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Verizon and Google Offer Up Net Neutrality Truce 115

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the can't-we-all-just-get-along dept.
When it comes to net neutrality, can we get along? Google and Verizon, antagonists on the question yet partners in Droid, say yes. The two companies have even teamed up to send the FCC ideas on how to handle network management disputes. 'Google/Verizon say that the Internet should function as an "open platform." That means, to them, that "when a person accesses cyberspace, he or she should be able to connect with any other person that he or she wants to—and that other person should be able to receive his or her message," they write. The 'Net should operate as a place where no "central authority" can make rules that prescribe the possible, and where entrepreneurs and network providers are able to "innovate without permission."'"
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Verizon and Google Offer Up Net Neutrality Truce

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  • Throttling? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Monday January 18, 2010 @01:54PM (#30810136) Journal

    There's still this problem:

    when a person accesses cyberspace, he or she should be able to connect with any other person that he or she wants to—and that other person should be able to receive his or her message,

    Yes, but how fast?

    A throttled Internet is still not a neutral network.

    • Re:Throttling? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jornak (1377831) on Monday January 18, 2010 @01:56PM (#30810174)

      A throttled Internet is still not a neutral network.

      Actually, if it's throttling based on overall traffic, and not port/application-based, then yes, I'd say it's neutral.

      • Re:Throttling? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by PPH (736903) on Monday January 18, 2010 @02:20PM (#30810462)

        Actually, if it's throttling based on overall traffic, and not port/application-based, then yes, I'd say it's neutral.

        Make that port/application/end-point and I'll agree.

        Why should my HTTP packets cost more than those from one of Verizon's preferred partners?

        • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

          by Drummergeek0 (1513771)

          Agreed, but as far as Verizon preferred partner's, I see no problem with Verizon offering faster connectivity to their internal services (Their VOIP vs Vonage, for instance) Throttling has to happen on an overall traffic situation, but they should still be allowed(I'd even argue required in the case of TV, phone, etc) to allow unthrottled traffic to their services without reprisal.

          • by plague3106 (71849)

            I see a problem with that; it would allow operators like VZ to kill any competition. It's unfair to Vonage. Why should I again be forced to use the phone service my phone company dictates?

            • Because Vonage is an external network and it is throttled just like the rest of the outgoing traffic, VZ VOIP is internal and not part of the throttling. It is only killing competition if they specifically target Vonage or similar VOIP, if they throttle equally it is not.

              • by PPH (736903)

                Verizon: That's a nice little Interet business ya' got there, buddy. It sure would be a shame if something happened to it. Heh, heh. We'll make you an offer you can't refuse. Sell it to us. Cheap. And we'll host it internally. Or nobody will ever see your server again.

                Pay no attention to that horse's head in your bed.

                • And if you do that, nobody will be able to offer up reliable voip services. Point. QoS is required to get professional voip services. And if you totally disable QoS, a single idiot bittorrenting to capacity will be able to disrupt the network control protocols, resulting in total disconnection of the entire AS (BGP is, after all, an inband protocol).

                  Of course the only result is that Verizon will still offer voip services, they'll just create a non-internet network to do it with. Then they can just have a g

                  • by plague3106 (71849)

                    You work for a shitty ISP. Care to post its name, so I know to avoid it?

                    VZ didn't build the network, we did, through taxes (money was given to the telecoms) and tax breaks (they didn't have to pay as much as they should have).

                    If you treat all VOIP as high priority, thats one thing. If you treat YOUR OWN better than your VOIP competitors, you should be forced to close your doors.

                    Your attitude is retarded; you're a tiny ISP. What happens when your upstream provider wants to compete, and they just raise you

                    • If you treat all VOIP as high priority, thats one thing. If you treat YOUR OWN better than your VOIP competitors, you should be forced to close your doors.

                      Customers pay extra to get their voip traffic to us treated preferentially. They are perfectly free to pay for preferential traffic to another voip provider (as customers get to specify, up to a certain bandwidth, which traffic is prioritized, that limit being dependant on how much they pay. We even allow residential customers to prioritize certain traffic over others. Except for my own home connection I doubt anyone actually does that, though).

                      One way customers use this is to have telephony interconnects o

                    • by plague3106 (71849)

                      Customers pay extra to get their voip traffic to us treated preferentially. They are perfectly free to pay for preferential traffic to another voip provider (as customers get to specify, up to a certain bandwidth, which traffic is prioritized, that limit being dependant on how much they pay. We even allow residential customers to prioritize certain traffic over others. Except for my own home connection I doubt anyone actually does that, though).

                      Oh, i see. You offer internet... but if you want "certain" app

                    • Heh,

                      Now that I am found to have reasonable arguments, against your "I want free stuff" arguments I obviously have to be part of the evil empire.

                      We are, in fact, a small operation trying to compete with the incumbent telco. And no if you want to configure your network to treat certain traffic preferentially (QoS), or if you want to configure IPv6, I will help you out for free. Yes obviously only if you're a customer.

