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I, Cringely Net Neutrality will die, so let's take the profit out of ki...

 5 years ago
source link: https://www.cringely.com/2017/11/22/15471/
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Net Neutrality will die, so let’s take the profit out of killing it.

paidevil.jpgThe U.S. Federal Communication Commission, under the leadership of chairman Ajit Pai, will next week set in motion the end of Net Neutrality in the USA. This is an unfortunate situation that will cause lots of news stories to be written in the days ahead, but I’m pretty sure the fix is in and this change is going to happen. No matter how many protesters merge on their local Verizon store, no matter how many impassioned editorials are written, it’s going to happen. The real question is what can be done in response to take the profit out of killing it?  I have a plan.

The concept of Net Neutrality is bound in the idea that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are common carriers like the phone company. Phone companies like to claim they have no knowledge of — and therefore no responsibility for — the words that are carried over their phone lines. They serve Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Russian Embassy alike — just as long as both pay their phone bills. Tony Soprano and Tony Stark are the same in phone company eyes. And this is true of the Internet, too, at least for the next month or so, because the FCC under President Obama declared Internet Service to be a common carrier. That’s about to change, and with it the requirement that all Internet bits be treated equally. People who are willing to pay more will soon get measurably quicker Internet service. And big bandwidth users like Amazon and Netflix will have to pay more to avoid having their signals slowed down.

How bad it will actually be is anyone’s guess, but we’re likely to not notice very much initially. It’s only later when we’re all mainly worrying about Justin Bieber marrying Selena Gomez that the ISPs will first raise Hulu’s bill and then ours. It’s just a dollar per month, they’ll say. But do the math and for residential service alone that’s $1.5 billion per year in pure profit just from consumers, with as much or more also taken from video streamers and the like.

We are being depended upon to act like sheep — Internet browsing sheep, if such exist — and without a plan that’s exactly what we’ll be.

The key to my plan is that this is a rare instance where consumers are not alone. There are just as many or more huge companies that would prefer to keep Net Neutrality as those that oppose it. It’s just that the telcos and ISPs are more entrenched and have more political power.  Those companies in favor of Net Neutrality obviously include the big streamers like Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, YouTube and a bunch of others. They also includes nearly every big Internet concern including Google, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft. Those are some pretty big friends to have on your side — our side.

The problem has been that, other than complaining to Congress, there has been no possible joint action that could bring all the pro-Net Neutrality players together. Netflix isn’t going to boycott Comcast and if Comcast is your best ISP option neither are you.

So I suggest we all join ZeroTier (ZT), a thriving networking startup operating in Irvine, California. There are other companies like it but I just think ZeroTier is presently the best.

ZeroTier is a very sophisticated Virtual Private Network (VPN) company that has created a Software Defined Network (SDN) that goes beyond what normal VPNs are capable of. To your computer or almost any other networked device (even your smart phone), ZT looks like an Ethernet port, whether your device has Ethernet or not. Through that virtual Ethernet port you connect to a virtual IPv6 Local Area Network (LAN) that’s as big as the Internet itself, though the only users on this overlay network are ZT members.

The trick is to get all those big companies that are pro-Net Neutrality to join ZT. The most it will cost even Netflix is $750 per month, which is probably less than the company spends on salad bars in their Los Gatos HQ. Embracing ZT doesn’t mean rejecting the regular Internet. Netflix can still be reached the old fashion way. I just want them to add a presence on ZT, too.

All it would cost them is $750 per month because what they are buying is code and support, not bandwidth.

There is a fair chance watching Netflix or Hulu or YouTube over ZT would actually be faster with less rebuffering. ZT does a good job of eliminating your home router as a speed bump, for one thing, and it can enable an end-to-end bufferbloat solution as well. So this is not a sacrifice for anyone. And joining ZT for individuals is completely free.

Once all the video companies are on ZT, followed by social media and search, (don’t forget gaming!), that’s probably 80 percent of all Internet bandwidth. Then what happens if California and New York tell all the banks and all their vendors and contractors that the states will only communicate over ZT, which is after all far more secure? Then everything goes ZT.

The FCC is worried about states trying to implement Net Neutrality on their own, but that’s not what I just described. This wouldn’t be the states attempting to regulate carriers at all, just the people with whom the states do business. Even then it would be voluntary.

And it could all happen in a month — as much time as it will take the FCC to kill Net Neutrality.

What the ISPs won’t like about this plan is that ZT traffic can’t be read to determine what rules or pricing to apply. They could throttle it all down, but throttling that much traffic isn’t really practical. And it doesn’t yield any premium revenue.

Or they could prohibit VPNs entirely except that’s exactly what we’ve spent the last decade criticizing China for doing.

What’s different here is that VPNs or SDNs have always been viewed as the enemy by media companies. But in this instance ZT is their friend, saving money, keeping the ISPs in line, and generally making the whole Internet work better.

133 Comments

  1. Jennie Lambert November 22, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    Hey, look the comments are working now!

    • David November 26, 2017 at 11:42 pm

      Not sure what to make of this comment section. Perhaps Mark Stephens does not care what is written here, but since this site gets some traffic, it’s worth noting that his “Mineserver” scam is still up and running:

      http://mineserver.com/

      Yes, the word “scam” is a bit harsh – and perhaps Mr. Stephens can provide a simple and verifiable explanation for what may be an unfortunate turn of events, that could not be foreseen in advance. But given his latest explanations, why is he still accepting money for new orders, now that he’s admitted they are not able to ship the product that was promised?

      More importantly, why are these non-existent products still being promised to new customers, who can still order from his fully-operational web site?

      There is no indication on his “Mineserver.com” web site that the products don’t exist, nor that they aren’t shipping, and his site will gladly take a credit card number and charge a payment of $99 (or $199 for the “Pro” version), with the implied promise that the ordered product will ship upon receipt of the order.

      Can someone please explain how taking funds outside of Kickstarter on his own WordPress site, for products that simply don’t exist, is not outright fraud?

      Where on his “Mineserver.com” site does it state that the customer is participating in a Kickstarter-style “product lottery”, and therefore should not have any expectation (legal or otherwise) of receiving a product?

      Mr. Stephens is about to start a third year with no credible explanation of what is happening to the funds he is receiving for new product orders.

      One has to ask – does his web site continuing to charge credit cards for non-existent products constitute an ongoing criminal enterprise?

      Where I’m from, we call this type of thing “snake oil”.

      Perhaps the local district attorney could attach some additional descriptive terms to his “business”?

    • Ed December 6, 2017 at 1:04 am

      ZT costs at least $29 a month. I just checked.

      • Michael December 6, 2017 at 8:33 am

        $29 for ticketed support and unlimited devices instead of 100 [+ unlimited if you make your own hardware].

        So free seems perfectly usable.

    • Ronc December 27, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      Not now. Just tried to post at the end.

      • Ronc December 30, 2017 at 6:29 pm

        Testing for 5-min editing window.

        • Ronc December 30, 2017 at 6:31 pm

          No editing window.

  2. John November 22, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    I don’t quite get this, perhaps I’m just not a network geek.
    .
    Even a VPN has to be implemented over some physical infrastructure. Seems to me that’s what Comcast, Verizon, et al do have, namely the actual cables/fiber into homes. So does ZeroTier have its own large backbone pipes? Okay if it does, then what about a user in a random location actually connecting to ZeroTier? Wouldn’t that user still have to go over Comcast/Verizon, etc. to get to ZeroTier? So are you leaving the last mile to the sharks?
    .
    Just confused.

    • stefs November 22, 2017 at 2:23 pm

      john, if i understand this right the difference is that the carrier (who owns the pipes) can’t analyze the traffic and thus can’t determine if a connection goes to netflix, google, whatsapp, amazon, example.org or yeoldeinternetshoppe.com. thus they can’t enforce selective pricing, which is what the end of net neutrality is about.

      • B November 22, 2017 at 6:23 pm

        But then you’re just moving the problem. Now ZeroTier can analyze traffic and discriminate themselves

        • Kees November 22, 2017 at 10:50 pm

          ZeroTier cannot analyze traffic. That’s the way it works. The traffic is peer to peer and not through some centralized controller or device. The ZeroTier ‘controller’ (which might be your own) is only needed to initialize peer to peer secure traffic. That’s similar to a dns server, which also doesn’t sit in the middle of your connections, but just tells you how to contact the other device/server.

      • anon November 27, 2017 at 7:43 am

        Not true. The source and destination is know, but the payload (data) in encrypted…

      • Scott Schrader January 1, 2018 at 10:59 am

        so if an ISP REALLY wanted to be evil and force a larger check, they would hit a wall analyzing encrypted or VPN-tagged traffic, and drop it to priority zero. “Nice little beartrap ya stumbled into there, buddy, looks like ya needs a little… insurance.”

        • John January 3, 2018 at 11:28 am

          False. The point of the argument is that if a large majority of internet users are subscribed, they couldn’t just set the priority to zero without aggravating all their subscribers.

  3. Max November 22, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    Could there be an instance where having ZeroTier within a company like netflix would backfire if the ISP found out that they are using a VPN?

    • Scott Schrader November 23, 2017 at 6:55 am

      an ISP could decide under these rules that they should drop all VPN traffic to a priority-0. or block them all. it could be as simple as “if you’re not in our user list, and not using one of our secondary VLANs in your tag zone packet, DIE!”

      they’ll have to hire extra janitors to sweep up all the dropped 1s and 0s off the floor, but that’s one way ZT… and all of the traffic of business travelers working remotely… get penalized for not playing by BigBit’s rules.

