Mike McCurry: Will You Pay Google's Bandwidth Bills For The Rest Of This Year?

from the worth-asking dept

We’ve already covered how much dishonesty there is in the network neutrality debate — often involving editorial pieces in major newspapers penned by lobbyists. In almost every case, those editorials aren’t just misleading, they include flat out lies. Broadband Reports points us to the latest, written by Mike McCurry, who runs a lobbying effort funded by AT&T. He’s written up an editorial for the Baltimore Sun that doesn’t bother to mention his lobbying duties, or who has funded them. McCurry tries to make it seem as though the whole net neutrality thing is simply a ploy by Google to get “free” bandwidth. He notes, derisively, that “a $117 billion company like Google wants legislation that would drive Internet prices higher.” Of course, he doesn’t happen to mention that his viewpoint is funded by AT&T, who at close of business on Monday appears to be worth (oh, look at that) $117 billion as well.

While we’re not convinced legislation is the right solution (it’s focused on the wrong thing, first of all), it’s extremely worrisome that the telcos and their friends keep resorting to trotting out lies. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to not support the various laws as written, but this constant string of lies certainly suggests that the telcos recognize their position is pretty weak. However, rather than just accepting the rhetoric on both sides, shouldn’t we call the lies out? Among the whoppers in the editorial: “The “neutral” proposal that companies like Google are touting will ensure that they never have to pay a dime no matter how much bandwidth they use, and consumers who may only use their computers to send e-mail and play Solitaire get to foot the bill.” That’s a flat out lie. Google pays tremendously large bandwidth bills, and the more they use the more they pay. However, if McCurry is going to pretend Google “never [has] to pay a dime no matter how much bandwidth they use,” let’s see him put up or shut up. If McCurry really believes that, will he agree to pay Google’s bandwidth bills for the rest of this year? We’re sure Google would have no problem having McCurry contribute — but we doubt he can actually afford their bandwidth bill. Still, if he’s so concerned about his own bill from playing Solitaire, we’re also quite sure that Google would simply trade him. So, come on, Mike, why won’t you trade bandwidth bills with Google? According to you, you wouldn’t have to pay a dime…

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Mike McCurry: Will You Pay Google's Bandwidth Bills For The Rest Of This Year?”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Jacomo says:

It is the Last Mile Bill

WHat Bills Google pays is their connection between their data centers and the Tier#1 Internet providers. These are very economical FIber fed links that carry massive amounts of bandwith Point to Point.
What is not being discussed or being ignored is the cost of deploying and upgrading the Last Mile Network between these Tier#1 Interent providers and the actual consumer of the broadband link. These are normally Copper links or COAX links that will have to be upgraded in order to address some of the download demands put on these lat Mile Pipes by Video/AUdio and upload demands P2P sessions the users require.
Someone needs to pay for this link, and the revenue from existing DSL or Cable modems do not suffice.

Tinus (user link) says:


How come these people still have influence? If you say something stupid you should shut up and move on. But no.. If the internet is not a set of tubes we will make it look like it *is* a set of tubes instead of admitting we are wrong. Why is that? I think it because the USA is one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

If you proof me wrong I will shut up.

Another genius on the 'Net says:

Re: Politics

“Why is that? I think it because the USA is one of the most corrupt countries in the world.” – Tinus
The country is corrupt? The Earth reaches up and steals your valuables all the time doesn’t it?
Each individual has choices to make at every moment (whether conciously or not). Every “country” is corrupt if you look at it as a united effort by all individuals in nation to deceive, con, rob, or whatever you consider corrupt.
Obviously, that is not the case (or why do we have jails to try to stop lawbreaking?) as I am American and am not a theif.
Such a broad classification of Americans. Here is my broad classification of hatred – “Every last one of you (alive and yet to see life) are delusional dirty asses with a brain the size of a hot, steamy pile of dog shit”.
In the words of the greatest pedophile ever (because he can’t be imprisoned ’cause he has fans!) Micheal Jack-O “Eat it, eat it….”

Consumer says:


ISP’s are already paid twice for this content to get to my pc…I pay to send the request for the content and websites pay to send it to me….this is just insane…it would be like me calling my grandfather and both of us having to pay for the call on a land line… Get off the GREED bandwagon, if your business model doesn’t work fix it….but don’t blame your customers for your ineptitude.

Liban Hassan says:

Re: ISP's

Outside of north america, in most countries , people actually do pay for phone calls both when they are making the call and when they are receiving it.

As far as this Net neutrality debate goes, I think Google and Yahoo and the other big bandwidth users are getting to our hearts but their plea is self serving.

When this debate started I actually was appalled by the ISPs’ tactics to get more money and get the public on their side.

But I have come to realize that up until now the internet hasn’t been treated like other telecommunications technologies. Wireless ( cellular) comes to mind , or like I said earlier even the old phone system is like that is most of the world.

The reason for this is the gigantic cost of telecommunications technology infrastructures as you can imagine. When the web started out it was not essentially free content for ISPs to sell to their customers. Multimedia changed the price of that content. Now an ISPs has two choices ( and unfortunately only two choices)

1. Make the content providers pay more

2. Make the content consumers pay more

The ISPs simply won’t pay because the possible ROI is not looking good (this industry is too competitive and the amount of money involved too gargantuesque) .

They could of course consider the increase in bandwidth use as an increase in the cost of doing business. But I’m afraid that if they do choose that route we will be left in many markets with a single internet service provider. They only thing I see offsetting this is an huge increase in the broadband penetration in the US.

The real question remains, why should the Net be treated differently then cellular technology for example. The economic reasons that justify the regulatory landscape in one should be sufficient to justify for the other.

And for those who might argue that ISP’s should invest in fiber optics to handle the new loads just like they invested in copper lines for dialup , let me remind that the copper infrastructure that was used for dialup was mostly paid for by the phone and cable service monopolies of the last century.

The internet in it’s current growth trajectory cannot be supported by the same business model the helped it see the light of day.

David Griffin (profile) says:

Re: US Corrupt?

When deciding who is the most corrupt nation on earth you have to define terms. If it is based on the dollar value, then the value of shady lobbying in Washington probably outguns anything a poor south American country could manage, however they tried.

Some of what passes for normal political funding in the USA would be considered close to the wind at best in many other countries.

But if you mean “expectation of a company or member of the public that they might influence a legal proceeding or arrest outcome by resorting to bribery” I’m sure the USA wouldn’t rate very highly.

So you really need to define “most corrupt”.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Corruption confused with something else

The US is far from the most corrupt nation on the planet. We are, however, very intellectually dishonest and probably getting more so all the time.

Unfortunately, intellectual dishonesty is very useful for ignoring or justifying corruption so there is a connection between the two.

e.p. says:

Re: US Corrupt?

>The US is the most corrupt nation on Earth… except for all of the others! You need to venture outside our borders to be exposed to true corruption.

Actually, according to this statistic http://www.worldaudit.org/democracy.htm the US is the 14th least corrupted nation on the earth. The problem that’s losing the US international brownie points isn’t the current status, but the direction it’s headed.

I live in Finland, which according to Worldaudit, is the least corrupt, most democratic nation in the world, and has the greatest freedom of press in the world to boot. It isn’t a rose garden here, though. Freedoms and rights are worthless, unless people actively exercise them to stop stupid crap like this from snaking itself into leigslation.

Truth says:

Re: US Corrupt?

>The US is the most corrupt nation on Earth…

>except for all of the others! You need to venture

>outside our borders

>to be exposed to true corruption.

Clearly a poor takeoff on “Democracy is the worst, except for all the rest” saying.

In this case, it’s TOTALY bogus. I’ve lived in other countries (not just visited). Some are more corrupt, some make us look like a country of criminals.

The poster is clueless, and even if he/she were not, what a great excuse to foster corruption than “It’s better here than anywhere else, so let’s drop the debate”. Tired old crap. Stupidity in a bottle.

Go hang out with Tom Delay, dude. He’ll fill you full of what you want.

Anonymous Coward says:

“McCurry, we recall, once was the front man for an admitted but not convicted felon. Why are we surprised that he lies for AT&T?”

Really? I didn’t know he used to work for Bill Clinton. Thats right, well, what do you expect?

Seriously though, its spin, not lies. Come on people, at least its better than getting some lame artist to sing a song.

Oh, and no matter what happens, do you really believe that the consumer will benefit? Really?

spoon says:

Re: relity

“Oh, and no matter what happens, do you really believe that the consumer will benefit? Really?”

Not really. I mean, what better point than this to show that its survival of the fittest, Satanism at its best, and if we want them out, we’re gonna have to get our hands a little bloody. At least the truth about Neurtality came out in some orm or another: competition.

brad (user link) says:

Re: lapdog

so are you damage control at his office or what? Furthermore how does it feel to reach 6 years in the past to find someone to divert attention to your buddy; someone who is manipulating public opinion via misinformation TODAY.

Don’t change the subject spin-doctor AC.

And the best marketplace is one filled with informed consumers.

Misinformation and red herrings are tearing our country apart.

Nice job being part of the problem.

White Ranger says:

Re: SPIN??!??!?