                      But if you want to send out your quake sessions preferentially marked, I'll help you out with

                  • by PPH (736903)

                    I don't mind a broadband operator prioritizing VoIP over BitTorrent. I just don't want them prioritizing theirVoIP over their competitors.

                    And if they can't manage that, then they need to pick one business (telephone or broadband provider) and sell the others off.

              • by plague3106 (71849)

                So your argument is that as long as they kill ALL VOIP, and not just Vonage, its fine? Well I'm sure they'll have no problem throttling majicjack too.

                God damn... are you really this stupid?

                • All internet traffic, NOT BASED ON SPECIFIC PORT/APP/ADDRESS. I am saying that the services they bundle WITH their internet would not be throttled, while the internet would. If they throttle the entire internet connection to the point of killing anything, then they are no longer delivering the service offered, which creates an entirely different set of problems.

                  • by plague3106 (71849)

                    So as long as they're throttling ALL traffic its fine? So the fact that Comcast owns NBC gives them a right to throttle all other channnels' websites... because NBC is internal and all the other ones aren't. Is that what you're getting at?

                    • No, Internet vs Services. Not internal to their company umbrella, internal as in their cable/phone/internet. If all of these run on the same network and they throttle internet due to high usage and slow downs, their should not be reprisal for not throttling the cable/phone to maintain QoS.

          • I see no problem with Verizon offering faster connectivity to their internal services (Their VOIP vs Vonage, for instance)

            How do you mean that? If you mean "Verizon should be able to throttle back Vonage, and accelerate their proprietary services", I absolutely disagree. It ends up hurting the consumer and the marketplace. We end up back in the same world we were in with Ma Bell running the whole show: Crappy services for exorbitant fees.

            If you meant "It's okay if Verizon's internal services happen to be faster than an unthrottled Vonage connection because they are really good at networking and telephony", I'd agree wit

            • I mean that they can throttle traffic that leaves their network, but leave their internal network services unthrottled. The requirement is that the throttling happens to the entire outgoing connection not to specific apps/ports.

              • by s73v3r (963317)
                Internal services is still traffic going over their network. If they are going to throttle, then all of the traffic going over their network should be affected. It shouldn't matter if its their own or not.
                • not totally true, if they use VOIP or IPTV then the connection is faster than the internet connection to accomodate, if they throttle, they will only throttle the internet, and not their internal services. This is how it should be to ensure reliability of the services their users pay for that require a certain speed.

          • by PPH (736903)

            Agreed, but as far as Verizon preferred partner's, I see no problem with Verizon offering faster connectivity to their internal services

            There are two issues here: Verizon partners: Those that have caved and agreed to pay Verizon a kickback so they can actually be seen. And Verizon 'internal' services. Verizon shoudn't be competing against any other business if theu have the power to selectively throttle their services. If Verizon finds in necessary to throttle VoIP, or add a surcharge for it, then that throttling should apply to all VoIP providers equally. Or Verizon needs to split their network and VoIP services into two independant compan

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by nine-times (778537)

          Make that port/application/end-point and I'll agree.

          I would actually sooner give in on letting ISPs throttle ports/applications than endpoints. If Verizon wants to do some kind of traffic-shaping which prioritizes HTTP and VOIP over bittorrent, that at least seems like it might be reasonable. I think it should be prioritization rather than straight-up throttling, but certain kinds of communications are less tolerant to lag than others. However, what I *don't* think is fair is for Verizon to give special priority to their own services and their partner's s

      • Re:Throttling? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 18, 2010 @02:23PM (#30810494)

        I fear that everyone is losing sight of the original problem: that websites could pay ISPs to have their accessibility increased to that ISP's customers, or pay to have their competitors slowed, or even that ISPs might start racketeering sites to protect them from being slowed to the point of inaccessibility, not cut off.

        At some point, the telco lobby seems to have tricked everyone into forgetting that this is what we were originally upset about, not the more drastic idea of having access cut off completely for some reason. Simple QoS based on volume obviously makes sense, and censorship is a serious issue in net neutrality too, but we've still left a very large door open for Big Telecommunications to exploit; they can still, for example, make Google unbearably slow and Bing super-fast to manipulate their customers' usage habits if Ballmer forks over enough cash. This declaration says nothing about that kind of behaviour!

        Perhaps it gets overlooked so much because it's difficult to create a car/road traffic analogy that expresses it.

        • by jonaskoelker (922170) <jonaskoelker@gnu ... org minus distro> on Monday January 18, 2010 @04:32PM (#30812146) Homepage

          Perhaps it gets overlooked so much because it's difficult to create a car/road traffic analogy that expresses it.

          Not at all.

          Suppose the roads were privately owned. Dominos and Pizza Hut offer competing pizza delivery services. You really like Dominos' pizzas better, but Pizza Hut has paid the road owner of your neighbourhood to only let one Dominos delivery through for every 20 Pizza Hut deliveries, so you can't get your delicious pizza.