      • Simon Hibbs November 24, 2017 at 3:59 am

        Banning VPNs would also block anyone using the internet to work from home. That would cause the biggest political shitstorm in business history. Every company CEO in the country, and beyond, would be calling the Whitehouse directly.

  4. Steve Nicks November 22, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    Within a month’s time you want to migrate 80% of the internet to this alternate solution on a grassroots budget of “spread the word?” You’re crazier and more delusional than I thought. Get your head out of the clouds, Bob. You can’t propose this at the 11th hour to the US at large as any notion of being a viable solution. If you believe this would work then you’re more far gone than I think even your Mine Server backers would claim…

  5. Russ November 22, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    I fear this is too complicated for mass use. I’m not a newbie but I’m already a bit confused what ZT is and how I install/use it. I’ve already discovered they don’t support chromebooks (yet) although you might be able to use it via an android app (which I can’t use).

    • Steve Nicks November 22, 2017 at 2:21 pm

      @Russ Agreed. I also worry how ZT would ever handle scaling in such a short amount of time to accommodate the large influx of users.
      .
      The ISPs have built their infrastructure over decades, something which I am left to assume this startup lacks. Sure they may have enough to wet their toes and get a taste for the action, but if we all flocked over there I doubt they could handle that.

    • Kees November 22, 2017 at 11:31 pm

      It’s probably too complicated for end users to run their own ZeroTier (virtual) network. But that’s not what Bob is aiming at (if I understand him well). The idea is that companies / service providers / … use ZeroTier to create their own virtual infrastructure where they are in control who can access what and how. Such that they are not dependent on some sort of speed restriction or qos setting that’s imposed by the physical network provider.

  6. MrWindows November 22, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    Net Neutrality is a bad thing because it essentially socializes intrnet service.
    The internet i not some free spigot of data just waiting for you to turn it on. I know most supporters would like you to think so.
    The internet is a utility much like water and electricity. The more you use, the more you should pay. Why should AT&T subsidize Netflix traffic originating from Level3? Netflix traffic, and video traffic in general, has obviously exploded, but in order to get that data fr9m the Netflix server to your TV, it has to traverse many transmission lines and routers. Level3 doesn’t own every network segment between their data center and your house, so, they have to have an agreement with a peer to carry that traffic the last mile or 400. If they decide they don’t want to pay AT&T, how is Ma Bell supposed to pay for the upgrades to their network in order for you to get your video from Netflix? It is a business, after all. You can be sure Level3 has made a significant investment in the routers and switches in their data center, and their customers, like Netflix, helped pay for that. If you needed a lot more electricity to run your business, you can be sure that you would be paying for the upgraded transformer installation, and the eletric company would be happy to upgrade the transmission lines feeding your business, because they will be getting the increasedrevenue from your increased usage.

    • Blefescue November 22, 2017 at 4:42 pm

      Net neutrality is not about charging according to data use. It is about ISPs creating different data rates for different data sources or simply not providing sources that they choose to block. Without net neutrality, if an ISP is associated with a particular source of movies or music, it can give streams from their source priority and throttle down other sources if they even permit them at all. Since many consumers do have only one choice for ISP, or at most two, then the ISP becomes like a cable company -you won’t pay for access to the internet, you will pay for a package of sources that are supported by your ISP. You may have to pay a premium for other sources and be completely unable to access sources that the ISP chooses not to provide.

      The fact is that the big ISPs have a successful business model that they are trying to make more profitable, not by providing better service but by rent seeking.

    • Scott Schrader November 23, 2017 at 6:58 am

      The Community, as it was freely called back when I was one vote of thousands to open the use of The Connected Internet to commercial use, owns the net. The rules under which it still operates, through the sifting process of committee, still call for equal access.

      we rule, ye fool. you can block all the puke-yellow cars off the roads where you live, but as many repressive societies have found, clever users almost always find a way to connect around the roadblocks.

    • Pierre Houston November 23, 2017 at 4:07 pm

      “The internet is a utility much like water and electricity. The more you use, the more you should pay.” That’s totally compatible with network neutrality.

      Speaking of the Netflix example, when bandwidth between peer networks become out of balance due to a gorilla like Netflix, there should be rules that allow compensation between those backbone networks. If that isn’t allowed now, rules should be amended to allow that, but that doesn’t mean throwing out all the regulations that are intended to keep the internet working the same way its worked from the beginning.

      What killing network neutrality means is that ISP can charge me more so I can use all my purchased bits and bandwidth streaming Netflix without having to pay extra for a Netflix package, or more harmfully, downloading Linux distros without having to pay for an unlimited package that gives me un-throttled access to smaller sites that don’t pay kickbacks to my ISP.

      Killing network neutrality means ISP’s can sell internet sites to the consumer in tiers and packages like cable TV, and sell consumers to internet sites like how an ad network sells users to advertisers, and end up increasing the price for neutral access which we have now.

    • Simon Hibbs November 24, 2017 at 4:05 am

      If The m watching Netflix the video data isn’t being paid for by Netflix it’s being paid for by me. I paid for the internet connection, the contract is between me and the ISP. I’m entitled to that bandwidth and the ISP has no business whatsoever going behind my back and making some side deal with anyone else to interfere or not interfere with that traffic. If they want to throttle it or put it through a special fast lane, or not, they talk to me. Not Netflix, not anyone else. This is about basic consumer rights and protection to ensure ordinary consumers get what they paid for and are entitled to.

      • Pete November 26, 2017 at 11:29 pm

        @Simon, it’s a little more complicated. You pay your ISP to get the bits from their network to your home/office/phone. You also pay Netflix to produce the bits and Netflix pays the ISP to get the bits from Netflix HQ to (and through) the ISP’s network.

        For the Netflix case, yeah, you’re ultimately paying the entire cost of your slice of the service. For services like Youtube/FB/Twitter, etc., the advertisers are paying for a big chunk of it.

        I’m not sure if that changes the debate at all. I just wanted to clarify the situation.

    • Round Boy November 24, 2017 at 12:07 pm

      One minor problem with this theory; ISP’s don’t generate content like electric companies generate electricity, they’re merely letting it go through their lines. The cost difference for providing 10mb or 100mb of data is negligible and since the vast majority of us (probably 95%) don’t begin to use the bandwidth we pay for the big ISP’s don’t need to screw us any more than they already are.

      • Scott Schrader January 1, 2018 at 11:03 am

        the cost to build out backbone connectivity is becoming nasty. yeah, if you had ten petabyte trunkage in place and optical routers capable of ten times that, your theory is plausable. that is not the real world. the real world is that once you finish paralleling two ten-gig trunks, which is all the router lets you do, they are full. $50,000 a card only lets you do so much, and then it’s forklift-upgrade time. and again. and again….

    • Jim Wilson November 26, 2017 at 8:22 am

      The last-mile-ISPs (Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, et.al.) are charging for both bit capacity and delivery speed in my monthly ISP bill. I’ve already paid for all those Netflix bits to be downloaded to me so long as they fit within my capacity plan. Why should I have to pay for them twice? . . . . once to have them downloaded (current ISP bill) and once to have them uploaded to my last-mile-network (post net-neutrality ISP bill)?

    • Bodhi Zappone November 26, 2017 at 7:29 pm

      It’s more like charging you more for washing your hands rather than gardening your flowers

    • Gary November 27, 2017 at 1:32 pm

      Netflix already pays for the lines it needs from Level3… consumers already pay for the Netflix service. This is just a matter of everyone else dipping into what they deem as a profit point. Users already pay for the internet and their speeds and in most cases are throttled and capped (unfortunately). Net Neutrality is a good thing… we’re not China. We’ll find a way to get around sniffers and passed on traffic fees… or simply stop using the internet. How about going after the Ad market – they pollute the internet. Bottom line is…. we need no police and no profiteers sucking from what the people have created… the internet.

  7. Matt Anderson November 22, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    @MrWindows

    So as we currently have Net Neutrality, you seem to be saying that this has stopped AT&T from building its current infrastructure and making a profit while servicing traffic from the likes of Netflix. As this is obviously false, it follows that the rest of your argument is also false. You need to try much harder.

  8. doot November 22, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Good thread on this on hacker news . .

  9. fustian November 22, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Net neutrality has never made much sense to me.

    It’s always sounded to me like “grocery store neutrality”, where no matter how many groceries you carry home, or what the quality is, everybody pays the same for food. Bad idea?

    The argument Mr. Cringely seems to be making is that ISP’s will not ever increase their prices unless we give up net neutrality. But that doesn’t make much sense.

    Unless…

    The ISP’s decide that major investment in capacity makes no sense since all the profits will go to Netflix and their like.

    • Jeff Dickens November 22, 2017 at 8:25 pm

      This is gigantically wrong because the ISPs are already hugely profitable. They just want to corner the market on content. Separation of concerns is always more efficient. If they really competed on quality of service on delivering bandwidth the best service would demand the best price. But honest competition is not what they want. They want to cheat.

      • Scott Schrader November 23, 2017 at 7:02 am

        as the stream and search traffic grows past 50% of all traffic carried on Da ISH, it is becoming fantastically expensive for carriers to keep up with it. thus has been born the civil war of “who’s buying the roadway.” carriers want the traffic originators to choke out for the infrastructure. originators say, hey, we already bought the ten-gig lines, we pay our monthly bills, butt out. you sold it, you service it.

        this is as much about choking down the traffic until it fits the switch infrastructure as anything.