I was glancing through these posts and happened to notice one post “its not lies, its SPIN!!” let me ask you… what the fuck is the difference??? when you break it down its like saying… “oh he didn’t lie he fibbed… he didn’t lie he told a little white lie…” first off pull your head out of your ass and recognize that the USA IS the most corrupt nation and IS ACTIVLY engaging in propaganda every day… just watch the news for god sakes… really people there are far more important things going on than whether this AT&T rat is going to try and fuck us over for his telco paycheck… If you wonder where all of your problems come from just look in your wallet… while we all wonder why things are getting worse and why… the government is letting a private corporation print your money and charge you interest on the cost of the loan for them to use it as currency… do some research educate yourself and you won’t be so surprised when shit like net neutrality…

Jon Healey says:

Those aren't editorials

I agree with the criticisms of McCurry and the Sun, but please — he (and his lobbyist ilk) write op-eds, not editorials. Op-eds, which traditionally run OPposite the EDitorial page, are viewpoints from folks who don’t work at the newspaper. A good op-ed page is thoughtful but provocative, offering points of view that often contradict what you’d find elsewhere in the paper. Editorials are written by newspaper staffers. In most cases, those staffers work for the publisher, not the news editor, so there’s a separation between the news-gathering and news-reporting side of the biz and the opinion-manufacturing side.

You can probably find plenty of simplistic, wrong-headed and maybe even intellectually dishonest editorials on the topic of Net neutrality. But this wasn’t one of them.

joebob billyray says:

Re: Us corrupt?

You sir, are an idiot. The US maybe a little fubar’d at times, but it’s the most transparent govt. in the world. Keep your stupid, off topic opinions about other people’s homelands to yourself, you jealous, American wannabe. It’s people like you that make us want to take over places. Because you’re too stupid to know how to run things right yourselves. Dumbass.

Roo says:

Campaign finance reform anyone?

anyone?It’s time we acknowledged the real problem.

1. Money influences people’s opinions

2. Money given to a cop is a bribe but when given to a lawmaker it’s a ‘campaign contribution’.

3. Corporations can’t vote, but people can

4. Corporation have money and can use it to influence people’s votes

Say what you want about WalMart but one thing they’re smart about is corporate bribery. They Buyers and Marketers are not allowed to accept ANYTHING of value from their suppliers. No gifts, no expensive meals, no trips,etc. Washington needs towork the same way.

So the solution is easy to see. The law must be changed so people, and not corporations, can make campaign contributions up to a prescribed (low) limit.

If we really want demacracy to work, we should say that campaign contributions can only be made by individuals (not companies), and they should be limited to $100 per year. That way, a millionaire won’t have more influence then the less affluent.

Now that would be campaign finance reform!

Anonemouse says:

Re: Campaign finance reform anyone?

He who makes the rules benefits from them. The rules that stay are those that benefit the rulers.

Don’t like it… Remember the French Revolution.

Your only two options: Guillotine all the affluent, or drop trowsers for the affluent. We as human beings cannot find a middle ground that works, at least until we recognize that Greed is a mental illness, or symptom thereof.

Chris says:

Re: Campaign finance reform anyone?

Thats exactly how it works where I live, (Belgium) but i believe gifts are limited to +- 250$.

This legislation was put into place after a political party (Socialist Party !! ) was shown to have taken “campain contribution” money from the italian helicopter maker Augusta, after a large army contract was awarded to them (the minister of defense was a Sociaist Party member )

Alex (user link) says:

Net Neutrality just one example of the problem.

These sort of ridiculous legislative battles are going to continue happening. I think most of us will admit the system is broken and skewed to be a battle of how much money you can throw towards lobbying your cause and next to nothing else. The question is: how can we fight that?

Sure we can mail or call our congressmen and senators, and that helps to some degree, but it doesn’t speak nearly as loud as the millions thrown at them every day.

We can petition and scream about it on the internet, and while that will get the attention of some media and some more of the internet saavy reps the bulk of them are not. Most seem to think the internet is a series of tubes…

I don’t have a solution here, but I think that the problem (bigger than just net neutrality) needs to be looked at from other angles. What can we, the intelligent but not super powerful or rich do to be not only heard: but listened to?

Brad Eleven (profile) says:

US Corruption Far More Insidious

OK, so we don’t have the blatant corruption defined by obvious bribes. We have evolved beyond such amateur ploys. Corruption in these United States has been optimized far beyond anything else in the world. Other large nations come close, but we have the market cornered, because we have more communication that anyone else.

Consider that corruption goes far beyond the legal proof of same. Corruption begins way, way before the money (or other favors) changes hands.

This article is a fantastic example of corruption through information, and it’s very, very pervasive. Think of Armstrong Williams, the Executive’s paid shill for No Child Left Behind. Like other scandalous behavior at the highest levels of leadership, only the perpetrator was punished. Oh, wait, he wasn’t actually punished–just embarrassed. Any charges levelled at the prime mover(s)? No.

We get what we tolerate.

Brad Eleven (profile) says:

Campaign Finance Reform

You have the right idea, but what in the world does Wal-Mart’s corporate policy have to do with CFR??? Perhaps WM is clean internally, but… do you suppose that the largest corporation in the world might possibly be involved with corruption?

In foreign countries, they’ve got to be handing over the cash. Here in the US, it’d be a small army of resources supporting the maximum number of lobbyists. Remember that flap when Maryland tried to make WM pay for the health care costs that WM’s employment policies foist onto the state? How about locking illegal aliens in the store overnight? I think WM paid a fine that amounted to less than one hour of revenue in that state.

So you’ve clouded the issue by lauding Wal-Mart. Don’t you get it? Campaign reform has to start by addressing undue corporate influence.

IMHO, it’s all about the responsibilities that back up rights like free speech. Like the rest of us Mike McCurry has the right to express his opinion–but is he being responsible? I don’t think for a second that this is something that can be legislated.

OTOH, corporate responsibility seems measurable. I think that corporations do not get to claim the same right to representation as citizens have–until they conform, at least, to the same rules that citizens must.

I mean, isn’t it obvious how little corporate interests share with the interests of any but the wealthiest citizens?

I’m not intending to hate on Wal-Mart and other gigantic corporations. I want for their interests to be balanced with ours.

Of course, I’m answering a post which was clearly written by a fan of Wal-Mart. Let’s presume that corporations might require some level of citizen support before they can lobby. Surely an outfit of Wal-Mart’s depth and breadth could get really good at swaying our opinion. Better than they already are, anyway; they’ve already got most of us convinced that the lowest price is the best price.

Think about it. Is it really OK that the larger, stronger, wealthier get their way? Or are you just putting up with it because you’re too busy/worried/resigned/distracted to do anything about it?

Now that you have some sense of what actually benefits large corporations–whether through willful manipulation or passively satisifed observation–consider how these same self-defeating viewpoints benefit the state and its media outlets.

Turn on the TV. Find some good news. Go ahead, take your time. Get back to me when you find some. In the mean time, keep tolerating your life.

Pope Ratzo says:

Mike McCurry is a despicable political/corporate whore. If he was paid properly, he’d write press releases for the joys of cancer.

He should be shunned by society and made to wear sackcloth and ashes.

And the telcos should just shut up and keep getting rich. It’s a disease among such monopolies that they’ve got to simply control EVERYTHING or they’re not happy. This is where the free-market shows it’s ugly flaws.

Matthew says:

All packets must be treated equally. If that means making the tubes bigger THEN MAKE THE F&@$#*G BIGGER.

Quoted in an April 2006 Salon.com article about Net Neutrality, Gary Bachula, vice president for external affairs of Internet2 (the huge, super fast academic network that connects universities around the globe) noted that Internet2 experimented with packet prioritization (for instance, giving voice or video packets precedence over data packets) but found it expensive and unnecessary. (http://mathvsphil.dyndns.org/archives/2006/06/you_only_dip_twice_how_the_att.php from Google Archives)

They say they need to make a higher priority traffic. I suppose that is in lieu of upgrading T1 to T3s and OC3s to OC12, etc. Well there aren’t savings. And these upgrades occur as their customers need them. If an ISP needs an OC3 where there isn’t one — THE PHONE COMPANY INSTALLS IT. At, largely, the ISP’s expense.

This does not need to be legislated. The free-market will do what it needs to do. That USED to be the Republican creedo was it not?

kweeket says:

Re: Re:

Thank you very much for that link, Matthew – it’s here for the copy ‘n’ paste averse.

For those saying that there is no point passing a net neutrality bill because it is just legislating the status quo, I quote:

“When the FCC weakened consumer protections in August of 2005… they imposed a one-year ‘transition period’ wherein the old rules would still apply. Those supporting ‘Net Neutrality’ simply wish to preserve the current (but soon to expire) principles of non-discrimination on the internet.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

You Cock suck*r, Pus*y slo*sh, a good amount of that investment was already paid for both by companies and end users who access the Internet. Add to it, the Government of the U S of A paid these very teclos, billions of dollars as grants for necessary infrastructure.

Ohh… I get it, Ed, Ed Whitcare, you pus*y, can’t use your real name? You draining cu*nt. Go lick a washington schmooze’s ass.

Scott Cleland (profile) says:

Disclosing Google's real bandwidth costs

If you are so confident that Google has a big operating bill for its bandwidth, why don’t you help get Google, Yahoo, eBay, and Amazon and Microsoft to fully disclose what their operating bill is for bandwidth? Rather than taking a cheap shot at Mike McCurry to pay for Google’s bandwidth bill, why not ask what Google actually pays? If it is as much as you think it is, wouldn’t that really shut us up?

In the interests of full disclosure, what does techdirt pay for its bandwidth?

At Precursor/netcompetition.org I pay $442 a month for T-1 wireline bandwidth and another $60 a month for the supplement of mobile wireless broadband.