          That'd make you quite unhappy, right? You'd feel unfairly discriminated against just for living in the wrong neighbourhood, right? You'd feel the road company servicing your neighbourhood was not providing the service you expected (despite you paying them), right? Oh, but you could of course always move. To a neighbourhood that has Dominos instead of Pizza Hut, but only lets the shipping company you hate operate. Or...

          I think that car analogy was pretty easy and worked pretty well.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by slinches (1540051)

          Perhaps it gets overlooked so much because it's difficult to create a car/road traffic analogy that expresses it.

          It's not that difficult:
          It's like living in Nevada and having an 80 mph speed limit on I-80 if you're going to California and a 40 mph limit if you're headed to Utah because California payed to have the speed limits changed to benefit themselves.

      • by Dan541 (1032000)

        I agree, if I paid for 20GB and go over that then I'm ok with throttling provided it is still done to the whole connection, and only when the user has gone over their limit.

        I say whole connection because service providers shouldn't be allowed to make exceptions for services that paid them a premium. Even when the user has used their bandwidth limit.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by iamapizza (1312801)
      Virgin Media (In the UK) throttles your speed [virginmedia.com] if you download a certain amount of data between certain times. For example, on the M package, if you download 1.5 GB between 1000 and 1500, they bring you down to 200 or 300 kbps. That seems fair to ensure that nobody's encroaching on someone else's speeds (although I'm no network engineer, so someone else can confirm whether this is a legitimate line of reasoning by them).

      Also, you're supposed to say "First Post"
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by derGoldstein (1494129)
        Since they put up a chart and everything, and at least attempted to give some reason for their methods, it looks more like the only thing they're guilty of here is offering their customers a raw deal. I think that the main problem with throttling is when it's done without people's knowledge, and especially when they specifically target certain types of traffic.
      • Re:Throttling? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TubeSteak (669689) on Monday January 18, 2010 @03:18PM (#30811148) Journal

        For example, on the M package, if you download 1.5 GB between 1000 and 1500, they bring you down to 200 or 300 kbps. That seems fair to ensure that nobody's encroaching on someone else's speeds (although I'm no network engineer, so someone else can confirm whether this is a legitimate line of reasoning by them).

        I'm also not a network engineer, but it seems rather obvious that their system is not "fair" so long as the throttling is arbitrary and bears no relation to the available bandwidth.

        • by Qzukk (229616)

          But it is fair in the sense that you can go to their website and find out under what conditions it happens (specifically, not an undefined "excessive usage"). I'm even going to go so far as to say that if your connection is running slow, you'd be able to call in to support and they'd even tell you that you went X megabytes over quota and you'll have to wait Y hours for it to balance out.

          Compare that to just about every single ISP in the US that does "something" if you use "too much" bandwidth, and when you

      • That seems fair to ensure that nobody's encroaching on someone else's speeds

        I can see where it might, but I am a network engineer and it most certainly isn't. It's extremely easy to keep the tubes full but make sure important packets like http/voip/fps games/etc... get to skip ahead in line and get through faster. That gives Quality of Service to what's important without slowing down all the less time critical traffic any more than absolutely necessary. It's actually harder to do it the way you suggest and serves no purpose but to keep Virgin Media (or whoever) from having to b

      • They have to upgrade their network whether they throttle or not. The implementation of throttling simply allows them to delay the upgrade cycle once, but they are forced to continue anyways. Bandwidth increases according to MOore's law. VM is screwing over its customers by claiming they have to throttle in order to manage the network. If they put their money into network investment they would be able to offer everyone truthly advertised, unthrottled connections. Just look at various other European coun
    • I have a broader question: Isn't this entire "teaming up" look like some sort of fluff? It seems like the PR teams of both companies met for lunch and decided that both parties have better things to do than moderate the public aspect of this particular disagreement. They then put up a sign saying "move along, nothing to see here".
    • Re:Throttling? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by cervo (626632) on Monday January 18, 2010 @02:12PM (#30810358) Journal
      Perhaps by saying that at least 75% of someone's network capacity has to be used to deliver all packets and the extra 25% can be re-allocated to higher priority packets or something. I'm not sure how it works.

      But in principle I'm okay with throttling traffic within reasonable limits. Unfortunately due to corporate greed it is obvious what will happen. Basically people will throttle packets so slow that people like Google will have to pay, basically extortion. But still throttling has some uses if done right. A VOIP packet needs to be a higher priority than say someone's bit torrent download because it is real time. In fact most real time apps would benefit from higher quality packet.

      But you need something like the operating system does. Basically in an operating system, to protect against starvation, often lower priority processes get their priority bumped up over time so that eventually they are guaranteed to get a turn at the processor. Otherwise it is possible that higher priority processes come along and cause the low priority process to starve. The same principle would need to happen on the internet.

