Congressman Who Was Against Protecting Net Neutrality Flips Sides After Realizing The Harm Broadband Giants Can Cause

from the nice-to-see dept

Over the last few weeks we've seen a number of politicians come out on one side or another concerning the FCC's net neutrality plans, but most of them were pretty much expected. It actually was nice to see some net neutrality supporters be quite explicit in their support for Title II reclassification (like Senator Chuck Schumer), but beyond that there weren't too many surprises. That's why it was actually great to see Rep. Gary Peters, who is currently running for the Senate in Michigan, come out in favor of net neutrality, warning of the harm that could be caused by the fast lanes and slow lanes as allowed by the current FCC proposal.
"If large corporations can pay more for faster service for their content, this effectively creates a 'slow lane' for everyone else."
This is notable, because four years ago, Peters was actually one of the group of Representatives who actively opposed strong net neutrality rules by the FCC. It appears that four years later he's changed his mind. In his new statement, he makes it clear that he now realizes how many entrepreneurs and innovators rely on an open internet:
"Startups and small businesses are the engines of job creation and economic growth in Michigan, and they rely on open access to the Internet to stay competitive. I have serious concerns that allowing large, established corporations to purchase faster services puts these startups and small businesses at a disadvantage and stifles innovation."
That's a far cry from the letter Peters signed four years ago, which was entirely focused on the question of how these rules might upset the big broadband access providers. It's good to see Peters has realized that the future is in innovative startups, not in protecting big cable and telco oligopolies.

Filed Under: gary peters, innovation, michigan, net neutrality, reclassification, switching sides, title ii

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  1. icon
    Ninja (profile), 17 Jul 2014 @ 4:59am

    Re: what is net neutrality really?

    You pretend to be willing to debate by asking seemingly innocent questions and giving misleading examples.

    Google doesn't pay the ISPs for priority. It takes the data to a location that is physically closer to their customers because this makes things cheaper and improves performance. If you ask for data that is elsewhere in the world you'll still get it and it will have the same priority. Any perceived delay in this case can be credited to distance. And the minimum extra time that will be needed to load the data coming from elsewhere can be calculated via basic physics and by knowing what route the data took since it will use the less congested route naturally instead of the shortest path. None of this involves Google paying for the end ISP for priority.

    That means that, like it or not, YouTube has an unfair advantage by having peering to every major ISP pretty much right on their network edge, no third parties in the way.

    Again this is very different from paying for priority on the ISP network. They are faster because they invested in being closer and distributing data wisely throughout the world. However they'll face the same priority all other services have within the ISP network (considering the ISP treats all packets as equals).

    Would true net neutrality require the ISPs to peer only to third party interchanges, and have websites and services only connect that same way?

    ISPs have to do absolutely nothing. They just need to return the data the customer asked without bothering to see where it came from. The best they can do to cut their own costs is to cache heavily accessed content in their network. Most ISPs do it already and are not paid for it because it saves money in the first place.

    Is the net really neutral, and can it ever be?

    It's not because the ISPs throttle traffic they don't like. It can be if they are either forced (Title II etc etc) or there's enough competition.

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