Failures

by Karl Bode


Filed Under:
fcc, net neutrality, title ii

Companies:
cisco, oracle



Cisco And Oracle Applaud The Looming Death Of Net Neutrality

from the friends-like-these dept

Both Oracle and Cisco (not coincidentally major ISP vendors) have come out in full-throated support of the FCC's plan to kill net neutrality. FCC boss Ajit Pai has been making the rounds the last few weeks in Silicon Valley and elsewhere, trying to drum up support of his attack on broadband consumer protections. Pai met with Cisco, Oracle, Facebook and Apple in a number of recent meetings, but so far only Oracle and Cisco have been willing to enthusiastically and publicly throw their corporate fealty behind Pai's extremely-unpopular policies.

In its letter, Oracle (which also supported the recent dismantling of consumer broadband privacy protections) is quick to trot out the stale and debunked canard that net neutrality stifled telecom investment:

"From our perspective as a Silicon Valley technology company, what should have been a purely technological discussion of managing traffic on internet networks has inexplicably evolved into a highly political hyperbolic battle, substantially removed from technical, economic, and consumer reality. Further, the stifling open internet regulations and broadband classification that the FCC put in place in 2015 – for just one aspect of the internet ecosystem – threw out both the technological consensus and the certainty needed for jobs and investment."

If you're playing along at home, you should, by now, realize this is bullshit. Once again, public SEC filings, earnings reports, and ISP executive statements contradict this claim. Killing net neutrality and broadband privacy protections is about one thing: letting giant incumbent ISPs make more money by abusing the lack of competition in the broadband last mile. And while that's good for ISP vendors like Oracle, that's not so great for the smaller companies that need a healthy, level playing field to do business. That's why over 800 startups have come out in opposition to the FCC plan.

Like Oracle, Cisco was similarly eager to ignore the vast negative repercussions of the FCC's plan in a statement over at the company's website. In its statement, Cisco also falsely claims that net neutrality stifled investment:

"The proposal will review what is needed to protect consumers and prevent anti-competitive behavior, while rolling back Title II reclassification, which has inhibited investment. The balanced approach Commissioner Pai unveiled will encourage new investments in broadband networks and speed the development of innovative services, including Internet of Things technologies, telemedicine, distance learning, emergency services, and mobile 5G."

As we've noted, Pai's "balanced approach" involves first gutting all FCC authority over broadband, then shoveling the remaining, paltry authority back over to an already limited FTC authority that AT&T lawyers have demostrated they're able to tap dance around. Both Cisco and Oracle are well aware that the goal here isn't "balanced" regulations or "protecting consumers"; the goal is to turn a blind eye to the lack of competition in the broadband space (a disease for which neutrality violations are just one symptom) for the sole benefit of their clients at AT&T, Comcast, Verizon and Charter.

Oracle and Cisco's vocal support of the killing of net neutrality comes as former net neutrality supporters like Netflix and Google have remained notably silent this go-round. Contrary to some media narratives, Google hasn't really been a vocal net neutrality supporter since 2010, and its interest in protecting an open internet has waned exponentially after launching an ISP (Google Fiber) and jumping into wireless. Netflix has similarly toned down its rhetoric to aid its lobbying under the Trump administration, while shifting its overall focus toward international expansion.

That has left startups, consumers, smaller companies (like Roku and Mozilla) under-funded and under-gunned as they fight to keep the internet resembling something vaguely like a level playing field.


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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 11 May 2017 @ 5:18am

    Oracle and Cisco probably supply the tools to make net neutrality vanish so obviously they would agree with it.

    Google and Netflix are big enough that they can pay for the fast lanes and they are shifting into the kill competition before it can flourish mode that plagues all companies when they get fairly big and their pockets become fairly deep.

    So yeah. Again it's the people versus the corporations, the new aristocracy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2017 @ 6:33am

      Re:

      >It's the people versus the corporations.

      Could be worse. It's not like these companies have databases of the daily activities of the entire population, a history of predicting and shaping behavior and thought, and platforms that can reach you at any time and place.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2017 @ 7:04am

      Re:

      we must fight to make sure that net neutrality does not vanish, Google and Netflix dont want to kill competition, they support and are fighting to protect net neutrality

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 11 May 2017 @ 12:07pm

      Re:

      Cisco makes sense, because it does make and sell tools for interfering with traffic, injecting content into traffic, manipulating traffic, measuring, throttling or expiditing traffic.

