Montana Says It Won't Do Business With Net Neutrality Violating ISPs

from the cue-the-backlash dept

In the wake of the federal repeal of net neutrality rules, numerous states have responded by proposing their own net neutrality rules that either mirror the FCC’s discarded rules, or impose new restrictions on net neutrality violating ISPs trying to secure state telecom contracts. New York, Massachusetts, Washington and California are among a dozen states considering their own rules. These efforts come despite the fact that Comcast and Verizon successfully lobbied the FCC to include provisions trying to ban states from protecting consumers in the wake of federal apathy on the subject.

Unwilling to run the legislative gauntlet, Montana has taken a shortcut. Montana Governor Steve Bullock has signed an executive order banning ISPs from being able to secure state contracts if they violate net neutrality. Bullock on Twitter proclaimed that the state’s future depended on the internet, well, actually working properly:

Starting in July, the order prohibits the state from doing business with any ISP that blocks or throttles competing services. It also prohibits ISPs from offering “paid prioritization,” or the ability to offer deeper-pocketed companies an unfair advantage by getting faster speeds and lower latency than their competitors. Note, that’s not to be confused with offering non-competitive network prioritization to things like medical services, something that (contrary to ISP claims) has always been allowed via most reasonable net neutrality rules.

In a statement, Bullock’s office urged other states concerned about net neutrality to use its order as a template for their own efforts:

“As the first governor in the country to implement action in the wake of the FCC?s decision to repeal net neutrality rules, Governor Bullock invited other governors and statehouses to join him. Governor Bullock?s administration will offer the framework to other states who wish to follow. “To every governor and every legislator in every statehouse across the country, and to every small business and every Fortune 500 company that wants a free and open internet when they buy services: I will personally email this to you,? Bullock continued.

There’re a few caveats of note. One, the order expressly allows blocking, throttling, and other such behaviors if it’s considered “reasonable network management that is disclosed to the consumer.” Of course what an ISP deems “reasonable” has often been absurdly broad, and what counts for “disclosure” usually consists of a paragraph of mouse print buried in an ISPs’ terms of service.

ISPs have long hidden anti-competitive behavior (like usage caps) behind claims they were only acting to protect the health and security of the network. As such, what’s considered “reasonable” or “disclosed” is something you’ll need to keep an eye on as ISPs fire up their lobbying efforts in the state to dramatcally weaken or scuttle the proposal outright.

Two, Comcast and Verizon lobbied successfully to have the FCC include a provision in its comically-named “Restoring Internet Freedom” order that pre-empts states from protecting consumers. Whether the FCC has the authority to pre-empt states in this fashion has been a contested subject historically, so you should probably expect this to result in some notably entertaining legal fireworks. That’s before you consider the fact that 22 State Attorneys General are suing the FCC over its handout to industry, and several are investigating the fraud that occurred during the open comment period.

ISPs have tried to complain that a patchwork of discordant state-level laws will prove cumbersome for them to navigate and might result in some fairly awful, over-reaching proposals on the state level. So far though, most of the proposals have simply mirrored the discarded (provided ISPs win in court) federal rules. Regardless, ISP folks genuinely worried about this outcome probably should have considered this before they lobbied to dismantle arguably modest federal protections, in what’s considered one of the least-popular tech policy decisions in the history of the modern internet.

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Comments on “Montana Says It Won't Do Business With Net Neutrality Violating ISPs”

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119 Comments
joehatescoffee (profile) says:

H.R. 4682 will stop states from doing this

H.R. 4682
(c) Preemption Of State Law.—No State or political subdivision of a State shall adopt, maintain, enforce, or impose or continue in effect any law, rule, regulation, duty, requirement, standard, or other provision having the force and effect of law relating to or with respect to internet openness obligations for provision of broadband internet access service.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: H.R. 4682 will stop states from doing this

this technically it won’t.

The story says it "prohibits ISPs from offering ‘paid prioritization’, in addition to prohibiting "the state from doing business with any ISP that blocks or throttles competing services". Is the story wrong to say it prohibits the ISP’s behavior?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: H.R. 4682 will stop states from doing this

The wording in the article was slightly unclear, but just assume that “prohibits the state from doing business with” is attached to any requirement listed in the article. The second sentence is intended to be an extension of the requirements from the first, not separate.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: H.R. 4682 will stop states from doing this

I said it has merit, not that it was good.
the only way they can bypass that is if its their own behavior that is limited and it “incidentally” affects isps.
hell it could just be a simple “we don’t engage in business with companies or peoples who’s practices we find detrimental to the state of Montana and her peoples.”

Thad (user link) says:

Re: H.R. 4682 will stop states from doing this

The theory seems to be that it’s not an obligation for providing service, it’s merely an obligation for receiving government contracts.

