Network Operators Not The Only Ones Against A Neutral Internet

from the enemy-of-an-enemy dept

The major network operators are obviously terrified at the thought of just operating dumb, commoditized pipes, and as such are the chief advocates of the end of net neutrality, which would allow them to exert greater control over how their networks are used. Conversely, big internet firms and techies that are closely involved with the web have generally supported keeping the web neutral. But the issue isn’t quite that black and white. Nick Carr points to an interesting article on Stanford’s Clean Slate Design for the Internet project, which aims to put out proposals for how the internet could be completely remodeled to achieve better performance. What’s interesting is that several of the group’s proposals involve making the internet less neutral, or at least less dumb. For example, they would like to see it made harder for people to operate anonymously, so that hackers and spammers find it harder to do their jobs. More broadly, the idea is that the network backbone should better understand a packet’s contents for both security and prioritization purposes. None of this is totally new; the idea of making the internet smarter has been bandied about for some time. But it’s interesting to see some of the language of hardcore internet enthusiasts and large network operators converge, even if their goals are entirely different. It also underlines the fact that net neutrality is by no means a black and white issue. It would be easy to imagine a net neutrality law aimed at preventing operator abuse also impeding some of the ideas put forth here.

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Comments on “Network Operators Not The Only Ones Against A Neutral Internet”

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Casper says:


I think we should pass a law against you…. your starting to look like spam to me.

I seriously doubt the internet would improve if we neutralized it entirely. It would just make things incredibly slow and stagnate process (much like if the government took over). Of course I also don’t think we can back telco’s in their claims that they do not need to allow competitors on their systems because they can not be trusted to monopolize.

There really isn’t a clear answer in my mind, but it will probably be a coalition of telco’s and local governments of some kind (if they can work with each other and not screw the population).

limeboi says:

Make the internet less anonymous? Prioritize packet routing? You have got to be kidding me, traffic shaping has to be the biggest irritant that I’ve come across regarding the latest in “network improvement” because of what I do while on the internet. Not to mention that I think I’m being forced to proff forth more information than I care to as it already is just to pull up a webpage because of the business in trafficing in things like internet usage to better market crap that I don’t want to be bothered with.

I’m honestly a supporter of making dummy pipes the norm because this way it removes any and all external interests from filtering in things that do not need to be there. When we start adding things because it’s lobbied that it should be there, it becomes the biggest platform for the underhanded practices that currently are used in general law making and it would only serve to benefit specific interested parties.

So, since nobody can be trusted to behave themselves when it comes to what they want to do with the internet’s current setup, simply remove everything that could possibly be used to benefit a specific entity vs. the whole and be done with it.

It’s a bit heavy handed, but when we start trying to legislate how the internet is used in a social context it’s going to start suffering the same pitfalls of any system that works great on paper but fails miserably when a human being is placed in the mix.

As always, bear in mind this is just the perspective of someone who is watching from the sidelines…

Anonymous Coward says:

I for one would be perfectly happy to forgo any vapourware future benefits to prevent the big telecos from being able to put a strangle hold on us users in the completely non-competitive market we have to deal with.
Net neutrality may not be the best possible solution but anything, and I mean [i]anything[/i] that requires trusting the telecos is a non-starter and should be discarded.

ScaredOfTheMan says:

2 Seperate things

Neutrality and application aware networks are 2 separate things.

Specificially if a backbone is aware of the major applications types, and flow requirements that fine, if they want to give high priority to voice and video, thats fine too…BUT they have to give that priority to ALL applications from any content provider.

This is where neutrality is different, once you make a conscience decision who’s applications run fastest based on who pays you the most, then you have broken the internet.

The Internet would benefit from backbone QoS and other application layer traffic enhancements.

The Internet Needs Net Neutrality.

The Internet does not need pay for preference traffic shaping. That’s the difference

Richard Bennett (profile) says:

You make a huge error

Net Neutrality is not the legal or operational status quo on the Internet today, so there’s no question of “retaining” it. Network operators sell different levels of service to ISPs and business Internet users already.

