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The Internet Networking Your Rights Online

ISP Guarantees Net Neutrality, For a Fee 217

greedyturtle writes "Ars Technica has up an interesting article on the first ISP to guarantee network neutrality. It's called COmmunityPOwered Internet, aka Copowi. The offer of neutrality comes at a higher price — mostly due to uncompetitive telco line pricing schemes — $34 for 256K DSL, $50 for 1.5 Mbs, and $60 for 7 Mbps. The owner claims to need only 5,000 subscribers to move his ISP into the national arena from the 12 Western states where it now operates. Would you be willing to spend the extra bucks for network neutrality?"
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ISP Guarantees Net Neutrality, For a Fee

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  • by ShaunC ( 203807 ) * on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @02:31AM (#20301413)
    It ain't gonna work.

    They don't own any fiber. The access that they can deliver is at the mercy of the telcos who provision their lines. And while they claim that presently they have cushy arrangements which allow them to do whatever the fuck they want with the bandwidth as long as they pay for it... Who guarantees that agreement will remain in place? The first time a Copowi user turns into a warez pup, what's to say the local DSLAMs won't just "dry up?"

    Cute idea. I wish it could work. Ain't gonna survive in our current sad state of Intellectual-Property-uber-alles, especially when one single entity owns the last mile in just about every jurisdiction of this country. Sure, I'd like to start up my own "I don't give a fuck" ISP, too. If only I owned a fiber run to everybody's house, it would be a piece of cake.
    • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @02:44AM (#20301497) Journal
      My guess is they pay the ISP more money so the traffic isn't throttled back. The telecom industry has been doing this illegally for years. Remember in the 1990s when there were hundreds of ISPs to chose from? Now how many are left?

      I wonder what would happen if the public works water and sewer companies tried to do this? Maybe have 2 year contracts and charge by flush and you must pay a surcharge if you move for money they would lose? Pay it or shit in your backyard in an outhouse?

      I view the telecom industry as no different here since the lines are tax payer owned and paid for.

      • by lucas teh geek ( 714343 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @04:44AM (#20302081)
        see that would never fly, but not because it's entirely different (it's not, i agree with you on that), but because the luddites in power understand that water is an essential service. they understand that they need water to have a shower in the morning, and they need water to flush their toilet. but the internet... in their minds nobody NEEDS the internet, after all isnt it all just porn and email? why is that important? (their thinking, not mine)
        • I'd have agreed with you. Now? I think you underestimate just how much people have realized that Internet access is important to their lives, even if it isn't a technical 'necessity' in most cases. It's much like cell phones: they used to be regarded as merely a convenience (and an ostentatious one at that) but now you are the weirdo on the block if you don't have one, a crazed luddite. I think the same is basically true now about e-mail and Google access.

          • by Znork ( 31774 )
            "It's much like cell phones"

            Cell phones? Cell phones you can still easily do without.

            A more valid comparison would be to say it's much like books. Or libraries. Or an education. Saying that internet access isnt important is like saying knowing anything isnt important.

            Cell phones are still just mostly a convenient way of communicating when you happen to be away from the internet (altho that may change in the coming merger between cellphone and computer/network tech).

            The internet, on the other hand, is a para
            • You misunderstand. I'm not saying that cell phones *are* important or necessary. I'm saying that, as opposed to five years ago, the general sentiment of the public has come to regard them as important and perhaps necessary. There are in fact many occupations now where you would not maintain your employment if you were not accessible by phone or e-mail; it is a social and employment expectation of access. That was what the original post was about: the supposed inability of the general public to identify int

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        lines are tax payer owned and paid for.

        Perhaps in some places, but certainly not at the telco where I work. All the lines were installed by the construction workers employed the telco where I work. The taxes account for over half the phone bill, but we don't get get anything out of it.

        I doubt many of the lines are actually owned by tax payers. I'm sure that's the case in some places, but I would guess most of it is privately owned and privately paid for.

        • In your case, than the Telco most likely got two benefits.

          A local monopoly , and a nice hefty tax break to do the work.

          I have one choice for local phone service. One choice for local cable service. If I want something else or am unhappy with either setup I get hacks that don't work quite right, or are dependent on one of those two services to make work.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by rmadmin ( 532701 )
            Go to a city council meeting and encourage them to build a municipal telecom. I work for a muni telecom. Telephone, CableTV (Digital/HD too), and Internet (dial-up, cable, rural wireless). Even though we don't have the lowest prices, and the highest speeds, we still have 80% market share. You don't have to put up with a monopoly. ;)
      • Where I live, (France) already happens. Water consumption is metered, and includes a charge for treatment costs as well.
        Common throughout Europe. So yup, the more you shit, shave and shower, the more you pay...