How that’ll hold up in court, well, maybe we’ll find out — HR 4682’s unlikely to become law (it may pass the House, but to pass the Senate you’d have to get 10 of the 50 people currently trying to overturn the FCC’s net neutrality repeal to break a filibuster), but the new FCC rules have a similar provision preempting states from passing their own NN regulations.

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: H.R. 4682 will stop states from doing this

Montana’s restrictions only apply if you want to do business with the state.

If you want to screw consumers, then simply choose not to do business with the State Of Montana.

If you aren’t going to screw consumers, then you won’t have any problems with Montana’s preferences in which ISPs it chooses to do business with.

But you are NOT prevented from screwing consumers. You just can’t do business with the state if you choose to do so.

Now I think it would be better if the state or even better federal government HAD net neutrality rules to prohibit screwing consumers in this way.

Karl (profile) says:

Re: H.R. 4682 will stop states from doing this

It won’t stop states from doing this. It would stop states from allowing ISPs to do business in that state, but it won’t stop the state from adopting regulations for making conditions on what the state itself does business with.

In other words, ISPs could not do that if they were to do business with the state directly; so for instance, they would be barred from offering their services to public schools. But they could still offer their services to non-state actors, i.e. the general public.

Of course this assumes a) HR 4682 becomes law, and b) that provision of HR 4682 is found to be lawful by the courts. I have some hopes that a) will not happen (there is still tremendous backlash in Washington from both sides of the fence) and for b) courts have found struck down similar provisions (I’d have to dig up the cases).

Ben (profile) says:

Re: Re:

So if my next door neighbor uses 5 TB of data a month, and I use 100 MB a month, why should it be illegal for our ISP to charge him more than me, or even slow his down so my internet isn’t at a crawl?

That is not net neutrality. Net neutrality has nothing to do with the price an ISP charges you (or your neighbor) for the line (and data) going to your house.

Net neutrality deals with the content that those lines carry. If your neighbor watches Netflix while you watch YouTube (or vice versa) the ISP is not allowed to tweak the delivery so Netflix comes out smooth in HD because the ISP is getting paid extra by Netflix.

Net Neutrality is about being neutral to the content, be it video vs text vs sound, or source, be it Amazon vs YouTube vs Netflix vs Bob’s video emporium.

5 TB of data in a month should not place an undue burden on a fiber network, but if the ISP wants to charge extra that is their right subject to the regulatory controls they operate under (contracts and state oversight if any).

If both you and your neighbor purchased a 50 MB broadband connection and you only use 100 MB a month and they used 5 TB — what is your complaint? you are both limited to the same 50 MB speed, they are just using it all the time.

(50MB/s x 3600s/hr x 24hr/day x 30day = 129,600,000 MB = 129 TB possible per month, and you’re complaining about them using 5???)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: "5 TB of data in a month should not place an undue burden on a fiber network" -- ONE won't, sure.

But if everyone saturates their connection, there ARE limits to capacity.

Those who download a lot are in effect subsidized by those who read a few websites and do email.

“Net neutrality” as SEEMS defined here at TD forbids ISPs from treating their own intra-net — where, say, Netflix movies could be cached without moving across “the internets” as such.

You seem to be as usual making “net neutrality” mean only what you want it to (ISPs having infinite bandwidth), not what’s practical in light of capacity and local drives.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: "5 TB of data in a month should not place an undue burden on a fiber network" -- ONE won't, sure.

The probability of everyone saturating their connections all at once are slim to none. This is how network management works. Even in enterprise grade networks, they don’t put in enough bandwidth capacity to accommodate full saturation because it’s not necessary. It almost never happens. Most enterprise networks only have 1 Gbps core capacity with likely less than half of that for an actual internet connection.

Yes there is the occasional user who does saturate for a period of time but in general it’s rare, and even if a fair amount of people do, the bandwidth capacity available to ISPs is more than enough to handle a good chunk of people saturating. QoS and other network management techniques mitigate this even further.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: "5 TB of data in a month should not place an undue burden on a fiber network" -- ONE won't, sure.

You are the one making NN mean what you want it to. Nobody is asking ISPs to give unlimited connection to everybody. They are saying that the ISP cannot interfere on how you use your allocated capacity that you PAID for. Simple as that.

Ben (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: "5 TB of data in a month should not place an undue burden on a fiber network" -- ONE won't, sure.

You seem to be as usual making "net neutrality" mean only what you want it to (ISPs having infinite bandwidth), not what’s practical in light of capacity and local drives.