Lets get this all out in the open so all sides know what they are talking about and you all are not blindly taking Google’s word for it that they pay a lot for bandwidth.

Another genius on the 'Net says:

I interpreted the net nuetrality bill to state that fees would be imposed on a “per-download and size” basis. A 5 megabyte, for example, would cost some amount but less than a download of larger file. Any suggestions that are realistic on what I can do besides write angry letters to Washington officials in order to fight the passing of this bill? Bear in mind, I don’t have any connections within our government (thus my plea for help).

Anonymous Coward says:

Corruption definition

I think the posters are defining as “corrupt” anything that they don’t understand, or anything that works out differently than they’d like.

Those are the only possible definitions that put the US in the fourth quadrant of a corruption bell curve.

But, due to our overwhelming economic activity, a lot happens that we don’t understand or agree with. And in “mouthbreatherpedia” speak, that’s corruption.

Whatever he said says:

Corrupt? If we are the most corrupt, what does that say about China, North Korea, Russia … hell, this list is pretty f*ing long.

And to the moron who compared survival of the fitest to satanism, we have a thing here called Capitalism, whereby you get out of the system what you put into it — any other attitude rewards losers and leaches. It is survival of the fittest, and it is the best system in the world.

CB says:

Re: Re:

“we have a thing here called Capitalism, whereby you get out of the system what you put into it”

Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha….ha-ha-ha-ha….is that what you really think? Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha…you’re funny.

Get out what you put in. You really are drinking someones cool aid, aren’t you?

Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha…(deep breath)…a-ha-ha-hah..!

Actually capitalism is nearer to “you get out the most you can, putting in as little as possible, try every dirty trick you can get away with, hoping to screw someone else over to make it easier along the way, but accepting the fall if it all goes wrong, dusting yourself off and doing it all again as soon as your rich and powerful friends get you out of court, if not before”

Get out what you put in…tee-hee, that still makes me laugh.

Richard Bennett (profile) says:

It's not actually a lie

Reading McCurry’s statement in context, it’s neither a lie nor a spin, it’s simply a simplification. He says: It is only neutral if you are a company like Google and want to sell movies streaming over the Internet. If you’re a consumer, it means you pay higher prices so companies don’t have to. The “neutral” proposal that companies like Google are touting will ensure that they never have to pay a dime no matter how much bandwidth they use, and consumers who may only use their computers to send e-mail and play Solitaire get to foot the bill.

McCurry is clearly talking about streaming videos over new, QoS-enabled links. While Google may very well pay a lot for raw bandwidth (and do we actually know if their contracts are usage sensitive, as Techdirt Mike asserts? I don’t) it doesn’t contract with anybody for QoS.

So McCurry is fundamentally correct that Google’s law will permit them to use QoS for free, shifting the whole bill to the consumer.

And as for the lies around this issue, the “Save the Internet” crowd tells about 10 for every simplification coming from the anti-regulation side. Really.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: It's not actually a lie


So McCurry is fundamentally correct that Google’s law will permit them to use QoS for free, shifting the whole bill to the consumer.

That assumes that they’d be using QoS for their video. As has been pointed out repeatedly, QoS is not the best solution to the problem. More bandwidth works much better.

And as for the lies around this issue, the “Save the Internet” crowd tells about 10 for every simplification coming from the anti-regulation side. Really.

10 to 1? Not that I’ve seen. From where I sit (and I’m with you that we don’t need a new law), I see the telcos telling an awful lot of flat out lies. The pro-net neutrality crowd is earnest, but mistaken in many of their views. I have yet to see many flat out lies, as McCurry states above (even though you claim it’s not a lie).

So, can you point out the 10 pro-net neutrality lies to the one telco one above? Thanks.

Richard Bennett (profile) says:

Re: Re: It's not actually a lie

OK, off the top of my head:

Lie #1. “A new law pending in Congress gives control of the Internet to the telcos.”

Lie #2: “The Internet has always been regulated”

Lie #3: “Network neutrality is fundamental to the architecture of the Internet.”

Lie #4: “We’re grass-roots, they’re astroturf”

Lie #5: “Google has never given any money to Moveon.org”

Lie #6: “Google doesn’t want a free ride.”

Lie #7: “Common carrier regulations enabled the Internet to flourish.”

Lie #8: “The last mile has always been governed by common carrier law”

Lie #9: “Ted Stevens doesn’t understand the Internet.”

Lie #10: “Google speaks for the consumer.”

How’s that?

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: It's not actually a lie

OK, off the top of my head:

Well, first off, a bunch of those aren’t lies… but, anyway…

OK, right back off the top of my head (remember, you said for every ONE telco lie, there were TEN from the other side.

Lie #1. “A new law pending in Congress gives control of the Internet to the telcos.”

Telco lie: “Adding net neutrality regulation would be the end of the internet as we know it.”

Lie #2: “The Internet has always been regulated”

Telco lie: “We’re against regulation, as it’s bad for ‘the market’.” (even though they’re for all sorts of regulations that give them subsidies and retain their monopoly position).

Lie #3: “Network neutrality is fundamental to the architecture of the Internet.”

Telco lie: “Network neutrality legislation would add something new that’s never been there before.” (common carrier rules be damned…)

Lie #4: “We’re grass-roots, they’re astroturf”

Telco lie: “Ditto” (both sides have used this crap).

Lie #5: “Google has never given any money to Moveon.org”

Telco lie: “Mike McCurry’s position has nothing to do with who’s funding him.”

Lie #6: “Google doesn’t want a free ride.”

Telco lie: “Google just wants a free ride.”

Lie #7: “Common carrier regulations enabled the Internet to flourish.”

Telco lie: “Regulations forced carriers to lease their lines at a loss.”

Lie #8: “The last mile has always been governed by common carrier law”

Telco lie: “There’s plenty of competition in the last mile.”

Lie #9: “Ted Stevens doesn’t understand the Internet.”

Telco lie: “We would never degrade or block service for a competing service.”

Lie #10: “Google speaks for the consumer.”

Telco lie: “Without a guarantee of profit, we’d never build new networks.”

How’s that?

You tell me. Both sides lie. I’m sure I could match you point for point (and remember, I don’t agree with the side that’s pushing for regulations).

Richard, I don’t mean any disrespect, given your expertise in this area. But, it really disappoints me to see you spouting telco talking points rather than looking at this issue from a realistic standpoint.

Richard Bennett (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 It's not actually a lie

I’m spouting telco talking points? Really? If by “talking point” you mean “inconvenient fact”, I suppose that’s true. So what? Very few people are capable of dealing with this issue at any sort of deep level, so alas, the public discourse is necessarily dumbed-down.

At least you don’t find me saying things like: “As has been pointed out repeatedly, QoS is not the best solution to the problem. More bandwidth works much better.”

That’s a total non sequitur. How much bandwidth do you have to add to a link in order to ensure that low-volume VoIP always gets low latency? And what happens to the future load on the network when that bandwidth is added? And then how much more do you have to add? That’s not a solution, it’s prescription for somebody else’s economic ruin. Bandwidth is not free.

Trying to make out that Gary Bachula, the public relations director for Internet 2, has given the final solution on the QoS question is to embarrass yourself. QoS has been a hot research area for 30 years, and Bachula’s personal opinion is simply one data point in a field with thousands. The engineers who carried out the QoS trial for Internet 2 (five years ago, doncha know) don’t even agree with his assessment of their work, and one has come out in favor of the Stevens bill.

It just so happens that on this issue the telcos are right and Google and the Lefty Blogs and the scare groups are wrong. Deal with it.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 It's not actually a lie

I’m spouting telco talking points? Really? If by “talking point” you mean “inconvenient fact”,

Which inconvenient facts are you talking about? Because so far you’ve said a lot of stuff that is hardly factual.

That’s a total non sequitur.

It’s not a non sequitur at all. It’s highly relevant.

How much bandwidth do you have to add to a link in order to ensure that low-volume VoIP always gets low latency?

Yes, QoS and bandwidth are two different things and have two different impacts — but if it’s congestion that’s causing the latency problem, much of it can be solved with bandwidth.

Besides, I wasn’t referring to Gary Bachula’s statements, which I actually hadn’t read before. There are others out there who have noted the same thing — so it’s more than “one” data point. You have to admit that there are plenty of folks who have just as much experience as you in the space who support the other side.

Telco supporters claim that there’s no evidence of a problem with telcos degrading traffic — but the same thing is true on the reverse side. There’s no real evidence yet that congestion is a real problem (and the Brix study doesn’t count) yet.

It just so happens that on this issue the telcos are right and Google and the Lefty Blogs and the scare groups are wrong. Deal with it.

We’re hardly a “lefty blog” and we don’t even support Google’s position… yet, when you resort to insults like that, it weakens your argument as well. Debate on the facts, not cheap insults. If you have to resort to insults, it makes me wonder if you actually have an argument.

And, if the telcos are so right, why are they lying so much?

The fact is both sides are being misleading in this debate, and the telcos have a much longer history of not even being close to trustworthy on issues like this. Why should we believe them now when almost every point they make is so easily refuted?

My issue isn’t with net neutrality, which is a red herring, but the lack of competition — which is definitely due to telco moves and the support of the FCC to kill off competition. If there were real competition, we wouldn’t be having this debate. Instead, the competitive nature of the market would create solutions — and I’d be willing to bet a lot of it would include more bandwidth, rather than tiers.

