Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

US Internet Service In 2014: Net Neutrality Challenges and High-Speed Build-Outs

timothy posted about 7 months ago | from the right-to-pay-for-faster-connections? dept.

Government 73

Ars Technica takes a look at two sides of the world of internet service, as it's available to customers in the U.S., and especially at changes that are in the works for the next year. Thanks to Google, AT&T and other providers (including municipal networks), the number of Americans with access to very high speed household connections is rising dramatically — good news, for those in range of fiber-to-the-home rollouts, and this means at least some pressure on competitors. But as Ars writer Jon Brodkin points out, there are also developments that may dismay many customers, specifically the possibility that the Federal Communication Commission's 2010 Open Internet Order ("a network neutrality law that forbids ISPs from blocking services or charging content providers for access to their networks") may be overturned or weakened. That could come about either through lawsuit (Verizon's suit is mentioned), or through a more market-oriented approach from the FCC. Writes Brodkin: "If the law were overturned, ISPs could more easily steer customers to their own services and away from those of their rivals. They could charge companies like Netflix for the right to have their videos prioritized over other types of Internet traffic, perhaps indirectly raising the price consumers pay for streaming video and making it more difficult for startups to compete against established players who can afford the 'Internet fast lane' fees."

cancel ×

73 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

They're Coming for the Internet (2)

The Cat (19816) | about 7 months ago | (#45787805)

And they will win, because the Internet culture has become a sour mixture of tired memes, fundamentalist atheism, tech-of-the-week faux developers and complaining about graphics in games.

The people who actually built the Internet have long since given up, and those who now have custody of it are only interested in posting smartass replies to substantial discussions.

There is no imagination left. We have locked ourselves in to HTML5 vs. Flash and Mobile vs. PC, and while we bicker, the "big corporations" we thought we had defeated are about to kick our ass.

We had 20 years, and it was fun while it lasted. But it's over.

Re:They're Coming for the Internet (0)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 7 months ago | (#45787817)

fundamentalist atheism

WTF is that, and how does it differ from other forms of Atheism? Being an Atheist myself, I must admit to being ignorant of the various denominations of Atheism.

Re:They're Coming for the Internet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45787851)

WTF is that, and how does it differ from other forms of Atheism? Being an Atheist myself, I must admit to being ignorant of the various denominations of Atheism.

Unshaven fat fucks in fedoras who would put to the sword anybody doing something as innocent as hanging up a Christmas stocking, if they could muster more energy than is required to merely lift a twinkie to their mouths. ...Completely insulting because these sorts need to be completely insulted.

Re:They're Coming for the Internet (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 7 months ago | (#45787889)

That would be insulting if it described a single person. But hey, if you get off feeling persecuted for being in the majority religion by a tiny minority of the population, go for it I guess.

Re:They're Coming for the Internet (0)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 7 months ago | (#45787921)

I don't give a damn about any of them, except the militant fucks. The unshaven fat fucks you describe are beneath contempt, just as any other fat fucks who are to impotent to make a difference in the world. The militant assholes who file a court case every time the hear the name of Christ (or Allah, or Buddha, or Jehovah) are the ones who need to be dragged out behind the barn, for an appointment with a .22 long rifle behind their ears.

Re:They're Coming for the Internet (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45787969)

Those people you want to shoot are the only reason we still have freedom of religion (and the freedom to not have a religion as well) in the US. I'd much rather said appointment with a rifle be for you than for them. They are protecting the rights of the non-christian minority.

Re:They're Coming for the Internet (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 7 months ago | (#45791633)

The militant assholes who file a court case every time the hear the name of Christ (or Allah, or Buddha, or Jehovah) are the ones who need to be dragged out behind the barn, for an appointment with a .22 long rifle behind their ears.

Please tell me you're not a Christian, because that was the most unChristian statement I've heard all week, and since yesterday was Christmas it was especially distasteful.

Re:They're Coming for the Internet (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 7 months ago | (#45793331)

Yes, I am a Christian. I'm not the imaginary Christian that everyone expects to turn the other cheek though. Distasteful as you might find it, some Christians are willing and able to stand up for themselves.

AC above, for instance, imagines that those militant atheists are standing up for his rights. Little does he understand that it was Christians who saw to it that the freedom of religion was enshrined into our constitution.

Re:They're Coming for the Internet (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 7 months ago | (#45795009)

I'm not the imaginary Christian that everyone expects to turn the other cheek though.

You should try it, it works. Fighting hate with hate just feeds the hate, love dissipates hate. Those militant atheists? How can you hate the pitiful? The poor fools are doomed unless they see the light.

There's no room for hatred in Christianity; hatred is from Satan. Love those who hate you, do good to those who persecute you. That is the essence of Jesus' message.