No, I expect "net neutrality" to mean exactly what it is supposed to mean: neutrality to the content. That is all it has ever been. There are other issues with regulation of local ISPs which are either monopolies or duopolies for the last mile connections to the customers, but that isn’t part of "net neutrality" (btw: why the quotes? that is its name)

Saturation is a capacity issue that the customer shouldn’t have to worry about. If the ISP is selling me a 50 MB pipe, they should be able to have all their customers able to use their pipes while I’m using the capacity I (and all the other customers) paid for. There is no subsidy. Just like every other system (power distribution comes to mind) they plan their capacity on expected usage; if that usage increases (e.g. when more and more people discover the delights of Netflix), then they have to invest in infrastructure. Fortunately, they should have all that money we’ve been paying to help them do that.

If an ISP sets up a content distribution/caching system for something like Netflix (in order to cut down on internet backbone usage) more power to them; they know the numbers and if the cost of setting up the CDS is cheaper than the haul fees for Level 3/whatever, then that is a business decision. I don’t even see how that touches on the real meaning of Net Neutrality.

John Snape (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Net neutrality deals with the content that those lines carry. If your neighbor watches Netflix while you watch YouTube (or vice versa) the ISP is not allowed to tweak the delivery so Netflix comes out smooth in HD because the ISP is getting paid extra by Netflix.

Net Neutrality is about being neutral to the content, be it video vs text vs sound, or source, be it Amazon vs YouTube vs Netflix vs Bob’s video emporium.

If an ISP says, "Hey! Do you like Netflix? We do too! So we partnered with Netflix to offer you a smooth streaming experience!"

Why should that be illegal? If I don’t want Netflix, why would I care if my ISP slows it down? And if my ISP slows it down, I can use a different ISP that doesn’t.

I might understand if I needed Netflix, or any other website, to stay alive, but I don’t.

It’s like saying a grocery store must carry every single type of product, because we don’t want them favoring any specific distributor.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

because not everyone has a choice of isps. I have 3 near me and only one of them is “broadband” one of the others is dialup and the other shitty dsl.
the fact is the internet is alot like the roadway system. the idea behind NN is that ISPs can’t just plop down a road closed -detour or narrow the street without a legit reason, or worse, enact toll booths at all points coming and going.
“I don’t need it, so nobody else does either” arguments are invalid

John Snape (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

[T]he fact is the internet is alot like the roadway system. the idea behind NN is that ISPs can’t just plop down a road closed -detour or narrow the street without a legit reason, or worse, enact toll booths at all points coming and going.

Why would someone using a lot of bandwidth not be a "legit" reason? Or a website that degrades service to users? And there are toll booths all over the place. Ever been to a New England state?

"I don’t need it, so nobody else does either" arguments are invalid.

Just because you want unfettered access to every single website doesn’t mean you should have the government take control of the internet to police what ISPs are doing. I know of no one who’s died from YouTube, or Netflix, buffering. Sure, it’s inconvenient, but there are more than one ISPs available, and more than one city you can live in. Vote with your feet and your dollars and the best ISPs will come out on top. Demanding the government control what ISPs are doing will never get them to improve in the ways you think they will; they will only improve in ways to hide their actions.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

and what of the people who can’t move due to lack of ability?
this is the same argument for gunowners in california with “don’t like the gun laws? MOVE.” replaced with with “Don’t like your ISP? MOVE.”
how about we stop the fuckery that ISPs are known for and make it a non-argument altogether.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Big lie, Net Neutrality is NOT the government taking control of the Internet. It is the government outlawing corporate collusion by requiring all packages are treated equal with the rare exception of emergency services. How hard is that, unless you have a reason for misunderstanding it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

The internet is NOT the same as ISP’s. The government isn’t taking control of anything, especially not the internet. They are regulating ISP’s but that has nothing to do with what happens to the internet itself. Because of the nature of the internet, it is practically impossible for the government to take control of it.

There are so many moving parts and organizations they would have to take control of, that it just would not happen. Saying the net neutrality orders (which only placed requirements on ISP’s and NONE on the internet itself) is the government taking over is a flatout, baldfaced lie that you should be ashamed of for even bothering to repeat.

Sidenote: Since you aren’t using the actual John Snape’s profile I’m going to assume you are a troll trying to impersonate him.

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I know of no one who’s died from YouTube, or Netflix, buffering. Sure, it’s inconvenient, but there are more than one ISPs available, and more than one city you can live in. Vote with your feet and your dollars and the best ISPs will come out on top.

So your arguments are, in order:

  1. If a thing does not literally kill people, it should be legal;
  2. If you don’t like your ISP, you can always just sell your house.

