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F.C.C. Bandwidth Proposals Benefit Consumers
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msg:3992103
 9:38 am on Sep 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

F.C.C. Bandwidth Proposals Benefit Consumers [online.wsj.com]
The U.S. government plans to propose broad new rules Monday that would force Internet providers to treat all Web traffic equally, seeking to give consumers greater freedom to use their computers or cellphones to enjoy videos, music and other legal services that hog bandwidth.The move would make good on a campaign promise to Silicon Valley supporters like Google Inc. from President Barack Obama, but will trigger a battle with phone and cable companies like AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp., which don't want the government telling them how to run their networks.

 

grelmar




msg:3992207
 5:03 pm on Sep 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

About... Bloody... Time.

Lets hope they make it stick.

J_RaD




msg:3992228
 6:47 pm on Sep 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

I see why the network providers don't want the gov telling them what to do.

I also see why google backed neutrality so much.

swa66




msg:3992260
 10:17 pm on Sep 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

Most of what I've seen surroundingthe net neutrality so far is actually a direct result of too much competition for the customers leading to unrealistic promisses the ISP connecting consumers can't retract all that easily and hence an effort of them to try to find alternate ways to generate revenue.

Pushing them further into a corner will yield either them going belly up, or worse them seeking other -bad for webmasters and the general public- sources.

Examples of the type of offerign them sell their customers that are not sustainable:
FIOS, or any other high bandwidth solution that has no cap on amount of traffic the consumer can transfer in a given timespan. The costs involved for the ISPs are prohibitve from making a profit as the users increase their bandwidth usage.
P2P traffic is about the worst on this as it uses tremendous amounts of bandwidth on provider's backbones that don't run for free.

Examples of such sources we don't want them to be forced into:
- as webmasters: replace our ads with ads of their own, cutting off our revenue
- the general population really doesn't need every typo in a URL leading to a parked service of dubious nature.
- ...

Net neutrality as champion by Google and the like is sensitive from their perspective: They already pay for connectivity to the Internet to their upstreams, they have significant invenstments into content delivery systems to facilitate the delivery of content throughout the world. And then some leaf ISP connecting consumers (who already gets paid for connecting sad consumers want to have more money ?)

So the only solution is simple, but not popular: force ISPs connecting consumers to charge the consumers enough to cover the costs they cause (prohibit them from running the service at a loss). This will mean no "unlimited" use high bandwidth connections for $ 20 or even $50 a month ... and you'll have to accept either a cap on the amount of traffic you can send.receive and/or a significant price hike.

kaled




msg:3992289
 11:56 pm on Sep 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

So the only solution is simple, but not popular: force ISPs connecting consumers to charge the consumers enough to cover the costs they cause (prohibit them from running the service at a loss).

I like simple solutions - I think you are on to something with this one. Perhaps fixed-line ISPs should introduce similar pricing structures as those used for wireless broadband (i.e. a reasonable bandwidth allocation and then you pay for the rest at say, 10% above cost).

Kaled.

ByronM




msg:3992343
 3:50 am on Sep 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

I personally don't buy the bandwidth issue.. selling 50mbit lines for 69/month isn't the issue, its when you have cable companies who want to protect their lucrative content industry and make it prohibitive to others to deliver over the internet that we have to worry about. In fact in many ways the Internet is probably one of THE best "Economy of scale" industries ever since the more you use, the cheaper it gets and the larger the network you support the more the carriers want to peer with you anyway.

Your talking $10.00/mb for GigE connections in most metropolitan areas for a Tier 1 network. 10gE is running 4.00/mb for wholesale.

Personally if companies go metered internet access i think they would risk failing more since most people don't use a fraction of their bandwidth and those who do use a lot of bandwidth would happily switch companies that don't meter.

JAB Creations




msg:3992536
 4:59 pm on Sep 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

Ars Technica ran an article which made it pretty clear that ISP's are raking in money like never before so there are no profit issues for ISP's period!

Some things I'd like to see happen...

1.) No more lying about download speeds. Comcast gives me a 12 megabit connection only to ISP speed test sites, I'm still only seeing six megabit on everything else tops.

2.) No more lying about upload speeds. Comcast will upload the first ten megabits of a file at about 320 kilobytes a second and then drop it to about 120 kilobytes a second after that.

3.) No more having to reset my cable modem every half an hour or any time I get a decent torrent download speed.

4.) Multiple cable ISP choices in all areas.

Any one who knows even half of what is going on knows ISP's are using packet filtering to slow down torrent, FTP, and other types of traffic, even at odd hours of the night. ISP's need to get it through their thick corporate skulls, if someone isn't watching their television service even if they made the content available people will still access it online via their computers.