      However if you are ATT and you want to extort google, you could just make everyone's packets but google's higher priority and then google would suffer starvation of many packets and would be force to pay if a significant amount of the traffic comes through google. Rather than that I'd rather have net neutrality. But I'd be open to some type of regulations that stop people from overly slowing down other traffic (for say extortion) but using maybe the top 25% or 10% of capacity to give some special packets higher priority than others. The problem is that I don't really know how to word it exactly. And also many ways of wording it will leave the area wide open to abuse. Also remember Comcast denied it was practicing traffic management for a long time. It outright lied to everyone until it got caught. Now it claims that the FCC doesn't have the authority to regulate it (which maybe it doesn't, who knows). But if the company was so sure it was in the right, why lie until caught red handed? But anyway no matter what it thinks the law is, it tries to get around it. Either it thought the FCC had the authority and tried to avoid the issue and now is trying to challenge the authority to skirt the law. Or it was just keeping to itself for customer relations.

      Anyway I wouldn't necessarily mind a throttled connection at my local ISP either, as long as it says it is throttled and all the conditions. If you lie to me that's ridiculous. And if you sell $60/month throttled connections, I think you'd lose customers as they jump ship. But a throttled connection selling at a discount to a non throttled connection would probably attract some people. I think the government should start going after companies for false advertising. If you sell an "unlimited" connection then it better damn well be unlimited. Without any type of secret caps. Some companies throttle you or even cut you off after you reach a certain cap. IF that cap is not advertised clearly and it is an "unlimited" connection they should be fined/thrown in jail. If they sell a connection that says UNLIMITED to 5 GB and then throttled to 128K then that is fine. But if you sell "unlimited" then don't come whining when people use it unlimited.

      Still I'm not entirely convinced that it is all network problems and not trying to set things up. Bittorrent is right now used a lot for illegal files. But ultimately when Hollywood joins the 21st century, bittorrent could be a great cheap way for them to distribute movies. Then they just need to pay for hard disk space for a movie and seed it on bittorrent. Probably much cheaper than printing out DVDs and stuff. Ultimately they could distribute a lot of older movies that are out of production due to lack of popularity. And people would probably buy them. Even TV studios can use bittorrent to distribute tv show episodes while saving a ton on bandwidth costs. N
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cervo (626632)
        Anyway the other thing is that if I can't figure out how to word the regulation so there are no exceptions and I am familiar with the issue, what chance does a normal congresscritter have of wording the regulation right to stop people from getting around it? Many of them are totally clueless on technology issues. Basically the safest thing for a congresscritter is to regulate net neutrality. Anything else will endanger the internet.

        Also if there is throttling another thing that I didn't think about is
      • Re:Throttling? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Dalzhim (1588707) on Monday January 18, 2010 @02:37PM (#30810682)

        But still throttling has some uses if done right. A VOIP packet needs to be a higher priority than say someone's bit torrent download because it is real time. In fact most real time apps would benefit from higher quality packet.

        Then how do you determine what application needs real time and what application doesn't to provide higher quality packets? Will the next generation of P2P applications use real-time protocols to be quicker than their predecessors? Will people with legitimate real-time applications need to go through endless and costly processes to get "authorized" as real-time apps which deserve higher quality packets? Throttling is just a new tool to make oversubscription easy. It has no advantages for the everyday customer; only downsides.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by cervo (626632)
          That's exactly why we probably need net neutrality. I can't think of how to word it so there is no way around it. And I have a tech background. Our congresscritters don't have a chance at wording it right. If they make a certain class of application, then the phone companies would probably figure a way to work around it making it so all their traffic is that class of application. Or making it so that everything is low priority and that people who pay can have their packets slightly modified to meet the
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Dalzhim (1588707)
            As you point out, there's no chance such a thing could ever be written as a law without any major flaws, but even on the technical aspect it is impossible to prioritize traffic in a purely objective and deterministic way.

            Net neutrality is the way to go and our providers need to spend more money on developing their network rather than developing software which cripple their own product.
          • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Our congresscritters don't have a chance at wording it right.

            Are you saying they cannot word net neutrality in general right? Or they couldn't properly allow the shaping of traffic?

            Both are rather incorrect. Sure, the vast majority of staff members on Capitol Hill are overworked and underpaid, but their jobs are still hyper-competitive due to the connections and prestige you build there. Based on the telecommunications staffers I have met, most of them have a pretty firm grasp of Net Neutrality (even on a numerical and technology level) and the ones that don't are w

            • by cervo (626632)
              Where was this skilled IT staff when the DMCA came out? Asleep at the wheel? Where was this skilled IT staff with the Child Online Protection Act? Asleep again? I'm sorry but either the staff in the offices is totally incompetent (which I doubt), or congress guys just don't take their advice at all when deciding how to vote.

              How about that Ted Stevens guy saying the internet is a bunch of tubes? Are you saying he consulted his IT staff for that? John McCain spouted a lot of anti-net neutrality crap o
              • by cervo (626632)
                Anyway I would also add that most companies do not take their IT staff seriously. In a typical non software company the IT staff is seen as "overhead" and "not generating revenue". Often it is the first to be cut... I doubt congress is different....
        • Then how do you determine what application needs real time and what application doesn't to provide higher quality packets?