        • This is common in the U.S. as well. In fact, except for places that have well and septic systems (which effectively are just "shitting in your backyard," only in a sanitary way), I think most places in the U.S. have metered service.

          And it's a good thing, too. I've heard stories from places where service isn't metered -- it's just a flat rate paid by everyone in town -- and it's a terrible idea. It doesn't give the water company any incentive to fix leaks (because they just take the total cost of all the wat
      • It's funny how this conversation goes. You're talking about the internet as a kind of important infrastructure, but mostly people talk about it as a business service. You're describing AT&T as running the roads while AT&T is trying to convince Congress that they're just running a taxi service. In general, I think people are failing to make the case that the Internet is infrastructure of the sort that the government should be involved. I'm not saying it's not infrastructure, but only that the ar

      • I wonder what would happen if the public works water and sewer companies tried to do this? Maybe have 2 year contracts and charge by flush and you must pay a surcharge if you move for money they would lose? Pay it or shit in your backyard in an outhouse?

        Notable is that where I grew up (suburbs of Chicago), the water/sewer billing system was that your sewer portion was double the water portion. If you used $50 worth of water one month, you got billed $100 for the sewer portion. Guess they couldn't find a

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by bakana ( 918482 )
      No I would not be willing to spend the extra money for net neutrality. Anymore no brainer questions you'd like to ask?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Isn't paying more for the full, neutral internet the very definition of a tiered internet... which is the exact opposite of network neutrality?
    • by COMON$ ( 806135 ) *
      Fiber Smiber. Physical lines could be crushed if an ISP would start working on a long distance wifi blanket of sorts. Given I am not a wireless Guru but we can push signals extraordinary distances pretty cheaply in comparison to fiber. Sure you can rave about security but there isnt much that is much more secure about lying cable underground unguarded.

      Would it be too much to start a mesh network in a city and have several pipes leading out of the city to the next location? Yes it would be costly but fa

  • Compared to Comcast, which is $30 (or more, I have no idea what their post-introductory rates are) for internet access that's theoretically 3 megs but more like 1.5, I'd gladly pay for Copowi.

    I'm on a college campus so I don't have to, but this could be nice when I leave, if I stay in the States.
    • 'that's theoretically 3 megs but more like 1.5'

      I guess it varies from area to area but on Comcast I pay for 8 and get it. Nothing is no ports are blocked, no slow torrents (or any other protocol).
    • I just canceled my DSL from Qwest, which was over $50/mo for "up to 7 Mbps" (actually about 5.5 Mbps). Now I have 6 Mbps service from Comcast, which is $20/mo for six months and then about $45/mo, and in practice it's a bit faster than 6 Mbps, thanks to "PowerBoost".
    • by symbolic ( 11752 )
      I use comcast, and although I don't do bit torrent, or download music or movies, I do spend a bit of time on YouTube. I've noticed that the service seems a bit sluggish now - sometimes I have to reload a page 2-3 times (or wait for who knows how long) in order for the video to actually start playing. This might be YouTube's problem, but with all the talk about net neutrality and throttling, I'm certainly wondering. My service (internet only) costs me $55/mo.
  • I would, but... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Yetihehe ( 971185 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @02:34AM (#20301429)
    I would. My family wouldn't. And it will be so with most of those "dark masses" we keep hearing about.
  • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @02:41AM (#20301475) Journal
    I was promissed by the telecom industry that this would never happen. They told us we would have cheaper rates with more bandwith. Its not like they lied to us just so they could rip us off on tax payer subsidized lines.

  • ah (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @02:43AM (#20301487)
    [mob voice] That's a nice internet you have there... would be a shame if anything happened to it... say me and my pals here will make sure no "accidents" happen... for a fee- what do ya say? [/mob voice]
  • How is it "net neutrality" if you have to pay extra lest your packets be lost? Sounds more like extortion to me. (or precisely the big telco version of "net neutrality").

    I also fail to see how the ISP can "guarantee" net neutrality. They can do nothing if their upstream provider decides to throttle some sites.
    • by volkris ( 694 )

      What about the concept of net neutrality is incompatible with a charge?

      Yes, you want internet service that has the quality of network neutrality... so you are being asked to pay for that feature. There's nothing contradictory in that.