Yeah, you know what, nah, dude. Done wasting my time with you. Don’t know why I didn’t block you months ago, but I’m blocking you now.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Because it’s artificial supply limiting for the sole reason of jacking up prices. The internet is not limited in supply. ISPs shouldn’t have control over what users can and cannot view, especially since people sometimes only have one choice of ISP. ISP’s are there ONLY to provide you access to the internet at large. It is your choice what you want to do with that access.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

And you know what, they can still partner with them and do that. Having access to servers that is on their network will improve quality but that isn’t the problem. The grocery store example doesn’t work. ISPs are like streets, and they prioritize Netflix traffic but segregate Youtube traffic. And the equipment to do that isn’t cheap. That is personally why I think that all ISP infrastructure should be a public utility and then ISPs provide the backbone.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Your ISP is like your phone company, allowing you to contact the businesses that you want to. Would you accept phone companies deciding who you can ring?

Also allow ISPs to decide where you can go on the net, and those in your area will divide things up so that you need service from all of them to get to every site that you want to.

John Snape (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Your ISP is like your phone company, allowing you to contact the businesses that you want to. Would you accept phone companies deciding who you can ring?

For one thing, which websites have been blocked that you want the government to take over policing every move by ISPs? And if a phone company blocked calling a certain number, users would switch to a different phone company. The same goes with ISPs.

I’d also like ISPs to block access to malicious websites. Why should my paying them extra to do so be illegal?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

And why would blocking malicious websites be "extortion?" Your word choice is ludicrous on its face.

You say "malicious" but it could be "adult" or "politically incorrect". It might just be "[competitor]".

Imagine paying an extra toll at the turn to every adult store, every gun range, every tobacconist, every family planning clinic, and every fast-food restaurant because the company that owns the roads is run by someone who believes that people should not engage in those activities.

Imagine that there are extra tolls to enter into the predominantly minority neighborhoods, because "No one I know goes into those areas."

Imagine that they build extra-smooth free roads to Restaurant Z, Grocery Store Y, and Home Goods Store X, all of which were just bought by the parent company that owns the roads. Meanwhile, stores A, B, and C find that the Road Company is increasing tolls to their customers while coming around and asking A, B, and C to chip in a bit too.

It’s not that these have all happened, but that the potential for abuse is so high.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

That could be some peering agreement and it has precisely zero to do with NN. If Netflix wants to invest in infra-structure to be closer to a determined ISP network to reduce latency and increase performance awesome. But if the ISP wants to give priority to Netflix packets in their network over others then it is a problem. If the network is congested Netflix should suffer as well and peering agreements won’t do a thing to solve a capacity problem.

“If I don’t want Netflix, why would I care if my ISP slows it down?”

Because it may slow down Fuckyouflix that you love. Unless, of course you pay an extra value above what you already pay for exactly the same service. And Fuckyouflix pays double as well. And your mom pays as well because why not? And if you have other ISPs to choose good for you, most of America is locked in ugly Mono/Duopolies.

“I might understand if I needed Netflix, or any other website, to stay alive, but I don’t.”

You might understand but you won’t because it will prevent Netflixes of the future from ever becoming a thing. And it will screw you if you don’t want to use the select partners that pay double for your ISP. Or simply if you don’t want to pay double.

“It’s like saying a grocery store must carry every single type of product, because we don’t want them favoring any specific distributor.”

No, it’s like saying the distributor that brings products to said grocery store will deliberately make some products from some companies take much more time to arrive than other partner companies. Unless you and/or the company pay extra.

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

If an ISP says, "Hey! Do you like Netflix? We do too! So we partnered with Netflix to offer you a smooth streaming experience!"

Why should that be illegal?

Because I’m already fucking paying for a smooth streaming experience. Intentionally taking it away from me and then offering to give it back in exchange for an additional fee is not the screamin’ deal you seem to think it is.

If I don’t want Netflix, why would I care if my ISP slows it down?

Because there is more than one website on the Internet, and the odds of your ISP slowing down only one of them and stopping there are nil.

And if my ISP slows it down, I can use a different ISP that doesn’t.

[citation needed]

John Snape (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Because I’m already fucking paying for a smooth streaming experience. Intentionally taking it away from me and then offering to give it back in exchange for an additional fee is not the screamin’ deal you seem to think it is.

You’re already paying for your local ISP to cache all websites locally so there is no slow down? Do you believe your ISP has unlimited storage and can keep local copies of whatever website you might happen to visit so the "smooth streaming experience" you are paying for is never interrupted?

An Onymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Twisting reality doesn’t make your thoughts valid or correct.

Who said anything about “cacheing all websites locally”? Nobody said an ISP is obligated to provide bandwidth at any content provider’s maximum rate either. The whole point of NN is to prevent ISPs from treating content from provider A as being any different than that from provider B. If we allow ISPs to do that then we get extortion and other bad behavior. Because we used to allow it, and got exactly that bad behavior, is precisely why we have/had NN.

Are you really this dense or just trolling? If the latter then bravo, sir. Very well done.

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Are you really this dense or just trolling? If the latter then bravo, sir. Very well done.

I disagree. He’s usually pretty good at staying in the Poe Zone; I’ve wondered for months if he was trolling or actually sincere.

