Posts tagged net neutrality
Well, the pigeons are coming home to roost and the excrement is beginning to fly.
The FCC called Comcast on Monday and was quick to question Comcast about the press release Level 3 issued. Comcast, in a brilliant move, is trying to turn this entire matter into a peering dispute. In a letter Comcast sent to the FCC (PDF of the letter), Comcast claims that Level 3 is becoming a CDN and is inappropriately using their peering relationship with Comcast. Comcast further claims “Level 3 would more than double the amount of traffic it sends to Comcast – which would result in a traffic imbalance that could be in the range of about 5:1.” As I said in my previous post, when you serve a large number of end users, there will be a traffic imbalance. Their estimated ratio isn’t far off from what we experience today. What does Comcast expect? Fully balanced traffic?
Comcast readily admits that the Netflix traffic was on the Comcast network before the agreement between Level 3 and Netflix. If the traffic was already there, why is Comcast so upset that Level 3 is delivering Netflix content versus the old method (whatever that was)? I think I know…
A little more than a week ago Level 3 bent to the demands of Comcast and sealed the deal that Net Neutrality is really dead.
To avoid interruptions to content carried by Level 3, Level 3 was forced to pay Comcast to deliver traffic to Comcast customers. Traffic that Comcast customers requested. Looks like Comcast is now an Internet toll booth operator and charging on both ends for access to and from it’s customers. Comcast is billing for both ends of it’s network, billing based on CONTENT. Bollocks.
Thursday Evening I attended the public hearing held by Free Press at Minneapolis South High School.
Full of dignitaries and speeches, I was impressed by both Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and Senator Al Franken breadth of knowledge on what this highly charged but reasonably simple issue could mean to me, Minnesota and the nation.
The official draft text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement was recently released.
All I can say is wow.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation did some preliminary analysis of ACTA. What it comes down to is that ACTA is about to require that signatory countries impose liabilities on ISPs for their users’ behaviors. That means ISPs need to be enforcers/police/nannys for their users. And US ISPs will lose any protections they currently enjoy from the DMCA.
If you use the Internet to share copyrighted information, YOUR ISP could face penalties. Do you think ISPs will accept this? You might expect ISPs to be up in arms about ACTA, but instead they look like they might accept ACTA openly. By all counts ISPs were lucky the FCC lost the case against Comcast. Otherwise ISPs would have no way to be an enforcer! Just kidding.
This week has been busy when it comes to all things Internet…
First off I found out that the FCC can’t protect consumers from big bad corporations. It’s no fault of their own. Big bad corporations spend LOTS of money making sure that the law is in their favor. It was expected that the court would rule (a PDF of the ruling is here) to allow Internet providers to restrict access in order to “manage” their networks.
From the Internet provider side, this makes some technical sense. We need to be able to throttle traffic in order to meet Service Level Agreements and maintain quality service. How we manage our network is part of what sets us apart from our competition.
But content providers are worried that their content will play second fiddle to the content owned by the provider. This seems logical to me too. If we have content that competes with the content provider, why should we give the content provider a free ride to our consumers?
Because that’s what net neutrality is.
I think it’s reasonable to assume that a consumer does not really care who owns the content, as long as access to the content is not restricted in any fashion by their access provider. And that’s exactly how ipHouse operates.
Way back in 1997 I posed this exact conundrum and worried about what happens when one access company / distributor owns the content I want to view? Will I be required to have a Time Warner connection in order to view Bugs Bunny? Will I need a Comcast connection to see MTV online? Today, no. But what about tomorrow? Big corporations without watchdogs will do whatever they want, just watch.
I waited a few days after the ruling to see what the feedback was going to be. This is such a fascinating problem that people have a hard time taking sides. You tell me, should consumers be upset by this ruling? It seems some people just can’t tell if they should be upset or not.
In other fascinating news, a local jeweler gets lambasted by social media and wonders if the publicity generated by the “failed” advertisement offsets the publicity generated by the response to the ad…
Really, you may not have known who R. F. Moeller was a few days ago, but you might know now. This is exactly what social media is all about, responding socially to what companies do in the marketplace. Consumers have a voice, and social media lets those voices be heard, loud and clear. Some might think that this is a win for R. F. Moeller. The amount of publicity they’re receiving might outweigh the scar. Only time will tell…
Then along comes a reminder that some crazy new treaty will put ISPs on the hook for our customers bad deeds. What are people thinking?
All these things make me ogle at the wonder that is the Internet. But it leaves me wondering, is it time to take a break from the Internet?