      And extortion? Yeah, the same way McDonald's "extorts" money out of me when I ask for extra cheese.
  • A 7Mb/s connection isn't a bad deal at $60 in the US. I bet my roommates and I pay over 40 for our cable host (not my choice) at only 2Mb/s shared (it might be more, but I've never seen it go over that). Companies up the charges after the first 3-6 discounted months on annual subs.

    I looked at the company's site, and they don't do annual subscription deals, so I think they might have a hard time convincing new buyers, but it looks good for those wanting to jump ship off of restrictive providers.

    The free Ubun
  • The lower plans seem crappy, but the 7 MBPS for $60.00 isn't half bad, is it?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by the_arrow ( 171557 )
      The prices in USA really scares me.
      I am paying around $30 for 10Mbps, guaranteed, both directions. For around $50 I can get 100Mbps.
      • by Bob9113 ( 14996 )
        The prices in USA really scares me.
        I am paying around $30 for 10Mbps, guaranteed, both directions. For around $50 I can get 100Mbps.

        You think that's scary? You should try buying prescription drugs here.
      • The prices in USA really scares me.
        I am paying around $30 for 10Mbps, guaranteed, both directions. For around $50 I can get 100Mbps.

        I'm curious. You didn't name the country where you live. Are you also afraid of doing that?
      • by Barny ( 103770 )
        And I pay $130AU (around 100US) for 1.5Mb/s limited to 60GB/month plan that is, according to my isp, neutral.

        Of course I live in the 3rd world internet dictatorship of Australia, so its about right.

        Just to point out, the whole "net neutrality" thing is that data hosts pay more to get better tubes to their customers (wee, I love this analogy), why can't the client do the same? For fucks sake, the ISPs should be needing to change their pants at this thought, not only can they collect extra money from the serv
  • Um.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Spy der Mann ( 805235 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `todhsals.nnamredyps'> on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @03:00AM (#20301571) Homepage Journal
    isn't requiring a fee PRECISELY what Net Neutrality is against?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      You know what I would pay a fee for? My internet connection to actually be what I paid for! I never get the 'theoretical' maximum. In fact sometimes my webpages barely load. The fee I pay to get the 'supreme speed' should guarantee me that speed. Isn't that why I pay the extra $15 a month for the upgraded internet??
      • by QuantumG ( 50515 )
        Heh, next you'll be wanting some kind of quality of service guarantee. Why not just demand fiber to the home for $30/month.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Liinux ( 1051016 )

          Why not just demand fiber to the home for $30/month.
          That would be nice and isn't totally impossible. The big national Telco over here offers fiber to the home for the equivalent of $25 for a 0.25/0.25 line. A 10/10 line is $40 though and a 100/10 is $45.

          That doesn't inlude the cost to get the fiber actually installed, mind you, but when it is installed by someone it stays there and you can get these subscriptions.
    • Re:Um.... (Score:4, Informative)

      by dodobh ( 65811 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @03:33AM (#20301731) Homepage
      No. Network neutrality basically says "You paid for this bandwidth, use it as you like". Non-network-neutrality says "You paid for the bandwidth, but you can use it only for services we offer (or for connections to our partenrs. For anything else, here's a small fraction of your bandwidth".

      What the non-neutral offer does is basically say "We can give you unlimited traffic, but only at $SLOW speed and for broadband speeds, you only get partner access". Essentially, instead of raising prices, they are making additional plans and pushing everyone down the ladder.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Sorry, but we all pay for Internet access. Some pay more, some pay less, but we all pay.

      If we didn't, there would be no Internet. It's simple math -- even my little home network doesn't run unless I plug the switch in, thus using electricity and adding to my electric bill.

      We aren't even against paying more. I mean, nobody wants to -- classic NIMBY (Not In My BackYard) reflex -- but realistically, someone has to pay, and ultimately, we're better off if it's us.

      What we are against is all the bullshit that peo
  • Do the terms of service allow sharing your connection with your neighbors? Not having your ISP discriminate on the basis of what technology you're using or who you're connecting is a good thing, but do they discriminate against certain (legal) uses?
  • I read it as cowpi.