  10. Q November 22, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    I didn’t understand this either. I don’t see how it helps me. I visited the ZeroTier website and there is no indication of what web sites I’d be able to access. So I’d be paying $30 extra a month to get what? I still have to have an ISP, don’t I? Does it somehow give me extra bandwidth so that I could go to a cheaper plan? But in any case, what keeps my ISP from raising my rates? I am by no means a network expert but more so than the average Joe, and if the benefits are this unclear to me, I don’t see enough consumers signing up to make any difference to anything. Maybe ZeroTier will read this post and suddenly get all consumer-oriented but they sure aren’t now — and could they even handle it if a large number of people suddenly signed up? I notice also that you missed the chance to say you don’t own stock in ZT.

    • Friends With Benefits November 22, 2017 at 3:23 pm

      It’s Bob, of course he owns stock in it or at least has a friend invested in it. He doesn’t make blanket advertisements pro bono unless it benefits him somehow.

  11. Drake November 22, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    MrWindows, the problem with your argument is that the end of Net Neutrality means ISPs can double-dip. They’re already charging the consumer for Internet access — if you want 100Mbps/25Mbps at your home or business, you pay more than for 25/10. The big companies are also paying providers for their access to Internet backbones. But now, even though Netflix is (for example) paying Level 3 for service, Comcast can essentially extort more money out of them to reach Comcast’s customers in a timely manner. They’re charging their customers, and then turning those customers into their product, and charging *for* their customers. There are huge conflicts of interest there.

    It’s even worse if you’re a startup company with a great idea that requires real-time connectivity. Let’s say you just dreamed up the next Skype-killer/VoIP-killer/YouTube-killer. You pay for your backbone, but you would also have to pay an array of ISPs whatever they wanted in order to reach all consumers quickly.

    This would roughly be like paying your monthly cell bill to AT&T, but also bills to Verizon, T-Mobile & Sprint just because people using their cell phones called you.

    The above is just the “rational capitalist” scenario. ISPs could essentially become their own Great Firewalls of China, slowing down or blocking sites they don’t like. Imagine if Fox News, or Alibaba, bought Spectrum or Comcast. I don’t think the FCC would block a merger like that anymore …

    • fustian November 22, 2017 at 4:33 pm

      Mr. Drake: If your ISP double dips like that in ways not justified by their costs, an ISP that doesn’t do that has a good chance to steal their business. This, of course, is why we try to keep from having monopolies. As for your startup company, if their business model cannot support the cost structure necessary to reach customers, it ISN’T a youtube killer. It’s just another wannabe that needs to be subsidized heavily to survive.

      • Matt November 22, 2017 at 4:58 pm

        @fustian

        Is it really that hard to not confuse consumption quantity with service level?

        “grocery store neutrality” – As a comparison would have nothing to do with how many groceries you carry home. The correct comparison would be more like some people pay more or less for the same grocery off the same shelf based on the store’s whims. Unlike the old days where stores paid for goods and then sold them, in big stores today the vendors pay for the store for the shelf space. While location on the shelf may drive cost, the store doesn’t charge Coke and Pepsi different prices for the same shelf location and quantity.

        ISP Monopolies – Having more than one provider is a great idea. Having or removing neutrality has nothing to do with the reasons that most US consumers only have one choice. It would be better to solve the reasons they only have one choice BEFORE we remove the consumer protections that are required when there is only a single provider. Double dipping is EXACTLY what the ISP wants to do, AT&T has said as much.

        electricity, water, roads, phone costs – They all do cost the same for the same for the same service level. A business pays more because it uses more. Using the same amount of water a farm and a house would easily pay the same amount. Net Neutrality has NOTHING to do with an ISP being able to have usage instead of only speed based billing. Existing plans with caps are an example of this already.

        Do you have an example that doesn’t confuse the issue and uses an actual reason that eliminating neutral service is a good idea? Perhaps if the phone company decides it doesn’t like you and simply stops ringing your phone whenever someone calls you, even though you have a valid phone number. That’s an easy example of a non neutral action.

        • fustian November 23, 2017 at 4:36 am

          But this IS a capacity issue. Serving up a couple of web pages takes very little capacity. Real time streaming of 4K video is a very different kettle of fish. And who’s richer? Your local ISP or google and youtube?

          • Matt November 24, 2017 at 8:05 am

            Are you trying to be obtuse, or do you just not understand the difference still?

            Netflix/Youtube/Google/Amazon/Content provider X all ALREADY pay a huge amount to get their network traffic from their servers to a common Internet exchange. Consumers pay their ISP for “Internet Access”, which should mean access to that same Internet exchange. The ISP has chosen to sell this based on speed, sometimes with a capacity cap, but they can sell this access however they please using whatever metric they want and it’s all still neutral.

            The issue that neutrality is protecting is that the ISP can’t restrict who you connect to at the exchange. That the ISP cannot redefine their entire network as the exchange instead (since it’s not and is only the customers this one ISP serves) and then charge the content provider for access to the ISP customers. Those customers ALREADY paid for access to the exchange and the content provider ALREADY paid for access to the exchange. Both parties have ALREADY paid for the service. The new charge the ISP wants is to sell a second time for something that’s already been sold. Turning the ISP consumer into a product that they get to sell to the content provider. This adds no value to anyone and is simply extracting cost because of the limited number of broadband ISP providers. Removing neutrality does NOTHING to change that competitive landscape. Neutrality is the fix required until the issues hampering competition can be overcome.

            Neutrality has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the quantity of data coming from one entity to another. The quantity as all already been paid for by both sides.

    • Ronc December 9, 2017 at 5:08 pm

      Mr Windows has a good point when he says “It’s really about what THEIR service provider pays YOUR service provider.” This problem was temporarily solved years ago through peering arrangements, under which service providers do not charge each other, since it was assumed that traffic will flow equally across the boarder between any two service providers. With Netflix, that’s no longer the case. So the question becomes whether all the customers of an ISP should pay for down stream system upgrades caused by users of Netflix, or just the Netflix users, socialization of costs vs precise allocation of costs. No one really gets truly unlimited data at prime time at a fast enough speed to drive all their 4K TVs, simply because no one wants to pay for it, forcing the ISPs to use caps and prioritization to allocate the available resources. While Net Neutrality sounds like common sense, it basically forces all subscribers to pay for the bandwidth waste that goes with streaming the same bits to each and every device, across the internet, over and over, as is the case with IPTV in general. At the very least, popular content should be cached locally by the ISP, then downloaded, not streamed, to every display device that wants it. In the case of Netflix, their subscribers should somehow pay for the system upgrades, caching, and any prioritization needed to to display their content properly, at both ends of the internet link. If they don’t, then non-subscribers will be subsidizing subscribers, and paying for the resource waste that goes with IPTV as it’s currently implemented.

  12. David November 22, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    You are assuming the carriers will prioritise traffic according to its type. This does not work if there are multiple companies sending the same type of traffic. What if the carriers choose to prioritise it by its IP address? So anything originating at Netflix will be deprioritised.

    • fustian November 23, 2017 at 6:59 am

      And just how many customers are going to stay with an ISP that won’t give them access to netflix? Unlikely.

      • slap November 24, 2017 at 10:26 pm

        Most don’t have more than one broadband provider available, so they don’t have a choice.

        • Cris E December 11, 2017 at 1:50 pm

          This. Even if you have more than one choice, chances are you only have two. As currently evolved in most markets, this industry is incredibly vulnerable to abuse. I can’t wait to see how Gentle Comcast comes to my rescue the next time my contract is up…

  13. David November 22, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    @MrWindows If net neutrality is socialising the Internet, is the phone system, roads, etc socalised? Do big companies have to pay extra for you to ring them? Do big companies have to pay more for their salesmen to drive down the road? Of course not. The Internet is the same.

    • MrWindows December 6, 2017 at 7:48 am

      As some of the other people commenting have tried to point out, it’s not about whether you have paid for your 100Mbit service. It’s also not about whether NetFlix paid their service provider.
      It’s really about what THEIR service provider pays YOUR service provider.
      To cary on the highway analogy, when you order a book from Amazon, it may come from a local warehouse. It would get packed into a box, put on a truck, and delivered to your house, possibly through another distribution level such us USPS, UPS or some other local delivery service provider (leaving out the whole drone delivery argument). That local warehouse and those local service providers (and you) pay for the infrastructure of roads to get that book to your house, throughy property and fuel taxes. The more those roads are used, the more fuel taxes are collected to pay for them, to maintain them and uprade them as more and more books get ordered from Amazon and more and more trucks use those roads to deliver those books to your house.
      Amazon has it’s suppliers ship books and other stuff directly to it’s warehouses via bigger trucks that use the Interstate Highway System. Those trucks also use fuel purchased in the states along the way that the various governments collect taxes on to pay for the highway systems in their states. When the trucks cross state lines, they may stop at an inspection station to register their origin, destination and load, which sets in motion a sharing of the fuel tax revenue between the states, or increasingly this is supposed to happen automatically with various compacts between states. Some states require trucks to have stickers on the side of their cabs showing that they have registered in that state to pay road use taxes, even though they may not buy fuel in that state. Just because hey may be passing through the state, and won’t stop anywhere to buy fuel, they are still using the roads.
      Now, If you order, say, a new hot tub from Ted’s Hot Tubs in an adjacent state, it’s obviously got to come on a truck to get to your house, but maybe it’s a short enough distance that they can deliver the hot tub without buying fuel in your state. They don’t stop at an inspection station or maybe their isn’t one on the paricular road they use to get to your house. They’ve obviously used the roads in your state, but they haven’t contributed a dime to your state for the use, maintenance and upgrade of the roads they used to deliver your hot tub. And what’s more, they start selling a crapload of hot tubs in your state, and delivering them the same way. With all the added traffic, the roads and highways they are using to deliver hot tubs need to be maintained and/or upgraded more frequently because of all the complaints about potholes from other people and companies who use the roads and pay the appropriate taxes for their maintenance. At some point the statehighway commission is going to have to detrmine why the roads need more frequent maintenance than they planned for, and they might actually catch the Ted’s Hot Tub trucks in the act, and tell them they need to pay road use taxes. So Ted needs to either pay the taxes, or raise the price of hot tubs. But instead, Ted says ‘Hey, we already paid taxes to our state, so you need to talk to them’, and Ted’s truck continues on it’s merry way.
      You still get your hot tub, but your state is stuck paying for the road maintenance, because Ted’s state won’t share their fuel taxes with your state. Pretty quickly, your state decides to concentrate on maintaining the highways where they can collect taxes on, and just barely maintain the roads Ted was using, so your hot tub may take more time to get to you than it use to.
      But then Ted gets this idea in his head about ‘Road Neutrality’, and sues your state for not maintaining the roads he uses in your state, the ones he doesn’t contribute anything towards the maintenance through fuel and road use taxes. And some idiot politician gets a campaign contribution from Ted picks up the mantle and proclaims ‘Road Neutrality’ fair for everybody. And here we are.