Re:They're Coming for the Internet (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 7 months ago | (#45795043)

Where does hate come in to this equation? When and where did I imply that I hate anyone? Are we speaking the same language?

If you walk out into the street of your home town, and find a pack of wild dogs attacking a child, what do you do? I would destroy the dogs. Not because I hate the dogs, but because the child has more value to society than any number of dogs. Hate? Being filled with hatred of dogs would impede your ability to deal with the threat to the child. Hatred cripples you.

I just want to see the threat that those militant atheists represent to be ended. They have no right to impose their world view on other people. Nor do Christians have a right to impose their world view on other people. It's written into our consitution, and as I've already mentioned, it was written there by a group of men who were mostly Christian.

Re:They're Coming for the Internet (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 7 months ago | (#45797837)

Where does hate come in to this equation? When and where did I imply that I hate anyone?

You said "The unshaven fat fucks you describe are beneath contempt, just as any other fat fucks who are to impotent to make a difference in the world. The militant assholes who file a court case every time the hear the name of Christ (or Allah, or Buddha, or Jehovah) are the ones who need to be dragged out behind the barn, for an appointment with a .22 long rifle behind their ears."

That sounds pretty hateful to me.

If you walk out into the street of your home town, and find a pack of wild dogs attacking a child, what do you do? I would destroy the dogs.

You weren't talking about a pack of wild dogs physically attacking a child, you were talking about murdering human beings for filing lawsuits. BIG difference there.

I just want to see the threat that those militant atheists represent to be ended.

They're no threat. As hard as they try and as much as they wish it, there's no way they'll ever kill religion.

They have no right to impose their world view on other people. Nor do Christians have a right to impose their world view on other people.

Entirely true. There should be no ten commandments in a courthouse; the last I looked, merely wanting someone's property is legal, having sex with your congressman's wife is legal, being atheist is legal, but the ten commandments say they're sins (which they of course are). Government should have nothing to do with marriage whatever; why does a childless married couple pay less in tax than a widow with a child who earns the same? If governments were not in the marriage business (and marriage is a religious institution) this "gay marriage" nonsense would have never started. Kansas and Texas should stop trying to push creationism as a scientific theory, because it isn't.

If atheists want to waste their money on lawsuits and billboards, let them. They won't shake my faith, or the faith of anyone who has had God touch them.

Maybe if there weren't so many wolves in sheep's clothing (like that Baptist "church" in Florida that pickets military funerals that's really a bunch of lawyers, and you know what Christ said about lawyers) the atheists might shut up. They just don't realize that there are people who pretend to be Christians. There are an awful lot of people who claim to worship God but in reality worship money and power. These people are far more dangerous than any atheist, no matter how militant.

Re:They're Coming for the Internet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45787867)

WTF is that, and how does it differ from other forms of Atheism?

Never heard of 'fundamentalist atheism', most of the self-identifying atheists I meet are 'evangelical atheists' who loudly preach their ideology. There are some 'practicing atheists' as well, much more tolerable, they have the decency not to insult people who disagree with their dogma and only get into a philosophical argument if someone else is interested in the debate.

Re:They're Coming for the Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45790091)

Can't say that I've come across any angry evangelical atheists outside of the Internet. Come to think of it, I've never been evangelized by an angry Christian either, even when my lack of religion becomes apparent. It seems to me that if you look around and find yourself surrounded by assholes, it's probably time for a change of scenery.

Re:They're Coming for the Internet (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 7 months ago | (#45799083)

Somebody once said, "In every meeting there is at least one asshole. Look around the room. If nobody you see is an asshole, you're it." :D

Re:They're Coming for the Internet (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about 7 months ago | (#45790137)

met my fair share who are definitely fundamentalist, and want to do me a favor by barring me from my religion.
frankly they're no different from the people who want to do me a favor by saving my soul for me by converting me to their flavor.
what i actually want is of no consequence to either type.

Re:They're Coming for the Internet (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 7 months ago | (#45791623)

WTF is that, and how does it differ from other forms of Atheism?

Most athiests, like most Christians, won't shove their religion or lack of same down anyone's throat. "Fundamentalist" atheists (I kind of like that phrase, never heard it before) have to troll every slashdot story explaining to everyone how fucking stupid we are because we're not atheists. They're like the damned Jehova's Witnesses as compared to a normal Christian who usually only discusses religion when warranted (such as a question is asked or when he or she defends against some atheist statement).

There are a lot of Christians who (sinfully) are bigoted against gays. And there are a lot of atheists who don't try in the least to hide their bigotry. Both are wrong. IMO, evangelicals of all stripes should STFU.

