Tag: net neutrality

FCC votes 3 to 2 in favor of net neutrality

They pretty much had to do this. The public outcry was immense. In fact from what I read it was the largest amount of comments in favor that the FCC had ever gotten in any notice of proposed rule making.

The two most important things – the carriers like Comcast, Cox, Verizon et al will no longer be able to give paid prioritization to content providers on broadband networks. Nor will they be able to block providers.

Of course you know the broadband carriers are going to fight this all the way. It’ll be tied up in court for a while but I’ll tell you what their point of contention is going to be and it’s that they believe regulation will stifle innovation.

Let me dispel this myth – it’s not true. When Ma Bell was regulated to the hilt she still a) made a hell of a profit and b) innovated like crazy. Need I remind you that the transistor was invented by Bell Labs scientists, in addition to doing things like improving microwave systems due to the invention of the MASER and perfecting the LASER. Not to mention that just ahead the breakup of Ma Bell she had been on a rapid replacement cycle for Class 5 central offices and the long distance network switches. To the point of where the cost to carry a long distance call was in the hundredths of a cent per minute. Which is sort of why on your cell you don’t pay extra for long distance calls these days.

Ok Cox – another price hike?

This time the video service is going bananas. My bill has now gown from about $150 a month to $200 a month. I’m about ready to tell Cox to take a hike. What I’ll do is just do what I don’t want – go with Verizon for two years and then flip back to Cox for their two year discount, then back to Verizon, and so on.

But I suspect this is all in anticipation of the FCC reclassifying broadband as common carrier or Title II. Because here’s a little secret about ALL the services of Cox, Verizon, Comcast et al. Everything that comes in you house be it phone or video – it all goes over Internet Protocol or IP or more formally as TCP/IP.

So movement of the broadband pipe into that will impact both voice and video too. And the price for the data connection will fall a bit too. I mean Susan Crawford in her book “Captive Audience” said that the cost to provide high speed data is more like $2 or $3 per month. And the thing is the cable companies KNOW this.

So right now the cable providers are just going to rape their customers until such time as the regulatory clamps come down on them. Fuckers.

Tell the FCC to reclassify both wired and wireless broadband into Common Carrier status

Go sign the petition here.

And let me explain what the lack of net neutrality could do to us. Cable and phone companies could for example block or degrade traffic to sites like Netflix, Hulu, et al should they wish to extract more revenue. As it is already they extract a magnitude 20 price for broadband service on the wired side, probably even more on the wireless side.

In essence another part of not having net neutrality is that they want to charge content providers for the privilege of delivering content. That’s not the internet we want.

And the court the struck down the FCC ruling – they cited Google Fiber. You know, the same Google Fiber that’s only in about 3 cities so far. And don’t for a moment think that Google will utilize net neutrality, they’ll simply pile on.

Instead all ISP’s  have to be fully regulated a the NATIONAL level by moving them into Common Carrier status. This is what Ma Bell operated under back in the days when phone service was $12  a month. And she made a tidy profit under that regulation.

The profit being made by ISP’s and wireless carriers is OBSCENE. So click on the petition link above – tell the FCC to reclassify all the ISP’s and wireless carriers under Common Carrier rules.

The Internet Must Go – the leaked video


Now my two cents on the matter. I’ve long been in the networking side of things and I can tell you – the cost these ISP’s are talking about is fairly trivial when it comes to upgrading service.

But net neutrality is very important. I think the FCC should clamp down on all the ISP’s and classify them as common carriers, subject to full regulation. And that includes NET NEUTRALITY.

We pay enough for what I consider to be sub-standard service. And it’s the wild, wild west when it comes to what the ISP’s do with regard to pricing that is really impeding us economically in the U.S.

And that in nineteen states, including North Carolina the big carriers like Verizon, at&t, Comcast and Cox have gotten laws passed that say a co-operative cannot build out their own network. That is ludicrous. First off in the section of North Carolina he visits in the video – they’re never going to build out there. But they’re trying to protect something that they have no intention to build out. Isn’t that ludicrous.

And I really think we should regulate the ISP’s. Make them put aside 20% of annual net income for infrastructure upgrades. If we did that there would be no end to the wonders we’d see when it comes to the net in the near and far term future. That’s all you need to do.

