Ante Upped Some More: $2,500 For John Sununu And Harold Ford Jr. To Pay Netflix's Broadband Bills

from the crickets dept

On Tuesday, we questioned John Sununu and Harold Ford Jr.'s assertion that Netflix was somehow getting a "free ride" on the internet these days, by asking if they'd be willing to swap broadband bills with the company for the rest of the year. On Wednesday we upped the ante, by offering to give each man $500 if they'd pay Netflix's broadband bill for the final quarter of the year. $500 would come from Derek Kerton who suggested it, and another $500 would come from us at Techdirt. Since then, a few more people have contacted me and offered (anonymously) to put up another $1,500 between them. So we're now up to $2,500 total (or $1,250 each) if John Sununu and Harold Ford Jr. agree to pay Netflix's broadband bills for the months of October, November and December. Or, you know, they could admit that their op-ed was misleading claptrap. Of course, their failure to accept this "free" money sorta makes that statement for them.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 12:29pm

    El Trolliosis

    Just to hit it first, apologies if the illusion is just too real. (ah-hem):
    (in bestest whiny troll voice)
    "Why would two big time politicians pay any attention to a small time blog this this two bit outfit? Mike, you've been smoking too much crack; time to smack the dog and dry out a bit."

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 12:44pm

    If they only have to pay the transit in the middle, they will most certainly get to keep $2500.

     

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  3.  
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    blaktron (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 12:50pm

    Re:

    If you understood how networking is parcelled out, you would stop repeating that 'transit in the middle' fud. Bandwidth is paid for at EVERY hop. All of them. None of it is free, regardless if it should be or not. Netflix pays an ISP, who buys all their bandwidth from backbone providers (the 'middle') who have routing agreements with each other that basically even out who sends who more traffic, and the one who sends the most pays the other a small amount (BGP). There is no free bandwidth, so stop acting like there is.

     

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  4.  
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    ArkieGuy (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 12:52pm

    BZZZZZZ.....

    Sorry, no winner.... "transit in the middle" IS paid by Netflix as part of their service with their provider. I would imagine the vast majority of their ISP's monthly change goes to pay upstream costs. Just because they don't pay it DIRECTLY, doesn't mean they aren't paying it!!!

     

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  5.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 1:04pm

    We all pay /collectively/ for infrastructure, shock for "capitalists",

    so technically ANY /ONE/ is getting a "free ride". No one in particular pays, all benefit. That's the "commonwealth", includes highways and such. I happen to think it's a good system, as otherwise, no infrastructure would exist. (And my only purpose with this is to point out the collective nature of society, gigging those who believe in "capitalism" as the source of all that's good.)

    Otherwise, this is the lamest post of yours that I can recall, Mike; previous on this "topic" next lamest. You know perfectly well that those dolts aren't doltish enough to take you seriously when you set conditions to your liking.

    But you haven't proved anything by it except that you /think/ that you really zinged them.

     

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  6.  
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    Ninja (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 1:05pm

    Re: El Trolliosis

    As AC pointed out on my last troll post: you missed the freetards part. No cookie for you!

     

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  7.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 1:10pm

    Re: Re: El Trolliosis

    _sigh_ Oops. Guess those who can't, teach. ;-P

     

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  8.  
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    Ninja (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 1:12pm

    Re: We all pay /collectively/ for infrastructure, shock for "capitalists",

    7/10 for actually making me believe (with the first lines of your post) that you weren't trolling. I"ll point a few mistakes:
    - you used Mike, not Masnick;
    - you forgot to mention the freetards;
    - you said something useful in your first paragraph - bo-hoo good trolls are TOTALLY clueless.

    Learn 2 troll.

    Ahem. I do agree with your first post. Entirely. And it happens to be in line with my thoughts of copyright.

    Also, Mike is just having fun bashing the cluelessness (how do I write that?) of those gentlemen in a very good example of humor (and maybe sarcasm). Mike doesn't mean to be taken seriously with this 'challenge'.

     

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  9.  
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    Ninja (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Re: We all pay /collectively/ for infrastructure, shock for "capitalists",

    *agree with your first line

     

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  10.  
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    Ninja (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 1:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: El Trolliosis

    I'm just trying to enrich our training towards the perfect trolling young padwan! Or something like that ;)

     

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  11.  
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    Angus, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 1:20pm

    Netflix uses a CDN

    don't forget that Netflix uses a Content Delivery Network like akamai to deliver its data. My movies most likely stream from a server sitting on my ISP's network.

     

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  12.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 1:21pm

    Re: We all pay /collectively/ for infrastructure, shock for "capitalists",

    otherwise, no infrastructure would exist

    [Citation Needed]

     

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  13.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 1:28pm

    Not to spoil the joke

    Has anyone actually asked what Netflix pays for bandwidth, the company as a whole? And if Angus is correct that they have servers sitting in the local ISP offices, then those costs count as well.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Re:

    Oh yoy! This crap again?