The entire Internet runs on toll roads policed by gatekeepers and has ever since the NSF backbone was shut down over ten years ago.

And it’s obviously silly to let anyone and everyone demand high-QoS for every stream, that defeats the whole purpose of it. As long as the Internet has been under commercial control, it’s followed the principle that you get what you pay for. That’s the only way it should ever be.

Richard Bennett (profile) says:

And for the record, network engineers have always been on record as opposed to network neutrality regulations. Dave Farber, Grandfather of the Internet, and Bob Kahn, father of the Internet. have spoken very strongly in favor of innovation inside the core, from the beginning of this dubious debate. Cisco has always been against it, and so have the core network providers such as Global Crossing. The idea that NN is some sort of “good guys” movement sticking it to The (Telco) Man is a total hallucination.

In fact, the lead proponents of NN are professional telco regulators facing unemployment thanks to the success of VoIP; Save the Internet is funded by Free Press and the consumer groups, the most regulation-happy organizations in America.

MrWizard says:

Re: Re:

“And for the record, network engineers have always been on record as opposed to network neutrality regulations.”
I don’t know who you’ve been talking to, but 99% of the network engineers I’ve spoken to and worked with are wholeheartedly in favor of NN.
I am wholly in favor of prioritizing traffic according to application. That is just basic QOS practice.
The telcos want to prioritize the traffic according to who pays them the most. If they get their way, a paying content provider’s email could have a higher priority than a non-paying provider’s VoIP traffic.
Now tell me you NN opposers don’t have a problem with that.

ScaredOfTheMan says:

#7 is not correct

No my friend, that is not correct.

You get what you pay for in terms of bandwidth and the ability to burst between you and your provider, not for packet priority..everyone knows’ there is no QoS on the internet..otherwise why do company’s pay for expensive private WAN links with QoS (MPLS, ATM, Frame etc).

Even if one provider decided to start marking and Queuing who is to say any other provider would honor or pass along that info. They would not.

Currently, a wide open, First in First out internet is what we have, anyone trying to say otherwise is either lying or misinformed.

I will restate my point, QoS is not bad, if its applied evenly to EVERYONE’s Voice and Video services. The second you allow pay for preference on the public internet you have changed the status quo and the internet in the worse way

Richard Bennett (profile) says:


Business users, ISPs and NSPs make agreements today regarding QoS. There doesn’t have to be a wholesale agreement on how to mark packets and streams, just agreement where hand-offs occur, and this is done routinely today.

These agreements are such that low-latency streams command a higher price than bulk streams, and that’s as it should be. Nobody gets to use any Internet pipe for free.

This fantasy that Internet routers are “first-in, first out” repeaters is also a load of crap. Routers select routes for packets that conform to contracts and service requirements, not in some highly random willy-nilly fashion.

And what on Earth is a “public Internet?” The only Internet the public has access to is a network of private networks interconnected by commercial service contracts. The Internet is not a free ride.

ScaredOfTheMan says:

Are you for real?!

Where do you get your info, cause it is not entirely correct.

Although…the “pipes for free” argument tells me you are reading from the “grass roots” hands off the internet (i.e Telco funded group) playbook. However, it does not matter who you are.

The Public internet is a network of private, public, and educational facilities all connected (peering / paid). I am not going to go into a big explanation, if you don’t know what it is then you should not be posting.

On Private networks, yes QoS and Service policies are adhered to end to end, I am 100% in agreement. (and just in case you ask private = company A to company A or to company B carrying nothing but their traffic). And yes some people pay more to make sure their traffic gets though first (ridiculously more).

But this model does not work on the public internet. Sorry….I pay for my access to the internet in its totality, not a select few highspeed sites my “gatekeeper” was paid by. If I wanted anything else, I would have stuck with compuserve

Richard Bennett (profile) says:

Nope, not right

You can access any site you want on the “public” Internet, but you can’t use any route you want to get there, only the ones you and your ISP have paid to use.