      • Matt December 6, 2017 at 8:56 am

        Except this analogy is flawed and immediately falls apart.

        It’s a billing and collections problem, not a neutrality one.

        If the state is concerned that all road users are not paying their toll because they’re not ever going to the toll locations, they can simply move the toll locations. Put a toll booth at every boarder crossing, problem solved.

        The issue in the analogy is billing locations at the wrong spots to correctly bill users. In it, Ted’s customer haven’t already paid for Ted’s trucks to use the roads. Which is completely different than the way Internet Access is paid for. Making this an invalid comparison.

        Even if we assume that they move the tolling locations to every boarder crossing and collect from road users. Or, if they completely change the funding model from road use via gas tax to something that doesn’t charge the actual vehicles but is paid for ahead of time by the destinations those vehicles are headed to. The model in the analogy is STILL neutral. In that all traffic is allowed over the road.

        To make this analogy road not neutral. You would need to have the road owner decide that they prefer Tom’s Hot Tubs instead of Ted’s and discriminate between Tom and Ted, charging Ted more for the exact same use as Ted. In this new scenario, the road owner is giving Tom a huge advantage over Ted because of the discrimination for the exact same usage.

        There is no version of the current and desired neutral internet access where someone is not already paying to move data over a connection. All of the rules neutrality prevents (and the ISP want’s removed) are for ways to charge twice for the same movement of data. A huge boon when you can sell the same thing twice. And a huge impediment to to competition that has to pay the second time for an already purchased item.

  14. fustian November 22, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    @David Do you pay the same for electricity as a large business? Do you pay the same water bill as a farm? Also, truckers pay more for access to the same roads we do. Ever seen a weigh station? Or a toll road? Even with the phone system, a big company generally pays a lot more for corporate phone access than an individual living in a house would. In most cases where different entities use wildly different amounts of a limited resource, they generally pay different amounts. That’s what makes it all work.

  15. Matt November 22, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    “They could throttle it all down” and “Or they could prohibit VPNs”.

    That’s exactly what they’ll do. More precisely, they’ll just identify “VPN Service” including this ZT service, as a “Business Level Service” and have a special package for it. It’ll cost twice as much as the basic consumer service. Just like Business Service already costs more for virtually the same thing today.

    They may not be able to identify what’s in the connection to charge the other side for the connection, but they will not have to. By just calling it a Business Service and charging more for it, they’ll be able to convert a large percentage of consumers to a plan at twice the price, all profit virtually no increased cost.

    Various ISP marketing over the years has tried to imply (while not enforce) that if you’re using a VPN to work from home, you really need Business Service at the Business Service Rate instead of basic Consumer Service. They would already love to charge everyone who works remotely occasionally twice as much for their connection. Totally possible without Net Neutrality.

    “Or they could prohibit VPNs entirely except that’s exactly what we’ve spent the last decade criticizing China for doing.”

    We criticize China’s government from prohibiting VPNs. This wouldn’t be the same at all. The US government wouldn’t be preventing VPNs at all. Instead private ISP companies would simply be calling VPN use a “Business Level Service” provided on a Business account at a price designed to charge businesses more than consumers. A practice that already happens today. It’s completely possible to rationalize between the two positions and frame them as different. There’s nothing being prohibited by the government here.

    *I understand there are many uses for a VPN that are not for “Business”. The same is true for having a static IP, running a server at home, equal upload speeds, and a variety of other services that are already reserved for “Business” instead of “Consumer” accounts today. None of that stops the artificial difference between account types already happening today. Removing Net Neutrality just let’s the ISP make this distinction at the traffic level they cannot do today, for whatever other arbitrary reason they want.

    • Alex November 22, 2017 at 7:27 pm

      Yes, this exactly.

      Even if the last mile carrier cannot identify what is inside the encrypted payload, they can still rate limit (speed cap), data cap, or outright block IPSEC or encrypted applications that cannot be identified. There are creative ways to sneak *some* traffic through in this scenario, but streaming a video wouldn’t work.

      It’s important to note that ZeroTier isn’t the only VPN overlay on the market, there are many (https://thatoneprivacysite.net/vpn-review-badge-chart/).

      SDWAN is a relatively new product built on top of an old technology (VPNs), but this new emerging market is a great example of a very pro privacy/consumer technology that is extremely vulnerable to net neutrality. It also happens to be very disruptive to traditionally high margin services like MPLS IPVPNs that large carriers provide to enterprise businesses.

    • Cris E December 11, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      Yup: if they can identify it and conceivably charge more as a premium service they will. Low end cell phone companies are charging more for tethering to your phone, for example. If people want it, and business users have to have it then it can be Guaranteed For Your Safety And Enjoyment! for $10/month. VPN access will almost certainly be monetized like this the day it is allowed.

  16. Bo November 22, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    “No matter how many”, come on. If 50 million protesters show up, it *will* change things. You just mean that not enough protesters will show.

  17. Kevin November 22, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    So we have many different items going on here in the comments other than Bob’s idea. For Bob’s idea to work there would need to be organization so that everyone was on the same VPN to be able to access the popular sites. Unfortunately it would need to have its credentials also publicly available so that everyone could join, and therefore the ISP’s could also join and snoop the traffic and possibly monitor / throttle it depending upon implementation details.
    As far as net neutrality goes there are many metaphors being used but the main thing I feel is why it is important is I am paying for my internet speed. If I want to access Netflix, or YouTube, or whatever I should get the speed to them I am paying for regardless of what my ISP feels about them. They should not be allowed to throttle my access to a specific site because that site is not paying them a toll. I am paying for my bandwidth and should be able to use it to visit wherever I want.
    The ISP’s do not want this. They want to screw us to leverage us to blackmail the content providers for more $$$. These content providers are already paying their ISP’s for their access to the internet and should not have to pay Comcast and Verizon for the bandwidth we as consumers are already paying for.
    I want my MTV, NHL Network, and whatever else I fancy on the bandwidth I have paid for, otherwise why are they charging me? What am I paying for? Think about it a little more, we as consumers are about to get royally screwed once again. I have 2 choices that both suck, Verizon and Comcast. Every year or two you need to play them against each other to keep from paying some BS $$ as a “loyal customer” when a new customer can get the same thing for 30%-50% less so you need to switch. Once net neutrality goes away, it will only get worse. Wake up and smell the coffee please and stop drinking the koolaid.

  18. Cringley the Crook November 23, 2017 at 2:07 am

    Hey look, its Crookely, not too blind to post some more blah blah blah I see !. No more mention of house burning down, so another red herring eh ?! Whats the next excuse to fuck over your Mineserver backers Scumbag ?
    he’s just so full of shit !

  19. Abdul Bin al Hussein November 23, 2017 at 2:08 am

    JIHAD!!! Mineserver, Etc

  20. ReadyKilowatt November 23, 2017 at 6:27 am

    First company that blocks content will have competitors all over them so fast it will make your head spin. As for slowing down or other packet manipulation, well, again, maybe it’s time for some real competition. If that’s an issue for you.

    In about a year or so cellular providers will have enough bandwidth to start rolling out fixed wireless service over 5G networks. There will be some time required for build-out but when complete I think there will be real competition for the cable companies, and for certain the phone based ISPs (aside from AT&T and Verizon, the wireline phone companies will have to step up and build out their network, or merge with a wireless carrier). And they will compete to get subscribers. And as soon as word gets out about your competitor doing traffic shaping, any marketing company worth its salt will make it known that they don’t do such things.

    • fustian November 23, 2017 at 7:04 am

      @ReadyKIllowat Exactly! The free market “routes around damage” to coin a phrase.

    • slap November 24, 2017 at 10:32 pm

      The infrastructure costs and the barriers that the current large ISPs try to throw up (as an example, making access to utility poles difficult) make it very hard for competitors to move into an area.Most people have access to one broadband provider. Only a few percent have access to more than two broadband providers.

  21. MikeN November 23, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    The internet existed without these net neutrality rules for a long time. I don’t remember big companies being charged or having their service throttled, other than maybe bittorrent.
    This is despite have quality of service tag included in the TCPIP header for decades.
    What we did see with Net Neutrality was investment by ISPs dropped to 0, except for Comcast spending on the interface for their boxes, a major improvement

    I don’t see any reason to help out the companies that are pushing for expanding H1B visas and open borders as well as shutting down free speech and ignoring basic science in the name of ‘diversity’.