Re:They're Coming for the Internet (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 7 months ago | (#45799139)

I'll just add (at the risk of getting flamed, derided, or insulted) that there are very good arguments from Systems Science that it is impossible to prove one or the other. For every argument for, there is a counter argument; and vice versa. So let's all just get along, and accept that other people may have thought things through just as intelligently as you and I have, and come to different conclusions.

Re:They're Coming for the Internet (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 7 months ago | (#45805471)

I can't argue with that.

Agreed to an extent (non-faux dev & how) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45791537)

Hosts do more w/ less (1 file) @ a faster level (ring 0) vs redundant browser addons (slowing up slower ring 3 browsers) via filtering 4 the IP stack (coded in C, loads w/ OS, & 1st net resolver queried w\ 45++ yrs.of optimization - no "tech of the week" here):

---

APK Hosts File Engine 9.0++ 32/64-bit:

http://start64.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5851:apk-hosts-file-engine-64bit-version&catid=26:64bit-security-software&Itemid=74 [start64.com]

(Details of hosts' benefits enumerated in link)

Summary:

---

A. ) Hosts do more than AdBlock ("souled-out" 2 Google/Crippled by default) + Ghostery (Advertiser owned) - "Fox guards henhouse", or Request Policy -> http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4127345&cid=44701775 [slashdot.org]

B. ) Hosts add reliability vs. downed or redirected DNS + secure vs. known malicious domains too -> http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3985079&cid=44310431 [slashdot.org] w/ less added "moving parts" complexity + room 4 breakdown,

C. ) Hosts files yield more speed (blocks ads & hardcodes fav sites - faster than remote DNS), security (vs. malicious domains serving mal-content + block spam/phish), reliability (vs. downed or Kaminsky redirect vulnerable DNS, 99% = unpatched vs. it & worst @ ISP level + weak vs FastFlux + DynDNS botnets), & anonymity (vs. dns request logs + DNSBL's).

---

* Addons are more complex + slowup browsers in message passing (use a few concurrently - you'll see) - Addons slowdown SLOWER usermode browsers layering on MORE: I work w/ what you have in kernelmode, via hosts ( A tightly integrated PART of the IP stack itself )

APK

P.S.=> Lots wiseass replies to that here over time (advertisers/malware makers/inferior competitors + "fanboys" largely I suspect) - e.g. -> http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4539709&cid=45664491 [slashdot.org]

(None validly disprove my points on hosts' - Just failed non-sequitur illogical off-topic ad hominem attacks ("eating their words" ala Lumpy in last link above))

... apk

Bogus downmods only prove me right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45848065)

So whoever's doing them (yet is unable to validly disprove my points), is only making me STRONGER for it...

* Thank you...

APK

P.S.=> Truth's like that - unassailable (especially by trolling worms - the online trash of the world)...

... apk

Pass the cost to the end user (4, Interesting)

MacDork (560499) | about 7 months ago | (#45787815)

If the FCC decides Net Neutrality is no good, I would suggest sites pass the new costs to end users.

We've detected your ISP is Comcast. Due to fees Comcast charges YouTube to deliver content to you, YouTube is no longer free on Comcast. If you would like to continue using YouTube, you must change your ISP or pay YouTube $X/mo to offset this cost. We are sorry Comcast has decided to double charge you. Thank you for using YouTube

Re:Pass the cost to the end user (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | about 7 months ago | (#45787895)

An idea which completely falls apart when you remember an overwhelming majority of people have only an abusive monopoly or duopoly at best.

Re:Pass the cost to the end user (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 7 months ago | (#45787981)

They idea isn't to switch, but to put pressure on Comcast et al. Users unable to switch would complain. It's a start.

Re:Pass the cost to the end user (4, Informative)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | about 7 months ago | (#45788061)

You think people don't already complain about an ISP whose nickname is "Comcrap"?

Re:Pass the cost to the end user (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about 7 months ago | (#45788297)

It's Craptastic!

Re:Pass the cost to the end user (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 7 months ago | (#45788869)

I prefer Crapcast. It flows better.

Re:Pass the cost to the end user (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45789071)

You think people don't already complain about an ISP whose nickname is "Comcrap"?

I can't believe you're not using "Cumcast"! (Though I suppose that name may already be taken for... certain sites.)

Re:Pass the cost to the end user (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | about 7 months ago | (#45789287)

Nickname? I didn't know that that was a nickname.

Re:Pass the cost to the end user (2)

Megane (129182) | about 7 months ago | (#45788157)

In other words, it's like when a cable company's contract with a local TV station is up. For three months you get end-of-the-world warnings about LOSING YOUR KZZZ TV CHANNEL!!!1!!11ONE~!!1 (as though it were not possible to watch it any other way but through the officially blessed One True Cable Box*), but at the last minute, a new contract is signed, just in time. (Or after maybe one token day of black-out just to remind the plebes that their fate is entirely at the mercy of CocksWeener CableCo.)