Richard Bennett (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 It's not actually a lie

Look, Mike, when you try to make this debate all about who’s telling the most lies, you’re essentially trying to legislate on the basis of moral virtue instead of the actual issues. The telcos may very well be money-grubbing ho’s and Google may just as well be shiny and clean, but that doesn’t tell us which side is right on the issues. Politics is full of stuff that technical people recognize as “lying” and “dishonesty”, but for the most part it’s benign. The fundamental problem is that people either don’t care about such technical issues or can’t appreciate their complexity, so every one of these debates becomes a battle of sound bites at a certain level.

Politicians have a code where they don’t call each other “liar”, recognizing that simplification is the watchword of politics. So just deal with that instead of getting so excited whenever somebody expresses a thought in a different way than you would.

McCurry is right that Google is in this fight in order to keep their costs down, not because they’re the champion of the consumer and of all things good and beautiful.

I will take issue with one thing you’ve said just above: I have not seen any of the people I know from the protocol standards and design community supporting the net neutrality position, not a single one. In fact, they’re all in agreement with me that these regulations are at best premature. And that goes across political lines and includes some Kos diarists. The so-called highly technical supporters of net neutrality are people like Cerf who retired from engineering a long time ago, or people like Berners-Lee who don’t actually support the bills in question.

Now we know that bandwidth and QoS are not interchangeable. Sure, you can accomplish a certain level of QoS temporarily by adding bandwidth, but that’s like adding memory to a PC, it’s only good until the next generation of applications comes along, so we need virtual memory too. And no amount of QoS is going to solve the problem of slow file transfer speeds. But the problem that faces us today is re-engineering the Internet to carry a mix of traffic, far different in its delivery requirements than the stuff we had back in the 80s. So we have to teach the net some new tricks.

And I wasn’t calling this a Lefty Blog, I was referring with that remark to real lefty blogs, like mydd.com and dailykos.com.

Don’t be so hypersenstive dude, it’s only the Internet.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 It's not actually a li

Look, Mike, when you try to make this debate all about who’s telling the most lies, you’re essentially trying to legislate on the basis of moral virtue instead of the actual issues.

No. I’m not saying to legislate based on moral virtue. I haven’t tried to focus on one side telling more lies than the other. I’ve made it clear that both sides have told lies, and I’ve called out both sides for those lies. It has nothing to do with moral virtue.

All I’m asking for is an honest debate — because that’s HOW YOU GET TO THE ACTUAL ISSUES. So far, the entire debate has been about obscuring the issue. For you to suggest that having both sides lie is the best way to get at the actual issue is so ridiculous it pretty much leaves me speechless.

Your argument seems to be it’s ok to lie as long as you’re on the side that’s right.

I really don’t know what to say about that. To me, if you are right, you should be able to support your position honestly. It may be the “code” of Washington, but it need not be. Yeah, so it’s idealistic, but it’s important.

You, apparently, have no problem with lies that support your viewpoint. That’s one way to go through life, but it’s not the path I’ve chosen. It certainly makes me question anything you say — knowing that you have no problem lying to support your position. Why should anyone ever trust you again? If you can’t convince people based on the actual facts, rather than distorted truths and outright lies, then perhaps the problem is with you.

Richard Bennett (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 It's not actually a lie

Well Mike, that’s a nice strawman argument and I can see it makes you feel very virtuous. You’ve exposed me as a liar without even once proving your point or addressing the issues. What I actually said is that simplifying issues is standard practice in politics, but according to you that’s the same as saying “it’s OK to lie as long as your side is right.” Having God on your side isn’t the issue.

But what is the issue? A silly commenter above says “QoS is fine as long as it’s free!” to which we simply say “then why not use if for everything at every time? It’s not QoS if you do that, of course.

I think this misunderstanding is the essence of the Google position: everybody has to pay the same price for Internet access on the consumer side, and on the content side we should have a bandwidth auction that allows bigger players to get steep discounts and no charge at all for high-value services such as QoS. That’s a joke.

We’re re-building the Internet, and not for the first time. The original Internet that Kahn and Cerf designed collapsed within two years of going on-line, and was replaced with one that had congestion control in TCP. That one has been patched and re-patched for many years, but is near to collapse. It will be replaced by a network that can handle a broad mix of traffic types and services, some advertising-supported like Google, some by subscription like Skype, Vonage, and the NY Times editorial page, some by ISP subscription like ESPN 360, and some by means we haven’t even seen yet. It costs money to run pipes, it costs money to build server farms, and it costs money to produce “content”.

It’s completely absurd to hit every Internet user with the same bill regardless of how they use the network. It’s completely reasonable to separate users into access plans that fit their needs, whether they’re on-line gamers, VoIP callers, file downloaders, or web surfers. And it’s completely reasonable to allow content producers to buy bandwidth or QoS at wholesale so they can re-sell it to ISP customers who can use it to access special services or content outside their service plan.

Google, Yahoo, MSFT, and the others are arguing for continuation of a status quo under which they’ve been very successful to prevent upstarts from challenging them by clever adaptation of applications to a more flexible protocol and billing system. They’re building massive server farms close by the major hydropower dams on the Columbia River with 100’s of thousands of servers, because in the Internet of today whoever produces the traffic controls the flow. The potential stifling of innovation is right there in The Dalles, Oregon.

The Internet that we have today isn’t the last word in networking, and it hasn’t even kept pace with the LAN and WLAN and WPAN technologies that feed it. We should prepare for massive overhaul of the entire system, and dispensing with the “neutrality” and “end-to-end” foolishness is a good place to start. As the Internet become a richer and more robust playing field, it may hope to one day catch up with the sophistication and utility of the networks people use in their homes and offices today instead of being an albatross around the neck of progress.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 It's not actually a lie

Well Mike, that’s a nice strawman argument and I can see it makes you feel very virtuous.

As I said, this has nothing to do with virtue. It simply has to do with whether or not you can prove your point without lying. You said it’s okay to “simplify” — which in the context of the discussion was about politicians lying. So, sorry, it certainly read like you were defending lying, as long as you were on the side that was “right.” If I misread your argument, I apologize — but, I just reread it and it still reads the same to me.

And, yes, that upset me — because I want to see an honest debate on this. I know you’ve contributed a number of good points to the debate, which is why I was hoping you’d get away from the silly insults and misleading rhetoric yourself, because it would only strengthen your argument.

The rest of your comment here does that, and I appreciate that.

However, my point is simply that I’d like this debate to be on the actual issues — not insults and lies.

So, then, if you want to discuss the meat of the issue, that’s cool.

It’s completely absurd to hit every Internet user with the same bill regardless of how they use the network.

It may be completely absurd from your technical viewpoint, but it’s not at all absurd from a business standpoint. It was that very “flat rate” system that made the internet what it is today. You can argue (as you are) that it caused problems for the network, but that’s a double-edged sword. If we had kept charging by the minute (or by bandwidth) in the first place, the internet never would have grown to become as useful and integral as it is today.

So, you can make a good business case that the flat rate system actually makes a lot of sense. Your counter argument, it appears, is that it no longer makes sense.

And it’s completely reasonable to allow content producers to buy bandwidth or QoS at wholesale so they can re-sell it to ISP customers who can use it to access special services or content outside their service plan.

Again, perhaps from a technical standpoint — but not necessarily from a business one, where such actions are likely to impede usage, impeded adoption and impede innovation.

What you seem to call a “free ride” by Google is also what resulted in Google’s creation in the first place. Would you say that the world would have been better off without Google?

Richard Bennett (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 It's not actually a lie

Mike says: It may be completely absurd from your technical viewpoint, but it’s not at all absurd from a business standpoint. It was that very “flat rate” system that made the internet what it is today. You can argue (as you are) that it caused problems for the network, but that’s a double-edged sword. If we had kept charging by the minute (or by bandwidth) in the first place, the internet never would have grown to become as useful and integral as it is today.

You’re assuming a lot that hasn’t been proved about the why’s and wherefore’s of the Internet’s rise to glory as the only world-wide packet network in town, and I don’t care to go there. I would submit that we’re not done innovating in the design of packet networks right now in 2006, and we need to allow the experiement to continue.

And I’d also like to point out that it’s not for you and me to say what makes business sense and what doesn’t – especially for new services that we can’t even define right now – but rather that our job is to define what makes regulatory sense. The freedom to fail is a vital part of the efficiency of markets, and just because we think it’s dumb for a company to price its services in a particular way doesn’t mean it should be criminal.

John says:

Re: Re: Re:7 It's not actually a lie

Those jerks!!! They never let any new websites pop up. Look at the Yahoo/MSN/Altivista strangle on the search market, how Hotmail and Yahoo mail keep any other web mail sites from showing up to offer cheaper email access, and how Google, Yahoo and MSFT have prevented upstarts from appearing….Unless you count google showing up in the search market, hundreds of free and low cost email services, YouTube, MySpace, Flickr, need I go on?

Google was once a tiny upstart facing big companies and major competition. YouTube started in 2005 and recently sold for $1.65 Billion. They were wildly successful because they were able to find great programmers (very rare); put together a good, simple, reliable, powerful system; and deliver a much wanted product. There’s not a ton of them because most computer programmers aren’t very good, and most good ones can’t do much marketing.