          Simple: you don't. The ISP shouldn't care about the applications, just the data. Instead, you allocate each customer N bytes of real-time data per day (or per peak/off-peak period) at a maximum rate of X KB/s. Any application can request real-time priority, subject to overrides configured in the router, but once either the short-term rate or the long-term cap is used up the overflow gets bumped down to normal priority.

          Since real-time bandwidth is strictly limited it wouldn't benefit bulk-data applications,

      • Bittorrent is right now used a lot for illegal files.

        This is very tangential to what you're talking about, but I'd still like to point out that Bittorrent is right now used for a lot of legal files too. FTP is used to transfer both illegal files and legal files. HTTP and NNTP too. It doesn't make sense to blame the protocol.

      • A VOIP packet needs to be a higher priority than say someone's bit torrent download because it is real time.

        Your phone sex is not more important than my porn movie.

        Your phone sex might be more important---to you!---than your own porn movie. That's fine. Tell your ISP (via IP QoS flags) to downgrade your own bittorent transfers in preference to your VoIP.

        Prioritize your own traffic however the hell you like it (or ask your ISP to do that service for you). As long as I get the bandwidth I paid for, no matter how I like to use it.

        Otherwise, I'm going to encode bittorrent packets as sound waves (remember modems?)

        • by cervo (626632)
          But it is. If the phone sex is a live chat and your porn movie is not live, then whether you get the porn movie now or an hour later it makes no difference. However if you are having phone sex and you get throttled it will ruin the conversation. The same is true of a streaming video. If you are streaming your porn movie then throttling may make it full of skips/jumps. But if you are downloading the whole thing on bittorrent then whether you get it now or an hour later, it makes no difference. You'll g
          • However if you are having phone sex and you get throttled it will ruin the conversation. The same is true of a streaming video. If you are streaming your porn movie then throttling may make it full of skips/jumps.

            You want to use the internet for something you don't have the bandwidth for. Why should your desire let you steal my bandwidth?

            Maybe a delayed torrent will mean I won't get to watch that film I just started downloading while my friend is still over at my house.

            If your argument is that our two-customer ISP should share their bandwidth over time roughly 50/50 if we both want to max out, but they should tend to schedule your interactive packets before my non-interactive packets, while still giving me the band

    • I thought the same thing. Yes, Alice will, in fact, be able to connect with any other person that she wants to, and Bill's site will, in fact, be able to receive messages from Alice. Unfortunately, the ping will be several thousand ms each way, because neither Alice nor Bill have paid Verizon their protection money. Also, Bill's site will not be listed on Google for the same reason.
    • by gad_zuki! (70830)

      NN generally doesnt mean the end of QoS and throttling for technical reasons (putting priority on VOIP and gaming and putting torrents and ftp to bulk). Instead, it means ending throttling and QoS for BUSINESS REASONS. That is to say, Comcast isnt going to put Vonage VOIP into the bulk category because Vonage competes with their own VOIP service.

      • NN generally doesnt mean the end of QoS and throttling for technical reasons (putting priority on VOIP and gaming and putting torrents and ftp to bulk).

        Yes it does, and that's most of the point.

        Instead, it means ending throttling and QoS for BUSINESS REASONS.

        There are always business reasons.

        For example: Suppose Verizon unilaterally declares VerizonVOIP, their own, proprietary protocol, to be "the standard" voice over IP, and give it priority? Or suppose they only prioritize SIP and not Skype, or vice-versa?

        That is to say, Comcast isnt going to put Vonage VOIP into the bulk category because Vonage competes with their own VOIP service.

        Great, they won't do it to Vonage, but what will they do about Mumble [sf.net]? Will they prioritize things by default? Then VOIP won't be getting the advantage it "needs". Will they "bulk" things by default? Then Mumble will

        • by gad_zuki! (70830)

          >If it doesn't mean the end of QoS at the ISP level, it's not network neutrality.

          Then your network would become unusable for many applications as VOIP would time out, videos would stutter, etc because bulk applications are in contention for the same bandwidth. The ISP would go out of business from all the complaints.

          • Then your network would become unusable for many applications as VOIP would time out, videos would stutter, etc because bulk applications are in contention for the same bandwidth. The ISP would go out of business from all the complaints.

            Or they would do one of two things: Either upgrade their infrastructure, or stop overselling!

            See, that wasn't hard!

            If it really and truly is unmanageable, another possibility would be to provide a limited amount of high-priority bandwidth to each consumer, but let them choose how to use it. But frankly, the simplest way to deal with applications like BitTorrent is to cap people's bandwidth so they stop hogging it.

            • by gad_zuki! (70830)

              >Or they would do one of two things: Either upgrade their infrastructure, or stop overselling!

              Wont make any difference. Lets say Im downloading at 5mbps with my torrents and you cant make a VOIP call.

              Now they double. Now I download at 10mbps and you still cant make a call.