This is the thread where he gave the game away. In some posts he knows what net neutrality is and in others he doesn’t; in some posts he knows specifics about network operation and in others he talks about the Internet like it’s magic; his arguments range from strawmen to "if you don’t like your ISP, you can just move to another city." Not good trolling at all; much too sloppy and obvious.

John Snape (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

This is the thread where he gave the game away. In some posts he knows what net neutrality is and in others he doesn’t; in some posts he knows specifics about network operation and in others he talks about the Internet like it’s magic; his arguments range from strawmen to "if you don’t like your ISP, you can just move to another city." Not good trolling at all; much too sloppy and obvious.

I’ve never advocated for net neutrality. I don’t favor government control of the internet, and think the whole thing is overblown. You are flat-out lying.

I’ve yet to hear a valid reason I can’t pay my ISP extra to block malicious websites or give me more bandwidth if I need it.

As for moving if you don’t like your ISP: people have moved for all kinds of reasons. Look at the exodus from high-tax states to low-, or no-, tax states. Why is it beyond the pale for people to move to get better access to the internet?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

“I don’t favor government control of the internet”

The Internet is not, nor ever has been completely unregulated. Net Neutrality isn’t government control of the Internet.

“I’ve yet to hear a valid reason I can’t pay my ISP extra to block malicious websites or give me more bandwidth if I need it.”

You can just go ask, you can even upgrade to a commercial package. Most importantly THIS point you keep on about is not any part of net neutrality.

“moving if you don’t like your ISP”

That is not a fix that is a symptom.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

"moving if you don’t like your ISP"

That is not a fix that is a symptom.

That’s not even a fix. Why should I have to choose between where I want to live and work and good internet? That’s the dumbest, most ignorant and ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.

Especially since it is the position of the government AND the FCC’s mandate that all Americans (no matter where they live) should have access to advanced telecommunications, i.e. high speed broadband. The reason it’s not acceptable for people to move to get better internet access is because the internet, for better or worse, has become a NECESSARY part of living today, much like electricity, water, or gas. Can you live without any of them? Yes, but it’s a hell of a lot harder.

"Just move" is in no way a legitimate anything when talking about poor broadband service. Would you say "just move" if your electricity, water, or gas was regularly unavailable for you to use because the utility companies didn’t bother to upgrade their infrastructure? Or what about roadways? What if the only main road through a large city was a two-lane limited to 10 miles per hour. Would you tell someone to "just move" then?

Essentially what you’re saying is that everyone should live in a big major city because that’s the only reasonable place to get good internet. And if you don’t it should be easy and a no-brainer to "vote with your feet" and move to someplace that does. Pardon my French but screw you.

If that’s what you think is the best thing to do, just have everybody move, you have absolutely no idea the realities of life. Moving is not something you can just simply "up and do" just because companies are being jerks and screwing you over. What if you can’t find a job in the city with better internet? Or worse, what if there is no housing available? Hmm? No house means no internet period.

All that does is ensure the companies win. Why? Because if everyone moved to a larger city to get better internet, guess who serves that city? The same freakin’ ISP. And if they don’t then it’s a different ISP that treats its customers the same freakin’ way.

This is what you don’t understand, all of the big ISPs have agreed not to compete with each other and they all engage in the exact same shenanigans. So even if you move, you might get better speed but you might not and everything else you don’t like will stay the same. And if everyone moves into a big city and doesn’t live in more rural areas, well then the ISP’s can just ignore that infrastructure which is less cost to them.

So please, go ahead and tell me how voting with your feet is a viable option. I’ll wait.

JMT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"If an ISP says, "Hey! Do you like Netflix? We do too! So we partnered with Netflix to offer you a smooth streaming experience!"

Why should that be illegal?"

If you’re seriously asking this question at this point in the NN debate you’re either really new to the topic or being deliberately obtuse. The main crux of NN is not letting the large established players pay for better market position, effectively locking out smaller competitors tp cant afford to do the same. Do you really want Netflix to be the only option? That’s called a monopoly remember, we’re trying to avoid those.

"If I don’t want Netflix, why would I care if my ISP slows it down?"

MAybe because others do want Netflix and you’re not a selfish prick? No?

"And if my ISP slows it down, I can use a different ISP that doesn’t."

Chances are you can’t. Again, claiming there’s serious competition in this market makes you look ignorant or disingenuous.

"I might understand if I needed Netflix, or any other website, to stay alive, but I don’t."

Netflix is just one example, this all applies to any internet service. And if you think this requires a life or death situation before we should care, maybe you are just a prick…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

That is a strawman argument. The anti-NN isn’t about the ISP being able to charge your neighbor more, it is about selling him a line that has a 5 TB dl limit, at a certain speed and then slowing his connection down cause who ever he is getting information from isn’t paying the ISP a bribe.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

It does NOT have to do with CONNECTION SPEED ALONE. It has to do with ACCESS to WEBSITES being ARTIFICIALLY FASTER OR SLOWER based on what ISPs wish to prioritize.