*not that most people would even know how to change channels without the box knowing what channels were available -- between the few channels you can get from an antenna is a sucking void that will pull you into a world of static inside your TV set if you change to an unused channel by accident! "They're heeeeeere!"

Re:Pass the cost to the end user (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 7 months ago | (#45799167)

Interestingly, my GF and her daughter are both cutting the cable and buying HD antennas. They get more *useful* channels - especially local and regional news, better quality (mostly), real HD, and a price of $0 per month. They won't be getting various cable channels but they weren't really watching any of them but the Weather Channel.

Re:Pass the cost to the end user (0)

MacDork (560499) | about 7 months ago | (#45788595)

For wired connections, that may be the case. But I have no contract unlimited data for $30/mo. [t-mobile.com] That's less than half the price I pay for cable, and the 4G is as fast as cable. I'm teetering on cancelling cable already.

Re:Pass the cost to the end user (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | about 7 months ago | (#45795107)

Now try actually using that as your primary internet connection and see how long it takes before you're cut off, sued, or throttled.

Re:Pass the cost to the end user (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 7 months ago | (#45799205)

I am on Verizon Wireless, and used that as my internet connection for a couple of years, including my job as an IT person. I'm not a big movie watcher or anything, but it was fine for quite a while. I did finally sign up for cable internet (no TV, no phone) because I needed a fixed location for some web server testbed and document storage that required a fixed base. But I'm typing this on my laptop running through my phone in a friend's apartment in Miami. Verizon Wireless can get expensive as the data transfers get larger - basically $10 per 2GB/month.

Maybe I'm in a minority here but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45789865)

I have quite a few choices for internet where I live. We have at least two dedicated wireless internet providers. Several of the wireless phone providers have data offerings in our area (I have one of them for mobile access). The wired internet does only offer one choice, a local telephone company serving a Verizon connection I believe. But if push really came to shove I've seen quite a few places with Dishnet and Hughes net satellite internet.

Re:Pass the cost to the end user (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 7 months ago | (#45787905)

That would be exactly the proper cure. The chances we see it are negligible.

Remember when credit cards came out? Retailers marked their products with two prices - cash, and credit. Credit card companies went to state legislators and to court to have that practice curtailed. The end result was, we all pay more, so that credit card users can pay the same price as everyone else.

Re:Pass the cost to the end user (2)

MacDork (560499) | about 7 months ago | (#45788033)

Funny you should mention credit card surcharges. [mint.com] Those are on the way after a long court battle, and a federal judge has already declared it unconstitutional [reuters.com] for states to block it.

Re:Pass the cost to the end user (1)

SirGeek (120712) | about 7 months ago | (#45788065)

Not "quite". Places are allowed to say "Price: X.XX, Cash Discount of $ Y.YY"

I've seen a few gas stations saying this. And doing this (offering a cash discount) is perfectly legal.

I would just like to see more places that do debit and credit (that don't charge more) asking people to use their debit cards (AS debit cards) whenever possible because it saves them CC Transaction fees - and thus saves THEM money because they don't need to raise their prices to pay for the fees).

Re:Pass the cost to the end user (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 7 months ago | (#45788233)

Different jurisdictions have different laws, of course. You must have seen MacDork's post above. The state of New York seems to have passed a law the imposed criminal penalties on retailers who charged for credit card use. The courts have placed an injunction against imposing that law.

When I was growing up, my home state did indeed make it illegal for merchants to add any credit card surcharge. In the decades since, I've seen those "cash discount" prices you mention. I would be hard pressed to remember just when, or where. I don't see them in my present day home state. I really don't know the legality, here in Arkansas.

It should be perfectly legal, and publicly known, that credit card transaction fees are charged to the person making the purchase. If your credit card issuer charges the vendor $3 per transaction, then you, as the purchaser, should pay that $3. If the credit card issuer charges $10 or $15 per transaction - then you, as the purchaser pays that fee up front.

And, yes, some of those cards do indeed have fees that high, or possibly higher. Those interstate truck drivers almost all carry cards for fuel purchases. The last time I used a Comm-Chek the fee was $12 for each transaction. Typical transactions were between $300 and $500 and some truck stop owners would refuse to process a transaction for less than $50. It's hard to say how much things have changed in the years since I last drove.

Re:Pass the cost to the end user (4, Interesting)

TheCarp (96830) | about 7 months ago | (#45788553)

> It should be perfectly legal, and publicly known, that credit card transaction fees are charged
> to the person making the purchase

It should but its actually a complicated problem; mostly due to the way card processing works now.