    I understand very much how networking works. But John Sununu And Harold Ford Jr. are not network engineers, are they? They have had it explained to them the best they can, likely having the transit companies coming along saying that they will not add any more transit bandwidth because "nobody is paying for it", and they are putting 2 and 2 together.

    Once you understand that the vast majority of people have no clue how the internet works (or like some of us, weren't around as it was getting built), you would understand what they are saying.

    In a very narrow way, they are correct. Netflix is not directly paying for the transit they use.

     

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  15.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Pointy Hair

    Are you asserting most people are clueless & ignorant and show an apparent complete lack of desire and/or cognizance required to remedy said situation?

     

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  16.  
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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 2:02pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Actually, when I pay my bill, I am paying for access to the global internet. What that means is access to Netflix. I'm pretty sure Netflix pays for the same service on a much larger scale. So it is absurd to divide the different hops. I am paying for Comcast to get me a link to Netflix. If Comcast does not provide me with a link to Netflix (or Amazon, YouTube, Google etc...) I will cancel my subscription.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 2:02pm

    Yes they were misleading

    [my attempt to cut through sununu's lobbyist manure and try to figure out what he's really saying]

    Recently, Netflix in the WSJ editorialized against caps and usage based fees on broadband consumers. I think Sununu et al are responding to that issue.

    Sununu and his cronies are (badly) trying to say that the current popular ISP business model of overselling bandwidth to consumers is extremely beneficial to Netflix. If consumers really paid for guaranteed 24/7 unlimited data at advertised rates,they'd be paying the same huge fees that businesses have to pay. It's only thanks to the fact that at any one time a great number of their customers are using very little bandwidth that they are able to advertise to you and me bandwidth at the prices that they do.

    Sununu is being misleading by saying that it's netflix that's not paying for the their data rates. He's really getting at the fact that you and I are getting (sorta?) cheaper than real rates subsidized by those who aren't using a lot of bandwidth. And if that subsidy went away (e.g. if consumers buy into [theoretically] cheaper usage-based services), netflix would find itself with fewer customers.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 2:08pm

    so...is there any indication that they're even aware of this?
    just curious, cause it kinda seems like internet posturing by the third post, if there's not even a dialogue happening with them.

    we'd have more impact raiding their comments section 4chan style.

     

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  19.  
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    blaktron (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 3:05pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Well you clearly don't understand since you think that taking on the backbone and bgp expenses that Netflix pays its ISP would be less than $2500... That statement concludes that you don't know how it works...

     

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  20.  
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    AR (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 3:11pm

    Re: Yes they were misleading

    I have to agree with a lot of what you are saying about how the ISP's charge businesses and the consumers for their internet connection. Its kind of similar to how the insurance companies charge you for insurance. The ones who dont use it (make claims), help to subsidize the company for the ones who do (along with the ones making claims paying more).

    My question is who are these politicians turned lobbyist lobbying for and why?

    Is it the ISP's, (cable companies) who are wanting more Government subsidies for maintaining their cables (Infrastructure), along with help against Netfjix, who is competing with their own streaming on demand services, by increasing "passed on" operating costs for Netflix and thus decreasing their market share?

    Or the movie industry, looking for Fee funded subsidies,as a way to put Netflix out of business (or at least pay a lot more), because Netflix is cutting into profits that they feel they are entitled to, but dont know how to implement a profitable service for?

    Maybe its both. A perfect storm.

    Although I like the way Mike is approaching the misleading statements of these politicians/lobbyists, I would really like full disclosure of who they are representing and why.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 3:30pm

    Re: Re: Yes they were misleading

    I assume their helping the telco/cable companies. These ISPs are looking at a pretty saturated market. To increase revenues, they are looking to establish caps and usage based billing. That way, Granny can get what looks like a small discount on her Internet plan (but could turn into a large increase when granny accidentally crosses the cap line 2-3 times a year), and the heavy use internet users (e.g. netflix users) can see a larger cost to get what they had already.

    Netflix's Hyman saw the market already moving that way in the wireless data market and pointed out that the anti-competitive nature of our internet ISP situation may leave consumers stuck with the situation:

    "Given that bandwidth is cheap and plentiful and will only grow more so with time, there is no good reason for bandwidth caps and fees to take root.

    Consumers and regulators need to take heed of what is happening and avoid winding up like the proverbial frog in a pot of boiling water. It's time to jump before it's too late."

     

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  22.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 3:31pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    In a very narrow way, they are correct. Netflix is not directly paying for the transit they use.

    So, in a very narrow way, I'm not paying for farmers to grow my food. Since I'm only directly paying for my fresh veggies at the supermarket, I'm freeloading on the backs of farmers!

    (/sarc off)

    That statement is wrong in every way possible, and not correct even in a very narrow way.