I’ve seen a lot of changes in internet content over the last 10 years. There’s a search engine everywhere you turn, people have stopped stealing songs (though not everyone) and started buying them for $1, free email includes pop3 and 1GB+ space, a very wide variety of people are getting published (like me here), sites have become much more interactive (drag the map around instead of click to reload or even use Google Earth), everything imaginable is getting archived (archive.org), vast amounts of knowledge is being shared through wiki’s, all kinds of videos are being shared for free (some are even getting TV and movie contracts for their fame and talent), and web servers everywhere are tremendously faster (ever try broadband in 1997?).

However, since 1998, my ISP still charges $60/mo for internet access that has gone from 3mb/s down and 384kb/s up to 5mb/s down and 384kb/s up, offers no more web or email space than they did before, and has a homepage that requires me to use Google to navigate. Who is stifling competition and innovation while lining their pockets? (hint: look at how much money Google (GOOG) made last year vs. how much money AT&T (ATT) made last year)

If Google were to become a monopoly, I wouldn’t care. First off, they’re so innovative that they deserve it. Secondly, a monopoly is only as bad as the people running it, and they’re really kind to their customers. RoadRunner is in process of upping my speed once again, but I can’t find out when or to what speed. They don’t seem to care about making it very public (I haven’t downloaded anything recently so it could have already changed). Not that I care much about going from 5mb to 7 or 8, but the 384k is crappy for uploading.

Only once in my life have I had a 2nd choice for broadband, and I stuck with dial-up because I just needed it for email. Email and solitare users aren’t paying for a lot of bandwidth they don’t use. You can get ad-free dial-up for $5/mo.

Anonymous Coward says:

But what does this guy know?

How ‘Saving The Net’ may kill it

By Andrew Orlowski (andrew.orlowski@theregister.co.uk)

Published Monday 17th July 2006 17:49 GMT

Interview If you’ve followed the occasionally surreal, and often hysterical debate around ‘Net Neutrality’ on US blogs and discussion forums, you may have encountered Richard Bennett. The veteran engineer played a role in the design of the internet we use today, and helped shaped Wi-Fi. He’s also been blogging for a decade. And he doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

Bennett argues that the measures proposed to ‘save’ the internet, which in many cases are sincerely held, could hasten its demise. Network congestion is familiar to anyone’s who has ever left a BitTorrent client running at home, and it’s the popularity of such new applications that makes better network management an imperative if we expect VoIP to work well. The problem, he says, is that many of the drafts proposed to ensure ‘Net Neutrality’ would prohibit such network management, and leave VoIP and video struggling.

We invited him to explain, from a historical perspective.

Q: You say the internet is breaking down. Why?

A: Remember that the internet isn’t the network – it was a means of interconnecting networks – historically Ethernets, but now WiFi and WiMax and others as well.

It was a fashion in network design at the time to distribute functionality to the edge of the network. Ethernet was designed like this – the network was just a cable. Control was just in the conversion layer in the transceivers at each point where a system tapped-in to the cable, which did transmissions, looked for collisions, and if there was did backoff and attempted to retry transmission. It was a completely distributed system, and TCP/IP was based on this.

Primarily TCP/IP was a way of connecting Ethernets, so the assumption was that it was going to be running over Ethernet; and it was optimized for the Ethernet case. So it should generalize. The primary problem protocol designers had at the time was that a fast server didn’t overrun a slow client. The TCP/IP windowing mechanism was a way of solving that problem; so it didn’t get overrun.

So on January 1, 1983 when TCP/IP was deployed, it all worked fine. Primarily the net was used for email. Then there were more FTP sessions, and it began to melt down.

So people were writing a lot of papers in mid-1984 about what was then called “congestion collapse” Some of the design features of TCP windowing actually made congestion worse; so protocol engineers went to work. They made enhancements to TCP such as Exponential Backoff – another thing stolen directly from old Ethernet and Slow Start – where the initial window size is small. They re-engineered TCP to solve IP’s congestion problem.

Today, the internet is only stable to the extent people are using TCP over it. People also tend to miss that you can defeat TCP’s attempt to limit traffic over something less than congestion of the backbone if you simply have multiple instances of TCP.

So this congestion management is based on TCP controlling packet traffic, but it depends on it being used in a very gentlemanly fashion.

But running BitTorrent is not nearly as gentlemanly. When it’s delayed, it spins off more and more threads and tries harder to get more traffic. And remember that with non-TCP applications, such as UDP, they don’t have any congestion management at all. UDP is a stateless protocol, and VoIP and IPTV use RTP, a version of UDP.

Q: So you object because it cripples network management?

A: On the technical side, my objection to the ‘Net Neutrality’ bills (Markey, Snowe-Dorgan, Sensenbrnner, Wyden) is the ban on for-fee Quality of Service [QoS]. QoS is a legitimate service offering, especially in the day of BitTorrent and what’s to follow it.

QoS is perfectly permissible under the original architecture of the Internet – IP packets have a Type of Service field – and it’s necessary if you want to offer telco-quality voice. The original architecture was flawed in that it didn’t have overload protection.

TCP was hacked in the late 80s to provide overload protection, but that’s the wrong place to put it because it’s easily defeated by running several TCP streams per end point. Who does that? Only HTTP and every other new protocol.

Thus, End-to-End is fine for error recovery in file transfer programs, not so fine for congestion control in the interior links of the Internet. For the latter, we need QoS, MPLS, and address-based quotas.

In the name of opening up the Internet for big content, the ‘Net Neutrality’ bills criminalize good network management and business practices. Why can’t we have more than one service class on the Internet? Even Berners-Lee says that’s OK, but the bills he claims to support forbid it. Something’s not right in this ‘net neutrality’ movement.

Q: So what fires the ‘End to End’ utopians?

A: When Ethernet was being designed, people felt a hub is a control point – so they came up with this decentralized, “democratic” p2p grassroots model.

It seems to be an aesthetic call. People make some connection between the structure of the network, and the structure of decision making in our political system. So when you have hubs and monitors and filters, they’re authoritarian. These people are more concerned with the metaphorical value of network architecture than the utility of the network architecture. At some level they’ve thoroughly convinced themselves of it – that End to End is really best thing from engineering point of view. But they’re not qualified to make that judgment.

The Stevens Bill has now become a consumers bill of rights, enshrining the four freedoms that [former FCC chief] Michael Powell articulated.

The problem isn’t just that packet networks aren’t like the political system – they’re not really like the switched network. A lot of ‘Net Neutrality’ thinking is coming from traditional telco regulation – the same common carrier principles that were refined for telegraph and the early Bell monopoly. But this needs to be rethought.

Certainly packet networks like the internet are becoming a more important part of our society – and they have unique properties compared to circuit switched networks, just as oxcarts on dirt roads have unique properties and have to make routing decisions!

If we’re honest, we don’t know how to regulate the internet at a technical level. But we should stop pretending it’s a telephone network, and see how it handles packets. The ‘net neutrality’ lobby is saying all packets are equal – but that’s unsound and even inconsistent with common carrier law. There’s nothing to stop a transport offering different service levels for different prices.

They all seem to be worried that ISPs have secret plan to sell top rank – to pick a search engine that loads faster than anyone else’s. But it’s not clear that a), anyone has done that; b), that it’s technically achievable; or c) that it is necessarily abusive; or d) that their customers would stand for it.


Q: What would do you think will happen, assuming Net Neutrality dies?

A: I’d like to see service level tiering, and probably that service plan will enable you to use four levels of Quality of Service. Packets will have to be tagged, so BitTorrent can move it at background priority, http and mail move at the best effort, and you have two highest level priorities for Voice and Video.

When we were designing Wi-Fi, some of us envisaged priority levels through differential interpacket gaps. That idea didn’t make it in the original standard, but a version was added to 802.11e based on a more elegant but substantially similar idea (802.11 randomizes the delay for each packet to avoid collisions, and 11e allows the randomization to be constrained by priority.) Tests show that 11e enables four times as many voice calls with QoS as without it.

Remember that the internet isn’t the network – it is a means of interconnecting networks. It was refined and rewritten. Now we have Quality of Service applications and Wi-Fi networks that use QoS, we have to refine it one more time. The Internet should be a faithful servant to the networks it interconnects.

Q: The religious attachment to End-to-End seems to come from non-technical people.

A: Engineers are very practical. If something doesn’t work as designed, if the experiment shows results different to the ones they expected, then they don’t pound sand. They go back and try another approach.

Engineers get paid to make it better.

Q: People only seem to object to a ‘two lane’ highway until you point out one slow lane for everyone isn’t any better. Who stands to benefit from the ‘Net Neutrality’?

A: I think Google and Yahoo! have made the calculation that IPTV may be lucrative in the long term, and this would put them at an advantage. Google is building massive server farms to enable them to pump enormous amounts of data onto the Internet. The one in Oregon is so big they had to build it close to a dam to get enough electricity – see Markoff’s article (http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/06/13/business/search.php) in the New York Times.

With net neutrality, whoever generates the most traffic controls the network.

Q: But ‘Net Neutrality’ is presented as a grassroots lobby.

A: I think most people at the grassroots level are really sincere – they really think they’re saving the internet.

Up at the MyDD and DailyKos level, there’s a lot of manipulation going on. There, it’s really about exposure of the brand, and fighting the virtuous fight.

The Stevens Bill is too big and complicated; the bulk of it about video franchising and that’s a very contentious matter. So if you’re out to exploit the political process, what better way than to find a big bill that’s going to be delayed anyway, and jump on it.

Kirt Olson says:

Re: But what does this guy know?