My knowledge of this comes directly from my Wife, who worked in the POS industry (that is sale and setup of cash registers and assorted paraphernalia) for several years.

Basically, what you see, and I see them around too...mostly at gas stations, is the "two price" scenario, one for cash, one for credit. It may be described as a "cash discount", but I have never seen it called a "credit fee", and part of the problem is...the fees are NOT fixed, they vary from card to card.

So, if Alice and Bob both walk into Carolmart on the same day, of the same year, at the same time and buy the same item, they will both pay the same price. However, if Alice uses her Capital One Card, and Bob uses his Discover.... Carolmart will, in fact, actually be charged two different fees!

That is right, if you have a card with "Cash back" or some "rewards program" they actually charge the retailer who takes the card more to cover the rewards! So if they really were to implement such fees, the fee would depend on what card you use (as well as other factors like how much business the store does).

There is some ability to deny specific cards: this is the very reason "American Express" is commonly not accepted because they have some of the higher fees (ditto for discover). However this breaks down a bit when you factor in how many different cards all work under the VISA or MASTERCARD brands.

Not saying any of this isn't fixable, just that its grown up somewhat complicated and there is a lot of interest in not fixing it or making it more transparent.

Re:Pass the cost to the end user (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 7 months ago | (#45788953)

Oh, it's definitely complicated. A lot of that nonsense is easily fixed though. You have kinda indicated as much. Each of the state legislatures can easily pass a law that forbids those cash-back refunds, and sets a limit to transaction fees. Or, if the CC companies want to take all those laws to court, then congress can address the issue with a similar law.

Actually, I think I prefer a law passed by congress. Credit cards are pervasive in our society, and few of us live in insular communities today. Just pass a federal law, so that all CC transactions are governed the same. If I should drive from New York to Miami, to Seattle, to Bangor Maine, and save all my receipts for gasoline, every one of them should show a small fee for using a credit card.

xx.xxx gallons of gasoline at y.yyy per gallon plus 3% surcharge for credit card purchase.

Re:Pass the cost to the end user (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about 7 months ago | (#45790209)

Well if the states start passing such laws, the credit card companies will push for congress to pass one themselves. That is how things seem to work across every industry. First they oppose any and all regulation federally or local. Then a few local areas pass it....and suddenly they are faced with compliance with different codes in different places....and a single federal law starts looking like their best option, so they push for that.

I bet all you really need is 2-3 states to pass their own laws, preferably with slight differences that make compliance painful; then you will get a federal law on short order.

This is one reason I prefer to keep it in the states actually, fragmented laws are a boon for local businesses; as it gives them a huge advantage to a company that only has to deal with their own state's law, vs one that has to comply with different codes in different places.

Re:Pass the cost to the end user (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45791355)

Who benefits more from the current system? Retailers or card holders? The card holder who swipes, possibly signs, and gets various protections and rewards? Or the retailer who has less physical cash in the register to worry about at day's end plus speedier lines?

I thought rewards were partially/fully funded by the interest those paid on the cards, not nearly as much from those fees when making purchases.

I am fully find with retailers requiring minimum purchases to make debit/credit card purchases. But I may be hesistant to make a credit card purchase if I had to pay a 3% fee. Maybe I'd go back to debit card purchases. Or maybe I'd inconvenience the store by making a cash purchase.

What retailers need to do is to fight high fees. 3% is high. 1% might be more fair. Plus, stores already offer rewards on their loyalty cards which are equivalent to card fees, if not more. How did Fred Meyer benefit when they offered 4x fuel on gift cards at one point? $125 Amazon gift card purchase = 500 fuel points = 50 cents off per gallon * 35 gallon max = $17.50 possible savings = 14% max reward benefit not counting normal non-fuel rewards or the credit card points I got from said purchase.

You know, I may be fine paying fees to smaller retailers, like mom and pop stores (if any exist anymore). Or when I have to pay a surcharge when using my debit/credit card at some places, such as a flat 50 cents. But I don't like the idea of charging 1 to 3 percent on credit card transactions across the board.

Oh, as someone else pointed out in a slashdot comment of sometime past, we pay Comcast and the like to pipe the data to us. If Netflix traffic were an issue, how about charging us more for more bandwidth used, rather than considering charging Netflix (or us) for Netflix sending us data. If anything, it may be Comcast not liking their competitors, I think in my personal opinion which may not be based in fact. No, I don't have a Netflix account.

Re:Pass the cost to the end user (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45789295)

"I would just like to see more places that do debit and credit (that don't charge more) asking people to use their debit cards (AS debit cards) whenever possible because it saves them CC Transaction fees - and thus saves THEM money because they don't need to raise their prices to pay for the fees)."

Yes, well... the problem with that is that most places that differentiate between credit and debit cards want your PIN to use it as a debit card. I can't say I'm much in the mood to give Target my PIN...

