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Net Pioneers Say Open Internet Should Be Separate 216

Posted by Soulskill
from the digital-segregation dept.
angry tapir writes "The US Federal Communications Commission should allow for an open Internet separate from specialized services that may prioritize IP traffic, a group of Internet and technology pioneers has recommended. The document, filed in response to an FCC request for public comments on proposed network neutrality rules, steers clear of recommending what rules should apply to the open Internet. Among the tech experts signing the document are Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple; Bruce Perens, founder of the open-source software movement; Clay Shirky, an author and lecturer at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program; and David Reed, a contributor to the development of TCP/IP and an adjunct professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab."
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Net Pioneers Say Open Internet Should Be Separate

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  • Internet2 was great for academia, but it doesn't help me when my ISP choices are monopolistic, greedy and don't have my best interests at heart.

    -molo

    • by snowraver1 (1052510) on Monday November 08, 2010 @07:52PM (#34168156)
      I bet your ISP would LOVE to sell you 2 internet connections, they might even let you 'bundle' them together... Of course, the open one would probably cost more.
      • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Monday November 08, 2010 @09:24PM (#34168862) Homepage Journal

        Heh.

        This proposal is like relegating the whole stack to a newsgroup-level of relevance.

        • by grcumb (781340) on Monday November 08, 2010 @11:07PM (#34169570) Homepage Journal

          Heh.

          This proposal is like relegating the whole stack to a newsgroup-level of relevance.

          I suspect that if it were actually acted on, you'd be dead on the money.

          But I also suspect that the submission was deliberately provocative, designed to make the contrast between a Neutral Internet and what ISPs want as stark as possible. In effect, it seems to be saying, "What they want is not Internet, so we should quit calling it that." Right at the outset, it says:

          While we have diverse views about the overall policy approach that the assurance of the open Internet entails, we note here that separating the Internet from specialized services is a dramatic advance in the discussion, one that is very helpful on its own terms to understanding the implications of various concerns surrounding this issue....

          As a rhetorical stance, I like it. As a policy position, not so much.

          As you rightly note, the vendors will do everything in their power to twist the definitions in order to make their proprietary model look more attractive and to subvert the influence of a truly open Internet. The authors of this work may believe that an open Internet will succeed on its merits alone. I don't. However we arrive at it, Network Neutrality is simply not negotiable [imagicity.com].

          Bemoan the ineffectual nature of government regulation as much as you like; the fact remains that, left alone, most commercial Internet providers have every financial incentive to lock down their networks.

          (According to the dominant business perspective in North American and Europe, anyway. One can make compelling arguments about network effects and the collateral benefits that derive from open, end-to-end networks, but most MBAs don't -and don't want to- get it. They're all about controlling the market and sucking it dry. Profit, alas, beats planning every time.)

          • by jc42 (318812) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @12:30AM (#34170110) Homepage Journal

            The authors of this work may believe that an open Internet will succeed on its merits alone. I don't.

            Why not? That's what happened with the first Internet. Take a look back at the 1980s. At that time, there were lots of proprietary networks, one per vendor, and it was difficult or impossible for users of different vendors' equipment to communicate with each other. But over in academia, the open Internet was alive and getting attention. When it went "public" and finally allowed connections to businesses and homes, everyone jumped on it. The vendors all tried their mightiest to convince everyone that they had a better network, but everyone wanted the one that was open and could connect everyone to everyone, even if it might not be the perfect one in all its details. Eventually, one by one, the vendors grudgingly moved onto the Internet, as they realized that they couldn't compete with an open network.

            The obvious prediction would be that the same thing will happen after the corporations succeed in taking control of the Internet. It will devolve into a set of "walled gardens", one per comm company, with limited communication between people on different parts of the Internet. If someone can come along and offer an alternative that connects everyone to everyone else, people will once again jump on it wherever they are permitted access.

            Maybe this is how IPv6 will take over. The people working on it should be pushing for ways to sneak it into our homes and businesses in a manner that's beyond the control of the powerful commercial interests. If they can manage this, we can relegate IPv4 to the backwaters of walled gardens like IBM's and DEC's networks were back in the 1980s. The comm companies can then control the connectivity in their walled gardens all they like, and their customers will slowly find ways of getting onto the real, open Internet2, just as we all did in the early 1990s.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by mlts (1038732) *

              I remember those days. Before the Internet took off, the talk was how TV set top boxes would be the main way people would communicate with each other, with IR keyboards and sending E-mail for a dollar per send, perhaps more if it has to leave Compuserve to go to an AOL user.

