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Topic: Net Neutrality, Again (Read 238 times) previous topic - next topic

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Net Neutrality, Again
Oh, brother.  ::)

I want to know how they think Comcast can pull this off. Google, Amazon, eBay, etc. are all just going to passively permit their revenues to plummet because Comcast charges a premium to permit their customers to use their Amazon Prime subscription, to manage their eBay storefront, or watch videos on their YouTube Red subscription?

  • nesb
Re: Net Neutrality, Again
Reply #1
What can Google do? They've supported net neutrality in the past, precisely because this sort of thing would be a threat to their bottom line.

Re: Net Neutrality, Again
Reply #2
They can sue Comcast for damages, which they will be able to calculate with astonishing precision. And in all these scarecharts I've seen, conspicuous by their absence is Apple. Do you suppose Apple, market value a little shy of $1 Trillion, is just going to sit by and watch their revenue fall off a cliff thanks to the Comcast troll under the bridge, market value less than $170 Million? Any one of the big internet companies has as much or more resources available for a legal fight than all of the mobile, telco and cable companies combined. The money on the side of Google, Apple, Amazon, etc. is so much bigger than the money on the side of the telcos/cable companies, it's almost inconceivable that the telcos/cable companies would do anything to impair those much larger internet businesses. Unless their ultimate goal is to be acquired by one of the big internet companies.

What is conceivable, to me, is that the telcos/cable companies could charge a premium for unfettered access to the entire internet, but in the basic package include access to the mainstream sites and services that could sue them out of existence, including firms that sell advertising and their client websites. Which is bad, of course. The sites that don't exist to make money are the ones that are most endangered. Sites like Wikipedia, or the internet archive, or forums like this one.

But the scenarios in these scarecharts are just not credible.

Re: Net Neutrality, Again
Reply #3
There's a history, though, of those telecomms screwing with some of the major internet companies in the past. They used to throttle Netflix, and tried to get either netflix, or their customers, to pay extra to not have their streaming constantly interrupted by 'buffering'.

You'd think they'd be smart enough not to, but I wouldn't hold my breath. A lot of that shit is the reason we got the net neutrality that we do have, which could greatly be improved upon.

Re: Net Neutrality, Again
Reply #4
I'm reading some of the various news articles and opinions on this. Most of them are against repealing the existing rules. The few that aren't are all 'the free market will keep bad things from happening'.....  If that's really the best they can come up with, this really is going to suck.

Re: Net Neutrality, Again
Reply #5
No one ever throttled Netflix. That's another myth promulgated by otherwise well-meaning people. Now, what Comcast did was pretty shitty, but it wasn't throttling. They refused Netflix a cost-free direct peering agreement, which had been a mostly-customary, but not mandatory, arrangement made between ISPs to exchange traffic, to the mutual benefit of each other's customers. Up until Comcast, Netflix had been able to approach other carriers and reach an agreement to place Netflix cache appliances within the carrier's data centers, and/or to terminate dedicated circuits between the ISP and Netflix for Netflix traffic. This was regarded as beneficial for Netflix customers who were reachable through that carrier or ISP and hence beneficial to Netflix, but also beneficial to the carrier as their other circuits connecting to the public internet would not need upgrading to handle the additional traffic Netflix's and the carrier's mutual customers would utilize.

Comcast decided this arrangement was not to their benefit, and wanted Netflix to pay for co-locating Netflix appliances in a Comcast data center, and to pay for terminating Netflix's circuits directly into Comcasts's network. Netflix decided to take the dispute public. While this dispute was active, Netflix traffic to their mutual customers shared with Comcast was often degraded because it was - as it had been all along since Netflix had any streaming customer at all - being routed through public internet exchanges that had been established in the late 1990's and early 2000's to permit carriers to meet and exchange traffic more easily - and cheaply. High capacity lines were very expensive in those days, and it wasn't economically practical for every carrier to directly connect with every other carrier. But those exchanges did not have the capacity to handle the explosion in bandwidth utilization that streaming video services demanded. Later, the cost of high capacity circuits plummeted as telcos rolled out optical fiber. Even businesses that weren't in the ISP business began directly peering with multiple major carriers because the cost/benefit of doing so had improved so much. There isn't anything Comcast did to cause Netflix performance to suffer for a while. Netflix performance had been degrading for some time, which is why they began approaching carriers to make peering arrangements. And Netflix was not the first "lopsided" peer to make cost-free arrangements with carriers, and it also was not the first to be refused a cost-free peering agreement. Amazon, Google, Akamai, Apple, and many other "content providers" had already done the same thing with most major carriers. That's why I called it "mostly-customary."

But what Comcast did (or didn't do) was not prohibited by the new rules. The FCC only says that peering must be provided on terms that are reasonable and non-discriminatory. Comcast eventually relented and provided Netflix a peering agreement. The agreement was not cost-free, but rumor has it that it was also not nearly as much as Comcast wanted. The FCC rules did nothing to resolve the Comcast-Netflix disagreement.
  • Last Edit: November 27, 2017, 07:11:57 PM by Autonemesis

Re: Net Neutrality, Again
Reply #6
the Comcast troll under the bridge, market value less than $170 Million?

Should have been $170 Billion there. Too late to edit.