     

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  23.  
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    AR (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 4:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Yes they were misleading

    That kind of makes sense and leads me to believe its all the more reason to leave Netflix alone. Let the consumer backlash dictate to the ISP's what they can and cannot do with usage caps. Also, go after the ISP's for eating up their profits with hugely bloated corporate salaries but not investing more in their own infrastructures.

    Maybe its time to abolish more (or all) of the cable/telco monopolies, force free use of the cables (infrastructure), and let others, like Netflix, become internet/content providers themselves. After all, the infrastructure was paid for by the customers, government subsidies, and the allwoing of their monopolies a long time ago

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 4:39pm

    Techdirt community grandstanding. What a joke. This grandstanding is just as bad as thinking that Netflix does not pay for bandwidth. Idiots all around.

     

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  25.  
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    freak (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 5:21pm

    Re:

    Grandstanding? Techdirt is trying to call attention to itself instead of to the issue?

    I'm not really seeing that, TBH.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
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    btrussell (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 7:14pm

    Re: Not to spoil the joke

    I believe I saw $0.01/hour.


    "Netflix: ISPs who charge by the gigabyte are ridiculous"
    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/01/netflix-charging-by-the-gigabyte-is-rid iculous.ars

    From article:
    "Wired ISPs have large fixed costs of building and maintaining their last mile network of residential cable and fiber. The ISPsí costs, however, to deliver a marginal gigabyte, which is about an hour of viewing, from one of our regional interchange points over their last mile wired network to the consumer is less than a penny, and falling, so there is no reason that pay-per-gigabyte is economically necessary. Moreover, at $1 per gigabyte over wired networks, it would be grossly overpriced."

    How many hours of streams do they do/day?

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 9:38pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    So your argument is "don't blame ignorant people for being ignorant when they try to influence issues that they're ignorant about." Convincing.

     

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  28.  
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    nasch (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 9:50pm

    a la Colbert

    Come on my show, or you're a coward!

     

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  29.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 10:19pm

    Re: We all pay /collectively/ for infrastructure, shock for "capitalists",

    Erm... You are aware that just because a lot of people participate in a portion of a capitalistic system, that doesn't make it socialized, yeah?

    Ok, you're fed. Need the salt?

     

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  30.  
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    darryl, Aug 26th, 2011 @ 12:43am

    Typical Masnickism

    MASNICK, so you are not opposed to providing financial 'incentives' to influence political policy ?

    what next ?? bribery ?

     

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  31.  
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    The eejit (profile), Aug 26th, 2011 @ 1:53am

    Re:

    Hey, we're willing to contribute - that's more than I can say for these Grandstanding politicians whose talk is worth less than the shit on my shoe.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
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    btrussell (profile), Aug 26th, 2011 @ 4:26am

    Re: Typical Masnickism

    Is that the best spin you could come up with?

    Don't let your mouth write cheques your ass can't catch.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2011 @ 8:38am

    Re: Typical Masnickism

    1/10
    I was never really sure whether you were trolling or just stupid. Now, obvious troll is obvious etc. Time for a new nick, darryl.

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    darryl, Aug 26th, 2011 @ 5:55pm

    Re: Re: Typical Masnickism

    is that the best you could come up with ???

    Don't let your mouth write cheques you ass can't CASH !!!

     

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  35.  
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    jkirch, Aug 26th, 2011 @ 6:11pm

    I'd put in 10 bucks, somebody start a project on kickstarter.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
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    btrussell (profile), Aug 27th, 2011 @ 4:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Typical Masnickism

    I meant what I said. I'm being "creative."

    Keeps it in line with CYA.

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2011 @ 9:50am

    Re: Re:

    "whose talk is worth less than the shit on my shoe"

    Perfect way to describe td too. I guess you like shit on your shoe.

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2011 @ 9:59am

    Re: Re:

    Apparently, you do not understand how td works. Mike gets paid from all of the advertising on td. When a headline gets you to view a page then Mike gets paid. If a particular theme gets lots of page views then Mike will post a follow up to get even more page views - comments only go so far in bringing you back again and again, fresh posts keep pages views up. Mike needs to get paid again and again to keep td going. You have to ask yourself if the subjects of these posts have even seen these posts? Do they know who Mike is or care? And last but not least, does this grandstanding on td have any effect whatsoever on the lobbying efforts that are the target of the posts?

    I think you are blinded by the koolaid. These posts drive traffic on td and that's it. I can't believe I'm wasting my time telling you this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
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    btrussell (profile), Aug 28th, 2011 @ 5:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Typical Masnickism

    Don't let your mouth write cheques your ass can't catch.


    Above statement was to sum up article, not directed to you.
    First sentence only was to you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
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    nasch (profile), Aug 28th, 2011 @ 7:32am

    Re: Re: Re:

    If that's your opinion of TD, I can't believe you're wasting your time even reading it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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