        • Mineserver November 25, 2017 at 1:11 pm

          @MikeN – your citations don’t back up your statement that Net Neutrality caused “investment by ISPs dropped to 0”.
          .
          From one of your own references:
          “Fact: ISPs have no plans to decrease investment in their infrastructure. ISPs have been reporting to investors that investment is up, up, up! Verizon’s CFO, Fancis Shammo, told investors that reclassification to Title II “does not influence the way we invest.” Similarly, Sprint stated that it would “continue to invest in data networks regardless of whether they are regulated by Title II, Section 706, or some other light touch regulatory regime.” Just last year, AT&T reassured their investors that they would “remain one of the largest investors in the United States.” As technologies change and reliance on the internet only continues to strengthen, ISPs know the value in continued investment.”

          • MikeN November 26, 2017 at 8:58 am

            And Elon Musk told his investors he would produce 1500 Model 3s in 3Q, after previously saying 10k cars/week by the end of the year. Actual delivers about 200.
            Where is the actual investment that they did? Comcast’s XFinity interface upgrade was their primary investment.
            I’m sure these CEOs said the same thing in response to city moves to force ISPs to lease out their networks to competitors, but the fiber optic upgrades stopped happening.

          • Mineserver November 26, 2017 at 6:58 pm

            @MikeN – your sources only say that fibre investiments “dropped” and that they weren’t as high as they should be. Nowhere do they say that investments dropped to 0. I still say show my your citations!

    • Ronc November 24, 2017 at 5:55 pm

      Re: “The internet existed without these net neutrality rules for a long time.” Good point. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_neutrality includes this simple fact: “The rule took effect on June 12, 2015.” So for the first quarter century, the internet grew on its own, without formal “common carrier” status nor with formal “net neutrality” rules. Due to the near monopoly status of ISPs, net neutrality / common carrier status seems like common sense. I suspect one reason it wasn’t imposed from day one is that people were afraid of the effect regulation can have on a new technology. The regulated companies will see no opportunity to make more money by providing more or better service, so the founders wisely chose a hands off approach. It’s not clear to me whether or not this is the time to start.

    • Doot November 26, 2017 at 5:09 am

      >”I don’t remember big companies being charged or having their service throttled, other than maybe bittorrent.”

      There were many – here’s one
      http://money.cnn.com/2014/08/29/technology/netflix-comcast/index.html

  22. MikeN November 23, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    No surprise why Cringely is such a fan of Elon Musk:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-22/elon-musk-s-giant-battery-set-for-testing-in-south-australia

    “He’s asking customers to pay him upfront to order vehicles that may not be delivered for years.”

  23. echo November 23, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    I for one hope the EU continues encouraging corporate views which are more socially aware and eschews internet Zil lanes. Capacity is an easy argument to hide behind and further obscures fiscal measures disguised as policy. The important issue of business and social development remains and there is an imperitive and very easily legally argued basis for carrying this cost even where this incurs an expense. There are a number of serious acadmic papers on building resilient systems and also diversity impact studies which indicate greater economic gain with this kind of approach. When companies throw this gain away shouldn’t this be reflected in a significant downgrading of the stock price? Put another way how much gain for a nation does doing away with net neutrality cost? How many billion of dollars/euros/yen are ploughed into the soil to rot?

  24. Steve Stone November 24, 2017 at 6:30 am

    Nice idea, but did you know ISP/Telco’s like Frontier still don’t have offer native access to IPV6 addresses to their customers?
    Instead you might have to sign up for an aftermarket IPV6 tunneling service successfully configure your router to use this option.

  25. James Bowery November 24, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    STOP SAYING
    “NET NEUTRALITY”
    AND START SAYING
    “COMMON CARRIER”

    This cuts through both layers of sophistry behind which the censors hide by using original and still-effective terminology. The first layer of sophistry is that the network _content_ monopolies like Facebook, Youtube, etc. — despite editing content — are not liable for actual damages that their users inflict on each other. When these carriers involve themselves in content editing, they cease enjoying the protection provided by the common carrier legal classification. The second layer of sophistry is that companies that are, currently, common carriers won’t also lose their common carrier legal protections once they start charging different rates to different customers.

    I addressed this at the inception of the internet in this excerpt from a 1982 essay written while the futures architect for online services in a joint venture between AT&T and Knight-Ridder Newspapers:

    There is a tremendous danger that careless promotion of deregulation
    will be dogmatically (or purposefully) extended to the point that
    there may form an unregulated monopoly over the information replicated
    across the nation-wide videotex network, now underdevelopment. If
    this happens, the prophecies of a despotic, “cashless-society” are
    quite likely to become a reality. My opinion is that this nightmare
    will eventually be realized but not before the American pioneers have
    had a chance to reach each other and organize. I base this hope on
    the fact that the first people to participate in the videotex network
    will represent some of the most pioneering of Americans, since
    videotex is a new “territory”.

    The question at hand is this: How do we mold the early videotex
    environment so that noise is suppressed without limiting the free flow
    of information between customers?

    The first obstacle is, of course, legal. As the knights of U.S.
    feudalism, corporate lawyers have a penchant for finding ways of
    stomping out innovation and diversity in any way possible. In the
    case of videotex, the attempt is to keep feudal control of information
    by making videotex system ownership imply liability for information
    transmitted over it. For example, if a libelous communication takes
    place, corporate lawyers for the plaintiff will bring suit against the
    carrier rather than the individual responsible for the communication.
    The rationalizations for this clearly unreasonable and contrived
    position are quite numerous. Without a common carrier status, the
    carrier will be treading on virgin ground legally and thus be
    unprotected by precedent. Indeed, the stakes are high enough that the
    competitor could easily afford to fabricate an event ideal for the
    purposes of such a suit. This means the first legal precedent could
    be in favor of holding the carrier responsible for the communications
    transmitted over its network, thus forcing (or giving an excuse for)
    the carrier to inspect, edit and censor all communications except,
    perhaps, simple person-to-person or “electronic mail”. This, in turn,
    would put editorial control right back in the hands of the feudalists.
    Potential carriers’ own lawyers are already hard at work worrying
    everyone about such a suit. They would like to win the battle against
    diversity before it begins. This is unlikely because videotex is
    still driven by technology and therefore by pioneers.

    The question then becomes: How do we best protect against such
    “legal” tactics? The answer seems to be an early emphasis on secure
    identification of the source of communications so that there can be no
    question as to the individual responsible. This would preempt an
    attempt to hold the carrier liable. Anonymous communications, like
    Delphi conferencing, could even be supported as long as some
    individual would be willing to attach his/her name to the
    communication before distributing it. This would be similar, legally,
    to a “letters to the editor” column where a writer remains anonymous.
    Another measure could be to require that only individuals of legal age
    be allowed to author publishable communications. Yet another measure
    could be to require anyone who wishes to write and publish information
    on the network to put in writing, in an agreement separate from the
    standard customer agreement, that they are liable for any and all
    communications originating under their name on the network. This
    would preempt the “stolen password” excuse for holding the carrier
    liable.

    Beyond the secure identification of communication sources, there is
    the necessity of editorial services. Not everyone is going to want to
    filter through everything published by everyone on the network. An
    infrastructure of editorial staffs is that filter. In exchange for
    their service the editorial staff gets to promote their view of the
    world and, if they are in enough demand, charge money for access to
    their list of approved articles. On a videotex network, there is
    little capital involved in establishing an editorial staff. All that
    is required is a terminal and a file on the network which may have an
    intrinsic cost as low as $5/month if it represents a publication with
    “only” around 100 articles. The rest is up to the customers. If they
    like a publication, they will read it. If they don’t they won’t. A
    customer could ask to see all articles approved by staffs A or B
    inclusive, or only those articles approved by both A and B, etc. This
    sort of customer selection could involve as many editorial staffs as
    desired in any logical combination. An editorial staff could review
    other editorial staffs as well as individual articles, forming
    hierarchies to handle the mass of articles that would be submitted
    every day. This sort of editorial mechanism would not only provide a
    very efficient way of filtering out poor and questionable
    communications without inhibiting diversity, it would add a layer of
    liability for publications that would further insulate carriers from
    liability and therefore from a monopoly over communications.

    In general, anything that acts to filter out bad information and that
    is not under control of the carrier, acts to prevent the carrier
    from monopolizing the evolution of ideas on the network.

    http://www.geocities.ws/jim_bowery/vnatap.html

  26. Ken Adams November 24, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    Bob, I know you live in Marin where the cry for government-imposed regulations to protect, but I’ve really been disappointed to see somewhat of a left-ist leaning “let’s get more government control into

    I’m certainly no conservative nor particular fan of trump, but really, Bob? I know you live in Marin where the cry for government-imposed regulations that somehow always tend to affect the less affluent is loud (Sonoma too), but please don’t drink the kool-aid.

    Let’s continue to count on Obama-style BIG GOVERNMENT to gonna protect us from big business? Seriously?

    Just like they helped protect my health-care plans (now twice the price and half the value I had before Obamacare)? Just like they helped protect American IT workers from Indian/Chinese immigrants willing to flood in on work visas here and work at half the price? Just like gun control has prevented massacres? Just like more rules and regulations in the IRS code has helped us?