      Oracle's motives are less clear. But the most likely explanation is simply that Oracle is evil.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2017 @ 6:59am

    you'd think their bottom line would be the opposite

    higher entry bar means fewer startups
    fewer startups means fewer new customers
    reduced competition means fewer upgrades
    fewer customers and upgrades means reduced sales
    reduced sales means less profits
    less profits means unhappy investors
    unhappy investors means new ceos

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2017 @ 7:50am

      Re: you'd think their bottom line would be the opposite

      You're thinking long term. They are thinking short/mid term. Because by the time the ship sinks, the CEOs will have all abandoned ship with multi-million dollar retirements.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2017 @ 8:10am

      Re: you'd think their bottom line would be the opposite

      By the time fewer startups and thereby new customers set in, they can more easily afford to react after getting fat from far more profit. It is not a given that we have an internet at all in 30 years...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2017 @ 8:38am

      Re: you'd think their bottom line would be the opposite

      I was about to post something similar. They should support this so that they can sell expensive equipment to all the upstarts and then sell upgrades to the legacy guys. In 2 years they could show record profits.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2017 @ 8:31am

      Re: you'd think their bottom line would be the opposite

      but you remove RISK....risk of failing due to competition...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2017 @ 7:05am

    if you want to help protect NN you can support groups like ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Free Press who are fighting to keep Net Neutrality.

    https://www.aclu.org/

    https://www.eff.org/

    https://www.freepress.net/

    https://www.fightforth efuture.org/

    https://www.publicknowledge.org/

    https://demandprogress.org/

    also you can set them as your charity on

    https://smile.amazon.com/

    also write to your House Representative and senators

    http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

    https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information /senators_cfm.cfm?OrderBy=state

    and the FCC

    https://www.fcc.gov/about/contact

    You can now add a comment to the repeal here

    https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/search/filings?proceedings_name=17-108&sort=date_disseminated,DESC

    h ere a easier URL you can use thanks to John Oliver

    www.gofccyourself.com

    you can also use this that help you contact your house and congressional reps, its easy to use and cuts down on the transaction costs with writing a letter to your reps.

    https://resistbot.io/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2017 @ 7:22am

    Well Apple is not going to jump on this bandwagon as they're all about Privacy. They don't make their money selling customer data unlike Google, Facebook and the others.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    OldMugwump (profile), 11 May 2017 @ 8:23am

    Silver lining?

    Net neutrality (NN) is necessary because of ISP monopolies.

    It's a treatment for the symptom, not a cure for the disease (monopoly).

    Given that NN is a dead letter in the Trump administration, it's time to change focus to the state and municipal level regulations that enable ISP monopolies - that keep out real competition.

    Maybe that's what we should have been doing in the first place - fixing the disease instead of treating the symptoms.

    Call your state legislators, your city council members, and start screaming.

    If we'd all put the same effort into opening up the ISP market that we've been putting into NN, we wouldn't have to worry about NN in the first place.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2017 @ 8:41am

      Re: Silver lining?

      "It's a treatment for the symptom, not a cure for the disease (monopoly)."

      the disease was regulation. the FCC created and blessed these monopolies under the guise to protecting us from them.

      There is government in a nutshell.

      In order to justify their existence, they need enemies to fight. They do no need to eliminate the enemies, that is bad for business, they just need to fight them.

      Governments need things like monopoly fears, market fears, corruption, terrorism to keep citizens wrapped up in symbiotic relationship.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        OldMugwump (profile), 11 May 2017 @ 9:47am

        Re: Re: Silver lining?

        Yes, regulation created the monopolies.

        But almost all of that regulation, in this case, is at the state and local level.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 May 2017 @ 12:17am

        Re: Re: Silver lining?

        And like always, when pressed you will agree that the infrastructure should be regulated, because ii is a natural monopoly, and should be separated and its use made available to all service providers, so as to promote competition.

        The problem is not regulation, but regulatory capture, driven by the heads of regulatory bodies being political appointees, and so always having an eye out for their next job.
        .

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2017 @ 9:14am

    Oracle's also got the whole "die, Google, die" shtick going on, so there's that as well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DB (profile), 11 May 2017 @ 9:30am

    Companies in decline trying to slow progress

    It should be obvious to all, but I'll point it out anyway.

    Cisco and Oracle are giant companies in decline. Their customers are almost exclusively other large companies that are locked into the Oracle and Cisco infrastructure. They both have a strong interest in hindering small innovative companies from gaining a toehold.

    Eliminating the principle of an neutral internet allows creating a "first class" internet to access preferred large company services, and a deliberately degraded and unreliable "third class" that new companies can be relegated to.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2017 @ 11:07am

      Re: Companies in decline trying to slow progress

      As a network engineer, I wouldn't say Cisco is in decline. Sure there are many other options now, and automation (DevOps) is driving sales away from Cisco, but most small/large networks have either Cisco/Juniper at the core. Where they are loosing is in the distribution and access layers of networking, but I would also argue that the UCS infrastructure has picked up some of that slack. The funny part is most people would think price is the driving factor, but competitive products from Juniper, Arista, and even whitelabel's are actually quite comparable, so I would argue it's more to do with functionality.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Andrew D. Todd, 11 May 2017 @ 1:13pm

    What Oracle and Cisco Really Want.