              Cable had their plans for making their own "internet", which was offering features at a snail's pace for large fees. However, the Internet put those plans on hold until recently, when with the monopolies for ISPs, they can start tierin

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by formfeed (703859)

        Of course, the open one would probably cost more.

        No,I think you'd get the open Internet for free. But:

        1. It would of course be slower, because after all it is just an added courtesy freebie.
        2. "Appropiate usage" terms will prevent you from doing high speed video on the free internet. But of course, you can use Premiumnet for that.
        3. The cool stuff will move to the new controlled net.
        4. Certain things that need more throughput won't work anymore on the free internet.
        5. After a while only spammers, trolls, and fringe stuff will be on the open-internet.
        6. Noone cares i
    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by by (1706743) (1706744)
      Well, suppose the power mains to your block had a relatively low capacity. And suppose your neighbor starts growing copious amounts of a "cash crop" which is not exactly legal (analog: illegal torrents), hogging many kWh (dumbest unit ever...) in the process with grow lamps, which means you're constantly experiencing brownouts (analog: sluggish 'net). Would you be in favor of throttling electricity (analog: bandwidth) to said neighbor? What if the power company started throttling electricity to all grow lam
      • Would marijuana law reform (analog: copyright law reform) figure into the solution? Or would the major drug and synthetic fiber companies (analog: the MPAA which controls the news media [pineight.com]) continue to lobby so hard against it that it's considered unthinkable [wikipedia.org]?
      • by molo (94384)

        The only interest ISPs are looking out for is profit of their conglomerates/keiretsu.

        -molo

      • by int69h (60728)

        Oh Oh I know the answer to this one. Is it the power companies interests?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by c6gunner (950153)

        Would you be in favor of throttling electricity (analog: bandwidth) to said neighbor?

        No.

        What if the power company started throttling electricity to all grow lamps, even those used for legitimate gardening uses (analog: legal torrents)?

        HELL no.

        My (rather shaky) point is that, although your best interests aren't taken to heart, perhaps someone's best interests are.

        Yah - the CEO and shareholders. Is that supposed to make me feel better?

        • by DarkOx (621550)

          What if the power company started throttling electricity to all ...

          Perhaps not grow lamps but they do offer lots of customers "throttled connections" Utilities in most major US cities sell power at discounted rates to customers who will all them to put a remote controlled breaker on things like air conditioners and heat pumps, that allow them to turn these devices off at peak load hours. This "service" is pretty popular; so it would seem the market has spoken and does not want electrical neutrality. Now I don't anyplace where you can't opt out, though.

          • That's opt-in, not out, and they are giving the user a benefit in exchange. (Lower costs.) It's not being forced on people who don't want it, with no extra benefit to the consumer.

      • by Mr. Freeman (933986) on Monday November 08, 2010 @08:34PM (#34168472)
        No, I propose that the electric company upgrade their infrastructure to handle the capacity.

        Of course, this creates problems. What if one guy is running an MRI machine or something that sucks up insane amounts of juice? Obviously the electric company shouldn't be required to upgrade their infrastructure to accommodate that load. So where do we draw the line?

        The issue is that we're not talking about one guy on the block "using up all the internet". It's the fact that bandwidth usage is increasing for EVERYONE. Games are distributed electronically, movies are streamed, music is streamed, web pages have more and more content that you can download, etc. This isn't one guy with grow lamps causing a brownout. It's everyone on the block that wants to turn on their lights at reasonable times that's causing the problem. This more closely models internet usage.

        Also, there's no talk here of guaranteed electricity or bandwidth. ISPs promise "up to" such and such a limit. This means that they can give you absolutely no service because 0kb/s is still "up to" 30MB/s (or whatever the fuck they advertise). This would be like the electric company promising you "up to" some power and then not giving you enough to even run your lights. If the electric company did this, people would be rioting until it was fixed. (It's happened before)

        In either case, the solution is not to implement throttling.