Re:Pass the cost to the end user (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about 7 months ago | (#45788441)

I often wonder what these so-called "costs" are.

My problem with the whole concept is this idea that an ISP should be able to go to a content provider, who isn't their customer, and threaten to degrade their own customers service; which he paid for; if the content provider doesn't pay.

The customer paid for internet access. If he requests content from google, he should get it and get it in a similar timely manner as any other site; and if he doesn't, it really shouldn't be the fault of the very people he is paying for that service from.

Google, in short, already has an (or many) ISP(s) and pays for their internet connection and content movement. Their ISPs have their own connections that they pay for and do the same; as does the Consumer's ISP.

I don't see where they should have a leg to stand on at all here. They advertise Internet Access, that is what it means.

Now if they were arguing for reasonable QOS, stuff like giving priority to port 22 and other operational changes that make the experience better, have at it. However, that doesn't really cover "Your intended content provider didn't pay our blackmail demands".

Re:Pass the cost to the end user (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | about 7 months ago | (#45789643)

Why do you think Google has been laying dark fiber? So when Comcast starts that shit, they'll just look them in the eye and say "Do you really want another Austin or Kansas City?" Not that they want to light it up, but to use it as a threat.

Of course, that only really helps Youtube and other Google projects

free trade crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45787837)

And yes the USA corporations can bully and export that shit under free trade agreements to the rest of us,

Comcast is already twisting the screws. (4, Interesting)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 7 months ago | (#45787933)

They finally flipped the switch and capped their "unlimited" internet to 300GB. They will automatically upgrade my service (with increased monthly fees) for every 50 GB over the original 300 GB. I can manually downgrade my service back to the original 300 GB whenever I feel 300 GB is enough. Xfinity video service doesn't count towards the cap but YouTube and Netflix does.

Other shenanigans from Comcast includes: Charging extra ($35) for the battery inside the cable modem to keep the telephony working during blackouts and starting in January they will charge $2 each per month for the simple digital converters they gave for free more than 3 years ago when they eliminated their analog signal. Funny how it was free when converters were on sale everywhere. Now that the supply dried up, they'll start charging for what they gave away.

Welcome to Comcast!

Re:Comcast is already twisting the screws. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45788089)

Did supply dry up because they were being given away for free? I suppose time will tell if the supply will now return or if Comcast will be investigated for dumping.

Re: Comcast is already twisting the screws. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45788105)

sad when rogers and Shaw where giving them away or selling them for $50 or less and you own them

Re: Comcast is already twisting the screws. (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 7 months ago | (#45788193)

That's what I find deceptive. Comcast gave the impression that I owned the converters at the time.

Re:Comcast is already twisting the screws. (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 7 months ago | (#45788227)

You do realize those converters were for OTA TV not cable? Comcast loves the converters as there is effectively nothing that is not encrypted anymore. This means they no long have to send trucks to the projects etc to turn off peoples cable.

Re:Comcast is already twisting the screws. (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 7 months ago | (#45788253)

There were cable compatible converters available alongside the OTA converters at the time. Comcast pretty much said why buy one when we can give you one for free?

Re:Comcast is already twisting the screws. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45788285)

They finally flipped the switch and capped their "unlimited" internet to 300GB.

Have they?

Just checked my account, and they've dropped my cap from 300GB to 250GB, but they're still not enforcing said cap.

The cable modem battery thing is hilarious, though.

I really wish my only alternative wasn't AT&T. They make Comcast look like saints.

Re:Comcast is already twisting the screws. (2)

N0Man74 (1620447) | about 7 months ago | (#45790191)

The cap is only in some markets. They are testing it. People need to express their dissatisfaction while the testing phase is still happening.

Re:Comcast is already twisting the screws. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45793647)

Unfortunately in my case "expressing dissatisfaction" takes the form of paying an additional $15 a month for business class because it is the only option.

What's most disturbing is that they've gotten a lot of positive press simply for rolling out overage charges in congested areas where they've actually had to enforce caps.

Re:Comcast is already twisting the screws. (1)

Colin Castro (2881349) | about 7 months ago | (#45788291)

My phone is wireless, so it wont work in a power outage anyway. But I asked the comcast rep about the battery in the modem, and according to her, the phone would keep working even without power or the battery. I don't believe her.

Re:Comcast is already twisting the screws. (2)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | about 7 months ago | (#45789547)

Other shenanigans from Comcast includes: Charging extra ($35) for the battery inside the cable modem to keep the telephony working during blackouts

Get OOMA, the get used to paying virtually nothing in the way of a bill . Get a UPS that kicks in when the elec goes out. It will run your router + OOMA for a *very* long time.