    Movies and television are not that important economically. It is food which is economically important. It doesn't take very many bytes to involve significant sums of money.

    Here are two typical messages which Oracle and Cisco would want to intercept. Both were transmitted by means which federal law still strictly prohibits Oracle and Cisco from meddling with, a letter in the mailbox, and two dial-up telephone calls, one to a modem bank at a state agency, and one to a restaurant. Oh, and the restaurant people physically came and hung a flyer on my doorknob.

    I cannot see why Cisco should expect to receive a substantial portion of the price of a bag of dried onions, or of a dish of Orange Shrimp.

    =================================================
    copy of snailmail order, July 16, 2015 (with prices and stock numbers pulled from the website)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    To: Pendery's World of Chilli's and Spices
    1221 Manufacturing St.
    Dallas, TX 75207

    Sirs:

    Kindly ship me the following items:


    1 BELL PEPPER-GREEN DICED 4OZ 00046-25 $7.42 $7.42
    1 BELL PEPPER-RED DICED 4OZ 00047-25 $7.71 $7.71
    1 BELL PEPPER-GREEN POWDER 8OZ 00048-50 $10.07 $10.07
    1 CURRY POWDER-MILD 8OZ 100031-50 $8.49 $8.49
    2 ONION-CHOPPED 1LB 00097-11 $10.79 $21.58
    1 PAPRIKA-AMERICAN 95 ASTA 8OZ 00110-50 $6.74 $6.74

    Subtotal: $62.01

    Shipping (Ground) $10.99

    Total $73.00
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------
    For which a check is enclosed.


    Andrew D. Todd
    ======================================================
    To New Foo Sheen restaurant, Morgantown, WV (order by telephone, aide-memoire to simplify dealing with an order taker whose English is limited)

    #1, Egg Roll, quantity: 1
    #2, Shrimp Roll, quantity: 1
    #62, Shrimp w. Garlic Sauce, pint
    #79, Shrimp Fried Rice, pint
    #S14, Orange Shrimp

    And the usual quantities of rice, fortune cookies, soft drinks, duck sauce, etc. A fair proportion of the stuff goes into the refrigerator for left-overs. With a good tip, it comes to forty bucks.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Alya, 11 May 2017 @ 1:37pm

    No worries

    The same laws that apply to telephone service also apply to internet service. So, as such discrimination would be illegal for phone service it would also be illegal for internet service. Nothing Pai can do about that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2017 @ 3:11pm

    Can't say I'm pleased with Cisco right now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2017 @ 7:40pm

    The reason why...

    Oracle wants to destroy the tech industry. (See their Android software patent/tracdemark/copyright/BS legal theory case.)
    Cisco sells routers that allows for complex rules for traffic prioritisation.

    Now you know why they both want net neutrality dead.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 May 2017 @ 8:28pm

    The SEC is a very corrupt organization. For instance, they pass two sets of laws, one for the rich and one for the poor. These laws are, of course, created by the rich. Here they are.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pattern_day_trader

    The entire Wikipedia article is worth reading, especially all the criticisms.

    Another argument that can be made is that if the government really wanted to protect us from ourselves they would limit gambling, which costs poor people a lot and is known to result in unfavorable odds, and they would discontinue the lottery. Instead because the lottery and gambling make the government and big institutions money they are legal. Restricting pattern day trading is, likewise, an attempt to give those with money more leverage over those without money. This law is directly aimed at discriminating against those without money and it was passed by those with money. The government has essentially passed two sets of laws, one for the rich and one for the poor. These laws were undemocratically passed by the rich for the rich under the false pretense of protecting the poor. Such is a hallmark of an aristocracy. No nation should have a different set of laws for the rich than for the poor.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2017 @ 8:57am

      Re:

      Agree.

      If they (authority) really wanted to protects us they would not allow such dangerous things as:
      - cars that can speed more than 40mph
      - all that junk food
      - all those miracle products
      - TOBACCO!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2017 @ 8:26am

    Again, who appointed this Pai idiot?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Glathull (profile), 18 May 2017 @ 12:51pm

    This is actually kind of funny. Oracle is a great barometer for understanding where you should be, in case you ever have any doubts about what side of an issue to take. Everything that Oracle thinks is a good idea is a guaranteed bad idea.

    Google's motto for a long time was "Don't be evil." If Oracle had a corporate motto it would read, "Be evil."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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