US backing for two-tier Internet - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-08-2007, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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US backing for two-tier Internet

The US Justice Department has said that internet service providers should be allowed to charge for priority traffic.

The agency said it was opposed to "network neutrality", the idea that all data on the net is treated equally.

The comments put the agency at odds with companies such as Microsoft and Google, who have called for legislation to guarantee equal access to the net.

The agency submitted its comments to the Federal Communications Commission, which is investigating net access.

Several US internet service providers (ISPs), including AT&T and Verizon, have previously said that they want to charge some users more money for certain content.

This has particularly become an issue with the rise of TV and film download services.

A similar debate is ongoing in the UK.

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The Justice Department said imposing net neutrality regulations could hinder development of the internet and prevent ISPs from upgrading networks.

The agency said it could also shift the "entire burden of implementing costly network expansions and improvements onto consumers".

"Regulators should be careful not to impose regulations that could limit consumer choice and investment in broadband facilities," said Thomas Barnett, the department's antitrust chief.

The agency's stance is contrary to much of the internet community that believes in an open model for the internet.

Net neutrality advocates argue that a two-tier internet would allow broadband providers to become gatekeepers to the web's content.

Providers that can pay will be able to get a commercial advantage over those that cannot, they say.

In particular, there is a fear that institutions like universities and charities would suffer.

Last year, Sir Tim Berners-Lee the inventor of the web rallied against the idea of a two-tier internet.

"What's very important from my point of view is that there is one web," he said.

"Anyone that tries to chop it into two will find that their piece looks very boring."

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-08-2007, 07:08 PM
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Who do they think ultimately pays for those improvements and expansions as it is? That's about the stupidest argument one could proffer.

Once again, corporate control of a government entity rears it's ugly head.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-08-2007, 07:57 PM
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News flash - the government doesn't own much of the internet backbone (if anything). Companies do. The same companies that act as ISP's. It's very, very easy (technologically speaking) to impose classes of service on just about anything you can think of - IP address, URL, traffic type (based on port or connection type), etc. If you can look deep enough into the packet, you can tell exactly what kind of traffic it is, and bill for it accordingly. Easy stuff.

90% of all internet traffic, by the way, is estimated to be Peer-to-Peer file sharing. Kazaa, bittorrents, etc. That's a fucking shit ton of bandwidth. The l33t h4x0rz with nothing to do all day but send gigabytes of shit at a time to one another are what causes the rest of us to experience third-world quality internet performance, and what causes carriers to keep beefing up and upgrading their thousands of POP's, and millions of miles of fiber-optic.

The first couple of months mom & dad get $5,000 internet bills because Johnny's been running bot programs to attack forums, or transmitting porn DVD's as torrents, lots of this shit will come to a screeching halt.

By the way, over 90% of all e-mail is SPAM. Wouldn't it be great for ISP's to begin stepping in by charging people based on the number of e-mail messages they send each month? For example, there's no reason a home user would need to send more than 5,000 e-mails a month, or more than 10GB of e-mail a month. Exceed that quota, and you're getting a fat fucking bill. Businesses can buy more if they have dedicated business service. Nothing else seems to diminish SPAM, even though there's an easy to implement solution to the problem (I can go into that in detail if you'd like).

The use case whipped up by the very smart but academically alarmist Dr. Berners-Lee and his frothy band of doomsayers is that AOL, Verizon, etc. will charge you extra to access YouTube, but charge nothing to access their own video-on-demand offerings. I don't think that'll last very long, especially in areas where no competition exists. That's anti-competitive. However, there are types of traffic which are very demanding, disproportionately so, and should be assessed at a higher rate.
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