  • Aren't they still in the game? Did I miss something and they started shaping traffic? Otherwise this sounds 100% gimmick.
    • by 3waygeek ( 58990 )
      They're still in business -- I've been with them for 4-5 years now (ever since Telocity left the biz). However, Speakeasy's prices are a bit higher than these guys are promising.
  • by lanner ( 107308 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @03:24AM (#20301693)
    I'm sold on paying a little more for an ethical network operator, but they really can't deliver on their promise. This is because they don't own the hardware transport. And, ultimately, if the monopolies (both cable and telco) want to twiddle with my bits, they can do so all the way down to layer 1.

    Right now I have Qwest DSL in very-downtown Phoenix Arizona. I'm literally two blocks from the local baseball park. The only ISP options that I have are Qwest with an 7Mbps down/800Kbps up ADSL line or Cox with a 10Mbps down/1Mbps up DOCSIS cable line. That's the best that America can do in a major metro area, which is pretty crappy. I'm more unhappy with the upload than download. Covad just *might* have a DSLAM somewhere nearby, but they would still have to lease Qwest's copper 24 gauge pairs.

    You see, nobody else can own the lines that come to my home, and neither Qwest nor Cox are going to turn over their copper line that they buried for anything short of a court order. Other possible means of a communication media might be wireless radio, power lines, or (in the very-imaginative but more-possible-than-you-might-think spectrum), flushing a fiber optic line all the way down to the sewer system where it could be aggregated to some central point.

    ATM is a real technology that has the possibilities of taking that layer two connection and making it portable, rendering the layer 1 less relevant, but ATM is a train wreck of a technology. It works for some of Asia, where it is popular, but it's a really horrible standard. Unfortunately, ATM has really gone to hell in the USA. This is mostly due to the fault of the equipment manufactures who could not deliver reasonably priced hardware and software, the ATM specifications horrible requirements (cell overhead, the need for hardware switching, and the horrific unnecessarily-complicated standards), and the resulting bad taste left with network admins/engineers like myself who just don't think of it as viable any longer.

    In summary, I'm still screwed. I can't use BitTorrent for legit or illegal usage without having my rate limited and I can't serve up a decent website because of a crappy upload speed.
    • by jonwil ( 467024 )
      The thing about Covad though is that even though Qwest would still own the copper pair, Covad would own the DSLAM and the routers and IP hardware. Unless there is something else in there, Qwest never even touches your data at the IP level (and can't do anything nasty to it)
  • Two things:
    • If you have to pay someone not to do something that's harmful to me that's not "staying neutral". That's "accepting a bribe".
    • How are they guaranteeing that the other networks their traffic is routed through will play ball? Please correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I know it only takes one robber-baron to squat in the way and throttle traffic that displeases him / isn't paid for. Unless the ISP can prove that only their lines used from start to finish point their "net neutrality" fee means
    • Err, no, because it's not the same guys.

      It's sorta like this. Let's say there are two pubs in your neighbourhood:

      1. The Broken Bell, cheap, but treats their beer like it's a potted plant. They water it generously. And I wouldn't touch their stronger drinks if you value your eyesight. At any rate, what you actually get in that glass isn't what they advertised, by far, and not the quantity they advertised either.

      2. The Belching Hydra, doesn't do any of that crap, but, of course, then their prices are higher.
      • 3. Both of them are supplied by Budweiser, how do you distinguish between water diluted with water, and undiluted water?
  • by rm999 ( 775449 )
    Because the internet is currently neutral (at least by most ISPs). I won't pay more for something I already get - I'm not an idiot.

    Another example of a businessman using internet buzzwords to make a quick buck.
    • And the parent post is another example of a /.er painting the exploration of new markets, and the creation of competition, as a souless money-grabbing scheme.
      • by rm999 ( 775449 )
        How about instead of trolling you actually respond to what I said? If the internet is currently neutral (I am pretty sure it is), why should people pay extra for the level of service they currently get? And besides, how can a service provider control the neutrality of the entire internet?
        • How about instead of trolling you actually respond to what I said?

          I'm not trolling. I honestly believe that /. as a whole is extremely biased against businesses. If no-one provides a neutral net connection, it means market stagnation, with all the companies far too greedy to listen to the needs of the consumer. If someone goes out on a limb to offer a neutral net connection, pushing net-neutrality into the market place where it can compete and potentially prove itself, the companies are making a quick buck

          • but it it's at least good that it can decide.

            Or should that perhaps be: "it would be good if it could decide".