Done.

Re:Comcast is already twisting the screws. (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 7 months ago | (#45789709)

It's already on a UPS. The thing that irritated me the most was that while I was out of town they upgraded my cable modem with a self install kit. The person who did the install left the rechargeable battery in the old modem thinking that the new modem had a battery in it (they are both Arris brand). It wasn't until I returned later that week and noticed that the new modem was lighter than the old one, that I discovered that they no longer send a battery with the cable modem. When I called Comcast about it, they offered to fix the situation for $35 while referring to a policy change that occurred 8 months ago.

Re:Comcast is already twisting the screws. (1)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | about 7 months ago | (#45790063)

Try OOMA. If you can get it to work, it's great. You only have ot pay some small telephone regulatory fees each month if you don't upgrade to their 100 / year package.

Error in the write up (2)

plopez (54068) | about 7 months ago | (#45787935)

"a more captured market-oriented approach from the FCC"

There we go. Fixed it. Remember, no business droid in their right mind wants a level playing field. They want a playing field tilted in their favour.

Re: Let me summarize (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45788003)

Like most US infrastructure, the United States internet build out has lost it's premiere status on the world stage. Overtaken by the higher per capita government investment from much smaller economies, or simply [i]smarter[/i] per capita investment in some cases: the US consumer has a depressing selection of options available to them. In many areas, higher download speeds are actually available through next generation wireless technologies such as 4G LTE than can be found from their local ISP. Some may consider this counter-intuitive status quo to be a damning condemnation of the ideology behind the way this infrastructure development was financed, although interesting enough: when pressed, the author was unable to secure a clear consensus on [i]which[/i] ideology was at fault!

Like most issues of contention in the United States, polled respondents who didn't admit to being completely ignorant of the topic at hand were split in to two groups(who seemed equally determined to point fingers at the Democrats & Republicans). The majority of the respondents were unaware that the internet was the product of financial investment and not a creation of "spontaneous generation" or divine intervention. Some were surprised that internet infrastructure "hadn't always been there". [b]Most were very keen to hear it had been "intelligently designed", although grew instantly distrustful when they discovered that STEM professionals such as engineers were at the helm.[/b] One woman asked suspiciously if the engineers at her local ISP were trying to "Trick her out of her medicare?".

A local college student & her friends were interviewed under the awning of a Starbucks near the author's home. They were much less willing to admit to being ignorant of the topic at hand and kept attempting to shift the topic to "supporting network neutrality". One girl who declined to be named commented that "the waning prominence of US infrastructure could likely be attributed to failures in campaign finance reform, the revolving door of public sector service, and successful regulatory-capture creating a culture of "crony-capitalism" where profits were privatized and risks were absorbed by the public." This comment appeared to make her friends very uncomfortable and an awkward silence followed that was only interrupted when an argument broke out between two of her male colleagues on who bore more responsibility: the FCC appointee under the presidency of Bill Clinton, or George W Bush.

Interstate data highway system? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45788261)

Perhaps we need a network of regional data exchange points.

Bandwidth between exchange points is owned/funded like interstate highways.
    Internet access is a defined service where the bandwidth provided is from the customer to the nearest exchange point.

Special arrangements where coupling internet access with another service like video not permitted.
      (Video has to connect at the exchange point. this makes a level playing field both between access providers and between video providers.)

With the government controlling the bandwidth between the exchange points, what could go wrong?

Net neutrality needs to be over turned (2)

LordToranaga (620032) | about 7 months ago | (#45788337)

By all means get rid of net neutrality, with one caveat: The Verizon's, AT&T's, Comcast's et al of the world must not be allowed to sue either local municipalities or the federal government for creating their own competing delivery systems when it comes to high speed access. And as soon as said companies file a lawsuit the networks of named litigants are immediately open to other network and content providers (aka Optimum) to provide services for as long as the lawsuit is active.

Nice idea but it won't work. (1)

bussdriver (620565) | about 7 months ago | (#45788961)

Nice optimistic idea, but long term it won't work like you think. The entrenched powers are too powerful and the system is way too corrupt; including the incompetent citizenry.

BTW, bogus meaningless lawsuits can shutdown small players and even if you can fight them without going broke, their law firms against your cheap lawyer can make you lose even the obvious cases. I've seen it happen in my area where "cable" in the contract agreement was defined as TV only because it was signed in the 80s so internet and phone were exempted from the franchise agreement - when clearly the city agreement was over the use of public land (what all services use) to run their cables - and not about the signal on those wires. The lousy lawyer couldn't get the stupid or corrupt judge to decide a clear cut case.

Also, since when do such tit for tat agreements hold with mega corporations in the 1st place? After some years they always weasel out of their part of the grand bargain.