The one-way medium is dead and big content is simply not going to succeed in using ISP's to turn human beings in to television watching zombies.

- John

incrediBILL




msg:3992556
 6:07 pm on Sep 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

No more lying about download speeds. Comcast gives me a 12 megabit connection only to ISP speed test sites, I'm still only seeing six megabit on everything else tops.

That's not Comcast lying because the junk between your IP connection and the rest of the world can be staggeringly crappy.

Just last week I had a horrid FTP connection to one of my servers and the connection was from COMCAST -> TINET -> PEER 1 and the TINET portion of the connection was completely messed up.

I contacted Comcast on twitter, they contacted TINET, and within an hour it cleared up.

I do a full database backup from my server to my local desktop nightly and I download 80MB of data in just a couple of minutes so I can see daily in the download log that Comcast is doing a decent job.

Next time you have problems just run traceroute from your location to the destination and you'll see exactly where it's failing to reach top speeds.

No more having to reset my cable modem every half an hour or any time I get a decent torrent download speed.

Torrent?

So you're blaming Comcast because the pirate network doesn't run at top speeds?

JAB Creations




msg:3992578
 8:13 pm on Sep 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

I've had Fios before and I've gotten over 10 megabit connections to many of the sites I frequent including my own.

I run tracert all the time looking for bad hops.

Who said anything about piracy and tops speeds? I said everything I get a decent torrent download speed they kill the modem. On a 12 megabit connection 300 kilobytes is hardly top speed.

- John

thecoalman




msg:3992678
 2:38 am on Sep 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

So the only solution is simple, but not popular: force ISPs connecting consumers to charge the consumers enough to cover the costs they cause (prohibit them from running the service at a loss). This will mean no "unlimited" use high bandwidth connections for $ 20 or even $50 a month ... and you'll have to accept either a cap on the amount of traffic you can send.receive and/or a significant price hike.

Agree, allowing them to offer more bandwidth for their own services and content or giving privilege to certain companies will only allow them to bulldoze the competition. Separation of the connection service and content is crucial so sites can remain competitive. In many areas like mine consumers only have one choice for a provider.

Hugene




msg:3993669
 7:40 pm on Sep 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

I think the question here is not about unlimited vs limited bandwidth plans: the question is about slowing down or having preferential behaviors for different kinds of traffic/apps. No doubt that the unlimited bandwidth plans are foolish: the telcos need to get paid for the usage. However, the telcos have no right or place putting restrictions on the type of traffic we consume.

plumsauce




msg:3993937
 5:06 am on Sep 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

Torrent?

So you're blaming Comcast because the pirate network doesn't run at top speeds?

More likely the poster is talking about the usage of devices from SANDVINE on the COMCAST network that deliberately interfere with specific traffic.

It(the SANDVINE system) profiles traffic, and if it determines that it is not traffic that the isp wants on the network it sends a forged TCP RST packet to the endpoints. This effectively shuts down the connection without the either end having initiated a shutdown sequence. Clearly this is dirty pool.

My view is that an isp is paid to provide connectivity. This connectivity should not be restricted to specific traffic. If I need a port to perform a task, it should be available without interference.

Once the Sandvine device latches onto a particular MAC address, it will start to interfere with all communications on all ports involving that MAC address. Not just the torrent that triggered it.

So, run a torrent slowly in the background, and watch the server administration connection come to a crawl as it continuously disconnects and reconnects.

Sending forged RST packets to interfere with TCP connections is nothing more than a disincentive to using protocols that are tied to high bandwidth consumption. This is bandwidth that was advertised and sold, but that the isp does not want to actually deliver.

BTW, torrents are not just for pirated materials, they are also used for software distribution and updates. As the torrents are initiated, offered and encouraged by the vendors, it can hardly be called piracy.

swa66




msg:3994018
 10:13 am on Sep 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

BTW, torrents are not just for pirated materials, they are also used for software distribution and updates. As the torrents are initiated, offered and encouraged by the vendors, it can hardly be called piracy.

plumsouce, you're hitting it closer to target than you might know.

99% of P2P traffic is copyright violating material. There's no defense for breaking the law. And this gives all of the P2P traffic a really bad name.

The remaining part is a real annoyance: these companies sell a service or a product but deliberately chose not to pay for the distribution or the traffic it generates and instead borrow (some might argue: steal) that capacity from their users. Now those users often are unwittingly duped into this, or chosen due to them having much bandwidth available to them. Few do this as an intentional choice.
How those users are paying for their bandwidth is left out of the equation. If they have a fixed price deal and unlimited usage, they typically don't care and let the ISP run up the extra costs without getting any extra benefit form it.
Those without that flat fee unlimited use will easily get annoyed by it, jst like most companies trying to using their resources for business purposes instead of due to somebody unintentionally starting to supply something to the rest of the world for "free".

