friends, is really informed about "Net Neutrality" and the debate over it.

    You could probably get a poll to go either way based on how you word the question:

    "Do you believe that governments or corporations should place restrictions on what websites you can visit, or charge you extra based on visiting certain sites?"

    "Do you believe that private property should be respected, and that Internet Service Providers have the right to control the content they deliver, such as restrictions on child pornography, sites that contain malicious software, and terrorist web sites?"
  • Even if you understand some of the basics of it, most people come down on the side of net neutrality. I mean having a neutral policy is good right? It takes some fairly detailed understanding of the issues to realise how a well meaning law like that could have unintended consequences that makes things worse overall. It is a complicated situation. On the one hand you have assholes like AT&T saying they want to depritorize traffic from anyone who doesn't pay them protection money, on they other you have n
  • No doubt (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ignavus (213578) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @07:24PM (#20830891)
    No doubt the people who tell us how wonderful it would be without net neutrality are the same people who tell us how marvellous it is to watch ads instead of TV programs.
  • That's why I will take and ISP that provides me with the most neutral access to Internet.

    As for the *proposed legislation* that would ban ISP from not being net neutral, that's net-statism, a quite different beast which must be beaten to death and then shot to make sure.
  • "Blame Canada" The US usually does the exact opposite of our friends up north.
  • by Trillan (597339) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @07:46PM (#20831131) Homepage Journal
    I think Yes Minister said it best.

    Humphrey: You know what happens: nice young lady comes up to you. Obviously you want to create a good impression, you don't want to look a fool, do you? So she starts asking you some questions: " Mr. Woolley, are you worried about the number of young people without jobs?"
    Bernard: Yes
    Humphrey: "Are you worried about the rise in crime among teenagers?"
    Bernard: Yes
    Humphrey: "Do you think there is a lack of discipline in our Comprehensive schools?"
    Bernard: Yes
    Humphrey: "Do you think young people welcome some authority and leadership in their lives?"
    Bernard: Yes
    Humphrey: "Do you think they respond to a challenge?"
    Bernard: Yes
    Humphrey: "Would you be in favour of reintroducing National Service?"
    Bernard: Oh...well, I suppose I might be.
    Humphrey: "Yes or no?"
    Bernard: Yes
    Humphrey: Of course you would, Bernard. After all you told her you can't say no to that. So they don't mention the first five questions and they publish the last one.
    Bernard: Is that really what they do?
    Humphrey: Well, not the reputable ones no, but there aren't many of those. So alternatively the young lady can get the opposite result.
    Bernard: How?
    Humphrey: "Mr. Woolley, are you worried about the danger of war?"
    Bernard: Yes
    Humphrey: "Are you worried about the growth of armaments?"
    Bernard: Yes
    Humphrey: "Do you think there is a danger in giving young people guns and teaching them how to kill?"
    Bernard: Yes
    Humphrey: "Do you think it is wrong to force people to take up arms against their will?"
    Bernard: Yes
    Humphrey: "Would you oppose the reintroduction of National Service?"
    Bernard: Yes
    Humphrey: There you are, you see Bernard. The perfect balanced sample.
  • by PhysicsPhil (880677) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @08:37PM (#20831651)

    We always want the ISPs to be treated like other common carriers, but people seem to have differing notions of what they really want. With other common carriers like transportation, it is possible to pay higher rates to receive faster delivery. The post office is a fairly standard common carrier, but it has had various classes of postage for ages. Companies shipping food know that canned soup can take a couple of weeks to get from California to New York, but the fresh produce needs to move now. Can something like this be implemented on the Internet?

    The Internet was really designed to move data around reliably rather than quickly. In the past, it was more important to get the data around a bombed-out relay than to provide real-time delivery. The Internet has moved beyond that and now applications, VoIP or Starcraft for example, really do need fast delivery or else the application is useless. So much of the discussion of network neutrality seems to treat it as all or nothing: either every packet is treated with the same priority or else the ISPs get to gouge the senders and/or receivers for priority.

    It seems to me that something similar to the postal system might be a viable compromise. One could imagine the ISPs operating on several tiers, where they could charge different prices according to the speed of data transmission. On the flip side, they would have to charge in a non-discriminatory manner, with rates based only on the volume and priority of data (perhaps with discounts on high volumes). First class data from Google, EBay and a tiny VoIP startup would all move at the same rate, but would move faster than low-priority transmissions such as web browsing. One could also imagine mandating that ISPs allocate bandwidth to the various tiers in a fixed ratio as well, so as to avoid them ignoring the lowest tier stuff. Class 1/2/3/4 bandwidth, for example, might have to be transmitted in a fixed 10%/20%/30%/40% of total available bandwidth.

  • Flawed (Score:2, Interesting)

    by 6-tew (1037428)

    I'm a Canadian and I have had Internet access since the dark days of dial-up (which at the time were rather sunny and bright come to think of it) and no one asked me about this. I'm appalled. If they had asked me, whoa boy, I'd have given them my opinion, which since I wasn't asked I guess is irrelevant.

    Well shit.

    I guess I'll just go... away.

  • little ponies for every girl...until they know what the heck is being talked about.

    What a pointless survey. 95% of people don't know enough about the issue to have an informed opinion.
  • Canadians != USians (Score:3, Interesting)

    by redelm (54142) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @12:22AM (#20833209) Homepage
    Look, both sides of the border need to get it through their pointy heads that "them over there" really _are_ very different. And for good reason. Most Canadians may speak english and watch mostly US-produced TV but that's it!

    Americans of all strips are deeply skeptical of all large organizations, including especially their governments. Some Canadians are, but many more trust these organizations to at least look out for their long-term interests. There is an understanding, acceptance and even hono[u]ring of authority. Civil servants aren't pariahs. Many people aspire to Cdn civil service jobs.

    There is a certain public spirit in Canada that transcends the profit motive in many cases. And an utter horror [naivete] when the public trust is betrayed, rather than a cynical "what did you expect"?

  • ...that big businesses do not care what Canadians want.

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

Working...