” On the technical side, my objection to the ‘Net Neutrality’ bills (Markey, Snowe-Dorgan, Sensenbrnner, Wyden) is the ban on for-fee Quality of Service [QoS]. QoS is a legitimate service offering, especially in the day of BitTorrent and what’s to follow it.

“QoS is perfectly permissible under the original architecture of the Internet – IP packets have a Type of Service field – and it’s necessary if you want to offer telco-quality voice. The original architecture was flawed in that it didn’t have overload protection.”

You mix comments on fee-for-QoS and QoS alone. I have no problem with QoS offerings on a flat-fee Internet. If we decide that certain services need specific packet handling, let’s do it for all comers as part of the service. The proposed laws prohibit the fees, not the function.

“They all seem to be worried that ISPs have secret plan to sell top rank – to pick a search engine that loads faster than anyone else’s. But it’s not clear that a), anyone has done that; b), that it’s technically achievable; or c) that it is necessarily abusive; or d) that their customers would stand for it.”

It is clear that organizations:

a) have chosen favored {applications|partners|suppliers} and arranged that they worked better than competitors or even blocked competitors altogether. Antitrust legislation offers some relief, but even so organizations try these tactics.

b) used laws to bolster what may have been technically marginal as in the DMCA.

c) abuse laws, regulations, standards and contracts to enrich themselves at the expense of weaker players.

d) possess a reach that eliminates or reduces customer’s abilities to affect the organization. Absent local competitors and high levels of consumer interaction, bad suppliers thrive on the customers who don’t know another way.

Markets do not automatically provide social good or technical superiority. Neither does regulation do this automatically. It takes thought, effort, discussion, and political action to approximate social good.


Patrick (user link) says:

Tell the masses

Talk is great, but talk is cheap. From my own experiences, I can tell you right now that the vast – VAST – majority of Americans are going to let the Telcos walk all over them, without a fight – because the vast majority of Americans have never even heard the phrase “Net Neutrality” – and that’s just how the Telcos want it. They thrive on an uninformed populace.

If you want to make a change, if you want to give the internet a fighting chance, you’re going to need to find a way to inform the masses of what these companies are trying to pull.

The people need to know. The masses, need to know. Short of having some celebrity cheat on their spouse because of “Net Neutrality”, I really have no idea how to get the subject into the common consciousness – most people simply don’t even WANT to know.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: wholly crap anon....

Long live the intelligent, and may the idoits take their welfare checks and leave us alone!

Rightly or wrongly, I would consider myself one of the inteligent. But don’t understand why you feel I should have to support the idiot??? Let them find work for themselves, and not need the welfare check…..

Whatever he said says:

Re: Re: wholly crap anon....

You are right Anon — Welfare isn’t right, but I tend to think if we don’t throw the useless people a bone or two they might gang together and rise up; give them just enough to placate them, and take away any thought of looting my neighborhood.

Too many of them, not enough of us.

But nonetheless, you are correct — we shouldn’t support them, and I stand corrected.

Whatever he said says:

The Masses don't matter

The masses are irrelevant. Are you assuming some greedy exec somewhere is trying to rip us all off? Trying to monopolize? I hope so, if it weren’t for money loving people in power there would be no progress.

A person is intelligent, but people are stupid — please leave the stupid out of these things.

What it seems to boil down to in the end is how much it will cost us in the end. What I hear is “they have too much power and money and it will cost us too much ….. blah blah blah”, thread after thread after thread.

So let’s get the whining masses involved and see how much progress we make then.

Anonymous Coward says:

Viewpoints of a couple of guys who know what they

By Andrew Orlowski (andrew.orlowski@theregister.co.uk)

Published Wednesday 19th July 2006 16:38 GMT

Comment The rolling net “neutrality” debate brought two of the internet’s most distinguished elder statesmen together in mortal combat this week. The two gentlemen, Vint Cerf and Dave Farber, said they agreed on most things. But where they didn’t, they tried to pull the chair away just as their opponent tried to sit down.

Farber is a professor at Carnegie Mellon, and has tutored several of the designers of key internet protocols. After two decades at MCI, TCP/IP co-creator Cerf is now at Google – leaving him little time to advocate (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/06/22/vintcerf_takes_off/) networked chickens and IP-connected toilet faucets. Both were excellent value, and the hour long debate held at the slightly-leftish think tank The Center For American Progress, threw clear light onto the arguments. It was one of hope versus fear. For the pro-regulation camp, Cerf said he feared the telco giants abusing their position and restricting internet services to the end user. In the “wait a minute” camp, Farber said he hoped that existing regulatory mechanisms – ranging from the FCC to the Antitrust department – would come down swift and hard.

You could drive a golf cart through both arguments, which is what makes this debate so interesting. Unfortunately, neither side was permitted to address the technical concerns we aired earlier this week by Richard Bennett, who pointed out that ill-written legislation could throw the baby out with the bath water. (see How ‘Saving The Net’ May Kill It (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/07/17/net_neut_slow_death/) ). Farber said when technical experts had looked at the issue, they decided potential side effects outweighed the benefits.

As befits someone who’s spent twenty years doing a lot of PR for a large telco, Vint Cerf sounded smooth and slightly sinister. He’s already acted in a Gene Roddenberry TV drama, and with his poise and velveteen delivery – he sounds quite a lot like Vincent Price – make for an excellent Bond villain. One could almost imagine Vint clicking his fingers, and sending Farber into a piranha tank below.

So the debate moved along familiar territory. Cerf warned the sky might fall in. Farber responded that it probably wouldn’t, but if it did, we already had the agencies to prop it back up again.

“There’s nothing I can see in the rational responses of the carriers that would indicate they are about to commit legal and antitrust suicide,” he said. But rationality doesn’t even come into it, when there are rhetorical threats. “The immediate rhetorical threat,” said Vint “… was specifically that we would not have access to the broadband channels that the subscribers were subscribing to, unless we paid an additional amount money”.

“But you pay money already,” noted Dave, “so you’d have to pay a little more?”

Cerf countered with a cunning old trick.

“We pay a lot of money already, so the suggestion we were getting a free ride was insulting,” he countered, sounding suitably offended. And just as everyone was remembering the AT&T boss’ “free ride” remark, and was feeling offended too, Cerf moved in to close down debate down on the subject completely.

“Google operates a large backbone network and connects it to the public internet at considerable expense…” he continued. “So the claim we pay additional amount seemed completely out of the ballpark.”

But, why? It all depends on what you’re delivering. Charging a premium for a premium service – say, for example, a Google HD Video of Demand presentation of a new Star Trek movie – doesn’t strike anyone as unreasonable. But Vint’s cunning introduction of “free” allowed him to sidestep the question. Google’s humanitarian mission – it was serving “all the world” – should not be maligned by suggesting it moved in the grubby world of commerce.

Farber tried a trip-you-up in return. Exclusivity went both ways, he pointed out, and someone like Google might be able to offer a service as ‘an exclusive’ to net providers of their choosing.

“It’s not that Google would do it, but that some company could decide to charge a carrier for providing that traffic – some TV channels [already] charge their carrier.”

It’s a good point, but his illustration could have been more carefully chosen. Cerf moved in swiftly for the kill, sidestepping the general point by rubbishing the specific example. Google is Good, and would never dream of doing that. Again, it was a fairly cheap way of winning a rhetorical point by avoiding the subject.

It also left us wondering if next year, Congress may care to consider legislation that makes speculating about Google’s commercial options, and concluding it would like to make money, a punishable offense. We could call these “Gootrality” provisions.

But if Vint enjoyed such deploying such rhetorical thrusts, he didn’t like being on the receiving end.

Time and again, Cerf warned of what he called “rhetorical” dangers. At one point, however, the discussion meandered – via the issue of common carriage – onto a discussion about the future of the US Postal Service.

“I think we should get some real data before we come to any conclusions about this,” warned Vint.

This was too much even for the moderator, Carl Malmud.

“So Vint, you’re saying you want to wait for real data before deciding on what the policy is. So why Net Neutrality now?”

“That’s a dirty trick, Carl,” said Cerf.

“It really is one CEO made a couple of statements,” Carl reminded him.

“We … shouldn’t ignore them problem and wait for something to happen,” Cerf insisted, eventually.

Running with scissors can be harmful.

That’s two trips to Vint, then, and one to the moderator. But even if Farber failed to convince us that the anti-competition mechanisms in the US were working – they seemed to do it better in the EC, he conceded – he didn’t really need to. To overturn the status quo, dramatic harm needs to be proven, and that hasn’t happened.

Bryan (user link) says:

Andrew's mistaken assumptions

The problem with this article (posted directly above) is that the author makes the assumption that QoS is the ONLY solution to the problem of network congestion. While getting voice packets thru now may be difficult, it is a problem that will solve itself in the future. Bandwith both to the home and on the backbones of the Internet increases each year. Google owns many miles of dark fiber. When the scale of bandwith changes (and it will) voice will not even be a problem anymore. The alternative though is for this tiers of QoS idea to go through. All that will do is cause ISP’s and the owners of the backbone to become complacent. You see, that makes the scarcity of bandwith worth so much more so now they have no incentive to bring more dark fiber online. Instead they charge more. If that happens the Internet will stagnate and eventually it will suck. We need Net Neutrality now. I’m not saying the current legislation is the answer but we need some sort of regulation or the greedy telcos are going to screw everything up.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Andrew's mistaken assumptions

OK but BW goes up because more BW is needed, which means that there will always be congestion issues, which means QOS is the only solution. Does everyone think that when they get a DSL/FiOS/cable connection that they have dedicated BW. It is shared BW with N users. The average usage per user provisioned is about 28kbits-60kbits/second. With usually 1000-8000 subscriber per circuit (oc-3/oc-12/ge). Why do you think prices are so cheap. There is a reason that these services are cheaper than leased lines. If you want dedicated BW then you will have to pay for it. More like $800-$6000/month for what alot of peeps have at home now. These services ramp the utilization up higher than the provisioned value. So this means that the network has to scale to support it. Somebody has to pay for it. It doesn’t help Provider X if Google is paying provider Y for BW. This then forces provider X to have to also buy more BW from provider Y and also upgrade their network. So the only people that benefit is provider Y and Google. Meanwhile Provider X gets completely screwed.

