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
    Whatever (profile), 17 Jul 2014 @ 10:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: what is net neutrality really?

    But this isn't what Net Neutrality is requiring. Net neutrality isn't requiring them to provide peak bandwidth at all times. It simply requires them not to double dip by charging customers for access and then charging services for more bandwidth. To meet the increased demands of the Internet (including Netflix, Youtube, etc...) the ISP needs to upgrade their infrastructure.

    You almost got it, but it slipped through your fingers. If the ISPs suddenly need to upgrade because a new service is taxing their networks to the point of failure, where does that money come from, exactly?

    You have to remember that ISPs built their networks based on the idea of web browsing, which is high volume for short periods of time (loading a web page) and then nothing for a period of time as you read the page. So your 10meg connection may pull something near that for 1 or 2 seconds every minute or so. The rest of the time, it's dead air. That is a situation where the ISP can have 5 to 1 or even 10 to 1 bandwidth without issues (5 times the subscribers compared to upstream connection speed). Aggregated of a larger network, that number is quite significant when it comes to how much peering you need to feed the end users.

    Netflix and other streaming services? They require high peak transfer for an extended period of time. Your 10 meg connection downloading a 1 gig movie will be busy for quite a while. Your neighbor is also watching a movie, and the neighbor on the other side is watching IPtv. Now the game has changed, the ISP is needing to provide near peak bandwidth for an extended period of time. That means huge network upgrades.

    The net neutrality issue is how much peering they need. Normally they would have 5 to 1 or whatever, now they not only need closer to 1 to 1, but they actually need even more than that because so many people end up overloading certain peers, then end up on poorer routes through other peers to avoid congestion - that congestion would either hurt netflix delivery or hurt other services from gaining reasonable access - or both. If the ISP favors netflix peering over others, then they are no longer neutral.

    True net neutrality does not come with "friendly" peering arrangements such as Google has done. Two examples: My home connection is 4ms from google, connected directly on my ISP network. Two servers I work on are in similar situations. Yahoo? 70-80ms from the servers, over 100 from home. Are the networks really neutral when it comes to websearch, or are they favoring Google by allowing them a more direct connection?

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