Category: net neutrality

More on the Comcast Net Neututrality Debacle

It was brought to my attention that Comcast’s main gripe about Netflix is due to the fact that Netflix chose to switch their traffic carriage to Level 3.

Internet providers all have what are called peering points. It’s basically where the great big web of the network gets all intermixed. But the charging for bandwidth at the peering point still essentially uses the charging structure of the old telephone network (Board to Board, Station to Station, Person to Person) except they use bandwidth equality.

This is the main bitch from Comcast, is having to pay more to sip from the pipe.

I call bovine effluent on the whole thing. First off the whole peering charge should be flat fee. Secondly the other concern of Comcast is that their network will be saturated.

Let me take on the second point. Comcast (And Cox, Verizon et al) have ALL been collecting the highest fees for broadband IN THE DEVELOPED world yet not making any dramatic improvements to their networks.

Part of it has to do with the fact that we broadband consumers are now subsidizing the dwindling mass of cable tv subscribers.

But over the years they all could have improved their networks so say their network backbone could contend with the volume of traffic being sent by Level 3, or even offering 100Mbps download speeds in the U.S. But no, I pay $58.99 for 30Mbps service. In France they pay the equivalent of about $45 a month for 100Mbps, digital tv and phone all combined.

So this all leads me to say it once and for all. Net Neutrality means moving providers into Common Carrier status. It means giving the FCC the teeth necessary to enforce carriage.

So support Net Neutrality. Write your congress critters. Let them know you’re mad as hell and not going to take this shit anymore.

Franken throws down regarding Net Neutrality!

If you’ve been reading for some time you know I’m a supporter of net neutrality and the FCC’s move to put the ISP’s into the common carrier column. It makes sense since in addition to data, video and telecom services run over the net. That makes them common carriers.

If you don’t understand net neutrality I’ll do a what-if for you.

What if Cox decided tomorrow to seriously degrade port 5060 TCP and UDP traffic. That’s the port used by SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) to setup VoIP calls? To me that would be a big no-no but Cox has a vested interest because they too offer phone service, overpriced phone service at that.

Or it could be Comcast blocking BitTorrent traffic, or any number of egregious behaviors by ISP’s who sold us UNLIMITED connections and are now trying to renege on the deal.

Franken really rips em’ though.

He begins with his usual deadpan:

“I believe that net neutrality is the First Amendment issue of our time, unless it’s freedom of religion, which, until last week, I thought we had kind of worked out.”

That last part in reference to the mosque they want to build NEAR the WTC disaster site.

But my absolute favorite part, which you must read even if you don’t read the source article:

“The FCC would publish an annual report on the effect of these additional services,” the proposal recommends, “and immediately report if it finds at any time that these services threaten the meaningful availability of broadband Internet access services.”

Franken had choice words for this plan, none of them good.

Google and Verizon’s scheme empowers the FCC to, “get this—’publish a report’,” he dryly commented, while his audience laughed again.

“But there’s an even bigger issue here. It’s that when government will not act, corporations will. And unlike government agencies, which have a legal responsibility to protect American consumers, the only thing corporations care about, the only thing that they have a legal duty to promote, is their bottom line.”

“We can’t let companies write the rules that they’re supposed to follow,” Franken added, “because if that happens those rules are going to be written only to protect corporations.”

So true. We cannot trust a corporation to police its own activities. It’s sort of like the two foxes and the chicken discussing what to have for dinner tonight.

Look at the past abuses of corporations. I was speaking with a co-worker today and she and I both expressed the same level of outrage about the dominant energy distributor/provider here in RI, National Grid.

For natural gas they use a ‘therm’ factor which is cubic feet times something. In other words this translates to a “Because we can” fee.

Once you de-regulate, be it energy, net services, phone services, etc. you can see what happens.

So regulate the net. It’s about damned time that we got a regulation for net neutrality.

What a week for Justice! Net Neutrality and revocation of telecom immunity!

First news that the FCC is actually going to promulgate net neutrality rules this coming Monday.

This essentially means the FCC has put its collective foot down on the issue. Here’s the thing, a lot of people are shocked that the FCC is doing this but I have to make it clear how the FCC operates.

The FCC runs on comments to its proposals. Every now and then the FCC will put out a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) and invite relevant parties to voice their support or rejection of the NPRM. The thing is, the FCC counts every submission as unique even if provided by the same person over and over.

So in this case it worked in our favor but remember, other groups like the Parents Television Council (all six of the people who probably belong to the group!) uses this to support the obscenity provisions that all broadcasters must follow.

In other news, a bill called the “JUSTICE” Act has been submitted. This bill corrects some of the more onerous parts of the “PATRIOT” Act but it goes further. It revokes the immunity granted to telecom carriers over the Bush era warrantless wiretap program. Only one telecom carrier didn’t roll over for the program, that was Qwest. Every other company including at&t, Verizon, et al rolled over for it.

I hope this bill passes. I want to see at&t and Verizon pay through the nose for allowing the NSA to spy on U.S. citizens.

From the article linked above:

One of the most significant aspects of the JUSTICE Act is that it will remove the retroactive immunity grants that were given to the telecom companies that participated in the NSA warrantless surveillance program. The companies that cooperated with the surveillance program likely violated several laws, including section 222 of the Communications Act, which prohibits disclosure of network customer information. The immunity grants have prevented the telecommunications companies that voluntarily participated in this program from being held accountable in court.

They should be held accountable and as I said, at least the legal team at Qwest knew it was wrong. Why didn’t the legal teams at at&t and Verizon not know this?

You know now that I think about it, this really isn’t a good week for the telecom companies.

Book Preview – Armistead Maupin’s “Michael Tolliver Lives”

Here we are in 2005 and Michael Tolliver is a 55 years old and HIV positive. But it’s not all doom and gloom.

He finds love again with someone twenty years younger than himself. I too know a bit about younger, though the span in our case is only eight years. I can just imagine what a twenty year span would be.

We get to re-meet several characters from the original four books, but we do find out that one is dead and another main character dies in this book of emphysema, a blue bloater if you will. And another of the more main characters suffers a heart attack and then goes into a coma.

I don’t want to give away too much more but the book is an easy read. I managed to pick it up at the library at noon and had finished reading it by 8:30PM. I’m a voracious reader but it’s a definite weekend fare. Speaking of which, check out Library Elf. Very cool service, it’s how I knew my book request was at my library.

More info on the book:
Author: Maupin, Armistead.
Title: Michael Tolliver lives / Armistead Maupin.
Publication info. New York : Harper Collins Publishers, c2007.
Edition 1st ed.
Description 277 p.
Subject City and town life — California — San Francisco — Fiction.
San Francisco (Calif.) — Fiction.
ISBN 9780060761356 (alk. paper)
0060761350 (alk. paper)

Or forget all that and just buy it on Amazon.

Now playing: Earth, Wind & Fire & The Emotions – Love’s Holiday
via FoxyTunes

TBS runs anti-net neutrality ad

Check it out. Matter of fact, watch the very end of the video and see who the sponsors happen to be. They blame Silicon Valley wanting us to pay more which is pure unadulterated bovine effluent.

The sponsors are phone and cable companies. Two of the most evil entities on the planet. Without net neutrality phone and cable companies could extract money from the likes of Google, YouTube, etc. And who would ultimately pay that price? We would.

They had their asses handed to them when congress refused to vote the bill, now they’ll try again to insert something that is bad for the consumer. Explain to me why Japan has both a higher number of households with broadband access, as well as speeds faster than what is offered in the United States at a cost that is significantly lower.

I suppose the greed level of Japanese companies is nothing compared to U.S. and British companies.