If the ISP is competing with Netflix, they slow Netflix access for their customers, if they want Facebook to go fastest because they’re buying ads on Facebook, then it goes fastest for their customers. It isn’t a matter of the PHYSICAL CAPACITY of your cable, phone lines or fiber connections.

Without Net Neutrality, it’s the ISPs that decide what websites or services go through fastest/slowest/not at all on your connection, no matter the speed capacity you’re paying for in total, and even whether or not to charge you more for unimpeded speeds on certain websites, similar to paying extra for that special cable TV channel.

Treating the Internet neutrally means every website gets all the bandwidth your physical connection can potentially provide with no artificial slowdowns or speedups based on the URL you’re currently visiting.

How many times do we need to explain?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Additionally, if you and your neighbors are all paying for say 25 Mbps access speeds, and if all your neighbors usage interferes with you getting your full 25 Mbps, then that is not a net neutrality issue.

That is an issue where your ISP has lied to all of you and sold you service they can’t actually provide. They need to build out additional infrastructure, upgrade what’s already in place, or stop selling you that fast of access in your area. Preferably build or upgrade the infrastructure.

Plus, what you are advocating for is essentially paying money to deliberately slow down someone else’s access while speeding up yours. What you want would result in only the richest people being able to have the fastest access and everyone else would be SOL. So, no thank you.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

From a technical standpoint he could be correct. There are use cases where the local node capacity is shared by a neighborhood and everyone is oversubscribed by too much. In that case, if everyone in the neighborhood started using the majority of their paid for bandwidth, this could have a detrimental effect on their neighbors’ bandwidth.

This was seen a lot in the early days of DSL/Cable internet (or today in areas where the infrastructure has been ignored) but not so much now as available capacity has increased dramatically and improvements have been made in infrastructure and network management.

However, that still isn’t a NN problem, that is an ISP/infrastructure/network management problem. The ISP either needs to upgrade the infrastructure, build it out more, or stop oversubscribing that neighborhood as much and discontinue those higher speed tiers in that neighborhood.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Speaking as someone who’s built and run these networks: you’re right.

But the root cause here is not him. It’s not his neighbors. It’s his ISP: their beancounters, their engineers, and their technicians, all of whom combined to create this problem and all of whom are still combining to sustain it. Any network operator worthy of the term should be monitoring throughput — c’mon, this is netops 101 — and flagging systemic and/or chronic problems. Even rudimentary monitoring, like the kind we had 25+ years ago, is enough to make a problem like this leap off the screen.

Of course, this has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with net neutrality.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

I agree completely. There is no excuse for this today. If his ISP has those kinds of issues then they are not doing their job properly and need to beef up their infrastructure or do better network management.

Sorry if I wasn’t clear in my statements. The ISP is 100% responsible for creating the situation in which a shared node could cause performance degradation. I wasn’t trying to blame his neighbors or him, merely trying to point out how that his view is flawed in thinking the problem is him or his neighbors. In reality it’s the ISP that created the issue and needs to fix it.

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

And if I want to pay my ISP extra to prioritize my access, why should that be illegal?

You seem really confused about what net neutrality actually is.

It has nothing to do with how much ISPs charge for bandwidth. All it means is that they treat every packet the same, regardless of its source.

It doesn’t mean your ISP can’t charge extra for a faster connection. It doesn’t mean your ISP can’t limit the amount of bandwidth you’re allowed to use in a month. It has nothing to do with charges at all, except insofar as it specifies that your ISP can’t charge you more to access some websites than others. I don’t know why you keep bringing up charges at all.

I also don’t know why you’re so eager to pay your ISP more than you already do. Where do you live that you’re satisfied with broadband costs? Because mine have gone up by about 70% since 2009, for the same service (except that it used to come with Usenet). I’m about as eager to pay my ISP more money as I am to go in for an elective root canal.

Narcissus (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“I will show you how my neighbors are adversely affecting my service.”

Okay, if that is the case your ISP is the problem, not your neighbor. When are you changing ISPs? Somebody told me it’s really easy. Or are you perhaps moving to a neighborhood with neighbors that use less internet? I heard that’s really easy too.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Well kudos to you for actually eating your own dog food.

But please tell us, exactly how easy is it going to be for you to move? Do you live in an apartment and are moving to another apartment? Or do you own your own home and are moving to another house, or some combination of the two?

Are you moving within the same city or are you moving to a different city? Will your ISP be the same or is it going to be a different one? Is better internet the only reason you are moving? Or are there additional reasons, closer to work, new job, not living where you want to right now, etc…

Please tell us exactly how easy it is for you to move.

Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

I’d also like to know whether or not America should re-structure itself to cater for a nomadic population as people move from place to place o get a better deal on goods and services.

Given the high cost of moving (including transporting all your stuff, looking for another job, etc.), wouldn’t it be easier to introduce some common-sense pro-consumer regulation?

The implicit imbalance in your stance is antithetical to a free market, isn’t it? I’m not into Supplier-first economics. When the balance of power is fairly equal the market is free. When it’s not you have a captive market and there’s no way any reasonable person can justify that.

Chris-Mouse (profile) says:

Re: Re:

If you are paying for a 25 megabyte/second data link, you should be entitled to transfer 25 megabytes of data each and every second for as long as your contract lasts.
Your ISP needs to build a network that can support what tbey are selling, even if all of your neighbours are also using the full amount of data transfer they have paid for. The fact that your ISP doesn’t even come close to being able to provide the service they sell should be grounds for false advertising charges, not excuses.

An Onymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

They do support what they’re selling. They sold you “Up to 25mb/s”, not “25 mb/s”. If that’s what you signed on for then you really can’t complain.

My ISP guarantees 80%+ of the contracted tier rate so… there’s that. But that’s far from a universal service agreement and most people, particularly Comcast customer, are just boned from start to finish.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Because he already pays for the network capacity. You both pay for your ISP to allocate a determined speed within the network. If you want to use 100% of it 100% of the time you can. If you want to use 100% of it 5% of the time you can as well. The capacity is already reserved for you. Using it or not makes very tiny difference to the ISP. If your neighbor using it makes yours slow then the ISP sold more capacity than it can handle and no amount of data caps is going to solve it.

Alphonse Tomato says:

Re: Re:

So if my next door neighbor uses 5 TB of data a month, and I use 100 MB a month, why should it be illegal for our ISP to charge him more than me, or even slow his down so my internet isn’t at a crawl?

It’s not illegal. There’s no law requiring the state government to buy service from your ISP. And it’s perfectly legal for your ISP to charge by the byte. What could be more fair than that?

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Re:

It shouldn’t be illegal to charge more for more bandwidth. Although you should consider simply selling an “unlimited” package instead.

What should be illegal is if you in any way discriminate on anyone’s network traffic based on where it goes to, comes from, or what the packets contain. As an ISP you shouldn’t even be looking at what the packets contain — let alone manipulating the contents. But encryption solves this.

It should also be illegal for an ISP to build “slow lanes”. (They call it “fast lanes” but it’s really “slow lanes”.) It works exactly like lanes on a freeway. If a lane is reserved for certain users, what really happens is that all traffic is squeezed into fewer other lanes — thus creating slow(er) lanes. Now an ISP could manage its traffic to ensure that all users get an equal amount of throughput. And if there’s not enough to go around then the ISP should be building more capacity, otherwise it is like a Theater which sells 10,000 tickets but only has 3,000 seats — which any attorney general would be highly interested in prosecuting. AOL back in the day got into trouble for not having enough capacity. They just kept selling, but didn’t build capacity.

There shouldn’t be special “fast lanes” for, say, Netflix because the ISP created some crooked deal with them. Yes, it’s crooked, because Netflix is going to pass this cost onto ALL users, including users of other ISPs. So you have, say Verizon-Netflix customers subsidizing Comcast-Netflix customers.

Anonymous Coward says:

OKAY, as fanboys often advise: ISPs just stop doing business with "the state"! We'll see how long lasts.

I read this as ISPs can still operate IN the state, just wouldn’t get gov’t business. That’s likely a minor portion of income.

For the record: ISPs cutting off service would be illegal under the lunch-counter principle. Businesses are only legal fictions and a condition of their very existence is to serve fairly ALL customers who aren’t violating common law. On other hand, this is the state declaring war — wimpily, allowing a choice — and defying federal rule-age. It’s on the verge, so I think ISPs would be justified in taking the option to cut off all service to gov’t offices.

Iggy says:

Re: Re: OKAY, as fanboys often advise: ISPs just stop doing business with "the state"! We'll see how long lasts.

Atlas Shrugged this is not. If they take their ball and go home, there will be tons of startups to replace them. They didn’t come to dominate the industry by being the best. The most likely response will be a lot of whining and lobbying but nobody’s taking the ball home and leaving.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: OKAY, as fanboys often advise: ISPs just stop doing business with "the state"! We'll see how long lasts.

>> “there will be tons of startups to replace them.”

As I frame it, the ISPs aren’t leaving Montana, just disconnecting the state, so the “startups” can only look to serving the state gov’t…

Anon E Mouse says:

Re: OKAY, as fanboys often advise: ISPs just stop doing business with "the state"! We'll see how long lasts.