        We can debate all day about whether or not the government should regulate the internet, but I think we can all agree that competition would result in better service for everyone. Once some company actually makes good on a plan that contains a real SLA (including minimum speeds and uptime) they'll start raking in money like none other. The problem is that there is no competition. The barrier to entry is huge, and you have large companies like comcast that have monopolies in large areas of the US and lawyers to make sure it stays that way.

        Thus, I propose that the government needs to regulate the internet only to the point that it spurs lots of competition. Congress needs to introduce laws that make it easier for new ISPs to start up and limit how much control a single company can have regarding broadband service in any given area. That way, the free market takes over and we can finally get some good fucking internet service.
        • If he's using commercial amounts of electricity for commercial purposes in a residential zone then he should move or pay fines for zoning violations. He can get his higher-power connection in an area which is already built out for higher-level electricity usage because it's properly zoned for parties with those needs.

          • by Pharmboy (216950) on Monday November 08, 2010 @09:19PM (#34168820) Journal

            It isn't illegal to use commercial amounts of electricity in a residential zone in any place in the USA, even if it is for commercial purposes. No zoning laws cover electrical usage. Car traffic, noise, pollution, perhaps, but not electrical use. If you have a 200 amp main (typical) you are invited, yet ENCOURAGED to saturate it with use, as you are charged by the kWh. They will be thrilled you did. Need more transformer? No problem, one is on the way. Have a really old house with only 100 amp mains? They will gladly upgrade you to 200 amp service (or higher), often at little or no charge, excepting you paying your electrician to put in the new main panel. You don't even need to prove you need that much amperage.

            So no, Virginia, there is no Electrical Zoning Police in your neighborhood. Use all you want, as long as you can afford it.

            The interwebs works pretty much the same way. There is no such thing as "commercial internet zones" or "residential internet zones".

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by mr_mischief (456295)

              There's no limit to what electricity they can use other than their breaker, but there is certainly a limit on the use of the property for commercial use in most jurisdictions. They need to be in a commercial zone or have a commercial zoning variance. If they need more than their breaker can handle or need additional service built in from the distribution network, they'll have to pay for it. If they're selling flowers, vegetables, or trees in commercial quantities from their residential home, they'll need a

              • by cynyr (703126)

                Correct, but using an MRI machine for non commercial purposes(we are ignoring how much they cost for the moment) is not a commercial use. What if i build a hobby go cart and need a few 100 amp 460V 3 phase connection for my welder, and assorted ventilation gear? There are a large number of reasons one could use power without being commercial.

                Also, when you call up the electric company and ask for a 500amp 460V service, they will tell you if they can actually provide that at your location or not. If they say

        • by nilbog (732352)

          In my last city they offered 50mbps up.down connections for $50 a month. You know what? You actually got a little over what they advertised. Best ISP ever. In that city the Comcast connections cost half as much as they do in my new city only $25 miles away but (surprise!) without the 50mbps option from a rival carrier.

          Competition breeds excellence and corrects market prices. My only choice where I live now is Comcast and they are not great.

      • Your metaphor is valid, but your argument is not. You and your power company have an agreement in place, to the effect that they will supply you with electricity, and you will pay them according to your usage. If the power company's equipment cannot provide you with power adequate for your demands, then it is the power company's responsibility to upgrade their equipment to meet your demands. If your demands are unreasonable, then the power company is well within its rights to deny you service, on the premis

        • by afidel (530433)
          Actually, power distribution is a MUCH more highly regulated industry than IP telecommunications even though both have received roughly equivalent percentages of their infrastructure from government subsidies and both largely owe their defacto monopoly/duopoly status to government granted positions. I don't think your local public utilities commission is going to be very friendly to a power company that won't upgrade a substation that's browning out and yet that same commission feels it's fine for the telec
        • by cynyr (703126)

          Sure but it is hard for a 3rd party to use electricity. How do you prevent 4chan from ddos-ing people and wracking up massive bills? How do I ensure that the amount of bandwidth I'm being charged for is being metered correctly? Electric meters are certified and there is a process for having yours checked or replaced.