    Answer me this: If net neutrality has only been in force since 2015, how did we manage BEFORE that without your predictions of doom that yu say will occur if net neutrality is ended. BEFORE 2015

    No, I’m not opposed to ALL government regulation especially in the case of safety (food, airlines, etc.), but I don’t see how the government treating ISP’s (that only provide the PIPE that allows a service generated by someone else to be transported) the same as utilities (that generate the service AND its transport) makes sense.

    I remember the early days of the internet (and personal computing, for that matter). The beauty of those days was everything was free and open and entreprenuers had unlimited possibilities because there wasn’t a Big Brother nanny-state controlling their every move. If we’re making predictions, how about the law of unintended consequences? Net neutrality seems that it would only limit what services ISP’s are willing to provide.
    Why shouldn’t streaming users, who hog massive amounts of bandwidth while they sit and watch Netflix all night (or all week) be forcibly thrown into the same service pile as programmers who need to do alot of up/downloading….or commerce-based businesses that rely on quick website access….or any of a zillion other internet users OTHER than someone who wants to watch every “House of Cards” episode before Kevin Spacey is banned forever?
    Let the market and competition determine their services and pricing. Net neutrality’s departure is good riddance to bad rubbish.

    • tl;dr November 25, 2017 at 12:00 am

      @Ken Adams u mad bro?

      • Ken Adams November 27, 2017 at 12:24 am

        Ummm, no, I don’t think forcefully arguing one’s point (with perhaps a bit of excessive hyperbole and upper-case letters….a long-term bad habit of mine 🙂 is an indication of anger, and why would you think my passion for certain points of view would indicate anger, of all things?

        Debate much, bro?

    • Ronc November 25, 2017 at 6:04 pm

      I was following your anti-net-neutrality argument until I got to this: “Why shouldn’t streaming users, who hog massive amounts of bandwidth… be forcibly thrown into the same service pile…”, which sounds like you’re in favor of them being thrown into the same service pile. In other words, you think the internet should be blind to the content that the bits represent. But that is the point of net neutrality. So I’m confused about your example, though I do agree that less government control is a good thing. Perhaps you’re saying that net neutrality will happen as a result of market forces, which could be in the future, as it was prior to mid 2015.

      • Ken Adams November 27, 2017 at 12:37 am

        Sorry about that Ron….it was a typo. What I meant was Why SHOULD streaming users, who hog massive amounts of bandwidth… be forcibly thrown into the same service pile…” I did NOT mean to use the world “shouldn’t” as that would obviously have been an argument against my own points in the first half of my post.

        Dang that spell-checker! My bad. You’ll note that my entire argument was AGAINST the government forcing the ISP’s to throw everyone into the same service pile….and that streaming customers who sit and binge-watch Netflix for three days in a row are certainly a different class of customer than, say, a contract programmer who works out of his house or a housewife (or husband) on-line shopping.

        I noticed another quote you referenced ““The internet existed without these net neutrality rules for a long time” and I certainly agree with that. In fact, it somehow managed to exist without that law up until 2015, so I don’t see how repealing it and reverting to where we were only two years ago would have much of an effect. What has changed so much in the world of the internet and the ISP’s in the past two years that would all of a sudden cause a big disaster if we returned to as it was two years ago? Am I missing something? It just seems like more government over-reach to me.

        Now….anti-trust laws….and applying them to ISP’s…now THAT’S a different thing I’d certainly be less vehemently opposed to. I’ve never liked the whole ISP “gov’t-permitted-monopoly” thing in each metropolitan district. I’m not even sure why ISP’s were permitted/forced to evolve that way in the first place.

    • Charles Cribbs January 11, 2018 at 1:22 pm

      Well said. I don’t understand why everyone agrees big government is terrible at what they do but they still clamor for more of it.

  27. nerdpocalypse November 25, 2017 at 5:51 am

    1) there was starting to be throttleing onto netflix.
    https://www.theverge.com/2017/7/21/16010766/verizon-netflix-throttling-statement-net-neutrality-title-ii
    many many many other sources, but from personal experience, it happened. it was comcast, we switched.

    2. Google is set to take the very best slice of their cake.Oh, sorry, I’m behind. They’ve done it. They will win on this while being able to say they are the good guys.

    maybe being your own ISP?
    https://www.whoishostingthis.com/blog/2015/03/09/start-your-own-isp/

    3. This is nothing. Wait til you get a load of the way they take down VPN’s, put up a firewall, start censoring everything. That’s also well under way.
    https://www.recode.net/2017/8/1/16074808/facebook-google-amazon-sex-human-trafficking-congress-section-230

    What happens when Republicans have to pay 575 a month for Matlock? And can’t get porn? My bet is common sense (oh, this is how you say “hypocrisy and corruption” in your country?) will prevail.

  28. wwwpirate November 25, 2017 at 7:12 am

    GREED GREED GREED It is always amazing to see how even smart people learn nothing from the history.
    In the 70s ITT Corp. in order to save copper mines organized military intervention in Chile and Alliende president was killed. 2 years ago ITT Corp. dissolved – it does not exist any more. Also in 70s Saudis got greedy and raised oil prices. Saudi oil minister at that time Yamani told King “Don’t do it because West will develop new technologies that will kill oil relevance.” He resigned and went to live in Switzerland.
    Europeans and Chinese announces 2025 last year for diesels and 2040 last year for internal engines. All these political turmoil in Saudi Arabia is nothing more than realizations that cow with golden milk will die very soon.
    If Post Offices shut all doors on Monday @ 5 p.m. and never re-open it will not even make big headline. Microsoft is not relevant. With all cars manufacturers going electric oil companies are doomed.
    With the arrival of 5G in 2 years and 6G after that (lets say in less than 10) can Apple and Google shut down cable companies completely? I just think that cable executives see writing on the wall and say “Lets just milk the cow as much as we can before the cow dies.”
    LONG LIVE LINUX AND OPEN SOURCE

    • granville November 25, 2017 at 9:10 pm

      This is like a Ted Talk on acid, or a homeless man yelling at a park bench, or a Ted Talk delivered by a homeless man on acid yelling at a park bench.

      • Ronc November 26, 2017 at 4:44 pm

        🙂 I stopped watching Mr Robot since I never came across a programmer with an addiction problem. They’re too smart to get caught up in drugs. Perhaps I was wrong.

        • Bernard November 26, 2017 at 9:28 pm

          You’ve never met a programmer addicted to caffeine, Adderal or other stimilants?

          • Ronc November 27, 2017 at 5:14 pm

            No. Personally, I’d miss my 3 weak cups of coffee per day, but that’s not a Mr Robot style drug problem.

  29. Rosie November 25, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Hell, this ZeroTier is only $29 @mo and maybe the cost of the “appliance,” whatever that is.

    I’m paying $50 @mo for only 10mbps Internet, now, so if I sign up with ZeroTier and VPNs ARE banned in a couple years (or sooner) I’ve still saved $21 bucks a month x 12 = $252 per year.

    And, this is how the average, under 1Gigs useage @mo, low income user will view ZeroTier.

    Sign me up. Gonna contact them next Monday.

    • Ronc November 25, 2017 at 5:35 pm

      I think Zero Tier is a VPN service, not an ISP, so you still need your ISP to access the internet to get to the VPN. The idea is to hide the traffic from the prying eyes of your ISP so they can neither prioritize nor deprioritize your data based on it’s source. It only works as a replacement for net neutrality if nearly everyone participates. Bob says it differs from other VPNs by creating a virtual local area network in software, a software defined network (SDN), that overlays the entire internet, and that ISPs would not block that much traffic.

  30. Rosie November 25, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    @wwpirate said: “…..can Apple and Google shut down cable companies completely?”

    No. Lots of us out here DON’T WANT to access the internet on a small smart phone or tablet exclusively because they’re just tooooo small, Chromecast be damned.

    I’ll always have some kind of television provider (outside my computer’s streaming ability) because of the simplicity, convenience and the lack of need to be technologically proficient. Just hook up the little box to the TV, turn it on, and watch.

    No muss, no fuss, easy peasy. Tv without an electronics or IT degree.

    • Rosie November 25, 2017 at 12:19 pm

      Ignore my last post. I lost the plot between internet access and streaming TV channels.

  31. […] — and with no plan that is precisely what we’re going to be. The key to my plan is that this is a rare instance where consumers are not alone. There are simply as many or extra large firms that would like to stay Net Neutrality as those who […]

  32. […] — and without a plan that’s exactly what we’ll be. The key to my plan is that this is a rare instance where consumers are not alone. There are just as many or more huge companies that would prefer to keep Net Neutrality as those […]

  33. Joshua November 26, 2017 at 5:00 am

    We will all pay for their stupidity. Ignorance may be excusable, this is stupidity. Where did these people get their education? In the end their stupidity will either prove fruitful to the consumer or it will bring about a www. alternative. Mid terms are coming, would be a shame to have a lame duck for two years, not like we don’t have one already as far as “our” congress is concerned. I can live w/o the net, can you?

  34. Harry Hawk November 26, 2017 at 8:49 am

    One possible flaw is that ISPs could be a data cap on VPN data. A big enough cap to allow folks who are working from home to do that work, but not big enough for a month’s worth of Hulu, Netflix, or HBO…

  35. MikeN November 26, 2017 at 8:59 am

    The FTC still has regulatory authority. The idea that Netflix would be shut off from the internet at the whim of Comcast is not reasonable.

    On the other hand, some neoNazi sites did get kicked off because the Cloudfare CEO decided he didn’t like them.
    PayPal has booted others from their service.

