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Major ISPs Threaten To Throttle Innovation and Slow Network Upgrades 286

An anonymous reader writes "In a letter released on Tuesday and addressed to the FCC chairman, a group of the U.S.'s top ISPs have warned that if the FCC re-classifies the internet as telecommunications, then innovation would slow or halt and network upgrades would be unaffordable. 'Under Title II, new service offerings, options, and features would be delayed or altogether foregone. Consumers would face less choice, and a less adaptive and responsive Internet. An era of differentiation, innovation, and experimentation would be replaced with a series of 'Government may I?' requests from American entrepreneurs.' They add, 'even the potential threat of Title II had an investment-chilling effect by erasing approximately 10% of some ISPs' market cap.' Ars Technica highlights earlier doomsday predictions by AT&T. The FCC is scheduled to vote May 15 on the chairman's recent proposal encompassing this reclassification option that the ISPs vehemently oppose." Reader Bob9113 adds that a protest is planned for the same day by those who oppose the FCC's plans.
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Major ISPs Threaten To Throttle Innovation and Slow Network Upgrades

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  • by stox ( 131684 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @08:26AM (#46998027) Homepage

    For quite some time now, according to data from the NCTA:

    http://www.vox.com/2014/5/12/5... [vox.com]

  • Let's Do This: (Score:5, Informative)

    by VortexCortex ( 1117377 ) <VortexCortex.project-retrograde@com> on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @08:48AM (#46998197)

    Remember MCI? Yes, tell us all about how much less competition we'll have when you're forced to compete on service instead of in disservice. Blow it out your interconnect. We've already been down this road. ISP definition of "competition" is how much more they can over charge for shit than their competitors without actually delivering service. Thus the throttling unless the endpoints pay even more for the shit they already paid for.

    ISPs are quadruple dipping: The website pays for access, the end user pays for access, OK, but then they charge extra for non-NATted IPs (hello, IPv6 exists) and unblocked ports ("business" class), and now they want to sell the websites "faster" access to the customers when we both already paid for that speed of access to each other, AND they want to put caps on the number of bits downloaded -- Hint: That's not how it works. They have to have the hardware to handle peak load, it doesn't matter if I suck in tons of gigs during off-peak time, caps are not about congestion, they're just yet another way to monetize. Not to mention "bursting" plans where they allow the first n-bytes of a download to come in fast, then throttle the shit out of it. "Up To X MB/s, (minimum 0 BAUD, yes Zero)", WTF. Damn, that's more that quadruple, but I lost count of how many dippings that is.

    Visit OpenCongress [opencongress.org] and locate your congress critters via zipcode. Politely call each of them and say, "I want the FCC to classify broadband Internet services providers as common carriers", and have them repeat it (a real person will answer, and they'll have written down your words). I also mention that it should be considered illegal anti-competitive business practices for municipalities to granted ISPs monopolies, and that breaking up said monopolies will allow new competition to flourish. You can leave a comment on Issue #14-28 [fcc.gov] via the FCC Comment Filing System. Contact the FCC by Email: openinternet@fcc.gov, or call the FCC comissioners [naruc.org] (but remember they're not beholden to voters). The most effective thing to do is write a letter to the editor mentioning your congressman's name and the net neutrality issue and send it to your local news outlet, that really gets their goat -- they care about the newspaper for some odd reason, maybe because old folks read it? Here's a petition [whitehouse.gov], but these don't do shit, really it's just the illusion of shit-doing.

    P.S. Here's a vid explaining the net neutrality issue. [youtube.com] Here's another more sarcastic and long winded vid on the subject. [youtube.com] and here's a video from an actual honest ISP. [youtube.com] (NSFW, for brutally honest language).

    Protip: Use a download accelerator [mozilla.org] to open multiple connections to the same file and trick the ISP into allowing you a faster speed. When the D/L starts getting throttled (hover to view the speed graph), pause it then unpause it and the speed goes back up (new connections = new "bursting" counter).

  • Re:Lies (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @08:53AM (#46998239)

    Just to add some data points. In the past 10 years in my area, Comcast has boosted their "blazing fast internet" from top-tier of 8Mbps to a whopping 50Mbps. Note that the fine print is "up to 50Mbps", meaning you might get that fast download if you try to download a pdf at 3am. The only competition here is CenturyLink, who also advertise "up to...", and generally fall very short. I had CL's 20Mbps, fastest I ever got was closer to 10. Not only are they dragging their heels in the name of profit, they are also great at getting away with false advertising.

  • by Torp ( 199297 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @09:28AM (#46998521)

    Here are some pricing examples for Romania, a backwards country somewhere in Eastern Europe.

    I pay about $25/month for 40 mbits on a so-called "bussiness" connection - at this price of course "bussiness" means no SLA, but it does mean unmetered traffic and the freedom to run any service i want on that wire.
    I also pay about $30/month for 200 mbits on fiber, plus IPTV plus a voice line (not sure of the conditions on voice, I don't really use it). This is a home connection, but it's also unmetered. I think I can't do SMTP through it, but no other restrictions.

    This is what happens when you have a little real competition. Everyone has access to at least two out of cable and DSL. Which are no longer cable and DSL, but fiber.

    You're going to give me the age old argument that the US is much larger and more spread out, but we have residential suburbs as well, and they get... guess... ethernet and/or fiber :)

  • by kilfarsnar ( 561956 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @09:36AM (#46998575)

    PRISM compliant as in custom ASICs mandatory to be stamped on all new logic boards (motherboards, routers, etc)?! That's next. They will be silent sentinels listening in on the bus. Speed and performance will be sacrificed for homeland security.

    What? You actually think the heroes in office know anything about what they regulate?! Man, you haven't a fucking clue what those monkeys in office do.

    How did we get from ISP's being regulated like utilities to government mandating what gets printed in circuits? Does the FCC mandate how electrical transformers are built?

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @10:10AM (#46998839) Homepage

    "One of the first things I would do as a mid-range ISP it analyse where most of my customers go on the internet. Then approach those data locations, cap in hand and negotiate mirroring and a data storage farm, so the by far the bulk of the traffic is from the data farm to the end user. "

    We used to do this back in the @home broadband days. we had servers in major headends that were mirror serves for places like download.com and other services that had high traffic. Most of the time it was simply a reciprocal agreement because we both benefited from it. This was in the old times when Businesses were ran by honest people.

    Today we have dishonest crooks like you have running Comcast who want to use extortion on everything. If they were honest in any way they would have formed an agreement with netflix to host mirror servers or add in a dedicated pipe to netflix regional servers to each region.

    Instead they prefer to be dishonest dirtbags and try to act like organized criminals. the solution is heavy handed regulation like forcing common carrier status. The had decades of time to play nice, they dont want to, so fuck em all.

  • by ganjadude ( 952775 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @10:45AM (#46999097) Homepage
    it sure seems as if the only time there is "competition" is when google threatens to put fiber in a city, anything else the cant be bothered
  • by AnontheDestroyer ( 3500983 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @11:17AM (#46999333)

    Wages have been dropping, that's one reason everything is outpacing it. I highly recommend the movie "Inequality for All," available on Netflix. It sums up the problem the middle-class has been facing since the '80's, quite well. The middle-class tried to compensate by, 1) women working, 2) longer hours, 3) debt, and the housing crisis blew that up.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982