      • by DarkOx (621550) on Monday November 08, 2010 @08:39PM (#34168512) Journal

        Kwh is not the dumbest unit ever. Edison started selling electricity in Horsepower/hours.

        • <pedantic alert>Horsepower/hours doesn't have dimensions of energy -- I think you want Horsepower-hours (multiplication, not division).</pedantic alert>
        • Still not ideal. I mean, why not use metric time?
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by NoSig (1919688)
        The problem here would be your power company who promised both you and the guy next door to provide more electricity than the power company is capable of providing.
        • by Sepodati (746220)

          The problem here would be your power company who promised both you and the guy next door to provide more electricity than the power company is capable of providing.

          As I read, the proposal addresses exactly this. The "open internet" would have some reasonable minimum guaranteed throughput. If 100 houses are sold 1Mbps, there had better be a 100Mbps (or some reasonable percentage) upstream pipe to support them that is unmanaged. I get my minimum, but also realize there's no priority for my traffic over anyone

      • No I wouldn't. The power company is selling both of us 20kWh connections. If he uses all of his 20kWh and it leads to brownouts at my house, that means the power company hasn't actually delivered the product I and my neighbor are paying for. The ISPs would like to blaim the problem on customers who are abusing the system. But the fact of the matter is that the number of people actually torrenting to the point that they cap out their connection is very very small. If the few people that actually do max out t
      • kWh (dumbest unit ever...)

        What's wrong with kWh? Would you prefer coulomb-volts, therms, equivalent-snickers-bars-worth-of-calories, or what?

        • by hitmark (640295)

          Unless i am getting my units crossed, again, i think watt already implies a time frame.

          • Watts are a _rate_ of consumption, thus Watt-hours is a _volume_ of energy transferred. For example if a 100-watt bulb is turned on for two hours, then you have consumed 200 watt-hours.

            Whether to use hours/minutes/seconds, and kilo/mega/giga, is just a matter of convenience - that's chosen based on whatever multiple people are most comfortable working with. For home usage "kilowatts" and "hours" are pretty sensible, don't you think?

      • by Darinbob (1142669)
        Hmm, smart meters now can catch these users and they have tamper protection to figure out immediately when someone's bypassing it. Similarly when someone is sneaking power from their neighbor. With accurate measurements they can throttle (or arrest/sue) just the one neighbor instead of throttling the entire neighborhood.

        Maybe internet needs similar metering that can't be bypassed. There's some similar issues here. A while back the power companies really had no way of measuring this stuff, and relied on
      • If you want to do that, you buy a 400-amp service. Or however high you need. Each home has a particular number of amps in the service that has been purchased for it, and that is the absolute maximum it can use, and that is set at a fair level that is regulated by the state public utilities commission. If you can't get service powerful enough where you live, you have to buy one where you can, and that's an industrial area.

        The service actually does discriminate between resistive and reactive loads (see Powe

      • by cynyr (703126)

        a few problems;
        1) Electric companies do not tent to oversell much.
        2) Electric usage is metered, most US broadband is not.
        3) Fuses, breakers, and other such devices are used to limit current(sustained bandwidth) and voltage(peek bandwidth).

        Also there is huge public backlash when electric companies have brownouts(oversell), but only here on slashdot and other technical communities do they care when a broadband internet provider oversells their capacity. To some extent I would be in favor of metered billing, b

      • by LingNoi (1066278)

        I'd rather they simply built more power stations and charged more per kWh. Same with ISPs. Charge per GB, advertise better response times and not just higher bandwidth. I'd be all over that.

    • by timeOday (582209)
      No, I don't think they mean there should be a new separate Internet that is neutral.

      What I think they're saying is that advertised speed and bandwidth for "internet service" must be the minimum allowed for any Internet site. If you then want to offer voip or video on demand services that use more bandwidth, fine, but those should be segregated so you can't advertize the speed those access as the speed of your "internet" offering.

      In other words, the Internet should be neutral, and content delivery netwo

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by molo (94384)

        Why should video or VoIP be treated differently? How do you differentiate voip UDP from video game UDP? No deep packet inspection, please. Packets are packets and bits are bits. Just deliver them without regard to content. Is that too much to ask?