This is what is at the heart of the argument for Net Neutrality on the ISP side.

Hawkeye says:

Re: Re: Andrew's mistaken assumptions

It is not Google’s fault that ISPs over-sell their bandwidth.

Over-subscribed lines are a completely reasonable business practice based upon statistical analysis of usage patterns. However, it’s the ISPs responsibility to ensure that they have enough bandwidth provisioned to provide their customers with what they expect to use.

ISPs don’t sell ‘X-kbps burstable to Y-kbps’ connections to consumers… they sell Y-kbps connections… implementation just makes it more akin to the former. It isn’t the responsibility of Google or anyone other than the ISP to ensure that they are sufficiently allocating resources to meet their customer’s demand.


“It doesn’t help Provider X if Google is paying provider Y for BW.”

In this case, Google provides VALUE to Provider X. Imagine how many customers would use Provider X if they couldn’t access Google.

Content lives in ‘the cloud’, and everyone is expected to bring their own connection to ‘the cloud’.

For the end user, the value is NOT in the CONNECTION — it’s in the CONTENT. Telecom companies need to understand this.

Anonymous Coward says:

Bryan, your argument is ghey. Your problem – and the rest of you google fanbois – is that you are letting your rampant emotion for google blind you from reality.

Once you children get it, we will all be better off. Economies work for a reason. Perhaps you should take your head out of your ass and lean a thing or two about it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Actually, according to Wall Street Analysts, Google really won’t be affected one way or another, they don’t have a dog in this poker game, at least for now.

The company that is really pushing for Net Neutrality laws would be Microsoft.


Hahaha, guess all you “grassroots” idiots should start sending Bill Gates some cash. How is that for the little guy.

Tom L (user link) says:

Who cares about google?

My concern about ISPs acting as gatekeepers has nothing to do with Google, Microsoft or any of the established content providers.

I concerned about the kids that may be working away in a small office in my town that may be on to the next great internet innovation. That’s what the Net Neutrality discussion should be about.

Every additional barrier and yes paying an ISP to gain high speed access to consumers is a new barrier, which is put in place makes it harder and harder for the little guy to innovate. ISPs will not sell QoS or ‘private’ bandwidth to small startups that stand a chance to shake up things with their partners. That is a barrier.

Legislation may not be the best answer but lets follow on the theme of this article and start to realize that Google is little better to root for than Mike McCurry or Tom Tauke.

The idea of Net Neutrality is about protecting innovation and protecting the little guy that drives our economy; the American entrepreneur.


Richard Bennett (profile) says:

It's not actually a lie

Kirt says: You mix comments on fee-for-QoS and QoS alone. I have no problem with QoS offerings on a flat-fee Internet. If we decide that certain services need specific packet handling, let’s do it for all comers as part of the service. The proposed laws prohibit the fees, not the function.

He misses my point. I was saying that putting overload protection in TCP killed the TOS model, because it forced TCP-dependence on IP and killed precedence. There is no rational basis for a “one size fits all” pricing model in a system of mixed traffic for mixed use. It’s a good thing you’re not regulating the auto industry.

And he also makes several fanciful charges about things he imagines “organizations” have done. These charges being almost wholly without factual basis, I won’t respond to them in detail, except to say that I’m not opposed to regulation in principle, I just want my regulations to be technically sound and not a bar to progress. The Snowe-Dorgan and Markey laws don’t rise to that standard.

Kirt Olson says:

Re: It's not actually a lie

“Kirt says: You mix comments on fee-for-QoS and QoS alone. I have no problem with QoS offerings on a flat-fee Internet. If we decide that certain services need specific packet handling, let’s do it for all comers as part of the service. The proposed laws prohibit the fees, not the function.

“He misses my point. I was saying that putting overload protection in TCP killed the TOS model, because it forced TCP-dependence on IP and killed precedence.”

I don’t know if I missed it before, but I’m not getting it now. I don’t know what you mean by the “TOS model” which I cannot find mentioned in the piece from which I quoted.

“There is no rational basis for a “one size fits all” pricing model in a system of mixed traffic for mixed use.”

In what ways do the US highway system, the national airspace system, or the national waterways system employ differential pricing? I see cars and trucks, jets and Cessnas, and Barges and rowboats sharing these traffic corridors. They transport different payloads, of differing priorities, through shared systems.


And he also makes several fanciful charges about things he imagines “organizations” have done. These charges being almost wholly without factual basis, I won’t respond to them in detail…

I believe you raised 4 points, saying they never happened. I answered each by saying that organizations have done these things repeatedly. I chose to use organizations because that includes regulatory agencies, corporations, privately held companines, trade associations and other forms of collective actors.

I don’t believe the discussion is moved forward by my documenting many cases, but I assure you I had cases in mind for every statement. And we don’t have to limit ourselves to the recent past–the Jordaphone ruling in 1922 made interconnect with the PSTN legal and AT&T and the Bell System illegally threatened customers and shut off their services until the MCI case about 20 years later. These behaviors occur time and again even to the present day.

Perhaps I should make my point in a summary way: We should not trust the suppliers of transport to provide equal opportunity for all users. Absent regulation, they will not do so and they will raise many arguments as to why they should not. If we want equal opportunity, we must make it a condition of doing business.


Richard Bennett (profile) says:

Re: Re: It's not actually a lie

You’re making a strawman argument, Kirt. I never said “all regulation is bad” or that “abuse never happens.” I say we have to study the problem we’re trying to eliminate before regulating it, and then draft the narrowest possible regulation to prevent it from happening without killing other services.

Let’s take an example. Killing is wrong, and we have laws against it. One might draft a law against killing so broadly that we ban such things as killing in self-defense or national defense, killing animals (and even plants) for food, criminal execution, mercy killing, and abortion. And we might treat all forms of impermissible killing the same, regardless of whether they were premeditated, emotional, careless, accidental, or delusional.

So a simple principle that has the most broad popular support (“Thou shall not kill”) yields a mass of different laws and regulations depending on intent, circumstances, conflicting rights, and social norms. We don’t have enough experience with the regulation of packet networks’ routing policies to jump whole-hog into this area without doing great harm.

That’s why I advocate collecting more evidence before drafting new regulations.

Robert Cannon (user link) says:

Re: Re: It's not actually a lie

Jordaphone? The Jordaphone Corporation lost their case before the federal courts. Jordaphone had an answering machine that they wanted to connect to the telephone network. AT&T was not interested, and the federal courts said AT&T did not have to talk to Jordaphone. It was not until Hush a Phone and Carterfone that subscribers began to be able to attach devices to the network. More at http://www.cybertelecom.org/ci/cpe.htm

Paul Flores says:

Let them do it...

I for one believe we should give the big telcos that want to start prefering packets from diffrent providers as much rope as they want.

This clearly violates thier common carrier status, making them accountable for the content of thier networks.

Lets throw the board of ATT in jail the first time the FBI detects kiddie porn running on thier network.

Hawkeye says:

Re: Let them do it...

Unlikely — they are, as you say, giving preference to packets, not content. They will not selectively allow or disallow content, as you seem to infer — they just give priority to some communication.

Your argument is akin to holding the USPS accountable when someone makes an illegal shipment, because USPS offers tiered mail delivery options (parcel post/priority/first class/etc).

As it is commonly proposed, net neutrality is about data priority, not allowability… so I think it unlikely that this would change common carrier status.

Jeff says:

The telcos are just cutting their own throats in t

The proposals to charge for use of an intermediate network (a lot of which was made with taxpayer money) are really just going to bring down the telcos in the long run.

The only thing the telcos have going for them is the fact that they have a monopoly on the intermediate network and the endpoints. If you look at every other aspect of their business model, it’s obvious that they won’t be competitive in a truly open market. The only reason they are still around is that they have a monopoly on the physical structure of the networks.

And that has been tolerated for as long as it has because no one has really had the incentive to compete with them. These charges have the potential to provide some serious incentive to implement a competing network structure. And since it’s going to be a brand spanking new network it’s not going to have a lot of the overhead associated with the telcos.

If the network use charges are high enough Google might be motivated to compete, and with the serious amount of technical competence they have, they have they could probably deploy a network that would cover many large metropolitan areas in 2 or 3 years. These areas are the profit centers of most of the telcos, as the cost of delivering services tends to be much higher in rural areas.

The obstacles to this are not technical but political, and it’s entirely possible that the objections of mayors and city councils could be assuaged with free network access for municipal governments.

It’s not about right and wrong, it’s about smart and stupid, and the telcos appear to be in the latter camp.

Jerel says:

Mike and Richard Bennett Discussion - clarificatio

Okay, so I’m new here (first time ever) and I’m posting, which I never do. Not that I’m a lurker. I just hate long disorganized rants and “me too”s and flaming and… well, you know what I mean. But now I’m going to be guilty of a long post. Please bear with me.