            Individual purchasing decisions in a free market are a great way to arrange transactions affecting individuals. What bothers me about net neutrality is that some decisions about network architecture may be made on a "typical consumer" basis. If the typical consumer turns out not to care about (or even not to understand) net neutrality then the option for an individual to choose net neutrality co

            • by Igmuth ( 146229 )
              Why would the ISP charge you $10 less for not using torrents, when they could add the restriction, while keeping your price the same. The they could (and likely would) charge $10 more for the people who want to use them.

              That being said, both of those concepts are actually a step closer to what I would like to see as a likely outcome of net neutrality: charge people for what they use. If i download 1 TB, charge me for 1TB. If I only download 50MB, charge me for that. If I want to request the highest QOS
  • ... isn't "paying for net neutrality" pretty much the same as "paying for a better service in a non-neutral net" ?

    And, still, how are they guaranteeing that the other networks my data travels through are also treating it neutrally ? They can't ? Oh well ...

    • by Asmor ( 775910 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @04:31AM (#20302001) Homepage
      The opponents of net neutrality are all about getting the content providers to pay, not the subscribers. Basically, Verizon et. al. are getting paid by the customer to provide a service: bandwidth. However, greedy bitch it is, Verizon wants to get paid by Google and other content providers for allowing them to provide content to their customers. See the issue here?

      To put it another way, let's say that I open an account with FedEx so that anyone can send me packages, and the shipping price will be billed to my account. However, FedEx sees me getting lots of packages from the Swiss Colony, and even though I'm already paying for the shipping, FedEx doesn't think its fair for the Swiss Colony to send me so much stuff without them getting yet another cut, so they threaten Swiss Colony to delay my delicious, delicious beef logs a couple weeks, "to ease congestion."
      • by volkris ( 694 )
        You talk like there's something wrong with that. There isn't.

        FedEx, in your simplistic analogy, is having trouble. The congestion is real, and it's hurting service. In fact, you've yourself have complained about the delays. So what's the company going to do? How's it going to afford to improve service?

        Well, it could raise the flat rate it's charging you for unlimited mail reception... but it knows that you're already annoyed at having to pay that much. Plus, Swiss Colony could pack their logs in smaller box
        • by aaronl ( 43811 )
          What? You either pay to ship a package with FedEx, or you pay for someone else to ship you a package with FedEx. At no time do both sides pay to ship a package.

          If FedEx needs more capacity to keep up with their shipping business, then they buy more capacity. In the short term, there might be delays, and this would cost them money in revenue, or they would realistically pay overtime instead. It may need to increase prices to pay for this upgrade, but probably won't, since that might lose them customers t
          • by volkris ( 694 )
            Where to begin...

            At no time do both sides pay to ship a package.

            Right... so? I'm not aware that FedEx offers a "pay for people to ship anything to you for free" plan, which is required for the analogy to work. So while we're talking about improving on an imaginary situation, what does it matter that the improvement is imaginary as well?

            It brings up another nonsensical piece of the NN crowd's argument: paying twice. Geez, they hammer that phrase into the ground and yet it's completely worthless. Not only is
      • I think that's "to ease indigestion"
      • by dkf ( 304284 )
        In the current ISP model, both customers and content providers already pay. In effect, both pay for connection to the backbone. (Yes, Google pay for their bandwidth.) But some ISPs think that they should get paid from both sides despite not being the backbone. That's wrong: they should ask their customers for the money instead. That the customers might instead say "I'll go elsewhere and get worse service for less cash!" is just tough. But that's the essence of a free market.

        The real problem is that the mark
        • by Asmor ( 775910 )
          Excellent point, I completely forgot to add that the content providers pay for bandwidth as well, and usually more strictly than consumers, to boot; I know my crappy vanity website has an actual bandwidth meter that I never even get close to, but AFAIK no US ISP has official bandwidth limits (de facto under the table limits, of course, are another story entirely...).

          Interestingly, a friend of mine in New Zealand often complains to me about how he's close to hitting his monthly bandwidth cap, after which he
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I think we should stop using the term specifically and dubiously introduced by greedy and 'entitled' driven telecoms monopolists in the US to confuse the issue.

    It's for telecom companies to come up with plans that attract paying consumers in a free market, not legislate about net neutrality and other spurious and self created issues to protect their effective monopolies in a broken US system.

    Sure there is a cost of business and infrastructure but isn't that why I am paying my telecom provider to connect me
  • Would you be willing to spend the extra bucks for network neutrality?