        -molo

        • by afidel (530433)
          I think he's talking about services like DOCSIS-VoIP where a separate carrier is allocated for that additional service or like UVerse where there is a certain amount of bandwidth going from the pole to the house and the amount available for pure IP service is dependent on the other services being used at the time (IE that 40Mbps connection might have a 50% QoS setting for IPTV where the pure IP portion of the circuit gets half the speed if multiple HD streams are being watched).
        • Actually, yes, it can be. Some prioritization has to happen when bandwidth is limited. I don't want the ISPs recording my voice traffic, but I also don't want my neighbor's torrent traffic causing unnecessary jitter or lag in my phone call. Some analysis can be done without deep packet inspection. We do it all the time where I work. Our application proxy firewalls observe enough of the traffic to know what it is and how to handle it before streaming the rest through. It's a little more complicated tha

          • by cynyr (703126)

            so what if i modify bittorrent to look like VOIP? Or simply encrypt all the data i send or receive?

        • by Bengie (1121981)

          I think I figured out what we need. We need a stated *minimum* internet speed.

          example. You pay for a 60mbps i-net connection, but obviously no ISP could actually handle every user sucking down 60mbps. This is an "up to" speed. What we also need is a listed minimum speed.

          So, lets say your 60mbps connection has a minimum listed speed of 8mbps.

          OK, now what? Now we need some form of QoS, even as simple as High and Normal. Lets say you can assign QoS on your local network. I assign My video games to be high prio

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Ichijo (607641)

        What I think they're saying is that advertised speed and bandwidth for "internet service" must be the minimum allowed for any Internet site.

        So if your cable company's 38 Mbps network is shared among 500 subscribers, then they would have to advertise your connection as 76 kbps, even though you usually get 5+ Mbps and never see below 3 Mbps.

        I'm afraid that would just confuse people even more.

  • Am i supposed to be happy about this or not?

    • by FrYGuY101 (770432)
      To me, it sounds like "separate, but equal".

      That didn't work out that well, either.
      • Agreed. I often post about replacing the Internet's physical infrastructure with a community-run network, I think it's the only long-term solution. Corporate control is the immediate threat, but government control is the long-term threat, both only have incentives to destroy the free Internet, none to protect it. Neither of these groups can be allowed to have control.

  • After reading TFA (Score:4, Informative)

    by santax (1541065) on Monday November 08, 2010 @07:46PM (#34168106)
    I can honestly say I don't understand it. But it does sound like something that I end up paying for. Santax is Dutch and hates paying.
    • I would pay for it if I could. Will Comcast offer it? No? How about AT&T? No? Well, I am out of options... And I have one more than many.
  • Proposition (Score:5, Funny)

    by decipher_saint (72686) on Monday November 08, 2010 @07:48PM (#34168118) Homepage

    I propose we make a new internet, except with blackjack and hookers! Oh...

  • by Chas (5144) on Monday November 08, 2010 @07:51PM (#34168130) Homepage Journal

    And exactly how are people on these "prioritized" networks supposed to reach the "open" Internet?

    Oh yeah. Through their prioritized network's traffic-prioritized peering point.

    I summon Picard. Patron Saint of the Facepalm.

    The answer to not liking those who apply such a technical response to a financial situation is NOT always "make another one that's separate and free". Sometimes it is "remove the financial incentive" for those that do.

  • Fence Sitting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Swanktastic (109747) on Monday November 08, 2010 @07:58PM (#34168222)

    These guys are all smart and should have known better than to hedge to this degree. They have written a lot but not provided any value with their enormous brainpower.

    Besides, if you split the internet into two pipes, one neutral and one non-neutral, you kill net neutrality because you can prioritize the non-neutral bit over the neutral bit. In other words, you can't be a little bit pregnant.

       

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SpaceLifeForm (228190)
      The non-neutral Internet should be ipv6 only and preferably over fibre. Old ipv4 Internet should remain as is.
    • by santax (1541065) on Monday November 08, 2010 @08:35PM (#34168484)
      That's a lie sir. My niece called me today and assured me 'we' are a little pregnant. So it is possible.
    • by S77IM (1371931)

      I think the analogy you are looking for is, "Separate is inherently unequal."