Some routes are faster than others, and somebody will generally have to pay more to use those routes than the slower ones. This model works perfectly well on the Internet today, and has for many years.

It’s perfectly practical for Comcast and Verizon to make deals with Level 3 or Global Crossing or Verio or WebEx such that the core or overlay provider takes traffic marked a certain way and delivers it to the destination network with bounded jitter, and that’s all you need for decent QoS.

ScaredOfTheMan says:

And this is where you argument falls apart....

You are absolutely correct…I am at the mercy of my ISPs backbone provider(s) and the amount of bandwidth and over-subscription my ISP has on their network.

However, this has NOTHING to do with net neutrality…because ALL my packets are suffering or going really fast, not just the ones my ISP wants to go fast because whatever content provider paid them to. If I don’t like the service I can find another ISP (don’t get me started on ISP competition in this country)

Why not admit the truth….You and your Telco buddies are simply trying to drum up new revenue by trying to fight off the inevitable commditiztion of bandwidth….only without NN can the telco’s offer this *magical* special highspeed links to and across the internet.

The truth is the anti-NN crew are simply interested in double dipping and exploiting their user base for profit by artificially limiting the bandwidth to create the illusion of value…since who will pay the telco’s their gatekeeper ransom if the “regular” public internet works fine.

As for your last point about the respecting QoS bits, you are not reading what I wrote…Don’t tell me that ANYONE would pay to have the “core” providers QoS their packets when the local ISPs can/will toss the bits and FIFO the packets on the way out to the end users. Com’now… QoS is only valuable and most effective when everyone END to END uses it, yes choke points are important but any link can become saturated and render the rest of the QoS policy moot.

Richard Bennett (profile) says:

Real network engineers oppose net neutrality

The network engineers I’m tallking about, Mr. Wizard, are the people who devise the protocols that go into IEEE 802 and IETF standards, not the guy at your company who sets up e-mail accounts and worries about your firewall. The people I’m talking about are the ones who know what it takes to keep the traffic moving at a high rate of speed on wireless, cable, twisted-pair, and fiber-optic networks.

Your scenarios are simply ridiculous. Nobody’s going to pay to have their e-mail move through the net with no jitter, it’s just not a valuable thing.

And “Scared of the Man”, every little bit of QoS helps, whether it’s end-to-end or not, and yes indeed, my telco buddies want to drum up some more revenue by adding rich services. It’s called capitalism, and it’s what makes the world go ’round. Try networking without a network and tell me how satisfying it is for you.

ScaredOfTheMan says:

Don't confuse QoS with Net Neutraility

So you are saying…that without capitalism there would be no internet? Wasn’t the internet started by the government (DARPA) for military and educational uses?

If the Internet worked like you seem to want it, if I am a company with a website or I produce streaming video or I am a VoIP provider. Not only do I have to pay my ISP(s) for my bandwidth, I am going to have pay EVERY ISP between my customer and I to make sure my QoS is honored and propagated. That’s not how it works now, that’s not how the internet grew and succeeded. Vince Cerf, one of the Internet’s Creators has come out against this model, and what he says holds a lot more sway than any of your nameless “engineers”

Trying to suggest the Telco’s want any sort of capitalistic free market internet is like saying communism was good for Russia. The Telco’s want it both ways…they want government protection for their monopolies, but at the same time they try to end run or lobby down any government protection that even remotely threatens their business model.

These are the same telco’s that wanted to charge more for modem calls because it “cost them more” The same telco’s who passed laws banning you from using any other phone on their network than theirs. The same telco’s that happily took millions of dollars of our money to build out fiber to the home for the people in the country….that well…never really happened

So please take your sillly arguments somewhere else. Greed + Government protected business model do NOT equal capitalism. It = bloated phone companies too big, and too slow, with no desire to innovate whatsoever.