Re:Nice idea but it won't work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45790407)

Yeah they're quick to either say "take it to court" [it's no extra cost to them, those lawyers are already on retainer], or "yeah sure oh yeah we'll pay" and then never do a damned thing about it afterwards.

Because what can we do? They know we can't hurt them, they themselves aren't committing immoral, unethical acts, their puppet entity, that legal person they control, is.

Until people drag entire boards of directors out and show their discontent like the french did Louis and Robespierre, we'll keep getting shat on and stuck in 'les champs de guantanamo' for speaking up.

Mandate more competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45788599)

You can drop Network Neutrality when there are 10 competitors in the market that each have their own lines installed. If the number drops below 10, then Net Neutrality is back on until there are 10 competitors again.

If I was Netflix, I would not pay the protection money that AT&T and Comcast are demanding. I would put some nice links on my web site, maybe even automated forms, to send complaints to the FCC, and any other agency, when my product is being throttled.

News flash (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45789087)

The US slides further into the shitter. Seriously we are headed for third world status at an ever accelerating rate.

Welcome back to Compuserve 2.0 (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about 7 months ago | (#45789305)

Given the return of the walled-garden versions of the Internet, we might as well call it that.

Net Neutrality solution (2)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | about 7 months ago | (#45789455)

Shoot anyone against it.

Also. The FCC is filled to the gills with politically well connected, revolving door sycophants there to do industry's bidding before jumping back on the gravy train. It's the poster child for a watchdog agency overrun and infested with regulatory saboteurs and common's-hating overpavers.

http://www.npr.org/2011/05/20/136492206/new-republic-the-fccs-revolving-door-is-shameless [npr.org]

http://www.opensecrets.org/revolving/search_result.php?agency=Federal+Communications+Commission&id=EIFCC [opensecrets.org]

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A62718-2004Nov19.html [washingtonpost.com]

http://articles.latimes.com/2013/aug/30/business/la-fi-mo-powell-20130830 [latimes.com]

http://www.theverge.com/2012/11/20/3670940/michael-powell-fcc-chariman-cable-companies-mercy-contet [theverge.com]

Re:Net Neutrality solution (2)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | about 7 months ago | (#45790027)

What we ought to do is just let Munis have community WIFI. They have actually been stopped by the courts by the telcos. Sorry, but that is just corruption. The idea that private corporations can stop the democratically elected local governments from enacting laws which are otherwise not unconsitutional is new to me and I wonder where the legal basis for such comes from.

  People need to wake up and educate themselves as to what's at stake here. Allowing auction style bidding wars for bandwidth to decide the price of bandwidth is preposterous. Should we do the same thing for access to highways? Maybe make trucking companies bid for the right to use them? I wonder what effect that would have on competition and ultimately the price of delivered goods , i.e. everything.

The fact is the FCC is a fox watching the henhouse. These people just need to go on back to their true home- the industry to be regulated- and let actual regulators attend to the process of regulation for the general welfare of society. It's not that hard to get straight on this, people just need to contact their representatives and let them know they're aware of this issue and how they feel. The telcos don't HAVE a constituency they didn't purchase and their pockets are not that deep. The solution is all about education and communication- it's not even a left-right partisan issue. Call your Congressperson and tell them how where you stand. This is how democracy works people.

.

Re:Net Neutrality solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45790343)

The legal basis is that when Toto Riina's spiritual successors hear some asshole little upstart is trying to undercut the stranglehold they have on the region, they hurt them, bad.

Nowadays, it's cheaper and much more chilling to those around the little bastards if you don't just kill them, but instead demolish their very ideology and way of life.

So the project architects suddenly have incriminating evidence waved in their faces with a friendly warning, the courts manned by their best buddies, even if it's not in the right state to try the affair, get filled with lawsuits, and anyone supporting the initiatives gets it 'implied' to them that false definitions treason and terrorism will get them 'enhanced interrogation' sessions, and only the real acts, the corporate-sponsored stuff, are tolerable in this country.

Net Neutrality, whats that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45790425)

I suppose it could be some funky bottleneck or something but I swear that Youtube is being throttled on my internet connection (Verizon I think). Amazon full TV shows in high quality play fine with only exceedingly rare stops for buffering. Youtube low quality video clips on the other hand seem to lock up regularly for buffering.

I agree with simply shooting anyone against NN... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45791519)

If Net Neutrality is ever compromised to such an extent, I will be on the first plane out of this country. That would definitely be the final straw. The US is in a horrific state today and is only going downhill because of these large corporations and their monopolistic business models. If they keep it up, they'll just be left in the dust as everyone cancels their services and either leaves or starts crowd funding new, respectable ISP's and push big business right out of the ISP market. That's my thoughts at least...

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>