    • Re:Fence Sitting (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Bruce Perens (3872) <bruce@perens.com> on Monday November 08, 2010 @10:15PM (#34169176) Homepage Journal
      It's a matter of getting all of the various parties on the signature list. Some of them are polar opposites. As one of the signers, I should note that politics is often the art of getting along with people you don't really approve of.
    • Besides, if you split the internet into two pipes, one neutral and one non-neutral, you kill net neutrality because you can prioritize the non-neutral bit over the neutral bit. In other words, you can't be a little bit pregnant.

      Which is exactly what they need to do anyhow.

      The reason the telecom-ISPs need to be able to prioritize certain packets is because they're trying to "converge" the old connection-based infrastructure into an IP-based backbone. This gives great economies by having only one set of boxe

  • Wait a second (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Lanteran (1883836)
    is this making any sense to anyone? The entire internet should be open, we net neutrality lovers shouldn't be relegated to our own little corner. I for one, won't stand by while the internet is turned into the next radio or TV. Some other things: how will one access this 'second' internet anyway? and won't we just have a repeat after the ISPs notice how much bandwidth we're hogging? How long until we have to have a 3rd 4th and 5th internet? What if ISPs block access to the open internet to save money? IMO t
    • by nlawalker (804108)

      I'm going to have to ask you to step back into the Free Speech Zone before making any more comments like that.

  • by rsborg (111459) on Monday November 08, 2010 @08:04PM (#34168268) Homepage

    When one part has the money and the other part is where the "poor" or "undesireables" go, this is not going to end well.

    We had a chance in the past few years to make internet access a protected right and utility, much like access to power or water... but we failed and now it's going to kill the internet.

    Rent-seeking predatory corporation are already licking their chops at all the potential "synergy" and "monetization" they can make of the soon-to-be-gone public commons. Once there is blood in the water, it will be a feeding frenzy for all these local monopolies.

  • No good answers (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Caerdwyn (829058) on Monday November 08, 2010 @08:20PM (#34168366) Journal

    Who pays for a separate "open" Internet?

    • Major ISPs/backbone providers (forced to partition bandwidth on their private networks)? No, they don't. YOU do. These are for-profit companies, and when their expenses go up, your costs go up. If a percentage of their networks are, in effect, nationalized, they will certainly raise their rates to compensate for the losses associated with this seizure.
    • Major ISP/backbone providers (forced to build the "open" internet in parallel)? No, they don't. YOU do. Again, these companies aren't charity and aren't public property. Being forced to build something that is their own competition means they raise their rates to compensate, and again, this is a form of property seizure.
    • A new not-for-profit national company? YOU do. Through regulatory fees, etc... assuming it passes Constitutional muster. It might not. In any event, just how many tens or hundreds of billions of dollars would it cost to duplicate the current Internet infrastructure's capacity, then maintain and grow it? This isn't chump-change. This is hundreds to thousands of dollars per person.
    • The government? No, they don't. YOU do. Through taxes and tarriffs and fees and other bad words (see above for the scale involved). Plus, if the government owns it, you bloody well know they will content-filter it (no porn, access to ammunition-sellers, or websites of uncontrolled news media, grassroots voter-activism sites, etc.), record everything you do and give it to the DHS, have regulatory requirements for "security software" (meaning scour-your-disks-and-record-your-keystrokes software( installed on any machine accessing this "public resource", and turn it off at times of national emergency (cyber-attacks, terrorist incidents, presidential and senatorial electorial victory for third-party candidates).

    Idealism is great until you realize that someone has to pay for it, and that someone is always, without exception, YOU. And there's that annoying Fourth Amendment, and case law that would get in the way. Remember, if the government can muster the power to seize a major industry over ideological reasons, what defense would smaller companies (including yours, for all values of "you") have with the takeover of the commercial Internet as precedent? Ideologies come and go, but powers of regulation and seizure only linger and grow.

    Don't feed the regulation-monster. Don't feed the confiscation-monster. It only makes them stronger.

    There are problems that have to be solved, but there are no functional answers which don't involve imposing expenses on other people or allowing the government far, far more powers over Internet content and monitoring than it already has. It's quite possible that, warts and problems and all, what we have right now may be the least of evils. Please keep an open mind to that possibility.

    ...oh, wait. Slashdot. Never mind!