I really appreciate the thoughtful comments of both of you, even though I’m not too crazy about the moral posturing. But leaving that aside, I need to ask a question which may simply reveal my ignorance.

I pay for my ADSL access to the Telco, and to the ISP, and the folks who provide content for me must also pay something related to the size of the pipe they need. Question: Doesn’t that pretty much cover the costs for the whole thing? I mean, if only one side paid for the conversation, then I can see that one side would have to pay significantly more. But I pay for the size of pipe I want, and the “content provider” third-party pays for the size of pipe he needs, and the folks in the middle that are providing all the infrastructure collect from us both and build out whatever they need. As technology evolves, we find ways to do more with less, and everyone benefits. I’m remembering when we went from time-division multiplexors to statistical multiplexors for RS-232 traffic. Overnight we got 50-100 more people on the same wire. At 9600 baud!!

Richard stated that the existing protocol includes information about the type of service or content being provided. Question: Doesn’t that give enough information to be able to “shape” the network traffic? Seems to me that traffic that needs more resources can get more, and that which needs less can get less, without the end user really even knowing it, or caring.

BTW, I’m not against tiered service. I’m used to it. I have that now. At home I don’t *need* T1 speeds, so I don’t pay for it. At work I do, and they pay for it. So I’m not terribly certain what all the brou-hah-hah is all about.

I get it technically. Technically the providers will provide higher speeds end-to-end for a cost, and if you don’t want or need it, you buy something slower. The threat is that the people who don’t pay more will eventually get an Internet that is unusable, and Joe Sixpack will pay more so he can get content shoved at him like he does his cable TV. He will do this without batting an eye. The folks who cannot afford this “newly-acceptable” level of service will get sent to the back of the bus. We will have the equivalent of broadcast television, which is free for everyone and is going the way of the Dodo bird, and cable/satellite which is only for those who have the discretionary income and desire to pay for it. But we sort of have that now. You can have free dial-up internet access at 50Kb, like Netzero, (which is probably also going the way of the Dodo bird) or you can pay for broadband and get whatever speed you want, for a price.

The real danger here is longer-term. It’s the shift from viewing the Internet and WWW as a way to link people (and yes, networks) and creating “conversations” (thanks Doc Searls (and others) and The Cluetrain Manifesto) to viewing it as a “pipe” through which “content” is force-fed (selectively, of course) to the unwashed masses from huge communications companies like Clear Channel, Sony, BMG, etc. If the ‘net is viewed as “just another cable-TV” resource, with some interactivity, then that will be the end of the ‘net as we have known and loved it all these many (12?) years.

Last Question: How does this whole “Net Neutrality” argument factor into this threat?

Thank you in advance for your thoughtful reply.

Richard Bennett (profile) says:

Re: Mike and Richard Bennett Discussion - clarific

You’re overlooking the fact that there are at least two dimensions to broadband service: bandwidth and jitter. We’re all used to bandwidth and we accept service tiering on that basis already, as you point out. I can choose dial-up, DSL, cable, or some form of wireless according to bandwidth and understand what I’m getting, how much it costs, and why I choose what I choose.

Consumers are less well-acquainted with jitter, the fundamental element of QoS. It’s technically the variation in delay from one packet to the next in a stream of packets, and it’s something that packet networks like the Internet don’t handle very well, by design. The fundamental tradeoff we made in moving from the circuit-switched PSTN to packet switching was to surrender the jitter guarantee made in the design of the PSTN for the higher bandwidth available in packet-switched networks. That was fine as long as all we did on the Internet was file transfers and services built on the file transfer model such as e-mail and web surfing.

But now we want a network that reserves a little bit of bandwidth for low-jitter, real-time services such as VoIP and video multicasts and then gives us the traditional packet-switched service across its remaining bandwidth.

The telcos, understandably, want to sell the real-time, low jitter service for premium prices and the rest of the network in the traditional way, with the exception that they want to place a cap on each user’s consumption of raw bandwidth in order to guarantee that each gets a fair piece of the shared tubes.

Most consumers are so naive about the nature of the Internet – and this extends to the consumer advocacy groups that are pushing net neutrality guarantees – as to think that a 6 Mbps link means each consumer can use all 6 Mbps all the time. That’s possible in a circuit switched, PSTN network, but it defeats the economies of packet switching.

Packet-switched networks such as the Internet are built on the insight that traffic is bursty and users don’t use all of the network’s capacity all of the time. That bursty nature has to be controlled in order to make real-time services work, and it has to be controlled to stop greedy bastards from hogging the whole tube. This wasn’t so important back in of the early days of the Internet, but we have different needs and different users today.

directorblue (user link) says:

Put simply, the carriers want to turn the Internet

Christopher Yoo’s paper, held up by the carriers as academia’s answer to Berners-Lee, Bob Kahn, Lawrence Lessig, Vint Cerf, et. al. points to cable television (and PPV specifically) as an aspirational example. Hardly what I think of as a hub of innovation.

A few (very few) parties have been battling incessantly for QoS — which on its face sounds good. Unfortunately, tiering traffic didn’t work for Internet2 and there’s no agreement as how to make it work on the public Internet. As NetworkWorld reports:

“…Andy Malis, chairman of the MFA Forum, which is defining specifications to resolve the MPLS interconnect issue between carriers. “And at this point, the interconnections that are happening are basically for best effort [service] only.” …”

In other words, there’s no agreement how to implement QoS hand-offs between carriers, without which the whole structure falls apart (basically, for reasons of prioritization tarriffs and other business concerns). So, without handoffs, imagine BlockBuster trying to run wire from its data-centers to all of the cable companies and the telcos directly. Because without handoffs, that’s what they need to do to guarantee QoS to the last-mile.

Sounds practical to me!

Furthermore, as others have pointed out, a duopoly is hardly enough to ensure competition at the last-mile. And that’s why the carriers have spent nine figures plus on lobbying for. And that’s nine figures plus they haven’t spent on innovating. They’re frightened by innovation. They’ve never had to survive in the real world. They’ve lived in a tiny, regulatory bubble insulated from fiscal concerns and protected from government interdiction by their lobbyists.

QoS is fine. Provided there’s real competition at the last mile. And an FCC capable of enforcing it.

Go to Save the Internet and take action. Today. Nothing less than America’s technological leadership position hangs in the balance.

Interested Party says:

Put simply, the carriers want to turn the Internet

What I am interested in is the Net Neutrality position on IPTV as practiced by the telcos.

First, they are providing the content over a private metropolitan IPnetwork they built to handle the much higher demand of multiple (HD)TV sets in a household showing TV content. How do they pay for this investment if they are interpreted by NN as needing to provide the IPTV at the price of the current data service because it is just another site. Or are they to raise their price for data services to pay for the IPTV build to price themselves out of the market for just broadband data?

Second, if your answer to the above is that the telco should not offer tiered pricing. Are you prepared to have only one viable TV provider in most localities, read monopoly, if the telco finds it is not worth to either charge the single low rate or offer a bundled service and lose his data service only customers? Are you prepared to give up the additional capabilities that their architecture supports, because it is IP, such as many more channels and TIVO in the network?

Linoy Joseph, Angelsvista (user link) says:

Content provider Bandwidth

Their is a big point that all miss,

Their is a concept called peering with isp by an isp or a content provider, or with a internet exchange, for the exchange of bandwidth.
if A and B are two isp, they can xchange their bandwidth and if A-B is positive then A have to pay bill, if both of them download data equaly, its free for them…

Like this content providers can freely get internet by connecting to big isp and providing free bandwidth for them, so both benefit… the content provider need not buy bandwidth, and the isp gets free bandwidth for the users…

Marc K says:

What does tiered bandwidth have to do with tiered access?!

I just thought that this question needed to be asked:

If I pay Virgin Media £23 each month for a cable package that includes “Unlimited” Internet at 2 Mb/s down and 384Kb up (‘Subject to whatever we think is “Fair Use” at the time — not to mention bandwidth throttling policies that seem to set the bar very low — because we don’t actually want you to download all that stuff we bait you with in our adverts!’), then I want to access WHATEVER site that I want, or use any service, within my allocated bandwidth.

I use Quality of Service on my home router on the odd occasion that I do use BitTorrent etc (which can be perfectly legal in any case), but I’m not much of a “bandwidth hog” — and surely it’s the ISP’s fault for telling me that I can “download X TV shows in Y minutes!” (Virgin actually do this in national newspapers! The irony, of course, is that it’s often right next to a “get off your sofa” themed advert for Virgin Active gyms, of all things!) in the first place? Seems like they’re complaining that their customers are actually doing what they’d told…

Of course I understand the “burst” nature of a quoted maximum speed, but it annoys me to hear the Virgin Media Chief say that Net Neutrality is “bullocks”. I’m sure that if he was in my situation and he read all the articles around about how the iPlayer’s bandwidth spikes “should be paid for by the BBC”, for instance, only for Virgin Media to go on to incorporate it as part of its much-touted “we’ll record all the crap we can for you!” Catch Up TV On Demand service, that he’d be pretty annoyed! Seems like he needs a taste of the “slow lane” — but this is what I’m on about, it’s not just like dialup when the bandwidth is limited but you can still use whatever service you can manage to, it seems more like they want a system where the actual bandwidth you’re paying for is even more uncertain, as it varies according to who’s established deals with the ISP.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...