The way I see it, “gov’t business” includes things like being able to bury cable in govt land, erecting poles, and connecting houses. Basically everything ISPs do that might require a permit of some sort. Not following rules = no permit = no business.
‘course, this might just be wishful thinking on my part. And it’s not like the ISPs do much expanding these days anyway.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: OKAY, as fanboys often advise: ISPs just stop doing business with "the state"! We'll see how long lasts.

>> The way I see it, “gov’t business” includes things like being able to bury cable in govt land, erecting poles, and connecting houses.

Well, ya see it wrong. In first place, isn’t any “govt land”, at least not where people are. 2nd, this tries to dodge around other law so that only gov’t biz is cut off, and 3rd, the ISPs already have structure in place which can’t be “taken” by gov’t without a court fight, and so 4th, may well be able to tell gov’t OKAY, that’s way ya want it, no service.

An Onymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 OKAY, as fanboys often advise: ISPs just stop doing business with "the state"! We'll see how long lasts.

Chill, freakshow. Nobody is out to get you, at least not around here. If you’re seeing that page it’s because you post entirely too much content that gets moderated. I’ve never seen that page.

Why don’t you go back to one of your alt-right echo chambers where everyone wants to hear whatever it is that falls out of your face?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: OKAY, as fanboys often advise: ISPs just stop doing business with "the state"! We'll see how long lasts.

>> termination of leases and confiscation of goods and materials on the right of ways perhaps?

Gov’t in the USA cannot just “TAKE” property, but must compensate for it. So an ISP might well WANT to be bought out.

If I’m right the threat is only stopping gov’t biz, then it’s probably a hollow threat, of the kind usually derided here as “grandstanding”. Guess that notion only applies to those pols that TD doesn’t like. — And more so if above on HR bill is / becomes law.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 OKAY, as fanboys often advise: ISPs just stop doing business with "the state"! We'll see how long lasts.

they probably could if the lease was terminated and a deadline was given for them to remove all goods and materials from the right of way. anything on the right of way after that could (possibly) default to the state…

Lord_Unseen (profile) says:

Re: OKAY, as fanboys often advise: ISPs just stop doing business with "the state"! We'll see how long lasts.

According to the EO, if the ISP in question doesn’t follow Net Neutrality, they won’t have to cut off State offices, the State will do that for them. That’s literally what it says.

“Not doing business with” means they won’t use them for anything up to, and including, regular internet services for State offices. These are not income streams the ISPs want to give up.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Nice workaround

‘We’re not saying you can’t do it, we’re just saying that if you do do it will have consequences.’

It’s sadly not a guaranteed win, but I can’t help but suspect that a good number of judges would not buy the ‘They stopped offering us contracts because we violated the rules they put in place to qualify for them’ argument the ISP’s might try to pull if they run afoul of this, as a state contract is not guaranteed or any sort of ‘right'(yet, I wouldn’t put it past them to argue otherwise).

Mind, I fully expect the ISPs, Pai, and the ISP’s cheerleaders in congress to throw a tantrum about it anyway, because dammit they’re working overtime to ensure that no-one is able to tell the ISP’s ‘no’, and this just won’t do!

Sayonara Felicia-San (profile) says:

Pffffttttt.....

Montana doesn’t have the ability to tell if their ISP is violating net neutrality or not.

(think ENRON rocketing up the price of oil in California, and the ‘government’ had no idea. It was only years later, AFTER ENRON had already been bankrupted and driven out of business that the self-described technocrats realized that they themselves had been scammed, just like they had been scamming the people all those years.)

Anyway, the point, someone might complain about something, so and so will ask maybe, and they will get an answer back they don’t even understand.

Coomon people, let’s be reaal here.

Anonymous Coward says:

News: Sock puppets invade TD

There seems to be a shit ton of new registered users, who are playing badminten with presupposed completely false assumptions.

They are obviously working together to try and make each other look more legit. Their positions are completely batshit. So the goal is probably to delegitimize TD. It is funny if you understand it. Unfortunately there are a lot of readers who won’t.

This is probably going to need some attention from the admins. Either that or TD could investigate, and do and article on the sock puppets. Obviously they aren’t going to be brand loyal to whomever they are sock puppeting for. So my guess is TD could probably get an interview and expose the whole little nasty chain of relationships.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: News: Sock puppets invade TD

If I didn’t know better I might even think Felicia is yet another sad attempt on MyNameHere to spam the site. (That bit about conveniently “being unable to log in”, care to tell us what your old account was, Felicia?) That said, the contents of Felicia’s posts seem to be pretty specifically angled, different from MyNameHere’s traditional pandering to authority. Plus a different writing style.

It’s just a matter of time. Either he starts whining about Karl, or begins to see Paul and Leigh under his bed again and needs Hamilton to kiss him better.

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