Of course if we really wanted real net neutrality we’d say all the last mile belongs to the people, not the companies and that all could compete to use that last mile. It’s what they do in Germany and France.

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.

Free Press Net Neutrality

I’m sharing this around because I’m a strong advocate of net neautrality. I’ve watched the gamed played by Comcast with some amusement, Cox has done no such thing, nor has Verizon. I use both, Cox at home and Verizon at a friends house. Neither blocks or delays bittorent traffic.

But since Comcast has, it won’t be long before the other dominoes fall. I predict first it’ll be Verizon, then Cox. Cox seems to be very even handed on net management which I appreciate as a customer. I even refer lots of people to Cox net services. Even at my former place of employment I set them up with Cox VAN (Virtual Area Network) service.

Anyhow this quote in the article struck me as odd, they’re completely discounting we tech geeks in our 40’s.

Members of Free Press “are people in their 20s and 30s who are active in politics, who have grown up on the Net, who have come to learn and appreciate the value of the Net and want to preserve it,” said Richard Whitt, the Washington telecom and media counsel for Google.

We older geeks laid it down, we ran BBS’s with email and chat capabilities as well as file transfers using things like Xmodem and Zmodem, and even UUCP which I ran on my Waffle BBS. We believed in open networks, and had some of the first including FidoNet.

We want net neutrality, we already see the nickel and diming taking place in the industry and want it to stop. I will not pay more to access a site because an ISP thinks it can make a little extra money.

The arguments being put forth by Comcast in their network blocking was that they were ‘managing’ their network traffic. Instead of collecting fees and not upgrading the network they should have beefed up their network to implement IPv6 and maybe some real QOS. I find it interesting that a freebie router for my Vonage service does QOS for voice traffic. I set it for 90kbps service which delivers high quality sound. I’m a big VoIP envangelist, I use Vonage, Skype and MagicJack. I’m a Vonage fan and also a fan of MagicJack since I found a PERL script with which I can spoof the Caller-ID info. I use it for my business 800 service, that way when I dial out the 800 number pops up. You need to have three things, the MagicJack device, a PERL interpreter for your computer, and this script:

#!/usr/bin/perl -w
# Warning: this software may be unstable. Before using it, be sure that you have
# a reliable alternate means of making an emergency call.
use IO::Socket;

$srcnum = ‘1111111111’; # change this to your MJ number
$spoof = ‘1111111111; # change this to number to send as Caller ID
$cidblock = 0; # set to 1 to block ID on all calls
$mjip = ‘’; # change if MJ running on different host from this script
$server = ‘’; # MJ proxy to use

sub outgoing { # handle outgoing call features
return if $ibuf =~ /sip:911/; # don’t mess with 911 calls
if ($cidblock || $ibuf =~ /Anonymous/) { # want to block
$ibuf =~ s/\r\n\r\n/\r\nPrivacy: id\r\nP-Asserted-Identity: \r\n\r\n/;
elsif ($spoof ne $srcnum) { # want to spoof
$ibuf =~ s/\r\n\r\n/\r\nP-Asserted-Identity: \r\n\r\n/;

$lport = 5070; # port to listen on
$dgs = new IO::Socket::INET(LocalPort => $lport, Proto => ‘udp’) or die “Socket: $!\n”;
while (1) {
$rcv = $dgs->recv($ibuf, 2000, 0);
next unless $rcv && length($rcv) >= 8; # ignore errors
$raddr = inet_ntoa((sockaddr_in($rcv))[1]); # get source addr
if ($raddr eq $mjip) { # packet from MJ
if ($ibuf =~ /\nAuthorization:/) { # INVITE packet for outgoing call
$dpaddr = sockaddr_in(5070, inet_aton($server));
$dgs->send($ibuf, 0, $dpaddr); # send to server
elsif ($raddr eq $server) { # packet from server
$dpaddr = sockaddr_in(5060, inet_aton($mjip));
$dgs->send($ibuf, 0, $dpaddr); # send to MJ

Just edit the script and run it. Then plug in your MagicJack and off you go.