    • by int69h (60728)

      I'm going with C. Regulations that prevent ISPs from double dipping and let the only Internet remain open.

      • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

        Uhhh... "C" would be a not-for-profit national company.

        Did you even read the post?

        Besides, if ISPs can't double dip, they'll just get a bigger dipper. That was mostly the point of the GP's entire comment.

        Any time you increase their costs, you increase your own costs across the board. The inverse, however, is not true when there is little competition in the market, because there is no incentive to drop the rates when your expenses drop.

        • by int69h (60728)

          The point was there is no need for a second Internet. All that's needed is regulation preventing prioritizing traffic by strong arming content providers. The content providers already pay for their bandwith, I already pay for mine. Why should the providers have to pay twice for "preferred" speeds. If you think that ISPs are going to expand their backbones to provide that priority rather than penalize those who don't pay for protection err priority, I've got a bridge for sale.

    • Re:No good answers (Score:4, Insightful)

      by NapalmV (1934294) on Monday November 08, 2010 @08:34PM (#34168476)
      Idealism is great until you realize that someone has to pay for it, and that someone is always, without exception, YOU.

      Sure. My local library is paid from my taxes and has a nice assortment of books and I can discuss with them what they carry or not. They don't bundle advertising and spam with the goods either. Would I want a commercial for profit library instead of it? Hell no. Just imagine what it would be about. Oh wait. We have "adult video rental" shops already.
    • Re:No good answers (Score:5, Insightful)

      by afidel (530433) on Monday November 08, 2010 @09:16PM (#34168796)
      The problem is we ALREADY paid for it, and now they want to seize it and bundle it with a nice bow and hand it to their shareholders. We paid for it in direct taxes, we paid for it in subsidized rates, and we paid for it by allowing a telecommunications duopoly to develop. We have a natural monopoly/duopoly situation going on and we have two valid options as I see it, we can either have the government run the infrastructure and allow all comers to provide open service on a competitive basis or we can have tightly regulated monopolists. Going down your distopian path to corporatism run amok will only lead to America becoming a technology backwater gheto where corporations only service the most profitable customers and spend as little as humanly possible to maintain their existing subsidized infrastructure while maximizing shareholder profits and CEO bonuses until things get so broken that they get another multi hundred billion dollar handout from the government.
    • Who pays for a new Internet? We all do. But not more than we already do for home networking equipment:

      http://search.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1634334&cid=32019410 [slashdot.org]

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by dalani (1569813)
      internet was developed with tax dollars.. did the ISP pay for the development costs? no
  • When the Internet first started, you had a backbone that was paid for by government dollars(tax money), and back in those days, it was easy to be able to advocate for that backbone to be covered by net neutrality rules. As the Internet became more commercial, it became more and more difficult for the government to be able to set rules for the overall Internet. What we have today is the result, where the old government sponsored backbone is only used by a tiny fraction of the overall user base, and set

    • You mean that privately owned fiber built out by tax-backed grants and government-enforced monopolies? That's what you think means the private companies deserve to continually screw the public? How about at least forcing these companies to advertise exactly what they offer rather than an "unlimited up to 20 Mbps connection" which turns out to be a 90 kbps connection with 6 Mbps bursts and a cap which means you can actually only use 40 kbps over the course of the month?

      • Don't forget that fiber is almost always either on government land, or land of some other private enterprise/person. That the government let the private companies use.

        • They let them use those easements without compensating the landowners, too, considering the utilities would be providing their services to the people at much lower cost if they didn't need to buy or rent the easements. It's actually cheaper in some cases now to provide your own last mile if you can find someone to peer you to the Internet. So much for big monopolies giving you better network effects and lower costs than standardization and open access.

  • Unless there is an impartial third party whose sole charter is to resell access to the lines, there is no such thing as separate. It is a fine idea, but it completely ignores reality.

    What we need to do, is exactly what Australia is doing; appropriate Verizon's fiber, and build out a national fiber network, to be shared by all ISPs and content providers with the desire to compete. (Sure, they paid Telstra, but the billions upon billions in subsidies here should more than cover it.)

    Given a fair and competiti

  • This sounds like a great plan. Everybody knows how successful HAM radio and public television have been.
  • It makes me think of separate but equal. Man the internet wants to be open, let it be open.