              Overselling is the only way youre not paying T3 fracs or multiple T1 prices for your home connection. Or paying the telco company 20 grand to drag some fiber to your home.

              There's no way an ISP will survive without basic QoS/throttling.

              • Wont make any difference. Lets say Im downloading at 5mbps with my torrents and you cant make a VOIP call.

                Now they double. Now I download at 10mbps and you still cant make a call.

                Assuming we're actually in the same building, yeah, that's a problem. But we're not. We just happen to share an ISP.

                So they double, but they leave us both still with 5 mbit connections, not 10. Now I can make a call.

                Overselling is the only way youre not paying T3 fracs or multiple T1 prices for your home connection. Or paying the telco company 20 grand to drag some fiber to your home.

                Well, let's see...

                Back home, I have fiber. Our local government subsidized it. The ISP in question seems to be doing pretty much what I've suggested -- they buy more bandwidth as they need it, so VOIP generally Just Works, even when people are torrenting a lot. But they also cap your bandwidth,

  • by derGoldstein (1494129) on Monday January 18, 2010 @01:56PM (#30810172) Homepage
    Really?
  • "Innovate without permission" is an excellent expression, although not completely descriptive of the goal in this case.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      "Innovate without permission" is an excellent expression, although not completely descriptive of the goal in this case.

      What's sad is that it has to be said at all -- it implies that people need permission before molding technology and science in a way that serves the public good. I shouldn't have to ask someone for permission to learn more about the world around me and put that learning in service of the greater good. And neither should anybody else. Anywhere. Ever.

    • "Innovate without permission" also sounds like a euphemism for bullshit like Site Finder.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by derGoldstein (1494129)
      I noticed that phrase as well, and thought that Google should adopt it as its tagline or motto:
      "Google: We Innovate* without permission. *the meaning of the word 'innovate' may change at any time"

      It suits their MO perfectly. They choose to "Innovate"(disrupt) certain aspects of the market when it suits them. The "Innovate"(pour money into) projects they see as helpful to their overarching goal. They especially "Innovate"(alter privacy conventions) according to how it best suits them at any point in tim
  • after all, if some party 'redefines' open, how are you going to keep it open ?

    you need some basic rules to make sure that openness persists. you need net neutrality rules. there is nothing related to innovation in this. net neutrality is basically the freedom of expression for modern humanism. its fundamental.

  • Get the FCC to agree to something small first.

    I have a feeling if they can convince them of this, its just 1 step in a long journey towards a better web.

    • Yeah. Once the FCC gets its foot in door of regulating the internet, it will start embracing its new role in defining a better web. Oh, but wait, isn't the FCC more of a "central authority" than any ISP?!

      Please keep government out of the internet. We will all have a better internet for it. All the comments and opinions above are important. But they should be voiced as customers, who are free to patron the ISPs that do the best job of meeting their expectations. When you start to involve the government, t
      • by s73v3r (963317)
        Except most people don't have a choice in which ISP they patron; they have the ISP that is in the area. It doesn't matter how much they bitch, the ISP won't have much of a reason to change. And before someone comes in with, "Well why don't you have more competition in the ISP space?", that question is important to answer, but it isn't really relevant to this discussion. The answer could be that the area can only support one service provider. Should that give the sole provider the right to mess with my conne
  • What about all the little(?) keepers of the last mile? Like Verizon. Can they make up their own rules? OTOH, the FCC is a 'central authority'. Are they suggesting that the FCC shouldn't have a say in such rulemaking?

    • by blitzkrieg3 (995849) on Monday January 18, 2010 @04:15PM (#30811902)
      RTFA, but yes:

      While Google and Verizon disagree about the degree of authority the FCC has to oversee network management, they seem to concur about the agency's limited powers in other areas. Although Congress has given the Commission oversight over radio and television broadcasters, these mandates should not be transferred over to the Internet, the companies warn. There is "no sound reason to impose communications laws or regulations on the robust marketplace of Internet content, applications, and services."

      This whole "Google will work it out with ISPs on a case by case basis" is probably the scariest development in net neutrality in a long time. The only reading I can have of it is that Verizon had something that Google wanted, and they said "not until you change your stance on net neutrality". Net neutrality advocates have lost a big partner here.

      • by PPH (736903)

        This whole "Google will work it out with ISPs on a case by case basis" is probably the scariest development in net neutrality in a long time.

        Its what the cable/telecoms wanted to avoid with individual municipalities. Having to negotiate franchise terms for access to rights-of-way with every little town along the road. Uniform regulation by the FCC was the solution.

        The only reading I can have of it is that Verizon had something that Google wanted,

        Access to customers.

        and they said "not until you change your stance on net neutrality". Net neutrality advocates have lost a big partner here.