Richard Bennett (profile) says:

Naive and foolish

The telephone network provides QoS, and you don’t have to pay every telephone company that terminates calls, they settle among themselves. QoS on the Internet works the same way.

The Google employee you mention, Vinton “Vint” Cerf, was an assistant to the great Bob Kahn when Kahn invented TCP. He stands along among early Internet pioneers in advocating increased regulation of the Internet. Cerf’s professor, Dav Farber, Kahn, and End-to-End pioneer David D. Clark are all on record opposing the new net neutrality regulations.

Regarding your claim that telcos don’t innovate, this is a surprisingly naive thing to say, especially for a Google fan. Google has developed some great means for selling ads, but that’s hardly innovation. The phone companies, on the other hand, invented digital networks, the transistor, the Unix operating system, the C programming language, twisted-pair Ethernet, and optical networking.

If Google’s ad network had never existed the Internet would be just fine, but without the technologies the phone companies have invented, there would be no Internet.

ScaredOfTheMan says:

Can't seem to get your argument right....

Lets forget that you did not answer my points on capitalism and competition and telco greed…I will deal with what you wrote.

Regarding your first point…the telephone call analogy is silly, Telephone calls are point to point communication that go over a specific SVC, usually using SS7 for signaling and TDM or TDM over IP for transport so its not the same…This is the root of the telco greed they want the arbitrage model on the internet, they want metered model, that want per minute, per kilobit, per service level, per anything model…because they can’t survive with the basically flat rate model for internet access now.

As for Vince Cerf… you seem to know enough about Telco’s to know he came From MCI… so he is just as much a telco guy as Seidenberger. And if you look what Kahn said, he and I agree….If you want to do private things on your own network (wikipedia)…knock yourself out, unfortunately the telcos want take that window for innovation and turn it into another way for them to hold the their broadband subscribers as ransom to the content providers.

As for innovation…those days are over my friend…Unix, C, TP Ethernet…old. Bell labs was sold off a long time ago… When I say lack innovation I am talking about new ways of doing things… Why didn’t verizon start offering VoIP on its on….cause they couldn’t, they are big and fat and happy to collect land line fees.

So where are they now… IP TV (stalled)? FIOS(available in 2 homes nation wide)? That’s the best they can do? think of the 100s of new companies that really did something different… I could care less about google and their ads…I am talking about Social networking, wireless location tracking, Municipal WiFi, VoIP, Peer to Peer…technologies that changed the way things are done. Carriers don’t innovate…they maintain.

My friend I appreciate its your job to troll around looking to stick up for your telco buddies, I really do… but seriously do you even read what you type? Why are you so willing to stand up for them. If we left the internet to them…we would all still be AOL members on dial up modems…connecting at 33.3K

RandomThoughts (user link) says:

Re: Can't seem to get your argument right....

SOTM, you wrote “This is the root of the telco greed they want the arbitrage model on the internet, they want metered model, that want per minute, per kilobit, per service level, per anything model…because they can’t survive with the basically flat rate model for internet access now.”

My question is this. You state that the telco’s can’t survive with the current flat rate model. If they don’t survive, how does the Internet continue to work? Don’t the telco’s own the pipes?

ScaredOfTheMan says:

That’s a fair question.

The answer is the internet will survive with or without the telcos.

They own the last mile, and now due to their merger mania they own a lot of back bone too, but lets say they all went bankrupt, how long would it take for their assets to be bought up, for the fiber to turned back on.

Do you remember the .com boom, how many companies laid fiber, ran DSL and cable ISPs…not many of them are left today…but amazingly all their customers are still running (maybe not all, but the vast majority).

I don’t shed a tear at the thought of Telco’s going belly up. They are big bloated and inefficient organizations that do more damage than good to innovation in the country. I would love to see smaller Telco 2.0 emerge fast agile companies telecoms who make decisions with the customer’s (and the country’s) best interest in mind.