  36. Yin Guanyu November 26, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    The internet as we knew it was fun while it lasted. Now it is being privatized and turned into something like cable TV. Eventually there will be tiers, eventually consumers will only be allowed to pay for access to certain websites as if they were cable TV channels, eventually there will be more exclusive online events, etc., Eventually the Superbowl and World Series and other marquee sporting events will only be available on pay ISP services as ISPs buy up those broadcast rights.
    Eventually all competitors will be throttled, demonetized, and just blocked. Many people with the most innocuous websites are seeing unexpected precipitous drops in web traffic. Many people with innocuous Youtube channels are seeing their videos get demonetized and removed from “trending” listings without any explanation. The cottage industry of internet content providers is being crushed.
    Eventually libraries and schools will stop having internet access as the costs increase for increasingly slow and practically useless service.
    Consumers will probably just stop using the internet for email and social networking as those services will eventually price themselves out of the market.
    Eventually the cloud business might end too as companies will balk at the increasing costs for internet access. Eventually e-commerce will get ruined as each country, state, county, and city jacks up their own sales taxes which will eventually make e-commerce more expensive than local shopping.
    The computer industry will go back to the way it was before the internet. Businesses and schools will have their local LANs as internet access becomes too expensive and too slow.
    So in the bad side, the internet as we knew it will be gone, but then again, local businesses will recover, and local businesses will have to hire their own in-house IT support staff again.
    That’s how it will be in America thanks to Ajit Pai.
    There will be no need to continue to develop WIFI in America if internet access costs too much, people stop buying it, and there is no more growth. In the rest of the world, internet development will continue and will probably surpass America. Asian countries will have 20 GB Internet speeds. Wifi in Asian countries will be using 801.11ax/ay/az and will be very fast and inexpensive. Foreign countries will have enormous growth in internet development, e-commerce, and profitability while in America the internet becomes the next form of cable TV.

  37. Lance November 26, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    What keeps carriers from blocking/throttling all ZT traffic?

    • David November 26, 2017 at 10:28 pm

      Lance, you’re missing the point. “Cringeley” is shilling for ZT, so whether any of this makes sense is a moot point.

      Note the lack of disclosure as to whether Cringeley (Mark Stephens) is receiving any promotional consideration from ZT (e.g., stock, redirecting traffic to his blog, direct cash compensation, etc.)?

      Whether ZT provides a technical solution for the lack of net neutrality is just a side show.

      Lance, if you want the real scoop, why not ask Mark if he has any news about incorporating “Mineserver” corporation in Delaware?

      https://icis.corp.delaware.gov/Ecorp/EntitySearch/NameSearch.aspx

      Haven’t seen a notice go up yet – was that just more snake oil?

      Mark Stephens has lost all credibility as a businessman, and given his long history of deception and passing the buck, everything he writes should be treated as nothing more than a source of amusement.

  38. David G November 27, 2017 at 6:52 am

    I’m on board with using ZT, although I think companies like Netflix would shy away.
    I personally use it for a large group of people to connect to my network & servers. File sharing, video streaming, and chat rooms are all private.

    I believe that killed Net Neutrality, will only push the ones who refuse to be told what we can and can’t browse (Such as myself) even further underground.

  39. ‘Net Neutrality Reader – rule 11 reader November 27, 2017 at 10:01 am

    […] The U.S. Federal Communication Commission, under the leadership of chairman Ajit Pai, will next week… […]

  40. […] Según las investigaciones del Fiscal General, la FCC, bajo la dirección de Pai, no solo simuló un ataque de denegación de servicio supuestamente en respuesta a la petición, sino que, además, coordinó las acciones de grupos probablemente esponsorizados por compañías de telecomunicaciones para simular un amplio apoyo a sus tesis, se negó a eliminar los comentarios que eran obviamente fraudulentos, ignoró conscientemente muchos de los comentarios legítimos, e hizo caso omiso a las peticiones de información del público realizadas mediante la Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA). Si todas las acusaciones son ciertas, todo este intento de eliminación de la protección de la neutralidad de la red sería, en realidad, una inmensa trama de corrupción política coordinando múltiples derivadas, y alimentado por las compañías de telecomunicaciones. Simplemente, comprar a cuantos más políticos mejor para que tomen decisiones no en favor de sus representados, que lo que quieren es una red neutral que funcione como ya funcionaba, sino en favor de las cuentas de resultados de las empresas de telecomunicaciones que les pagan. Los representantes del pueblo, actuando contra el pueblo. Y aún así, es posible que, en el contexto de la que es posiblemente la administración norteamericana más corrupta de los últimos tiempos, las evidencias de corrupción no logren parar el proceso y terminemos en un escenario que no protege ni garantiza la neutralidad de la red. Esto no es un asunto norteamericano: afecta a todo el mundo. ¿Qué pasaría entonces? Fundamentalmente, que habría que buscar un Plan B. […]

  41. […] Si todas las acusaciones son ciertas, todo este intento de eliminación de la seguridad de la neutralidad de la red sería, en realidad, una inmensa trama de corrupción política coordinando multiples derivadas, y alimentado por las compañías de telecomunicaciones. Ajit Pai, el individuo de la eterna sonrisa, el nice guy con el que tomarse un café y que va a trabajar en monopatín, como contramaestre de una trama corrupta destinada a robar la neutralidad de la red de las manos de los norteamericanos. Simplemente, comprar a cuantos mas políticos preferible para que tomen decisiones no en favor de sus representados, que lo que quieren es una red neutral que funcione como ya funcionaba, sino en favor de las cuentas de resultados de las industrias de tele-comunicaciones que les pagan. Los representantes del pueblo, actuando contra el pueblo. Y todavía así, es factible que, en el entorno de la que es probablemente la administración norteamericana mas corrupta de los últimos tiempos, las evidencias de corrupción no logren detener el proceso y completemos en un escenario que no protege ni garantiza la neutralidad de la red. Esto no es un asunto norteamericano: afecta a todo el mundo. ¿Qué pasaría entonces? Fundamentalmente, que habría que buscar un Plan B. […]

  42. […] Si todas las acusaciones son ciertas, todo este intento de eliminación de la protección de la neutralidad de la red sería, en realidad, una inmensa trama de corrupción política coordinando múltiples derivadas, y alimentado por las compañías de telecomunicaciones. Ajit Pai, el hombre de la eterna sonrisa, el nice guy con el que tomarse un café y que va a trabajar en monopatín, como contramaestre de una trama corrupta destinada a hurtar la neutralidad de la red de las manos de los norteamericanos. Simplemente, comprar a cuantos más políticos mejor para que tomen decisiones no en favor de sus representados, que lo que quieren es una red neutral que funcione como ya funcionaba, sino en favor de las cuentas de resultados de las empresas de telecomunicaciones que les pagan. Los representantes del pueblo, actuando contra el pueblo. Y aún así, es posible que, en el contexto de la que es posiblemente la administración norteamericana más corrupta de los últimos tiempos, las evidencias de corrupción no logren parar el proceso y terminemos en un escenario que no protege ni garantiza la neutralidad de la red. Esto no es un asunto norteamericano: afecta a todo el mundo. ¿Qué pasaría entonces? Fundamentalmente, que habría que buscar un Plan B. […]

  43. John ward November 28, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Youre all forgetting that the user already PAYS to access whatever they want. This is just legalised daylight robbery. Its not like there is anything for free here, just an oportunity to be charged more for something youre already paying for.
    VPN for the win.

  44. Ronc November 28, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    Four years ago, Bob wrote: “So maybe we shouldn’t care about net neutrality. I don’t care about it.” https://www.cringely.com/2014/01/21/net-neutrality-dead-probably-doesnt-matter/ His point was that the real problem isn’t the need for more bandwidth or for prioritization, but bufferbloat. In order to improve their bottom line, the ISPs need to charge all customers for services like higher speeds or bit prioritization. If the bufferbloat problem went away, Netflix and their customers would pay only for the speed they need for the amount of content they are actually receiving or sending, with no need for extra fast or prioritized bit streams. Like Bob’s VPN solution, bufferbloat-free hardware, throughout the internet, needs to be done by everyone, but in the case of hardware, it would be a one-time capital expense, obviating the need for chargeable “services”. It’s an interesting point of view, but might explain why bufferbloat will remain a problem for a long time to come. Another solution, as I’ve mentioned before, is the elimination of “streaming” in favor of “downloading”.

  45. […] Si todas las acusaciones son ciertas, todo este intento de eliminación de la protección de la neutralidad de la red sería, en realidad, una inmensa trama de corrupción política coordinando múltiples derivadas, y alimentado por las compañías de telecomunicaciones. Ajit Pai, el hombre de la eterna sonrisa, el nice guy con el que tomarse un café y que va a trabajar en monopatín, como contramaestre de una trama corrupta destinada a hurtar la neutralidad de la red de las manos de los norteamericanos. Simplemente, comprar a cuantos más políticos mejor para que tomen decisiones no en favor de sus representados, que lo que quieren es una red neutral que funcione como ya funcionaba, sino en favor de las cuentas de resultados de las empresas de telecomunicaciones que les pagan. Los representantes del pueblo, actuando contra el pueblo. Y aún así, es posible que, en el contexto de la que es posiblemente la administración norteamericana más corrupta de los últimos tiempos, las evidencias de corrupción no logren parar el proceso y terminemos en un escenario que no protege ni garantiza la neutralidad de la red. Esto no es un asunto norteamericano: afecta a todo el mundo. ¿Qué pasaría entonces? Fundamentalmente, que habría que buscar un Plan B. […]

  46. Paul Schulz November 28, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    ZeroTier was very easy to install on the several hosts I use. (Free for up to 100 devices for basic account).
    Once installed the following still needs to be done:
    – Create an account and the create a network.. not the network ID
    – Get devices to join the network with this network ID. (They should say connected)
    – Then (missing step?), in the MyZeroConf webpage, scroll down to bottom on network settings and authorize the devices you have connected.