        I'm guessing that Google made the following deal with the devil: Google and its ilk are big enough to make the money needed to pay off the telecoms' blackmail. Small web site operators are not. So mow the little guy's only option is to sign up with Google/Amazon/etc

  • by ilsaloving (1534307) on Monday January 18, 2010 @02:16PM (#30810402)

    "That means, to them, that "when a person accesses cyberspace, he or she should be able to connect with any other person that he or she wants to—and that other person should be able to receive his or her message,""

    This statement has no meaning if they don't include protocol in it.

    Do they mean "he or she should be able to connect with any other person that he or she wants to... by whatever means they choose" or
    "he or she should be able to connect with any other person that he or she wants to... as long as they're using only the tools and methods we tell them to"

    And as someone else already pointed out, they don't mention speed either. The devil's in the details, after all.

    It's an interesting start, but this is what people have come to expect from the internet in the first place. The part I worry about isn't whether there or not people will be able to reach each other. It's how the big networks will change to rules and set up restrictions, yet still convince people that what they are getting is still an 'open internet'.

  • collusion (Score:4, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Monday January 18, 2010 @02:18PM (#30810442)

    In other words, they're trying to come up with something that looks open on its face, but on closer inspection keeps all the power in the hands of private interests they can control. They realized their petty squabbling could both both their businesses in jeopardy so they're pretending to get along like a big house on fire now and praying that the FCC finds something else to pick on while they muster their political allies.

    It's a tactic designed expressly to weaken the FCC's support in Congress by appearing to be the victims of the FCC "control freaks", while they, the benevolent corporate interests, only want the lowest prices and best services for you, the vulnerable consumer. Cue media relations campaign in 5...4...3...

  • This is a hail mary (Score:4, Informative)

    by Dan667 (564390) on Monday January 18, 2010 @02:20PM (#30810464)
    Big telecom knows their position is indefensible and that people do not want private corporations to take over the internet. Net Neutrality needs to pass to prevent them from waiting a couple years to try an internet take over again (ie horrible packages like cable tv channels, throttling, and unwanted re-direction of connections).
    • Sometimes corporations do the right thing in their own interest. I think is far more subtler than a business throwing up their hands and giving up, this is a business basically saying "we've always been at war with eastasia. Eurasia is our ally."

      First, Verizon is getting it's butt kicked by Comcast and other cable providers for internet service. An article by Consumer reports this month says that Verizon has the superior service and value, but Comcast continues to hold onto the subscribers, particularly

  • Worrying (Score:3, Interesting)

    by GreatBunzinni (642500) on Monday January 18, 2010 @02:21PM (#30810480)

    The way they worded their stance is very worrying. For example, this expression:

    "when a person accesses cyberspace, he or she should be able to connect with any other person that he or she wants to—and that other person should be able to receive his or her message,"

    The "message" part can be interpreted not as a packet but as any message such as email, IM or blog entry, which could be used to justify that any network traffic that crosses a network can be fiddled by the operators, even dropped, if it was sent through a connection which is communicating through protocols other than the ones officially sanctioned by the operators. So as your download isn't a message, your home-made VoIP service isn't a message or your internet gaming connection isn't a message then they would be free to just drop it as they see fit. To put it in other words, if the operators don't identify your connection traffic as being message exchanges then they can simply do what they wish with it, which, as wee have become used to, will mean that you and I are screwed.

    Then, this next excerpt is also important to take notice:

    " they write. The 'Net should operate as a place where no "central authority" can make rules that prescribe the possible, and where entrepreneurs and network providers are able to "innovate without permission."

    Well, that means nothing more than "and don't fuck with our business". That's terribly worrying because, together with the first stance, this reads as we get to choose what to do with our traffic and no one should ever bother us about it.

    So this has the potential of being a horrible, horrible attack on today's free internet. And that is very scarry.

    • by Qzukk (229616)

      That's terribly worrying because, together with the first stance, this reads as we get to choose what to do with our traffic and no one should ever bother us about it.

      I saw that too, and went back and re-read it as:

      The 'Net should operate as a place where we can make rules that prescribe the possible, and where entrepreneurs "innovate with our permission."

  • by Anonymous Coward

    so you know, press releases are just words.. They just started doing this a week or so ago.

    • by willzzz (701172)
      Ummm what? I use AndChat from the Market and it works fine. I can also install any Android app I want even those without official approval by enabling debugging mode and disabling signature verification in the options. Downloading some apps (*.apk files) from 3rd party sources (souceforge, etc.) and it works fine. Verizon's Android platform is TOTALLY OPEN if you know what you're doing I've noticed (aka RTFM/Google). Maybe you're having coverage or connection issues with the server? I even tether through my
  • !network management (Score:2, Informative)

    by Tuki (613364)
    Seriously irritating that they continue to dub this "network management". I have been in the network management business for over a decade, and not once have I throttled down anyone's network connection. That is a job for network engineers!
  • by cervo (626632) on Monday January 18, 2010 @02:38PM (#30810688) Journal
    Most cell networks have really shitty service, and completely rip you off. SMS prices seem to have gone up over the years, however they are tiny text messages. As network capacity increases they should be even easier to deliver. The fact that people are surfing websites for cheap which use way more data than SMS just shows how the phone companies rip you off. They also have control on their phones, so often any IM apps will charge you for an SMS with every message.