ScaredOfTheMan says:

Babbling huh…what an incredibly insightful response.

This coming from the fellow who claims to be the worlds first blogger… Hahahahah

Ricky Boy….Just google yourself… and Net Neutrality.

Shoutingloudly(dot)com has a nice little piece on your enormous logic and wisdom.

The fact is your last response shows you have nothing more to say.

|333173|3|_||3 says:

boom era equipment

I bet some of the old boom-era equipment is in reasonalbe working order, either taken over by the telcos or maintained by the remainder of the company which owned it. ADSL is all that a lot of people need, so getting the old kit back into working order might previde a way for small groups to compete withthe big ISPs. Adam Internet was founded as a small group, and is now the fourth largest ISP in the city of Adelaide, with about a third of the total ADSL2+ DSLAMs.

ScaredOfTheMan says:

Where's the Love?

Hate? Where is the hate? I am simply enlighting the world to your previous posts. How is that hateful? You wrote it, not me…if you’re not happy with it…blame yourself

And Spew….again my friend you have been hangin out in the telco crowd too long. If you call the way I completely refute of your half ass “argument”, and exposing you for the telco, comment troll you seem to be…spew…well I guess we are all products of our environments.

Richard Bennett (profile) says:

The devil made SOTM do it...

By all means, go and read all the stuff that I’ve written about net neutrality, esp. the comments on Shouting Loudly where I explain the difference between an ad hominem argument and a rational conclusion. And by all means go the Wayback Machine and see the political blog I operated in 1996.

And then contribute to the “Get ScaredOfTheMan a Shrink Fund,” because if this deluded soul thinks he or she has made an argument (putting premise before conclusion and supporting assertions with facts) he or she is in a sad way.

ScaredOfTheMan says:

Dr. Bennett PhD I presume

Dick my Boy…your are in the wrong place to make those claims here….go back to “savetheinternet” or something.

Generic QoS on public internet = fine
Ransom QoS to feed greed Telcos = not good
Blocking access to sites = not good
Artificially slowing down access to sites = not good

Nothing good will come if net neutrality does not become law (and it will).

You are nothing more than a Telco shill, No internet user would ever want anything from their ISP other than equal access to and from all sites on the internet (not included parent’s with filtering software). Period.

Anything else…for any other reason is a huge step backwards.

So you can make all the crappy arguments you want, you have not convinced (fooled) anyone here. Look at all the Techdirt posts on Net Neutrality….not just this one. the Majority of posts are PRO Net Neutrality, you are in the very very small minority.

If Net Neutrality will ruin the internet, capitalism, the free market and chocolate chip cookies (as you claim), why did the telco’s lift their skirts and agree to it for 2 years as part of the ATT BS merger?

Richard Bennett (profile) says:

tsk, tsk, tsk

From the mind of SOTM we receive this gem of wisdom: “If Net Neutrality will ruin the internet, capitalism, the free market and chocolate chip cookies (as you claim), why did the telco’s lift their skirts and agree to it for 2 years as part of the ATT BS merger?”

Um, you see, they actually didn’t. They agreed to abide by phony net neutrality (only where web sites are concerned), but they got an exemption for telephony and IPTV. And that was the point all along: web sites don’t benefit from QoS, they simply need bandwidth. IPTV and VoIP, networked services that don’t depend on the Web or even the public Internet to be successful, do need QoS and they’re exempt from NN.

The people who claimed NN was needed to protect web sites from QoS never understood the issue. When Ed Whitacre said “Google ain’t using my pipes for free” he meant the IPTV pipes, and verily, they can’t.

So there you are, little bubba, you’ve been informed. Now it’s up to you to understand the lesson.

ScaredOfTheMan says:

How do you respond to such responses....


My connection to the internet, is just that, MY connection to the internet which I pay for. That means I can use it for IP TV, IP Video,streaming Audio, IM, Web, or whatever else I want.

