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 @ 12:00pm

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

    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?

    From the money they get from their customers. It's not the customer fault they oversold their capacity. You see, it would be all fine and dandy if they specified in the contract that "during peak hours we will only deliver 50% of your speed" or something. It still does not justify treating packets differently. It is the ISP obligation to upgrade their network. Or advertise and sell lower speeds.

    You have to remember that ISPs built their networks based on the idea of web browsing

    No, they built their networks to support a determined amount of traffic. If they sell appropriate speeds then there should be no problem. And let's not forget that you use your browser to watch Netflix and Youtube.

    So your 10meg connection may pull something near that for 1 or 2 seconds every minute or so.

    Yeah but if you want to max it for 5 hours then the ISP must cope with it. Or sell slower speeds. Treating a determined traffic differently does not relate here. If Joe maxes its bw with Netflix I should be equally able to max with Netflox even if Netflox is a smaller streaming service. If there's network congestion then BOTH will suffer and the ISP be damned and fix it. Customers are paying for the full pipe.

    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.

    Change it to the electricity, water, gas company. If everybody requests their maximum capacity they have to supply it. Or limit the size of the pipe/power allowed in. That's what the electric company did here. You can only pull up to x W from the wires and they don't allow installing protection equipment that handles more than that. Because the electric grid is congested and there isn't much they can do in the short term.

    The net neutrality issue is how much peering they need.

    You are confused. It's not. Net neutrality is about treating Netflix, Netflox and Youtube and whatever as if they were the same thing. If I use all 3 at the same time my connection will give them equal parts of the pipe (unless one of them is too far or something, which fall into natural topographic restrictions that have nothing to do with net neutrality).

    True net neutrality does not come with "friendly" peering arrangements such as Google has done.

    Again, repeating for the n th time: Google placing a data center near the bigger loads does not hurt net neutrality, they are addressing a topographic, physical issue and are not paying for priority for the ISP. The ISP is receiving absolutely nothing and is treating google packets just like the others.

    Are the networks really neutral when it comes to websearch, or are they favoring Google by allowing them a more direct connection?

    They are not favoring Google, it's a topographical issue. If Yahoo installs a datacenter closer to you you'll get better ping from them too. A proper example would be: Google and Yahoo both have servers right beside me. Google gives me 4ms and Yahoo 100ms because Google paid my ISP to give priority to their packets and Yahoo didn't. So the ISP receives both packets at the same time but delays Yahoo on purpose to give Google priority. (Granted it's a very simplified view but that's about it).

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