    Also once you buy a phone, you are locked into a network. If they screw you over for two years, to leave you will have to pay termination fees, and get a new phone on your new network. You are basically locked in. Some people sell unlocked phones, but they are often locked into one network. Even T-Mobile/ATT use different 3G frequencies. Verizon/Sprint do not use the same hardware either. So cell companies aren't in competition with each other.

    With net neutrality 3rd parties can make devices that use all the cell networks (just the 3g parts, not the voice) and use VOIP. Now, Apple smacks down most VOIP apps in the apple store (no doubt at the request of ATT). But even if they didn't, the phone company could probably use deep packet inspection to find other people's VOIP packets an dmake them lower priority. OR just block all VOIP packets except for the phone company's own. IF there is net neutrality then they can't. So you could make 3rd party devices that link to everyone's 3g network and use VOIP. Then carriers would be forced to compete on price, and network quality. Customer service would improve because dissatisfied customers would just leave....

    But in defeating net neutrality things can mostly stay the same....
  • I had to right a short paper on this topic. Here is my the blog post. http://thomas-netneutrality.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]
  • Get 'er done! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hyades1 (1149581) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Monday January 18, 2010 @02:44PM (#30810768)

    It's seriously important to get a net neutrality arrangement worked out in the US and carved in stone before the neo-conservative elements get back in control. It's a sad fact that the conservative side of politics there has been taken over by a bunch of religious fanatics and fascists who want nothing to do with such traditional conservative values as freedom from the intrusion of government into one's private life. Net neutrality was headed for the scrap heap under the previous administration, and it's far from assured under this one.

    It's also an unfortunate fact that the US still has enough financial clout to enforce its rules on other countries. The up-side of this situation is that if the US enacts strong net neutrality legislation, most European countries will happily fall in line, and the ones like England and Italy, which are flirting with harsh internet laws, will have to go along. Even China will have an increasingly-difficult time keeping its "Green Wall" intact.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by hyades1 (1149581)

      This is a troll? Bullshit! It's an accurate, objective evaluation of the situation. Looks like there's a moderator running loose who doesn't know how the job's done. Anybody want to bet he's American and comes from a particular part of the political spectrum?

    • by timbo234 (833667)

      Maybe pedantic but still worth pointing out: *England* is not flirting with harsh internet laws, there is no Government of England, it's the government of the UK that's doing so. And any laws that result will affect people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as England.

      Also it's not a given that European countries will 'fall into line' with the US on this. It requires specific laws at either the national level or the national and EU level to be enacted. This will be slightly more likely if the U

  • by John Guilt (464909) on Monday January 18, 2010 @02:52PM (#30810846)
    ...can be cast as 'innovation' (and a good one---it makes life easier for someone, and presumably even better if that someone has a lot of capital) which should not be stifled by a 'central authority' (any authority Google or Verizon doesn't like).
  • by beakerMeep (716990) on Monday January 18, 2010 @03:13PM (#30811098)
    When you think about it, wireless speeds are stating to catch up to hard wired connections. Over the next 10-20 years I think we're going to see a shift away from landlines. In terms of net neutrality this should mean there will be numerous companies competing in the wireless network market (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint). This is good because ultimately users would not stand for gatekeepers that throttle -- therefore competition and user choice is paramount here. What worries me is device lock-in and two year contracts. Google's latest move with the N1 is starting to make a bit more sense now.
    • It sounds like a good idea on the outset, but weather this will actually increase neutral networks through carrier competition depends on 3 things:
      1. Lock in: Google has done a pretty good job of fighting against handset lock in, but we will never get past the fact that we have both CDMA and GSM networks, and even the GSM networks don't have the same 3G. So you will never be able to bring your latest and greatest unlocked phone to Verizon from AT&T, for example. Couple this with the fact that most pho
  • All I ever see out of these people is throttling speed based on how much you've downloaded, or how long you've been downloading for. I have never once seen a throttling plan based on current network congestion. Why is this? Can't we run a system where once the network reaches 100% capacity we start giving priority to the packets that need it? Say a switch that has a priority stack that runs like voip,http,https,ftp,sftp,encrypted,unknown,BitTorrent.

    All I ever see are 'solutions' that allow the ISPs
  • "when a person accesses cyberspace, he or she should be able to connect with any other person that he or she wants to--and that other person should be able to receive his or her message," they write. The 'Net should operate as a place where no "central authority" can make rules that prescribe the possible, and where entrepreneurs and network providers are able to "innovate without permission."

    So when a "person" is an ISP, he has a "right" to pick and choose what traffic will he drop or throttle, and users, trapped in his network, don't have any recourse because no "central authority" can smack such ISP with fines and license withdrawals for such "innovation".

    Amirite?

  • The original reason for me not using Verizon's mail services was that Verizon blacklisted much of Eastern Europe. Now they're on the "freedom train"?

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