You see, your problem is you forget that people (us) pay for our connection to the network and Google or revver or myspace pay for theirs.

So I go back to this again…No one in the middle should be allowed to charge EXTRA to deliver packets…we both already paid…and the middle transit ISPs got paid by My ISP and google’s ISP. Anything else is simply greed, conflict of interest, against the public good.

Everyone knows the main part of this fight is over next gen services such as IP TV, but if you look at the way ISPs are acting now, (blocking access to web sites they don’t like, blocking access to Vonage, forcing home users to get a static IP address at an extra cost for any VoIP applications) then you see why we need NN.

Look man I can stay at this all day and night with you… NN is necessary…without it, you are killing off the NEXT google…or the next vonage, or the next…whatever.

Now why you don’t seem to understand this is beyond me.

ScaredOfTheMan says:

Why are you so fixated on Google?

My friend…if it uses TCP/UDP as a transport…its an IP service.

The Teco’s can have all their IPTV they want, I am saying their IP TV gets no better treatment than anyone else. They already have an advantage of being close to their subscribers anyway…so why do they need the extra help. I would have no problem with all IP TV on set ports traffic being given higher priority than the rest. Same goes for voice.

They are a common carrier right? You can’t have it both ways, its a conflict of interest and borderlines anti-trust.

And why are you so fixated on google (another savetheinternet Telco Shill tactic) I could care less about google. I care more about the next google that will never be, because they couldn’t get past “the gatekeepers”

Richard Bennett (profile) says:

SOTM's fundamental confusion

The fact that IPTV uses Internet Protocol doesn’t make it an Internet service. We use IP on virtually all private networks, and that doesn’t mean all private network services are “on the Internet.”

AT&T’s IPTV service is just as private as Comcast’s Cable TV service. The fact that it’s implemented with different protocols (IP vs. DOCSIS) isn’t really signficant.

And for the record, I’m not employed by a phone company nor do I have any financial relationship with any phone company or any company with the dog in the NN fight. I speak for myself only.

ScaredOfTheMan says:

Are Retarded?

Honestly are you?

If its not an things that use IP are not just Internet services then why did a Federal judge strike down MN attempts to apply telephony Tax VoIP, since its not a phone service its an Internet service.

If I can reach it via my public IP address then its a internet service.

Last double post was a mistake (sorry!:)

ScaredOfTheMan says:

on second thought....Read this


AT&T announced Thursday that its U-verse Internet Protocol television service will now allow subscribers to watch live programming on their PCs.

Until now, U-verse had been an IPTV competitor to traditional cable and satellite companies, much in the way Verizon’s Fios fiber-optic network competes with cable and satellite. But with the new PC-based offering, an AT&T-branded MobiTV package called U-verse OnTheGo, the company is bringing television programming–some of it live–to subscribers’ computers. Now, the company says, subscribers who opt into the OnTheGo deal can watch U-verse TV wherever a broadband Internet connection is available.

You like that last line — from where a broadband Internet connection is available — so STFU… your arguments are wrong….You lose…goodbye

Richard Bennett (profile) says:

Ha ha ho ho hee hee

Well, actually, you see, the fact that U-Verse customers can get U-Verse programming on the road doesn’t really change anything. The source of the programming is still AT&T and the consumer is still AT&T’s customer, so it’s still not an “Internet service” in the sense that anyone can put stuff into it and anyone can take stuff out of it.

It will be interesting to see whether U-Verse OnTheGo does any sort of QoS; I’m guessing it doesn’t, hence it’s beside the point.

Nice try though, you’ve probably confused some children and old people.

133+ says:

Richard, your ideas to create a hierarchical internet is nothing more than a bureaucratic scam to help bloated Telco’s make more money. The internet is successful because it allows people, anywhere, to operate on the WAN equally (from ISP to ISP). Less intervention = more creativity/ideas etc etc… once you start messing with this ideal and governing/controlling the internet you take away the very thing that makes the internet so powerful.

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