  • I have just wasted the last 24 minutes loading all that Scribd garbage on this slow connection only to find that downloading the document requires a Facebook account. Why is this document not on the Open Internet, I ask? If an Open Internet is what is wanted, why use closed and privacy assaulting services like Facebook? What happened to HTML?

    Scribd is only giving me the first 3 pages (of eight). I cannot download the page without identifying myself. Scribd is absolutely full of advertising -- probab

  • that the major issue here is that the backhaul planning for the net is based on projections based on a mostly "download" usage, where a user would download a web page or a new emails and then go quiet again. With torrenting, streaming media and similar, this changes. Torrenting is as much upload as download, while streaming media is a constant download rather then a short spike when the email checker kicks in or the user clicks a link.

    With old style net use, the ISPs could sell a fast connection at the user

  • I believe the question of what shall become of the Internet is very important. I would be fascinated though to hear what possible justification there could be for letting WOZ sit on it. The class of people that should be thinking about this issue are people like the folks that designed the Internet to begin with, BBN. Perhaps some representatives from Anti-virus companies to explain Internet pollution. The fellow that did most of the work on DNS. Some people from the telecoms that understand the growth fact
  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @12:17AM (#34170046) Homepage Journal

    Shirky's no "Net Pioneer", he's a hack burped up by the "Silicon Alley" ripoffs central to what caused the .com Bubble to collapse.

    Woz isn't a "Net Pioneer", either. By the time Apple was on anything like the Internet, Woz had already spent several years since his last worthwhile pioneering effort at Apple, and hasn't done anything technologically interesting since then.

    None of those people really can claim any demonstration that they know what they're talking about today.

  • My opinion... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kokuyo (549451) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @03:35AM (#34170916) Journal

    ...and you may, of course, disagree with me, is that the internet WOULD be open if there was an open market. As it stands, this market is only available to a small percentage of companies, because investment is so high. After all, every company needs their own network. Reselling makes even inventive and unconventional companies dependant on the network provider's prices. This means that onlyx a very select few companies control access to the network. In Switzerland, that's basically two companies: Swisscom for DSL and Cablecom for, you guessed it, cable. There cannot be real competition with only two networks.

    I propose that the government should own the network (as it should gas, water and electricity lines, railways, streets and so on) and 'hire' a company to maintain and upgrade it. This should happen in a non-profit fashion and the available capacity should then be sold at the lowest price possible to providers (of internet, TV, phone services and so on). There would only be one line to your house for all data related services.

    I just don't quite see how it could ever be a good idea to privatize infrastructure the public is so very dependant on.

  • Ad Hoc The Planet! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortexNO@S ... t-retrograde.com> on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @04:31AM (#34171176) Homepage

    I'm observant of the fact: I'm being irradiated by no less than 6 strong WiFi signals networks at any given time (12 at the moment) in Houston.

    Turn all those into ad-hoc networks, and connect the overlapping nets together. It's not much different than the wired web. It's still a bunch of routers between me and my destination that I really don't trust.

    Whatever happened to Packet Radio [wikipedia.org]?

    Personally, having a BBS back in the day, I envisioned The Open Internet as a fusion between HAM radio & high speed FidoNet. Where anyone could just hook up a signal repeater and join what we call "the cloud" today... Today's Internet is so far from "the cloud", it should really be called "the grave", yeah, see, it's actually in/near the ground & everyone eventually gets there if they try hard enough -- plus, "in the grave" sounds exactly like how using dial-up (or any AT&T service) actually feels.

    When I found out "the Internet is going to be Wired?!" I thought, nah, this is a just a phase, our wireless utopia will be here soon, boy was I wrong -- totally underestimated the telco's greed & unwillingness to spend money on infrastructure.

    Naturally I was equally unimpressed with "Internet2". This most recent "Open Internet" sounds just as closed as ever to me.

    Cellular packet data is closer to what I call "the cloud", Wimax, and LTE, etc is getting there, but if we're using wires for the majority Internet mk2, count me out... Meanwhile, I'll be hooking up my wifi router to my HAM equipment & building a truly open global ad hock WiFi network [wikipedia.org] instead.

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