    No, because I get "network neutrality" for $49 / month at 100 Mbps here. :-p
    (advertised FOIS bandwidth; in reality and across the Atlantic more like 20-25 Mbps max)

    Ridiculous pricing. They need to get going at building FOIS networks since these are when in place far more cost efficient than those DSL lines.
    • Where do I have to move? I pay 60 bucks a month for a measly 1mbit (download. Upload is 256k, on a good day).
  • by mattr ( 78516 ) <.mattr. .at.> on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @08:18AM (#20302947) Homepage Journal
    Having started an ISP with famous investors too dumb to put their money where their mouth is I can tell you why I worry about these guys. Certainly, if you are on Comcast and can move to them, go for it. The problem is, you know that $200 Billion people are talking about? The 200 gigabucks that went up in smoke? Look this isn't Cheech and Chong. Money doesn't fly away. What if the big boys actually did invest in fiber and equipment, but they just don't want to roll it out unless they are dragged out and screaming? That's a lot of money. The big boys are waiting to see how far they can push it, and when something starts to look interesting, if they can they will smash it. Welcome to the ISP business.

    Now if these guys are going to try and tie in last mile people with great service and maybe value added (how about 2 free locally served movies a month, etc.) then they might have a future. Or if they could spam access to people wirelessly with some amazingly cheap technology, maybe. Maybe they could also have a chance if they are spinning off the hardware to someone else and they just have to sell "virtual" service. And maybe if they build a nationwide grassroots league (a federated little league if you will) peering with similar companies, they could even offer higher speeds and lower latency possibly. Or maybe if they could get some nice deals with municipalities or academia. Well maybe. I'd go with them if I was unhappy with my U.S. provider, though I'm not in the U.S. now, but long term? Their website says how it will be good for the long term. Personally, I've seen costs drop every 3 months, if it makes sense in the short term and you are getting really hassled with your ISP fine. But I think the only way to get good service is to legislate it. There are too many maybes, and too many big boys with big bank accounts who are just playing a cynical game until you show up on their radar.
  • Not Neutrality (Score:3, Insightful)

    by njfuzzy ( 734116 ) <ian.ian-x@com> on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @09:40AM (#20303699) Homepage
    This is not Net Neutrality. This is what Net Neutrality is trying to avoid-- A tiered Internet, where the people who pay more get unfettered access.
  • I thought the whole issue with net neutrality was being charged more for premium access based on content.

    Even if it's through different companies, you're still paying more for equal access to that content through this scheme. "pay more for Net Neutrality" is an oxymoron!
  • well, here (saskatchewan), 256Kb is $23, 1.5Mb is $35, and 7Mb (currently being rolled to 10Mb) is $70 and no caps or throttling as far as me or anyone else i know has been able to discover.

    regulation = good, competition = good, regulation+competition = f****** awesome for the consumer.
  • Surely if you have to pay extra for it then it's by definition not "net neutrality" after all? Seems to me that if people have to pay extra for it, you're creating the same kind of two-tier internet that net neutrality proponents despise!

    Still, a different kind of two-tier structure is exactly what I'm planning to offer sometime in the near future. For a fee, customers will receive access to a proxy server which blocks all known advertising servers (and quite likely, known malware servers as well). If
  • by Jtheletter ( 686279 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @10:46AM (#20304547)
    So let me get this straight, if we go with a major telco who throttles bandwidth to non-extorted - er, I mean non-partnered - sites then we have to pay them extra to really use all of our bandwidth. OR we can go with a company such as this one and... pay extra to use all of our bandwidth.

    This really hasn't gotten us very far. I'm glad that a company is doing this, it's much needed, and actually gives us a chance to vote with our wallets. But until someone who controls the lines offers a similar competitive plan I think we're going to be stuck with a lot of '6 of one, half dozen of the other' choices.
  • Yes - I would be; however, that would only encourage them to further raise the rates to do so, and break down the "Net Neutrality" fight. However, there is still the dilemma of how to do it and really win.
  • Not really. If filtering becomes odious elsewhere, yes. Otherwise, no. Right now, I don't see much point.
  • or will it be like my earthlink account, where I get anywhere up to 1.5MBPS? Right now I am getting about 800k, which is less than the 1.5MBPS they advertise. So, will this be a guarantee or an upto?
  • by MSTCrow5429 ( 642744 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @03:59PM (#20309599)
    That's not net neutrality. That's a private business with private property deciding how to allocate its bandwidth, just like anyone else. It's not the government taking private property by eminent domain, and forcing the private businesses to allocate bandwidth based on an "equal" basis, which is what net neutrality would do.

Loose bits sink chips.