    The devices will then be allocated an IP address from you network range and you can then go and then connect between them.

    • ZeroTier Staffer November 29, 2017 at 1:11 pm

      @Paul Schulz Thanks for the shameless tutorial. Here’s your monetary compensation per your contract. If anyone else would like to help promote ZeroTier and our multitude of solutions, please PM me. Bob is generating lots of traffic to our product and helping us to do great things but we’re always looking for help to spread the word.
      .
      Bob, we were unsure where to mail your check to due to the uncertainty of your current residence, what with the fires and such. Please let us know the status of your home or whether you’d like to arrange for alternate delivery.
      .
      Thanks,
      Pam

  47. MikeN November 29, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    What’s with the devil picture for Ajit Pai?
    This hatred is despicable. He is being attacked at home, with posters being put up threatening his kids by name.

    • David November 29, 2017 at 7:14 pm

      Yeah, the hypocrisy is rich – Mr. Stephens and his followers consider it no big deal to threaten Mr. Pai in any and all manner possible, but when Mr. Stephens is called on his scammy “business”, for selling products that don’t exist (http://mineserver.com), Bob and his long-time followers pull out the “victim” card at the drop of a hat.

      That’s a neat trick when a con man convinces his marks that he’s the victim, isn’t it?

      How’s that filing with the State of Delaware for “Mineserver Corporation” going, Bob?

      Mineserver.com is still up and running, ready to process Visa and Mastercard – with no sign of any updates about delays in shipping nor even acknowledging that the product is simply not available.

      Bob, until you take down minserver.com and stop accepting payments for products that don’t exist, you are committing fraud, plain and simple.

      It doesn’t matter that you ran out of money, or that your attorney is filing paperwork – the fraud has to stop now.

    • Steve Nicks November 30, 2017 at 7:36 am

      Here here! Those in glass houses should not throw stones. You like to brag about the technical abilities of your kids who started the MineServer project, well kindly ask one of them to take 5 minutes out of their day to quickly update the mineserver.com site with a quick note at the top pointing out that there is currently no product and you are not taking orders. Otherwise I have to agree 100% with David that this is fraud and you are embezzling money.

      • MikeN November 30, 2017 at 10:55 am

        It does not fit under the definition of embezzlement, but feel free to notify Visa and AmEx of the vendor fraud.

        • Steve Nicks November 30, 2017 at 12:39 pm

          Misappropriating funds from the Mineserver website sales to be used for god knows what, flying in his private jet perhaps, seems like a fine use of the word embezzlement to me, but I’m not a lawyer so you’re prob correct. Either way, I think we can all agree that it’s shady as all heck and he needed to do something about it months…no, over a YEAR ago!
          .
          Bob, take that site down or stop taking orders! Your inaction on the matter is not okay and is criminal and suspect. Help us to restore some faith in you as a decent person…

          • S.Gloom December 29, 2017 at 9:07 pm

            Are you sure that site will actually accept an order and then charge your credit card?

          • Steve Nicks December 30, 2017 at 1:35 pm

            @S. Gloom I was able to get all the way through the checkout process, which included entering CC information, up to the “confirm purchase” button. I didn’t click it because lighting $99 on fire isn’t a hobby of mine; Why don’t you try it out and let us know how it goes.

          • Ronc December 30, 2017 at 5:17 pm

            @S. Gloom The whole point of Kickstarter is to give money to projects you want to help out with no guarantee, anything will be shipped. So I would expect that as long as the Kickstarter site is up, the money will be forwarded to him.

        • MikeN December 1, 2017 at 11:41 am

          You would have to notify law enforcement, who can determine which bank is responsible for his credit card merchant accounts, and then this bank can determine if he is committing fraud.

    • Ronc November 30, 2017 at 5:40 pm

      The devil picture makes sense only in the context of this article, since he is ultimately responsible for the end of net neutrality “by law”, although it remains to be seen whether the internet will continue to work as it did during the quarter century prior to mid 2015. Both Bob and most of the commenters are bemoaning the repeal of the 2-1/2 year old law. If the commenters can’t be accused of hypocrisy for taking a pro-net-neutrality-by-law position, Bob shouldn’t be accused of it either. The mineserver issue and that of Bob’s credibility, is an entirely separate matter. Speaking of the devil, I found this of interest:
      .
      “He has served in various positions at the FCC since being appointed to the commission by President Barack Obama in May 2012, at the recommendation of Mitch McConnell. He was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate on May 7, 2012, and was sworn in on May 14, 2012, for a five-year term. In January 2017, President Donald Trump designated Pai as FCC Chairman.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajit_Pai

  48. Terence H. Gris December 3, 2017 at 7:36 am

    Say, that’s a nice looking Internet you got there. Be a shame if something happened to it.

  49. Pepe December 4, 2017 at 9:34 am

    Wouldn’t it have been neat if the X-Boys would have been featured in this story: https://www.wired.com/story/how-two-guys-and-an-internet-forum-built-a-kickass-computer/ (the whole thing is a great read) rather than this sticky horrible mess of what is the MineServer?

  50. FormerTXIBMer December 7, 2017 at 4:49 am

    First of all, if you listen to the argument AT&T is making, the Internet is about to run “out of bandwidth” and we should go back to a charging model where bits through the pipe are counted and charged just like cell phone minutes were two decades ago. AT&T has moved their streaming onto a satellite “DirecTV” broadcast model to move streaming off their network. But no one is buying, because HD and 4K are unreliable over satellite, I suspect there isn’t “enough bandwidth” there either. Let me propose another model. Like we do power in Texas. The “last mile” of power is a regulated company called OnCor, OnCor is only allowed to maintain lines, it is not allowed to generate power. We chose our power company from 20 or so different providers. Why not do the same for Internet? AT&T does get to both maintain the lines and sell content because there is an inherent conflict of interest there that is about to destroy the Internet as we know it. The FCC could take the lead and sue AT&T and force them to split into two companies. The second part of the equation is that the “central office” gets opened up for any content provider and ISP to purchase a network that consumers or businesses can connect to. Google, Amazon, Netflix, and so many others will play in that model. So you have two parts to your bill. A regulated monopoly for wire service (Australia, Korea, and most of Europe do this already, and so much cheaper than the US does.). And your ISP and content provider, who can chose to play well with other content companies or not. Open companies win. AT&T loses.

    • FormerTXIBMer December 7, 2017 at 5:00 am

      One more point. AT&T has CHOSEN to underinvest in their infrastructure for years and pay 5%+ dividends to their shareholders instead. Where allowed to, in markets that “aren’t profitable enough”, CenturyLink and other smaller telecoms have moved in and taken share. AT&T is a gigantic “Money Zombie” which cares nothing for its subscribers, only how much money it can extract from them. Money is blood in our new economy, and we need to be careful not to give it to Zombies, because they just get greedy for more. Living breathing companies that serve customers deserve better. Unless you you want to have a “Walking Dead” economy.

      • MikeN December 11, 2017 at 9:17 am

        They chose to underinvest, perhaps because of Net Neutrality, they didn’t know that an investment would return a profit. What is the point of investing if TxIBMer will come along and say we are going to seize this investment and open it up for everyone to use?

  51. Bob December 16, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    My understanding is that being a “Common Carrier” includes legal protections. They aren’t responsible for anything that goes through their system. The phone companies aren’t responsible for what people say on the phone. Shippers aren’t responsible for the content of the packages they deliver.
    Did ISPs just lose this protection? Can we sue our internet provider if we find the content objectionable?
    Maybe that’s the way to kill the profits.

  52. Daniel Salem December 27, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    Consumers are going to handle this. As soon as a company attempts to sensor content and charge more a competitor is going to pick up on the unhappy consumers and offer them a solution. This is the greatness of American industry. It is the same thing people have been doing to cable and internet companies for years. A customers current company raises their prices and all the consumer has to do is threaten to go to their competition and they will lower the price for them again. Take a deep breath and let the market take care of it.

    • Ronc December 30, 2017 at 6:38 pm

      While I’ve said that it’s not clear to me whether we need net neutrality, it is certainly clear that there is no significant competition in some industries. Both monopolies and oligopolies require some degree of regulation. In my neighborhood of San Diego, the only way to get more than 20 mbps, is through the cable monopoly.

  53. ZZ December 30, 2017 at 9:36 am

    The easiest fix is for Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Hulu and Netflix to form a new broadband company together and create their own internet service at a reasonable price to put ComCash and every other greedy ISP out of business. Partner with the smaller local ISPs too so as to make one heck of a network.

    • Ronc December 30, 2017 at 5:39 pm

      The problem is that the one cable company in our neighborhoods owns the coax system that ultimately delivers the high speed data to it’s destination. It’s pointless to partner with other ISPs without high-bandwidth physical access. The need for a high speed connection would not apply to downloadable content, but Netflix says “You can download select TV shows and movies to watch without an internet connection from the Netflix app on Apple iOS or Android mobile devices and computers or tablets running Windows 10. Downloads are not currently supported on other devices.” The keywords being “select” and “computers or tablets”, In other words you can download content you not interested in to a device that is not a TV.

  54. Dean Kohrs January 1, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    Happy New Bob! I hope 2018 is a thousand times kinder to you and your family then 2017!

    • 2018 Hopeful January 2, 2018 at 7:10 am

      I hope Bob is kinder in 2018 as well.


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