What are examples I've run into from non-copyright violating uses of P2P ... skype: Get promoted to supernode and you'll know what I'm talking about.
World of Warcraft: distributes their updates for the game using a P2P network they build from all gamers currently downloading the update with threats to the users to let the P2P happen or face even slower downloads.

There probably are more out there. And I think it's not in the best interest of all of us to allow companies to abuse this and not pay at all for connectivity for their quite profitable services. The difference between these companies and e.g. Google are gigantic. Google and the like pay serious amounts to be connected to the Internet with huge bandwidths around the world. asking them to pay once again for traffic to end-users is like asking them to pay twice for the same service. The examples above are companies that didn't pay once (ok, just for seeding it). Asking them to pay at least once isn't too much to ask IMHO.

Worse if ISPs are made powerless to stop things like P2P traffic it can only mean we all pay the price in the long run. Just imagine Googling for something means you accept to be part of their P2P crawler for the next hour, or using bing means you're a distribution point for the next black Tuesday updates Microsoft needs to distribute, ...
Since the ISP can't act against this anymore they'll have little choice but to slow it all down and/or charge you more.

piatkow




msg:3994060
 12:14 pm on Sep 23, 2009 (gmt 0)


If they have a fixed price deal and unlimited usage, they typically don't care and let the ISP run up the extra costs without getting any extra benefit form it.

If the ISP didn't do the costings on their packages correctly that is their problem not the customer's.

incrediBILL




msg:3994073
 12:48 pm on Sep 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

Sorry peeps but spammers set the stage for protocol interference.

Many of you can't directly send email via your own SMTP servers, you have to send email via your ISP yet you can read email from your own POP server, and it's been this way long before the ISPs targeted P2P protocols.

If the ISPs aren't allowed to police their own networks to stop harm from coming to the online community at large, then we might as well roll up the web and put it away now.

What I find most amusing is people pay a paltry $40/mo and think they should get the same kind of access someone paying full price for a T3 gets.

I'll suspect many people sign up for Comcast without reading the TOS and then complain they're being punished for violating those rules, let's investigate!

Comcast's TOS [comcast.net] clearly states that hosting file sharing services on their network is not permitted, so hosting P2P file sharing is covered, it's simply not allowed, and they further state:

"temporarily lowering the priority of traffic for users who are the top contributors to current network congestion"

That pretty much sums up the situation, it's not allowed.

Funny, I can stream HD movies full speed from various legit sources without a glitch but I'll bet there's a glitch if I try to download one via torrent, wonder what the difference is?

Hmmmm... ;)

For the record, I'm for net neutrality, but I'm not for net abuse, two totally different things and the current system is working just fine at the moment without government interference.

It's way to early for the Feds to step in.

swa66




msg:3995522
 9:45 am on Sep 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

If the ISP didn't do the costings on their packages correctly that is their problem not the customer's.

Have _you_ ever done pricing for mass consumer products ?

Regardless: the smart ISPs have hidden in the fine print the defenses together with purchasing the technology they needed to defend that pricing.
If anybody comes in and disturbs that balance they will need to seek a new balance.
If they want to keep the unlimited aspect: it'll be a solution with more income from somewhere. So It'll be "phorm" and other similar stuff or a price hike. I only hope they have the guts to go for the price hike.
Or if they want to keep the price levels: the details in the contract will change: no more unlimited bandwidth etc.

piatkow




msg:3999472
 8:15 pm on Oct 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Unlimited is like virginity - you have it or you don't.

phranque




msg:3999684
 5:44 am on Oct 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

it depends on what the definition of "is" is.
for example the bandwidth is obviously limited by the technology even if you are on a T3.
the fine print will simply become more obscure by adding qualifiers such as "unlimited instantaneous bandwidth" or "unlimited bandwidth consumption".

swa66




msg:3999696
 7:11 am on Oct 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

something like

unlimited edition
(some limits apply)

And then in the smallprint:
Additional traffic over the maximum average daily use will be invoiced at $X/Mbyte.
With that daily average calculated on a window of the billing period and the maximum set at something the majority of your customers are well below, somthing reasonable like 300Mbyte/day.

Pass it through marketing and legal a few times and no customer will notice till/unless the leachers get their first bill and start to protest: so you "gently" squeeze then out first (DMCA/copyright complaints sounds like an easy way to get them out and not have to take the heat) and be happy with the bulk of the rest of the customers.

The fun part: your competitor who stays last "truly" unlimited will end up with just the leachers and will have a _far_ bigger problem on his hands.

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